Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Creator:
Sessions, Roger, 1896-1985
Title:
Roger Sessions Scores
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/1z40ks865
Dates:
1909-2001 (mostly 1909-1985)
Size:
27 boxes and 24 Volumes
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 1-18; 01; 03; 02; 04; 05; 06; 07; 08; 09
Language:
English

Abstract

The collection contains the manuscripts of composer and educator Roger Sessions. It includes compositions reflecting his use of the 12-tone system of composition and ranging from exercises and studies to concertos, sonatas, operas ("Lancelot and Elaine" and "Montezuma"), and symphonies (1 through 9). Also included are miscellaneous musical works such as divertimenti, nocturnes, chorale studies, quintets, and cantatas along with the manuscripts for two prose works.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Description:

The collection contains the manuscripts of Sessions' compositions reflecting his use of the 12-tone system of composition and ranging from exercises and studies to concertos, sonatas, operas ("Lancelot and Elaine" and "Montezuma"), and symphonies (1 through 9). Also included are miscellaneous musical works such as divertimenti, nocturnes, chorale studies, quintets, and the cantata "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." In addition, there are manuscripts for two prose works, "The Musical Experience," a lecture delivered at the Julliard School of Music in 1947, and an article, "To the Editor," which appeared in Perspectives of New Music in 1967.

Additions to the papers include ozalid copies of various cantatas, concertos, symphonies, and miscellaneous works, original scores for a violin concerto, sketches for Symphony No. 1, correspondence with Luigi Dallapiccola and two musical manuscripts by Jean Binet. New additions include a small "Composer's notebook" which he carried in his pocket; two letters to Carl Miller, an ALS to Arthur Mende; a letter dated Jan. 14, 2001, from Anne Welch Gordon to "Princeton University Music Dept." regarding giving the "Composer's notebook and the correspondence to the Music Library; an unidentified manuscript, and photocopies of correspondence.

For information on the Roger Sessions Society, visit: http://www.uncwil.edu/music/sessionssociety/

Arrangement

The papers of Roger Sessions are divided into two main groups by the fact that some are bound (volumes) and some are unbound (boxes). Within these two groups, the papers have been arranged first by genre (cantatas, concertos, exercises and studies, opera, quartets, sonatas, symphonies, miscellaneous musical works, prose works, correspondence & photographs, and papers of others); then by the titles of the individual works; finally, in a sort of rough chronological order, so that sketches fall before completed works, folders marked "1938-1956" come before folders marked "1939-1956," and so on.

Separate lists are available for the contents of the bound material (volumes 1-23), the unbound material (boxes 1-13), and additional unbound material (boxes 14-17). If you know what you are looking for, the best place to look is in the Index to all of the previous lists, which starts on page 9. Wherever feasible, Sessions' original organization of the material has been kept intact, and the folders are as he marked them.

In the Index, two double-digit numbers separated by a slash (e.g. 01/01) indicate a box and folder number (in the above example, Box 1, Folder 1). Ordinary numbers, such as 5 or 23 (in bold), refer to the numbers of bound volumes. The interval 04/06 - 05/02 includes the folder 4.5/01, an oversized folder in Box 4.5 which contains sketches of Quartet No. 2.

Collection Creator Biography:

Sessions, Roger, 1896-1985

Composer and educator, Roger Sessions graduated from Harvard and studied under Horatio Parker at Yale. In 1926 he won a Guggenheim Professorship and worked at composition in Europe until 1933 as a winner of the American Rome Prize. He held posts at Princeton (1935), Berkeley, CA (1945), Princeton again (1953), and the Julliard School (1965). Among his compositions are four symphonies, several operas, a notable violin concerto (1935), and chamber music. His best known work remains his early Black Maskers (1923).

Collection History

Acquisition:

Gift of the author. Additional material : transfer from Princeton University's Woolworth Music Center, May 1, 2007. AM 2007-100.

Appraisal

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by D. K. Pierce in October 1985 and B. K. Volz in Sept. 1997. Finding aid written by D. K. Pierce in October 1985.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Roger Sessions Scores; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/1z40ks865
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 1-18; 01; 03; 02; 04; 05; 06; 07; 08; 09