The collection of pre-1825 printed music in the Fitzwilliam Museum is one of the most important in the British Isles after the British Library and the Bodleian Library, particularly for its holdings of late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music, areas in which the collection is noticeably strong. Many of the books are from the library of the Museum's founder, Richard Fitzwilliam, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion and of Thorncastle (1745-1816), one of the finest collections of the later eighteenth century that not only continued to grow in the early nineteenth but also survived intact. This in itself makes Fitzwilliam's collection of music a fascinating monument in the history of musical taste. Italian music looms large, but his interests were also broad enough to include French music by then unfashionable composers such as Lalande, Lully and Rameau, as well as the works of English seventeenth-century composers. The collection, considerably enriched by subsequent donations, is here fully catalogued for the first time.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press