A SUBSTANTIALLY AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF THE FOURTH PIANO CONCERTO IN G MINOR OP.40

Lot Number 246
Author RACHMANINOV, SERGEI
Title A SUBSTANTIALLY AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF THE FOURTH PIANO CONCERTO IN G MINOR OP.40
Year Published
Place Printed
Printed By
Description RACHMANINOV, SERGEI A SUBSTANTIALLY AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF THE FOURTH PIANO CONCERTO IN G MINOR OP.40 a working manuscript of the complete concerto, the Stichvorlage for the first edition of the original version, inscribed by the composer on the first page ("A monsieur Nicolas Medtner Concert pour Piano S.Rachmaninoff. Op.40."), the arrangement for two pianos, mostly in a scribal hand, with about forty pages in Rachmaninov's hand, notated in black ink on three systems per page, with the remaining scribal pages containing extensive and important differences form the current published editions of the work, extensively corrected and revised by the composer, with additional passages notated on sections of paper pasted into the score, and also directly into the staves, and with later deletions and alterations by him in red and blue ink and pencil, marked by and for the printer in pencil.102 pages in all, folio, c.33.5 x 26.5cms, 12-stave paper (2 types: Rachmaninov's autograph music on "B. & H. Nr.1 (12z.)"; the scribal sections on "B. & H. Nr.1"), some pages re-paginated by the composer, red stamp on the first page ("grave"), unbound, modern green morocco folding case gilt, no place or date, [1926-1927], dust-marking to first page, some staining from the paste-downs, some leaves cut down or trimmed without loss
Comments CATALOGUE NOTE Manuscripts by Rachmaninov are of the utmost rarity at auction. This is a working manuscript containing the composer's copious revisions. It is the only autograph source for the changes that Rachmaninov made for the first edition of his Fourth Piano Concerto in 1927. This is likely to be the only major autograph of Rachmaninov ever to be offered for sale at auction: almost all the composer's manuscripts are divided between the Glinka Museum, Moscow and the Library of Congress, Washington DC. Rachmaninov's four piano concertos, with the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, represent the most significant and popular contribution to the form after Tchaikovsky. They are works of immense power, invention and charm, steeped in Romantic spirit and melancholy counterbalanced by a taut clarity and playfulness. These works are all performed frequently today and form the backbone of the modern concert repertory. The Fourth Concerto stands among the composer’s greatest works. The grandeur of its opening, with its passionate and dramatic chordal theme, is probably the most memorable in all his concertos. The celebrated gramophone recordings of this work made by the composer himself and by Michelangeli are among the supreme examples of Romantic pianism. The concerto was begun perhaps as early as 1914, but Rachmaninov composed the autograph full score between January and August 1925. It was performed by the composer at Philadelphia on 18 March 1927, then withdrawn for further revision in June and July 1927. Much later, in 1941, Rachmaninov revised this concerto yet again into the form which we know today. However, he did not complete the two-piano arrangement of that version before his death in 1943. The present manuscript contains the original version of Rachmaninov's Fourth Piano Concerto, as prepared for publication. After the original performances, Rachmaninov made a number of revisions and cuts before it was published later that year by the company he himself founded, TAIR. The manuscript contains Rachmaninov's alterations, cuts and revisions and is the only surviving autograph evidence of the changes. As Threlfall and Norris write: "The revisions made before the first publication are written in ink by SR's own hand and/or pasted over. In the course of this surgery, not only the pagination but also occasionally the cue numbers have got out of kilter; this MS now contains 102 pp. And it was used as the Stichvorlage for the publication in 1928." While a comparison shows a basic similarity between the second version (here) and the third and final revision, much of the detail and passage work are altered. This is particularly true of the finale, especially the D-flat section between Figures 49 and 52 and again at Figure 53 (pages 71-75). The autograph manuscript also diverges from the later version between Figures 61 and 64 (pages 83-86) and in the whole of the final section from Figure 66 until the end (pages 88-102). The surviving scribal sections are also often very different and preserve much of the original version that the composer revised at the end of his life, for example between Figures 36 and 40 in the second movement and the opening figure of the third movement. The autograph paste-downs presumably cover the even earlier sections that the scribe wrote out for the composer and which he revised for the first edition in 1927. However, some passages have been deleted by the composer in red ink rather than pasted over (for example, in the first movement, pages 37-38: at Figure 27) and can still be read.
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Estimated Price GBP 250,000.00 - 300,000.00
( USD 420,000.00 - 504,000.00 )
Actual Price GBP 289,250.00 ( USD 462,800.00 )

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Sothebys
Website http://www.sothebys.com/
Auction Name Musical Manuscripts and Continental Books
Sale Number #L12406
Auction Date November 28, 2012 - November 28, 2012
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