Hidden Gems! Facsimiles of Composer’s Manuscripts

The music library is very lucky to house a collection of facsimiles of composer’s work which are absolutely fascinating. They give you big picture ideas of how the composer worked and their process, but they also give you fun facts, like the type of pens/pencils used, or how the composer signed their names or wrote treble clefs. Most of them have commentary by musicologists. I took a few photos to highlight our collection, but come by the library to check out these incredible pieces of work!

Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846-869 

The autograph score contains later revisions and alterations reflecting the composer at work. Christoph Wolff provides a commentary to the work’s genesis and the characteristics of Bach’s handwriting.

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Dvorak’s Cello Concerto op 104 pg 45

This Facsimile contains not only the complete manuscript of the full score, but also Dvorák’s own piano reduction which is an important source. Jan Smaczny also comments on the history of the work’s composition and its reception. He also points out particularly interesting parts in the manuscript and discusses performance traditions which developed during the 20th century.

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Debussy’s Prelude l’apres midi d’un faune

This is a sketch before it was completely orchestrated into the final version.

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Here are some other examples of what we own!

Frederic Chopin’s etude op 10, no 3

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Brahms’s symphony N3 op 90

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Beethoven’s Piano Sonata op 109

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