ALBUM TITLE: Bruckner: Study Symphony in F minor
WORKS: Study Symphony in F minor
PERFORMER: Hamburg Philharmonic/ Simone Young
Bruckner was the slowest developer of all the great composers, inhibited by neuroses and unhappiness. His first attempt at a symphony, which used to be called ‘00’, now ‘Study Symphony’, was undertaken when he was 39. It is a thoroughly immature work, only of much interest to passionate Brucknerians who want to see how he developed. There is little in it that one would recognise as being by him. The most obvious links with his mature symphonies are the silences between themes, and some obsessional accompaniment figures. The main influences are Mendelssohn and Schumann, indeed the best passages in the work might have been lifted from Schumann. Bruckner himself regarded it as mere apprentice work. What it shows is his competence in orchestration.
This minor piece has had a surprising number of recordings – more than his masterpieces had 50 years ago. Simone Young’s live performance in her ongoing series is as good as any, and well recorded. Michael Tanner