- Symphony No. 3 (Bruckner)
Infobox Bruckner Symphony
title = Symphony No. 3 in D minor
composed = 1872 - 1873
1876 - 1877
1888 - 1889
composition_ended = 1889
first_performance = Bruckner conducting, 16 December 1877, Vienna
first_published = 1890
other_editions = ed. Fritz Oeser, 1950
ed. Leopold Nowak, 1959 (1889 version)
ed. Leopold Nowak, 1977 (1873 version)
ed. Leopold Nowak, 1981 (1877 version)
first_recording = "Gerd Rubahn", "Berlin Symphony Orchestra", 1952
Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 in D minor (WAB 103) was dedicated to Richard Wagnerand is sometimes known as his "Wagner Symphony". [Ethan Mordden, "A Guide to Orchestral Music: The Handbook for Non-Musicians". New York: Oxford University Press (1980): 211. "Bruckner himself called his Third the "Wagner" Symphony because he was hoping for Wagner's support in some small way, such as being permitted to dedicate the score to him."] It was written in 1873, revised in 1877 and again in 1891.
In 1873, Bruckner sent both his Second and Third symphonies to Wagner, asking him to pick one he preferred. The next day, Bruckner visited Wagner to ask him his choice, but the two drank so much
beertogether that upon arriving home Bruckner realized that he had forgotten which one Wagner had chosen. He wrote a letter back to Wagner saying "Symphony in D minor, where the trumpet begins the theme?". Wagner scribbled back "Yes! Best wishes! Richard Wagner." Ever since then, Wagner referred to Bruckner as "Bruckner the trumpet" and the two became firm friends. In the dedication, Bruckner referred to Wagner as "the unreachable world-famous noble master of poetry and music".
The premiere of this Symphony was given in Vienna in
1877, with Bruckner himself conducting. The concert was a complete disaster: although a decent choral conductor, Bruckner was a barely competent orchestral director: the Viennese audience, which was not sympathetic to his work to begin with, gradually left the hall as the music played. [Korstvedt, Benjamin M. (2000). "Bruckner: Symphony No. 8". Cambridge University Press, p. 65 - 66] Even the orchestra fled at the end, leaving Bruckner alone with a few supporters, including Gustav Mahler, who with Rudolf Krzyzanowski prepared a piano duet version of the work.
Stunned by this debacle, Bruckner made several revisions of his work, leaving out significant amounts of music. The original 1873 score was not published until 1977.
Despite being very critical of this Symphony, Robert Simpson quoted a passage from the first movement,
rehearsal letterF, in his own Symphony No. 9. Simpson later modified his critical view (expressed in the 1966 edition of his "The Essence of Bruckner") after encountering the 1873 version, which he described in a programme note for the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1987 as '...a great work - not perfect by any means but possessing a majestic momentum the later revisions altogether destroyed.'
Symphony No. 3 was a favorite of conductor
The symphony has four movements:
#"Gemäßigt, mehr bewegt, misterioso" (also "Sehr langsam, misterioso")
Adagio. Bewegt, quasi Andante" E-flat major
Scherzo. Ziemlich schnell" (also "Sehr schnell") D minor.
#"Finale. Allegro" (also "Ziemlich schnell") D minor
The 1873 version was the version that Bruckner sent to Wagner for his approval. It is available in an edition by
Leopold Nowak(published 1977), which is based on Wagner's fair copy.
The 1876 Adagio is available in an edition by Nowak which was published in 1980. The next year Nowak published the 1877 version.
Currently, the 1878 version is only available in an edition by
Oeserpublished in 1950.
The 1889 version was published by Nowak back in 1959.
The first published version of 1890, edited by Rättig, remains controversial because it hasn't been ascertained how much it reflected Bruckner's wishes, and how much it was influenced by Josef and
The first commercial recording of part of this symphony was made by
Anton Konrathwith the Vienna Symphony Orchestrain 1928. It featured only the scherzo and trio.
The oldest complete performance preserved on disc is by
Eugen Jochumwith the Hamburg State Theatre Orchestrafrom 1944.
The first commercial recording of the complete symphony was made in
1953. The recording, from a live concert, was issued by the Allegro-Royale label giving the conductor the pseudonym "Gerd Rubahn". [http://www.abruckner.com/Data/documents/JB_Rubahn_Bruckner_Third_Symphony.pdf] It used the newly-published 1878/Oeser edition.
The 1890 Rättig edition is generally used by the older conductors of the LP era, such as
Hans Knappertsbuschconducting the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Carl Schurichtconducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
With the dawn of the CD era, the the 1878 and 1889 versions, as edited by Nowak, were more commonly used, by conductors such as
Bernard Haitinkand Karl Böhm. Eliahu Inbalconducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestrafor Warner Classics was in 1983 the first to record the 1873 version. Georg Tintnerconducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestrafollowed 15 years later on the Naxos label.
To facilitate comparison of the different versions,
Johannes Wildnerconducting the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Westphalia, in a studio recording (SonArte/Naxos) offers multi-disc sets. Naxos includes both the 1877 and 1889 versions while SonArte includes all three of the 1873, 1877 and 1889 versions.
*IMSLP2|id=Symphony_No.3_in_D_minor_%28Bruckner%2C_Anton%29|cname=Symphony No. 3
* [http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/variations/scores/aer3909/index.html Free score] from the Indiana University school of music
* [http://www.geocities.com/immortalbruckner/sym3.html Article]
* [http://sfsymphony.org/templates/pgmnote.asp?nodeid=3612&callid=3261 Program Notes]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=42:44499 Article at allmusic.com]
* [http://www.abruckner.com/discography/symphonyno3indmino/ Complete discography]
* [http://www.abruckner.com/downloads/downloadofthemonth/may Recording of a live version of Bruckner's 3rd attributed to Gerd Rubahn] [dead link]
* [http://www.geocities.com/dkgriegel/versions.html Bruckner Symphony Versions]
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