M. Bruch. Important archive of c.488 autograph letters signed to Ernst Rudorff, 1865-1916, unpublished
20,000 to - 30,000 GBP
Important archive of autograph letters signed to Ernst Rudorff, 1865-1915, UNPUBLISHED
comprising c.488 autograph letters signed ("Max Bruch"; "M. Bruch"; "M.B."), c.271 of which on correspondence cards or postcards, some of a very confidential nature, many of great length and highly detailed, ABOUT HIS COMPOSITIONS, including the VIOLIN CONCERTO IN G-MINOR, OP.26 (rejoicing in Joachim's interest in the work, discussing aspects of its revision in detail, as well as its publication, explaining that various idiotic suggestions of David, which he had earlier wanted to accept have now been eliminated, noting that he was unwilling to allow it to be printed before Rudorff had seen it, and outlining other aspects of Joachim's contribution to its revision during a visit to Hanover at the beginning of October 1867), DieLoreley, Frithjof, Op.23, Schön Ellen, Odysseus, Gustav Adolf, Moses, Hermione, Leonidas, the third violin concerto, Op.58, and the Romance, Op.42, THE CORRESPONDENCE ALSO CONTAINING SOME MUSICAL EXAMPLES (e.g. some chorale melodies in a letter of 3 June 1907, and some bars of other composers' works of which he is critical), also discussing Rudorff's compositions, the possible sale of Rudorff's Bach cantata autographs, his honorary doctorate from Cambridge, referring to Mendelssohn ("...Hätte der nicht vor Meyerbeer Mendelssohn ein Denkmal in Berlin verdient?..."), referring to Joachim (including the Joachim-Simrock affair), Brahms (regarding the "painful fiasco of the Serenade"), Clara Schumann, Moscheles, Hiller, Wagner (describing in detail, with musical examples, a 'laughable' performance by Wagner of Die Zauberflöte), Simrock, Spitta, Chrysander, Humperdinck, Richard Strauss, Grieg, von Bülow, Rubinstein, Liszt, Puccini, Reger (concerning the 'criminal rubbish' that is his piano concerto [Op.114]), Stanford, Saint-Saens ("...da er ein kalter Egoist ist...so wird er sich wohl auch nicht uns noch kümmern, obwohl wir uralte Bekannte sind..."), Frieda Kwast-Hodapp, Heinrich von Treitschke, Adolf Schulze (outlining the tensions between them), Robert Kahn, his composition pupils, also concerning institutional, national and international politics, concert programmes, the Sternscher Gesangverein, the death of the Joachim quartet violoncellist Robert Hausmann, castigating the state of music in Berlin, one letter marked "sehr vertraulich" outlining Bruch's objections to the founding of the Neue Bachgesellschaft, noting that his report has been filed and will make pretty reading for a lonely researcher in 50 years' time, expressing his admiration for Rudorff's father, and detailing many other matters
...An allen unendlichen Wandlungen des Violin-Concerts haben Sie auch so treulich und förderlich theilgenommen, daß ich das ganz fertige Stück nicht gern zum Druck geben möchte, ohne es Ihnen noch in der jetzigen und endgültigen Form mitgetheilt zu haben...Ich war Anfangs Oct. 8 Tage in Hannover und habe mit Joachim Alles...zweifelhafte bis in die kleinsten Einzelheiten in Ordnung gebracht. Die Begeisterung der Stricharten ist durchaus von ihm. Verschiedene David'sche Dummheiten, die ich damals im ersten Feuer acceptiren wollte, haben wir wieder herausgeschafft...Ueber Brahms und das unerhörte und sehr peinliche Fiasco der Serenade müssen wir unter vier Augen...reden...Keiner in Berlin weiß mehr, was gut u. böse, schön und häßlich ist. So taumelt alles dahin in einem oberflächlichen u. ekelhaften Genußleben (die Folge eines 30 jährigen Friedens) - bis eines Tages einmal ganz unerwartet das Mene Tekel an der Wand erscheinen wird!...Gleichgültig send ich dir ein Klavierkonzert von Herrn Reger - verbrecherischen Blödsinn, der nicht mehr zu übertreffen ist. Und so was hört der deutsche Michel ruhig und respectvoll an, ohne Herrn Reger und Frau Kwast-Hodapp (die es spielt) mit faulen Eiern zu bewerfen!...Wo ist ein neuer Bismarck - wo ist ein Dictator, der den Muth hat im Westen die frechen Französlinge umd Pfaffen und im Osten das hoch verrätherische Polen-Gesindel so zu behandeln wie sie es verdienen - doch mit der eisernen Faust?!!...
c.2000 pages in all, various sizes, some letters on printed stationery of the Königliche Akademie der Künste zu Berlin, with 14 inscribed and mostly signed visiting cards, 8 dictated letters signed, one letter on a printed concert programme, A PRINTED CONCERT PROGRAMME OF THE PREMIERE OF THE G-MINOR VIOLIN CONCERTO, OP.26, ON 24 APRIL 1866, 1 autograph correspondence card to the German admiral Ludwig von Reuter, 1 printed and signed card acknowledging the good wishes received on his 70th birthday, 1 autograph postcard signed by Clara Bruch, 2 autograph letters signed by Bruch's son, the clarinettist Max Felix Bruch, 1 autograph postcard by Hans Bruch, 1 autograph postcard signed by Ernst Rudorff, 17 autograph letters signed by Bruch's sister Mathilde Bruch, newspaper cuttings, original maroon folding card box with manuscript label by Ernst Rudorff ("Briefe von Max Bruch"), Sondershausen, Coblenz, Breslau, Liverpool, Bonn, Amalfi, Berlin-Friedenau, and elsewhere, 1865-1915
THE MOST IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF BRUCH LETTERS EVER TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION.
AN UNPARALLELED, UNPUBLISHED TREASURE TROVE OF BRUCH DOCUMENTS.
This extraordinary archive bears witness to one side at least of a great nineteenth/early twentieth century musical friendship, that between the composer of the supremely beautiful Violin Concerto in G minor, Op.26, Max Bruch (1838-1920), and the Berlin pianist and teacher Ernst Rudorff (1840-1916), from whose spectacular collection the letters originally derive. The letters cover virtually the entirety of Bruch's career as composer, teacher and conductor, which saw him working in Koblenz (1865-1867), Sondershausen (1867-1870), Berlin (1870-1872), Bonn (1873-1878), Liverpool (1880-1883) and again in Berlin, where from 1890 until his retirement in 1910 Bruch taught at the Hochschule für Musik.
The picture of a driven, somewhat difficult, conservative and ultimately lonely composer is confirmed in these letters, but there is also much to discover. Some of the earliest letters provide information about the genesis of Bruch's most famous work, the G-minor violin concerto, completed first in 1866 and subsequently revised with assistance from Joachim, being finished in the form we know it today in 1867. Bruch exults in the interest that the great violinist Joseph Joachim has shown in the work and discusses in some detail the latter's input into its revision. Many other letters reveal in fascinating detail the inner workings of the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where Bruch directed a masterclass in composition. The election of Richard Strauss in 1909 and the business of finding a successor to Joachim (the Hochschule's founder and director), following his death in 1907, are just two controversial issues laid bare in this highly revealing correspondence.
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