also known as "Cello-Bibliothek"
- Issued from 1894 to 1930. First published by Augener (to Piatti's death in 1901), thereafter taken over by Schott.
- Alfredo Carlo Piatti (1822–1901)
- Jules de Swert (1843–1891)
- Carl Schröder (1848 –1935)
- Alfred Moffat (1866–1950)
- Ernst Cahnbley (1875–1936)
- Christian Döbereiner (1874–1961)
- Charles William Pearce (1856–1928)
- James William Slatter (d.1932)
- Arnold Trowell (1887–1966)
- Joachim Stutschewsky (1891–1982)
- Ludwig Landshoff (1874–1941)
This series was assembled over a period of 70 years, but the name seems to have been coined in 1919. Several collections of Baroque sonatas by four main editors, which had been published between 1860 and 1900, were brought together in one, with a total of over 60 works.
Piatti's arrangements were initially published separately, starting with a Boccherini sonata in 1865(here. They were collected as Oeuvres Classiques from 1894.). The complete list is
de Swert's arrangements appeared between 1874 and 1881, and finally were collected as 12 suites with the title Collection de Morceaux Choisis des Maîtres Classiques. As with Piatti, some of the suites consisted of movements from various composers. The complete list can be seen above. However the last 8 suites ()were complete authentic sonatas, and only they were included in the Cello Library. In addition he published 22 short Baroque pieces, mainly Bach movements, in Alte Violoncellmusik (1871-2) listed in ,and
The next set of arrangements to appear was that of Alfred Moffat(1866–1950), a Scot who was active in Germany until the First World War, and the youngest arranger at that time. Schott published his arrangements of Marcello (4 sonatas, later CL 60 and 61) as Moffat Op.18 (the practice of the time) in 1890, and then Handel, (3 sonatas originally for oboe, later CL 57-59) as Op.19 the following year.
These were combined in one volume entitled Bearbeitungen Klassischer Werke fur Violoncello mit Pianoforte. The title page is attached to the Handel G maj sonata (HWV 363b), shown below. Soon the publisher combined these seven pieces with Piatti's (excluding his Ariosti works CL 7-11)and de Swert's in a series entitled Sonates Classiques pour Violoncelle. This included the items later numbered CL1 to 6 by Piatti, 13 to 21 by de Swert and 57 to 64 by Moffat, along with some other arrangements. 14 of Moffat's arrangements were finally included in CL.
At this point the collection contained about 25 pieces, and was rather unfocussed, including some classical pieces (Boccherini, Beethoven). Finally the last of the three founding editors of roughly the same generation (born 1850-1870) appears. Carl Schröder was a contemporary of de Swert but lived 40 years longer. He was a very productive composer in many genres, but apart from an early Duport arrangement (1872) waited until the 1890s to produce two collections of Baroque pieces, published by Augener of London.
Schröder's collections were both on a large scale. First there was a ten-volume collection of 59 short pieces, covering over 230 pages in piano score, entitled Vortragsstudien. Eine Sammlung hervorragender u. beliebter Tonstücke alter Meister( Old Masters or Studies in Style in English (1894)). The second collection, was even more ambitious, larger than Piatti's and Moffat's combined, entitled Klassische Violoncell-Musik berühmter Meister des 17. u. 18. Jahrhunderts known as Classical Cello Music in English (1894-95). This collection grew to 31 pieces (see contents lists above) which were later incorporated into CL as items 20-50.
Moffat produced arrangements for other publishers starting in the 1890s. They include Augener, Breitkopf and then some series for Simrock. He started a rival cello collection, slightly smaller than Schröder's (18 pieces compared with Schröder's 31) : Meister-Schule der alten Zeit: Sammlung klassischer Violoncell-Sonaten berühmter Componisten des 17ten und 18ten Jahrhundert. published by Simrock in 1904. This followed the success of his 30-item similarly-named violin series (1899~).
While de Swert (1843-1891) and Piatti (1822-1901) died before the whole collection appeared, Moffat and Schröder happily lived to see the library brought together under its new name, and to be established as the standard source for baroque cello repertoire. Although the Urtext movement has to some extent superseded these editions, they are still widely used by amateurs.
As for the series as a whole, the last item in our list, number 81, was issued in the early 1930s. The latest date of those on IMSLP is 1930, according to the plate number 32701 on the Gabrielli sonata arr Lanthoff (no 76 out of 81 items). However the series continued,finally encompassing all the cello repertoire. At first arrangers Koch and Weigel and Ewerhardt and Storck added about 20 Baroque pieces, mainly by de Fesch,(CL 82-110), then in the mid 20th century Kolneder and Ruf contributed more 18th century pieces. After 1945 it seems that it was decided to "stretch the brand" to Romantic (Tchaikovsky, Faure, Saint-Saens) works, both original and arrangements, including cello ensemble, and also to late 20th century composers such as Penderecki. In fact, the present catalog contains 270 works, over three times the number in 1920. However, if Piatti, Schröder, de Swert and Moffat were by chance to go into a music store now, they would be pleasantly surprised to see some of the arrangements they made in the 1890s still in print.
A similar series of arrangements of Baroque sonatas,both violin and cello entitled Oeuvres d'auteurs ancienswas published in 1918-21 by the Paris branch of Ricordi, edited by Joseph Salmon (1864-1943). See List of works by Joseph Salmon. This series differed from the cello library in three main respects: many items were transposed from their original keys, many, such as the Allegro Spiritoso from Senaille Op.4. No4, consisted of one or two movements, not complete sonatas, and finally all works were published in both cello and violin versions.