occasion of “Haydn-Year 2009”
The Making of the Facsimile
“Gott! erhalte Franz den Kaiser”
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt
prepared by OMI - Old Manuscripts & Incunabula, New York
The new edition
Digitalization of the manuscript (setup)
Prepress and proofs
INTRODUCTIONAkademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), the largest facsimile publisher in the world, issued in 2008 for the 200th anniversary of Haydn's death, a new facsimile of the autograph of “Gott! erhalte Franz den Kaiser”. This beautiful hymn has been the Austrian national anthem for 140 years (with one interruption); it also serves as the anthem of the Federal Republic of Germany. The publisher's goal was to produce the most accurate and faithful edition possible.
The autograph—with shelf number Mus. Hs. 16.501— is
preserved in the Music Collection of the Austrian National Library in
Vienna in a high security vault. ADEVA had already produced a
fine monochrome facsimile
edition of it in 1982.
ADEVA's new reproduction of the manuscript, besides being in
color (naturally many of the nuances of the original
are lost in a monochrome reproduction), takes advantage of today's
technology in computer software and the photo-offset printing process.
Manuscript Mus. Hs. 16.501 is a "composite" source, comprised of:
article documents the production of ADEVA's new 4-color facsimile of
erhalte den Kaiser", allowing professionals
and music enthusiasts alike to see the various stages involved in
the making of a fine facsimile.
binding or coverboards of the 1982 facsimile was not a true facsimile;
it was “beautiﬁed”, i.e., the red label was printed (not pasted on like
the decorative frame was executed in
gold (it is black in the original) and there was no attempt to
recreate signs of wear (e.g., scrapes, peeling gold, or rubbing).
The result was a careful but
sanitized binding, done in the style of many ﬁne press books of the
1980s. The notes on
the cover are a list of corrections.
The photo below is what the new facsimile will look like;
already it has been faithfully reproduced in the book binding
department, including the ownership stamp (upper
left), the red title (pasted as a label), and signs of wear.
always be able to differentiate the facsimile from the original, it
might not be easy at ﬁrst glance. Taking
this “faithful" approach to facsimile reproduction is a challenge; it
can also be an expensive undertaking.
ADEVA is located in Graz and the manuscript of "Gott! erhalte" is perserved in Vienna, about 200 km to the north. After a signiﬁcant amount of long-distance work conducted with Dr. Thomas Leibnitz, director of the Music Collection of the Austrian National Library, the ADEVA team ﬁnally reached the point when it was necessary to drive to Vienna—with micro-buses loaded with camera, collapsed equipment, black lacquered aluminum poles, vacuum cleaner, lighting equipment, a traveling computer—for the digitalization of the autograph.
The aluminum framework is assembled together with its electrical parts. The ﬁre extinguisher in the background is a precaution in the event of ﬁre from the heat of the light sources.
The digital camera—the
jewel of the unit—is now in place; its incredible technical virtues
need no introduction and its important assignment now is to digitalize
the manuscript of the hymn “Gott! erhalte Franz den Kaiser”.
on the autograph to be digitalized, there are different photographic
tables that can be mounted.
Both light sources get wired and are ready for action. Various electronic devices are implanted. All metal parts are usually ﬁnished in dark gray so they don’t create any phantom lighting effects.
The cables are laid out, the distance between camera and photographic bed adjusted
and ﬁnally the light source is tested. The shutters which direct the light are operational.
Back again in Graz. A
maquette (prototype) is made following the size and format of the
original. All the pages are cut exactly as the original with its
The exercise of making the maquette is very helpful for
addresing issues that would impact
the project at a later time. The original paper size needed very
careful analysis and preparation. Also, it was imperative that
recto and versus sides of a bifolio line up perfectly. Equally
important was the placement of pages of different sizes and the fact
that the individual sheets had to be composed so that they were
faithful to the original. Here are all the pages of the maquette
out on a table.
note: For projects where color and accuracy are critical to the piece,
the making of “proofs”—printed
test pages to compare against the original—is very important.
different types of proofs, “soft proofs”, “digital proofs” and “wet” or
order to obtain absolute color fidelity vis-à-vis the
original, several proofs are necessary.
The paper itself should be, as much as possible, similar to
the original. In the case of "Gott! erhalte" an uncoated paper
natural ﬁnish and
slight “laid” texture was selected; this data needs to be entered into
the computer and "accounted for" in the software that produces the
proofs (and eventually the printer plates). Rough paper scares
printers: the paper is “thirsty” and “sucks” in
the ink; after it dries the colors may appear pale and
unacceptable. This all has to be compensated for in the digital
Piffer (Druckerei Print & Art Faksimile Graz) takes the second
proof and physically checks whether the problems that he found in the
ﬁrst proof (noted on a reduced version of the ﬁrst proof) are actually
corrected in the second proof.
The sheets are meticulously checked to see if all shortcomings of the ﬁrst proof have been addressed. So that the errors are documented, notes are made on a reduced-sized proof. These sheet proofs were then taken to Vienna and compared with the original. There it was determined if additional corrections were necessary. Finally after some additional tweaking the proofing stage was completed...
Here, back again in the Austrian National Library, the second proof is
examined and compared from all sides with the original
(in the middle of photo). A few more corrections are
necessary with the cover. These indispensable changes are
and noted on the second proof in shorthand expressions, for example,
“2% less cyan”, etc.
Dr. Thomas Leibnitz (left), director of the Music Collection of the Austrian National Library, collaborates too, carefully comparing the original volume against the second proof. Beyond a few necessary color corrections he was satisﬁed with the results.
the correct gold leaf is selected, as there are different types to
redish gold, greenish gold, satin ﬁnish, etc. Gold leaf is
a machine and so that it doesn’t appear too new, too fresh, too
brilliant, it undergoes a printing process in itself which leaves a
patina or antique effect. At lot has been accomplished so far yet
is still more work left: the ﬁnal printing, the die cutting of the
individual pages, and a visit to the book bindery.
Again, constant color checking. Now the second proof is compared with the actual print, to see if subtle color revisions ﬁrst entered into the computer meet expectations.
This phase of production is a deﬁning moment.
made at this stage are extremely expensive. There’s a
rush—the result comes with great anticipation. Mr Piffer
locates the corresponding second proof, to lay it on the proper page on
the newly printed sheet. Color correction at this stage could
disastrous chain reaction effect: new corrections in the software, new
plates, wasted time and cost overruns.
This printed sheet is dedicated solely to the wrap around cover
time) and the special red label (printed 14 at a time). The title
(like a nice wine etikette)
is pasted on, meaning it must be especially printed and then die cut to
match the irregular edges of the original label. As mentioned
text and decorative border additionally have been printed with gold
leaf and supplied with a patina, a completely separate printing step.
Celebration of the completion of printing: When the printing of a facsimile project is completed the responsible editor of the house, in this case the up-to-now unseen photographer, takes the ﬁnished sheets into the house. A momentary euphoric chaos ensues. He examines the individual sheets and trims them to get rid of the annoying pure white borders. He then shows them to anyone around and breathes a sigh of relief: an expensive production step ﬁnally has come to an end!
Peter Strmsek, an expert die maker, creates a physical replica that perfectly matches the distinct borders of the individual sheets of the original. In a wooden panel outfitted with sharp steel bands the irregular page surrounds are perfectly cut out. The dark grey pieces seen in the photo (soft foam rubber on each side of the steel band) serve as buffer pads.
Step by step a true replica of the binding comes into being
which we already got a glimpse of above.
The binders board are “dressed” with the printed cover material, and
Miriam Trost glues on the gilded title label. The binding ﬁnally
some time in the press. These are just some of the ﬂeeting
the book binding process. It’s a long process from the beginning
point when a complete ﬁnished copy is laying on the table, looking
nearly indistinguishable from the original.
The commentary is supplied together with the facsimile in a slipcase. Adeva’s model here was not one of their Beethoven facsimiles but rather one of their non-musical codices.
Postscript: Our neighbors in Germany may be pleased to know that the melody of their "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit …" (also sung to the melody of "Gott! erhalte") has been published in a faithful reproduction appearing as if Haydn penned it yesterday.
Erblassend müssen wir festhalten: Mit etwas Vergleichbarem können wir Österreicher nicht aufwarten.
© Gerhard Lechner, Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz 2008.
Joseph Haydn: "Gott! erhalte Franz den Kaiser" (Hob. XXVIa: 43) and String Quartet Op. 76, No. 3 (Hob. III: 77), "Emperor Quartet" (Variation Movement)
Series: Musica manuscripta 3a. Edited, with a commentary by Günter Brosche.
Complete facsimile edition of the manuscripts Mus. Hs. 16.501 in possession of the Austrian National Library.
Facsimile: 13 sheets in the original format with irregular page trimming, ca. 31,5 x 22,7 cm, hardbound after the original with pasted title ettikette and marks of wear.
Commentary: 24 pages, 5 B/W illustrations, watermark drawings in the original size. Facsimile and commentary supplied with slipcase. ISBN 978-3-201-01905-7
Subscription price valdi until 12/31/08: € 159 Price thereafter: € 198