Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)

Symphony no. 7 in E major: II. Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam

Social philosopher Theodor Adorno, who had studied music with Alban Berg and piano with Eduard Steuermann, persuaded Solti to approach the music of Mahler and Bruckner. “You must conduct Mahler,” he told Solti. “Why don’t you begin with the Ninth Symphony?” (!) (Memoirs, 100). He performed a similar service on behalf of Bruckner: “When I told Adorno that Bruckner’s symphonies always put me to sleep, he insisted we play the Seventh on the piano, in a four-hand arrangement. He was an excellent pianist and I enjoyed the experience. I began to study the Seventh seriously, and soon I was adding not only Mahler but also Bruckner symphonies to my repertory.” Solti recorded Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic in the 1960s, and twice with the Chicago Symphony, in London’s Royal Albert Hall and in Chicago’s Medinah Temple, site of many Solti recordings with the orchestra (now a Bloomingdale’s department store). Shown here is the work’s slow movement at the moment of the famous and controversial cymbal crash, an addition by Bruckner to his original score, though later withdrawn (possibly) by the composer.

Anton Bruckner. Symphony no. 7 in E major: II. Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam. Perf. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recorded at Medinah Temple, Chicago, October 1986 (London 417 631-2). Record Collection CD 2952

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