Inventory of the Ernst Bacon Papers, 1926-1987

Processed by Keith Stetson; revised by Oliver Schwaner-Albright; machine-readable finding aid created by James Lake
Music Library
240 Morrison Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-2623
Fax: (510) 642-8237
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MUSI/
© 1997
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Ernst Bacon Papers, 1926-1987

Collection number: ARCHIVES BACON 1

The Music Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information

  • Music Library
  • 240 Morrison Hall
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
  • Phone: (510) 642-2623
  • Fax: (510) 642-8237
  • Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
  • URL: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MUSI/
Processed by:
Keith Stetson
Revised by:
Oliver Schwaner-Albright and Matthew Weber
Date Completed:
July 1996, Nov. 1998
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ernst Bacon Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1926-1987
Collection number: ARCHIVES BACON 1
Creator: Bacon, Ernst, 1898-
Extent: Number of containers: 4 document boxes, 2 oversize legal document boxes, and 2 flat storage boxes

Linear feet: 3.25
Repository: The Music Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Provenance

The collection of 47 music reviews written by Ernst Bacon for The Argonaut(San Francisco) during the year 1934 was given to the Music Library by Elizabeth Elkus in 1955. The other materials are donated by John Edmunds (in 1987), Ellen Bacon (in 1991), and the photograph was donated by Arthur Bacon (in 1987). Materials pertaining to Ecclesiastes were donated by Ellen and Madi Bacon (and organized by Jonathan Elkus) in 1998. The copy of the oral history recording was obtained from the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library, also in 1998. The original recording remains at ROHO.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Music Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Music Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Music Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ernst Bacon papers, ARCHIVES BACON 1, The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Biography

Bacon, Ernst (b. Chicago, IL, 26 May 1898; d. Orinda, CA, 16 Mar 1990). Composer and pianist. He studied at Northwestern University (1915-18), the University of Chicago (1919-20), and the University of California (M.A. 1935) [where his master's thesis was the choral cantata The Song of the Preacher (1935)]. Among his teachers were Alexander Raab and G. D. Dunn (piano), Weigl and Bloch (composition), and Goosens (conducting), under whom he was assistant conductor of the Rochester Opera Company. He taught at the Eastman School (1925-28) and the San Francisco Conservatory (1928-30); in 1935 he instituted and conducted the Carmel Beach Festival in California, and the next year he was supervisor of the WPA Federal Music Project in San Francisco and conductor of its orchestra. Subsequent teaching appointments took him to Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, as dean and professor of piano (1938-45), and to Syracuse University, as director of the school of music and professor (1945-63, professor emeritus from 1964). Among his honors are a Pulitzer Award (1932, for the Symphony in D minor) and two Guggenheim Fellowships.
As a composer Bacon is best known for his songs, which show unusual sensitivity to the color and inflection of words and a masterly use of syncopation to give the impression of natural speech. He preferred short poems with a "certain philosophical undercurrent together with a relatively simple and not-too-involved lyricism" and has been most successful with his settings of texts by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. He has also made many arrangements of American folk music. Our Musical Idiom (1917), his early study of new harmonies, pointed the direction he was to follow, one close to tradition. Yet his style is individual, finding its own basis in nondiatonic scales, American subjects, and a masterly counterpoint. 22 of his Dickinson songs have been recorded by Helen Boatwright with the composer at the piano. In addition to composing, Bacon performed as a pianist in Europe and the USA, and he had also shown talent as a painter. His published writings include Words on Music (1960) and Notes on the Piano (1963).
- - The New Grove Dictionary of American Music

Related Collections

Title: John Edmunds Papers,
Identifier/Call Number: ARCHIVES EDMUNDS 1
Title: John Edmunds Letters : to Cornel Adam Lengyel,
Identifier/Call Number: ARCHIVES EDMUNDS-LENGYEL 1

Series Description

Box 1, folders 1-46

Series 1: Music Compositions

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title.
Box 1, folders 47-49

Series 2: Writings

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Divided into two sub-series: Bacon's Column in The Argonaut, and Creative Writings. First sub-series is arranged chronologically, the second alphabetically.
Box 2, folders 1-19; box 3, folders 1-9; box 4, folder 9

Series 3: Correspondence

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by author, and then chronologically.
Box 2, folders 20-21

Series 4: Biographic Materials

Scope and Content Note

Lists of published and unpublished works by Bacon, and obituaries and remembrances.
Box 2, folder 24

Series 5: Photographs

Scope and Content Note

Three photographs of Bacon.
Box 4

Series 6: Recordings

Scope and Content Note

Four recordings of compositions by Bacon and others.
Box 2, folders 25-44; box 3, folders 1-18

Series 7: John Edmunds

Scope and Content Note

Divided into six sub-series: Music Compositions, Writings, Correspondence, Biographical Materials, Photographs, and Miscellaneous. A composer, author, and fablist, Edmunds was a close friend and long-time collaborator of Bacon.
Box 4, folders 1-10

Series 8: Cornel Lengyel

Scope and Content Note

Divided into three sub-series: Writings, Correspondence, and Biographical Materials. An author of books on American history, Lengyel wrote the script (and eventually the libretto) of an opera/music play on the subject of Benjamin Franklin, which was to have been a collaborative project with Bacon.

Container List

 

Series 1: Music Compositions

Additional Note

Ozalid copies of manuscripts, unless noted.
Box Box 1, Folder 1

Alabaster Wool [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 2

Ample Makes This Bed [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 3

As I Love Thee [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 4

At The Gate [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 5

A Cemetery [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 6

A Cemetery [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

 

Ecclesiastes

Box 8, Folder 1

The Song of the Preacher [full score]

Box 5, Folder 1

Full score [photocopy of holograph transparencies]

Folder 2

Full score [photocopy of holograph transparencies]

Folder 3

Full score [ozalid copy of holograph]

Box 7, Folder 2

Full score [engraver's first proof]

Box 8, Folder 2

Full score [first proof]

Box 5, Folder 4

Full score [supplemental reading of first proof]

Box 7, Folder 1

Full score [photocopy of second proof]

Box 5, Folder 5

Full score [third proof]

Box 6, Folder 1

Vocal score [proofs]

Folder 2

Vocal score [uncorrected first proof]

Folder 3

Vocal score [ozalid copy of Bacon's arr.]

Folder 4

Vocal score [arr. Hans Leschke]

Folder 5

Vocal score [photocopy of 6:3]

Folder 6

Vocal score [photostat of ozalid copy]

Folder 7

Vocal score [Leschke arr.; ink Ms.?]

Folder 8

Choral tenor part [ozalid copy]

Folder 9

Choral soprano part [ozalid copy]

Folder 10

Solo bass part [photocopy of ozalid]

Folder 11

Solo bass part [pencil ms.; text in ink]

Folder 12

Orchestra parts [photocopies of 1936 set. Winds & percussion only; see 8:3 for remaining parts]

Box 8, Folder 3

Orchestra parts [photocopies of 1936 set. Strings only; see 6:12 for remaining parts]

Box 1, Folder 7

Eden [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 8

Eternity [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 9

Farewell [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 10

Few Get Enough [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 11

Foreign Laws [on a poem by A.E. Housman]

Folder 12

I'm Nobody [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 13

In the Silent Night [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 14

The Last Invocation

Folder 15

The Lasting Stone

Folder 16

Lingering Last Drops

Folder 17

Meeker Morn [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 18

The Morns Are Meeker [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 19

The Mountain [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 20

Noah, for single voice or unison chorus

[for Dr. Franklin: see series 7, subseries A, folders 1-7]

Physical Description:

[photocopy]
Folder 21

Oh, Shadow [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 22

Poor Little Heart [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 23

Passage of Infinity [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 24

Past Surmise [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 25

The Postponeless Creature [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 26

Sailing Homeward

Folder 27

She Went [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 28

The Simple Days [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 29

The Starry Train [on a poem by A. E. Housman]

Folder 30

Summer's Lapse [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 31

Sunset [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 32

The Swamp [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 33

Sweet is the Swamp [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 34

There Is a Solitude of Space [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 35

There's This To Say [on a poem by A. E. Housman]

Folder 36

A Threadless Way [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 37

The Trade of Man [on a poem by A. E. Housman]

Folder 38

Treading [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 39

Two Legacies [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 40

Water [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 41

We Never Know [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 42

Weeping and Sighing [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 43

With the First Arbutus [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 44

A Word [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 45

Yellow [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

Folder 46

The Yellow Sea [on a poem by Emily Dickinson]

 

Series 2: Writings

 

Subseries A: Column in The Argonaut (S.F.)

Box Box 1, Folder 47

Honegger, King David; Ruth Slenczinski 1/26/34

 

N. Blinder concert; Elkus Beethoven lecture 2/2/34

 

Molinari leaving; Luening's coming 2/9/34

 

Modeste Alloo; government music 2/16/34

 

Opera; Horowitz 2/23/34

 

H. Cowell lectures 3/2/34

 

Charles Cooper; Joseph Butler exchange 3/9/34

 

"Ultra-modernist racketeers" 3/16/34

 

S.F. Chamber Symphony 3/23/34

 

Lawrence Strauss concert 3/30/34

 

Y. Menuhin; Reah Sadowiski 4/6/34

 

M. Hess; Y. Menuhin 4/13/34

 

Prospectus for a national non-partisan "Musicians' Society of America" 4/20/34

 

Molière play; S.F. Conservatory concert 4/27/34

 

Ernest Bloch; Emily Hardy 5/4/34

 

The teaching business 5/11/34

 

Age of insolence; SERA music; J. Butler exchange 5/18/34

 

Opera "Love in a Village;" S.F. Conservatory 5/25/34

 

Albert Barrows letter to editor; New Music Society 6/1/34

 

J. Butler letter to editor; E. Schneider 6/8/34

 

Herrick letter to editor 6/15/34

 

Herrick letter; Oscar Weil scholarship; Gorbacheff concert 6/22/34

 

Chamber music, J. Butler letter 6/29/34

 

Standard Oil Symphony broadcasts; Beethoven at Stanford 7/6/34

 

Summer music; Herrick letter 7/13/34

 

Pro Arte concerts; Argonaut, 1879, Oscar Weil 7/20/34

 

1934 operatic season; Oscar Weil; Tonality 7/27/34

 

J. Butler letter; Oscar Weil 8/3/34

 

Hillsborough concert; Oscar Weil; Tonality 8/10/34

 

Self-defense; Mr. Herrick 8/17/34

 

Jose Iturbi; Standard Oil broadcast 8/24/34

 

Naoum Blinder; Oscar Weil; Music Department; S.F. Public Library 8/31/34

 

SERA music; Joseph Marks recital; Oscar Weil 9/7/34

 

Barrows; Herrick letters to editor 9/21/34

 

Max Reinhardt; Berta Singerman; Society for the Publication of American Music 9/28/34

 

Are orchestras necessary; new local string quartet 10/5/34

 

Bay Area music; Sigrid Onegin 10/19/34

 

Fritz Kreisler; San Francisco String Quartet (debut); Sigrid Onegin 10/26/34

 

U.C. Berkeley Symphony Orchestra 11/2/34

 

Giulio Silva; San Francisco opera; Palace Hotel entertainment 11/9/34

 

The opera season; Gastone Usigli; Fritz Kreisler 11/16/34

 

The opera season; the American composer 11/23/34

 

Tannhauser; Rachmaninoff; Mr. Herrick 11/30/34

 

La Traviata; Faust; Otello 12/7/34

 

Towards better opera; Marjorie Edwards 12/14/34

 

The Aguilar Lute Quartet; SERA Program; Correspondence 12/21/34

 

Redfern Mason; Pine Street Revue 12/28/34

 

Subseries B: Creative Writing

Box Box 1, Folder 48

Fables : n.d.

Physical Description: 57 leaves of typescript, 5 leaves of manuscript
Folder 49

Verses, mostly rhymed : Poems by Bacon, inscribed to John Edmunds. 1985

Physical Description: Printed volume.
 

Series 3: Correspondence

Box Box 2, Folder 1

Boyden, David 1945

Box Box 3, Folder 1-9

Edmunds, John

[also listed under series 7, subseries C]
1929-86

Box Box 2, Folder 2

Elkus, Albert 1931-60

Folder 3

Emerson, Thomas 1985

Folder 4

Evans, Herbert 1938-61

Folder 5

Frankenstein, Albert 1938-62

Folder 6

Gossens, Eugene 1939

Folder 7

Hall, Jesse 1939-41

Box Box 4, Folder 9

Lengyel, Cornel

[also listed under series 8, subseries B]
1939-87

Box Box 2, Folder 8

Leschke, Hans 1941-43

Folder 9

Mallory, Charles n.d.

Folder 10

Raab, Alexander 1926-32

Folder 11

Search, Frederick Preston 1941-58

Folder 12

Shere, Charles 1985

Folder 13

Silvio, Giulio 1931-66

Folder 14

Stoll, Jeanie 1939-40

Folder 15

Stoll, Raisch 1935-45

Folder 16

Sullivan, Noel 1932-54

Folder 17

Usigli, Gastone 1931-40

Folder 18

Yagodka, Tomo 1938-48

Folder 19

Letters from Ernst Bacon to various people 1939

Physical Description: [carbon copies]
 

Series 4: Biographical Materials

Box Box 2, Folder 20

List of published works n.d.

Folder 21

List of unpublished works n.d.

Folder 22

Obituaries 3/18-19/90

Folder 23

"To Remember Ernst Bacon," by Paul Horgan 3/31/90

 

Series 5: Photographs

Box Box 2, Folder 24

Three photographs of Ernst Bacon: one 11" x 14" B/W [accompanied by letters from John Emerson and Arthur Bacon]; one 5" x 7" B/W; one 5" x 7" color n.d.

 

Series 6: Recordings

Box Box 4, cassette cassette

Bacon, Ernst. Violin/Piano Sonata 1987

cassette 2 cassettes

Bacon, Ernst. Oral history/-interview conducted by Keith Stetson 9/16-17/98

Reel 5" reel

La Pierre Gerald. Horizons.

Performed by the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players, conducted by Gerald La Pierre.
11/17/75

Reel 7" reel

Reale, Paul. Late Telephone, recorded at Schoenberg Hall [UCLA] 2/8/72

Reel 7" reel

[Ste...?], Frank. Humble Cake. n.d.

Reel 7" reel

[unlabeled] n.d.

 

Series 7: John Edmunds

 

Subseries A: Music

Additional Note

Manuscripts in pencil, unless noted
Box Box 2, Folder 25

Geluckig Vaderland, from Valerius' Gedenck-clanck n.d.

Physical Description: [manuscript in ink]
Folder 26

In Praise of Polly ["to my very dear Peggy"] n.d.

Physical Description: [oz]
Folder 27

Jehovah and the Ark. XXI: Paean (FL: All Creatures of our God and King) n.d.

Physical Description:

[manuscript in pencil]
Folder 28

Jesus Christ Was Born For Us ["For Peggy Bacon of Berkeley"] n.d.

Folder 29

A Parliament of Fowls n.d.

Physical Description: [photocopy]
Folder 30

Putto Care, from an anonymous Venetian ballad realized by Edmunds n.d.

Folder 31

Songs from a Colonial Tavern 12/15/63

Physical Description: [corrected copy]
Folder 32

Voyage to Ararat: Pavan n.d.

Physical Description: [photocopy]
 

Subseries B: Writings

 

Text for Music

Additional Note

Typescript, unless noted.
Box Box 2, Folder 33

Babel (Babylonian Inventions), a ballet in 3 Acts for solo dancers and corps de ballet with music for orchestra, baritone, and alto soloists, and chorus [scenario by Edmunds] 8/70

Folder 34

Fables, a Suite for Orchestra and Narrator [text by Edmunds and Bacon] n.d.

Folder 35

A Parliament of Fowls n.d.

Physical Description: [text, outlines, and notes in pencil and ink]
Folder 36

A Parliament of Fowls. IV: The Amorosia (Wild Swans) n.d.

Folder 37

Jehovah and the Ark = Noah's Ark : a Children's Ballet for Jehovah (Narrator) and Orchestra. First version, libretto n.d.

Physical Description: [manuscript in ink]
Folder 38

Jehovah and the Ark, a Masque in five scenes for twenty-four children, eight adult solo dancers, and Jehovah (speaker), on a text by John Edmunds. Libretto. 1968

Folder 39

The Voyage to Ararat: Noah and the Animals, a Ballet to be danced by Children and Adults, with the Prophet Noah as Master of Ceremonies, text by Edmunds 1973

Folder 40

The Voyage to Ararat (Noah's Ark), a Ballet, with music for two pianos 1974

Physical Description: [photocopy]
Folder 41

[untitled] n.d.

Physical Description: [photocopy]
 

Essays

Box Box 2, Folder 42

"A. E. Housman and the Composer" n.d.

Physical Description: [manuscript in ink]
Folder 43

"The Songs of Ernst Bacon" n.d.

Folder 44

"John Clare and the Songs of Ernst Bacon" n.d.

Physical Description: [manuscript in ink]
 

Subseries C: Correspondence

Additional Note

Box 3, Folders 1-9 also listed under SERIES 3.
Box Box 3, Folder 1

To Ernst Bacon 1929-49

Folder 2

To Ernst Bacon 1950-54

Folder 3

To Ernst Bacon 1955-59

Folder 4

To Ernst Bacon 1960-64

Folder 5

To Ernst Bacon 1965-69

Folder 6

To Ernst Bacon 1970-74

Folder 7

To Ernst Bacon 1975-79

Folder 8

To Ernst Bacon 1981-86

Folder 9

To Ernst Bacon n.d.

Folder 10

Guggenheim Foundation -- letters by other for Edmunds grant application 1938

Folder 11

Letters regarding the Edmunds Archive 1986-87

 

Subseries D: Biographical Materials

Box Box 3, Folder 12

Biographical Pamphlet (1960s)

Folder 13

Compositions and Editions of XVIIth and XVIIIth Century English and Italian Solo Vocal Music, bound and printed 4/78

Folder 14

Obituaries 12/11/86

 

Subseries E: Photographs

Box Box 3, Folder 15

Three photographs: one 8" x 10" B/W; one 3 3/8" x 4 1/2" B/W; one 3" x 4 1/2" color n.d.

 

Subseries F: Miscellaneous

Box Box 3, Folder 16

A Garland of Lyrics, taken mainly from mid-seventeenth century and mid-twentieth century sources, chosen by his friend John Edmunds. For Ernst Bacon on the publication of his volume of Fifty Songs. 1974

Physical Description: [7 leaves] [typescript]
Folder 17

Poems [with a handwritten note to Bacon on the back pages concerning the first performance of Campion Bestiary] n.d.

Folder 18

Players: The Magazine of American Theatre 4-5/75

 

Series 8: Cornel Lengyel

 

Subseries A: Writings

Additional Note

Box 4, Folders 1-7 are evolving versions of an opera/music play on the subject of Benjamin Franklin.
Box Box 4, Folder 1

Bonhomme Richard [rough synopsis] n.d.

Folder 2

Bonhomme Richard, Opera in Three Acts by Ernst Bacon, Libretto by Cornel Lengyel [brief outline and rough synopsis] n.d.

Folder 3

Doctor Franklin, a Comedy-Drama of the American Revolution centering on major events in the life of Benjamin Franklin 1975

Physical Description: [libretto, some corrections]
Folder 4

Doctor Franklin : a Music Play, text and lyrics by Cornel Lengyel, music by Ernst Bacon 1975

Physical Description: [complete libretto--different version from above]
Folder 5

Doctor Franklin : a Music Play, text and lyrics by Cornel Lengyel, music by Ernst Bacon 1975

Physical Description: [libretto]
Folder 6

Doctor Franklin n.d.

Physical Description: [revised pages]
Folder 7

Ben Franklin's French Affair [a play with incidental music] 1984

Folder 8

SOS From Easter Island, a play in three acts 1954

 

Subseries B: Correspondence

Box Box 4, Folder 9

To Ernst Bacon

[also listed under SERIES 3]
1939-87

 

Subseries C: Biographical Materials

Box Box 4, Folder 10

Montages of newspaper reviews and headlines, and other clippings n.d.