Bruckner: Symphony No. 5
Format: COMPACT DISC
Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien; Poschner, Markus
Among Bruckner’s Symphonies, the Fifth is his contrapuntal masterpiece; the grandest until the Eighth. The tour-de-force of a finale gives us an idea of what the finale of the Ninth might have been like. Its magnificent dark and halting opening with the descending bass line – so effectively recalled in the finale – is inimitable. Although long available only in a disfigured version by Franz Schalk, it is also distinct for never having been the subject to revision or, perhaps, even doubt on the part of Bruckner – who never heard it performed with an orchestra. And yet, when Bruckner wrote this masterpiece, he was still far from establishing himself as a composer in Vienna and his spirits were as low as ever, writing a friend that “my life has lost all joy and delight – in vain and for nothing.” A radiant pinnacle from amid darkness.