The Music sale this season contains a remarkable array of large-scale autograph manuscripts of complete works by major composers. Among these are autograph manuscripts by Mozart, Rachmaninov, Schubert, Schumann, Johann Strauss the elder, Offenbach, Grieg, Bartók and Schoenberg, together with contemporary manuscript full scores (being copies from the composers’ autographs), of two complete operas by Handel (“Berenice”, owned by Charles Jennens) and by Haydn (“La fedeltà premiata”), both manuscripts bearing autograph or contemporary annotations to the scores. Pride of place among the lots in thi Music sale must go to Mozart’s autograph manuscript of his cadenza to his celebrated double concerto, the “Sinfonia Concertante” K.364; the autograph manuscript of this famous work is lost, and so the present autograph cadenza is the only part surviving in Mozart’s own hand-writing. Mozart often extemporized cadenzas, and he only had to write the present cadenza out because the two soloists had to play something together. Also of great interest is Rachmaninov’s corrected manuscript (containing 40 pages completely in his own hand) of his Fourth Piano Concerto. Autograph manuscripts by Rachmaninov, one of the most popular of all great composers, are of the greatest rarity at auction, since the majority of his major works were composed in Russia, where the autographs are still kept.
The Continental Books & Manuscripts sale begins the day at 10:30am and comprises 93 lots. There is a fine copy of Vesalius, an important collection of late C18 and C19 Hebrew books and ephemera, J.B. Colbert’s “Cabinet du Roi” (a monumental C18 collection of engravings of treasures from the French royal collection), and first and early editions by Galileo, Hevelius, Napier, Pausanias, Tolstoy, Chagall, and others. Among the manuscripts is an important archive of work by the celebrated Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky.
The Music sale will follow the Continental Books sale, and begin shortly after 11:30am. The Toscanini collection of music, manuscripts, letters and memorabilia, which includes music by Verdi and Mendelssohn, and letters by Beethoven, Verdi and Leopardi, will start the afternoon at 2:30pm.