[Bach, J.S. (1685-1750) & Handel, George Frederic. (1685-1759)] Gerber, Ernst Ludwig. (1746 - 1819)
Historisch-Biographisches Lexicon der Tonkünstler, welches Nachrichten von dem Leben und Werken musikalischer Schriftsteller, beruhmter Componisten, Sanger, Meister auf Instrumenten, Dilettanten, Orgel-und Instrumentmacher, enthalt...Zweyter Theil. N-Z. - WITH 18TH CENTURY FRONTIS PORTRAITS OF BACH AND HANDEL
Leipzig: Breitkopf, und Compag.. 1792. First Edition.
First edition of the second volume (of 2) of one of the most important and comprehensive musical dictionaries of the eighteenth century. 860 columns, woodcut borders and devices plus 80 pages index. Early stamp of the Hochschule fur Lehrerbildung Sarrebrücken to title, a few other stamps and notations, scattered foxing throughout, generally fine. Half leather over brown marbled paper boards, gilt decoration and title to spine. Facing stipple-engraved portraits of Bach and Handel bound in as frontispieces, outer edge of the second tipped along edge of the titlepage. Eitner IV, 204; Wolffheim I, 226; Gregory-Bartlett 108.
The father of German composer Ernst Ludwig Gerber was an organist and a pupil of J.S. Bach. Ernst Ludwig himself was was appointed music teacher to the children of the prince in Sonderhausen, and in 1775 he succeeded his father as court organist. Afterwards he devoted much of his time to the study of the literature and history of music.
The Dictionary was re-issued sometime around 1795 with the addition of engraved portraits of Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart. The present copy is of the first edition but has been enhanced with the collation of two of these from the later issue. The portrait of Handel (printed in reverse), is by Bollinger. The Bach engraving had previously been used by Breikopf und Sohn as the titlepage portrait of the 1789 issue of 'Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and gives no indication of engraver, date or model. "The engraving is of particular interest, partly because it presents a Bach somewhat different from the Bach of the Haussmann paintings, and partly because Gerber, the avid collector of musical portraits and the son of Bach's pupil, probably approved (or at least permitted) its use in the deluxe edition of his dictionary)." (Elinore Barber, "Bach's Portrait in Gerber's Lexicon," Bach: Vol. 2, No. 1, JANUARY, 1971) A copy of Elinore Barber's discussion of the portrait is included.