Large 8vo, pp. 97; one of 200 numbered copies, printed on laid paper; title printed in red and black, and opening initial in red; a few spots to endleaves, otherwise a fine copy in the original half vellum over blue paper boards, spine and front board lettered gilt, top edges gilt, other edges uncut; publisher’s original plain paper wrapper and slip-case.
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Die Aegyptische Helena. Oper in zwei Aufzügen.
First edition of Hofmannsthal’s text for Richard Strauss’s opera – Hofmannsthal himself considered it to be his finest libretto. The opera was first performed on 6 June 1928 in Dresden, five weeks before Hofmannsthal’s death. The plot is a free adaptation of Euripides’ Helena, which introduces an Egyptian princess and sorceress, Aitra, into the story of Helen of Troy and her vengeful husband Menelaeus. Aitra assuages the husband’s anger and restores conjugal harmony.
This was the first book produced by the Mainzer Presse. This small private press was founded by Friedrich Wilhelm and Christian Heinrich Kleukens in 1927, following the model of the English private presses. 65 books were produced between 1928 and 1938, each printed with types invented by Christian Kleukens.
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THE FIRST DICTIONARY OF MUSIC IN ENGLISH GRASSINEAU, James.
A Musical Dictionary; being a Collection of Terms and Characters, as well ancient as modern; including the historical, theoretical, and practical Parts of Music: as also, an Explanation of some Parts of the Doctrine of the Antients; interspersed with Remarks on their Method and Practice, and curious Observations on the Phœnomena of Sound mathematically considered, as it’s [sic] Relations and Proportions constitute Intervals, and those again Concords and Discords. The whole carefully abstracted from the best Authors in the Greek, Latin, Italian, French, and English Languages
First edition, based largely on the Dictionnaire de Musique of Sébastien de Brossard and the musical articles in Chambers’s Cyclopaedia, with some original material. One of two variant issues, this has ‘A’ on the title-page above the ‘i’ in ‘Dictionary’.
SPRÜNGLI, Johann Jacob, editor.
Männergesänge von Freunden der Tonkunst gesammelt, dem Liederkranze zu Franfurt a. M. in Liebe geweihet und zu Gunsten der dortigen Mozart-Stiftung herausgegeben …
First edition, the partbook issue. The work was also issued in score. Both are very rare, OCLC locating a copy of the 1st Bass part at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a set at the Swiss National Library. There are apparently no copies in Germany: KVK shows the British Library copy (in score) only.
Among the 46 pieces included are works by Mozart, Just, Speyer, and some minor German and Swiss composers, but the surprise comes in three English glees, translated into German, by Samuel Webbe, ‘one of our greatest glee composers in every sense’ (Baptie), ‘Mr’ [Richard?] Wainwright, and Reginald Spofforth, his ‘Hail, smiling morn’, ‘possibly the most popular glee in the entire repertory’ (New Grove).