AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2009 Issue

Musical Works from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians

Lubrano64

Rare music from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians of Lloyd Harbor (Long Island) New York. This is Catalogue 64, Rare Printed and Manuscript Music, from the firm that has been selling books for over three decades. The material offered is, as their name suggests, musical scores and material related to musicians. Perhaps the "antiquarian" part of their name is not always quite the case as they do offer some material from modern composers, though most is very old. You will find the great names of classical music in these works: Mozart, Haydn, Wagner. Rossini, Handel, Brahms, Debussy, Berlioz and, naturally, Beethoven. Then there are a few not-so classical names, such as Duke Ellington.

These types of books are not easy to describe. Books of text can readily be explained in words. Books of art and music, which appeal to the senses, are not so easy. This is the first catalogue of music we have received and there is no way to do it justice with words. So, forgive us our trespasses as we try our best to describe what can only be heard.

Item 2 is A Compleat Collection of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven's Symphonies, in Score, Most Respectfully Dedicated, by Permission, to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, No. XXV. This is not quite complete, as it only carries through Beethoven's Second Symphony, and he had gone farther by the date of this publication, 1808. Nonetheless, it does take us through Beethoven's classic works before embarking on new directions with the Third. The collection is appropriate as Mozart had been his inspiration to this point, Haydn his teacher. Priced at $5,500.

Item 3 is the almost identically titled A Compleat Collection of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven's Symphonies, in Score, Most Respectfully Dedicated, by Permission, to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, No. XXVII. This one was published in 1809, and includes his groundbreaking Third Symphony. Beethoven had originally planned to name this symphony for Napoleon, whom he greatly admired. However, when Napoleon declared himself Emperor of Europe, Beethoven reportedly tore up the title page, eventually renaming the symphony Sinfonia Eroica. Quoting Barry Cooper on this symphony, Lubrano notes, "The Eroica was far longer and more complex than any symphony previously written." $5,000.

Item 7 is Beethoven's Fidelio Eine Grosse Oper... published in 1814. This is a rare copy as it was inscribed by the writer. Beethoven has inscribed it (in German) to his "honored friend" Count Moritz Lichnowsky. Lichnowsky was a lifelong friend of Beethoven, and he and his brother were patrons of the artist. $75,000.

By the time Beethoven got to writing his Ninth Symphony, he was suffering from an unimaginable malady. He had gone completely deaf. How he wrote, and even occasionally performed or conducted music under the circumstances, is hard to understand. To write something so complex is unfathomable, but somehow he managed to "hear" within his thoughts. Item 16 is a first edition, first issue of his final symphony, published in 1826. $25,000.

Item 28 is large enough to be the Colosseum, historic enough to belong in the Louvre Museum. And, while it's not a symphony by Strauss, it is Duke Ellington's handwritten musical score for his arrangement of Cole Porter's You're The Top. This song was at the top, too, back in 1935. Ellington is certainly one of the greatest of the jazz musicians, jazz perhaps being America's version of "classical" music. $6,500.

Item 53 is an extensive collection of materials related to American musician Arthur Johnston, who lived from 1898-1954. Johnston served as Irving Berlin's personal pianist as a young man, but went on to become a noted songwriter himself. His best-known piece, and everyone knows this one, is Pennies From Heaven. The archive includes musical and textual material relating to Johnston.

You may reach J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians at 631-549-0672 or info@lubranomusic.com. Their website is www.lubranomusic.com.

You will find many of J & J Lubrano's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site. Click here.

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