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Symphony No. 9 (Bruckner)
|Symphony No. 9|
|by Anton Bruckner|
|Composed||1887 (1887) – 1896 (1896): (unfinished)|
|Dedication||To the beloved God|
|Movements||4 started, 3 completed|
Symphony No. 9 in D minor is the last symphony upon which Anton Bruckner worked, leaving the last movement incomplete at the time of his death in 1896; the symphony was premiered under Ferdinand Löwe in Vienna in 1903. Bruckner dedicated it "to the beloved God" (in German, dem lieben Gott).
(While it may seem logical to call this work "Symphony in D minor, opus posthumous", that usually refers to the "nullified" Symphony in D minor.)
Bruckner is said to have dedicated his Ninth Symphony to "the beloved God". Although this is not documented directly in writing, Bruckner should after oral communication from his doctor, Dr. med. Richard Heller, and the tradition by August Göllerich and Max Auer before his death have expressed as follows:
"You see, I have already dedicated two earthly majesty symphonies to poor King Ludwig as the royal patron of the arts [VII. Symphony, note d. Ed.] To our illustrious, dear Emperor as the highest earthly majesty, whom I acknowledge [VIII. Symphony, note d. Ed.] And now I dedicate my last work to the majesty of all the majesties, the beloved God, and hope that he will give me so much time to complete the same."
Immediately after the end of the 8th Symphony on 10 August 1887, Bruckner began work on the Ninth. First draft sketches, which are stored in the Jagiellonska Library, Kraków, dated 12 August 1887. At the beginning of a first score of the first movement is the date September 21, 1887. The work on the first movement was soon interrupted again: Bruckner had sent the conductor Hermann Levi the score of his Eighth, who found the orchestration impossible in his view, and suggested that Bruckner rework it. Bruckner then revised the Eighth. During this revision, he began, from March 1888 to March 1889 to work on his Third. In addition, he had to do revision work on the Second Symphony, which came on February 12, 1889 to the end (for the Second, the publication was planned in 1892). The Eighth received its final form on March 10, 1890. Furthermore, revisions of the 1st and 4th Symphony and the F minor Mass took place.
"Loud secrets today. H. Doctor! [...] 3rd secret. The Ninth Symphony (D minor) has begun." Bruckner announced in a letter dated February 18, 1891 to the reviewer Theodor Helm and thus concealed that the first writing of the Ninth lay nearly four years back. "Bruckner then composed two choral-symphonic works, the 150th Psalm (1892) and the male choral work Helgoland (1893). In 1887 the first movement of the Ninth was begun and completed after six years - on December 23, 1893. The Scherzo, designed as early as 1889, was completed on February 15, 1894 - the Adagio on November 30, 1894. From the Trio three different versions have been handed down: a discarded Trio No. 1 in F major draft exists. The partially present in score form, also discarded Trio No. 2 in F♯ major and 2/4 time contains a special feature: a viola solo. A bifolio of the final Trio No. 3 in F♯ major is stored in the Austrian National Library. With regard to the final sentence, the following entry can be found in Bruckner's calendar: "24. Mai 895 1.mal Finale neue Scitze". Overall, the work on the Ninth stretched over the long period from 1887 to 1896 and had to be interrupted again and again due to the deteriorating health of Bruckner. Finally Bruckner died during the work on the fourth movement.
The first three movements of the Ninth were performed for the first time in the Wiener Musikvereinssaal on February 11, 1903 by the Wiener Concertvereinsorchester, the precursor orchestra of the Wiener Symphoniker, under the conductor Ferdinand Löwe in his own arrangement. Löwe profoundly changed Bruckner's original score by adapting Bruckner's orchestration in the sense of a rapprochement with Wagner's ideal of sound, and making changes to Bruckner's harmony in certain passages (Adagio). He published without comment his treatment, which was long regarded as Bruckner's original. The musicologist Robert Haas pointed in 1931 to the differences between the edition Löwe's and Bruckner's original out and presented bifolio cutout pages of Bruckner against of Löwe. The conductor Siegmund von Hausegger performed both the Löwe-edited and the original Bruckner score, so that the actual premiere of the first three movements of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony took place on April 2, 1932 in Munich. The first recording on LP was made by Siegmund von Hausegger with the Munich Philharmonic in the original version (Edition Alfred Orel) in April 1938.
As already pointed out by Hans-Hubert Schönzeler, Bruckner has "his roots in the music of Palestrina, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert". At the same time, however, Bruckner is also regarded as one of the key innovators of late 19th-century harmony alongside Franz Liszt.
In the Ninth Symphony, Bruckner consistently continues his chosen symphonic path by adhering to the sonata form (extended to the third theme). At the same time he expands the form and enhances it to the monumental. The expansion of the orchestra apparatus is also an expression of this mass increase. The Bruckner researcher Alfred Orel states: "If one looks at the overall apparatus that Bruckner uses, the most striking thing is the amount of sound that was hitherto unknown in absolute music." - and Orel draws the conclusion: "The orchestra of the IX , Bruckner's symphony is only the end point of Bruckner's aural development line with regard to the means used. [...] The decisive factor, however, is not the mass of means of expression, but the way in which they are used. "With reference to the Adagio of the Ninth, he emphasizes:" As in Strings of the group, woodwinds and brass instruments are soon to be juxtaposed, soon to be coupled again in the most diverse ways, and united to form an inseparable whole, as well as in individual sound the instruments of these groups. On the one hand the open work, on the other hand Bruckner's peculiarity to form his themes often out of short phrases, mean that an instrument seldom emerges solo for a long time without interruption."
According to Ekkehard Kreft, "the phases of improvement in the Ninth Symphony take on a new significance, as they serve to shape the processual character from the starting point of the thematic complex (first theme) to its final destination (main theme)." Both in the first sentence and in the final movement this is expressed in a hitherto unknown dimension. The entry of the main theme is preceded by a harmoniously complicated increase phase. The use of this increasingly complex harmony makes Bruckner the pioneer of later developments. The musicologist Albrecht von Mossow summarizes this with regard to the Ninth as follows: "To the material developments of modernity must be attributed to Bruckner as with other composers of the 19th century, the increasing emancipation of dissonance, the chromatization of harmony, the weakening of tonality, the touch of the Triadic harmonics through the increased inclusion of four- and five-tone sounds, the formal breaks within his symphonic movements, and the revaluation of timbre to an almost independent parameter." In the Ninth Symphony, the great waves of increase frequently lead to a subsequent process of decay. The music psychologist Ernst Kurth expresses this process of development, climax and decay and speaks of the "inner space symbolism of a contrast of sound-specific breadth and emptiness compared to the previous compression and summit position." Here also ties in with Manfred Wagner and called Bruckner as "structuralist". In his Bruckner book he draws the immediate parallel to Stockhausen, "and to his half-hour work Gruppen (1957) for three orchestras, because structure is likewise not so much in the linear genesis, but in the tearing, the dismemberment of the individual apparatus will be shown. As with Bruckner, it is not just about the transfer of the spatial sound conception on the instrumental apparatus, often referred to by interpreters as 'registration', but also to the wealth of types of sound, of colors, of characters [...]."
The fugue is extraordinary in the final movement of the Ninth Symphony, although the inclusion of a fugue in the symphonic context of Bruckner is not uncommon. However, the fugue in the finale of the Ninth has a prominent position, as Rainer Boss explained: "Compared to the other use of the finals main themes as Fugenthema the main theme of the finale of the 9th Symphony has a peculiarity, because it is not accepted unchanged, but for the Fugue transformed in its last two bars. [...] So also for Bruckner conditions 'unusual' form of joint exposure is to explain that exceptionally without the two-bar extension of the comes for the purpose of modulatory regression dux."
Bruckner increasingly refines his technique of citation in the Ninth Symphony. Paul Thissen sums it up in his analysis: "Undoubtedly, the form of integration of quotations used by Bruckner in the Adagio of the Ninth Symphony shows the most differentiated appearance. It ranges from mere montage technique (Miserere citation) to the penetration of the sentence with transformations of the cited motif (Kyrie citation). "
Summing up, Bruckner's Ninth Symphony represents an important link between late romanticism and modernity. With the Ninth, Bruckner not only opens up new soundscapes through the emancipation of dissonance that Wagner had already achieved, but also achieves a new dimension by separating individual chords from once firmly established sound connections the harmony, as it is continued, for example, by Arnold Schoenberg. On the long symphonic tracks (negative sound of silence - sequencing phase - widened peak - decay process) Bruckner expands the form extremely. Thus, Bruckner's structural structure with its Ninth Symphony also makes it a pioneer of modernism.
The symphony has four movements, although the fourth is incomplete and fragmentary:
- I. Feierlich, misterioso (D minor)
- II. Scherzo: Bewegt, lebhaft (D minor); Trio. Schnell (F-sharp major)
- III. Adagio: Langsam, feierlich (E major)
- IV. Finale: Misterioso, nicht schnell (D minor, incomplete)
Much material for the finale in full score may have been lost very soon after the composer's death, and therefore some of the lost sections in full score survived only in two-to-four-stave sketch format. The placement of the Scherzo second, and the key, D minor, are only two elements this work has in common with Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
The symphony is so often performed without any sort of finale that some authors describe "the form of this symphony [as] … a massive arch, two slow movements straddling an energetic Scherzo."
The score calls for three each of flutes, oboes, clarinets in B♭ and A, bassoons, with eight horns (5.–8. Hn. doubling on Wagner tubas), three trumpets in F, three trombones, contrabass tuba, timpani and strings.
- Movements 1–3: ca. 55–65 min. (1: 535 bars, 2: 512 bars, 3: 243 bars)
- Movement 4 (Completions):
- Carragan: ca. 22 min. (717 bars)
- Josephson: ca. 15 min. (644 bars)
- Letocart: ca. 25 min. (674 bars)
- Samale-Mazzuca-Phillips-Cohrs: ca. 25 min. (665 bars)
- Schaller: ca. 25 min. (736 bars)
- Free composition incorporating material from the Finale sketches: P. J. Marthé: ca. 30 min.
- Replacement of the 4th movement by the Te Deum: ca. 23 min.
The first movement in D minor (alla breve) is a freely designed sonata movement with three thematic parts. At the beginning, the strings in the tremolo intone the root note d, which is solidified in the third bar by the woodwinds. A first thematic nucleus sounds in the horns as a "(fundamental) tone repetition in the triple-dotted rhythm, from which the interval of the third, then the fifth dissolves, fits into the underlying metric order structure by caesurating strokes of the timpani and trumpets. A symphony can hardly begin more primitive, elemental, archetypal." The typical phenomenon of sound splitting for Bruckner occurs in bar 19: the root note D is dissociated into its neighboring notes E♭ and D♭. A bold E-flat major upswing of the horns announces something auspicious. As a result, an extended development phase prepares the entry of the main theme. Manfred Wagner points to the specificity of Bruckner's music, which underlies the principle of development and the exploration of sound: "Bruckner still believes in the compelling musical thought, but concludes it as the culmination of development, but he knows that in the future it will be much more about the circumstances, how something will be than what it will be." Bruckner's path of theme creation is getting longer; it takes more and more time for the main idea to break out.
The powerful main theme in the first movement impresses by the fact that the D minor sound space is first confirmed by the rhythmically striking octave transposition of the notes d and a. Suddenly there is a deviation to the sound of it or to C♭ major. The latter is reinterpreted as a dominant to E minor. It follows a multiple cadence over C major and G minor to A major - and finally to D major. The subsequent, in its beginning phrygian seeming decay phase is at the same time a transition to the lyrically cantabile side theme - the so-called singing period. The interval of falling sexes, which will also play a role in the unfinished fourth movement, forms an integral part of the head motif of the singing period. Subsequently, Bruckner composes a pristine transitional phase, which in turn prepares the use of the third theme. This third thought, with its quint-quart motive, has a strong affinity with the theme of Te-Deum recurring in the finale.
At the end of the exposure, there is a pause on the note F. Seamlessly follows the implementation. With regard to the formal design of the performance and the subsequent reprise, Bruckner takes his symphonic path a step further by not separating the two sections, but merging them. Already Alfred Orel emphasizes: "These two parts [execution and recapitulation] have become the internal plant not only by soldering the seam into a unified whole. The implementation consists of an extension of the main theme, but without changing the arrangement of the motif material in its tripartite division. Thus, the first part of the main theme experiences a repetition - not true to the original but the inner essence. The repetition, however, is combined with the motif material of the second part in the inversion as accompaniment. The second part is also extended and, as in the exposition, leads to the third part and climax with the same increase as in the exposition. [...] This climax is also extended by repeated, increasing sequencing. The sudden conclusion of the exposition is avoided; It is replaced by a short performance of the motif material of this climax with a new motive for independent accompaniment that determines the character of this passage." Finally, a summit point results on the third part of the main theme. A repeated transfer is omitted. An organ point on the note a slows down the movement and prepares the varied page set. The seemingly incomplete reprise begins - the three-part sonata form here returns to its original bipartite nature. The coda again dominates the material of the main theme, which is enhanced by a persistent, punctuated rhythm and the repeated juxtaposition of E flat major and D minor to a provisional, yet to be released apotheosis.
Bruckner's tendency to telescope sonata form development and recapitulation finds its fullest realization in this movement, the form of which Robert Simpson describes as "Statement, Counterstatement and Coda." An unusually large number of motifs are given in the first subject group, and these are substantially and richly developed on restatement and in the coda. The main theme of the movement, which is given by the full orchestra, contains an octave fall that is effectively in a quadruple-dotted rhythm (Whole note tied to triple-dotted half note).
The second theme group shifts the music to A major and begins quietly. This section is played more slowly than the first and the violins carry the initial theme:
The third theme group returns to D minor and prominently features the horns.
Bruckner also cites material from his earlier works: at a point near the coda, Bruckner quotes a passage from the first movement of his Seventh Symphony. The concluding page of the movement, in addition to the usual tonic (I) and dominant (V) chords, given out in a blaze of open fifths, uses a Neapolitan flat (ii; the rising E flat figure from bar 19) in grinding dissonance with both I and V.
The Scherzo in D minor (¾ bar) unusually begins with an empty bar. After this pause, the woodwinds intone a distinctive rhythmic dissonance chord with the sounds E, G♯, B♭ and C♯. This chord can be analyzed in several ways. The musicologist Wolfram Steineck gives the following explanation: "As undoubtedly the turn to C sharp minor can be heard, it is from the beginning also dominantly related to D minor, so at least ambiguous. [...] It is the dominant root a, which is split into its two surrounding halftones and gives the sound its characteristic subdominant character, without taking the dominant part." Here, too, the phenomenon of tone splitting is significant. However, while the tone dissociation in the first movement concerned the tonic and was relatively late, in the scherzo, immediately at the beginning, the tone a located in the center of a dominant A major sixth chord is split into its neighbors g sharp and b flat. The frame interval of this chord is the sixth, which is thematically and structurally immanent in the Ninth. In a sketch of January 4, 1889, Bruckner's comment is to be found: "E Fund[ament] Vorhalt auf Dom" - and thus according to Steinbeck "the sound is also theroetic on e, but is dominant, e.g. 'Vorhalt' to the A major sound and thus stands in the fifth interval [...].". However, this characteristic chord can also be heard as a double-diminished quintze chord on C♯ with highly advanced quint G♯, which is a ladder in harmonic minor on the seventeenth degree. In the end, his target point is the tone D or a D minor context, which is then reached after a complicated harmonic development phase. Almost violently, the Scherzo theme breaks through, energetically throbbing and contrasting with the ghostly introductory theme. In the middle part, the thematic material is further varied and receives an elegiac and sometimes even dance-like tone. After a return to the beginning of an energetic coda purposefully concludes.
The three-part Trio in F sharp major and fast 3/8 bar literally misleads the listener with its ambiguity and its metrically and rhythmically unexpected shifts. The repeated F sharp major triads are alienated by the lead tones F and C - overall, the Trio has a ghostly effect. While the two earlier Trio drafts of 1889 and 1893 are still more in folksy tone, the final F sharp major trio places the bizarre, the bold and the fantastical in the foreground, which is why "not a few believe that the scherzo of the IX. the most ingenious thing that Bruckner ever wrote."
The opening chord of the Scherzo, often cited as prophetic of the harmonic advances of the 20th century, is tonally ambiguous in regard to the principal D minor tonality of the movement. It could be said that folk elements are still in evidence, as in other Bruckner scherzi, but this music is of such savagery that such naïve elements are easier to ignore, even if they were intended by the composer.
Bruckner composed three successive versions of the Trio:
- The first version (1889), in F major, in Ländler style with solo of viola, recalls some ideas of that of Symphony No. 8. Note the pizzicato accompaniment by the quarter-notes at the outset of the Te Deum, which the composer will also use in the sketches of the Finale.
- The second version (1893), in the remote key of F-sharp major, also in Ländler style with solo of viola, has a somewhat ethereal look. The mid-part contains a reminiscence to the Hallelujah from Händel's Messiah.
- The final version (1894), also in F♯ major, is unusually fast in tempo for a Trio. The slower mid-part contains, as in the previous version, a reminiscence to the Hallelujah from Händel's Messiah.
The three versions of the Trio have been edited by Cohrs. There is a recent available recording of the three versions of the Trio edited and arranged for chamber orchestra by Ricardo Luna, Bruckner unknown, CD Preiser Records Vienna PR 91250, 2013.
The three-part Adagio in E major (4/4) "has experienced innumerable interpretations seeking its mood and will undoubtedly experience these in the future." For example, August Göllerich and Max Auer see the beginning "in the bleak mood of the erring one Parsifal (Prelude to Richard Wagner's Third Act of the Dedication Festival)." In terms of compositional analysis, the phenomenon of tone splitting also plays a role in this sentence beginning. The initial tone b is split or differs in its two neighboring notes c and a sharp, whereby the distinctive ninth interval jump gives the beginning of the movement an intensive sound charge. The following chromatic downhill c, b, a sharp, leads to a sudden crash of octaves, followed by a diatonic upright phrases ending in a plaintive tone. Just as there is no second Scherzo on Bruckner that begins with a composed pause, Bruckner finds "no other Adagio that raises without any accompaniment, with a unanimous melodic movement." However, this movement beginning was by no means planned unanimously from the beginning, as Bruckner's sketches and drafts prove. The rest of the strings and the Wagner tubes set themselves in full tone on the third beat of the second bar. The latter are used here for the first time in the Ninth Symphony - a method that Bruckner has already applied in his 7th Symphony: Here too, at the beginning of his mourning song for the death of Richard Wagner, he prescribes these instruments with their round and dark sound for the first time. Unlike in the Ninth, however, the Adagio of the Seventh already begins with full chord accompaniment. And while in the Seventh the basic key of C sharp minor is set from the beginning, the basic key of E major in the Ninth is initially completely avoided or its manifestation is delayed for a long time.
The striking, second motif shows echoes of the so-called "Dresden Amen". Already Clemens Brinkmann states in principle: "Under the influence of Mendelssohn and Wagner Bruckner used the 'Dresdner Amen' in his church music and symphonic works." - and so this connection can also be established here. The third, brooding motif in pianissimo is marked by the "tired seconds of the double basses." In a lament, the first oboe swings up and becomes part of a sequencing phase that spiraling steadily, eventually leading to the eruption of the fourth motif: a "Pentatonic" Trumpet call repeated in this key [E major] seven times [in each measure] without ever being modified " is presented on a tonally aimless chord face resulting from a multiple quintuplet. Michael Adensamer explains this in detail: "One could interpret at least four keys from this layering (E major, B major, C sharp minor and F sharp minor) and still pass the character of this sound. This character lies in the manifold usefulness of the sound. You could extend it up or down until it covered all twelve tones. In this sense it is unlimited, infinite and basically a-tonal [...]. " On this sound surface, the characteristic trumpet fans are literally staged and counterpointed by a fatefully unfurling horn motif. This motif quotes the expressive beginning of the sentence through the use of the wide-stretched None. More and more ebbs the sound events and flows into a mourning chorale by the horns and the Wagner tubes, which was named after the lore of Auer and Göllerich Bruckner as his "farewell to life". Ernst Decsey also points to this statement by Bruckner and states the following: "Bruckner called this passage [letter B of the score] when he played it to the two Helms, returning in 1894 from Berlin."
The second theme, a soft vocal melody, the structure of which is sometimes "compared to the theme of the late Beethoven", undergoes numerous modifications and variations in the further course. Immediately before the reentry of the main theme, the solo flute descends in a C major tri-verse above the pale sound primer of a quintaltered F sharp major seventh chord of the Wagner tubes, to remain on the sound f sharp after a final tritone fall.
After a silence followed the second part of the Adagio (from bar 77). This is largely based on the components of the main theme complex. The existing material is varied and further developed. The principle of tone splitting is also evident here - above all in the opposite voice of the flute, which as a new element forms a clear counterpoint to the main theme. Only now does the actual implementation work begin, in which the head motif of the first theme is carried up by proudly walking basses. Afterwards, the milder tone of the varied lyric theme dominates again. After a brooding intermediate phase, a renewed increase wave raises, which leads to the climax of the implementation. Once again, trumpets are blaring their already familiar fanfare signals, which abruptly stop. This is followed by the middle part of the vocal theme, which also ends abruptly. Only the very last end of the phrase is taken up by the oboe and declared in the forte - stemming from the horn in the diminutive form and in the piano. After a general break, the sentence pushes briskly wide. The crescendo, which has been stretched over a long distance, breaks off abruptly, followed by an almost shy-looking pianissimo part of the woodwinds, which in turn leads to a chorale-like episode of strings and brass. In the opinion of Constantin Floros there are two passages in the adagio in the sense of a hapax legomena passages, which appear only once and "do not recur in the further course of the sentence. This applies once to the tube [departure from life] at [letter] B. [...] This applies to the other for the chorale-like episode, bars 155-162." This spherically-transfigured passage has its origin structurally in the tubal chorale and decreases at the same time anticipated the chorale idea of the finale.
The third part of the slow movement (from bar 173) begins with a figuratively animated reproduction of the second theme. Constantin Floros emphasizes that the Adagio of the Ninth, as well as the finale, "must be viewed against an autobiographical background." Bruckner composed his Ninth Symphony in the awareness of the approaching death. Accordingly, the existing self-citations such as the Miserere from the D minor Mass (bars 181 ff.) can also be understood in the sense of a religious connotation. In the further course, the two main themes are stored one above the other and finally merge – all this takes place in the context of an enormous increase in sound. Bruckner creates a climax, "as it should seek their monumental, expressive power and intensity in music history unparalleled." The enormous accumulation of sound experiences a sharp-dissonant discharge in the form of a figuratively extended tredecima chord in bar 206. Then Bruckner composed of parts of the first theme and the Miserere quote a reconciling swan song. Finally, the Adagio of the Ninth ends fading away; Ernst Kurth speaks of a "process of dissolution.": At an organ point on E, the Wagner tubes cite the secondary motif from the Adagio of the Eighth Symphony - the horns recall the beginning of the 7th.
Bruckner called this movement his "Farewell to Life." It begins in tonal ambiguity, and is the most troubled opening to a Bruckner adagio yet: though within bars it achieves lyrical serenity and awe. The main theme is a portent for the chromaticism of the movement, starting with an upward leap of a minor ninth and containing all 12 tones of the chromatic scale:
Near the end of the first part, a slowly descending chorale appears. This chorale is cited by Anton Bruckner as the "Farewell to Life". Played by the Wagner tubas, it is in B-flat minor (A tritone above the movement's overall tonic of E):
The second part of the movement presents a somewhat more melodic, lamenting theme on the violins:
Throughout its course, the movement goes back to some of the troubled moods of the earlier movements. A call by the oboe – a quote of the Kyrie of Mass No. 3 – introduces the repeat of the first theme, which is underlined by dramatic trombone appeals. Shortly after, Bruckner also quotes, as a kind of supplication, the Miserere nobis from the Gloria of his Mass in D minor. The following final climax, given by full orchestra, concludes on an extremely dissonant chord, a dominant thirteenth:
Thereafter, in the most serene coda yet, the music alludes to the coda of the Adagio of the Eighth Symphony, and also hints at the Seventh Symphony. These bars of music conclude most live performances and recordings of the symphony, though Bruckner was insistent that they be succeeded by a fourth movement.
The fourth movement has survived only in fragments. The materials of this 4th movement are preserved in various stages of the composition: from simple profiles over partial particell designs to more or less completely prepared score sheets, the so-called "bifolio". A bifolio (German: Bogen) consists of a double paper sheet (four pages). Sometimes, there are multiple bifolios, which document Bruckner's different compositional concepts. The largest part of Bruckner's manuscripts of the final movement can be found in the Austrian National Library in Vienna. Other autographs are located in the Vienna Library, in the library of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, in the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna and in the Jagiellonska Library, Kraków.
For the first time in 1934, the Bruckner researcher Alfred Orel (1889-1967) ordered the passed down drafts and sketches of the Ninth Symphony. He assumed, however, that there are still different versions. The Australian musicologist John A. Phillips, among other things, dealt with the different paper types of the final fragments. A large part of Bruckner's sketches and bifolios can be viewed on the Internet in the works database.
Bruckner's score designs and sketches can be arranged harmoniously, so that a logical musical sequence results. There are five gaps in this musical process. The conclusion of the symphony, the so-called Coda, is missing. The gaps in the musical process are due to the fact that after Bruckner's death sheets of music were lost. The original material was more extensive. Bruckner's first biographer and secretary August Göllerich (1859-1923), who was also the secretary of Franz Liszt, began a comprehensive Bruckner biography, which was completed after his death by the Bruckner researcher Max Auer (1880-1962). In this nine-volume work is reported: "It was an unforgivable mistake that an inventory of the estate was not included and an exact list can not be determined. After Dr. Heller's report [Dr. Richard Heller was Bruckner's attending physician] the sheet music of the Master were laying around and parts of it were taken by qualified and unbidden people. It was even therefore not possible to find the chorale, which the Master had specially composed for Dr. Heller [...]. The Bruckner researcher Max Auer sighted in 1911 the surviving material of the final movement, which was then in the possession of the Bruckner student Joseph Schalk, and he refers to a sketch sheet of Bruckner, which is no longer available today. In his book "Bruckner" he explains: "The sketches [...] reveal a main theme, a fugue theme, a chorale and the fifth theme of the Te Deum." In addition, he writes in his book "Bruckner. His Life and Work": "Once these themes even towered over one another as in the finale of the 'Eight' (8th Symphony)." However, it is not possible to clearly identify which passage of the finale is actually meant.
Many (alleged) utterances by Bruckner concerning his Ninth Symphony have only survived indirectly. Bruckner, fearing that he would not be able to complete his composition, was supposed to have envisioned his Te Deum as the possible end of the symphony. When the conductor Hans Richter (1843-1916) visited Bruckner, it is stated in the third part of volume IV of the Göllerich-Auer-biography: "He [Hans Richter] had scheduled Bruckner's 'Seventh' for a concert of the Philharmonic in autumn and now came to the Belvedere [Bruckner's last apartment was in the so-called Kustodenstöckl of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna] to tell it Bruckner. When Bruckner also communicated to him about his misery over the unfinished 4th movement of the 'Ninth', Richter gave him, as Meissner reports [Anton Meissner was Bruckner's close confidant and also secretary], the advice to complete the symphony, instead of a fourth movement with the Te Deum. The Master was very grateful for this suggestion, but he looked at it only as a last resort. As soon as he felt reasonably better, he sat down at the piano to work on the finale. He now seemed to think of a transition to the Te Deum and promised, as Meissner relates, a tremendous effect on the far-reaching main theme, blasted out by the brass choir, and on the familiar and original introductory bars of the Te Deum, as well as on the singers appearing there. He wanted, as he told Meissner a few times during audition, to shake, as it were, to the gates of eternity'."
About a possible transition music to the Te Deum it continues in the biography: "The Master's student August Stradal and Altwirth assure that he had played for them a 'transition to the Tedeum', Stradal noted out of his memory. This transition music was to lead from E major to C major, the key of the Te Deum. Surrounded by the string figures of the Te Deum, there was a chorale that is not included in the Te Deum. Stradal's remark that the manuscript, that is in Schalk's hands, seems to indicate that it refers to the final bars of the finale score, which Bruckner has overwritten with 'Chorale 2nd Division'. [...] That Bruckner deliberately wanted to bring the Te Deum motif, proves the remark 'Te Deum thirteen bars before the entrance of the Te Deum figure'. As can be proved from the communication of the aforementioned informants, whose correctness can be proved by the hand of the manuscript, the master does not seem to have devised an independent transitional music from the Adagio to the Te Deum, but rather one from the point of reprise, where the coda begins."
As can be seen from the cited sources, August Göllerich, Anton Meißner, August Stradal and Theodor Altwirth, persons who knew Bruckner personally and were familiar with him, report in unison that Bruckner was no longer able to complete an instrumental finale: "Realizing that the completion of a purely instrumental final movement was impossible, he attempted to establish an organic connection to the Te Deum, which was finally proposed to him, and thus to produce an emergency closure of the work, contrary to the tonal misgivings." Bruckner, therefore, certainly had tonal misgivings about ending the D minor symphony in C major. Nevertheless, he drew the variant with the Te Deum as a final replacement - at least according to the testimony of various eyewitnesses - into consideration.
August Göllerich, as his biographer, knew Bruckner personally and collected much information about Bruckner and his environment. The later biographers, who no longer knew Bruckner personally, drew on Göllerich's work. The authentic contemporary statements are therefore sometimes higher than the explanations and assumptions of later generations. If one wants to believe in contemporary biography, Bruckner had improvised the end of the symphony at the piano, but he was no longer able to fix the coda in definitive form and completely in writing.
We know by Anton Bruckner's physician, Dr. Richard Heller, the following words: "You see, I have already dedicated two earthly majesties symphonies, one to poor King Ludwig and another to our illustrious, dear Emperor as the highest earthly majesty whom I recognize, and now I dedicate to the majesty of all majesties, Dear God, I hope that he will give me so much time to complete it and, hopefully, graciously accept my gift. For this reason too, I will bring the alleluia of the second movement to a conclusion in the final movement, so that the symphony ends with a song of praise and praise to the Dear God, to whom I owe so much." Heller continues: "Then he sat down at the piano and played with trembling hands, but correctly and with full force. Often I have regretted that I am not so musically educated that I can replay or write down what I have heard, for then I would have been quite able to sketch the end of the Ninth Symphony. Since he was quite weak at that time, I often asked him to write down the symphony in the main thoughts, but he was unable to do so. He composed the whole instrumental realization page by page, and I believe that he must interpret some of his remarks as meaning that he has in some sense concluded a contract with God in his ideas. If the Dear God wants him to finish the symphony, which was supposed to be a song of praise to God, then he must give him life long enough and as he died earlier, so God himself has to attribute that to himself if he receives an unfinished work." In the extended report of the physician, which Max Auer reproduces in his article "Anton Bruckner's last physician in charge" in 1924, Dr. med. Heller: "Since he was quite weak at that time, I often asked him to write the symphony in the main thoughts, but he was not willing to."
Furthermore, Max Auer explains in his Bruckner book, published by the Amalthea publishing house: "It is true that Bruckner led the pen until the last day of his life to finish his 'Ninth' with a finale. The extensive sketches show that the master also wanted to conclude this work, like the Fifth Symphony, with a purely instrumental finale and a powerful fugue. In the middle of his work on the fugue, death snatched the pen from him. " - And indeed, in the fugue the last almost completely orchestrated score pages are traceable. The subsequent score pages are only incompletely instrumented, although the strings are written down in detail, but the winds are only incomplete or only hinted at.
The movement, as left by Bruckner, features a "jagged" main theme with a double-dotted rhythm:
This insistent double-dotted rhythm pervades the movement. The second theme group begins with a variant of the main theme. The third theme group features a grand chorale, presented by the full brass. This chorale, a "resplendent resurrection" of the "Farewell to Life" of the Adagio, descends in its first half with a similar mood as the Farewell to Life. But in the second half, the chorale ascends triumphantly:
The opening motive of the Te Deum appears before the development begins, played by the flute. The development that follows is brief, but contains a bizarre passage with minor-ninth trumpet calls:
A "wild fugue" begins the recapitulation, using a variant of the main theme as a subject:
After the recapitulation of the chorale, a new "epilogue theme" is introduced. Harnoncourt suggested that it probably would have led to the coda. After this cuts off, the only remaining extant music in Bruckner's hand is the previously mentioned initial crescendo and approach to the final cadence.
The incomplete Finale
Bruckner's manuscripts of the Finale and their history
The fourth movement of Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 is only fragmentary preserved. The currently available Bruckner's manuscript materials are preserved in various stages of the composition, ranging from simple sketches to multi-particle drafts to more or less complete score sheets, the so-called "bifolio". Each sheet consists of a double sheet (four pages). Sometimes there are multiple sheets and they document Bruckner's different compositional concepts. By far the largest part of Bruckner's manuscripts for the final movement is in the Austrian National Library in Vienna. Other autographs are kept in the Vienna Library, in the library of the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, in the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna and in the Jagiellonska Library, Krako.
Bruckner's score drafts and sketches can be arranged harmoniously, resulting in a logical musical process. There are five gaps in this musical process. The conclusion of the symphony, the so-called Coda, is missing. The gaps in the musical process are due to the fact that after Bruckner's death sheet music (sketches, drafts, partichel sketches, incomplete and almost complete score bifolios) was lost. The original material was more extensive. Bruckner's first biographer and secretary August Göllerich (1859-1923), who was also the secretary of Franz Liszt, began an extensive Bruckner biography, which was completed after his death by the Bruckner researcher Max Auer (1880-1962). In this 9th volume work he reports: "It was an unforgivable mistake that an inventory of the estate was not included and an exact list can not be determined. After Dr. Heller's message [Dr. Richard Heller was Bruckner's attending physician] seized upon the death of the Master, Called and Unppointed people took some sheet music lying around. It was therefore not possible to find the chorale, which the master of Dr. Heller had specially composed for him [...]"
Bruckner's estate administrator Theodor Reisch and the testament witnesses Ferdinand Löwe and Joseph Schalk sighted according to the minutes of October 18, 1896 the estate; Joseph Schalk was commissioned to investigate the connection between the Finale Fragments. After his death (1900), the material in his possession came into the possession of his brother Franz; Ferdinand Löwe received further material.
The Bruckner researcher Max Auer sighted in 1911 the surviving final material, which was then in the possession of the Bruckner student Joseph Schalk, and refers to a sketch sheet of Bruckner, which is no longer available today. In his book "Bruckner" he explains: "The sketches of the same reveal a main theme, a fugue theme, a chorale and the quintet theme of Te Deum." In addition, he writes in his book "Bruckner. His life and work": "Once these topics even towered over one another as in the Finale of the 'Eighth'." However, which part of the finale is actually meant with this can not be clearly identified.
Published manuscripts of the Finale
The Bruckner researcher Alfred Orel (1889–1967) ordered in 1934 for the first time the traditional designs and sketches for the Ninth Symphony. However, he still assumed of different versions. The Australian musicologist John A. Phillips dealt among other things with the different paper types of the final fragments. He compiled a selection of the fragments for the Musikwissenschaftlichen Verlag Wien. In his opinion, the material obtained is one of Bruckner carefully numbered "autograph score in the making." According to his research, in May 1896, the sentence in the primary stage of the score (strings added, sketches for wind instruments too) was composed. The exposure was fully completed. In his opinion, half of the final bifolios have been lost to the score today. The course of the gaps, however, can be largely restored from excreted, but little changed earlier versions of individual sheets and extensive Particell sketches. The surviving remains of the score break off shortly before the coda with the 32nd boifolio. According to Phillips, the sketches contain the progress of the coda to the last cadence. The corresponding sketch for the 36th bow still contains the first eight bars with a lying tone d.
A facsimile edition of Bruckner's surviving final material has been published by Musikwissenschaftliche Verlag Wien. The largest part of the fragments can now also be viewed in the works database "Bruckner online".
Performances and Recordings of the manuscripts of the Finale
In 1934, parts of the final sentence fragments in the piano version were edited by Else Krüger and performed by her and Kurt Bohnen in Munich. In 1940, Fritz Oeser created an orchestral installation for the Finale's exposition. This was performed on October 12, 1940 at the Leipzig Bruckner Festival in a concert of the Great Orchestra of the Reichssenders Leipzig with the conductor Hans Weisbach and transmitted by the radio. Conductor Hans-Hubert Schönzeler played major parts of the Finale for BBC with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra in 1974. In his essay Approaching a Torso in 1976, the composer Peter Ruzicka published his research findings regarding the unfinished final movement of the Ninth Symphony. Previously, he recorded parts of the finale with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Peter Hirsch has recorded a selection of the fragments with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin on CD. Nikolaus Harnoncourt performed the final score in a Phillips edition of the Phillips edition with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in Vienna (1999) and in Salzburg (2002).
Bruckner's Te Deum as a replacement of the Finale
Many (alleged) utterances of Bruckner concerning his Ninth Symphony are only indirectly handed down. Bruckner, fearing that he would not be able to cope with the composition, was supposed to have envisioned his Te Deum as the possible end of the symphony. On the occasion of a visit by the conductor Hans Richter (1843-1916) to Bruckner, this is stated in the third part of volume IV of the Göllerich / Auer biography: "This [Hans Richter] had Bruckner's 'Seventh' for a concert of the Philharmonic and now came to tell him this in Belvedere [Bruckner's last apartment was in the so-called Kustodenstöckl the Belvedere Palace in Vienna]. When Bruckner also told him his grief over the unfinished sentence of the 'Ninth' Richter gave him, as Meissner reports [Anton Meissner was Bruckner's close confidant and secretary], the council, to complete the Symphony instead of a fourth movement with the Te Deum. Master was very grateful for this suggestion, but he looked at it only as a last resort. As soon as he felt reasonably better, he sat down to the piano to work on the Finale. He now seemed to think of a transition to the Te Deum and promised, as Meissner relates, a tremendous effect on the far-reaching main theme, blasted out by the brass choir, and on the familiar and original introductory bars of the Te Deum, as well as on the singers appearing there. He wanted, as he told Meissner several times during audition, as it were, to shake the gates of eternity'."
About a possible transition music to the Te Deum it continues: "The Master's student August Stradal and Altwirth assure that he had played them a 'transition to the Tedeum' Stradal noted the memory. This transition music was to lead from E major to C major, the key of the Te Deum. Surrounded by the string figures of the Te Deum, there was a chorale that is not included in the Te Deum. Stradall's remark that the manuscript is in Schalk's seems to indicate that it refers to the final bars of the Finale score, which Bruckner has overwritten with 'Choral 2. Abtheilung'. [...] That Bruckner deliberately wanted to bring the Te Deum motif, proves the remark, Te Deum 'thirteen bars before the Te Deum figure. The master does not seem to have devised an independent transitional music from the Adagio to the Te Deum, but rather one from the point of reprise, where the coda begins, from the communication of the aforementioned informants, whose correctness can be proved by the hand of the manuscript should".
As can be seen from the sources quoted, August Göllerich, Anton Meißner, August Stradal and Theodor Altwirth - persons who knew Bruckner personally and were familiar with him - report in unison that Bruckner was no longer able to complete an instrumental Finale "When he had to realize that the completion of a purely instrumental final Finale was impossible, he tried to establish an organic connection to the Te Deum, which was finally proposed to him, and thus to establish an emergency closure of the work, contrary to tonal reservations." So Bruckner had tonal misgivings about having the symphony, written in D minor, end in C major. Nevertheless, he drew the variant with the Te Deum as a final replacement - at least according to the testimony of various eyewitnesses - into consideration.
The last days of Bruckner
August Göllerich knew Bruckner personally and, as his biographer, collected much information about Bruckner and his environment. The later biographers, who no longer knew Bruckner personally, drew on Göllerich's work. The authentic contemporary statements are therefore rated sometimes higher than the explanations and assumptions of later generations. If one wants to believe in contemporary biography, Bruckner had improvised the end of the symphony at the piano, but he was no longer able to fix the coda in definitive form and completely in writing.
Anton Bruckner's doctor, Dr. Richard Heller, reproduces Bruckner's following text again: "You see, I have already dedicated two earthly majesty symphonies to poor King Ludwig and our illustrious, dear Emperor as the highest earthly majesty, whom I recognize, and now I dedicate to the majesty of all majesties the beloved God, I hope that he will give me so much time to complete it and, hopefully, graciously accept my gift. For this reason too, I will bring the alleluia of the second movement to a conclusion in the Finale, so that the symphony ends with a song of praise and praise to the dear God, to whom I owe so much." Heller continues: "Then he sat down at the piano and played themes with trembling hands, but correctly and with full force. Often I have regretted that I am not musically educated enough to be able to replay or write down what I have heard, because then it would have been quite possible for me to sketch perhaps the conclusion of the Ninth Symphony. Since he was quite weak at that time, I often asked him to write down the symphonies in the main thoughts, but he was not able to be motivated to do so. He composed the whole instrumental realization side by side, and I believe that he must interpret some of his remarks as meaning that he has in some sense concluded a contract with God in his ideas. If the good God wants him to finish the symphony, which was supposed to be a song of praise to God, then he must give it life as long as he died earlier, so God himself has to blame himself if he gets an unfinished work." In the extended report of the physician, which Max Auer reproduces in his article "Anton Bruckner's last doctor in charge" in 1924, adds. Heller: "Since he was quite weak at that time, I often asked him to write down the symphony in the main thoughts, but he was not able to get motivated to do so."
Furthermore, Max Auer explains in his Bruckner book, published by the Amalthea publishing house: "It is true that Bruckner led the pen until the last day of his life to finish his 'Ninth' with a Finale. The extensive sketches show that the master also wanted to conclude this work, like the Fifth Symphony, with a purely instrumental Finale and a powerful fugue. In the middle of his work on the Fugue, death robbed him of the pen." - And indeed, the last almost completely orchestrated score pages are traceable in the fugue. The subsequent score pages are only incompletely instrumented, although the strings are quoted extensively, but the winds are incomplete or only hinted at.
Completions of the Finale
Although Bruckner is supposed to have suggested using his Te Deum as the finale of the Ninth Symphony, there have been several attempts to complete the symphony with a fourth movement based on Bruckner's surviving manuscripts for the Finale. Indeed, Bruckner's suggestion has been used as a justification for completing the fourth movement, since, in addition to the existence of the fragment of the Finale, it shows (according to scholars such as John A. Phillips), that the composer did not want this work to end with the Adagio.
Regarding the question of the legitimacy of a completion or whether a reconstruction of the final movement is possible, the authors of the respective completions represent different views:
William Carragan explains on his website:
Indeed there can be no fully correct completion, just completions which avoid the most obvious errors, and there will always be debate on many points. But the finale, even as a fragmented and patched-together assemblage, still has a great deal to tell us about the authentic inspiration and lofty goals of Anton Bruckner, and it is a pity not to take every opportunity offered to become familiar with it and its profound meaning.
Nicola Samale and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs compare in their preface to the study score of the completed performance version of Samale-Phillips-Cohrs-Mazzuca (2008) the reconstruction of a musical work with methods of reconstruction of plastic surgery, forensic pathology, aetiology and fine art:
For this purpose, techniques of reconstruction are required that are not only legitimate in the natural sciences, but vital if one wishes to demonstrate certain processes. Unfortunately, in other fields such reconstruction techniques are accepted much more than in music: In medicine, victims of accidents are more than grateful for the possibility of replacing lost parts of their body by plastic surgery. Also, in forensic pathology, such reconstructions are of value. This was demonstrated very effectively in 1977, when in the eponymous TV series Dr. Quincy reconstructed from a single femur not only the general appearance of the deceased but also his murderer (The Thigh Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone by Lou Shaw, also available as a novel by Thom Racina). Reconstructions are also well known in the fine arts and archaeology. Paintings, torsi of sculptures, mosaics and fresco, shipwrecks, castles, theatres (Venice), Churches (Dresden), and even entire ancient villages have been successfully reconstructed.
Sébastien Letocart states in the booklet text to the CD recording of his final version:
I want to make it quite clear that my completion of the finale of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony is based strictly on Bruckner's own material. This I have orchestrated as faithfully and discretely as possible. There are two main different aspects to understand the purpose of this completion. [...] – Firstly, besides having to fill in some of the orchestration of the existing parts, there are six gaps in the development/recapitulation that have to be speculatively reconstructed sometimes with the recreate of coherent links. My forthcoming thesis will give a bar-by-bar explanation of the musicological thinking and meaning behind my completion and additions as well as give details of the reconstruction phase. Secondly, my elaboration of the coda, however, shares neither the same task nor the same concern about the question "what would Bruckner have done" because it is quite simply impossible to know or to guess. We only have a few sketches of and some vague testimonies (Heller, Auer and Graf) about the Finale's continuation; we know nothing even about the precise number of bars, but all these hardly give any idea of the global structure Bruckner had in mind.
Nors S. Josephson also aims for a reconstruction and states in the preface to his score edition, which is titled as Finale-Reconstruction:
The present edition of the finale to Anton Bruckner's Ninth Symphony is the result of a ten year-long project. The editor utilized the scetches and score sctetches to this movement that are found in the Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, Austria, the Viennese Stadt- und Landbibliothek and the Viennese Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst; all of these institutions kindly provided me with microfilms and photographic copies of these sources. In addition, Alfred Orel's 1934 edition of most of these sources as part of the Bruckner Complete Works was a particular value.
Gerd Schaller explains a reconstruction in itself as an impossible undertaking:
Before work could begin on the completion, though, a number of conceptual questions needed to be addressed. [...] It soon became apparent that a "reconstruction", as such, would logically be infeasible, quite simply because it is impossible to reconstruct something that previously never existed in a finished form. And in any case, which version of the score should be reconstructed? [...] It is known that Bruckner frequently revised and amended his works, and he undoubtedly would have subjected the supposedly finished pages of the Ninth to numerous thorough reviews. It follows that there is no complete version that can be taken as a basis for reconstruction. In short, it seemed impossible for me to reconstruct a hypothetical musical masterpiece by such a genius as Anton Bruckner, and so I made it my aim to pursue historical accuracy by drawing on all the available fragments and thus supplement and complete the finale in the most authentic way possible and in keeping with Bruckner's late style. My top priority in this endeavour was to use, or at least consider, as much of Bruckner's original material as possible and thus avoid speculation as far as possible. The previously seldom perused, early sketches were another important source of essential Brucknerian ideas.
Carragan's completion (1983, rev. 2003, rev. 2006, rev. 2010, rev. 2017)
The first attempt of a performing version of the Finale available on disc was the one by William Carragan (who has done arguably more important work editing Bruckner's Second Symphony). His 1983 completion was premiered by Moshe Atzmon conducting the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in January 1985. The European premiere by the Utrecht Symfonie Orkest conducted by Hubert Soudant (Utrecht, April 1985) was the first to be recorded (on LP). A digitalisation of this LP can be downloaded from John Berky's site. Shortly afterwards, this version was recorded for CD release by Yoav Talmi and the Oslo Philharmonic. Talmi's recording includes also the retrieved fragments Bruckner left so that the listener may determine for himself how much of the realisation is speculation by the editor.
The revision of 2006 was recorded by Akira Naito (JP). This recording includes the Trio No. 2 of 1893 (Ed. Carragan, 2006).
The further revision of 2010, which was premiered by Warren Cohen and the Musica Nova Orchestra in November 2009, has been recorded by Gerd Schaller and the Philharmonie Festiva.
Carragan made some additional adjustments in 2017. A recording by Mladen Tarbuk with the Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra is available on John Berky's website.
Samale/Mazzuca completion (1984, rev. 1985)
The team of Nicola Samale and Giuseppe Mazzuca put together a new realization from 1983 to 1985, which was recorded 1986 by Eliahu Inbal and fits in with Inbal's recordings of early versions of Bruckner's Symphonies. It was also included by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky in his recording of the different versions of Bruckner's symphonies. The coda of the Samale & Mazzuca realization has more in common with the corresponding passage of the Eighth Symphony than it does with the later Samale/Mazzuca/Phillips/Cohrs realization. The authors, Samale and Mazzuca, do not wish this version to be performed any longer.
For this venture Samale and Mazzuca were joined by John A. Phillips and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs. This completion proposes one way to realize Bruckner's intention to combine themes from all four movements. The 1996 revision has been recorded by Johannes Wildner for Naxos and also by Kurt Eichhorn, with the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, for the Camerata label.
A new, revised edition of this completion was published in 2005 by Nicola Samale and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs. Cohrs' latest research made it also possible to recover the musical content of one missing bifolio in the Fugue fully from the particello-sketch. This new edition, in all 665 bars long, makes use of 569 bars from Bruckner himself. This version has been recorded by Marcus Bosch for the label Coviello Classics.
A revised reprint of this first revision was performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding, Stockholm, in November 2007. This revision was published in 2008 and was then recorded by conductor Friedemann Layer with the Musikalische Akademie des Nationaltheater-Orchesters Mannheim. Richard Lehnert explains the changes made for this version.
A final revision was made in 2011, in particular including an entirely new conception of the Coda. The world premiere of this new ending was given by the Dutch Brabants Orkest under the baton of Friedemann Layer in Breda (NL), 15 October 2011. It was performed in Berlin on 9 February 2012 by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic and can be watched on the Internet. This version was released on EMI Classics on 22 May 2012. Rattle conducted the American premiere at Carnegie Hall on 24 February 2012. Simon Rattle conducted this version again with the Berlin Philharmonic on 26 May 2018.
This coda combines the main themes of all four movements simultaneously, in a somewhat similar fashion to the coda of the finale of Symphony No. 8:
Letocart's completion (2008)
In 2008 the Belgian organist and composer Sébastien Letocart realized a new completion of the Finale in 2007–2008. In the Coda he included quotations of themes from the Fifth, Seventh and Eighth Symphonies, the mid-subject of the Trio as a final Halleluja, and at the end the combination of the four main themes from all four movements of the Ninth.
Letocart's completion, together with the first three parts of the symphony, was recorded in 2008 by the French conductor Nicolas Couton with the MAV Symphony Orchestra of Budapest. Letocart's completion can be heard on YouTube.
Schaller's completion (2016, rev. 2018)
Gerd Schaller has composed his own completion of the Symphony, closely based on Bruckner's notes, taking into account all available draft materials as far back as the earliest sketches, to close the remaining gaps in the score as much as possible, using original manuscript documents of Bruckner's, and running to 736 bars. Additionally, Schaller was able to supplement archival and manuscript material with missing elements in the score by drawing on his experience as a conductor, and of applying Bruckner's compositional techniques to the recordings of the complete cycle of all the composer's eleven symphonies; so that even passages without continuous original material are in a recognisably Brucknerian style. Schaller first performed his version of the finale with the Philharmonie Festiva in the abbey church at Ebrach on 24 July 2016, as part of the Ebrach Summer Music Festival.
In March 2018 Schaller's revised version was published by Ries & Erler, Berlin, Score No 51487, ISMN M-013-51487-8. Schaller performed his revised version of the finale in the abbey church at Ebrach on 22 July 2018. The performance of the revised version is issued on Profil CD PH18030.
Further Finale completions
A not issued performance of Josephson's completion by Ari Rasilainen (2011) can be downloaded from John Berky's site. Josephson's completion by John Gibbons with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra has been issued by Danacord: CD DADOCD 754, 2014. A computerised performance of Ferrazza's completion can be downloaded from John Berky's site.
Published editions (First three movements)
Unlike most of his symphonies, Bruckner did not produce multiple revisions of his Ninth Symphony. However, there have been multiple editions of what Bruckner did write, as well as several attempts to complete the symphony's fourth movement, which Bruckner left unfinished.
Löwe edition (1903)
This was the first published edition of the Ninth Symphony. It was also the version performed at the work's posthumous premiere, and the only version heard until 1932. Ferdinand Löwe made multiple unauthorized changes to the Symphony amounting to a wholesale recomposition of the work. In addition to second-guessing Bruckner's orchestration, phrasing and dynamics, Löwe also dialed back Bruckner's more adventurous harmonies, such as the complete dominant thirteenth chord in the Adagio.
Orel edition (1934)
This was the first edition to attempt to reproduce what Bruckner actually wrote. It was first performed in 1932 by the Munich Philharmonic conducted by Siegmund von Hausegger; actually it was played twice, first in Löwe's edition and then in the new Orel edition. It was published, possibly with adjustments, two years later (1934) under the auspices of the Gesamtausgabe.
Nowak edition (1951)
This is a corrected reprint of the Orel edition of 1934.
Cohrs edition (2000)
This new edition of the complete three movements has been recorded by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Simon Rattle and Simone Young. It contains only minor differences from the Orel and Nowak editions, but corrects several printing errors and includes extensive comments in footnotes, explaining some of the editorial problems. The separate Critical Report of Cohrs contains numerous facsimiles from the first three movements. It also contains an edition of the two earlier Trios for concert performance.
- Anton Bruckner: Symphonie No. 9 D Moll, Eigentum der Universal-Edition Wien AG, Wien. Ernst Eulenburg, Leipzig (No. 67)
- Alfred Orel: Entwürfe und Skizzen zur Neunten Sinfonie. Sonderdruck zu Band 9 der Anton-Bruckner-Gesamtausgabe, 1934
- Leopold Nowak (Hrsg.): Anton Bruckner, IX. Symphonie d-Moll. Musikwissenschaftlicher Verlag Wien, 1951.
- Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in d (Original version 1894, ed. by Haas und Orel.). Luck's Music Library (#05148).
- Anton Bruckner: Symphonie Nr. 9 d-Moll, Robert Haas, Alfred Orel, Fassung 1894. "Die Klassiker" Wien.
- Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (editor): Anton Bruckner, IX. Symphonie d-moll (1. Satz – Scherzo & Trio – Adagio), kritische Neuausgabe unter Berücksichtigung der Arbeiten von Alfred Orel und Leopold Nowak, Partitur und Stimmen. Wien 2000.
- Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (editor): Anton Bruckner, IX. Symphonie d-moll (1. Satz – Scherzo & Trio – Adagio), kritischer Bericht zur Neuausgabe. Wien 2001.
- Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (editor): Anton Bruckner, IX. Symphonie d-moll, Scherzo & Trio, Studienband zum 2. Satz. Wien 1998.
- Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (editor): Anton Bruckner, 2 nachgelassene Trios zur IX. Symphonie d-moll, Aufführungsfassung, Partitur incl. kritischer Kommentar und Stimmen. Wien 1998.
- Nors S. Josephson (editor): Anton Bruckner, Finale zur 9. Sinfonie, Ergänzungen von Nors S. Josephson, score (DIN A4), 162 pages, Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart, 2007, No 40.588/00.
- John A. Phillips (editor): Anton Bruckner, IX. Symphonie d-moll, Finale (unfinished), Rekonstruktion der Autograph-Partitur nach den erhaltenen Quellen. study score, Wien 1994/99.
- John A. Phillips (editor): Anton Bruckner, IX. Symphonie d-moll, Finale (unfinished), Rekonstruktion der Autograph-Partitur nach den erhaltenen Quellen, Dokumentation des Fragments, Partitur einschl. Kommentar & Stimmen. Wien 1999/2001.
- John A. Phillips (editor): Anton Bruckner, IX. Symphonie d-moll, Finale (unfinished), Faksimile-Ausgabe sämtlicher autographen Notenseiten. Wien 1996.
- Nicola Samale, John A. Phillips, Giuseppe Mazzuca, Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (editor): Anton Bruckner: IX. Symphonie d-moll, Finale. Vervollständigte Aufführungsfassung Samale-Phillips-Cohrs-Mazzuca. Neuausgabe mit kritischem Kommentar, New edition with critical comment (dt./engl.) by Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs. München 2005/Letztmalig revidierter Nachdruck 2012, Repertoire Explorer Study Score 444.
- Gerd Schaller (editor): Anton Bruckner, Neunte Symphonie d-Moll, IV. Satz, Supplemented from original sources and completed by Gerd Schaller, revised edition with extensive analytical comments, text (in German and English) (87 pages), score (120 pages), ISMN M-013-51487-8, Ries & Erler, Berlin 2018, score No 51487.
- Anton Bruckner, Nona Sinfonia, Finale, integrazioni a cura di Roberto Ferrazza, Roma, BetMultimedia, 2017 (vol. I: versione filologica, con note in appendice; vol. II: versione esecutiva)
The oldest complete performance (of the three completed movements) preserved on record is by Otto Klemperer with the New York Philharmonic from 1934. The first commercial recording was made by Siegmund von Hausegger with the Munich Philharmonic in 1938 for HMV. Both recordings used the Orel edition.
A recording of the Orel or Nowak edition on average lasts about 65 minutes, though a fast conductor like Carl Schuricht can get it down to 56 minutes. The earliest recordings of the Orel edition were Oswald Kabasta's live performance with the Munich Philharmonic in 1943 for the Music and Arts label, and Wilhelm Furtwängler's studio performance with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1944 (multiple labels). After Bruno Walter's studio recording with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra in 1959 for Sony/CBS, the Nowak edition was preferred. The most recent Orel edition recording was Daniel Barenboim's live performance with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1991 for Teldec.
In 2003 Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Wiener Philharmoniker recorded the Ninth (Cohrs edition) as well as the Finale fragment for BMG/RCA, but without the coda sketches. In the CD "Bruckner unknown" (PR 91250, 2013) Ricardo Luna recorded the Scherzo, the three Versions of the Trio (own Edition) as well as the Finale fragment with the coda sketches.
Recordings of the completions of the fourth movement are usually coupled with the Nowak or Cohrs edition for the first three movements.
- Anton Bruckner, Sämtliche Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe – Band 9: IX. Symphonie d-Moll (Originalfassung), Musikwissenschaftlicher Verlag der internationalen Bruckner-Gesellschaft, Alfred Orel (Editor), Vienna, 1934
- Anton Bruckner: Sämtliche Werke: Band IX: IX. Symphonie d-Moll, Musikwissenschaftlicher Verlag der Internationalen Bruckner-Gesellschaft, Leopold Nowak (Editor), Vienna, 1951 – new edition by Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs, 2000
- IX/2-Q: 2. Satz – Entwürfe, älteres Trio mit Viola-Solo, Faksimile, Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (Editor), 1998
- IX/4: Finale Fragment, 1895/96, John A. Phillips (Editor), 1994/1999
- Anton Bruckner Critical Complete Edition – Symphony No. 9 in D minor
- Extensive article (35 pages) by Aart van der Wal on Bruckner's Symphony No. 9, unfinished finale
- Alonso del Arte: We can know a lot about Bruckner’s complete Ninth Symphony (40 pages)
- John Alan Phillips, Bruckner's ninth revisited: towards the re-evaluation of a four-movement symphony (Thesis), The University of Adelaide, 2002
- William Carragan - Timed Analysis including the 4th movement completion by Carragan (2010), SPCM (2011) and Letocart (2008)
- Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs, Heinz-Klaus Metzger & Rainer Riehn (red.): Bruckners Neunte im Fegefeuer der Rezeption. Musik-Konzepte, Richard Boorberg, München, 2003. ISBN 3-88377-738-2
- Cornelis van Zwol, Anton Bruckner 1824–1896 – Leven en werken, Thoth, Bussum (Netherlands), 2012. ISBN 978-90-6868-590-9
- Symphony No. 9: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- Free score from the Indiana University school of music
- Article by Peter Gutmann
- Complete discography by John F. Berky
- Another discography with reviews in French
- Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 versions by David Griegel
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