Reverting to Type. . .

Spine of Deryck Cooke, The Language of Music, OUP, 1959 (UL classmark: MR824.c.95.6)

On reflection, it isn’t really surprising that so many of the items forming the Deryck Cooke Archive are undated and even unidentified. Not only was Cooke’s death in October 1976 sudden and unexpected, but his workload in those last years can fairly be described as Herculean – with writing, lecturing, and work on his ‘performing version’ of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony all continuing alongside a full-time job as BBC Music Presentation Editor. Small wonder, then, that much of Cooke’s Nachlass looks like the accumulating papers of a man whose concentration upon present tasks left no time at all for the labelling and categorising of things he’d completed. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

From the stacks: Locke’s “Melothesia”

Matthew Locke

Matthew Locke

Whilst we were preparing our tribute to Chris Hogwood last month, I looked out our copy of Matthew Locke’s Melothesia [MR340.c.65.1] as Chris had prepared a modern edition for OUP, published in 1987 [M340.a.95.532.5], and was immediately captivated. So I thought it would be a pleasant diversion to look in a little more depth at this extraordinary publication for this particular episode of “From the stacks”. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

To celebrate, to commemorate: Marion Scott and Ivor Gurney

Breast pin formerly owned by the composer from the Marion Scott Haydn collection.

Breast pin formerly owned by the composer from the Marion Scott Haydn collection.

A few days ago I was leading a “Behind the scenes” tour of the UL Music Department. I’ve done quite a lot of these over the last 5 years or so, and I’ve now got a fund of interesting stories to tell interspersed with all the statistics and backlog gazing. One of the stories concerns Marion Scott. Scott, musicologist and violinist, bequeathed us the Marion Scott Haydn collection – MRS. 1, the first of our “named” collections (collections that were donated by a specific person or group).

During the Second World War, Marion Scott left London and moved to Bridgwater, Somerset. While staying there she was visited by the local evacuation officer in search of a spare room to house a child. He was stunned to discover that one of the rooms belonged to “Dr. Haydn”, not an émigré Austrian, but the room housing Scott’s extensive collection of Haydn memorabilia; all of which is now housed here at the University Library. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hallowe’en & Birtwistle

Pumpkin Bieber

A sight almost too terrifying to behold – photo by Matt McFarland

In case the pumpkins, fancy dress costumes and decorations in orange and black weren’t enough of a clue, it’s Hallowe’en today. Are you going to do anything to mark the date? How about carving a pumpkin with a favourite tune, or a picture of your favourite composer/performer? (Sadly a quick image search yielded far too many images of Justin Bieber carved into the side of a pumpkin to actually want to share the results of my search with you, but maybe you can do better). Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

To celebrate, to commemorate: Chris Hogwood (1941 – 2014)

Some of the many publications with Chris Hogwood edited, or wrote.

Some of the many publications which Chris Hogwood edited or wrote. © Cambridge University Library.

We were all deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of Chris Hogwood last month. His was a delightful presence when he visited the UL Music Department and he is much missed. Others have eloquently expressed his seminal role in the establishment of historically informed performance, so what we would like to do in this little celebration of his life is to share some personal memories. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

At the event: The William Alwyn Festival

Southwold. Acrylic by William Alwyn, painted in 1978. Copyright The William Alwyn Foundation. Private collection.

Southwold. Painted by William Alwyn in 1978.
Copyright The William Alwyn Foundation.
Private collection.

Last weekend I travelled down to Suffolk for the William Alwyn Festival situated in and around Southwold. The Festival is now in its fourth year. As well as promoting the work of Alwyn himself, the Festival concentrates on the work of twentieth-century British composers, often featuring forgotten works, and sometimes even forgotten composers. There are plenty of old friends too.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bygone concert venues 7: St. James’s Hall

Interior of St James's Hall from Routledge’s Guide to London c.1870

Interior of St James’s Hall from Routledge’s Guide to London c.1870

This is the post that should have come along before Treasure Grove and Wot no ice cream?. Why? Because St. James’s Hall is the venue where these concerts all took place. We have a small, but fascinating collection of about 250 programmes spanning 1867 – 1904 for the Hall from Hans Richter’s orchestral concerts, to the Monday and Saturday Popular concerts of chamber music together with a pot-pourri of others suitable for all days of the week.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment