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Comtesse de Chambure

The Library acquired recently for its collection of rare books and scores 119 titles which formerly belonged to the famous French musicologist Genevieve Thibault de Chambure (1902-1975), id est, 49 musical manuscripts, 62 editions of printed music, and 8 printed books with texts concerning music.

In the complete list of these items the column '' contains the numbers of the catalog by Remi Ader, Bibliotheque musicale de la Comtesse de Chambure, 4e vente (Paris: Hotel Drouot, 25. 3. 1997). For printed editions up to ca. 1810 the number in the Repertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) is stated, too. The column 'Rarity' lists the number of copies shown in RISM, to which our library can be added with the siglum 'GR As' (allotted to it by the RISM Central Editorial Office). A few items have been listed in RISM under their earlier location, that is, 'F Pthibault'. Note also that several editions are not listed in RISM. Thus, to the best of our knowledge, the library owns the only extant copy of these editions

Most of the texts represent various aspects of the musical life of France and Italy during the period 1730-1860, but a few exceptions widen the scope geographically (Austria, Germany, Great Britain) or chronologically (the earliest book is dated 1665). The categories of music represented in the collection include mainly chamber music, opera (or excerpts from operas), and sacred music. Typical of the period are also the many printed collections and manuscripts of selected pieces from successful works in various arrangements or simplified versions which are intended for popularization. See, for instance, the Collection of 49 printed melodies, mostly from French operas, which a private user gathered in one volume about 1795. While every item of the collection can be used for the clarification of detailed questions, the whole illustrates a number of general tendencies in the transmission and the stylistic development of music. Especially interesting are the widely different roles which manuscripts are still playing during this period: from composers' working manuscripts with corrections and annotations (Bertini) to clean copies of scores written by the composer (perhaps Basili, Miserere) or professional scribes (Naumann, Onslow, Rinaldo da Capua), to manuscripts written by or for performers (Pergolesi, Guglielmi, Andreozzi, Haydn), and professional copies for the engraver (Corelli). Historically the collection bears witness to the transition from the late Baroque style to the classical and romantic idiom, as evidenced most clearly in the end of thoroughbass playing, as well as the early development of writing for the pianoforte (e.g. Eckard) and the new types of orchestras and chamber ensembles. From c. 1790 on, there is also a growing interest in early music, mainly in the field of religious music (Anerio, Palestrina).

An especially important feature are the 14 publishers’ catalogs from the period c. 1755 to c. 1801 found in these editions. Then - as now - many music publishers were reluctant to show the date of an edition openly on the title-page. But they sometimes inserted a catalog of their entire stock. Together with the contemporary press and legal documents these catalogs are among the most reliable sources for establishing the date of a musical edition, because publishers had an obvious interest in keeping them always up-to-date. Take a look at the complete list of these items and note that the publishers’ names and addresses are written exactly as they appear on the catalog pages. Dates and notes have been elaborated with the help of the standard work by Anik Devries and Francois Lesure, Dictionnaire des editeurs de musique francais, 2 vols. in 3 (Geneva 1979-88, DL), in which vol. I, 2 contains many facsimiles of such catalogs. But it has not yet been possible to compare also the complementary earlier publication by C. Johansson, French Music Publishers’ Catalogues of the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century, 2 vols. (Stockholm 1955).

Comments and illustrations

Filippo Baroni was active at Ancona around 1700. Little is known of his life and only 3 works by him were published, among them the Psalmodia vespertina for two 4-voice choirs, op. 2 (Bologna 1710). The library owns only the soprano part of the first choir, the first page of which is shown in the picture. Note the C-clef and the characteristic broken lines, resulting from the juxtapposition of types, each of which contains a narrow segment of the five-line staff with (or without) one note. This was the usual method of music printing from ca. 1530 to ca. 1700.

La Bohemienne is the French version (1756) of the opera La Zingara by Rinaldo da Capua (c. 1710 - c. 1770), his 'most famous work and the only one which has been preserved as a whole' (Alfred Loewenberg, Annals of Opera, 2nd edn, Geneva 1955, I, col. 222). The Italian version was performed for the first time at Paris in 1753 by the same troupe which had given in 1752 Pergolesi's La serva padrona and thus instigated the famous musical and literary dispute called 'Querelle des Bouffons' (see the collection of the numerous pamphlets edited by Denise Launay, La Querelle des bouffons, 2 vols, Geneva 1973, especially I, p. 710-711). The Library's copy is a complete score, written by a professional scribe and based on the printed edition RISM A I, R 1715. Note how the title-page reproduces all the details of the printed edition.

The Italian composer Egidio Duni (1708-1775) settled in Paris in 1757, where he introduced a new style of Opera comique which was generally more elaborate than previous French works and contained especially fine examples of ensemble writing.The Library owns full scores of two of his successful operas, i. e., Le peintre amou-reux de son modele (1757) and La clochette (1766). During the 18th century Paris was the only place, where new operas were regularly published in full score. At the beginning of the overture from the Peintre amoureux... the composer signed at the bottom of the page in order to testifiy that the edition is authentic.

Georg Joseph Vogler (1749-1814) was as a composer, pianist, and organ virtuoso a controversial figure on the fringes of the classical and romantic movements. He was also a noted theoretician and his students included C. M. von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer. The picture shows the last page from the soloist's part of an easy piano concerto in A major, engraved in 1784. Note the characteristic keyboard notation, in which the notes are divided among the two staves according to pitch and regardless of the hand which is playing them. Especially the left hand is thus continually moving from the lower to the upper staff and vice versa, as is seen in the first 4 bars of the page, etc. Modern editions would prefer to write this passage of the left hand entirely in the lower staff with a G clef.

A page from the study score of an operatic singer shows the highly ornamented style of the Neapolitan School (see especially the last staff). The carefully written manuscript (about 1785) contains the part of Meleo from the serenata Diana amante by Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi (1728-1804), given at the Accademia di Dame e Cavalieri, Naples, in 1781. The role of Meleo is a tenor, notated with the C clef on the 4th line, with the accompaniment reduced to a simple bass line (with the F clef).

The manuscript copy of 12 Italian Duetti A Due Soprani with an instrumental bass, written by a professional scribe at Venice circa 1790, raises a question. It is difficult to be sure exactly who was the composer of this work. The scribe writes twice unmistakably 'Giovanni Amadeo Hauman'. Because this name does not appear in any other source, one might rather think of the famous German composer Johann Gottlieb Naumann (1741-1801), who worked for some time in Italy and also used the Italian form of his Christian names. The work was distributed by the house of Alessandri and Scattaglia. Their name appears in the engraved frame of the title-page which surrounds the handwritten title.

Pasquale Anfossi (1727-1797) composed about 70 operas, but was also active as a church musician during the periods 1773-1777 (at Venice) and 1792-1797 (at Rome). The beginning of a soprano aria from his Laudate pueri (Psalm 112) for 7 voices and basso continuo is a concise and competent, but undistinguished example of the Neapolitan style which at the time served equally well for the theater and for the church.The manuscript score was probably written about 1795 by an experienced, though somewhat careless scribe. E. g. there is no clef and no flat sign in the bass part at the beginning of the aria and the spacing of the notes in the two parts is often not coordinated.

Politics and the classicism of the years following the French revolution determine the austere look of the title-page of the third edition of the opera Iphigenie en Aulide by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787). While the full score is printed from the plates of the original edition of 1774 and therefore disregards Gluck's later revisions of the music, the dedication to the King of France has been eliminated from the title-page. The added publisher's catalog enables us to fix the date of the present edition as circa 1800 (see DL, I, p. 58-59 and plates 46-47).

Judgements on the composer and pianist Daniel Steibelt (1765-1823) varied widely.Though he was successful with the public in general, some serious musicians dismissed him as a charlatan. The Grande sonate pour le piano forte... dediee... a Madame Bonaparte, op. 59, printed at Paris in 1800, demands some virtuosity, though its textures are rather simple. Interesting is the very extensive use of expression marks for pedalling etc. (see e. g. the 3rd system of the page). Some passages use in the original version the highest notes, not available on older pianos with a range of F' to f''', but the composer provides also alternative versions, which differ considerably. For a characteristic example see the end of the page shown in the picture.

The plan for the collected edition in separate parts of Ludwig van Beethoven quartets, trios, and quintets for strings was discussed between the composer and the publisher Maurice Schlesinger, when the latter visited Vienna in 1825. The Library's copy has title-pages with the imprint of the Societe pour la publication de musique classique et moderne of Paris, which Schlesinger founded in 1834. But the music is printed from the plates of Schlesinger's earlier edition, which appeared in 1825-1827 and answers in all details the description given by Alan Tyson in his article 'Maurice Schlesinger as a Publisher of Beethoven' (Acta musicologica, 35, 1963, p. 182-191). Note that the editions of the string quartets op. 132 and 135 originally appeared in August 1827, almost simultaneously with the first German editions published by Maurice Schlesinger's father Adolph Martin Schlesinger at Berlin. The Library has four of the five partbooks, id est, Violin I, Viola I, Viola II, Violoncello.

Known mainly as a piano teacher and author of successful studies and shorter pieces for the piano, Henri Bertini (1798-1876) wrote also a number of chamber works.The autograph of the parts of his 2nd Serenade for piano, violin, viola and bass, op. 31, was submitted to the Paris publisher Francois Lemoine ('Lemoine aine') around 1835. The page from the Bass part shows the composer at work, e. g. in the amended tempo indication (the 'Allegro' is changed to 'Allegro vivace'), added tempo indications in red ink above the 3rd and 9th staves, and in the deletion of 3 staves at the end of the page.

Nicola Antonio Zingarelli (1752-1837), a highly renowned composer and educator, was from 1813 to his death director of the Conservatory S Pietro a Majella in Naples. 'His most famous sacred work is the Christus e Miserere "alla Palestrina" for un-accompanied chorus, written for the students of the Naples Conservatory in 1826' (Rey M. Longyear, entry 'Zingarelli', The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. by Stanley Sadie, XX, London:Macmillan, 1980, p. 693). The page from the manuscript score shows the 4 parts notated with C clefs on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th lines, and the usual F clef for the bass. It was obviously written c. 1850 by an experienced, but rather careless musician and needed a number of corrections. Its original owner was the conductor and theoretician Cesare De Sanctis (1824-1916). The 'students of the Naples Conservatory in 1826' included the Greek composer Nicolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros (1795-1872) who remained in friendly contact with Zingarelli for the rest of his life.

Christoph Stroux

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