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A transcendent Bruckner 8th from Gunther Herbig, BSO
A transcendent Bruckner 8th from Gunther Herbig, BSO

A Cole Porter line popped into my head throughout Friday night's deeply fulfilling Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert: "How strange the change from major to minor." Harmonic shifts, both subtle and startling, provide a key structural and emotional ingredient in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, as well as Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 in C minor. Music theorists can spend days analyzing these scores, detailing the myriad ways their composers find new paths that toy with our expectations and lead us on fresh adventures. But there is no need to master the rules of harmony to sense how brilliantly crafted these works are, and to experience the way they...

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