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Notes 58.4 (2002) 861-863



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Book Review

The Rosaleen Moldenhauer Memorial:
Music History from Primary Sources: A Guide to the Moldenhauer Archives


The Rosaleen Moldenhauer Memorial: Music History from Primary Sources: A Guide to the Moldenhauer Archives. Edited by Jon Newsom and Alfred Mann. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2000. [733 p. ISBN 0-8444-0987-1. $85.]

The folded frontispiece of the Library of Congress's magnificent publication on the Hans Moldenhauer Archives reproduces a page from Beethoven's autograph copy of selections from Act 2 of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The caption states, "Georg Kinsky assumed that Beethoven made this copy for study purposes in preparation for composing ensemble sections in his opera Fidelio." Here is Beethoven looking back to Mozart for guidance—a fitting prelude to this lavish volume celebrating Hans Moldenhauer's archive of primary source materials—the resources from which music history is created.

Born in Mainz in 1906, pianist Hans Moldenhauer studied at the Musikhochschule in Mainz with Hans Rosbaud. He emigrated to the United States in 1938 and settled in Spokane, Washington, in 1939. An avid mountain-climber, he was drawn to the landscape of Washington, which reminded him of the mountainous terrain of his homeland. He established a piano teaching studio in Spokane, and founded the Spokane Conservatory in 1942. In 1943 he married pianist Rosaleen Jackman, who had been one of his students. Following a brief service in the U.S. Army, he resumed his formal musical studies and received a bachelor degree in music from Whitworth College in Spokane, and a doctorate degree from Chicago Musical College, where he studied with Rudolf Ganz. His doctoral dissertation, Duo-Pianism (Chicago: Chicago Musical College Press, 1951), remains an important reference source on the two-piano literature.

Moldenhauer began collecting musical documents in the 1940s, around the time he [End Page 861] was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary disease that leads to blindness. His doctors' prediction that he would lose his sight within two years of the diagnosis fired his passion to collect. He was able to retain his eyesight for twenty more years, during which he amassed an extraordinary archive of musical documents from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. He acquired Anton Webern's archives in the 1960s, and published a facsimile edition of the composer's sketches in 1968 (Anton von Webern: Sketches (1926-1945): Facsimile Reproductions from the Composer's Autograph Sketchbooks in the Moldenhauer Archives [New York: Carl Fischer, 1968]). His wife Rosaleen worked with him on their landmark study Anton von Webern: A Chronicle of His Life and Work (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1978).

Music History from Primary Sources documents items from the Moldenhauer Archives housed in nine institutions around the world: the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, Switzerland; the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich; the Houghton Library of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; the Stadtarchiv and Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna; the Zentralbibliothek of Zurich; Washington State University in Pullman; and Whitworth College in Spokane.

The Library of Congress received a significant component of Moldenhauer's archive (some thirty-five hundred items) as a bequest. Moldenhauer also provided the library with funds to support the publication of a book about his entire collection as a memorial to his wife Rosaleen, who died in 1982. After Moldenhauer's death in 1987, Jon Newsom and his staff at the library steered the book project to completion. Mary Moldenhauer, Hans's last wife, assisted them.

The volume consists of fifty-three essays on selected items in the Moldenhauer Archives, as well as a comprehensive inventory of holdings in the aforementioned institutions. Jon Newsom's elegant introduction outlines Moldenhauer's collecting philosophy. As Newsom explains, Moldenhauer was influenced by post-World War II developments in critical editing techniques and scholars' focus on close examination of primary source materials to create "authentic" or "definitive" musical texts. Indeed, the subtitle of this volume, "Music History from Primary Sources," was Moldenhauer's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 861-863
Launched on MUSE
2002-06-01
Open Access
No
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