Entries Tagged as 'Ward Collection'

Monday, May 5th, 2014

You know where you can go

Today’s cataloging prize is a libretto of L’amore industrioso, text by Ferdinando Casorri. John M. Ward, the collector who donated this item, was particularly interested in the documentary evidence to be found in librettos.

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

DIY Devil

Franz Lehár’s operetta Die lustige Witwe opened at the Theater an der Wien on December 30th, 1905, and stayed open. The show was so immediately and immensely popular that instead of concluding at the end of the season for the customary summer hiatus, it simply kept running: by April 1907 it had been performed 400 […]

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

When a Tums simply won’t do

Oils of rosemary, lavender, thyme, marjoram, hyssop, rue, oranges, lemons …. Wait a minute, what is this doing in my ca. 1660 manuscript of country dance steps? Paper was scarce, and I frequently discover odd things written into the margins of early printed and manuscript books and scores. People doodled, tested their quills, and jotted […]

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Liquid Courage

“Liquid courage” takes on a particularly tame form in German dance folios dating to the Weimar Republic. Tea steeps in the titles of social dance serials such as Zum 5 Uhr Tee (To Five O’Clock Tea), Zu Tee und Tanz (To Tea and Dance), Zum Tanz-Tee (To the Dancing Tea), and Tanztee und Tonfilm (Tea […]

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Faustian correction

One of the great joys of cataloging at Houghton is that surprises lurk everywhere. From the most innocuous description in a box list one can stumble across masterpieces, or sometimes even more interestingly, milestones on the path to masterpiece-dom. Last night I opened what I thought would be an early full score of Gounod’s Faust, […]

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

What’s New: Méhul figures some bass

John M. Ward, one of the Theatre Collection’s most generous donors, cherished great admiration for the composers who survived the French Revolution. Cherubini, Paër, and Méhul were particular favorites, and Ward collected their music extensively. Believing as he did that keeping one’s head through such interesting times demanded special characteristics, he hoped that the materials […]

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Double vision?

I’m currently cataloging a nice run of English opera imprints from the 18th century, many published by John Walsh. This particular score, William Boyce’s The Chaplet, seemed to be another in much the same vein. These Walsh scores are engraved, and provide a wide variety of printing variations, both expected, and … unexpected. Now granted, […]

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

The birth of a score

Researching the publication history of music scores can be a difficult venture. Materials documenting the business end of contracting, engraving or lithographing, proof-reading, and finally printing an edition are often lost to history, but occasionally, a shining gem of documentation will appear out of nowhere. Recently, I had the good fortune to dine with Michael […]

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Wild Egon Wilden

Dedicated collectors gather materials in many different ways: they may buy a single specific work; they may acquire a “box of stuff” which they know includes one or more items they want as well as other materials which don’t interest them. Occasionally they even buy unseen an entire collection from someone who was known to […]

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Country dancing, Peninsular Wars-style

Today, Houghton Library observes the anniversary of John Milton Ward’s passing. Ward, a Harvard musicologist who turned to extensive collecting in his retirement, donated a “Magnificent Collection” of performing arts material to us over the course of many years before his death in 2011. One of his favorite areas of study was the world of […]