Category Archives: Collecting

A Matter of Time

Cover illustration by Fabien Loris
‘How Many Times?’ by Irving Berlin (Francis-Day, Paris, 1926), illustrated by Fabien Loris.

After all the stories, we take a few moments to wish you all the best for the New Year. Serve yourself and select which time you’d like to spend in 2018.

A Good Time‘ by J. Aerts. Sheet music published by Louis Aerts, Paris, 1922. Unknown illustrator.
Summertime‘ by Harry Von Tilzer & Jack Mahoney (Von Tilzer, New York, 1908). Illustrated by Gene Buck.
Tulip Time‘ by Dave Stamper & Gene Buck, Editions Maillochon, Paris, 1919. Left illustrated by M. Labbé, right illustrated by H. Pidot.
Mister ragtime‘ by Maurice Yvain, Editions Francis Salabert (Paris, 1920) illustrated by Atelier Salabert. Right: ‘Gentleman Ragtime‘ by Adalbert Ernst Geyer, published by Musikverlag A.P. (Leipzig, s.d.), unknown illustrator.
Moonlight Saving Time‘ by Irving Kahal & Harry Richman (Francis, Day & Hunter, London, s.d.).  Unknown illustrator.
Moontime‘ by Walter R. Collins (Editions Francis Salabert, Paris, 1919). Cover by Roger de Valerio.
Nesting Time‘ by Mort Dixon & James V. Monaco (Publications Francis-Day, Paris, 1927). Cover illustrated by Fabien Loris.
LEFT: ‘Flirting Time‘ by Charles Ewart (Editions Francis Salabert, Paris, 1927), illustrated by de Valerio  —  RIGHT: ‘Ev’ry Time’ by Gordon Jenkins (ABC Music Corporation, New York, 1944), unknown illustrator.
Modern Times‘ by E. Bilbao, published by Manuel Villar (Valencia, 1916). Cover illustration by Arturo Ballester.
Killing Time‘ by Lionel Renieu, published by Edmond Possoz (Brussels, s.d.) illustrated by V. Valéry.
LEFT: ‘Piccaninnies Bed-Time Dance‘ by Theo Bonheur (W. Paxton, London, s.d.) , unknown illustrator — RIGHT: ‘Many’s the Time‘ by Fred Fisher (Harms Incorporated, New York, s.d.), illustrated by Gene Buck.
LEFT: ‘She’s Dixie all the Time‘ by Harry Tierney & Alfred Bryan (Jerome H. Remick, Detroit, 1916), signed N.E. — RIGHT: ‘May Time  Charming Fox Trot Song’ by Vincent Rose & B. G. De Sylva (Publications Francis-Day, Paris, 1924), illustrated by J V R.
Dancing Time‘ by Jerome Kern with French lyrics by Louis Lemarchand (Max Eschig & Cie, Paris, 1922). Illustration Robert Laroche.
LEFT: ‘In Vacation Time‘ by Harry Von Tilzer & Andrew B. Sterling (Von Tilzer, New York, 1905), ill. Jenkins — RIGHT: ‘Sometime‘ by Anatol Friedland &  A. Seymour Brown (Jerome H. Remick, Detroit, 1914). Illustration by Starmer.
Sometimes‘ by Fred Elizalde & Philip Seeley (Francis-Day, Paris, 1929). Illustration by Würth.

See you soon with a new sheet music story! Meanwhile, enliven your gray and cold winter days with Irving Berlin’s song How Many Times?

Sobre the Vagues – Sur las Wellen – Uber le Olas

Sheet music 'Sobre las Olas' by Juventino Rosas
Sobre las Olas‘ by Juventino Rosas. Published by Friedrich Hofmeister (Leipzig, s.d.)

It is not our collector’s goal, but we have many duplicates of the sheet music ‘Over the Waves’ (Sobre las Olas in Spanish, Über den Wellen in German, Sur les Vagues in French, Sopra le Onde in Italian).

Not surprisingly the waltz, Sobre las olas, has sometimes been incorrectly attributed to Johann Strauss. But is was composed by a Mexican, Juventino Rosas (1868-1894). His life has been documented and filmed. Beware though, because many lies and fantasies have been written about him.  What is true —and sad—  is that he died too young at the age of 26.

Juventino Rosas in 1894 (source: wikipedia:en)

We want to concentrate on the iconic representation of Sobre las Olas on all the above covers. Where does it come from? Why did the music publishers all over Europe apparently follow the convention to represent a young nymph, fairy or woman floating above foaming water, always with bare arms, twirling and undulating, wrapped in lots of light fabric? Send us a postcard if you know the answer, please.

At that time Art Nouveau is in full bloom, and the flowing gowns echo the characteristic whiplash curves employed by many fin-de-siècle artists.

Sopra le Onde‘ by Juventino Rosas. Published by Carisch & Jänichen (Milano, s.d.)

What strikes us, is the graphical similarity with the representation of the famous Serpentine Dance created by Loïe Fuller at the Folies Bergère, as seen on posters around 1900.

Loïe Fuller, left: by PAL (Jean de Paleologue); middle: by BAC (Ferdinand Sigismond Bach),1892; right: by Jules Chéret, 1897.

Of course, seeing Loïe Fuller in action is another thing. Here she is, metamorphosing from a bat, in an original silent film by Segundo de Chomon. He was a brilliant Spanish film pioneer who worked in Paris and is often compared to Georges Méliès, due to his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions. The film is from 1902 (and not 1905 as indicated on YouTube). Although Segundo de Chomon hand painted some copies, this one is recently stencil-coloured.

In another Segundo de Chomon film The creation of the Serpentine (1908) Mephistopheles interrupts a peaceful evening of dancing in a French salon. Showing his real face, the demon creates a woman who multiplies in numerous Serpentine dancers, all twisting their robes until they finally explode into flames. Wow!

And here is an excerpt from La Danseuse a 2017 biopic of Loïe Fuller, played and danced by none other than I’ll Kill Her Soko. Perhaps not really a must-see, but it gives a good impression of the colour effects that were originally used and designed by Fuller herself.

Now back to our Sobre las Olas with an Uzbek interpretation. It surely beats kittens on Facebook.

Table of six ‘Sobre las Olas’ sheet music above: (clockwise starting top left) (1) published by Ernst & Paul Fischer (Berlin, s.d.); (2)published by Alfred Michow (Berlin, s.d.); (3) published by Adolf Kunz (Berlin, s.d.); (4) published by Otto June, Leipzig, s.d., illustration signed G.B; (5) published by Anton J. Benjamin (Hamburg, s.d.); (6) unknown publication.