Lot 84: Four Musical Quotes by Korngold Inscribed to the Father of Tenor Richard Tauber
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
October 26, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Inscribed to the father of Tenor Richard Tauber ********** KORNGOLD, ERICH W. (1897-1957). Austro-Hungarian, American composer of diverse works. Four AMusQsS. (“Erich Wolfgang Korngold”). Totaling 12 measures, Korngold has penned examples from his one-act opera buffa Der Ring des Polykrates, Op. 7; the one-act opera Violanta; his three-act opera Die tote Stadt; and the three-act opera Das Wunder der Helene. 1p. 4to. Vienna, March 1928. To the Viennese actor and theater manager RICHARD ANTON TAUBER (1861-1942). Inscribed in German “To General Director Tauber in grateful memory of the beautiful performance in Chemnitz and with deep and best wishes for his jubilee…”********** A musical prodigy whose talent drew the attention of both Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, Korngold composed his first ballet at age 11, causing a sensation in Imperial Vienna. He wrote his first two operas, Der Ring des Polykrates, Op. 7 and Violanta in 1914, the successful opera Die tote Stadt in 1920 and Das Wunder der Helene in 1923. In 1934, Korngold settled in Hollywood to adapt Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music for Max Reinhardt’s film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an event that dramatically changed the course of his career. During the next four years, he became a respected film score innovator. In 1938, back in Austria, he accepted an invitation to return to California and compose the score for Warner Brothers’ The Adventures of Robin Hood. He accepted the job, an event that he later credited with saving his life; while working on the film, Hitler annexed Austria and Korngold, who was Jewish, remained in exile in the United States for the rest of his life, becoming a citizen in 1943. In addition to the score of The Adventures of Robin Hood, for which he won an Academy Award, Korngold’s film scores include The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Kings Row, Deception, and The Sea Hawk. ********** Tauber enjoyed a celebrated stage career during which he acted in plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Schiller, and Dumas, before beginning his directorship of the municipal theater in Chemnitz in 1912. While there he earned a reputation as one of the most prominent theater directors in the country. He resigned in 1930 due to increasing anti-Semitism and eventually immigrated to Switzerland. Our inscription was written on the occasion of his golden jubilee to celebrate his stage debut. Tauber’s fame was to be eclipsed by that of his illegitimate son, tenor Richard Tauber. Interestingly, Tauber made a memorable recording with Lotte Lehmann of a duet from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt in 1924. ********** Folded into quarters with some creasing, wear and scattered light spotting; two closed fold tears do not affect the text. Darkly written and in very good condition. Uncommon.