Union Scotische Dedicated to Captain Meade, U.S.S. North Carolina. Composed by Luigi de Perini [manuscript caption title].
Rare manuscript score by Luigi de Perini, circa 1864
This holograph score for piano forte appears to be a contemporary copy of what would become Luigi de Perini’s published march entitled The Adieu. March of the U.S. Ship “North Carolina.” This score was dedicated to the ship’s commander Capt. R.W. Meade and this manuscript came to us from descendants of the Meade family.
During the Civil War, the score’s dedicatee, U.S. Navy Captain Richard Worsam Meade II (1807–1870), commanded the receiving ship U.S.S. North Carolina in New York City’s harbor. Capt. Meade was the brother of Union Major General George Meade and the father of Rear Admiral Richard W. Meade III.
The sheet music is for a schottische, a popular Victorian ballroom dance, a kind of slower polka. The manuscript refers to the tune as a “Scotische” [sic], but when it was ultimately published in 1864 it had become a march. As a published composition, it was a da capo with trio. The manuscript clearly indicates both these specifications.
Arranged for the piano, the Union Scotische was published during the Civil War in New York in 1864 by William A. Pond & Co. It also appears under another title and all editions appear thinly held. “The Adieu” is notable for a portrait of Captain Meade by the lithography firm of Sarony, Major & Knapp.
Accompanying the manuscript are two other published sheet music compositions inscribed with the names Mrs. Clara F. Meade, Capt. Meade’s wife, and Mary C. Meade. These are for La Bergère Délaissée and Verdi’s Non Fu Sogno, respectively. The Verdi piece is inscribed to “Mary C. Meade from her Master Carlo Bassini Esq.” Carlo Bassini (1812–1870) was an Italian composer and voice teacher. With the sheet music is a loose manuscript index sheet, likely from an album of sheet music, that names him as the composer of an Ave Maria. This same index sheet also refers to “The Adieu—March of the U. S. Ship ‘North Carolina.’”
An 1868 sheet music fragment of Fabio Campana’s Roma! is also present. It bears a dated manuscript presentation from Prussian German diplomat Baron Von Kusserow (1836–1900).
Biographical information of the Italian composer Luigi de Perini is scant. Was he Italian-American? Italian? Did he come to know of Captain Meade through the above-mentioned Italian composer and voice teacher, Bassini?
Description: Union Scotische Dedicated to Captain Meade, U.S.S. North Carolina. Composed by Luigi de Perini [manuscript caption title].
[Np, c. 1864]. pp. Manuscript sheet music. 13½ x 10½ inches. Some handling and foxing; short closed tears along spine; good.
See OCLC 37735573 and 498294037