Anton Bruckner: The Man and the Work by Constantin Floros

By Constantin Floros

Whereas unappreciated and arguable in the course of so much of his lifestyles, Anton Bruckner is this present day considered as the best symphonist among Beethoven and Gustav Mahler - by way of originality, boldness and monumentality of his song. just like Bruckner the fellow, even if, remains to be severe example of the tenacious energy of prejudice. No much less a determine than Gustav Mahler coined the aperçu approximately Bruckner being «a simpleton - part genius, part imbecile». the writer is out to right that misperception. His thesis during this research is that opposite to what has hitherto been asserted, there's an intimate relation among Bruckner’s sacred song and his symphonies from a number of views: biographical facts, assets and impacts, the psychology of construction, musical constitution, modern testimony and reception background. extra chapters determine very important Bruckner recordings and interpreters and the progressiveness of his tune.

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At the end of Die Meistersinger, a brightly lit stage, public rejoicing, engagement, all in grand style; in my work, Palestrina, likewise celebrated, but alone, in the twilight of his room under the portrait of the deceased, fantasizing at his organ. 1 44 Even during his childhood Bruckner had been confronted repeatedly with dying and death, so that one can readily speak of traumatic repercussions. Of his ten siblings, only four survived their childhood: his sisters Rosalia, married Hueber, and Josefa, married Wagenbrenner, his brother Ignaz, and his beloved sister Maria Anna, called “Nani,” who remained single, kept house for him and died at the age of 35 of consumption.

He revealed his reason in a letter to Levi of September 7, 1885: “Herr Richter told me yesterday he wants to perform the Te Deum, – he won’t get the seventh! Hanslick!!! ”29 The letter is surely one of the most distressing documents in music history. As was to be expected, Bruckner yielded to the pressure of Richter and the Philharmonics, and the Seventh was performed, in one of the Philharmonic Concerts, on March 21, 1886, to great success (one has to say: surprisingly). As Bruckner reported to his “artistic father” Herman Levi on March 25: “No balking and begging helped: on the 21st the 7th Symphony was performed by the Philharmonics.

Bruckner’s case is different. Among the things that interested him vividly was the life and fate of Maximilian, the hapless emperor of Mexico and younger brother of the Emperor Francis Joseph. Dissatisfied with his work in Linz and his life in Austria generally, he played for a while with the idea of emigrating to Mexico or to Russia. 2 On June 19, 1867, Maximilian was shot by rebels in Querétaro. The execution caused a great stir in Europe; no less an artist than Edouard Manet eternalized the scene in an impressive large-scale painting.

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