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ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS

Harl McDonald Papers
1937-1944

UPT 50 MCD675

2.0 Cubic feet
Prepared by Theresa R. Snyder
1996

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

 

PROVENANCE

Douglas Dickson was the original owner of these phonographic albums. The University Archives received them as a transfer from the Music Library in April of 1993. 

 

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ARRANGEMENT

The Harl McDonald Papers are organized into two series: Printed Materials and Musical Recordings. Both are arranged alphabetically. 

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Harl McDonald, 1899-1955, studied music under Vernon Spencer, Ernest Douglass, and Zielinski. He was appointed a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in 1927 and enjoyed other appointments at the University including the Director of the Music Department and Director of the Univeristy's Choral Society and the Pennsylvania Glee Club. In addition to his administrative duties with the University, McDonald composed numerous musical works and served on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. 

 
Photograph of Harl McDonald conducting Penn's Choral Society at a broadcast session, 1944.  Click for larger image and more information.

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SCOPE AND CONTENT

The collection largely consists of recordings of music conducted by McDonald. These included Missa pro Defunctis, Magnificat, Requiem, Suite "From Childhood," and other selections. There are introductory programs, a musical score, and three letters, 1944, from McDonald to Douglas Dickson. 

Missa pro Defunctis, written in the late sixteenth to early seventeenth century, is "founded on Gregorian subject matter which is freely developed" and is essentially ecclesiastical in style. At the time of this recording, under the direction of McDonald, the University Choral Society, 200 voices strong, had become well known as an adjunct to the Philadelphia Orchestra. 

Carl Philip Emanuel Bach composed the Magnificat, or canticle of the Blessed Virgin, in 1749 for the private library of Frederick the Great. McDonald conducted the music for the recordings in this collection from the original Bach manuscript. 

The Mozart Requiem was composed in 1791, the last year of the composer's life. The recording program gives a brief overview of the controversy during the 1920s over authorship of the full score. 

Harl McDonald's Suite "From Childhood" for Harp and Orchestra was composed in 1940 and dedicated to Edna Phillips after she requested an enlargement of the existing repertory for harp and full orchestra. Eugene Ormandy gave it its first full performance in Philadelphia on January 17, 1941 with Edna Phillips at the harp. The work combines English nursery rhymes and everlasting folk-melodies. 

 

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CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Corporate Name(s)

  • University of Pennsylvania. Choral Society.
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Faculty.;

Occupation(s)

  • Composers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.

Personal Name(s)

  • Dickson, Douglas, 1922-1990

Subject(s)

  • Choral conducting.

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INVENTORY

 

Printed materials 

Box

Folder

Programs, music, and letters, 1937-1944 

1

1

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Musical recordings 

Box

Folder

Album #1: A University of Pennsylvania Choral Society Program 

Disc 1 

A. "Missa Pro Defunctis" (Mass for the Dead): Introduction 

 1

 

B. "Missa Pro Defunctis" (Mass for the Dead): Gradual 

 1

 

Disc 2 

A. "Missa Pro Defunctis" (Mass for the Dead): Communion 

 1

 

B. "Missa Pro Defunctis" (Mass for the Dead): Conclusion and Kyrie Eleison 

 1

 

Disc 3 

A. "O Bone Jesu" 

 1

 

B. "Quaerite Primum" 

 1

 

Disc 4 

A. Lament from "Dido and Aeneas 

 1

 

B. "Ave Maria" 

 1

 

Album #2: A University of Pennsylvania Choral Society Program, [1936]: "Magnificat" (Bach) 

Disc 1 

A. Part 1 

 1

 

B. Part 2 

 1

 

Disc 2 

A. Part 3 

 1

 

B. Concluded 

 1

 

Album #3: A University of Pennsylvania Choral Society Program: "Requiem Mass" (Mozart) 

Disc 1 

A. Kyrie Eleison 

 1

 

B. Introitus 

 1

 

Disc 2 

A. Dies Irae and Tuba Mirum, First part. 

 1

 

B. Tuba Mirum, conclusion and Rex Tremendae 

 1

 

Disc 3 

A. Domine Jesu Christe 

 1

 

B. Hostias 

 1

 

Disc 4 

A. Sanctus and Benedictus 

 1

 

B. Benedictus, concluded 

 1

 

Disc 5 

A. Cum Sanctus 

 1

 

B. Agnus Dei and Lux Aeterna 

 1

 

Album #4: Harl McDonald's Suite "From Childhood" for Harp and Orchestra 

Disc 1 

A. First Movement: Allegro moderato, Part One 

 2

 

B. First Movement: Allegro moderato, concluded 

 2

 

Disc 2 

A. Second Movement: Motto moderato, Part One 

 2

 

B. Second Movement: Motto moderato, concluded 

 2

 

Disc 3 

A. Third Movement: Allegro moderato ma vigorosamente, Part One 

 2

 

B. Third Movement: Allegro moderato ma vigorosamente, concluded 

 2

 

Album #5: University of Pennsylvania Choral Society Program: Harl McDonald's "Songs of Conquest" 

Disc 1 

A. The Breadth and Extent of Man's Empire 

 2

 

B. Complaint Against the Bitterness of Solitude; and The Declaration for Increase of Understanding Among the People of the World 

 2

 

Disc 2 

A. The Exaltation of Man in His Migration and in Surrounding Natural Barriers 

 2

 

B. Day is Done 

 2

 

Album #6: "MacDonald Selections" 

Disc 1 

Cakewalk (received broken, discarded 4/23/93) 

 2

 

Disc 2 

A. Rhumba form Rhumba Symphony 

 2

 

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