A New Wanhal Catalogue!

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the first part of a new scholarly catalogue of the works of Waṅhal has now been published. This project is called Catalogus novus Wanhali, and it a cooperation between the University of Auckland and the University of Trondheim (NTNU). It is available through the website of the NTNU research cluster The Classical Ages (https://www.ntnu.edu/classical-ages). It is curated by Dr Halvor K Hosar, who is supported by a board of specialist scholars from the two universities.

At present, the catalogue contains information about the fifty-three masses attributed to Waṅhal, along with a nineteen works whose attributions are considered dubious or spurious, or that are partially or completely lost.

Cataloguing can be extremely demanding, and especially so in a case such as Waṅhal, where an enormous amount of material has survived in his name: RISM lists 3107 manuscripts in his name, which is more than any other Habsburg composer of age generation except for Haydn and Mozart. What is more, unlike other composers, Waṅhal has left us virtually no autographs, and in many cases there are no good criteria for deciding which copies of a work are likely to be good ones. The difficulty of cataloguing this material was shown by the fact that Alexander Weinmann, an extraordinary scholar, died before he could properly finish his catalogue of Waṅhal’s non-symphonic works – his published catalogue is merely a collection of his work notes. At the same time, the financing of such work has gradually become more difficult.

To mitigate these challenges, we have decided to publish the catalogue online. This means that it is possible to gradually publish material. This means that information about genres can gradually be included as they are charted, and that it is not necessary to survey every manuscript copy of a work before publishing basic information about it. More information will therefore be added as it becomes available. It may also be possible to publish “semi-finished” sections of the catalogue, whose content is finished enough to be of interest, but which is still subject to change and not yet included in the catalogue proper.

We intend to create a Waṅhal numbering scheme once we have a good overview of Waṅhal’s production in different genres, but this, realistically speaking, is still years away. We have therefore created a temporary numbering scheme called Nokki numbers. Whilst waiting for a more permanent numbering scheme we would encourage everybody to adopt these.

Dr Hosar has undertaken to catalogue Waṅhal’s smaller sacred works over the next years. We are looking for specialists on other genres or particular music collections to contribute to different fields in the catalogue. Please get in touch with us (look for contact information on the project website) if you are a musicology student or professional who would like to contribute to this process: we will do our best to align the projects with your supervisor or institution.