The Well-Tempered Ear

Is Madison Bruckner-starved? What’s your favorite symphony?

September 4, 2009

By Jacob Stockingerbruckner2

Today, Sept. 4, is the birthday of Anton Bruckner, who was born in Austria in 1824 and died there in 1896.

Bruckner is one of those lush, late-Romantic, over-the-top, Mount Everest-scale composers (he is often compared to Mahler) who have historically prove polarizing.

You either love him or hate him – as did the defenders of Wagner (the former) and defenders of Brahms (the latter) in his own day.

So, the question today is: Do you like the music of Bruckner?

If so, why and what is you favorite symphony?

The Seventh Symphony is usually considered his most popular today, as it was in the composer’s lifetime.

I don’t Bruckner well. I’m partial to the Fourth Symphony (“Romantic”), especially the prominent use of brass, and the scherzo from the unfinished Ninth Symphony, which was used by the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman in his late film “Sarabande.”bruckner

Bruckner as film music? Now that something you don’t expect.

His symphonies are big and hard to play – and, some would say, hard to listen to.

I don’t recall the Madison Symphony Orchestra or even any visiting orchestra (Chicago or Milwaukee) performing a Bruckner symphony in Madison. (I do recall that the UW Choral Union performed Bruckner’s “Te Deum” several seasons ago.)

Do you think in Madison we’re Bruckner-starved?

What symphony would you like to see the MSO program, say, for next season?

Do you have  favorite Bruckner work and recording you recommend?

Leave a comment.

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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