Gioacchino Rossini Péchés de vieillesse and Heugel archive
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Extent.66 linear feet (2 boxes)
Note: Title entries in this finding aid give the original title, with titles given by A.-E. Vaucorbeil for the Heugel firm designated with "Heugel title."
Biographical / Historical
The collection comprises short pieces for piano, and also for solo voices in all possible combinations, with piano accompaniment. The 237 pieces are organized in 13 albums (For an inventory of these albums, see P. Gossett's Rossini entry in NewGrove, XVI (1980).
The composer had the entire collection copied from his autograph (today at the Fondatione Rossini, Pesaro); he revised and corrected them carefully, signing each piece, possibly with a publication in mind. Often at variance with the autograph scores, they represent the authoritative text.
After the composer's death, in 1873, his widow, Olympe Pélissier, sold the entire collection to the English baron Albert Grant. He, in turn, had the collection auctioned off in London, in 1878. The Société anonyme de publications périodique, Paris, was among the buyers, purchasing 20 items from the Quelques riens pour album, and later adding 14 more items from other sources (one item contains 2 pieces). The Heugel firm acquired from them the rights to publish these 35 pieces for piano solo, as the very first edition of Rossini piano works. It was prepared by Auguste Vaucorbeil (1821-1884), then director of the Paris Opéra, who gave the pieces new picturesque titles, and changed the order completely.
Both the music manuscripts and the accompanying archive remained intact in the Heugel firm until sold in 1975 to the Hamburg auction house Hauswedell & Nolte, then to the dealer Scriptorium (Brussels) before they were acquired by the Houghton Library in 1996. In 1975 the manuscripts were consulted by the Fondatione Rossini, Pesaro, for the edition of the Quelques riens pour album (vol. XII of Péchés de vieillesse), M. Tartak, ed. (1982, with introduction and commentary).
- I. Compositions representing the complete Quelques riens pour album (vol. XII)
- II. Compositions from other albums (vols. IV-VIII, X)
- III. Correspondence
- IV. Production documents
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Rossini, Gioacchino, 1792-1868. Gioacchino Rossini Péchés de vieillesse and Heugel archive: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA