Anton Bruckner and his idol Richard Wagner
The „world premieres“ of Bruckner's symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 7 and 8 (or parts of them) were given in piano versions written by his pupils; indeed, the 1st movement of the „sixth“ was only heard in his lifetime in a 2-handed piano version by Ferdinand Löwe. It was also Löwe, together with Josef Schalk, who christened the Symphony No. 7 in E major in a version for two pianos in a concert of the Wiener Akademischen Wagner-Vereins (Vienna Academy Wagner Society) on 27th February, 1884. Since these versions remained unpublished, Hermann Behn's arrangement for the same forces published in 1896 was vastly more influential for the dissemination of the symphony. Behn was a private pupil of Bruckner's who later, especially in his home city of Hamburg, was a powerful advocate of the works of his teacher.
The programme performed by Tal & Groethuysen, internationally one of the most famous piano duos of the present day, is in two distinct parts: Bruckner's „Seventh“, the symphony whose success led to his breakthrough, of which the 2nd movement, deeply influenced by the news of Richard Wagner's death during its composition, contains the funeral lament „in memory of the blessed, deeply-loved and immortal master“; the second half of the concert is dedicated to piano transcriptions of excerpts from Wagner's music dramas, which were of particular importance to Bruckner.
Richard Wagner (1813–1883)
The overture to the opera Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg in a piano version for hands (1846)
Richard Wagner/Alfred Pringsheim (1850–1941)
Siegfried’s Tod (Siegfried´s Death) from the third act of Götterdämmerung arranged for two pianos. (1879)
Richard Wagner/Max Reger (1873–1916)
Tristan und Isolde. Isolde´s Liebestod for two pianos, from: Selected Pieces from Operas by Richard Wagner, Book 2 (1914)
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Anton Bruckner (1824–1896)
Symphony Nr. 7 in E major, WAB 107 (1881–83)
[An arrangement for two pianos by Hermann Behn (1859–1927), published in 1896]
Duo Tal & Groethuysen
Yaara Tal | Piano
Andreas Groethuysen | Piano