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Anton Bruckner

The Man and the Work

Constantin Floros

While unappreciated and controversial during most of his life, Anton Bruckner is today regarded as the greatest symphonist between Beethoven and Gustav Mahler – in terms of originality, boldness and monumentality of his music. The image of Bruckner the man, however, is still extreme instance of the tenacious power of prejudice. No less a figure than Gustav Mahler coined the aperçu about Bruckner being «a simpleton – half genius, half imbecile». The author is out to correct that misperception. His thesis in this study is that contrary to what has hitherto been asserted, there is an intimate relation between Bruckner’s sacred music and his symphonies from multiple perspectives: biographical data, sources and influences, the psychology of creation, musical structure, contemporary testimony and reception history. Additional chapters assess important Bruckner recordings and interpreters and the progressiveness of his music.


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181 Notes Part One: A Character Portrait Who Was Bruckner? 1 Ferdinand Pfohl, Gustav Mahler. Eindrücke und Erinnerungen aus den Hamburger Jahren, ed. Knud Martner (Hamburg, 1973), 15. Max Auer (246) ascribes this aperçu to Hans von Bülow, who, in a letter to Wilhelm Zinne of 1887, spoke of the “anti-musical nonsense of the oddball Bruckner” (Briefe, 27). 2 Erich Wolfgang Partsch, “Der ‘Musikant Gottes’ – Zur Analyse eines Stereotyps,” in Bruckner – skiziert, 235-259. 3 Manfred Wagner in Bruckner in Wien, 66-71. 4 The prevailing personality research is cognitively oriented. In Bruckner’s case, how- ever, one must seek to do justice to the emotional side of his complex personality as well. 5 To Andrea Harrandt we owe a first-rate annotated edition of all of Bruckner’s let- ters. 6 Elisabeth Maier, Verborgene Persönlichkeit, 1:xi-xxxix. 7 Manfred Wagner, “Gefahr der Anekdote,” in Bruckner Symposion 1977, 27-33. 8 Erwin Ringel, “Psychogramm für Anton Bruckner,” in Bruckner Symposion 1977, 19-26. 9 C. George Boeree, Personality Theories (Shippenburg University Pr, 2006). 10 Sigmund Freud, “Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci” (1910), in Stu- dienausgabe X: Bildende Kunst und Literatur, 4th ed. (Frankfurt am Main, 1969) 87- 159; p. 156. 11 Bruckner – skizziert. 12 G – A. 4/2: 130, 133. 13 Schalk, 92. 182 14 Theodor W. Adorno, Berg: Der Meister des kleinsten Übergangs. Österreichische Komponisten des xx. Jahrhunderts, vol. 15 (Vienna, 1968), 41. 15 Schalk, 76, 87f. 16 Bruckner in Wien, 75-160. 17 Louis, xiiif. 18 Hruby, 38f. 19 Friedrich Eckstein,...

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