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Ghost Canyon

Title - Bruckner: Symphony no4 / Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude
Artist - Andris Nelsons & Gewandhausorchester

For those not in the know, Andris Nelsons is a Latvian conductor who is currently also the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Nelsons was born in Riga. His mother founded the first early music ensemble in Latvia, and his father was a choral conductor, cellist, and teacher.

At age five, his mother and stepfather took him to a performance of Wagner's Tannhäuser, which Nelsons refers to as a profoundly formative experience: " had a hypnotic effect on me. I was overwhelmed by the music. I cried when Tannhäuser died. I still think this was the biggest thing that happened in my childhood."

As for his subject matter, Josef Anton Bruckner, he was an Austrian composer and organist best known for his symphonies, masses, Te Deum and motets.

The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length.

Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies.

Released on February 16th, 2018 via Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons’ latest release with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, is Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 / Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude.

[1] Wagner: Prelude to Act I from Lohengrin, WWV 75
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E-Flat Major, WAB 104 “Romantic“ (Version 1878/80)
[2] 1. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell
[3] 2. Andante, quasi allegretto
[4] 3. Scherzo (Bewegt) – Trio (Nicht zu schnell. Keinesfalls schleppend)
[5] 4. Finale (Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell)

Featuring Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 and the Prelude to Act 1 from Wagner’s Lohengrin, it was recorded live in concert and is the second instalment in a multi-album Bruckner series on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

Indeed, Deutsche Grammophon will release the next two Bruckner Symphonies with Andris and his new orchestra. Andris has already successfully embarked on a journey exploring the sound world of Anton Bruckner’s iconic symphony cycle with the already much acclaimed recording of Symphony No. 3 – released in May 2017.

Here on one of the most wonderful works of classical that I've truly heard in many a year, Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony is known as his “Romantic” Symphony.

Ergo, Bruckner himself chose this term after starting work on it in January 1874. “The music gives us an insight into Bruckner’s psyche and allows us to sense what he was feeling and thinking at the time of the work’s composition,” says Nelsons, "and there is no denying that the symphony’s musical language is unusually personal and intimate.”

Here on Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 / Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude, Andris Nelsons' enthusiasm for the composer is boundless. Bringing a wondrous youthful energy, fluidity and rhythmic impulse to each movement, he manages to still stay on course and never once allows Bruckner’s monumental sound to be drowned out or, heaven forbid, lost.

Indeed, by including selected instrumental works by Wagner in the Bruckner Symphony Cycle, his idea is to demonstrate the influences but more importantly their differences, for clearly the two men could not have been more disparate in character.

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