As for me, Bruckner and I have a long and troubled relationship.
As a kid, I would go to New Jersey Symphony concerts with my dad. The second half of one concert was a Bruckner symphony. I don’t remember which one. I always had a bit of trouble staying awake at concerts, not because I was bored, but because I wasn’t good at sitting still late at night in a warm, dark room with nice music playing. Normally my little concert naps would fall during a slow, inner movement of some great classical work.
Ah, but Bruckner; I don’t think I even made it through half of the first movement before I was out like a light. I would wake up every now and then, thinking “oh no, it’s still going.”
Tastes do change; as a kid, I hated opera and contemporary music. And starting as a teen, I turned against Mozart for about a decade. My feelings about all of these things have definitely changed, but Bruckner and I still have some work to do on our relationship.
In an undergraduate 19th-century music history class, we studied Bruckner’s music. As we all followed along with the music, our professor played a movement from one of his symphonies. A friendly classmate shook my shoulder every time my head drooped.