Brahms Fan Forgets How Bad Bruckner Is- Almost Dies During Symphony

By Pianists With Kittens

Vienna, Austria– On Wednesday night, Sally McBrahmsFan made the traumatic mistake of attending a concert that featured a symphony by Anton Bruckner. “I was somewhat ambivalent about staying for the second half,” she recalls, “especially after Legendary Violinist gave a great reading of Obscure 20th-Century Piece That No One Else Wanted to Hear. But I had heard that the Famous Conductor is a Bruckner specialist, so I thought maybe he could make it listenable.”

But McBrahmsFan was wrong. “Basically I had forgotten how bad Bruckner is,” she explains, sipping a comforting cup of tea in her apartment. “Even in that historic hall with a great symphony orchestra, there was no saving the music from itself. I’d say Bruckner is a lot of ‘sound and fury signifying nothing,’ but that is too poetic a phrase for its sprawling expanse of Wagnerian brass clichés and proto-minimalistic repetitions of diatonic tetrachords. I almost died.”

McBrahmsFan considers herself a student of late 19th-century music history. “I can understand how some politically radical anti-Brahms people allowed Bruckner to gain a foothold in 1880s Vienna—but why is Bruckner still a thing?”

“At one point I caught myself thinking, ‘How did this man ever write four-part motets? He can’t even write basic soprano-bass counterpoint.’ The one time the bass did anything it was that tired descending line borrowed from Meistersinger, which created only a momentary interest of passing dissonance. And that trite scherzo – I spent the whole time wishing Mahler had written it.”

Amidst the long repetitive passages with no significant melodic or voice-leading content, McBrahmsFan found herself looking around the hall. “What were the white-haired Viennese concert-goers having orgasmic epiphanies about? It’s not even like Wagner, who at least has the whole operatic-mythological apparatus for you to contemplate.”

“Did I mention I had a standing-room ticket? I almost died.”

Asked if Famous Conductor had done anything for Bruckner’s music, McBrahmsFan frowned. “The piece should have ended about five times before it did. Why would you even want to conduct that in the first place? I just—sorry, I need to lie down.”

This post was written by Pianists With Kittens, who can also be found on Twitter and Tumblr

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72 Responses

  1. Perry Groves says:

    Why did some idiot think this was worth writing?

  2. anon says:

    Bruckner fans have no sense of humor? I’m shocked.

  3. Love it – hilarious writing. After the 50th repetition of some godawful motive 25 minutes into the first movement of a Bruckner symphony I always look around, expecting my fellow audience members to be ready to riot. Instead people seem to be enjoying themselves, with some audience members even drooling in ecstasy. Just absolutely unbelievable to me.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      That’s probably because some of your fellow audience members are more musically perceptive, have a longer attention span, and are better able to grasp complex musical structures like a Bruckner symphony than you.

      • Throwcase says:

        Ah, this takes me back to my high school days when we assessed each other’s personalities based on which bands we followed, as if that mattered.

        • Michael Schaffer says:

          A very perceptive comment. And since you and the author of this article apparently haven’t musically and/or intellectually matured since your high school days, it indeed doesn’t really matter what you have “to say” anyway.

          • Throwcase says:

            Pay attention folks – if someone points out that you have made a cheap ad hominem attack instead of an argument, you can respond by simply making another cheap ad hominem attack. It will prove your point about how mature and intellectual you are.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            Saying “some of your fellow audience members are more musically perceptive, have a longer attention span, and are better able to grasp complex musical structures like a Bruckner symphony than you” is not a cheap ad hominem attack. It is an observation justified by the comments themselves. After all, there are many musicians and music fans who hold his music in very high esteem and they have no problems following them.

            However, responding “this takes me back to my high school days when we assessed each other’s personalities based on which bands we followed” actually *is* a cheap ad hominem attack, although I do note and appreciate that you are at least trying to be somewhat original and entertaining.

            There is a reason why those symphonies are still frequently and widely performed, and that reason is probably not that there is some kind of conspiracy going on in the world of “classical” music to bore audiences with long complicated symphonies.
            Also, her own comments about counterpoint and all that do make it very clear that she has a very limited understanding and aural grasp of musical theory because his music generally is very complex and “studied”, and that’s why many of his works are also studied in composition and music theory classes. There are many things one can “accuse” Bruckner of and dislike about his music, but saying that it isn’t composed well from the musical theory point of view is just nonsense, and a transparent attempt by the author to fake more knowledge of the subject than she obviously has.

          • Throwcase says:

            Your entire argument depends on an ad hominem judgement- you assume that if only someone is perceptive and intelligent enough then they are bound to like Bruckner, as if the only way a musician could not like Bruckner is if they were insufficient to the task.
            I disagree. In fact, I think it is possible to dislike a composer even if you can objectively see why their music is good, and claiming that a person’s taste in music is due to their inferior personal qualities is nothing if not an ad hominen attack. I see it all too often in the classical music world and I’m tired of it.
            Also, my schooldays quip was a response to your argument- I have made no condescending judgements about your level of musical perceptivity, attention span, or abilities. I’m quite certain you are more than capable of appreciating Bruckner’s many wonders, but I find your arguments in defence of it infantile.

          • Linda says:

            Ah, so Bruckner is of interest to music theorists! Thank you, Mr. Schaffer, for reassuring us readers who can’t draw our own conclusions.
            Armed with this knowledge, I eagerly looked up the past ten years worth of programs from the annual meetings of the Society for Music Theory. To my dismay, I found that papers with “Brahms” in the title numbered 22, but “Bruckner” only 5. However, one of those Bruckner papers was about Bruckner being like the heavy metal of its day! so, I think that alone makes up for all the other theorist fascination with Brahms.

            But I am just another feeble-minded woman like Sally McBrahmsFan, so it should be easy to dismiss my observations if you disagree with them. Have a nice day. 🙂

          • Michael Schaffer says:


            “Ah, so Bruckner is of interest to music theorists! Thank you, Mr. Schaffer, for reassuring us readers who can’t draw our own conclusions.”

            That seems to be the case with you when you need to look up and count the number of times he is mentioned by that society rather as a way of forming an opinion about that.

            “To my dismay, I found that papers with “Brahms” in the title numbered 22, but “Bruckner” only 5.”

            It’s odd that for some people even today, it’s still a Bruckner vs. Brahms thing. As if one couldn’t appreciate and enjoy both composers’ music. Well, apparently, some can’t…

            “But I am just another feeble-minded woman like Sally McBrahmsFan, so it should be easy to dismiss my observations if you disagree with them.”

            I don’t know what the proper term for this rhetorical mishap is, it’s kind of like circular logic or a self-fulfilling prophecy, although those aren’t really quite the right terms in this context, but whatever it may be called, this is a great example for it. Maybe “rhetorical backfire” or “rhetorical own goal”?

            I did not say (nor do I think) that “Sally McBrahmsFan” can not grasp Bruckner’s music *because she is a woman*. You totally made that up in a feeble attempt to make her, and preemptively yourself, too, it seems, victims of gender bias. That’s cheap and lame, and quite shameful, too. And, ironically, by doing so, you have *proven yourself* to be rather feeble-minded. But not because you are a woman.
            Do you use that passive-aggressive technique all the time in real life, too?

          • Michael Schaffer says:


            “Your entire argument depends on an ad hominem judgement”

            No, it doesn’t. It’s just based on her own statements in this context, not on judgment of the person as a whole. I see you oscillate between ad hominem “attack” – which isn’t what my comments were – and ad hominem “judgment”. The latter doesn’t really make sense. If someone voices an opinion, and one critiques that opinion, that’s not “ad hominem” either.

            “you assume that if only someone is perceptive and intelligent enough then they are bound to like Bruckner, as if the only way a musician could not like Bruckner is if they were insufficient to the task.”

            No, I don’t assume that. Please don’t put words in my mouth! And don’t try to assume what I assume. You probably know the ass-u-me saying.

            “I disagree. In fact, I think it is possible to dislike a composer even if you can objectively see why their music is good,”

            We do not disagree here. I think so, too, and of course there is music that I personally haven’t found real access to even though I may be able to see its quality and note that many others do appreciate it highly, but I don’t feel the need to shoot it down in the adolescent way she did here.

            “and claiming that a person’s taste in music is due to their inferior personal qualities is nothing if not an ad hominen attack. I see it all too often in the classical music world and I’m tired of it.”

            Me, too, and I am also tired of nonsense like her post. However, as I explained just above, my comments have nothing to do with judging the lady’s personal “taste” – and much less with judging her “inferior personal qualities”, I didn’t do that, now you are beginning to make up stuff – a clear sign that you have run out of arguments, I would say!

            “I’m quite certain you are more than capable of appreciating Bruckner’s many wonders, but I find your arguments in defence of it infantile.”

            Bruckner’s music doesn’t need me to “defend” it. My points are pretty basic, that’s true, but they still make sense and basic doesn’t mean “infantile”.
            And just one tip, don’t use terms like “ad hominem attack” and “infantile” so readily and in such an inflationary way, without thinking whether they really apply in the given situation. Because that actually *is* a little infantile. 😉

          • Throwcase says:

            I’d love to reply to this in detail, but before I do I have to clarify something: do you know that Sally McBrahmsFan is not actually a real person?

      • Chuck Benson says:

        Well said!

  4. Boman Desai says:

    The question is not, as Sally McBrahmsfan would have it, “Why is Bruckner still a thing?” Bruckner has been “a thing” now for more than a century. The question is “Why can Sally McBrahmsfan not accept a given?” The question is also “Why should anyone care what Sally McB says or thinks?”

    Also, Brahms’s comment about Bruckner’s symphonic boa constrictors may be well known, but many don’t know that Brahms did a great deal more for Bruckner than Wagner. He once said: “I would not go through thick and thin with Bruckner, but he is a man whose intentions are damn serious – and that deserves respect.” He also helped bring about a performance of Bruckner’s Te Deum. It was the last concert Bruckner ever attended, so ill he had been carried into the concert hall. Sally McB would do well to keep that in mind.

    • Throwcase says:

      That all sounds fine, and Brahms is allowed to respect Bruckner, just as Mahler respected Schoenberg and Wagner respected Bellini.
      But why is Sally not allowed to dislike Bruckner?
      Or indeed, why should anyone care what you think?

      • Philip Amos says:

        The point is: Why should anyone care what Sally thinks? Who IS Sally? What Bruckner symphony did she hear, even if she wasn’t listening to it? I’ve read reviews of concerts by critics who, it turned out, weren’t there. Even reviews of concerts that were cancelled. But not a review of a concert that did take place by someone who was there but doesn’t say what music was performed.

        • Throwcase says:

          My favourite sentence of the day: “what Bruckner symphony did she hear, even if she wasn’t listening to it?”

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            It would actually be kind of interesting to know which symphony it was, and also what the “Obscure 20th-Century Piece That No One Else Wanted to Hear” the “Legendary Violinist” played was. Do you know what the pieces in that concert were?

          • Throwcase says:

            You can ask the author on Twitter. @pianistwkitten.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            I don’t use Twitter. If you know, why don’t you just tell us? Is it a big secret?

          • Throwcase says:

            I don’t know. I didn’t write it.
            What type of secret would it be if I just described a simple way to find the answer?

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            Oh, I see it was the 9th, along with Gubaidulina’s “In tempus praesens” with Kremer/StaatskapelleD/T-man.

            I was a little curious in the interest of giving the author the benefit of the doubt as some of the earlier Bruckner symphonies, and especially the earlier versions of the symphonies he revised multiple times, are somewhat incoherent. But if we are talking about the 9th – that actually makes the comments about counterpoint and all that just really, really dumb. And it does show the author to be someone with very limited musical perception – except that she doesn’t seem to realize that and that she fancies herself an expert in such things as “counterpoint”…that’s a really complex and, for the time, harmonically very advanced piece. At least for those people who can actually hear that.

          • Throwcase says:

            “What did you do today, honey?”
            “Oh, I became very irate, because a fictional character with an obviously absurd name made some unflattering comments about Bruckner’s counterpoint on a satirical website. I tried to argue with her but she wouldn’t respond- it was as if she didn’t even exist!”
            “Very good dear. You show them how perceptive you are.”

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            I didn’t get “irate” at all. I am just much better than you are at presenting a coherent argument without veiled name-calling – which is what your resorting to saying people make “ad hominem attacks” or “childish arguments” really is, as is saying “you became irate” when the other person patiently addressed the points you made. Doing that is indeed rather silly, and not in a satirical way – just silly.
            Let’s face it, any sort of strong opinion about something or critique of someone’s opinion can easily be perceived as an “attack” – and it is easy to succumb to accuse someone of such things rather than trying to focus on the content of the arguments itself.
            And you failed quite badly in that respect. I think you know you did. Does that make you “irate”?

            It was still an entertaining discussion – thanks for that. 🙂

          • Throwcase says:

            You know, you might be right about “ad hominem judgement” being a bad choice of words. What I should have said was “condescending churlishness.”

            Do you have any arguments that aren’t about how much better you are than others, or how Sally’s arguments represent her inferiority to you?

    • Birds of a Feather says:

      And you, sir, would do well to keep in mind that Bruckner’s music either does or does not speak for itself. It certainly needs none of this:

      • Throwcase says:

        Of course Bruckner’s music speaks for itself. The author of this article doesn’t like it, which is also something that speaks for itself.
        What the hell is the problem here?

        No one kicked up a fuss over my articles mocking Hindemith and Parry. Do Bruckner fans really take themselves this seriously?

        • Michael Schaffer says:

          I can’t answer that question because I haven’t read any of your other articles. I just stumbled over here from Uncle Norman’s website. Maybe I will read them later and let you know what I think.
          Your last sentence doesn’t make sense. This “discussion” has less to do with “Bruckner fans” taking themselves too seriously, but with the author of that article at the top of the page taking herself far too seriously.

          • Throwcase says:

            I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that perhaps you did not realise this website is satirical. Norman may have referred to this article as a review, but it isn’t one. It is satire. Another example would be:

            Man Discovers Another Fucking Hindemith Sonata

            (And before you get excited, there isn’t really a freshly discovered Hindemith sonata.

            Ps- why have you presumed the author of the article is a woman? Where does it say that? To help you in your investigations, I’d like to point out that “Sally” is fictional.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            Yes, it is very obvious that the website is *meant* to be satirical. You keep saying that, and you do try very, very hard. That doesn’t mean that everything you say is really hilarious, even though you yourself obviously think it is. Which is what I find hilarious in turn.

            And yes, it’s very obvious, too, that “Sally McBrahmsFan” is not a real name. Whether the *author* of the article is a man or woman is not suggested anywhere, and at times in why wording I confused the *author* (whoever that may be) with the *subject* of the article whose “opinions” are supposedly reported there, but that doesn’t really change my points about the content of the comments themselves.
            Whether “Sally” is completely fictional or a pseudonym for a person the author knows is unclear, but that doesn’t really matter much either. It is however clear that the subject of the article, fictional or not, is meant to be a woman. But that’s irrelevant, too, since my points had nothing to do with the gender of the person who made the comments (or made them up and put them into someone’s mouth, be it a fictional or real person under a pseudonym).

            I am going to go out on a limb here, too, and suggest that “Thowcase” is maybe not your real name either.

          • Throwcase says:

            I agree that you are confused. When you read novels, do you often feel that the characters actually wrote the book? They usually did not.

            Sadly, Sally’s fictional nature does indeed affect your points because the content of her comments is a joke. You are responding to this as if it’s a musicological essay. It’s not.
            If it helps you sleep at night, I saw Barenboim conduct Bruckner 8 at the Royal Festival Hall and I rather enjoyed it. I can still laugh at this article though, because I know people who would not have enjoyed the concert and I like to empathise with those people, rather than fulminating at them in overly zealous outrage and calling them immature.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        “Mansplaining”? LOL – that’s anew word for me. And it is the second time on this page that someone insinuates that the dissenting opinions posted here have more to do with the fact that the author apparently is a woman than that what she wrote is just dumb stuff. But the former does not follow from the latter. Guys says dumb stuff all the time, too.
        What’s up with all this passive-aggressive nonsense? Why do some people try to make other people’s opinions look like they are based on gender bias rather than the fact that the criticized comments are just sheer nonsense? That’s an abuse of gender dynamics that makes women look like default victims in disagreements, and one that everyone who believes in equal rights for everyone should strongly disagree with, I think.

  5. eloisehellyer says:

    Well, Chad, I enjoyed your article as usual but I must say the your answers to the comments are even more entertaining. You defend yourself so well against a bunch of stuck-up blowhards who personally attack you for saying what you think. (How dare you!) Not one of them respectfully disagrees with you about the value of Bruckner’s music but they attack you instead. Keep on provoking, Chad! Music is for everyone, not the elite. And everyone has an opinion and a right to express it without being judged. If it’s any help to you, I can’t stand Puccini. His music depresses me. There, now I’ve come out and said it. I feel so much better!

    • Throwcase says:

      Just to say, this article was actually by a guest author, Pianist With Kittens. (@pianistswkitten on twitter)
      I liked it so much I thought the world should get a chance to enjoy it as well.
      I hope you like today’s post as well! 😉

  6. eloisehellyer says:

    Yes, I have already retweeted, FB’ed and commented on it. I think I’ll go look up your friend on twitter. Keep up the good work!

  7. JustSayNoToBrucknerSymphonies says:

    This article, through wry, droll humor, is spot on! I ador Bruckner Motets and even the Te Deum and masses have moments of great beauty. But the non-events that are his symphonies have never done anything but infuriate me. The fact that they are still performed and even revered by conductors mystifies me. Perhaps the only one that is even listenable is the 4th, and even that one spends most of the time abusing the strings and punishing the woodwinds. His symphonic works are completely underwhelming and utterly boring, in my opinion and experience both as listener and as one who has regrettably had to play several of them.

  8. drora kemp says:

    A friend forwarded this to me, and this is my first encounter with I must say that I found the posting funny (not musically equipped to love Bruckner either). What I did LOVE, though, are the comments. You guys can dish it with the best of them, but with much better grammar.

  9. Silly BrucknerFan says:

    I am a bit of a Bruckner fan myself and stumbled upon this article through the June 1st Newsletter of So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Sally and I are not quite on the same page regarding the qualities of Bruckner’s music. Personally I am particularly fond of the ‘Generalpausen’ in Bruckner’s symphonies. To me they can’t last long enough and I believe that no conductor respects these pauses in Bruckner’s scores better than Sergiu Celibidache. He gives you time enough for instance to go to the bathroom, drink a cup of tea and/or bring your children to school.
    A special case in this matter is Bruckner’s Second symphony. If any conductor respects even just a little bit the intended pauses in the finale of this symphony, the suspended time of playing will allow you to listen to a complete symphony of Haydn or Mozart in between. But the best of all is of course the unfinished finale of Bruckner’s Ninth. There Bruckner ends with a pause that lasts for all eternity, which gives more than enough time for anyone to get a life.

  10. Ian Gray says:

    Please be quiet !!! Both Brahms and Bruckner are magnificent composers ……….. they mean a lot to me and many others.
    I am reminded of the famous quote by Bruckner in the Griechenbeisel in Vienna after a meeting with himself and Brahms when after a long discussion and on the way out Bruckner said to Brahms “at least we can agree on the excellent quality of the beer!”
    I’ll drink to that and continue to listen to and wonder at BOTH composers!

    • Throwcase says:

      You do that. I won’t even tell you to be quiet about your musical tastes, because that’s ridiculous.

      • Ian Gray says:

        I wasn’t asking you to be quiet about your musical tastes I was simply asking you to bring to an end a pointless argument so that people can get back to the most important issue ie listening to the wonderful music of both Brahms and Bruckner.

        • Throwcase says:

          If the argument is pointless, does that mean your contribution to it is pointless?

          • Philip Amos says:

            Requesting an end to a pointless argument is not per se part of the argument, and not in itself pointless. I was bemused as to the point of the article, and that was reflected in an earlier comment I posted. I thought the comments might be amusing, even if the article wasn’t, though it was baffling, with no identification of the Bruckner work in question nor the violin concerto. As it has developed, it seems it was too daft and bemusing a piece to lead to much at all, not much more than statements about who likes what. It’s below par for the blog, worn very thin, and so do I agree with Ian.

          • Throwcase says:

            Well, I certainly can’t resist a compliment- glad you like the blog.

            For me the point of the article was to poke fun at the idea that some composers are so profound that they are beyond reproach. The fact that this article generated such an indignant response in some quarters suggests that it was rather needed after all.

            Not everything is so profound! I love Wagner but I can still mock his “boring half-hours”. Even Harold Bloom doesn’t shy away from saying that some bits of Shakespeare just aren’t good.

          • Philip Amos says:

            Well, yes, I get the idea. I certainly missed the point, but then I’ve never come across anyone who so reveres Bruckner that they bridle and start writing when they come across a criticism of his works. I’m rather more used to people writing that Bruckner is rubbish. Jessica Duchen has turned that into a hobby. On the other hand, for her, Faure and Korngold are sacrosanct. Perhaps I may suggest you chose the wrong target. It might have worked better had you chosen Bach or Beethoven or…? But there again, I don’t know of anyone who thinks the latter’s Wellington’s Victory a masterpiece, much as they may adore his music. Benjamin Britten, on t’other hand, loathed Brahms. And Puccini. Colin Wilson said an interview that he didn’t like Bach — think about that for a minute or two and it may be apparent what an odd thing to say that is. Bach of the Brandenburgs or of the B minor mass? Doesn’t like Bach but likes Vivaldi, apparently. All this is so idiosyncratic. All in all, just from my own experience, I think people who hate composers, in the way of Duchen, Britten, et al., may be a better target for spoofing than the ones who revere them in such measure that they can’t tolerate even the slightest criticism. You could let a little time pass and then try something along those lines. Good try, but I just don’t think this one worked.

  11. Silly BrucknerFan says:

    There’s also the option to end this discussion with a general pause and have some fun by listening to Bruckner’s 9th Symphony’s original sketches of the finale (Yoav Talmi/Oslo Philharmonic), and then to his 1st Symphony’s 1st movement (Allegro). From this comparison you can very well get the impression that, not unlike the end of this discussion, Bruckner’s musical argument is simply running around in circles, With the right sense of humour it can make you smile heartily.

    Yours truly,
    Silly BrucknerFan

  12. Harlon Wilde says:

    I had the grotesque misfortune of being compelled to record some godawful Bruckner symphony once as a producer for a major broadcaster. I endorse SMcBF’s comments recalling the arid, obese, pompous fracking noise that Bruckner’s klangwelt could almost aspire too. Why do nitwits try to wave this dead blancmage in the air and call it souffle? For Christ’s sake go and listen to some music that has life in it. Please.

  13. I like Bruckner. I found this funny. All those slow sequences piling up on top of each other, the sudden silences between themes, the five-minute-long organ points…. I love them, and can also see why they make some people want to tear their hair out. Music’s like that.

  14. Ricardo da Mata says:

    This is a very interesting text, a symbol of what Bruckner’s music is. Some parts of his compositions reflect real feelings but I have no patience to listen to Wagnerian unstructured music.

  15. AvSchaffer says:

    I love Brahms and Bruckner. Articles like this just strike me as very, very old and stifling. Yawn. Come on, guys. If you don’t like Bruckner — or Brahms, or Schubert for all that… you THINK you don’t like Bruckner. The truth is, it’s Bruckner that doesn’t like you.

    • Philip Amos says:

      Av, I shouldn’t myself tell anyone they only think they don’t like Bruckner. That can seem a touch arrogant. I’m utterly fed up with the anti-Bruckner brigade, but my reaction to them is different. I just wonder if they understand him — something that requires at least a measure of musical knowledge and historical perspective. I suspect they may not, for a look at the literature shows that nowhere near the effort has been put into understanding his music and then translating that knowledge into words than has been made in the — very obvious case — of Mahler. One eminent (which does not necessarily mean good) blogger regularly takes jabs as Bruckner, never with any reason attached, there are others, and also other composers who get jabbed. But, the central point here, I have yet to see an ‘I don’t like Bruckner’ comment with reasons attached. If there were, and the reasons sound, I’d accept it simply as a difference of opinion.

    • This is an amateur point of view.

  16. John H says:

    People who don’t care for Bruckner simply expose themselves for the level of listener that they are. Bruckner does not require the facile endorsement of the average concertgoer to endure.

    From Dudamel in LA, to Muti in Chicago, and the newly appointed Jaap van Zweden at the NY Phil — not to mention Rattle in London or the late Claudio Abbado, he is championed by serious conductors and listeners.

    “It is true that people respond more easily to Mahler. It is about emotions and people like that. When they go to the movies they like action. If it is a movie about beauty they will just go away. For me beauty is more important than emotion and action, and in my opinion that is what Bruckner is talking about and that is what Bach is talking about. If you listen to Bruckner and Bach it makes you clean inside. If you listen to Mahler you will be full of emotion and all kinds of thoughts. With Bruckner there is a line to God. With Mahler there is also a line to God but it has lots of sideways I would say.” (JvZ).

  17. kyf says:

    Bruckner’s music is “headbanging” horror music. Some have “Death Metal” stuff. No. 9 has a Psycho “yes, the move” Scherzo. This has been documented. See the McGill Podcast by Don MacLean. There are fans of this kind of music. But do not be confused by the nature of this kind of music.

    • kyf says:

      Correction: Psycho “the movie” Scherzo.

      For those who don’t want to listen to the podcast, please read this summary:

      You might have made connections to this kind of music in a way that you have not realized.

      A passage from the above summary: After McLean has pointed out that one of Bruckner’s biggest fans was fellow Austrian Adolf Hitler, Pearlman elaborates. “We owe the creation of heavy metal to the Third Reich,” he says, “because a lot of the Jewish composers who left Europe went on to compose for Hollywood horror films. They exposed kids to a Brucknerian vocabulary and it subsequently morphed into heavy metal.”

  18. Kate says:

    Lol this is amazing.

  19. Eleanor Roth says:

    Wow. Michael Schaffer seems like a really fun guy!

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