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Staatskapelle Berlin

Sunday, January 29, 2017 2 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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.


Staatskapelle Berlin
Daniel Barenboim, Music Director, Conductor, and Piano


MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488

BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

Anton Bruckner is perhaps the most misunderstood of the great symphonists. In his own day, he confused both his supporters—leading them to undertake extensive editing of his works to make them conform better to contemporary norms—and his detractors, among them the redoubtable Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick, who savaged most of his symphonies at their premieres. In our own day, too many concertgoers react to him with incomprehension and boredom.

Labeled by his contemporaries "the Wagner symphonist," Bruckner actually wrote symphonies that are anything but the Romantic/Wagnerian celebration of self. Instead, they are spiritual quests and homages to God, in whom he fervently believed and whom he sought to glorify in his music. "Each of his symphonies is in reality one gigantic arch that starts on earth in the midst of suffering humanity, sweeps up toward the heavens to the very Throne of Grace, and returns to earth with a message of peace," writes biographer Hans-Hubert Schönzeler.

Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin give us the unprecedented opportunity to experience all nine of these magnificent symphonies over an 11-day span—both the ones we may know well and those we rarely encounter. In this final concert, we hear Bruckner's last symphonic statement: his Ninth Symphony, which, though unfinished, seems to perfectly sum up his life's work. It will be paired with one of Mozart's loveliest, most "vocal" concertos: the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488.

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