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meBruckner's music was and to this day is sometimes not understood by people who are not as familiar with it. As I had said, At a St. Louis Symphony orchestra concert a lot of the audience walked out during the performance of one of his symphonies. Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) was born in rural Austria near the city of Linz and lived much of his life in Vienna. Classical Music critic Bill Parker said that Bruckner today might be "labeled and idiotic savant" He never married and often proposed marriage to teenage girls on his first meeting. He was and admirer of Wagner. He reportedly tipped a conductor at the rehearsal of one of his symphonies. There are many other anecdotes about Bruckner.
He was an organist. He wrote compositions for organ. He taught organ as well as counterpoint and harmony at the Vienna Conservatory. His success as a composer varied throughout his lifetime. like many composers his music is appreciated more after his death than during his lifetime.
He wrote 9 numbered symphonies plus 2 earlier symphonies that he did not intend to publish: Study Symphony and symphony 0. His symphonies are long usually lasting over an hour. Many his symphonies are slow and can be boring. My personal favorite symphony of his is the 3rd Symphony. The version that I have is the one with Kurt Masur conducting the New York Philharmonic on the Teldec label. Masur did a good version of Bruckner's symphonies on this label. The most famous of his symphonies are the 4th "Romantic" and the 8th. In the 9th he knew that he would not complete it he suggested that his Ten Deum could be used as a completion of the 9th on his deathbed. There have been several attempts to complete the 9th. It did not premiere until 1903. One anecdote about Bruckner is that he only wrote one symphony 9 times instead on 9 symphonies.
He wrote a string quartet and quintet. Plus and Intermezzo for Quintet and a Rondo for Quartet. My personal favorite Bruckner work is the Intermezzo. I am a fan of his Intermezzo. I have heard several good versions of this work. The version I have is by the fine Arts Quartet with Gil Sharon on the second Viola. This and the quintet were written in 1886 around the time of his 5th and 6th symphonies. His quartet was composed in 1862 (the year of Claude Debussy's birth) however, it was not heard until after Bruckner's death.
Many of Bruckner's symphonies sound similar. However, I find that the chamber music that he wrote does not sound like his symphonies. There is a certain sound to his symphonies. They reflect his native Austria and the Alps most of them typically last over an hour. I find his symphonies and chamber music very relaxing and soothing.
Belgian -French composer Cesar Frank (1822-1890) has been compared to Bruckner. he also was a teacher and wrote organ music. He only wrote 1 symphony (Symphony in D). He is mainly known for this and his version of Panis Angelicus which is part of the Catholic services. French composer Alberic Magnard(1865-1914) is referred to as the "French Bruckner" Magnard was tragically killed during World War l. I have a CD of his 1st and 3rd Symphonies. They are both shorter. I see no paralels between the two men's lives. Magnard was married while Bruckner never married. Obscure French composer Georges Onslow (1784-1853) is often called the "French Beethoven". Again, I see no parallel with the 2 of them.
George Solti, Lenard Bernstein and Herbert Von Karajan were all good interpreters of Bruckner's symphonies.