Letter on Ebay casts some light on Furtwaenger and the Bruckner Symphonies

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A short letter written by Wilhelm Furtwaengler to Emil Armbruster in 1933 seems to indicate that the conductor knew nothing about the existence of Bruckner's early Symphony in D Minor even though it was performed in 1924. Here is a translation of the letter into English:

July 27, 1933

Very honored Mr. Armbruster,

Thanks for your note, which I will answer more fully later. But first I would like to ask you, what is this so-called Zero symphony that [Ernst] Kurth spoke about so enthusiastically? Where can one get it? It is unknown to me.

In all haste with best wishes I am your devoted

W. Furtwaengler

Emil Armbruster was active in Nazi Germany and after the war in East Germany. In the late 1940s he was one of the first writers to call attention to the politicization of the Bruckner edition and arranged a couple of performances of the so-called Schalk edition of the Fifth Symphony in Leipzig as a form of protest.

My thanks to Benjamin Korstvedt and William Carragan for the translation and the background on Emil Armbruster.