Arianna a Naxos was first published by Artaria in Vienna in 1790, followed by this London edition printed for Haydn by John Bland and first offered for sale on June 10, 1791. Bland was instrumental in bringing Haydn to London, and provided Haydn’s first lodging there in January 1791. Bland had visited Haydn at Eszterháza. One day during Haydn’s grooming routine, he heard the composer complain about his dull razors. “I’d give my best quartet for a pair of good razors,” he exclaimed, upon which Bland raced back to his room, grabbed his new British razors, and presented them to Haydn. In exchange Bland received the manuscript for the Quartet, op. 55 No.2, the “Razor” Quartet. Or so the story goes. We do know that Bland took away the manuscript for Arianna and a contract to publish Haydn’s flute trios.
Staff at the Archive of Recorded Sound recently came across a particularly unusual item while unboxing and sorting the Denis Condon Collection of Reproducing Pianos and Rolls, part of the recently announced Player Piano Project here at Stanford.
This small roll, just 4.5 inches wide, was found among approximately 7500 of its larger brothers and sisters - the reproducing piano rolls that make up the Condon Collection. Following further research, it was discovered that this roll was designed for a toy, a type of player saxophone called the Playasax, produced by Q.R.S. Q.R.S are in fact the only surviving piano roll company still in existence today.
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.