Concerts from the Library of Congress, 2016-2017

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2016 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“Genre Division and Canonical Unity in the World of Heavy Metal Music”
James Wintle, Music Division

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 09/14/2016, beginning at 10 AM)

This lecture will help to unravel the complex web of stylistic threads that have permeated heavy metal music since the raucous tri-tone progression of the song “Black Sabbath” signaled its birth in 1970. Attendees who wear their favorite heavy metal t-shirt will be featured on the Music Division’s Facebook page and be given access to the totally awesome tinnitus-inducing “heavy metal primer” playlist. Up the Irons!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“Rewriting Rachmaninoff: Transcriptions and Revisions in the Library’s Collections”
David H. Plylar, PhD, Music Division

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

The Sergei Rachmaninoff Archive at the Library of Congress contains much of the composer’s later music, including the holograph manuscripts of major works like the Symphony no. 3, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and the Symphonic Dances. This talk will be an exploration of some of the lesser-known treasures in the collection: Rachmaninoff’s revisions and transcriptions of earlier works (including parts of the Morceaux de fantaisie, op. 3, Moments musicaux, op. 16, Daisies, op. 38/3 and the Piano Concerto no. 4, op. 40), and transcriptions of other composers’ works (including extracts from Bach’s third violin partita, Kreisler’s Liebeslied, the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mussorgsky’s “Hopak,” part of Schubert’s F-minor Fantasie, and Tchaikovsky’s Lullaby, op. 16/1).

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“Hindemith’s Musical Responses to WWI”
Nicholas Brown, Music Division

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

German composer Paul Hindemith was deeply affected by the devastating experience of WWI in European society. He came of age during the war and translated his reflections into poignant musical compositions that address many of the themes that pervade all types of global conflict, including death and loss of innocence. The Library of Congress Music Division holds several Hindemith manuscripts, as well as archival documents that relate to his career.

Presented in association with the Library of Congress exhibition, “World War I: American Artists View the Great War

TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“Dayton C. Miller, an American Collector of Flutes”
Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, Music Division, and Paul Runci

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

It may be fair to say that Dayton C. Miller (1866-1941, a scientist by profession, a flutist and a collector above all) gradually developed the largest private collection of objects ever assembled pertaining to one subject in the musical arts.

Dayton Clarence Miller was born in Strongsville, Ohio, lived in nearby Cleveland, Ohio for his entire life, and served as professor in charge of physics at Case Western Reserve for 45 years. Dr. Miller described his collection as consisting of five separate collections:

I. Flutes
II. Books and literary materials relating to the flute
III. Music for the flute
IV. Works of art relating to the flute
V. Portraits of flutists and composers for the flute

Dr. Miller’s bequest typifies the relationship between collectors and museums where the donations of a private collector can educate and inspire the public in perpetuity. Who was this American collector who so strongly believed that the history of music was an essential part of the history of civilization that his flutes should be housed forever in a library?

TUESDAY, APRIL 4, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“World War I Sheet Music at the Library of Congress: America’s War, as Viewed by Publishers and the Public”
Paul Fraunfelter, Music Division

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

American sheet music from the period of the First World War reflects the confidence and challenges of a new economic and industrial giant, suddenly thrust into a war it had previously resisted and eager to assert itself on the world stage. This discussion explores the historical and sociological perspectives of WWI classified (M1646) commercially & privately published, vanity press and manuscript songs, which are available online through the Library of Congress website (https://www.loc.gov/collections/world-war-i-sheet-music/about-this-collection/).

Presented in association with the Library of Congress exhibition, “World War I: American Artists View the Great War

TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“Discovering Creative Collaborations: Choreographer Erick Hawkins and Composer Lucia Dlugoszewski”
Libby Smigel, PhD, Music Division, Library of Congress and Kate Doyle, Case Western Reserve University

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

Recent dance scholarship has largely overlooked the organic dance technique innovated by Erick Hawkins, as well as his stunning artistic partnership with experimental composer Lucia Dlugoszewski. Hawkins, who split from the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1951, formed a creative alliance with Dlugoszewski that spanned forty years. Hawkins willed his work and estate to Dlugoszewski in 1994, but her unexpected death six years later left neither will nor heirs. Their joint work fell into obscurity.

Using the Erick Hawkins/Lucia Dlugoszewski Collection at the Library of Congress, Smigel and Doyle will explicate the duo’s creative processes, artistic ingenuity, and aesthetic philosophies. Notebooks, choreographic symbology, music scores and Labanotation, and other primary evidence such as personal correspondence, letters, and interviews will show a dynamic process unreplicated in other artistic partnerships. Of particular interest is the collection of Dlugoszewski’s sketches, in which she develops a new style of graphic notation combining choreographic notes, music, and prose instruction that responds to Hawkins’ own creative process and choreographic system. Her innovative juxtaposition of notation styles effectively creates an interdisciplinary text that allows for both description and improvisation -- able to be used by dancers and musicians alike.

TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Ella Fitzgerald”
Larry Appelbaum, Music Division

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

The Library of Congress holds the Ella Fitzgerald Collection, which includes scores, parts, lyric sheets, and arrangements of works performed and/or recorded by Ella Fitzgerald.

TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“Sidney Robertson Cowell and the WPA California Folk Music Project, 1938-1940”
Catherine Hiebert Kerst, PhD, American Folklife Center

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

As a young woman of 35, Sidney Robertson proposed, organized, and directed a California Work Projects Administration project designed to survey musical traditions from a wide range of English-speaking and immigrant communities in Northern California. The result of her efforts generated a remarkable multi-format ethnographic field collection (with recordings, photographs, sketches and drawings of the musical instruments, and field notes)—the WPA California Folk Music Project (1938-1940)--that captured a unique cross-section of the music that people of many backgrounds were performing at the time.

TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2017 at Noon (Whittall Pavilion)

“The Costume Designs of Miles White”
Walter Zvonchenko, Music Division

Get free tickets from Eventbrite
(tickets available 01/04/2017, beginning at 10 AM)

Miles White [1914-2000] was one of the finest costume designers in  20th century performing arts.  He designed for theater, film, circus, ice shows, ballet and cabaret.  His theater work included design for the original productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and Carousel, and for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, High Button Shoes, and Bloomer Girl.  His work in film included costume for The Greatest Show on Earth and  Around the World in 80 Days.  White’s  design sketches were themselves  highly regarded.  Among his collaborators was Oliver Smith many of whose set designs are already in the Library.

NB: The topic for this lecture has been changed since it was originally announced.