Following in the footsteps of New Old Books and recent acquisitions posts on the Cambridge University Library Special Collections blog, this week will provide a little taster of music items purchased from the estate of Christopher Hogwood. Our new treasures include music manuscripts, early printed music and concert programmes. The three items we will be looking at have been bought with the generous support of the Friends of Cambridge University Library.
Concert programmes form an important resource for musicological and historical research. They are however ephemeral materials and have in the past not systematically been collected, preserved and catalogued.
Christopher Hogwood, founder of the current Academy of Ancient Music, collected a very good range of concert programmes of the Concerts of Antient music and of the original Academy of Ancient music (founded in 1726). Although partial runs of Academy concert programmes can be found in libraries -at the University Library for example we already owned programmes for the years 1786-1792 at MR455.d.75.2 and MR455.d.75.3- this particular volume, an almost complete run covering the years 1791-1797, is the only known existing copy covering this time period and researchers used to visit Christopher Hogwood at his home to consult this particular volume.
As printed music item we have opted for a beautiful exemplar of Elias Brunnenmüller’s Fasciculus Musicus, published in 1710 by François Halma. This very rare first edition contains an allegorical title by Matthijs Pool (after Arnold Houbraken) incorporating an emblematic portrait of Queen Anne and a decorative dedication leaf by the same engraver and artist. Exquisitely bound in full contemporary dark red calf with gilt tooling, including the Royal coat of arms of Queen Anne gilt to upper and lower boards tooled to a “cottage roof” design, this copy may very well have been a presentation copy from the composer to Queen Anne.
Brunnenmüller, also known as Brönnemüller, was a German composer who moved to the Netherlands. He received a privilege to print his own music from De Staeten van Holland ende West-Vriesland. Included at the back of the copy, it describes Brunnenmüller as a citizen and music-master from Amsterdam and refers to his many travels throughout Europe where he has had “the honour to prove his thorough knowledge at the most important Royal Courts”.
Fasciculus Musicus consists of 3 suites for keyboard, 3 solos for oboe, recorder and violin with figured bass, three ariettes and one aria for high voice, (optional) oboe and figured bass.
Although Brunnenmüller’s music is nowadays largely forgotten, at the time it was of sufficient international importance to have made it into our final item on the list: an 18th-century manuscript of keyboard works by Handel, Couperin, and various other 17th- and 18th-century composers.
The manuscript includes an early version of William Babell’s remarkable transcription of Handel’s Vo fa guerra (first on display at our Encoding Music event and undoubtedly one of the star items in this manuscript), an unrecorded Menuet in F by G.B. Draghi, an unidentified and possibly lost piece in A major by D. Raick, and many known pieces, mostly containing some sort of changes or alterations compared to holographs, other manuscript copies and printed versions, making the contents quite unique. Looking at Brunnenmüller’s minuet for example, we can see some variations between manuscript copy and printed edition, with the manuscript copy providing a much more ornamented version.
Manuscripts such as these form a really important part of music research collections. Not only do they provide us with unique source materials and teach us about the music itself, they also shed light on repertoire, musical taste and performance practice at the time. In this particular manuscript, bound in early panelled calf, pieces have been copied in mainly two different 18th-century hands, with both French and English provenances and using different papers. The choice of pieces shows an interest in 18th-century keyboard works composed in or influenced by the then current international Italianate style.
This manuscript and the Fasciculus Musicus have been on display at the Friends Summer Party.