Notes & Reviews:
- Anton Bruckner died before completing work on the fourth and final movenment of his 9th symphony.
- Conductor Mario Venzago's ongoing complete Bruckner symphony cycle has provoked vehement pro and contra critical reaction.
- The Bern Symphony's history dates back more than 125 years.
Gramophone Magazine, May 2014
Venzago's vision of a leaner, trimmer Bruckner - with big-boned solemnity discreetly airbrushed away - aims to repoint the composer by balancing his Wagner fixation agtainst his symphonic roots in Schubert.
Recording information: Kultur-Casino Bern, Grosser Saal (2012-09-20_2012-09-21&2012-).
But this recording by Venzago with the Berne Symphony Orchestra tops any other recording of Bruckner that I’ve ever heard. Venzago knows how to deal with each phrase and combine everything into a flow towards a climax. Every detail stands out but becomes part of a vast structure. The brass is absolutely outstanding, and the cellos and basses put a solid fundament to Bruckner’s orchestration. CPO has outdone itself in the audio quality of this CD.
While familiar with all the Bruckner symphonies, especially the scherzos (my favorites!) the scherzo from symphony No.9 has never quite made sense to me. As a matter of fact, in my review of Simon Rattle’s four-movement ninth I comment that his interpretation of the scherzo sounds like second-rate Shostakovich. Venzago takes this movement at such a fast clip that Bruckner’s idea becomes absolutely clear – this is a dance of death, a dance with the devil! Venzago sees the whole symphony as an approach to Bruckner’s imminent death. The third movement confirms this approach, with everything leading up to THAT chord just before the end – and then total acceptance of his fate – transfiguration, if you will. While the scherzo is wild-driven, the final slow movement is a totally moving and enveloping experience.
The sonics are wonderful, the performance powerful, the interpretation breathtaking.
Submitted on 03/31/14 by Catriel
Works DetailsBruckner, Anton : Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109
- Conductor: Mario Venzago
- Ensemble: Berner Symphonieorchester
- Notes: Kultur-Casino Bern, Grosser Saal (2012-09-20_2012-09-21&2012-)
- Running Time: 51 min. 36 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1887-1896