typical Hortus Musicus cover (1950-)



Bärenreiter-Verlag was founded in 1923 by Dr Karl Vötterle (1903–1975), initially in Augsburg, and relocated to its headquarters in Kassel in 1927. Its Basel office was founded in 1944 under threats of closure to the Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe premises, which were destroyed the following year in an air raid. After the end of second world war Bärenreiter re-established at Kassel, and new offices opened in London (1963), New York (1958), and Prague (1991). Since Vötterle’s death the company has been directed by his descendents Barbara Scheuch-Vötterle and Leonhard Scheuch. The company employs approximately 140 people in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In 1949 Bärenreiter began publishing the encyclopædia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Music in History and the Present), known as [MGG]; in scope and content it is comparable only to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. The first edition, completed in 1986, comprised 17 volumes, including two supplement volumes and one index volume. The second edition, issued from 1994 to 2007, consists of a subject encyclopedia in 10 volumes (including an index volume) and a biographical encyclopedia in 17 volumes. A supplement volume was issued in May 2008.

The main series of Bärenreiter editions are the Bärenreiter-Ausgaben [BA], with piano reduction or vocal scores usually associated with the main work as the suffix “a”, and a series of numeric codes for instrumental parts. Study scores are available under the BA series, or in a separate series, Bärenreiter-Taschenpartituren [TP]. The Bärenreiter-Verlag series of books, facsimiles, and other reprints (Bücher – Faksimiledrucke – Reprints) are issued under the series [BVK]. Other series issued include Hortus Musicus [HM], Ausgaben ohne Editionsnummern [AoE], etc.

In 1950 Bärenreiter absorbed the short-lived Johann-Philipp Hinnenthal Verlag, founded in Bielefeld in 1946. This brought the Hortus Musicus series of Baroque works, and Hinnenthal continued to work as an editor.

Since 1951 Bärenreiter has specialised in New Complete Editions series of major composers, extending and superseding the many Gesamtausgabe editions published in the 19th and 20th centuries by Breitkopf und Härtel. These scholarly-critical editions intend to represent the composer's intentions, or »urtext«, as closely as possible, and serve both “scholars and performing musicians alike while reflecting the latest findings of musicological research”.

Composers covered in these series include J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, F. Schubert, G.F. Handel, G.P. Telemann, C.W. von Gluck, H. Berlioz, F. Berwald, H. Schütz, O. di Lasso, A. Corelli, and others. Bärenreiter has also issued some complete editions jointly with other publishers, including the composers N.W. Gade, L. Janáček, F. Liszt, and J.-P. Rameau, as well as smaller projects such as Beethoven’s complete symphonies edited by Jonathan Del Mar.

Imprints, Addresses, Agencies



  • Complete or collected editions of eg

Plate Numbers

Plate Composer Work Year
BA 0920 Telemann Hortus Musicus 47, Die kleine Kammermusik. 6 Partiten 1949
BA 1467 Distler Choralpassion, Op.7 1952
BA 2818 Pachelbel Hexachordum Apollinis 1957
BA 3311 Marais Les Folies d'Espagne 1956
BA 4018 Handel Hallische Händel-Ausgabe [HHA IV/13]: Water Music, HWV 348-350 and Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 1962
BA 4226 Handel Violin Sonata in A major, HWV 372 1955
BA 4501 Mozart Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, Works for Two Pianos [NMA IX/24/Abt.1], e.g. Sonate in D für zwei Klaviere KV 448 (375a) 1955
BA 4538 Mozart Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, Requiem KV 626 [NMA I/1/Abt.2/2] 1965
BA 4573 Mozart Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, Masses v2 [NMA I/1/Abt.1/2], e.g. Missa brevis in F KV 192 (186f) 1975
BA 4901 Berwald Symphony No.1 'Sérieuse' in G minor 1976
BA 4902 Berwald Symphony No.2 'Capricieuse' in D 1971
BA 4903 Berwald Symphony No.3 'Singulière' in C 1967
BA 4904 Berwald Symphony No.4 'Naïve' in E flat 1978
BA 4905 Berwald Violin Concerto in C sharp minor 1974
BA 4906 Berwald Piano Concerto in D 1974
BA 4915 Berwald Sämtliche Werke, für Klavier und andere Tasteninstrumente, e.g. Andantino in F, Tempo di Marcia, etc. 1977
BA 5152 Bach 6 Partitas, BWV 825-830 1976
BA 5771 Nietzsche Der Musikalische Nachlaß: Gesamtausgabe in einem Band, e.g. Heldenklage, Unserer Altvordern eingedenk, etc. 1976
HM 77 Bonporti 10 Inventions, Op.10 1950
Z 5411 Liszt Études d'exécution transcendante, S.139 1970
Z 5412 Liszt 3 Études de concert, S.144 Ab irato, S.143 2 Konzertetüden, S.145 Grandes études de Paganini, S.141 1971

Instrumental codes

Flute I 20 Violin I 74 Violoncello 82
Flute II 21 Violin II 75 Violoncello solo 84
Recorder I 23 Violin III 76 Contrabass 85
Recorder II 24 Violin solo 77 Basso continuo 86
Oboe I 29 Viola I 79 Organ 67
Oboe II 30 Viola II 80 Piano reduction/Vocal score 90
Wind set 65 Choral score (without piano) 91

e.g. the first violin part associated with BA 4018 would be BA 4018 / 74.

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