Author Topic: Music, the Mail, and Ephemera  (Read 8854 times)

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Offline Szykneij

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Music, the Mail, and Ephemera
« on: January 11, 2021, 05:09:23 AM »
I haven’t posted much over the past few years, although I’ve checked in fairly regularly to keep up with various threads. Now that I’ve recently retired and have more time for personal pursuits, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my long-time exploration of two of my favorite interests – music and stamp collecting (particularly the area of postal history.)

Items that have passed through the mail during years past can have fascinating and valuable tales to tell. Sometimes, the envelopes alone reveal interesting stories. When the enclosures are still intact, they provide a greater bonus.

This 1937 BSO mailing went from Boston to nearby New Hampshire during the tenure of Serge Koussevitzky. At that time, a seat for the entire Boston Symphony season of 24 Saturday evening performances would set you back $35.00 – just under $1.50 per concert.

While Koussevitzky is legendary in the world of classical music, BSO manager G.E. Judd’s name isn’t quite so familiar. His 1977 New York Times obituary reveals some important accomplishments.   

George E. Judd, former manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, died Monday at his home in Unadilla, N.Y. He was 90 years old.
When Mr. Judd was given an honorary degree by Harvard University in 1955, the citation referred to him as an “imaginative impresario” whose “good‐humored patience in the face of genius” helped to lead the Boston Symphony into ever greater importance.
His association with the orchestra went back to 1914, when he became secretary to Col. Henry L. Higginson, who founded the orchestra in 1881. From 1918 to 1935, he was assistant manager. He then moved into the managerial post, which he filled i until his retirement in 1954.
Mr. Judd was active in the establishment of the Berkshire Festival at Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., as a summer activity of the Boston Symphony, and he was guiding hand in the orchestra's first coast‐to‐coast tour in 1953.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 06:41:51 AM by Szykneij »
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 05:10:02 AM »
This is another enclosure.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 05:12:02 AM »
That's an entertaining little subject, thank you for posting.

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 05:15:59 AM »
The Paris Opera House - Palais Garnier - on a postcard mailed in 1907. Notice the horse and carriages in front.

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 05:17:53 AM »
By 1919, when this postcard was mailed, we see old-time autos in place of horses.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 05:30:21 AM »
in 1916, many of us would be anxiously awaiting our monthly mailing from Columbia records.

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 05:31:33 AM »
Inside would be this nicely designed catalog.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 05:32:47 AM »
These records would be the early 78 RPM shellac products.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2021, 05:34:12 AM »
And to listen to them, perhaps you would use a Columbia Grafonola, their version of the Victrola with internal horn.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Online OrchestralNut

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2021, 05:43:57 AM »
Very interesting and unique subject. Nice to see you, Tony!

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2021, 05:45:07 AM »
That's an entertaining little subject, thank you for posting.

Glad you enjoyed!

Tony
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2021, 05:47:35 AM »


I've been collecting things like this for many years from various sources - on line, antique shops, flea markets, etc. There's a lot out there and not very expensive to buy.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2021, 05:49:31 AM »
Very interesting and unique subject. Nice to see you, Tony!

Thanks! Nice to have the time to be active again.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2021, 07:00:58 AM »
Nice to see you back again - you were a familiar name from the past.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2021, 07:52:01 AM »
Nice to see you back again - you were a familiar name from the past.

Thanks! Yes, it's been a while. Glad to be back.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2021, 08:53:35 AM »
Welcome back! It’s good to see a familiar name again and congratulations on your retirement.
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2021, 10:11:52 AM »
Welcome back! It’s good to see a familiar name again and congratulations on your retirement.

Many thanks!
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2021, 01:32:28 PM »
Finding the history about this cover was a challenge. Fortunately, the Sangamon County, Illinois, Historical Society had some detailed information.


William Dodd Chenery was described as  “a highbrow P.T. Barnum – a grand impresario and showman extraordinaire whose talents brought culture and classical music to the masses across the country. …
In the 1890s,  Chenery wrote what probably was his most popular opera, “Egypta,” a retelling of the story of Moses. Like most of his works, “Egypta” was always presented on a monumental scale – three acts, 10 scenes (sometimes with extra mini-scenes tailored to individual  venues) and hundreds, even thousands, of performers.
“Egypta” was performed somewhere in the U.S. for 17 straight years. That included a seven-night stand in 1925 on the grounds of Sacred Heart Academy on West Washington Street that reportedly included a cast of 2,000.
Chenery didn’t write the music for his operas. “Instead of writing themes,” the Journal said in his obituary, “he selected melodies and choruses from the classical writers of operas, oratorios, masses and other standard compositions that fitted the dramatic situations he had created.”


Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.


https://sangamoncountyhistory.org/wp/?p=12328



Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline pjme

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2021, 03:08:54 PM »
The Paris Opera House - Palais Garnier - on a postcard mailed in 1907. Notice the horse and carriages in front.

Brussels: the rue de l'Enseignement (=education/scolarisation) still exists.



And thanks for the story on Chenery's "Egypta"!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 10:57:27 PM by pjme »

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music and the Mail
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2021, 05:36:51 AM »
Brussels: the rue de l'Enseignement (=education/scolarisation) still exists.



And thanks for the story on Chenery's "Egypta"!

You're welcome!

I'm sure I have music-related material from Belgium somewhere, although there were understandably more stamps issued dealing with visual art. Unfortunately, while I like to consider myself a collector of vinyl, books, and philatelic items, I have to admit that I'm more in the accumulator category. Getting everything in some semblance of order is on my bucket list.

While the postcard pictured here shows the Belfry at Bruges, it was posted in Brussels in 1909 - the year King Leopold II, who is pictured on the stamp, passed away. The stamp bears the detachable label that was used on the stamps of Belgium between 1893 and 1914. Since it was left attached to the stamp, this card would not be delivered on a Sunday, If the sender felt it was acceptable to have Sunday delivery, the label would have been removed.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige