CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA / MUTI / ORCHESTRA HALL, Chicago FRIDAY, June 22 BRUCKNER SYMPHONY #6
It's been maybe 5 or 10 years since I've listened to the Bruckner 6th. It just hasn't been a music priority for me. But, how many chances will you get to hear it performed in concert? And, by a top tier orchestra under a top tier conductor? Probably not many. Had to jump on this one. I'm so glad I attended.
1. There was a post some time back exploring the effect of concerts. Concert performances have a pronounced, often profound effect on me [about which I hope to post in the future]. And, what an effect this one's had. I love the Bruckner 6th. I used to like it. But, now I love it. What an amazing piece. As I listen more carefully to Bruckner, especially in concert performances, where the music literally springs to life, it becomes apparent how much of an influence he was on Mahler; and, for that matter, the Second Viennese School in general. For example, the quarter note stacatto march for string basses that opens the scherzo reappears as the opening of the Mahler Sixth. But, it's not just discrete, concrete examples such as that, of which there are actually fewer, but the overall feeling and style that Mahler absorbed. That's not to say that Mahler's not his own man; he certainly is. But, even as late as the Mahler 10th adagio, Bruckner's influence is still apparent.
2. The concert was on Friday. It's been playing in my head non-stop since then. That always happens, an it's usually torture. But, a strange and wonderful thing's happening this time. As passages of the music play, I can hear them in my mind's ear with great clarity, and various bits of instrumentation, harmony, melody, structure, etc. are being revealed - as if I'm actually hearing the music actually playing!!! Amazing. I'm getting a bunch of new insights into the music, all from it just re-playing in my head!!
3. I haven't yet established any preferences of recordings. Anyone with any they'd like to share, please do so.
4. I'm convinced that Bruckner got better an better as he went on. The Sixth is manifestly better, in terms of compositional mastery, than the preceeding pieces, including the mighty Fifth, the Forth, or any of the earlier ones. Don't misunderstand; I'm not saying those are bad. I like them. What I'm saying is that Bruckner's mastery is just better in the Sixth [and that includes any of the late modification versions of the earlier pieces]. It shows concentration; and the awkwardness of the earlier symphonies, even the Fifth, is gone.
5. Everytime you look up the piece and read something about it, they're always, always, always repeating the same thing about it: that it's the least popular Bruckner symphony. That may've been true 50 years ago, but not anymore. Checking sources, anyone may see that there're a ton of recordings of it. More likely, the so-called Symphony Zero's less recorded or played. That said, it's true that the Sixth is not often played in concert.
6. And, that's one reason why I paid for premium seats for the concert [$140 per seat]. Among my goals in life is to hear all of the pieces which I've come know through recordings at least once in concert, before I die.With Beethoven, that's no problem. But, with pieces such as the Bruckner Sixth...it's a problem. So, I splurged on this concert. The other reason's that I've always wanted to hear the sound from the front row of the first balcony, where the sound's supposed to be super-ideal in the hall. It was pretty good. You can hear everything. The bass was phenomenal.
7. I hate to bring in a negative note here, but, it happened; and, it's been bugging me; so here goes. I really hate hearing audience members make nasty, negative remarks about a piece, or a composer, at concerts. A couple of guys were within earshot, and after the concert they said, "Oh, that finale's just a hodge-podge", and so on. They're likely rich kids; the front row 1st balcony seats are pricey, and they were college kids. And, I'd say they're gay, cause that's how they spoke, in really obvious way. As they obnoxiously continued, it became clear that what they valued in music was what they got from their preferred music genres: loud, constant non-stop thumping rhythm. You don't get that from the Bruckner Sixth. They stressed that their favorite Bruckner piece was the scherzo of the Ninth. Of course. The one movement with a lot of constant rhythm, simple enough for enough stretches of time for Thumpers to grasp. I imagine that the concert, which's been the highlight of the entire year so far for me, was merely a warmup for their evening, and a trivial one at that; the night being capped off at some bass-droning gay night club....where they'd hear thumping, non-stop, for the entire night. No hodge-podge there.
8. Not to end on a bad note, and to help banish the nasty crap about the Bruckner Sixth I had to endure, I'm hoping that you guys here can share any positive remarks, insights, and experiences you may have about the piece. Thanks.
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Topic - The Bruckner Sixth --- In Concert - Mike Porper 15:01:29 06/27/12 (15)
- Recent Video Clip........ Muti/CSO [yt] - Todd Krieger 23:36:07 06/28/12 (0)
- RE: The Bruckner Sixth --- In Concert - Todd Krieger 17:05:39 06/28/12 (0)
- Just A Few More Observations & Thanks - Mike Porper 15:22:04 06/28/12 (2)
- try mdt.co.uk - TGR 21:21:22 06/28/12 (0)
- Blomstedt/LGO recording available in UK, Germany, France, Canada [nt] - Chris from Lafayette 16:56:03 06/28/12 (0)
- RE: The Bruckner Sixth --- In Concert - John N 08:40:15 06/28/12 (1)
- Second the Furtwaengler! It's my first, despite... - Poles Apart 12:37:20 06/28/12 (0)
- Great post, Mike! - I'd leave out your bullet No. 7 however - Chris from Lafayette 16:08:36 06/27/12 (7)
- Yes, one dasn't mention #7 in polite company these days. - Poles Apart 13:05:43 06/28/12 (1)
- Come on, Clark - You just HAD to get that in, didn't you? - Chris from Lafayette 14:08:35 06/28/12 (0)
- RE: Great post, Mike! - I'd leave out your bullet No. 7 however - Cherrell 08:07:21 06/28/12 (0)
- More on Bruckner's 6th and Blomstedt - TGR 21:21:00 06/27/12 (3)