2 items from 2011
Despite circumstances that would make most men bitter, Anton Bruckner (Sept. 24, 1824 – Oct. 11, 1896) in his mature symphonies and choral works wrote some of the most spiritual music since Bach's. Insecure, he spent his thirties studying with the dictatorial music professor Simon Sechter, who had briefly taught Franz Schubert. Brucker didn't compose a symphony until 1863, the "Study" Symphony, which he withheld (as he did the later so-called No. 0).
In Vienna, Bruckner was considered by many to be a naïve country bumpkin; he got unfairly entangled in the bitter Brahms-Wagner debates that split the city. Bruckner's symphonies were thus the object of myopic criticism from some in the Brahms camp, including powerful critic Eduard Hanslick (however, Wagner, Liszt, and Emperor Franz Joseph I were among those who praised or supported Bruckner). The unprecedented length of Bruckner's symphonies, which develop in slow-moving monoliths of sound, was an impediment for some listeners. Bruckner, an excellent organist, »
This autumn the BBC will present a landmark season of TV and radio programmes to show how music has provided a rousing accompaniment to the march of history for 250 years
This was not the reception Beethoven had imagined. On 7 April 1805, when the last chord of his landmark Third Symphony rang out in Austria's Theater-an-der-Wien at the close of the first public performance, applause soon gave way to uneasy coughing. The dramatic and lengthy work, designed as a response to Napoleon's meteoric career, was dismissed by many in the Viennese audience as a misguided attempt to be original. Yet its new sound, marked by driving rhythms and military instrumentation, reflected the violent change in Europe and took orchestral music in a completely fresh direction.
This autumn the BBC is to attempt to present the 250-year-old tradition of the symphony in its proper context for the first time. Through an unprecedented series of television and radio programmes, »
- Vanessa Thorpe
2 items from 2011
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