Thick octavo. Full navy blue morocco with Fabiani's initials ("B.F") gilt to upper and edges ruled in gilt. Ca. 130 leaves.
Watercolour coat of arms with "Escusion de Mon Père" in pencil to lower margin and small engraved oval bookplate with intials "E.C." beneath to front pastedown. Titling in manuscript to recto of first leaf: "Album No. 1. Souvenirs - Cimiers - Critiques Lettres &c." with Fabiani's printed visiting card beneath with address of "30, Faubourg St. Honoré" and calling hours "Mardis de 4 à 6 heures," verso with card with image of bird and armored forearm.
With occasional notes in Fabiani's hand commenting on various performances, occasions, etc.
A copy of Fabiani's will dated February 18, 1914. 2 pp., quarto, signed and with seal, appointing his friend Frank L. Rankin of Columbia Hotel in Portland, Maine as his executor and bequeathing "all my musical and literary works, published and unpublished" to him.
A 1-1/2 page autograph letter to Rankin sent with the will expressing Fabiani's wish to will the manuscript of his Etudes to his friend, asking that he "settle it with... Presser [the publisher]." Fabiani encloses "Press Comments" so that Presser can be better informed of his merit, which Fabiani feels he very much doubts, expressing this in no uncertain terms.
Binding worn, rubbed, bumped, and virtually disbound; spine lacking. Some significant wear, browning, creasing, small holes, and other minor defects; small edge tears; items either tipped-in at inner margin or laid down; many leaves detached.
Fabiani, perhaps best-known as a highly accomplished harpist, was also a composer, pianist, organist, and singing teacher. He is noted among the "prominent names in the harp world at the time of the introduction of the American made harp." Rensch: The Harp, p. 135.
The present scrapbook well-documents Fabiani's career in France and England but also in American cities including Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Washington, as attested to by numerous contemporary newspaper reviews and letters.
"Signor Fabiani is [English] by birth... He began the study of music at the age of four, and at eight won his first success in a public concert as a Harp Soloist... His mother was the great Bochsa's favorite pupil... Signor Fabiani was taken early in life by his father to Paris where his real artistic education and best life began. His talent and culture speedily procured him admission into aristocratic, artistic and literary circles generally closed against all foreigners. He became a member of the Imperial Association of French Musical Artists; received a brilliant ovation from the incomparable "Conservatoire Orchestra" at the rehearsal of his Choral Harp Concero (the first ever written since the harp was an instrument) and he produced at the inauguration of Erard's new hall a Choral Orchestral Agnus Dei, dedicated to Meyerbeer, who... introduced him to the German Court, where he became acquainted with Liszt, Heller... and other Masters. During the brilliant reign of Napoleon III, Signor Fabiani was a familiar figure in Paris, where he played at the most distinguished public and private concerts and before royalty, enjoying the friendship and society of the world's greatest artists, composers and literati such as Verdi, Auber, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Berlioz, Gounod... " - Excerpts from contemporary "Press Comments" included in the scrapbook.
The autograph letters include Berlioz writing regarding a performance of his Te Deum at St. Eustache in Paris on church letterhead; Fétis praising Fabiani's talents on the harp; and Meyerbeer sending Fabiani a manuscript of a Romance.
A fascinating contemporary scrapbook offering valuable insight into late 19th century musical life. With significant research potential. Item #30029
Price: $3,500.00 other currencies