A New Catalog of Works for Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz died 150 years ago tomorrow. Right in time for this major anniversary, a revised edition of the Catalogue of the Works of Hector Berlioz (originally published in 1987) has been released as a digital resource that is free online.

D. Kern Holoman and Jonathan Minnick. Catalogue of the Works of Hector Berlioz. Davis, CA: University of California at Davis Department of Music, 2018. Available online.

The new catalog keeps the same structure as the first edition: it documents Berlioz's musical works and his numerous writings. Numbers are the same as in the first edition and additions are summarized in the introduction. People familiar with the first edition of the catalog will immediately notice a difference, however: there are no incipits. These in fact have been moved outside of the body of the catalog and are available as a separate dataset containing 432 individual PDF files. Though this makes browsing through the incipits difficult, it makes some sense given the current size of the catalog, which weighs in at 866 pages.

The second edition, which contains around 60% more pages even without the incipits, represents the huge strides Berlioz scholarship has taken since the publication of the first catalog over 30 years ago. Scholars now have a complete New Berlioz Edition, the Correspondance générale, and an almost-complete Critique musicale. Autograph manuscripts and new sources have been discovered since the 1980s. Richard Macnutt's inventory of Berlioz material was also acquired by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (including the caricature above).

Not only have corrections and additions been incorporated into the second edition (and will continue to be, given the digital nature of the resource), but links to digital resources have also been integrated. Internal linking helps the user navigate within the digital catalog comfortably, and external links to resources such as Gallica and Hofmeister's Monatsberichte bring you to the original.

RISM used the short title HolBe|1 to refer to the first edition of the Berlioz catalog. HolBe|2 is the short title for the second edition and will be the catalog cited henceforth. There are just over 60 sources in RISM for Berlioz, including some sources that are new to RISM: an arrangement of the overture from Benvenuto Cellini for piano four-hands in the hand of Hans von Bülow (RISM ID no.  1001049142), some autograph material now kept in Braunschweig (RISM ID nos. 1001007637 and 1001007633), and a handful of Italian manuscripts now in RISM thanks to a current data import project from SBN Musica/ ICCU.

Image: Portrait of Hector Berlioz, lithography by Étienne Carjat (1828-1906). Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, EST MACNUTT GF 004, from Gallica (public domain).


Category: New publications

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