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. 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

  2. RIDOLFI, Luca Antonio. 

    Aretefila, dialogo, nel quale da una parte sono quelle ragioni allegate, le quali affermano, lo amore...

    Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé, 1562. 

    Annotated copy, once owned by a music book collector, of the third edition (first 1557) of a remarkable Renaissance philosophical dialogue on the nature of love which marked the culmination of the very divisive ‘questione d’amore’ hotly debated in sixteenth-century literature. 

    £2800

  3. DELLOYE, H.-L. (editor).

    Chants et chansons populaires de la France [– notices par M. du Mersan], première [– deuxième;...

    Paris, Félix Locquin [– Dondey-Dupré; – Félix Locquin] for Garnier, 1843.

    First edition of a finely illustrated, serially published collection of French music, broad-margined, extra-illustrated, and accompanied by the later fourth series. Formed of four series of twenty-eight issues, sold individually at sixty centimes from February 1842, the Chants et chansons populaires...

    £450

  4. WILSON, David (editor).

    A Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, &c. in three Parts … 

    [Edinburgh:] Sold by the Editor at his House … and by J. Hamilton, Music Seller … [c.1800?].

    Second(?), expanded edition of this collection of (mostly) hymn tunes scored for treble, tenor, and bass. Though for most hymns the tunes only are printed, there are words for Cowper’s ‘Hark, my Soul!’ and one other, and at the end are the words and tunes for seven secular catches (in three...

    £500

  5. SACCHI, Giovenale.

    Del numero e delle misure delle corde musiche e loro corrispondenze. Dissertazione del P. D. Giovenale Sacchi...

    Milan, [Giuseppe Mazzucchelli (colophon)], 1761.

    First edition of Sacchi’s first work: a theoretical study of music and acoustic from a mathematical and physical perspective built upon the most innovative eighteenth-century physics. Galilei, Kapler, Newton, Mersenne, and contemporary works on the nature of air form the basis of Sacchi’s study of...

    £2250

  6. [VOGEL, Johann Christoph.]

    Démophon.

    [France (probably Paris), c. 1787].

    A contemporary scribal manuscript of Johann Christoph Vogel’s opera Démophon, from the library of Christoph Willibald Gluck.

    £5250

  7. 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

  8. MAJER, Andrea. 

    Discorso sulla origine, progressi, e stato attuale della musica italiana … 

    Padua, ‘dalla Tipografia e Fonderia della Minerva’, 1821. 

    First edition of Majer’s treatise on music, ‘a conservative defence of tradition as part of a backlash against the popularity of Rossini’s reforms’ (Baragwanath, p. 29). 

    £185

  9. SCHUBERT, Franz, composer.

    A fine contemporary volume of ten works containing 18 Lieder including his most famous early songs ‘Erlkönig’...

    Vienna, 1821-1833

    A rare collection of Schubert Lieder in a contemporary binding, apparently as retailed by the Czech music publisher Berra, including three first editions.

    £7500

  10. WAPPEROM, Jacobus Joannes. 

    Gezangen door J.J. Wapperom. 

    The Hague, 1805. 

    Very rare collection of songs by the Dutch notary and poet Wapperom (1763–1822), one of only a small number of copies produced, decorated by the author himself and distributed among his friends and family. 

    £675

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. MILHAUD, Darius.

    Le boeuf sur le toit, ou The nothing doing bar. Farce imaginée et réglée par Jean Cocteau – costumes de G....

    Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1920.

    First edition of Milhaud’s Le boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58 (The ox on the roof, or The nothing-doing bar), a surrealist ballet-farce which became extremely popular in 1920s Paris. The scenario is provided by Jean Cocteau, and the work is arranged for two pianos by the composer. This...

    £2400

  14. SPRÜNGLI, Johann Jacob, editor. 

    Männergesänge von Freunden der Tonkunst gesammelt, dem Liederkranze zu Franfurt a. M. in Liebe...

    Zürich, gedruckt bei J. J. Ulrich, im Verlage des Herausgebers, 1840.

    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)...

    £950

  15. MOORE, George.

    Manuscript commonplace book of poems, songs, prayers, and letters.

    1805-1855.

    An appealing commonplace book of verses and songs, with occasional prayers and letters, mostly written by George Moore (1794–1854), a London soda water manufacturer and amateur poet who was murdered by the notorious French revolutionary Emmanuel Barthélemy (1823–1855).

    £550

  16. 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

  17. ARISTIDES, Aelius. 

    Orationum tomi tres, nunc primum latine versi a Gulielmo Cantero Ultraiectino.  Huc accessit orationum tomus...

    Basel, Peter Perna and Heinrich Petrus, 1566. 

    First edition in Latin, a remarkable copy once owned by one of the preeminent music theorists and composers of Renaissance Italy, Gioseffo Zarlino.  The translation was prepared from the Greek by the German scholar Wilhelm Canter (1542–1575), author of an acclaimed Syntagma, a systematic...

    £2750

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. VERHEYEN, Pierre Emmanuel.

    Requiem mass in C minor.

    [Flanders, c. 1810.]

    A very grand unpublished Requiem mass by the Flemish composer and singer Pierre Emmanuel Verheyen (1750–1819). Although not so indicated, this must be the Requiem mass dedicated to Haydn which Verheyen, a devoted follower, is known to have written following Haydn’s death in 1809 and which was first...

    £8000