An edition of the writing Die Wagnerfrage in the online portal of the Joachim Raff Archive

Authors: Kolb, Severin

Date: Thursday, 7 September 2023, 4:15pm to 5:45pm

Location: Main Campus, L 1 <campus:stage>


With his 1854 publication Die Wagnerfrage (“The Wagner Question”) and the music drama Samson, the composer, music writer, and pedagogue Joachim Raff, who worked in Weimar as Franz Liszt’s assistant, sought to place himself on an equal footing with his two more famous colleagues. The result is a multifaceted and erudite, but also controversially received book that bundles digressions into music history, music theory, contemporary aesthetics, and drama theory and dissects Wagner’s Lohengrin with a sharp, scholarly eye. In parallel to the author’s dissertation project on Raff’s reception of Wagner in the 1850s, an index of writings with the available metadata on numerous newly discovered texts (and the possibility for the later additions of editions) as well as the historical-critical edition of the Wagnerfrage (with commentaries) as a prototype in TEI are to be published in the online portal of the Joachim Raff Archive. On the one hand, the digital infrastructure of the portal, which has been created on the model of the Carl Maria von Weber Complete Edition (indexes of persons, institutions, correspondence, and works), is to be reused and expanded in order to access the new content from a wide variety of angles. The rich source material and the digital format also make it possible to link the edited text in the most diverse directions (e.g., to the digital copies of the literature used by Raff, which are often already created according to IIIF standards, to the corresponding excerpts, or to Wagner’s scores and piano reductions). In particular, the possibilities offered by IIIF annotations will be evaluated during the course of the project. The poster contains basic considerations on data models for the index of writings and the editions as well as a first concept for the re-use of sources available in third party repositories in order to make Raff’s intellectual world visual.

About the author

Severin Kolb studied musicology, religious studies and hermeneutics at the universities of Zurich, Heidelberg and Cologne. In the fall of 2018, the Joachim Raff Archive, which he co-founded, opened its doors, and he has served as its scientific director ever since. Since June 2022 he has been a research associate in the DFG project Digital Liszt Sources and Works Catalogue (SLUB Dresden).

Contribution Type