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Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 / Roger Norrington, RSO Stuttgart

Album Summary

>Bruckner, Anton : Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Magazine
As might be expected, Sir Roger employs instruments of the day, with a head-count that Bruckner might have expected and an appropriate seating plan. Bowing, phrasing and articulation are all in keeping with the manners of period and there's the usual Norrington embargo on vibrato...Excellent sound and, I suppose, good to have as food for thought, which is invariably what Norrington is all about.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Liederhalle Stuttgart, Beethovensaal (07/15/2010-07/06/2010).


Bruckner Symphony No. 9 Norrington
Thankfully, there appear to be fewer editions of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony than his other symphonies, which should make it comparisons easier. Apart from a few versions, almost all offer the 1894 version of this symphony with only the first three movements, because Bruckner left only sketches for the finale. There are, however, several editions, including those by L. Nowak, A. Orel, and B. Cohrs. Four-movement offerings include a 1992 version with the finale, of length 20:19, completed by N. Samale, J. Phillips, B. Cohrs, and G. Mazzuca; and a 2010 version with the finale, of length 22:12, completed by W. Carragan.
If you prefer a four-movement version, then this new CD from Haenssler, with Sir Roger Norrington conducting South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, won’t be your choice. If you prefer a three-movement version, then this CD offers excellent sound quality. Under Sir Roger, the opening, marked Feierlich, misterioso (solemnly, mysterious) is indeed both solemn and mysterious. The measured pace in the Scherzo seems right to me; it is neither too fast (which can make it sound like someone laughing hysterically) nor too slow (which makes it drag), and the central Trio is appropriately light and airy.
I found Sir Roger's version of the Adagio, marked Langsam feierlich (slowly, solemnly), very disappointing. With a timing of 18:11, it is definitely on the fast side compared with others. The performance time of many versions is around 22 minutes, and one version lasts 29 minutes. Perhaps because I am used to the finale being taken more slowly and with more emotion, I found Sir Roger's interpretation of it to be superficial and lacking in charm; thus, I was left with the overall reaction that two well-conducted movements are followed by one that is tossed off as if Sir Roger either doesn't like it or is bored with it.
Ted Wilks

Submitted on 03/12/12 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Bruckner, Anton : Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109
  • Conductor: Roger Norrington
  • Ensemble: Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Liederhalle Stuttgart, Beethovensaal (07/15/2010-07/16/2010)
  • Running Time: 51 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1887-1896
  • Studio/Live: Live