||The George Lessner Papers, 1915-1989, undated, consist primarily of music manuscripts.
Also present are published scores, scripts, correspondence, programs, and clippings.
The papers are organized into two series: I. Music Manuscripts, 1915-1982, undated;
and II. Personal and Professional Papers, 1937-1989.
||Series I. Music Manuscripts (15 document boxes, 13 oversize boxes) contains the majority
of the Lessner papers and is further divided into four subseries: A. Composed by George
Lessner, 1915-1982, undated; B. Composed by Alford Lessner, 1948-1954, undated; C.
Works by Others, 1935-1949, undated; and D. Fragments and Unidentified Works, undated.
||The works in Subseries A. are arranged under four headings according to the genre
of work: 1. Classical Music Scores, 1915-1982, undated; 2. Film, Radio, and Television
Scores, 1937-1953, undated; 3. Musical Theater Scores, 1945-1952, undated; and 4.
Popular Songs, 1930-1941, undated. The classical music scores are further broken down
into original compositions by Lessner and works that are transcriptions or arrangements
of works originally composed by others. Some of the classical scores are titled in
Hungarian and transcriptions of Lessner’s handwriting may not be accurate. Classical
works by Lessner include his opera The Nightingale and the Rose, works for full sympony orchestra such as "The Merry Overture", art songs based on texts by poets such as Paul Verlaine and Sándor Petöfi, and short
compositions for solo piano. Among the film, radio, and television scores are a large
number of complete scores for episodes of the 1950’s children’s television show Bobo the Hobo and His Traveling Troupe, and one score for a Walter Lantz cartoon starring Oswald the Rabbit, "The Dumb Cluck." Lessner’s musical theater scores include two shows that had brief runs on Broadway,
Sleepy Hollow (1948), and Mr. Strauss Goes to Boston (1945). In the 1930s, Lessner composed several popular songs that were printed as
sheet music, including a song written for Blanche Calloway, "Honey, I’se Cold, I Is."
||Subseries B. consists of works composed by Alford Lessner, George Lessner’s son, including
classical compositions, popular songs, and an unfinished work for jazz band. Subseries
C. contains works by other composers, such as Harry Revel and Robert Stolz. Subseries
D. contains fragments of scores and unidentified scores, which may be the work of
George or Alford Lessner.
||Series II. Personal and Professional Papers (1 document box) includes correspondence,
programs, and clippings from performances of George Lessner’s works, and correspondence,
clippings, and programs related to his wife, Lorraine Lessner, and son, Alford Lessner.
||The score of The Nightingale and the Rose in Boxes 17-18 is coated with debris from deteriorating adhesive tape. Researchers
may wish to wear gloves while handling individual leaves.