Bruckner Transcended

LighthousePoole, South-West, BH15 1UG, United Kingdom
On Wednesday 29 November 2017 at 19:30

Bruckner's last completed symphony contains music of sheer, breath-taking magnificence. It is a non-stop instrumental song imbued with mystical passions and aesthetic glories. It rises from a doom-laden opening to a third movement containing some of the noblest, most ecstatic music Bruckner ever created and represents the summit of his achievements. Each movement is designed on a massive scale, patiently building exuberant climaxes marked by joyful brass trumpeting. Working from a few seminal motifs, Bruckner breathes life into mighty themes, nourishing them with extreme contrapuntal skill. These all come together in the gargantuan finale – a moment of “blazing calm” and one of the most existentially thrilling experiences a symphony has ever created. Bruckner's achievement is to make you feel, when you get there, that the whole experience of the piece is contained and transfigured in this crowning coming-together of symphonic space and time.



In just four years Mozart wrote sixteen glorious piano concertos. No.23 (K488) was an immediate success, remaining popular probably as much for its wistfulness as for melodies verging on the sublime. It does not open with a fanfare or any kind of powerful curtain-raising motif, as many other concertos do – rather it begins with a gentle melody, played on the piano, setting the stage for a unique blend of moods from quiet serenity to flashes of aural radiance and moments of exquisite pathos. The spirited finale perhaps reminds us that this was the product of one of the most exhilarating periods in Mozart’s tragically brief life.

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