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The final PMF 2023 concert - Bruckner's musical testament
PMF Orchestra Concert in Tokyo

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The concert opens with Mayumi Kanagawa performing Mendelssohn's violin concerto, following her acclaimed PMF debut in 2022, where she performed in a trio of soloists and in chamber music. Her solo concerto return is not to be missed!

Appearing at PMF for the first time, Thomas Dausgaard will lead the PMF Orchestra in Program B. Dausgaard has held positions such as Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, with a prolific recording career including over 70 CDs to date. His passion for education and penchant for innovative programming will come together at PMF as he leads the PMF Orchestra in taking on the challenge of a piece in which he specializes: Bruckner’s grand final testament, his complete Symphony No. 9. Though it was mostly finished, Bruckner’s death cut short his work on the symphony’s 4th movement.

This completion (SMPC ed., 1984-2012) has drawn international attention thanks both to the care with which it was prepared based on Bruckner’s work, and to the advocacy of Sir Simon Rattle, who has performed and recorded it with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Enjoy the Hokkaido premiere of Bruckner’s complete 9th with the PMF Orchestra!

Scroll down to the blue "Program notes" banner (below the program) to see John Phillips's full remarks on this symphony!

Thomas Dausgaard - message to PMF
Mayumi Kanagawa  - maessage to PMF

Thomas Dausgaard ⓒThomas Grøndahl
Mayumi Kanagawa ©Kaupo Kikkas


August 1 (Tue), 2023


Doors open
Concert starts
Concert ends (approx.)


Violin Concerto in e minor, Op. 64
(ca. 25 minutes)
 Allegro molto appassionato
 Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace

Symphony No. 9 in d minor, with fourth movement completion

(ca. 80 minutes)
ed. Cohrs (2000, from Orel & Nowak)
 I. Feierlich, misterioso
 II. Scherzo. Bewegt, lebhaft – Trio. Schnell
 III. Adagio. Langsam, feierlich
Conclusive Revised Edition by Samale, Phillips, Cohrs, & Mazzuca (2012) *partially edited by Thomas Dausgaard
 IV. Finale. Misterioso. Nicht schnell

- Duration: c. 2 hours 30 minutes (with intermission) -

Yen, incl. tax

Day-of tickets will be available starting at 18:00.
S: 8,000 (U25 4,000)
A: 6,000 (U25 3,000)
B: 4,000 (U25 2,000) *Sold Out

Please submit the online form below. PMF staff will then contact you via email with further details. Tickets can be paid for and received on the day of the concert.
Application to purchase PMF 2023 concert tickets


*Program and artists are subject to change.
Sponsoring Organizations: Pacific Music Festival Organizing Committee / City of Sapporo
Subsidies: Rohm Music Foundation / NOMURA FOUNDATION
Pacific Music Festival Organizing Committee

Bruckner: Symphony No. 9, with fourth movement completion
Bruckner’s Ninth is traditionally performed in the three movements Bruckner had completed by 1894. But the last 18 months of his life were spent working assiduously on its Finale; that the Symphony not conclude with its Adagio was so important to him that he directed, should he not complete the work, that his Te Deum be performed after the Adagio. Among the 450 pages of manuscripts that survive for the Finale, Bruckner left an orchestral score intended as no less definitive than the scores of the first three movements. The orchestration of about the first third was complete, some of the fully scored bifolios (four-page double leaves, most of them 16 bars long) even noted as ‘finished’. The rest of the movement, no less definitive, was left in complete string score, in ink, the main wind entries in ink or pencil. Consider also: the Finale had been emerging in Bruckner’s mind for almost a decade before its detailed working out. His originality, clarity of conception, contrapuntal skill and theoretical insight undiminished, the Ninth and its Finale were to be Bruckner’s masterwork, his opus summum musices.
Tragically, a number of bifolios of this score, among other manuscripts, were appropriated by souvenir-hunters following Bruckner’s death. At the 1903 premiere of the Ninth, its first three movements were presented in a reorchestrated arrangement, conductor Ferdinand Löwe outright lying about the existence of a Finale. (The myth that Bruckner left only indecipherable ‘sketches’ is still in currency today.) The manuscripts were published in 1934 in the Bruckner Complete Edition, but errors in their transcription led to further misunderstandings. In 1963 British musicologist Hans Ferdinand Redlich justly wrote of the Ninth: ‘Rarely has the posthumous work of a great composer been treated by posterity with such persistent unfairness.’
Begun in 1983, efforts to reconstruct the Finale by the editorial team of Nicola Samale, John Phillips, Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs and Giuseppe Mazzuca (hence, ‘SPCM’) led to the publication of Phillips’s reconstruction of Bruckner’s autograph (1994, 1999) and facsimile edition of the original manuscripts (1996) in the Bruckner Complete Edition: they brought about a revolution in informed musicological opinion. Phillips and Cohrs went on to independently write doctoral theses on the Ninth.
While nothing can alter the fact that some of its pages were lost, far more survives for the Finale than previously believed, including drafts for virtually the entire coda (now included in their entirety). The work’s essential motivic and harmonic continuity is apparent from the surviving bifolios; most of the gaps can be reconstructed from the particello or short-score sketches that preceded and accompanied its composition. Bruckner, who taught harmony and counterpoint, was a profoundly methodical and theoretically insightful composer; his artistic decisions followed a frequently construable compositional logic, making the reconstruction of compositional continuity and orchestration far less subjective than they might seem.
Expressly conceived as his last symphony and musical testament, the Ninth was dedicated, with Bruckner’s characteristic simplicity, to ‘the dear Lord’; he also referred to it as ‘Homage to Divine Majesty’. That, like Beethoven’s Ninth, it was to be in D minor was itself a homage to that celebrated work. Although begun only days after Bruckner completed his Eighth in August 1887, work on the Ninth was delayed for years by Bruckner’s retrospective revisions of several previous symphonies, designed to bring his major works to the same exacting level of compositional craftmanship.
Like Bruckner’s Fifth, his Ninth was orientated around a Finale of great weight and emotional power, intended to end not in resigned beatitude but triumphant glory. Bruckner marshals up all the numinous, ‘gothic’ elements of the key of D minor he found prefigured in Beethoven, raising them to even greater levels of mystery, solemnity, rapture and, at times, sheer terror. As in his Seventh and Eighth symphonies, Bruckner enriched his orchestral palette with the darkly mysterious sound of four Wagner tubas, according them important roles in the last two movements. Harmonically the work is rich beyond belief: Striking dissonances such as the opening of the Scherzo or climax of the Adagio, not to mention many dissonant passages in the Finale, strikingly foreshadow 20th-century developments.
The work’s formal design is clear. First and last movements use Bruckner’s characteristic sonata form: an exposition with three theme groups, freely developed, then reprised, followed by a coda. The ominous opening of the first movement builds into the violent outburst of its intimidating main theme; the second subject brings rapturous spiritual calm, the third a sterner sense of tragedy. Bruckner fuses development and reprise, creating a much-expanded counter-statement to the exposition that rises to overwhelming climaxes. The coda is monumental, but intentionally concise.
Within this context, the Scherzo, usually a lighter movement, seems demonically supercharged, a veritable Totentanz (dance of death). It is cast in monothematic sonata form, its unearthly Trio unlike anything else written by Bruckner. 
The Adagio, a deeply moving retrospective that rises to visionary heights, has two broad theme groups, each restated. Bruckner designated the sorrowful theme in the Wagner tubas, which emerges just after the first climax, his ‘Farewell to Life’; it recurs later as an impassioned chorale in the strings, but will return in the Finale as its monumental chorale theme. The Adagioascends to a climax of fearful power, perhaps the confrontation with death itself; its coda, a web of allusions, quotes one of Bruckner’s masses and prefigures the opening of the Finale, achieving a profound sense of peace.
We can reconstruct the coda quite accurately from Bruckner's sketches for it. A mysterious, circling ascent led into a final chorale statement for which we have both an allusion in the reprise as well as a late sketch. In his remarkable drafts of May 1896, Bruckner intended the themes of first movement and Finale to combine in symbolic demonstration of the unity underlying the whole work, culminating in a terrifyingly dissonant passage before the final cadence into the ‘Glory’ of D major: Salvation achieved.
Programme note © Dr John A Phillips, Sydney 2022

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