Fri, Sep 27 Andrew Manze leads the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Bruckner's Second
In the Concertgebouw Orchestra’s Bruckner cycle, Andrew Manze conducts the Second Symphony, ‘a gem that has for too long been inexplicably overlooked, even by many Bruckner lovers.‘
Bruckner’s Second Symphony is very different in tone from the extroverted First, a fact which is apparent right from the opening, when the high strings cautiously lay out a carpet of sound for the plaintive melody in the cellos. Unusual in this work are the silences (or Pausen in German) that regularly occur, which resulted in the Second jokingly being called the ‘Pausen’ Symphony. ‘Well,’ Bruckner is said to have answered, ‘when I have something important to say, I must take a deep breath first!’ The extraordinarily beautiful slow movement has a religious feel to it, with a secondary theme which is often described as mystical, a quotation from Bruckner’s own Mass in f-minor, and an enigmatic passage which anticipates his Ninth Symphony.
Up to now, only five conductors have led the Concertgebouw Orchestra in this work – its last performance was under the direction of Riccardo Chailly in 1992. Now Andrew Manze is taking up the gauntlet. Originally an early music specialist, Manze applies his insights to music from all periods with great ease.
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Symphony No. 2 in c minor, WAB 102