Anton Bruckner, Rustic Genius

By Werner Wolff; Walter Damrosch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
THE NINE SYMPHONIES

FIRST SYMPHONY, IN C MINOR

THIS work has one characteristic for which we must love it: marked youthful freshness. Who could object to a few unrefined passages in orchestration and odd harmonic progressions in a work that shows such a wealth of creative imagination and genuine temperament as this symphony shows? The number of structural ideas is amazing, ideas which nevermore left the mind of their creator but, rather, became musical assets of a sort, usable and actually used in his later creations. Starting with the First Symphony, some of these ideas run like directing lines throughout all the other symphonies. Here appears for the first time, although in embryo, the second subsidiary theme and certain rhythmical concepts which we meet again later. Here we already find the leap of the octave, its enlargement to the ninth and the tenth (the former receiving its last consecration in the Adagio of the Ninth). We meet here, too, the numerous caesuras and general rests, the solemnly starting Coda in the Finale. And here we receive a premonition of the task which will later be assigned to the trumpets and the low woodwinds. In fact, Bruckner's imagination was replete with creative ideas when he resolved to release them through symphonies.


I. Allegro molto moderato

The youthful nature of the First Symphony is especially in evidence in the First Movement. Only gradually does the compose yield to the customary sonata scheme and then only after has expressed in a very unconventional manner

-180-

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Anton Bruckner, Rustic Genius
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgment xii
  • Table of Contents xiii
  • Intr0ducti0n xv
  • Part I - Bruckner's Life and Personality 15
  • Chapter I 15
  • Chapter II 37
  • Chapter III 49
  • Chapter IV 64
  • Chapter V 85
  • Chapter VI 107
  • Chapter VII 124
  • Part II - Bruckner in the Light Of His Biographers 141
  • Chapter VIII 141
  • Part III - Psychic Forces Back Of Bruckner's Creative Imagination 149
  • Chapter IX 149
  • Part IV - Bruckner's Works 161
  • Chapter X 161
  • Chapter XII - The Nine Symphonies 180
  • Chapter XIII - The String Quintet, in F Major 253
  • Part V - Manuscript and Revised Score A Bruckner Problem of Recent Date 261
  • Chapter XIV 261
  • Appendix 271
  • Bibliography 275
  • Index 277
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