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Catalogue of the Music Collection
of the Dresden Catholic Court Church 1765

This project has been made possible with the support, advice, technical expertise, and encouragement of a host of friends, colleagues, and institutions. A Queen Elizabeth II (QE II) Fellowship awarded in 2000 by Australian Research Council (ARC) enabled me to investigate Catholic music heard in Saxony during Bach’s lifetime, especially from 1723 when he took up his appointments in Leipzig. The focus of the research topic titled ‘The Other Side of the Coin: Catholic Music in Saxony During Bach’s Lifetime’ came to be based upon an investigation of sacred works listed in the catalogue of Dresden’s Catholic Hofkirche, an inventory compiled in three volumes in 1765 under the supervision of the Dresden court composer Johann Georg Schürer. Titled ‘Catalogo della Musica di Chiesa composta Da diversi Autori – secondo l’Alfabetto 1765’, this source is now held in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin—Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung, Berlin (D-B). Among the sacred items listed in 1765 are works to which Bach had access through the friendly connections he established with composers of Dresden – particularly with the Dresden Kapellmeister Johann Adolf Hasse and the court church composer Jan Dismas Zelenka. According to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, both Hasse and Zelenka were among the handful of composers most admired by his father during his final years. 

The investigations the Dresden court church music by Wolfgang Horn, Thomas Kohlhase, Ortrun Landmann and Wolfgang Reich are gratefully acknowledged. Their ground-breaking research, much of it published during the 1980s and 90s, remains a firm basis for studies of the musical repertoire of this church. This data base would never have progressed  without the assistance of a great many archivists and librarians. Foremost among institutions visited is the Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Dresden (SLUB), formerly the Sächsische Landesbibliothek (SLB). To Dr Karl Wilhelm Geck and to the staff of this wonderfully rich archive I owe a special debt of gratitude. Their patient service and kind assistance has never faltered.

I acknowledge that the development of this data base was first suggested by Professor John Griffiths, a valued colleague and mentor.  At The University of Melbourne I am especially grateful to Evelyn Portek and the librarians of the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library. Over the past years they have responded with generosity to my many requests connected with this project, while the technical expertise of David Collins and the late Peter Liddelow of the Faculty of Music (which subsequently became the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music) gave rise to its earliest version. I am very appreciative of the advice and support offered by Anna Shadbolt, former Manager of Digital Scholarship and Dr Leo Konstantelos, Research Data Curator (University Library) who have been instrumental in bringing the work to its present stage.

For advice and help with readings of titles and associated documents I have been most fortunate to be able to call upon the expertise of Dr David Fairservice, Susanne Haring, and Associate Professor Samantha Owens. The independent Icelandic researcher Jóhannes Ágústsson has generously shared with me information gleaned from Dresden sources, especially those held in the Sächsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv in Dresden and in SLUB, while Robert Hugo and Michaela Freemanová have drawn my attention to sources held in the Czech Republic. I also thank Bruno Musumeci for alerting me to RISM sources. Professor Michael Talbot and Dr Claudio Bacciagaluppi have always supported this work with expert advice on Italian items listed in the Catalogo of 1765.

I thank Professor Gary McPherson for the practical assistance he made available during the final stages of development of this work, and I acknowledge with gratitude the help of post graduate students Daniel Russo Batterham, Andrew Frampton, Robin Hillier, Shelley Hogan, and Frederic Kiernan. Finally, I am grateful to academic colleagues and  support staff at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at The University of Melbourne for their generosity and encouragement.

Janice B Stockigt

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music