17. Schubert: 9th Symphony, “The Great”
[…] Listening to Schubert’s 9th now, real bad reading,
guy conducts like he’s afraid a carrot will fall out of his ass.
The 9th properly played is a mighty work.
Excerpt from Reach For The Sun by Charles Bukowski
Schubert was a short fat kid with the nickname “mushroom”. That did not stop him from catching a fatal case of syphillis and writing this Ninth Symphony on his deathbed at age 28. Wether it was The Curse Of The Ninth or poor prostitute management remains to be seen. Regardless, his Ninth indeed is as mighty as they come.
Like Brahms’ First, it is strongly linked to Beethoven’s Ninth. Contrary to Brahms — who was born after Beethoven’s death — Schubert crossed paths with Beethoven during his lifetime. And not just musically. He carried Beethoven’s coffin at the handles and would become his neighbour in the muddy waters a year later.
Wilhelm Furtwängler & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Schubert’s Ninth requires a skilled madman with balls of steel and the right amount of expressed intensity at the wheel. Witch such criteria, revered conductors like Wand or Furtwängler come to mind. The latter once told an agitated Hitler to his face to go fuck himself. It is safe to assume Bukowski would have enjoyed his recording, since it is ravishing and tighter than a clam’s ass at high tide.