Music Manuscripts from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries in Stams, Bressanone, Salzburg, and from "Vipiteno"

By Herrmann-Schneider, Hildegard | Fontes Artis Musicae, January-March 2011 | Go to article overview

Music Manuscripts from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries in Stams, Bressanone, Salzburg, and from "Vipiteno"


Herrmann-Schneider, Hildegard, Fontes Artis Musicae


The RISM office in Innsbruck is active in the states of Tyrol (Austria) and South Tyrol (Italy, Austrian until 1918) and also in the Franciscan Province of Austria, which includes the Franciscan monasteries in all of Austria and South Tyrol. An overview of the activities of this RISM office can be found on the website of the Institut fur Tiroler Musikforschung (Institute for Tyrolean Music Research) in Innsbruck at www.musikland-tirol.at. What follows here is an insight into the latest working progress of our RISM cataloging of one representative music archive per named region.

The music holdings of the Cistercian Monastery of Stams, Tyrol, the Diocesan Archives Bressanone in South Tyrol and the Franciscan Monastery of Salzburg are our main focus currently. They are not only well-known as being comprehensive, but are also extremely valuable sources with regard to their content. A considerable part has already been cataloged scientifically and in many ways evaluated in part. So with the publication of new contributions on alternating musical and historical issues with new insights, in addition, manifold in definitive works identification of international relevance, in systematically designed and conducted concerts with programs from our inventoried sources, and accompanied by CD and music editions or in supplying selected objects for exhibitions. (2) The further use of findings from the basic research, as is practiced at our RISM office, is carried out on the one hand within the team, and on the other by external parties. This circle has continually expanded since the publication of our acquired title recordings in RISM-OPAC (www.rism.info), both in terms of numbers and in relation to their regional or professional provenance and also their intentions.

In spite of the long-existing publicity of the extraordinary consistency of the musical stocks in Stams, Bressanone and the Franciscan Monastery in Salzburg, it seems appropriate once more to dedicate public attention to them, because their already impressive image has just recently again experienced a very specific enrichment. As a result, selected outstanding sources from these locations will be presented here briefly and representatively, that have now been catalogued in detail for the first time. Quite a few of them which came to light only recently, were a complete surprise. However, all contain qualities that allow us to gain new insights into the regional and international music history and to revise the current standard of knowledge.

In the late summer of 2010 by lucky coincidence, a collective manuscript of keyboard music with a remarkable content, was found in a private home in the Tyrolean Lech Valley. It appears to come from "Vipiteno"/South Tyrol, where a "servant" of the local parish dean seems to have written its essential components around 1780. Apparently, it was stashed in an inconspicuous pile of several hundred other manuscripts and prints; its existence entirely unknown. (3) The presentation of this not-so-everyday discovery ought to serve as an outstanding exemple, that we have by no means reached the end of our task. With the proper documentation of first-rate music sources, despite what has been achieved so far, a continuous intensification is still required, and it would be irresponsible to not fully commit to an enduring indexing of music history sources. To forego this, would continue to cause gaps in knowledge and false interpretations, and disrepute, which is not conducive to any science.

Manuscripts from the Stams Monastery Music Archives (A-ST) from around 1700

Among the special aspects of the handed down music of Stams, is that much of the sacred and especially the secular works like symphonies, etc. from the second half of the 18th century, were preserved, including many universally one-of-a-kind pieces. We did not think that Stams would have a noteworthy source transmission for the time prior to this, apart from some church music printed around 1730.

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Music Manuscripts from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries in Stams, Bressanone, Salzburg, and from "Vipiteno"
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