Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 - Bosch
Coviello Classics COV 30509
Classical - Orchestral
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B major
Marcus Bosch (conductor)
In its final shape the Fifth Symphony can be viewed as an attempt by Anton Bruckner to demonstrate his technical abilities in a largely conceived form. So it was that Bruckner referred to the work as "my contrapuntal master-piece. Still, he was never to hear the work performed. At first glance it is evident that Bruckner employed the classical four movement form for his Fifth Symphony. Unusually the introduction does not serve to prepare thematic material to come; instead the material of the introduction appears often in the course of the movement. A peculiar restraint is evident in the first three movements of the symphony, and the tonal emphasis is weaker than in comparable movements of other Bruckner symphonies. As in the example of Mozart’s "Jupiter", the whole work revolves around the last movement, the longest of the piece, the luminosity of which is not allowed to be undermined by reaching the high point too soon.
Bruckner begins this Finale with a short reprise of the themes from the slow introduction and the first and second movements, following the model of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Then a broadly conceived fugue unfolds, the theme of which was previously played by the clarinet interwoven with the themes of the first movement. Bruckner's mastery goes beyond combining both fugues into a double fugue and the trumping of the Mozart model in complexity and enormity. More important is that the contrapuntal arts, as masterfully as they are applied, never become merely a goal in themselves, but serve to reveal the musical meaning of the first movement themes only at their reappearance in the Finale. All is here tied together, each musical idea pervades the others, and the beginning is seen retros pectively in a whole new light. Bruckner binds and unbinds themes and motifs within and between all four movements with a degree of rigour that even he never managed to achieve again.