4.16.2010

Woodsy words

Woodland Sketches
composed for the
Piano Forte,
and dedicated [to]
Madame-la-Princesse Marcelline-Czartoryska.
(nee Radziwill)
by
Wm. Vincent Wallace
1851

This amazing sheet music cover was lithographed in two colors (warm black and what I'll call a peachy maiden flesh) and then hand embellished with applied water color. There is so much going on here— so many vines, trellises, espaliered foliage, picturesque riparian groves and bosky pastorales— that the whole is absolutely less than its parts. Each vignette deserves a perusal. Then, of course, there is the magnificent rustic twig lettering: shaded, arced, and decorated with sprigs. Sheer beauty.

The music, such as it is (a sample of "Woodland Sketch No. 1— Village Maiden's Song", is in my opinion, wretched) is dedicated to pianist and teacher Marcelina Czartoryska (1817-1894), one of Chopin’s most talented pupils and a celebrated performer in her day. She was originally Radziwill, the Polish aristocratic family name I recognized from Lee Radzwill, Jackie O's sister.

5 comments:

Sophie Munns said...

Curious Angela!
just love this delightful post.... a window into another very quaint world.
Also liking your new header I must say!
S

angela said...

Thank you Sophie!

I never could bring myself to deal with the header— It was just too much for my obsessional brain. But then I got an email from a reader who just straight out said "what is up with that header? Lame!!" (2 exclamation marks) Which upset me but also made me laugh. So I tried to not labor over it and just get SOMETHING up!

nick sung said...

those woodsy words are wonderful!
do they remind me of something?
is there jewelry that looks like little twisty twigs?

omg, i think we just invented something!
(wow! i totally want to make this now!)

angela said...

Nick You know I just remembered I recently saw some twiggy letters cast in bronze at this wonderful store in Williamsburg. Dang! I should have photo'd. Next time I'm out there — will need to post a picture of them.

Sophie Munns said...

Just popping back in....
love your header story Angela!
Some people just shock you into doing something every now and then -very amusing.

It works though. You have the touch! I'm afraid my
version of perfectionism doesn't lead to typography and layout skills... so I tend to have to just get on and do it... the limits of my technical skills are the limits of what I can get happening.

Thats why its a pleasure to visit your blog where all that stuff works so well... and with style!
S

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