Hoiby, Lee and Stavis, Barrie. Galileo Galilei, an Oratorio for Chorus, Orchestra, and Solo Voices. Op. 29. 28 cm x 21 cm, 115 pages, reproduced from the holograph. At the end, after the double bar line, there is a note: “June, 1974 – Jan. 1975 Phoenicia, & N.Y.C. Jan. 17 (AA) † Nihil Obstat.” This copy bears a personal dedication in green ink: “for my dear friend Ingo Hofman[n] from Lee. May 13 1975.” There is damp-staining to the words “my dear” and “from.” The dedicatee is Ingo Hofmann, a master piano technician who maintained pianos for Arthur Rubinstein, Claudio Arrau, Ruth Laredo, Constance Keene, Leonard Bernstein, Victor Borge, Samuel Barber, Lee Hoiby and a long list of other illustrious classical musicians. This copy has two major revisions, with two pages of substituted music pinned into the score over the music originally composed: at page 106 and at page 114. The name “Linda Blackmon” is penciled lightly in the upper right-hand corner of the title page. OCLC lists three libraries worldwide with copies of this score in their holdings: the Eastman School of Music, the Westminster Choir College of Rider University and the University of South Carolina.
This secular oratorio was dedicated to Lee Hoiby’s piano teacher, the pianist, Gunnar Johansen and is based on a text taken from Barrie Stavis’ play, Lamp at Midnight, a dramatization of Galileo’s troubles with the Roman Church. Galileo Galilei was commissioned by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Marx Pales, conductor, for the opening of the Werner von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama, March 15, 1975.