Important Manuscripts, Continental Books and Music

Important Manuscripts, Continental Books and Music

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 85. R. Strauss, autograph manuscript of his orchestration of the song "Nun halt Frau Minne Liebeswacht", 1898.

R. Strauss, autograph manuscript of his orchestration of the song "Nun halt Frau Minne Liebeswacht", 1898

Auction Closed

June 11, 02:50 PM GMT


35,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details



Fine autograph manuscript signed of Strauss's orchestration of the song "Nun halt Frau Minne Liebeswacht", by his mentor Alexander Ritter, in a dedication binding for Ritter's daughters, 1898

the full score for solo soprano and orchestra, including solo violin, notated in dark brown ink on up to twenty-one staves per page, the music diverging from Ritter's original in places, rehearsal numbers added in blue crayon, signed on the autograph title page: "Nun halt Frau Minne Liebeswacht/ (No.VIII der Liebesnächte)/ von/ Alexander Ritter/ Instrumentiert von RichardStrauss", and dated by Strauss at the end "München, 18. Januar 1898"

18 pages, folio (c.35 x 26.5cm), including title, paginated in pencil 1-17, blank leaf at end, 22-stave paper (B & H Nr.13 C.), comprising 2 gatherings of 2 bifolia each at the beginning and end, and a single bifolium in the middle (pp.8-11), dedication binding, half calf, gilt lettered ("Den lieben Ritter's/ Das Sträusschen"), Munich, 18 January 1898, instrumental designations trimmed by the binder at the start, some staining to lower outer corners, consistent with use for performance by the composer, some wear to the binding, with upper hinge weak, 

UNPUBLISHED. This is the only known source for Strauss's characteristically fulsome orchestration. Strauss originally arranged Ritter's song for his concert with the German soprano Agnes Stavenhagen on 23 February 1891. 

Strauss's orchestration does not follow the song strictly throughout, being remarkably inventive compared with Ritter's original piano score, with prominent parts for cor anglais, harp and solo violin. Strauss makes adjustments to Ritter's song on pages 7 to 9, here marked "Belebend" ("Belebter" in the original), introducing a short orchestral link before "Vor den entzückten Sinnen". Strauss perhaps revised this passage in 1898 (ie after Ritter's death), since the bifolia appear to be disrupted at this point, a single bifolium being inserted. This orchestration is 143 bars in all, four bars longer than Ritter's original song for piano and voice.

Alexander Ritter (1833-1896) published his Liebesnächte op.4, of which this is song no.8, for piano and voice in 1875. An ardent Wagnerian who married Wagner's niece Franziska in 1854, Ritter became second Kapellmeister under Hans von Bülow at Meiningen in 1882, where he encountered and supported the young Richard Strauss. Strauss later credited Ritter with introducing him to the music of Wagner, Liszt and Berlioz, and advising him on the subject of his first opera Guntram (over which they later fell out). In 1886, Strauss was appointed a Kapellmeister at Munich, taking Ritter with him, and conducted Ritter's two operas there in 1891. That year, his symphonic poem Tod und Verklärung was published with Ritter's programmatic poem. The dedication is on the binding to this manuscript: "Den lieben Ritter's"; this apparently refers to Alexander Ritter's three daughters Else, Julie and Hertha. 


Trenner 164; Mueller von Asow AV 188; RSQV ID q01026 


By descent from the dedicatees to the present owner.