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Bruckner: Symphony No. 8

Bruckner: Symphony No. 8

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Anton Bruckner called his Symphony no.8 in C minor a ‘mystery’; others have seen it as an ‘apocalyptic’ work. For Paavo Järvi, it is the composer’s ‘most unusual symphony’ and the ‘pinnacle’ of his symphonic output. In the history of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Eighth Symphony occupies a special place, since it was the first Bruckner the orchestra performed – in 1905, twelve years after the premiere in Vienna of what was then the longest symphony in the history of music, and Bruckner’s only work to call for harps: ‘A harp has no place in a symphony, but I couldn't do otherwise!’, the composer reportedly said.


This reading of the Eighth is more deliberate overall than an earlier venture of his. This is not a detriment, however, as Järvi and the Zürich orchestra maintain forward motion throughout. Bruckner enthusiasts will likely be happy that Järvi chose the Novak critical edition of the 1890 revised version. As expected, the conductor has this orchestra well-drilled and gets some strong performances from the musicians, especially from the large French horn group. While some will miss (and many prefer) the extra weight of the Berlin or Vienna Philharmonic, this interpretation is worthy of hearing and continues the promise of this ongoing survey. The sound from the orchestra's home hall is ideal, and Alpha does well to capture the full orchestral landscape.

-- (Keith Finke)

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label:
    • UPC/Barcode: 3760014199875
    • Item Number: ALPHA987