Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony—a thrilling part of Carnegie Hall’s unprecedented cycle of the master’s symphonies—is a massive work that journeys from the depths of darkness to heroic heights. As in many of his symphonies, Bruckner opens his Eighth in a mist from which magnificently sonorous themes immerge. There’s tremendous power in the ensuing Scherzo, while the Adagio is heart-rending poetry that Bruckner considered his finest creation. With its huge brass chorales and unforgettable timpani solo, the finale is a masterpiece of Wagnerian sonorities and surging intensity. Composer Hugo Wolf called the symphony, “the creation of a giant, surpassing in spiritual dimension and magnitude all the other symphonies of the master.” Hear it and you will agree.
Daniel Barenboim's performances with the Staatskapelle Berlin mark the 60th anniversary of his Carnegie Hall debut on January 20, 1957.