Music

Contact Alex Day or Donovan Rees

We stock a range of antiquarian music, books on music, manuscripts and autographs, with an emphasis on early printed editions and manuscript scores of important composers.

Recent catalogues have included one of a very few surviving lifetime manuscripts of Scarlatti's harpsichord sonatas; a remarkable collection of vocal and instrumental music from the library of the duchesse de Berry; and inscribed first editions of works by Berg, Janacek, Poulenc, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schumann, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Vaughan Williams.
  1. [BALLARD, Robert.]

    VII. livre d’airs de differents autheurs à deux parties.

    Paris, Robert Ballard, 1664.

    First edition; very rare. This is the seventh instalment in the remarkable series Livres d’airs de differents autheurs à deux parties which had been initiated by the music publisher Robert Ballard (III) in 1658 and which was to end, thirty-seven volumes later, in 1694.

    £800

  2. BIZET, Georges.

    L’Arlésienne. Drame en 3 Actes de Alphonse Daudet. Partition, Chant & Piano.

    Paris, Choudens, [1872].

    First edition, earliest issue (with the incorrect time signature to no. 5), of the first appearance in print of Bizet’s incidental music for Daudet’s tragedy L’Arlésienne, composed in 1872 to a commission from Léon Carvalho. It was first performed at the Théâtre du Vaudeville on 1 October...

    £800

  3. BLANCHET, Joseph.

    L’art, ou les principes philosophiques du chant. IIe edition, corrigée et augmentée.

    Paris, Augustin-Martin Lottin, Michel Lambert and Nicolas-Bonaventure Duchesne, 1756.

    First edition. The designation ‘IIe edition, corrigée et augmentée’ on the title arises from the publication in 1755 of L’art du chant, dedié a Madame de Pompadour by Jean-Antoine Bérard, whom Blanchet accuses of incorporating his material. The two works certainly include many passages which...

    £750

  4. BURNEY, Charles.

    An Account of the musical Performances in Westminster-Abbey, and the Pantheon, May 26th, 27th, 29th; and June...

    London, Printed for the Benefit of the musical Fund; and sold by T. Payne and Son ... 1785.

    First edition. The Handel Commemoration Concerts of 1784, conceived the previous year by Viscount Fitzwilliam, Sir Watkins Williams Wynn and Joah Bates to celebrate the centenary of the birth of George Frederick Handel, were performances on a scale then unprecedented in England. On the morning of Wednesday...

    £1250

  5. BYRD, William, John BULL and Orlando GIBBONS.

    Parthenia or the maydenhead of the first musicke that ever was printed for the virginalls.

    [London, Chiswick Press for W. Heffer & Sons, Cambridge, 1943.]

    Facsimile reprint of the original edition of c. 1612/13, handsomely bound by Zaehnsdorf. At the end is a short introduction to the work by the great Austrian musicologist and bibliographer Otto Erich Deutsch.

    £225

  6. CLARI, Giovanni Carlo Maria.

    Contemporary manuscript score of a collection of six two-part madrigals: ‘N° VI Madrigali a due voci’.

    Italy, mid-18th century.

    A collection of secular madrigals for two voices by Clari (1677-1754), written for soprano/bass, soprano/alto, and soprano/tenor, each with instrumental bass accompaniment. The madrigals included here are: Il Soldato poltrone, Il Musica ignorante, L’Amante disperato, Amante di Donne Vecchia, Il Poeta...

    £1800

  7. DONIZETTI, Gaetano, and Richard WAGNER.

    La Favorite. Opéra en quatre actes. Paroles de MM. E. Scribe, Alph. Royer & Gust. Vaëz...

    Paris, Maurice Schlesinger, [1840].

    First edition. Wagner’s arrangement of Donizetti’s La Favorite in vocal score with piano accompaniment. This is the most celebrated of several piano reductions made during Wagner’s time in Paris when he was under straitened circumstances and worked for the publisher Schlesinger as an arranger.

    £1200

  8. [GLUCK, Christoph Willibald.]

    Paride ed Elena. Dramma per musica . . . dedicato a sua altezza, il Signor Duca Don Giovanni di Braganza.

    Vienna, Johann Thomas von Trattner, 1770.

    First edition of Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, which tells the story of events between the judgment of Paris and the flight of Paris and Helen to Troy. It was premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 3 November 1770.

    £5000

  9. GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von, and Carl Friedrich ZELTER.

    Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter in den Jahren 1796 bis 1832. Herausgegeben...

    Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, 1833-34.

    First edition, printed on a superior paper to the regular issue, in an attractive and well-preserved contemporary binding.

    £1800

  10. [GOETHE.] REICHARDT, Johann Friedrich.

    Goethe’s Lieder, Oden, Balladen und Romanzen mit Musik von J. F. Reichardt. Erste [ -...

    Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, [1809-11].

    Very rare first complete edition of Reichardt’s musical settings of Goethe’s poetry, comprising 128 settings of which 39 appear here for the first time.

    £6500

  11. GRASSINEAU, James.

    A Musical Dictionary; being a Collection of Terms and Characters, as well ancient as modern; including the historical,...

    … London: Printed for J. Wilcox … 1740.

    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’.

    £650

  12. [GRIEG, Edvard.] FINCK, Henry Theophilus.

    Edvard Grieg.

    London, John Lane, The Bodley Head, [1905].

    First edition of Finck’s biography of Grieg, inscribed by both Edvard and Nina Grieg on the front free endpaper and dated (in Nina Grieg’s hand) ‘London 25-5-06’. Beneath these inscriptions is a note by the book’s publisher John Lane: ‘The above autographs were written by my desire in my...

    £1000

  13. GROSSI, G. B. Gennaro.

    Le Belle Arti.

    Naples, dalla tipografia del Giornale Enciclopedico, 1820.

    First edition in book form, reprinted from the Giornale Enciclopedico di Napoli, with some additional material in an appendix to the second volume. The first volume is on the music and musicians of Naples, the second volume deals with Neapolitan painters up to the eighteenth century.

    £150

  14. HOFMANNSTHAL, Hugo von.

    Die Aegyptische Helena. Oper in zwei Aufzügen.

    [Leipzig, Mainzer Presse for Insel-Verlag, 1928.]

    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...

    £750

  15. JANÁČEK, Leoš.

    Jenůfa, její pastorkyňa (Ihre Ziehtochter). Oper aus dem mährischen Bauernleben in 3 Akten von Gabriele Preiss....

    Vienna & Leipzig, Universal-Edition, [1918]. Printed in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel.

    The full score of the final and definitive version of Jenůfa, one of a limited edition of only 100 copies. The German translation is by Max Brod – his first for the composer – without whom ‘Janáček could never have achieved anything more than a local provincial reputation… Brod’s translations...

    £2000

  16. [KELLNER, David].

    Trogen Underrättelse uti General-Basen … af D. K. Men nu sedermera af Autoren sielf tillökt och förbättrad,...

    Stockholm, widow of Benjamin Gottlieb Schneider, 1739.

    First edition in Swedish – the first music method to be published in the language – of the author’s popular thorough-bass manual, Treulicher Unterricht im General-Bass (Hamburg, 1732).

    £1200

  17. MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY, Felix.

    Symphonie No. 3, componirt und Ihrer Majestät der Königin Victoria von England zugeeignet … Partitur,...

    Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, [1843].

    First edition of Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony. It was first conceived when Mendelssohn visited Scotland during 1829, but the composer only began work in earnest ten years later.

    £1500

  18. [PLEYEL, Ignace Joseph.] [Constance-Marie-Thérèse de VOUGNY DE BOQUESTANT.]

    Trois trios tires du 2e. livre de trios de Mr. Pleyel...

    Paris, Imbault, [c. 1789].

    Sumptuously bound and apparently unrecorded arrangements of three Pleyel trios (B 407 in E minor, B 408 in B flat major and B 409 in G major) by the amateur musician Constance-Marie-Thérèse Pochet de Vougny de Boquestant. The music is prefaced by a touching verse dedication ‘A Maman’.

    £1500

  19. RAMEAU, Jean-Philippe.

    Nouvelles réflexions de M. Rameau sur sa demonstration du principe de l’harmonie, servant de base à...

    Paris, Durand and Pissot, 1752.

    First edition; rare. ‘This short treatise, which appeared in 1752, is ostensibly a postscript to Rameau’s Démonstration [du principe de l’harmonie], published two years earlier. It nevertheless marks a radical shift in Rameau’s thinking about the corps sonore [Rameau’s term for any vibrating...

    £2500

  20. RAMEAU, Jean-Philippe.

    Zoroastre, tragedie, mise en musique par M. Rameau, représentée pour la premiere fois par l’Académie...

    Paris, Boivin, Leclair, Castagneri and the author, [c. 1750].

    First edition; rare. Despite a strong cast and a lavish production, Zoroastre met with only limited success (and, it seems, much bewilderment) when first performed at the Opéra in 1749. By May 1752 Rameau and the librettist Louis de Cahusac had begun an extensive reworking of the opera. This version...

    £6000