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Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor

Gunter Wand Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Faut-il, pour livrer une interprétation historique de la Neuvième symphonie d'Anton Bruckner, laisser du temps au temps ? C'est ce que semble vouloir nous dire l'expérience proposée par Gunter Wand. À plus de 80 ans, le chef allemand signe là un de ses meilleurs enregistrements. Cette symphonie magistrale et divine (Anton Bruckner lui-même la dédia au "Bon Dieu") résume tout l'art du compositeur allemand. Même si elle reste inachevée, on retrouve dans cette partition gigantesque tout le savoir-faire orchestral de Bruckner. Véhémences sonores, utilisation réaliste du pouvoir évocateur de chaque instrument sont deux des plus grands talents de Bruckner. Tel un peintre, il joue et dispose d'une infinité de couleurs qui, mises côte à côte, provoquent des émotions singulières. Dans cette ultime symphonie, on est frappé par les ampleurs dynamiques de l'écriture, admirablement rendues par la direction intelligente de Gunter Wand. Une rencontre historique pour un enregistrement qui le sera certainement. --Jeanne Semprin

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By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 is discussed more often than performed. Should the final two movements for which we have the composer's sketches be 'realised' and included in performance or is the final work of this Romantic giant complete as it stands? One listening to the majestic, spiritually uplifting symphony and the answer seems obvious: the symphony IS complete. Bruckner was one of the more misunderstood composers in history and much of that was due to the fact that he was an apparently simple organist, devoted to God, with a penchant for wooing young, poor maids, and a man so sensitive to criticism that he spent much of his life re-writing his symphonies in reaponse to 'suggestions' from his colleagues and critics, an attribute that labelled him an idiot savant composer well into the 20th Century. His symphonies are indelibly stamped with his personal language - episodic, frequent climaxes of such power that the sudden reversion to quiet pizzicato strains at the peak of his musical mountains can be jarring; his love and use of German landler that serve to ground his monuments to heaven with patches of the countryside of earth; his quotations from Wagner, etc.
But well over a hundred years since his death his extraordinary gifts as a symphonist are held in awe and most orchestras have made his works a staple in their repertoire. All but the mighty 9th. Fortunately this magnum opus is gaining more frequent playings by important orchestras and conductors: Pierre Boulez just gave us his examination and majestic performance with the LA Philharmonic, revealing once again how this contemporary composer can reveal hidden secrets in the massively romantic symphonies. The recording here is by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Gunther Wand and is a joy in every way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gunter Wand's Bruckner is the one to own. Nov. 14 2004
By Prescott Cunningham Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I was initially wowed by Wand's amazing handling of Bruckner's great 8th Symphony and I have, since then, bought all the Gunter Wand/Berlin Philharmonic recordings. They are all equally impressive.

Wand's handling of the ninth is no less inspired. His tempos are firm, yet expressively flexible. The opening movement begins eerily, almost mundanely, but soon erupts in a forceful passion. Wand's amazing ability to build and subsequently release tension is artfully showcased in this work. Climaxes sound unearthly; pianos, like whispers. The frightening and tonally complex Scherzo is equally exciting. Foreshadowing the tonality of Schoenburg and the rhythms of Stravinsky, the Scherzo's demonic qualities are brought out under Wand's hand. However, the real highlight of the disc is the monumental Adagio. Its beauty is unmatched in the repertoire, building powerfully, but fading, like a dream, into nothingness. It is, in a way, a fitting way for Bruckner to leave this earth. Wand's interpretation is equally fitting for this movement. He allows the music to unfold naturally and majestically while still maintaining his precise control. Never has the Philharmonic sounded so alive - even under Karajan, the strings have never sounded so rich, so pure, so beautiful. This is the only recording of the ninth that truly is a fitting testament to Bruckner.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Live Recording Jan. 18 2002
By Noah Lambert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the most moving and monumental works in the symphonic repertoire. Even though it is not finished (there is no fourth movement by Bruckner) it still clocks on at about an hour. That aside, Bruckner was a very religious man who worked on the Ninth Symphony right up into his death. This symphony is very evocative of the composer's mortality and at several points I almost sense Bruckner's ascension to heaven or other images liken to it. This album is beautifully played. Gunter Wand who came to Bruckner late in life, gives what I think is almost a perfect interpretation. The Berlin Philharmonics playing is marvelous. This is great Album and a highly recommended place to start with Bruckner (this and his fourth symphony).
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Symphony Unfinished Only in the Composer's Mind May 17 2003
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 is discussed more often than performed. Should the final two movements for which we have the composer's sketches be 'realised' and included in performance or is the final work of this Romantic giant complete as it stands? One listening to the majestic, spiritually uplifting symphony and the answer seems obvious: the symphony IS complete. Bruckner was one of the more misunderstood composers in history and much of that was due to the fact that he was an apparently simple organist, devoted to God, with a penchant for wooing young, poor maids, and a man so sensitive to criticism that he spent much of his life re-writing his symphonies in reaponse to 'suggestions' from his colleagues and critics, an attribute that labelled him an idiot savant composer well into the 20th Century. His symphonies are indelibly stamped with his personal language - episodic, frequent climaxes of such power that the sudden reversion to quiet pizzicato strains at the peak of his musical mountains can be jarring; his love and use of German landler that serve to ground his monuments to heaven with patches of the countryside of earth; his quotations from Wagner, etc.
But well over a hundred years since his death his extraordinary gifts as a symphonist are held in awe and most orchestras have made his works a staple in their repertoire. All but the mighty 9th. Fortunately this magnum opus is gaining more frequent playings by important orchestras and conductors: Pierre Boulez just gave us his examination and majestic performance with the LA Philharmonic, revealing once again how this contemporary composer can reveal hidden secrets in the massively romantic symphonies. The recording here is by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Gunther Wand and is a joy in every way. The pacing of the symphony is astute, the joyful 2nd movement with all of its references to Bruckner's earlier symphonies is played with a magnificent range of sonics, and the intensely spiritual 3rd movement with all of the uses of the Dresden Amen melodies builds in awe-inspiring intensity like a heart bursting with longing and acceptance of life on earth ending. The symphony ends in a gentle exhale of stunned quiet, the release of the spirit from the corporeal body. This is a live performance thankfully free of any aural evidence of an audience, but imbued with the physical tension that only live recordings can completely embrace. The Berlin Philharmonic is up to its highest standards of playing and Wand lets the symphony breathe. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the Wand / Berlin / Bruckner performances Jan. 11 2011
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a respectable Bruckner 9, no doubt about that. Wand knows unerringly how to pace this mighty symphony. While he clearly has at his disposal a first class orchestra, the Berlin Phil no longer sounds like they did in yesteryear, particularly in the strings. The `saturated fat' sonority has gone. Some might say that's a good thing but I am not one of them. Even so, Wand has a clear eye on Bruckner's use of woodwind through this work and the Berliners do not let him down in this department. All in all, this performance is collectable enough - but it ain't the Karajan '77 Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Herbert von Karajan / Berlin Philharmonic
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 10 2014
By Paul J. Dangelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gunter Wand conducted wonderfully
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