Posted by: scribe9 | August 25, 2010

Meandering music

Having been so charmed by Chopin’s first Piano Concerto, I thought I’d check out some of his other music with which I was not yet familiar. So I went to the Whangarei library (much larger than the Procter, and much more in Dewey Decimal order (which I hadn’t realized had spread beyond the US–but I digress)), and found a slim book of his songs.

There is no date on the book, but from the typestyle I’d guess it’s more than a century old. It’s titled “Polnische Lieder”–“Polish Songs,” and published by CF Peters in Leipzig. The songs are translated into German and most are transposed from the original key, which is probably more than you want to know. I wasn’t taken with them, but some people are–CF Peters still publishes them, simply as Opus 74.

There’s a green stamp on each of the first two pages–“A Forlivesi & Co., Firenze.” That’s a music publisher and retailer in Florence, which has been around since 1882. (Aren’t you glad I have the Internet at my fingertips, bringing you all this useful information?)

I immediately guessed that some English person had bought the music in Italy, or ordered it from there, brought it to New Zealand upon immigration, and donated it to the Whangarei library. Yes, I love to leap to conclusions. But it pleased me to think of that slender book making its way from Germany to Italy to New Zealand somehow–and then I realized that I had just done that path in reverse in May, visiting Florence and then passing through Leipzig on our way to Berlin.



  1. I’ve really enjoyed your blog – quite a wonderful variety of observations – from bus stops to naming beaches! Your time in NZ has really flown by – and it sounds like you’ve really enjoyed the experience.

    • I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. We’ve had a good time–but are glad to be heading home.

    • On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 6:03 PM, Amy Houchen wrote:

      > I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. We’ve had a good time–but are glad to be > heading home. > >

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