Anton Bruckner

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Bruckner, Anton

Bruckner, Anton (änˈtōn bro͝okˈnər), 1824–96, Austrian composer. He was appointed organist at the Linz cathedral in 1856 before becoming court organist in Vienna in 1868, where he later taught at the conservatory and university. He established a reputation as a virtuoso organist on trips to France in 1869 and to England in 1871, but as a composer he gained recognition slowly. Although he was influenced by the chromatic harmony and orchestral grandeur of Wagner's music, his work is marked by contrapuntal complexity and extended melodies, in the formal tradition of Beethoven and Schubert. His outstanding works are the Masses in D Minor (1864), in E Minor (1869), and F Minor (1872); a Te Deum (1886); and nine symphonies, of which the Fourth or Romantic (1881), the Eighth, or Apocalyptic (composed 1884–87), and the Ninth (composed 1891–96) are best known. He also wrote motets, cantatas, chamber music, piano and organ pieces, and pieces for male chorus.


See studies by H. F. Redlich (1955), E. Doernberg (1960, repr. 1968), and R. Simpson (Am. ed. 1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bruckner, Anton


Born Sept. 4, 1824, in the village of Ansfelden, near Linz; died Oct. 11, 1896, in Vienna. Austrian composer, organist, and teacher.

Bruckner was an organist in Austrian monasteries and later at Linz Cathedral. From 1868 he lived in Vienna, where he was teacher of music theory and organ at the conservatory and the university. Bruckner primarily wrote symphonic music, reviving in his works the monumental style of Beethoven’s and Schubert’s symphonies. The most important of these are the Third Symphony, dedicated to R. Wagner (1873); the Fourth, “Romantic” (1874); the Seventh (1883); the Eighth, so-called Tragic (1887); and the Ninth, so-called Gothic, which remained unfinished (1894). Bruckner also composed religious music, including the Te Deum and masses for organ.

Bruckner’s music is characterized by loftiness, seriousness, and conceptual profundity combined with a dramatic quality and epic scope; it is also marked by warmth and sincerity. Bruckner’s symphonies embody his reverential awe before the greatness of the universe, and this lends a unique exaltation and hymnal quality to his music. Folklore intonations are often utilized by Bruckner in his works.


Rappoport, L. A. Bruckner. Moscow, 1963.
Göllerich, A., and A. Auer. A. Bruckner, vols. 1-4. Regensburg, 1922-37.
Auer, M. A. Bruckner: Sein Leben und Werk, 6th ed. Vienna, 1949.
Kurth, E. A. Bruckner, vols. 1-2. Berlin, 1925.
Dennert, M. A. Bruckner. Leipzig, 1958.
Nowak, L. A. Bruckner: Musik und Leben. Vienna-Munich, 1964.
Simpson, R. The Essence of Bruckner. London, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.