Hermann levi

The best recordings of the greatest symphony

I am daunted. Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony is a work that I regard with love, awe and even anxiety. I always wonder whether I’ll be able to cope with such large and deep demands on me and, if I hear a performance or recording that doesn’t disappoint me, be able to articulate why I find it so powerful, one of the supreme masterpieces of Western music, the greatest of symphonies. With musical works that one has the strongest kinship with, there is, as everyone finds, an urgent need to locate the qualities that make it so penetrating an experience, combined with misery at the gap between how one responds and what