This week we interpret the Seventh Symphony of Anton Bruckner, a large-scale work that has been possible thanks to the tireless support and effort of the German cornista, Bernd Sensenschmidt, who managed the 4 Wagner tubas and brought them as absolute novelty to Ecuador, in addition to acting as an instrumentalist at the OSC on a voluntary basis at the concerts on January 24 and 26 with six other German colleagues: Wagner Tubas: Bernd Sensenschmidt, Andrea Lässig, Volker Michel, Kai Hennig Von Lange; Corno: Andrew Joy; Trombone: Burkhard Schölpen; Double bass: Klaus Zöllner.
We also express our gratitude to the German Kulturverband Foundation in Quito, which financed these beautiful instruments, as well as to the KLM airline that brought them for free to Ecuador. The Wagner Tubas will be delivered to the Symphony Orchestra of Cuenca in Comodato with what we hope will delight us with its noble and mysterious sonority in Cuenca and in the other venues of the country’s symphony orchestras, in countless occasions.
We wait for you on Friday, January 24 at 8 PM in the Old Cathedral (Sucre and Luis Cordero) and Sunday at 11 AM in our “Family Concert”. Admission is free until capacity is filled.
Anton Bruckner, Symphony No. VII. Written between 1881 and 1883. The work was dedicated to King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The premiere took place in Leipzig, on December 30, 1884, with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the young Arthur Nikisch on the podium.
With the VII Symphony, Bruckner conquered his first great success, having already 60 years. The luminosity of his extensive themes, his deep feeling and the moving tribute to Wagner’s death in the middle of the second movement, gave him the public’s preference, from its premiere to date. Bruckner does not give up the classical form, but his movements acquire enormous dimensions, the first and the second last 20 minutes each. Only the first theme of the initial Allegro consists of 20 measures and covers 3 octaves. The density of its formal architecture contrasts overwhelming climaxes with others of great lyricism, mainly associated with the beauty of the melodies. His orchestration is characterized by the alternation of the different instrumental families, often almost in block, reaching in his last works a majestic sonority. His compositional technique often includes the simultaneous juxtaposition of his themes in their original and inverse appearance, in addition to a complex handling of dynamics and modulations. The second movement formally retakes the Adagio of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, alternating twice binary episodes with ternaries. The Scherzo has an immediate and monumental impact, almost military, the tender Trio contrasts with a tender melody full of feeling. Naturally, Coda del Finale concludes with the main theme of the first movement, thus closing a gigantic cycle of ideas and emotions, unique in the symphonic world.
For the first time in Bruckner’s catalog, the VII Symphony carries 4 Wagner tubas, instruments between the horn and the tuba, which Richard Wagner invented for the special sonority of his tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelungo. Probably, Bruckner included Wagner’s tubas in this work upon learning of the death of the beloved master, since movements 1 and 3, concluded earlier, still dispense with them.
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Lcda. Ana Dávila Vázquez
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