New Music from Old Fritz: Manuscripts by Frederick the Great Discovered

A flute sonata in Frederick II's hand

"Diese Noten haben Ihro Majestät der König Friederich von Preußen eigenhändig geschrieben."
This music was written by Your Majesty the King Frederick of Prussia in his own hand.

Three autograph music manuscripts by Frederick the Great that were believed to have been lost were discovered in the Art Collection at Veste Coburg, a castle in Bavaria, Germany. The "Coburg Sonatas," compositions for flute and cembalo, will be presented at Veste Coburg on November 15.

The 300th birthday of Frederick the Great has been celebrated this year with numerous exhibitions and celebrations. That Frederick the Great was a music enthusiast and also played the transverse flute is widely known.

Just in time before this anniversary year comes to an end, it was discovered that the Art Collection at Veste Coburg houses three sonatas for transverse flute and cembalo in the hand of the Prussian king. Their existence was apparently unknown in the scholarly community, even in the nineteenth century. The finding is something of a minor sensation, in that very few of Frederick II's compositions are known to still exist in autograph form. Of his 121 flute sonatas, only two autograph copies were previously known, which have survived the centuries in Weimar and Berlin.

The flute sonatas were brought to the attention of musicologists when the Veste Coburg manuscripts were cataloged in the RISM database.

A presentation of the Coburg Sonatas for the press will take place on:

Thursday, November 15 at 11:00 at the Art Collection in Veste Coburg.
Dr. Angelika Tasler (cembalo) and Regina Bußmann (flute) will perform. Information about the autograph manuscript collection at Veste Coburg and the importance of the Coburg Sonatas by Frederick the Great will be given by Dr. Silvia Böcking, Dr. Cristiane Wiebel-Roth (Art Collection, Veste Coburg) and Dr. Helmut Lauterwasser (RISM Munich).

You are cordially invited to this event.

Dr. Klaus Weschenfelder
Director, Art Collection, Veste Coburg

Dr. Helmut Lauterwasser
RISM Working Group Germany

For further information, contact:
Art Collection, Veste Coburg
Telephone: +49 (0) 9561 879 0

RISM Working Group Germany, Munich Office, at the Bavarian State Library
Telephone: +49 (0) 89 286 382 884

Category: Rediscovered

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Alexander Marxen, 08-11-12 13:39:
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