The warm lyricism of a Mozart piano concerto sets the stage for the apocalyptic storm and valediction of Bruckner’s final symphony. At the time of his death, Bruckner had completed only three movements of his Ninth Symphony, but what he left is gripping. The opening movement ascends from a musical primordial haze to a sonorous climax, while the second-movement Scherzo is relentless in its power. In the Adagio finale, Bruckner explores new harmonic regions, hitherto unheard before resolving all with a serenely hushed ending.
Daniel Barenboim's performances with the Staatskapelle Berlin mark the 60th anniversary of his Carnegie Hall debut on January 20, 1957.