ANTON BRUCKNER, FOURTH SYMPHONY IN E FLAT MAJOR »ROMANTIC« (VERSION 1878–81):
WORLD PREMIERE OF NEW URTEXT EDITION BY BENJAMIN-GUNNAR COHRS (2021)
After two years of work, Dr. Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs has recently finished his new Urtext edition of Anton Bruckner’s Romantic Symphony. Its world premiere will be given by Sir Simon Rattle, patron of the Anton Bruckner Urtext Gesamtausgabe, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in five concerts. A live recording is planned to be released by the orchestra’s own label ‹LSO live› subsequently.
Anton Bruckner (1824–1896):
— Discarded Scherzo 1876 (A04B–1)
— Discarded Finale 1878 »Volksfest« (A04B–2)
— Fourth Symphony in E flat Major »Romantic« (1878–81; A04B)
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle
19 September 2021, 19.00, London, Barbican Center
22 September 2021, 20.00, Luxembourg, Philharmonie (Grand Auditorium)
23 September 2021, 20.00, Frankfurt, Alte Oper
25 September 2021, 20.15, Dortmund, Konzerthaus
27 September 2021, 20.00, Köln, Philharmonie
FOURTH SYMPHONY IN E FLAT MAJOR »ROMANTIC« (1878–81), Cohrs A04B (ABUGA Work Catalogue)
APPENDIX I: SCHERZO (1876), Cohrs A04B–1
APPENDIX II: FINALE »VOLKSFEST« (1878), Cohrs A04B–2
— Anton Bruckner Urtext Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 10 —
(Verlagsgruppe Hermann, Vienna, © 2021; Distribution: Schott Music International; materials on hire)
The second autograph score of the Fourth (1878–81) represents a peculiarity: Bruckner had changes that were made between October 1880 and December 1881 firstly included into the copy which served as a conducting score. These were then correlated with the parts by the copyists involved, and by them, and not Bruckner himself, transferred back into the autograph score. The Fourth (and later the Seventh) Symphony thus underwent a whole series of retrospective corrections, which in the autograph are not found in Bruckner’s hand, but which he made himself in the copies, or of which he approved. Furthermore, Bruckner discarded the 1878 Finale (»Volksfest«) and added a new composition of it in 1880. The corrections undertaken for the performances of 1880 and 1881 also led to a new copy of the score (1882; by copyist Giovanni Noll), which has the status of an engraver’s copy, for it was offered for publication to renowned music publishers in 1885 and 1886.
The new edition thus set itself the goal of making it equally possible to perform all the differing work phases of the movements of the symphony between 1878 and 1881, at least inasmuch as they can be identified from the sources. It offers the following options:
1.) The score as it stood in 1878 (= Phase A) of the first and second movement, then a choice of the discarded older Scherzo as revised in 1876 (A04B–1) or Phase A of the »Jagd« Scherzo and Trio, together with the discarded »Volksfest«-Finale of 1878 (A04B–2)
2.) The score as it probably stood at the 1881 premiere (Phase B of the first three movements and Phase A of the 1880 Finale).
3.) The score in its revised state as of 1882, with Phase B of all four movements and 1880 Finale with Bruckner’s optional cut (= Phase C, published here for the first time in a performable edition).
The earliest state of the score that can still be determined (= Phase A) is, where changes in instrumentation occur, reproduced throughout score and parts as ossia above the later version, which represents the main text (= Phase B). Inserted or deleted measures are printed after one another with consecutive measure numbers and provided in the score and parts with easily followable directives (= ‹Jump Points›), indicating which measures are to be taken. Variants suggested by the editor for practical purposes are given in ossia.