Europeana’s Music Collections

The main goal for the Europeana Sounds project is to make more audio recordings and audio related content available through the Europeana Portal. Since a lot of those sounds and their related content is connected to or in itself music and therefore plays a very big role in the project. Music is also very important for the Austrian National Library as a project partner, because all of the content the Austrian National Library is providing within Europeana Sounds is music related. (You can read more about our content in one of our former Blog Posts and you can browse through this content on Europeana.

The Europeana landing page provides a simple search entry to all files which are available within Europeana, but this is not necessarily an ideal start for a thematic research. If you particularly wished to find something music related, you needed to specifically type in certain key words. To make things easier the idea for thematic channels was born. On account of the development of this idea the Europeana portal has been updated, improved and renamed into “Europeana Collections” a couple of month ago. The name stands for the new idea that is behind the Europeana Page. The search entry to all of Europeana’s content remains, but it is planned to have a lot of different thematic collections featured on it, with specific search entry points to highlight certain objects, subthemes or to inspire a different “search behaviour”.

Currently there are already two collections available: the Art History Collections and the Music Collections.

Screenshot of the Europeana Music Collections Page – curated by the Irish Traditional Music Archive and Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches in August.

Screenshot of the Europeana Music Collections Page – curated by the Irish Traditional Music Archive and Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches in August.

The Music Collections page contains music recordings, sheet music, autographs and correspondence of various composers and every other content which is related to music and is online on Europeana. So you will not only be able to find just the items provided within the Europeana Sounds Project, but every other object within Europeana that is related to music as well.

The very first version of the Music Collections – the Alpha version (formerly called “Music Channel”) – was launched at the beginning of August 2015 and was thoroughly tested until January 2016, improved and is now fully functional in its Beta version.

Data providers of Europeana Sounds will take over the task of curating the Music Collections page for a month each. So around every 30 days you will find new hero images, different search entry points, new blog posts and other things as different institutions start curating. Currently the Bibliothèque nationale de France is holding the curatorship and the Austrian National library will take over in October. So stay tuned until then.

Within the Europeana DSI-2 project, which kicked off a couple of weeks ago, the thematic collections will be developed even further.


Antonio Draghi within Europeana Sounds

Author: Zea Frana

Within the Europeana Sounds project, the Austrian National Library is providing access to music autographs from two “sub-collections” of our music department: the Safe Collection and the Bedroom Library (“bibliotheca cubicularisʺ) of Leopold I. The composer we would like to introduce to you today, Antonio Draghi, is one of the most featured composers in the latter collection.

Antonio Draghi wrote around 170 dramatic secular and 40 dramatic sacred works throughout a period of 30 years. He is said to have written around 6 operas per year on average – with a creative peak of 11 operas in 1685 alone.

Antonio Draghi was born around 1634 in Rimini, Italy, and died 1700 in Vienna. His exact birth date is not known, but can be reconstructed from his death certificate, which states that he died at the age of 65. Information about Draghi’s youth is scarce. The earliest valid information we possess directs us to the basilica of St. Antonio in Padua, where he started out as a soprano in 1645. He stayed there almost continually until 1651, when he left as a bass singer. Afterwards he worked at the Accademia della Morte in Ferrara.

His career in Vienna started in 1658, when he joined the newly founded Kapelle (chapel) of the dowager empress Eleonora Gonzaga, the widow of Ferdinand III as a bass singer. The Kapellmeister (director of music of a chapel) during this time was Giuseppe Tricarico, who also came from Ferrara to Vienna. Draghi had to wait some 3 years, until 1661, before his creative output in Vienna started and it was also the year in which he got married to Livia Seliprandi. In the first compositions he worked on, however, he did not act as a composer, but as a librettist. That might be due to the circumstance, that during that time good musicians were always at hand at the Viennese court but poets were rather scarce. One of the first texts he wrote was “L’Almonte” in 1661 with music by Giuseppe Tricarico. In the preface of this and other operas Draghi stresses that he is first of all a musician and not a poet. He wrote libretti for several other composers like Antonio Bertali, the Hofkapellmeister (the director of music of the court chapel) during this time, or Pietro Andrea Ziani, who was the successor of Tricarico at Eleonora’s Kapelle.

An excerpt of the Oratorio “Maria Magdalena” by Antonio Bertali for which Antonio Draghi wrote the libretti. (Mus.Hs.16010 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The emperor Leopold I was also an accomplished composer (See also the blog post about Leopold I and his relation to music, which has been published earlier in the project.) with Draghi occasionally writing texts for him.

The title page and the beginning of the third act of “Apollo deluso”, which music was written by emperor Leopold I with “poesia” by Antonio Draghi. (Mus.Hs.16898 Mus) –  Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The title page and the beginning of the third act of “Apollo deluso”, which music was written by emperor Leopold I with “poesia” by Antonio Draghi. (Mus.Hs.16898 Mus) –
Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The first work, from which it can be said with certainty that the music was written by Antonio Draghi himself was “La mascharata per musica” in 1666. It was an opera for Carnival and was the first comical opera that was ever shown in Vienna.

The title page and the beginning of “La mascharata per musica”, which was entirely written by Antonio Draghi (Mus.Hs.16911 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The title page and the beginning of “La mascharata per musica”, which was entirely written by Antonio Draghi (Mus.Hs.16911 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

In 1667 his work load started to increase due to the marriage of emperor Leopold I for which great festivities were being arranged. In the following year Antonio Draghi was made Vice-Kapellmeister of Eleonora’s Kapelle and finally replaced Pietro Andrea Ziani in 1669. It was also the year in which Draghi wrote “Il Perseo”, with a libretto by Aurelio Amalteo, which he is said to have finished in a couple of days. Amalteo apparently greatly admired the speed in which Draghi composed and that he was able to finish a work in such a short time, in which other composers might be able to merely do a few sketches.

The beginning of “Il Perseo” (Mus.Hs.18846 Mus) -  Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The beginning of “Il Perseo” (Mus.Hs.18846 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

Draghi stopped writing libretti in 1669, when Niccolo Minato was appointed court poet. Since their creative capability matched each other’s distinctly, a very productive cooperation began, lasting several decades. From around 1670 until 1698 they dominated the production of dramatic music at the Viennese court. Together they produced around 150 works (operas, sacred works and smaller dramatic works).

The beginning of “Le risa di Democrito” performed during carnival in 1670 (Mus.Hs.16279/1-3 Mus) – one of the first pieces on which Minato and Draghi worked together - Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The beginning of “Le risa di Democrito” performed during carnival in 1670 (Mus.Hs.16279/1-3 Mus) – one of the first pieces on which Minato and Draghi worked together – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

Although Draghi was Kapellmeister of Leonora’s Kapelle he also composed a lot of dramatic works for the emperor. Due to his great commitment in this area, and because the scope of duties concerning this matters was continually increasing, he was named “intendente delle musiche teatrali” (director of dramatic music) in 1673 and received more salary. He usually wrote operas and other works for birthdays and name days of the emperor, the empress or the dowager, as well as pieces for carnival. Usually the plots of the operas were about Greek or Roman history or mythology. Furthermore he also wrote sacred dramatic music: Oratorios for Lent, Sepolcri for Maundy Thursday or Rapprensentazioni sacre for Good Friday.

"Il libro con sette sigilli" - Oratorio for choir and solo voice. The libretto of this Oratorio is again by Minato.  (Mus.Hs.18943 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

“Il libro con sette sigilli” – Oratorio for choir and solo voice. The libretto of this Oratorio is again by Minato. (Mus.Hs.18943 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The third party which often joined Draghi and Minato in their creative endeavours, and with whom they formed a well-known trio during that time, was Ludovico Ottavio Burnacini. He was an architect and scene-painter and created opera houses and sceneries for operas (for example for Pomo D’oro ). One of the grandest pieces the three of them worked together on was probably “Il fuoco eterno custodito dalle Vestali”. It was originally composed for the celebration of the birth of Leopold’s first child with Claudia Felicitas, Maria Anna Sophie, and was performed on the day of her first public appearance in October in 1674. But in a wider sense the piece was allegorically connected with the marriage of Leopold with Claudia Felicitas one year earlier.

The beginning of each of the three acts of “Il fuoco eterno custodito dalle Vestali” (Mus.Hs.16884 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The beginning of each of the three acts of “Il fuoco eterno custodito dalle Vestali” (Mus.Hs.16884 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

The performance was held in the “Theatre on the Cortina”, a very grand theatre constructed by Burnacini, which was inaugurated with a performance of “Il pomo D’oro” in 1668. Ludovico Burnacini created 12 sceneries for “Il fuoco eterno custodito dalle Vestali”. (Below you can see the curtain he created for the piece.)

Il fuoco eterno custodito dalle Vestali, von Niccolò Minato. Stich von Matthäus Küsel nach einem Entwurf von Lodovico Ottavio Burnacini, um 1674.

The Curtain of “Il fuoco eterno custodito dale Vestali” designed by Ludovico Burnacini engraved on a copper plate by Matthias Küsel. (Pk 3003, 404) – Austrian National Library – free access – no reuse.

The opera was newly adapted for the birth of Joseph I as “La Monarcha Latina trionfante” in 1678.

In the beginning of the year 1682 Antonio Draghi was appointed Hofkapellmeister, leaving the Kapelle of the dowager empress and continuing his duties at the Kapelle of the emperor. Due to his hard work and his many compositions Draghi earned a good living and owned several houses. Around 1687 he started suffering of gout, but coped with it for another 10 years, before it had a serious impact on his compositional work. He nevertheless maintained the post of Kapellmeister until his death in 1700.

You can browse through all items the Austrian National Library has provided of Antonio Draghi within the Europeana Sounds Project here, or find out what more on him there is on Draghi on Europeana.

Rediscovered sounds at the Palais Mollard: Beethoven meets Liszt

Last week, on the 2nd of June, the Austrian National Library hosted the Europeana Sounds (Re)Discovery Event.

RDBLOG1.11It gave us the possibility to highlight two very special items, which we contributed within the project.

Starting with a short welcome, the event proceeded with an introduction to Europeana and Europeana Sounds. Afterwards the role of the music department of the Austrian National Library and the content that was made available within Europeana Sounds were discussed.

RDBlog2The main part of the programme consisted of two presentations by Dr. Thomas Leibnitz, head of the music department. The first manuscript was Ludwig van Beethoven’s Spring Sonata for piano and violin op. 24 and second was an autographic draft of a piano arrangement by Franz Liszt of the second movement of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony – the Pastorale.

RDblog3After each presentation the pieces were beautifully played by Dianne Baar (piano) and Marie Isabel Kropfitsch (violin) and the audience was exhilarated by the performances.

The evening ended with a culinary get-together.


Europeana Sounds (Re)Discovery Event on the 2nd of June 2016 at the Austrian National Library

Since the Austrian National Library is a project partner within Europeana Sounds, we have the great opportunity to host an event highlighting a part of the collection we provided within the project: The “Beethoven meets Liszt” (Re)Discovery Event.

What is it about?

You might wonder what a (Re)Discovery Event exactly is. It refers to a series of events organised by several partners within the Europeana Sounds project.

Focusing on the words “discovery” or “rediscovery” one or several items of their collections will be presented and listened to. These might be very known “star items” and are therefore somehow rediscovered or represented during this event or they may be pretty unknown items and have therefore maybe just been discovered or are presented for the first time.

Einladung Europeana Sounds Event

What can you expect?

A presentation of two very special items from our content which was contributed within Europeana Sounds: First  Ludwig van Beethoven’s Spring Sonata op. 24 for violin and piano and second an autographic draft of the piano arrangement of the 2nd movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 6th Symphonie op. 68 the Pastorale by Franz Liszt.

These star items be presented by the head of our music department Dr. Thomas Leibnitz and put to music by Dianne Baar (piano) and Marie Isabel Kropfitsch (violin).

When and where?

The event is held on Thursday, 2nd of June at 7pm at the music department of the Austrian National Library. (Salon Hoboken, Palais Mollard, Herrengasse 9, 1010 Vienna)

Curious to (re)discover “Beethoven meets Liszt” with us? Please register via

You can take a look at the detailed programme of the event here.

Tasting Historical Europe: eCookbook on culinary threads between Austria and Lithuania

Do you know what the favorite dish of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph was? Can you imagine what dishes were preferred by the famous Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth noblemen family of the Radziwiłłs? Or do you have an idea what the Battle of Vienna 1683 has to do with coffee?

Together with Vilnius University Faculty of Communication, the R&D Department of the Austrian National Library travelled to the culinary history of these two countries within the eCookbook “Tasting Historical Europe – Exploring the culinary threads between Austria and Lithuania”. Developed within the Europeana Food and Drink Project, the book takes a look at Europe from a different angle considering it to be a net of culinary connections where invisible historic threads lead to traditional kitchens.

The book is filled with traditional recipes from early cookbooks accompanied with old pictures and illustrations, as well as modern interpretations of traditional/old dishes which could easily find their ways to the contemporary kitchens of the reader. Seven food bloggers from Lithuania and Austria contributed to this culinary exploration of their countries, bringing traditional and historic recipes into the present.

collage_ATLTBookAmong others, the eCookbook features main dishes such as Zander prepared in the Dutch-Oven or Lithuanian-styled saddle of venison, but also sweet delicacies such as “Vienna cake” or “Viennese croissants”. Different ways of preparing coffee like the coffee roasting method by Anna Ciundziewicka in “The housekeeper of Lithuania”, 1848 or suggestions by Olga and Adolf Hess in “Wiener Küche”, 1913 show usual methods of those times.

Kaffeebereitung nach Olga and Adolf Hess in “Wiener Küche”, 1913

Kaffeebereitung nach Olga and Adolf Hess in “Wiener Küche”, 1913

The historic recipes and illustrations are sourced through Europeana and collections of the Austrian National Library and Vilnius University, cooked and photographed by the participating foodbloggers.

You can download the eCookbook for free via

A Collection Highlight – The songs of Hugo Wolf

Author: Zea Frana

One of the projects the Austrian National library is participating in is the Europeana Sounds project, which goal it is to make more sound recordings and audio related content openly available. Within this project the Austrian National Library provides access to autographs from our music department of composers from the 17th to 19th century. They derive mainly from two collections: the so-called Safe Collection and the Bedroom Library (“bibliotheca cubicularisʺ) of Leopold I.

One of the most noteworthy “sub-collections” within the Safe Collection is certainly the one about Hugo Wolf. It comprises his biggest works as well as numerous letters, which give an insight into the compositional process, his inspirations and his life.

Hugo Wolf as a young man

Hugo Wolf as a young man (112.934 – C) – Austrian National Library, Free Access – No Reuse

Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer and born on the 13th of March in 1860 and died in 1903. He lived in a time full of bombastic compositions, where the size and the scope of orchestras became grander and the ambitions of composers lay in filling concert halls and opera houses. In contrast to these music surroundings, he was especially known for his small scale compositions – he would only need a piano and a voice to put feelings into motion and to let a story become real. And the genre he scintillated in was the Lied (song). He is considered as one of the most important composers of song since Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. But the song was not the only genre he was operating in, his ambition were mainly bigger compositions.

Hugo Wolf at an older age

Hugo Wolf at an older age (Pf 5.479 : E (2)) – Austrian National Library, Free Access – No Reuse

He was a big fan and supporter of Wagner and Liszt. His aesthetics matched those of the New German School, who saw the creation of Musikdrama (musical drama) and Symphonische Dichtung (symphonic poem) as the centre of compositional effort. He was not happy at all with only being known for his smaller scaled compositions and with people expecting him to write something grander. But all his efforts concerning bigger compositions were not very successful. In 1891 he wrote crestfallen in a letter: “Die Oper und immer wieder die Oper! Wahrlich, mir graut schon vor meinen Liedern” (“The opera and always the opera! Really, I am now almost dreading my songs.”)

Hugo Wolf - Der Rattenfänger

Beginning of „Der Rattenfänger“ (The rat-catcher), Version for orchestra. Lyrics: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (Mus.Hs.30 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

Hugo Wolf wrote the main part of his work between 1888 and 1897. Concerning his songs you can divide his creative activity into two phases: First there are his early songs, which he composed before 1888 and secondly, there are the mature songs, which followed after.

In his early songs you can make out that he is taking the traditional path, which connects him to Schubert and Schumann. Especially the latter he considered as a role model. He favoured putting to music the same poets as Schumann (for example Heinrich Heine) and sometimes ended up copying his style. On one manuscript, which he did not finish, he even wrote “Zu viel Schumannisch; deshalb nicht vollendet” (“Too much like Schumann; therefore not finished”)

Hugo Wolf - Das ist ein Brausen und Heulen

Beginning of „Das ist ein Brausen und Heulen“ (This is a roaring and howling). One might be reminded of Robert Schumanns “Lust der Sturmnacht” (“The pleasure of a stormy night”). Lyrics: Heinrich Heine, (Mus.Hs.14 Mus) – Austrian National Library – Public Domain

His mature songs can be regarded as the epitome of his work. There you can see how he equally considered and treated the three components: text, piano and voice and how he managed to draw a relation between them on a deeper Level.

The main part of his mature songs was written between 1888 and 1891. There are 5 major song-cycles he created within this time: Songs by Eduard Mörike, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Joseph von Eichendorff as well as the Italian songbook by Paul Heyse and the Spanish songbook by Paul Heyse und Emanuel Geibel, which all together consist of 214 Songs.

Eduard Mörike (1804-1875) could be considered one of Hugo Wolf’s favourite poets for a long time. His Mörike Song-Collection contains 53 songs. Although Mörike’s texts were per se not unpopular to be put to music in the 19th century, none of the famous composers (such as Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, etc.) used many of his poems or devoted himself as much to Mörike’s texts as Hugo Wolf. And nobody seemed to understand Mörike as well as Wolf did.

Hugo Wolf - Das verlassene Mägdlein

The beginning of “Das verlassene Mägdlein” (The abandoned maiden) which Robert Schumann also but to music, Lyrics: Eduard Möricke, (Mus.Hs.19581 Mus) – Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Wolf loved the variety of topics in Mörike’s poems. They stretched from themes like love or nature to horrific fantasy, but also included religious or comical topics. During the compositional process of the songs, Wolf very carefully considered the individual character of each poem and expressed it in the music.

All of the songs in his Mörike-cycle were written in the year 1888 and were published in 1889. Hugo Wolf also called his Mörike Songs “Mörikeana”, a term he made up himself.

You can browse through the whole Mörikeana provided by the Austrian National Library here, or find more out about his other major cycles like the Spanish Songbook or the Italian Songbook. You can also take a look at the last songs Hugo Wolf ever wrote: The “Michelangelo Songs”, for bass and piano, which he composed in 1897. All of his works and a lot more about Hugo Wolf can be found through the Europeana Collections as well.

First Europeana Challenge 2016

Is 2016 a competitive year for you? Then you might want to join in, because another Europeana Challenge is on!

In the last couple of years, the Austrian National Library took part in a lot of different Europeana Projects and has therefore made a lot of its content available within the Europeana Collections. We therefore would like to introduce the current Europeana Challenge to you, which is all about re-using digital and openly-licensed content.

Are you creative and interested in designing products or services concerning Europe’s digital cultural heritage? Here is your chance!

What is it about?

Create a product, service or project that reuses Europe’s openly licensed content within the themes First World War, Art & Design and Europe’s musical heritage. This could be apps, online services, games, e-books or artistic and product designs, etc..

Your creation should be able to demonstrate a clear social and or economic impact, either offering a new and engaging way of experiencing and/or interacting with digital cultural content, supporting lifelong learning or enabling the commercial re-use of cultural date. You also should have a clear business model at hand.

It is not absolutely necessary for your idea to be completely developed; you can also submit a concept, prototype or something in an early stage of production.

How do I find the content?

You can find a list of selected content on the Europeana labs site, but of course you can also search within Europeana Collections .

If you have any questions concerning the usable content and/or the Europeana API, get in touch with There will also be a weekly online Q&A sessions on 12th February at 13:00 CET and 19 February at 11.00 CET. Subscribe for a session by sending him an e-mail with your preferred date.

What more is there to know?

You can win a share of the total prize fund of 25.000 Euro (the exact amount depends on the quality of application). Deadline is the 29thof February 2016 and you can fill out the Submission Form here. If your entry makes it to the next round, you will be contacted to set up a skype interview to further evaluate your submission. The winners will be contact in the end of March.

Be Creative! Participate! And maybe you can even find and use some Austrian National Library Content that fits one of the 3 themes! Good Luck!

For more information klick here.