Bruckner Archive acquires a Rare and Mysterious Bruckner Recording

Bruckner Archive acquires a Rare and Mysterious Bruckner Recording
After a two year wait, the Bruckner archive has received a digital file of the following 78 rpm recording:

ANTON BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" (Andante movement)

Electromusik Best.-Nr. 5037, Stuttgart, September, 1934:

Großes Orchester
matrix 0587 4. (romantische) Symphonie (A. Bruckner)
2. Satz I order number 5037

matrix 0588 4. (romantische) Symphonie (A. Bruckner)
2. Satz II order number 5037

matrix 0589 4. (romantische) Symphonie (A. Bruckner)
2. Satz III order number 5038

matrix 0590 4. (romantische) Symphonie (A. Bruckner)
2. Satz IV order number 5038

Although neither director nor orchestra are listed on the label, the musicians surely were members of the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra. Identifying the conductor has proven to be more difficult but several people are researching the origins of this 90 year old recording.
While probably not the conductor (he emigrated from Germany in 1933) conductor, Emil Kahn was probably involved in the project. Kahn worked anonymously for the company as the leader of several dance bands. He was also part-time music director of the South German Radio.
It is not known whether the other three movements were recorded. This movement alone was a big project for the short-lived label that specialized in dance music.
The existence of this recording came as a complete surprise since it was not listed in the very complete World Encyclopedia of Recorded Music first published in 1951.

As an FYI, conductor, Emil Kahn (1896-1985) recorded many symphonic works for the Music Minus One label. He left his native Germany in 1933, came to the United States in 1935 and taught at Montclair (N.J.) State College until 1970. Later, he led the Senior Orchestra of New York for 13 years. His last appearance as conductor was at Carnegie Hall in May 1983. Orchestras for which he was guest conductor included the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony and the N.B.C. Orchestra. He was, in 1945 and 1946, musical director for the Ballet Russe. In addition to his Music Minus One activities, he made at least one commercial recording with the Stuttgart Festival Orchestra.

A contact at the Deutsches Rundfunk Archive has provided the following observation:

„Electromusik“ was a small, nowadays completely unknown label. Electromusik GmbH was founded around 1930 in Vaihingen and, in addition to inexpensive „department-store-records“ for the "Elton" label, also produced many small editions and private pressings for Swabian artists. The fact that „Electromusik“ brought a Bruckner symphony onto the market is rather atypical. Emil Kahn worked for the company indeed. He was commissioned to put together a band for recording dance music [!], which he formed from members of the Stuttgart Philharmonic. This then played as „Elton Dance Orchestra“. Emil Kahn was Chief Conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic of Süddeutsche Rundfunk AG until June 1933. He was fired because he was Jewish. He emigrated in 1933. In 1936 the production of „Electromusik“ and „Elton“ records was finally stopped.

In spite of the questions surrounding this early recording, it is an important acquisition for a discography that claims to be a complete listing of all Bruckner recordings.

A more complete essay Can be found in the Articles and Essays section of this site.