New materials in the archive

From the archive

We only very rarely have the opportunity to experience a growth of the collection of Ernst Krenek’s manuscripts in the archive. In the first months of this year, we had this exciting experience three times.

The Ernst-Krenek-Institute-Private-Foundation acquired four manuscripts of a private music collection from the antiquarian J. Voerster. Three of them are hitherto unknown manuscripts of works by Krenek: a piano reduction of his opera “Die Zwingburg” (The Tyrant's Castle), op. 14 (1922); a score of a string quartet (WoO 58) not included in Krenek’s catalogue of works, which Krenek composed during his studies with Franz Schreker for a competition sponsored by the American patron of the arts Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953) in 1920; and scores of songs, op. 30a in a version for voice, clarinet and string instruments. He addressed the two booklets, in which he notated the songs, to “Alma” (Moodie), the Australian violinist with whom Krenek had a liaison at that time. The fourth manuscript also fits into this biographical context: the realization of the basso continuo accompaniment to a sonata for violin by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704), that Krenek probably performed with Alma Moodie at a concert. Krenek’s piano part differs significantly from the version in volume 11 of the series “Denkmäler der österreichischen Tonkunst” (Memorials of Austrian Musical Art, 1898) which was already available at that time.

From another private collection several pieces were generously donated to the institute. These objects illustrate the many years of friendship with the family of Friedrich and Ella Gubler-Corti in Winterthur. Among them is a “Little Berceuse” that Krenek composed for violin as a gift for Christmas 1927 and added a piano part in 1935. 1955 he gave them a watercolor displaying the landscape of Owens Valley in California. This watercolor is now exhibited at the institute.

We were also very delighted to receive the letters of Krenek to Frater Gregor Baumhof, who completed his studies of music education in 1971 with a thesis about Krenek’s string quartets. He had held contact with Krenek in the following years. His feature article “My encounters with Ernst Krenek” tells about his acquaintance with Krenek.

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