253
253
Delius, Frederick
CORRECTED MANUSCRIPT WITH AUTOGRAPH ADDITIONS OF THE "QUARTET FOR STRINGS" [DCW 49], THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL VERSION IN THREE MOVEMENTS, SIGNED, 1916
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT
253
Delius, Frederick
CORRECTED MANUSCRIPT WITH AUTOGRAPH ADDITIONS OF THE "QUARTET FOR STRINGS" [DCW 49], THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL VERSION IN THREE MOVEMENTS, SIGNED, 1916
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Delius, Frederick
CORRECTED MANUSCRIPT WITH AUTOGRAPH ADDITIONS OF THE "QUARTET FOR STRINGS" [DCW 49], THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL VERSION IN THREE MOVEMENTS, SIGNED, 1916
with autograph title wrapper ("Quartet for Strings, Frederick Delius, Grez-sur-Loing (Seine et Marne) 1916"), the music mainly laid out by Delius's wife Jelka, notated for quartet on three or four systems per page, in dark brown ink, corrected and revised by Delius in lighter ink on nearly every page, a few passages in his hand, comprising six sections in all, including two versions of the slow movement (a different piece from the revised version) and two later heavily re-worked drafts 

(1) "With Animation", in 3/4 metre, in the hand of Jelka Delius, revised by the composer, with many corrections, markings and annotations throughout, diverging in details from the published edition (1922), especially in the final two pages, 20-stave paper, 3 bifolia, paginated 1-13
(2) titled 'Late Swallows', ("With slow waving movement"), in 3/2 metre, a completely different movement from that published in 1922, with a revised passage (pp.17/18) inserted on new paper, with corrections, markings and annotations by the composer, 18-stave paper, 2 bifolia, paginated 14-20
(3) "With slow waving movement", the title 'Late Swallows' erased, now constituting the second half of the movement, ending in 4/2 metre in C major, written by Frederick and Jelka Delius, 1 bifolium, paginated 21-24
(4) "Vigorously"..."With bright and elastic movement", in 4/4 metre, written by Frederick and Jelka Delius, with corrections, markings and annotations by the composer, 4 bifolia, paginated 25-40; together with the following later revisions:
(5) the slow movement in 3/2, a later draft of the second half, copied by Jelka from pp.17-24 of (2) and (3), with additions and sketches added by the composer in pencil, and with corrections, markings and annotations, probably part of Delius's revision of the work after the 1916 premiere, 2 bifolia, paginated 21-28, with a revised passage pasted down on page 25  
(6) "Very Quick and Vigorously", in 4/4 metre, comprising two later working drafts, heavily reworked by Delius for the revised version, copied by Jelka from pp.25-27 and pp.37-40 of (4), with many deletions and alterations, with corrections, markings and annotations by the composer, and additions below the systems, 2 bifolia, paginated 41-44 & 55-58

57 pages in all, folio (c.35 x 27cm), 18- and 20-stave paper, title wrapper on 24-stave paper,  Grez-sur-Loing, 1916


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Literature

R. Threlfall, A Catalogue of the Compositions of Frederick Delius (1977), VIII/8, Ms (a); Tempo no.7, June 1944, p.25 ('Miscellaneous: Manuscripts of Elgar, Delius and Holst'); BL MS Mus. 1745/2/5 (no.5), ff.139-160 & 192-224. Delius Catalogue of Works [DCW] no.49

Catalogue Note

THIS IS THE COMPLETE MANUSCRIPT OF THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF DELIUS'S STRING QUARTET.  Complete manuscripts of major works by Delius are rarely offered for sale.

The first performance of this three-movement work took place here in the Aeolian Hall, London, on 17 November 1916, by the London String Quartet led by Albert Sammons.  Although successful, Delius nevertheless revised the outer movements, added a scherzo and replaced the slow movement (still with the old title 'Late Swallows'): a four-movement work premiered in 1919 and published in 1922.  

This is a characteristically complex composition score of Delius's maturity, assisted by his wife Jelka throughout.  It relates closely to the manuscripts and drafts in British Library MS Mus. 1745/2/5.  Most of the manuscript has been copied by Jelka page-for-page from Delius's draft and nearly every page bears the composer's markings and annotations.  For example, section (1) has been copied by Jelka from the earlier of two complete drafts by the composer (BL ff.136-160), and then extensively corrected by Delius; whereas Sections (5) and (6) relate to the Delius's later revision in four movements (BL ff.192-224). These are "intermediate" versions of pages in the BL, into which these revisions are incorporated; for example, pages 55 & 56 are early versions of pages 55 & 56 (f.223) in the BL ms. Progress on composition can be traced not just through the rejected drafts (5) and especially (6), but also in the changes of paper and leaves inserted into the continuous score.  The 20-stave paper (embossed "HL") is used for (1) the first movement (expect for the final page), one leaf of (2) and for the first bifolium of the last movement (4). The same paper-types are found in the BL manuscript.

This manuscript was described (and one page reproduced) in the magazine Tempo in 1944; see Robert Threlfall's 1977 catalogue of Delius's music (pp.178-180).  However, in the same author's Supplementary Catalogue (1986), pp.105-107, the old entry is replaced by a new one, describing a different manuscript, the one now in the British Library discussed above.

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