Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109
- Feierlich; misterioso (27:42)
- Scherzo. Bewegt; lebhaft - Trio. Schnell (10:50)
- Adagio. Langsam; feierlich (27:06)
Bruckner: Sinfonie Nr. 9by Paavo Järvi
Paavo Järvi is not noted primarily as a Bruckner conductor, but this 2008 performance of the "Symphony No. 9 in D minor" with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra promises great things to come if he chooses to record the other symphonies with as much expressive depth and personal connection. Järvi often takes considerable liberties in conducting the Romantic repertoire, and his elastic rubato sometimes seems too loose, yet it works rather well here and seems to open up Bruckner's monumental harmonic rhythms and heavy structures to a more flexible and freer interpretation. Granted, the "Symphony No. 9" is still one of Bruckner's weightiest works, and it is many times rendered as if it is carved in granite, so ponderous are its fanfares and dense its orchestration. Yet Järvi draws out a fluid and evenly paced performance from the Frankfurt orchestra, and the overall feeling of the music is of transparency, smoothness, delicacy, and radiance, traits that are seldom associated with this piece, but should be. The first movement retains its gloomy depths and elegiac lyricism, while the scherzo is still menacing in its hammered dissonances, and the Adagio keeps its air of mystery and majesty. But Järvi has given this elevated symphony a more human dimension, and through the rapport he has developed with his musicians, he communicates more intimately and warmly than one might expect in this massive valedictory work, which Bruckner dedicated to God. Thanks to RCA's terrific DSD recording, this is one of the best sounding "Ninths" to appear in ages, and this hybrid SACD is compatible with conventional compact disc and super audio players. Highly recommended.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsPaavo Järvi Primary Artist
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Bruckner's ninth is one of the great symphonies ever written. It has many recordings to its name, and while I haven't heard very many of them, this one is surely great. It just feels so right; Paavo chooses tempi and phrasing that are ideally balanced; neither too slow and melodramatic nor fast and cheapening. This music is profound, inward, soul-searching stuff, not to be taken either lightly or for granted, and the conductor finds it exactly. The orchestra is marvelous as well, or course, for without it there would be no recording. The sections are wonderfully balanced; in my experience there are few other recordings that bring out the dissonant clash between brass and strings at the end of the first movement so well and so brutally--it's a genuine, guttural thrill. The adagio is the highlight of this recording. The tempo is slightly broader than usual, but this is not to make it "more emotional" or "more profound" so much as it is to emphasize the space, the bareness of texture that Bruckner wrote into it. The melodic lines are painfully beautiful, the final "crisis" moment utterly terrifying, and the coda is indescribably sublime. I remember hearing Paavo's recording of the 7th, and I couldn't understand it, partially indeed because I didn't know the symphony that well and still have no idea how to listen to it. Nevertheless, this recording more than makes up for any qualms from the previous installment in this Bruckner cycle. Bruckner is a composer worth listening to, and now this conductor is proving himself worth hearing as well.