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Thread: Bruckner and Wagner

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    Junior Member Ned Low's Avatar
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    Default Bruckner and Wagner

    I know Bruckner was a Wagnerian. I even have heard, whilst attending the 1876 performance of The Ring Cycle, he closed his eyes and listened to the music and in the ending of The Twilight of the Gods he opened his eyes and said why they were burning the girl( Brunhilde). I don't know whether it's true or not, i really like his admiration for Wagner( his music). He was influenced by Wagner in many ways.when i listened to his 3rd symphony( 1873) it kind of had some musical moments of The Walkure ans The Mastersingers and i really liked it. So i know it might probably sound stupid and i feel silly to ask this question, but i wanted to know if you guys know any of his symphonies that have moments of Wagner's music dramas apart from his 3rd.

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    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    That's not a silly question at all.

    I don't think there are any overly clear musical quotations of Wagner in Bruckner's symphonies (even in the later revision of the 3rd). Wagner's music was somewhat controversial already during his own lifetime. For example, VPO, who was supposed to play the premiere performance of Bruckner's 3rd, didn't like the symphony partly because it was so clearly Wagnerian (or at least that's what I've read). Anyway, Bruckner might have felt that there were too many obvious quotations and thus excluded some parts which were inspired by Tristan or Ring. This resulted in multiple versions of his 3rd symphony. While I don't listen with a score, I haven't noticed any striking quotations of Wagner in Bruckner's (other) symphonies but I think their compositional and musical style is very very similar. I think what always remained with Bruckner was his somewhat Wagnerian sound and style which can give a Wagnerian feel to some parts of his symphonies (particularly the slower movements I think) but doesn't require him to quote Wagner's operas.
    Last edited by annaw; Sep-05-2020 at 08:07.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    I was actually considering starting this exact thread

    I was a Bruckner fan long before I got into opera and Wagner, but now that I know some Wagner some of the influences are really obvious, especially in the Adagios - the Adagio of the 7th in particular - the long buildup and subsequent huge climax could easily have come from a Wagner love duet. Not that it’s a bad thing, I still think there’s plenty of originality going on and it’s one of my all-time favorite slow movements. One similarity between the two composers is that I tend to get bored during the passages where I get the impression that they’re just “filling time” - Wagner with the seemingly endless monologues and Bruckner with the quiet, meandering parts where he sometimes just has a solo flute and pizzicato strings play random thematic scraps in between large structural moments (the 5th is the worst for that). They are still both among my favorite composers.
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Sep-05-2020 at 01:39.
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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    For me the most obvious (maybe my fault entirely, just "hearing things"), example is the similarities between The Flying Dutchman and Bruckner's 4th. Some of the latter sounds remarkably close to the former, naturally without any suggestion of plagiarism!!

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    I fear Bruckner can only come out of a suggestion that he was a Wagnerian (that he followed Wagner) diminished. There is so much that is glorious in Wagner than he lacks totally. But, at the same time, there is much that is glorious in Bruckner that Wagner never came close to approaching.

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    Senior Member GucciManeIsTheNewWebern's Avatar
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    While there's no doubt there are parts of Bruckner's music that are strikingly Wagnerian, and I can conjecture that he employed his trademark daring compositional techniques (phrase modulation, chromaticism, general crazy Bruckner stuff) because of his admiration for Wagner, way too many people are under the impression that "Bruckner wrote music that sounds just like Wagner" - Quatsch! Bruckner had a very distinct musical personality and style and if it weren't for the biographical information that Bruckner groveled at Wagner's feet, I don't think uninformed people would be making that association. A (more than) passing resemblance here and there, totally. But "Bruckner is basically Wagner" is just not true.

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    Junior Member Ned Low's Avatar
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    I agree with you actually. What you're saying is right, he created his unique style something you can see especially in his last three symphonies. What i meant is he is influenced by Wagner and his harmonies.( interesting that he is influenced by Schubert as much if not more!)

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    Senior Member GucciManeIsTheNewWebern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Low View Post
    I agree with you actually. What you're saying is right, he created his unique style something you can see especially in his last three symphonies. What i meant is he is influenced by Wagner and his harmonies.( interesting that he is influenced by Schubert as much if not more!)
    Oh, I wasn't specifically referring to your OP. It's more of a general public perception I was talking about. Like other people in the thread have mentioned the influence is totally there. Though he drew a lot of inspiration from other composers as well. Schubert I didn't know about, I also haven't listened to enough Schubert to notice any parallels like that.
    Last edited by GucciManeIsTheNewWebern; Sep-16-2020 at 18:18.

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    Junior Member Ned Low's Avatar
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    I see. I think there's a thread on Schubert and Bruckner.on TC. By the way, if you want to know how Bruckner is influenced by Schubert, just listen to Schubert's symphonies 8 and 9 (" The Unfinished" and " The Great").
    Last edited by Ned Low; Sep-17-2020 at 14:23.

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    Senior Member GucciManeIsTheNewWebern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Low View Post
    I see. I think there's a thread on Schubert and Bruckner.on TC. By the way, if you want to know how Bruckner is influenced by Schubert, just listen to Schubert's symphonies 8 and 9 (" The Unfinished" and " The Great").
    Ah I see, he was inspired by croaking before he could finish his last symphony! Got it.

    In all seriousness, I'm very curious to listen to those and hear the influence you're talking about. They're also famous pieces I haven't heard before.

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    Junior Member Ned Low's Avatar
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    Hahaha... Unlike Bruckner who died before finishing his 9th symphony, Schubert didn't die. I don't know why he never finished his 8th. And yes they are famous pieces. Eugene Jochum conducted these symphonies. They're great. Naturally there are other recordings of the aforementioned symphonies. Kleiber, Bernstein and Karajan.
    Last edited by Ned Low; Sep-17-2020 at 20:28.

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