Blog topic: Rare books

Janet Sakai moving from Special Collections to Acquisitions

January 13, 2016
by Glynn Edwards
After many productive years in the Department of Special Collections & University Archives, Janet Sakai is moving to a new position in Acquisitions. Janet joined us fourteen years ago as an administrative assistant to Roberto Trujillo, the Field Curator of Special Collections, but quickly demonstrated her talents as a cataloger.
Joseph Goldyne exhibit poster

Joseph Goldyne: Books, Prints & Proofs opens in Green Library Bing Wing

September 21, 2015
A new exhibition on the second floor of the Green Library Bing Wing features the work of artist Joseph Goldyne, whose unique small-format prints using intaglio printmaking processes are credited with reviving the art of the varied edition monoprint beginning in the late 1970s. After earning a medical degree at UCSF (1968), Goldyne turned his full attention to art and never looked back. His work is informed by his study and documentation of human anatomy as well as his near-encyclopedic knowledge of art history, credentialed by a graduate degree in fine arts from Harvard.
 
Aldine Greek Bible 1518

A large collection of early printed leaves

July 10, 2015

Stanford University Libraries is the grateful recipient of a very generous donation of some 700 individual leaves from early printed books, the gift of Donn Faber Downing and Letitia Leigh Sanders. The vast majority of these leaves are from books from the 15th and 16th centuries and serve not only as examples of which texts were being printed with this “new” technology (Gutenberg’s Bible was printed about 1455, the first book printed in the western world with moveable type) but also how these texts were presented: their typefaces, page layout, and format.  It is a remarkable, rich collection, and will be used in a wide variety of classes.

The Queen of the Night, detail from Mozart's Zauberflöte

Opern-Typen: opera meets the comics

January 12, 2016
by Ray Heigemeir

Opern-Tÿpen. Berlin : G. Kölle, [ca. 1882]

Opern-Tÿpen consists of six volumes of chromolithographic plates depicting scenes from 54 operas popular in 19th century Germany. Each opera plot has been distilled into a mere six frames, with liberally adapted accompanying text. The visual charms of Opern-Typen are evident. The plates reveal a sophisticated understanding of the effective use of line, gesture, and composition to convey drama and comedy in a tight narrative sequence. Future research may determine if these drawings captured or were informed by real-life performances, as is suggested by the inclusion of staging and scenic elements.

Portrait of Joseph Haydn, By Thomas Hardy (1791)

Rare Haydn materials in the Stanford Libraries: a summary

January 26, 2015
by Ray Heigemeir

Over the past several months, I have been blogging about rare Haydn materials held in the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library of Music, including one autograph manuscript, one important letter, and nine first or early score editions. Each item was digitized for deep storage in the Stanford Digital Repository, and high-quality, downloadable images have been made available to the world via links in SearchWorks. Thanks go to Astrid Smith, Rare Book and Special Collections Digitization Specialist, and the Digital Production Group for their excellent efforts on behalf of this project in support of Haydn, Patronage, and the Enlightenment.

Orfeo e Euridice by Enrico Scuri, 1842, Musei Civici di Pavia

The opera that Haydn never heard

January 26, 2015
by Ray Heigemeir

Orfeo e Euridice [Orphée et Euridice] : dramma per musica / composto da Giusep. e Haydn ; traduit en vers français ; arrangé pour le piano-forte par Gerardin Lacour.
Paris : Mme. Masson, [1805]

Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 495

Link to downloadable images of this work

Original title on the autograph score: Orfeo ed Euridice; title in Haydn’s catalogue: L'anima del filosofo ossia

Composed in 1791 and headed for the boards in the new Haymarket Theatre, Orfeo was cancelled due to recurring arts-patron rivalry between George III and his son, the Prince of Wales. The King and the Prince supported rival opera houses and seasons. The Prince was a patron of the Haymarket, and George III took it upon himself to refuse to grant a performing license to the Haymarket’s manager, Sir John Gallini, effectively mothballing the production of Orfeo at the new theatre. 

Il Sodoma. Cupid in a landscape (1510)

Haydn's duets for lovers

January 16, 2015
by Ray Heigemeir

Deux Duos avec accompagnement de piano forte:
Saper vorrei se m’ami, HXXVa:1

Guarda qui, che lo vedrai, HXXVa:2
À Bonn : Chez N. Simrock., [1803 or 1804]

Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 490

Link to downloadable images of this work

This pair of pastoral duets for soprano, tenor, and piano were composed in 1796, a highly productive year for Haydn.  Other major works Haydn composed  that year include the Trumpet Concerto, the Missa Sancti Bernardi de Offida (‘Heiligmesse’), and the Missa in tempore belli (‘Paukenmesse’)The librettist was Carlo Francesco Badini, whom Haydn met while in London. Badini worked for the Italian opera house, and also supplied the libretto to Haydn's last opera, L'anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice

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