Scope and arrangement
The William Engvick collection of Alec Wilder scores holds sketches, lead sheets, piano reductions, or full scores for musicals and individual songs by Engvick and Wilder, as well as for music Wilder wrote with other collaborators, or by himself.
The scores are in two divisions: works written by Wilder with Engvick, and works written by Wilder with other lyricists, or alone.
The Engvick-Wilder work is sub-divided into songs and theatrical productions. The songs are not associated with a particular project. One of them, Spring Magic, has music co-written with Bert Reisfeld. The Story Of A Good Man is a cantata which Engvick grouped with the songs. The cantata is in the form of a piano score; the other song folders hold lead sheets.
The theatrical scores are made up mostly of lead sheets, but may also contain piano reductions, sketches, scripts, or lyric sheets. They include the unproduced musicals Chance Of A Ghost (1943) and Don't Look Now (1944); and the NBC television musical productions Miss Chicken Little (1953), Pinocchio (1957), and Hansel and Gretel (1958).
Among the scores in the collection that Wilder composed with other lyricists are Jack in the Country (1974), a musical with lyrics by Ethan Ayer; Cumberland Fair: A Jamboree (1953), an opera with a libretto by Arnold Sundgaard (the collection holds a copy of the full orchestral score manuscript); and the Wilder/Sundgaard musical, Western Star (1948, also known as The Wind Blows Free or Way Up Yonder). Wilder's lead sheets for the film Open the Door (And See all the People) (1964) are also present, as are manuscripts for two songs. One of them, Time and Tide, has lyrics by Wilder as well as music. In addition to incidental music, Wilder's score for Open the Door (And See all the People) contains one song, with lyrics by Engvick.
Box 1, folder 1 contains a list of Wilder-Engvick songs, a few of which do not appear in this collection. A list of all the Wilder theatrical projects in this collection (written both with and without Engvick) and the songs within them is in box 1, folder 9.
Many of the manuscript lead sheets in the collection were written by copyists, not Wilder. The shows Don't Look Now, Hansel and Gretel, Jack in the Country, and Western Star contain sketches and lead sheets in Wilder's hand.
Engvick's arrangement of two score divisions was not altered, with the exception of the alphabetical arrangement of songs or productions within those divisions.