Universal Classics continues its commitment to conductor Daniel Barenboim with this new release on Deutsche Grammophon of Bruckner’s Symphony no. 7 in E major featuring the Staatskapelle Berlin. Recorded live in the Berlin Philharmonie in June, 2010, this performance was rapturously received by the audience which erupted into 13 minutes of uninterrupted applause. The recording will be available on May 8, 2012.
In June 2010 Barenboim conducted six of Bruckner’s symphonies at the Berlin Philharmonie within a single week, programming the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Symphonies alongside Beethoven’s five piano concertos, with Barenboim himself as the soloist. It was the most monumental project of the concert season, both for the musicians involved and for the audience. The result of this cycle (a favorite practice with Barenboim) was an extraordinarily flexible Bruckner with fluently shifting tempi and an exceptional range of orchestral tone colors. The Staatskapelle strings produced an unusually warm and varied tone, the woodwind and horn solos were like human voices, and the brass provided a solid foundation for the orchestral sonorities, sometimes also gloriously stepping to the fore.
The press said of the concert: “[Barenboim’s] Bruckner is conceived and performed very theatrically, like an opera without words” (Der Tagesspiegel). In the mighty orchestral build-ups, the effect is hair-raising, “like watching a Gothic cathedral arise in time lapse” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). This release coincides with performances of the Bruckner in Berlin, London, Paris and Vienna.
Daniel Barenboim, one of the outstanding musical figures of our time, was born in Buenos Aires to parents of Russian-Jewish descent. He began piano lessons at the age of five with his mother, continued musical studies with his father, and gave his first official concert in Buenos Aires when he was seven. From the mid-1960s, Barenboim began to devote more time to conducting. From 1975 to 1989 he was Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris. He made his opera debut in 1973 at the Edinburgh Festival and his Bayreuth Festival debut in 1981. In 1991, he succeeded Solti as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony and in 2006 was named “honorary conductor for life”. In 1992, he became General Music Director of Berlin’s Deutsche Staatsoper and in 2000, the Berlin Staatskapelle appointed him “chief conductor for life”. In 2006 he began a close relationship with La Scala. Currently he is in the midst of conducting a new Ring cycle in both Berlin and Milan. He also appears regularly with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker.