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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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Preface to the Second Edition

Extract



The present Bruckner monograph is one of a kind insofar as it combines biographic detail and psychological insights with analytical and hermeneutic scrutiny of the works for numerous fresh insights. The book, originally published in German in 2004, first appeared in English translation in 2010 at the Peter Lang International Publishing House and was competently and perceptively reviewed in the Bruckner Journal (Vol. XV, November 2011) by Professor Crawford Howie. Since it received wide attention, it now appears in a second edition.

Years ago I published another book about Brahms and Bruckner (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel), which likewise caused a stir. I am delighted that it will soon also appear in English with Peter Lang under the title Brahms and Bruckner as Artistic Antipodes.

Studies in Musical Semantics. It centers on the polarities betwen the two composers, on the early Brahms, and on Bruckner’s pecular relation to program music, and does not overlap in any way with the present Bruckner study.

C.F., Hamburg, Summer 2014 ← 3 | 4 → ← 4 | 5 →

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