Proms interval talks: Bruckner's Ninth Symphony
Death laid its hand on Anton Bruckner as he laboured over the incomplete last movement of his final symphony. But as life was leaving Bruckner, vision and faith were only strengthening in him.
Even in its incompleteness, Bruckner’s Ninth carries with it an inspiring optimism in the face of death. ‘Art had its beginning in God,’ believed Bruckner, ‘and so it must lead back to God.’ Appropriate sentiments given it is preceded by Bach’s cantata of resignation and acceptance ‘Ich habe genug’ from the thrilling bass-baritone of Christian Gerhaher.