Philip Antony Corri / Arthur Clifton

Composer and pedagogue Philip Antony Corri was born in Edinburgh in 1784. He was a son of the Italian-born composer Domenico Corri, and brother-in-law to Bohemian pianist and composer Jan Ladislav Dussek. Moving with the family to London in 1789, Philip Antony was composing vocal works by 1802, piano music by 1805, and chamber music (mostly for piano, harp, and flute) by 1808. During the years to follow, he was an active a composer for these mediums, producing over forty works; his piano works were published both in Britain and on the continent.

During this time, Corri made other contributions to the musical life of London. In 1810, his extensive piano teaching method L'anima di musica was published. For its time, it was the largest work of its kind produced in England, and remains a highly valuable guide to the interpretation of the piano music of his time. In 1813, Corri, along with Clementi and the Cramers, founded the London Philharmonic Society and participated in the formative meetings for the Royal Academy of Music.

Corri's ultimate success as a London musician was limited by the conspicuous absence of a performance career, and a general lack of personal diplomacy on his part. In addition, a mysterious scandal (possibly surrounding his first wife) finally forced his removal to America early in 1817.

Once in the United States, Corri quickly sized up his professional situation in New York and Philadelphia before settling in Baltimore. He was baptized there by the end of the year under the pseudonym of Arthur Clifton, and immediately married a second wife.

During the 1820s, Corri/Clifton was well established in Baltimore as a composer, pedagogue, church organist, performer, music publisher, and dry-goods merchant. He was organist for the First Presbyterian and First Independent Churches during this time, director of the Anacreontic Society, and maintained an active involvement with the Baltimore Theater. Two new teaching methods (one each for piano and voice) would appear, as well as a psalm book, and a steady stream of songs for voice and piano. His largest American work, the opera The Enterprise, was produced at the theater in May of 1822. Several solo piano works were also published during these years, although considerably fewer in number and smaller in scale than those from his London years.

Evidence suggests that Corri/Clifton's scandals began to plague him only a few years after his arrival in Baltimore costing him some potential success. The years from 1826 until his death in 1832 are marked by a general decrease in productivity. He was replaced as director of the Anacreontic Society in 1826, and resigned as music director of the Independent Church in 1830. His involvement with the theater likewise also dwindled at this time.

Corri/Clifton died of unknown causes in February of 1832, survived by his second wife and their children. The composer's American-period vocal works continued to appear on recital programs until about 1840; his American piano method appeared in reprints until the 1840s. He appears to have been totally forgotten in London even earlier.

Until recently, Corri/Clifton's substantial body of instrumental music has been almost completely unavailable to the public. Unpublished since the early nineteenth century, the work has been completely forgotten for over a century-and-a-half. Stylistically akin to the music of Jan Ladislav Dussek, the music increasingly took on American overtones between the composer's 1817 arrival in the United States, and the time of his death in 1832. The composer's instrumental inventory contains sonatas, serenades, divertissements, rondos, variation sets, fantasies, overtures, preludes, and small dance forms. Pianist/historian Nathan Buckner has undertaken the task of preparing a modern edition of the composer's complete piano music (four volumes worth), currently available through Kallisti Music Press of Philadelphia. To this collection will gradually be added a handful of chamber works, including a Concerto da camera (featuring a solo piano), a duo-sonata for violin and piano, assorted flute/piano duos, four-hand piano duos, and harp/piano duos.

Philip Antony Corri / Arthur Clifton:
Kallisti Editions in Research Library Collections


Complete Piano Music (vols.1-4)

Arkansas:
Library: Henderson State University (Arkadelphia) selections.

California:
Library: University of California at Berkeley
Library: University of California at Davis
Library: University of California at Los Angeles
Library: Stanford University (Palo Alto) selections.

Colorado:
Library: University of Colorado (Boulder)

Connecticut:
Library: Yale University (New Haven)

District of Columbia:
District of Columbia Public Library selections.

Georgia:
Library: University of Georgia (Athens)

Illinois:
Library: Northwestern University (Evanston)

Indiana:
Library: Indiana University (Bloomington)
Library: University of Notre Dame (South Bend) selections.

Iowa:
Library: University of Iowa (Iowa City)

Kansas:
Library: University of Kansas (Lawrence)

Kentucky:
Library: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville)

Massachusetts:
Library: Harvard University (Cambridge)
Library: Tufts University (Medford) selections.

Michigan:
Library: Michigan State University (East Lansing)

Minnesota:
Library: University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)

Nebraska:
Library: University of Nebraska at Kearney

Nevada:
Library: University of Nevada at Las Vegas

New York:
New York Public Library: Lincoln Center
Library: Columbia University (New York)
Library: State University of New York at Buffalo
Library: State University of New York at New Paltz
Library: Eastman School of Music (Rochester)

North Carolina:
Library: Duke University (Durham)
Library: University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Library: East Carolina University (Greenville)

Ohio:
Library: Bowling Green State University
Library: Miami University of Ohio (Athens)
Library: Oberlin College
Library: Ohio State University (Columbus)
Library: University of Cincinnati

Oklahoma:
Library: University of Oklahoma (Norman)

Pennsylvania:
Library: University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Free Library of Philadelphia selections.

South Carolina:
Library: University of South Carolina (Columbia)

Texas:
Library: Baylor University (Waco)
Library: Rice University (Houston)
Library: University of North Texas (Denton)
Library: University of Texas (Austin) selections.

Wisconsin:
Library: University of Wisconsin (Madison)

Belarus:
Library: Belorussian Academy of Music (Minsk) selections.

Canada:
Library: University of Toronto

Germany:
Bayerische Staatbibliothek (Munich)

United Kingdom:
British Library (London)


La Morte di Dussek: (Piano/Violin Sonata)

California:
Library: University of California at Berkeley
Library: University of California at Davis
Library: University of California at Los Angeles
Library: Stanford University (Palo Alto)
Library: California State University at Fresno

Colorado:
Library: University of Colorado (Boulder)

Connecticut:
Library: University of Connecticut (Storrs)
Library: Yale University (New Haven)

District of Columbia:
Library of Congress
District of Columbia Public Library

Georgia:
Library: University of Georgia (Athens)

Indiana:
Library: Indiana University (Bloomington)

Iowa:
Library: University of Iowa (Iowa City)

Kansas:
Library: University of Kansas (Lawrence)

Massachusetts:
Library: Harvard University (Cambridge)
Library: Tufts University (Medford)

Michigan:
Library: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Nebraska:
Library: University of Nebraska at Kearney

Nevada:
Library: University of Nevada at Las Vegas

New York:
New York Public Library: Lincoln Center

North Carolina:
Library: Duke University (Durham)
Library: University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
Library: University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Ohio:
Library: Bowling Green State University
Library: Ohio State University (Columbus)
Library: University of Cincinnati
Library: Ohio University (Athens)

Pennsylvania:
Library: Pennsylvania State University (State College)

Texas:
Library: Baylor University (Waco)
Library: Rice University (Houston)
Library: Southern Methodist University (Dallas)
Library: University of North Texas (Denton)
Library: University of Texas (Austin)

Wisconsin:
Library: University of Wisconsin (Madison)

Canada:
Library: University of Toronto

Included are documents of particular biographical and historical curiosity relating to the life and work of Philip Antony Corri/Arthur Clifton including reviews of works, correspondence, a concert program, and a legal transcript.

Reviews of works from The Monthly Magazine, 1802-1812

Reviews of works from The Repository of Arts, 1809-1816

Preface to An Original Selection of Psalm Tunes, 1819

Transcript of Hawke vs. Corri lawsuit, The Courier, 1820

Concert program advertisement Baltimore American, 1821

Correspondence, 1826-1830

Additional documents, 1809-1822

Buckner, Nathan. "Philip Antony Corri: The English Years," Platte Valley Review, 30:1 (spring 2002).

Clark, J. Bunker. "The Piano Works of P. Antony Corri and Arthur Clifton, British-American Composer," Vistas of American Music: Essays and Compositions in Honor of William Kearns, ed. John Graziano and Susan L. Porter (Warren, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 1999).

Clark, J. Bunker. The Dawning of American Keyboard Music (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988).

Corri, Philip Antony. Complete Piano Music, ed. Nathan Buckner. 4 vols. (Philadelphia: Kallisti Music Press, 1997).

Corri, Philip Antony. La morte di Dussek, ed. Nathan Buckner (Philadelphia: Kallisti Music Press, 1998).

Gettel, William D. "Arthur Clifton's Enterprise," Journal of the American Musicological Society, 2 (spring 1949).

Metcalf, Frank J. American Writers and Compilers of Sacred Music (New York: Russell and Russell, 1925).