Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Owners of the Musical Manuscripts

This page provides the locations of all the known musical manuscripts of Sorabji. It is organized in three sections:

  • Public collections, with links to their websites in column Library and, when available, permalinks to the [citation] and, in some cases, [images] in column Works; [link] is used when referring to a document mentioning the holding)
  • Manuscripts formerly the property of the Sorabji Archive and located since 1994 at the Paul Sacher Stiftung (Basel)
  • Manuscripts located in private collections (the identity of the owners is kept confidential)

A comment is added between braces after a title when the manuscript is in a specific form, for example, a copyist’s copy rather than an original manuscript.

To improve clarity, the last two sections are subdivided into four categories corresponding to as many important periods in Sorabji’s compositional career.

  • 1914-1918 (early works)
  • 1919-1936 (from the meeting with Busoni to the end of his public career)
  • 1937-1972 (from the beginning of his life as a recluse to the hiatus in his compositional career)
  • 1973-1988 (from his meeting with Alistair Hinton, when he resumed composition, to his death)

See a list of works for which the manuscript is believed to be lost or has yet to be found.

A plea to private collectors: Private collectors who have acquired manuscripts and other valuable documents relating to Sorabji are strongly encouraged to consider the possibility of eventually turning their treasures to research libraries rather than selling them to second-hand dealers, as this will simply move them from one private collection to another and keep them inaccessible to scholars for research purposes. Their heirs, or their representatives, may not be in a position to properly assess the significance of such documents for scholarship and could find it difficult to dispose of them properly.

Public Collections (except the Paul Sacher Stiftung)

Click on a column heading to sort, then shift-click on other headings to sort on multiple columns.
Surround strings with quotation marks for specific searches. Refresh the page to revert to the initial order.

Library Works
Library Works
British Library, Department of Manuscripts (London) Concerto [no. 1] pour piano et grand orchestre (1915-16; 177 pp.) [citation]
Music to “The Rider by Night” (1919; 54 pp.) [citation]
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-Archiv (Berlin) Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.) {copyist’s copy}
International Piano Archives at Maryland (College Park, Md.) Three Pastiches for Piano (1922; 17 pp.)
Frammenti aforistici (Sutras) (104) (1962-64; 37 pp.)
Library of Congress, Performing Arts Reading Room (Washington, D.C.) Sonata no. 1 for Piano (1919; 42 pp.) [citation]
Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.) {second of two manuscripts} [citation]
Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.) [citation]
Sonata III for Piano (1922; 75 pp.) [citation]
Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.) [citation]
Valse-fantaisie for Piano (1925; 16 pp.) [citation]
Mills Memorial Library, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ont.) Toccata [no. 1] for Piano (1928; 66 pp.) [link]
Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111 pp.) {one of two manuscripts, in this case the complete one} [link]
Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Le jardin parfumé: Poem for Piano Solo (1923; 16 pp.) [citation], [image]
Third Symphony for Piano Solo (1959-60; 144 pp.) [citation], [image]
Concerto pour piano et grand orchestre [no. 4] (1918; 100 pp.) {solo piano part} [citation], [image]
Pierpont Morgan Library (New York) Rapsodie espagnole de Maurice Ravel—​Transcription de concert pour piano (first version, 1923; 16 pp.) [citation]
Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University (Syracuse, N.Y.); formerly known as the George Arents Research Library Concerto pour piano et grand orchestre [no. 4] (1918; 100 pp.) [link; applies to all four scores; finding aid]
Concerto per pianoforte e piccola orchestra, “Simorg-Anka” [no. 7] (1924; 100 pp.)
Suggested Bell-Chorale for St. Luke’s Carillon (1961; 1 p.)
Opus secretum atque necromanticum (1980- 81; 48 pp.)
Trinity College of Music, Jerwood Library (Greenwich, London) Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1926, 1928, 1937; 2 pp.) {1926 and 1928 versions} [citation, 1926], [citation, 1928]
Un nido di scatole sopra il nome del grande e buon amico Harold Rutland (1954; 26 pp.) [citation]
University of Cape Town Libraries, Special Collections, Jagger Reading Room (formerly known as the J. W. Jagger Library); call number TPA 50R [SOR?]; see citation in Martha Susanna de Jongh, “A National Electronic Database of Special Music Collections in South Africa” [M.M. thesis, Stellenbosch University, 2009], 269) Trois poèmes du “Gulistān” de Saʿdī (1926, rev. 1930; 16 pp.) {fragment of one of two manuscripts, consisting of pp. 1, 2, 15, and 16}
Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) [link (microfilm), p. 479]
Westminster City Archives Quintet no. 1 for Piano and Quartet of Stringed Instruments (1919-20; 72 pp.) {copyist’s copy; only known manuscript} [part of Edwin Evans’s “Collection of original music manuscripts and facsimiles: 1903-1969” (SCORES 1903-69), CML/2/1/15; transferred in 2018 from the Central Music Library ]

Paul Sacher Stiftung (Basel)

There is no online catalogue to link to for the manuscripts held by the Paul Sacher Stiftung, the only source being Felix Meyer and Sabine Hänggi-Stampfli, comps., Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji: Musikmanuskripte, Inventare der Paul Sacher Stiftung, no. 15 (Winterthur: Amadeus Verlag, 1995), 16 pp. {WorldCat}. The Stiftung’s extensive collection of photocopies of Sorabji manuscripts can be searched using the following interfaces: swissbib Basel Bern and IDS Basel Bern Catalog.

1914-1918

The Poplars (1915; 3 pp.) {one of two manuscripts, the other being in a private collection}
Hymne à Aphrodite (1916; 5 pp.) {two manuscripts}
Chaleur—​Poème (1916-17; 32 pp.)
L’étang (1917; 2 pp.)
Concerto II pour piano et grand orchestre (1916-17; 49 pp.)

1919-1936

I Was Not Sorrowful—​Poem for Voice and Piano [Spleen] (between 1917 and 1919; 3 pp.)
Le mauvais jardinier (1919; 1 p.)
Symphony [no. 1] for Piano, Large Orchestra, Chorus, and Organ (1921-22; 300 pp.) {full score and piano part}
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no.] III [no. 6] (1922; 144 pp.)
Opusculum for Orchestra (1923; 36 pp.)
Cinque sonetti di Michelagniolo Buonarroti (1923; 40 pp.)
Variazioni e fuga triplice sopra “Dies irae” per pianoforte (1923-26; 201 pp.)
Trois poèmes du “Gulistān” de Saʿdī (1926, rev. 1930; 16 pp.) {earlier, complete manuscript}
L’irrémédiable (1927; 8 pp.)
Concerto V for Piano and Large Orchestra [no. 8] (1927-28; 344 pp.)
Nocturne, “Jāmī” (1928; 28 pp.)
Sonata IV for Piano (1928-29; 111 pp.)
Introduction, Passacaglia, Cadenza, and Fugue (1929; compl. Alexander Abercrombie, 2004; 79 pp.) {“Introduction” and “Passacaglia” only}
Symphony no. 0 for Piano Solo (1930-31; 333 pp.)
Movement for Voice and Piano (1927, 1931; 9 pp.)
Second Symphony for Organ (1929-32; 350 pp.)
Fantasia ispanica (1933; 54 pp.)
Pasticcio capriccioso sopra l’op. 64, no 1 del Chopin (1933; 8 pp.)
Sonata V (Opus archimagicum) (1934-35; 336 pp.)

1937-1972

Fragment Written for Harold Rutland (1926, 1928, 1937; 2 pp.) {1937 version}
Symphonic Variations for Piano (1935-37; 484 pp.)
Tāntrik Symphony for Piano Alone (1938-39; 284 pp.)
Transcription in the Light of Harpsichord Technique for the Modern Piano of the Chromatic Fantasia of J. S. Bach, Followed by a Fugue (1940; 15 pp.)
“Quaere reliqua hujus materiei inter secretiora” (1940; 16 pp.)
“Gulistān”—​Nocturne for Piano (1940; 28 pp.)
Trois poèmes (1941; 13 pp.)
Études transcendantes (100) (1940-44; 456 pp.)
Rapsodie espagnole de Maurice Ravel—​Transcription de concert pour piano (second version, 1945; 26 pp.)
Transcription of the Prelude in E-flat by Bach (1945; 4 pp.)
Concerto da suonare da me solo e senza orchestra, per divertirmi (1946; 70 pp.)
Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.)
Symphony [no. 2], “Jāmī”, for Large Orchestra, Wordless Chorus, and Baritone Solo (1942-51; 826 pp.)
Third Organ Symphony (1949-53; 305 pp.)
Second Symphony for Piano (1954; 248 pp.)
Toccata terza (1955; 91 p.)
Passeggiata veneziana sopra la Barcarola di Offenbach (1955-56; 24 pp.)
Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra (1935-37, 1953-56; 540 pp.)
Opus clavisymphonicum—​Concerto for Piano and Large Orchestra for Piano and Large Orchestra (1957-59; 333 pp.)
Third Symphony for Piano Solo (1959-60; 144 pp.)
Messa grande sinfonica (1955-61; 1,001 pp.)
Fourth Symphony for Piano Alone (1962-64; 240 pp.)
Frammenti aforistici (20) (1964; 9 pp.)
Toccata quarta (1964-67; 149 pp.)

1973-1988

Benedizione di San Francesco d’Assisi (1973; 2 pp.)
Symphonia brevis for Piano (1973; 120 pp.)
Variazione maliziosa e perversa sopra “La morte d’Åse” da Grieg (1974; 2 pp.)
Opusculum clavisymphonicum vel claviorchestrale (1973-75; 334 pp.)
Sixth Symphony for Piano (Symphonia claviensis) (1975-76; 270 pp.)
Frammenti aforistici (4) (1977; 1 p.)
Symphonic Nocturne for Piano Alone (1977-78; 113 pp.)
“Il gallo d’oro” da Rimsky-Korsakov: Variazioni frivole con una fuga anarchica, eretica e perversa (1978-79; 93 pp.)
Villa Tasca: Mezzogiorno siciliano—​Evocazione nostalgica e memoria tanta cara e preziosa del giardino meraviglioso, splendido, tropicale (1979-80; 47 pp.)
Passeggiata arlecchinesca sopra un frammento di Busoni (“Rondò arlecchinesco”) (1981-82; 16 pp.)
Due sutras sul nome dell’amico Alexis (1981, 1984; 2 pp.)

Private Collections

1914-1918

Chrysilla (1915; 4 pp.)
Roses du soir (1915; 4 pp.)
L’heure exquise (1916; 2 pp.)
Vocalise pour soprano fioriturata (1916; 3 pp.)
Apparition (1916; 5 pp.)
Sonata no. 0 (1917; 30 pp.) {in two parts, in two collections}
Quasi habanera (1917; 6 pp.)
Désir éperdu (Fragment) (1917; 1 p.)
Concerto pour piano et orchestra da camera [no. 3] (1918; 100 pp.)

1919-1936

Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.)
Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.) {“Pantomime” (no. 3) only}
Arabesque (1920; 2 pp.)
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] (1920; 144 pp.) {solo piano part}
Symphony [no. 1] for Piano, Large Orchestra, Chorus, and Organ (1921-22; 300 pp.) {solo piano part}
Pastiche on the “Minute Waltz” by Chopin (1922; 7 pp.) {copyist’s copy}
Fragment: Prelude and Fugue on FxAxx DAxEx (1926; 3 pp.)
Toccatinetta sopra C.G.F. (1929; 8 pp.)
Quintet II for Piano and String Quartet (1932-33; 432 pp.)

1937-1972

St. Bertrand de Comminges: “He was laughing in the tower” (1941; 16 pp.)
Schlussszene aus “Salome” von Richard Strauss—​Konzertmäßige Übertragung für Klavier zu zwei Händen (1947; 25 pp.)
Rosario d’arabeschi (1956; 45 pp.)
Frammento cantato (1967; 1 p.)
Concertino non grosso for String Sextet with Piano obbligato quasi continuo (1968; 48 pp.)

1973-1988

Il tessuto d’arabeschi (1979; 32 pp.)
Passeggiata variata sul nome del caro e gentile giovane amico Clive Spencer-Bentley (1981; 3 pp.)
Fantasiettina atematica (1981; 2 pp.)

Last modified: 2021-05-21
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website devoted to the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji may be freely used for documentary purposes in a research context provided that due credit is given but may not be mirrored on any other server. Links to external or third-party websites cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, valid or persistent, and their contents cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, accurate or appropriate.

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