The Music and Songs of Jane Austen
Posted by Caroline on July 20, 1998 at 11:30:49:
I've obtained a Casette Tape called The Music and Sons of Jane Austen by The Winsor Box and Fir Company. Here's a bit of the blurb from the card..
Jane Austen's House in Chawton, Hampshire contains eight anthologies of music which were assembled by the Austen family, including Jane herself over half a century of music making in the Austen home. Most of the 300 or so pieces of music were composed and published during Jane Austen's lifetime. Some survive in copies written out in elegant style by the authoress, although she was not a totally accurate copyist, for despite the quality of penmanship, there are many mistakes concealed within the innocent looking notes. The amount of work involved in writing out so much music suggests a true labour of love AND THAT Jane Austen considered these pieces to be very important to her; the collection must have involved many hours of work. To write music out by hand was a normal way of acquiring music until the advent of printe musical scores in the nineteenth century. Until the invention of quicker printing processes most music volumes were published in small runs on subscription only. Reading the list of subscribers(who were always listed by name in the front few pages of a new volume)can tell us useful facts about who was playing what music and in what part of the country..........
The collection is a mixture of songs and instrumental music. Most of the Chamber music survives with only the keyboard part: presumably Jane Austen played this herself and her friends who would come to Chawton to play kept their own parts to practice with them to rehearse in private before meeting together to make music.............
Here's a list of the music on the tape.
For Tenderness form'd in life's early day. G. Paisello
A popular song from a play
Sonata in G major J.F.X. Sterkel
an 'accompanied' sonata, like most of the keyboard works in the Austen collection, with the flute as the solo instrument.
Soldier's Adieu C. Dibdin
From the 'entertainment' called The Wags JA changed the Soldier to a Sailor ;-)
The Battle of Prague F. Kotzwara
"the indespensible climax to every concert" , In this dramatic piece the pianist shouts out "The cavalry!', then plays a few bars, shouts "The cannon! " plays a few bars of cannon sounds, etc. Includes 'the cries of the wounded', 'God Save the King' and 'Turkish Music'. Great fun!
The Mansion of Peace S. Webbe.
A slow, hymn. I think it's really beautiful.
The Egyptian Lovesong H. Harrington
This one has guitar accompaniment....rather lute-like and Elizabethan, but again, sounds like a Wesleyan Hymn
The Lamplighter C Dibdin
Form Dibdin'd one- man show The Oddities , a very funny song, sung in the vernacular.
Variations on Nos Galen
This is a lovely set of variations on Deck the Halls with boughs of Holly which may be by William Chard, Jane's piano teacher. Lots of ripples and flourishes
Corn Riggs Anon.
One of many ' Scotch Airs' in the collection , published in mid-18th cent. by Bremner. This recording uses Burns' rewriting of the text.
Sonata in D I. Playel.
Playel was very popular in 1790's England, apparently. JA had some two dozen of his works.
This is 'dedicated to Her majesty , Queen of Britain'. Lots of arpeggios and scales from the pianist.
The Irishman Anon
An Irishman, an Irishman, No-body loves like an Irishman !
Need I say more?
Pianoforte Duet in C T. Giordani
Most of the keyboard duets in the collection were arrangements of Orchestral pieces, but this apparently is an original composition. It's a lovely, gentle piece ...Ican just imagine Max Beasley and Samantha Morton (aka Tom and Sophia) having a lot of fun with this one!
The Ass Song W. Boyce
dating from about 1752, this piece is from the earliest volume in the collection. Jane herself seems to have given it's title. it's about a man and his stupidity.
This recording is available on CD or Cassette Tape. I bought it at Jane Austen's house in Chawton, and I do not know if it's available anywhere else. There are several others recordings of her music by the same group in the series, which is by ISI Records. Thre JA shop does do a mail order service. You'll find info on their number and address on the 'This Summer in England ' page.
- Jane Austen Songs Bob Whitworth 00:21:23 7/23/98 (2)
- CD I have it too, and is the fisrt song the Emma/Frank duet... caitlin 12:53:56 7/24/98 (1)
- Jane Austen songs Bob Whitworth 23:47:13 7/24/98 (0)
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