Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2010 Issue

Musical Works from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians

Lubrano65

Musical pieces from J & J Lubrano.


By Michael Stillman

J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians has issued Catalog 65. It is divided into four parts, Autograph Musical Manuscripts and Letters of Composers; Rare Printed Music; Musical Literature, Libretti and Prints; and Dance. This material primarily relates to what our parents called "serious" music. Nothing funny here. There is much from classical composers, or modern classicists, but there are a few out of category too, such as Dave Brubeck. Then again, isn't jazz referred to as American classical? So, here it is, 272 items that will appeal to your serious music side.

We will start with some of the human issues of one of the greatest of all classical composers. It makes us all feel a little bit taller to know the great suffered from the same concerns we do. Item 132 is an autographed letter from Tchaikovsky, from August 1893, only a few months before he died. The great musician, like the rest of us, had money problems in his later years. Here he asks Madame Laroche how she was able to get money for him, admitting that he never thought he would find himself in debt. He also notes that he would be arriving in St. Petersburg later that month and would be staying with her. Madame Laroche was the wife of critic and longtime champion of Tchaikovsky Herman Laroche. Priced at $7,200.

Aaron Copland was one of America's most noted composers of the 20th century. He was known for a diversity of music, from symphonic to film scores. Item 30 is a 1941 letter he wrote to Otto de Greiff, a Colombian professor, critic, and student of music. He thanks de Greiff for sending him some music, and promises to do his best to secure autographs of Roy Harris and Walter Piston for de Greiff's autograph collection. We don't know whether he succeeded in obtaining these, but at a minimum, de Greiff certainly obtained Copland's autograph. $275.

Item 216 is a rare 1817 Leipzig edition of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (the Marriage of Figaro). Figaro, with music by Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, was a comic opera first performed in 1786. It was evidently a great success almost from the first performance, and the opera's reputation and popularity has only grown over the centuries. $685.

We will take a break from writers to look at a letter from a singer. This man was the most famous, and most popular singer during the teens, and up to his death in 1921. This, of course, would be the great Caruso, tenor voice of the Metropolitan Opera. Enrico Caruso was not only a great singer, but a savvy businessman. He recognized the value of sound recordings early on, putting out many records at a time when other singers were reluctant to put their voices on the poor quality recordings of the day. He sold millions of records and made millions of dollars for his efforts. Item 24 is a letter Caruso wrote in 1905, still relatively early in his career, telling the recipient he could not send a photograph or caricature because he was in "the country," but would do so on his return. Somewhat surprisingly, Caruso was quite good at drawing caricatures of himself. $400.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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