Finkensteiner Blätter

First edition of Finkensteiner Blätter 1923/1924

This was the title given to the first editions published by Bärenreiter in the form of song books. They were edited by Walter Hensel from 1923–1933 and issued on a monthly basis. The foreword to the first edition in 1923 contained the following:

“We welcome you, dear reader and singer, and would like to briefly explain to you what we hope to achieve with these song sheets. Even before the invitation to the Finkenstein singing week went out, the publisher had the idea of sending out a song sheet, through which we would gradually once again rediscover the old sources of our traditional folk songs. We would ask you to bear one thing in mind: if you are able to, we would welcome it if you would spread the word by singing these songs but we cannot allow you to copy them out! The books are sufficiently cheap, the author and publisher need to make a living and in any case need the proceeds to continue the work which has begun here. We will happily grant the right to perform. It is typical of hard-headed, inferior rivals that they seek to slander us as if we wanted to withhold something from the public, when we have precisely the opposite in mind and can demonstrate this adequately through our work!”

Finkenstein is a small region in Moravia, formerly known as Mährisch-Trübau in Czechoslovakia and this is where the first singing weeks took place. Walther Hensel is regarded as the founder of the Finkenstein singing movement. It was here that he and Karl Vötterle met for the first time.