You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 10, 2011.

One of the items in my Second Anniversary Give-away ( which will be drawn on Sunday- so if you haven’t yet added your comment to the post, may I encourage you to do so if you’d like a chance of winning the prize) is a newly released CD of music from the Austen family’s manuscript music books.

Entertaining Miss Austen is the fruit of the labours of Professor David Norris of Southampton University, where he is Professor of Performance. You may however be more familiar with his work from the enjoyable historical iPod series of programmes on BBC Radio 4. In the first series we  heard the supposed contents of Jane Austen’s iPod, and even the imagined content of the iPod which Emma Hamilton might have owned.

The new CD features music from the eight manuscript music books that were Jane Austen’s property.

This is one of them, open at the Duke of York’s March, which is an arrangement of  Non pui andrai from TheMarriage of Figaro by Mozart. These books  are part of the  Jane Austen’s House Museum’s  collection in Chawton. But in addition, the CD contains  a selection of music from a further nine music albums which were owned by various female relations of Jane Austen. For years they have been held in private collections but they are now  held by the Chawton House Library. As Jeanice Brooks and Samantha Carrasco write on the Southampton University website:

These pieces are drawn from 17 music albums that belonged to Jane Austen and her female relations. Like many similar collections associated with gentry families of the period, this is a heterogenous set, including compilations of printed sheet music, manuscript albums copied into pre-ruled music books, compilations of separately copied manuscripts, and scrapbooks mixing print and manuscript items.

At least seven women from Jane Austen’s close family owned or copied music in the collection. Austen herself was responsible for a large portion, as was her sister-in-law Elizabeth Bridges, wife of Jane’s older brother Edward Austen Knight. One manuscript copied by Elizabeth was bound for her in August 1799, around the time when Jane herself spent many hours in music copying, an activity which apparently led to some teasing from her sister-in-law: in January 1799, Jane wrote to Cassandra, ‘Elizabeth is very cruel about my writing Music; – and as a punishment for her, I should insist upon always writing out all hers for her in future, if I were not punishing myself at the same time’.

Jane’s mother Cassandra Leigh, sister Cassandra, sisters-in-law Eliza de Feuillide and Eleanor Jackson (first and second wives of her brother Henry), and niece Fanny Knight also contributed material to the Austen collection. A few items (and in one case, most of a manuscript) came into the Austen family’s possession through more distant relationships: for example, from Ann Cawley, née Cooper, the sister of their uncle Cooper on their mother’s side, to whom Jane and Cassandra were sent for schooling in 1783; or from Mrs Henry Jackson, Eleanor Jackson’s mother. Several of the books were started by one family member and continued or used by another; many bring together several copyists’ hands or collectors’ signatures within a single binding. As a set, they are a rich illustration of family ties that domestic music-making and its material culture helped to sustain.

Music was an important part of Jane Austen’s life. She managed to scrape money together from a legacy from Mrs Lillingston a family friend, to have a pianoforte in Bath to replace her piano which had been sold when she and her parents left her childhood home at Steventon. Later, she played on her piano every morning at their Chawton cottage, and probably used this time as thinking time.  Cassandra and Mrs Austen arranged their domestic route at Chawton around her, so it must have been important time for her and her imagination. Her letters are peppered with many references to music and playing, and of course, she used  the love of music very effectively in her novels, often using it to represent a female character’s passionate nature.

The whole collection is now being studied as part of a major research project  undertaken by Professor Jeanice Brooks again of Southampton University. Samantha Carrrasco, the pianist, is basing a thesis on the Austen books. Exciting times.

The CD was recorded at Hatchlands, above, a National Trust property in Surrey ,which also houses the famed Cobbe Collection of Keyboard Instruments. The pieces were played by David Norris on an 1817 Broadwood Grand Piano. Jane Fairfax, you will recall is given an unexpected present of a Broadwood piano from her secret fiancé, Frank Churchill,in Emma:

That very dear part of Emma, her fancy, received an amusing supply. Mrs. Cole was telling that she had been calling on Miss Bates, and as soon as she entered the room had been struck by the sight of a pianoforté — a very elegant looking instrument — not a grand, but a large-sized square pianoforté; and the substance of the story, the end of all the dialogue which ensued of surprize, and inquiry, and congratulations on her side, and explanations on Miss Bates’s, was, that this pianoforté had arrived from Broadwood’s the day before, to the great astonishment of both aunt and niece — entirely unexpected; that at first, by Miss Bates’s account, Jane herself was quite at a loss, quite bewildered to think who could possibly have ordered it — but now, they were both perfectly satisfied that it could be from only one quarter; — of course it must be from Col. Campbell.
Chapter 26

This particular piano has an additional link to Emma; it is signed and was owned by the composer, Johan Baptist Cramer. He is the only composer Jane Austen referred to by name in Emma:

“Here is something quite new to me. Do you know it? Cramer. And here are a new set of Irish melodies. That, from such a quarter, one might expect. This was all sent with the instrument. Very thoughtful of Col. Campbell, was not it? He knew Miss Fairfax could have no music here. I honour that part of the attention particularly; it shews it to have been so thoroughly from the heart. Nothing hastily done; nothing incomplete. True affection only could have prompted it.”
Chapter 28

The selection on this CD is fascinating.It includes a performance of  the song, Robin Adair, by Kiallmark of Kings Lynn. In Emma Frank Churchill mischievously claims the song is Mr Dixon’s favourite as he and poor duped Emma listen to Jane Fairfax playing it in the Bates’ small apartment. It is, of course, a coded message of love to Miss Fairfax, to whom he is secretly engaged, for part of the lyrics to the song read:

Yet he loved so well
Still in my heart shall dwell
Oh I can ne’er forget
Robin Adiar

The CD contains three songs which Caroline Austen, Jane Austen’s niece,  said were her aunts most particular favourites. The first is Que j’aime à voir les hirondelles,which is the song Caroline remembered her aunt singing the most. The other two songs were  Songs from Burns, and The Wife’s Farwell .  Also included on the CD are songs with lyrics by Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire,and the playwright, Richard Sheridan. He famously adored Pride and Prejudice even though he  was unaware of it’s author’s identity.

The songs are sung by the soprano, Amanda Pitt and the baritone, John Lofthouse. I really like this CD, and think it is heads and shoulders above the other Jane Austen music CDs that I have in my collection. My only criticism is that in only a few instances is attribution made regarding the particular album from which the songs originate. This is a little confusing to my poor brain. Adding this information to all the songs on the CD sleeve  would have been fascinating and helpful.

You can download the lyrics and some notes to the songs here. The CD is available from the publisher, Duttons and on Amazon.  As someone who finds extending listening to the “bare” sound of early pianos rather trying, low be it spoken, I think it says a lot for the running order of this CD and the performances on it that I can happily listen to it without pause.

I can cheerfully recommend this CD to you. I look forward to more exciting finds, books and CDs when the research undertaken by the University of Southampton is completed.

If you are not a Wordpress member, just add your email here to subscribe to this site.

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Visit our sister site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen’s Letters

Visit our sister site: Jane Austen's Letters

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen's Letters

Join Austen Only on Twitter

Recently Tweeted

Austenonly on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Categories

Copyright Notice

Copyright: This site and all images and information complied within are copyright Austenonly.com unless otherwise stated/attributed.No permission is given/implied for any use of this site, the information and images contained therein, for any commercial use whatsoever. No material may be copied in any form without first obtaining written permission of the author, save that extracts of posts may be used on other non-commcerial sites on the internet, provided that full and clear credit is given to Austenonly.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content( that is, a link must be provided to the original post/image with full attribution ). The existence of the RSS or ATOM feeds in no way authorises wholesale or part transmission of posts or parts of posts to another site without prior permission being given and attribution stated. Any sites using RSS or ATOM feeds in this way without obtaining prior written permission of the author of this blog will be subject to legal action.

Currently Reading

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas by Rebecca Smith

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmasby Rebecca Smith

Recently Read

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

The London Square by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

The London Square” by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear  by Serena Dyer

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear” by Serena Dyer

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

 The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 2)

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801 edited by Nancy K Shields

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography by Susanna Wade Martins

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830 by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain Edited by John Bonehill and Stephen Daniels

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

The Dress of the People by John Styles

The Dress of the People by John Styles

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

Austenonly Flickr

November 2011
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  
Protected by Copyscape plagiarism checker - duplicate content and unique article detection software.
Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
UK Blog Directory
wordpress counter
%d bloggers like this: