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Canzonetta (detail)

Canzonetta for cello and piano [1882]
by Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901)

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Carlo Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901) was one of the most famous cellists of the 19th century.  Born in Bergamo, Italy, he began his cello studies at age 5 with his uncle. At age 7 he played in the local opera orchestra. In his teens, he studied at the Milan Conservatory and then began touring Europe. After meeting Liszt in Munich, the pianist invited Piatti to share a concert billing in Paris. There, Liszt presented Piatti with a fine Amati cello, having learned that he was playing on borrowed instruments after having to sell his cello during hard times on the road. Piatti later owned a fine Stradivarius cello, now nicknamed the “Piatti.” The book, The Adventures of a Cello, chronicles this instrument's story from its creation in Cremona in 1720 to the present day.

Robert Schumann, Drei zweistimmige Lieder (detail)

Rare Music Materials at Stanford is a Spotlight instance that presents materials from the Stanford University Libraries' collections that have been digitized in response to research requests, or were produced for small projects. Items and their downloadable images may also be found in SearchWorks, Stanford's library catalog.

Franz Schubert

Overture zum 3. Akt, Die Zauberharfe, original manuscript by Franz Schubert (1797-1828); libretto by Georg von Hofmann.
Memorial Library of Music, MLM 948
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Guest blogger: Benjamin Ory

Die Zauberharfe, or “The Magic Harp,” was a melodrama premiered on August 19, 1820 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. The original cast included Ferdinand Schimon (Palmerin, tenor), Karl Erdmann Rüger (Arnulf), Josefa Gottdank (Melinda), Frl. Botta (Ida), and Nikolaus Heurteur (Folko). There were seven repeat performances through October 12, before the work was subsequently withdrawn from the repertory. The majority of Hofmann’s text and some of the musical numbers were lost, and thus, no further staged performances were able to occur. The manuscript of the Act III Overture now resides in Stanford’s Memorial Library of Music.

Helen & Newton Harrison, 1988

Stanford University Library’s Department of Special Collections has completed processing for two major collections: the Helen and Newton Harrison Papers and the William Hewlett Papers. The two projects were supported with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, respectively.

Archangel Michael Hurls the Rebellious Angels into the Abyss, by Luca Giordano (ca. 1666)

“There was war in heaven: and Satan was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them: woe to the inhabiters of the earth.” – Revelation 12:7-12

So opens The Fallen Angel, an oratorio by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop. The manuscript score, in Bishop’s hand, has recently been reunited with a full set of manuscript orchestral and choral parts, as item MLM 87 in Stanford’s Memorial Library of Music.

Oinousses main settlement

Tout Gai!, original manuscript by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937); traditional Greek text from the island of Chios, French translation by Michel-Dimitri Calvocoressi; No. 5 of Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques.
Memorial Library of Music, MLM 864
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Guest blogger: Kirstin Haag

Maurice Ravel was known as France’s premier living composer in the 1920s and ‘30s, but his early career was not without challenges. By 1900, Ravel had flunked out of his courses at the Conservatoire de Paris not once, but twice. By 1905, he had failed to win the Prix de Rome no less than five times. However, in the wake of these career hardships, Ravel orchestrated several Greek songs that would become some of his most beloved recital pieces.

El Pajarillo Errante

Next week, from Feburary 1-February 5, archives are joining the adult coloring craze with #ColorOurCollections, providing coloring pages made from materials held within their special collections. We're joining in while simultaneously celebrating some newly released digitized material from the José Guadalupe Posada collection, circa 1875-1913. 

Image of a drawing by Marjorie "Marge" Henderson Buell.

Newly available for research is the Marjorie Henderson and Ruth Plumly Thompson archive.

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