Bruckner's Greatest Works
Anton Bruckner is an exceptional figure. Hugely influenced by the music of Richard Wagner, he idolised the operatic revolutionary to the point of obsession. But he also had deep roots in the church music of Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Palestrina. The intense, dark sensuality of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde left a deep imprint on his harmonic style. Yet his symphonies have been described as 'cathedrals in sound', reflecting their spacious architectural qualities and mood of religious devotion.
(1824 - 1896)
Mass No.2 in E minor
Commissioned by the Bishop of Linz to mark the completion of the newly built Maria-Empfängnis-Dom, the premiere was delayed for three years due to problems with the building work.
Mass No.3 in F minor
Arguably Bruckner's finest sacred work, even Johannes Brahms, who was normally not one of Bruckner's greatest admirers, admitted to having been deeply moved by it.
Symphony No. 4
Following the abject failure of his first three symphonies,Bruckner's Fourth, which he referred to as both 'optimistic' and'romantic', received a rapturous welcome at its 1881 premiere.
Symphony No. 7
The premiere of the monumental Seventh Symphony represented a career high for Bruckner, who was called out several times for applause at the end of each movement.
Symphony No. 8
The public's first taste of this epic masterpiece was via an organ extemporisation during which Bruckner synthesised themes from the Eighth with motifs from Wagner's Götterdämmerung!
Symphony No. 9
Tragically, Bruckner's final symphonic masterpiece was left incomplete at the time of his death - some 200 tantalising pages of sketches are all that remains of the planned finale.