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With Manfred Honeck and Bruckner at Kaiserdom zu Bamberg

KaiserdomDomplatz 5, Bamberg, Bavaria, 96049, Germany
On Sunday 7 June 2020 at 17:00
Manfred HoneckConductor
Bamberg Symphony

“I really only achieved that which my friends now call ‘great’ because I have been in awe of everything true and holy since my youth.” Bruckner’s contemporaries often saw the composer as a strange misfit. He was an introverted, deeply religious loner. His critics did not make things easy for him, writing that his monstrous works were “nothing other than treason, insurrection and tyrannicide” and recommending that he revise them. This sowed qualms, severe doubts and lasting insecurity in Bruckner’s mind. His Third Symphony in particular, which he started to work on in 1872, was a veritable “problem child” – he reworked it thoroughly several times, the last time in 1889. This last revision was brought on by a disaster: when the second version was first performed in Vienna in 1877, the audience left in droves. Together with Manfred Honeck, we will present the final version. Bruckner had dedicated the symphony to Wagner “in deepest reverence” as a sign of his boundless esteem – but only after he had paid Wagner a visit in Bayreuth to make sure that the “master of all masters” was favourably inclined towards his endeavour. Wagner accepted the dedication – during a friendly get-together over snuff and a keg of Weihenstephan beer! He even promised to perform the symphony, although this never actually happened. This majestic work alternates between solemn pathos and earthy secularity, between nostalgia and joie de vivre. Bruckner himself said of its shifting moods: “That is what it’s like in life. The polka signifies the world’s humour and gaiety – the chorale its sadness and pain.”

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