Anton Bruckner: The Man and the Work by Constantin Floros

By Constantin Floros

Whereas unappreciated and debatable in the course of so much of his existence, Anton Bruckner is this day considered as the best symphonist among Beethoven and Gustav Mahler - by way of originality, boldness and monumentality of his track. identical to Bruckner the fellow, despite the fact that, remains to be severe example of the tenacious strength 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, resources and impacts, the psychology of construction, musical constitution, modern testimony and reception background. extra chapters examine vital Bruckner recordings and interpreters and the progressiveness of his track.

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Incidentally, the passage from one of his letters to Felix Mottl prefixed as motto to this chapter make clear that he demanded the utmost from his “guardians”/interpreters, namely total commitment, enthusiasm for his work, identification with him and meticulous rehearsing. A letter of Bruckner’s to Arthur Nikisch is very telling in this connection. 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.

3 How profoundly he was in fact affected by the death of his favorite sister he revealed only a week later in a letter to the Linz cathedral dean Johann Baptist Schiedermayr, where he writes that he was bitterly reproaching himself for having made her “do all the housework”: “If I had had any idea of this, I would not at any price have let the unforgettable girl move to Vienna with me at all but would rather have stayed in Linz myself. Your Grace, who knows my nerves, can easily judge what I suffered now.

That also was the reason why nothing was performed for such a long time and I had to float in the dark for so long. ’ Well, now that the dear maestro has been called away, it seems as though he had, in the goodness of his heart, appointed guardians for me: my first guardian was Herr Nikisch in Leipzig, the second one the conductor Hermann Levi in Munich. With every bit of energy, they have done everything possible to perform my works, and the success was quite extraordinary, as is not often the case.

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