Available June 16, the latest CSO Resound release features Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an acclaimed performance of Bruckner’s formidable Ninth Symphony. Left unfinished at the composer’s death in 1896, the immense work unfolds with stirring climaxes, daring chromaticism and harmonic richness.
The CSO, which also holds the distinction of presenting the U.S. premiere of the Ninth in 1904 under its founder and first music director Theodore Thomas, has long been admired for its Bruckner interpretations. Muti brings remarkable lyricism to this dramatic work in a performance that embodies the exceptional synergy between the distinguished maestro and the CSO.
When the CSO performed the Ninth at Symphony Center in June 2016, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: “Muti, with an orchestra that is invariably sublime, shaped the meandering work with total conviction — from the opening sound of horns and the hum of strings, through richly lyrical sections, to sudden storms and then to sudden bits of quiet.”
In its review of this program, the Chicago Tribune observed: “Nobility, lyrical feeling and dramatic thrust are keys to Muti’s approach to the Bruckner symphonies … like a quiet and controlled church ritual that suddenly bursts forth in powerful glory.”
Producer: David Frost
Recording engineer: Emma Dayhuff
Mixing and editing: David Frost
Mastering: Tim Martyn
Recorded live in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, June 2016
Includes full-color booklet with notes in English, French and German
Update, June 15: John von Rhein lauds the disc in his Sharps and Flats round-up in the Chicago Tribune:
“With Riccardo Muti scheduled to close the CSO subscription season next week, the orchestra’s in-house label, CSO Resound, has just released its eighth recording with the music director — Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, recorded live at last season’s final concerts in Orchestra Hall. It is available at Symphony Store and from online outlets including Amazon and ArkivMusic.
“Surprisingly, this is Muti’s first recording of Bruckner’s unfinished valedictory. He distills an impressive degree of power, grandeur and lyrical expansion from the score, along with a thoughtful regard for beauty of texture and resilience of contour. The orchestra plays magnificently for its chief, bringing out the mystery of the first and last movements even better than on its classic 1970s recording with Carlo Maria Giulini.”
Videos: Alexander Hanna, the CSO’s principal bass, and Michael Mulcahy, CSO trombone, discuss the experience of performing Bruckner’s Ninth with the CSO