Never before had there been a Bruckner cycle in the United States of America. So said Sir Clive Gillinson, from the stage of Carnegie Hall. (Sir Clive runs the place.) What do we mean by “Bruckner cycle”? The symphonies of Anton Bruckner, 1 through 9. But hang on: it gets tricky with Bruckner, because there is a Symphony No. 0 and a Symphony No. 00. Anyway, the cycle in question included only the nine symphonies (and the last of them is incomplete, as Bruckner died before he could finish the last movement).

Over the course of a week and a half, Bruckner’s nine were played in Carnegie Hall by the Staatskapelle Berlin. The orchestra was conducted by its longtime music director, Daniel Barenboim. He did a lot of playing too. That is, he played the piano, and what he played was Mozart concertos. He conducted them as well, from the keyboard.

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