Five essential works by Bruckner

We choose the best works by the musical architect

Five essential works by Bruckner

Symphony No. 4, ‘The Romantic’

Bruckner’s main contribution to music was his huge symphonic output. No. 4 is a good place to start, a paen to the romanticism of nature.

Recommended recording:
Berlin Philharmonic/Günter Wand
RCA 74321687162



Symphony No. 7

Bruckner’s most successful symphony. The first movement unfolds with extreme intensity, while the pained slow movement steals the show.

Recommended recording:
Vienna Philharmonic/Herbert von Karajan
DG 439 0372



Symphony No. 8

Written in 1887 and amended in 1890, this huge work is Bruckner’s most religious symphony. The slow movement is a spell-binding glimpse of eternity.

Recommended recording:
Berlin Philharmonic/Günter Wand
RCA 74321828662



Symphony No. 9

Although incomplete, this great work is more approachable than the Eighth – from the menacing opening of the Scherzo to the sublime final-movement Adagio.

Recommended recording:
Vienna Philharmonic/Carlo Maria Giulini
DG 427 3452




Bruckner was a fine church musician and virtuoso organist, and these a cappella motets are among the finest written in the last couple of centuries.

Recommended recording:
Corydon Singers/Matthew Best
Hyperion CDA 66062

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