Month: July 2013

Newly Digitized: Cherubini and von Winter

In this overview of recently digitized materials, we add vocal scores by Luigi Cherubini and Peter von Winter to the works already in our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti. They belong to the Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Collection of Opera Scores, a set of over 8000 scores begun by the conductor Jean-Marie Martin, expanded by collector and book dealer Bernard Peyrotte, and now held at the Music Library and the Harvard Theatre Collection1.

Luigi Cherubini, 1760-1842

Whether the peril is an avalanche (Eliza), an importunate lover-turned-kidnapper (Faniska), a burning castle (Lodoïska AND Faniska), or the smaller spectacles of simple human jealousy and ambition, Cherubini can be relied upon for operas full of high drama. See our earlier digitization posts for links to other editions of these operas (both full and vocal scores), as well as a number of others.

Luigi Cherubini, Overture, Faniska. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

Luigi Cherubini, Overture, Faniska. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

  • [Deux journées. Vocal score. German & French]. Les Deux journées = Der Wasserträger: auch unter den namen, Graf Armand, oder Die beiden gefahrvollen Tage: ein Singspiel in drey Aufzügen / von Cherubini; Klavierauszug. Neue Ausgabe. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, [1818?]. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5
  • [Faniska. Vocal score. German & Italian]. Faniska: (italienisch und deutsch): eine Oper in drei Akten / von Cherubini; im Klavierauszug von Bierey. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, [1806?]. RISM A/I, CC 2028,I,234. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

Peter von Winter, 1754-1825
One of four operas that Peter von Winter, Munich’s Kapellmeister, wrote for the King’s Theatre during his stay in London from 1803-1805. Unlike the tragédies lyriques Winter composed for Paris, these works, all with libretti by Da Ponte, were considered successes. Grotta di Calipso was revived in Munich in 1807, as Calypso, and received a lengthy review in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung.2


Peter von Winter, Title page, Grotta di Calipso. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

Peter von Winter, Title page, Grotta di Calipso. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

  • [Grotta di Calipso. Vocal score. German & Italian]. Calipso: dramma per musica in due atti = Calypso / dal Sigr. P. Winter; im Klavierauszuge vom Musikdir. M.G. Fischer. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, [1809?].
    RISM A/I, W 1296. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.618.5

-Kerry Masteller


1. The collection includes scores in both the Loeb Music Library and the Harvard Theatre Collection. HOLLIS search results for catalogued scores in each library: Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Collection of Opera Scores (Loeb Music Library) and John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection (Harvard Theatre Collection). Many thanks to Andrea Cawelti and Christina Linklater, for their help in constructing the correct search for scores from the Harvard Theatre Collection.

2. [Review], Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung 9 (1 January 1807): 560-563, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433069052367?urlappend=%3Bseq=299.

Newly Digitized: Girolamo Crescentini, Sei cantate e diciotto ariette

A fixture of operatic and concert stages at the turn of the nineteenth century, the castrato Girolamo Crescentini (1762-1846) was particularly known for his showpiece aria “Ombra adorata aspetta,” which he inserted in Nicola Zingarelli’s Giulietta e Romeo (1796).1

By the time he published the collection Sei cantata e diciotto arietta, Crescentini had been retired from the stage for nearly a decade, after six years (1806-1812) spent at Napoleon’s court as a performer and teacher. When he returned to Bologna in 1813, he took a position at the recently-founded Liceo Filarmonico – today the Conservatorio di Musica G.B. Martini – before moving to a similar position in Naples.2 There, his pupils included Isabella Colbran, and his vocal exercises and treatises remained influential throughout the century with proponents of bel canto. A brief sketch of his career in the Musical World calls him “the Nestor and prince of song.”3

Girolamo Crescentini, Il Sogno. Merritt Room Mus 641.369.601

Girolamo Crescentini, Il Sogno. Merritt Room Mus 641.369.601

  • [Cantatas. Selections]. Sei cantate e diciotto ariette a voce sola con accompagnamento di forte-piano / composte dal Cav: Girolamo Crescentini. 1 ms. score (18 leaves). Merritt Room Mus 641.369.601

This manuscript contains the first two of six cantatas in the set, Il Sogno and Il Primo Amore.

Susan Euphemia Douglas-Hamilton (née Beckford), Duchess of Hamilton by Henry Cousins, after Willis (Willes) Maddox. NPG D35287
Susan Euphemia Douglas-Hamilton (née Beckford), Duchess of Hamilton.
Mezzotint, ca. 1850, by Henry Cousins, after Willis (Willes) Maddox.
NPG D35287, Courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London, CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Like the published edition, the title page (written in a different hand, on different paper) includes a dedication to the Duchess of Hamilton and Brandon, Susan Euphemia Beckford, who had assumed the title in 1819. A well-known and wealthy patroness, she had been made an honorary member of Bologna’s Accademia Filarmonica, most likely in 1821. Her personal effects, now in the collections at Lennoxlove, include her honorary diploma, as well as a Pleyel piano given to her by her father in 1828 (possibly used during Chopin’s visit to Hamilton Palace in 1848).4

Find a number of other manuscript scores, treatises and early editions, and images of Crescentini in Europeana. And don’t forget, you can browse many other scores in our special collection of Digital Scores and Libretti.

-Kerry Masteller


1. A vocal score of the aria, digitized by Houghton Library: Ombra adorato aspetta : scena in the opera of Giulietta e Romeo : expressly composed for Sigr. Chevalier Crescentini / by Sigr. Zingarelli. London : Published by Monro & May, 11 Holborn Bars (near Middle Row), [183-?]. Theatre Collection M1508.Z77 G5 1830. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.HOUGH:5360910.

2. Sartori, Claudio. Il Regio Conservatorio di Musica “G. B. Martini” de Bologna (Firenze: Felice le Monnier, 1942), 118-119. http://hollis.harvard.edu/?itemid=|library/m/aleph|000438640 (HOLLIS record).

3. “The Great Singing-Masters of Italy,” The Musical World 7 (1 December, 1837): 177, http://books.google.com/books?id=EgkVAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA177#v=onepage.

See also “Biographische Notizen ausgezeichnetster italienischer Gesanglehrer der neuern und neuesten Zeit,” Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung 39 (20 September 1837): 613-617, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.l0067816280?urlappend=%3Bseq=353.

4. Virtual Hamilton Palace Trust, “Hamilton Palace: Treasures of the Palace,” http://hamilton.rcahms.gov.uk/treasures57.html.

The collection also contains Willes Maddox’s 1852 portrait of the duchess at her piano: Susan Euphemia Beckford, Duchess of Hamilton, Wife of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton.

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