Bruckner / Orf Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra - Symphony No. 5 | RECORD STORE DAY

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1. Adagio - Allegro [18:09]
2. Adagio [15:38]
3. Scherzo: Molto vivace [13:28]
4. Finale: Adagio - Allegro moderato [23:40

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Among Bruckner's Symphonies, the Fifth is his contrapuntal masterpiece; the grandest until the Eighth. The tour-de-force of a finale gives us an idea of what the finale of the Ninth might have been like. It's magnificent dark and halting opening with the descending bass line - so effectively recalled in the finale - is inimitable. Although long available only in a disfigured version by Franz Schalk, it is also distinct for never having been the subject to revision or, perhaps, even doubt on the part of Bruckner - who never heard it performed with an orchestra. And yet, when Bruckner wrote this masterpiece, he was still far from establishing himself as a composer in Vienna and his spirits were as low as ever, writing a friend that "my life has lost all joy and delight - in vain and for nothing." A radiant pinnacle from amid darkness.