add to wish list | library

12 of 14 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the paid links below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  Warner Music (Japan) -
  WPGS-50002/3 (2 discs)
  Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Rattle
  Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 (Four Movement Version by Samale-Phillips-Cohrs-Mazzuca)

Berliner Philharmoniker
Simon Rattle (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Formerly TOGE-11092/3

read discussion | delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Submitted by Esacede
Related titles: 5

Reviews: 2

Review by mwgfrg August 6, 2012 (14 of 14 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have been following through various recordings, over 25 years and with great interest, the ongoing development of the two major competing finale completions of the Bruckner 9th. I have listened with delight in past months to the "final" SPCM version heard here and the "final" William Carragan version recently recorded by Gerd Schaller and a fine European festival orchestra in a recent three-symphony RBCD Bruckner box. Years ago, judging by the series of recordings of both versions as they evolved, neither finale sounded even vaguely convincing, but a great deal of work has gone into both of them over the ensuing years, and gradually that perception has had to be changed. Whether either version is actually the "final", whether there will be subsequent changes or re-thinkings to either or both, or in fact there will be whole other attempts at completion, what we have in these two recordings at this moment is of enormous value. Without detailing all the arguments for and against completion--e.g., on the one hand, that there is more Bruckner in these finales than there is Mahler in the Cooke performing version of the Mahler 10th, Elgar in his 3rd Symphony, Mozart in the Requiem, Puccini in the finale of Turandot or Berg in the finale of Lulu, or, on the other, that Bruckner would not have wanted the incomplete finale used and near the end of his life suggested completing performances of the symphony with his Te Deum (a ghastly thought)--after half a dozen times each through both the Rattle SPCD and Schaller Carragan recordings, I will never again be comfortable with the three movement version. The third movement adagio is simply not the ending Bruckner envisioned, and it no longer sounds as if it should be, at least to me. [But then, to be fair, I have to confess to having something of the same reaction to the Mackerras, Marriner and Groves RBCD recordings of the four movement Schubert "Unfinished".]

Do either or both finales have flaws or questionable spots? Yes, but a part of that seems to me because Bruckner, a compulsive re-writer and self-editor, would have made extensive changes himself to his own work if he had had the time to do so. Based on the research I have read, he did, in fact, complete the basic score if not the orchestration, and missing pages may well turn up--but the missing pages, of course, also would not reflect Bruckner's final thoughts had he lived longer. However, this is no reason to deny the opportunity presented by these recordings. Do I prefer one or the other finale? Yes, but not by very much--they are in fact, although there are significant differences, not all that different in effect--and I am not sure that any present preference I may have will not change over time. Go listen to both--you owe yourself that if you care for Bruckner.

As to the Rattle performance and recording, I heard the February 2012 performance at Carnegie Hall two months later than the late 2011 Berlin version recorded here, and it was overwhelming, one of those evenings when an orchestra simply plays at a level at which it is impossible to believe anyone could play better. The recorded version, while excellent, is perhaps lacking that one last time through the score under actual concert conditions to reach the level which was achieved the next time out. My sense is that Rattle is more comfortable with Bruckner than with Mahler--there is little of the fits and starts and tempo extremes, usually very slow, of his Mahler; speeds are measured without being ponderous. The SACD sound is generally quite fine, although I must say I was more aware than on previous Rattle/BPO SACD releases of the recording problems I have read about as to the "muddiness" or lack of ultimate clarity which may be an inevitable part of recording live in the Berlin Philharmonie; and while I am a great admirer of recordings which capture the sound of the hall, this one may present too much of a good thing. But these are just nits; this is an enormously important addition to the discography, and should not be missed (as the Schaller should not also) by anyone who values Bruckner.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by Luukas November 5, 2014 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Anton Bruckner left his last orchestral masterpiece unfinished - he died before he completed the massive finale. Bruckner was religiously man, and he dedicated his Ninth Symphony to "beloved God". Indeed, it is his own farewell, and very touching listening experience.
Here Sir Simon Rattle conducts the latest and perhaps the most authentic reconstruction of the finale. He gives his all heart to the performance, and the results are breathtaking. First movement's loudly thema repeats in the finale, and it sounds stunning.
Berliner Philharmoniker's tone is rich and resonantly. It is always quite difficult to record in live concert, but the sonics are here very good. Bass line is strong and deep, and distant area isn't muddy and quietly. Rattle's tempi are peaceful, but never boring.
There are many other reconstructed works, such as Franz Schubert's Eighth Symphony (Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta (Naxos)) and [his] Tenth Symphony (Sir Charles Mackerras (Hyperion)).

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 1  

Anton Bruckner - Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109