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Orchestra: Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Thielemann, Christian
Bruckner, Anton - Composer
Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, WAB 104, "Romantic"
Venue: Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
Date of Concert: 2008
Playing Time: 01:19:13
Television Director: Meth, Agnes
Producer: Herbst, Magdalena
Catalogue Number: A05512305
Elemental, metaphysical, primordial – these are some of the terms used to describe Bruckner's nine symphonies and which fully apply to his Fourth Symphony, the "Romantic." Though Bruckner provided programmatic explanations to the music, one seeks in vain the "medieval city" and "leaping steeds" in this work, which disregards conventions and expectations. Monolithic blocks of sound derived from the simple horn melody of the opening measures, sweeping themes that hypnotically revolve around themselves, long build-ups that suddenly break off when a climax is imminent – the Fourth is a milestone in Bruckner's symphonic oeuvre. Bruckner originally wrote the Fourth Symphony in 1874 but revised it thoroughly in 1880 before its premiere in Vienna in 1881, which was a resounding success. Although he continued to revise it in later years, the version most often played today is the first revised version of 1880. This is also the version featured on this recording of a concert held at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, which was greeted with storms of applause. Leading the Munchner Philharmoniker in this concert is its principal conductor Christian Thielemann, a maestro internationally known and admired above all as a specialist of Romantic music. Having mastered the repertoire of Wagner and Strauss operas during his tenure as General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Thielemann became a sought-after interpreter of German opera. He debuted at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000 and has been conducting there regularly ever since.