William John Summers

Professor Summers: Rare Sketch Shows How Beethoven Worked

A rare sketch leaf manuscript written by Ludwig van Beethoven—which goes on the auction block January 15 in Amherst, N.H.—is an extremely important piece of evidence about the way the composer worked, according to Associate Professor of Music William Summers.

New Hampshire Public Radio reports that bidding on the sketch leaf, part of Beethoven’s work on the majestic Missa Solemnis, was approaching $400,000 by the early morning of January 15.

“Whatever price this sketch leaf may bring, its true value lies in the visible revelations it provides concerning Beethoven the composer and a work of the highest value in western classical music, the Missa Solemnis,” Summers says.

Handel Society to Perform Premiere of Award-Winning Alumni Composer’s Piece

When Oliver Caplan ’04 returns to campus for the Handel Society of Dartmouth College’s performance on November 13, it will be a special occasion for the award-winning composer. Not only will he see old friends in the chorus he once sang with as an undergraduate, but the 100-member group will also premiere a work he wrote.

Caplan’s Roots & Wings was commissioned by Handel Society Director Robert Duff in honor of the Hopkins Center for the Art’s 50th-anniversary celebration. It will be performed in Spaulding Auditorium at 7 p.m. as part of a program entitled Away From Home, which also includes the great American composer John Corigliano’s Fern Hill.

Additionally, the concert previews music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), and Anton Bruckner (1824-1896). The Handel Society will perform these pieces on its upcoming Italian tour.