Bruckner, Anton

March 1, 2021, 7:00 pm

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The latest installment in our series of composer biographies presents the 19th century Austrian titan Anton Bruckner. We’ll explore his work and his life, from his childhood in a small farming village outside Linz to his final decades in Vienna. Bruckner was a devoted Roman Catholic who spent years as a chorister at the Monastery of St. Florian, and later served as the cathedral organist in Linz, where he established a reputation for his improvisatory skills. He composed dozens of choral settings of masses, requiems, psalms, and a Te Deum, in addition to his nine symphonies, plus numerous sketches and revisions. Lots of revisions! But Bruckner worked during a period of changing musical tastes and styles, and while his music was indebted to the traditions of Schubert and Beethoven, he increasingly was drawn to the “new” music of Wagner and Liszt. He was often dragged into the wrong side of critical debates on the evolving course of music, and in his lifetime his status never rose to the level it has today. Join us as we explore his works from new perspectives, and consider for yourself Bruckner’s place in the classical music canon.


Episode 1

Anton Bruckner: Pange Lingua, WAB 33, “Tantum Ergo”
Dresdner Kreuzchor/Martin Flamig
Capriccio 10081

Anton Bruckner: Tantum Ergo- Lento, Solenne, Poco Adagio
Pittsburgh Symphony Low Brass Section
1:27, 1:32, 2:05

Anton Bruckner: Adagio from String Quintet in F
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Vladimir Ashkenazy
Ondine 920-2

Anton Bruckner: Symphony in F Major – I, III
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Vladimir Ashkenazy
16:10, 5:24
Ondine 920-2

Episode 2

Bruckner: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor – I. Ziemlich Schnell
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly
London 436154-1

Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 in D, “Wagner Symphony” – I. Gemassight, mehr bewegt, misterioso
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vanska
Hyperion CDA 67200

Bruckner: Te Deum in C, WAB 45 – IV, V
Westminster Choir; New York Philharmonic/Bruno Walter
2:15, 5:04
Sony 64480

Episode 3

Bruckner: Klavierstuck in E-flat, WAB 119
Fumiko Shiraga, piano
BIS 1297

Bruckner: Symphony No.4 in E-Flat – I, II, III
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado
19:03, 16:18, 10:35
DG 4317192

Episode 4

Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 in E, WAB 107 – I, II
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Georg Solti
21:29, 25:13
London 436615

Bruckner: Locus iste
Gebrueder Ohrentaub Tuba Quartet
London 436615

Episode 5

Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in c, WAB 108 – II. Scherzo
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini
DG 445529

Bruckner:Stille Betrachtung An Einem Herbstabend in F-Sharp, WAB 123
Fumiko Shiraga, piano
BIS 1297

Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D, WAB 109 – III.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini
EMI 5651772