Music, Continental Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Music, Continental Books and Medieval Manuscripts

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3. J.S. Bach. First edition full score of the St. Matthew Passion, Berlin 1830.

J.S. Bach. First edition full score of the St. Matthew Passion, Berlin 1830

Lot Closed

July 14, 01:03 PM GMT


8,000 - 10,000 GBP

Lot Details



Grosse Passionsmusik nach dem Evangelium Matthaei...Partitur, Berlin: in der Schlesinger'sche Buch- und Musikhandlung, 1830

FIRST EDITION OF THE FULL SCORE OF THE "ST. MATTHEW PASSION". folio (c.33.5 x 26cm), engraved title and music, printed subscription list (4 pages) and wordbook (8 pages), engraved music (pp. 5-324), plate no.1570, nineteenth-century blind-stamped green cloth, gilt titles to cover and spine, flyleaf inscriptions by Woldemar Bargiel and Ernst Rudorff ("An Ernst Rudorff zum 14ten März 1856 und zur Erinnerung an seinen Freund Woldemar Bargiel" and "An Johannes Schulze zur Erinnerung an den 16ten December 1872. E.R."), and another about a performance by Julius Stockhausen and the Stern Gesangverein on 20 March 1885, light foxing to preliminaries, tiny repair to margin of the final leaf

This is the full score of one of the great masterpieces of Western music, with an interesting provenance. The publication of the St. Matthew Passion in 1830 was a keystone in the Bach Revival, pioneered by Mendelssohn with his famous performance of the work in Berlin on 11 March 1829. The engraving of this impressive full score was supported by subscription: Mendelssohn's name is included in the subscribers' list, as are those of Meyerbeer and Spohr.

This score was presented by Woldemar Bargiel (1828–1897) to the composer and pianist Ernst Rudorff in 1856; Bargiel, half-brother to Clara Schumann, was himself a composer and Rudorff's teacher from 1850 until 1857. In return, Rudorff gave Bargiel the autograph full score of Bach's cantata no.130 "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir", which he had inherited from his mother Betty Pistor. Betty almost certainly sang in the 1829 performance: she was friendly with Mendelssohn's sisters, and the composer was in love with her at that time. 

Other contemporary musicians mentioned on the flyleaves include the baritone and conductor Julius Stockhausen and the pianist Johannes Schulze ("Am 20. März 1885 Aufführung dieser Passion in d. Garnison Kirche zu Berlin, d.d. Stern’schen Gesangverein unter Leitung von J. Stockhausen (Rudorff gab in diesen Tagen seine Entlassung ein; krank in Wienrode a/Harz; Nervenüberreizung").  Loosely inserted are two manuscripts of organ accompaniments for the aria 'Erbarme dich', possibly in the hand of Schulze.


BWV 244; Hirsch, iv 677; Fuld, p.171; Hoboken 26; RISM BB 436a

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