Octavo. Engraved throughout. Title (v.b.); 1–195 pp. [PN] 2078. Original period boards and marbled flyleaves, nicely rebacked in brown leather with gold titling. Small remnants of front wrapper stuck to title page, otherwise an exceptionally clean and fine copy throughout. Kinsky-Halm, 145; Hoboken, 282. Pencil ownership signature from composer Gordon Day on upper right of title page. Ownership stamp in lower margin of first page of score: Bibliothèque de E. de Coussemaker. Book plate to inner front board, from the library of Percy Digby Hawker, dated by hand April 1877, with initial A., possibly for auction of Coussemaker's library that year in Brussels.
The present first issue of the first edition of the score of Beethoven's Fourth Symphony is not recorded in the collection of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn. The more commonly-found second issue, entitled “4me Grande Simphonie”, appeared later the same year. This is thus a rare copy of the full score of the symphony Robert Schumann characterized as "like a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants" [The Third & Fifth Symphonies]. The fourth-published symphony by Beethoven was composed in 1806 and premiered in March 1807 at a private concert in Vienna at the town house of Prince Lobkowitz. The first public performance was at the Burgtheater in Vienna in April 1808.
The present copy formed part of the personal library of over 1,600 items—including first edition print scores, manuscripts, and musical instruments—of the prolific medievalist and musicologist Charles-Edmond-Henri de Coussemaker, whose scholarship encompassed chant, liturgical drama, early polyphony, the history of music notation, and music theory.(18247)