Informationspool "Repertory of Swiss composers of the 19th century"

The project Informationspool – "Repertory of Swiss composers of the 19th century" was begun in September 2008. The project, conducted in collaboration with the Swiss National Sound Archives, aims to link together different resources within a digitization project. About 500 sources considered particularly significant for Swiss music from in particular for the 19th century are digitized and published online together with sound recordings of the Swiss National Library and with detailed source descriptions following the Swiss RISM cataloguing rules. Links to biographical resources are also established when possible.

At the end of 2012 the first results were published. This first group included about 75 titles that were deemed of particular interest from different points of view. Half are autograph manuscripts by the composer or arranger, others are partial autographs or contemporary copies. All scans have been linked to at least one audio recording. The sources have a wide range of genres and scorings, from the unaccompanied male choir (the original version of the Swiss Psalm by Alberik Zwyssig, CH-E, 681,11) to the late romantic piano concerto (by Hermann Goetz, CH-W, Dep.MK 232). For almost all composers, a link was included in the database to a biographical article in the Swiss historical dictionary.

The digitized sources are preserved in ten different Swiss libraries and archives. They are distributed geographically from East (Sankt Gallen, Vadiana and Domchorarchiv) to West (Lausanne, Conservatoire and Bibliothèque publique et universitaire). Library of religious institutions (Einsiedeln monastery, Beromünster collegiate church) and cantonal and University libraries (Solothurn cantonal library, central and university library Lucerne).

In some cases, several interpretations of the same work are present in the collections of the Fonoteca. A selection was made so as to present the full range of possible interpretations to the public. (For a complete list of recordings please visit the online catalogue of the Fonoteca). For example, the scanned images of the autograph of the Swiss Psalm (in the Swiss National Library in Berne) were linked to five incarnations of the original simple phrase. A version for soloist and piano, choir, and marching band can be heard - the oldest in historical record, from the time of the shellac. Furthermore, an arrangement for symphony orchestra and choir, under the direction of none other than Herbert von Karajan; and the arrangements "in the manner of ..." by the pianist Jean-Jacques Hauser. (Note that the audio file is transmitted directly from the Fonoteca in Lugano, which means that users must visit the dedicated listening stations).

For this project, the RISM Switzerland has established a collaboration with the Distributed Digital Music Archives and Libraries (DDMAL) laboratory led by Prof. Ichiro Fujinaga at McGill University in Montreal.

Project partners: