Wiener Arbeitsstelle der Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe

The Wiener Arbeitsstelle (Viennese research group) of the Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe (Complete Works of Johannes Brahms) was established on 1 December 2011 in an international partnership within a long-term musicological edition project. The historical-critical new edition of Johannes Brahms’s complete compositional works is being carried out at the eponymous research centre at the Institute of Musicology of the Christian-Albrecht University in Kiel. Unlike the Alte Gesamtausgabe (1926/1927; Old Complete Edition), the new complete edition covers all of Brahms’s works, including his piano reductions and transcriptions, as well as his arrangements and performance versions of works by other composers. Approximately 65 volumes of sheet music with integrated critical reports are planned to be published by G. Henle Verlag, Munich. Derived from these volumes, performance materials and study editions are being published partly by G. Henle Verlag and partly by Breitkopf and Härtel, Wiesbaden.

Within the scope of the Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe, editors consult every available source of Brahms’s works. Even compositions surviving in fragments, drafts, and outlines are being collected, their importance investigated and appropriately documented. A considerable amount of relevant sources is held at Viennese libraries and archives. Above all, the Archiv der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien (Archive of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna) houses, among others, Brahms’s extensive estate, including the composer’s hand copies. Furthermore, the Vienna City Library and the Austrian National Library also possess numerous valuable documents.

One research focus of the Wiener Arbeitsstelle of the Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe is the Brahms reception as reflected in the Viennese press in the period from 1862 to 1902 – a project that is funded by the City of Vienna. A further task comprises the dedicated documentation and analysis of handwritten sources, on site, which have not yet been sufficiently considered in current Brahms philology. This mainly includes Brahms’s previously unpublished correspondence, but also music manuscripts and other written sources that may offer information on the creation of Brahms’s works, their publication and performance history as well as their reception.