Inventory of the William Denny collection, 1932-1975
Processed by The Music Library staff; machine-readable finding aid
created by Xiuzhi Zhou
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The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Inventory of the William Denny Collection, 1932-1975
Collection number: ARCHIVES DENNY 1
The Music Library
University of California, Berkeley
- Music Library
- 240 Morrison Hall
- University of California, Berkeley
- Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
- Phone: (510) 642-2623
- Fax: (510) 642-8237
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© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: William Denny Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1932-1975
Collection number: ARCHIVES DENNY 1
Denny, William, 1910-1980
Extent: Number of containers: 6 boxes
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
The Denny Family. Picked up from Professor Denny's home on Garber Street, Berkeley, on
Tuesday, October 21, 1980.
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in
writing to the Head of the Music Library.
[Identification of item], William Denny collection, ARCHIVES DENNY 1, The Music Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
The enclosed biographical sketch of Professor William D. Denny will
appear in the forthcoming American Supplement to The New Grove's
Denny has been described as a "musician's composer." His music was thoroughly personal
and abstract with the intensely lyrical and rhythmical elements predominating. As a
consummate craftsman the structure and symmetry of his music were flawlessly balanced
often with an underlying complex contrapuntal texture. His orchestration and idiomatic
writing for instruments were admired in particular. Denny's harmonic language was
dissonant yet oriented around large tonal centers, and his overall style had a definite
proclivity with the mature works of Walter Piston. During the 1940's and 50's he was one
of the most respected composers active in the San Francisco Bay Area, and his
compositions were performed by the CBS and NBC symphony orchestras, the San Francisco
Symphony Orchestra, the Griller String Quartet, the Budapest String Quartet, the Julliard
String Quartet, and the University Chorus at Berkeley, among others. His compositions and
memorabilia are held by the Music Library at Berkeley.
WORKS (selective list)
- Bacchanale, 1935;
Concertino for Orchestra, 1937;
Symphony no. 1,
Sinfonietta for Strings, 1940;
Suite for Chamber Orchestra, 1940;
Overture for Strings, 1945;
Praeludium for Orchestra, 1946;
Symphony no. 2,
Introduction and Allegro for Orchestra, 1956;
Symphony no. 3,
- stg qt no. 1,
Sonata, vla, pf, 1943-44;
stg qt no. 2, 1952;
stg qt no. 3, 1955;
Partita, org, 1958;
Trio for strings, 1965;
Toccata, Aria, and Fugue, org,
- Cantata "Most glorious Lord
of Life," 1943;
Three Motets, 1946-47.
--John A. Emerson Music Library, University of California at Berkeley
Scope and Content
Collection includes scores (chiefly manuscript) of Denny's compositions for piano,
orchestra, and organ; correspondence from 1937 through 1973; clippings and programs
related to performances, drafts, sketches, and class exercises.
List of Items
Box Box 1, item 1.
Sonata in e, for violin and piano.
"Berkeley -Feb. 9-April 17, 1932." Manuscript score. 49 pp. Unbound.
Scherzo, for violin and piano.
"Berkeley -February 27, 1937 (Herausgegeben von W. D. D.)" Manuscript score, 10 pp.;
manuscript part 6 pp. Unbound.
Suite For Small Orchestra.
"Written in Paris and Berkeley-1934-1936. Revised in Berkeley, August-September, 1937."
Bound manuscript score. 101 pp.
Concertino for Orchestra.
"Wm. D. Denny -Berkeley, California -November 30, 1937." Unbound manuscript score in
folio, 41 pp. Clipped to page 2 is a San Francisco Symphony program and a review of the
performance by Alfred Frankenstein. Copy two of the manuscript score, 54 pp.
String Quartet No. 1.
Note added to the score: "William Denny, String Quartet, Sketch, written in 1938."
Manuscript score, 16 pp. Unbound.
Box Box 5, item 6.
1939. Score without title, probably his
Symphony no. 1.
"William D. Denny -Cambridge, Mass. November 22, 1939, 11:15 p.m." Large folio score in
manuscript. 138 pp. Unbound.
Box Box 2, item 7.
Suite For Chamber Orchestra.
Cambridge, Mass. 5 II 40." Blueprint copy of score, bound, 24 pp. Set of manuscript
parts, 39 leaves.
General William Booth Enters Into Heaven, for mixed chorus with accompaniment for orchestra or piano four-hands. Version for chorus and piano.
"Cambridge, Mass. 29 III 40." Bound octavo manuscript score. 61 pp.
Box Box 5, item 9.
Sinfonietta for String Orchestra.
"Berkeley, Calif. 1 VIII 40." Two (2) copies of the score. Bound. 32 pp. each. Blueprint
Box Box 2, item 10.
Toccata and Fugue For Orchestra.
"New York -Oct. 18, 1940 -Modesto -March 18, 1941." Bound manuscript full score. 65 pp.
1941. A one-movement work without title, for orchestra.
"Modesto-Berkeley, Calif. May 3, June 23, 1941." Large full orchestra score in
manuscript. 32 pp. Unbound.
Box Box 3, item 12.
1943. "Most Glorious Lord of Life," for women's chorus, baritone solo, and organ.
"Poughkeepsie, N. Y., February 18, 1943. "To the Vassar College Choir. Copy reproduced
from the composer's autograph. 12 pp. Unbound.
1943. "Constipated," song for baritone and piano.
"July 1, 1942." "Words from an advertisement in the
June 29, 1943." Manuscript score. 6 pp. Unbound.
Overture for Strings.
No inscription. 11 negative photostat leaves of the manuscript score. Unbound.
Sonata for Viola and Piano.
"Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; June, 1943-April, 1944." Manuscript score, 34 pp.; blueprint copy,
bound, of the score, 34 pp.; manuscript part, 11 pp.
Trio, Fugue, and Passacaglia. for Organ.
"Poughkeepsie, N. Y. March 16, 1945." Manuscript score. 15 pp. Unbound.
Praeludium for Orchestra.
"Berkeley, California, October 13, 1946." Manuscript score, bound. 29 pp.
1946. Qued Vidistis Pastores?
Mimeograph copy. 10 pp. SATB a capella.
1947. "Lux fulgebit hodie," for the University of California Choir[?].
"Berkeley 15 VII 47." Manuscript score, 12 pp. Unbound.
Score no. 1 bears the inscription "Berkeley, California May[?] 1949, W. D. Denny." Score no. 2 bears the inscription "28 VI [?]"
Score no. 1 is in manuscript, folio size, bound, 105 pp.
Score no. 2 is in manuscript, large size, bound, 72 pp.
Scope and Content Note
Inserted in score no. 2 is an incomplete draft of 24 pp. an-[?] draft of 14 leaves, both
in manuscript. Also included is a [San] Francisco Symphony Orchestra program dated
Sunday, March 22. Men's Gymnasium, Berkeley Campus announcing a
performance of this symphony.
String Quartet No. 3.
"Berkeley, 30 I 55, W. D. D. (Paris, Lugano, Luzern, m.s. Don[?] Berkeley)." Manuscript
score, unbound, 29 pp. Manuscript set of parts, Unbound.
String trio). Title lacking. Single movement.
"August 7, 1956, Tahoe. Nov. 29, 1956, Berkeley." Unbound manuscript score, 7 pp., 377
Introduction and Allegro, for orchestra.
"Tahoe Meadows, August 7, 1956 -Berkeley, January 5, 1957[."] Manuscript score, unbound,
Box Box 5, item 23.
Symphony No. 3.
"Tahoe-22 VII 57." Manuscript score, folio size, unbound, 76 pp. Score no. 2 [?] record
print copy of an original copy, bound, 75 pp., and b[ears] the additional inscription.
"(Berkeley, 16 II 58)."
Box Box 3, item 24.
Partita for Organ in Five Movements(Toccata, Ground, Aria and Gigue).
"Berkeley-6 IV 58 (1 I 59) (25 III 59)." "First perform[er?] Professor Lawrence Moe,
University Organist, at the dedication [of] Edward O'Neill Memorial Organ, built by
Walter Holtkamp, in Alfred Hertz Memorial Hall of Music, University of California
Berkeley Campus. 26 April 1958." Contents:
One (1) manuscript copy of the score, unbound.
Another manuscript copy of the score, unbound, not dated. [?] of the score, unbound, 12 leaves.
Box Box 4, item 25.
1962. (String quartet. a single movement). No title.
"Feb. 13, 1962."
Manuscript score, unbound, 5 pp.
Incidental Music for Anthony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.
Piano score with instrumental cues.
"2 IX 63."
Unbound score in manuscript, 21
pp. Also, two reviews of the production by Fred Gardner of the
and Albert Johnson of the
San Francisco Chronicle and a
program announcing the play for September 12, 13, 14, 15, 1963 at the William Randolph
Hearst Greek Theater, University of California, Berkeley Campus.
Trio for Strings.
"2 VII 65."
One (1) unbound manuscript score, 23 pp.; one (1) set of manuscript parts, 23 leaves. Another manuscript score, unbound, 23
pp.; another set of manuscript parts, bound, 60 pp.
Two (2) record print copies of the score, unbound
Three (3) record print copies of the parts, unbound.
Toccata, Aria, and Fugue, for Organ.
"26 IV 66."
Two (2) manuscript copies of the score, unbound. Copy I contains 17 pp.
and copy 2, 20 pp.
Four unnamed pieces for organ.
Piece no. 1 bears the inscription "Paris 7 XII 75," piece no. 2 "Ajaccio, 21 XI 75," and
pieces nos. 3 & 4 are without inscriptions.
Manuscript score, unbound, 7 pp.
Also, 5 pp. of sketches and drafts.
No date. "Falstaff."
Manuscript score, an orchestral reduction on 4 staves, unbound, 4 pp.
Page 3 bears the cue "Falstaff, p. 438."
Box Box 4, item 31.
1967. Adagio from the Sonata No. I in G minor for Solo Violin by J. S. Bach. Transcribed for organ by William Denny.
"April 14-16, 1967." "Intended to replace the prelude to the D-Minor Fugue, Peters
Edition, Volume III, Bach Organ Works, page 42."
Manuscript score, unbound, 3 pages,
with 2 pp. of sketches.
Box Box 6, item 32.
The following correspondence of Professor William D. Denny was received by the Music
Library on Wednesday, December 3, 1980.
Clippings and programs pertaining to performances of Professor Denny's music:
1 folder containing 24 items.
Inventory of music scores in Professor Denny's personal library (prepared by the composer):
1 folder containing 9 leaves.
Drafts and sketches of compositions.
93 unbound manuscript leaves contained in one (1) portfolio.
Seven (7) folders containing counterpoint, harmony, fugue, and orchestration in the hand
of Professor Denny for classes taught at the University of California, Berkeley: Music
3A, 101A, 101B, 106, 109A, and "Curriculum, 1971-72." Manuscript and Xerox copies, 174
loose leaves. One (1) portfolio.
Antony and Cleopatra,
Acts I and II, reproduction of autograph score.
Box Box 5, item 38.
3 caricatures of Bill Denny.
Artist unknown (ca. 1930s) (From the Music Dept.)