Kéler Béla (1820-1882) had an interesting career which included turns as a law student, farmer, violinist, composer, and conductor. Born in Hungary, Kéler spent much of his musical career in Austria and Germany, but remained a Hungarian patriot at heart. The csárdás, a Hungarian folk dance, was a form favored by the composer, and while many today may not be familiar with Kéler’s name, they may be familiar with his op. 31 Csárdás Bártfai Emlek. This piece was used as the basis for Brahms’s 5th Hungarian Dance, and comparing the piano, 4 hands versions of both compositions shows them to be strikingly similar.
Starting today, you can subscribe to an RSS feed of all materials added to Sibley’s Digital Scores Collection. This means access to real-time alerts for all new scores as they’re posted.
To start following our Digital Scores Collection through RSS, head over to our collection page at UR Research. Click on the new Recent Submissions RSS button, and add the feed to your RSS reader.
Nadezhda Nikolayevna Rimskaya-Korsakova (1848-1919) was a pianist, composer, arranger, author, and the wife of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. Born into a musical family, she began playing the piano at age 9, and went on to study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Though she gave up most of her compositional work after her 1872 marriage to Rimsky-Korsakov, instead dedidicating her energies towards supporting his musical career and caring for their large family, she continued to arrange reduced versions of orchestral scores, a skill she had learned under the tutelage of Alexander Dargomyzhsky. She arranged a number of vocal scores and piano, 4 hands transcriptions of works by Russian composers such as Borodin, Glazunov, Dargomyzhsky, and even her husband.
A number of her arrangements are being digitized here at Sibley, as we progress through the piano, 4 hands materials, including a version of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.
Nelia Casella was part of a generation of female sculptors who rose to prominence at the start of the 20th century. Long seen as an art form reserved for men, sculpture became much more accessible around the turn of the century, thanks in part to the popularization of mediums such as clay and wax. During her career, Casella exhibited numerous wax and enameled glass works at the Royal Academy, and other arts and crafts exhibitions in and around London.
Though known more for sculpture, Casella’s works also included watercolors and illustrations. She collaborated with her fellow artist and sister Ella Casella on illustrations for works of children’s poetry, including Dreams, Dances, and Disappointments, by G.A. Konstam. A digitized copy of this work has been made available via the University of Florida’s Digital Collections.
In 1900, Casella completed illustrations of the fairy tale Cinderella to accompany a programmatic piece by Percy Pitt for piano, 4 hands. Sibley Library may be the only institution in the United States to hold a copy of this edition, but thanks to our current digitization project, it’s now available as a full-color scan.
Inside Higher Ed recently ran a story about University of Rochester’s online repository software, which hosts Sibley’s digital scores and many digital resources from the University. In addition to providing digital content to the public, UR Research also serves as a virtual workspace for students and faculty.
Read more about it here
Read the University’s recent press release here
Leonardo De Lorenzo (1875-1962), was an Italian born flutist, and the first flute instructor at the Eastman School of Music. De Lorenzo began playing the flute at a young age, but spent several years in the Italian military before completing his formal education at the conservatory in Naples. In 1910, he came to America as the principal flutist for the New York Philharmonic. He subsequently played with the Minneapolis Symphony and Los Angeles Symphony before landing in Rochester as a member of the Eastman Theatre Orchestra. In 1924, the Eastman School of Music added orchestral instrument programs, and took in De Lorenzo and other ETO members as the first instructors.
After his retirement in 1935, De Lorenzo focused on his own writings and compositions, publishing his book, My Complete Story of the Flute, in 1951.
Musical scores take more abuse than any other printed material that I know of. Musicians push scores flat on their stands, scribble on them with indelible inks, and turn their pages with spastic and graceless motions (while they’re concentrating on other, more controlled and graceful motions). These are terrible problems for us digitizers, and here at Sibley are compounded by the fact that all of the scores we’re working with are at least 90 years old, and printed on acidic paper, which has invariably become very brittle. In the interest of time, it is almost always better to try and repair a physical score, and then scan it. The following example is of a score that was beyond our capacity to repair physically, and so I’ve taken the scan and tweaked it with Photoshop.
We do our scanning with Acrobat 9 Pro. Scores are done in black and white, and we adjust the threshold of every scan to adjust for balance. For extreme cases like the above score, I use Photoshop to hide the damage. This page was ripped through, and taped on each side with some sort of cellophane tape, probably in the 50′s. Because it was taped on both sides, the glue trapped inside has liquified, and made the paper completely transparent, which is why the print shows up from the opposite side.
Photoshop CS4 has a really great black and white setting, (Image/Adjustments/Black & White…..) from which you can choose a number of presets. I always go for the ‘Yellow Filter’ since all of our pages are yellowed over time, and then max out the ‘yellows’ slider on that. You can see below how nicely it converts, and the filter window with the setting I typically use.
What is left over is the print from the opposite side, and some dark markings from the tape. While it may be possible to finish the job by further adjusting the brightness and contrast, this will often be to the detriment of the rest of the print, which becomes very light, and of the background, which becomes speckled. In order to do a really nice job, I use the cut and paste functions, as well as the eraser, to manually recreate the music that has been damaged. I never draw notes on the page, I just find notes and chords elsewhere on the score and use them as replacements. The picture below shows two lines of repaired music, along with a small window on the bottom left containing the notes I’ve collected for use in the third line.
The clean notes in the left window will be moved into the larger window, and the staff lines will be cleaned up/replaced to create a perfectly clean measure.
When we do use tape (which is most of the time), we use Filmoplast, made by NESCHEN in Germany. Filmoplast uses a water soluble acrylate adhesive, and a transparent paper, rather than cellophane plastic backing. It also scans really well, becoming almost invisible.