Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble & Trevor Pinnock - Bruckner: Symphonie No. 2 - (Live Review)

Magical essence of Bruckner 2 revealed in a chamber arrangement at RAM.

Before this chamber performance of Bruckner's Second Symphony, Trevor Pinnock gave a short introductory talk, pointing out that, before the days of ubiquitous recording, music was always heard live, and chamber arrangements were an important aspect of disseminating music. He situated the present performance in the tradition of Schoenberg's Society for Private Musical Performance, with the difference that on those occasions there was no applause allowed and - horror! - no critics admitted. Fortunately, not merely was I allowed in to this concert, but also to cheer and applaud with all the enthusiasm this magical performance deserved. Royal Academy of Music students have previously performed a chamber version of Mahler's Fourth Symphony as arranged by Schoenberg's colleague Erwin Stein, but this arrangement of Bruckner's Second Symphony is something newly-minted by composer Anthony Payne. He has made a version that effected some but not all of the optional cuts, had the horn solo at the end of the slow movement (as opposed to clarinet and viola that Bruckner changed it to later), observed no repeats in the Scherzo but included a full two-bar pause before its coda, and retained reminiscences of the themes from the first movement in the Finale coda.
19 March 2013