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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First-class Bruckner
This CD is the first four movement version of Bruckner's final symphonic masterpiece that I have purchased. For years, I have been used to the idea of Bruckner's Ninth symphony as three movements which were probably perfection in themselves. The slow movement ends in tranquillity and there is widespread belief that the Adagio was Bruckner's farewell to life. This...
Published 3 months ago by Ali Tigrel

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New coda a big disappointment
I looked forward to hearing these lastest/last thoughts on the Samale-Phillips-Cohrs-Mazzuca version of the final movement, at last performed by a top conductor/orchestra combo. In short, this recording is fine, but from a purely visceral point of view, the earlier SPCM revisions, as performed by Wildner and Layer are superior. Why? The ending!

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Published on 25 July 2012 by JB


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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impact grows with each hearing, 7 Jun 2012
By 
R. Landau (London, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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I first heard thIs reading 'live' on the Berlin Phil's Digital Concert Hall website and initially had doubts about the completion. But with each new audition I have found the 4-composer realization of the 4th movement more and more satisfying. Equally convincing is the manner in which Rattle integrates everything. The orchestra's superlative, rich-toned playing and the very fine recording make for a very satisfying disc.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to stand and cheerI, 11 Jun 2012
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I thought this CD wonderful and the finale was to me a revelation. Now I have a few versions of this symphony in my collection, from the 1930's onward, but really starting properly with the Horenstein VPM on Vox, loved at the time and still loved, through Celibidache, Karajan, Wand and Jochum and very many more. I also have every copy I have been able to obtain, not always easily, of the different completions of the Finale from the heretical on Prieser and now ending with Rattle.

When the CD arrived from Amazon, I devoured it, and when I find the time, playing it, sitting back and listening as though in a concert hall. I have the score, which I hope I know reasonably well having been taught score reading at an early age, but I keep it out of the way until many playings later. My knowledge may deceive me but was there not some great praise when Rattle performed the 3 Movement version with the BSO at Tanglewood, if this is true then Rattle already had full knowlege of that version within his repertoire.

It is obvious that we do not want a poorly played or interpreted version, although I have my fair share of these, but do we always, as it seems some of the correspondents seem to do, is to only listen to everything in a critical manner, score in hand noting down every slight deviations in marking from the score. Surely if we do this we are already in a mode to find glitches, points we do not like. I personally think we should be pleased that EMI/BP and Rattle still find it profitable to release such a disc, with this finely played and to my mind best of the reconstructions of the fourth movement.

A fine disc which compliments for me the Schuricht VPO version (EMI) and above all Jochum /DSO (EMI) thus adding another crown in this partnership. Put it on, sit down, relax, listen and enjoy, letting the music wash over you in waves of sound.
Bruckner as played here will, if you let it, send you a little nearer into the mystery of creation.Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version of Bruckner's 11th Symphony, 26 May 2012
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This review is from: Bruckner: Symphony No.9 - Four Movement Version (MP3 Download)
Whatever you might think of other people completing dead men's symphonies (Elgar's 3rd, Mahler's 10th, Moeran's 2nd etc), it is clear that Bruckner never intended us to hear his last symphony as just a 3 movement work. Used as we might be to hear the ending of this symphony with the resigned harmony of the slow movement, it is not what he would have written. So a completed version, even by the hand of a group of scholars working with Bruckner's sketches, is at least as realistic as what most other conductors give us and in many ways more so. It is also, given the significance of 9th symphonies in the symphonic world as a whole, important to remember that this is his 11th work in the genre if you take in to account the unnumbered 0 and 00 symphonies. This gives it a less doom-laden significance than we might normally think. However, the actual content of the symphony is more forward-looking than any of Bruckner's symphonies with strong dissonances abounding and a sense that he had more in him should he have lived longer. So in terms of the content itself, I have no reservations about concept of completing the work.
When we come to the performance, I was also strongly impressed. Rattle secures playing and a genuine Bruckner sound from the Berliner Philharmoniker that is well in keeping with the tradition of Bruckner playing from this orchestra developed by Furtwangler, Karajan and Gunter Wand - a superb and weighty orchestral sound that has plenty of power for the big climaxes. EMI too have given it a fine recording, not always the case with their Berlin recordings (cf. their version of Mussorgsky's Pictures). Rattle seems to have finally cut his spurs as a Bruckner interpreter. Indeed, I wonder if he is at his best when he has a more missionary purpose in his music-making i.e. his strong advocacy of contemporary and modernist music. I thought the most interesting thing about his Berlin recording of The Planets was not the main suite but the series of what he called asteroids by contemporary composers. Maybe if he had recorded just the 3 movement work, we wouldn't have such a committed performance as this. Whether or not this 4 movement version becomes the standard way to perform Bruckner's last symphony only time will tell. But with such strong advocacy as this, there is a chance it will. In the meantime, I think this recording is deserving of nomination for some of this years awards.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to hear from a front-rank orchestra but...., 24 May 2012
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Truth told I'd never have imagined Rattle a Brucknerian and other reviewers seem of the same view. His forte is the modern repertoire for which he has done a great deal. To sum up: this is an adequate performance,within the bounds of "average". A few tempi raised eyebrows but no one knows how Bruckner would have altered his score on a final look-over so there's scope for interpretation.

The recorded sound seemed...what? Thick? Above 'mf' the texture/detail become lost in a blurr of loudness. Rattle is happy to balance a tutti in favour of the brass which is to some listeners' taste.

As for the Finale - well, the good news first: Rattle is pretty good. At least the fugue SOUNDS like a fugue (which is more than you can say for Schaller doing the Carragan version. I think most people now agree Schaller's is something of a washout and does Carragan a disservice). This evolution from the SPCM syndicate seems less convincing than its 2007 realisation performed by Layer. In this revision the coda doesn't seem to fit. Nothing introduces it so the last few minutes are just, you guessed it, one grand noise. The work, considering its otherwise enormity finishes on just one short chord. Instincts tell me Bruckner would have done more than that. There are glorious moments, sure, and while no one has a clue how Bruckner would have composed his coda, earlier SPCM constructions seem more likely than this one, perhaps because in deference they pretended to nothing more.

I tend to prefer Carragan's reconstructions. But we're all entitled to our preferences and there'll be many with whom this reading finds favour. Moreover, its performance by a front-rank orchestra at last exposes it to the mainstream. Will this be a breakthrough? I somehow doubt it though I fervently believe the finale needs to be heard. Without at least Harnoncourt's performance of fragments we'd have had no chance to evaluate Bruckner's final triumphal gesture.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic Finale, 27 Aug 2013
By 
J. Johnson "Jon J" (Birmingham U.K.) - See all my reviews
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Having listened to several completed ninths' none of which totally fulfill, surely this one finally does Bruckner the justice he deserves. Rattle is in tremendous form with his Berliners, my only criticism ( a small one at that ) is maybe the brass climaxes could have been slightly louder, but the overall performance is wonderful and adds a 'completed' work to the concert repertoire. Full marks Sir Simon.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After 120 years, finally Bruckner's Ninth (almost) complete and in a magnificent interpretation, 10 Dec 2012
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After almost 120 years, and thanks to the patient work of 4 musicologist who dedicated 30 years to rediscover in the archives and private collections the music Bruckner wrote in his late year of life, we are able to hear his last masterpiece in a quite complete form.
It is very clear when listening at this CD that sir Simon Rattle did a great job with the music of the Finale, which is frequently surprising and harsh, unexpected and difficult to understand at the first time, but more and more convincing when you hear it more times. He offers a magnificent interpretation of the symphony as a whole, as a four-movements work as Bruckner conceived it. The Finale for the first time shows a convincing Coda with makes a lot of sense and Rattle does his best to transmit all the feelings Bruckner put into his last music. Thanks, Mr. Samale, Mr. Mazucca, Mr.Cohrs, Mr. Phillips, Mr. Cohrs for your magnificent job, and Sir Simon and EMI to allow us to be part of this fantastic event.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Bruckner 9th, 22 Oct 2012
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I have several recordings of the original Bruckner 9th Symphony, but this recording with the added 4th movement is well worth buying. Those familiar with Bruckner will notice a resemblence to the 8th Symphony, where the last movement contains themes from the previous ones. The notes/writeups are also very informative concerning the background to the completion of this amazing work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With Brucker's 9th more is more!, 29 May 2012
By 
R. C. Ross (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bruckner: Symphony No.9 - Four Movement Version (MP3 Download)
At last we are able to hear Bruckner's 9th in a form approaching that which was always in his mind. It is as perverse to perform Bruckner's 9th with only three movements as it is to present Mahler's 10th with only the first movement adagio.

Concluding the symphony with the adagio has always been a disservice to the composer. Bruckner himself made clear that his ninth should not be performed with only three movements; doing so offers a psychology, spirituality and theology wholly alien to the composer's conception and intention. Bruckner's `make-do' solution, to conclude with the Te Deum, was not musically ideal - a fact he knew better than anyone! But his decision is appropriate theologically and spiritually, in a way that ending with the adagio never can be.

Of course there are many superb performances of the three movements, and in that form the work is still great. But to present the symphony as a three movement work precludes the possibility of the symphony registering as the transcendent affirmation of the composer's faith - an intention clearly indicated by his idea of concluding with the affirmation of the Te Deum - (a theological decision rather than a musical one) - and his dedication of the 9th to 'dem lieben Gott'!

It may be argued that any of the available recordings that include a performing version of the forth movement convey Bruckner's intention more accurately than even the most excellent version of the first three movements. Of recordings of the four movement work the Naxos version has maybe the strongest claim for attention - but that may change as, hopefully, other great Bruckner conductors (among whom Rattle does not really figure) take up the challenge.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Also a bit disappointed., 27 May 2012
This orchestra has Bruckner in its blood but Rattle hasn't quite drawn it forth. He does quite well - many inferior performances exist on record out there but this is no show-stopper.

The sound came as a surprise. It's bold and brazen but emphasising the brass to the extent Rattle does obliterates detail here and there, comes over muddy.

Back in the 1960s EMI made some wonderful, intensely powerful recordings of Bruckner with Klemperer and the New Philharmonia. They are cleaner, more balanced, more rousing, more inspired as recordings go than this offering. (Avoid Klemperer performing the 8th with his strange cuts in the finale.)

On the good side, a top orchestra has brought a 4-movement version to the front. There's already plenty of comment here on what was left of the score after souvenir hunters nicked manuscripts from Bruckner's death bed. Point to note is that the SPCM finale is not the only one and in itself exists in several revisions. The committee claims this is the final one. Does it convince? Some reviewers appear to be convinced it's as close to Bruckner as we can hope to get. I wasn't entirely but again it could be Rattle. I'm familiar with Harnoncourt's "workshop" that demonstrates some truly triumphant moments, some trepidation (of the divine?) But also some of the most gorgeous music Bruckner wrote. It was his final statement. So, as this reconstruction contains about 18 minutes' of Bruckner's own music, tarted up here and there a little heavy-handedly by SPCM, it is substantially Bruckner, so with a little imagination we can be informed of most of what he wanted to say.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 10 Jun 2012
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A wonderful new version of Bruckner 9 with the final movement a revelation. It changes the whole balance of the work from a sad farewell to a triumphant exit. It is a must for anyone who loves Bruckner's music.
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Bruckner: Symphony No.9 - Four Movement Version
Bruckner: Symphony No.9 - Four Movement Version by Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker
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