SCHOENBERG, Arnold (1874-1951). Autograph music manuscript, title page and first leaf of a juvenile composition book, n.d. [1880s], the autograph calligraphic title page in pen and ink, 'Noten-Buch Enthaltend: Allerlei Musikstücke für 2 Violinen ... des Schönberg Arnold', decorated with a foliate emblem at foot (later pencil additions rather rubbed), the autograph music on verso of conjugate leaf, marked 'No.1', comprising the 'Violino primo' part only of an arrangement for violin duet of the opening number ('Ite sul colle, O druidi') from Bellini's Norma (titled 'Duett aus der [Oper "Norma" von Bellini]'), 89 bars on one page, folio (310 x 243mm) (some browning, staining and spotting). Provenance: Hans Nachod (a cousin of Schoenberg's; sang Waldemar in the first performance of the Gurre-Lieder); and by descent.
ONE OF THE EARLIEST SURVIVING MUSIC MANUSCRIPTS BY SCHOENBERG. The manuscript forms part of a group of Schoenberg's juvenilia from the Nachod collection, the majority of which was acquired at Nachod's death in 1966 by North Texas State University: indeed, the remainder of the present composition book (including the second leaf of the Norma duet) is to be found in the North Texas collection (John A. Kimmey jr, ed. The Arnold Schoenberg - Hans Nachod Collection (Detroit, 1979), facsimile on p.175). By his own account, Schoenberg began writing violin duets before he was nine, but he seems not to have been an especially precocious child: the editor of the Sämtliche Werke (B.22) describes some of his original compositions of this period as 'in places so amateurish, and indeed so technically flawed, that it would be inappropriate to describe them as fully canonical'. Nevertheless, the present manuscript is an appealing witness of his earliest musical efforts.
We are grateful to Mr Oliver Neighbour for his help in the cataloguing of this lot.