Bruckner: Symphony No. 9

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer

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Original Recording Format: DSD 256
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2022 NativeDSD Album of the Year Awards – Orchestral & Audience Award Winner (Most Album of the Year Votes)

Following his critically acclaimed interpretation of Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, Iván Fischer leads the Budapest Festival Orchestra to the summit of 19th century symphonic music, with this new recording of the monumental, enigmatic, unfinished and deeply religious 9th Symphony of Anton Bruckner. The album is exclusively available in Stereo and 5 Channel DSD 128, DSD 256 and DXD plus Stereo DSD 512 at NativeDSD. 

The three completed movements are pervaded with angst and awareness of death. As in Mozart’s unfinished Requiem, the first movement is dominated by a dark D minor. The pounding rhythms of the scherzo seem to anticipate Stravinsky and Bartók, while the large leaps and piercing dissonances point towards the Second Viennese School of Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. The Adagio is Bruckner’s heartrending farewell to the world and to life. Although Bruckner died before he could write the huge fourth movement he had in mind, there is something satisfying and comforting in concluding with the Adagio.

Budapest Festival Orchestra
Ivan Fischer, Conductor

Tracklist

1.
Feierlich, misterioso
22:26
2.
Scherzo. Bewegt, lebhaft: Trio. Schnell
09:38
3.
Adagio. Langsam Feierlich
23:26

Total time: 00:55:30

Additional information

Label

SKU

42822

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Original Recording Format

Release Date September 23, 2022

Press reviews

MusicWeb International

Fischer is unapologetic about still offering just the three-movement version in 2022. Of the various completions offered by scholars and composers, he writes “I salute their work. But after that endlessly held horn note at the end of the third movement, I feel that this was his last breath and nothing more should be said.” He is not alone in that, even now. And that “endlessly held horn note” is played here with impeccable intonation and tone.

Positive Feedback

In this recording of what is, perhaps, Bruckner’s most powerful and visionary symphony, Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra are simply phenomenal. A concern voiced by some critics is that the performance would be too fast, just judged by the movement timings. And, yes, he is certainly on the faster side. But Fischer and his musicians pull it off supremely well.

…Fischer creates something rare in his performance of this symphony. He holds onto our collars and compels us to confront the music. And while he does turn softly melodic with the delicate phrases (over which he lingers most suitably), he still finds us to pull us along with him as he confronts the wonder with which Bruckner imbues this music.

Overall, Fischer creates greater coherence in this music than I hear in most other performances. His is rare combination of power, beauty, grace, deep intelligence, wonder, and, indeed, awe. How fitting for Bruckner’s masterpiece.

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