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BRUCKNER'S SWAN SONG

Unfinished symphony finally gets first closure

by Chiho Iuchi

Anton Bruckner’s (1824-96) final symphony will be performed in full for the first time ever by the Tokyo New City Orchestra, conducted by Akira Naito at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space in Ikebukuro on Sept. 28.

Symphony No. 9 in D minor by Bruckner, an Austrian composer active at the end of the Romantic era, remained unfinished at the time of his death. In the past, orchestras have performed only the first three movements, but the fourth movement was recently completed by American musicologist William Caragan who for several years studied the musical sketches left by Bruckner that he intended for the symphony.

Established in 1990, Tokyo New City Orchestra was given the nod of approval by the classical music establishment in Japan in May when it became a member of the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras. Under Naito’s direction, this active young orchestra performs almost 100 concerts a year, some in collaboration with opera and ballet companies. These concerts have sometimes featured challenging programs, including interpretations of Beethoven that are faithful in terms of tempo and instrumentation to the original.

The upcoming concert will also feature Prelude and “Death of Isolde’s Love” from Wagner’s opera, “Tristan and Isolde,” with soprano Ranko Kurano.

“Tokyo New City Orchestra’s 47th Concert” takes places at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space Large Hall on Sept. 28, 7 p.m. Tickets are 3,000 yen, 4,500 yen and 6,000 yen (call [03] 5933-3222).