BRUCKNER'S LIFE AND PERSONALITY
"ONLY in his works did Bruckner disclose his true nature. In comparison with his creations everything else is unimportant and carries with it the danger of making him appear in a wrong light before a public which has not yet fully recognized his grandeur." These words, recently written to me by the well-known composer and former pupil of Bruckner, Friedrich Klose, are as true as they are discouraging to the biographer. In fact, there is a one-way bridge from Bruckner's works to the man himself. Crossing that, we can recognize his true character. But the biographer who is forced to follow a detour comes, sooner or later, to the point on his journey where further progress becomes almost impossible. The man whose life he is describing and the creator of the nine great symphonies seem to be two entirely different subjects.
Interesting as Bruckner's personality is, there is nothing in his prosaic life to justify us in drawing conclusions as to its influence on the development of his genius. In following his career, one never senses a tension nor a climax leading to majestic heights, such as other great composers of the nineteenth century reached. His exterior life had no seeming effect upon his work. An immense reserve of psychic forces, originating in a realm not subject to any influence from the outside, must have been stored in the man, gifted with so great a creative power. His life itself showed no dynamic factors. The higher the artist in him soared, the more the man himself remained earthbound. It is not necessary to think of Wagner or Liszt, whose lives were so closely connected