Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink, Bruckner: Symphony No. 7

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Anton Bruckner's 7th Symphony is dedicated to Ludwig II, the famed "Mad King" of Bavaria. Ludwig is perhaps best known, aside from his whimsical castles, as the patron of Richard Wagner. Bruckner wrote the 7th with the knowledge that Wagner, one of his musical heroes, was about to die. That's most likely why Bruckner added four Wagner tubas to the orchestra here, their first appearance in his symphonic work. Like all of Bruckner's symphonies, there are four movements, but most of the action happens in the second. In it, a loud cymbal crash crowns in a swelling climax fit for a King. Or even Wagner.