INSCRIBED BY SAMUEL BARBER TO PHILLIP RAMEY
BARBER, Samuel. Overture to "The School for Scandal." WITH: First Symphony. WITH: Piano Concerto. WITH: The Lovers. New York: G. Schirmer, circa 1941-75. Four volumes. Quarto, original wrappers. $2650.
Four study scores of works by Samuel Barber, three of them inscribed by him to composer Phillip Ramey.
"Barber was the golden boy of American music; commissions poured in, and he was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize (in 1958 and 1962. His music is romantic, and to many experimental composers of the 1960s and 1970s, he seemed a musical reactionary. But for the majority of concertgoers, Barber's high gloss gives an agreeable sense of satisfaction, a pleasant feeling that old values like emotional, and occasionally teary-eyed, melody, with a shapely and well-defined structure, are still plausible. The composer and writer Wilfrid Mellers feels, "…His appeal depends on qualities that his music shares with Tchaikovsky and Puccini. It matters because it is deeply felt, never second-hand: and its awareness of adolescence strikes deep into the American experience'" (Dubal, Essential Canon of Classical Music, 680). The score for the First Symphony is inscribed "For Phillip Ramey with warmest greetings, Samuel Barber. Jan 26, '76." The score for the Piano Concerto is inscribed "For Phillip Ramey in continuing friendship. Sincerely, Sam Barber, May 17-77, New York." The score for The Lovers is inscribed "For Phillip Ramey in warm friendship. Oct. 5-1977. Sam Barber. The recipient of these scores was Phillip Ramey, a composer and writer closely associated with other composers such as Samuel Barber, Virgil Thomson, William Schuman, and most particularly Aaron Copland. The one copy in this group that is not inscribed by Barber—the score to The Overture to "The School for Scandal"—has a notation on the front inner wrapper, "with Aaron's markings": it is marked throughout in colored pencil in Copland's hand.