Another work by Anton Bruckner, this time his Symphony No. 7 in E major. After the 4th, the 7th might be the most familiar of Bruckner’s symphonies. It is the most Wagnerian in sound, right down to his use of four Wagner tubas in the Adagio movement. (The Wagner tuba is an instrument specifically designed by Wagner himself, who thought nothing of inventing instruments to achieve the sounds he wanted.) In fact, Bruckner himself indicated that the theme from that movement came to him in a dream after a sudden realization that Wagner was soon to die (which Wagner did indeed do, less than a month later). Bruckner’s writing in this symphony is typically organ-like, and the work reflects his deep faith and his pastoral background.
As with other Bruckner works, what sounds noble and profound to one ear might well sound trite, repetitive, and pompous to another. I tend toward the former category, myself; I find that Bruckner wrote the kind of music inside which one can easily get lost for a while.
Next week, we’ll wrap up Bruckner with his most massive work.