Sousa, John Philip. (1854-1932) & Kelley, Edgar Stillman. (1857-1944)
"El Capitan" - Autograph Musical Quotation
Autograph musical quotation from the "March King," who has penned seven measures of the theme from his "El Capitan" march, signed and dated July 3, 1921. On the verso, a further autograph musical quotation from Edgar Stillman Kelley, the American composer, conductor, teacher, and writer often associated with the Indianist movement in American music. He has written out a detailed ten measures from his piano quintet op. 20, and both he and his wife, Jessie Stillman Kelley, have signed and dated April 27, 1935. On a cardboard album leaf, with one large loss to a corner, light water staining, and some peeling of the outer layers away from the card. 13.25 x 10.25 inches (34 x 26 cm).
El Capitan is an operetta in three acts by John Philip Sousa, with libretto by Charles Klein. The piece was Sousa's first successful operetta and his most successful stage work; the "El Capitan" march became a standard work both for brass bands and as a crossover into other genres.
Kelley was a Romanticist in the vein of Horatio Parker, George Whitefield Chadwick, and Arthur Foote, and brought much of his German training to bear in his compositions. Even so, he was always interested in bringing non-Western influences into his work. His best-known composition was an oratorio, The Pilgrim's Progress, composed on a text by Elizabeth Hodgkinson and based on the eponymous text by John Bunyan. His output also included numerous pieces of chamber music.