Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Few Items of Romance from the Cello Music Collections

The Cello Music Collections at UNCG are filled with classical masterpieces of music that can woo the most frigid heart, but we also preserve manuscripts and artifacts equally stirring, though of a more personal nature. On this Valentine's Day, we would like to share with you a few of the more romantic items from the Janos Scholz Cello Music and Personal Papers Collection.

Above is the diary of Therese Russ (picture on the left from the front of the diary). Written on pink paper, the journal covers the daily accounts of her life in the Austro-Hungarian Empire before her marriage. The lock of her hair was given to her husband, as was the common courting practice at that time. The journal dates from some time in the late 1800s and was to be buried with Therese, but it was lost in the family papers. As the family story goes, the maternal line of Janos Scholz' lineage was of inspiration to many composers of their day, including Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt, and Karl Goldmark.

In processing archival collections, we read a lot of mail, and love letters always rouse the imagination (especially since we only see one side of the conversation). To the left we have two letters, the first letter, undated but signed by "Alice" begins, "Your departure from this section of the country left a great void - I can't find words to describe it."  The second is an excerpt of a text reminiscent of Robert Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time." The first part of the Scholz letter reads, "Gather the roses bravely. God has given them to you so as to delight your heart and mind..." We do not know who the admirer is, as the letter is unsigned, but included within the envelope is a pressed rose.

Of course, this being an archival music collection, we must leave you with this very special Valentine message. Composed for voice and piano, the title of this short piece is "A Valentine," and it appears to be written in the hand of Janos Scholz. The song verse is as follows:

"Little Love sat sobbing, sighing, 
Bitter winds about him flying.
'I have come a weary way,
Not a rose bud blooms this day'!
Good old Winter heard him crying,
Smoothed his curls and smiled replying:
'Gather up my snowflake showers.
They are ghosts of true love's flowers.'"

If you would like to find out more about UNCG's Cello Music Collection, visit our website or email us. Happy Valentine's Day!

No comments: