Folio (335 x 270 mm. with several leaves in slightly smaller format). Unbound. 1f. (title), 1-7 (no. I),  (blank), 9-13 (no. II),  (blank), 15-23 (no. III),  (blank), 25- (no. IV), [ii] (blank) pp. Notated in black ink on printed 20-staff music paper with blindstamp of Y. Lard-Esnault / E. Bellamy, Paris. No date.
With extensive autograph annotations and corrections. Dedications to upper right corner of the first page of each piece: "à madame L. Salomon" (no. I); "à monsieur J. Berry" (no. II); "à monsieur Jean Huré" (no. III); à mademoiselle Juliette Toutain" (no. IV). Directives and cue-size notes for performance on one piano only, all crossed out in pencil. Various layers of further corrections and annotations (including pagination) in graphite and colored pencil (green, blue, and red), in different hands, most probably including the composer's.
Autograph note in ink to right of title page: "à arranger pour Piano Flute Hautbois Clarinette Cor Basson."
Some soiling and browning; outer bifolium torn at spine and lower edge; lower end of final leaf (ca. 70 mm.) trimmed; remnants of adhesive labels to foot of p. 1; final leaves slightly creased and with small tears.
Koechlin's earliest known work for piano.
Orledge p. 329 (where this particular manuscript is not recorded; another manuscript of the score and sketches is, however, recorded as being held in the Yves Koechlin archive).
"[Koechlin's] unworldly and uncompromising nature undoubtedly contributed to his neglect as a composer during his lifetime, and he attached great importance to the high opinions of his music expressed by Milhaud, Roussel, Falla, Fauré and other composers whom he, in turn, admired. In retrospect these opinions have been vindicated, and Koechlin’s originality, visionary breadth and profundity place him well above the rank of petit maître. Rather, as Wilfrid Mellers concluded as early as 1942, he ‘is among the very select number of contemporary composers who really matter’." Robert Orledge in Grove Music Online.
The present manuscript was used by the engraver of Alphonse Leduc, Paris, for the first (and only) edition of the work, published in 1899, plate number 10186. As one would expect from the deletions in the present manuscript, the printed edition lacks the directives and cue-size notes for performance on one piano only.
According to Orledge, the suite "is an arrangement of a solo piano work... The most attractive movement... is the third, slightly reminiscent of Debussy's 'En bateau' from the Petite Suite of 1888-9." (op. cit., p. 72-73). The present manuscript would allow for the reconstruction of the original solo piano version.
The arrangement for piano and wind quintet hinted at on the title page apparently never materialized.
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