On the street

Kouter 1763

Kouter Square, Ghent, 1763. Public domain
STAM, Stadsmuseum, Gent.

I’ve just finished cataloguing a new edition of an eighteenth century chorus for 3 voices and continuo De roep van de strate (MRA.260.201.97). What particularly fascinated me about it is that it is a selection of street cries ostensibly following the tradesmen and women that worked in Ghent‘s Kouter Square during a Sunday morning market around 1752. The cries were published in a collection of “old and new songs” collected by Ferdinand Augustijn Snellaert in the nineteenth century, part of the growing interest across Europe in folk music.

Street cries have always fascinated me, ever since coming across an arrangement of Thomas Weelkes‘ “humorous fancy”, a setting of the Cryes of London in an old News Chronicle anthology (M205.b.90.2) as a child. So come with me for a musical shopping trip across Europe… Continue reading

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“At a festival you are bound to enjoy yourself”: Hans Keller at the Edinburgh Festival

A selection of programmes for the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival in the Hans Keller Archive.
© Sarah Chapman.

Founded by Rudolph Bing, Henry Harvey Wood and Sidney Newman, The Edinburgh Festival celebrates its 70th birthday this year – to which we at MusiCB3 wish many happy returns! There is an excellent account of the generation of the Festival on their website which explains: “Our founding ideal vision was never so clearly embodied than in our inaugural year, when, following Nazi persecution, the renowned conductor Bruno Walter was re-united with the Vienna Philharmonic.” Bing, a Viennese opera impresario had also supported John Christie in the establishment of Glyndebourne Opera after his move to London in 1934 and Newman was Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University. In the audience for those concerts was another who had survived that persecution, having escaped Vienna in December 1938 by the skin of his teeth and come to London to join his mother and sister – Hans Keller.

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New DVDs at the Pendlebury

July was a good month for DVDs here at the Pendlebury – there are now over 500 DVDs in our ‘opera and ballet’ section! Read on to discover some of the latest additions to stock…

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In search of Quixote

Third authorized edition of Don Quixote / Cervantes.
Valencia : Pedro Patricio Mey, 1605
(Hisp.8.60.7)

When not up to my neck in the world of MusiCB3, I read….a lot…probably far too much (if that’s possible). My current read is a novel that I’ve been meaning to tackle for a very long time – Don Quixote. It’s one of those books where the sheer size can be rather off-putting, but as soon as you start reading, it grabs you and doesn’t let go. So for the last week I’ve spent most of my spare time in early seventeenth-century Spain.

Of course there’s plenty of music that has been inspired by Don Quixote too, so where to start? Where better than with Roberto Gerhard? Continue reading

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Jane Austen 200

This week, the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death has been marked in many different ways, including a statue unveiling, and a first look at the new plastic ten pound note featuring Austen, which has already attracted comment over its choice of quotation. Through the year in Cambridge there have been lots of Austen-related events, including exhibitions and illustration competitions. Keen to get in on the action, today MusiCB3 looks at Austen and some of her musically-inclined characters…

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Water Music 300

Handel by Thomas Hudson, 1748

This month, Handel’s Water Music celebrates its 300th birthday, so we here at MusiCB3 thought we’d take a moment to slip anchor, and go on a little sailing trip for ourselves to see what we might catch. And may I say, how pleasant it is to be back in the 18th century, taking a little break from the delights of the Hans Keller archive. So, to business:

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Riga, Liigo!

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IAML, the International Association of Music Libraries, Associations and Documentation Centres, has a great tradition of organising annual congresses all over the world, providing music information professionals with the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the field, liaise and network, and help shape and influence the profession and future developments. The conference this year took place in Riga, during the week leading up to the summer solstice celebrations, Liigo. Continue reading

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