Two editions of the eighth issue of Thomas Moore’s ‘Irish Melodies’ are currently displayed side by side in the Long Room exhibition ‘In Tune’. At first glance their title pages look similar, but on closer inspection they bear witness to a bitter dispute between two brothers, the music publishers James and William Power. This will be the theme of the next lecture in the ‘In Tune’ series, given by Dr Una Hunt: ‘Thomas Moore: his musical collaborators and publishers’. The lecture will take place in the Trinity Long Room Hub on Thursday 16 January at 6.00pm (admission free).
Thomas Moore: Poetical works (London, 1840)
In 1807 the Power brothers commissioned Moore to produce a collection of songs based on Irish airs. The first ‘Selection of Irish Melodies’ proved highly popular and led to a contract for further selections, giving Moore his first regular income. The music, with accompaniments by Dublin composer Sir John Stevenson, was printed first by James Power in London, who then sent the plates to William in Dublin.
Thomas Moore: A selection of Irish melodies, 8th number (London, )
Thomas Moore: A selection of Irish melodies, 8th number (Dublin, )
After the seventh number of ‘Irish melodies’ was published, an acrimonious legal dispute between the Power brothers brought the customary arrangement between them to an end. Thereafter, any further publications in the series were to be issued solely by James Power in London, using accompaniments by then-fashionable English composer Henry Rowley Bishop. The eighth number was published in London in 1821, with accompaniments by Bishop. However, a pirated edition soon appeared from William Power’s press in Dublin, with accompaniments by Moore’s original collaborator, Sir John Stevenson. But James had the last word – the final two issues were published in London alone.
In Tune, sponsored by KBC Bank, runs until April 2014.The exhibition is also available online. Full details of the lecture series are available here.
– Roy Stanley, Music Librarian.