Music Manuscripts by Richard Strauss and Hans Pfitzner Online

The following was originally published on the blog of the Bavarian State Library and is reprinted here with kind permission. 

For years, the Bavarian State Library (BSB) has been making music manuscripts from its most prominent composer archival collections available online, including the autograph manuscripts of Gustav Mahler, Josef Rheinberger, Max Reger, Heinrich Kaminski, Hugo Distler, and Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. The beginning of 2020 saw the works of two of the most important German composers of the first half of the 20th century enter the public domain:  Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949) and Hans Pfitzner (1869 – 1949).

The BSB started systematically collecting the works of Richard Strauss when the composer was still alive. Today, the library holds the world’s largest publicly owned collection of Strauss materials and this collection continues to grow. At the end of 2019, the library succeeded in acquiring a leaf from a particella score of Strauss’s opera Die schweigsame Frau and in January 2020 another leaf to his unfinished symphonic poem Die Donau.

Even more comprehensive, with nearly 200 music manuscripts, is the Hans Pfitzner Collection, which was assembled through archival bequests, purchases, and gifts.

Digitized manuscripts of music by Richard Strauss and Hans Pfitzner are almost entirely available online to anyone who is interested.

The digitized sources can now also be found through the RISM catalog. 

Image: Hans Pfitzner, sketches to Urworte orphisch, D-Mbs Mus.coll. 7.52, RISM ID no. 1001086879.

Category: Library collections

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