Julius Stockhausen / Emanuel Wirth 

In 2011, the Brahms-Institut received a bequest from the estate of Renate Wirth. Both her grandfathers were renowned musicians from Brahms’ circle of friends: Emanuel Wirth, the violist in the famous Joachim Quartet as of 1877, and the singer Julius Stockhausen.

Both estates are of great importance in terms of music history. Especially valuable for research are the personal musical libraries of both musicians, which include many first or early editions. Revealing here are numerous working copies that include many markings, documenting the musical practice of the period. The estates also include private photo albums with many previously unknown photographs of famous composers and interpreters, including Joseph Joachim, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Theodor Kirchner, Clara Schumann, Hans von Bülow, and Gioacchino Rossini.

Julius Stockhausen and Emanuel Wirth maintained contact with many artists—as did Renate Wirth herself—so that the estate also contains many handwritten letters, for example from Max Kalbeck, Carl Reinecke, Kurt Thomas, Carl Orff, Max Friedlaender, Hugo Riemann, or Julius Röntgen. Insights into the lifeworld and musical culture of the 19th and early 20th centuries can be read from the handwritten repertoire lists of the Joachim Quartet, the most important quartet during the Brahms period, and a collection of concert programs.

Guest books, poetry albums, and other family documents reflect the variety of the estate. An especially lovely item that has now found its place at the Brahms-Institut is Stockhausen’s ivory baton, which the artist received from the women of Hamburg’s Sing-Akademie when he served as a conductor there, a position that Brahms himself entertained.

In early October 2014, Sarah Hodgson began doing research using the material.

 

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