By Constantin Floros
Whereas unappreciated and debatable 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 - when it comes to originality, boldness and monumentality of his song. a dead ringer for Bruckner the fellow, even though, continues 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 examine is that opposite to what has hitherto been asserted, there's an intimate relation among Bruckner’s sacred track and his symphonies from a number of views: biographical info, resources and affects, the psychology of production, musical constitution, modern testimony and reception heritage. extra chapters check vital Bruckner recordings and interpreters and the progressiveness of his song.
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Additional info for Anton Bruckner: The Man and the Work
45 What sets one to thinking are the reports about his conduct at the exhumations of the remains of Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven in the cemetery of Währing, a suburb of Vienna. After the exhumation of Schubert’s corpse on September 12, 1888, measurements and photographs of the master’s skull were taken in the presence of a small gathering of fans. 4 The incident was repeated three years later during the exhumation of the remains of Beethoven. Accompanied by his pupil Carl Hruby, Bruckner rode to the Währing cemetery, where a commission of physicians measured and examined the skeleton scientifically.
Bruckner was gradually able to prevail. On November 7, 1891, the University of Vienna, in a festive session, bestowed the title of an honorary doctorate on him, and the premiere of the Eighth Symphony under Hans Richter on December 18, 1892, was a triumphant success for him. People began to see through the backgrounds of the polemic against Bruckner. Around 1895, Otto Böhler produced two colored pen-and-ink drawings, which, taking off from one of the Struwwelpeter stories, show Bruckner marching out in front with an open umbrella (or parasol), followed by the mocking “ink boys” Eduard Hanslick, Max Kalbeck and Richard Heuberger.
So one can understand that the worry about the realization of his work, which he himself regarded as original and significant, would become a principal motive of his life. Since he received nothing but bad critiques from the leading Viennese press, it meant much to him for at least the few papers that were well-disposed toward him to publish reports about successful performances in Vienna or abroad. For a long time, his symphonies were regarded not only as overly long but also as difficult to play.