Bruckner’s final Symphony, which he left unfinished, receives an interesting, often revealing, account that is anything but one-foot-in-the-grave. Iván Fischer’s conducting of the three movements that Bruckner completed – superbly played and recorded (March 2021, Budapest Congress Center [sic]) – presents a composer of creative virility, lusting for life if advanced in compositional thought. Fischer keeps the music on the move (fifty-five minutes overall) with articulations and details rendered afresh, a purposeful reading of the first movement with no lack of weight and power when required, although the dancing (antiphonal) violins during the coda come across as faintly comical … that said, Bruckner seems to have enjoyed a jig when away from his composing labours. Fischer’s way the Scherzo is demonic yet airily textured and he is still able to give even quicker momentum to the Trio (which is how it should be) and ensure it is suitably mercurial. The slow movement is wonderfully dignified, with no excess of sentimentality, if with intense anguish, a moment of radiance, a disturbing climax, and concluding bars that leave in no doubt there was (should have been, as now completed by others) more music to come… Doubts, a few, but Fischer is essential listening on Channel Classics CCS SA 42822 [SACD].
Iván Fischer & the Budapest Festival Orchestra record Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony for Channel Classics.
Oct 16, 2022 | Recording Reviews | 0 comments