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Main heading: The Music of Gustav Mahler: A Catalogue of Manuscript and Printed Sources [rule] Paul Banks





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Professor Paul Hawkshaw recalls Professor Nowak being 'vehemently opposed' to an attribution of the work to Bruckner (private communication). There are currently no plans for its inclusion in the current Anton Bruckner Gesamtausgabe.

For further details of the unconventional constellation of relationships between the Krzyzanowski and Tschuppik families, see the entry for the songs wrongly attributed to Mahler by Max Auer.



This was kindly confirmed in August 2021, by Georg Haider (Notenarchiv Münchner Philharmoniker).


Spurious Work: Symphonisches Praeludium




  Krzyzanoswki (1876)

Fl 1–2, ob 1–2, cl 1–2 in B, bsn 1–2

Hn 1–2 in F, hn 3–4 in C (bb. 1–9) and F (bb. 10ff.), tpt 1–2 in F , tenor trb 1–2, bass trb, bass tuba

Timp in C, G, F


  Mahler, ed. Gürsching (1981)

Fl 1–2 (2 = picc), ob 1–2, cl 1–2 in B, bsn 1–2;

Hn 1–4 in F, tpt 1–2 in C , trb 1–3, tuba;

Timp 1–2; cymb

Harp, strings

  Bruckner/Krzyzanowski, ed. Hiltl and Cohrs:

Fl 1–2, ob 1–2, cl 1–2 in B, bsn 1–2

Hn 1–2 in F, hn 3–4 in C (bb. 1–9) and F (bb. 10ff.), tpt 1–2 in F , tenor trb 1–2, bass trb, bass tuba

Timp [in C, G, F]




Gürsching: 10 min. (p. [6]); Hiltl and Cohrs: 8:00 min. (p. [v])



The manuscript full score was destroyed in 2008 – see the notes below – but a photocopy survives, is reproduced in PFHC (pp. 48ff.) and is also available online; these sources were used to compile a basic outline of the make-up of the original document.

Printed Editions


Mahler, ed. Gürsching  – Hamburg: Sikorski, 1981


Title Page: [Black on white] Gustav Mahler / Sinfonisches Präludium / für Orchester (1876) / Rekonstruktion: Albrecht Gürsching / Erstdruck / Studien Partitur / Edition Sikorski 1431


Wrapper: [front wrapper, red on white] Gustav Mahler / Sinfonisches Präludium / für Orchester (1876) / Erstdruck / Studienpartitur / Edition Sikorski 1431; [back wrapper, bottom left corner] Der verlorenen geglaubte früheste sinfonische / Versuch Mahlers (1876) blieb in Form eines / Particells erhalten, das – von einem seiner / Studienfreunde gefertigt – nach mehr als / einhundert Jahren als jenes Frühwerk Mahlers / identifiziert werden konnte. / [blank line] / Rekonstruktion und Edition der Partitur / besorgte Prof. Albrecht Gürsching. Erste / Aufführungen haben neue Erkenntnisse zum / frühen Schaffen Gustav Mahlers eingetragen / (Uraufführung: 19 März 1981, Philharmonie; / Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Leitung: / Lawrence Foster).


Analysis: [1]=tp; [2]=Copyright statement; [3]=1878 photograph of Mahler [= MA, 4]; [4]= Vorwort, Jörg Morgener; [5]=Preface, Jörg Morgener; [6]=Besetzung/Orchestra; 7–28=score


Dimensions: 313 x 235 (r=217)


Edition number: 1431    Plate number: H.S. 1431


Copy consulted: GB-Lbl g.1722(1)


The Sikorski score gives the duration as 10 minutes. Parts are available for hire and an inspection copy of the score is available online. Unfortunately the preface by Jörg Morgener inaccurately records the title of my original article, omitting the crucial question mark, and overstates my intention, which was merely to propose an attribution to Mahler. At the time neither Prof. Gürsching nor I was aware of the existence of the manuscript full score, so the source we both used was Tschuppik's short score, a copy of which was deposited at A-Wn.  The Preface to the Sikorski edition provides some basic information about the genesis and basis of Gürsching's reconstruction:

Die Entzifferung des durch Risse beschädigten Particells und die Re-Orchestrierung besorgte (im Auftrage des Intendanted vom RSO Berlin, Peter Ruzicka) der als komposist und Musiktheoretiker in Hamburg wirkende Albrect Gürsching. Ihm gelang es mit großem Einfühlungsvermögen, in einem weiteren, getrennteren Particell die genauen Stimmführungen festzulegen und (im exakten Vergleich mit Bruckners Symphonie Nr. 3 und Mahler's frühen Kompositionen) die eigentliche Partur zu rekonstruieren.

The task of deciphering the somewhat tattered sketch and reorchestrating the Prelude was undertaken (at the request of Peter Ruzicka, Intendant of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra), by Albrecht Gürsching, the Hamburg composer and musicologist. With great insight and understanding he prepared a further more differentiated short score in which he filled in the various instrumental parts and (by dint of painstaking comparisons with Bruckner's 3rd Symphony and other early works of Mahler's), succeeded in reconstructing the score itself.

The first performance of this reconstruction was given on 19 March 1981, by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Foster. The recording by the Scottish National Orchestra under Neeme Järvi coupled to a synchronised display of the Sikorski score is currently (August 2021) available online. The subsequent publication of the Hiltl/Cohrs edition, based on Krzyzanowski's full score renders this reconstruction superfluous: it remains on sale, unaltered.



Bruckner, ed. Hiltl/Cohrs  – Vienna: Doblinger, 2002


Title Page: ANTON BRUCKNER / Symphonisches Präludium / Orchestersatz c-Moll / nach der Niederschrift / des Bruckner-Schülers Rudolf Krzyzanowski / aus dem Jahr 1876 / mit der Schriftzug „Von Anton Bruckner‟ / revidiert von Wolfgang Hiltl und Benjamin Gunnar Cohrs / mit Faksimile-Wiedergabe des Autographs / STUDIENPARTITUR / [logo] / DOBLINGER


Wrapper: [front wrapper, verso (black on light grey card):] ANTON BRUCKNER / Symphonisches Präludium / Orchestersatz c-Moll / nach der Niederschrift / des Bruckner-Schülers Rudolf Krzyzanowski / aus dem Jahr 1876 / revidiert von Wolfgang Hiltl und Benjamin Gunnar Cohrs / Stp. 704 / STUDIENPARTITUR / [logo] / DOBLINGER / [fwv=blank] / [back wrapper recto=blank] / [back wrapper, verso (black on light grey card): barcode and publisher's web address]


Analysis: [i]=tp; [ii-iii]= Vorwort [und] Literaturhinweis; [iv]=An Stelle eines Revisionsbericht; [v]=Orchesterbesetzung; [vi] Revidierte und / vervollständigte Partitur / nach dem überlieferten / Autograph; 145=edited score; [46]= blank; [47= section title:] Faksimile / der Partitur-Niedershrift / Rudolf Krzyzanowskis; [48]=an unnumbered page of the facsimile with Von Anton Bruckner written in an unidentified hand vertically (bottom to top) across the page: other descriptions indicate that this originally formed the verso of the final leaf of the manuscript; [49–91] = b&w facsimile of Kryzanowski's manuscript; [92-94] = blank


Dimensions: 294 x 208


Edition number: D. 18 981 [p. 1]    Plate number: none


Copy consulted: GB-Lbl H06/.10676


Select bibliography: WHSP; W. Hiltl: 'Verwarf Bruckner das Symphonische Präludium? Krzyzanowskis Partitur-Niederschrift - Zeugniss und Perspectiven', Das Orchester, 6/1988


Page [49] (i.e. the reproduction of the first page of Krzyzanowski's manuscript) bears the footnote 'Faksimile: / © Copyright 2002 by Wolfgang Hiltl' which seems to indicate that what is reproduced is not a second-generation copy of the photocopy prepared in 1949, but a newly prepared facsimile. For this reason alone, the edition is useful. Unfortunately the text of the edited score is inelegant and impractical for anything other than study purposes. The Doblinger website indicates (August 2021) that it is no longer available.



I must necessarily enter a mea cupla at this point: that an entry for this work is necessary at all in a Mahler catalogue is my responsibility, a consequence of my proposal in 1981 (PBESM) that an attribution of this work to Mahler should be considered. I now think such an attribution rather less plausible than I did then, and that my argument was insufficiently sophisticated and rigorous. Moreover, my initial research in Vienna in the late 1970s had failed to bring to light the existence of the photocopy of the manuscript full score prepared by Rudolf Krzyzanowski that had been made at A-Wn in 1949 (see below). The explanation for this apparent oversight was provided a few years ago by Dr B.-G. Cohrs (BGCSP, p.1):


The photocopy of it was never entered in the inventory at the Music Collection of the ANL [A-Wn]. Instead, Nowak kept it in his private possession. It was found amongst his estate and returned into the Music Collection only after his death in May 1991.




The first phase of the history of this work's 'discovery' is perhaps best summarised in tabular form (see also WHSP, passim.; and PFHC):



The conductor, Rudolf Krzyzanowski (b. 05.04.1859), died in Graz following surgery (OeML; Grazer Volksblatt; Prager Tagblatt).


Krzyzanowski's relative by marriage, the composer Heinrich Tschuppik (1890–1950), discovered a packet containing photographs and documents belonging to Krzyzanowski. This included a manuscript, in Krzyzanowski's hand, of an untitled movement for orchestra. A blue crayon annotation in another hand on the blank final page attributed the work to Bruckner, and Tschuppik believed that annotations in the score were in Bruckner's hand (WHSP, 54–57).


Tschuppik publicly announced the discovery of a 'new-found work by Bruckner' (HTBSP). In the same year he prepared a fair copy of the full score (CF), at least two copies of a short score of the work and (together with another copyist) a set of manuscript orchestral parts (CPO) (WHSP, 57–58).


The Bruckner scholar Franz Gräflinger published an article about the work, as a new Bruckner discovery (FGEBF). At about this time Max Auer and the conductor Volkmar Andreae also read the score and both, like Gräflinger responded positively; Andrea also arranged a private read-through by the Züricher Tonhalleorchester, and included it (with Bruckner's Seventh Symphony) on the programme of the upcoming fourth subscription concert of the Vienna Philharmonic.


A-Wn (Musiksammlung) prepared a photocopy of Krzyzanowski's score and the original was returned to Tschuppik (WHSP, 58). In the same month the 'discovery' of the work was reported in a letter to Music and Letters from Simon Townley Worsthorne. The fourth VPO subscription concert did not include the Praeludium (Die Weltpresse), apparently because the members of the orchestra did not believe it to be by Bruckner (WHSP, 61–62).


Prof. Leopold Nowak was reported as stating that the work was not by Anton Bruckner, but by one of his pupils (Ober-österreichische Nachrichten).


On the same day as Nowak's opinion was reported, the première, by the Vienna Philharmonic under Volkmar Andrea was announced for 23 June, as part of the Linzer Bruckner-Festage (Ober-österreichische Nachrichten); it was not performed.


The première (and live radio broadcast) by the Munich Philharmonic was conducted by Fritz Rieger (Ober-österreichische Nachrichten); Gräflinger subsequently responded to the divided critical response (Ober-österreichische Nachrichten). Photocopies of the fair copy of Krzyzanowski's manuscript, the set of manuscript orchestral parts, and a copy of the short score prepared by Tschuppik remain in the Music Archive of the Münchner Philharmoniker.


In the thirty or more years after this performance there was little or no interest in the work. No further performances during the period have been traced, and it was not included in either the Neue Bruckner Gesamtausgabe (under Leopold Nowak's leadership, 1951–1989) or in the published catalogue of his works (RGWAB, 1977).¹ A significant factor in this descent into obscurity was presumably Heinrich Tschuppik's death in 1950 (BGCSP, 1), after which Krzyzanowski's manuscript remained with the Tschuppik family and was not available to scholars until it was acquired by the conductor and Bruckner scholar Wolfgang Hiltl in the 1990s. In the meantime, Hiltl had also located the score, orchestral parts and short score used for the 1949 performance in the Music Archive of the Münchner Philharmoniker (where they remain)² and in 1985 published a major article on the work (WHSP), in which he sought to establish its attribution to Bruckner.

Sadly Hiltl died unexpectedly in 2008 and Dr Cohrs reports in the revised version (2010) of his article on the work, that it was left to the local municipality to clear his apartment. During the process Krzyzanowski's manuscript score was simply thrown away (shredded according to one account) and is now lost. Whether a detailed examination of the physical object might have yielded any further insights is uncertain, but at the very least it would have allowed for a comparison of the two papers used with those employed by Bruckner.

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