MUSIC FOR A PRINCE

Manuscript collection of fifty-four songs in Italian, French and German.

[Hanover?, 1796.]

Oblong folio, pp. [1, Index, with headings in English], 1, [2], 2–191, almost entirely in the same hand, two final arias added at the end in a different hand; some staining from damp towards the end, else in good condition, bound in full green morocco, front cover lettered gilt ‘Adolph Prince d’Angleterre. 1796.’, gilt roll-tool border, spine all-over gilt with a Greek-key pattern, pink watered silk endpapers, gilt edges, front hinge broken, edges and corners rubbed, covers somewhat scraped; large modern armorial bookplate of George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood (see below).

£2850

Approximately:
US $3622€3336

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Manuscript collection of fifty-four songs in Italian, French and German.

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The seventh son of George III and Queen Charlotte, Prince Adolphus (1774–1850), was born in London, but in 1786 was sent alongside his two brothers Ernest and Augustus to be educated in Göttingen, then followed a military career, with successive positions in both the Hanoverian and the British armies. Popular, charming, and cultured, Adolphus was a competent violinist and singer, and would perform impromptu in later years. He played on a Stradivarius (now known as the ‘Duke of Edinburgh’) that he had bought from Count Platen of Hanover, and was later the dedicatee of a Nouvelle méthode de la mécanique progressive du jeu de violon (1824), by Bartolomeo Campagnoli.

The present compilation, probably produced for rather than by the Prince, includes works scored for small emsembles, harp, and various keyboard instruments, among them a group of ‘XII Lieder mit begleitung des Piano Forte von Matthison, Demselben zugeeignet und in Musick gesetzt von Sterkel’, presumably the same as was published in Mainz in 1796; extracts from operas by Giuseppe Giordani (Erifile), Joseph Schuster (La Didone abandonnata), Pierre Chapelle (L’heureux dépit), Nicolas Dalayrac (Azemia, La Soiree Orageuse, and Le Corsaire), Domenico Della-Maria (Le Prisonnier and L’opera commique), Pasquale Anfossi (L’Inconnue Persecuté), Franz Xaver Süssmayr (Der Spiegel von Arkadien); as well as pieces by Gürrlich, Dezède, Plantade, Reichardt, etc. Many of these appear to be unpublished or to predate any publication.

Provenance: George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, cousin of Elizabeth II, was a direct descendent of Prince Adolphus, whose granddaughter Princess Victoria Mary of Teck was the wife of George V (Harewood’s grandfather). Harewood shared his ancestor’s passion for opera, to which he devoted the majority of his career.

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