The Research Project
The “Kritische Ausgabe der Werke von Richard Strauss”, a long-term editorial project, has been under way at the Institut für Musikwissenschaft of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich since 2011; it is directed by Prof. Dr Hartmut Schick and is supervised by a project committee and advisory board constituted by the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. The project is part of the so-called Akademienprogramm, financed jointly by Germany’s federal government and federal states. Collaborations are in place with the Richard-Strauss-Institut in Garmisch Partenkirchen – which, between 2009 and 2012, prepared the “Richard-Strauss-Quellenverzeichnis” (www.rsi-rsqv.de), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – with the IT-Gruppe Geisteswissenschaften at the LMU Munich, and the Richard-Strauss-Archiv at Garmisch Partenkirchen, run by the composer’s family.
Born in Munich, Richard Strauss (1864–1949) was one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century. In terms of the regular presence of his stage and concert works, as well as their popularity with traditional audiences, he is the most successful twentieth-century composer by far. Nonetheless, almost none of his approximately 500 compositions is presently available in an edition that meets scholarly standards of source criticism.
Over the next 25 years, the project will cover – in their entirety – the most important genres and groups of works. These will be published in about 50 large-format volumes, including music and critical commentary, and the series will have the title ‘Richard Strauss: Werke. Kritische Ausgabe’. Supported by an international consortium of publishers, the project brings together the Verlag Dr Richard Strauss, Boosey & Hawkes, the Edition Peters Group, and Schott Music. The edition takes into account variants, alternative versions, revisions etc., and also evaluates historical orchestral parts (as well as many other sources) that were used in performances under the direction of Strauss himself. The musical texts established in this process will also form the blueprint for the production of performance materials intended to provide the foundation for the future performance of Strauss’s works across the globe. In addition, the edition’s online platform will make available synoptic comparisons of texts as well as extensive document collections relating to the stage and orchestra works, encompassing the most important source materials (letters, reviews etc.) and documenting a work’s genesis comprehensively. One year after the publication of each individual volume, its texts will also be made available on this online platform.
The team at the Forschungsstelle Richard-Strauss-Ausgabe consists of six senior editors and a support-team of academic and student staff; external co-editors and proof-readers will also be consulted in a number of cases. The close collaboration with members of the IT-Gruppe Geisteswissenschaften ensures that the edition’s various components are prepared, from the very beginning, in a manner that is independent of their medium: doing so guarantees that they can be published in digital online format at a later stage without complications and enables the edition to fulfil the criteria necessary for the long-term storage of its data.