Search
    • media_content.tooltip.skipped

    Linz. Anton Bruckner's Place of Inspiration

    Anton Bruckner is regarded as one of the most influential composers of his time. The gifted organist found inspiration in the beauty and stillness of the landscape along the Danube.

    Anton Bruckner monument Linz (by artist Franz Strahammer)
    media_content.tooltip.skipped

    Anton Bruckner was born in 1824 in Ansfelden, close to Linz, as the son of a village teacher. It was evident early on that he had musical talent – that he probably heard more than most in the quiet, rural world of the 19th century and could bring these details and nuances to life in his own compositions.

    In the 1840s, he worked as a teacher and organist at the Stift Sankt Florian, where he composed his first motets and a requiem. He was around 20 years old at the time. In 1855, Anton Bruckner became the cathedral organist in Linz and, thus, a professional musician.

    "Sometimes, his music sounds like an ode to his homeland. And sometimes, almost like a prayer."

    Anton Bruckner monument Linz (by artist Franz Strahammer)
    media_content.tooltip.skipped
    Sarah Bruderhofer, Contrabase player at the Bruckner Orchestra

    Mach die Augen zu, sagt Sarah Bruderhofer: „Schließ die Augen, und dann hör genau hin. Und hab ein bisserl Geduld!“ Bruckner mache es einem tatsächlich nicht immer leicht, manchmal klinge er sperrig, gelegentlich abgehoben, und hin und wieder sowieso nicht von dieser Welt. „Aber nach einer Weile kann du das Wasser hören. Dieses Fließen, dieses Rauschen – das klingt fast, als stehe man am Ufer der Donau.“
    Die Kontrabassistin des Bruckner Orchesters Linz kann gut nachvollziehen, wie sehr die Landschaft an der Donau den großen Symphoniker und Kirchenmusiker beeinflusst hat. Seine Kompositionen seien fest in Oberösterreich verwurzelt, sagt sie.

    Brucknerhaus in Linz / Brucknerhaus
    media_content.tooltip.skipped

    The reason why today's musicians, such as Sarah Bruderhofer in Linz, Upper Austria's capital city, identify with the composer and why the townhouses not only the Bruckner Orchestra but also the similarly named concert house (right on the banks of the Danube, of course) as well as the International Bruckner Festival - lies in Bruckner's relevance for classical music. It might also have to do with the fact that locals recognise Brukner as someone deeply attached to his home by the Danube. He never did feel quite comfortable in the hustle and bustle of Vienna, where he lived and taught later in life. 

    His art sprung from his reverence for the idyllic, gentle landscapes surrounding the Danube with their quiet woodlands, small villages and the steady flow of the stream. Sometimes, a hint of permanence and infinity, such as he might have felt during his walks through nature or during meditative contemplation on the banks of the Danube, is discernible in his music.

    •                         Typical nut and jam layer cake called "Linzer Torte"
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    •                         Danube in Linz
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    •                         Lentos Art Museum illuminated in blue
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    • From the old cathedral, it is only a short walk to the river. One can stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Town or amble across the main square with its magnificent architecture, where Linz can seem a bit imperial and people love to take advantage of sunny weather to meet over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine from the Wachau Valley. 

    • The avant-gardist building one can see on the opposite bank of the Danube? That is the Ars Electronica Center, a museum dedicated to the discovery and experience of future technologies. The exhibitions combine science, technology and art and are widely regarded as being very cutting-edge.

    • A spectacular building on the way to the Brucknerhaus creates a similar impression: The Lentos is a museum for modern and avant-garde art. With its transparent glass facade (illuminated at night), it is one of the city’s landmarks. The name stems from the Celtic lentos, which means ‘bent.’ The name likely refers to the famous bend in the Danube just a bit farther downriver.

    Did Bruckner spend much of his time standing on these banks, letting his thoughts roam? Very likely. The musician was a devout man with a penchant for melancholy; he never married (but was frequently in love with women many years younger than himself) and shunned the gossiping society of imperial times. When he wasn’t composing, he spent his time surrounded by nature. Without his reverence for it, Bruckner’s music is not conceivable. The river, the hillsides full of grapevines, the wetlands and the endless forests have been a source of inspiration for the composer since his early youth. 

    • Alongside Brahms and Wagner, Bruckner is regarded as one of the most influential composers of the late 19th century. It is quite possible that since then, the landscapes of the Danube have influenced occidental music much more than is generally acknowledged today.

    • Anton Bruckner died on October 10, 1896, in Vienna. He was buried in the church of St. Florian, the church belonging to the same abbey where, as a young man, he had composed his very first works.

    •                         Organ at the Monastery St. Florian
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    •                         Monastery St. Florian / St. Florian
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    media_content.tooltip.skipped

    Also of interest

    • Linz

      The city of Linz is home to a vibrant music and arts scene, seamlessly blending traditional and contemporary arts.

      Read more
          Ars Electronica Center / Linz, Oberösterreich
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    • Music in Austria

      From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to The Sound of Music, Austria is a country of music.

      Feel the rhythm
          Austrian kids making music
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    • Famous Austrians

      From Mozart and Sisi to Hedy Lamarr – Austria's sons and daughters have left their mark across music, art, science, politics, and sport. Find out which famous personalities originate from or lived in Austria and follow in their footsteps.

      Read more
          Mozart family picture
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    • Upper Austria: Architectural Highlights

      Linz is a cosmopolitan city of culture & arts. Small historic cities like Bad Ischl and Hallstatt are treasure troves. Countless abbeys and monasteries can be found throughout the region.

      Read more
          Danube Linz with Ars Electronica Center
      media_content.tooltip.skipped
    media_content.tooltip.skipped
    media_content.tooltip.skipped