Sale Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 11:00 AM
The universal language of music could not be more beautifully articulated in the extraordinary private collection offered herewith. Painstakingly amassed for over thirty years, the collection reflects the refined sensibilities of a veritable connoisseur of music. Highlights abound in both manuscript and printed form. Autograph letters by Vincenzo Bellini and Georges Bizet mentioning Norma and Carmen are a rarity. The autograph music signed from Carmen by Georges Bizet is simply stunning. The Beethoven autograph letter signed twice appealing for assistance with an official matter on behalf of his nephew, Karl, is a particularly fine letter. An autograph letter signed by Friedrich Haydn to Dr. Birney regarding a canzonetto is a jewel. Only three letters from Haydn to Dr. Birney have sold at auction since 1975. The mystery of the missing second leaf of the earliest manuscript of Handel’s autograph manuscript will is solved with the leaf herewith containing three words on the recto and three lines on the verso in his hand. The Mozart manuscript leaf from his Serenade D for Orchestra, K185 in pristine condition is nothing short of breathtaking. Ruggero Leoncavallo’s autograph manuscript from Pagliacci could not be finer. A whimsical caricature of Leoncavallo by Enrico Caruso is a striking likeness of the composer. Puccini pokes fun at Massenet’s “Poor” Manon in a letter and then composes the same opera of which a working sketch of the Act I finale is being offered. The very last bars of music Brahms wrote before he died with complete documentation are of particular importance. George Gershwin is well represented with the manuscript of his “By Strauss” in addition to an autograph letter replete with autograph quotation from Porgy and Bess, bringing “Summertime” to none other than Dorothy Heyward. Gustav Mahler takes center stage with autograph music signed, photographs signed and a whimsical and rare autograph poem. No less than two fine and rare autograph musical manuscripts by Franz Schubert are included in the collection. An Igor Stravinsky letter to Pierre Monteux with a quotation pertaining to the entrance of the “little trumpet” for the Paris premier of Petrouska is a rare find. In printed form, the depth and breadth of the Beethoven, Handel and Mozart are of particular note. Fine first editions of the scores of these towering figures in the world of music are offered herewith in pristine condition. The Mozart Piano Sonatas––K. 330-2, first edition, first issue and Die Zauberflote, first edition are of extreme rarity.
Manuscripts by Berlioz, Bernstein, Brahms, Debussy, Donizetti, Gounod, Liszt, Massenet, Mendelssohn- Bartholdy, Ponchielli, Rachmaninoff, Rossini, Salieri, Strauss, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner further enrich A Celebration of Music: The Property of a Private Collector.