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Josef Anton Bruckner
1824 - 1896
Austria
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J.A. Bruckner
Anton Bruckner (04/09/1824 - 11/10/1896), an Austrian composer. He was born in Ansfelden, a little village in Upper Austria. He was the son of a village schoolmaster and organist. At first, the boy was trained to follow in his father's footsteps. After his father died in 1837, Bruckner was sent to St. Florian, the nearby Baroque monastery, to be a chorister and to continue his musical and other studies. At the age of twenty-one, having spent a year in Linz and four years teaching and playing the organ in provincial villages, Bruckner returned to his beloved St. Florian as a teacher. In the meantime, he became a master organist and turned his hand to composing.
Bruckner had lessons in theory and composition and started composing fairly early in life, but he felt the need for more instruction in counterpoint and became a most diligent student of the famous Simon Sechter, visiting him every fortnight in Vienna. At the age of thirty-one, Bruckner became a full-time musician, when he accepted the post of cathedral organist in Linz. In addition to working hard at his job, he practiced a great deal, taught piano, sang in a choir and spent seven hours a day doing harmony and counterpoint exercises, which he sent, for comment, to Simon Sechter.
Having mastered the rules, all Bruckner needed was to learn to break them, and this possibility was brought home to him when he attended the Linz premiere of Tannhäuser early in 1863. Wagner's boldness opened new vistas to Bruckner, and he began to compose the remarkable series of symphonies that were to become his most enduring contribution to musical literature. Bruckner learned from Wagner - whom he met several times, and who admired his work - to paint vast musical canvases with great harmonic daring, and to employ increasingly large and powerful orchestral forces for his works.
In 1867, acute self-doubt and overwork caused Bruckner to suffer a nervous breakdown, but the following year he was appointed professor of composition at the Vienna Conservatory and organist to the imperial chapel. At last his talents and efforts were recognized, and he was able to live in one of the world's great musical capitals, where he could hear the products of other contemporary composers' works. Bruckner eventually became a lecturer in harmony and counterpoint at the University of Vienna, and he lived in the city for the rest of his life.
Bruckner’s fame gradually increased throughout the 1880’s and into the 1890’s. Although his works remained controversial, they were premiered by such celebrated conductors as Hans Richter, Hermann Levi and Arthur Nikisch, and he was given many awards and other honors. The great composer died on October 11, 1896, at the age of 72. In accordance with Bruckner’s wish his remains were taken to St. Florian where they lie buried under the mighty organ that had been his best friends and into the golden majesty of which he had on innumerable occasions poured the troubled confessions of his tragic life.
Author:Alex Zhang
Jean-Claude Bossel wrote a Requiem in memoriam Anton Bruckner in 1998.
Libera in F major
Period:Early Romanticism
Composed in:1843
Musical form:motet
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Label(s):Orfeo C 327 951 A
Hyperion A66177 (LP)
Motet in F major for 4 part chorus and organ.
Source:Grove’s dictionary of music and musicians
Requiem in D minor
Period:Early Romanticism
Composed in:1849
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:ca.37'
In memory of:Franz Sailer, his benefactor and his brother's godfather
Label(s):Hyperion CDA 66245
Requiem in D minor for soli, choir, and orchestra (rev. 1892). Bruckner's works during the fourty's were largely for chorus, but also included a requiem which has since been lost. In 1848, Franz Sailer, Bruckner's brother's godfather died. His death had two effects on Bruckner. On the one hand, Bruckner inherited Sailer's piano. On the other, Bruckner began the Requiem in D minor in memory of his benefactor. The requiem was completed in 1849 and first performed in St. Florian. It was "a landmark in his creative career and his first truly notable large work." (according to Derek Watson).
Source:Text: K. Sieger
Bruckner's Requiem (1848–9) reveals, in its busy string figuration against slower-moving choral writing, persistent metrical patterns and organ figured bass, the influence of the Viennese masses of the late 18th century. Its modest length and faithful adherence to the Latin text make it entirely suitable for liturgical use.
Author:Steven Chang-Lin Yu
Requiem
Period:Romanticism
Composed in:1854
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:Johann Nepomuk Deschl
Requiem for male choir and organ (lost). Bruckner's works during the fourty's were largely for chorus, but also included a requiem which has since been lost.
Author:K. Sieger
Libera me in F minor
Period:Romanticism
Composed in:1854
Musical form:motet
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:7'20''
Label(s):Hyperion CDA 66177
Carus 83.414
For choir, three trombones, cello, double bass, and organ. Duration: 7'20.
Source:booklet of cd Hyperion CDA 66177
Requiem
Period:Romanticism
Composed in:1875
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
An unfinished requiem mass.