New music for singers

The third phase of the library’s printed music strategy got underway this year. Having built up our collection of jazz, full scores, and opera, it was time to focus our attention on solo songs and collections. Look out for new works by contemporary composers such as Michael Finnissy, Giacinto Scelsi, Robin Holloway, Thomas Ades, Piers Hellawell, Tansy Davies, Roxanna Panufnik, Joanna Lee, Lynne Plowman, and Sally Beamish, as well as new additions from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and modern repertoires.

This year we are looking to develop our collection of music for violinists (solo music and accompanied), so if you have any recommendations please let us know. Requests for specific pieces – in any category – can be made by completing a purchase request form, available at the enquiry desk or on Moodle.

The library’s most recent printed music acquisitions are listed here, please keep checking for updates!

Cover images are reproduced with the kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes and Hal Leonard.

New sheet music in the library – more jazz, more full scores and more opera!

South LibraryYou may recall that last year we endeavoured to strengthen our holdings of contemporary music; over 100 contemporary works were added to the collection.This year we’ve turned our attention to jazz, opera and full scores.

Our jazz section has been enhanced with new music by composers such as Oliver Nelson, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Wheeler and Herbie Hancock, as well as a host of anthologies, instruction manuals and transcription books.

Over 100 full scores, study scores & miniature scores have been added to the collection. Look out for new music by composers such as Toru Takemitsu, Nicholas Maw, Rodion Shchedrin, Harrison Birtwistle, Harry Partch, Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, as well as newly published editions of standard repertoire.

We hope our singing students will benefit from the many new vocal scores in the library. These range from 19th and early 20th century operas – composers such as Massenet (“Sapho”), Rouselle, (“La Testement de la tante Caroline”), Ibert (“Angelique”) and Verdi (“Oberto”) – through to contemporary works by Peter Eotvos (“Love & Other Demons”), John Adams (“Doctor Atomic”) and Dominick Argento (“Christopher Sly” & “Postcard from Morocco”).

We will be furthering the development of our vocal section in the coming year. This time the focus will shift to smaller scale works, in particular the library’s collection of solo songs & collections.

Keep checking the Library Info section of the catalogue for our most recently added titles

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

Opera for the cello: introducing Landrock and Kummer

A while back we promised that we would tell you more about some exciting finds we made in a donation of cello music. So, here goes…

Kummer l'elegant - Copy

L’élégant : divertimento on Herold’s opera Pré aux Clercs / Friedrich August Kummer, 1797-1879 (London : Wessel & Co., [183-?] )

As well as making lots of useful additions to our stock, we came across three extremely rare examples of early nineteenth-century opera arrangements for cello and piano. The works might not be well known today, but they offer a fascinating insight into contemporary music-making. They were composed with the domestic amateur market in mind, a growing middle-class group of people who could afford music, instruments and trips to the opera, and wanted to be able to recreate their favourite opera tunes in the home.

The first two pieces are arrangements by Friedrich Kummer of Ferdinand Hérold’s comic opera Le Pré aux Clercs. This opera had first been performed in Paris on 15 December 1832 and was considered to be one of the finest of its period. Kummer on the other hand was a little-known German cellist and composer who specialised in writing cello music for the amateur market. These two numbers he arranged from Le Pré aux Clerc – ‘L’élégant’ and the ‘Adagio and Rondoletto’ – were published in London soon after the premiere of the opera, demonstrating the speed with which music was adapted and travelled across Europe at this time. We also have an early edition of Le Pré aux Clerc in the special collections which formed part of Jullien’s Royal Conservatory of Music.

Landrock duo - Copy

Duo pour le piano et violoncelle sur les thêmes de l’opéra d’Auber Le Domino Noir / F. Landrock (Mayence [Mainz] et Anvers : chez les fils de B. Schott, [ca.1839])

The third example is by François Landrock and is an arrangement for cello and piano of Daniel Auber’s comic opera Le Domino Noir. This opera was first performed in Paris on 2 December 1837 and, again, was hugely successful throughout Europe. Landrock was a professor at the Geneva Conservatory and made this arrangement of the main themes of Auber’s opera around 1839. We also hold various full scores, vocal scores, and recordings of Le Domino Noir in the library so you can find out for yourself why it was so popular in the early nineteenth century.

We don’t know of any other copies of these arrangements in UK libraries, so if you would like to have a look for yourself, or would like performance copies made, then please get in touch.

Ronald Stevenson: RIP

Photo of Trinity Laban's Karl Lutchmayer with Ronald Stevenson and his wife Marjorie Spedding

Trinity Laban’s Karl Lutchmayer with Ronald Stevenson and his wife Marjorie Spedding (October 2014). Photo used with permission from Karl Lutchmayer.

We at the Jerwood Library are saddened to hear of the recent passing of Ronald Stevenson.

Stevenson was a gifted pianist and prolific composer, mainly composing songs and keyboard works. He was inspired by Busoni, and also drew on influences from Scotland (where he lived for many years) and elsewhere in his work. Malcolm MacDonald, his biographer, writes in Stevenson’s Grove entry that:

[His work] simultaneously draws inspiration from the folk music of many countries and uses the most sophisticated Western techniques.

Trinity Laban lecturer and pianist Karl Lutchmayer was close to Ronald Stevenson, and most recently visited him in October 2014 (as pictured above). Thanks to Karl, the Ronald Stevenson Society made a very generous and comprehensive donation of Ronald Stevenson scores and sheet music to the Jerwood Library. This donation has been fully catalogued and can be found on the library’s shelves. Follow this link to view a full listing of our Ronald Stevenson sheet music, or search our catalogue for Ronald Stevenson as composer and limit by type to sheet music/score.

In addition we own several recordings which feature Ronald Stevenson’s playing or his music, including this CD which combines both in one recording: his own 1964 performance of the 80-minute Passacaglia on DSCH, possibly the longest single-movement piano work in existence.

Martin Anderson describes the genesis of this piece in his obituary of Stevenson for The Independent:

He began a series of variations on DSCH (in German notation Shostakovich’s monogram gives the four notes D, E flat, C and B) and found that the music kept flowing – rather as Bach built the Goldberg Variations on a little lullaby and Beethoven his Diabelli Variations on a cocky little waltz.

If you would like to learn more about Ronald Stevenson or purchase any of his works, visit the Ronald Stevenson Society website. We also have Malcolm MacDonald’s biography of Stevenson in the library shelved at 789 STE.