36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 210: I’m playing Bruckner; Brothers


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 210 — I’m playing Bruckner; Brothers
28-February-1972 (Montag–Mon.)


Bruckner 1894

Extremely good day. With piano, horn and German, also. Managed to practice horn and even got a few hours of El. Musik work in.

Something exciting for me has happened. Prof. Gabler said that one of the horns might not be able to make a rehearsal for the 8th Bruckner Symphonie—great-to-play piece of music. I said, sure, it would be great. Well, when I returned I found out that the other horn student couldn’t play at all—and so I am actually going to play. Not extremely hard music, but loud. I think I’ll even be able to do a good job.

The wildest part is that—I will also be playing a Wagner tuba. Wild. It reminds me so much of a baritone horn, except with better range and facility. (Seems like a good instrument to institute into a band.)

Got home, feeling somewhat good and excited. Had several letters. Some weird things happening at home, like brother Steve dropping out of school.


Exciting invitation. I don’t exactly remember the circumstances of this, but my horn professor, Frederick Gabler, invited me to play in the Wagner tuba section of the student orchestra because another student couldn’t make it. We will perform the symphony in a major symphonic hall. How exciting. I will be playing the Wagner tuba.

Bruckner Symphony No. 8. Bruckner is another late romantic composer with a big sound and great horn parts. The horn section is large—8 horns, with 4 of the horn players, playing Wagner tubas. We horn players like to play fortissimo passages, loud. It will be fun. I wish I had a recording of it. What a great experience this is going to be. The opening photo is of Bruckner in 1894 (thanks to Wikimedia Commons.)

Bruckner and Symphony No. 8 links:

Bruckner in Wikipedia

Bruckner Symphony No. 8 in Wikipedia

Bruckner in The Classical Music Hompages.com (Groves Concise Dictionary)

YouTube video

Guilini – Mvt 4, Finale, Symphonie No. 8
Carlo Mario Guilini, conductor. Good example of fortissimo brass. 3:22 has some Wagner tuba action.

Brother Steve. It is sad that when you don’t have the financial backing of a family—my mother supported five of us boys working nights in a factory—that it is much harder to do the things that others do easily. I would say these “life lessons” build character, but nonetheless, it is not easy for those family members. My brother Steve sends me a letter saying he dropped out of school (college). Steve, as with all my brothers, is very smart and the only reason for him to drop out of school would be because of money. Brother Steve did eventually return to college and graduate. He is a good brother with a wonderful wife and family.

Brother Frank. The only brother I haven’t mentioned so far is brother Frank. Frank has always been a caring guy, a lover of dogs, the outdoors and nature, and an expert home-builder and carpenter. He was the first brother to venture west and settle there. I remember when he built an authentic log cabin from felled trees by himself. I haven’t seen Frank, or my nephew Jacob, in a while. I need to get in touch.

Five Boys. That brings the total in our family to five boys. My poor mother.


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