Day 114: Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (Chailly)

This morning’s conductor of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (WAB 108) (nicknamed “The Apocalyptic,” although I don’t know why) is Italian Riccardo Chailly (1953-).

The orchestra is the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

I had never heard of Riccardo Chailly before this 144-day project.

The first time I listened to Maestro Chailly was on October 4th, Day 2, Symphony No. 1.

Then again on Day 18, Symphony No. 2.

Then again on Day 34, Symphony No. 3.

Then again on Day 50, Symphony No. 4.

Then again on Day 66, Symphony No. 5.

Then again on Day 82, Symphony No. 6.

Then again, most recently, on Day 98, Symphony No. 7.

One of the reasons why I enjoy my projects (aside from the obvious fact that I’m passionate about music and movies and literature) is because I love learning, including and especially – in this case – about the conductors as well as the symphonies.

I usually post a lot of background for each symphony on the first day I listen to it. I did that yesterday (Day 113, Daniel Barenboim conducting). So, if you want to know more about Bruckner’s Eighth, let your mouse do the walking over to that page and read on.

As for me, right now, I’m going to plunge into Riccardo Chailly’s interpretation of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor…starting with just the facts:

chaillycdboxBruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (WAB 108), composed between 1884 and 1890
Riccardo Chailly conducts
Chailly used the Nowak edition (but of which manuscript – the first version from 1887? The second version from 1890?)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra plays
The symphony clocks in at 79:04
This was recorded at Grootezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, May, 1999
Chailly was 46 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 66 when he finished composing it
This recording was released on the Decca label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four parts. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 8 in C Minor, Nowak edition), from this particular conductor (Chailly) and this particular orchestra (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) is as follows:

I. Allegro moderato…………………………………………………………………………….16:05
II. Scherzo: Allegro moderato…………………………………………………………….14:59
II. Adagio – feierlich langsam; doch nicht schleppend………………………25:29
IV. Finale: nicht schnell……………………………………………………………………….22:06

Total running time: 79:04

NOTE: The order of the movements differs from what Barenboim played yesterday. This must be due to a different version of the symphony used.

Okay. What do I think of this performance?

My Rating:
Recording quality: 4
Overall musicianship: 4
CD liner notes: 3 (short essay in three languages, but incomplete edition information)
How does this make me feel: 4

I actually enjoyed this performance. It had energy.

Favorite movements: Scherzo and Finale.

The Finale, especially, was remarkably stirring.

This isn’t “Huzzah!” worthy. But it’s darn close.

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