DVD release: Claudio Abbado - Bruckner’s 5th Symphony, live at the 2011 Lucerne Festival.

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday, 8 June 2012 | 10:07:00 pm

Press release as received so not my words but I can say, having seen it, it is a fine performance.

ACCENTUS Music announces forthcoming release of Claudio Abbado conducting the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA performing Bruckner’s 5th Symphony, live at the 2011 Lucerne Festival.
Bruckner’s 5th symphony, composed during a time of difficulty and disillusionment, has been interpreted as conveying a message of hope and faith; and is sometimes referred to as the composer’s “Catholic” symphony. It is also his longest and, some might argue, most demanding composition for a conductor.
Yet, for Claudio Abbado and his stellar orchestra it presents an opportunity to excel further. Tom Service in the Guardian writes of Abbado conducting this repertoire that he“controlled the flow of time. It wasn't just him, of course, as his musicians gave a performance that – in terms of ensemble, expression and flexibility – was among the most astonishing any of us are likely to experience. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra raises orchestral playing to a new realm of possibility. Through the alchemy of the musicians' relationship with Abbado, they also revealed Bruckner as a visionary – a quantum, time-collapsing composer.”

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung once commended “Abbado’s approach to the music of Bruckner” as “soft and songlike, at times tense and urgent, but constantly filled with warmth of feeling”. Indeed, the concert received extensive critical praise across Europe and Julia Spinola, critic of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote of Abbado’s craftsmanship “No, the music is made to sound like a natural phenomenon. It is as if the air suddenly starts to vibrate of its own accord and resound by its own devices”.


The painting on the cover of the DVD / Blu-ray has been designed by renowned artist Michael Triegel, often considered to be part of the New Leipzig School, who gained international recognition in 2010 following his portrait of Pope Benedict XVI. Triegel praised Abbado’s skill, in the special piece he wrote for the DVD booklet, saying: “the notion of a freedom that is derived from an abundance of ability and knowledge seems to me to be embodied by Claudio Abbado as it is by no other artist”