Books about Raff









Joachim Raff - Portrait of a Life
Joachim Raff -
Portrait of a Life














A Catalogue of the Muisc of Joachim Raff A Catalogue of the
Music of Joachim Raff















Helene Raff's autobiography
Leaves from Life's Tree


Other books about Raff

Joachim Raff - Portrait of a Life
The only biography of Joachim Raff, originally published in Germany in 1925, is available in English for the first time in an authoritative and extremely readable translation by Alan Howe. Helene Raff's distinctively brisk voice, unsentimental in her judgement of her father, chronicals Raff's professional and family life and his relationships with his great contemporaries such as Liszt, Wagner and Brahms. She also describes the circumstances of the creation of most of his major compostions. This lively account is supplemented by extensive illustrations, most of which are new to this edition, together with painstakingly researched footnotes which amplify all aspects of the book and particularly Raff's compositions. There is a modern, newly-compiled list of all Raff's compositions and, unlike the original, a comprehensive index. This book is the definitive source for Raff's fascinating life and career.

A Catalogue of the Music of Joachim Raff
Since it was published in 1888, Albert Schäfer's Chronologisch-Systematisches Verzeichnis der Werke Joachim Raff's has been the only catalogue of Raff's music. Its 165 pages feature comprehensive entries for each of his almost 300 compositions, listed in Opus number order. This new book by Mark Thomas, which includes a full facsimile reprint of the original volume, make's Schäfer's work both more accessible and up to date by adding a completely new English catalogue, based on the original but compiled with the benefit of more recent research. Significant errors and many major ommissions in Schäfer's book have been corrected. The new catalogue lists works by genre of composition to give an easier overview of Raff's compositional activity, it includes entries for 15 works missing from Schäfer, it uses the WoO numbers now allocated to the 71 compositions left by Raff without Opus numbers, surveys all his known unrealised projects and features a short biography of the composer.

Leaves from Life's Tree
A major contribution, not only to Raff scholarship, but also to the history of fin de siécle Germany. The autobiography of his daughter Helene, Leaves from Life's Tree is a fascinating account of her life as a painter and writer. Beginning with an unsentimental account of growing up in the Raff household, it boasts a dazzling array of famous characters such as Liszt, Ibsen and "mad" King Ludwig II and teems with the once-famous writers, sculptors, musicians, actors and painters in her circle and ends with her mother's death and a chilling account of the collapse of Germany in 1918. Alan Howe's masterful translation is fleshed out for today's readers by many newly-researched footnotes and a generous selection of photographs.

The Symphonic Repertoire Volume IIIA
In this part of his sixth volume magnum opus, Professor A Peter Brown looks at the European symphony in Germany and Scandinavia during the 19th. century, but excluding Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler. Brown does not attempt a comprehensive survey, naming every kleinmaster, but instead concentrates of those whom he regards as the most significant contributors to the symphonic repertoire: nine from Germany (including Berlioz!), a couple each from Norway and Sweden, three from Denmark and Sibelius from Finland. Of these 17, only Spohr has more pages devoted to him than does Raff, the discussion of whose 11 symphonies covers 112 pages. As well as a general survey of Raff's life and career and a summing up of his achievement and significance as a symphonist, each work is looked at in detail. Using contemporary accounts as well as subsequent musicological research, Brown describes each symphony's genesis and its critical reception, surveys its harmonic and structural architecture with the aid of copious charts and gives a movement by movement narrative description of the music, illustrated by several short score examples. A very important contribution to the Raff literature.

Vergessene Symphonik? ( Forgotten Symphonists?)
In his book "Forgotten Symphonists? Studies on Joachim Raff, Carl Reinecke and the Imitation question" Matthias Weigandt discusses in fascinating detail Raff's symphonies nos.4,5 and 9, together with Reinecke's 1st. symphony. The book reviews the art of the symphony between 1850 and 1890 and in particular addresses the accusation of a lack of originality in Raff's symphonic music. This work has proved so popular that it is now offered at a new, lower price! In German.

Joseph Joachim Raff (1822-1882)
In his monograph "Joseph Joachim Raff (1822-1882)" Markus Römer offers a succinct outline of Raff's life with copious extracts from the writings of Raff's contemporaries. There is a short review of Raff's approach to composing and an extensive bibliography and literary reference. In German.

The program symphonies of Joseph Joachim Raff
Carol Bevier's extensive dissertation describes all Raff's programmatic symphonies in detail together with a fascinating review of Raff's life and general compositional style. A major, if flawed, piece of work.

Das Hoch'sche Konservatorium 1878-1978 (The Hoch Conservatory 1878-1978)
The first 80 pages of this centennial history of the Hoch Conservatory deal with the foundation and early years of the institution under Raff's direction and are a very useful source for the final few years of Raff's professional life.

The Wellsprings of Neo-Classicism in Music
A comprehensive doctoral thesis which surveys the rise of the Suite and Serenade in romantic music. The significance of Raff's piano and orchestral suites in the forefront of this trend is discussed in some detail.

Edward MacDowell, Arthur P Schmidt and the Shakespeare Overtures of Joachim Raff
E Douglas Bomberger's article in Notes v54 (September 1997) traces the fascinating exchange of letters between MacDowell and Raff's widow and daughter to arrange publication of Raff's Shakespeare Overtures.

Maria Stuart, opus 172: A song cycle by Joseph Joachim Raff based on the poetry of Mary Queen of Scots
Molly Johnson's well researched and readable monograph describes the background and composition of one of Raff's best known vocal works, the Maria Stuart cycle of songs. Each song is analysed with copius musical examples.

Franz Liszt. The Weimar Years 1848-1861
In the second volume of his authoritative three volume life of Liszt, Alan Walker makes extensive reference to Raff's life with Liszt in Weimar and devotes a whole chapter to "The Raff Case" - discussing to what extent Raff shared authorship of Liszt's Symphonic Poems and Piano Concertos.

Analecta Lisztiana I: Liszt & His World
This book, publishing the proceedings of an International Liszt Conferance, contains an extensive paper by James Deaville entitled "A Daily Dairy of the Weimar Dream: Joachim Raff's Unpublished Letters to Doris Genast 1852-1856". Raff's previously unpublished letters to his fiancée throw light on his later years in Weimar, his attitude towards Liszt and generally chronicle Liszt's circle there.

Amanuensis or Author? The Liszt-Raff Collaboration Revisited
Paul A Bertagnolli's fascinating article traces the process by which Raff's original orchestration of Liszt's symphonic poem Prometheus was transformed by Liszt into the work we know today. Through copius reference to the surviving manuscripts, Bertagnolli seeks to prove that Raff had no lasting influence on Liszt's compositional process.

Other Liszt-related studies
The musicological literature available on Liszt is very extensive and Raff is frequently mentioned in studies which centre on the thorny question of the orchestration of those of Liszt's works with which he helped to prepare performing versions. Most are avilable for download through JSTOR. Amongst them are:

More reading
Most of these publications have extensive bibliographies listing original source material - for a summary of the major sources see the Historical sources page.

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