Among the most significant works for orchestra in the Archive are printed editions of symphonies of Haydn and an early copyist’s manuscript of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 1.
Haydn’s Symphony no. 99 is one of his “London Symphonies,” nos. 93-104, composed for impresario Johann Peter Salomon and performed during Haydn’s visits to England in 1791–1792 and 1794–1795. The early edition shown above is annotated in manuscript with a numbering designation used by the printer. By “full band” the printer indicated a complete set of parts for Haydn’s original instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings. Also present in the Archive are Salomon’s arrangements of the twelve London Symphonies for two violins, flute, viola, cello, and piano. Salomon’s signature appears at the bottom of the title page:
A set of well-used volumes contains early editions of orchestra parts for Haydn’s Symphonies no. 97 and 100, as well as works of other composers. Volumes are present for second violin, viola, bass, basso obbligato, flute, oboes, and horns. Some parts have manuscript additions or performance annotations, such as this bassoon part for Haydn’s Symphony no. 100:
Accompanying the volumes are additional parts in manuscript for serpent and trombone, neither present in Haydn’s original instrumentation. The serpent, a bass wind instrument named for its curved shape, predated modern valved brass instruments and was commonly used in 18th century military bands. It is not clear why these parts were added. As these instruments are typically present in sets of parts in the Archive, they may indicate the preferred instrumentation of ensembles employed at the royal court.
Images of the complete set of volumes and additional parts are available in Beinecke’s Digital Library.
Another intriguing set of orchestra parts is a manuscript copy of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 1, part of music for the Duke of Cumberland’s band. Beethoven composed his first symphony during 1799-1800, and the work was first performed and published, in parts, in 1800. The Archive’s copy, written in an unidentified hand, is on paper watermarked 1804, likely indicating early performances of the work. As with Haydn’s Symphony no. 97, instrumentation has been altered by additional parts for serpent and trombone.
Images of the complete set of parts are available in Beinecke’s Digital Library.