325
325
Tippett, Sir Michael
AUTOGRAPH WORKING MANUSCRIPT OF "FOUR SONGS FROM THE BRITISH ISLES", THE ORIGINAL VERSION INCLUDING "OVER THE SEA TO SKYE", SIGNED WITH INITIALS ON THE TITLE, C.1956
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 11,875 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
325
Tippett, Sir Michael
AUTOGRAPH WORKING MANUSCRIPT OF "FOUR SONGS FROM THE BRITISH ISLES", THE ORIGINAL VERSION INCLUDING "OVER THE SEA TO SKYE", SIGNED WITH INITIALS ON THE TITLE, C.1956
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 11,875 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Music, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental Books

|
London

Tippett, Sir Michael
AUTOGRAPH WORKING MANUSCRIPT OF "FOUR SONGS FROM THE BRITISH ISLES", THE ORIGINAL VERSION INCLUDING "OVER THE SEA TO SKYE", SIGNED WITH INITIALS ON THE TITLE, C.1956
the working score of four folksong-arrangements, notated in pencil on three four-stave systems per page, with deletions and erasures, a few additions in black ink and annotations in red crayon, with the autograph title "4 Songs from the British Isles [originally 'Islands'] (Pencil) arranged for SATB by M.T."), comprising

"1. England. Early One Morning", pp.1-4
"2. Ireland. Lilliburlero", pp.4-7
"3. Scotland. 'Over the Sea to Skye'", pp.7-10
"4. Wales. Gwendoleen's Repose", pp.11-13 

14 pages, 4to (c.31 x 23.5cm), including title, paginated 1-13, blank page at end, 12-stave paper ("BBC Music Mss Paper 12 Stave Plain"), one stapled gathering, c.1956, together with a typed letter of presentation signed ("MichaelTippett", Corsham, 22 September 1964), the paper slightly cockled, some browning from the pencil, rusting to the staples,


Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Catalogue Note

THIS MANUSCRIPT IS THE ONLY COMPLETE AUTOGRAPH SOURCE FOR THESE SONGS. Tippett's Four Songs from the British Isles was written for North West German Radio, Bremen, and contains arrangements for four-part chorus, each representative of one of the countries.  The third song in the published set (1957), representing Scotland, is 'Poortith cauld', which replaced the quite different original piece contained here. Tippett's arrangement of 'Over the Sea to Skye' (based on a fairly modern song) was unknown during his lifetime and only discovered in 2002.  In a letter of 28 July 1957, Tippett explained that he would have to replace 'Over the Sea to Skye' because the copyright was "too strictly held by a publisher". British Library Add MS 61775 (dated 1956), contains only 'Poortith cauld', and nothing of numbers 1, 2 or 4 (nor of course the present no.3).

The settings are very imaginative and complex, and apparently taxed the abilities of the amateur German choir for which they were commissioned.  Indeed the first performance, without the present number, was given, not at Bremen, but by the London Bach Group at Royaumont in 1958. Tippett's 'Over the Sea to Skye' was published in 2002 and first performed in 2003.  In the note that accompanies this manuscript, Tippett writes that "I find I have the pencil work-manuscript of 'Four Songs of the British Isles'. Would this be the sort of thing you would like?...I would like to have one of the songs photographed or transcribed in London first of all, as I appear not to have a copy of that music at all. This would take a week or a fortnight". 

Music, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental Books

|
London