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Schubertiade Music

Autograph Letter to Schlesinger about his Horn Concertino and Other Works

Autograph Letter to Schlesinger about his Horn Concertino and Other Works

Weber, Carl Maria Von. (1786-1826) Partial autograph letter signed ink, "v Weber", Dresden, March 19, 1818, with postal cover on reverse to the Berlin music publisher A[dolf] M. Schlesinger. Although the letter evidently lacks the upper lines, there is much extant material, including approximately 38 lines with signature at the conclusion, and the content relates to several of Weber's major compositions, including the Missa Sancta no. 1 (which had just been premiered in Dresden), Der Freischütz, and his Horn Concertino. Large fragment with loss at head; fold separations with mends on back (appears to be archival); small tear to one edge. Overall good. 8 x 9.25 inches (20.2 x 23.5 cm). Together with a vintage postcard portrait of the composer.Weber writes to Schlesinger that he is "still very much in your debt" and mentions "the composition of a large Mass which occupies me day and night. and was performed yesterday in the Hofkirche with great success. [.] Your letter of 28.8.17 reached me on the 3rd of September in Prague, and hence I did not give the Arias to Herr Peters." He mentions his friend Gottfried Weber and goes on to complain about a "very sad" situation. Later, Weber reports that his opera [Der Freischutz] has been "very much delayed" because of the composition of another piece, and that "Herr Kapellmeister [.] will let you listen to the singing rehearsals." Going on, Weber mentions his recently-composed Horn Concertino: "What you wrote to me about the Concertino is somewhat unintelligible. If one can do everything on the newly-invented horn, then that [.] should become easy, and not need to be changed. [.] Poems by Goethe and Schiller are too often and excellently set for me to wish to try it again. A volume of etudes, a volume of folk songs, and a [.] Rondo will be the next things finished." He also goes on to mention a trio, a work for piano four hands, and the overture to Georg Joseph Vogler's opera Samori. At the close of the letter, he mentions that "the edition of the Musik-Zeitung is very good" and that he will write something "when I have the time and opportunity."1818 saw Weber in a very busy period, having just taken over as director of the Opera in Dresden. His Missa Sancta no. 1 was composed for the name-day of King Friedrich August I of Saxony in 1818. Weber had had no previous experience with liturgical music, but the mass was a great success: the king gave him a diamond ring in thanks. His work on Der Freischütz began in 1817, but was delayed because of the many other demands on Weber's time, only resuming in 1819. The Horn Concertino mentioned in the present letter had been composed in 1806 for the Karlsruhe horn player Dautrevaux, and revised for the Munich virtuoso Rauch in 1815. The work is known for its extreme technical challenges (including multiphonics which require playing overtones while also humming), and was originally composed for natural horn--the only horn at the time. However, in 1818, soon before the present letter, the first valved horn was patented by makers Heinrich Stölzel and Friedrich Blümel. While the valves did make the instrument much easier in many ways, allowing the use of many more keys, Weber's concertino remains extremely difficult even for modern horn players.
Prokofiev under the Kremlin" - Original Cartoon Drawing

Prokofiev under the Kremlin” – Original Cartoon Drawing

Prokofiev, Sergei. (1891-1953)] Norkin, Sam. (1917-2011) Striking original drawing of the great composer, shown playing the piano in the shadow of the Kremlin, which has been transformed into a giant metronome. Drawn by the noted American illustrator and caricaturist Sam Norkin in 1949 for the The Reporter Magazine. Ink on card, with separate pieces of paper taped around the image to frame it. Captioned in pencil at the foot. Image size 4.5 x 6.25 inches, overall size 9.75 x 12 inches (24.8 x 30.5 cm).In early 1948, the Soviet Politburo issued a resolution denouncing Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Myaskovsky, and Khachaturian of the crime of "formalism", described as a "renunciation of the basic principles of classical music" in favor of "muddled, nerve-racking" sounds that "turned music into cacophony." Eight of Prokofiev's works were banned from performance. Such was the perceived threat behind the banning of the works that even works that had avoided censure were no longer programmed. Prokofiev's fortunes steadily declined in the next years: his wife was arrested for espionage, he accumulated serious debt, and his health deteriorated. He died on the same day as Josef Stalin: March 5, 1953.New York-born cartoonist Samuel Norkin specialized in theater and arts caricatures for more than seven decades. His drawings of theater, opera, ballet and film celebrities appeared in Variety, Backstage, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and many other publications. He is best-known for his long tenure providing theatrical illustrations for the New York Herald Tribune (1940-1956) and covering performing arts for the Daily News (from the 1950's to the 1980's.) His highly engaging drawings have been said to "metaphorically grab the reader-onlooker by the shoulders." Because Norkin would draw the performers in rehearsal, his caricatures often served as an effective advance press for shows as they went on the pre-Broadway circuit.
24 Caprices

24 Caprices, op. 1 – Group of Early Editions and Facsimile Manuscript Score

Paganini, Nicolò. (1782-1840) An attractive group of first and early editions of the violin virtuoso's famous collection of Caprices, together with a facsimile edition of the original manuscript and housed together in a handsome custom leather box. Box in full brown leather, marbled edges, with raised bands and gilt lettering and ornaments to the spine: "Niccolo Paganini / 24 Capricci (Erstdrucke) und Original-Handschriften / 1782-1840." Slight rubbing to one edge, but overall very fine. Overall size 11.5 x 13.75 x 2 inches (29 x 35 x 5 cm). Complete contents as follows:24 Caprices pour le Violon composés par N. Paganini. Oeuv. 1. À Leipzic Chez Breitkopf & Härtel, [1823]. [PN] 3936. 38 pp. Engraved. First German edition of the Caprices, 3 years after their initial release by Ricordi of Milan. Marbled cardboard wrappers with hand-written label. Rather heavy foxing; spine partially split. Overall very good. 10 x 12.5 inches (25.5 x 32.5 cm).Vingt-quatre Caprices ou Etudes pour le Violin Composés et Dédiés aux Artistes par N. Paganini. Oeuv. 1er. Nouvelle édition doigtée par Henry, Auteur des Etudes dédiés à Kreutzer. À Paris: Richaud, [ca. 1824-5]. [PN] 1028. Engraved. Edition with fingerings by the violinist Benigne Henri. Ownership signature, ownership blind-stamp, and bookseller stamp to the title. Sewn binding reinforced with paper tape. Title page rather soiled, some internal foxing; overall fine. 10 x 12.5 inches (25.8 x 32 cm).Etude pour le Violon composée de Vingt-Quatre Caprices dédiés aux Artistes par Nicolo Paganini. Oeuv. 1er. À Paris: [Pacini], [1838]. [PN] 950. 42 pp. Engraved. Imprint partially scratched out, but with the address of Pacini (Boulevard des Italiens no. 11) and stamped on the title by Pacini. Annotated throughout, with note to the title reading: "Nouvelle edition doigtée par Henry auteur des études dédiées à Kreutzer," fingerings throughout in ink, and a headnote to each Caprice noting its difficulty; these annotations are taken from the previous edition. Sewn binding, repaired to some pages with paper tape. Spine partially split; light foxing; some edge damage. Overall very good. 9.5 x 12.5 inches (24 x 32 cm).Niccolo Paganini. 24 Capricci op. 1, per violono. Facsimile dell'autografo. Milan: Ricordi, 1974. No. 19 of 1000 copies. Softcover, [44] pp, together with a separate volume containing an introduction by Yehudi Menuhin and a preface by Federico Mompellio. Enclosed in a portfolio and slipcase. Very fine. 12.5 x 9 inches (32 x 23 cm).In his opus 1, Paganini proudly announces the new era of the virtuoso on his title page, in that his work is explicitly aimed at professional virtuosos rather than amateur musicians. Paganini's Caprices became the inspiration for a new era in instrumental virtuosity in general, and provided well-known themes for many works modelled on them, including by Schumann (1831), Liszt (1851), Brahms (1863), Szymanowski (1918), Rachmaninov (1934), Lutoslawski (1941) and Lloyd Webber (1977).
Archive of Materials Relating to Amateur Dramatics at the Kent County Lunatic Asylum

Archive of Materials Relating to Amateur Dramatics at the Kent County Lunatic Asylum, 1860’s

Lunatic Asylum] Stevens, J. H. & Newcome, W. T. A highly interesting collection of ephemera relating to amateur dramatics taking place at the Kent County Lunatic Asylum in Kent, England in the 1860's. The archive contains 15 programs, a prologue and two epilogues, a photograph of an actor, and 28 newspaper clippings, nicely laid down on scrapbook pages which are housed in a custom cloth box. Taken together, the items give a fascinating and unusual view into the Victorian treatment of the mentally ill.The original sepia photograph (15 x 9.5 cm) shows a woman (or man in drag) in prim Victorian dress, standing beside a table of men's hats. The subject may be Stevens' wife, who acted in at least one performance. 15 programs, printed poster-style in 4to, one on each side of pieces of India paper of various pastel colors, each with a Kentish horse at the head, above the words "Concert Room, Kent County Lunatic Asylum, Barming Heath." One program (from 1865) has the words "The Last Night of the Season" at the head; another two (from 1866 and 1867) "Fourth Season"; a fourth (from 1867) "Last Nights of the Fourth Season"; and the last two (1867 and 1868) "The Fifth Season." Each program gives a list of the actors and the characters they play, together with the names of the Acting Manager ("Mr. J. H. Stevens" throughout); the Scenic Artist ("Mr. C. Foord"), the Stage Decorator ("Mr. W. Featherstone" and later "Mr. Russell"), Machinist ("Mr. J. Dadswell"), and later, Leader of the Band ("Mr. Russell", "Mr. Gower" and once, "Mr. Venu.") There are generally two main pieces to a performance, with the first (February 26, 1864) consisting of two farces: "My Wife's Second Floor" and "A Thumping Legacy." (As the final entertainment of the first night, "The Asylum Band will perform various selections during the Evening under the direction of M. A. de Sauzay.") The last program features the comedy "Naval Engagements" by Charles Dance, and a comic drama by William Brough, "A Phenomenon in a Smock Frock." The prologue and two epilogues are on the same paper as the programs, and are likewise headed "Kent County Lunatic Asylum." The prologue (1 p., 4to, with Brown's slug) is in two columns, and is titled "Prologue for the Season 1867-8 / (Written by W. T. Newcome, Esq.)" The first epilogue (1 p., 12mo, with Brown's slug) is titled "An Epilogue / Written by Mr. J. H. Stevens, and delivered by him at the conclusion of his performance on Tuesday Evening, the 29th March, 1864; the close of the Theatrical Season." The second epilogue (1 p., 12mo) is titled "An Epilogue / Written for the occasion by W. T. Newcombe, Esq., and spoken by Mr. J. H. Stevens, on Friday Evening, the 29th March, 1867, being the last Night of the fourth Theatrical Season." The cuttings emphasize the high standard of the performances ("The unanimous verdict of those best qualified to judge, was that the good intentions of the amateurs were seconded by an ability little, if at all, inferior to trained professionals"), and the presence of "many of the elite from Maidstone."The care taken in assembling the collection suggests that it may have belonged to J. H. Stevens, steward of the asylum, or to another of those directly involved with the enterprise. Some light toning and wear, but overall in fine condition. Modern blue cloth box with red leather label in very fine condition, 11 x 15 x 1 inches.An article in the Morning Post of April 5, 1867 gives a compassionate view of the drama program: "The efficiency of the amateurs in their respective parts was greatly due to the steward of the asylum, Mr. J. H. Stevens, who was the acting manager. The effect of these entertainments, to which between 400 and 500 of the patients are admitted, is most interesting. The perfect quiet and good behavior of the audience, and their ready seizure of the various "points" which occur, render it difficult to believe in the fact of their insanity. To all those who have inaugurated and assisted in carrying out this kindly movement great praise is due. It is little that can be done to relieve the tedium inseparable from these poor creatures' isolation, but all the plans for their benefit are carried out with a heartiness and kindness that speaks volumes in favor of the genuine humanity of all concerned.
Natoma - Signed AMQS Presentation Copy to Harold Sanford

Natoma – Signed AMQS Presentation Copy to Harold Sanford

Herbert, Victor. (1859-1924) Signed presentation copy of the opera Natoma from the American composer, cellist and conductor known for his many successful operettas. Herbert has signed and inscribed on the first page to his assistant Harry Sanford, dating March 1911, and has added an autograph musical quotation from the opera (marked "Lento.") Stamped signature to the title. Piano-vocal score. 335 pp. Hardcover, tan cloth boards with decoration. Some light shelf wear; overall fine. 7.5 x 11 inches (19 x 28 cm).Natoma is a 1911 opera with music by Victor Herbert, famous for his operettas, and libretto by Joseph D. Redding. It is a serious full-scale grand opera set in Santa Barbara, California in the "Spanish days" of 1820; the story and music are colored by "Indian" (Native American) and Spanish themes. It premiered in Philadelphia at the Metropolitan Opera House on February 25, 1911 and was later mounted at the New York Metropolitan Opera House on February 28, 1911. Starring as the Indian character Natoma was legendary soprano Mary Garden. Although awaited with great anticipation, the opera was a flop. Meredith Willson recounted: "Oh, the lucky, lucky few thousands who were able to beg, steal, or forge tickets to the Metropolitan on that gala night! And of course the plans for the reception after the undoubted triumph included every kind of caviar, pheasant, and dignitary under glass that could possibly be squeezed into the banquet room at the Friar's Club. The disaster became apparent early in the first act, and by the intermission all the people who were able to attend the reception. were clutching at their bosoms in agony, knowing they couldn't possibly go to this reception and that they couldn't possibly not go." (See: Meredith Willson, And There I Stood with my Piccolo, 1948. Willson was only 9 years old at the time of the premiere, but his account shows that the legend of the premiere lived on!) In 2014, the opera was given a successful reading by New York-based Victor Herbert Renaissance Project.


Cage, John. (1912-1992) Peters 6777. The so-called "First Tacet Edition" of John Cage's most influential work, published by Peters. In this edition the work is simply notated as a single typed sheet, with three movements listed as roman numerals and marked "tacet." The sheet also includes a dedication to Irwin Kremen and a composer's note: "The title of this work is the total length in minutes and seconds of its performance. At Woodstock, N.Y., August 29, 1952, the title was 4'33" and the three parts were 33", 2'40", and 1'20". It was performed by David Tudor, pianist, who indicated the beginnings of parts by closing, the endings by opening, the keyboard lid. However, the work may be performed by any instrumentalist or combination of instrumentalists and last any length of time." Single sheet, 7.25 x 10.5 inches, loose inside a Peters cover, 9 x 12 inches. Rather heavily toned, but overall very good.4?33? was composed in 1952, for any instrument or combination of instruments, is a piece for tacet instruments lasting 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The piece consists of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as "four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence." Conceived around 1947-48, 4?33? became for Cage the epitome of his idea that any sounds may constitute music. It was also a reflection of the influence of Zen Buddhism, which Cage had studied since the late 1940s. In a 1982 interview, and on numerous other occasions, Cage stated that 4?33? was, in his opinion, his most important work.Several versions of the score exist. The original Woodstock manuscript (August 1952) is written in conventional notation and dedicated to David Tudor. This manuscript is currently lost. In the Kremen manuscript (1953), the piece is rendered in graphic, space-time notation and dedicated to Irwin Kremen. The movements of the piece are rendered as space between long vertical lines; a tempo indication is provided (60), and at the end of each movement the time is indicated in minutes and seconds. This version is published by Peters as No. 6777a. In addition to the present First Tacet Edition, a Second Tacet Edition also exists, similar to the first but printed in Cage's calligraphy, and is also published as Peters No. 6777.
Signed Photograph with Autograph Musical Quotation of the Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor

Signed Photograph with Autograph Musical Quotation of the Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67

Shostakovich, Dimitri. (1906-1975) Pristine signed photograph of the esteemed Soviet composer whose 15 symphonies and large body of chamber and instrumental works occupy a place of central importance in the 20th-century repertoire. An original photograph, signed and inscribed boldly in purple ink in the lower blank margin to U.M. Krasovsky [Russian; 1917-2006], dated 1947, and inscribed by the composer with a detailed three-measure autograph musical quotation marked "Allegro" from his Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67. Light toning; inscription slightly smudged, otherwise overall fine. Affixed to a same-size mount, 4 x 5.75 inches (10 x 14.8 cm).Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 67, is remarkable for a number of reasons. It was written in 1944, just after his Symphony No. 8, with which it shares its overall structure; it is a lamentation for both Shostakovich's close friend, musicologist Ivan Sollertinsky, and the victims of the Holocaust, the news of which horror did not reach the U.S.S.R. until the liberation of the camps began; and it is his first work to employ a "Jewish theme," a musical tribute that used the scales and rhythms of Jewish folk music as Shostakovich knew it. Shostakovich began composing the trio in December 1943 but had only completed sketches, which he was able to share with Sollertinsky before Sollertinsky's death in February 1944. Shostakovich performed the piano part in the premiere, on November 14, 1944, in Leningrad, with violinist Dmitri Tsyganov and cellist Sergei Shirinsky, both members of the Beethoven String Quartet. The present AMQS quotes the opening of the final Allegretto, where the Jewish figurations -- the Dorian mode with an augmented fourth and the iambic rhythms -- are used in a macabre dance that is contrasted against a stern march and five-beat climbs up and down the scale. 
Maurice Martenot

Maurice Martenot, Luthier de l’Électronique – Inscribed to Paul Zukofsky

Martenot, Maurice. (1898-1980)] Laurendau, Jean. (b. 1938) [Zukofsky, Paul. (1943-2017)] Biography of the French musician, inventor of the Ondes Martenot, by Canadian clarinetist and ondist Jean Laurendau. Signed and inscribed by the author to violinist Paul Zukofsky on the half-title: "17-12-90 / To Paul Zukofsky, in remembrance of an enthusiastic Turangalîla, best wishes from Jean Laurendau." 312 pp. Softcover. Light shelf wear; overall fine. 6.75 x 9.75 inches (17.1 x 24.7 cm).Loosely laid in are two photocopied articles, one on the Ondes Martenot and one on Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie, which was performed by the Juilliard Symphony conducted by Paul Zukofsky with Jean Laurendau as soloist in December 1990.American violinist and conductor Paul Zukofsky was known for his work in the field of contemporary music. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Zukofsky was the only child of the American Objectivist poet Louis Zukofsky and Celia Thaew Zukofsky, a musician and composer. He began performing at an early age and was soon drawn to modern music, especially to the possibilities of extended techniques on the violin. Over the course of his career, he collaborated with composers including  Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Peter Mennin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Roger Sessions, Charles Wuorinen, and Iannis Xenakis. He gave world premieres of concertos by Robert Sessions (for violin, cello and orchestra), Charles Wuorinen (for amplified violin and orchestra), Morton Feldman (for violin and orchestra), Phillip Glass, and the Scottish composer Iain Hamilton, among others.
A Kind of Magic" - Inscribed to Elizabeth Arden

A Kind of Magic” – Inscribed to Elizabeth Arden, with a Typed Note Signed

Ferber, Edna. (1885-1965) [Arden, Elizabeth. (1878-1966)] Signed presentation copy of the American novelist, short story writer and playwright's memoir A Kind of Magic, inscribed to makeup mogul Elizabeth Arden and with an accompanying typed note signed wishing Arden a good recovery after an operation. 335 pp. Hardcover, black cloth boards, with dust jacket. Ferber has penned on the front free endpaper: "For Elizabeth Arden--who has a kind of magic of her own. Edna Ferber. New York, September 1963." In the typed note (September 23, 1963; 2 pp. on blue-bordered letterhead) she writes: "Here am I, dear Elizabeth Arden, with some of that unwelcome commodity--unasked advice. In 1940 I had my gall-bladder out. It wasn't fun. But the later change in my general well-being was miraculous. It doubtless will be the same in your experience (though I always think of you as being equipped with more health and vitality than any other living human being.) In the coming year please don't forget that one mustn't be too smarty after a major goings-on such as this certainly is. Please don't move pianos or even continents. It doesn't pay off, that post-operational year. Take it--as our American saying goes--easy. In eight months of a year you'll be better than new. Well, I said it was unasked advice, didn't I! Edna Ferber." Paperclip mark to the note and to the first few pages; some edge losses to the dustjacket, in mylar; toning; overall fine in very good dust jacket. 6.25 x 9.5 inches (16 x 24.5 cm).Although not particularly known for an interest in beauty, Edna Ferber was a notable guest at Elizabeth Arden's first spa in the 1930's.