A Performance of Robert Haas' Edition of Bruckner's Symphony No. 3

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Program page from the 1946 Premiere - Click to enlarge
For years, it has been generally assumed that Robert Haas' edition of Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 was destroyed during the war just prior to its publication. It is known that the printing plates prepared by the Musikwissenschaftlicher Verlag in Leipzig were destroyed and no edition of the Symphony No 3 was ever published as part of Haas' edition, but program notes to a recent release clearly indicate that a performance was given! Brief reference to this first performance of the 1873 version can also be found in Joseph Kanz's Foreward to his performing version of the Third Symphony.

In his notes to the recent Profil CD release of the Symphony # 3 (Staateskapelle Dresden / Yannick Nezet-Seguin), Tobias Niederschlag writes that, "some proof copies had been taken and these had survived the bombing. Accordingly, Joseph Keilberth was able to include his premiere of the Third in his complete Dresden cycle (1-9) of the Bruckner symphonies."

The historic concert took place on December 1st of 1946 with Joseph Keilberth conducting the Staatskapelle (briefly known at the time as the Orchestra of the regional capital of Dresden) at its temporary home of the Kurhaus Buehlau.

The version that he performed on that date and the version that Haas prepared for publication was the first version of 1873. According to Leopold Nowak, as written in the Forward to his 1873 Edition, he used three sources for his edition: Bruckner's marked-up manuscript held by the Austrian National Library, the "Dedication" copy given to Wagner and held at Bayreuth, and a copy of one of Haas' proofs to his un-published edition.