Bruckner, Wagner, Beethoven would have gotten me out of bed

Bruckner symphonies are almost never performed.

Bruckner symphonies are almost never performed.

The San Diego Symphony gave their first indoor concerts in nearly two years on January 29 and 30, 2020. I was scheduled to attend on the 30th. I started to develop some omicron symptoms on the morning of the 30th and decided to sit the concert out.

If I’m being honest, my symptoms weren’t that bad and I ended up testing negative. However, after complaining about the lack of indoor concerts in San Diego, I did indeed miss the first one.

Video:

Bruckner Symphony No. 5 CODA

Concertgebouw Orchestra Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Concertgebouw Orchestra Nikolaus Harnoncourt

I was concerned about the possibility of being contagious to others but I also wasn’t that fired up about hearing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini again and Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique again. This got me thinking. What pieces of music would I have gone to despite my possible role in the pandemic.

Here are three pieces of music that I would go hear in concert even if I had the sniffles.

Video:

‘Parsifal’, Richard Wagner – Final Scene

Bayreuth Festival, 1998.

Bayreuth Festival, 1998.

This first one is actually nine pieces of music. If an orchestra were to perform any one of Anton Bruckner’s nine symphonies, I would go and risk receiving sideways glances from audience members when they heard my sniff-sniffing. Bruckner symphonies have two things working for them. One, I love them. Two they are almost never performed. Of the Bruckner symphonies, I’ve only heard the fourth other eight in live performance. the seventh other fifth are at the top of my wish list.

Video:

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis

In D major, op.123, Kyrie Leonard Bernstein & Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam

In D major, op.123, Kyrie Leonard Bernstein & Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam

The second piece of music is also several pieces of music. Any opera by Wagner is worth the risk. The reasons are also the same. I love Wagner and his music is rarely performed. Of the Wagner operas, I’ve heard live performances of Lohengrin, The Mastersingers, Tannhauser, Tristan and Isoldeand Twilight of the Gods. That’s about half of what Wagner wrote. The top of my wish list is Parsifal along with the improbable Ring Cycle but I wouldn’t kick The Flying Dutchman out of bed.

The final piece of music is Beethoven’s Miss Solemnis. This massive piece of choral music was written between 1819 and 1824. It was premiered in Russia in April of 1824. In May of 1824 three movements of the Miss Solemnis were performed prior to the premiere of the Ninth Symphony. Both pieces are similar in that they need a large orchestra, chorus, and excellent soloists. Yet one is performed all the time while the other is performed rarely. I’m not saying that the Miss Solemnis is superior in any way to the ninth. However, I am saying that I would skip the ninth if I had a chance to hear the Miss Solemnis.

An honorable mention on this list is Bach’s Mass in B minor.

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