So today at one of the schools that I teach at I was looking through some music that was donated to us and came across some sheet music with a very interesting cover:
It is a collection of pieces by Claude Debussy, one if my all time favorite composers. The pieces are very well known: “Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum”, “Golliwogg’s Cakewalk” among others. I was immediately intrigued because of the date of the publication, 1908, which was during the composer’s lifetime. Turns out that this is a first edition, published in Paris by A. Durand & Fils. I don’t know yet how many of these were published but I love primary sources so this is an exciting find and I’ll be sure to get it to someone who would like to use it for further research.
I love the inscription on the inside from the composer which reads, “To my dear little Chouchou, [the nickname of the composer’s daughter], with tender apologies from her father for what follows”. As if these pieces needed any excuse! But a loving inscription nonetheless.
I am happy to announce that the Rose Life Concert Series will be having it’s first event on September 28 at 7:00 at Sierra Vista Community Church in Upland, so I invite you to mark your calendars 🙂 We will be performing music by Beethoven, Mozart, Beach, Massenett, and more. All of the proceeds will go to benefit Assure Pregnancy Clinic in Montclair. For more information about the series you can visit our webpage: http://daniellecumminsviolinist.com/roselife/
I just discovered a new composer that I would like to find out more about. His name is Stefans Grové. A South African composer, he studied at Harvard under Walter Piston during his masters degree studies. He currently lives in South Africa and has written extensively for a wide variety of ensembles. I’m always on the look out for composers and music and it will be exciting for me to learn more about his music for violin and chamber ensembles.
Many Baroque composers, German and Italian, were very fascinated with the direct correlation between emotions, music, and words. Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) was just such a composer and is well known for his vivid musical depictions of Biblical texts. Saul, Saul from his Symphonia sacrae is an excellent example of one of his works. It’s the moment when God calls to St Paul and says, “was verfolgst du mich” (why do you persecute me?). The voice comes in low and builds into a strong clear summons. One can easily imagine being present at St Paul’s conversion. Here is a performance by a group called the Victoria Consort.
I have exciting news for those of you who have been studying Geminiani’s treatise “The Art of Playing the Violin”. The entire treatise is available online as part of IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project). This is an amazing resource for many thousands of public domain compositions. You can find Geminiani’s treatise at http://imslp.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Playing_on_the_Violin,_Op.9_(Geminiani,_Francesco)
I will be continuing the discussion about how Baroque musicians and composers thought about expressing emotions through music and will be looking at specific writings and examples.
For those who want to apply Geminiani’s writings directly to his music, now you have his treatise and a website that contains his compositions.