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| Recorded in Europe by Deutsche Grammophon | 


The Decca Ail Muse 
Masterpiece Collechion 


PEACE AND PLENTY 
George Innes (1825-1894) 


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
(Courtesy of New York Graphic Society) 


















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DXE-146 


BRUCKNER, 
SYMPHONY No. 4 (“Romantic”) (Original Version 


Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, 
Eugen Jochum, Conductor 


SYMPHONY No. 7 (Original Version) 


Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 
Eugen Jochum, Conductor 


Symphony No. 4 in E Flat Major (“Romantic”) (Original Version) 


SIDE Z 
SIDE 
SIDE. 


I. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell 
II. Andante quasi Allegretto III. Scherzo (Bewegt) 


IV. Finale (Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell) 


Symphony No. 7 in E Major (Original Version) 
SIDE & 
sie & 
SIDE G 


I. Allegro moderato 
II. Adagio 


III. Scherzo IV. Finale 


About EUGEN JOCHUM ... Eugen Jochum, one of Europe’s foremost conductors, was 
born in 1902. He studied at the Munich Akademie der Tonkunst. Following a period of 
association with the Munich National Theater and a series of concerts with the Liibeck 
Symphony Orchestra, he was called to Mannheim in 1929, where he conducted opera. 
In the following year he became general musical director at Duisburg. An impressive 
performance of Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony brought him to the attention of a wider 
audience and he was soon called to Hamburg as general musical director for opera and 
orchestral concerts—beccming the successor of Karl Muck and Karl Bohm. 

In 1949 Jochum became conductor of the newly-formed Symphony Orchestra of 

the Bavarian Radio, which under his leadership has become one of the 

major orchestras in Europe today. Eugen Jochum has taken part in 

several of the famous European music festivals, and has filled 

many guest engagements with the great European orchestras, 

including the famed Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 

which he conducts in this recording in ° 


Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. DXE-146 1 


A Bruckner’s Symphony in E-flat major, called the “Ro- 
mantic,” is the best-known of this master’s symphonies. This 
is, no doubt, largely due to its subtitle and the associations connected 
with it. It was Bruckner himself who coined it, presumably on the 
advice of his pupil Franz Schalk. The designation “Romantic Sym- 
phony” is more than justified in view of the nature-poetry and ingra- 
tiating beauty of this work, which is probably more easily accessible 
to the listener than any of Bruckner’s other symphonies. It is difficult 
to understand why it needed many years — two decades in fact — 
for the Symphony to win general recognition. Its start was by no 
means inauspicious. After its first performance in Vienna on Feb- 
ruary 20th, 1881 not even Hanslick, Bruckner’s enemy among his 
critics, was able to pass over in silence the “extraordinary success” 
of the new work. 


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But then, seven years had already elapsed since the E-flat major 
Symphony was composed. There is little in Bruckner’s Fourth to 
show that it was written during a period full of disappointments 
for its composer. Round about 1874 Bruckner was most anxious to 
secure an appointment as a lecturer in the theory of music at Vienna 
University. His efforts were frustrated by Eduard Hanslick, not 
only the most influential music critic in Vienna but at the same time 
professor of musical history at the University. Bruckner’s hopes to 
be appointed to a professorship were not to materialize until the 
following year. 


Working on his E-flat major Symphony was the compensation for 
these often humiliating efforts to secure an appointment. The first 
version of the work was begun in 1874 and was completed before the 


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Ses (>< \B Y ‘ end of that year. In 1878, however, Bruckner fundamentally revised 
on) m hon ay hae this early version and sketched out a new Scherzo “which describes 
y p Y oe y a hunt, whilst the Trio is a dance tune which is played to the hunts- 

ma ae) M , ar Oe men during their ‘repast.’” Thus the composer himself classified the 


famous Hunt-Scherzo, the best-known movement from his Fourth 
Symphony, as an important programmatic episode. This Scherzo, 
then, occupies a unique position among Bruckner’s works which 
otherwise never show any trace of “program music.” The “Romantic 
‘ . Symphony” with its Hunt-Scherzo holds more or less the same place 
In B Flat Maj or in Bruckner’s works as the “Pastorale’ among Beethoven’s sym- 
phonies, and the governing thought of the “Pastorale”: “More an 
expression of sentiment than a description,” is equally true of Bruck- 
ner’s pastoral E-flat major Symphony. 


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(“Romantic”) 


In 1880 the work was revised again; this time the Finale. The 
score published in 1889 was subject to yet another revision which 
DXE-146 2 was made as “the result of the interpretation of the practical musicians 


around Bruckner,” according to Robert Haas, the editor of the 
“Original Version” first published in 1936. “Their conception may 
appear justifiable on account of the unfavorable conditions prevailing 
at the time of publication, when potential performances by second- 
rate orchestras and, in general, a limited intellectual capacity on 
the part of audiences had to be taken into consideration. This point 
of view, however, now belongs to the past. It led to misinterpretation 
of the carefully thought-out and logical intentions of the composer 
and could only have been tolerated by Bruckner as an unavoidable 
makeshift.” 


This is also the justification for the far-reaching undertaking of restor- 
ing the original versions of Bruckner’s symphonies. Today it is the 
almost generally accepted practice to perform Bruckner’s symphonies 
only in their original form, purged of all additions. The term “original 
version,” however, requires some further explanation: In each case, 
it refers to the last version authorized by Bruckner himself — 
without any outside influence. In the case of the Fourth Symphony 
this is not the first version of 1874, but the second version of 1878 
with the Finale of 1880, as it exists in the original manuscript in 
Bruckner’s own handwriting, which the composer himself referred 
to as the “final version” and which he left to the Hofbibliothek in 
Vienna. 


* * * * 


The “original version” which restores to the score Bruckner’s original 
intentions, is of particular importance in the Fourth since this Sym- 
phony owes its character to certain qualities of sound which cannot 
be arbitrarily changed. These are determined by the timbre of 
several prominently treated instruments, particularly violas and 
horns. An example is the very opening of the first movement (Bewegt, 
nicht zu schnell — Moving, not too fast). Above the tremolos of 
the strings (ppp) which are so typical for Bruckner, the solo-horn 
makes its entry in the third bar with a descending fifth-motive which 
becomes the central idea for the whole of the E-flat major Symphony. 
The first subject derives its material from this motive and ends with 
a vigorously ascending passage. The second subject, too, is initiated 
by the horn: a blissful chant by the violas, surrounded by birdcall- 
like violin-figures, supported at its second entry by the horn. This 
section becomes the center of a thematic group which again abounds 
in episodes and is linked to the first thematic group by a kind of 
early development section. The development proper is again intro- 
duced by the horn call; it employs mainly material from the first 


BXE-146 3 


thematic group. In addition, a solemn chorale played by the brass 
makes its entry, transforming the “pastoral idyll” into a “heroic land- 
scape,” into a religious, sublime mood. The recapitulation, introduced 
and proceeding in the normal manner, ends in a coda in which the 
horn motive rounds off the first movement. 


The second movement (Andante quasi Allegretto) in C minor has 
the character of a funeral march with its rhythmical figures in the 
strings and its elegiac cello melody. But this is not Beethoven’s heroic 
chant, it is rather the melancholy of Schubert, with its mixture of 
grief and consolation, with its simultaneous appearance of bird-call 
episodes and hymn-like melodies. The second subject of this move- 
ment is once again a viola-cantilena above drop-like pizzicatos. The 
development section, too, is characterized by this ambivalence, by 
human sorrow and by the voices of nature as a comforting echo. 
Bruckner provides his own answer in the conclusion of the recapitula- 
tion, when the theme of the funeral march assumes hymnic and 
devoutly religious significance. The movement ends quietly in C major. 


The Scherzo (bewegt — moving) in B-flat major with its felicitous 
use of the horns is — even without Bruckner’s interpretation — the 
most popular part of the whole work. String tremolos again start 
the movement and once more, the horns are the first to raise their 
voices in an unmistakable hunting call. Horns also play the leading 
part in the rest of the Scherzo, while a lyrical role is assigned to the 
violas. The Trio in G-flat major with its “Landler” melody is a dancing 
scene full of Austrian charm. 


The Finale (Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell — moving, yet not too 
fast) returns to the original key of E-fiat major. After the idealizing 
pastoral idyll of the first, the elegiac second movement and the 
hunting episode of the Scherzo, this Finale appears to be the 
exorcism of all that is demoniac and elemental in Nature. After 
a grandly conceived introduction the rugged principal theme sud- 
denly makes its entry in unison. As the rather complex movement 
progresses, elements of the previous movements are re-introduced: 
the horn call of the first movement as well as melodic reminiscences 
of the Andante of the second subject, which contrasts sharply with 
the gigantic first theme of the Finale. In the extensive development 
section, the tender second subject only succeeds in asserting itself 
in the form of a chorale. A typical Bruckner coda ends the rather 
freely treated recapitulation. It carries the horn motive to an exalted 
climax which—even in this “Nature Symphony” of Bruckner—is 
clearly inspired by the composer’s unfaltering faith in God. 


ANTON 
BRUCKNER 


Symphony No. 


f the nine symphonies of Anton Bruckner the Seventh has 
had the happiest fate. Even late in life Bruckner liked to 
speak of the work, which he composed between 1881 and 1883, as 
his favorite. The work suffered less from editing by other hands, 
and brought Bruckner in his lifetime more success and recognition 
than any other of his symphonic works. Hans Richter exclaimed 
already after the first movement, which Bruckner played for him 
at the piano: “Not since Beethoven has anything like this been 
written!”—The Seventh Symphony was given its first performance 
by Arthur Nikisch on December 30, 1884 in Leipzig. After that, 
the work quickly became a part of the regular orchestral repertoire, 
especially in Germany, where it is even today the most often heard 
Bruckner symphony. The Symphony is dedicated to King Ludwig II 
of Bavaria, the patron of Richard Wagner. 


The Seventh Symphony is especially closely connected with Wagner, 
Bruckner’s idol, and not only because of the introduction of the 
“Wagner tubas” in the Adagio. This slow movement has been 
interpreted as an elegy on the death of Wagner. Bruckner always 
encouraged this interpretation, though it is known that when news 
of Wagner’s death in Venice on February 13, 1883 reached Bruckner, 


4 


OXE-146 4 





the Adagio, begun on January 22, was already completed, apart 
from the coda. It was only in the last 35 bars of the Adagio that 
Bruckner, “immediately on receiving the bitter and sorrowful 
news,” wrote the actual lament on Wagner’s death, “in remembrance 
of his unattainable ideal, the dearly beloved, immortal master of 
masters.” The rest of the movement can, nevertheless, be regarded 
as a death lament. In a letter to Felix Mottl, Bruckner described 
how, during the composition of the movement, he keenly felt the 
approaching death of Wagner: “One day I came home and was 
very sad; I said to myself: the master cannot live much longer; 
and suddenly the C-sharp minor Adagio came to me.” 


Quite a few odd details have come down to us about the composition 
of the Seventh. The crowing of a cock is said to have inspired 
Bruckner to the main theme of the Scherzo. The composer is also 
said to have admitted that the basic theme of the first movement 
(and of the whole work) is not by him at all, but that one night 
his old friend from Linz, Kapellmeister Dorn, whistled it to him 
in a dream and then told him: This theme will bring you luck. At 
that moment Bruckner awoke, got up, lit a candle, and immediately 
wrote down the theme. 


Luck it certainly brought the composer, though whether the story 
is true, may be open to doubt, as may other tales about the composi- 
tion of the work. For example, Hans Richter’s comparison of 
Bruckner with Beethoven, quoted above, is also mentioned in con- 
nection with Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, and Wagner who only 
knew the Third Symphony (which is dedicated to him) is also said 
to have used very similar words in describing that work. 


* * * * Eo 


Among Bruckner’s symphonies, the Seventh occupies a place of 
special importance, thanks mainly to its melodic content. The main 
theme of the first movement can actually be called the leading 


motif of Bruckner’s symphonic thought. In the Seventh Symphony. 


Bruckner’s characteristic facility for contrasting use of his themes 
is especially evident. In the careful, powerful structure of the work, 
and in the sense of unity achieved especially through a return to 
the beginning of the work in the coda of the Finale, Bruckner’s kin- 
ship with nature also finds expression in the Seventh, as it did in 
the preceding symphonies. In the development and coda sections 
of the work one feels more and more strongly the composer’s striving 
after the light of truth and after sublimation of suffering to joy. 
The chorale appears, then, not only as the climax and end of a 
development, but as a clear, dominating beacon of light. In this 
Symphony too, Bruckner’s music is centered around his unshakable 
faith in God as the strength-giving source of human life. 


From the famous opening tremolos of the strings emerges a broad, 
songful theme of the cellos, supported by the horn. This basic theme 


OXE-14@ 5 


of the whole symphony then returns in full orchestral garb, and 
is immediately followed by a second theme in B minor: an expres- 
sive, “unending melody,” first announced by oboe and clarinet and 
gradually taken up by the other instruments. There follows a 
gradual ascent to a climax, at which a third theme appears pianis- 
simo, a B minor motif in the strings that quickly passes. All three 
themes are treated in the development section which is characterized 
by masterful contrapuntal effects and by constant transformation 
of the contrasting musical material. The recapitulation begins with 
with an inversion of the main theme. The third theme returns, 
now more firmly delineated, then the second motif is heard in all 
its magnificence, followed by a mighty coda with its long organ 
point on E, and finally by a triumphant return of the glowing 
theme which crowns and ends the movement. 


Low strings and Wagner tubas (used here by Bruckner for the first 
time in the concert hall) open the Adagio with a profound and 
serious C-sharp Minor theme, that already speaks of consolation 
and trust in God. The theme ends with a question, which is answered 
by a second subject, still more consolatory and peaceful. Bruckner’s 
contrapuntal mastery is again apparent in the development of these 
two themes, alternating between despair and faith, sorrow and com- 
fort, until in the recapitulation the first theme gains the upper hand 
and, now in C major, dispels all darkness and doubt. It was at 
this point that Bruckner is said to have received the message of 
Wagner’s death. The actual elegy that now follows in the coda is 
again begun by the tubas, but above them is heard a horn melody 
reminiscent of the main theme of the first movement, with which 
the Adagio ends in a quiet, consoled, resigned mood. 


The A minor Scherzo is dominated by a fast, flying figure in the 
strings and a signal-like trumpet theme above it. The development 
retains the dancing, whirling momentum of this movement. After 
the recapitulation follows the F major Trio, a lyrical, more con- 
templative contrast, rather similar to the Scherzo in construction, 
with a central section in which the theme is developed. The return 
of the fast, rushing Scherzo ends the movement. 


Like the first movement, the Finale begins with the tremolos of 
the strings. The first violins have the energetic, forceful main theme, 
a transformation and idealization of the basic theme of the first 
movement. The second subject is a chorale-like theme. The third 
theme, powerfully set forth by the full orchestra, is clearly another 
version of the first subject of this movement. The extended develop- 
ment section is dominated by the first subject, and the second 
subject is even dropped from the recapitulation. After the elaborate 
return of the main theme follows the coda which harks back to 
the end of the first movement. With a mighty organ point on E, 
similar to the first movement, the basic theme of the whole work 
is once more given out in a spirit of triumph and transfiguration. 


Klaus Wagner 


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