Complete Edition (until 2014)

Symphony No. 4 in E flat major

First Version (1874)

edited by Leopold Nowak (1975)
2,2,2,2-4,3,3,0-Timp-Str / 60'


B 4/1-STP: Study score (revised edition 1990)
ISMN 979-0-50025-007-4


B 4/1-DIR: Conductor's score
ISMN 979-0-50025-178-1


* Performance material for hire


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It was not until 101 years after Bruckner first committed his Fourth Symphony to paper that the work was published in its first version, by Leopold Nowak in 1975; it had its first hearing in the same year, in a performance in Linz by the Munich Philharmonic under Kurt Wöss. The Scherzo is a movement which only exists in this version. It is highly interesting to compare the final movement with the later fundamentally reworked version.

Second Version (1878) with the 1880 Finale

edited by Leopold Nowak (1953)
2,2,2,2-4,3,3,1-Timp-Str / 67'


B 4/2-STP: Study score (revised edition 1991)
ISMN 979-0-50025-125-5


B 4/2-DIR: Conductor's score
ISMN 979-0-50025-167-5


* Performance material for hire


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As was often the case, Bruckner continued polishing up this work after its first performance, given on 20 February 1881 by the Vienna Philharmonic under Hans Richter. The text of the Complete Edition is an exact rendering of the autograph committed to posterity by Bruckner himself.


1878 Finale

edited by Leopold Nowak (1981)
2,2,2,2,-4,3,3,1-Timp-Str / 16'


B 4/2F-STP: Study score
ISMN 979-0-50025-009-8


* Performance material for hire


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In the course of Bruckner's revisions for the 2nd version, the Finale of the Fourth was subjected to substantial cuts and considerable simplification in respect of motivic development; in 1880 Bruckner replaced the 1878 movement, entitled 'Volksfest' (literally: 'people's festival'; a public jollification such as a 'Jahrmarkt' or funfair), with a newly composed Finale.


Third Version (1888)

edited by Benjamin M. Korstvedt (2004)
3 (1. also picc.),2,2,2-4,3,3,1-Timp-Str / 60'


B 4/3-STP: Study score (2nd revised edition 2006)
ISMN 979-0-50025-253-5


B 4/3-DIR: Conductor’s score
ISMN 979-0-50025-248-1


* Performance material for hire


read on


As the 1889 first printed edition was engraved from the manuscript of Bruckner's completely revised version of 1888, the former corresponds almost entirely with the latter, the exceptions consisting in a number of revisions not considered authentic.


This was the only version of the Fourth Symphony that was published and available for performance before the appearance of Robert Haas’s edition of the 1878/80 version in 1936. In the wake of Haas’s work, the 1888 version was widely regarded as a corruption of Bruckner’s true wishes and went into eclipse. Recent research has revealed, however, that the 1888 version was prepared, performed, and published with the composer’s full participation and approval and thus has its own place in the Complete Edition alongside the earlier versions.


Critical report

on all versions by Benjamin M. Korstvedt


in preparation