Archive for November, 2009

Virtuoso performer and composer Antonio Scontrino (1850-1922) began his study of the double bass at an early age, performing on a modified cello prepared by his father, a carpenter and amateur luthier. Scontrino completed musical studies at the Palermo Conservatory, and in Munich, and spent time touring Europe as a bass virtuoso and orchestral musician. He settled back in Italy and returned to the Palermo Conservatory in 1891 as a professor of composition.

As a composer, Scontrino’s works reflect both his Italian and German training. His vocal works include several operas and works for chorus. Numerous instrumental works include a double bass concerto, an Adagio for violin and winds, and several pieces for string quartet.

Download the parts to his String Quartet in A minor


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3,000 Scores and More

We now have over 3,000 scores and books digitized and made available online thanks to the National Endowment for the Humanities. Lucky number 3,000 is the second piano trio by Samuel de Lange (1840-1911).

We have hundreds of other non-NEH digital scores and publications as well, including our collections of DMA papers, dissertations, and theses. Take a moment to check out our other digital collections.

Download Samuel de Lange’s Piano Trio no. 2

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St. Helen's Bishopsgate, where Tours served briefly as organist.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Berthold Tours (1838-1897) was trained as an organist and composer, studying in Holland and Germany before traveling to Russia in the service of Prince Yury Golitsïn in 1859. In 1861, Tours left Russia for London, where he would spend the rest of his career. He held various organist posts at churches throughout the city, and in 1872 began working as an editor for the music publisher Novello. While working for Novello he arranged vocal scores for many larger works by composers including Beethoven, Gounod, and Schubert, as well as some Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

Although best known as a composer of numerous songs, and music for the Anglican service, Tours’s works also include primers on the violin and viola, orchestral music, and chamber pieces such as his Petit Duo Symphonique.

Download an arrangement of the Petit Duo Symphonique for piano trio

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Download the four symphonies here


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Next Up: Vocal Music

As we finish processing and uploading over 300 trios, we’ve begun pulling scores from the next part of the collection we’ll be working on. Having gone through a good portion of our chamber music, we’ll be taking a detour into vocal music, and will begin digitizing songs for solo voice and piano in the coming weeks. About 700 scores from this part of the collection meet our criteria, so you can expect vocal music from Brahms, Cui, Debussy, Delius, Foote, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, and, of course, many lesser known composers.


We’ll return to chamber music sometime next year, with over 2,000 duos set to be digitized.

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