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Joseph Haydn – Gott! Erhalte Franz den Kaiser
Vienna, Austrian National Library, Mus. Hs. 16.501, Vienna, 1797

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Two hundred years after the death of Joseph Haydn, one of his most famous and historically significant works appears in the form of an outstanding facsimile edition, produced with such high quality that it cannot be differentiated from Haydns own original work: Joseph Haydns hymn: “Gott Erhalte Franz den Kaiser”. It is a melody which excluding a short pause in history, was the national hymn of Austria for over the last 40 years and still today lives on as the national hymn of the Federal Republic of Germany.

These originals of Joseph Haydn represent not only an important part of musical history but also that of Austrian history and are therefore one of the most precious treasures of the Austrian National Library.

The music Hs. 16.501 from the musical collection of the Austrian National Library is an anthology of different Haydn original works including the old hymn of the emperor “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser”, a melody which was, despite a short pause in history, the national hymn of Austria for the last 140 years and still today lives on as the national hymn of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Haydn composed the emperor melody between the middle of October 1796 and January of 1797 at his home named “for the seven Swabians”, which was located in the Flour Market, today known as the New Market in the first borough of Vienna. “Gott Erhalte” was sung according to the text by Lorenz Leopold Haschka, for the first time on February 12th 1797 in Vienna in honour of Emperor Franz.
Contents:
 • First written record of the melody
 • First written record of the final melody for piano
 • Complete score for both song and orchestra
 • The four variations of this melody for string quartet Hob.III:77 (“emperor quartet”)
 • The first printing of the hymn from 1797
There is a special charm upon opening the book: yellowed paper with darkened corners from repeated turning of the pages. Due to the different size of the pages within, it is apparent that this work was written at various times on individual pages and later bound together into a book. Amongst the musical bars are additional notes which are loosely sketched in as well as explanatory comments and text in brown ink – giving the facsimile a truly authentic feel.
 
Contents:
This fascicle, on the occasion of the upcoming Haydn years will be produced with an impressive and unprecedented quality as a facsimile edition, containing the following Haydn originals:
 1) The first written record of the melody which was later revised in the final version of the hymn.
 2) The first minute of the final version of the melody for piano.
 3) The clean copy of the melody for piano with Haydns signature.
 4) The complete score for both song and orchestra.
 5) The four variations of this melody for string quartet Hob.III:77 (“emperor quartet”).
 Additionally included in this facsimile is the first printing of the hymn from 1797.

   
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