By Constantin Floros
Whereas unappreciated and debatable in the course of such a lot of his existence, Anton Bruckner is at the present time considered as the best symphonist among Beethoven and Gustav Mahler - by way of originality, boldness and monumentality of his track. identical to Bruckner the guy, even though, 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 learn 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, resources and affects, the psychology of production, musical constitution, modern testimony and reception heritage. extra chapters examine very important Bruckner recordings and interpreters and the progressiveness of his track.
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Extra resources for Anton Bruckner: The Man and the Work
How hostile and primitive he could be, we learn from a remark made to Bruckner after the fiasco of the Third Symphony’s premiere in December of 1877: “You can wipe your … with your symphonies. You are better off earning your keep making piano reductions. ” Poor Bruckner just cringed – perhaps because he was afraid of losing his position. But he suffered most from the attacks of those segments of the Viennese press that vehemently opposed him as a composer. His relation to Eduard Hanslick, the powerful “high priest of music,” has been repeatedly described from a variety of angles.
9 And in a letter of January 7, 1868: “I wish you a very happy New Year and entreat you for your lifelong love and friendship. ”10 His wish soon came true. 11 But we know that Weinwurm did not stop to support Bruckner and that he performed several of his choral works in Vienna. The attentive reader of the 45 letters Bruckner wrote to Weinwurm during his time in Linz will notice especially their intimate and tender mode of expression. Later on, Bruckner would use a similarly warm tone in his letters to his favorite pupils Josef and Franz Schalk, who tirelessly and entirely unselfishly intervened in his behalf.
On July 7, 1885, he wrote: “Illustrious great supporter and friend! You were my first apostle, who with brilliant art and fullest power and dignity proclaimed my hitherto unheard word in Germany. It will be to your everlasting renown that you let your great high genius shine for me, the unrecognized and forsaken. ”8 A strong, unshakable self-awareness speaks from these sentences with their religious vocabulary. When the Saxon painter Fritz Uhde, who was working on a Last Supper in 1885, met Bruckner in Munich, he supposedly asked the latter’s friend Carl Almeroth to prevail upon Bruckner to sit for the head of one of the apostles.