Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Romantic Era > Symphony No. 9, in D Minor ("Unfinished") - Bruckner
Symphony No. 9, in D Minor ("Unfinished")
Bruckner's Ninth and last Symphony was written 1891-1894, and was first heard in Vienna, February 11, 1894. Its first performance in America was given at Chicago, February 19, 1904 by the Theodore Thomas Orchestra. Bruckner had designed closing the symphony with a choral movement in the manner of Beethoven's Ninth, but his death intervened and left the work unfinished.
The opening movement is so elaborate in its construction as to render it impossible to convey any intelligent description of it in the condensed form required by this article. It contains four principal themes, each leading up to powerful climaxes. The movement, indeed, might be called a series of climaxes, for after the reconsideration of each theme and its fresh development, the movement closes with a new climax, which only the word "tremendous" can fitly describe.
The Scherzo is a relief after the tempests of the opening movement, being in dance rhythm, followed by the Trio, and a repetition of the first part. The Adagio movement consists mainly of the complicated development of two principal themes leading to another powerful climax, but closing pianissimo. The symphony is mostly interesting to musical scholars. The layman is apt to be thankful the work was left unfinished, though it would have been interesting to have had Bruckner's choral ideas.