“Singstücke beym Clavier zu Singen” leads to Newberry Library

Dave Blum: I’m currently working through the Lititz Manuscript Book Collection. Presently I am working through a set of 48 tunes many of which were copied by J.F. Peter in a manuscript book owned by Christian  Schropp (1756-1826).

The first entries are patriotic songs, but the collection soon turns to sacred songs in the same vein as Herbst’s songs to be sung at the pianoforte. In fact the title of the collection is “Singstücke beym Clavier zu Singen,” and there have already been a few tunes in common with the Herbst German collection. Several of these texts have been verses of hymns I’ve been able to identify in the Gregor Gesangbuch. When the composer is not known I’ve been searching RISM to see if I can find a match.

This morning I searched for information for the text “Ich find’ in meines Heilands Leiden,” but could not find the text either in the Gesangbuch or in HYMNARY.ORG. I then searched RISM to see if I could find the tune. I found a single match which shared the title in this collection:

Title on source: [cover title:] Charlotte L. | Schropp’s | Music Book. | 7.th March. 1800.
Material: • score: 16f.
Manuscript: 1800 (1800); 17,5 x 24 cm
This collection is at the Newberry Library in Chicago!

The aforementioned music collection at the Newberry Library names Charlotte L. Schropp. I don’t know if this is the same person. Could the L stand for Loskiel, her adoptive parents?

I found the following in: Schultze, Augustus. “The Old Moravian Cemetery of Bethlehem, Pa., 1742-1897.”  Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society, v. 5 (1899), 1899.

“Charlotte Sabina Schropp, 1787-1833, born at Nazareth, a daughter of John Schropp. She taught in the boarding school. After her father’s death she was adopted by Bishop Loskiel and wife, and showed them the loving attention of a daughter.”

Now, there was a bumper crop of Schropps. The name appears in the graveyard listings of Nazareth and Lititz, but this was the only Charlotte I could find. This may not be the right person, but it cannot be mere coincidence that the only other occurrence of this text and tune has someone with the same last name.

Determining the correct identity for symphonies by Georg Anton Kreusser.

While cataloging SCM 178 and LCM 80-82, I discovered an inconsistency between the manuscript copies of Kresser’s 3 symphonies and 3 Kreusser symphonies edited by Robert King in the early 1980s.  King identified the 3 symphonies as opus 13; whereas, (matching musical incipits) RISM identified the 3 symphonies as opus 1 and narrowed the identification further by thematic catalog number (PetK 34-36).

PetK is an abbreviation for the thematic catalog. We don’t own the 1975 work by Edith Peters, Georg Anton Kreusser : ein Mainzer Instrumentalkomponist der Klassik, but we borrowed it from UNC Chapel Hill through Interlibrary Loan.

Using the thematic catalog, it was revealed that not only did the musical incipits match, but the title page text of the manuscripts copied by Johann Friedrich Peter matched the elaborate title page of the first published parts (André, 1777). Our manuscripts indicate that that Peter copied the symphonies in 1786.  I found no evidence to support the use of opus 13 in our collection.

[show the title page of SCM 178 and the thematic catalog page 154 and the RSIM page]

Kreusser, Georg Anton [ascertained]
Symphonies in D major

Work information

Catalog of works: PetK 34

Genre: Symphonies

Title on source: Dx | No I. | VI Sinpfonie | â | Due Violini | Due Oboe | Due Corni | Viola | e | Basso | Dedicate a S. E. il Comte de Schoenborn. &. &. | Del Sig: Kreusser