Donald Macleod explores five personality traits of the strange genius Anton Bruckner.

Donald starts with Bruckner’s obsessive tendencies – from bar-counting to full-blown ‘numeromania’ which landed him in a sanatorium. We hear about Bruckner’s unshakeable religious belief, his influential divine visions, and his music for the church. Next, his veneration for Wagner – he was transformed by the experience of hearing Tannhaüser, and paid frequent tribute to the man he was wont to call “the master of all masters”. Bruckner was also one of music history’s great re-thinkers. His many musical revisions were driven by artistic insecurity, criticism and his constant search for proportion and balance. Finally, Bruckner’s superstitious nature is explored, particularly his fear of writing a ninth symphony.

Music featured:
Locus iste, WAB23
Symphony No 1 in C minor
Mass No 3 in F minor, WAB 28 (Kyrie)
Symphony No 5 in B flat, WAB105
Germanenzug (The Germanic Host), WAB 70
Mass No 1 in D minor, WAB 26 (Sanctus)
Ave Maria, WAB 6
Mass No 2 in E minor, WAB 27 (Credo)
Os iusti, WAB 30
Ecce sacerdos magnus, WAB 13
Virga Jesse, WAB 52
Psalm 150, for soprano, chorus and orchestra, WAB 38
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act 3 (‘Ehrt eure deutschen Meister’)
Symphony No 3 in D minor, WAB 103
Christus factus est, WAB 11
Symphony No 7 in E, WAB 107
Symphony No 2 in C minor, WAB 102
Symphony No 4 in E flat, WAB 104 (‘Romantic’)
Symphony No 8 in C minor, WAB 108
Bruckner: Symphony No 9 in D minor, WAB 109
Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109
Te Deum, WAB 45

Presenter: Donald Macleod
Producer: Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Anton Bruckner:

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here:

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