A flowing and cohesive account of Bruckner’s ultimate (unfinished) Symphony continues this team’s distinguished series. Certainly, the outer movements flow, sometimes the first is urgent or retreating; sometimes the slow (final) movement is gloriously noble or regretful, and it’s here that this performance, from last year’s Salzburg Festival, reaches its zenith and fully engages, deeply involved with Last Rites, burdened with doubt, if a little held-back at the grinding/dissonant climax. Sandwiched between these similarly-timed movements, the Scherzo is rapid, not as hard-hitting or as gawky as it can be (although quiet timpani detail is crystal-clear), and the Trio is a little lethargic.
Christian Thielemann is recording all eleven Bruckner Symphonies, including the unnumbered F-minor and D-minor (Die Nullte) examples, and a complete box is already mooted. Hopefully, respecting those who have invested in the individual issues, collectors will be able to continue in this way: remaining are the unnumbered works and numbers 1, 2, 6 and 7. Meanwhile, this Ninth is on Sony Classical 19658729902 and very well recorded.