Adagio from Symphony No. 7 (Mvt. II)

Anton Bruckner
Catalog numbers: 

SMC XR48SC/ HL 3772454

Duration (minutes): 
Detailed Instrumentation: 
Concert Band
The monumental second movement of Anton Bruckner's Seventh Symphony (marked sehr feierlich--with great solemnity), is one of the most celebrated works of its type. Structurally, it combines the classical 'theme and variations' technique with features of sonata form, modified to suit Bruckner's own Romantic inspiration. The first theme, often referred to as the "Adagio of Premonition," was composed soon after Bruckner received the news of Wagner's fatal illness. This gives way to the more lyrical second theme, in F-sharp major, which is stated twice, separated by a contrasting middle section. The development section consists of extensive variations on the first theme, interspersed with statements of the second, ornamented with various obbligati.
This movement is generally regarded as a "funeral ode" on the death of Richard Wagner, Bruckner's idol. Yet the actual "Funeral Music" (according to Bruckner himself) does not occur until the coda, where it is introduced by a shattering crash of cymbals. "At this point," wrote Bruckner, "the news of the Master's death reached me."