Russian

Webster Hall

Scope and Content Note

Aron Pressman Opera Scores

The present collection includes books of sheet music belonging to Aron Pressman. Many of these are opera scores printed in the very first part of the century. Originally these scores were used by the Russian Grand Opera Company, an opera troupe that travelled throughout Russia and the Far East during the 1920's. Aron Pressman became aquainted with this group while he was living in Indonesia and soon became their accompanist. As is the tradition of Russian opera companies, the Grand Opera Co. performed all their repertoire in Russian, regardless of the original language. Many of the scores in this collection are Russian editions which include a printed Russian text. Others are foreign editions which only offer the original language in print. In these cases, someone has translated the text into Russian and written it into the score in pencil. In addition to handwritten text, the scores often contain performance notes and markings in colored pencil. Inscriptions appear inside the cover of several scores (an inscription to S. M. Radamskii from Gliere appears inside an edition of the composer's "Krasnyi mak (Le Pavot Rouge)." The fifty nine operas in this collection represent the diverse repertoire of the Grand Opera Co. The Russian repertoire includes the work of great composers such as Mussorgskii, Tchaikovskii, Rimskii-Korsakov and Glinka. From the western European operatic tradition, the collection includes scores of works by Bizet, Verdi, Gounod, Leoncavallo, Meyerbeer, Puccini, Strauss and others In addition to opera, Aron Pressman's collection includes a ballet by Gliere and a song cycle by Mussorgskii.

 

Webster Hall