Bruckner's Symphony #8, with controversies

Bartje Bartmans channel gives us the score of the 'Apocalyptic' Symphony #8 in C Minor (WAB 108).  This happens to be the 1890 version.  In this performance, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink plays.  In the finale note the final harmonic pivot to C Major at 1:13:07.

The coda plays the same sequence from the scherzo four times, then a subsequence three times and then the final three octaves on EDC (correctly is with sixteenth notes but many conductors draw it out). The effect is a train coming to a stop (maybe we'll look at Honneger's Pacific 231 later). Earlier, the finale had begun with a version of the first movement theme on the tritone theme of f# minor before getting to C Minor.

Sebasitan Letocart bases a completion of the finale of the 9th on the idea of extracting one theme from the scherzo trio, which I will cover later.

Piano Master shows a reduction of the finale to piano and note that the last three octaves are to be played fast.

Fur bru presents the 1887 version where the first movement has a rather superfluous loud ending (14 minute mark). The coda of the finale is not quite as compact (a dimuendo I the middle) and convincing, as it still pulls the train-stop at the end. Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt, Eliahu Inbal, conductor, ;licensed by UMB from Telarc.

Shosktakovich used the opening theme of Bruckner’s Symphony #8 in the closing of the finale of his Symphony #7, the Leningrad. Claudio Sanchez offers a score on YouTube, with audio from the Netherlands Philharmonic but scores from several sources documented there. Shostakovich seems to have been particularly tantalized by the loud ending of the first movement in the first version as the opening theme rises up like a call to arms.

>In October 2014 I attended a performance of the Bruckner Eighth by Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic (I think it was the 1890 version -- first movement ended quietly). The concert had also included Bartok's Piano Concerto #3. In the 8th and 9th symphonies Bruckner is entering a world that seems dark and even "apocalyptic".

In March 2018 I attended a performance of the Shostakovich at the Strathmore Music Center in Rockville MD, performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Sequin

Bartok Piano Concerto #3, from MS Scores, piano - Krystian Zimerman, Chicago Symphony Orchestra,conductor - Pierre Boulez. The very end of the finale had been completed in 1927 by Tibor Serly.

Pacific 231

short film. 1949, BW, set to Arthur Honegger's tone poem (about 7 minutes, it slows down and ends loudly, posted in 2009 by Wouter Van Belle.


(Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at 3 PM EDT by John W. Boushka)