Mahler’s Marked Score of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony Now Available Online in the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives
The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives has released a digitized version of former Philharmonic Music Director Gustav Mahler’s marked score of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, Romantic. The score is now available to be viewed online for free.
Mahler used this score, his own copy, when he led the Philharmonic's first performance of the work, on March 30, 1910, during his tenure as Music Director. Over the years the score, published in 1889, had become too fragile to handle. In 2013, through the generosity of Jan and Mark Schaper, the score was preserved so that it could be photographed, included in the Leon Levy Digital Archives, and studied.
Clark University music professor Benjamin Korstvedt, the first scholar to extensively study this score, observed, for example, that “Mahler’s treatment of the Finale, which removes more than a third of the music, is quite remarkable. Mahler radically altered the nature of this movement, effectively transforming it from an epic statement into a shorter and lighter piece by systematically deleting each appearance of the stormy third theme group, adjusting some dynamics, and a bit of the orchestration, and reworking a key modulation. The result clearly goes against Bruckner’s intentions, but does have a certain logic of its own.” Dr. Korstvedt will present his findings Friday at the North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music.