BRUCKNER'S finances were indeed in poor shape at that time. In 1874 he had lost his position at St. Anna College and he was therefore dependent on his income from the Conservatory and from private lessons. His applications for other positions were rejected. Bruckner used a calendar as a diary and in it he noted daily events and happenings over a period of many years -- his expenses, his appointments, the names of girls who appealed to him, his pupils, his daily work and religious exercises. However, nothing in the calendar-diary is more interesting and pathetic than his numerous applications. We find there, for instance, for Thursday, September 27, 1877: "Third rejection of my Wagner Symphony No. 3. First rejected in fall, 1872. C Minor Symphony No. 2, 2nd rejection by the Philharmonic Orchestra, fall, '75. Symphony No. 3."
The document shows the inexorable severity of fate and the admirable stoicism of a man's heart. In those years of bitter experiences Bruckner was not spared humiliating remarks and advice from malicious people like the secretary of the Conservatory, Zellner, who answered his complaints with these words: "You had better throw your symphonies on a dung heap and make piano arrangements. That will mean more money for you." Fortunately, as we have mentioned earlier, Bruckner's financial troubles were greatly relieved by the income granted from the University and the Hofkapelle. His spirit, however, was unperturbed by outer events, since his will-power overcame all impediments and kept feeding his imagination, regardless of discouraging mishaps. His imagination worked on, spontaneously, and proved him a genius.
At the time of the first performance of the Third Symphony, the Fourth and the Fifth were already finished. The Fourth was written in 1874; the Fifth took much longer, for