Friday, 1 February 2013

Another Musical Monster

Critics did not respond well to the first performance of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony on 21st March 1886 in Vienna:

The audience admittedly did not show much 'resistance': it fled in part even after the second movement of this monstrous symphonic serpent, in droves after the third, so that only a small remainder stayed to enjoy the Finale.

In the caricature above, Bruckner is followed by his critics, Eduard Hanslick, Max Kalbeck and Richard Heuberger.

Another critic of the time, Kalbeck, went further in his indictment, saying:

"We have as little faith in the future of the Brucknerian symphony as in the triumph of chaos over the cosmos"

Quotations from The Cambridge Companion to Bruckner, edited by John Williamson, p.33.

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