COMPOSERS IN EUROPE
Idol mio = Most beloved, aria
by Vincenzo Bellini.
American publishers also published the music of European composers who did not visit the
United States. The publication of orchestral music of any kind, however, was still beyond the
economic capability of American publishers. One interesting exception in this collection is the
prepared for the American premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony,
which took place in New York in 1846. The instrumental parts were obtained from Europe, but,
because the choral parts were to be sung in English, a separate edition was printed--a simpler
alternative to copying the music out many times. Although it was generally more economical to
import instrumental and vocal music from Europe than to print it in the United States, the major
numbers from operas were in such demand that it was economically feasible to engrave and
publish versions of them in America. Gaetano Donizetti is the European
composer most extensively represented in this collection, but there is also much music by
Michael William Balfe,
Weber, and others. Not all the
music by European composers in this collection appears under their names--American arranger-composers appropriated their tunes for marches, variations, quadrilles, and other works, and
published them under the name of the arranger. Nor were operas always given in their European
form--this collection contains three
arias for Mozart operas
and a version of the
Lucia sextet as quartet.
There are also many shorter pieces by
European composers--from Bach to Handel to Liszt.