For a long time the sixth symphony (along with the second) was considered the stepchild among Anton Bruckner’s mighty symphonies, although he himself humorously described it as his saucy: the sixth the saucy! This has changed significantly over the decades with regard to the number of performances and recordings; the work has meanwhile gained a permanent place in the repertoire. The sixth symphony belongs to the creative process of the two previous symphonies, the romantic fourth and the fifth, and it is now understood as an important preliminary stage to that last great upswing, which Bruckner from the creation of his Te Deum with his last symphonies of the seventh, eighth and ninth in great size. In particular, the very solemn Adagio of the Sixth Symphony shows its model character for the later composed and famous Adagio of the Seventh Symphony. Bruckner worked on his sixth symphony between September 1879 and September 1881. During his lifetime he could only hear the complete work once in an orchestral rehearsal, because only the two middle movements were played publicly on February 11, 1883 in the concert hall of the Wiener Musikverein. The first complete performance of the symphony did not follow until February 26, 1899, two and a half years after the composer’s death; it was conducted by Gustav Mahler, who had altered the score and only presented it in abbreviated form. Bruckner’s first-hand version was heard in Stuttgart on March 14, 1901, and it would take until October 9, 1935 for the sixth symphony to be played for the first time in the manner prescribed by Bruckner’s original score. The Munich concert event from May 2017 is now being released as a CD by BR Klassik, the outstanding interpretation of one of the most essential compositions of the symphonic repertoire of the late romantic era in an exemplary interpretation under the direction of Bernard Haitink.
Bruckner:Symphony No. 6 (Bernard Haitink) (CD, Br-Klassik)CD
Bruckner:Symphony No. 6 [Audio CD] Bernard Haitink; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Anton Bruckner
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