Thanks to Christopher Hartten and Robin Rausch, Music Division, for contributing to this post.
Prolific Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) wrote music in virtually every genre. He began composing as a child and studied composition under Ildebrando Pizzetti. Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s 1932 meeting with guitarist Andrés Segovia would inspire him to write what would become dozens of compositions for that instrument. In 1939, the composer fled fascist Italy and ended up in Hollywood where he landed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a film composer. Over the next twenty years, he scored hundreds of films for several studios and influenced many up-and-coming film composers. He also continued to compose operas and concert works.
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Second piano quintet, op. 155. Reproduced with permission of Lisbeth Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s music appeared in such prestigious films as the 1945 version of The Picture of Dorian Gray and George Cukor’s Gaslight. Dog lovers take note – he also scored three Lassie movies: Courage of Lassie, Son of Lassie, and Lassie Come Home. The Music Division is home to the Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Papers, which includes holograph music manuscripts, printed scores, libretti, photographs, clippings and other written materials. For a complete inventory of the collection, see the Finding Aid.
Richard Rodgers, one of the great composers of the American Musical Theater, was born on this day in 1902. With Lorenz Hart (lyricist for “Manhattan” and Pal Joey) and Oscar Hammerstein (lyricist for South Pacific, Oklahoma, and The Sound of Music) Rodgers’ music has been part of the musical and cinematic collective consciousness for nearly […]
Earlier this week the Library announced this year’s inductees into the National Recording Registry. Among the inductees is Morton Subotnick’s “Silver Apples of the Moon,” a piece composed on one of the unlikely treasures of the Music Division’s instrument collection. The following is a guest post by Steve Antosca, a composer living and working in […]
Each of the four seasons has inspired its own songs, but none so much as summer. From the cool breeze of Al Green’s “Feels like summer” to the cool pose struck by Pavement’s “Summer babe,” songwriters seem particularly inspired by the onset of heat, humidity, and vacation. While In the Muse cannot approximate the feeling […]
There are songs of yore whose messages may be lost to modern ears, but Harry Castling’s “As His Father Did Before Him” strikes a chord even today. Published in London in 1898, the song paints a picture of desperate times, when the patriarchal model was apparently as likely to be a burglar as a boxer. […]
The Library of Congress Chorale, which draws staff members from all over the library, recently celebrated the birthdays of sundry composers with a lunchtime concert in the Coolidge Auditorium. This was the last concert for their conductor John Saint Amour, who has admirably served his two-year term and awaits a capable successor to arise from […]
The events of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses take place in Dublin on a single day, June 16, 1904. Joyceans the world over celebrate Bloomsday with marathon readings and a pint of Guinness or two. Say yes yes to James Joyce with the Performing Arts Encyclopedia, where you can find manuscripts of Samuel Barber’s “Three Songs,” musical settings […]
Celebrate Flag Day with songs from the Civil War Sheet Music Collection, and of course our National Anthem, The Star-spangled Banner, in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia.
Guitarist and inventor Les Paul was born on this day in 1915. Paul helped develop the Gibson Les Paul solid-body electric guitar, an instrument so iconic that the foreword to Les Paul’s memoir was written by none other than Paul McCartney. Les Paul died last year, but his handiwork continues to be heard from the […]
June 4th was the birthday of Cuban-born composer and reed player Paquito D’Rivera. His clarinet and saxophone work has graced a diverse range of ensembles, from the incendiary Cuban-jazz group Irakere to the National Symphony Orchestra. A performance of “Merengue” by cellist Yo-Yo Ma won D’Rivera a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental in 2004. Other […]