Lot 51
  • 51

Bruch, Max, (1838-1920)

30,000 - 40,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Bruch, Max
  • Important collection of autograph and corrected working manuscripts of the opera "Die Loreley" op.16, in Bruch’s original four-act version of 1863
  • paper
1) Autograph manuscript full score of the overture: “Einleitung zur Loreley. Partitur” (the original title “Overture” deleted), dated "Mannheim April 1863" on the title, notated for orchestra in full score, in dark brown ink on seventeen staves per page, with deletions and alterations, and additions in pencil

19 pages, folio (c.33 x 24cm), 20-stave paper, two blanks between pp.15 & 16 originally stuck together, Mannheim, April 1863 (“Instrumentiert an Pfingst-Sonntag 1863”), some staining, browning on title, modern cloth-backed boards, publishers’ stamp: Kistner & Siegel of Leipzig, trimmed by the binder.

2) The twenty-three orchestral parts used for the premiere of the opera in June 1863, in scribal hands, WITH AUTOGRAPH REVISIONS AND ADDITIONS BY BRUCH, including new music written on slips of paper laid down over the old versions in most of the parts (nos 14 'Gesang der Loreley' and 24 'Finale'), including whole pages in places, extensively marked up in red and blue crayon for a later performance (including many cuts marked “Vi….de”)

23 volumes, folio (c.33 x 26cms), 12-stave paper, a few stamps of the Mannheim opera house ("Gr. Bad. M. Theater. Mannheim"), the overture ('Einleitung') on a separately-titled bifolio (loose in the string and wind parts), most volumes dated by the scribe at the end (Mannheim, 19-30 May 1863), with contemporary and later inscriptions documenting performances in 1863-1866 ("Zum 1ten male den 14ten Juni 1863"), 1916 (Strassburg, under Hans Pfitzner) and in 1938 (Munich broadcast under Pfitzner), contemporary cloth-backed wrappers with manuscript labels, including Violin I (4 desks), Violin II (2), Viola (2), Violoncello (1, lacking Cello I), Basso (2), Flutes, Oboes, Clarinets, Bassoons, Horns (2), Trumpets, Trombones (2), Harp, Tympani and Cymbals. the overture and some additional inserts (“Einlage”) loose (some others possibly missing), corners well-thumbed and stained, some tears to margins and rust-stains from paper-clips; together with a later set of manuscript orchestral parts for No.5 Ensemble in G major (they are pitched down in F major in the original parts), in a wrapper inscribed: “Verl[age] no. 5346, Bruch Op.16…Alte Ausgabe”

3)  Die Loreley, Grosse romantische Oper...op.16 Partitur, Breslau: F.E.C. Leuckart, [c.1863-1865], FIRST EDITION, FULL SCORE, 124, 48, 111, & 91 pages, large 4to (c.34.5 x 26.5cm), lithographed from a manuscript full score, marked up for a later performance (possibly Hans Pfitzner's in 1916), in red & blue crayon and pencil, some later cuts with pages folded back and secured with paper-clips, the publisher’s imprint deleted and stamped “C.F.W. Siegel’s Musikalienhandlung”, blue lithographed cloth-backed boards 

4) Collection of four printed choral parts, PROOF COPIES, CORRECTED BY THE COMPOSER, for the edition in three acts (performed by Mahler in Leipzig in 1887), lithographed music, plate no. 8318, AUTOGRAPH WRAPPER SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY BRUCH ("An die Siegel’sche Verlagshandlung (Herrn R. Linnemann) Leipzig/ Loreley/ 4 Chorstimmen/ Bad Landeck, 20. Juli 1887/ Max Bruch"), annotated by the editor ("Korrektur Exemplar"); the four choral parts MARKED UP BY THE COMPOSER IN BLUE CRAYON, with titles ("Sopran" etc.), tempo and dynamic markings, the pieces renumbered throughout ([1] to 21), but not exactly conforming to the 1887 vocal score [ Leipzig: C.F.W. Siegel, c. 1887, pl.no.8137], EACH SIGNED AT THE END (“Revid, M.B. Bad Landeck, 18. Juli 87”), together with 42 further uncorrected copies: Soprano (8), Alt (12), Tenor (10) and Bass (12)  


C. Fifield, Max Bruch: His Life and Works (1988), pp.41-46. Hans Pfitzner, Meine Beziehungen zu Max Bruch...Bericht über meine Auffü̈hrungen von dessen Oper “Die Loreley”, (1938).


Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate
"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 THE MOST IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF SOURCE MATERIAL FOR THE MUSIC OF MAX BRUCH TO HAVE APPEARED AT AUCTION. The full orchestral score of the overture to Die Loreley is the most substantial autograph manuscript by the composer to have been offered for over twenty-five years. This is a richly lyrical piece, based on the 'Gesang der Loreley' in Act 2, and is still performed separately as a concert work.

We have been unable to trace any other surviving autograph manuscript for Die Loreley (1863), the most successful of Bruch's three operas and one of his most significant works (composed three years before the famous Violin Concerto op.26).  This collection of primary sources bears witness to the 1863 première, the reduced 1887 version in three acts (conducted by Mahler), and the revival of the four-act version by Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949) in 1916.  The original manuscript orchestral parts, which still contain Bruch's autograph additions and revisions for the 1863 première, were evidently used in later performances, recorded in pencil annotations at the end.  Pfitzner retained a lifelong devotion to Bruch's opera, which he staged with the composer's blessing at Strassburg in 1916.  Despite falling seriously out of favour with the Nazis, Pfitzner apparently conducted Loreley again in Munich in 1938; the note at the end of the trombone part used for the broadcast performance reads "20 Febr. 1938 Franz Heigl Reichssender München unter Hans Pfitzner".

The choral parts for the 1887 three-act version provide new information about Bruch, who, on the face of it, might not have had much to do with that drastic rehash of his opera. These corrected proofs are signed and inscribed by the composer and contain annotations throughout, which he sent to the publisher C.F.W. Siegel in Leipzig.  This collection also includes the rare lithographed full score of the original four-act opera, published in Breslau in c.1863-1865.  The annotations and markings in red and blue crayon appear to relate to a much later production, since they contain references to Siegel's 1887 vocal score. The rehearsal numbers in red crayon match those added to the manuscript orchestral parts, as do the cuts in blue crayon. Since for his revival of the opera in 1916, Pfitzner reverted to the original four-act Mannheim version, the cuts and the markings in crayon in both score and parts would appear to have been written in preparation for that production.