Mendel Music Library Celebrates Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” at 100

22889-Igor_Stravinsky-thumb-250x389-22888.jpg Numerous important musical anniversaries are being celebrated in 2013, including the 200th birthdays of two of the most influential opera composers of the 19th-century–Giuseppe Verdi (1813-2901) and Richard Wagner (1813-1883). No less noteworthy is the 100th anniversary of the premiere on 29 May 2013 of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet the Rite of Spring (Le sacre du printemps), presented by the Ballets Russes under Serge Diaghilev at the newly opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, less than two weeks after the first performance of Claude Debussy’s ballet Jeux on May 15. The riot that ensued at this performance has become the stuff of legends, and the ballet was only rarely performed for decades until several revivals in the 1980s brought the work into the performing repertory of some companies, albeit tenuously. But the music and the genius of the composer’s conception, which after a hundred years still can deliver “shock and awe” to its audience, quickly became a staple of the modernist orchestral repertoire after its concert premiere under Serge Koussevitzky in St. Petersburg on 18 February 1914. As such, it became one of the seminal works of 20th-century music. (Authorized Princeton users can click here to listen to a recording of the work conducted by Stravinsky.)

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To commemorate this anniversary year of the Rite of Spring, the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel has issued two remarkable facsimile editions of manuscripts housed in its Stravinsky archive, published by Boosey & Hawkes: an annotated facsimile of the autograph full score and another of the composer’s version for piano four-hands. These are truly magnificent manuscripts that copiously document the composer’s remarkably expressive calligraphy, making them works of art in themselves. Both of these facsimiles were recently acquired by Princeton’s Arthur Mendel Music Library, and they form the centerpiece for an exhibit celebrating this “epochal moment in the history of both music and ballet [that] signaled he breakthrough into Modernism” (publisher brochure). The exhibit, displayed in three cases on the first floor of the library, focuses on three aspects of the work: composer, conception, and the 1913 premiere; the score from sketches to publication; and the cast of remarkable characters involved with the earliest productions of the work: Serge Diaghilev, the impresario of the Ballet Russes; Vaslav Nijinsky, who choreographed the work and had just danced the lead in Jeux; Nicholas Roerich, designer of the sets and costumes; Marie Rambert, one of the maidens in the first performance; the dancer Léonide Massine, who choreographed a new production in 1920; and, of course, the composer himself. Interspersed among numerous photographic reproductions are commentaries on various aspects of the work and its genesis, including Stravinsky’s own words, testimonies from the time, and observations by many authorities on the composer and the work.

Come by the Mendel Library and enjoy these time capsules that capture the essence one of the most important musical commemorations of 2013!

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Welcome to New Staff Member Abbey Thompson

The Mendel Music Library is delighted to extend a hearty welcome to our new staff member Abbey Thompson as manager for Collection Services and Technical Processing, as well as Web site editor.  Abbey has master’s degrees in musicology and library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor of arts degree in performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She hails from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she was a library assistant in the Children’s Literature Research Collection. Previously to that, she was a project librarian in the eleven-county public library cooperative for southeastern Minnesota (SELCO), where she variously worked as a project grant manager, cataloger, and Web site editor. While at UNC she was a graduate research assistant in the Metadata Research Center in the School of Information & Library Science and the Rare Book Collection and Southern Folklife Collection of the UNC libraries. She was also a teaching assistant in the UNC Music Department for two years. She also has been the Webmaster for the Midwest chapter of the Music Library Association. Her e-mail is If you use the Mendel Music Library, please introduce yourself to Abbey! You’ll see her often at the circulation desk and in the stacks taking care of the collection.

New Circulation Desk in the Mendel Music Library

The installation of the new circulation / public services desk in Princeton’s Mendel Music Library finished up last week. All we need to finish up the project are a couple of minor tweaks and a new chair for the circulation desk student–all to come in the next couple of weeks.To inaugurate this terrific and much-needed enhancement for the library, it seemed only fitting to give Beethoven long-overdue Princeton recognition with an appropriate honor–he now sports his own Tiger cap.

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Locate Mendel Library Materials with New StackMap Tool

GPS has come to Mendel! We are excited to announce the launch of a new StackMaps feature that enables Mendel Music Library patrons to zero in on the exact location of materials shelved in the library (this tool is also available in other branches). From the catalog record for books and scores, you can now click on the location link to open a window that shows exactly where the item is located in the Mendel stacks. Here’s how to bring up the maps in the standard catalog and SearchIt.

From the individual bibliographic records in the standard catalog interface, click on:

Item details: Where to find it:

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From the new SearchIt interface, click on the Locations & Availability tab, and then click on the Where to find it icon:
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And voila! Up comes a map showing you exactly where to find the item in the Mendel stacks:

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This new feature will be particularly helpful for finding scores and books located in separate collections based on size or material type, such as study scores, oversized items (q), folios (f), reference books and scores (SV), facsimiles (SVF), and periodicals (MUSP). Keep in mind, however, that these maps designate where the item is found when shelved in the library. It does not indicate that items are checked out, lost, or otherwise absent from their normal homes on the shelves. Check the status indication to determine if the item is available, checked out, lost, or temporarily relocated before following the map to the first or second floors of Mendel.

We are still refining some formatting for correctly indicating the location of materials held behind the circulation desk (CDs, DVDs, microfilms, etc.); eventually the maps will indicate that you can obtain these items by requesting them at the circulation desk.

If you find yourself misdirected by any of the Mendel StackMaps, please inform Maggie Capewell so that she can correct the coding.

We appreciate any feedback you have to offer on this feature!

Exhibit Celebrating the Life of Milton Babbitt in the Mendel Music Library

As part of the celebration of the long and distinguished career of composer Milton Babbitt (1916-2011) at Princeton University, and in anticipation of the upcoming memorial concert on June 5, the Mendel Music Library has mounted in the three display cases on the first floor of the
library a small exhibit of photos, commentaries, musical examples, memorabilia, and a variety of other intriguing materials from the 1950s through the 2000s (and even a
picture from his very early youth),
many of them kindly loaned by John Burkhalter from the Princeton University
Concerts office. For much more on Babbitt, visit the Milton Babbitt Web site maintained by the Music Department. The exhibit will remain on display in the library through August.

stop by and enjoy!


Naxos Music Library Records Now in the Princeton Library Catalog

The library has purchased a limited set of catalog records for thousands of the streamed audio recordings in the Naxos Music Library, making it now possible to access these recordings directly from the Princeton Library catalog without searching the Naxos Music Library directly. You can recognize these catalog records by [electronic resource] in the title, Naxos Music Library in the publisher and series fields, “ONLINE” for the location, “electronic resource” as the call no., and, of course, the direct link in the “Electronic access” field. By clicking on this link, you will directly launch this recording in the Naxos Music Library database. Here is a sample of the key fields:

Title: O mio babbino caro [electronic resource] : famous soprano arias from Italian operas.
Published/Created: [Hong Kong] : Naxos Music Library, [2004]
Electronic access:
Series: Naxos Music Library.
Location: *ONLINE*
Call number: Electronic Resource

Remember, if you are accessing the catalog from a remote, non-Princeton location, you must have VPN or the proxy server running in the background for the direct link into the Naxos Music Library to work; otherwise, a log-on window will prevent you from entering the resource.

To date, there are 6,142 records now in the Princeton Library catalog describing and pointing to recordings in the Naxos Music Library. To see all of them, search “naxos music library” as the publisher and electronic as a title in the guided search, or click on this link for a pre-canned search. You might want to sort by author for an easier preview once the results appear on the screen.

Keep in mind that acceptable cataloging for all the recordings in the Naxos Music Library is presently not available (particularly for recordings added since 2009), and that to get a full picture of all the recordings available, you must search the Naxos Music Library directly. Nevertheless, it’s a real bonus to have even this limited access to over 6,000 complete recordings available at the click of a mouse now available directly from the Princeton Library catalog. 

Online Version of Taruskin’s Oxford History of Western Music Now Available

I am happy to break too long a silence on this blog to announce that Princeton now has online access to the full-text of Richard Taruskin’s award-winning magnum opus Oxford History of Western Music (, originally published in 2005 (hardcover, 6 vols.) and reissued in paperback (2009-10, 5 vols.) This electronic version is only available to authorized Princeton users, and if you are accessing remotely, remember that you must have VPN (or the proxy server) running in the background.

A bit about this resource:

“The Oxford History of Western Music
online offers an
unmatched account of the evolution of Western classical music by one of
the most prominent and provocative musicologists of our time, Richard
Taruskin. Since its original publication in print [in 2005 and subsequent reissue in 2009-10], Taruskin’s landmark
study has received universal acclaim and numerous awards.” More information is available on the home page of the electronic version and also from the Oxford University Press here.

Features of the online version include:

  • The full text from The Oxford History of Western Music (2009 edition) with notes, bibliographies, and further readings for all 69 chapters.
  • 500 illustrations, 1,800 musical examples, and index from the 2009 print edition.
  • More than 1,700 editorially-selected links to relevant entries in Grove Music Online.
  • Sophisticated search and browse options for easy navigation of
    the text, and the original pagination from the 2009 edition is retained
    to aid location of references.
  • Printer-friendly format.
  • Export citations automatically to ProCite™, EndNote™, Reference Manager™, RefWorks™, and Zotero™.
  • DOIs (data object identifiers) and static URLs.

Enjoy this new addition to Princeton’s electronic texts on music!



Access to Individual Classical Music Library and DRAM Streamed Audio Recordings Now Available in Library Catalog

I’m delighted to report that we now have records in the online catalog for the individual streaming audio recordings in DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) and a good number from the Classical Music Library (we are loading these bibliographic records as they are supplied by the producer of this resource, Alexander Street Press). You no longer have to go only to these electronic resources themselves to find the recordings but can use the Princeton Library catalog, with all the title, composer, and subject access points you’d expect. Plus these streamed recordings will now come up when you perform routine searches in the catalog for recordings. This enhanced access will make these streamed recordings so much easier to find and use–you should be able to click directly from the bibliographic records to the actual sound files by clicking on the Electronic access link. You still need to go to Long View to see all the pertinent information about the recording, but the link is visible in the brief display.

REMINDER, if connecting to these recordings via the catalog from off campus, you’ll need to have your VPM Princeton authorization running in the background for the electronic access to open to the streaming audio from the catalog records.

Here are a couple of examples:

DRAM recording sample–click here.

If you want to see all 2,073 DRAM streamed recordings now accessible from the catalog, scroll down the Long View to the DRAM (Online service) link under Related name(s) and just click. Voila! You can also click here.

Classical Music Library recording sample–click here (or enter a series title search for classical music library as a phrase). You will see this number grow steadily as Alexander Street Press makes more and more bibliographic records available for us to download into the catalog.

To link directly to these streaming audio resources (you must have VPM running if trying this from off campus), click on the following:


Classical Music Library 

Stay tuned–we hope to have similar types of catalog records for the content in the Naxos Music Library available soon.

Happy listening,


New Jazz Resources Available at Princeton

In the last few months, the Princeton University Library has acquired noteworthy audio and video jazz resources–from streaming audio to two large and outstanding gifts of CDs and DVDs–that greatly expand access to jazz listening, viewing, and study at Princeton.

Streaming Audio: the Jazz Music Library

Authorized Princeton users can now listen to jazz online via the Jazz Music Library! This new Princeton resource
for streaming audio from Alexander Street Press aims to become the
largest and most comprehensive collection of jazz available online–with
thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres. For more information on the Jazz Music Library, click here. Other key links include a regularly updated “What’s New” page, various browse options, and playlists–both pre-formed by Alexander Street and ones you can make yourself. All selections in the Jazz Music Library have unique, persistent URLs, making linking easy from reserve lists and other Web pages. Remember, if you are accessing from off campus, you must first activate VPN or the proxy server for the resource to recognize you as a Princeton user and log you in correctly to the Jazz Music Library.

Two Outstanding Gifts of Jazz CDs, DVDs, and Books

In the summer and fall of 2009, the Mendel Music Library received two remarkable donations of jazz collections assembled by life-long jazz lovers.

In May 2009, Laura Gates Burgess donated the jazz collection of her late father, Stephen Gates, Ph.D. *55. The focus of this pristine compilation of books, vinyl records, and CDs is a treasure trove of more than 400 CD remasterings of essential recordings by famous and lesser-known artists from the 1920s through the 1960s, the golden years of jazz. Numerous CDs of classic performances by Eddie Condon, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Bobby Hackett, Fletcher Henderson, Red Nichols, Bessie Smith, Teddy Wilson, and other luminaries mixed with rare reissues of Wingy Manone, Wilbur De Paris, Bennie Moten, and the Goofus Five, among other delights. We have completed processing the Gates CDs, and they can all be accessed from the library catalog by clicking here. Remember to select “long view” after selecting a particular recording to see all the descriptive information (performers and recording dates, for example).

This fall, we received an extraordinary collection of CDs, DVDs, and books from Doris Rickles, the widow of Bob Rickles of Marlborough, N.J. Until his death in April 2008, Rickles was an active member of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors (IAJRC) and the Duke Ellington Society in the UK. Bob was an inveterate collector of jazz CDs and his entire collection of some 3,500 jazz CDs is now being processed for the Mendel Music Library’s collection. The depth of coverage of key jazz artists in the collection is phenomenal. Rickles was an obvious “completist” who sought to obtain every available recording of his favorite artists–note the number of Count Basie recordings, for example. In addition, the collection is very rich in more obscure performers and covers a wide range of performance and jazz styles. Another bonus of the Rickles collection is over 100 DVDs of jazz performances, none of which Princeton previously owned. The Rickles Collection is still in process and the number of CDs available to the Princeton community grows monthly. To access the processed (and in-process) CDs and all the DVDs from the library catalog, click here.

Both the Gates and Rickles gifts now provide Princeton with a breadth and depth of vintage jazz recordings it previously lacked, and offer a vital complement to the rising interest in jazz studies at Princeton, as marked by the Anthony H. P. Lee ’79 Fund for the Study of Jazz, established in 2008.