. Oblong folio (325 x 255 mm). Disbound. 8 pp. on two bifolia. Notated in black ink on 10-stave music paper. First leaf extended at lower margin with a ca. 23 mm. strip of paper laid down carrying an additional system (eight measures) of music; verso of extension blank. With numerous annotations in different hands, in pencil, blue pencil, red crayon, and purple ink.
Autograph caption to upper right corner of first page: "Tarentelle comp. par N. Rubinstein." Tempo to upper left corner: "Presto." Heading "Tarantella" to beginning of fifth system (m. 33). Unsigned.
Literals in pencil, in all likelihood in the hand of the editor or engraver: "Tarentelle" to head of first page; "Nicolas Rubinstein, Op. 14." "Stich Wie[...]" to left margin; "Verlag und Eigenthum von Bartholf Senff" to lower margin in pencil, barely legible. Literals in blue pencil: "herunterst[...]" to p. 2; in red crayon: one illegible word to first system (?"Richtmaß"). Engraver's markup for layout of plates in pencil, apparently in two layers. Notational corrections in blue pencil and red crayon. "Fol: 6286" in purple ink to upper left corner of first page.
Somewhat worn, soiled and browned; creased at folds; repairs to extension of first leaf.
The only known autograph of Rubinstein's Tarentelle, the composer's most popular work, and the only one to have been published in multiple modern editions. Unlike his older brother Anton, Nikolay Rubinstein composed relatively little music. Pazdírek, vol. xxvi, p. 662, lists about 20 works, all for piano.
The annotation to the foot of page 1 identifies the manuscript as the engraver's copy for the first edition, published by Bartholf Senff in Leipzig (PN 287; ). The annotation is barely legible, but identical to the annotation to the foot of the first page of the autograph of Nikolay Rubinstein's Polka, op. 15, at the Morgan Library, New York (Cary 578).
Senff's first edition has 13 pages of music, while the engraver's markup to the present manuscript indicates a total of 19 pages. Presently, the only known editions with 19 pages are those of the four-hand arrangement. It is possible that the numbers refer to Senff's later four-hand edition; the present manuscript, however, does not contain any hint of the massive additions to the musical text (such as octave doublings) characteristic of the four-hand version.
The Jurgenson edition for four hands (PN 6112, from the 1890s, accessible via IMSLP) does not include the notational corrections to the present copy but does include the eight extra measures found on the extension of the first leaf.
"Russian pianist, conductor, teacher, and arts administrator, [Nikolay Rubinstein, brother of Anton Rubinstein] studied piano with Theodor Kullak and Alexandre Villoing in Moscow and theory with Siegfried Dehn in Berlin... One of the greatest pianists of the second half of the nineteenth century, he mostly performed in Moscow. He championed Russian music and premiered many works by Tchaikovsky, who dedicated his First Symphony and Second Piano Concerto... to Rubinstein; on Rubinstein's death, he composed his Piano Trio 'to the memory of a great artist.' Balakirev dedicated his Islamey to Nikolay Rubinstein [who premiered it in St. Petersburg in 1869]. Rubinstein also contributed to the emergence of a Russian school of conducting. He premiered Tchaikovsky's first four symphonies, Romeo and Juliet... and Eugene Onegin. He was one of the founders of the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society, whose concerts he conducted from 1860, and of the Moscow Conservatory (1866). His most famous students were Sergey Taneyev and Alexander Siloti." Muzykal'nyi entsiklopedicheskii slovar.
"It is difficult to say which [of the Rubinstein brothers] was the better pianist. In every way as different as the brothers were in personal appearance—the one dark, almost to blackness; the other vary fair—so different was their playing. The playing of Nicholas [Nikolay] was more like that of Tausig, only warmer and more impulsive. Perhaps Anton Rubinstein was the more inspired player of the two, but he was unequal. Nicholas never varied; his playing both in private and in public was always the same, and he kept up the same standard of excellence." Emil von Sauer in Harold Schonberg: The Great Pianists, p. 279.
Rubinstein's most notable appearance abroad was at the Exposition Universelle in Paris on 1878, where he conducted several concerts and played Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto.
The only holding of Nikolay Rubinstein manuscripts within North America is that of his op. 15 at the Morgan Library cited above. His autograph manuscripts are exceedingly rare to the market. Item #25161
Price: $13,500.00 other currencies