BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van. Sinfonie mit Schluss-Chor über Schillers Ode: “An die Freude” für grosses Orchester, 4 Solo und 4 Chor – Stimmen. Componirt und Seiner Majestät dem König von Preussen Friedrich Wilhelm III in tiefster Ehrfurcht zugeeignet … 125.tes Werk. Mainz, Paris, B. Schott sons, and Antwerp, A. Schott, .
First edition, the very rare full set of separate scores of Beethoven’s epic Ninth Symphony.
‘The Ninth is an epic, revolutionary work. Within its extended time frame, one traverses the many plains of Beethoven’s compositional landscape: demonic conflict (the opening Allegro), tempestuous contrasts (the scherzo), ethereal reflection (the Adagio), and unabashed exuberance (the finale). In the last movement, Beethoven symbolically broke not only the chains of tyrants, but those of instrumental music as well, moving out of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s abstract realm of “pure expression” and into the world of the vocal symphony. The immense mixed forces of the Ninth prepared the way for the changes that took place in the symphonic repertory in the next hundred and fifty years, from Berlioz to Mahler to Berio’ (George B. Stauffer, in his preface to David Benjamin Levy’s Beethoven: the Ninth Symphony).
‘The first edition score of the Ninth Symphony was not issued until the end of August 1826 (B. Schott Söhne, Mainz; Plate Number 2322), and it was marketed as Beethoven’s “125.tes Werk” on a subscription basis along with the score of the Missa solemnis, op. 123 and the “Consecration of the House” Overture, op. 124’ (Levy, ibid., p. 42).
The copy offered here consists of the full suite of separate scores, and bears the plate mark ‘2321’, which appears to indicate that this precedes publication of the ‘Partition’, which shows the plate mark ‘2322’, as mentioned above. It is also interesting to note, that the Viola part is marked ‘Alto’ on the title page of our copy, whereas this was later corrected, as for example in the digitised copy of the Beethoven-Haus, Bonn.
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van. Fuge (in D.) für das Pianoforte zu 4 Händen. 137.tes Werk. PN 4979. Vienna, Tobias Haslinger, .
A very attractive copy of the rare first edition of the adaptation to piano of Beethoven’s string quintet.
[CARUSO, Enrico]. Photographic silver gelatin portrait, signed by the Tenor. Montevideo, 1915.
A fine and unusually large portrait (330 x 215 mm) of the Italian Tenor, with an autograph inscription to the famous Polish-born Russian-Jewish Soprano Rosa Raisa, dated from the year when the two were on Tournée in South America, performing Verdi’s Aida at Montevideo that time.
‘Legendary Emma Carelli, an esteemed soprano in her own right, now the director of the Rome Opera introduced Raisa to her husband Walter Mocchi, the important impresario who organized the glamorous opera seasons in Buenos Aires. As South America was in the Southern Hemisphere, there was a long-standing tradition of the finest Italian artists boarding ships after the end of the opera season in Italy and performing in the reverse seasons, the autumn and winter months in South America. The annals of operatic performances in South America oftentimes read as the “greatest” Italian opera to be seen, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires a defining theater.
[CHORALES and HYMNS]. Kirchengesanng Teutsch und Lateinisch. In allen Christlichen versamlungen gebreuchlich. Nuremberg, [Johann vom Berg, and Ulrich Neuber], 1560.
The second known copy of this finely produced printing of German chorales and Latin hymns, with the printed lyrics significantly revised from the edition of 1557, the only earlier printing.
‘With the beginning of the sixteenth century, European music saw a number of momentous changes … Prior to 1500, all music had to be copied by hand or learned by ear; music books were owned exclusively be religious establishments or extremely wealthy courts and households ...
‘From about 1520 through the end of the sixteenth century, composers throughout Europe employed the polyphonic language of [the Franco-Flemish composer] Josquin’s generation in exploring musica expression through the French chanson, the Italian madrigal, the German Tenorlieder, the Spanish Villancico, and the English song, as well as in sacred music. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation directly affected the sacred polyphony of these countries. The Protestant revolution (mainly in Norther Europe) varied in the attitudes toward sacred music, bringing such musical changes as the introduction of relatively simple German-language hymns (or chorales) sung by the congregation in Lutheran services’ (Rebecca Arkenberg, Music in the Renaissance, the MET, online).
GALILEI, Vincenzo. Dialogo ... della musica antica, et della moderna. Florence: Giorgio Marescotti, 1581.
A beautiful copy of the first edition, first issue of Vincenzo Galilei’s main work, very scarce on the market.
Galileo Galilei reported what were evidently his father Vincenzo’s results in his Discourses on Two New Sciences (1638), before giving his own proof that the musical intervals were ratios of frequencies and his own physical explanation of resonance, consonance, and dissonance.
MARSCHNER, Heinrich. Der Vampyr. Grosse romantische Oper in zwei Akten von W. A. Wohlbrück, in Musik gesetzt und für das Pianoforte zu vier Händen eingerichtet von H. Marschner. Leipzig, Friedrich Hofmeister [1827?].
First edition of the piano score for four hands for Der Vampyr, a romantic opera in two acts by Heinrich Marschner, and the copy previously owned by Maria Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg (1841-1914), also known as Princess Maria Romanovskaja, the eldest daughter of the Grand Duchess of Russia, Maria Nikolaevna Romanova and Maximilian de Beauharnais.
‘Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861) was the most successful German composer of serious opera between Weber and Wagner, and influenced the latter just as clearly as the former influenced him. His penchant for the Gothic horror mode is evident in Hans Heiling (1833), about a supernatural being who seeks to marry a mortal woman, and the present work (1828), in which a Scottish lord, in reality a vampire, needs to find three new victims in one single day to save him from a fate worse than death. The least interesting sections of the score have an enjoyable Biedermeier charm to them, but the greater part – especially the music for the anti-hero, Lord Ruthven – shows a relish for the conjuring of the dark side of human nature in musical terms’ (George Hall on Classical-music.com).
The German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück (Marschner’s brother-in-law) is based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut (1821) by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter, which itself was based on the short story The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori. The first performance took place on 29 March 1828 in Leipzig, where it was a hit. Wagner, in fact, conducted Der Vampyr when at Würzburg in 1833.
‘The Opera was a great success and was taken on the road. It opened in London in August  and ran for some sixty performances at the Lyceum Theater, the same theatre that later played such a central role in Bram Stoker’s career and the site of the original dramatization of Dracula’ (J. Gordon Melton, The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead p. 450).
WEBER, Carl Maria von. Aufforderung zum Tanze Rondo Brilliant für das Piano=Forte. 65.tes Werk. Vienna, A. Diabelli et Comp., [c. 1822].
A very early edition of the Invitation to the Dance for piano by Weber, a pioneer of musical romanticism.
'In his instrumental and vocal works, his virtuosity, startling effects achieved without use of unusual instruments. and formal and technical innovations stimulated Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, and in due course Mahler’ (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music).