Anton Bruckner – III. Symphony in D minor
(b. Ansfelden September 4, 1824 – d. Vienna, October 11, 1896)
In 1873 Anton Bruckner called the first version of the work dedicated to Richard Wagner a “Symfonie”. The further fate of this “Symfonie” could fill a novel: An unsuccessful premiere in 1877, a first printing in 1878/79 – surprising for Bruckner – but hardly played, a lukewarm new arrangement from 1888 to 1889, which Bruckner actually only undertook to prevent Franz Schalk from changing even more. Nevertheless, he then took Schalk’s finale as a model. This was followed by the second printing of 1890, which Gustav Mahler wanted to prevent for good reasons, but which successfully disseminated the work for the first time. Robert Haas was unable to publish this symphony in the complete edition because important manuscripts were missing in 1938 – after the annexation of Austria. At least the original form from 1873 was supposed to appear according to the dedication copy that surprisingly turned up in Bayreuth, but due to the war almost all proofs were lost until the German reunification in 1989. After 1945 Haas had to give up the editorship of the complete edition for political reasons, which caused much confusion in the music world.
The manuscript sources for the III. Symphony were still inaccessible for a long time, so Fritz Oeser, Haas’s former collaborator, tried to popularize at least the version of the well done first printing in 1950. Unfortunately, without lasting success. Although in the meantime all versions have been published in the Complete Edition by Leopold Nowak, there is still great perplexity as to which of the existing versions is the “best”. The Complete Edition has documented all versions very precisely, but could not offer a really convincing solution, because one must resignedly state that the more we go into detail, the more contradictory the sources become; a kind of dead end. (The worth reading revision report  by Thomas Röder covers 453 pages !) …
Full preface / Komplettes Vorwort > HERE
Detailed editor’s note about the work / Ausführlicher Vorlagenbericht > DOWNLOAD