Anton Bruckner - Symphony No. 4 in E flat ("Romantic"), WAB 104 [Haitink]

Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 – 11 October 1896) was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies.

Symphony No. 4 in E flat ("Romantic"), WAB 104

2nd version, 1878, with revised 1880 finale
I. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell
II. Andante quasi Allegretto (18:30)
III. Scherzo. Bewegt; Trio. Nicht zu schnell. Keinesfalls schleppend (34:30)
IV. Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell (44:20)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink

Description by Wayne Reisig [-]
Bruckner's Fourth Symphony was the one which began a reversal of the composer's fortunes for the better. The Vienna premiere under Hans Richter in 1880 was a resounding success. So elated was the composer that after a very promising rehearsal he pressed a coin into the conductor's hand with the enjoinder to have a beer. At the performance, Bruckner was called out for a bow after each movement.

The original version of 1874 was reworked into an almost totally new work, the most conspicuous changes being the replacement of the mysterious-sounding original scherzo with the now familiar "Hunting" one; a new finale subtitled "Volkfest" replaced the original, only to be replaced again with a less programmatic one two years later. Along with extensive reworking of the first two movements, these changes were all incorporated into the version most commonly known and performed today, being designated as the version of 1878-1880. A further 1887-1888 revision by Bruckner's pupils Lowe and Schalk has largely disappeared.

The subtitle "Romantic" was derived from a program Bruckner was persuaded by friends to append to the work, evoking images of medieval knights, castles, hunting, and other things. That Bruckner halfheartedly accepted the suggestion may be divined from his reply to a query regarding the finale: "I've quite forgotten what image I had in mind."

Added by dvaughn
Uploaded by Bartje Bartmans to YouTube
Date published 17 Jun 2016
Duration 01:04:03