Nelsons/Gewandhausorchester – Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 / Wagner: Lohengrin Prelude

nelsonsYou see this guy on the album cover looking up and thinking, “Ya, stairs really are awesome” while he makes a face as if he’s trying to inaudibly release a slow and hot fart? (Classical music album covers are the fucking worst.) Ya, that’s Andris Nelsons. Out of the big up-and-coming conductors (Ticciati, Dudamel, K. Petrenko), Nelsons seems to have the sweetest tang (tied with Jaap Van Zweden [dude, stop name-dropping conductors already]). His job title sounds hilarious to any English speaker because he’s a Gewandhauskapellmeister. Did that just sound like gobbledegook inside your head? Let’s try that again: Ge-Wand-Haus-Kapell-Meister. It means he’s the musical director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus (Garment House) Orchestra. He’s also the musical director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This guy’s hot fucking shit on the classical circuit. Like, Sharon Stone’s leg crossing scene in Basic Instinct hot. There’s even a fucking documentary about him called Nelsons No. 5. “Number five what?” you may ask. Bruckner’s number fucking five. This album is all about “Bruckner’s No. 4”. So you can safely say that this dude is known for his fucking Bruckner. There’s a reason this dude’s Bruckner is making such a scene. It’s a problem that’s baked into that shit. It even has a name. The problem is called: “The Bruckner Problem”. 

Buckle up, motherfuckers.

The Bruckner Problem is all about the composer, Bruckner, writing some shit that was unperformable (this is called the Brucknernerian Rhythm). Out of this shit come different interpretations of how people should perform what is unperformable (Nelsons uses the 1978/80 versions). When two different people have different interpretations on one single thing, shit gets fucked the fucked up. Just ask the second amendment. Cause of all this shit “The Bruckner Problem” is now a phrase synonymous with too many fucking interpretations of a single thing. How cool is that?

Too many chili recipes? That’s a Brucker Problem. Pineapple on pizza? Brucker problem. Too many denominations in Christianity? That’s a big fucking Bruckner Problem. 

Because of this problem, most conductors don’t touch this shit till their face looks like an old sack. So, when Nelsons stood up and said he was going to do this shit, the classical world took notice. Some people hate him, others love him. Me? The guy is so fucking passionate I don’t really give a shit what he does. My mentality comes from jazz: I don’t think there’s a perfect interpretation of anything. It’s kinda one of the main fucking ideas of jazz: Change. Adapt. Evolve. 

This interpretation and recording is fucking dope. And it’s for the same reason all of Nelsons’ versions are great. It’s his pacing, his rhythm, that fucking drama that pours out of those goddamned instruments. Two words come out of my mouth when I heard this shit, and it still defines how I feel about it: “Fucking Aye”. 


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