L. Schefer. Autograph manuscript of the overture to "Hecuba", arranged for piano, c. 1840 or later
Schefer, Leopold (1784-1862, German poet, novelist and composer)
Autograph manuscript of the overture to Schefer's opera Hecuba, arranged for piano
written in dark brown ink on four two-stave systems per page, with apparently autograph title-page ("Ouverture aus der Hecuba, grosse Oper von Leopold Schefer. Für das Pianoforte zu 2 Händen."), a few erasures
10 pages, plus title and one blank, large oblong 4to (c. 27 x 37cm), the staves hand-drawn with a single-headed rastrum, a few annotations in pencil, no place or date [Muskau?, c. 1840 or later], outer leaves becoming detached, a few small tears to margins, some slightly affecting text; together with an autograph letter signed by Schefer to Emil Breslaur, providing him with details of Wilhelm von Lüdemann's biography of him and of the recent publication of his Schneekönigskinder, 1 page, small 4to, integral autograph address-panel, Muskau, 6 June 1857
A rare opportunity to acquire at auction autograph material by the German novelist, poet and composer Leopold Schefer - Anton Salieri's 22nd pupil (in the alphabetical list of his pupils between Karl Gottfried Salzmann and Franz Schubert), whose music was fêted by Schumann and whose exotic literary productions were eagerly devoured by the novella-reading public.
After studying with Salieri in 1816-1817, Schefer travelled widely, including to Greece, Egypt, Palestine, and Turkey, and returned in 1819 to the town of his birth, Muskau, in the Upper Lusatia region in Germany, where he remained for the rest of his life. As an indication of Shefer's contemporary celebrity, his plans to write an opera entitled Hecuba were announced in Schumann's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in 1840; the opera however remained unfinished.
Schefer's large and diverse literary estate is preserved mainly in the Oberlausitzische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften in Görlitz, the musical manuscripts in the Weimar Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv.
Ernst-Jürgen Dreyer, 'Salieris zweiundzwanzigster Schüler', Jahrbuch des Staatlichen Instituts für Musikforschung Preußischer Kulturbesitz 1998, pp. 277ff.
From the collection of Ernst Rudorff (1840-1916)
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