Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
The genesis of Anton Bruckner's Eighth Symphony was probably affected by a bout of sudden fame that boosted the composers constantly shaky self-confidence. After the performance of Bruckners Seventh, the famous conductor Hermann Levi had hailed him as ""the greatest symphonist since the death of Beethoven"". Frequently ridiculed in Vienna, Bruckner had finally been taken seriously in Munich: his importance had been recognized, and the Austrian emperor had awarded him the Order of Franz Joseph something that filled Bruckner with very special pride. In the summer of 1884 he set to work on a new symphony, and in August 1887, after three years of work, the symphony was completed. Because of energetic objections from Levi, however, it was not immediately performed. Bruckner revised his work thoroughly between October 1887 and March 1890, and the premiere of the Eighth Symphony in its new version finally took place on December 18, 1892, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under Hans Richter. It was an extraordinary success. Hugo Wolf described the concert as follows: ""It was an absolute victory of light over darkness, and the storm of delighted applause was like some elemental manifestation of nature. In short, it was a triumph as complete as any Roman emperor could have wished for."" Since then, Bruckner's Eighth Symphony has been an integral part of the symphonic repertoire, yet it still continues to present a huge challenge to performers. Mariss Jansons and the musicians of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks are however more than equal to the extraordinary demands made by this masterpiece. The recording of the Munich concert event of November 2017 has now been released by BR-KLASSIK: it is an exemplary performance of one of the most important compositions of the Late Romantic symphonic repertoire, in its version of 1890.
1. Allegro Moderato 16:38