The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner

The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner

The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner

The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner

Synopsis

This comprehensive study treats the wind works of Anton Bruckner as a complete genre and uses them to illustrate how the composer evolved in style throughout his career. A major nineteenth-century composer, organist, and church musician, Bruckner's compositional style changed dramatically in the early 1860s, dividing his career into two distinct parts. During his early career he immersed himself in the study of traditional musical principles including form, harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. The second phase of his career, in which he composed the symphonies upon which much of his current reputation rests, was marked by his experimental approaches to harmony and tonality. Many of his early compositions exhibit landmarks of his later style. The wind instrument pieces incorporate the best aspects of both of Bruckner's styles and reflect the progress of his professional life.

Excerpt

During the summer of 1868, Bruckner moved to Vienna. He had been attempting to relocate for a number of years and had made several attempts to secure an appointment in the Austrian capital. As early as 1862 he had applied for the position of organist-designate at the Imperial Court Chapel (the Hofkapelle). in August, 1867, he petitioned Vienna University for a lectureship in harmony and counterpoint, and reapplied to the Hofkapelle. Both applications were rejected, but in September of the same year, his mentor, Simon Sechter, died and the prestigious professorship in harmony and counterpoint at the Vienna Conservatory became available. Despite strong support from Herbeck and Rudolf Weinwurm, it took some time for this appointment to be confirmed. Part of the delay originated with Bruckner himself, who was concerned that the salary being offered was considerably lower than his income in Linz. By Easter 1868 Herbeck had managed to get the salary at the Conservatory increased substantially, and had arranged for Bruckner to be appointed organist-designate at the Imperial Court Chapel. As he had done when leaving St. Florian thirteen years earlier, Bruckner exacted a promise from Bishop Rudigier that his position in Linz would be held open for two years (Watson 1977, 20, 23-24), but on July 23, 1868, he finally accepted the Vienna appointments (Redlich 1955, 15).

As it had been in Linz, Bruckner's life in Vienna was hectic. in addition to his duties at the Conservatory and the Hofkapelle, he taught at the teacher-training college of St. Anna, and, in 1875, was appointed to a lectureship in harmony and counterpoint at Vienna University -- a post he had coveted for some time. He also took private pupils (Schönzeler 1970, 51-52, 54, 70). Bruckner apparently enjoyed teaching, and there is substantial evidence that his students liked and respected him. His classes included a number of young musicians who would make a significant mark on the profession in the ensuing years. Among his first students at the Conservatory were the conductor Felix Mottl and the musicologist Guido Adler. Later classes included conductors Arthur Nikisch and Emil Paur, the composer . . .

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