Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Bibliography Commission

Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Bibliography Commission

Article excerpt

The Bibliography Commission was responsible for three sessions at the IAML Conference in Naples. David Day, Chair of the Bibliography Commission, introduced the speakers in all three sessions. The first session on 21 July was entitled Music Publishers and Dating Printed Music. Dr. Day noted that the subject of one of the papers did not quite correspond with the title of the session due to late changes in the program and the withdrawal of earlier anticipated paper. The first paper was "Docu menting the Legacy of Mitrofan Petrovich Belyayev", presented by Daniel Heintz (Brigham Young University, Provo). Daniel Heintz became interested in the publications of Metrofan Petrovich Belyayev while working as a research assistant in the Music and Dance Library at Brigham Young University. Part of the objective of Heintz's presentation was to bring to light more information about Belyayev and his publishing house to the non-Russian-speaking world. Mitrofan Belyayev was born in 1836 in St. Peters burg, and he died in 1903/4. While growing up, he worked in the family's prosperous lumber business. While young he also developed a great interest in music and learned to play the viola. A meeting with the seventeen-year-old Alexander Glazu nov in 1882 became a turning point in Belyayev's life. Shortly thereafter in 1884, Belyayev founded the annual Glinka Prize, which was awarded to talented Russian composers. At the time Russian composers received little support from their music publishers. Payments were too small and the lack of copyright enforcement in Russia did not protect the composer's income. As a result, Belyayev founded his publishing house, M. P. Belaieff, in Leipzig in 1885. At this time Leipzig was regarded as the world centre of music publishing. In all, 2,000 different music works were published here in Belyayev's lifetime. The music prints were of high quality, the title pages were decorated and with beautiful colored ink. The title was always written in two languages, one of them in Russian.

Belyayev founded the "Russian Sym phony Concerts" in St. Petersburg to encourage aspiring Russian composers. He also created an inner-circle chamber music series called Les Vendredis that met each Friday in his St. Peters burg apartment at 50 Marata Street. On Belyayev's 50th birthday, he was honoured by a string quartet on the notes B-A-F (Be-la-ef), composed by Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Lyadov, and Glazunov. This quartet was performed at Les Vendredis where Belyayev himself performed the viola part.

After the Russian revolution in 1917, the state took control of all music publishing. In the West, the M. P. Belaieff publishing house remained active to some extent, and after 1945 the M. P. Belaieff publishing house moved to Bonn. In 2006, Schott Music in Frankfurt am Main entered into a cooperative agreement with M. P. Belaieff. At present the distribution of all printed music editions of Belaieff will be made via Schott Music. It also appears that only reprints and reissues of the original Belaieff editions are currently available.

Mitrofan Belyayev was buried in St. Petersburg at the Alexander Nevski cemetery close to some of the greatest Russian composers. He was regarded as a promoter, patron and an admirer of music. He was a very successful and outstanding music publisher and the most important sponsor of Russian music.

An important task that remains is the compilation of a bibliography of the music prints issued in Belyayev's lifetime. At present we do not have a clear understanding of the extent of his output, how many of the original prints have survived and where they are located.

The second paper, "Identifying and Dating Published Manuscripts" was written by Professor Stanley Boorman (New York University). Due to illness, Professor Boor man was unable to attend and Maureen Buja read his paper. Dr. Boor man defines a published manuscript as one prepared for sale, as a speculative commercial venture, almost always as one in a series of copies of the same content. …

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