Pablo Heras-Casado


Searching for Bruckner, with Anima Eterna.

Simply carrying on a tradition, without thinking about it, kills art and is a sign of intellectual laziness’. 

Fire, energy, generosity: those are the words most commonly used to praise the performances by Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. Notorious as an all-rounder, he has conducted both historical and modern orchestras all over the world for more than twenty years, performing repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Stravinsky, and beyond. His collaboration with the Freiburger Barockorchester produced several much-discussed recordings, including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Triple Concerto. His performances of Wagner’s Ringwith the Madrid Opera in the last few seasons were highly acclaimed. With Anima Eterna, he begins a completely new chapter – new both for him and for the orchestra: stripping the Bruckner symphonies of their traditions and putting them back together, this time using historical instruments.

The combination of rigorous historical research, lively, open playing, plus their high level of technical precision: for a conductor that simply makes an orchestra hugely attractive’.

Bruckner’s symphonies have been waiting for Heras-Casado for some time. In the last few seasons, he worked intensively with historical ensembles on the repertoire that preceded Bruckner: Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. It was time to take the next step. Bruckner on historical instruments is an obvious choice for Heras-Casado: ‘if you work with historical instruments’, he says, ‘then you keep noticing that they are what bring out the most radical qualities of a piece more clearly. The music sounds “like new” again’.

‘Je moet ruimte durven geven aan onzekerheid. Je kunnen laten verrassen is een enorm belangrijk element van creativiteit. Ik denk dat onze Bruckner allicht transparanter zal klinken dan je gewoon bent. Met een zekere lichtheid in klank, maar niet in de boodschap.’

‘You have to leave some room for uncertainty. Being able to surprise yourself is an enormously important element of creativity. I think that our Bruckner will probably sound more transparent than what you’re used to, with a certain lightness in the sound, but not in the message’.

Bruckner 4

Anima Eterna and Pablo Heras-Casado’s Bruckner adventure continues in January 2024 with the Fourth Symphony. Click here for all concert dates and exclusive content.