Anton Bruckner: Half Simpleton, Half God
- Written by Dwight Davis
- Category: Featured - Radio
- Published: 15 August 2016
That curious and curiously apt description of composer Anton Bruckner was attributed to another Austrian composer, Gustav Mahler. What was it about Bruckner that elicited such an observation? For starters, he was essentially a peasant, born in a small village near Linz, and throughout his life he retained a humble, naive, even backward personality. And yet his music starkly belies this shabbily dressed introvert. The descriptions one most often encounters in discussion of his music use words like “monumental” and “cathedrals in sound.” Of all the great composers, Bruckner best illustrates a startling mismatch between the man and his music. On his birthday, Sunday, September 4, we’ll explore some of this music, both choral and orchestral, in an attempt to understand this simple man and his grandiose compositions.