The latest release of Harvard’s Page Delivery Service (PDS) – the system through which we share our digital scores with the world – is live, and there are a few enhancements to share with you.
We spend a lot of time writing a structural outline for every score we digitize, to make it easier to find works, movements, scenes, and even single arias. While we’ll keep adding that full indexing, it’s now possible to navigate using thumbnail images of each page, as well: when you’re looking at a digitized book or score, click “Expand All,” then “Show Thumbnails” in the left-side navigation frame. This might be an interesting way to get a simple visual overview of a work’s structure, and I have to admit that for some scores, it’s just fun; take a look at the thumbnails for this copy of Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux: Ballet pour Enfants, and I think you’ll see what I mean.
The next addition is a “Cite this Resource” button: click this to get descriptions and persistent links for both the entire score and the single page you’re looking at. These aren’t perfectly-formatted citations, but they gather a lot of the information you’ll need in a bibliography or caption. Here’s a screenshot, using a page from La Boîte à Joujoux as an example:
Screenshot: PDS "Cite This Resource" Tool (click to enlarge)
And finally, the full print-to-PDF option is back! Requests for 10 or fewer pages are delivered in real time; if you request more than 10 pages, you’ll be sent a link to the PDF once it’s been processed (those links remain available for 7 days).
Ready to start exploring? Digital Scores and Libretti is, of course, my favorite, but check out other Digital Collections of Harvard College Library and Web-Accessible Collections at Harvard University for photographs, pamphlets, manuscripts, books, maps, and other rare materials ranging from Digital Papyri to Latin American Pamphlets.
– Kerry Masteller
Our project to digitize first and early editions of Verdi continues apace, with works selected from two of the library’s special collections of 18th and 19th century scores, the Packard Humanities Institute Collection and the Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Collection of Opera Scores. These five operas have been recently added to our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti:
Erminia Frezzolini / Charles Vogt (1855)
Bibliothèque nationale de France
- I Lombardi alla prima crociata: dramma lirico in quattro atti di Temistocle Solera; riduzione per canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte dei maestri L. Truzzi e P. Tonassi. Milano, G. Ricordi [1843?]. Merritt Mus 857.1.690.5 PHI
Hopkinson 40A(a): though not dated, this first complete edition was probably printed in June of 1843. The hugely successful I Lombardi premiered at La Scala on February 11, 1843, with Erminia Frezzolini in the prima donna role of Giselda.
- Ernani: dramma lirico in quattro parti di Francesco Maria Piave; posto in musica da Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte del maestro L. Truzzi. Milano: Tito di Gio. Ricordi, . Mus 857.1.504.5
Hopkinson 41A(c): a variant of the first complete edition, advertised for publication by Ricordi in August of 1844. The first of Verdi’s operas to premiere at a house other than La Scala, Ernani opened at La Fenice on March 9th, 1844.
- I due Foscari: melodramma lirico di Francesco Maria Piave; posto in musica da Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte di L. Truzzi. Milano: Dall’I. R. Stabilimento nazionale privilegiato di Giovanni Ricordi, . Merritt Mus 857.1.536.3 PHI
Hopkinson 42B(a): the first complete edition of the opera, premiered November 3, 1844, at the Teatro Argentina. Censors rejected Verdi’s original proposal for his first Roman premiere, an opera on the life of Lorenzino de Medici. He substituted instead I due Foscari, with a libretto by Piave based on Byron’s The Two Foscari, a subject which itself had been turned down by La Fenice, in part for its unflattering portrayal of the Venetian Republic.
Giuseppe Verdi. Title page, Giovanna d’Arco. Mus 857.1.540.5
Giovanna d’Arco: dramma lirico di Temistocle Solera; posto in musica dal maestro cav. Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione par canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte; completa. Milano: Tito di Gio. Ricordi, [1846?]. Mus 857.1.540.5
Hopkinson 43A(c): The last of Verdi’s five operas composed for Milan’s La Scala, premiered February 15, 1845. A variant of the first complete edition.
- Il corsaro: melodramma tragico di F.M. Piave; musica di Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accompto. di piano forte di E. Muzio. Milano: F. Lucca; Londra: Addison e Hodson, [1848?]. Mus 857.1.464
Hopkinson 49A(e), a variant of the first complete edition. Disputes over the rights to Giovanna d’Arco led Verdi to avoid productions at La Scala for over twenty years, and to publish his next three operas with Lucca, rather than Ricordi. Il Corsaro, which premiered at the Teatro Grande in Trieste on October 25, 1848, was the last work Verdi wrote while under contract to Lucca, and by all accounts it was not a success. One life-and-works article published in 1856, after several revivals, calls the opera “a solemn failure” (Giuseppe Verdi, The Musical World, 34:84 (Nov 29, 1856), p. 758).
For further reference, see:
Hopkinson, Cecil. A Bibliography of the Works of Giuseppe Verdi, 1813-1901. New York: Broude Brothers, 1973-1978.
Loewenberg, Alfred. Annals of Opera, 1597-1940. 3rd ed. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978.