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Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 Hybrid SACD, SACD


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On Friday 2 October 2009 Nikolaus Harnoncourt was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Gramophone awards ceremony in London.

Celebrating his 80th birthday in 2009, Nikolaus Harnoncourt was born in Berlin, grew up in Graz (Austria) and studied the cello in Vienna, where from 1952 to 1969 he was a cellist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In 1972 he became Professor for ... Read more in Amazon's Nikolaus Harnoncourt Store

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 + Bruckner : Symphonies 3, 4, 7, 8
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Composer: Anton Bruckner
  • Audio CD (11 Oct. 2003)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Sony Music Classical
  • ASIN: B0000AF1IG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Warum hat man eigentlich 100 Jahre lang gedac11:12Album Only
Listen  2. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Dokumentation, Takt 1-278 9:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Gegen Ende eine extreme Dissonanz in den Trom 2:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Nach dem Ende der Durchführung folgt eine wil0:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Dokumentation, Takt 279-342 2:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Quasi ein Schreckbild des Todes 1:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Dokumentation, Takt 343-478 4:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Danach fehlen 16 Takte; dazu ist nichts zu er 1:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Wie ein Stein vom Mond - Gesprächskonzert: Sinfonie Nr. 9 d-moll WAB 109, Finale (unvollendet) - Dokumentation des Fragments (Hrsg. von John A. Phillips): Dokumentation, Takt 479-510. Lücke/fehlender 1:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Like A Stone From The Moon - A Colloquial Concert: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109, Finale (unfinished) - Documentation of the Fragment: Why did we think for over hundred years that nothing of this10:59Album Only
Listen11. Documentation, mm. 1-278 9:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Extreme dissonances in the trumpets towards the end of the block 2:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. At the end of the developmnet a wild fugue begins0:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Like A Stone From The Moon - A Colloquial Concert: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109, Finale (unfinished) - Documentation of the Fragment: Documentation, mm. 279-342 2:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. A sudden vision of death 1:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Documentation, mm. 343-478 4:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Like A Stone From The Moon - A Colloquial Concert: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109, Finale (unfinished) - Documentation of the Fragment: Then there are sixteen bars missing. We will just leave them 1:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Documentation, mm. 479-510. Gap/missing score bifolio - mm. 511-226 1:36£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109: Feierlich; misterioso24:19Album Only
Listen  2. Scherzo. Bewegt; lebhaft - Trio. Schnell - Scherzo da capo10:39Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 9 in D minor, WAB 109: Adagio. Langsam; feierlich23:53Album Only

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor VINE VOICE on 27 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
I didn't expect this recording to be as good as it is, but... Somehow I still think of Harnoncourt as a baroque specialist, forgetting his Austrian roots and natural ability to understand this sort of music. And with him all good things come with age... it looks like anyway. I resisted so long to bow to Harnoncourt's Bruckner, but after playing this disc over and over again, I have to give the credit when it's due - this is one of the best Bruckner's 9th of recent years, and probably the best one recorded in SACD format with magnificent surround sound.

Tempi are bit on the fast side, but the structure is all there, magnificent as it should be. Build ups are powerful with lot of tension and H. gives just enough space for his players do develop every phrase unrushed. I was particularly fascinated with the second movement: precise rhythmic pulse is a spot on and the overall sound is an orgy of biting brass. I do have a reservation about treating the middle section (trio) as a piece composed by Debussy on crack, but the impressionistic approach probably can be justified as looking forward of what's to come in European music later on. H. also speeds up some section of the final movement with certain `fin-du-siecle' Viennese grace, not usually associated with late Bruckner. But that creates a strong contrast with sombre and grave episodes that follows, and it really keeps concentration on a high level of alertnes.

Second disc (CD only) is a lengthy lecture by Harnoncourt about unfinished 4th movement. Orchestra is on hand to play all sketches, leaving every Bruckner's devotee in a state of unfulfilled desire for a magnificent conclusion of this seminal work.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ken Ward on 19 Dec. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a glorious recording of a glorious performance, using the most recent edition of the score (ed. B-G Cohrs), and including essential listening for all those interested in the work as Bruckner envisaged it: nearly all that exists of the finale - and that's a substantial amount. Even without the finale I would rank the performance alongside my favourites, including Jochum, Giulini, Horenstein; but with the finale fragments it enters a class of its own - the only competition being Talmi's earlier version with the finale fragments which is quite an attractive performance, but not a patch on this. Played as a CD the sound is near perfect to my ears. My view would be: don't hesistate: buy it. This is a Ninth of incomparable beauty and integrity, and it seems to be in a different league to Harnoncourt's previous Bruckner recordings.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Penny Pincher on 9 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
An illuminating insight into the research that goes into the creation of a great work of art. And a convincing performance to boot!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Harnoncourt roars, but Wildner rages 4 Jan. 2004
By Neil E. Schore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As the other reviewers note, this release is essential for anyone interested in this work, for the workshop and documentation of the currently surviving material from the final movement of the symphony. Another important aspect of the release is the use of a new "critical edition" of the initial three movements of Bruckner's 9th, which contains a number of very evident modifications, particularly in orchestration. All the same, it is a concert recording, and, at least in the usual CD format, balances aren't always optimal, trumpets and trombones often too forward, at the expense of the Vienna Phil's strings and (especially) glorious horn section, and timpani are somewhat reticent, especially in the first movement. Harnoncourt also tends to push a bit hard, lacking the natural plasticity in tempo that marks the greatest performances of the first three movements of this work. The impression is one of roaring power, building and receding throughout. Of the 4th movement sketches, Harnoncourt plays exactly what survives, except he omits the 50-odd bars of three coda fragments that have turned up.
Just a few months ago, a recording of the 9th including a reconstruction/completion of the 4th movement, based on the same body of fragments and sketches (including the coda) and prepared by the same editors, was released on Naxos(8.555933-34). The orchestra is the New Philharmonia of Westphalia (Germany) and the conductor is Johannes Wildner. Now, finally, we can hear this work in a form tantalizingly close to the way Bruckner intended. Furthermore, unlike Harnoncourt's Vienna Phil performance, Wildner and his astonishiingly capable Westphalians present what I can only describe as a ferocious performance, with horns and timpani cutting through the fabric of the orchestra at key points, and effectively flexible tempos. It's a performance unlike any I've heard since Furtwangler's furious and terrifying recording made in Berlin during the darkest days of World War II. If you've gotten the Harnoncourt (or even if you haven't), you have to get the Wildner, too.
As an aside, these recordings render superfluous the 1986 Chandos recording by Yoav Talmi and the Oslo Phil of a 4-movement version of Bruckner's 9th. That documented a brave effort by William Carragan to reconstruct a finale. Unfortunately he had barely 3/4 of the body of sketches to work with that we have now, and nothing of the coda at all.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Not the Last Word 12 Nov. 2003
By Kakistocracy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In his talk on the second disc, Harnoncourt asserts that Bruckner essentially completed the 4th Movement, except for the orchestration, and that the missing (numbered) pages of the manuscript were probably taken as curios or momentos by admirers shortly after his death. The commentary and 4th Movement excerpts are fascinating, leading to the impression that this incredible masterpiece is even more so than we had the temerity to believe.

The live performance of the torso (a new critical edition by Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs) is exciting and clarifying, though I concur with the previous reviewer's comments about the Giulini performance. The sound of the CD layer is typical of RCA--very good, but a little less in-your-face than on DG.

I have also listened to the SACD stereo layer, and it is practically a different animal. Instrumental groups that are somewhat de-emphasized or out of focus on the CD layer come through with stunning immediacy and precision. Unlike a number of other SACD's I own, it makes an impressive case for the new format. Unfortunately, I'm not equipped to comment on the surround sound layer.

This is the most gratifying Bruckner release to come along in some time. Don't miss it, especially at such a great price!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
An Extraordinary Document 31 Oct. 2003
By Iyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an immensely valuable document, and is worth much more than the purchase price for the first CD alone. The first CD is a workshop that Harnoncourt conducted during the Salzburg Festival, 2002 on the elusive 4th mvmt. of Bruckner's 9th. It is extraordinary to learn how close Bruckner was to a complete manuscript of this movement. Harnoncourt's bilingual (in German, tracks 1-9, then English) commentary is filled with insights and reflects his deep knowledge and love for Bruckner's text and idiom. A must for Bruckner devotees, this CD will also provide fascinating listening for those new to Bruckner's music.
The second CD has the actual performance, recorded live after the workshop. This is a new critical edition (Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs) of the the first three movements. Bruckner's vast and complex landscape is lovingly painted by Harnoncourt and the VPO. Every detail is ravishingly rendered by the superb sectional playing of the Viennese (note, for example, the luminous pizzicato exchanges starting at 2:59 in 1st mvmt). Some versions, notably Giulini/VPO/DG, have a greater sense of mystery, especially in the last movement. Maybe this is intentional on Harnoncourt's part--he seems to not interpret the great adagio as a final document. Many great recordings have treated the adagio's last peroration as Bruckner's passing over to the great other, as it were (none more so than Celibidache/Munich PO/EMI). Harnoncourt seems to suggest that there is more!
All in all, this is a very fine recording. Perhaps not the definitive Bruckner 9th, but one that will have great appeal to the Bruckner initiate.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Spectacular 29 Nov. 2011
By Prescott Cunningham Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Harnoncourt's outings in Bruckner have been oddly variable. The nadir is his absolutely snooze-fest of a Fourth, while his Third, Seventh, and Eighth have been inconsistently impressive. However, his recordings in Vienna are uniformly excellent, especially here in this most impressive Ninth.

Or course, a great deal of credit must go to the Philharmonic, which can give good Bruckner in its sleep. The string tone in the adagio is predictably gorgeous while the contributions from the winds and horns especially are particularly effective. But Harnoncourt deserves as much of the credit for getting his Viennese players to abandon their standard silvery tone when necessary, such as in the tutti passages from the scherzo and the final outburst in the adagio. The stark, bleak tone the orchestra gives, when necessary, gives this performance its general tone of darkness. This performance is also notable in that, most of Harnoncourt's ideas work. It would not be a Harnoncourt performance without some weird moments here and there (such as the weird dynamic swells that afflict the first movement's third theme group), but all in all we find Harnoncourt delivering a perfectly paced, brilliantly argued, and all together thoroughly logical performance of Bruckner's unfinished masterpiece.

Harnoncourt also seems to come up with the most logical conclusion for the finale, playing what Bruckner wrote after an at times interesting lecture. Even hearing the few disjointed pieces that do remain gives the listen enough of an idea as to what Bruckner may have intended for his finale. Better still, it informs the remainder of the symphony, bringing back leitmotifs from the previous movements in various guises.

There are plenty of great Ninths. Jochum's certainly remains the most terrifying, but Gulini, Dohnanyi, Karajan, and Wand have all given us excellent performances, Still, Harnoncourt's live account from Salzburg must stand with the best, a performance that must be commended for its stark beauty and it overarching architecture. Any Bruckner fan will find much to enjoy about this performance. The live recording features a somewhat dry acoustic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Harnoncourt adds to his impressive Brcukner credentials 19 Mar. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Even Karajan's detractors, except for the most severe, generally concede that he was supreme in Bruckner. His various performances of the Ninth Sym. with the Berlin Phil. are commanding in their huge scope, yet Karajan was also capable of delicate phrasing and had an intuitive grasp of how to organize these gigantic, sprawling movements. No one has quite reached that magistreial level since. To his credit, Harnoncourt doesn't try to. This is, for him, a straightforward performance that relies on some qualities Karajan's Bruckner doesn't possess.

First of all, Harnoncourt has his own instincts about phrasing and organizing the music. Contrary to a reviewer below, he doesn't exploit extreme rubato or sudden tempo changes. There are some quirky moments where the tempo speeds up unexpectedly, but overall, Harnoncourt's timing of 58 min. is dead center among various recordings (as much as I admire Giulini, his 68 min. traversal drags). Harnoncourt favors brash outbursts from the brass, particularly in the Scherzo, my least favorite movement here. But his main intent is to keep Bruckner simple, to impose himself far less than Karajan did with his ultra-control. This Bruckner Ninth is a bit plain at times, but it always breathes.

As to the recorded sound, I have only heard the regular two-channel CD, which is quite clear; the Vienna Pphil. is placed a bit far back on a wide soundstage. I would have liked to hear the solo winds up closer, but that's a quibble. This Bruckner Ninth satisfied me as much as the great accounts by Walter, Klemperer, Giulini, and Boulez. I sitll feel more thrills from Karajan's analog reading from the Sixties, yet Harnoncourt provides a viable alternative in itnerpretation.

In theory it was an exciting notion to provide a free bonus CD containing Harnoncourt's defense of Bruckner's surviving sketches for a fourth movement, never completed. Could it really be that his ocntemporaries were wrong and that Bruckner left us pages of great music begging to be revived? Harnoncourt's talk is highly persuasive, but when the Vienna Phil. actually plays what survives of the finale, it proves as sorely disappointing as its reputation would lead one to believe.
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