Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
The Seven Great Operas in Facsimile Editions of Mozart’s Autograph Scores
A project of the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI, Los Altos, Cal.) in association with the International Mozarteum Foundation, Salzburg
Idomeneo, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, La clemenza di Tito – Mozart’s seven great operas, his brilliant contribution to music theatre and world culture, are unequalled in the depth of their human characterisation and musical expression. Through happy coincidence, all seven opera scores survive almost completely intact. The Packard Humanities Institute (PHI, Los Altos, California) has now embarked on producing a facsimile edition of the seven autograph scores. Mozart scholars, libraries and of course all lovers of Mozart’s stage works now have the opportunity to acquire these priceless manuscripts as flawless reproductions. With this project, Bärenreiter has ensured the preservation of Mozart’s legacy.
The Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) - a charitable foundation, known for its philanthropic programmes in the arts and sciences - has forged an ideal cooperation for the Mozart project: Under the scholarly direction of an editorial board (Ulrich Konrad, David Packard, Wolfgang Rehm, Christoph Wolff and general editor Dietrich Berke) the PHI is working with the staff of the libraries where Mozart’s manuscripts are held and with the International Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg.
The digitalization of the manuscripts has been undertaken using the latest technology, allowing for an astounding level of authenticity and precision. The printing follows the uncompromisingly high standards demanded by the edition. All seven volumes include essays on the history of literature and ideas by Hendrik Birus, Hans Joachim Kreutzer and Norbert Miller as well as musicological introductions by leading Mozart scholars in German and English. The facsimile edition will be distributed by Bärenreiter-Verlag.
Precision in reproduction thanks to cutting edge technology
In preparing the manuscripts for reproduction, equipment was used of the highest technical standard. Mozart’s original manuscripts of the seven operas are held by several libraries. For five of the operas, the different acts have even ended up in different libraries following World War II. The manuscript for Act I of Così fan tutte, for example, is in the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków, and the second act is in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz. The same technical equipment was used in all the different locations in order to achieve a uniformly high level of precision and authenticity of colour. Specialists from the Salzburg firm Kirchberger Photography were provided with the latest equipment and were also given additional training in the modern technology by specialists in the USA. Proofs of each edition were compared with the original and improved until the likeness could not be bettered. Mozart’s music and text notation is reproduced extremely clearly, and even those places where Mozart corrected or had rubbed out marks he had made appear in these editions in a previously unmatched transparency.
Ulrich Konrad, David Packard, Wolfgang Rehm, Christoph Wolff
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Bibliothèque nationale de France Paris, The British Library London, Biblioteka Jagiellonska Kraków, Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main, Stanford University Library, The Juilliard School Library and others
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