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. [PROCESSIONAL, Dominican use.]

    Processionarium ordinis fratrum praedicatorum.

    Seville, Meinardus Ungut and Stanislaus Polonus, 3 April, 1494.

    First edition of the first Spanish book to make extensive use of typeset music printing, one of the finest products of early Spanish typography.

    £35000

  2. ZARLINO, Gioseffo.

    Le Istitutioni harmoniche … nelle quali; oltra le materie appartenenti alla musica; si trovano dichiarati...

    Venice, [Pietro da Fino], 1558.

    First edition, rare, of ‘arguably the most important and influential book in the history of music theory … [It] opened the way for the new tonality which has governed music from the seventeenth century to the present day’ (PMM).

    £15000

  3. SCHUBERT, Franz, composer

    A fine contemporary volume of ten works containing eighteen Lieder including his most famous...

    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

  4. [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 thirty-nine appear here for the first time. 

    £6500

  5. 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    A very grand unpublished Requiem mass by the Flemish composer and singer Pierre Emmanuel Verheyen (1750–1819).

    £6000

  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. 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....

    £5000

  8. [SCHOLZE, Johann Sigismund.]

    Sperontes singende Muse an der Pleisse in 2 mahl 50 Oden, der neuesten und besten musicalische Stücke...

    Leipzig, auf kosten der lüstigen Gesellschaft [Breitkopf], 1741.

    Second edition of the first part, first edition of the second part – a hugely influential collection of German songs that laid the groundwork for the Romantic Lied. ‘Its engraved titles, imprinted notes and numerous charming woodcut vignettes make this one of the age’s most delightful...

    £4500

  9. MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus.

    Les Mistères d’Isis, opéra en quatre Actes. Representé à Paris au théâtre des Arts. Paroles de...

    Paris, chez Sieber père … [1801?]

    First edition, scarce, printing much of the score Die Zauberflöte (1791) for the first time, albeit in the distorted form of a pasticcio by Ludwig Lachnith, adapted to the tastes of contemporary Paris with a new text by Étienne Morel de Chédeville. The full unadulterated score was not published...

    £4250

  10. ANTIPHONAL,

    with neumes, containing music for the blessing of the Paschal Candle on Holy Saturday.

    Southern Germany or Bohemia, mid-15th century.

    An unusual and striking antiphonal leaf written entirely in red and notated entirely in burnished gold, signalling the importance of the text for Holy Saturday.

    £4250

  11. TANS’UR, William.

    The Royal Psalmodist compleat: or, the universal Harmony. Containing all the very best Tunes both old and new,...

    Rugby: Engraved, and printed by the Author, and published according to Act of Parliament: A. D. 1742. And sold by most Book[s]ellers in Town...

    First edition, extremely rare, a collection of 150 psalm tunes (with settings in four parts) and one anthem, by the psalmodist and composer William Tans’ur (1700-1783).

    £4250

  12. ELISABETH, Empress of Austria.

    A collection of six manuscript scores from the library of Elisabeth (‘Sisi’), Empress...

    1850–60s.

    Elizabeth Amalie Eugenie of Bavaria (1837–1898), or ‘Sisi’, married Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria at the age of 16, on 24 April 1854. Her first child, a daughter, was born 11 months later but died as an infant (see below), and a male heir had to wait until the birth of Crown Prince Rudolf...

    £3750

  13. HANDEL, George Frideric. 

    Alcina an opera as it is perform’d at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden.  Compos’d by Mr Handel. 

    London, John Walsh, [1737]. 

    First edition, scarce, of the score of Handel’s opera Alcina, which premiered on 25 April 1735 at the Royal Theatre in Covent Garden, featuring Anna Strada, a renowned soprano of the era, in the lead role of the eponymous enchantress.  The libretto by Antonio Marchi draws inspiration...

    £3500

  14. [ADOLPHUS, Prince, later Duke of Cambridge.]

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

    [Hanover?, 1796.]

    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....

    £2850

  15. 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

  16. TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.

    Zhivoi trup. Drama v 6 deistviiakh i 12 kartinakh [A Living Corpse. A drama in 6 acts and 12 scenes].

    Moscow, A. Ia. Petrov, [1911].

    One of the earliest printings of Tolstoy’s Living Corpse, one of a number of editions in 1911, the year it was first staged, posthumously, at the Moscow Arts Theatre.

    £2750

  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. [HEIDEGGER, John Jacob, arr. CONTI, Francesco, et al.]

    Songs in the new Opera, call’d Clotilda. The Songs done in Italian...

    [London] Sold by J: Walsh … & P. Randall … and I. Hare. [1709].

    First editions of three works from the first years of the Italian Opera at the Queen’s Theatre in Haymarket, including the first two fully Italian operas on the London stage. The theatre had opened in 1705 with a very rocky first season, and was turned over to the performance of opera alone...

    £2750

  19. 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.

    £2400

  20. [CHANSONS.]

    Manuscript collection of arias, chansons, and romances, including pieces by Bianchi, Bruni, Paisiello, Beauvarlet-Charpentier...

    c. 1795.

    A fascinating manuscript collection of French songs, both operatic and popular, compiled in the years after the Thermidorean Reaction and the execution of Robespierre.

    £2400