90th Birthday of John Warrack


9th of February 2018: Today we celebrate the 90th birthday of Prof. Dr John Warrack, member of the advisory board of the Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Gesellschaft and one of the fathers of our historico-critical edition of Weber’s works and writings. And this month it is exactly 30 years ago that the “Internationales Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Kuratorium” had been founded in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. This Kuratorium was established in order to prepare the ground for the new Weber-edition and John Warrack was its English representative. Among his colleagues in this Kuratorium were Hans-Jürgen Freiherr von Weber, Gerhard Allroggen, Eveline Bartlitz, Jaroslav Bužga, Ludwig Finscher, Wolfgang Goldhan and Hans John. Together they discussed the possibilities and perspectives of a complete edition in a time when the German wall still existed and proved to be a barrier for scholarly cooperation as well. But in 1998 (i. e. 20 years ago) the first volume with Weber’s Dresden masses was published – and in 2006 John Warrack published the 1st piano concerto in C major within our edition.

John Warrack had always a helping hand (or better: two) when we asked him concerning problems within the edition or the translations of the volumes. And his Weber-biography, published in 1968 (now 50 years ago!) was always an important work for consultation. During the London Weber Conference in the Royal College of Music last year the author of these lines started his talk with the following words “It is now nearly half a century ago that John Warrack published his comprehensive monograph on Carl Maria von Weber with the publishing house Hamish Hamilton here in London. Warrack’s biography from 1968, which Gordon Sandford praised as ‘the best treatment of its subject available in English’ soon became not only the ‘standard study of Weber in English’ – but, despite a rather deplorable German translation, it also became the ‘standard biography’ in Germany, because the 377/489-pages-volume was based on thoroughgoing studies of Weber’s biographical documents as well as of his music and on a broad knowledge of the music of Weber’s time.”

But still more than this book we highly estimated and estimate its author and his loyality and warm and generous friendship to the crew of the Weber-Complete-Edition. We sincerely congratulate to his 90th birthday and wish him all the best. And may we have the opportunity to congratulate to his 100th birthday with a complete (or nearly complete) complete edition!

Yours sincerely, The complete team of the Weber Complete Edition

Joachim Veit, Friday, February 9, 2018



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