GÜRZENICH ORCHESTER – ANDRE/BRUCKNER
Vier Echografien (2023)
Symphony No. 8 in C minor WAB 108 (1887)
- Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
- François-Xavier Roth Conductor
Whether they take a highly philosophical, experimental or quite ordinary approach, space has always fascinated people. Musicians have a special sense of space. Whether festive sounds from all directions in St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, an elaborately designed orchestra pit producing mystical sounds in Bayreuth, or a concert with various clusters of loudspeakers: spaces play an important role in creating music.
The composer Mark Andre uses a procedure that takes the measure of a space, listening for what he calls its acoustic signature. It begins with a »sweep«, a rising frequency running the gamut of the tonal spectrum audible to the human ear and drawing a response from the space, a resonance. This unique fingerprint of the space can be analysed with the help of audio measuring technology. Echography is the name of this adventure for the ears – and it serves Mark Andre as the point of departure for his musical creativity.
They certainly exist: works that simply blast away the boundaries of all imaginable frameworks. Huge, overwhelming, unwieldy, resounding far beyond the boundaries as we have known them. In his Symphony No. 8, Anton Bruckner seems to have attained entirely new dimensions. At the cinema, one would advertise this as an overlength blockbuster, a sonic giant which Bruckner wrought from the depths of his soul over the course of years, and with several revisions. No wonder that many an epithet has been tried out for this monumental work, such as »The Apocalyptic«, or »The Mystery«. A symphonic Mount Everest on an extra wide screen – and the first time Bruckner used harps in a symphony. No less than three, of course.