Our Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts auction achieved a fine total of £2,669,153. The top lot was Tchaikovsky’s working draft of his Suite no.2, which sold for £329,00 (£250,000 — 300,000 estimate). One of the many lots that sold strongly in the sale as a whole was the autograph manuscript "of Structure 1a" by Pierre Boulez, which achieved £50,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £15,000-20,000.
The sale of Music and Continental Books and Manuscripts on 28 May features the Kurt Maschler Autograph Collection (lots 133-217), containing letters & manuscripts by Goethe, Heine, Freud, Melanchthon, Schopenhauer, Proust, Turgenev, ETA Hoffmann, Mann (90 early letters), Erich Kästner, Constable, Dickens, Zola, Verlaine, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Gauguin, Zweig, Liszt, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner and many others.
The big lots in music are the autograph manuscript of Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances for 2 pianos, Tchaikovsky’s working draft of his Suite no.2, Stravinsky’s Berceuses du chat, two music manuscripts by Mozart, and others by Offenbach, Strauss, Balakirev, Scriabin, Boulez, Wagner, Debussy and Delius, letters by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Wagner, and a very early score of Handel’s Acis and Galatea. The printed items include a copy of Sanquirico’s designs for La Scala, the huge Graduale Romanum printed by Giunta in 1499, and first editions of Purcell and Mozart. There are also paintings by C.G. Jung and Mendelssohn and an important early miniature portrait of Kant.
The PS stamp on the binding stands for Plessis-Sorbonne (Olivier 1965), not Pierre Séguier as stated in the catalogue. This is a prize binding from the college.
Please note that the straps are missing from this volume
The PS stamp on the binding stands for Plessis-Sorbonne (Olivier 1965), not Pierre Séguier as stated in the catalogue.
This letter and Lot 143 are both large 8vo, not 4to.
This letter is dated 18 May 1936, not June. The illustration on this page has been mis-numbered: it is in fact for lot 143.
This letter is in large 8vo format, not 4to. It is illustrated on the preceding page.
This lot also contains an autograph letter signed by Ludovic Rodolphe Pissarro.
The two letters by Rodin are signed by Rodin; the two secretarial letters are signed by the secretary.
There is just one illustration of this lot in the printed catalogue, the illustration at the foot of p.115 is for lot 186
This lot is illustrated in the printed catalogue at the foot of p.115, but has been incorrectly numbered 186
The letter fragment (mentioned at the end of the description) and the list by Lotte Zweig are no longer part of this lot.
The discovery of this transcription by Liszt of the Prelude [Fantasia] in G minor, one of Bach's greatest organ compositions, made as early as 1854, is most significant. Not only does the manuscript put back by several years our knowledge of Liszt's interest in Bach's organ works, but it seems to mark the beginning of the tradition in keyboard and orchestral transcriptions of Bach's works which Liszt, Elgar, Schoenberg, Respighi and others furthered during the next century. This is another example of how the discovery of Bach's music permeated the musical sensibilities of a diverse group of later composers. We do not know of any earlier transcription of an organ work by Bach.
But the manuscript is even more important. Liszt was not yet a composer for the organ. His knowledge of Bach's organ music was the starting point for his own essays in the genre. Liszt is without doubt the greatest writer for the organ in the 19th century. This manuscript may well have been the catalyst for this new expansion of the repertoire.
There is just one page, not two.
The second item in this volume, the "Ariette avec variations", is Koechel number 613, not 616.
This lot is sold without the gallery display frame.
This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.
The work is "partly unpublished" rather than "substantially unpublished". It was published by Schott in 2008 as "14 Improvisationen und Fuge", based on a scribal source, and therefore lacks the material that Strauss added here in his autograph manuscript.