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To Modest Ment͡synsʹkyĭ from Prisoners of the Wetzlar Camp
This publication, dedicated to the opera tenor Modest Omeli͡anovych Ment͡synsʹkyĭ (1875–1935), was produced by the prisoners from the Wetzlar camp for whom Ment͡synsʹkyĭ gave a performance in February 1916. It contains essays and poems dedicated to Ment͡synsʹkyĭ as well as the program of his performance and the lyrics of the songs he sang, which included poems by Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko. During World War I, more than a million Russian army soldiers were taken prisoner, of whom several hundred thousand were ethnic Ukrainians. The ...
A Collection of Songs of the Bukovina People
Bukovina is a region in southeastern Europe that is today partly in Ukraine and partly in Romania. Between 1775 and 1918 it was ruled by the Austrian Empire. It was annexed by Romania after World War I and divided between the Soviet Union and Romania after World War II. This book is a collection of song lyrics, gathered in the second half of the 19th century by the Bukovina journalist, anthropologist, and public figure Hryhoriĭ Kupchanko (1849–1902) for the Southwestern Department of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society. The selection ...
This antiphonary (a book containing the choral parts of the Holy Office) was transferred to the Biblioteca comunale degli Intronati di Siena in 1811 from its place of origin, the Augustinian monastery of San Salvatore in Lecceto near Siena. By virtue of its specific liturgical function, the antiphonary, designed for the use of the monastic community, contains both the daytime and the nocturnal services. It was illuminated in 1442 as part of an extensive artistic program within the monastery promoted under priors Bartolomeo Tolomei and Girolamo Buonsignori. A bull by ...
A Handbook on Theoretical and Practical Music
This 1825 manuscript, prepared for a print edition, is a handbook on theoretical and practical music, written in Katharevousa, a purist form of Modern Greek developed in the early 19th century and at that time widely used for literary and official purposes. The work is an introduction to the Byzantine notation for the liturgical chant used in the Greek Orthodox Church that most likely was intended for students of Byzantine ecclesiastical music. The text probably was written by a scribe named Basileios Nikolaḯdes Byzantios. On the first page, which is ...
Syr Darya Oblast. Singers
This photograph is from the ethnographical part of Turkestan Album, a comprehensive visual survey of Central Asia undertaken after imperial Russia assumed control of the region in the 1860s. Commissioned by General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman (1818–82), the first governor-general of Russian Turkestan, the album is in four parts spanning six volumes: “Archaeological Part” (two volumes); “Ethnographic Part” (two volumes); “Trades Part” (one volume); and “Historical Part” (one volume). The principal compiler was Russian Orientalist Aleksandr L. Kun, who was assisted by Nikolai V. Bogaevskii. The album contains some ...
Song Book by Hakob Meghapart
Tagharan (Song book), a collection of odes for the soul and the body, was one of the first five books published by Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner), who established the first Armenian printing press in Venice in 1512. Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at that time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora community played a critical role in keeping alive the Armenian language and literary tradition. The book is written in Grabar (Classical ...
Missa in B Minor ("Kyrie" and "Gloria" of the B Minor Mass)
In 1733, following the death of August the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) applied to the ruler's son and successor, Frederick August II, for a court title. Bach’s petition eventually was successful, and in 1736 he was named Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Court Composer. Bach had bolstered his application by submitting a missa brevis (brief mass, consisting of Kyrie and Gloria) dedicated to Frederick August. This work, the Missa in B Minor, which Bach with deliberate ...
Score of Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom and Other Compositions by Artemiĭ Vedelʹ
This manuscript is the only known work in the hand of Artemiĭ Vedelʹ (1767–1808), one of the most famous Ukrainian composers. It consists of six parts of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, 12 spiritual choral pieces, and a composition for trio with choir. Different colors of ink reflect the fact that the compositions were written at different times over a period of several years. In 1856 the historian, publicist, and professor at the Kiev Theological Academy, V.I. Askochenskyi, offered the score as a gift to the library ...
The Irmologion, “Rozniki,” and Feasts: A Liturgical Compilation with Hook Notation
An Irmologion is a liturgical book of the Eastern Orthodox Church and of some Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. It contains texts for singing in church called irmoi (introductory hymns, and sometimes concluding ones) for canons chanted at Matins and other services throughout the liturgical year. The term Irmologion comes from the Greek words for “link” and “to collect.” Rozniki (chants used for some specific occasions, such as Christmas and Easter) were mostly sung in Old Believer communities, who rejected 17th century reforms in the official Russian Orthodox Church. This work ...
The National Library Songbook
Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional (The National Library songbook) is a compilation of 1,560 Portuguese-Galician troubadour poems from the 12th−14th centuries. The poems are preceded by an incomplete text, Arte de trovar (Art of poetry), which gives practical guidance on composition of this kind of poetry, with a general picture of the rules of the genres developed by the minstrels and troubadours for their poems. Also known as the Colocci-Brancuti Songbook, the codex was made in Italy around 1525−26 by order of Angelo Colocci (1474−1549), an Italian ...
French Opera Theater, 1895−96 Season
Founded in Montreal in 1893, the professional troupe of the Théâtre de l'Opéra Français (French Opera Theater) moved to the Théâtre Français (French Theater), a renovated and electrified auditorium, one year later. The new venue was located at the corner of Sainte-Catherine Street and Saint-Dominique Street. In a context in which Quebec still had very few local professional artists and where theatrical and musical repertoire was primarily Anglophone, comedies, dramas, and operettas of the Théâtre de l'Opéra Français delighted the French-speaking Montrealers. Consisting of singers and actors from ...
This document is a fragment of an antiphonary of unknown provenance, dating from the 12th century. It is written in Caroline minuscule. The initial letter “S” is an example of Romanesque codex painting. The scribe and the illuminator are unknown. The script is stylized into a band of palmette decoration. It is difficult to determine precisely the historical context of the fragment, which could either have been produced in the Rhineland (Cologne) or the Danube River valley (Salzburg). The musical notation represents the German neume notation of the Salzburg circle ...
This illuminated folio with Metz Gothic musical notation comes from the liturgical codex of Canon Jan Han, who was a client of the Bratislava Chapter and the purchaser of this antiphonary. The illuminated initial “S” (Sanctum) with the first two martyrs of the Christian Church, Saint Stephen and Saint Lawrence, accompanied by Saint Vitus, is supplemented by the label Illorum effusus nos in patientia firmet (Their patience enabled us to stream forth), which dates the fragment to 1487. The bottom part of the acanthus decoration on the left margin contains ...
Carmen. Opera in Four Acts, Based on the Short Story by Prosper Mérimée
Although Carmen is today one of the world’s most popular operas, it opened at the Paris Comic Opera on March 3, 1875, to a mixed reception, much to the disappointment of its composer, Georges Bizet (1838-75). Bizet was one of the leaders of a new generation of French composers, and Carmen was the pinnacle of his career. The libretto, adapted from Prosper Mérimée’s short story by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, seemed scandalous to many who attended the opera. Célestine Galli-Marié (1840-1906), who played the role of Carmen ...
Photograph of Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley at the White House
This photograph shows Elvis Presley meeting with President Richard M. Nixon at the White House on December 21, 1970. That morning, Presley personally delivered a hand-written note to the security guard at the northwest gate of the White House, saying that he wanted to meet Nixon to present him with the gift of a World War II-era pistol and ask for credentials as an agent in the national war on drugs. Convinced that Presley was sincere and believing that he could be an asset in the fight against drug use ...
Letter from Linda Kelly, Sherry Bane, and Mickie Mattson to President Dwight D. Eisenhower Regarding Elvis Presley
Until the abolition of conscription in the 1970s, all American men were required to register for the draft. Celebrities were drafted alongside ordinary citizens, and the rock-and-roll idol Elvis Presley was no exception. Presley was inducted into the Army in 1958. He took the required haircut in stride, coining the phrase, “Hair today, gone tomorrow.” This letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, signed by three girls from Noxon, Montana, identifying themselves as “Elvis Presley Lovers,” asks that the president not cut off Elvis’s sideburns. “If you do we will ...
Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836), a French army engineer, wrote the words and music to the “Marseillaise,” the national anthem of France, in the course of a single night in April 1792. He intended the song to be used as a marching song by the French Army as it entered the Rhineland, following the outbreak of war between France and Austria and Russia. This recording, made circa 1898-1900, is one of the earliest recordings made of the song. In 1893, Henri Lioret (1848-1938), a watchmaker by trade, developed a conical ...
Traditional Seminole Song - Rev. Josie Billie
Josie Billie was a member of the Florida Seminole people who lived his entire life on the Big Cypress Indian Reservation in Hendry County, Florida. Born December 12, 1887, Josie Billie was the son of Connie Pajo, also known to Floridians as Billie Cornpatch, the first Indian to receive a Western education in Florida. A Seminole medicine man and long-time public spokesman for the Florida Seminoles, Billie later continued his medical work as an herbalist and became a Baptist minister. He was a frequent participant in the Florida Folk Festival ...
Olney Hymns: In Three Books
Olney Hymns was compiled by John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace" and rector of a parish in Olney, England, and William Cowper, a poet and close friend of Newton. The book contained the first printing of "Amazing Grace," which is numbered "Hymn 41" and begins at the bottom of page 53. The profits from the hymnal went to the benefit of Olney's poor. Olney Hymns later was published in New York in 1790 and in Philadelphia in 1791. In his preface to the book, Newton argued that hymns ...
Canticles of Saint Mary
There are four manuscripts of the Cantigas de Santa María (Canticles of Saint Mary): this copy from the National Library of Spain that formerly belonged to the Biblioteca Capitular in Toledo, two copies in the Escorial, and one in Florence, similar to the Toledan copy, but unfortunately missing some content. Written during the rule of Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon (also known as Alfonso el Sabio, Alfonso the Wise), the canticles are a collection of monodic songs, in Galician language and mensural notation, in honor of the Virgin ...
Three Noh Songs: Takasago, Kamo, and Kantan
This large manuscript book dates from the middle of the Edo period (1600–1867). The title is found on the endpaper, inside the front cover. The book contains libretto and music notations of three Noh chants or songs, Takasago, Kamo, and Kantan, accompanied by six colorful illustrations of Noh actors. The paper has gold-painted designs underneath the text. Noh, a classical form of Japanese musical drama, developed in the middle ages. Actors, chorus, and musicians all appear on the stage together. The music, like the movement, is stripped down to ...