BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Nowak Edition) – Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal/ Yannick Nézet-Séguin – Atma Classique

by | Sep 30, 2008 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Nowak Edition) – Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal/ Yannick Nézet-Séguin – Atma Classique Multichannel SACD2 2514, 1:07:01 ***1/2 [Distr. by Naxos]:

Interesting how Bruckner’s final symphony is not known as the “Unfinished” a la Schubert, even though it clearly lacks its fourth movement, which the composer never got around to composing prior to his death. He had suggested that his Te Deum be thrown in to replace the fourth movement, but none of the recordings seem to have done this.  Somehow ending with an Adagio movement works quite well – after all Mahler did it in his Second Symphony.

For my ears the highlight of this complex and advanced Bruckner work is the short Scherzo movement sandwiched in the middle between the two half-hour first and third movements. It is surely the wildest, wooliest  and most modern-sounding of all Bruckner’s scherzi.  The repeated pounding orchestral chords of the main theme certainly command one’s attention.  The performance by leading young conductor Nezet-Seguin is well thought out and the recording quality is top rate, especially in the surround option.  However, I find more energy and impact in the recently-reviewed SACD by the Suisse Romande Orchestra under Janowski.  It more successfully communicates the roughhewn intensity of Bruckner’s final symphonic statement.

 – John Sunier

Related Reviews