A Cartoon of Mahler



Vindobona Collection Catalogue

Universal-Edition, Gesamt-Katalog 1937, section SO.




Catalogue home page



On 3 November 1928 Das Kino-Journal included an advertising supplement for film music from Figaro Verlag, that featured, amongst others, the U.E. series and in particular included comments from conductors about the Vindobona Collection.




The Vindobona Collection was one of a number of  series of publications initiated by UE in the 1920s (including Vindobona Jazz Series, Vindobona Collection Film Series; UE Ensemble Series) in an attempt to move into other markets (e.g. entertainment music) and to respond to new technology (music for silent film, arrangements for small radio orchestras).¹ None was very long-lasting.

Facsimile of an annoucement of the Vindobona series


Fig. 1

Anzeiger für den Buch-, Kunst-, und Musikalienhandel,  1926/35 (27 August 1926), 210

As the catalogue indicates, the basic arrangement was for a small salon orchestra usually consisting of flute, oboe, clarinet I, trumpet I [omitted from the catalogue list], trombone, percussion, violin-conductor (2 copies), violin II, viola, cello, double bass, piano-conductor and harmonium, but this could be expanded with supplementary parts for clarinet II, horns I & II, and trumpet II, and if all these were used, the piano and harmonium parts could be omitted. One of the striking features of the Vindobona Collection was that although described as for Salon-Orchestra the repertoire was, as the catalogue reveals,  resolutely high art (V.C. No. 1 was the Adagio from Bruckner's Seventh Symphony) and did not exclude representatives of modernism (e.g. Bartok; Zemlinsky). The earliest orders were placed in April 1926 and most of the collection appeared in 1926–28, although new titles were added up to 1934 (no. 169). New impressions were rare and the last dated from January 1939 (No. 55). It should be noted that the numbering system was (probably deliberately) misleading: the numbers 'missing' from the printed catalogue were either never assigned or, in a few cases, were assigned to arrangements that were not realized.

These various ventures were probably not a success, and according to a typescript note on the Verlagsbuch containing the publishing records of the Collection:

Für die Ausgaben Vindobona Collection, Vindobona Collection Jazz, Vindobona Collection Film Serie.... hat Dr Kalmus generell bestimmt dass die angemeldeten Copyrights nicht mehr erneuert werden sollen, da die Arrangements veraltet and schlecht sind. Wenn die eine oder andere Ausgaben noch verlängert wurde, so ist dies aus besonerem Grund geschen, wie z.B. weil Platten-Aufnahme gemacht wurden u.s.w.

Concerning the editions of Vindobona Collection, Vindobona Collection Jazz, Vindobona Collection Film Serie.... generally, Dr Kalmus has determined that the registered copyrights should not be renewed, because the arrangements are obsolete and bad. If one or the other of the outputs has been extended, this is for special reasons, e.g. because recordings have been made, etc.

Although Kalmus was critical of the arrangements it is striking that at least in the case of the adaptations of the Mahler songs and symphonic movements, the music is always presented complete, and the excellently engraved parts preserve Mahler's characteristic performance directions: a revival of them might well be merited.





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© 2007 Paul Banks | This page was lasted edited on 28 October 2019