Title: Catherine Murphy Urner Collection,
Date (inclusive): [ca. 1910-ca. 1942]
Collection number: ARCHIVES URNER 1
Urner, Catherine Murphy, 1891-1942
Extent: Number of containers: 15
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- From the estate of Charles Shatto, husband of Catherine Urner
- Date of gift:
- Spring, 1983
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in
writing to the Head of the Music Library.
[Identification of item], Catherine Murphy Urner collection, ARCHIVES URNER 1, The Music
Library, University of California, Berkeley.
All entries are in alphabetical order; dates are given when available (also,
occasionally, the location of composition). With the exceptions of "Song from April'"
(Flute or Violin and Piano) (A-2b) and "The Lake Isle of Innesfree" (Flute, Harp and
Violoncello) (A-2f), the melodies in the published works (all vocal solo) are accompanied
by a piano; and, unless otherwise indicated, the piano is also the sole accompanying
instrument for the unpublished, accompanied vocal solo music (B-2 through B-72). Where
parts for certain ensemble works are available, a notation to this effect is included
along with the instrumentation.
To avoid any confusion, works appearing in more than one form (where not listed
sequentially) have been cross-referenced. (Although not individually cataloged, many
sketches and work sheets of finished compositions are extant, frequently diverging from
oeuvres in their final form.)
Several works, mentioned in reviews or on programs, the compilers have been unable to
locate. These are: two songs -"If I Were a Fairy" (Charles Burton Going) (B-25), "Where
the Poppies Blow" (Helen Moriarty) (B-71) and "Quartet for Strings" (I-12)
premièred by the Krettly Quartet (Robert Krettly, Reni Costard, Georges Taine,
Pierre Fournier) at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on March 31, 1925.
Another of the songs, "Starlight in the Music" (May Stanley) (B-60), has also been known
as "Irish Ballad" or "Irish Legend."
The "Petite Suite" (Flute, Violin, Viola, Violoncello) (I-9) was called simply "Suite"
when premièred at Paris at the 152nd concert of the Société Musicale
Indé pendante on March 25, 1931 by Mmes. Fernande Capelle (Flute), Cluzet-Horiot
(Violin), Anita Cartier (Viola) and M. Trembelland (Violoncello). The initial tempi for
the four movements were also listed somewhat differently: 1. Andante quasi adagio 2.
Allegretto 3. Allegretto animato, scherzando 4. Final (allegro moderato).
Within the parameters of time and funding allocated for this project, works possessing a
literary basis have been checked for accuracy of textual authorship and title;
regrettably, sources for some of the works in this category being unavailable after much
searching, inaccuracies and/or omissions may indeed be present.
Ancillary materials of corroborative interest are stored in nine large manila envelopes
(1) four photographs of Catherine Urner (one including her husband, Charles Shatto) 10.2
cm. x 15.5cm. to 20.2 cm. x 25.2 cm. in size (2) press clippings, programs, other
photographs, miscellany (3) miscellaneous literary works (4, 5) English translation of
Traité de l'harmonie, VI.I by Charles Koechlin (handwritten
manuscript [title page and preface missing, 3 pages of notes and examples appended]) (6,
7, 8, 9) English translation of
Traité de l'harmonie, VI.I by
Charles Koechlin (typewritten manuscript [page 324 duplicated, 2 ink-spoiled pages (39
and 40) appended]) and two somewhat faded green fold-over cartons (1) English translation
Théorie de la musique by Charles Koechlin (hand-written
manuscript [pages 1 through 16 missing]) (2) English translation of
de la musique
by Charles Koechlin (typewritten manuscripts [1 original, 2
carbon--all incomplete]) (the entire translation is available by combining the materials
from both the handwritten and typewritten manuscripts).
This entire archive, with the exception of
The Partheneia 1916--
Aranyani of the Jasmine Vine (J-13), which is housed within the
archives of the Berkeley campus of the University of California (The Music Library).
Effort is at present being made through the generosity of Christine Urner Vaughan
(Catherine Urner's sister) and the F. Eugene Miller Foundation to publish, record and
perform this music. (Copyright to B-2, B-43, E-20, H-4, K-5, K-11b, K-46 and K-50 is
presently held by the F. Eugene Miller Foundation.)
Grateful acknowledgment of the assistance of Christine Urner Vaughan in supplying
biographical data (which has been developed into a brief biographical sketch) is tendered
Finally, the compilers intensely hope this catalog will become to professionals on the
platform, teachers and their students an eminently
practicalportal to the discovery and performance of this soaringly beautiful, subtle,
by David Zea
April 11, 1977
Addendum to Preface
It is with great sadness announcement must be made of Charles Shatto's passing on New
Year's Day, 1983. Inquiries regarding the Catherine Urner Archive should now be addressed
to the Head of the Music Library.
by David Zea
January 7, 1983
Catherine Murphy Urner was born in Mitchell, Indiana on the 23rd day of March, 1891. Her
undergraduate musical training, with concentrations in piano, voice and composition, was
accomplished at Goucher College (Baltimore, Maryland), the famed Peabody Conservatory and
Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) from which she was graduated with a Bachelor of Arts
degree in 1912.
In 1914, she traveled West and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley campus,
to do post-graduate work in music at the College of Letters and Science, where, by June
1916, she had completed four semesters of study. Before her withdrawal from the
University on September 26, 1916, she became involved in composing the music for the
Spring 1916 production of the University women--The Partheneia--a masque presented in the
Faculty Glade on campus. This work, based on a series of scenes by classmate Maude
Meagher, was entitled
Aranyani of the Jasmine Vine. Miss Urner's
contribution was hailed by the following interesting excerpt from a review of the entire
production found in the 1917
Blue and Gold (the UCB year book): "The
music, composed by Catherine Urner '15 and directed by Dorothy Pillsbury '16, was of
unusual beauty." As an outcome of her part in this production, she won the esteemed
George Ladd Prix de Paris for the years 1920-1921, Miss Urner being the first person to
be honored with this award.
It was during the first of her three sojourns in France that she coached voice with
Andrée Otemar and commenced her decade-long studies in advanced composition and
orchestration with the renowned Charles Koechlin.
On her return to the United States in 1921, she became Director of Vocal Music at Mills
College, a position she held until 1924.
From this time on, Catharine Urner was very active as a composer and concert singer,
chiefly in the United States, France and Italy. In the next few years, important
premières of her music took place under the auspices of such eminent organizations
as the Société Musicale Indépendante and the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
In her concertizing, she became recognized as an accomplished singer of ancient and
classic songs, French Impressionist
chansons and American Indian tribal
melodies, many of these last-named having been harmonized and arranged for voice and
piano by her close associate, Mme. Herscher-Clément.
American Indian lore, one of Catharine Urner's main interests, is commented upon in this
excerpt from a program announcement in a San Diego newspaper of the Thirties: "A group of
the ceremonial songs of five American tribes will be explained and sung by Miss Urner, in
appropriate costume. Miss Urner has done extensive research on the folklore of the
American Indian, and in collaboration with the French composer, Mme.
Herscher-Clément, gave joint recitals with Chief Os-Ko-Mon, of the Yakima tribe,
while in Paris." Section IV of the program printed in the same announcement elucidates
further: "Ceremonial songs of the Navajo, Sioux, South Dakota, Iroqois (sic) and Cheyenne
Indians, with comments by Miss Urner." An announcement of a Thanksgiving Day concert at
Santa Barbara's famed El Encanto Hotel gives additional detail regarding the scope of
Miss Urner's deep involvement with this traditional music: "In the Thanksgiving program
Miss Urner will sing in native costume accompanied by the Indian drum and will present
authentic Indian songs from American tribes." Needless to say, one senses a strong
influence of this stark, poetical music in Miss Urner's compositions.
Shortly before her final return to the United States, where she taught and arranged
lecture tours for Charles Koechlin at leading universities, more and more plaudits for
her recitals were in evidence, Sempol previewing, for example, in
L'Éclaireur de Nice et du Sud-Est of Tuesday, January 19, 1932 as
"En ce qui concerne plus spécialement son interprétation
vocale, on aura la joie de constater que ses dons musicaux et sa compréhension des
oeuvres sont doublés d'une technique de chant tout à fait
supérieure, d'une voix ample, colorée, au timbre pur et
In 1938, Catherine Urner married the well-known composer, pianist and organist, Charles
Rollin Shatto, in a ceremony at picturesque Bird Rock, La Jolla, California. The two
musicians collaborated on many projects, and until Miss Urner's untimely passing on the
30th day of April, 1942 in San Diego, California, she devoted herself to prolific
composition, singing, teaching and choir.
Title: Charles Shatto collection
Identifier/Call Number: (ARCHIVES SHATTO 1)
Title: Charles Koechlin manuscripts
Identifier/Call Number: (ARCHIVES Koechlin 1)