Lot 150
  • 150

Sibelius, Jean

80,000 - 100,000 GBP
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  • Sibelius, Jean
  • The original sources for the final version of Sibelius's Violin Concerto, including working manuscripts and engraved proofs, with annotations, corrections and additions by Sibelius, signed and inscribed twice ("Violin-Consert / Jean Sibelius"),
  • paper
BEING THE PRINCIPAL PRIMARY SOURCES FOR THE PUBLISHED FULL SCORE, THE EDITION FOR PIANO AND VIOLIN AND THE SOLO VIOLIN PART, together with the performing materials for the premiere, including the conducting score MARKED UP BY RICHARD STRAUSS, including:

1) the manuscript copy for the publisher (Stichvorlage) of the full orchestral score, in the hand of Sibelius's copyist August Österberg, with the composer's corrections and additions in red and grey-black ink, including a bar originally missing in the cadenza, the principal primary source for the full score of the 1905 edition in the absence of the autograph, with editorial additions in crayon and markings by and for the printer in pencil, 143 pages, folio, (c.36.5 x 27.5cm), 20-stave paper ("B & H, Nr 12.C") [June-July 1905]

2) engraved first proof of the orchestral score, with markings in red ink and crayon by Sibelius's editor Paul Juon, 65 leaves, folio (c.34 x 26cm), engraved on one side only, paginated 3-67, plate no. S.9936, violet stamp of the engravers "Jos Eberle & Co," and date 29 September 1905 on first page

3) engraved second proof, marked up by Richard Strauss, the conductor of the premiere, in pencil, with editorial corrections in red & black ink, initialled by the editor on each page ("A.H."), 65 pages, folio, engraved on both sides of the leaf, plate no. S.9936, manuscript copyright notice by Lienau (Schlesinger'sche Buch & Musikhandlung), dated 1905 

4) the manuscript copy for the publisher (Stichvorlage) of the solo violin part, by Österberg, with corrections by Sibelius, and signed by him above the music ("Violin-Consert, Jean Sibelius"), in black and grey ink, including the tempo marking at the beginning and the numbering of the movements, marked up by and for the engraver in pencil, including "Eilt sehr! Bis 9/8 spätestens Abzug", 20 pages, folio (c.34 x 27cm), 8-stave paper [May 1905]

5) engraved proof of the solo violin part, with corrections by Sibelius in red ink, including the numbering of the movements and some musical notes added to the margins on hand-drawn staves, 15 leaves, folio, engraved on one side only, plate number S.9336, engravers' violet stamps to each leaf "R. v Waldheim - Jos Eberle & Co. Erste Wiener Zeitungs-Gesellschaft", [August 1905]

6) the manuscript copy for the publisher (Stichvorlage) of the edition for violin and piano, apparently the earliest manuscript included here, notated in score by Österberg, with corrections by Sibelius, and signed by him above the music ("Violin-Consert, Jean Sibelius"), corrected by him in grey & black ink, 48 pages, folio (c.35.5 x 26.5cm), 12-stave paper ("B & H no.5.C"), with Lienau's manuscript copyright notice dated 1905 [May 1905]

7) engraved proof of the edition for violin and piano, the score, with many corrections throughout by Sibelius in red ink, including notes added in the margin,  36 leaves, folio, engraved on one side only, with Jos Eberle & Co's violet stamp dated 12 August 1905 

8) Set of 12 lithographed proofs for the orchestral parts, some reproduced from manuscript originals, used for the first performance under Strauss, with editorial corrections and additions in blue & red crayon and red ink, and marked up in various hands in pencil; together with a manuscript "Druckfehler-Verzeichnis" (7 pages, folio) and a lithographed version derived from it (1 bifolium)


Timo Virtanen, Jean Sibelius Works. II/1 (2014): Violin Concerto op.47, pp.277-284; Dahlström, p.222


As is often the case with corrected page proofs, one page (p.25) is absent from the engraved proof for 7) the engraved proof of the edition for violin and piano
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

THIS IS SIBELIUS'S REVISED VERSION OF HIS CELEBRATED VIOLIN CONCERTO, THE AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF WHICH IS ALMOST ENTIRELY LOST: only some thirty-eight bars survive, lacking the violin part.  Sibelius originally composed the work in 1904 but never published it: it survives in his autograph score in Helsinki.  Instead, he made dramatic and extensive revisions, shortening the exceptionally demanding solo part considerably (originally there were two cadenzas in the first movement) and making the orchestral ritornellos more cogent and substantial.  The present full score is the principal primary source for the full score of the revised version.  It is only predated by two earlier sources included here: the publisher's manuscripts for the solo violin part (no.4) and for the violin and piano score (no.6), which are both signed and titled by Sibelius and which date from May 1905. 

Sibelius's violin concerto is one of the greatest in the concert repertory, along with those of Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky; it is also particularly personal, since the composer was a violinist himself, and originally hoped to be a professional performer.  Apart from the surviving fragment of Sibelius's autograph score, the only primary source that is missing from this collection is his partly autograph piano reduction in Helsinki (the first movement in Sibelius's hand; the rest written out by August Österberg).  That predates items nos 4 and 6 here and is the earliest source for the final version of this great violin concerto.  Österberg (b.1861), who copied out the present manuscripts, was one of Sibelius's closest assistants, a trumpet player in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra who played in many Sibelius premieres.