A Picture (or Two) is Worth a Thousand Words (2)

We recently came across a third copy (on the right) of ‘Sérénade Divine‘ which is printed in brown and gold, using an ink pigmented with bronze powder. The moon completely faded away and Pierrot looks like shrubbery.

We continue our search for bizarre double items in our collection of sheet music. In a previous post, we showed the creativity of illustrators and/or music publishers to produce additional print runs. We don’t have the answers on the why and when of graphical omissions, additions and changes. Some were intended and crudely created. Others happened brilliantly by accident or were economically inspired. When stumbling on these trouvailles we are puzzled, disconcerted, amused or perplexed. Perhaps you’ll share these emotions with us when comparing the following pairs…

Emigrant Valsen‘ (1928): migration to America as the topic of a waltz. Harald Gelotte illustrated the dramatic experience differently for Swedish (left) and Norwegian migrants (on the right). Even the three funnels of the ocean liner had to be decorated correspondingly.
Sheet Music illustrated by R. Keuller (Reine Astrid, partition illustrée par Renée Keuller)
Both covers were designed by Renée Keuller for the 1936 commemoration of Astrid of Sweden, queen of Belgium between 1934 and 1935. She died at the age of 32 in a car crash, and was mourned in Belgium (left cover) in a different style than in Sweden (right edition).
'Paris-Berlin, 1915' sheet music, march by A. Hannay (partition illustrée)
Both these covers seem to make reference to an (implausible) automobile race during WWI. The right copy is a bit more joyous.
In the Forties the publisher relaunched Hannay’s march of WWI, with a makeover of the cover.
Newspaper seller, illustration by Candido de Faria
The drawing by Faria of a running newspaper seller has been reused, and enhanced with an additional bed scene, by another publisher for a different song (with almost the same title). Strange.
The left cover for ‘Susie‘ is likely Roger de Valerio’s original design for the American song (‘If You Knew Susie’) that Salabert launched in France in 1925. Later, when the song became a success at the Moulin Rouge revue, it was important to put a photograph of hit-machine Mistinguett on the cover, thus spoiling the elegance, simplicity and delicacy of the first design.

If you’ve never been to the Moulin Rouge to hear Mistinguett sing Susie, here is your chance!

Perhaps you’d prefer to hear and see the American ‘Susie‘? We found this version sung by Eddie Cantor:

We close this post with a wonderful design for the cover of ‘If You Knew Susie’ by Orla Muff (1925). Classy!


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