Focus of the dissertation of Günter Stummvoll is the music practice of two members of the comital family of Harrach: Aloys Thomas Raimund (1669–1742), and his youngest son, Ferdinand Bonaventura [II.] (1708–1778). Over the centuries, the Counts of Harrach played a significant role within the Habsburg Empire. Aloys Thomas held positions of an imperial envoy (kaiserlicher Gesandter) in Dresden, Madrid, Berlin, and Hannover, was Landmarschall of Lower Austria and viceroy of Naples from 1728 to 1733. His son followed in the position of Landmarschall, represented Maria Theresia on the congress of Breda/Nederlands and was governor of Lombardy. During their traveling to different European cities on diplomatic assignments, they collected vast amounts of art. Besides a painting collection, now displayed at Rohrau Castle in Lower Austria, they gathered approx. 400 pieces of music that has been partly sold and is now stored in different locations: The majority is based at the New York Public Library/USA (NYPL), another big part in the Austrian State Archive (OeSta). However, another small part survived in the library of Rohrau Castle, the dynasty’s ancestral seat. Only a fraction of the 400 works is identified. This project aims at identifying and reconstructing the cultural network and transfer processes, for painting an updated picture on the musical practice of a grand noble Austrian family in the 18th century.This will be achieved by using codicological analysis and identification of the music sources as well as methods of biographic and prosopographic research by using the family’s archive documents. The given composers of the collection (e.g., Ziani, Leo, Porpora, Sarri, Vinci), their places of impact (Dresden, Naples, Paris, Vienna), and major genres (recorder concertos, opera arias, cantatas, works for lute) show, that there is a complex of historically and geographically disparate musical listening, playing, and collecting practice hidden behind the music collection Harrach, whose depth, specifics, and socio-cultural dimensions are yet to be fathomed.


Duration 01/04/2022 - 31/03/2025
Funding Bundesländer (inkl. deren Stiftungen und Einrichtungen)

Department for Arts and Cultural Studies

Center for Applied Music Research

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Günter Stummvoll, BA BA MA


Network, Transfer, Collection - The Counts of Harrach and the European Musical Culture of the 18th Century

Columbia's Music Colloquium, 17/11/2023

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