Thursday, 1 December 2016


Call it a Bruckner counter-intuitive mission from the great beyond – as dozens of copies of the troubled 19th century composer’s ill fated third symphony are being shamelessly hawked as a promotional item to physicians in the Netherlands in order to stimulate the signing off of the prescription drug  MS-CONTIN in greater frequencies within the nations booming medical sector.

Long before the days of soda giant Coca-Cola touting it’s use in children as an all-remedy elixir with its healing ingredient cocaine as it’s main selling point (and as a pick-me-up for despondent ladies for the carnal pleasures of men) - and before Bayer's heroin throat lozenge became the troche of choice for the those afflicted with the common cold, morphine was being used as a tonic for every ailment then known to man – from hypertension and anxiety, to being used as a healthy conduit for greasing up the intellectual machinations of constructive-minded men.

*Click image to enlarge* Cocaine-laced Coca-Cola
is advertised to potential consumers as an aphrodisiac
for the betterment and the sexual fulfillment of men.
Why Bruckner has been chosen as psychiatry’s poster boy is uncertain – if one were to aid their projective of “Gekwelde Componisten" – the name of their new line of records - which literally translates to “Tormented Composers," one could certainly find more troubled a composer – Hugo Wolf, for instance, who narrowly survived a suicide and would perish in asylum; Robert Schumann, who spent the better part of his life in and out of them, labeled with countless psychiatric diagnoses by countless analysts – or even Hector Berlioz, who once dressed in drag and boarded a train to Paris in order to murder his lover and himself in the process.

At best, Anton Bruckner was a functioning Obsessive Compulsive, at worst – a non sexual necrophiliac – a highly sensationalized moniker for one who takes great interest in cadaverous anatomy. 

While the premier of Bruckner’s Third certainly wouldn’t be counted among the composer’s top debuts (first performed in Vienna December 16, 1877 to highly negative reviews - it was widely panned in the press, and its premier production even boasted cat-calling and hissing from a heckling audience), and whilst Bruckner was reportedly so traumatized by the public’s reception of his work, he is said to have refrained from composing for a full year – there still remain far better candidates for DAGRA-Pharma’s mission...

DAGRA-Pharma's Bruckner CD

that is, were it still the nineteenth century, and were Morphine still marketed and sold to an unsuspecting public as a sedative. It is 2016, and today the narcotic MS-Contin is used in both emergency and in short to long-term home care for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is rarely prescribed for such off-label use, out-leveraged by a vast array of (arguably) safer, more symptom-specific medications that better suit the purported purpose of the drug set forth by the pharmaceutical giant. Its notorious and deleterious side effects of potential addiction and its well established street value for the demi-monde of society have long since been well known.

Which ultimately begs the question – just what exactly is DAGRA-Pharma’s motive in hawking the works of our psychologically challenged composers of yore?

Did You Know?

Bruckner’s disastrous Third Symphony was lovingly dedicated to the composers “meister” and hero, German Romantic composer Richard Wagner, in whom Bruckner was alleged to have been obsessed. A bashful Bruckner had presented the megolamanic composer with copies of his second and third symphonies during a visit with the maestro in 1873, which he requested of Wagner to choose from among them the piece best suited for a dedication to him. Bruckner’s idol chose the Third, and it is this historical anecdote, and the shame it must have undoubtedly caused poor Bruckner, which may have led to – at least, certainly compounded – the composers “traumatized” state following the disastrous premiere.

Listen below to the adagio from Bruckner’s Symphony No III in D Minor (mvmt. II):

Learn more about "Gekwelde Componisten" by visiting

More posts on mental health (featuring the composers above) at Unraveling Musical Myths:



  1. Greetings Rose,

    I was wondering if you could help translate Bruckers dedication from the image above?

    Thanks in advance

    1. It says "To the unreachable world-famous noble Master of Poetry and Music."


    2. Thank you...I think the third is beautiful! So are you, by the way...

    3. You're very kind..I too enjoy Bruckner's third - in particular the adagio.

      There is a hindsight shared by some music historians that would seem to suggest that the work could possibly have been a success had Bruckner not dedicated it to the controversial Wagner at the time.