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Chicago Symphony's Bruckner is fine, but not optimal


Bruckner, Symphony No. 9 performed by Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti (Chicago Symphony).

Performances of Mahler and Bruckner have been at home in performances by the Chicago Symphony for a long time. This new performance by the Chicagoans under Ricardo Muti of the final Bruckner symphony -- the one whose finale he was still working on the day he died -- is very good. But the trouble with such oft-recorded classical repertoire is that Muti can't match Rattle or Wand or Bruno Walter or any of at least a dozen others. It is a very good statement of stylistic continuity by a fine contemporary orchestra asserting an identity it doesn't want to lose. No reason why it should. But to hear one of Bruckner's greatest works in an optimal version, it is best to go elsewhere.

2 1/2 stars (out of four)


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