BRUCKNER'S CONCERT

BRUCKNER'S CONCERT

Bruckner last night hosted one of the memorable music concerts in the recent memory as he played Symphony number nine. Shen people who pursue relentless entertainment are surveyed about classical music concerts, they often complain that the atmosphere is too reverential –- no eating, no drinking, no talking, no texting, no coming and going, too much suppression of the audience’s ego for a greater good. Desperate for their business, presenters and symphony orchestras have lately been experimenting with “friendly” formats.

The Pacific Symphony’s experimental “Unwound Series” hopes to help, but in an intelligent way, by putting famous symphonic works into a broad historic context while making room for a little public communing on the side. In a striking reversal of trends on Thursday night, instead of welcoming the real world into the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the orchestra did the churchly opposite for “Cathedrals of Sound: A Journey of the Spirit” (also Friday and Saturday).

The occasion was a performance of Bruckner’s last and unfinished Symphony No. 9, conducted in an impressive spirit of awe by Carl St.Clair. The Ninth’s scope is clearly metaphysical. The composer -- a devout Catholic who was said to have lapsed into episodes of religious mania during his final days -- dedicated the score to “the beloved God.”