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50. Bruckner: 8th Symphony


[…] listening to Bruckner now.
I relate very much to him.
he just misses by so little.
I ache for his dead guts.
if we all could only
move it up one notch
when necessary.
but we can’t.
I remember my fight in the rain
that Saturday night in the alley with Harry Tabor.
his eyes were rolling in that great dumb head,
one more punch and he was mine
I missed.
[…]
so many near misses.
so many other near misses.
oh, Bruckner, I know!
I am listening to Bruckner now and
I ache for his dead guts
and for my living soul.
we all need something
we can do well,
you know.

Excerpt from  Bruckner by Charles Bukowski


Bruckner stood out by being a humble and simple man. In a world full of ego’s that has to count for something. The Eight was the last symphony he completed. We probably could have had more if our late grandparents had acknowledged Bruckner’s talents a little more while the man still had a pulse.

Bruckner had to complete his Eight in his spare time, while working two jobs as a teacher at the Vienna University and Conservatory. It’s a work of sublime darkness, and Bruckner stated that its Finale is the most significant movement of his life.

With his Ninth Symphony ranked #2 on this list, the latter is open to debate. But it feels right to end this shortlist with such great beauty.

Recommended recording:
Günter Wand & NDR Sinfonieorchester

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