Dissertation Index

Author: Korstvedt, Benjamin Marcus

Title: The First Edition of Anton Bruckner's Fourth Symphony: Authorship, Production and Reception

Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Begun: September 1992

Completed: May 1995


The main goal of this dissertation is to explore the text-critical history of the first published edition of Anton Bruckner's Fourth Symphony (Vienna, 1890). For more than fifty years the validity of this text has been rejected by the scholarly community as a corruption of the composer's intended version. This dissertation demonstrates that this claim is untenable on several grounds. In short, by systematically bringing together(for the first time) all the pertinent textual sources of this symphony, my research demonstrates that Bruckner was fully involved in the preparation of this edition and that it must, therefore, be considered an authorial text.

In addition to its central text-critical argument, the dissertation addresses several ancillary issues. It explores how ideology impinged on the preparation of the first collected edition of Bruckner's works in the 1930s. The dissertation opens with two chapters that argue that the scholarly and historiographic validity of this edition (which still has a considerable currency) displays undeniable flaws deriving from its ideological commitments and thus demands critical reevaluation. The dissertation also considered the theoretical and methodological basis of a rigorous and conceptually-sound approach to the preparation of historically-responsible editions of music. Finally the dissertation considers the implication for performance practice of the acceptance of the first edition of the Fourth Symphony. This score contains abundant information about the way this symphony was performed in the 1880s and 1890s and thus points the way towards a historically-informed appraoch to modern performances.

Keywords: Bruckner, Textual Criticism, Reception History, Performance Practice, Critical Theory, Ideology


1. The Ideology of German Reception in the 1930s;
2. The Ideology of the First Bruckner Gesamtausgabe;
3. Rethinking the Text-Critical Problems of Bruckner's Symphonies;
4. The Fourth Symphony between 1880 and 1886;
5. The Textual History of the First Edition of the Fourth Symphony;
6. Toward Historical Performance;
7. Conclusion: Historicizing the Textuality of Bruckner Symphonies


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