Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896)
Symphony No. 2 in C minor (version 1872)
Ivor Bolton, conductor
There are at least four versions of Anton Bruckner's 2nd Symphony; the last one was written in 1892. Frequently, however – as on this CD recor-ding – the original version is preferred; as usual with Bruckner, this ver-sion of 1872 is bolder and longer.
Already very early on, the composer changed the order of movements in this work, which was felt by many to be a response to the drama-turgy of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
The Scherzo, as the second movement, has changed places with the ensuing Adagio. In the later version, he also almost completely elimi-nated the most striking characteristic of this creation, probably due to the urging of his friends and supporters, especially Johann Herbeck: eight of the nine famous tutti rests in the first movement disappear completely.
Another special characteristic of the original version is the solo horn passage in the Adagio, written in an extremely difficult register for the instruments of that time – but also of moving beauty.