'''Anton Bruckner''' (; ) was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Paul-Gilbert Langevin, ''Anton Bruckner - apogée de la symphonie'', l'Age d'Homme, Lausanne, 1977 - ISBN 2-8251-0880-4 Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies.
Unlike other musical radicals such as Richard Wagner or Hugo Wolf who fit the ''enfant terrible'' mould, Bruckner showed extreme humility before other musicians, Wagner in particular. This apparent dichotomy between Bruckner the man and Bruckner the composer hampers efforts to describe his life in a way that gives a straightforward context for his music.
His works, the symphonies in particular, had detractors, most notably the influential Austrian critic Eduard Hanslick, and other supporters of Johannes Brahms who pointed to their large size and use of repetition,"The laconic idiom of restraint, the art of mere suggestion, involving economy of means and form, is not theirs. " Bruno Walter observed, comparing Bruckner and Gustav Mahler (see Walter's ''Essay'' below). as well as to Bruckner's propensity to revise many of his works, often with the assistance of colleagues, and his apparent indecision about which versions he preferred. On the other hand, Bruckner was greatly admired by subsequent composers including his friend Gustav Mahler, who described him as "half simpleton, half God".''Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy'', by Theodor W. Adorno, University of Chicago Press, 1996, page 66