Leon Robbin and Music at Georgetown

Leon Robbin Gallery
Howard W. Gunlocke Rare Book and Special Collections Room

Adam, Adolphe, 1803-1856

“Caprice sur Robin des bois"
Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but probably between 1824 and 1827, eight pages. The manuscript prepared for the printer for this composition for solo piano which is based on three themes from Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz, which appeared in Paris in 1824 as Robin des bois. With the composer’s dedication of the piece to a Madame de Runtzenheim and the printer’s indicated plate number. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Auber, Daniel-François-Esprit, 1782-1871

“Le Cri de charité”
Autograph manuscript, not dated but about 1841, 28 pages. Working manuscript of a romance for voice and a variety of instruments, with numerous corrections and emendations. This manuscript of the composition is not recorded in Schneider’s catalogue of Auber’s works. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Balakirev, Mily, 1837-1910

“Fragement [sic] de l’ouverture”
Autograph manuscript, signed, January 18/31, 1908, one page. A very long musical quotation from the overture to the composer’s incidental music for a production of Shakespeare’s King Lear. The composition of this work is not dated in The New Grove, nor is any publication of the work listed. Leon Robbin Collection.

Barber, Samuel, 1910-1981

“The Lovers”
Autograph manuscript, not dated but probably 1970 or 1971, three pages. Sketches for the eighth section of the composer’s setting for baritone, chorus, and orchestra of poems by Pablo Neruda, first performed in 1971. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827

[“Appassionata Sonata”]
Autograph manuscript, not dated but almost certainly 1804, two pages. The more finished page of sketches shows 26 measures intended for the first movement of the sonata, published in 1807 as the composer’s opus 57. Leon Robbin Collection.

Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827

“Neueste Grose Symphonie”
Manuscript, 1825, 110 pages plus title. A copyist’s manuscript of the first two movements of the Ninth Symphony, the second movement showing some variations from the work as published in 1826. A minuscule annotation on the title associates this manuscript with Beethoven’s sometime pupil and secretary, Ferdinand Ries, who led a performance of the symphony at Aix in 1825. Gift of Professor Anton Gloetzner.

Berlioz, Hector, 1803-1869

“Salut matinal”
Autograph manuscript, not dated but probably after 1850, one page. A rather elaborate musical joke, written “for the album of Mr. Mendès, white man of Europe.” Berlioz styles himself “Maître de chapelle” of Aimata Pomare IV, Queen of Tahiti (reigned 1827-1877), and in that office cobbles together a discordantly-ending salute to morning. Not in any Berlioz worklist consulted. Leon Robbin Collection.

Bowen, York, 1884-1961

“Concert Study No. 1 in F”
Autograph manuscript, signed, 1910, seven pages plus title. The printer’s copy of a frankly virtuosic study for the piano, a piece revealing clearly why Saint-Saëns would, as he did, think Bowen the finest English composer of his day. Published in 1920 as part of the composer’s opus 32. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Bülow, Hans von, 1830-1894

“Rondo (in B minor)”
Autograph manuscript, signed,  August 1, 1860, two pages. The first two pages only of working manuscript for an arrangement for piano by von Bülow of a keyboard work written by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788) in 1779. This manuscript dates from the period when the pianist, composer, and conductor von Bülow was teaching in Berlin. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Chaminade, Cécile, 1857-1944

“Chanson slave”
Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but probably 1890 or later, four pages. Apparently a fair copy manuscript, possibly prepared for one of the composer’s many admirers. In Britain and the United States fans formed “Chaminade clubs” from about 1905 on. The author of the text, not otherwise recorded, is given at the head of the manuscript as French prosateur and playwright Paul Ginisty (1855-1932). Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Chausson, Ernest, 1855-1899

“Mon amour d’antan”
Autograph manuscript [1882] three pages. A nearly-final version of a work for voice with piano accompaniment to a text by M. Bouchor, first published as part of the composer’s opus 8 in 1897. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Chávez, Carlos, 1899-1978

Autograph manuscript, signed, April 19, 1942, one page. A brief (29 bars) work by the Mexican composer for solo piano. The title is sometimes given as “Miniatura: homenaje a Carl Deis.” The first manuscript purchased for the library on the Robbin Fund. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Chopin, Frédéric, 1810-1849

[Untitled sketch]
Autograph manuscript, not dated but probably ca. 1845-1847, one page. Working manuscript, a sketch for a projected work for violin and piano. Formerly in the possession of the composer’s cellist friend, Auguste Franchome. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Coates, Eric, 1886-1957

“Eight Nursery Rhymes”
Autograph manuscript, signed [1924] 24 pages plus title. Finished version of the full orchestral score, the one sent to the copyist for writing out the separate parts, for a suite of short songs for soprano and orchestra. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990

“Queenie’s Song”
Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but probably 1936 or 1937, four pages. Part of the final manuscript of the composer’s opera The Second Hurricane, composed for adolescent students at the Henry Street Settlement Music School. Copland donated this manuscript, also signed by the librettist, Edwin Denby, for a charity auction in New York in 1938. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Randolph Biddle.

Delibes, Léo, 1836-1891

“Heure du soir”
Autograph manuscript [1885] three pages. Working manuscript of a song for tenor with piano accompaniment, with important revisions by the composer to both words (by Armand Silvestre) and music. One of 15 mélodies written by Delibes in 1885-1886. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Donizetti, Gaetano, 1797-1848

Autograph manuscript [1832] eight pages. Working manuscript for a major portion of the sinfonia (i.e., the overture) for the opera Fausta, introduced at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, in January, 1832. This overture was written for the work’s second series of performances, at La Scala in Milan in December, 1832. Violin and bass parts are complete throughout; other instruments are suggested at strategic points only. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Elgar, Sir Edward, 1857-1934

Autograph manuscript, signed, May, 1887, four pages. Setting for voice and piano accompaniment of a poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne, the fourth section of his “A Baby’s Death,” published in A Century of Roundels (1883). Leon Robbin Collection.

Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974

“Jump for Joy”
Autograph manuscript [1941] two pages plus title. Working manuscript in piano score, the orchestration suggested by the juxtaposition of parts with the names of Ellington band members noted at the beginning of the work. Acquired together with a more fully developed version of the ending, on a separate sheet. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Franck, César, 1822-1890

Autograph manuscript, signed (twice) with initials, after 1872, four pages. Transcription of one section from the suite of incidental music written by Georges Bizet (1838-1875) for Alphonse Daudet’s L’Arlésienne, arranged for piano and organ (or harmonium), not listed in The New Grove. A working manuscript, but clearly intended for the printer: Franck’s note at the end says “bon à tirer,” the message an artist-printmaker would use as a cue for his printer. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Goldmark, Karl, 1830-1915

Autograph manuscript, June 6, 1873, nine pages. An early, perhaps the first, draft in piano score of the “bridal song,” the second (slow) movement of Goldmark’s Ländliche Hochzeit (Rustic Wedding Symphony), completed in 1876 and published the following year. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Gounod, Charles-François, 1818-1893

“Deux Roses”
Autograph manuscript, not dated but most likely from the late 1850s or 1860s, 33 pages plus title. A draft of two numbers intended for a comic opera in one act. The composition, clearly abandoned before completion, is not mentioned in Huebner’s standard work, The Operas of Charles Gounod (Oxford, 1990). Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Kern, Jerome, 1885-1945

“Scenario for Orchestra”
Partially autograph manuscript, not dated but August, 1941, two pages. Part of what Kern called his “Bible,” in effect a lead sheet, for portions of his symphonic poem, composed at the request of Artur Rodzinski and the Cleveland Symphony, based on themes from his hit musical Show Boat. Acquired together with several sections of more final manuscripts of orchestral arrangements. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Lalo, Édouard, 1823-1892

“Le Roi d’Ys”
Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but probably either 1875 or 1886 (when the opera was heavily revised), 11 pages plus title. Second scene of the first act, developed by the sisters (Rozenn and Margarid). The accompaniment is in piano score, and at the end there is an indication of the introduction to the chorus opening the third scene. Leon Robbin Collection.

Leoncavallo, Ruggero, 1857-1919

“Je n’ai rien su”
Manuscript, signed, not dated but possibly 1893, two pages plus title. No song of this title is recorded in the composer’s worklist in The New Grove. But this is clearly a manuscript intended for the printer, and it may correspond to a work for mezzo-soprano or baritone called “Déclaration,” also to a text by Silvestre, published in 1893. Leoncavallo has added markings for tempi and expression throughout. Leon Robbin Collection.

Liszt, Franz, 1811-1886

“Mephisto Polka”
Copyist’s manuscript, signed, not dated but almost certainly 1883, with Liszt’s inscription “Fräulein Lina Schmalhausen gewidmet,” 18 pages. With numerous revisions in Liszt’s hand and with his autograph addition of optional virtuosic passages as appropriate. The companion piece published together with the third “Mephisto Waltz.” Leon Robbin Collection.

Mahler, Gustav, 1860-1911

“In diesem Wetter”
Autograph manuscript, not dated but ca. 1904, one page plus title. A sketch for part of the fifth song in Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder song cycle, first performed in 1905. The score is headed by the composer “Stürmisch. Mit ruhelos schmerzvollem Ausdruck” (Stormy. With restless painful expression). Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Massenet, Jules, 1842-1912

Autograph manuscript, signed, September 27, 1868, two pages plus title. Finished manuscript of this duet for two sopranos, dedicated to the composer’s nieces, Sylvie and Malvina Massenet. With a presentation inscription from the composer to a M. Lecoq. Leon Robbin Collection.

Massenet, Jules, 1842-1912

Autograph manuscript, signed, August 26, 1870, two pages. Revised version of the duet written in 1868, the key changed from F to G, the accompaniment especially heavily revised. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Mendelssohn, Felix, 1809-1847

“Das Waldschloss”
Autograph manuscript, not dated but almost certainly 1835, one page. Setting of a text by Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857) for solo voice and piano accompaniment. Leon Robbin Collection.

Moscheles, Ignaz, 1794-1870

“Recollections of Denmark”
Autograph manuscript, signed, August, 1830, 58 pages. Finished full score for solo piano and orchestra of a work first sketched out in May of the same year, this manuscript acquired together with a 14-page version dated “May, 1830.” Published as the composer’s opus 83 under the French title Souvenirs de Danemarc. Leon Robbin Collection.

Moscheles, Ignaz, 1794-1870 and Mendelssohn, Felix, 1809-1847

“Variations brillantes sur la Marche de Preciosa”
Manuscript in the hand of Moscheles, signed by him in both names, not dated but almost certainly 1833, 14 pages. Final manuscript of the second piano part of a work for two pianos and orchestra published as “Duo Concertante” in 1833, a set of variations written jointly by Mendelssohn and Moscheles, based on the march written by Carl Maria von Weber as part of his incidental music for the play Preciosa (1820) by P. A. Wolff (after Cervantes’ La Gitanilla). Leon Robbin Collection.

Offenbach, Jacques, 1819-1880

“Les Deux aveugles”
Autograph manuscript, not dated but 1855, 34 pages (plus a number of blanks). The working manuscript of Offenbach’s first great success, a bouffonerie which ran to more than 400 performances following its premiere on July 5, 1855, and which was honored by a command performance before Napoleon III at the Tuileries. In a binding tantalizingly initialed “J.O.” at the foot of the spine, suggesting the manuscript was bound for the composer himself. Leon Robbin Collection.

Paer, Ferdinando, 1771-1839

[Untitled cantata]
Autograph manuscript, not dated but probably ca. 1800-1810, 25 pages. Work for three soloists characterized as Fede, Speranza, and Amor Divino (Faith, Hope, and Divine Love), chorus, and orchestra, with the composer’s final corrections passim. Apparently unpublished, the work is not included in the composer’s worklist in The New Grove. Leon Robbin Collection.

Pierné, Gabriel, 1863-1937

Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but ca. 1900, 2 pages. The first of two short secular pieces for organ on the same bifolium. The second, “Cantilène,” is scored on three staves, allowing the performer the luxury of seeing a separate pedal part, while “Prélude” is scored on only two. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Ponchielli, Amilcare, 1834-1886

Autograph manuscript, not dated but probably 1877-1881, 103 pages, together with revisions to the libretto, 32 pages. The surviving corpus of finished pieces and sketches constituting work for a projected opera. Olga, based on a libretto by Carlo d’Ormeville, was taken up as a subject by Ponchielli following his success with La Gioconda in 1876. For reasons unknown the project was abandoned, though a great deal of effort had been put into it. Shown here is one brief section of the musical manuscript,  “Prologo: inizio,” 8 pages, with the composer’s doodled sketches ornamenting the music. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Raposo, Joe, 1937-1989

“It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green”
Autograph manuscript, signed, 1970, two pages. The final “lead sheet” for Kermit the Frog’s most famous song, originally created for Sesame Street and popularized later for adult viewers in The Muppet Show. Donated with more than 50 of Raposo’s autograph lead sheets by the composer’s widow. Gift of Pat Collins Sarnoff.

Ries, Ferdinand, 1784-1838

Autograph manuscript, signed, 1830, seven pages. The setting copy of a rondo based on the polonaise in Ries’s very successful opera Die Räuberbraut (The Robber’s Bride), first produced in Frankfurt in 1828 and then twice the following year in London. A successful composer in his own right, Ries studied piano with Beethoven and often acted as his secretary and copyist. Leon Robbin Collection.

Robinson, Earl, 1910-1991

“Ballad for Americans”
Manuscript, signed, not dated but 1938 with later additions, 25 pages plus title. Originally titled “Ballads of Uncle Sam,” the work (for baritone, chorus, and orchestra, words by John La Touche) was adapted and given a new title for its very successful performance on radio by Paul Robeson in 1939; those changes are noted in the manuscript. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Rossini, Gioacchino, 1792-1868

“Le Siège de Corinth”
Autograph manuscript, signed, 1826, seven pages. Comprising the duet between Pamyre and Mahomet II in the second act of the opera, Rossini’s Parisian reworking as grand opera of his Maometto II (1820). With his presentation inscription to Henri-Étienne Dérivis (“mon ami Derivis”), who sang the part of Mahomet in the opera’s Paris premier. In a quarter-skiver and paper board binding of the time. Leon Robbin Collection.

Roussel, Albert, 1869-1937

“Trio d’anches”
Autograph manuscript, signed [1934?] six pages. Early sketches for the trio (for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon), for Roussel’s “Deux poèmes chinois,” and other works for three instruments. The trio was completed by another hand and published in November, 1937, after the composer’s death. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Rubinstein, Anton, 1829-1894

“Sonate pour le Piano à quatre mains”
Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but probably 1870 or 1871, 38 pages plus title. The finished copy as sent to the printer of the composer’s opus 89, published in 1871, dedicated to “Madame la Baronne Jean de Wöhrman née de Budberg,” with the engraver’s markings throughout. Leon Robbin Collection.

Saint-Saëns, Camille, 1835-1921

“Ave verum”
Autograph manuscript, March, 1857, five pages. Setting of the familiar liturgical verses for two sopranos, two altos, horn, and organ. Listed without date in The New Grove, but the composer’s note at the end confirms that the work was written while Saint-Saëns still held the organist’s position at the Parisian church of Saint Méry. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Schmitt, Florent, 1870-1958

Autograph manuscript, signed [1942] 27 pages. The complete manuscript of the first three (of four) parts (“Exorde,” “Zélie-aux-pieds-légers,” “Demi-soupir”) of a work for string trio and piano, as sent to Durand for publication in August, 1942. With the composer’s presentation to “Madame Elisabeth” [Frédéric-Moreau] Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828

[“Zwei deutscher Tänze”]
Autograph manuscript, signed, April, 1825, one page. Deutsch 841. The two short dances were first published (reproduced from this manuscript) as an illustration to a Stargardt auction catalog in September, 1926; a proper engraved version first appeared in 1930. Leon Robbin Collection.

Schumann, Robert, 1810-1856

“Quartett No. 1"
Manuscript, not dated but probably 1843, 56 pages. Copyist’s manuscripts of the four individual parts (first and second violins, viola, cello) of Schumann’s first string quartet, originally written in June-July, 1842. This version prepared for the printer, each part with at least 32 bars of pasted-on alterations in the hand of either the composer or his wife, Clara, and with numerous other alterations in various hands. Leon Robbin Collection.

Shaw, Artie, 1910-2004

“Blues for Papa B”
Autograph manuscript, signed, 1998, one page. The “lead sheet,” with the usual and necessary copyright claim, for a late composition by the clarinetist and big-band leader, acquired together with several other manuscripts from the same period, not signed. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Stainer, Sir John, 1840-1901

“Communion Service in C”
Autograph manuscript, signed, December, 1900-January, 1901, 22 pages. A “fair copy” of the liturgy scored for four female and two male voices unaccompanied, prepared by Stainer for presentation to Sir George Martin, organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and sent by Stainer’s son to Martin in April, 1901, after the composer’s sudden death in Verona. With an autograph letter from the elder Stainer to Martin thanking him for his encouragement and disparaging “our young disciples of Wagner & Brahms.” Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Strauss, Johann, 1825-1899

Autograph manuscript, not dated but probably ca. 1890, nine pages. Full score for one of the dances designated as a Schnellpolka, of which Strauss composed a substantial number after about 1865. Erasures and corrections throughout, including the cancellation of a section several bars in length. Leon Robbin Collection.

Strauss, Richard, 1864-1949

“Einleitung zum feierlichen Marsch (Bismarckfeier)”
Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but between 1889 and 1895, two pages. Final manuscript of an introduction for his orchestral “Festmarsch” in C of 1889, as arranged for band by Maximilian Högg, the music director of a Bavarian infantry regiment, in 1895. Apparently unpublished. Leon Robbin Collection.

Sullivan, Sir Arthur, 1842-1900

“The Son of God Goes Forth to War”
Autograph manuscript, signed, June 4, 1868, seven pages plus title. An arrangement of Bishop Reginald Heber’s hymn in SATB parts for a church choir with organ accompaniment, employing the familiar “St. Anne” tune written by William Croft and first published in 1708. At the time Sullivan wrote “The Son of God” he was serving as organist of the fashionable Anglican church of St. Peter’s, Cranley Gardens, in Kensington. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Suppé, Franz von, 1819-1895

“Margarita und Bettina”
Autograph manuscript, signed, August, 1863, six pages plus title. A satirical song of six verses, the source of the text not known, but possibly by von Suppé himself. Each verse points out the failings (as candidates for marriage or romance) of an apparently attractive society lady. Acquired with a separate, slightly different, manuscript of the text alone, also in the composer’s hand. Leon Robbin Collection.

Tansman, Alexandre, 1897-1986

“Sonate pour violoncelle et piano”
Autograph manuscript, signed, 1930, eight pages, with holograph corrections, indications of tempi, and other markings. The work, the composer’s second sonata for cello and piano, is cast in three movements (“Allegro moderato,” “Largo,” “Scherzo”) and is complete in this manuscript. It was published by Eschig in Paris in 1930. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Vaughan Williams, Ralph, 1872-1958

“Gaelic Folk-songs”
Autograph manuscript [1954-1955] six pages, with numerous holograph corrections. Sketches for harmonizations of two small groups of Scots Gaelic folk songs for an unaccompanied SATB vocal group. Acquired together with five related typed and autograph letters to a Mrs. McKenzie. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901

[Unidentified melody]
Autograph manuscript, signed, dated (in another hand) August 21, 1845, one page. At the time he wrote out this manuscript Verdi was in Naples for the opening of his opera Alzira, and this may well be a souvenir of that work written for an admirer. Framed with a signed photograph and an autograph letter, both probably from the last decade of the composer’s life. Leon Robbin Collection.

Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883

Autograph manuscript, not dated but almost certainly May or June, 1836, two pages. Sketches in piano score for an overture in C major scored for full orchestra. Framed with an autograph letter dated December 21, 1872. Leon Robbin Collection.

Waldteufel, Émile, 1837-1915

“Gretna Green”
Autograph manuscript, signed [1873] 26 pages plus title. Full score of the waltz sequence based on themes from the one-act opera of the same title by Ernest Guiraud, as prepared for the printer (Durand, Schoenewerk, of Paris) and with their markings as well. The bass part is scored for the old-fashioned ophicleide rather than the tuba that Waldteufel called for in later compositions. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Weber, Carl Maria von, 1786-1826

“Canone à 4 voci in Contrapunte doppio alla Ottava”
Autograph manuscript, signed, not dated but clearly not long after 1800, one page. Probably an exercise from the period of the composer’s early study of counterpoint. Leon Robbin Collection.

Wesley, Charles, 1757-1834

“Ode, on the Birth Day of Portia”
Autograph manuscript, signed with initials, June 24, 1786, 19 pages plus title. Finished manuscript of a work for treble voices with instrumental accompaniment consisting of an orchestral introduction, a declamatory song for solo voice, and a final “chorus of virgins” singing vivace. Acquired with a number of other manuscripts by Wesley. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.


This exhibition was curated by George M. Barringer, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections