CHAPTER IV
TRIAL AND FULFILMENT (VIENNA, 1868-96)

THE history of Bruckner's life in its final period is embodied in the history of his symphonies. His personal life settled down, after the passing excitements of the transfer from the provinces to the capital, to a rather rigid routine of academic and scholastic duties. Their scope, variety and emoluments form a telling contrast to the modest appointments at Linz. Yet, Bruckner was never satisfied and tried more than once to obtain a post abroad. He continued to complain bitterly of his financial position, which was affected by the expense incurred by the copying and performing of his manuscript symphonies. Bruckner never received any fees for his compositions, and was able to publish them only by degrees in the last decade of his life, supported by the Emperor of Austria, the Austrian Government and the King of Bavaria, and with the help of donations collected by his friends and disciples. It may have been partly due to this comparative financial insecurity that he was driven to struggle for public recognition on a larger scale. His tenacious striving for a lecturership at the University of Vienna, as well as his constant endeavours to obtain an honorary doctor's degree from any academic body may have been prompted largely by financial considerations.1 However, these efforts may also have been a naïve expression of his lifelong desire for intellectual distinction.

When Bruckner took up his appointment on 1st October 1868 his professional and financial position seemed secure enough. As Sechter's official successor he became professor of thorough-bass, counterpoint and organ at the conservatory (under Hellmesberger's

____________________
1
In the early 1880s Bruckner tried repeatedly to obtain a Mus.D. degree from British and American universities. The strange affairs in connection with his appetite for academic titles are amusingly described by F. Klose (see Bibliography), pp. 114 ff.

-17-

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