Liszt, Franz. (1811–1886)
Hexameron. Morceau de Concert. Dedié a Mme. la Princesse Christine de Belgiojoso; Grandes Variations de Bravoure pour Piano sur la Marche des Puritains de Bellini. Composées par M.M. Liszt, Thalberg, Pixis, Henri Herz, Czerny & Chopin, Executées par F. Liszt.
London: Cramer, Beale & Co.. . First English edition.
Folio. 27 pp. Engraved. [PN] 406. From the collection of conductor and pianist, Friedrich Jahoda (1909 - 2008) and with his ownership stamp and signature and sticker on the front wrapper. Disbound and separated along the spine, edges chipped, tape remnants on edge of cover, first page edges repaired with brown paper, the final leaf fully laid down to paper. In rough condition overall, but nevertheless a scarce copy of the first English publication of this historic piece, issued in the year after the original publication in Vienna. Chopin's contribution, reference Brown 113 and Platzman p. 272.
Liszt composed the introduction, the piano version of the theme, variation No.2, and the finale. Thalberg wrote variation No.1; Pixis No.3; Herz No.4; Czerny No.5 and Chopin No.6. Variations 3, 5 and 6 followed from the Ritornelle also composed by Liszt.
"The Princess Cristina Belgiojoso requested variations on 'Suoni la tromba' from six of the leading piano virtuosos in Paris, with the idea of having each of them play them as part of a charity soirée in her salon....Once Liszt had the variations in hand, he added an Introduction, Finale, and connecting passages to make a substantial work....It is presumably this arrangement that was played several times by Liszt, the first performance taking place in Vienna on 31 March 1840....'Hexameron' is the biblical six days of creation, here referring to the six pianists who contributed to the work, the 'concert piece' considers the substance, twenty minutes in duration and requiring great virtuosity, and the 'variations,' the general structure, although Liszt's contributions bring it closer to an operatic paraphrase." (Ben Arnold, "The Liszt Companion," p. 311)