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 (the links are usually very general — in other words, they point to the library's or department’s main website — rather than collection-specific, which could lead to problems)
  • Manuscripts owned since 1994 by the Paul Sacher Stiftung (Basel) and formerly the property of the Sorabji Archive (the PSS also has an extensive collection of photocopies of manuscripts that can be searched in the catalogue of the IDS Basel Bern using the following interfaces: IDS Basel Bern Catalog and swissbib Basel Bern)
  • Manuscripts located in private collections (the identity of the owners remains confidential)

A comment is added after a title between braces 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.

Public Collections (except the Paul Sacher Stiftung)

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Surround strings with quotation marks for specific searches. Press F5 (Refresh) 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.)
Music to “The Rider by Night” (1919; 54 pp.)
Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Musikabteilung (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.)
Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.) {second of two manuscripts}
Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.)
Sonata III for Piano (1922; 75 pp.)
Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.)
Valse-fantaisie for Piano (1925; 16 pp.)
Mills Memorial Library, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ont.) Toccata [no. 1] for Piano (1928; 66 pp.)
Toccata seconda per pianoforte (1933-34; 111 pp.) {one of two manuscripts, in this case the complete one}
Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Le jardin parfumé: Poem for Piano Solo (1923; 16 pp.)
Third Symphony for Piano Solo (1959-60; 144 pp.)
Concerto pour piano et grand orchestre [no. 4] (1918; 100 pp.) {solo piano part}
Pierpont Morgan Library (New York) Rapsodie espagnole de Maurice Ravel: transcription de concert pour piano (first version, 1923; 16 pp.)
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.)
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}
Un nido di scatole sopra il nome del grande e buon amico Harold Rutland (1954; 26 pp.)
University of Cape Town Libraries, Manuscripts & Archives; formerly known as the J. W. Jagger Library (under call number TPA 50R; 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; 16 pp.) {fragment of one of two manuscripts, consisting of pp. 1, 2, 15, and 16}
Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.)
Victoria Library (Westminster Music Library) (London), under System ID CML/2/1/15 (finding number CML/543) Quintet no. 1 for Piano and Quartet of Stringed Instruments (1919-20; 72 pp.) {copyist’s copy; only known manuscript}

Paul Sacher Stiftung (Basel)


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.)


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.)
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; 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.)


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.)
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 (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.)


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


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.)


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}
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.)


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.)


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: 2019-04-16
© Marc-André Roberge 2019
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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