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John Warrack

revised by James Deaville


(b Altona, Feb 24, 1799; d Berlin, April 12, 1858). German, editor, teacher and librarian. The son of a banker, he learnt the cello as a boy and then studied law in Leipzig with the intention of entering the diplomatic service; he also took music lessons with J.A. Dröbs. Moving to Berlin in 1823, he was attached to the Swedish Embassy; during his service there he developed his interest in musical research. On the failure of the family bank in 1830, he was left without means of support and decided to devote himself to music: he had been studying with Bernhard Klein, and soon made himself a widely respected theorist and teacher. On Meyerbeer’s recommendation he was in 1842 appointed custodian of the music section of the royal library, and immediately set about bringing it into order, cataloguing the collection and making copious additions to it from libraries all over Prussia. Among the collections he helped to bring into the library were those of Anton Schindler and Georg Pölchau; Dehn had long known the latter, which was notable for its manuscripts of Keiser and of J.S. and C.P.E. Bach. He was editor of ...


Gudrun Becker-Weidmann

(b Münster, April 21, 1828; d Berlin, May 24, 1878). German music librarian and editor. After attending the Paulinum Gymnasium in Münster, he was enrolled at the faculty of philosophy at Münster University but in 1851 took up the study of music theory and notation under Siegfried Dehn in Berlin. For a few months in 1858 he was active as music director in Bielefeld. In the same year he was appointed assistant curator and five years later curator at the royal library in Berlin to succeed Dehn in the task of completing the music catalogue. At the same time, he accepted an appointment as regens chori at St Hedwig’s Cathedral, Berlin, apparently for financial reasons, as Dehn had done before him. Espagne applied his energies not only to cataloguing but also to expanding the library’s collection, and his travels included Vienna (1864) and Rome (1873–4...