“THEY ARE ONE OF THE GREAT LEGACIES OF 18TH-CENTURY ENLIGHTENMENT”: THE FIRST SIX OF HAYDN’S CELEBRATED LONDON SYMPHONIES, SIGNED BY VIOLINIST J. P. SALOMON, WHO COMMISSIONED THE WORK
HAYDN, Joseph. Haydn’s Celebrated Overture, Composed for & Performed at Mr. Salomons Concert, Hanover Square, Adapted for the Piano Forte, with an Accompaniment for a Violin & Violoncello. No. 1. WITH: Nos. 2-6. Edinburgh: Corri, Dussek & Co., [circa 1796]. Folio, modern half brown morocco, marbled boards. $3000.
Superb collection of six of Haydn’s London Symphonies arranged for Piano, Violin and Cello, including a number of first English editions. Signed on each of five title pages by German violinist J. P. Salomon, who had commissioned the composition of these Symphonies.
“The London period of Haydn’s career was distinguished by a large number of masterpieces in all genres, ranging from opera to cantata, from choral works to song, from piano trio to solo keyboard works, from flute trio to string quartet and from sinfonia concertante to symphony. Yet despite the high level of the other works, it is, when the final balance is made, the London Symphonies which have remained the favorites of the public and which seem to most people to contain the essence of Haydn’s personality… They are one of the great legacies of 18th-century Enlightenment” (Robbins Landon, 505, 509). The first group of Haydn’s twelve London or Salomon Symphonies were written and performed during his first visit to London in 1791 and 1792. They are here issued with separate title pages, five of them signed by the great German violinist J. P. Salomon, who had secured Haydn’s visit to London and for whom these symphonies were written. The pieces are numbered 1 through 6, and bound in the following order: Symphony No. 97 in C; No. 93 in D; No. 94 in G (“The Surprise”); No. 98 in B flat; No. 95 in C minor; No. 96 in D (“The Miracle”). Four are the first English editions: the first is a later issue (with “Symphony” instead of “Overture” on the title page), and the third is a later issue and is not signed by Salomon. Each of the six symphonies with engraved title page and music text. Without the Violin and Cello parts. Hoboken I: 197. See Fuld, 564. Bookplate and early owner signature.
First symphony with expert repair, affecting margins of eight leaves, open tear to page 9, not affecting text; repaired tear to page, with no loss. A wide-margined copy, beautifully engraved, with a superb association.