Brahms gewidmet (Dedicated to Brahms)

The project “Brahms gewidmet” (Dedicated to Brahms), funded with the help of Lübeck’s Possehl-Stiftung, focuses on the ca. 100 compositions that were dedicated to Johannes Brahms during his lifetime “in his honor” or “in friendship”, including works by prominent composers like Max Bruch, Ferruccio Busoni, Antonín Dvorák, Joseph Joachim, Theodor Kirchner, Max Reger, the Schumanns, or Johann Strauss, Jr. These compositions are relevant for our view of Brahms because they reflect how the composer’s circle experienced Brahms. The individual dedications not only point indicate the biographical context of the act of dedication, but should be seen as a complex understandable as an intricate process that was intended as a public proclamation in the act of publication. The project was undertaken as part of Andrea Hammes’ dissertation, published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in 2015.

This was followed by the editorial project “Brahms gewidmet” (Dedicated to Brahms), which after several evaluations has been supported by the VolkswagenStiftung since January 2013. The focus is placed on four works of chamber music (by Robert Fuchs, Hermann Goetz, Bernhard Scholz, and Josef Suk), which are to be studied, using a new editorial approach that combines philology and digital documentation. As a pilot project

“Brahms gewidmet" was part of the large-scale research project “Bürgerliche Musikkultur in Deutschland im 19. Jahrhundert. Edition – Dokumentation – Reflexion” (“Bourgeois Musical Culture in 19th Century Germany: Edition, Documentation, Relfection”) planned by the Musikgeschichtliche Kommission.

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Bibliography

  • Andrea Hammes: Brahms gewidmet. Ein Beitrag zu Systematik und Funktion der Widmung in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Göttingen (V&R unipress) 2015.
  • Wolfgang Sandberger, “Text – Paratext – Kontext: Zur Transaktion der Widmung bei Johannes Brahms”, in: Brahms am Werk, Bericht des Symposions während der Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung in Kiel im Herbst 2011, ed. Siegfried Oechsle, forthcoming.

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