Day 130: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (Chailly)

This morning’s conductor of Anton Bruckner’s unfinished Symphony No. 9 in D Minor WAB 109 (dedicated “to the beloved God”) is Italian Riccardo Chailly (1953-).

The orchestra is the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

I first heard Maestro Chailly on October 4th, Day 2, Symphony No. 1.

Then again on Day 18, Symphony No. 2.

Then again on Day 34, Symphony No. 3.

Then again on Day 50, Symphony No. 4.

Then again on Day 66, Symphony No. 5.

Then again on Day 82, Symphony No. 6.

Then again on Day 98, Symphony No. 7.

Then again, most recently, on Day 114, Symphony No. 8.

I usually post a lot of background about each symphony on the first day I listen to it. I did that yesterday (Day 129, Daniel Barenboim conducting).

So, if you want to know more about Bruckner’s Ninth, let your mouse do the walking over to that page and read on.

First, the facts of Riccardo Chailly’s interpretation of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor:

chaillycdboxBruckner’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor WAB 109, composed between 1887 and 1896
Riccardo Chailly conducts
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra plays
The symphony clocks in at 62.47
This was recorded at Grootezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, June, 1996
Chailly was 43 when he conducted it
Bruckner was 72 when he died before finishing the Ninth
This recording was released on the Decca label

Bruckner wrote his symphonies in four parts. He would have this time, too. But he died before completing movement four. The time breakdown of this one (Symphony No. 9 in D Minor), from this particular conductor (Chailly) and this particular orchestra (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) is as follows:

I. Feierlich, misterioso (D minor)…………………………………………………………………24:44
II. Scherzo. Bewegt, lebhaft (D minor); Trio. Schnell (F-sharp major)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………10:41
II. Adagio. Langsam, feierlich (E major)……………………………………………………….27:22
IV. Finale. (D minor, incomplete)……………………………………………………………………0:00

Total running time: 62:47

Okay. What do I think of this performance?

My Rating:
Recording quality: 4
Overall musicianship: 4
CD liner notes: 3 (short essay in three languages, but incomplete edition information)
How does this make me feel: 5

This was a powerful performance, especially the pizzicato-rich, syncopated Scherzo.

Man, that Scherzo!

It’s terrifying and compelling (like an accident beside the road) and utterly wonderful.

The Adagio is…

Luxurious. Rich. Emotional. Bold. Dissonant?

The disconcerting juxtaposition of pizzicato and violin from about 20:12 onward is almost hard to listen to. It’s jarring. But brilliant.

I’m going to have to go ahead and give this performance a “Huzzah!” – in spite of the fact that it’s a little tinny in some spots.

Bruckner’s Ninth is quickly growing on me.

In fact, this is becoming one of my favorites from Bruckner’s oeuvre.

I’m glad there’s no a Finale. It makes the whole Symphony even more mysterious. And poignant.

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