Four Orchestral Pieces (Bruckner)

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Vier Orchesterstücke
by Anton Bruckner
Bruckner circa 1860.jpg
The composer, c. 1860
English Four Orchestral Pieces
Catalogue WAB 96–97
Composed 1862 (1862) – Linz
Performed 12 October 1924 (1924-10-12) – Klosterneuburg
Published 1930 (1930)

Four Orchestral Pieces are four early compositions by Anton Bruckner which are published together in the current complete edition of his works.

When studying with Otto Kitzler, Bruckner composed his first instrumental work, the String Quartet in C minor in 1862. Somewhat later in the same year, he tried his hand at purely orchestral composition. These "first arms" resulted in four small orchestral pieces: the so-called Drei Sätze für Orchester (Three Pieces for orchestra) and the Marsch (March) in D minor. In the current Gesamtausgabe, these works are grouped as Vier Orchesterstücke (Four Orchestral Pieces).[1]

Three Pieces for orchestra[edit]

The Three Pieces for orchestra (E-flat major, E minor and F major, WAB 97) are charming, melodious little movements, scored for an orchestra employing one trombone in addition to the orchestral setting of Mozart's late symphonies.

Their main interest lies in the fact that with these pieces Bruckner for the first time touched upon that field which he was to make his life's work: pure and absolute orchestral music.

March in D minor[edit]

For another March composed by Bruckner, see Military march (Bruckner).

The March in D minor (WAB 96) is the only one of the four pieces which has some slight indication of the Bruckner to come.

It is interesting to note that it already contains a passage which will recur much later in the Eighth Symphony. The orchestral setting of the March used two additional trombones.

The scores of the Four Orchestral Pieces were given by Bruckner to his friend Cyrill Hynais, together with that of the Overture and the Symphony in F minor.


The Four Orchestral Pieces have been recorded about ten times, mainly as addendum to the recording of a symphony. Some of these recordings can be downloaded from John Berky’s site.[2]


External links[edit]