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. [VLACQ, Michiel, Jacob STAM, Karel van MANDER, Joost van den VONDEL, and others.]

    Den nieuwen verbeterden lust-hof, gheplant vol...

    Pers, [c. 1610.]

    Fourth edition of this charming and rare Dutch songbook. First published in 1602, it was revised for subsequent editions c. 1604 and in 1607. The content of the present edition, published c. 1610, follows that of 1607 but was printed using a different civilité type.

    £8000

  2. [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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. [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

  8. 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

  9. [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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. GOUNOD, Charles François.

    A volume of ten songs bound together, all signed and inscribed by Gounod to Arthur Cecil Blunt (1832–96).

    A specially bound volume containing ten of Gounod’s London-published songs, all signed and inscribed in pencil on the upper wrapper to the English actor Arthur Cecil Blunt (stage name Arthur Cecil, 1843–1896): ‘To my friend Arthur C. Blunt. Ch, Gounod’. The songs, of which eight are in English,...

    £2000

  16. 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

  17. 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