A Selection of Sacred Musical Manuscripts

Leon Robbin Gallery


Items in the Exhibition:

Vetromile, Eugene, 1819-1881

A collection of liturgical texts in Abenaki (Micmac) set to Gregorian chant. Maine, 1858 or earlier. 33 leaves, including eight in a different (possibly earlier) hand.
These manuscripts provided the musical illustrations for Vetromile’s Ahiamihewintuhangan; the Prayer Song, published in New York in 1858 in an edition of 1,250 copies. With a set of proofs of the published work. Collection of John Gilmary Shea.


Missa pro defunctis a 4o. Dicta Qua hora non putatis. Autograph? manuscript. Rome, 1743. 78 pages.
Originally bound at the end of a volume containing 18th century copies in a different hand of four Masses for six voices by Palestrina. The Missa pro defunctis, for four voices, was begun too close to the end of the bound book, and was completed on leaves bound before the beginning of the Mass. Gift of Leon Robbin.

Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759

Te Deum Laudamus. Composé pour la paix d’Utrecht en 1713. Copyist’s manuscript. [France? late 18th century] 130 pages. Text in English.
The “Utrecht” Te Deum (HWV 278) was completed in London on January 14, 1713; it was first rehearsed publicly in March, and the first public performance took place in St. Paul’s on July 7th of the same year. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Sullivan, Sir Arthur, 1842-1900

The Son of God Goes Forth to War. Autograph manuscript, signed. [London] June 4, 1868. 8 pages.
Words by Bishop Reginald Heber set in an arrangement for choir and organ of Croft’s famous “St. Anne” hymn tune, best known today as the vehicle for the text beginning “O God Our Help in Ages Past.” Sullivan earned part of his living for a decade as a church organist. From June, 1867, he served as organist and choir director at St. Peter’s, Cranley Gardens, Kensington. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Franck, César, 1822-1890

L’Ange gardien. Autograph manuscript, signed. [Paris, 1888] 2 pages.
A setting for two equal voices of words by an unknown author, sometimes attributed to Franck himself. Published posthumously (1893) as the first of his Six duos (Op. 89). Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.

Tomasi, Henri, 1901-1971

Requiem. Autograph? manuscript. [Place and date of composition not determined] 58 pages.
Arrangement for voices and keyboard of a work intended for soloists, chorus, and large orchestra. Tomasi is best known for his operas L’Atlantide and Miguel Manara. Purchase, on the Leon Robbin Endowment Fund.