When Joseph Joachim died in 1907, the Berlin Hochschule für Musik established the “Joseph Joachim Nachlaß,” containing his musical manuscripts, letters and memorabilia. Among them was the Scottish Fantasia, now catalogued as “Fantasie über Irische Motive,” for violin and orchestra. However, things got complicated during the tumultuous days of World War II. Unlike paintings now in Russia that were taken by the Soviet Army, a whole host of musical manuscripts were not looted. Rather, German authorities attempted to find save haven for some of their most magnificent treasures, packed manuscripts and books into crates and shipped them to Poland. Following the war, the Polish Communists declared these collections to be state property, and ordered librarians and libraries to keep quiet. The existence of some of these manuscripts was finally confirmed in 1977 when the Polish Government presented the autograph scores of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart’s Magic Flute to Erich Honecker of East Germany. The Joachim Scottish (Irish) Fantasia had to wait a bit longer. The violinist and musicologist Katharina Uhde rediscovered the score only in 2017. Quite possibly, it is the first time this particular work has been heard since Joachim first performed it in 1852.
Joseph Joachim: Scottish (Irish) Fantasy
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