Leonhard Schulz: Recollections of Ireland Op. 41

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You are listening to a new MIDI file of this music. It was sequenced afresh and orchestrated by Jésus de las Heras Giménez to whom I am most grateful. It even includes a bit of improvisation, perfectly in the style of the period. It is not the object of the orchestration to duplicate the sound of the guitar. All experts agree that anyway there isn’t a credible guitar sound patch available on most MIDI equipment, so there is not much point in trying. The purpose is to show how a simple medley of this nature can turn the modest guitar into an orchestra. All you need to do now, is take the guitar in hand and play the music, bearing in mind that you are actually conducting your own little orchestra.

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An Introduction by Matanya Ophee

Leonhard Schulz was born in Vienna in 1814 and died in London on April 27th 1860. He was, together with his father Leonhard Sr. and his brother Eduard, one of the better known guitarists of the early nineteenth century. Reviews of concerts by the Schulz family are to be found in many musical journals of the time. They were brought to Paris, London and Dublin by Moscheles, who appeared with them in concert many times. The Schulz family were perhaps the first professional chamber music group using the guitar who toured Europe as such. Their instruments were the piano, played by young Eduard, the guitar and terz-guitar played by all three, and an early predecessor of the harmonium called the Äol-harmonica.

The biography of Leonhard Schulz given by P.J. Bone is fairly comprehensive, covering in turn details taken from the Memoires of Moscheles, Sir George Smart and Makarov. (Note 1) Additional details are given by Zuth (Note 2).

At the beginning of 1828, the Schulz family played in Paris a series of concerts which attracted the attention of the leading critic there, F.-J. Fétis. The first concert took place on January 21th, one day after a concert given by Fernando Sor. (Note 3) Both concerts were organized by rival piano makers for the purpose of showing off their product. Sor took part in a concert organized by Dietz, and the Schulzes took part in a concert organized by Pape. Not much is known about the Sor concert, besides the well known remark by Fétis regarding Sor’s failure to produce a good tone.(Note 4) A good deal more is said about the Schulzes concert. We know that some of the better musical stars present in Paris also participated, among them Franz Liszt, Malibran-García, the composer-pianist Pixis and several other performers. In the first half of the program, Mr. Schulz Sr. performed together with his two sons a fantaisie of his own composition for the äol-harmonica and two guitars.

The family played again in a benefit concert of Mme. Schutt (sic) at the Odeon in which Henri Herz and Charles-Philippe Lafont also participated.(Note 5) Their Parisian reputation must have reached considerable proportion in a short time. Another concert by the family was organized by Mr. Pape the piano maker, on his regular Saturday series on February 9th. The announcement for the concert listed a Giuliani Concerto played by Leonard Schulz (probably op. 70), Concert Variations for the äol-harmonica and terz-guitar by Schulz père, executed by him and his two sons, another Fantaisie for the same combination, a work called: Les Adieux de Raoul de Coucy à la dame de Fayel. The program announcement states that this was a romance by Blangini, with variations for the voice, piano, violin and guitar by Messrs. Moscheles, Mayseder and Giuliani and that it will be performed by Mme. Kunze, M. Ebner and the brothers Schulz.(Note 6)

The following week the Revue Musicale carried a review of the concert, mysteriously signed by the single initial“S." Whoever the reviewer was, (Sor perhaps?) he certainly liked the concert, even though it was his third concert for the day, not counting the meeting of the Philharmonic Society! After discussing the problem of re adjusting his ears to the delicate sounds of the guitar and the äol-harmonica immediately following the torrents of harmony in the orchestral concert at the Salle des Menus-Plaisirs, the reviewer goes on to say:

“Mais chaque chose a son mérite relatif: I’oiseau-mouche peut fixer un instant par sa gentillesse l’attention de l’observateur, qui vient d’admirer les brillantes couleurs de l’oiseau de paradis.

La guitare de M. Schulz est d’une tierce plus haute que les autres guitares; c’est comme si le capodastre était placé sur la troisième case. Le but de cette nouvelle disposition de l’instrument est d’obtenir une vibration plus éclatante; mais elle ne pouvait étre acquise qu’au détriment de la doucer et du moelleux qui ne vent déjà que trop rare dans les guitares ordinaires. M. Leonard est l’Ajax des guitarists; il a des doigts de fer et il exécute avec une grande precision les plus effroyables difficultés. Son talent a du brillant, mais il manque quelquefois de charme. C’est du reste un reproche qui s’adresse plus a l’instrument qu’a l’artiste.”(Note 7)

“But everything has its own relative merit: the hummingbird may grasp the attention of an observer who just admired the brilliant colours of the bird of paradise.

The guitar of Mr. Schulz is tuned a third higher than other guitars; it is as if a capodastre was placed on the third fret. The purpose of this new disposition of the instrument is to obtain a brighter sound; but this can be achieved only to the detriment of sweetness and that which is mellow which are already quite rare in ordinary guitars. Mr. Leonard is the Ajax of guitarists; he has iron fingers and he performs the most terrifying difficulties with great precision. His talent is brilliant, but sometimes it is lacking charm. It is, in any case, more a fault of the instrument than of the artist”

Unfortunately, the reviewer was more occupied in expressing his prejudices or perhaps personal convictions regarding the guitar, than in helping us identify the performer of which he speaks. Was it Leonhard Schulz the father, or the son?

The review carries this title: “SOIRÉE MUSICALE Donnée par Mrs Schulz Frères, de Vienne, dans les salons deM. Pape" (A MUSICAL EVENING given by Messers. the brothers Schulz of Vienna, in the showrooms of Mr. Pape). Since there is no reference to the father in the title of the review, I tend to believe that he did not play a major part in the concert, leaving his sons to reap all the glory. Therefore, the Leonhard Schulz which the reviewer calls “The Ajax of guitarists" is 14 years old Leonhard Jr. The critical remarks regarding the terz-guitar, shows the reviewer’s ignorance, or in the event it may have been indeed the guitarist Fernando Sor, his personal dislike for this guitar variant which was popular in Vienna since the turn of the century. It also suggests that the Giuliani Concerto performed then, was the Third Concerto op. 70 which is written for the terz-guitar.

The reputation of Leonhard Schulz was established then at a tender age, and remained in full force all throughout the nineteenth century. In an obituary of Madame Sidney Pratten published by Mrs. James N. King-Church of 2 Southampton St., Bloomsbury Square, London, the writer, otherwise known as Madame Giulia Pelzer, recalls her sister’s early attempts to establish herself as a concert guitarist: “The ‘little heroine’—as one critic so aptly styled her—had to compete with the greatest guitar players the world ever heard; Giuliani, Sor, Schulz, Neuland, Horetzky and the youthful Regondi were all before the public."(Note 8)

History plays silly little games on the destiny of people, and it is sad to observe that the name of Leonhard Schulz, a person who enjoyed a reputation in the nineteenth century as wide as that of those guitarists whose names have survived, is now almost forgotten. Of his more than 100 opus numbers for the guitar, only one exquisite collection of studies is still in print, and hardly known to the majority of guitarists today.(Note 9)

Other published pieces by Schulz which have survived and which are available in various collections, are not always of a satisfactory musical value. To begin with, many of them are written for a guitar tuned in E Major. Occasionally the edition does not say so, with the result that attempts to read the music on a normally tuned guitar end up with frustration and disappointment. That is probably what happened to Nikolai Petrovitch Makarov when he took home with him some of Schulz’ published music.(Note 10) In his Memoires Makarov relates that he traveled to London for the sole purpose of meeting Schulz. He was overwhelmed by Schulz the player to such an extent that he decided to forego a meeting with Regondi. He was not so impressed by Schulz’ work as a composer. He was told by Schulz that publishers would not accept his music for publication in its original form, and would ask him to simplify it for sale to an amateur market. The same complaint, Makarov tells us, was also made to him by Mertz.(Note 11)

It is not known to me if the present work by Schulz, his Recollections of Ireland op. 41, was ever published. At least, I have not found yet any such publication. The present edition is based on a non-autograph manuscript which is kept at the Rischel/Birket-Smith collection in the Royal Library in Copenhagen. This Ms. copy was made by a Danish guitarist named J.G. Holm, the dedicatee of two works by Napoleon Coste.(Note 12) The Rischel/Birket-Smith collection contains over seventy manuscripts in the hand of J.G. Holm, many of which can be compared to printed editions of the music by well known composers such as Carulli, Coste, Mertz, Sor, Tárrega etc. Having compared several of his copies to such known editions, I find that he was a reliable and accurate copyist. Not knowing what was the source he was copying in this work, an autograph Ms. or a printed edition, it is difficult for us to assess to what extent this music actually corresponds to the music played by, or even written by Schulz.

This composition is a fantasy on Irish melodies. The title calls it a “Recollections.” In his youth, Schulz was brought by Moscheles to Dublin, where they played some concerts together. It is rather doubtful if the tunes were learned by Schulz at that time. More probably, he collected them from Irish song books which were available in plentiful abundance in London during the years of his residence there.

The work opens with an introduction by the composer. The next tune, so far, evades precise identification. It maybe an original tune by Schulz himself or a tune from another national provenance. It might even be Irish in origin. The next tune is The Last Rose of Summer, a tune made famous by Thomas Moore and used by countless composers from Beethoven to Giuliani to Flotow. Then follows a delightful Irish jig known as St. Patrick Day’s Jig. It first appeared in the collection of Edward Bunting which was published in London in 1796, and republished many times since.(Note 13) The piece closes with a hornpipe of uncertain provenance.

In preparing this publication I observed the following:

1. J.G. Holm’s notation is adhered to as much as possible, with the exception of certain improvement in separation of voices I felt was necessary. The original notation was occasionally ambiguous regarding the duration of notes in the bass. I tried to maintain a simility of the drone effect so typical of Irish folk music.

2. The manuscript carried quite a bit of fingering. Most of it is incorporated into the present edition, though converted to modern symbology. Certain fingering patterns, such as a hinge barre with the 2nd finger, are not used today in general, and they were replaced by more logical fingering.

3. Obvious errors were corrected silently.

4. Several emendations have been made to the text. As follows:

(Note: JGH= The J. G. Holm non-autograph copy. R&B-S Collection, No. Ms. 244)

m. 3 n. 2: JGH has bf’-c#’’.

m. 4 n. 2-3: could be treated as a descending appoggiatura on the beat with the bass A.

m. 8. n. 2: JGH has b-natural. B-flat implied by fingering and by precautionary natural in the next measure.

m. 9 n. 8: JGH has the f-natural fingered with 3, implying a slide on string 4 to b.

m. 10 n. 2: hence, the JGH fingering implies an f-natural in the soprano, reinforced by the JGH fingering of the D Major triad in m. 11 n. 1 in the seventh position. In essence, this is a reversal on my interpretation of this place as it a appeared in the original PWYS-7 edition, and which was the subject of Erik Stenstadvold’s criticism. See the details of this controversy in A Letter To the Editor. I am willing to accept now that Stenstadvold’s understanding of the harmony was in fact more correct than mine, in spite of the mitigating circumstances for my interpretation based on the statement by Thomas Moore I quote there. Stenstadvold’s rationale for his argument, my unscholarly rejection of the left hand thumb technique, still does not hold water. The proper rationale is the careful paleographic interpretation of the source manuscript. Even though it is not an autograph and we do not know if the copyist had not introduced any editorial changes of his own, we also do not know that he had. In other words, until such time we can gain access to more reliable sources, we are free to interpret the symbology used by the copyist either as a literal copy of his source, or as one edited by him. Either way would be acceptable, as long as we do not pretend that the resulting edition represents the composer’s original intentions. In this case, we can accept the symbology two different ways. In the original Orphée edition (PWYS-7) I chose one way, utterly defensible with the available evidence. This time I chose another way, equally defensible. My choice happens to agree now with Stenstadvold’s original interpretation. It is not motivated by Stenstadvold’s criticism, but by a careful rereading of the source manuscript.

M. 29 N. 2-6: The slash between the notes of the dyad, in many manuscript and printed sources of the later half of the nineteenth century, was intended to indicate a short rasgueado stroke across two strings. In particular, it was a favorite device of Russian guitarists such as Ivan Andreevich Klinger (b?-1897) who used it to indicate an imitation of the balalaika. Many manuscripts of Klinger’s ended up in the R&B-S collection and must have been known to J.G. Holm. These short rasgueados can be either executed as indicated, with an alternation between i.m., or as a dedillo stroke with one finger.

m. 35 n. 13: Sharp is editorial.

m. 44 n. 8-9: slur is editorial.

m. 60 n. 3-4 in the treble: slur in JGH removed.

Matanya Ophee
Boston, Massachusetts
May, 1984. (Amended, March 1997, Columbus.)

End Notes

1. Philip J. Bone, The Guitar and Mandolin, London, 1954. Return to text

2. Josef Zuth, Handbuch der Laute und Gitarre, Vienna, 1926. Return to text

3. F.-J. Fétis, Revue Musicale, Paris, 1828, Vol. 111, No. 2, p. 40-41. Return to text

4. Ibid. See also: Brian Jeffery, Sor, Composer and Guitarist, London, 1977. p. 104. Return to text

5. Ibid. Vol. 111 No. 3, p.68-69. This must be a typographical error in the RM. The report does not mention any Madame Schulz in this concert, if one ever existed. Most probably this was a benefit concert given by the Mrs (French for Messers!) Schulz;. Return to text

6. Ibid. Vol. 111, No. 8, p. 15 5. The last item is probably the pastiche by Moscheles, Mayseder, and Giuliani otherwise known as Der Ahschied der Troubadours. See: Thomas F. Heck, Mauro Giuliani: Virtuoso Guitarist and Composer, Editions Orphée, Columbus, 1995. page 225. WoO vocal-13. Return to text

7. Ibid. p. 156. Return to text

8. Included in a brochure in which Madame Giulia Peizer advertised her services. Copy in the collection of the International Gitarristische Vereinigung, Städtische Bibliotek, Munich. The brochure is dated 1905.Return to text

9. B. Schott, Mainz. Guitar Archive series, No. 47. Return to text

10. Nikolai Petrovich Makarov, Zadushevnaia Ispo'ved; (Heartfelt Confession) St. Petersburgh, 1859. Partial English translation in the Guitar Review, New York, 1947. Vol. 3, p. 56. Return to text

11. Ibid. p. 59. Return to text

12. The works in question are op. 38 No. 7, and op. 39. See: the Guitar Works of Napoleon Coste, Facsimile edition in 9 volumes, Chanterelle verlag. Edited by Simon Wynberg. Heidelberg, 1981. Return to text

13. The copy of Edward Bunting’s work which I have colisulted dates from 1840, when Schulz was living in London. I am indebted to Peter Danner for helping to identify this tune. Return to text


I wish to thank the Royal Library of Copenhagen for making a copy of this work available to me and for their permission to publish it.

Matanya Ophee

Copyright © 1984 by Editions Orphée. All Rights Reserved.

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