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Staatskapelle Berlin

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The Guardian wrote, “Like many of those who have managed to unlock Bruckner’s music with greatest effect, Barenboim’s approach is organic and animated … this was Bruckner to treasure.” As part of Carnegie Hall’s first Bruckner symphony cycle, Daniel Barenboim leads the great orchestra in the master’s Fifth Symphony. Bruckner explored new harmonic paths in the work, particularly in its emotional first movement. A lyrical slow movement and typically muscular Bruckner Scherzo set the stage for the massive finale, where a chorale tune and incredibly complex lines of counterpoint point the way to a heroic climax.

Daniel Barenboim's performances with the Staatskapelle Berlin mark the 60th anniversary of his Carnegie Hall debut on January 20, 1957.


Staatskapelle Berlin
Daniel Barenboim, Music Director and Conductor
Gregor Witt, Oboe
Matthias Glander, Clarinet
Mathias Baier, Bassoon
Radovan Vlatković, Horn


MOZART Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, and Orchestra, K. 297b

BRUCKNER Symphony No. 5

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

Anton Bruckner is perhaps the most misunderstood of the great symphonists. In his own day, he confused both his supporters—leading them to undertake extensive editing of his works to make them conform better to contemporary norms—and his detractors, among them the redoubtable Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick, who savaged most of his symphonies at their premieres. In our own day, too many concertgoers react to him with incomprehension and boredom.

Labeled by his contemporaries "the Wagner symphonist," Bruckner actually wrote symphonies that are anything but the Romantic/Wagnerian celebration of self. Instead, they are spiritual quests and homages to God, in whom he fervently believed and whom he sought to glorify in his music. "Each of his symphonies is in reality one gigantic arch that starts on earth in the midst of suffering humanity, sweeps up toward the heavens to the very Throne of Grace, and returns to earth with a message of peace," writes biographer Hans-Hubert Schönzeler.

Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin give us the unprecedented opportunity to experience all nine of these magnificent symphonies over an 11-day span—both the ones we may know well and those we rarely encounter. Tonight, we hear one of Bruckner's greatest masterpieces, the Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, which is, paradoxically, among his least performed. Paired with it is the charming Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major, K.297b, which may or may not be wholly by Mozart, but is in any case an irresistible showpiece for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn.

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