Anton Bruckner

From Wind Repertory Project
Anton Bruckner


Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824, Ansfelden, Upper Austria – 11 October 1896, Vienna) was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets.

He was expected to follow in his father's footsteps as a schoolmaster. After his father's death in 1837, he went to the Volksschule in St. Florian, where he became a chorister and learned piano and organ. In 1840, he attended a teacher's training college in Linz; in 1845, he became an assistant teacher in St. Florian. The constant conflict between the demands of teaching and composing weighed heavily on him. After a successful performance of his Mass in B Minor, he decided to devote full time to composing.

Although he composed numerous choral works, he is best remembered for his nine symphonies. These symphonies are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies.

Bruckner showed extreme humility before other musicians, Wagner in particular. This apparent dichotomy between Bruckner the man and Bruckner the composer hampers efforts to describe his life in a way that gives a straightforward context for his music. His works, the symphonies in particular, had detractors, ...who pointed to their large size, use of repetition, and Bruckner's propensity to revise many of his works, often with the assistance of colleagues, and his apparent indecision about which versions he preferred. On the other hand, Bruckner was greatly admired by subsequent composers, including his friend Gustav Mahler, who described him as "half simpleton, half God".

Bruckner was an organist, and the scoring of his works reveals a sonority akin to that instrument. Bruckner's contribution to the original band literature consists of two marches: one in E-flat, composed in 1862, and the Apollo March, composed in 1865. His Mass No. 2 in E Minor is scored for eight-part chorus and wind band.

Works for Winds


  • Powell, Edwin. "Ave Maria." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 128-132. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
  • Rehrig, William H. (2005). The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Complete CD ROM Edition. np: The Robert Hoe Foundation.
  • Anton Bruckner, Wikipedia