Gabriella Pessl Sobotka was a harpsichordist, pianist and organist who performed under the name Yella Pessl. Born in Vienna, she had a musical career in Europe before immigrating to the United States in 1931.
Pessl was best known for her interpretations of Bach and was founder and director of the Bach Circle, a New York group specializing in lesser-known works of Bach and other Baroque composers. Pessl toured extensively in the United States, performing in as a soloist and with orchestras. She also had her own radio program and was on the faculty of Columbia University.
Pessl died at the age of 85 in 1991 in Northhampton, Mass. Her husband, Dr. Harry Sobotka, predeceased her in 1970.
This collection contains Yella Pessl's correspondence, 1930-79; musical manuscripts, arrangements, and fingered sheet music, primarily of the keyboard works of J. S. Bach, undated; scrapbooks pertaining to her concert career, 1924-56; 78 commercial and private recordings of her performances on harpsichord and piano, primarily from the 1940s and 1950s; and printed materials.
The collection also contains 194 12-inch records, 39 10-inch records by Pessl. In addition, there are 50 12-inch records and 16 10-inch records either not by Pessl or unidentifiable.
The collection is not processed. Some boxes are described at the box level. Others are described at the item level.
The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives acquired this collection from Yella Pessl-Sobotka1978
Processed by: M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University at Albany, SUNY
Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on
Published: 2017-04-14 12:35:23 -0400
Converted to EAD, 2015 December
Encoded in EAD by Jodi Boyle, 2015
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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Yella Pessl Papers, 1918-1979. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Pessl Papers).
|1||1||Large navy scrapbook with clippings, programs. Numerous inserts||1952-1956|
|1||2||Beige scrapbook with clippings, programs||1946-1947|
|1||3||Large black and gold scrapbook with clippings, programs||1945|
|1||4||Large brown scrapbook with clippings||1943-1944|
|1||5||Large brown scrapbook with black design with clippings, programs||1942|
|1||6||Large manilla folder scrapbook with clippings, programs||1941|
|1||7||Large black scrapbook with clippings||1940 July 15 - 1941 February 3|
|2||1||Scrapbooks, loose clippings||Undated|
|2||2||Large black scrapbook with clippings, programs||1940|
|2||3||Black scrapbook with clippings, programs||1939|
|2||4||Clippings in manilla envelope, mainly duplicates of scrapbook clippings.||1938-1939|
|2||5||Large brown scrapbook with clippings, programs||1938|
|2||6||Black scrapbook with clippings, programs||1936-1937|
|2||7||Scrapbook with no cover. Clippings, some programs||1935-1938|
|2||8||Small gray/black mottled scrapbook. Programs, clippings||1931-1932|
|2||9||Small brown and tan scrapbook. Clippings, programs. 1924-1935. 60p.||1924-1935|
|2||10||Clippings until 1930. Clippings in brown manilla envelope||1920s, 1930|
|2||11||Miscellaneous clippings over many years||Undated|
|2||12||Clippings concerning Yella Pessl, Susanne Bloch and Carl Dolmetsch||1936 March 17|
|2||13||Miscellaneous clippings in manilla folder||1937|
|3||2||Program outlines. Columbia Broadcasting Systems||1940-1941|
|3||3||Austrian programs and concert reviews||1930s|
|3||4||Bach Circle programs||1937-1947|
|4||1||List of materials in collection, as compiled by Yella Pessl||Undated|
|4||2||Curriculum vita, autobiographical materials||Undated|
|4||3||2 small notebooks||Undated|
|4||5||Bach Circle correspondence, materials||Undated|
|4||6||Correspondence file J||Undated|
|4||7||Correspondence file L||Undated|
|4||8||Correspondence file M||Undated|
|4||9||Correspondence, concert season||1944-1945|
|4||12||Fan mail and other miscellaneous correspondence||1940s|
|4||13||Die Schule. Eine Komdie von Jella Pessl dem Vater zu seinem Geburtstag||1918 November 23|
|4||14||An Example of North-American Figured Bass Practices as Illustrated by the Notebook of Amy van Vleck. Also 3 reproductions from the notebook of Amy Van Vleck.||Undated|
|4||15||Articles by Pessl||Undated|
|4||19||Photographs of Yella Pessl, some duplicates||Undated|
|4||20||Miscellaneous offprints, musical subjects||Undated|
|4||21||Summer resort advertisements||Undated|
|4||26||[Hyde, Fred]. "Mersenne's Role in the History of the Tempered Tuning of Instruments"||Undated|
|4||27||[Hyde, Fred]. "Chapter I: Mersenne, The Man; His Life." Also notes, presumably by Pessl||Undated|
|21||1||Scores, reel-to-reel tapes, microfilms, slides||Undated|