AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF PART OF THE STRING QUARTET NO.1, OP.7

Lot Number 196
Author BARTÓK, BÉLA
Title AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF PART OF THE STRING QUARTET NO.1, OP.7
Year Published
Place Printed
Printed By
Description BARTÓK, BÉLA AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF PART OF THE STRING QUARTET NO.1, OP.7 an early version, comprising the first 30 bars, diverging from the printed edition, notated in black ink on systems of varying size, with autograph tempo marking and performance indication ("Adagio molto"; "molto espressivo"), and autograph annotation in Hungarian ("my death song" [translation]), with some autograph additional musical entries in pencil, and containing some erasures and a few corrections4 pages on 2 leaves, cut down from larger ones, 17.1 x 26.4cm, each leaf containing 12 staves, no place or date, [1908-1909], fine modern green morocco folder gilt, central vertical fold, some light creasing
Comments PROVENANCE Formerly in the possession of Bartók's lover, the violinist Stefi Geyer (1888-1956), who married the Swiss composer Walter Schulthess in 1920 CATALOGUE NOTE Autograph music manuscripts by Béla Bartók are of the greatest rarity at auction. Bartók's series of six string quartets comprises one of the greatest contributions to the repertory since Beethoven. The String Quartet No.1 is one the most significant of Bartók's early maturity, one of the first to synthesize the influence of peasant song and art music. The first movement, of which the present manuscript contains the first 30 bars, with some divergences from the printed 1909 edition, is conceived as a funeral dirge (here marked "Adagio molto", not "Lento", as in the edition). The anguished contrapuntal writing of the first movement has recalled to many the (slow fugal) opening of Beethoven's quartet Op.131 (other art music influences on the work were the music of Reger and Strauss). It seems that the work was at least in part inspired by Bartók's unrequited love for the violinist Stefi Geyer (a former owner of the present manuscript), the quartet's opening notes outlining a motive which had first appeared in the Violin Concerto No. 1, a work which Bartók had dedicated to Geyer and suppressed for many years. The work was first performed in Budapest on 19 March 1910 by the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet.
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Provenance
Estimated Price GBP 40,000.00 - 50,000.00
( USD 67,200.00 - 84,000.00 )
Actual Price GBP 51,650.00 ( USD 82,640.00 )

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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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