VAC Website

Bruckner 200

17 Apr 2024, 20:00–21:30
Age restrictions

Performance of a chamber version of Anton Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.



Anton Bruckner (1824–1896)
Symphony No. 7 in E major WAB 107
Arranged for chamber orchestra by Hanns Eisler, Erwin Stein, and Karl Rankl 

I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagietto. Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam
III. Scherzo. Sehr schnell—Trio. Etwas langsamer
IV. Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht schnell

Conductor Fyodor Lednev and St Petersburg’s finest instrumentalists under the leadership of violinist Vladislav Pesin continue their retrospective, begun in the last season, of the legacy of Arnold Schoenberg’s Society for Private Musical Performances.

Fyodor Lednev conductor

Georgy Mansurov clarinet
Jairo Gimeno French horn
Dmitry Klemenok percussion
Alexandra Listova, Nikolai Mazhara piano
Stanislava Zagidullina harmonium
Vladislav Pesin, Maria Stratonovich violin
Lyubov Lazareva viola
Evgeny Rumyantsev cello
Margarita Rybkina double bass

Photo: Anya Todich

Anton Bruckner was considered a conservative and even an archaist during his lifetime, only to be discovered as a radical innovator much later—in the second half of the twentieth century: his legacy played a major role in the development of Western music after 1945. The modernist nature of Bruckner’s work is nowhere more apparent than in the chamber version of his Seventh Symphony, which was created in 1921 as a joint effort by three pupils of Arnold Schoenberg: Hanns Eisler arranged the first and third movements, Erwin Stein the second, and Karl Rankl was responsible for the fourth. The arrangement is for eleven musicians (clarinet, French horn, percussion, two pianos, harmonium, and string quintet).

Bruckner began work on his epic, seventy-minute Seventh Symphony in 1881. On 26 July 1882, the composer met his idol Richard Wagner for the last time in Bayreuth where he attended the world premiere of Parsifal. The echoes of that meeting defined the inner programme of the Symphony. Bruckner composed the middle section—the slow movement—anticipating Wagner’s imminent death. As he wrote in a letter: “One day I came home and felt very sad. The thought had crossed my mind that before long the Master would die, and then the C sharp minor theme of the Adagio came to me.” Tradition also has it that the climactic clash of cymbals in the second movement was written into the score on 13 February 1883, when news came from Venice that Wagner was no more.

Bruckner said that the main theme of the first movement, written for low strings, was dictated to him by a friend in a dream with the words: “Remember it—it will bring you happiness.” Performed for the first time a year later under the baton of Arthur Nikisch, the Seventh Symphony did indeed bring the 70-year-old Bruckner happiness—at least it brought him greater acclaim than he had ever enjoyed before or would ever enjoy again in his lifetime.

Fyodor Lednev (b. 1971, Minsk) is a conductor. He graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, specialising in choir conducting (1995) and opera and symphonic conducting (1998). Since 1995, he has taught at the Rimsky-Korsakov Musical College in Saint Petersburg. As a guest conductor, Lednev has worked with the leading orchestras of Russia, including the Svetlanov State Orchestra of Russia, the Russian National Orchestra, the academic symphony orchestra of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, the musicAeterna choir and orchestra. Since 2019, Lednev has been the conductor of musicAeterna.

{"css":".editor {font-family: Diagramatika Text; font-size: 20px; font-weight: 400; line-height: 20px;}"}