Mainz und Paris; Antwerpen: B. Schotts Söhnen; A. Schott [PN 2322], [August 1826]. Folio. Half dark green 19th century leather with spine in decorative compartments and titling gilt and titling, title portion of original upper wrapper laid down to upper board. 1f. (title incorporating the shield of the Prussian King), [ii] (subscribers list for opp. 123-125), 226 pp. Engraved.
With a presentation inscription from the conductor Charles Munch to the distinguished French pianist and noted collector Alfred Cortot to front pastedown endpaper: "pour Alfred Cortot, mon maître, mon exemple le 26 Sept. 1938 Charles."
With Cortot's distinctive decorative bookplate and pencilled annotation to front pastedown endpaper; two very small stamps to title, one the Cortot monogrammatic stamp and the other the oval stamp of "Tosi" (possibly the Italian conductor and pianist Orsini Alfonso Tosi 1878-1938).
Some minor foxing (most noticeable to margins) and offsetting.
A fine copy overall, with strong impression.
First Edition, first issue of the 9th Symphony.
Kinsky-Halm p. 377. Weinhold-Dorfmüller p. 231. Hoboken 2, 501 (title illustrated on p. 215). Hirsch IV, 395. Sonneck Orchestral Music p. 33.
"The actual first performance of the Symphony was on May 7, 1824, at the Kärnthnerthor Theatre, Vienna, at a concert given by Beethoven, in compliance with a request addressed to him by all the principal musicians both professional and amateur, of that city... His deafness had by this time become total, but that did not keep him out of the orchestra. He stood by the side of Umlauf, the conductor, to indicate the times of the various movements. The house was tolerably full, though not crowded, and his reception was all that his warmest friends could desire. To use Schindler's expression, it was 'more than Imperial.' Three successive bursts of applause were the rule for the Imperial Family, and he had five! After the fifth the Commissary of Police interfered and called for silence! ... A great deal of emotion was naturally enough visible in the orchestra; and we hear of such eminent players as Mayseder and Böhm even weeping. At the close of the performance an incident occurred which must have brought the tears to many an eye in the room. The master, though placed in the midst of this confluence of music, heard nothing of it at all and was not even sensible of the applause of the audience at the end of his great work, but continued standing with his back to the audience, and beating the time, till Fräulein Ungher, who had sung the contralto part, turned him, or induced him to turn round and face the people, who were still clapping their hands." Grove: Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies, pp. 333-335.
"High above the other works of this period there towers, like Mont Blanc over its alpine chain, the Choral symphony. It was, indeed, the slow-wrought masterpiece of Beethoven's whole career... In its colossal proportions all his music seems to be contained: an entire life of stress and labour, an entire world of thought and passion and deep brooding insight; it touches the very nethermost abyss of human suffering, it rises 'durch Kampf zum Licht' until it culminates in a sublime hymn of joy and brotherhood." Hadow: The Oxford History of Music Vol. V The Viennese Period, pp. 298-299. Item #22789
Price: $28,500.00 other currencies