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Already at a young age, Strauss made initial contacts with well-known publishing houses. Eugen Spitzweg of the Munich publishing house Jos. Aibl became a paternal friend for the aspiring composer. At the beginning, when Strauss was barely known to a wide audience, Spitzweg expressed his friendship by including Strauss’s compositions in his catalog. But soon Strauss’s reputation grew – and with it his self-confidence in negotiations with his business partners. Unlike some other important composers in music history, Strauss developed into a capable businessman and secured high fees for his music. This chapter highlights the publishing context of Strauss’s work. It characterizes his relationships with his long-time main publishers, names the publishers with whom Strauss collaborated only briefly, and presents an overview of the great variety of sheet music editions (from historical publications to modern critical editions) in which Strauss’s music is available.
Strauss’s written correspondence consists of many thousands of documents. The publicly-known portion is extensive indeed, even without approximating the total inventory: edited today are some 8,000 letters, postcards, and telegrams to and from the composer, the bulk of which have not been translated. Hitherto untapped, however, is more than that amount of material in various archives and libraries. Particularly noteworthy here is the family-owned Richard-Strauss-Archiv in Garmisch, which houses the largest share of Straussiana worldwide, including the largest collection of letters to the composer. An official, even if not fully complete catalog of Strauss’s correspondence, both published and unpublished, is still an urgent research desideratum. This chapter contextualizes the extant materials by focusing on issues such as access, chronology, editorial standards, and dissemination, while calling for all materials to be made accessible via modern edition principles.
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