Bruckner - Symphony No. Ø (hr-Sinfonieorch., cond. Järvi)

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Bruckner: »Nullte« Sinfonie - hr-Sinfonieorchester - Paavo Järvi

Scherzo – Trio. Langsamer und ruhiger – Scherzo 
Finale. Moderato – Allegro vivace – Andante – Allegro vivace 

hr-Sinfonieorchester – Frankfurt Radio Symphony 
Paavo Järvi, Dirigent 

Alte Oper Frankfurt, 24. März 2017 

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The Symphony in D minor, WAB 100, was composed by Anton Bruckner in 1869 between Symphony No. 1 (1866) and Symphony No. 2 (1872). In 1895 Bruckner declared that this symphony "gilt nicht" (does not count) and he did not assign a number to it. The work was published and premiered in 1924.

Bruckner composed this symphony from 24 January to 12 September 1869. It was initially designated Symphony No. 2, while the C minor symphony of 1872 was called Symphony No. 3.

According to the conductor Georg Tintner, "How an off-hand remark, when directed at a person lacking any self-confidence, can have such catastrophic consequences! Bruckner, who all his life thought that able musicians (especially those in authority) knew better than he did, was devastated when Otto Dessoff (then the conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) asked him about the first movement: "But where is the main theme?"

In 1895, when Bruckner reviewed his symphonies in order to have them published, he declared that this symphony "does not count" ("gilt nicht"). He wrote on the front page "annulli(e)rt" (nullified) and replaced the original "Nr. 2" with the symbol "Ø".

The symbol "Ø" was later interpreted as the numeral zero and the symphony got the nickname Die Nullte ("No. 0"). In the words of David Griegel, "Like many other composers, I believe Bruckner was merely being too self-critical, and the unnumbered symphonies are also works worthy of our enjoyment".

Because of the designation Die Nullte, the biographers Göllerich and Auer felt it was composed before Symphony No. 1. Contrary to this assumption, the autograph score is dated 24 January to 12 September 1869, and no earlier sketch or single folio of this work has been retrieved. The work, which is sometimes referred to as "Symphony in D minor, opus posthumous", but is in English most often called "Symphony No. 0", was premiered in Klosterneuburg on 12 October 1924.

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