This is a questions that surely must have been spoken any number of times in 18th-19th century Salem. It is true that members of the Moravian community were tailors, bakers, millers, and other tradesmen, but many were also musicians. Judging from the difficulty of the music, they were accomplished on their instruments or with their voices.
Recently, I cataloged Carl Loewe’s Die Sieben Schlaefer, op. 46. The Moravian Music Foundation holds a printed score (B. Schott, 1835) and an incomplete set of manuscript parts (copied in Salem between about 1845 and 1855), which were played by the Salem Collegium Musicum (date unknown). The score calls for a full orchestra, chorus and numerous soloist: S solo (3), A solo, T solo (3), B solo (3), S coro, A coro, T coro, B coro, fl (2), ob (2), cl (2), fag (2), cor (2), trp (2), trb (3), timp, vl (2), vla, vlc, b. Our holdings include printed parts, also published by B. Schott.
In Christian and Islamic tradition, the Seven Sleepers is the story of a group of youths who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD to escape religious persecution and emerged some 300 years later. Carl Loewe used Ludwig Giesebrecht’s libretto in his setting of the story, which became a popular work in Europe and the United States.
While we have an incomplete set of manuscript parts, the parts we do have prompt the question that may have been heard — Do we have enough instruments to play that work?
Parts in our holdings include: T Solo (Antipater) ; S (4), A (4), T, B; cl (C) I, II; hn (E♭) I, II; clarino (D & E♭) I, II; clavicor (E♭ alto sax horn); bass sax hn (C); trmb T, B (2); basso. Of particular interest are the parts for clavicor (alto sax horn) and bass sax horn, neither of which is in the printed score, but were instruments played in Salem at the time.
The clavicor, or alto sax horn, invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s is likely an instrument that played with the Salem brass ensembles. In this case the bassoon I part was transposed for clavicor.
The bass sax horn, also invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s is likely an instrument that played with the Salem brass ensembles. In this case the bassoon II part was transposed for bass sax horn.
The substitution of sax horns for bassoons is interested because in the earlier days of the Salem Collegium Musicum, pairs of winds (including 2 bassoons) were standard fair in their orchestra. Or, is the question that there were two extra players who doubled the 2 bassoons (who were playing from printed parts).