The RCM library contains a wealth of material.
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Postcards Set 1
1. BEETHOVEN Letter to Antonio Diabelli
Autograph manuscript, Spring 1823
Before leaving on a trip to the country, Beethoven outlines suggestions for the copying and proof-reading of his 33 Variations on a Waltz by Antonio Diabelli prior to publication by Cappi & Diabelli.
RCM MS 4249
2. “ANNE BOLEYN BOOK”
An early 16th-century choir book containing 39 Latin motets and 3 French chansons by Franco-Flemish composers. Evidence suggests that it was prepared for Anne Boleyn.
RCM MS 1070 (G)
3. CHOPIN Waltz in D flat, op 64 no 1
Autograph manuscript, 1847
One of several autograph manuscripts and sketches of Chopin’s celebrated “Minute Waltz”, given to his pupil Juliette von Caraman and later presented to the RCM by the widow of the pianist Holden White. There are several variations from the edition published later in the same year.
RCM MS 4224
4. ELGAR Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in E minor, op 85
Autograph manuscript, 1919
Opening bars of the first movement Adagio of Elgar’s last major orchestral work, written at Brinkwells, Sussex in 1918 and 1919 and first performed by Felix Salmond at the Queen’s Hall, 27 October 1919.
RCM MS 4229
5. HAYDN String Quartet in C major op 64 no 1 Hob III:65
Autograph manuscript, 1790
The six quartets in opus 64 were dedicated to Johann Tost, leader of the second violin section at Esterháza from 1783-1788.
RCM MS 283
6. JONES Ultimum Vale: with a triplicity of musicke
Robert Jones’ 3rd collection of songs for 1 – 4 voices, lute and viol in table book form, including “Blame not my cheeks”. The tenor, alto and bass parts illustrated accompany cantus and viol parts and lute tablature on an adjacent page, enabling the songs to be performed around a table. One of only two surviving copies.
7. MOZART Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in C minor K 491
Autograph manuscript, 1786
Completed on 24 March 1786, the concerto was first performed at a concert for Mozart’s own benefit at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 17 April 1786.
RCM MS 402
8. PARRY Jerusalem: And did those feet in ancient time...
Autograph manuscript, 1916
At its first performance at a meeting of “Fight for Right” on 28 March 1916, Jerusalem was sung with organ accompaniment, but Parry later orchestrated it for use at large-scale concerts, and in 1922 Elgar re-orchestrated it in the version now used at Prom concerts.
RCM MS 4215
9. PURCELL Chaconne from A Choice Collection of Lessons for the harpsichord or spinet
This fine early example of copperplate engraving is from the first collection of keyboard music in England to be devoted to a single composer.
10. SCHUBERT Symphony [no 7] in E, D 729 (unfinished)
Autograph manuscript, 1821
Opening bars of the first movement: Adagio. Only the first 10 folios are fully scored although outline sketches throughout all four movements follow. Ferdinand Schubert gave the manuscript to Felix Mendelssohn whose brother, Paul, sent it to Sir George Grove, first Director of the RCM.
RCM MS 586
11. SCHUMANN Die Capelle, op 69 no 6
Autograph manuscript, 1849
Romanze for women’s voices. The inscription by Clara Schumann to Sir George Grove, dated 1865, confirms that the manuscript is in Robert Schumann’s hand .
RCM MS 4813
12. SULLIVAN The Yeomen of the Guard
Autograph manuscript, 1888
Elsie’s song “Though tear and long-drawn sigh I’ll fit a bride”. Sullivan was Director of the National Training School for Music, a forerunner of the RCM in South Kensington.
RCM MS 605
13. TATE Libretto to Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, 1689
The only surviving copy of the version for a performance at Mr. Josias Priest’s boarding school for young gentlewomen in Chelsea. Interestingly, this libretto differs textually from other musical sources.
14. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphony no 5 in D
Autograph manuscript, 1943
Opening of 3rd movement Romanza, showing it originally prefaced by Bunyan’s words “Upon this place stood a cross, and a litttle below a sepulchre”, also used by the composer in The Pilgrim’s Progress.
RCM MS 4231
15. WALTON Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Autograph manuscript, 1929
Written largely in Amalfi, the concerto was first performed at the BBC Proms in 1929 with Paul Hindemith as the soloist.
RCM MS 4234