Alto Rhapsody. Opus 53
For Contralto, Men’s Chorus, and Orchestra. Text from Goethe’s Harzreise im Winter. Introduction by Walter Frisch. A Facsimile Edition from the Composer’s Autograph Manuscript in the Music Division of The New York Public Library

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New York, 1983. 24 x 30 cm, 29, 44 pp. Beautiful 3-color facsimile of the 1869 autograph fair copy (the only surviving manuscript source for the complete work), together with 2 leaves of sketches in the possession of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna. The Alto Rhapsody is one of Brahms’ most moving and successful works composed at a time when he seemed to have felt embittered and angry over the engagement and marriage of Julie Schumann (the second eldest daugther of the Schumanns') to Count Radicati di Marmorito of Turin. According to Brahms “it is the best thing I have yet done... and if worthy altos are not immediately eager to sing it, there are nevertheless enough people who do need this kind of prayer”. This manuscript apparently was not looked at for the publication of the Sämtliche Werke in 1926. Linen, with autograph title and signature embossed on cover. $60
Brahms Alto Rhapsody
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