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Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner Composer

Overture in G-, WAB98   

Performances: 1
Tracks: 1
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Musicology:
  • Overture in G-, WAB98
    Key: G-
    Year: 1862-63
    Genre: Overture
    Pr. Instrument: Orchestra
The Overture in G minor, along with the F minor Symphony and Psalm 112, hails from 1863 when Bruckner ended his studies with Otto Kitzler. Unlike the case with the symphony, Bruckner never made an effort to obscure the overture's existence. In fact, it stands up well if one accepts the fact that it shows the influence of Weber, Mendelssohn and early Wagner, with periodic flashes of the mature Bruckner.

In standard sonata form, the overture commences with a brooding opening which hearkens back to Wagner's "Rienzi" and "Flying Dutchman". A nervous, highly animated first subject gives way to a more reflective second subject with a cadence anticipatory of the composer's later "Gesangperioden" and featuring woodwind writing characteristic of later Bruckner. The powerful third subject shows the influences of Schumann and late Schubert, and occasional moments in the development strongly hint of Bruckner's later corresponding processes. The recapitulation is fairly conventional but in the coda the first subject makes one last transfigured dreamlike appearance, curiosuly premonitory of Mahler's "Wunderhorn" idiom; however, what would have seemed a wonderful "off-to-sleep" Midsummer Night's Dream-like effect is jarringly abandoned for a sudden forte and a rather conventional closing cadence. That aside, the overture does indicate that the budding composer (who was after all thirty-eight) was well on his way to finding his artistic voice.

© Wayne Reisig, Rovi
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