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Five essential works by Bruckner

We choose the best works by the musical architect, Anton Bruckner

Published: February 3, 2019 at 10:00 am

Bruckner's Symphony No. 4, ‘The Romantic’

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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

Bruckner's 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

Bruckner's 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

Bruckner's 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. We named the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra one of the best orchestras in the world

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

Motets

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

Read more reviews of the latest Bruckner recordings here

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Find out more about Bruckner and his works here

Authors

Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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