Rare and original autographs of composers and performers (especially opera singers, conductors, violinists and pianists), both classical and Broadway: letters, musical quotations, manuscripts, signed scores, signatures, calling cards, signed books, programs and photographs.
Many items are offered in decorative archival-quality matting, some as ensembles with original period photographs and ready for gift-giving.
Albanese, Licia (1909-2014)
Photograph As Violetta
, signed "Licia Albanese". Inscribed to "Helen Hubbard". Total Measurement Of 9.50" H X 7.50" W. Fine condition except for slight rippling.
A character portrait of Italian-born soprano Licia Albanese as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, signed "To Helen Hubbard / with affectionate wishes".
Licia Albanese made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1938 in the title role of Puccini's Madama Butterfly - a role for which she is fondly remembered - but her greatest triumph there came four years later, when she sang Violetta for the first time. The New York Times hailed her performance for being "sincere and artistic, simple and direct … to be praised for its restraint and its avoidance of the slightest hint of bathos." Violetta became a definitive role for Albanese, and she sang it often at the Met over the next 20 years. Arturo Toscanini was especially fond of Albanese and selected her to sing Violetta in his only recording of the opera.
The "bad Boy Of Music" Writes To Teacher Ernest Bloch
, signed "George Antheil". To "Dear Master". 12/8/1945. One page on typewriter paper. Very good (slight rumpling on right margin and one small coffee stain).
An important and fascinating letter by the sometimes iconoclastic American composer to his former teacher, Ernest Bloch. He writes, in part:
"You will be surprised to hear from me, after all these years but, as you are a man of great understanding..[you will] understand that I could not write again until now."
He relates his "long Odysseus", that he "left you to go to Europe to learn the current European snobbisms", then returned to the U.S. "and to myself". He refers to his newly published biography, "Bad Boy in Music" noting "this the title of my publishers, not mine..."
He continues, writing "a little about myself; that, for instance, I no longer like Strawinsky, or practically all the rest of them, and that in my own personal way I endeavor to return to the direction of Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Bruckner, symphonic form and development..."
"Your teachings have stood me well, especially in moments of deepest doubt. I owe you very much, and I have never thanked you."
He then goes on to list a number of his works and says that "the critics, in general, have been good, even excellent…"
According to A. J. Johnson in his Antheil biography, Antheil began studying with Bloch privately in New York in 1919: "Bloch had been skeptical and had rejected him, describing Antheil's compositions as 'empty' and 'pretentious', however, the teacher was won over by Antheil's enthusiasm and energy, and helped him financially as he attempted to complete an aborted first symphony". The symphony, "Zingareska" was completed in 1922 and is one of the first works to incorporate a jazz element.
, signed "E. Fernandez Arbos". London, 10/31/1892. Octavo. Excellent condition (tiny chip on bottom edge).
Bold and clear 7-bar quote by the noted Spanish violinist/composer/conductor, marked "Tempo de Bolero".
Originally a violinist, Arbos studied with Vieuxtemps and Joachim and was a professor himself in Madrid and London. In 1904 he became the conductor of the then new Madrid Symphony and retained that post for 35 years, becoming one of Spain's greatest conductors.
. New York, 1918. Visible Image: 23.50" H X 19.25" W. Total Size In Contemporary Mahogany Frame: 29.75" H X 25. 50" W. Signed By Both Auer And Mishkin. Excellent, pristine condition. The letter "T" in the inscription is a bit raised from Auer's having pressed his pen hard.
Extraordinary original photograph by Mishkin, signed in red crayon "Mishkin / NY" on lower left. The photograph is inscribed by Auer to the noted violin dealer Rudolph Wurlitzer on the lower right: "To Herr Rudolph Wurlitzer / L. Auer / New York 20/5 1918". Auer had just moved to New York earlier in the year and had given a concert in Carnegie Hall on March 23.
The one and only Leopold Auer - violinist, pedagogue, conductor and composer - is undoubtedly best remembered now for his unprecedented career as a violin teacher. Himself a pupil of the great Joachim, he taught among others Jascha Heifetz, Efrem Zimbalist, Mischa Elman, Kathleen Parlow, Benno Rabinof, Oscar Shumsky and Toscha Seidel. He joined the faculty of what became Juilliard in 1926 and in 1928 joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music.
, signed "Wilhelm Backhaus". To violinist Franz Kneisel. February 7, 1922. 9.50"h X 6"w. 2 pp. on a single sheet of hotel stationery. Fine.
The noted German pianist, whose unfortunate role in Nazi Germany did not lessen the esteem in which he was held as an interpreter, especially of Brahms and Beethoven, writes here a letter inviting Kneisel to a concert.
Franz Kneisel was a renowned American violinist, teacher and chamber player who gave the first American performances of the concertos by Brahms and Karl Goldmark. He was a long-time concertmaster of the Boston Symphony and founded the Kneisel Quartet and Kneisel Hall, a summer school for violin and chamber playing which is still important in American musical life.
Autograph Manuscript Sketch From The Opera Rose Of Castille
, signed "MW Balfe". Inscribed to "my pretty little aunt!!!!". Dated Dec 1851. Large Manuscript Paper (c 14.25" H X 9" W). 1 p. Overall very good condition, save for one torn corner at lower right not affecting text (creases from folds, two very slight tears on bottom edge and one on left edge).
The composer has elegantly penned 18 bars of music with lyrics and labeled it underneath as being "the first sketch of Convent Cell in Rose of Castille". The sketch is from the second act of the opera and is an aria sung by the lead, Queen Elvira, and is also known as "Of girlhood's happy days I dream." Balfe has dated the sketch 1851, which is a full 6 years prior to the premiere of the opera which was given on 29 October 1857, at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
The influential Irish composer and singer, Michael W. Balfe, was certainly a most successful opera composer in the 19th century, now primarily remembered for The Bohemian Girl. He composed a number of operas for the Pyne-Harrison Company at Covent Garden, this being one of them and the most popular at the time. A baritone, he was also known for his excellent performances of Rossini roles, including Figaro in Barber of Seville and Papageno in the first English performance of Magic Flute.
Provenance: from an album started by Balfe and continued by the noted Victorian choral director Alfred Broughton who was the director and accompanist of the Leeds Festival.
, signed "Giuseppe Bamboschek". Total Measurement Of 10.75" H X 7.25". Fine condition.
Soft-toned sepia print of a youthful portrait of Italian conductor Giuseppe Bamboschek, inscribed to Dr. Oliver L. Austin, dated Jan. 11, 1924, New York.
Giuseppe Bamboschek began conducting while still in his teens, after establishing himself as a pianist and an organist. As a conductor, he spent 16 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera between 1913 and 1929, where he led performances featuring the great singers of that period, and even made an appearance onstage in 1918, as the accompanist in the world premiere of Charles Wakefield Cadman's one-act opera The Robin Woman: Shanewis. Bamboschek had a long and meaningful career, later presenting and conducting opera in Philadelphia. He was mentor to a diverse array of artists, giving Beverly Sills her first break as a singer in 1947. He later pioneered the presentation of opera on television with a series called Opera Cameos.
, signed "Béla Bartók". Sept. 23, 1922. Quarto. 2 pp. With full translation. Some wrinkling and minor soiling but altogether very attractive.
Letter to an anonymous correspondent saying that he will be glad to join the Franco-American Society as an honorary member. He offers four programs for a concert on 14 April: "Remark about the first program: don't be afraid of my II élegie: it is in a style altogether different from the I.; it is less abstract ... Remark on second program: I propose the Sonata by [Ernest] Bloch if you have not already put it on the program of another concert. It is moreover the best work of Bloch that I know. If you think it is a good idea to repeat my first sonata, you can choose the third or fourth program. I believe that the Roumanian songs (Program 1) can be easily sung in the original language by a French man or woman because the Roumanian language, being also a neolatin language, is not difficult to pronounce." He goes on to say that "It would be of great importance to me if you could engage for the performance of my sonatas and perhaps also for that of Bloch Mademoiselle Jelly d'Arányi, because a better violinist than she cannot be found". He has "not yet finished my second Sonata for Violin and Piano but I hope to reach the end before Christmas." He is returning an article by Dr. Felber because "it does not give precise and concise views of the popular Slovak music" and then explains in great detail what he would recommend deleting if the recipient cannot avoid publishing it, explaining that "In the rest of the article there are similar misunderstandings according to my opinion. I have marked them in red on the margin of the page or underlined them in red."
Bartók and his fellow Hungarian Jelly d'Arányi gave recitals together in London a few months prior to this letter and again in May 1923, performing sonatas which Bartók had originally dedicated to d'Arányi's sister Adila, also a violinist.
An important letter with interesting musical content.
, signed "Amy M. Beach". To Mrs. Barth. Dec. 12, 1934. Octavo. 2 pp. of a folded sheet on "A.W.A" [American Women's Association] Stationery. Fine condition.
Beach, the first widely-known and successful female American composer, mentions the Macdowell Club and Westminster Choir buildings and "I have no new instrumental compositions ready for performance there, but I could give a group of songs if you would like them for the program."
Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, always referred to as Mrs. Beach, was a prodigy pianist who made her debut with the Boston Symphony in 1885. Her Mass in Eb, given by the Handel and Haydn Society in 1882 and her Concert Aria, "Eilinde volken," given by the New York Philharmonic Society, were the first occasions that these two organizations performed music by a female composer. Her Gaelic Symphony (Op. 32, 1896) was the very first symphony composed by an American woman.
6.75" H X 5.25" W Matted With A Total Measurement Of 13" H X 11 " W. Very good condition.
A wonderful pencil caricature of the great English conductor looking somewhat quizzical and standing in front of a microphone, his baton aloft in his right hand. Olga Koussevitsky was a patron of the arts and the second wife of the famous conductor Serge Koussevitsky. She was well-known for her caricature portraits and had an exhibition in New York City. This caricature is dated 1958, followed by her autographed initials.
, signed "C De Beriot". To M. Garnot. Brussels, Sept 21 (?) 1847(?). Octavo. Total Size: 14.5" H X 20.5" W. 1 p. Fine condition.
"I learned this moment that the company... has suspended payment. This annoying news has even been reported in the papers. I hasten to let you in on this so that you will have the kindness to tell me what I should do and the result of your message. Accept my friendly greetings, Charles De Beriot."
The letter of the great violinist and husband of the soprano Maria Malibran is handsomely matted with an ovalized engraved portrait (Meyer, after the noted portrait artist Grevedon).
, signed "Arthur Bliss". To Robert Hines of Southern Illinois University. Feb. 23, 1960. Octavo. 2 pp. with envelope. Excellent.
The English composer is sending the recipient three choral pieces of his for an upcoming program and also material for program notes. The three works he refers to are: Pastoral 'Lie strewn the white flocks' (1928), Morning Heroes (1930) and Songs of Welcome (1954)
, signed "Marc Blitzstein". Aug. 1, 1935. On Small Stationery, In His Hand, "U.S. Coast Guard...Provincetown, Mass". 1 p. Fine condition.
The American composer, lyricist, and librettist, only 30 at the time of this letter, writes to his fellow American composer Henry Cowell, asking about the possibility of Cowell teaching at Downtown Music School: "Can you tell me what you would like to handle, and give me some outline of the course?...It's fine to know you are 'with us' (I mean not only the school, but the movement.) I think this year is going to see some extraordinary things happen!"
An interesting association between two prominent early 20th-century American composers. Blitzstein won national attention in 1937 when there were demonstrations against his pro-union musical The Cradle Will Rock (directed by Orson Welles).
, signed Ernest Bloch. To "My dear Salzedo". Jan. 31, 1924. 9.5" H X 6" W. 1 page on The Cleveland Institute of Music letterhead. Fine.
Bloch is writing to the harpist and composer Carlos Salzedo saying that "I agree with you entirely and think it would be very fine if [the Polish soprano] Madame Freund could sing with the Cleveland Orchestra, but the best thing for her would be to come in touch with the manager...."
Autograph Musical Quotation, Matted With Original Contemporary Photograph
, signed "Ernest Bloch". Decoratively Matted With A Total Dimension Of 11.25" H X 20.5" W. The image is by the New York photographer Apeda. One small crease in upper right, otherwise excellent.
The first ten measures of the first violin part of the String Quintet, written on music paper titled "Quintet" in his hand with the further note: "the sign / before a note indicates 1/4-tone above that note The = 1/4 'below'".
The String Quintet is undoubtedly one of the Swiss-born American's most popular works. It was written in 1921-23, five years after Bloch came to live in the United States, and at the time when he was the first director of the Cleveland Institute of Music.
, signed "Artur Bodanzky". Total Measurement Of 6.5" H X 7.50" W. Fine condition.
On pale pink album leaf, conductor Artur Bodanzky included a warm sentiment in German, dated November 1915, New York, and sketched a four-bar musical quotation from Humperdinck's Königskinder for Renée Reiss, the young daughter of tenor Albert Reiss.
When he signed this album leaf, Artur Bodanzky had just made his Metropolitan Opera debut (conducting Götterdämmerung on Nov. 18, 1915). In the two weeks that followed, he conducted three performances (two of Der Rosenkavalier, one of Parsifal) in which Renée Reiss's father sang. The Humperdinck quote probably refers to Albert Reiss's success in the opera's world premiere five years earlier. Bodanzky had been Gustav Mahler's assistant in Vienna, and - in Mahler's footsteps - he quickly became the chief conductor of the German wing of the Met repertoire. Despite a brief interlude in which he quit the Met over a salary disagreement, he remained with the company until his death.
Autograph Musical Quote From The Epilogue To Mefistofeles
, signed "Arrigo Boito". Milan, October 14, 1880. On A Sheet Of Music Paper Cut Down To 3.5" H X 10 " W. Evenly browned with bleedthrough and one vertical crease from folding; overall condition is fine.
Eight-bar quote from Boito's's opera Mefistofeles. He conducted the premiere at La Scala in March 1868, almost immediately setting about a revision (premiered in Bologna, 1875, and a final version in Venice, 1876). The quote here is from the Epilogue which was originally part of Act V. Boito penned the first five measures on one side, with his identification of the piece, and the final three bars of this quote on the other side with his signature.
Boito himself wrote the libretto for Mefistofeles, and is, of course, famous for having written the librettos of Verdi's Otello and Falstaff.
Metopolitan Opera Production Photograph Of 1914 L'Amore Dei Tre Re Premiere
, signed "Lucrezia Bori". Total Measurement Of 5" H X 7" W. Tiny pinholes in each corner, otherwise excellent.
Lucrezia Bori signed this dramatic production shot from the Metropolitan Opera's premiere staging of Montemezzi's L'Amore dei tre re, featuring Adamo Didur, left, as Archibaldo and Bori as Fiora in the opera's second act. Bori apparently signed in black ink, then traced over it in white, inscribing it in Italian "To Signor Reiss, remembering the Amore dei tre re" and dating it "New York 1914" in black ink in the upper righthand corner.
Though it is largely forgotten today, Italo Montemezzi's L'Amore dei tre re was an international sensation before World War I, and its Metropolitan Opera (and U.S.) premiere was a headline event. Toscanini conducted a cast led by Bori, Didur, Pasquale Amato and - as the hero Avito - tenor Edoardo Ferrari-Fontana, in his Met debut in the role he had sung in the world premiere. In a glowing opening night review, W.J. Henderson in the New York Sun wrote that "the production adds much to the artistic standing of the Metropolitan Opera House." He added that "Miss Bori must have astonished her most devoted admirers by her impersonation of Fiora. To summarize briefly, it was lovely in its pictorial quality and sung almost flawlessly."
, signed "Karin Branzell". Dated March 23, 1925. Total Measurement Of 5.50" H X 7" W. Pristine condition.
Album leaf with bold signature of Swedish mezzo-soprano Karin Branzell, dated March 23, 1925, which she has embellished with a charming profile caricature of herself, also initialed.
The Swedish mezzo-soprano Karin Branzell had an impressive career in Europe - Richard Strauss chose her to create the role of the Nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten - before making her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1924 as Fricka in Die Walküre. She remained an important singer on the Met roster through the 1943-44 season, returning in 1951 to sing Erda in a new Ring cycle; in all she sang 412 performances of 21 roles at the Met. Her friend Lauritz Melchior believed she was unequaled as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, a role she sang many times with Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad. In a Met performance of Die Walküre in 1925, Branzell - singing the role of Fricka - astonished her colleagues by then stepping in to sing the role of the title heroine Brünnhilde in Act III when the soprano became indisposed. She also sang the U.S. premiere of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder with Leopold Stokowski. After retiring, Branzell taught at the Juilliard School. Among her students were Met singers Nell Rankin, Jean Madeira and Mignon Dunn.
, signed "Dr. Max Bruch". Oct. 12, 1907. Four pages of a folded sheet. 7" h X 4.5" w. Fine condition. With transcription and translation.
Nice letter to a colleague about not being able to hear a young violinist "because the father, a most uncultured and clumsy man, committed one oddity after the other... By the way nowadays one is really beseiged by violin child prodigies. This one alone is already the sixth or seventh since the beginning of the month." He writes that he is enclosing an article about him from the magazine Die Musik, the article being distinguished "by the absolute reliability of its dates".
, signed "M.B.". To Mrs. Henschel. March 6. 2" H X 3.50" W. Autograph note on both sides. Fine condition.
On the front of the card, addressed to Mrs. Henschel [the wife of the noted composer and conductor Sir George Henschel], Bruch gives the London address of the violinist Sarasate. On the verso he writes:"Draft a nice telegram and kindly send it to me before mailing it. Cordial greetings, M.B. "
. Inscribed to Renée Reiss (daughter of tenor Albert Reiss). Total Measurement Of 11.25" H X 17.50" W. Very good condition.
Full signature on a pale pink album-leaf with greeting in German to "Fräulein Renée Reiss", dated "2.1.1911" in New York, matted with a reproduction photograph of Carl Burrian in costume as Parsifal.
The Czech heldentenor Carl Burrian began his career in Brno in such Czech works as Smetana's The Bartered Bride and Dalibor, but he developed as a Wagner tenor with opera companies in Germany and Austria. Between 1906 and 1913, he sang with great success at the Metropolitan Opera, always in Wagner except for performances of Salome and Fidelio. He was a favorite of both Gustav Mahler and Arturo Toscanini. On January 2, 1911, he sang Parsifal at the Met, Alfred Hertz conducting, with a cast that included Olive Fremstad, Pasquale Amato, Herbert Witherspoon, Otto Goritz and - as the Third Esquire - tenor Albert Reiss. Reiss's young daughter Renée apparently had Burrian sign her autograph album at that time.
, signed "Charles Wakefield Cadman". To "my dear friend, Beatrice Griffin, whose playing of my sonata gave me greatest pleasure. In appreciation of her fine musicianship". 1933. 8" X 10" Sepia Photograph By Keystone. Excellent condition.
The American composer is shown in near profile.
Cadman was one of the first significant American composers who did not go to Europe to get a musical education. He had an intense interest in American Indians and their music, incorporating much of it into his own music. He was one of the first to introduce elements of ragtime into chamber music and also composed several film scores.
. Total Measurement Of 12.50" H X 8.25" W. Very good condition.
Full signature, dated "30 Octobre 1883" in Erie PA, matted with an early reproduction photograph of Italo Campanini as Don José in the third act of Bizet's Carmen.
Born in Parma, tenor Italo Campanini was acclaimed wherever he sang. He was discovered in Italy by the impresario J.H. Mapleson, who brought him to London with great success. Campanini made a spectacular New York debut in 1873 at the Academy of Music as Radames in Aida, before returning to even greater notice in London, including the first performances there of Carmen. A tireless singer hailed for the intensity of his performances, the tenor is best known now for singing the title role in Faust on the opening night (October 22, 1883) of the Metropolitan Opera House, where he also sang in the first performances there of Carmen in the opening season. Campanini became the Met's first star tenor and later founded his own opera company. Like many singers of the time, the abandon with which he sang and his demanding repertoire took a toll of his voice, and he retired shortly before his death at the age of 50.
, signed "Enrico Caruso". Total Measurement Of 9" H X 5" W. Handsomely presented in a 5-ply mat. Fine condition.
A striking sepia imperial cabinet photograph by Mishkin in which Caruso is shown in costume as Samson in Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila and which he has boldly signed vertically.
"Caruso's Samson has become one of the Italian tenor's most impressive portrayals," wrote Max Smith in his review in the New York American, of the opening night performance of in Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila in 1918. On two occasions, Enrico Caruso opened the Metropolitan Opera season as Samson - in 1915-16 and, more notably, in 1918-19. By a trick of fate, opening night in 1918 fell on Nov. 11, the day the armistice was declared, ending World War I. The performance of Samson et Dalila that night was conducted by Pierre Monteux, with Louise Homer as Dalila, and it began with a thrilling demonstration of patriotism as the whole company massed onstage to sing the national anthems of all the Allied powers, with Caruso carrying the flag of Italy.
, signed "Enrico Caruso, N.Y. 1909". Some surface soiling and minor imperfections (mainly a few pinholes), otherwise fine. On white paper which appears darker in the scan.
A very bold pen-and-ink caricature by Caruso of the Italian piano coach who worked at the Met from 1904 to 1909. Framed in a contemporary ornate silver-tinted wood frame. Caruso apparently started this as a pencil drawing, the remains of which can still be seen on the paper.
When Giordano's Fedora had its American premiere at the Met on Dec. 5, 1906, with Caruso, Cavalieri and Scotti, pianist Tullio Voghera made his Met debut as the pianist Lazinski, a character in the opera. Voghera also performed at the Met's Grand Sunday Night Concerts, an institution of many years at the opera house.This caricature is shown in the "Composers & Conductors" section of the 1951 edition of Caricatures by Caruso.
, signed "F Chaliapin". Total Measurement Of 5.50" H X 3.25" W. Very good condition.
Sepia German postcard photo of the great Russian bass, who has dated it 1929 and is shown in the role of Mephistopheles, probably in Boito's Mefistofele.
Metropolitan Opera audiences probably were not ready for Feodor Chaliapin when he made his house debut on November 20, 1907, in the title role of a new production of Boito's Mefistofele. He made a stunning impression, but the all-too-convincing intensity of his performance made many uncomfortable. Chaliapin stayed at the Met for only three months. He did not return until 1921 - a man without a country, after a disillusioning flirtation with the Soviet regime - by which time he had taken full command of the title role in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, the vehicle of his triumphant comeback at the Met. (He sang in Russian, everyone else in Italian.) How sweet it must have been, in the fall of 1922, when revisited Mefistofele at the Met, to cheers and rave reviews. "Chaliapin deserved no less honor than was accorded him," wrote Max Smith in the New York American, after describing the thunderous ovations. "Sixteen years ago, despite critical remonstrance, his portrayal of Mephistopheles was an achievement unequalled … a creation of genius."
, signed "Carlos Chavez". To Paul H. North. June 14, 1974. 10" H X 8" W. Fine image in good condition except for an abrasion on the upper right not affecting image and paper clip mark on upper left.
The Mexican composer Carlos Chavez is sending a photograph accompanied by a typed letter, adding "The Louisville Orchestra... has made a recording of the suite of my ballet-Symphony H.P. (Horsepower) which, as I understand, is available in record shops or directly from the symphony."
Philadelphia, December 5, 1971. 9" H X 6" W. Fine condition.
On front of program, Van Cliburn writes: "to Jerry Leonard with great appreciation" and signs his full name. The program held at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, included works for solo piano by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Scriabin and Debussy.
, signed "Aaron Copland". To Mr. [Brent] Williams. Jan. 21, 1977. 7.75" H X 5.75" W, With Envelope. 1 p. Fine condition.
"I was pleased to learn that the Ciompi Quartet of Duke University has programmed my Two Pieces for String Quartet [originally written 1923] for the evening of February 7th. Please give the quartet my friendly greetings and express my regrets that I am unable to be present on that occasion."
Copland is writing to Brent Williams who gave up baseball to become a tenor but was most important as a long-time officer of the famous New York musicians' club, The Bohemians, and was furthermore the director of its important charitable foundation for 25 years.
, signed "Henry Cowell" in pencil. Total Mat Size: 16" H X 13" W.
A large full signature beneath which the American composer has drawn a chord on a staff. Matted together with a half tone photograph taken by his wife Sidney in 1960 showing Cowell at work on his Symphony Number 14, with Pepper the cat.
. Total Measurement Of 18.25" H X 12" W. Very good condition.
Full signature with affectionate greeting In Italian to New York physician and opera fan Dr. Oliver Austin, dated "New York 1931". In an oval mat with a Mishkin portrait of De Luca as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen.
The Italian baritone Giuseppe De Luca spent most of his career at the Metropolitan Opera, singing leading roles there between 1915 and 1930. Roman by birth, he studied with the same teacher who taught Battistini and Ruffo, and made his operatic debut in 1897. His voice was not large, but it was evenly produced, and the elegance of his singing made him an imposing figure on the stage. During the time he sang at La Scala (1902-10), De Luca created the role of Sharpless in the world premiere of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. At the Met, he was a dominant figure in the Italian and French repertoire, and he created the title role in Gianni Schicchi in the Met's 1918 premiere of Puccini's Il trittico. Other roles De Luca created in world premiere performances include Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur, the Marquess in Massenet's Grisélidis and Sancho Panza in Massenet's Don Quichotte (opposite Chaliapin in the title role). Toscanini is said to have called him "absolutely the best baritone I ever heard."
. Total Measurement Of 12.50" H X 8.25" W. Very good condition.
Full signature with greeting, dated 1897 and matted with a period postcard of Edouard de Reszke in contemporary dress.
The Polish-born bass Edouard de Reszke was one of the most admired and successful singers of his time and one of the most compelling basses in operatic history. Giuseppe Verdi selected him, at the age of 24, to sing the role of Ramfis in the Paris premiere of Aida in 1876. He had a prolific and brilliant career in Paris and at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, often performing together with his older brother, tenor Jean de Reszke, the most popular tenor internationally of the pre-Caruso era.
. Total Size Of 12.25 H X 8.25 W. Signature a little smudged, otherwise very good.
Full signature, dated 1897, on a small card. Matted with a famous, dashing image of the tenor as Roméo in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.
A perfect memento of Jean de Reszke's legendary career, as Roméo was a signature role for the handsome, stylish, highly regarded tenor. Polish-born and Italian-trained, he was already a star at Covent Garden (and a favorite of Queen Victoria's) when he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1893. His career at the Met lasted only six seasons, but it was a string of triumphs in heroic Italian, French and German roles, often opposite his good friend Nellie Melba. Jean de Reszke retired in 1904 (just as Caruso arrived internationally) and made no commercial recordings, yet his singular reputation has never faded. His students included Bidů Sayao, Claire Croiza, Arthur Endreze, Leo Slezak and Maggie Teyte.
, signed "David". To "Carroll" [Glenn; the violinist]. Feb. 20, 1956. 1 p. on lavender stationery with his embossed name. Fine condition.
Diamond writes a friendly letter to the American violinist:
"You probably didn't know that I have been living in Italy since 1951. It was kind of you to think of me - after all these years -- which reminds me of the night we all listened (at your home) to Szegeti's recording of my VIOLIN AND PIANO SONATA. And I do hope Schirmer's sent you a copy of the work as I hope Southern Music Publishing Co. did a copy of the PIANO SONATA for Eugene."
Diamond is referring to his Sonata for Violin and Piano (1943-46) and his first Piano Sonata which was written in 1947 and published in 1954. Carroll Glenn was married to the American pianist Eugene List. The New York Times has described Diamond as "a major American composer whose early brilliance in the 1940's was eclipsed by the dominance of atonal music..."
Geraldine Farrar: An Authorized Record Of Her Career.
Geraldine Farrar. University Book Store: Seattle, 1929. Limited edition, no. 266 of 350. Quarto. 91 pp. Frontispiece portrait. Photographs. Cloth. Slight water damage to back cover and last signature, otherwise very good.BKS-04980$65
Dec. 8, 1938. 4 Pp. With Cover. Overall condition for a piece of ephemera like this is excellent, even retaining the original tassel; two small stains on verso, nearly imperceptible mark on front cover.
An elegant program of a dinner and concert given by the famed New York musicians' club, "The Bohemians," honoring the Norwegian soprano Kirsten Flagstad. She had given her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1935 and was quickly hailed as the foremost Wagnerian soprano of her time. Performers at the event included Ezio Pinza, Rosina and Josef Lhevine, and Elizabeth Rethberg. On the cover are two oval portraits of Flagstad, under which she has neatly penned her name.
. Total Measurement Of 12.50" H X 18" W. Very good condition.
Signature on an album leaf, with greeting to "Fräulein Renée Reiss / In remembrance of …", dated January 1911 in New York. Matted with a celebrated full-length Mishkin character portrait of Fremstad as Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
Olive Fremstad had equal success in both the dramatic soprano (particularly Wagner) and mezzo-soprano repertoire. Her busy Metropolitan Opera career, between 1903 and 1914, was largely devoted to Wagnerian soprano roles, though she still sang key mezzo roles as well. With Caruso, Fremstad had performed Carmen in San Francisco the night before the 1906 earthquake. The intensity with which she sang probably limited her operatic career, which ended in 1920, before she was 50. When she was at the Met, though, Fremstad was a formidable and compelling artist. In the month of January 1911 alone, she sang leading roles in three operas (Tristan und Isolde, Armide and Parsifal) in which the tenor Albert Reiss, father of Renée Reiss, also sang. The signature included here must have been obtained during one of those performances.
, signed "Oskar Fried". To Marya Freund. Bern, Aug. 4 [6?], 1919. First and last page of a folded sheet. Fine condition. With translation.
The eminent German conductor and composer is writing to the Polish soprano Marya Freund, who was at the height of her singing career. He mentions having:
"...been engaged in Berlin for five concerts. I strongly hope that on that occasion we can again be musically active together. Do you sing Mahler's Kindertotenlieder? They are scheduled in Berlin for 20 October together with the Ninth Symphony.
"Also Trunknes Lied is a possibility for Vienna! But I must know the approximate honoraria."
Fried's "Trunknes Lied" is a work for chorus and orchestra which was first performed by Karl Muck in Berlin in 1904. Fried had in fact been playing the horn in various orchestras up until that performance, which gained favorable attention and enabled him to pursue his conducting and composing.
, signed "Ossip Gabrilovitch | January 1927". To "the genuine music lover Mr. Leo Levy with sincere appreciation of his excellent work for the masses". 10" H X 8" W. Sepia. Fine with very slight smudge on far right margin and a few very small ink marks.
Ossip Gabrilovitch, the noted Russian-born pianist, conductor of the Detroit Symphony and married to Mark Twain's daughter, shown in a youthful pose.
, signed "Ossip Gabrilowitsch". June 13, 1897. Attractively Matted With An Overall Size Of 12.75" H X 17.5" W; Quotation Is 8" H X 6.5" W. Very good condition (quote is laid down on heavy stock).
Four-bar musical quotation on music paper. The quote is from Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1, with an inscription in German to a friend. Matted with handsome sepia cabinet photograph by Bieber showing Gabrilowitsch leaning on an upright piano (photo is stamped 1897 in lower right-hand corner).
In addition to his distinguished international career as a pianist, Gabrilovich was the conductor of the Detroit Symphony and married Mark Twain's daughter.