HomeComposersBrahms, Bruckner and critics

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Brahms, Bruckner and critics — 12 Comments

  1. Do you have the quote attributed to Brahms calling Bruckner’s symphonies “giant boa constrictors”? I would love to see the context and the entire quotation–in English and in the original German, if possible.

  2. It was in a letter Brahm’s wrote. He was talking about how the then-current enthusiasm for Bruckner among the young was largely due to their opposition to himself, and that when he was no longer on the scene, Bruckner would be forgotten. He also wrote that he was not a very good choice of standard-bearer in the “Brahm’s-Wagner War,” as he admired Die Meistersaenger and had written so to Wagner. Later, after hearing the 2nd and 3rd movements of Bruckner’s 6th, he apparently told Bruckner that maybe he wasn’t so bad after all.

  3. You might also mention Hans Rott, whose First Symphony (to which Mahler was greatly indebted) seems to have attempted to please the camps of both Brahms and Bruckner. Which proved, of course, impossible.

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