Orchestre des Champs-Élysées / Philippe Herreweghe
- Thursday, 18 September 2008
In 1991 Philippe Herreweghe founded the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées. He named it after the theatre to which it was initially affiliated. Its aim: to perform classical and romantic works on the instruments used when the pieces were written. In order to achieve a convincing sound, Herreweghe demands original instruments or, if necessary, has them reconstructed, studying the makeup and placements of period orchestras. After starting with Haydn and Mozart, he has now advanced with his work to Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner, whose fourth and seventh symphony are available on CD.
In Herreweghe’s interpretation, Bruckner’s symphonies appear amazingly modern – and no less monumental, since this is part of their nature. But there is one monumentality which seals itself off hermetically and instils fear, and another which astonishes and invites. Herreweghe’s interpretation makes the heart of the works audible; it erects as it were, Bruckner’s symphonic buildings not only out of solid, impermeable stone, but also from transparent glass; particularly in the eighth symphony, with its changes in timbre and its at times bold sound layerings – at the end all of the major themes appear simultaneously – he conveys a subtly diversified experience of sound and structure. This interpenetration of air and light suits particularly this most »German« of Bruckner’s symphonies.
Anton Bruckner [1824–1896]
Symphony No. 8 in C minor [1887/90, Haas Version]
Allegro moderato – Scherzo (Allegro moderato) – Adagio (Feierlich langsam; doch nicht schleppend) – Finale (Feierlich, nicht schnell)