Bruckner: Symphony No.4 (Symphony No.4 In E Flat Major Romantic) (Minnesota Orchestra) (BIS: BISSACD1746)
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Symphony No.4 in E-flat major has been one of Bruckner's most popular works ever since its first performance, in Vienna 1881. It is often called the 'Romantic', a nickname that Bruckner himself used, most probably in reference to the literary genre of the medieval romance. What was performed in Vienna in 1881 was a second, revised version of the symphony, which had actually already seen first light in 1874. In spite of the success of the revised version, further revisions took place before publication, resulting in the so-called '1888 version' recorded here. Although this remained the preferred version for several decades, it later became discredited, as it was assumed that the revisions it contained were the product of others than the composer himself. The rehabilitation of the 1888 version is to a large extent due to the efforts of the musicologist Benjamin Korstvedt, who in 2004 prepared the first modern edition of the 1888 version for the Bruckner Collected Works edition. In his liner notes to the present disc, Korstvedt discusses this background, giving a number of interesting illustrations of the differences between editions. It has been said that Bruckner took Beethoven's Symphony No.9 as the starting point for his symphonies. It therefore seems logical that Osmo Vanska and his Minnesota Orchestra have chosen to record this work after their acclaimed cycle of Beethoven's symphonies.