Scope and arrangement
The George Wehner Scores consist of original music composed by this eccentric, but prolific artist. Wehner appears to have adopted various pseudonyms (for example, "Leo" and "George Leighton") or used different forms of his name (including George Haslett-Wehner) for some of his earlier compositions. Most of the dated materials are from the mid-1930s and the early 1960s. Although undated, one of the earliest scores in the collection most likely is the manuscript score for Summer Shower, a work dedicated to Ethel Kennedy, who was a fellow teacher at the Michigan Conservatory of Music. Other early works represented in the collection are the song, The Sacred Hour (1936, dedicated to Ernestine Schumann-Heink), an untitled orchestral piece for strings (1937), and a ballet, The Phoenix (1937, written for Katya Sergava). The greatest strength of the collection, however, lies in its extensive, but incomplete, selection of the full and/or piano scores for many of Wehner's later operas.
While the collection contains a few probable holograph manuscripts, the majority of the manuscript scores most likely were the work of a copyist. Extant photocopy versions of many of the scores were generated from these ink manuscripts using a blueprint process. Many of the individual works include opus numbers; these numbers have been indicated in the container list whenever possible.
Aside from a few synopses included with some of the ballet and opera scores, the collection does not contain any examples of Wehner's writings. Also of note is a copy of ten pages of handwritten, uncredited biographical notes on Wehner's life and friends. Comprised almost exclusively of scores, this collection will be of most interest to those researchers who wish to investigate Wehner's music. The collection, however, may provide some additional opportunities for the study of small-scale opera productions in New York City or Brooklyn's cultural life during the post World War II period.
The George Wehner scores are arranged in two series:
- 1936-196616 boxes
The Scores series contains original music scores, which have been arranged alphabetically by title, within three major groupings: Ballets/Operas, Chamber/Orchestral Works, and Songs/Vocal Works. Also filed at the end of this series is a folder containing biographical notes on Wehner by an unidentified source.
- 1936 - 19595 boxes
The Oversized Materials series consists of larger format scores arranged alphabetically by title. Although the bulk of this series consists of Wehner's later dramatic works, some orchestral pieces will be found here as well.