Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 12 March 2012

Mary Paul's music book - Irish music-making in 1802

A music-lover called Mary Paul

We know very little about Mary Paul, but we do have her bound collection of music.  Engraved simply, Mary Paul, 1802, it's possible that this was Mary's maiden name, for there is a pencilled 'Mary A. Hogg' on the endpaper inside.

All we know - Mary's name and a date
Mary wrote an index for her book - it's at the front.  There's an assortment of vocal pieces, popular pieces from contemporary operas, and piano music; Mary numbered every page - all 447 of them.  The music seems mostly to have been published in contemporary Dublin, by the likes of Hime, Rhames, William Power, McDonnell's, Edmund Lee, John Lee, and Gough.

One of Mary's collection
There are Scottish pieces, too.  Like, 'My Ain Kind Dearie: a favorite Scotch Air, with Variations composed by D. Corri. (Domenico Corri was a famous singer and Scottish music arranger at the time.)  Or 'Lewie Gordon: a celebrated new rondo for the forte piano or harpsichord' - published in Dublin by Anne Lee.  No composer for that one.

And an intriguing item is a piano sonata, probably by Frantisek Kotzwara, called 'The Battle of Prague', complete with 'The Bugle call for the cavalry', and 'Flying bullets'.  (It was a popular piece with Jane Austen, apparently - see Penelope Cave's recent recital at St Andrews, of Very Pretty Tunes: Repertoire from the Austen Family Collection.)

No comments: