Photographs from the exhibition opening at the Beinecke last night, with a wonderful performance by the Jasper String Quartet.
Photographs from the exhibition opening at the Beinecke last night, with a wonderful performance by the Jasper String Quartet.
The Jasper String Quartet will perform Mozart’s String Quartet K. 387 and Beethoven’s String Quartet op. 59, no. 3 on Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 5:15 PM, at the Beinecke Library. The concert and reception will celebrate the opening of the exhibition “God Save the King: Music from the British Royal Court, 1770-1837.”
This early edition of Mozart’s string quartet K. 387, shown above, was published in London circa 1797, as part of a set of three quartets: K. 387, 421, and 458 (“Hunt”). Together with K. 428, 464, and 465 (“Dissonance”), these quartets are known as the “Haydn Quartets,” a set of six works composed by Mozart in Vienna during 1782-1785 and first published by Artaria in 1785, with a dedication to Joseph Haydn. A generation older than Mozart, Haydn is considered the father of the string quartet as a modern form of composition, and his works in this genre exerted a strong influence on Mozart. Haydn and Mozart were friends as well as colleagues, and are said to have performed quartets together in Mozart’s home in Vienna, with Haydn on first violin and Mozart on viola.
The Hanover Royal Music Archive’s edition of Mozart’s first three Haydn quartets was published by Lewis Lavenu (died 1818). Lavenu founded his London music publishing business at no. 23 Duke Street by 1796; the quartets appear to have been published soon after, as the paper is watermarked 1797. Manuscript annotations identify each part and indicate that these parts are the “1st” of two books, each of which contained three of the six quartets. Lavenu formed a partnership with Charles Mitchell in 1802 and continued his business under the name Lavenu & Mitchell. Mozart’s Haydn quartets were evidently popular with English musicians, as they were reissued by Lavenu & Mitchell circa 1805.
A label affixed to each part indicates that the music was sold at the premises of William Milhouse:
The Milhouse family (sometimes spelled Millhouse) were prominent makers of woodwind instruments in Newark and London. William Milhouse (1761-1834) had opened his London shop by 1787 and moved to 337 Oxford Street by end of 1797. Milhouse continued as a highly successful woodwind maker through the 1830s, claiming association with the royal family as manufacturer to the Dukes of Kent and Cumberland. While primarily an instrument maker, he also published and sold music, as is indicated by the label on the quartets.
Originally housed in this folder headed “H. R. H. E. D. C.” (His Royal Highness, Ernest Duke of Cumberland), the quartets are part of music performed by the private band of Ernest Augustus (1771-1851), Duke of Cumberland and later King of Hanover. Though most music of the Duke’s band is for wind band or orchestra, some chamber music is present, indicating both a flexible range of musicians employed by the Duke, and his interest in hearing these particular works.
Below are example pages from second violin, viola, and cello parts for Mozart’s string quartet K. 387:
God Save the King is being installed this week, for its formal opening on Monday, October 1. Below, a glimpse into the installation:
The Archive contains several pedagogical works for use in teaching and studying the playing of musical instruments. An example is Bartolomeo Campagnoli’s Nouvelle méthode de la mécanique progressive du jeu de violon:
Bartolomeo Campagnoli (1751-1827), an Italian violinist and composer born in Bologna, toured throughout Europe as a performer during the 1770s-1780s. Campagnoli worked on his Nouvelle méthode for violin while serving as music director at the court of the Duke of Courland, Dresden, 1779-1797, and as leader of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig, 1797-1818. He completed the work in Hanover, where he settled in 1820 with his two daughters, who were pursuing careers as singers. Published in 1824, the Nouvelle méthode was dedicated to Prince Adolphus, then vice-regent of Hanover. Prince Adolphus (1774-1850), one of the younger sons of George III, became Duke of Cambridge in 1801, and served as vice-regent in Hanover from 1816, during the reigns of his brothers George IV and William IV, until his brother Ernest Augustus became King of Hanover in 1837.
The Archive contains three copies of this work: two unbound as issued by the publisher, and one in a royal binding, dated at Hanover, 1823. It is unclear why the date on the cover predates the publication date: possibly a copy was given early to a royal patron, or perhaps the date on the cover is incorrect.
Contents of the Nouvelle méthode are in five parts, covering the elements of music notation and violin technique, with progressive exercises.
These exercises, from part one, are in the form of duets for a student and teacher:
Explanations of performing technique are supplemented with illustrations:
Campagnoli achieved more lasting success with his pedagogical works than as a composer. His Nouvelle méthode for violin was published in Italian, English, and American editions. He remains best known for his 41 caprices for viola, op. 22, which are still in use by violists.
As part of a household music library, the Hanover Royal Music Archive captures the musical interests of many of the fifteen children of George III and Queen Charlotte from the late eighteenth century through 1837. The archive was created because of one of these children, and represents the musical library which went with Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, to Germany when he became King of Hanover in 1837, and which he continued to develop at the Hanover court. The collection also documents the energetic musical life of the family household in England, whether in music notebooks, albums of printed and manuscript music, works dedicated and presented to members of the royal family, or the collection of the Duke of Cumberland’s band. In particular, the collection helps to bring into focus the musical lives of the six daughters of George III: Charlotte, Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia, and Amelia.
Several of the princesses were musically active. The collection is particularly interesting for its insight into the musical career of Princess Augusta, whose activities are documented from the 1780s through the early 1830s. The collection contains several music notebooks signed by her, with manuscript contents in several different hands, and these indicate that she not only played music at the royal household, but also spent considerable time thinking, discussing, and collecting music. The albums contain corrections and drafts of music, showing her interest in the practical nuances and details of performed music.
The collection contains many works dedicated to Augusta. In this, she can be seen as an active and influential patron of music in England, receiving letters, dedications, and presentation copies from composers. Her notebooks contain works, in print and manuscript, by important English court composers like Johann Christian Bach and Charles Edward Horn, as well as many dozens of other less well-known composers, encompassing musical genres from hymns to sonatas to Scottish ballads.
Also visible in the Hanover Royal Music Archive are the relationships between the children. Many volumes are inscribed to Augusta from her siblings: in some examples, Frederick Augustus inscribed an album of sonatas by Johann Forkel to Augusta in 1787, Augusta inscribed an album to her younger sister Amelia, and inherited one of Amelia’s albums from her brothers Ernest Augustus and Frederick on Amelia’s death.
Augusta never married, and remained in England until her death, at Clarence House, St James, in September of 1840. The archive holds a tremendous amount of material relating to her musical interests, from the late 1780s through the 1830s. As well as supporting research more generally in popular musical culture and the musical lives of households and the royal family in the period, the collection also offers the opportunity to focus on Augusta as a musical performer, consumer, and patron in England at the turn of the century.
The Archive contains several theoretical works on music that were supported by members of the royal family, either as dedicatees or subscribers. These are typically works of musicians who also received patronage as composers and performers. An example is Augustus Frederic Christopher Kollmann (1756-1829), who is represented in the Archive by compositions for keyboard and voice, An Introduction to the Art of Preluding and Extemporizing in Six Lessons for the Harpsichord or Harp, and An Essay on Practical Musical Composition.
Kollmann was born in Germany, where he began his career as an organist and teacher before serving as organist and schoolmaster at the Royal German Chapel in St James’s Palace, London, from 1782 until his death in 1829. During his career in England, Kollmann published works in English on instrumental instruction, music analysis, harmony, and composition. His Essay on Practical Musical Composition (1799) was dedicated to George III, who owned a copy of Kollmann’s previous work, An Essay on Musical Harmony (1796). The subscriber’s list was headed by Queen Charlotte and included the Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, and Princesses Augusta, Elizabeth, and Mary, as well as Charles Burney, John Peter Salomon, and other leading musicians. Kollmann’s signature, indicating his ownership of copyright, appears on the title page of the Archive’s copy, shown above.
Contents address composition of fugues, canons, sonatas, and symphonies, and styles of vocal, instrumental, and national music. Kollmann was influential in the revival of interest in J. S. Bach’s music in England; musical examples in the Essay include excerpts from Musikalisches Opfer and Die Kunst der Fuge. Kollmann cited Haydn’s London Symphonies as a source for his ideas on the newer compositional forms of sonata and symphony, and the Essay contains an early description of sonata form. In the section shown above, “Of Style and National Music,” Kollmann discusses music for church, chamber, theater, and open field, all genres well-represented in the Archive.
Fair Celia had some girlish Faults;
But then—How Celia stepp’d a Waltz!
And in that Season, it is known
Waltzing was everywhere the Ton.
Miss Caelia, though a sickly Maid,
No friendly counsels could persuade
To stay at Home, when Fashion’s call
Summon’d the Damsel to a Ball:
From Party, Opera or Play,
She might be coax’d to keep away.
William Combe’s tale of the poor dancing Celia, who “hop’d, her graceful Charms, Would Waltz her to a Husband’s Arms,” was famously illustrated by the English artist Thomas Rowlandson with a scene of a girl whirling in the arms of a skeleton. Combe and Rowlandson were not the first to celebrate the waltz’s gruesome charms, which in 1774 had also twirled the Young Werther, Goethe’s romantic hero, to his tragic love affair and fate. The Hanover Royal Music Archive also holds a view of the waltz by Rowlandson in 1806, showing all the indecorous dancing and delight which had become the waltz’s scandalous trademark. “See the waltz in page 3; and the account of it in the Xth letter of volume one of the Sorrows of Werter,” reads the caption, in case any of Rowlandson’s readers might have missed the scene’s romantic perils.
Waltz mania had struck England in 1812. Byron’s “The Waltz: an apostrophic hymn” (1813) satirizes the dance’s popularity–and its wild adoption by the Hanoverian court, in the wake of the Regency Act of 1811. “Blest was the time Waltz chose for her debut,” wrote Byron, “The Court, the R—t, like herself were new.” (Dyer 1997; Childers 1969). As the gallery above reveals, waltzing played a central role in the musical life of the Hanoverian household, and particularly that of the Princess Augusta Sophia, who inscribed several volumes of waltzes in the collection and to whom several waltzes were also dedicated. One album, consisting entirely of waltzes and other dances for two hands on the keyboard, is inscribed “Augusta, the gift of Charlotte” (OSB MSS 146, Volume 821). A collection of William Rogers’s waltzes and other compositions, shown below, was published by Rogers’s daughter after the death of George III, and dedicated to Princess Augusta. These and the images in the gallery above hint at the prominence of dancing and dance music in the Hanover royal family’s musical life, and represent only a selection of the dozens of albums of waltz and dance music–in print and manuscript, by British and Continental composers–to be found in the Hanover Royal Music Archive.
Imperial Waltz! Imported from the Rhine
( Famed for the growth of pedigrees and wine ),
Long be thine import from all duty free,
And hock itself be less esteem’d than thee;
In some few qualities alike — for hock
Improves our cellar — thou our living stock.
The head to hock belongs — thy subtler art
Intoxicates alone the heedless heart:
Through the full veins thy gentler poison swims,
And wakes to wantonness the willing limbs.
Oh, Germany! how much to thee we owe,
As heaven-born Pitt can testify below,
Ere cursed confederation made thee France’s,
And only left us thy d—-d debts and dances !
Of subsidies and Hanover bereft,
We bless thee still — for George the Third is left !
Of kings the best — and last, not least in worth,
For graciously begetting George the Fourth.
From Robert Byron’s “The Waltz: An Apostrophic Poem” (1813)
Childers, William.”Byron’s Waltz: The Germans and their Georges,” Keats-Shelley Journal 18 (1969): 81-95
Dyer, Gary. British Satire and the Politics of Style, 1789-1832 (Cambridge University Press, 1997)
Oxford Music Online (Oxford University Press)