When a new work by Vito Žuraj premieres, you can expect something spectacular. This student of Rihm, who was born in Maribor, Slovenia in 1979 and whose compositions often incorporate scenic elements and spatial sound concepts, always cause a sensation: “Contemporary music can be so much fun,” as the press wrote.
The music of Anton Bruckner, which also unfolds in such a way, is just as spectacular. The composer himself described his Third Symphony as a “Wagner symphony” – primarily due to the numerous quotations from Walküre, Tristan und Isolde, Meistersinger and Tannhäuser, which he largely eliminated in later revisions. Due to a lack of interest from the public, the self-critical composer made several cuts – with serious consequences: while the first version from 1873 had as many as 2056 bars, the second version had already shrunk to 1815. The third and final version only has 1644 bars. In addition, Bruckner “smoothed out” the many dynamic shifts and abrupt changes, and in doing so took away some of the immediacy and modernity of his first draft.
For this reason, François-Xavier Roth, like many conductors, favours the first version of Bruckner’s Third.