Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna
Archives Library Collections
A - 1010 Vienna
Tel. 0043 1 505 86 81 44
Fax 0043 1 505 86 81 66
Opening hours of the Study Room
October to June: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 13 hrs
Between 24th December and 6th January and during Holy Week, the Study Room will be closed!
Robert Schumann’s relationship with the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna dates back to October 1836 when he sent the first three volumes of his “Neue Zeitschrift für Musik” [“New Journal of Music”] to the Society as a gift for their library. When Schumann went to Vienna in 1838, a close contact developed, partly on a personal basis with officials of the Society, and partly through his visits to their Archives which at that time already represented a music collection of a respectable dimension. There, he also obtained a copy of the autograph score of Franz Schubert’s Great Symphony in C major the perusal of which had been recommended by Ferdinand Schubert as well. That Schumann would have discovered this symphony in Vienna is a simple myth in the history of music, it was rather that his attention was drawn to it and that he was presented with a copy of the score. In this context, it is usually overlooked that the symphony had already been performed by the Conservatory Orchestra of the Society of the Friends of Music still in Schubert’s lifetime, and that, according to the testimony of Joseph Hüttenbrenner, it had been performed in full long before the so-called Leipzig premiere in Vienna, and this probably on 12th March 1829 when the programme leaflet of a Concert spiritual named the performance of a symphony in C major by Franz Schubert, with no more clues being available as to its identification.
Following his six-month stay in Vienna, Schumann maintained written contact with some of the officials of the Society in winter 1838/39, renewed a few acquaintances during his second stay in 1846/47, and was still included in the Society’s concert programmes in his lifetime, with the Second (1854) and the First Symphony (1856). On 1st January 1847, in a concert organised by himself, Schumann conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in the old building and hall of the Society of the Friends of Music, opened in 1831, for which purpose the hall had been left to him on preferential terms, with the performance of his Piano Concerto in A minor (with Clara at the piano) and his first symphony (Symphony No. 1 B flat major, Op. 38, Spring Symphony), but the pianist was met with more interest than the composer himself.
Thanks to Clara Schumann’s frequent concerts in Vienna, almost always held in the Hall of the Society of the Friends of Music, and to the strong presence of Schumann works in the programmes of the Society’s concerts, Vienna, after Schumann’s death. Developed into a centre of promotion of his oeuvre that was by far not recognised yet. After 1862, this was further substantially enhanced by the presence of Johannes Brahms in Vienna. In each one of the three seasons during which Brahm conducted the Society’s concerts (1872 to 1875), he included in the programme works by Schumann, works that were partly performed only rarely, such as the Fantasy for violin and orchestra, or the Manfred music.
To this day, the “Great Hall of the Music Association” and the “Brahms Hall” in the building of the Society of the Friends of Music, opened in 1870 and called for short “Musikverein” [“Music Association”], are outstanding performance venues for Schumann’s work, not least owing to distinguished international interpreters.
The Archives, Library and Collections of the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna include important documentation on the life and work of Schumann and on his circle, let alone on Clara Schumann. These holdings were increased considerably from the Nachlass of Johannes Brahms. This covered not only manuscripts but also graphical and printed material, ranging from programme leaflets to source material in newspapers and journals, up to the grand piano presented to Clara Wieck by Conrad Graf in 1840 on the occasion of her wedding, which became the “house instrument” of the Schumann couple.
Along with numerous letters by, about, and to Robert Schumann, the holdings of the Archives of the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna, constantly supplemented as far as possible, list the following music autographs by Robert Schumann:
Dances of the League of David, Op. 6
Toccata for Piano, C major, Op. 7
Piano Sonata No. 1, F sharp minor, Op. 11
Draft of the first movement entitled “Fandango”
Fragment with continuative drafts and sketches
Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13
Etudes I, II, IV, V, X, XII and Finale
Incomplete copyist’s transcript with corrections and notes by Robert Schumann
Piano Sonata No. 3, F minor, Op. 14
Humoresque, Op. 20
Draft and sketches
Humoreske, Op. 20
Autograph copy of the first part (T. 1-37)
Piano Sonata No. 2, G minor, Op. 22
Original closing movement: Presto
Scherzo, Gigue, Romance and Fughetta, Op. 32
A 286 b
Overture, Scherzo and Finale for Orchestra, E major, Op. 52
Three Songs, Op. 95
No. 1: complete autograph, No. 2: draft and sketches, No. 3: incomplete autograph copy
Coloured Leaves, Op. 99
A 286 a
Overture to Schiller’s “The Bride of Messina” for large orchestra, C minor, Op. 100
Symphony No. 4, D minor, Op. 120
Album Leaves, Op. 124
Nos. 1 and 2
A 286 a
Introduction and Allegro for Piano and Orchestra, D minor, Op. 134
The Page and the Princess, Op. 140
Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, Works without Opus Number (WoO) 3
Piano score for four hands
Part autograph, written down by Carl Gottschalk (choral setting and parts of the piano part), Clara Schumann (parts of the piano part), and Robert Schumann (front matter and piano part of the second section)
Soldier’s Song, Works without Opus Number (WoO) 6
A 290 a
Variations in E flat major on an original theme, F39
Copyist’s transcript [Wilhelm Bayrhoffer] with corrections, some of which are probably by Schumann himself
A 297 a
Polonaises for piano, G 1
Canon on the name of “Bezeth”, N 6
A 290 a
Transcripts of motets by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Felice Anerio and Tomás Luis de Victoria in a two-line piano movement, O 9
Beginning of a piano piece entitled “Etude”
Unidentified sketch, probably for piano
Two unidentified fragments for piano
A 290 a
200th anniversary of the Musikverein in Wien
On 29.11.2012, the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna celebrated its 200th anniversary. The celebration took place, naturally, in its own house, the Musikverein [concert house of the Music Association] in Vienna, completed in 1870 according to the building plans of Theophil Hansen. The programme of the gala concert on the 200th anniversary on 28.11.2012 (repeated on 29.11.), conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, was exactly the programme of the opening concert 200 years ago: George Frideric Handel’s “Timotheus oder Die Gewalt der Musik“ [“Timotheus or The Power of Music”] in an arrangement by Mozart.
Other highlights of the anniversary celebrations and appreciations on the anniversary were an exhibition curated by Prof. Dr. Otto Biba, Director, and Dr. Ingrid Fuchs, Deputy Director, of the Archives, Library and Collections of the Musikverein concert house (“Hier wird vorsätzlich Musik empor gebracht” [“Here, music is promoted intentionally”), and a symposium, organised by both of them – “200 Jahre Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien” [“200 Years of the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna”] (Musikverein, Stone Hall, 28.11.-01.12.2012).
(I.B., translated by Thomas Henninger)
(Otto Biba, translated by Thomas Henninger)
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