Books, Photographs & Prints - Sale 11BP01 - Lot 228

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 10am EST
Lot 228
Album Amicorum of Arnold Wehner
, the Director of Music at the University of Gottingen (post held 1846-1855), with manuscript musical contributions by Johannes Brahms, Robert and Clara Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Gioacchino Rossini and many other contemporary composers and musicians. Gottingen: 1843 on. Oblong album, period purple calf with binder's ticket. 7 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches (19 x 26 cm); 66 leaves, with two letters (one by Franz Liszt, dated 17 November 1848) bound in. The musical quotations include a full page of notation by Robert Schumann (probably Opus 58, 1 from the Skizzen fur Orgel oder Pedalklavier, 1845, signed in ink R. Schumann, dated August 15 1845, i.e. the year of publication) and a six-bar quotation by Clara Schumann, signed, of same date as the preceding. Also of great importance is a full page of notation by Johannes Brahms, signed in ink but undated (and apparently unpublished in this form); a short quotation by Rossini (on the same page as a quotation from Joachim); an eight-bar quotation by Mendelssohn, signed in full and dated September 1843; Anton Rubinstein, an 18-bar quotation, signed and dated February 1856; and about 40 other musical quotations and compositions, ranging from a few bars to several pages, by a variety of other composers and musicians including Gade, Hiller, Reinecke, Remenyi, Piatti, Joachim, Sivori, Walter, Willmers, Jenny Lind and her husband Otto Goldschmidt etc. In addition there are a number of fine watercolors (one by Carl Morgenstern, 1811-1893), pencil drawings, literary quotations etc. throughout (many tipped-in), as well as a few mounted specimens of music. Spine stripped, boards just holding, one section of the album loose in binding; within, occasional minor toning to the paper, the contents generally clean and unfoxed.

The Brahms quotation is an early and partly different version of the middle section (Trio) from the Scherzo/second movement of Brahms' Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano op. 40, completely composed in 1865. The section is transposed from a Minor to a flat Minor. It seems likely that this was written in June of 1853, when the twenty year old Brahms and his friend Ede were in Gottingen (arriving June 4).

A few of the contributions date from slightly earlier than Wehner's tenure as director. Some, though, are significantly later, and though many are noted as being written in Gottingen (where it is clear that Wehner acted as host to visiting musicians), others were provided elsewhere, including (in one instance) Paris. In its totality, this album provides an exceptional glimpse of a rich cultural milieu at a crucial time in the development of European music, with a wealth of inscriptions from German and Hungarian composers both major and minor.

We thank Dr. Michael Struck of the Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe at the Christian-Albrechts-Universitat Kiel for his kind assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Sold for $158,500
(Includes Buyer's Premium)
Estimate $8,000-12,000

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