Anton Bruckner was as atypical a composer as one might find.
Anton Bruckner was not a musical child prodigy such as Wolfgang A. Mozart. The compositions of his youth
do not bear the stamp of genius. His musical education lasted for
more than thirty years and he never received it in a formal
teaching center. For Bruckner, it was always a real concern to see
his ability in different fields of music recognized by official
evidences. Only when his abilities got confirmed in such way, he
was at last ready to devote himself completely to the musical
career. His real career began approximately in the fortieth year of
his life - in the whole history of music a late beginning for a
Bruckner was born on September 4th, 1824. He was born in Ansfelden in the rural heartland of Austria. He was a great musician as a child, but he fell into his father's career as a schoolteacher. He fell into the musical profession luckily by taking the job as an organ teacher in St. Florian monastery near Linz. He was not confident of himself. He took the utmost care in studying a multitude of musical areas, but when a position to play the organ at the largest cathedral in Linz was open, he was reluctant to submit his application. While he finally accepted this job, he also studied off and on at the Vienna Conservatory under Simon Sechter. He graduated successfully and became a professor at that conservatory.
Until 1863, Bruckner had not really composed anything of significant caliber. But upon hearing Richard Wagner's music, he fell in love and immediately broke free from all rules of theory. He began composing with such flair and originality that at first many did like the style of his symphonies. Many, since they had no respect for him as of yet, asked to cut parts from his gargantuan symphonies, however as he gained a reputation, his works were played in their full form.
Wagner was the only man who supported him throughout his career.
Although Bruckner revered Wagner like a god, they shared an equally
respectful rapport. Wagner fully backed any composition that
Bruckner would produce, and this caused many anti-Wagnerians to
dislike Bruckner as well. Bruckner, nonetheless died happily almost
completely his Ninth Symphony. He died on October 11th, 1896.
His Famous Compositions
Bruckner wrote nine symphonies. Many have said only Ludwig von Beethoven himself was a better
composer of symphonies than Bruckner. In addition to those pieces
he also wrote two
quintets for strings. They are both extraordinary. He also
composed a single String
Quartet. His Fourth Symphony is a very good starting place to
listen to Bruckner's works. The Eighth Symphony is his most
Beethoven-like symphony with a grand opening and than a slow
movement, ending with a finale than is quite possibly the brassiest
passage in the entire symphonic repertoire.
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