A correction of my post on “Cheristanens Denkstein”.

I was very enthousiastic about the book “Die Pokornys” by Oskar Pausch and I wrote about it, mainly because the alleged discovery of two unknown Lortzing pieces.

Last week I received an e-mail by Irmlind Capelle, the world’s most acknowledged expert on Lortzing, who compiled the catalogue of Lortzings works – “Lortzing Werkverzeichnis” (1994, ISBN 3-89564-003-4).
While doing her research for this book, she had the manuscripts of “Cheristanens Denkstein” and the “Türkischer Marsch” examined and concluded that the handwriting was clearly not by Lortzing, which was earlier also mentioned by Georg Richard Kruse, another expert on Lortzing’s life and works. Because of this, and because a performance of the music is mentioned nowhere, the authorship of Lortzing is ruled out.

Because Ms. Capelle mentioned the piece (and her conclusions) in the preface of her work (pp 7-8), I think it is rather disputable that Pausch boasts on page 106 of his book:

Gleich das erste abgegebene Stück, eine Bühnenmusik zu Cheristanens Denkstein mit unterlegtem Text, (…), dazu ein türkischer Marsch sind bisher als Werke Gustav Albert Lortzings unbekannt geblieben und scheinen in keinem Werkverzeichnis auf.

There is simply just one Lortzing-Werkverzeichnis and that is the one I mentioned above. So, Pausch obviously didn’t check this book. The pieces are definitely not unknown, and just don’t appear in the catalogue, because according to Ms. Capelle they are not works by Lortzing.

Unfortunately, I also have to blame myself, I didn’t check it either, which is a shame, because my books on Lortzing are always within reach.
So, the big question that remains is: can I trust the rest of Pausch’s book? Because it was a very good read with lots of information. But that doesn’t help you much when the information is wrong. However, I can still recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the musical theatre of the (early) nineteenth century. But with the caveat: check the references!

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