Bruckner's 8th Symphony Essay

Bruckner's 8th Symphony Essay

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With a sense of mystery, highly acclaimed New York Philharmonic conductor Lorin Maazel opened Bruckner’s 8th symphony with a tremolo on the strings and then repeats this tremolando in forte while the brass gloriously brought in the first major theme. Amidst the bright colors and amazing acoustics at Disney Hall, the audience sat in eager anticipation; many of the present members were experienced with Bruckner’s pieces and Wagnerian style. Sitting next to me, David Barry of the LA Philharmonic Board of Directors gave me an introduction to the history of Disney Hall, the LA Philharmonic musicians, and Anton Bruckner. He quickly detailed several prominent musicians’ profiles, including that of the only timpanist at the concert, and then, he went on to describe the special quartet of Wagner tubas and the unique appearance of the harp amidst the largest orchestra required in all of Bruckner’s symphonies. Given that this was my first exposure to anything related to Wagner, I was given insight into Wagner’s influence on Bruckner’s romantic style.

The Wagnerian characteristics of the symp...

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