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Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra: Bruckner’s Last Breath

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Tuesday 16 February 202119:30

For a second consecutive evening, Germany’s historic Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra plays intense and monumental music by Bruckner.

‘The Ninth will be my masterpiece,’ Bruckner confided in a visitor as he laboured over the score to his last symphony.

He would die before he could finish it. Even so, what exists of the work contains the composer’s most aspirational and inspiring music.

When slow, the symphony is tinged with the resignation of a farewell. When fast, it is ferocious in its joie de vivre. Throughout, it is a work of art that leaves a residue of hope and confidence in its wake.

Tackling the sustained intensity of Bruckner’s final masterpiece is an orchestra he admired deeply. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra’s rich, burnished sound is a perfect match for the music's repeated waves of cumulative power.

Before Bruckner, we hear from the composer he revered more than any other. Wagner’s music for the opera Tristan und Isolde opens the concert – a work that raised music to a level of impassioned intensity never heard before.

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