Belgian National Orchestra – Hartmut Haenchen conductor – Lars Vogt piano
Piano Concerto no. 2, op. 83 Johannes Brahms
Symphony no. 7 Anton Bruckner
When Anton Bruckner met his great example Richard Wagner for the first time, it is said that he fell to his knees in admiration. And long after this first encounter he refused to sit down whenever Wagner was in the room. While composing his Symphony No. 7 he received news that Wagner had died, which deeply moved him. He went on to dedicate this symphony to his idol and decided to use the Wagner tuba as an homage.
“His imagination is so incurably sick and warped that anything like regularity in chord progressions and period structure simply do not exist for him. Bruckner composes like a drunkard!”. Or, in any event, that is what the influential critic Gustav Dömpke thought. The Viennese cultural elite did not hide their aversion for Bruckner’s avant-garde compositions. They had nothing but the utmost respect, however, for Brahms, who was more conservative. Brahms, in turn, hated the style of his Viennese contemporary. He said Bruckner did not write symphonies, but “symphonic boa constrictors.”