Autograph Music Manuscript - Richard Strauss

STRAUSS, Richard (1864-1949). Autograph music manuscript, section of a short-score draft for Capriccio, Op. 85, n.d. [1940-1941].

Two pages (255 x 339mm), 7 systems of 3 or 4 staves on 14-stave paper (Boosey & Hawkes: slightly cropped so type is lost), the first three staves on the recto and last six staves on the verso extended by hand, recto and verso marked 25-26 in Strauss’ hand, small paper corner tag added to the top right of recto with the pencil number ‘7’, (small loss to the top margin, slightly cropped at bottom margin). Provenance: Edwin Franko Goldman collection.

Bars 16-65 of Scene 4 from Capriccio, the parts for voice starting mid-sentence with the Count’s ‘göttliche Clairon!’ (one bar before rehearsal no 49) and ending with Olivier’s ‘…ein schönes Sonett zufliegen’ (three bars before rehearsal no 54). Autograph additions and cancellations in pencil.

A draft for Capriccio, Strauss’ final completed work for the stage, showing variance from the published score. Capriccio is an opera about opera, which questions the relative importance of the composer and the librettist: in 1934, Stefan Zweig had drawn Strauss’ attention to a libretto by Giovanni Battista Casti, Prima la musica, dopo le parole (‘First the music and then the words’), composed by Antonio Salieri as an operetta and first performed in 1786. The idea seems to have taken root and, after lying dormant for some years, bloomed into this one-act debate addressing the tension between words and music in opera, a work which showcases ‘some of his finest composition’ according to his biographer, Bryan Gilliam. Both the vocal lines and the accompaniment differ from the published score.

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