Blog topic: Music

Canzonetta (detail)

Introducing Alfredo Piatti

November 4, 2016
by Ray Heigemeir

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.

Franz Schubert

Mysterious attributions: Reception of Die Zauberharfe

May 13, 2016
by Ray Heigemeir

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 There were seven repeat performances through October 12, before the work was subsequently withdrawn from the repertory.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.

John C. Lilly open reel audio tape

Open reel tapes, head blocks, and unconventional track arrangements at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab

Part of audio preservation work includes working with media that has peculiar characteristics. Sometimes the atypical qualities are a byproduct of how the recording was made by the recordist. An example of this type of problem that we occasionally see at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab is when an open reel tape is recorded over and there is remaining content hidden in certain spots of the tape. This presents specific problems in capture since tape heads are built for use with specific physical configurations of tracks and thus capturing the hidden spots outside of the normal range of track configuration is near impossible. With this in mind SMPL recently worked on obtaining equipment to address this challenging scenario.

Claude Monet, Impression Sunrise (1872)

New music scores and facsimiles, June 2016

June 7, 2016
by Ray Heigemeir

For your browsing pleasure, we present the following list of new scores added to composer complete editions, historical sets, and facsimiles.

Modern editions

CPE Bach. Flute concertos, vol. II. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach ; edited by Barthold Kuijken (Works, series III, vol. 4:2)

Cavalli. Orione / Francesco Cavalli ; dramma per musica by Francesco Melosio.

Chabrier. L'Étoile : opéra bouffe en trois actes / Emmanuel Chabrier.

Kevin Kishimoto

New Head Librarian of Music Metadata Services

April 5, 2016
by Jerry L McBride

The Stanford Music Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Kishimoto to the position of Head Librarian of Music Metadata Services. Kevin comes from the University of Chicago where he served as the Music Cataloger for five years where he was responsible for cataloging of music resources, including audio recordings, scores, video recordings, electronic resources, microforms, books in all European languages, and rare music resources in the Special Collections Research Center.

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