Locus iste

Anton Bruckner

Locus iste in C major


About this work

Bruckner's gradual Locus Iste for a cappella chorus is an expressively beautiful work dating from the end of his Linz years. The brief work was written for the dedication of the votive chapel of the Linz Cathedral, making it contemporary with the Symphony No. 0 and the F minor Mass.

Locus Iste shows the 45-year-old composer finding his own voice even within the three-odd minutes of the work. The overall mood is one of warmth despite the astringent means of unaccompanied chorus, in contrast to some of Bruckner's modal works in the same medium. The overall shape of the opening melody and its harmony bears some resemblance to the "Pilgrims' Chorus" from Wagner's Tannhäuser, a not too surprising influence on the younger man during that period. However, a dramatic modulation at the word "inestimabile" leads to a passage premonitory of the mature Bruckner, recalling the words "Tu devicto aculeo" from the Te Deum and providing a dramatic contrast with the initial lyricism of the opening, the latter of which returns. A melisma-like elongation of the word "Deo" brings this gently spiritual work to a close.