18 August 2011

Latest additions to the Carl Fuchs papers

Photograph of the orchestra at Ruhleben camp for British
prisoners of war, July 1916 [RNCM Archive Ref CF/2/10]
A further donation of material relating to the German cellist Carl Fuchs has been made to the RNCM Archives by his granddaughter Tessa.  This photograph was one of the more unexpected items found as I catalogued the collection.  It was sent to Fuchs by the cellist WR Cooper, who is on the far right of the second row.  Fuchs was interned briefly at Ruhleben after the outbreak of the First World War.  Although he had settled in Manchester in 1888, he and his family were on holiday at his parents' home in Jugenheim in summer 1914.  The camp was housed in the racecourse at Ruhleben.  In his autobiography, Fuchs recalled living in a hayloft and dining in the grandstand.  Music formed a part of the life of the camp from its early days.

Postcard of Schloss Heiligenberg, Jugenheim
[RNCM Archives ref CF/1/41]
The Fuchs papers have been received in several instalments and a single, unified online catalogue has now been created.  This can be viewed here, by a quick search on 'CF' in the RefNo box.  The latest additions include correspondence, scrapbooks, concert programmes and cuttings, and a collection of annotated musical scores.  Fuchs has added programmes and cuttings to each score, allowing us to see when and where he performed each piece. 

Concert programme, Giessen Concert Society,
14 October 1917 [RNCM Archives Ref CF/4/22]

This programme, found in the score for David Popper's 'Mazurka I - For Bernhard Cossmann', op. 11 no. 3, shows how Fuchs was allowed to perform in Germany during the war.  After being released from Ruhleben in early 1915, he returned to live in Jugenheim.  He joined the orchestra of the Darmstadt Opera and also played in the Frankfurt Museum Orchestra.  He was given permission to return to his family in England in March 1919.

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