In the throes of his mortal illness, Franz Schubert (1797-1828) heroically succeeded in putting to paper his splendid last symphony, whose "divine lengths" are truly unique. Composed in 1825/26, Schubert's largest symphonic work was first discovered after his death by Robert Schumann and first performed one year later, in 1839, by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in the Leipzig Gewandhaus. In marked contrast to the equally beloved "Unfinished" Symphony, Schubert devises a labyrinth of harmonies in a piece full of artless directness and joyful dance-like rhythms. Echoes of the visionary secrets of Romanticism surface from the depths of the work, only to be washed away by the inexorable current of the melodies. Never did Schubert write with such a lavish and impetuous hand than in his Ninth Symphony: "...it bears the eternal seed of youth within it." (Robert Schumann)
This concert featuring the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein was recorded live in June 1987 in the Congress Hall of the Deutsches Museum in Munich.