Home listening: Bruckner, Mahler and Schubert

Home listening: Bruckner, Mahler and Schubert 1

New releases from Robin Ticciati and his Berlin band, Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, plus Roderick Williams’s travels with Schubert Bruckner’s Symphony No 6 in A fundamental has continually been an interloper: surprising and boldly melodic, much less freighted with the editorial complexities (and reputation) of the Fourth, the contrapuntal knottiness of the Fifth, or the large goals of the Eighth and Ninth. Robin Ticciati has tackled this middle German Romantic work together with his new (given that 2017) ensemble, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, every participant lovingly listed inside the Linn CD publication.

On this evidence, they have already solid a bond. The performance is obvious, expressive, and, considering the composer, light-footed, with exhilarating, easy-edged brass and tightly rhythmic strings in the first motion. The sumptuously melodic slow movement unfolds with grandeur and introspection, earlier than the fast, intense scherzo. The majestic finale progresses with powerful momentum but no undue stress or urgency.


Bruckner never heard the symphony entire. Mahler conducted the optimal of the paintings in their entirety in 1899, nearly 3 years after Bruckner’s demise. In Mahler’s case, it’s his Seventh Symphony, premiered in Prague in 1908, with extraordinary-guy-out popularity. Iván Fischer, accomplishing his Budapest Festival Orchestra (Channel Classics), is an eloquent champion, celebrating the paintings’ eclecticism – cowbells, courtly dances, folks song – in a blaze the aural invention.

His gamers, as ever, are lithe, lively, virtuosic. Watch the documentary Fischer made with the BFO to feel his commitment to each nuance and accessory and the multiplicity of styles determined on these expansive paintings. Having spent the past three years appearing Schubert’s track cycles (Die schöne Müllerin, Winterreise and Schwanengesang), the baritone Roderick Williams describes his discoveries and audiences’ reactions and how it feels to sing this music, each in German and in English. Roderick Williams: Three Years With Schubert continues this night on Radio three, 11 pm, then on BBC Sounds.

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