Category: New Acquisitions (page 1 of 8)

The secret garden of Pierre Bergé

The Loeb Music Library has just acquired three items previously owned by the French industrialist, arts patron and AIDS activist Pierre Bergé (1930-2017). A co-founder of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, Bergé cultivated a “jardin secret” all his life, accumulating important rare books and scores as well as Impressionist paintings, Old Master drawings and decorative ceramics.

There is a very rare first issue of the first edition of Mozart’s six Opus 3 trio sonatas, published in 1764. These were “Printed for the author and sold at his lodgings,” the house in Soho where eight-year-old Wolfgang Mozart, his sister Nannerl and their father Leopold resided during the London period of their  European tour.

The title page of a newly acquired Mozart score.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

Bound in are several items accumulated by owners prior to Bergé, including a note detailing the purchase history by the original owner, Thomas Jones (“It was of the little musician himself I purchased this book”), several newspaper items, and a portrait of the Mozart family.

This note was pasted into the score by its first owner, Thomas Jones.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

A newspaper clipping tells of a concert and an open house by eight-year-old Mozart.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

Mozart family portrait, pasted to a blank page preceding the score.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

This item was acquired by the Schafer Mozart Book Fund. Images of the entire score will soon be available online.

And there are two collections of early trio sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli, printed in Bologna in 1688 and in Venice in 1691.

The title page of a 1691 collection of trio sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli, published in Venice by Giuseppe Sala.

Merritt Mus 640.2.383.15

Two collections of late-seventeenth-century trio sonatas by Corelli, bound by the Paris firm Boichot.

Merritt Mus 640.2.383.15 and Merritt Mus 640.2.373.5

Like the rest of Pierre Bergé’s library, all three of these scores are exquisitely housed. The Mozart sonatas were bound in rich green morocco leather with gilt edges by the Victorian bookbinding company Blunson & Company, of whose work Harvard Library possesses two other equally magnificent examples. The Corelli scores were recently given pale lilac portfolios which slide into matching slipcases, an enclosure designed by Atelier de Libraire, a family firm in Paris. And all three of these items contain Bergé’s simple, elegant bookplate.

The bookplate of industrialist and collector Pierre Bergé.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

Merritt Room collections are available for use on site by anyone with a Special Collections Request Account. Please place your request by clicking “Request Item” in HOLLIS+, then wait to hear from Isham Memorial Library staff before planning your visit.

 

Arabic 78 RPM Records Collection: A Newly-Catalogued Treasure

On the shelves of Loeb Music Library lie treasures. The 78rpm Arabic records collection is only one of many. The collection contains over 600 records belonging to the Nahḍah era (Arab renaissance) of the early twentieth century. The recordings represent voices and instruments that shaped the music scene and aesthetic taste during the period between 1910 and 1950. The collection joins another of newer Arabic LP records.

The discs feature recordings of famous performers and composers who are recognized for their distinguished contribution to Arabic music, such as vocalist Yūsuf Al-Manyalāwī (1847-1911), Sayyid Al- Ṣaftī (1875-1939) who was nicknamed the master of dawr (a form of Arabic music), Umm Kulthūm (1904-1975), and Faraj Allah Bayḍā, who established Baidaphon records company, the first of its kind in the Arab world in early twentieth century. It also features shadowed and forgotten voices such as Aḥmad afandī Al-Mīr, Naʻīm Samʻān, and many others. That era also marks the first recordings of women vocalists such as Munīrah Al-Mahdiyyah (1884-1965), ʻAliyā Al-Aṭrash, and Laure Daccāsh.

Jaddidī yā nafs ḥaẓak. I-II Gaddidi ya nafs al-Marḥūm al-Shaykh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī (CRG 60061), AWM 78-60

One of the most important names of that period was the violinist Sāmī Al-Shawwā who introduced the violin to the traditional Arabic music ensemble (takht). Al-Shawwā performed with Yūsuf Al-Manyalāwī and Abd Al-Ḥay Hilmī whose voices were preserved on Gramophone Monarch Records and famous Baidaphon records.

Arab record companies, such as Baidaphon and Cairophon, are only a few among many other American (Columbia, Victor), European (Odeon, Orfeon), and Arab-American companies (Al-Chark, Alamphon) that recorded and released these notable Arab voices. Songs and performers from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Al-Maghrib exhibit the rich tradition of Arabic musical forms, namely the art of al-mawwāl (vocal improvisation), qaṣīdah (sung poems), muwashshaḥ (Andalusian sung poetry), ṭaqṭūqah (pop songs) and taqsīm (instrumental improvisation. Religious chants are also an important piece of the Arabic musical tradition. The collection includes Qur’anic recitation of Al-shaykh Ṭāhā Al-Fashnī and a rare record of a woman reciter Wadūdah Al-Minyalawī alongside Christian hymns of Father Gigis ʻAzīz Al-Jizzīnī.

Many items in the collections are rare and show distinctive inscription and information. What stood out the most was the first recording of plays’ songs in urban Cairo especially those performed by Salāmah Ḥijāzī (1852 – 1919). As soon as cinema was introduced to Egypt, recordings of the films’ songs were also released.

Anā mush ḥilwah by Nūr Al-Hudá (1924-1988) from the film Magd wa-dumūʻ, 1946 (Arabphon 503A), HOLLIS # 015109446

Acquired over a period of ten years, the Arabic 78 Collection joins the increasing yet still limited interest in the preservation of early Arabic music recorded heritage. Individual donations to the collection include the notable personal collection of Boston-based expressionist visual artist Kahlil George Gibran (1922-2008).

-Farah Zahra

The Archive of World Music is a special collection within the Loeb Music Library. Many of its rare and fragile recordings (other than commercial CDs, VHS tapes, and DVDs) must be reformatted for research use. Requests for in-library listening copies of recordings may be made at any time, but require one week to prepare. To make best use of your time at the Archive, please contact Peter Laurence, Curatorial Assistant in the Archive of World Music, in advance.

Browse the Arabic 78 collections in HOLLIS Classic:

 

أسطوانات جرامافون العربية: كنز يضاف إلى مجموعة مكتبة لوب للموسيقى

رفوف مكتبة لوب مرتع لكنوز فكرية وموسيقية. مجموعة أسطوانات جرامافون العربية هي واحدة فقط من بين العديد من الكنوز. تحتوي المجموعة على  أكثر من ٦٠٠ اسطوانة تعود إلى حقبة النهضة العربية في أوائل القرن العشرين، كما أنها تشمل تسجيلات  لأصوات وآلات شكلت أساساً للحياة الموسيقية والذوق الفني لفترة ما بين ١٩١٠ و١٩٥٠. تضاف هذه المجموعة إلى نظيرتها من الأسطوانات العربية الفينيل.

الأسطوانات تحفظ تسجيلات لمطربين وملحنين ذاع صيتهم بفضل مساهمتهم الموسيقية. نذكر منهم: الشيخ يوسف المنيلاوي (١٨٤٧ – ١٩١١)، سيد الصفتي (١٨٧٥ – ١٩٣٩) الذي لُقِّب بسيد الدور، أم كلثوم (١٩٠٤ – ١٩٧٥)، وفرج الله بيضا الذي أسس شركة بيضافون للإسطوانات التي تعتبر الأولى في مجالها في المنطفة العربية. كما تضم المجموعة عدداً من الأسماء اللامعة المنسية، منها: المطرب أحمد أفندي المير، المنشد نعيم سمعان وغيرهم. من أهم فناني تلك الحقبة كان الكمنجاتي سامي الشوا الذي بفضله أصبحت آلة الكمان من الآلات الرئيسية في التخت الشرقي العربي. اصطحب الشوا الشيخ يوسف المنيلاوي وعبد الحي حلمي في حفلاتهما التي سجلت على اسطوانات شركة جراموفون مونارك.

شركات الإسطوانات العربية كشركة بيضافون وكايروفون هي فقط بضع شركات إنتاج أضافت جهوداً اعتنت بتسجيل التراث الموسيقي إلى جانب شركات إنتاج أميركية (كشركة كولومبيا) وأوروبية (أودييون وأورفيون)، وعربية-أميركية (الشرق، الأهرام). مطربون ومؤلفون من مصر، سوريا، لبنان، فلسطين والعراق مثّلوا تنوع وغنى التراث الموسيقي العربي عبر فن الموال، القصيدة، الموشح، الطقطوقة والتقاسيم والإرتجال. التواشيح والتراتيل الدينية بدورها أيضاً من أهم الأشكال الموسيقية العربية.  فالمجموعة تضم تسجيلات لكبار قرّاء القرآن كالشيخ طه الفشني وتسجيل نادر لقارئة القرآن ودودة المنيلاوي صاحبة الصوت الشجي الذي تتناغم عذوبته مع تراتيل الأب جرجرس عزيز الجزيني. العديد من أسطوانات هذه المجموعة نادرة وتحتوي على أقصوصات وعلامات مميزة. أكثر ما يجذب الإهتمام هو التسجيلات الأولى لأغاني المسرح الغنائي القاهري الذي كان سلامة حجازي من رواده. كما أن بعض أغاني الأفلام الأولى حفظت على هذه الإسطوانات كأغنيات نور الهدى (١٩٢٤ – ١٩٨٨) في إطلالاتها السينمائية الأولى.

مجموعة الجرامافون العربية تنضم اليوم إلى الجهود المتزايدة المعنية بالحفاظ وتوثيق التراث العربي الموسيقي. التبرعات الفردية للمجموعة، كالتي قام بها الفنان التشكيلي اللبناني الأصل خليل جورج جبران (١٩٢٢ – ٢٠٠٨)، تبقى من أهم المصادر التي تساهم في بناء مجموعة الأسطوانات وغيرها.

فرح زهرة

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