Josef Anton Bruckner was born on September 4, 1824 in the upper Austrian town of Ansfelden. His father was a schoolteacher and church organist, and Bruckner's initial studies followed similar lines. When Bruckner was 13, his father died, and he enrolled in the church school at St. Florian (some ten miles from Linz) as a chorister. There, he studied organ, piano, and music theory.
Bruckner's thirty-odd motets are often ignored but they are a crucial part of his compositional output. They express his devout Roman Catholic beliefs, using the modal chords and long, Gregorian chant-like lines of the Renaissance masters. But the harmonic shifts and compositional techniques display a clearly Romantic sensibility, and the blocks of contrasting sound display Bruckner's roots as an organ improviser.
A typical Mass service draws its musical texts from two sources: a group of texts that are repeated at every service (the "Ordinary") and a group of texts whose meaning is specifically applicable to that week or that service (the "Propers", which include graduals, antiphons, and responsories).
The gradual Locus iste is used in Mass services for the dedication of a church; the sacrament is a visible manifestation of God's invisible grace. This setting in four parts was written in 1869, to celebrate the dedication of the votive chapel of the cathedral at Linz. It is in a simple but spare three-section setting, with exposition and similar recapitulation separated by an imitative three-part section on the text "irreprehensibilis est" (it is blameless, or without reproof).
Although originally written for Organ and Choir, I adapted this piece to a non-standard Woodwind quartet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and English Horn) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software.