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. RAVENSCROFT, Thomas.

    A Briefe Discourse of the true (but neglected) use of Charact’ring the Degrees by their Perfection, Imperfection,...

    London, Printed by Edw: Allde for Tho. Adams 1614.

    First edition of a scarce and unusual work of music theory, with particular focus on various types of vernacular music – hunting songs, dances, drinking-songs, love-songs etc. The ‘Discourse’ is followed by twenty printed exempla in the form of part-songs for four voices, twelve by Ravenscroft...

    £16000

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    A very grand unpublished Requiem mass by the Flemish composer and singer Pierre Emmanuel Verheyen (1750–1819).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

  3. 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

  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 39 appear here for the first time.

    £6500

  5. 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

  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. [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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. VERGA, Giovanni.

    Cavalleria Rusticana. Scene popolari. [Con disegni di Edoardo Calandra].

    Turin, F. Casanova, 1884.

    First edition. This is the source for Pietro Mascagni’s opera of the same name.

    £1500

  15. [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

  16. 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

  17. [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

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. 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