Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2010 Issue

Musical Works from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians

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

  • Bonhams, June 25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. $200,000 - $300,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Gersdorff, Hans Von. 1455-1529. Feldtbuch der wundartzney. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Pare, Ambroise. C.1509-1590. La Methode Curative des Playes, et Fractures de la Teste humaine. Avec les pourtraits des Instruments necessaires pour la curation d'icelles. $25,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Reisch, Gregor. 1470-1525. Margarita Philosophica. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bright, Richard. 1789-1858. Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases by a Reference to Morbid Anatomy. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Berengario da Carpi, Giacomo. C. 1460-1530. Tractatus de fractura calve sive cranei. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Vicq D'Azyr, Felix. 1748-1794. Traite d'antomie et de physiologie. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Croce, Giovanni Andrea Della. 1509?-1775. Chirurgia libri septem... $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bruno Da Longburgo. 1200-1286. La cyrogia di Maistro Bruno: Expertissimo in quella. Tradutta in vulgare. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Schwann, Theodor. 1810-1882. Mikroskopische Untersuchungen uber die Ubereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachsthum der Thiere und Pflanzen. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Cowper, William. 1666-1709. The Anatomy of Humane Bodies, with Figures Drawn after the Life… $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bidloo, Govard. 1649-1713. Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiossis. G. de Lairesse ad vivum delineatis. $6,000 - $9,000
  • Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Keats, John] Spenser, Edmund: The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. $50,000 - $80,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: (Walton, Izaak): The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing. $30,000 - $50,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Thomas, Gabriel: An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America. $25,000 - $35,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Carroll, Lewis]: The Game of Alice in Wonderland. $2,000 - $3,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Athias, Joseph, et al.: Biblia Hebraica. $7,000 - $10,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Warhol, Andy, and Jens Quistgaard] Dansk Designs Salesman's Presentation Catalogue. $2,500 - $3,500.
  • Sotheby’s, June 26: Poe, Edgar Allan. Tamerlane — the most poignant rarity in American literature. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." 2,500,000 - 5,000,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: William Blake. “Poems with very wild and interesting pictures” 1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: Thomas Taylor [artist]. The original cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
  • Bonhams, June 15-25: 18th Century American Sea Captain's Journals of Voyages to Hawaii, China, and South America. $35,000 - $45,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Admiral Richard E. Byrd's Autograph Diary from Bolling Advance Base, Winter 1934. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem, et novam exhibens. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Nobelist George Stigler's Copy of Ricardo's Classic on the Science of Economics. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris: F. L. Schmied, 1927. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Fine Copy of Walras's Classic on the Theory of Marginal Utility. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Arion Press Moby Dick. Melville, Herman. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Venegas, Miguel. Noticia de la California, y desu conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. $7,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Carelton Watkins, Yosemite and the West. Portfolio of 21 imperial albumen prints. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: An Unpublished Archive of Thornton Wilder Correspondence to F.J. O'Neil. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. $100,000 - $150,000

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