Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music



First Advisor

Larry Wyatt


The central objective of this document is the production of a scholarly performance edition of Franz Xaver Süssmayr's secular cantata,Der Retter in Gefahr. The editing was accomplished through careful comparison of the manuscript full score, the manuscript orchestral and choral performing materials used in the first performances, and the published piano-vocal score used by choristers in post-premier performances.

Franz Xaver Süssmayr, whose name is today remembered almost exclusively for his completion of Mozart's Requiem, was a popular and respected Viennese composer in his own right. His opera, Der Spiegel von Arkadien (1794), was performed throughout Europe, and was favorably compared with Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni. Beethoven and Paganini both composed variations on his themes, and Haydn had copies of some Süssmayr works in his personal library. Today, with a few comparatively insignificant exceptions, his music is unpublished and unperformed.

The document includes a brief biography of the composer, an account of the historical circumstances surrounding the composition and premier of the work, a detailed description of the sources used with discussion of the editorial process, and information on the librettist with a translation of the German text into English. The edition itself is included in both full orchestral and piano-vocal formats, in order to encourage performance of this once-popular work. A bibliography and appendices containing facsimiles of selected original source materials are also included.

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