“Ave Maria” Written Specially For And Sung By Madame Melba” and “Gavotte In D: Swords & Roses Dance”. May Summerbelle, 1867–1948 Aust.
“Ave Maria” Written Specially For And Sung By Madame Melba” and “Gavotte In D: Swords & Roses Dance”
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“Ave Maria” Written Specially For And Sung By Madame Melba” and “Gavotte In D: Swords & Roses Dance”

c1910 & 1916. Sheet music for two compositions, lithograph covers, both dedicated to “Ernest Truman” and signed in ink on the cover, one is dated “July 2, 1932”, 36 x 26cm (approx. each). Both have minor tears to edges, one has stains and foxing.

Dedications include “To Ernest Truman whose musical talent [is] regarded as the highest in Australia” and “To my friend, Ernest Truman in sincere appreciation.”

Acclaimed organist and composer Ernest Truman (1869–1948) played Summerbelle’s composition Ave Maria at the Sydney Town Hall in 1912.

Sydney-born Annie May Collette Summerbelle (née Summerbell) was a prolific composer of light classical and popular music. From the late 1880s she and Dame Nellie Melba were students of Alice Charbonnet-Kellermann. Summerbelle’s song So Long was played as the Australian Light Horse embarked on the Gallipoli campaign during WWI. Her music was selected to be played at the British Empire Exhibition in London in 1924. Her private life was not so successful, with two troubled marriages. In 1893, she married her first husband Herbert Glasson, who later that year was convicted and executed for a double murder and robbery. In 1901, she married her second husband, Stanton Senior, who deserted her when their twin sons were quite young. Ref: Table Talk (Melbourne), 11.8.1910, (Ave Maria); Catholic Press, 26.9.1912; NLA, (Gavotte in D); Wiki; SMH, 5.1.1949; Pleskun, A Chronological History of Australian Composers and Their Compositions, vol. 1, 2012.

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Item #CL201-25

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