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Newly Digitized: Berlioz Vocal Scores

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

“It was Virgil who first found the way to my heart and opened my budding imagination, by speaking to me of the epic passions for which instinct had prepared me,” wrote Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), recalling his reluctant childhood studies of classics (Memoirs, trans. Cairns, 35). Once kindled, his enthusiasm for Vergil was life-long, and at the urging of Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein, Berlioz began work in 1856 on an opera based on the second and fourth books of the Aeneid.

Hector Berlioz, Title page, La Prise de Troie. Merritt Room Mus 628.3.651.1 PHI

Hector Berlioz, Title page, La Prise de Troie. Merritt Room Mus 628.3.651.1 PHI (click to enlarge)

Berlioz conceived Les Troyens as one opera, but was forced to divide it into two parts for performance at the Théâtre-Lyrique when the Paris Opéra refused the work after years of delay (vividly recounted in his correspondence). As noted in the front matter of the vocal score, a full production without cuts would take 206 minutes to perform; with 15-minute intermissions, a 7:30 curtain meant the opera would finish 4 minutes before midnight, not allowing for applause and curtain calls (with substantial cuts, the run time could be reduced to a less daunting 140 minutes, or about 3 hours, 45 minutes total). Acts III-V, heavily cut and revised, premiered as Les Troyens à Carthage on November 4, 1863. La Prise de Troie (originally Acts I-II of Les Troyens) was not performed during Berlioz’s lifetime, and a staged production premiered only in 1890. The five-act Les Troyens was not staged until the 20th century, and an uncut version not until the centenary of Berlioz’s death in 1969.

Hector Berlioz, Title page, Les Troyens à Carthage . Merritt Room Mus 628.3.654 PHI

Hector Berlioz, Title page, Les Troyens à Carthage . Merritt Room Mus 628.3.654 PHI (click to enlarge)

In addition to autograph and copyist manuscripts, the original version of Les Troyens survives in a few proof and presentation scores dating to the early 1860s. Antoine Choudens published vocal scores of La Prise de Troie and Les Troyens in 1863, and in 1889 reassembled a complete Les Troyens from the plates engraved for those editions. Choudens’ numerous issues of Les Troyens à Carthage reflect the cuts and revisions made under Léon Carvalho’s direction for the Théâtre-Lyrique, a trial that Berlioz described with unconcealed disgust: “But oh, the agony of seeing a work of this kind laid out for sale with the scars of the publisher’s surgery upon it! A score lying dismembered in the window of a music shop like the carcass of a calf on a butcher’s stall, and pieces cut off and sold like lights for the concierge’s cat!” (Memoirs 491).

  • [Les Troyens. Vocal Score]
    Les Troyens : La Prise de Troie, 1er et 2e actes : Les Troyens à Carthage, 3e, 4e, et 5e actes. Paris: Choudens Fils, [1889?].
    Mus 628.3.651
    Hopkinson 64/65 A(a), related edition
  • [La Prise de Troie. Vocal score]
    La prise de Troie : opéra en trois actes / paroles et musique de Hector Berlioz. Paris : Choudens, [1864?].
    Merritt Room Mus 628.3.651.1 PHI
    Hopkinson 64B(b), second version, first edition, third state
  • [Troyens à Carthage. Vocal score]
    Les Troyens à Carthage : opéra en cinq actes avec un prologue / paroles et musique de Hector Berlioz. [Paris] : Choudens, [1863].
    Merritt Room Mus 628.3.654 PHI
    Hopkinson 65B(a), second version, second issue

Benvenuto Cellini, rejected by the Opéra-Comique, premiered at the Opéra in 1838 after a tumultuous rehearsal period. With the exception of the overture, the premiere was greeted by hissing of “exemplary precision and energy” (Memoirs 245). Never a huge success, the opera was subjected to extensive cuts and changes during its run; Franz Liszt’s Weimar revival in 1852 led to further changes, including a revision of the original two acts into three.

  • [Benvenuto Cellini. Vocal score]
    Benvenuto Cellini : opéra en trois actes / de m.m. Léon de Wailly et Auguste Barbier ; musique de Hector Berlioz ; partition chant et piano. Paris: Choudens, [1863].
    Merritt Room Mus 628.3.621 PHI
    Hopkinson 67E. Plate number A.C.989: first Paris edition, with piano arrangement by Hans von Bülow; lacking some recitatives

Béatrice et Bénédict‘s production history is comparatively simple: commissioned for the opening of the Theater der Stadt in Baden-Baden, the opera premiered August 9, 1862, with Berlioz conducting, and the vocal score was published in early 1863.

  • [Béatrice et Bénédict. Vocal score]
    Béatrice et Bénédict : opéra en deux actes / imité de Shakespeare ; paroles et musique de Hector Berlioz ; partition piano et chant. Paris : G. Brandus & S. Dufour, [1863].
    Mus 628.3.659.5
    Hopkinson 63A, first edition

-Kerry Masteller


Further Reading

Berlioz, Hector. Mémoires De Hector Berlioz: Comprenant Ses Voyages En Italie, En Allemagne, En Russie Et En Angleterre, 1803-1865, Avec Un Beau Portrait De L’auteur. Paris: Michel Lévy frères, 1870. (full text via Hathi Trust)

—. Memoirs of Hector Berlioz, member of the French Institute, including his travels in Italy, Germany, Russia, and England, 1803-1865. Translated and edited by David Cairns. New York: Knopf, 1969. Loeb Music Library Mus 1571.15.6

—. Memoirs, from 1803 to 1865, comprising his travels in Italy, Germany, Russia and England. Vol. 2. Translated by R. Holmes and E. Holmes. London: Macmillan, 1884. (full text via Google Books)

—. Les Troyens. Edited by Hugh McDonald. New edition of the complete works. Vol. 2(a-c). Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1970. Loeb Music Library Mus 628.3.10 (critical edition of the full score)

 

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“As nearly perfect an opera as one is likely to find”: Solti’s Un Ballo in Maschera

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

“I love Ballo, which is as nearly perfect an opera as one is likely to find,” wrote Sir Georg Solti in his 1997 Memoirs. The conductor first performed the work as music director of the Frankfurt Opera in 1954, and six years later, Verdi’s masterful work served as Solti’s first operatic collaboration in the recording studio with soprano Birgit Nilsson, when he recorded the work with the Rome Opera in July of 1960 and 1961 (a project which began with tenor Jussi Bjoerling, but in the end enlisted the services of Carlo Bergonzi).

Un Ballo in Maschera rehearsal schedule (1982). Merritt Room Mus 857.2.679.7 Solti. Gift of the Solti Estate

Un Ballo in Maschera rehearsal schedule (1982). Merritt Room Mus 857.2.679.7 Solti. Gift of the Solti Estate. (Click to enlarge)

In May and June of 1982 (with further sessions in May 1983) Solti returned to the recording studio, this time at Kingsway Hall in London, to record the work a second time, with Margaret Price and Luciano Pavarotti. The orchestra for this second recording was the National Philharmonic, a studio orchestra of players assembled from London’s principal orchestras; no stage performances were associated with this cast. The rehearsal schedule which accompanies this conducting score indicates the day-to-day scheduling from May 25 to June 12 of 1982, in mainly afternoon (with some evening) sessions, including the pages rehearsed (Ricordi full and vocal scores) and timings. Solti performed the work complete, without cuts.

  • Verdi, Giuseppe
    [Ballo in Maschera]
    Un ballo in maschera / di G. Verdi. Milano: G. Ricordi, [1896?]. Merritt Room Mus 857.1.679.7 Solti.

    Rebound into 2 volumes with numerous annotations throughout in red and black pencil in Sir Georg Solti’s hand; rehearsal schedule (1 pg.) inserted.

    Gift of the Solti Estate.

Giuseppe Verdi, "Forse la soglia attinse," Un ballo in maschera. Merritt Mus 857.1.679.7 Solti. Gift of the Solti Estate.

Giuseppe Verdi, “Forse la soglia attinse,” Un ballo in maschera. Merritt Mus 857.1.679.7 Solti. Gift of the Solti Estate. (Click to enlarge)

Also noteworthy in this heavily annotated score are his markings in various “layers” of colored pencil. Lady Solti has cited his “keen desire to listen to playbacks of the takes of his recordings,” and Decca recording engineer Gordon Parry noted that Solti would “scribble in his scores in different colours, according to which [take].”1

The work figured prominently in Solti’s life one further time, in July of 1989, when, following the sudden death of Herbert von Karajan, he was called upon with only a week’s notice to conduct John Schlesinger’s new production at the Salzburg Festival. His initial refusal was overcome by Plácido Domingo, and in a riveting tale involving airlifting his score from his London apartment to his summer home in Roccamare, Italy, and the intervention of the commandant of the local NATO base near Salzburg who allowed a private plane, supplied by one of the Festival’s most devoted supporters, to land there, Solti’s “potentially unrewarding and risky task” was a success; he was invited to conduct the work again at the festival the following summer. Those were to be his final performances of Un Ballo in Maschera; though any conductor who can claim as his Riccardos, Carlo Bergonzi, Luciano Pavarotti, and Plácido Domingo can be justly proud of his achievement.

- Robert Dennis


1. Patmore, David N. C. “Sir Georg Solti and the Record industry,” ARSC Journal 41.2 (2010): 218, http://ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=llf&AN=503003138&site=ehost-live&scope=site (Harvard users).

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Newly Digitized: Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

When we name composers associated with Freemasonry, Mozart is likely to top the list, thanks to his compositions for masonic ceremonies and the symbolism found in the libretto and music of Die Zauberflöte. Of course, many other composers – far too many to list here – were masons as well, and the tradition of writing songs, choruses, and incidental music for use in meetings and ceremonies is well-represented through the 18th and 19th centuries.

Title page vignette, Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge, Merritt Room Mus 558.5

Title page vignette, Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge, Merritt Room Mus 558.5 (click to enlarge)

  • Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge
    Auswahl maurerischer Gesænge / von verschiedenen Componisten ; herausgegeben von Friedrich Franz Hurka. [Germany : s.n., between 1803 and 1805].
    Merritt Room Mus 558.8

Friedrich Franz Hůrka (1762-1805), a Czech tenor, composer, and teacher, became a freemason in 1794, when he joined the Berlin lodge “Friedrich Wilhelm zur gekrönten Gerechtigkeit.” In this collection, dedicated to King George III’s son Augustus Frederick, Hůrka gathered nearly 70 songs and choruses on masonic themes by composers including Himmel, Pleyel, Naumann, and Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach. The title page vignette is rich in masonic iconography; note in particular the blazing star embossed with “G,” representing God, and the cherubs wielding stone-working tools and using a pair of compasses to measure the Pythagorean theorem.

-Kerry Masteller

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Newly Digitized: Works by Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

In this update, we take a short break from 19th-century opera to share works by members of the Bach family: Johann Sebastian Bach’s organ Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 538 (“Dorian”), the 15 Inventions BWV 772-786 for keyboard, teaching pieces first set down in the Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and the Sonatas for violin and harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019. Rounding out the list is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Psalmen mit Melodien, Wq 196, a collection of 42 psalms with texts translated by Johann Andreas Cramer, published by the composer and printed by Breitkopf in 1774.1

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, "Der Erste Psalm," Psalmen mit Melodien. Merritt Room Mus 627.2.584

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, “Der Erste Psalm,” Psalmen mit Melodien. Merritt Room Mus 627.2.584 (click to enlarge)

Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750

  • [Toccata und Fuge, organ, BWV 538, D minor]
    Toccata et fugue pour l’orgue ou le piano-forte. No. II / composée par J.S. Bach. First ed. Leipzig : Au bureau de musique de C.F. Peters, [ca. 1829]. Merritt Room Mus 627.1.456.5
  • [Inventions, harpsichord, BWV 772-786]
    XV inventions pour le clavecin / composées par Mr. J.S. Bach. Nouvelle edition. À Leipsic : Au Bureau de Musique. de C.F. Peters., [ca. 1820?]. Merritt Room Mus 627.1.435.31
    Plates of the original [1801] Hoffmeister ed. were used for this revised edition.
  • [Sonatas, violin, harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019]
    Clavier Sonaten mit obligater Violine / von Johann Sebastian Bach. Zürich : Bëy Hans Gëorg Nägeli., [1804?]. Merritt Room Mus 627.1.283.4. RISM A/I, B 454

Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel, 1714-1788

  • [Psalmen mit Melodien]
    Herrn Doctor Cramers übersetzte Psalmen mit Melodien : zum singen bey dem Claviere / von Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Leipzig : Im Verlage des Autors, 1774. Merritt Room Mus 627.2.584. RISM A/I, B 0131

Find these and nearly 100 other works by members of the Bach family – including a set of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach copyists’ manuscripts – online in our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti.

-Kerry Masteller


1. For more about this collection, see Anja Morgenstern, introduction to Cramer and Sturm Songs, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, The Complete Works VI/2 (Los Altos, Calif: Packard Humanities Institute, 2009), http://www.cpebach.org/toc/toc-VI-2.html.

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Newly Digitized: Spontini’s Fernand Cortez, in 2 versions

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Nearly two years ago, I shared a vocal score of Gaspare Spontini’s propagandistic Napoleonic-era opera Fernand Cortez (1809), a precursor of Auber’s La muette de Portici (1828) and the heights of 19th century grand opera. Joining it now are two other editions of the opera. The first is a full score of the original 1809 version, to a libretto by Joseph-Alphonse d’Esmenard and Etienne de Jouy. Premiered at the height of the Peninsular War, the opera portrays Cortez (or Napoleon) as enlightened hero, versus the savage Aztec (or Spanish) priests. The production was not an unqualified success, and despite its grand spectacle – in addition to dramatic, militaristic choruses and elaborate ballet sequences, a fully-staged production requires a number of live horses and includes a scene in which Cortez burns his own fleet – it was withdrawn after only a handful of performances.

[Fernand Cortez ou la conquête du Mexique : sept pl. de costumes / par François-Guillaume Ménageot]
Costume designs by François-Guillaume Ménageot (1809): Montesuma, Telasco, Amazily, Pontife mexicain. [Fernand Cortez ou la conquête du Mexique : sept pl. de costumes / par François-Guillaume Ménageot]. 1809
Source: gallica.bnf.fr (click for higher resolution image)

Even in 1809, as Napoleon’s Spanish campaign dragged on, Fernand Cortez was uncomfortably behind the political times; by 1816, a work celebrating a Napoleon-esque conqueror’s achievements was obviously out of style.1 In response, Spontini and Jouy made heavy revisions for the second version, changing the plot, characters, music, and dramatic structure of the opera. As Philipp Spitta’s lengthy article in Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians describes, in the revival of May, 1817, “the 3rd act now became the 1st, the 1st act the 2nd, and a part of the 2nd the 3rd.”2 If anything, this simplifies the structural changes; Théodore de Lajarte provides a more detailed enumeration in Curiosités de l’Opéra (1883).3 Among numerous other revisions, the role of Montezuma is entirely new to the second version, and Spontini rewrote Cortez’s part (originally for haute-contre) for tenor or bari-tenor.

While the second version of Fernand Cortez enjoyed greater success, remaining a fixture of the repertoire through the early 1830s, Spontini made still more changes to the third act for Berlin productions in 1824 and 1832, this time with the assistance of the poet M. Théaulon (Marie-Emmanuel-Guillaume-Marguerite Théaulon de Lambert). The vocal score here, most likely published ca. 1830, probably reflects one of these later versions; although I haven’t yet compared the editions measure-to-measure, most notably it does not include the lengthy 3rd act ballet published in Erard’s 1817 full score (HOLLIS record).

  • Fernand Cortez
    Fernand Cortez; ou, La conquête du Mexique, tragédie lyrique en 3 actes, de De Jouy et Esmenard. Mise en musique par Gasparo Spontini. Représentée pour le première fois, sur le théâtre de l’Académie royale de musique, le 15, 28 novembre 1809. Paris : Imbault [1809?]. Mus 813.2.622
  • Fernand Cortez. Vocal score
    Fernand Cortez, ou, La conquête du Mexique : tragédie lyrique en 3 actes / de De Jouy et Esmènard ; mise en musique par G. Spontini. Nouv. éd. Paris : Melles. Erard, [1830?]. Mus 813.2.622.5

-Kerry Masteller


1. Note that while the opera had been commissioned by Napoleon and the 1809 edition is dedicated to his sister, Caroline Bonaparte, the later edition is prudently dedicated to the Comte de Pradel, who, as ministre de la Maison du Roi, had jurisdiction over the Opéra.

2. Phillipp Spitta, “Spontini, Gasparo Luigi Pacifico,” A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450-1889), comp. George Grove (London: Macmillan, 1883), 3:669. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006210888

3. Théodore de Lajarte, Curiosités de l’Opéra (Paris: Calmann Lévy, 1883), 175-183. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001458669

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Newly Digitized: Meyerbeer Scores

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The Loeb Music Library recently digitized several scores by Giacomo Meyerbeer (Jacob Liebermann Meyer Beer, 1791-1864), a German-born musician who became one of the most successful stage composers of the 19th century. Nine complete operas are now available, several in multiple editions, which document Meyerbeer’s compositional development though a legendary partnership with French dramatist and librettist Eugène Scribe, culminating in iconic works which led to the establishment of French grand opera as a distinct genre.

Giacomo Meyerbeer, Title page, Robert le Diable. Mus 743.3.601.5

Giacomo Meyerbeer, Title page, Robert le Diable. Mus 743.3.601.5 (click to enlarge)

In his mature scores — Robert le Diable (1831), Les Huguenots (1836), Le Prophète (1849), L’étoile du Nord (1854), L’Africaine (1865, posth.), all to libretti by Scribe and first performed at the Paris Opéra, and Le Pardon de Ploërmel (Dinorah) (1859), first given at the Opéra comique (Salle Favart) to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré (librettists also for Gounod’s Faust and Roméo et Juliette, Thomas’ Mignon and Hamlet, and Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann) — the composer established a highly popular genre in which musical numbers combined pomp, ritual, and highly inventive orchestration evoking local color, in works where large choruses and intimate arias and duets are interspersed with balletic divertissements within the context of a sweeping historical canvas.

  • [Robert le diable. Vocal score]
    Robert le Diable : opéra en 5 actes / paroles de MM. E. Scribe & G. Delavigne ; musique de Giacomo Meyerbeer ; partition de piano, arrangée par J.P. Pixis. [1st ed.]. Paris: M. Schlesinger, [1831]. Mus 743.3.601.5
  • [Huguenots. Vocal score]
    Les Huguenots : opéra en cinq actes / paroles de Scribe ; musique de G. Meyerbeer ; partition chant et piano. Ed. définitive et complète. Paris : Ph. Maquet, [1888?]. Mus 743.3.624
  • [Prophète. Vocal score]
    Le prophète : opéra en 5 actes / paroles de M.E. Scribe ; musique de G. Meyerbeer ; partition pour piano et chant ; arrangée par Garaudé. Paris : Brandus & Cie., [1849?]. Mus 743.3.661.1
  • [Étoile du Nord. Vocal score]
    L’étoile du nord : opéra comique en trois actes / paroles de Mr. E. Scribe ; musique de G. Meyerbeer ; partition piano et chant par A. de Garandé. Paris : Brandus, [1854?]. Mus 743.3.642
  • [Étoile du Nord. Vocal score. Italian]
    La stella del Nord : opera semiseria in tre atti / di Eugenio Scribe ; traduzione di E. Picchi ; musica di G. Meyerbeer ; riduzione con accompagnamento di pianoforte. Milano : F. Lucca, [1868?]. Mus 743.3.640.5
  • [Africaine. Vocal score. Selections]
    L’Africaine : deuxième partie de l’opéra en 5 actes / paroles de E. Scribe ; musique de G. Meyerbeer ; partition chant et piano [par E. Vauthrot] précédée d’une préface de J. Fétis et contenant 22 morceaux et fragments inédits … qui n’ont pas été exécutés à la représentation de l’Opéra à Paris. Paris : G. Brandus & S. Dufour, [1865?]. Mus 743.3.666
  • [Africaine. Vocal score]
    L’Africaine : opéra en cinq actes / paroles de E. Scribe ; musique de Giacomo Meyerbeer ; partition chant & piano arrangée par E. Vauthrot. Paris : G. Brandus & S. Dufour, [1865?]. Mus 743.3.666.3
  • [Africaine. Vocal score]
    L’Africaine : opéra en 5 actes / paroles de E. Scribe ; musique de G. Meyerbeer ; partition chant & piano arrangée par E. Vauthrot. Paris : G. Brandus & S. Dufour, [1865?] . Mus 743.3.666.5
  • [Le Pardon de Ploërmel (Dinorah)]
    Le pardon de Ploërmel : opéra comique en trois actes / paroles de J. Barbieret M. Carré ; musique de Giacomo Meyerbeer ; partition chant et piano. Paris : G. Brandus et S. Dufour, [1859?]. Mus 743.3.692.5

Also available are three early Italian works. Margarita d’Anjou premiered at La Scala in 1820, to a text by Felice Romani, librettist for many operas of Bellini (including La Sonnambula and Norma), Donizetti (L’elisir d’amore, Lucrezia Borgia, Anna Bolena), Rossini (Il Turco in Italia) and Verdi (Un giorno di regno).

Emma di Resburgo and Il Crociato in Egitto are both Venetian operas, the former first given at the Teatro San Benedetto in 1819, and Il Crociato in Egitto at Teatro La Fenice in 1824, to libretti by Gaetano Rossi, librettist of Rossini’s Tancredi and Semiramide, as well as to many operas by Johann Simon Mayr, Saverio Mercadante, and Donizetti (Linda di Chamounix, Maria Padilla). Il Crociato in Egitto was the first work to bring Meyerbeer recognition throughout Europe, and the last operatic work by a major composer to contain a major role for castrato (1824).

  • [Margarita d’Anjou. Vocal score]
    Margherita d’Anjou : opera semiseria in due atti / Composto e ridotto per il cembalo da G. Meyerbeer. Paris : M. Schlesinger, [1827?]. Mus 743.3.610 B
  • [Emma di Resburgo. Vocal score. German & Italian]
    Emma von Roxburgh : grosse Oper in zwei Aufzügen / componirt von J. Meyerbeer ; vollständiger Klavier-Auszug mit deutschem und italienischem text von J.P. Schmidt. Berlin : in der Schlesingerschen Buch- und Musikhandlung ; Schlesinger, [1820?]. Mus 743.3.676
  • [Crociato in Egitto. Vocal score]
    Il crociato in Egitto : opera seria. Ridotto con accompagniamento de pianoforte. Paris, Chez Pacini, [18--]. Mus 743.3.650

Find these scores in our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti, or browse the list in HOLLIS.

Finally, from library’s general collections is a digitized volume of arias with several selections from Meyerbeer’s works, published in 1909, testimony to his long-standing popularity. He was, after all, the operatic composer who filled the “gap” between the death of Mozart (1791) and the birth of Richard Strauss (1864)!

-Robert Dennis

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Newly Digitized: Schubert Early Editions, Liszt Arrangements

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, one of the Music Library’s ongoing digitization projects has been built around first and early editions from the Packard Humanities Institute Music Collection, which includes the world’s largest collection of Schubert first editions outside of Vienna. Nearly 170 of those editions are now part of our Digital Scores and Libretti; recent additions include these copies of “Erlkönig,” “An die Nachtigall,” “An Sylvia,” and others, as well as a set of Franz Liszt’s piano arrangements of Schubert’s Lieder.


Franz Schubert, Erlkönig. Merritt Room Mus 800.1.746.5 PHI (click to enlarge)

Franz Schubert, Erlkönig. Merritt Room Mus 800.1.746.5 PHI (click to enlarge)

  • Erlkönig
    Erlkönig : 1tes Werk / Ballade von Göthe; in Musik gesetzt und Seiner Exzellenz dem hochgebohrnen Herrn Herrn Moritz Grafen von Dietrichstein in tiefer Ehrfurcht gewidmet von Franz Schubert. Wien: in Comission bey Cappi und Diabelli, [1821].
    Merritt Room Mus 800.1.746.5 PHI
  • Songs. Selections
    Der Schmetterling und Die Berge / von Friedrich Schlegel. An den Mond / von Fr. v. Hölty; in Musik gesetzt für eine Singstimme mit Pianoforte Begleitung von Franz Schubert; 57tes Werk. [1st ed.] Wien: Thad. Weigl, [1826].
    Merritt Room Mus 800.1.732.6 PHI
  • Songs. Selections
    Heimliches Lieben; Das Weinen; Vor meiner Wiege / von Leitner. An Sylvia / von Shakespeare; in Musik gesetz für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Piano-forte von Franz Schubert. Wien: A. Diabelli, [1828].
    Merritt Room Mus 800.1.732.10 PHI
  • Songs. Selections
    An die Nachtigall; Wiegenlied / von Claudius. Iphigenia / von Mayrhofer; für eine Singstimme mit Begl. des Piano-Forte; in Musik gesetzt von Franz Schubert; 98tes Werk. Wien: A. Diabelli, [1829].
    Merritt Room Mus 800.1.744 PHI
  • Songs. Selections
    Drey Gedichte: in Musik gesetzt für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte: 111tes Werk / von Franz Schubert. [1st ed.] Wien: J. Czerny, [1829].
    Merritt Room Mus 800.1.735.15 PHI

Franz Schubert, Title page, Lob der Thränen, transcribed for piano by Franz Liszt. Merritt Room Mus 737.1.455 PHI (click to enlarge)

Franz Schubert, Title page, Lob der Thränen, transcribed for piano by Franz Liszt. Merritt Room Mus 737.1.455 PHI (click to enlarge)

Songs. Selections; arranged
Lieder / von Fr. Schubert; für das Piano-forte übertragen von Fr. Liszt. Wien: T. Haslinger; Wien: A. Diabelli, [1830s].
Merritt Room Mus 737.1.455 PHI

16 of the more than 60 Lieder arrangements made by Franz Liszt in the mid-19th century, in editions published by Diabelli and Haslinger.

  • Diabelli editions
    Contents: Sey mir gegrüsst — Auf dem Wasser zu singen : Barcarolle — Erlkönig — Meeresstille — Frühlingsglaube — Gretchen am Spinnrade — Ständchen von Shakespeare — Die Forelle — Der Wanderer.
  • Haslinger editions
    Contents: Lob der Thränen — Aufenthalt ; Am Meer (aus Schwanengesang) — Der Lindenbaum (aus Winterreise) — Liebesbotschaft ; Aufenthalt (T.H.7684) ; Ständchen = Sérénade (aus Schwanengesang).

-Kerry Masteller

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Newly Digitized Manuscript: Peter von Winter, Fratelli Rivali, Act I

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Peter von Winter (1754-1825), violinist, conductor, and composer, began writing music for the stage in the early 1780s; his initial foray into opera came at Munich’s Nationaltheater in 1782. Even after his appointment to positions in the electoral court (as assistant Kapellmeister in 1787, and Kapellmeister in 1798), he continued to supply works for Munich’s stages and maintained a second, peripatetic career in the theatre, taking multiple, years-long leaves in the 1790s and 1800s to compose for opera houses around Europe. The products of these journeys included well-reviewed opere seria for London, tepidly-recieved tragédies lyriques for Paris, a Singspiel sequel to Die Zauberflöte (Das Labyrinth oder Der Kampf mit den Elementen, Vienna, 1798), and works fusing multiple styles, like his greatest success, Das unterbrochene Opferfest (Vienna, 1796).1


Peter von Winter, "Qual diletto in sen m'inonda," Fratelli Rivali, seq. 103-104. Merritt Room Mus 867.3.602 (click to enlarge)

Peter von Winter, “Qual diletto in sen m’inonda,” Fratelli Rivali, seq. 103-104. Merritt Room Mus 867.3.602 (click to enlarge)

  • [Fratelli rivali. Act 1]. I fratelli rivali / musica [di?] sigr Pietro Winter. L’autunno 1793. Merritt Mus 867.3.602

Between 1791 and 1794, Winter’s travels took him to Naples and Venice, where he supplied works for performances at San Carlo and San Benedetto. This working manuscript of the first act of Peter von Winter’s I Fratelli Rivali was likely prepared for the opera’s premiere at Venice’s San Benedetto in November, 1793. The score not only shows evidence of extensive revisions to both text and music, but also contains some of the annotations – such as stage directions – necessary for its production.


Peter von Winter, "Amor in questo secolo," Fratelli Rivali, seq. 58. Merritt Room Mus 867.3.602 (click to enlarge)

Peter von Winter, “Amor in questo secolo,” Fratelli Rivali, seq. 58. Merritt Room Mus 867.3.602 (click to enlarge)

The manuscript is written in multiple hands, including that of Winter and at least one copyist. Although their handwriting is fairly similar, it seems likely that the copyist was responsible for transcribing most of the music and text, including clefs, key signatures, and much of the instrumentation. Some of the arias, including Silvio’s cavatina “Qual diletto in sen mi’nonda,” do appear to be primarily in Winter’s hand. This is unquestionably still a working draft of the score: small corrections to the music are visible throughout, while at the close of Dorinda’s aria “Amor in questo secolo,” Winter’s completion of the instrumental parts spills past the copyist’s vocal line and the printed staves, reaching into the margin and nearly to the edge of the page.


Peter von Winter, Scenes 3 and 4, Fratelli Rivali, seq. 49. Merritt Room Mus 867.3.602 (click to enlarge)

Peter von Winter, Scenes 3 and 4, Fratelli Rivali, seq. 49. Merritt Room Mus 867.3.602 (click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, in contrast to the compressed, delicate, even scratchy notation of the vocal numbers – written in several different inks now varying in color from black or brown to a faded grey – the recitatives are uniformly set down in a much looser hand, written with a broader pen nib and the same shade of ink (and on pages much more frequently splattered with water, paint, or ink wash). Whether this implies that they were all added to this draft at close to the same time is a question for further investigation.

With its clear picture of a work still very much in progress, this manuscript offers an intriguing look at the business of creating opera for the late-18th century stage.

-Kerry Masteller


1. Abert, Anna Amalie and Paul Corneilson. “Winter, Peter,” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, Web. 11 Sep. 2013. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.ezp-pro… (Harvard access).

Tyler, Linda. “Winter, Peter,” The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Ed. Stanley Sadie. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 11 Sep. 2013. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.ezp-pro… (Harvard access).

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Newly Digitized: Massenet’s Werther, for baritone

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Jules Massenet completed his opera based on Goethe’s novel Die Leiden des jungen Werthersin 1887; its first performance – sung in German – occurred at Vienna’s Hofoper on February 16, 1892, after Léon Carvalho, director of the Opéra-Comique, rejected the work on grounds that its somber subject matter was unsuitable for his audiences.

Jules Massenet, "Pourquoi me reveiller," Werther, pg. 176-177. Merritt Room Mus 742.14.640.5

Jules Massenet, “Pourquoi me réveiller,” Werther, pg. 176-177. Merritt Room Mus 742.14.640.5 (click to enlarge)

  • [Werther. Vocal score]. Werther: drame lyrique en quatre actes et cinq tableaux d’après Goethe; poème de M.M. Edouard Blau, Paul Milliet et Georges Hartmann; musique de J. Massenet; partition piano et chant. Paris : Heugel & Cie, [1893], c1892. Merritt Room Mus 742.14.640.5
Portrait de M. Vanni-Marcoux de l'Opéra : [photographie de presse] / Agence Mondial
Portrait de M. Vanni-Marcoux de l’Opéra : [photographie de presse] / Agence Mondial
Source: gallica.bnf.fr

The present score belonged to baritone Vanni-Marcoux (Jean Émile Diogène Marcoux, 1877-1962). He was a dominant figure in Parisian musical life following the First World War, celebrated for his performances as Massenet’s Don Quichotte. Vanni-Marcoux’s score presents the role of Werther re-written for baritone, a project that Massenet undertook in 1902 for the Italian baritone Mattia Battistini (1856-1928), who sang the role on various European stages from 1901 to 1911 (most often in Italian, but occasionally in French). Shown here is the scene from Act 3 between Charlotte and Werther leading up to the celebrated aria “Pourquoi me réveiller.”

-Robert Dennis

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Newly Digitized: Cherubini and von Winter

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

In this overview of recently digitized materials, we add vocal scores by Luigi Cherubini and Peter von Winter to the works already in our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti. They belong to the Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Collection of Opera Scores, a set of over 8000 scores begun by the conductor Jean-Marie Martin, expanded by collector and book dealer Bernard Peyrotte, and now held at the Music Library and the Harvard Theatre Collection1.

Luigi Cherubini, 1760-1842

Whether the peril is an avalanche (Eliza), an importunate lover-turned-kidnapper (Faniska), a burning castle (Lodoïska AND Faniska), or the smaller spectacles of simple human jealousy and ambition, Cherubini can be relied upon for operas full of high drama. See our earlier digitization posts for links to other editions of these operas (both full and vocal scores), as well as a number of others.

Luigi Cherubini, Overture, Faniska. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

Luigi Cherubini, Overture, Faniska. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

  • [Deux journées. Vocal score. German & French]. Les Deux journées = Der Wasserträger: auch unter den namen, Graf Armand, oder Die beiden gefahrvollen Tage: ein Singspiel in drey Aufzügen / von Cherubini; Klavierauszug. Neue Ausgabe. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, [1818?]. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5
  • [Faniska. Vocal score. German & Italian]. Faniska: (italienisch und deutsch): eine Oper in drei Akten / von Cherubini; im Klavierauszug von Bierey. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, [1806?]. RISM A/I, CC 2028,I,234. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

Peter von Winter, 1754-1825
One of four operas that Peter von Winter, Munich’s Kapellmeister, wrote for the King’s Theatre during his stay in London from 1803-1805. Unlike the tragédies lyriques Winter composed for Paris, these works, all with libretti by Da Ponte, were considered successes. Grotta di Calipso was revived in Munich in 1807, as Calypso, and received a lengthy review in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung.2


Peter von Winter, Title page, Grotta di Calipso. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

Peter von Winter, Title page, Grotta di Calipso. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

  • [Grotta di Calipso. Vocal score. German & Italian]. Calipso: dramma per musica in due atti = Calypso / dal Sigr. P. Winter; im Klavierauszuge vom Musikdir. M.G. Fischer. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, [1809?].
    RISM A/I, W 1296. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

-Kerry Masteller


1. The collection includes scores in both the Loeb Music Library and the Harvard Theatre Collection. HOLLIS search results for catalogued scores in each library: Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Collection of Opera Scores (Loeb Music Library) and John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection (Harvard Theatre Collection). Many thanks to Andrea Cawelti and Christina Linklater, for their help in constructing the correct search for scores from the Harvard Theatre Collection.

2. [Review], Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung 9 (1 January 1807): 560-563, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433069052367?urlappend=%3Bseq=299.