British Pathé just released an astounding 85,000 archival film clips on YouTube. Included are numerous clips of musical interest including great singers, instrumentalists, and conductors; music making in the home and community, musical oddities, and unique performances and venues. One clip that caught my attention today is of Australian soprano Marjorie Lawrence making her first standing appearance after being stricken with polio (she's performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1947). Her story was memorably told in the Hollywood film based on her memoirs, Interrupted Melody, starring Eleanor Parker as Lawrence.
In the 20 years since Kurt Cobain’s death his influence as a musician and iconoclast is still strongly felt. Cobain is the subject of a number of biographies and several videographies; seminal albums by his band Nirvana, including Nevermind and In Utero, rank among the best of late twentieth century alternative rock.
Since 1952 Donald Pippin has been a part of the musical life of San Francisco. He is best known as the founder of Pocket Opera, which started in 1977 with the purpose of making opera more accessible to the average concert goer by presenting opera in unique English language translations with a small chamber ensemble. The Donald Pippin Collection consists primarily of Pippin's English translations of opera librettos available as pdf files. Follow the links in the finding aid to download the files.
A new exhibition has just opened at the Stanford Music Library entitled Treasures from the Archive of Recorded Sound, on show through August 14. The exhibition was curated and installed by the Archive of Recorded Sound's Interim Operations Manager, Benjamin Bates, who describes the content and theme of the exhibit in more detail.
A manuscript fair copy of the text an otherwise unrecorded work, Agamemnon, opéra des dames, Poëme heroique, don’t les paroles et la musique ont fait l’amusement d’un Particulier Vieux Stil, was recently acquired. It is believed to have originated in the second half of the eighteenth century and was apparently performed in Paris, “La Feste est au bord de la Seine près des Thuilleries” to mark the end of recent hostilities. The manuscript which also contains the text to three cantatas, L’innocence, L’amour vainquer, and Les regrets, originally scored for musette, vielle, flute, and bassoon, will be kept in the Department of Special Collections, Green Library.
2013 marked the 200th birthdays of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. The Music Library purchased a number of out-of-print and rare scores of works by both composers, and books by and about Wagner. The Wagner works include his Die Kunst und die Revolution (Leipzig, 1849) and Deutscher Kunst und deutsche Politik (Leipzig, 1868), Julius Lang’s Zur Versöhnung des Judenthums mit Richard Wagner (Berlin, 1869), and Hermann Schneider’s Richard Wagner und das germanische Altertum (Tübingen, 1939). Arrangements for piano, 2-hands including overtures to Christoph Columbus (Leipzig, 1908), Faust (Leipzig, 189?), and König Enzio (Leipzig & London, 1908), and a score of Lohengrin in French (Paris 1891) were also acquired. All of the Wagner materials are described in Significant Acquisitions 2012-2013, on the Music Library’s web page.
Stanford music librarians Jerry McBride, Mimi Tashiro, Nancy Lorimer, Jon Manton, Jihong Zhang, and Ray Heigemeir (that’s me) were in attendance at the 83rd annual meeting of the Music Library Association in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of February. A total of 403 attendees from the US, Canada and select other countries spent the better part of a week learning, discussing, debating, and celebrating the changing landscape of music librarianship.