Imagine: Anton Bruckner, the great Austrian composer, awakens to his 200th birthday. He is born in 1924 and finds himself in a world that is obsessed with his music. “Now I rule,” he thinks to himself, shaking his head in disbelief. In today’s world, Bruckner is everywhere. His symphonies are played around the clock, on the radio, on television, even in the elevators and sometimes in the toilet! “Shouldn’t I be introduced before I rule in people’s ears?” he wonders, laughing softly.
But Bruckner, who was deeply rooted in the religious tradition of the Catholic Church, is not entirely satisfied with all this fame. He flips through his numerous calendar notes of daily prayers said and thinks, “Did I not compose to honor God? Where are the prayers in all this music?” And then there is this modern world that is so very different from his own. He sees people walking through the streets with small boxes in their hands, listening to music. “My music in these boxes? Unimaginable!” he mutters.
Bruckner, who disapproved of overly coarse jokes and had a certain tendency towards melancholy, finds himself in a world that sparkles with humor. He hears jokes about himself and can’t help but smile. “Maybe I should learn to laugh at myself,” he thinks. Amidst all the hoopla and fame, however, Bruckner remains modest. He continues to pray and hopes that his music will inspire people to get back to basics.
“In 2024 I reign,” he thinks, “but may my music always be in the service of God.” And with a smile on his lips, he sits down at the organ at St. Florian and plays as if there were no tomorrow. “But Bruckner, he’s dead, isn’t he?” think the people who hear the organ playing. Here they are mistaken: Bruckner lives on in the Tone poems arranged for wind orchestra and in his compositions for orchestra, in his choral works, in the many arrangements for ensembles and in his solo works. Listen to music by Anton Bruckner on Jetzt regiere ich: Bruckner zum 200. Geburtstag Birthday”.