Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, WAB 109 (Live)

Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, WAB 109 (Live)

It takes less than a minute to realize that this performance of Bruckner’s greatest symphony, recorded live in Lucerne’s KKL concert hall, is going to be a special experience. At first nothing much seems to be happening—just a single note, played very quietly by the strings and repeated by the woodwind. Then the eight horns announce the first movement’s main theme, and a whole musical world—epic, visionary and vast—seems to open up. It takes exceptional players to convey this feeling of immensity with such spare material. Throughout the three completed movements of Bruckner’s last and unfinished Symphony, Claudio Abbado’s conducting searches out the great spaces of the composer’s conception. And in both the gentlest moments and the massive climaxes, these handpicked orchestral players respond on the same stellar level.

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