“FLAMBOYANT LYRICISM”: STRAUSS’S DREI HYMNEN NUMBER THREE, WITH PRINTER’S PROOF COPY
STRAUSS, Richard. Drei Hymnen von Friedrich Hölderin. Op. 71. (No. 3. Die Liebe). WITH: Printer’s proof copy. Berlin: Adolph Fürstner, 1921. Quarto, original self wrappers; pp. 16, 16. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. $1900.
First edition of one of Strauss’ last lieder, together with the printer’s proof copy.
Composed shortly after the war, at a time when his collaboration with Hofmannsthal was interrupted and the complicated internal politics of the Vienna State Opera kept his opera Die Frau Ohne Schatten from being produced, the Drei Hymnen consists of three of Holderin’s poems concerning love set to music. “The last song… is an exhortation on behalf of love and lovers… The particular virtue of this high-flown poem to end the cycle lies in its own built-in crescendo ending in an outright plea that ‘the language of lovers be the tongue of the country itself’: such a motto-like phrase forms a natural climax which Strauss treats as a magniloquent coda… These Hymnen contain much of his special vein of flamboyant lyricism, and are so grateful to perform for orchestra and soloist alike that they would justify far more frequent revivals than they have enjoyed in recent years” (Del Mar III: 386).
First two bifolios split; without last leaf, but music text complete and fine, with only most minor wear to edges and one small closed tear to last leaf of music. Printer’s proof in excellent condition, with tape repair to spine of blank wrappers (front wrapper with owner stamp and “Manuskript” written in ink across the top) and title written in ink on first page of music. A wonderful piece, handsomely boxed.