Spot the mistake…
My colleagues in the Japanese Department recently put up an exhibition in and around the Anderson Room / AOI Pavilion, celebrating this year’s Winter Olympics. Of course this prompted me to think about music and winter sports – surely among our massive collection of Victorian songs, we must have something to celebrate winter sports; after all the Victorians loved skating. And, yes, of course we do, but it’s also a little more complicated than you might think….
Have you spotted the mistake? The skaters, who seem to be twirling on ice, are actually roller-skating their way around the Royal Aquarium. Roller skating was enormously popular in the late nineteenth century, you can tell this by the plethora of roller skating music that litters the collections: from the skaters of the Royal Aquarium to a dedication to the ladies of the Prince’s Skating Club (each one a keen roller skater). This song substantially pre-dates the Prince’s Skating Club, which was founded in 1896 in Knightsbridge – this later club (almost certainly a development of the earlier club) was the site of the first Varsity ice-hockey match in 1900. It would later become a home to elite figure skaters, and was the base for the figure skating events at the 1908 London Olympics, the only time that Winter Olympic medals were competed for in this country. Continue reading
With songs to do with the sea still fresh in my mind after last week’s post, a reader enquiry about a particular song in the MusiCB3 collections brought Grace Darling (A1892.226) to my attention. This song by Felix McGlennon tells the story of Grace, and the part she played in the rescuing of survivors of the shipwrecked steamer SS Forfarshire.
One afternoon in late December, the conversation at MusiCB3 turned to ships and sea songs. It was Margaret’s Christmas post (which looked at some of the nautical aspects of Christmas stories, such as Sinterklaas arriving in the Netherlands by boat) that prompted this, but it set us off thinking about sea songs in general. Numerous nautical but non-Christmassy items began to catch my attention then, so for this post I thought I’d revisit them…
First and foremost a very happy and healthy 2018 to all our devoted followers! It falls to me once again to look ahead and pick out some of the anniversaries which I am particularly looking forward to. The last few weeks have been spent working steadily through all the books in Hans Keller’s library (eh? Where is she going with this? I hear you think. Fear not, all will become clear) – that’s a different post of course, so watch this space…but, in amongst the many, many volumes was Volume 9 of the Fifth Edition of Grove’s Dictionary (Eric Blom’s masterpiece) [MR410.c.95.22]. Flicking through and noting the annotations alongside the entry for Webern, I came, at last, to Appendix I which to my delight provides a chronology of who was born and who died when. So, I have taken this as the basis for my choices. Here goes: Continue reading
The festivities have come and gone, and it’s a brand new year. Susi will be blogging later this month about all the exciting musical things we have to look forward to in 2018 including, I suspect, a few MusiCB3 teasers; while Helen will be looking at our brand new Library Management System following the retirement of Voyager and Newton in December 2017.
The start of the year is always a good time to look back on the previous year, and its highs and lows, so here are some musical highlights and some fond farewells from 2017.