When one thinks of Anton Bruckner, images and impressions such as a cathedral, the sound of the organ, master of counterpoint and a deeply religious man often come to mind. It is, in fact, impossible not to discover a profound, honestly felt catholic spirituality in his oeuvre, particularly in the last three symphonies. The Fourth Symphony, by contrast, is a reminder that Bruckner was a highly talented folklore musician who regularly played light-hearted music. His violins, on display in the Bruckner Museum, at his birthplace in Ansfelden in upper Austria, witnessed Bruckner playing in taverns and at weddings. In this light, the Fourth Symphony can be considered his most secular. Spirituality is to be found only in rare moments and remains not more than hints. Whereas Gustav Mahler, who was so profoundly influenced by Bruckner, is famous for the integration of Austrian and Bohemian folklore into his music, Bruckner had already found and used these popular treasures years earlier, albeit to a lesser extent. It is important to remember that Bruckner composed in a time that was absorbed with nature and the past. This was the taste of the time, exemplified not only in music, but also in art and architecture. For example, King Ludwig II of Bavaria built Neuschwanstein castle (1859-1886), Wagner composed the The Ring and Mahler, his First Symphony. Likewise, Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony, recently released by this same label and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, incorporates the influence of nature and the world of fairy tales. Here too, Bruckner’s FourthSymphony refers to the nature found in German-Austrian landscapes and its myths. It is also greatly influenced by the concept of Romanticism, which included the assimilation of folk music into the symphonic construct. This approach was both modern and debated at the time. Composers would write programs for their scores, but hesitate to print them, as the program might hinder impartial listening. The Fourth Symphony has such a program that Bruckner shared with his friend, Viktor Christ, and also partially notated in the score. While carefully considering this program of the Fourth Symphony, I remain personally convinced that Bruckner’s musical phrases and thoughts require their own flexible tempi and expressions, particularly when referring to nature and folklore. It is for this reason that a rigorous reading of Bruckner as master of the organ and counterpoint might not always be thoroughly sound.