Finding the Bruckner Sound

From the buoyant, carefree musical laughter of Mozart, to the richness and heft of Brahms, to the hazy, dreamlike pointillism of Debussy, the music of each composer comes with its own distinct voice. Great orchestras have the ability to change on a dime and quickly lock into the style and sound appropriate to the music.

In this old clip, you can hear Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache shaping the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic in a rehearsal of Anton Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony. “Less vibrato.” says Celibidache. “More seconds!” he yells, bringing out an essential inner voice. Bruckner’s “sound” is pure and blended. The orchestra becomes a giant, living, breathing pipe organ in his nine titanic, majestically-unfolding symphonies. There’s also a chilling sense of mystery in Bruckner’s music. It emerges out of silence and then returns there.

I provide a brief listeners’ guide for Bruckner’s Seventh, along with Celibidache’s performance with the Munich Philharmonic, in this past post. Here is another great live concert performance by Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden:

Recordings

  • Bruckner, Symphony No. 7 , Christian Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden Amazon
  • Bruckner, Symphonies 3-5, 7-9, Sergiu Celibidache, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra iTunes, Amazon

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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