Our latest collection of digitized scores focuses on early 20th century works of musical modernism: operas by Busoni, Schreker, and Zemlinsky. As always, these and many other scores from our special collections can be found in our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti.

Ferruccio Busoni

Ferruccio Busoni. Detail, showing extent of annotations, Die Brautwahl. Mus 633.5.621

Ferruccio Busoni. Detail, showing extent of annotations, Die Brautwahl. Mus 633.5.621 (click to enlarge)

1. Die Brautwahl. Klavier-Auszug von E. Petri [Leipzig? Breitkopf & Härtel? 1914?]. Mus 633.5.621

Busoni’s first opera, with a libretto by the composer based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s short story of the same title, from Die Serapions-brüder. This copy of the vocal score contains numerous cuts, corrections, and annotations – some pasted over the original score – which may represent a conductor’s revisions for performance.

2. Die Brautwahl: Orchester-Suite: Op. 45. Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel [c1917]. Mus 633.5.623

Ferruccio Busoni. Cover, Arlecchino. Mus 633.5.615

Ferruccio Busoni. Cover, Arlecchino. Mus 633.5.615

3. Arlecchino: ein theatralisches Capriccio in einem Aufzuge. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, c1917. Mus 633.5.615

A vocal score of Busoni’s Mozartian one-act number opera, centered on the acrobatic Harlequin figure of the Commedia dell’arte: his first stylistic foray into Junge Klassizität (Young Classicality). The work premiered on May 11, 1917, with Busoni’s Turandot.

Franz Schreker

4. Das Spielwerk und die Prinzessin: Oper in einem Vorspiel und zwei Aufzügen. Wien: Universal-Edition, c1912. Mus 800.42.621

Schreker’s third opera, strongly influenced by Symbolism and later extensively revised to become Das Spielwerk. This copy of the score includes the spoken interlude “Des Burschen Traum in der Hütte des Meisters Florian” (“The Boy’s dream in the cabin of Meister Florian”), performed only for radio broadcast and not included in the libretto published in 1913.

Alexander Zemlinsky
Portraitserie Alexander von Zemlinsky
5. Eine florentinische Tragödie: Oper in einem Aufzug : Op. 16. Wien: Universal-Edition, c1916. Mus 887.575.621

As he would do several years later in commissioning Georg C. Klaren’s libretto for Der Zwerg, Zemlinksy based his own libretto for Eine florentinische Tragödie on a work by Oscar Wilde: in this case, his unfinished play A Florentine Tragedy.

6. Kleider machen Leute; musikalische Komödie in einem Vorspiel und zwei Akten. Wien, New York, Universal-Edition, c1922. Mus 887.575.616

A vocal score of the revised version of the comic opera, based on Gottfried Keller’s novella Kleider machen Leute. Originally produced as a three act opera in 1911, this two-act revised version premiered in Prague in 1922.

– Kerry Masteller