(photo: Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Natalia Pavlutskaya)

Musikfest Berlin

Münchner Philharmoniker

Valery Gergiev conductor

Visiting: Munich

Alfred Schnittke

Symphony No. 1

Anton Bruckner

Symphony No. 6 in A major

A Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin event

Dates and Tickets

Tue, 10 Sep 2019, 20:00

Philharmonie | Introduction: 19:10

Online Sale


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Bruckner was returning from a journey, his only truly long journey, when we wrote his Sixth Symphony. Maybe that is why it is so very different from the others: less monumental, more flowing, with only very few of the notorious reverberating pauses that we like to count among his style characteristics. Maybe that is why the work stood in the shadow of its neighbours for so long: the artful sound cathedral of the Fifth and the music of life and hope that is the Seventh, with a mourning ribbon in its slow movement. In recent years, however, there have been some changes in the reception of Bruckner. Almost as if the international elite of conductors had agreed to no longer neglect this jewel, the Symphony in A Major has suddenly been receiving more attention.

Valery Gergiev, who can build his interpretation on a long and special Bruckner-tradition in Munich, prefaces the Sixth with a similarly expansive work: Alfred Schnittke’s First Symphony, composed in the early 1970s. “A work”, as the composer says, “in which I experimented a great deal. For instance, there are hard, aggressive variations on Dies irae with a massive tonal language. You cannot hear it clearly at first, but then it becomes clearer and clearer, turns into a grid for a twelve-tone row and suddenly I take two tones that are accidentally identical to a popular song and then there’s a little fragment of this pop song and the whole thing topples over into banality, which, in fact, is not so wrong at all, because ‘Dies irae’ and banality, there is a connection there. – Connections of motive are always very important … and a twelve-tone row is not enough. It must soon be time for a different kind of thinking about motive, a kind that is much more pluralistic.” It was.

(photo: Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Natalia Pavlutskaya)