Fischer, Emil. (1838–1914) & Mather, Margaret. (1859–1958)
Musical Signature with Three Musical Quotations
An interesting autograph signature with three short musical quotations from the German bass Emil Fischer, who starred at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1880's-90's and is remembered for his Wagnerian roles. He has penned a musical signature at the head, with notes and letters on a bass clef staff spelling out his name (when read in German): E-mil-Fis-C-H-E-r. He dates below: New York, January 10, 1887. Below this, he or another hand?? has added a question in German: "Wer hat Recht?" ("Who is right?") and added three similar, but slightly different, musical quotations labeled with the composers Goldmark, Rossini, and Wagner. We have identified the first motif as from the role of the demon in Goldmark's opera Merlin, which Fischer had performed that same night at the Metropolitan Opera; the final quotation is reminiscent of Tannhäuser. Our best guess is that Fischer is setting a "quiz" in which only one of the given motifs is an exact quotation, but as yet we have not found the answer!
On a small album leaf, additionally signed on the verso by the Canadian actress Margaret Mather. Toning, one smudge and a small corner loss; overall fine. 7.5 x 4.5 inches (19.3 x 11.8 cm).