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Extra Tracks

Below are tracks from our library that never made it onto one of our compact discs. They can be downloaded here as high quality 320kbs AAC encoded (MP3) files.

Purchasers of tracks have unlimted personal use but must not pass or sell on to third parties nor broadcast without prior permission from PPL

Anton Bruckner (1824 - 1896)

Bruckner's father was his first music teacher and taught his son to play the organ at an early age. While studying, Bruckner also helped his father in teaching the other children. His father died in 1837, when Anton was 13 years old. The teacher's position and house were given to a successor, and Bruckner was sent to the Augustinian monastery in St. Florian to become a choirboy. In addition to choir practice, his education included violin and organ. Bruckner was in awe of the monastery's great organ, which was built during the late baroque era and improved in 1837, and he sometimes played it during church services. Later, the organ was to be called the "Bruckner Organ". Despite his musical abilities, Bruckner's mother decided that her son's future profession remained a teacher, and in 1840 Bruckner was sent to a teacher seminar in Linz. After completing the seminar with an excellent grade, he was sent as a teacher's assistant to a school in Windhaag. The living standards and pay were horrible, and Bruckner was constantly humiliated by his superior, teacher Franz Fuchs. Despite the difficult situation, Bruckner never complained or rebelled; a belief of inferiority was to remain one of Bruckner's main personal characteristics during his whole life.

Broad fame and acceptance did not come until he was over 60. A devout Catholic who loved to drink beer, Bruckner was out of step with his contemporaries.

Deutsche Zeitung's music critic Theodor Helm, and famous conductors such as Arthur Nikisch and Franz Schalk constantly tried to bring his music to the public, and for this purpose proposed 'improvements' for making Bruckner's music more acceptable to the public. While Bruckner allowed these changes, he also made sure in his will to bequeath his original scores to the Vienna National Library, confident of their musical validity. Another proof of Bruckner's confidence in his artistic ability is that he often started work on a new symphony just a few days after finishing the previous one.

In addition to his symphonies, Bruckner wrote masses, motets and other sacred choral works, and a few chamber works, including a string quintet. Unlike his romantic symphonies, some of Bruckner's choral works are often conservative and contrapuntal in style; however the Te Deum, Helgoland, Psalm 150 and at least one Mass demonstrate innovative and radical uses of chromaticism.

mass in e minor
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"This is a fine Bruckner disc, and one which those who find Bruckner's symphonies interesting but too long-winded might well give a trial: both these works have a concision which Bruckner rarely attempted. The Mass in E minor (1866) is the second of the three masses which Bruckner wrote while he was organist at Linz Cathedral, shortly before leaving for Vienna to enter the lists as a symphonist. But whereas the other two are characteristically nineteenth century in their use of soloists, chorus and orchestra on a large scale, the E minor Mass is an unusual work for the period; it is a liturgical mass for choir and wind band, in which Bruckner looked back to the sixteenth-century style, fully integrated it into his own nineteenth-century idiom, and at the same time strangely anticipated the bare textures of our own time (there are some startling anticipations of the middleperiod Stravinsky). It is a work of touching beauty and grave power, which should appeal to anyone who loves noble choral music. The Te Deum is, of course, Bruckner's most famous religious work--a fierce affirmation of faith, for soloists, chorus, orchestra, and organ, which combines a stark grandeur with a deep emotionalism not far removed from Verdi's Requiem. The performances leave little to be desired : the chorus sings with a fine sense of the different styles needed for the two works, and the interpretation is suitably firm and strong in both cases, without any of the vagaries of tempo that so many con ductors inflict on Bruckner's music. The account of the Te Deum is preferable, I would say, to Bruno Walter's surprisingly frenetic rendering of the work, and even to Jochum's monumental interpretation (largely because the tone of Jochum's soprano and bass soloists is sadly focused)." D.C. writing in the Gramophone November 1962

Kyrie
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Gloria
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Credo
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Sanctus, benedictus, agnus dei
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mass in e minor
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overture in g minor
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symphony number nine
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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