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Variations on a French Song

Schubert, Franz, composer (1797-1828). [Variations on a French Song, op. 10, D. 624 (fragment)]. Autograph musical manuscript.

[Vienna, September 1818].

Oblong folio (305 x 242 mm). 2 pp. on a single leaf. Written in brown ink on greyish paper, 31 measures, 12 staves (3 systems of 4 staves) per page. Stored within custom-made blue cardboard portfolio with black leather title labels.

Fragment comprising measures 9 through 39 of the eighth and final variation (Più mosso, Tempo di Marcia) of this piece for piano, four hands. With some erasures and corrections, the text of this working draft departs variously from the published score (in the fourth and tenth bars of the first piano part and in the twenty-fifth & twenty-sixth bar of the second piano part). Schubert's Variations on a French Air Op. 10 were published in 1822 with a dedication to Beethoven in which Schubert described himself as his great contemporary's "admirer and devotee". The autograph manuscript was dispersed and partly lost after an auction in Paris in 1935. Other leaves now survive at the Sibley Music Library in Rochester, NY, at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, at the Pushkin House in Leningrad, and elsewhere.

Annotated in pencil by the pianist and musicologist Gustav Nottebohm (1817-82): "Autograph von Frz. Schubert Gehört zu einer Vorarbeit zu den 4händigen Variationen Op. 10 letzte Variation) (G. Nottebohm)".

Provenance: sold at Sotheby's, 3 Dec. 2008, lot 92. Later in the collections of the Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits, Paris; acquired from their sale.