The Newly Adapted Music Archive at Heiligenkreuz Abbey

We received this post from Father Roman Nägele (RISM Austria, Heiligenkreuz Abbey):

Music plays a considerable role in monastic everyday life. Not a day goes by without us coming into contact with music here.

The abbey's musicians pay - and paid - special attention to the presentation of the music in the Holy Mass that is celebrated every day. Gregorian chant alternates with folk songs and orchestral polyphonic masses.

A wide range of sacred and secular music can be found in the music archive. The bulk of the archival collection consists of handwritten and printed music from the beginning of the 18th century and into the 20th century. Particularly remarkable is music by composers who had a personal or professional connection to the abbey through their membership in the Heiligenkreuz Boys' Choir (active until 1983), especially Georg Reutter the Younger (1708-1772), Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809), P. Clemens Scheupflug OCist (1731-1805), Johann Ritter von Herbeck (1831-1877), Ambros Rieder (1771-1855), and others.

Scholarly work currently underway in the music archive at Heiligenkreuz is mainly focusing on processing and publishing works that were found in 2013 in the papers of Ferdinand Rebay (1880-1953). Dr. Maria Gelew is preparing them for performance and publication. So far, ca. 150 works (mostly with guitar) have already been published by Bergmann-Verlag. Mag. Christiane Hörmann is writing a dissertation about Ferdinand Rebay, having previously written a master's thesis on the topic.

In the second phase of the Lower Austrian FTI project "Kloster_Musik_Sammlungen" with the Donau-Uni-Krems, our music will be added to the research process. In addition to cataloging and digitizing the material in a web-based database, a historical/critical pilot edition will also be published, which will make it possible to perform selected pieces of music and make them available to a broad audience.

In the course of the various activities in the music archive, it became necessary to bring the archival material together in one place. Now the entire music archive is located in a room specially adapted for this purpose. As a result, the material is better arranged and easier to access. The paper artefacts are supplemented by historical sound equipment, which ranges from gramophones (see image) to radios and CD players. A modern workplace (with an internet connection) has now been created for researchers. In order to bring the music of the archive to life, we have been performing, for several years, music by composers who began their careers as singers in the boys' choir of Heiligenkreuz Abbey. In so doing, we also highlight lesser-known musicians whose music is worth playing and listening to.

Image: Gramaphone from 1937
©Zisterzienserabtei Stift Heiligenkreuz - Kustodiat

 

Category: Library collections



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