Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Rossini, Schubert, Schumann, Spontini and many others

Fuchs, Aloys, Austrian musicologist and collector (1799-1853). "Musikalisches Album zur Erinnerung an günstige Freunde, angelegt von Aloys Fuchs." A magnificent album containing 115 autograph musical manuscripts by famous composers and musicians of the 19th century, almost all entries written for Fuchs personally.

Various places, (1817-)1830-1850.

Large 4to (199:228:25 mm). XIV, 242 numbered pages (some leaves bound out of order, including 14 blank pages). Original dark auburn morocco with giltstamped cover rules, blindstamped cover borders, and attractively gilt spine and leading edges. Green endpapers. All edges gilt.

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An extraordinary album assembling 115 musical manuscripts signed by many of the foremost composers of the first half of the 19th century, focusing on but not limited to the Viennese musical scene, including Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Lortzing, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Rossini, Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann.

Aloys Fuchs was a civil servant in the Vienna Hofkriegsrat (Aulic War Council), where his immediate superior was the distinguished musicologist Raphael Georg Kiesewetter. Fuchs compiled important early catalogues of the works of Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, and others, occasionally sang as a bass in the court chapel choir, and was appointed a member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in 1829. He began to assemble his enormous musical collection and library around the year 1820. For the plentiful valuable autographs and manuscripts it contained, it was hailed as "one of the largest and most valuable private collections in Europe" (cf. MGG IV, p. 1074). It was dispersed by sale after his death, but "the greater part went to the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek in Berlin; lesser amounts were acquired by the Bendictine Foundation at Göttweig (Lower Austria); others were sold through second-hand booksellers" (New Grove VII, p. 1). Only a small fraction remains in private hands.

"A singular feature of the Fuchs Collection were four guest-books (albums)" (Schaal, Autographen der Wiener Musiksammlung, p. 13), of which the present book was by far the largest and most encompassing specimen. Fuchs began the album in 1830 with 85 leaves (170 pages) of eight-stave paper as a musical friendship album for his famous guests: the first entry was penned by Ignaz Lachner on 4 September 1830, the last by G. D. Duprato on 28 December 1851. In all, 80 entries are dated. Several entries (some in-8vo) were added and intercalated, bringing the final page count to 242. Three items were transferred from another of Fuchs's albums, formerly owned by the musicologist Franz Sales Kandler and acquired by Fuchs after Kandler's death in 1831: those of Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven, and H. Woržischek. The Schubert song "Der Blumen Schmerz" is transferred from an unidentified album, as may also be the "Canone" by Muzio Clementi. With these few exceptions, all entries were inscribed for Fuchs personally.

The fine calligraphy of the title-page and index are the work of the same calligrapher whom Kandler had employed for his own album. A "collector's note" prefixed to the title was added by the same scribe in 1832, advising the reader that the contributions of Archduke Rudolph and Beethoven were acquired after the title was composed and Fuchs did not presume to a personal friendship with either of these eminent men, but had wished to glorify his album by including these relics. The six-page index lists 108 contributors (from no. 98 onwards they are in Fuchs's own hand), and seven more are added in pencil, bringing the sum to 115.

Detailed description available upon request.

Georg Kinsky, Manuskripte, Briefe, Dokumente von Scarlatti bis Stravinsky. Katalog der Musikautographen-Sammlung Louis Koch (Stuttgart, 1953), no. 349 (pp. 330-337). Richard Schaal, Quellen und Forschungen zur Wiener Musiksammlung von Aloys Fuchs (Graz, 1966), p. 67, Album no. III. The same, "Die Autographen der Wiener Musiksammlung von Aloys Fuchs", in: Haydn Yearbook VI (1969), pp. 5-191, here at pp. 7 f., 13 f. (album III) and passim s.v. Katalog der autographischen Sammlung von Sigismund Thalberg (Naples, Iride, 1872), p. 20 ff. Wurzbach vol. 44 (1882), p. 130 ("das dritte Volumen"). Ingrid Fuchs, "Aloys Fuchs (1799-1853): A Private Collector As a Public Institution", in: Collecting Music: Stories of a Passion (Turnhout, 2010).

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