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Rock’s Backpages is one of two new subscription databases now available for use by the Stanford community (Academic Charts Online will be highlighted in a future post).

From the website:

"There are over twenty thousand articles on the site. These feature over two thousand five hundred artists and range from 500-word album (or concert) reviews to 10,000-word interviews and features. 

Privately produced Leopold Auer recording, signed by the artist on June 7, 1920, from the Jascha Heifetz Collection.

The Archive of Recorded Sound has completed the processing of four significant collections under the sponsorship of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which are now ready for use by researchers, students, musicians, and the public.  The creators of all four collections have California connections, but their work and influence extended far beyond state borders to distant regions of the world.  The four collections that have been organized, arranged, and described in finding aids, which can be viewed on the Online Archive of California, are the Yehudi Menuhin, the Jascha Heifetz, the Lawrence Tibbett, and the Ambassador Auditorium Collections. The processing archivist for the project was Frank Ferko, with assistance from Anna Graves. 

Located in the City of Pasadena, the Ambassador Auditorium hosted many of the most highly regarded concert musicians and popular entertainers in the world.  From its opening night on April 7, 1974 to its closing in May, 1995, the Ambassador, often called "the Carnegie Hall of the West", presented a veritable who's who of luminaries in the world of music, dance, and popular entertainment. Among those who performed there were Artur Rubinstein, Leontyne Price, Victor Borge, Andres Segovia, Barbara Cook, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, Bob Hope, Marcel Marceau, Claire Bloom, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Ravi Shankar, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and many others. The Ambassador Auditorium Collection consists of thousands of documents related to the business, marketing, publicity and promotion operations of the hall as well as photographs (many of which are autographed), posters, concert programs, commissioned original artwork, and perhaps most important of all, hundreds of audio and video recordings of live performances.

Spanning 75 years, the career of Yehudi Menuhin included work as a virtuoso violinist as well as a highly respected conductor.  The Yehudi Menuhin Collection, assembled by his family, consists of fifty-four 78 rpm recordings from 1938 through 1950 of Menuhin performing violin works, often accompanied by his sister, Hephzibah.  

The Jascha Heifetz Collection, donated by the violinist's longtime friend and record producer at RCA Victor, Jack Pfeiffer, includes not only Heifetz's own performances but also his personal collection of recordings made by other artists.  The Heifetz Collection, consisting of over a thousand discs and reels produced from 1911-1972, includes the rare, privately made recording from 1920 of Heifetz's teacher, Leopold Auer, among other treasures. 

The Lawrence Tibbett Collection, consisting of 98 records documenting the middle years of the baritone's career, who sang for 27 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera (1923-1950). The collection contains an outstanding performance of a pre-premiere recording of Howard Hanson's Merry Mount, from January 1934 and also contains Tibbett's well known renditions of popular songs, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oh, what a beautiful mornin," and Harold Arlen's "Accentuate the positive", performed on live radio programs in the 1940s.

For more information and to use the collections, contact the Stanford University Archive of Recorded Sound.

Edgcumbe, Musical Reminiscences of an Old Amateur Chiefly Respecting the Italian Opera in England for Fifty Years, from 1773 to 1823 (London, 1824)

Richard Edgcumbe, 2nd earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764-1839)
Musical reminiscences of an old amateur, chiefly respecting the Italian opera in England for fifty years, from 1773 to 1823. The second edition / continued to the present time.
London : W. Clarke, New Bond Street, 1827.
Acquired through the Lucie King Harris Book Fund for Music

Described as an English opera enthusiast and amateur composer, Mount Edgcumbe is said to have attended the King's Theatre, London, from the age of nine, and acquired sufficient musical skill to compose an opera, Zenobia. He recorded his experiences in Musical Reminiscences of an Old Amateur Chiefly Respecting the Italian Opera in England for Fifty Years, from 1773 to 1823 (London, 1824). Subsequent editions (1827, 1828, 1834/R) extended the period under discussion. The Reminiscences are a valuable complement to contemporary British writings such as those of Charles Burney and William Parke. Mount Edgcumbe's tastes were formed during the late 1770s and early 1780s and were reinforced during his European tour of 1783–5, when he visited Vienna and various Italian cities (he again travelled abroad in 1802). His vivid descriptions of the leading singers of the age, several of whom he knew personally, shed light on matters such as the allocation of roles. ~Grove Online

3. Symphonie / von Gustav Mahler.
Wien : J. Weinberger, [1899?]

3. Symphonie / von Gustav Mahler.
Wien : J. Weinberger, [1899?]
Acquired through the Susan & Ruth Sharp Book Fund.

Dritte Symphonie D Moll / von Gustav Mahler.
Wien : Universal-Edition, [19--]
Acquired through the Susan & Ruth Sharp Book Fund.

The first and second editions of Mahler’s third symphony increase the number of source materials for the work in the Memorial Library of Music in the Department of Special Collections, which already included two sketches and a corrected first edition. This copy of the first edition contains extensive manuscript corrections and alterations in a neat hand in red ink throughout, possibly from a member of Mahler’s circle, or of a professional copyist from the publisher Universal. Stanford owns another copy of the first edition which also contains corrections by an unknown source. Mahler is known to have constantly revised his works so that sources such as these may provide significant insight into his process. Besides the two annotated first editions at Stanford, there are other annotated copies at the Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft in Vienna, which has corrections in Mahler’s handwriting and another hand, the Library of Congress, and New York Public Library. The handwriting in the first Stanford copy and the New York Public copy seem to be similar. We do not fully know what the relationship is between these copies or what the information in them tells us. When one compares the newly acquired first and second editions, it is evident that the corrections and alterations noted in the first edition were made in the published second.

Additional images, with examples of annotations and corrections:

 

Detail, The Metaphysics of Notation, by Mark Applebaum

Mark Applebaum, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory in the Department of Music, composed The Metaphysics of Notation specifically for installation at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. The complete work includes a full hand-drawn score (72’ in length, in twelve 6’ panels), two corresponding mobiles, and the print now hanging in the Music Library, which reproduces the entire drawn score. These physical elements provided visual information for musicians, ranging from Stanford students to seasoned professionals from around the world, to give 45 weekly public performances (Fridays at noon) from April 3, 2009 throughFebruary 26, 2010. Documents of the project include audio recordings and still photographs of every performance, and a short video and documentary DVD commissioned by the composer.

To herald the arrival at the Music Library of this beautiful work, violinist and Lecturer in Music Erik Ulman performed an excerpt from the score on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Both composer Applebaum and performer Ulman answered questions from an appreciative audience of students, faculty and staff.

For more about the work, see the video, The Metaphysics of Notation, MDVD 1289.

There are also several performances posted on YouTube, including one by Sam Adams, and one by the Quadrophonnes.

There will be a screening of The Singing Revolution Thursday night in the Annenberg Auditorium.

From the event posting:

Most people don’t think about singing when they think about revolution. But song was the weapon of choice when Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. The Singing Revolution is an inspiring account of one nation’s dramatic rebirth. It is the story of humankind’s irrepressible drive for freedom and self-determination.

The Singing Revolution tells the story of how hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly between 1987 and 1991 to sing forbidden patriotic songs and share protest speeches, risking their lives to proclaim their desire for independence. While violence and bloodshed were the unfortunate end result in other occupied nations of the USSR, the revolutionary songs of the Estonians anchored their struggle for freedom, which was ultimately accomplished without the loss of a single life.

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers James and Maureen Tusty. For more information on the film, please visit singingrevolution.com.

Thursday, September 27, 2012, at 7:00 pm
Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building

Detail showing shape notes used in four-syllable fasola solmization, in The Easy Instructor (Albany, NY, 1808)

 

“To please the taste of the public”

Early American Tune Books

(1761 – 1808)

 

Five early American tune books and one facsimile edition are on display in the Music Library through December 2012. Items include William Billings' The Singing Master's Assistant (Boston, 1781); Andrew Law's The Art of Singing (Cheshire, Conn., 1794); and, Jeremiah Ingalls' The Christian Harmony (Exeter, 1805).

Over the course of the 18th century, congregational singing in Protestant churches suffered a slow deterioration as European traditions and practices became increasingly removed from Colonial life. The typical call-and-response hymn singing, in which the congregation mimicked lines sung by the preacher, had devolved into a cacophony due to the congregation’s lack of vocal skill and musical training, combined with increasingly individualized interpretations of traditional European tunes, poorly remembered. In order to strengthen participation in worship, a “new” way of singing from notes, as opposed to the “old” way of singing from memory, was needed.

Enter the singing master and the singing school. The singing master was an itinerant teacher who set up schools in communities where people desired to learn to sing from printed music. This was one of few avenues for a musician to make a living at that time. Singing schools, which charged modest fees and were open to both men and women, were the first form of public music education in the fledgling United States.

That the sexes could mingle in approved communal (supervised) surroundings was a bonus for many of the younger participants. Learning music through psalm singing was also a way to cultivate a young person’s talent while at the same time saving them from the negative moral influences suspected in Italian opera music, also popular at the time.

A market for tune books, which included rudimentary music instruction and 3- and 4- part hymns, anthems, and other tunes, quickly developed. Around the turn of the 19th century, over 300 editions representing 150 titles were in circulation. Music making had become a vital part of life in the new nation. These books also represented the first flowering of indigenous American composition, including many pieces by William Billings, Andrew Law, Samuel Holyoke, and Jeremiah Ingalls.

Monterey Jazz Festival logo

An article in SF Gate celebrating the opening of the 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival highlights the MJF Collection in the Archive of Recorded Sound.  The article, by Jeanne Cooper, includes an interview with Jerry McBride, Head of the ARS. 

 

Read it here.

Visit the Monterey Jazz Festival Collection page.

Congratulations Jerry!

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