May 10, 2021

«Te Deum» by Bruckner: The cathedral of sound

«Te Deum» by Bruckner: The cathedral of sound

How is it possible that someone who takes himself so little seriously composes monstrosities – in the good sense of the word – like this Te Deum that concerns us? Anton Bruckner is undoubtedly the definitive counterpoint to the stereotype of composer snatched by the ardor of his muse-Beethoven, Wagner-cursed prophet of the new religion of a post-Christian humanity. Just look at any of his photographs or read the countless anecdotes that have come from the shame of others that caused where he was going in the Viennese society of the late nineteenth century with his cowherd manners, his ridiculously short pants on the legs for that did not bother him with the pedal set of the organ.

Gustav Mahler worshiped him, considered him his teacher, his forerunner. In his copy of Te Deum he crossed out the part of the title and where he said

«TE DEUM for choir, soloists and organ ad libitum»

And he wrote in his own hand:

«TE DEUM for the language of the Angels, those who seek God, the hearts that suffer, and the souls purified in the fire»

Of all the parents of music, Anton Bruckner is the one that moves the most tenderness. It was a perfect disaster. They simply leave open-mouthed the stories of how she falls in love platonically and most chastely, already at a very advanced age, of young waitresses and servants of the hotels where she stayed. Better cover their nakedness as did the sons of Noah. Although the poor must have had a very bad time: that at least invites us to think about the dedication of the Te Deum when it was finished in 1884: "The Greater Glory of God, with gratitude for having taken care of me while suffering so much anguish in Vienna".

The best picture by Anton Bruckner by far

All of Brucker's life revolved around God Almighty. His ninth and last symphony was unfinished; we only have his first three movements, the last of which has as its main theme a motive that he himself described as "farewell to life". When he saw that he was unable to finish his work, he played with the idea of ​​recovering his Te Deum and attaching it to the 9th. Finally the disparity between both compositions discouraged him and we will have to wait for the future life to listen to the fourth final movement of his final symphony, composed from Heaven. One more incentive to look with hope at the end of this valley of tears, I suppose. Be this as it may, this anecdotal fact gives the Te Deum that a biographical context will sound in the Auditorium that seems ideal to prepare the mind for the impact of this authentic cathedral of sounds that, until the last of its days, was considered by Bruckner as "the pride of my life ».


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