220
220
Verdi, Giuseppe
FINE AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT AND ACCOMPANYING LETTER SIGNED ("GVERDI") ABOUT OTELLO, SENT TO THE CELEBRATED DOUBLE-BASS PLAYER GIOVANNI BOTTESINI
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
220
Verdi, Giuseppe
FINE AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT AND ACCOMPANYING LETTER SIGNED ("GVERDI") ABOUT OTELLO, SENT TO THE CELEBRATED DOUBLE-BASS PLAYER GIOVANNI BOTTESINI
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts

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Verdi, Giuseppe
FINE AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT AND ACCOMPANYING LETTER SIGNED ("GVERDI") ABOUT OTELLO, SENT TO THE CELEBRATED DOUBLE-BASS PLAYER GIOVANNI BOTTESINI
comprising Verdi's autograph transcript of the part for the double basses in Act IV, marking Otello's entrance into Desdemona's bed-chamber, together with an autograph letter to Bottesini, seeking his guidance and advice on how this passage should best be played by the double-bass section 

1) the autograph manuscript written on five staves, comprising twenty-five bars in all, with the metronome marking, dynamics and articulation, marked by the composer "etc" at the end, 1 page, oblong 8vo (c.13 x 20cm), 10 stave paper by Lard-Esnault of Paris, trimmed from a larger leaf, folded by the composer

2) the unpublished autograph letter accompanying the manuscript, in which Verdi explains that maintaining the intonation in this passage for muted double basses is problematic, because of the inconsistent approach of the players to the choice of hand-position; he asks Bottesini to mark on the enclosed transcript which position offers the best and most secure solution, averring that his authority in this field is so great that his will be the definitive judgement, asking Bottesini about his health and informing him that Giuseppina has also recently undergone an operation, 3 pages, 8vo (c.17.5 x 11.5cm), De La Rue paper, autograph envelope ("a Bottesini/ Londra"), Genoa, 2 May 1887, splitting along folds,

...E' un po' difficile per se stesso questo solo: difficile per le distanze in orchestra: difficile per l'intonazione perchè non tutti e non sempre suonano colle stesse posizioni.  Io vorrei pregarti di segnarmi sul pezzo di carta di musica che qui unisco le posizioni che crederai piu sicure e più facili... 

Verdi's letter is unpublished: not in Hans Busch, Verdi's Otello and Simon Boccanegra (revised version) in Letters and Documents, 2 volumes (Oxford: 1988).

After Desdemona's anguished cry at the end of her "Ave Maria", the music subsides and Otello comes into her bedroom, intent on murder.  His stealthy entrance is accompanied by one of the most extraordinary passages in the opera, played by the double-bass section alone. Verdi was dissatisfied with early performances and sought the guidance of the leading double-bass player, Giovanni Bottesini.   The present letter is evidently the one that Verdi asked Ricordi to forward to Bottesini in London, which is hitherto unknown (See Busch, p.309 and note).  Later, in a letter of 22 May 1887, Verdi asked his publisher Ricordi to insert Bottesini's suggestions into the score, evidently without success, for these fingerings do not survive. Bottesini was also a composer and conductor who directed the premiere of Aida in Cairo in 1871. Intonation in the double basses in this passage remains a problem even today.


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Catalogue Note

Verdi's letter is unpublished: not in Hans Busch, Verdi's Otello and Simon Boccanegra (revised version) in Letters and Documents, 2 volumes (Oxford: 1988).

After Desdemona's anguished cry at the end of her "Ave Maria", the music subsides and Otello comes into her bedroom, intent on murder.  His stealthy entrance is accompanied by one of the most extraordinary passages in the opera, played by the double-bass section alone.  The present letter is evidently the one that Verdi asked Ricordi to forward to Bottesini in London, which is hitherto unknown (See Busch, p.309 and note).  Later, in a letter of 22 May 1887, Verdi asked his publisher Ricordi to insert Bottesini's suggestions into the score, evidently without success, for these fingerings do not survive. Bottesini was also a composer and conductor who directed the premiere of Aida in Cairo in 1871.

Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts

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