Wherefore Leonardo Schultz?

Published by Legacy of Matanya Ophee on

By Matanya Ophee

Updated text in blue.

In his on going campaign to discredit me and my work, Arthur Ness has been pushing some buttons he knows would get me pissed off and react. So far, he did a pretty good job of it, right to the point that when my reaction to his provocations got to be a bit much for him, he complained to the Lute list owner that I am harassing him and the latter, one Wayne Cripps, dutifully obliged and blocked my postings to the List. I told that story before. But then something funny happened: with me now removed from the list, Arthur could still push my buttons there, but the desired reaction from me would not be forthcoming. That must have been an intolerable frustration for Arthur, since within a couple of hours he posted the same missive on the RMCG newsgroup, where he knows I can respond with no one controlling.

The point in question was the name of Leonhard Schulz, the composer of the Recollections of Ireland Op. 41 which I published in print form in 1984, and then posted as a free giving on my web site in 1997. In Arthur’s opinion, one which he expressed on every possible opportunity, I was wrong to call the composer by that name, since he was actually called Leonardo Schultz, first name in an Italianized form and the last name spelled with a tz, instead of only a z.

I thought that my research at the time was as thorough as it could be. I checked all the available sources of printed music by Schulz, many of which I was given by Robert Spencer from his library, contemporary concert reviews, all available dictionaries and encyclopedias, library catalogues etc, and with the exception of the Prat Diccionario, they all referred to him as Leonhard Schulz. Prat is the only one who referred to him as Leonardo, but this was a custom in Spanish and Italian writings to translate all Christian names to their equivalent Spanish and Italian forms. Thus, Prat has such luminaries as Jйronimo Frescobaldi, Juan Sebastiбn Bach, and his contemporary Carlo Schmidl, an Italian lexicographer, has people like Gugliemo Tappert… clearly Prat cannot be taken as a reliable source for the form of composers’ first names. Anyway, perhaps I missed something important and Arthur does know something about the history of the guitar which I do not. So I asked him how did he know the name was really Leonardo and the surname was spelled with a t. Of course, I knew all the time where this feces of the male bovine comes from. I wrote about it myself in my review of Jeffery’s second edition of the Sor biography. But I wanted to see if perchance Arthur may have had other sources. So I asked the question many times, but never got an answer. Until now.

In his latest salvo in this campaign, in both the lute list and the RMCG newsgroup, Arthur finally provided the source for his information on this subject. He said:

“…The spelling “Leonardo Schultz” is used in an article in Guitar Review, and presumably elsewhere, since the guitarist is mentioned in passing. Brian Jeffery also uses that spelling….”

That’s interesting and I must thank Arthur for jogging my memory for the following reasons:

Indeed the name of the Austrian guitarist appears several times in the Memoirs of Makaroff which were printed in the early issues of the Guitar Review in 1946-47. The surname appears there as both Schulz and Schultz, so in essence, it could be argued that the GR did use one of the spellings Arthur claim they did. In fact, Arthur was right and the guitarist’s first name is indeed given there, GR No. 2, New York, 1947, page 33, as Leonardo.

How reliably can this source be taken?

Here is what we are dealing with. The memoirs of Makarov (spelled Makaroff in the GR) were first published in 1859 as a volume in the Moscow based journal Moskovitianin. The title of the book was Задушевная Исповедь (Zadushevnaia Ispoved’ — A Heartfelt Confession). Actually, only a small part of the book has to do with the guitar, as most of it is devoted to detailing Makarov’s amorous conquests, his hatred of Polish people and Jews, and other unsavory subjects. You can read more about this in my article on the Makarov memoirs in Soundboard IX/3, Fall 1982.

The particular section where the name appears is in the chapter dealing with Makarov’s first trip to England in search of this famous guitarist named Schulz of which he heard from Stauffer. All through the book, the name is spelled in Russian as Шульц. This can be transliterated back into a Latin alphabet ten different ways, and indeed the GR translation has it in at least two, Schulz and Schultz. Looking for Schulz in London in 1851, was not simple, because the man was hiding from his creditors and was constantly drunk. So Makarov found his brother Eduard Schulz, a famous pianist at the time and asked for his brother’s address. The brother replied:

“Leonardo?” he asked. “Why, I have not seen him in the last three years….”

The original Russian text says this:

__Леонарда? Я три года его не видаль. (In transliteration: Leonarda? Ia tri goda ego nye vidal’…)

The GR translation is exact, except the first name. The way it is written in Russian, it is conjugated according to the rules of Russian grammar in the genitive case. What it actually says is something like “the Leonard.” But in no way it can be implied that this grammatically correct conjugation is actually a spelling for the name. That would be tantamount to saying that since a musical composition in which the composer’s name appears in Russian as Прокофьева [Prokofieva—by Prokofiev] means that this is the correct spelling of the name. This is a common mistake made by non-Russian speakers.

The Guitar Review memoirs of Makaroff claims that it was translated from the Russian by Vladimir Bobri and Nura Ulreich. Bobri was a member of the New York Ukrainian intelligentsia of the 1930-40s and fluent in Russian. He was in constant correspondence with Soviet guitarists at the time, and a short time before he died he gave me his entire collection of Russian music and recordings. But as I expressed on many occasions, I do not believe the GR translation was made directly from the Russian original, but rather from the German translation which appeared in Der Guitarrefreund. Comparing the Bobri translation to the original one finds many such indications, but this one is the clinching proof I was looking for. There is no way Bobri would have translated the Russian “Leonarda?” as “Leonardo?”. This must have been done by the German translator, and copied by Bobri without change. And for this, I must thank Arthur. It is amazing how, through his mindless bumbling incompetence in guitar history lore, he was able to provide me with a clue to a mystery that intrigued me for many years. All that remains now to do is find the Der Guitarefreund translation and see if it fits.

So I checked Werner Schwarz’ Guitar Bibliography (München: K.G. Saur., 1984, ISBN 3-598-10518-5) to see in which issues of Der Guitarrefreund the memoirs of Makarov were published, and then start looking for a library that has them. And then I got an e-mail message from Andreas Stevens, a German guitarist who is much involved with the legacy of Heinrich Albert. And you know what? it does NOT fit! Andreas tells me:

I have found the german “Original” of “Aus den Lebenserinnerungen des russischen Gitarrevirtuosen N.P. Makarow” the part which deals with Schulz (written like that) was published in Heft 1 12. Jahrgang 1911 Januar/Februar. The dialogue between the “Hofpianist des Herzogs von Davonshir” (Schulzґs brother) and Makarow (written like that) goes like this:

“Sie wollen die Adresse meines Bruders Leonhard?” fragt ihn der Hofpianist. “Ich habe ihn drei Jahre nicht gesehen.” (page 2)

That quotation immediately absolves Fritz Buek from responsibility for the Italianized form of the name. And it makes sense. There would be no need or motivation for a German translator to misrepresent or misunderstand how the name a German guitarist (Austrian actually) should be spelled! Buek’s translation is not literal, but rather put in a more literary acceptable style than the curt Russian text implies. But this reference does two immediate things:

  1. It immediately contradicts my suspicion that Bobri’s translation was not made from the original Russian, but rather from the German translation. I was wrong.
  2. It places the responsibility for the Italianized form of the name Leonhard as Leonardo, on the shoulders of the the GR translators. I still maintain that there is no way Bobri would have translated the Russian “Leonarda?” as “Leonardo?”. No Russian speaker, as Bobri was, could have possibly make that mistake. It is difficult to know how it came about. Vladimir Bobri died in 1987, and I am not sure if Nura Ulreich is still alive. This could either be a simply typographical error, a private joke or a deliberate mis-representation on the part of Bobri and/or Ulreich, or the typesetter who set this text. One thing is certain: as a source for the spelling of the name of a major nineteenth century composer/guitarist, this is a poor excuse for bibliographical control.

In his further ruminations on this subject, Arthur Ness had this to say:

Which spelling should be used? If I were editing a book, I’d use the spelling given in the Library of Congress Name Authority files, which are used by library cataloguers to provide uniformity in all U.S. libraries. If he is not in the Name Authority files, I’d see what spelling is used in New Grove, and so forth down the line.

There I can save Arthur Ness a great deal of trouble. The name is not in the Library of Congress Name Authority files. BTW, these files also do not contain the name of Madame Sidney Pratten. It is also not in the Grove Dictionary. When you check the LoC catalogues, you will find that the name is catalogued as Leonhard Schulz, and for a very simple reason: that is the name under which the LoC Copyright Office catalogued the name when I applied, and received, a copyright registration for my edition of Leonhard’s Schulz’ Recollections of Ireland in 1984.

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