Over a century after his death, Bruckner the man remains an enigma. Popular anecdotes represent him as a visionary simpleton, his life dominated exclusively by music and religion. And yet this same bizarre figure is widely held to have produced some of the most original and sophisticated music written in the second half of the nineteenth century. The reminiscences collected here allow insights into a much more complicated, sometimes tormented mind. Dark obsessions are revealed, and there are hints of acute sexual frustration, as well as indications that Bruckner's faith was not unclouded by doubt. Students and colleagues describe how Bruckner composed and record some of the extra-musical ideas behind the music. The composer's battles with the would-be 'improvers' of his scores are illustrated, and there are tantalising accounts of Bruckner's organ improvisations, which gained him international recognition even when his major works were misunderstood or simply ignored.Alongside these are memories of a Bruckner who, despite his striking eccentricities, could be excellent company: high-spirited, humorous - even witty: a good dancer and a natural children's entertainer. Inevitably, there are several stories about Bruckner's disastrous infatuations with teenage girls, some funny, others sad - loneliness was evidently an abiding problem for Bruckner. But this was also a man who could inspire deep feelings of loyalty, even devotion, in those who knew him. Taken together, these accounts offer the first fully rounded portrait in the English language of this popular but misunderstood composer.
Some wear to spine.