Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble & Trevor Pinnock - Bruckner: Symphonie No. 2 - The Absolute Sound
For close to three years in Vienna, Arnold Schoenberg ran the Society for Musical Performance, where subscribers would hear meticulously prepared readings of contemporary compositions. Many of the works were heard in scaled-down chamber arrangements created specially for the occasion. Trevor Pinnock asked the British composer and musicologist Anthony Payne to produce such a reduction of Bruckner's Symphony No. 2. The result is fascinating: scored for just 20 instruments, the work seems much less rhetorical, with a kind of fin-de-siecle wistfulness. The playing is beyond reproach and the recording offers gratifying detail and transparency. Alban Berg's unlikely 1921 arrangement of Johann Strauss' Wine, Women, and Song completes the program.