Anton Brucker died before he was able to complete the final fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony, and in the years since then the work has become accepted in its three-movement form, ending with his bittersweet “Farewell to Life” Adagio. However, in recent years scholars have gradually built an argument for an epic finale which incorporates and eclipses all of the previous movements, closing the work with triumphant, transcendent brass chorale.
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in this exciting new recording featuring the 2011 revision by Samale/Mazzuca/Phillips/Cohrs (SMPC) – arguably the most comprehensive and accurate. In what is regarded as the definitive form of the Ninth Symphony, this is the first recording of a new revision of the SMPC Complete Performance Version which proposes a way to realize Bruckner’s intention of combining themes from all four movements, based on more than 600 bars of incomplete autograph score, sketches and drafts.
Recently Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic gave the American premiere of the score at Carnegie Hall on February 24, 2012. The New York Times praised the premiere: “It was fascinating to hear this monumental symphony performed with [its new] final movement. After a quizzical opening and a strong statement of the main theme there are stretches of fitful counterpoint, brass chorales and ruminative passages that take you by surprise. Overall the music pulses with a hard-wrought insistence that crests with a hallelujah coda.”