Bruch, Max. (1838-1920) [Sinigaglia, Leone. (1868-1944)]
Signed Photograph with Autograph Musical Quotation of the VIOLIN CONCERTO NO.1
Original cabinet photograph of the important German composer, inscribed on the verso to the Italian composer Leone Sinigaglia with an autograph musical quotation from Bruch's Violin Concerto no. 1. Bruch is shown in an elaborate smoking jacket and cap, photographed by E. Bieber of Berlin and Hamburg, the photograph embossed with the date of 1900 at the lower right. On the verso, he has inscribed to Leone Sinigaglia and dated Berlin, March 28, 1901, with a musical quotation of three measures from the second movement of his Violin Concerto no. 1, op. 26. Light toning, a few scratches to the verso and one area of light soiling to the recto; overall in fine condition, with the photograph itself very fine. Cabinet card 4.25 x 6.5 inches (10.7 x 16.4 cm), matted on both sides to 6.75 x 9.5 inches (17 x 24 cm). Autograph musical quotations of Bruch's most celebrated and performed work are very rare.
Max Bruch's Violin Concerto no. 1 is one of the most popular violin concertos of the Romantic era. First completed in 1866, it was premiered by Otto von Königslow, with Bruch himself conducting; the following year, it was revised with help from the great violinist Joseph Joachim. The slow second movement is often admired for its melody, and is generally considered to be the heart of the concerto.
Born in Turin into an upper-middle-class family, Sinigaglia knew the leading figures of thought, arts and science that lived in the city at the time. In 1888 Sinigaglia began to travel: after spells in several European cities, from 1894 he lived in Vienna, where he associated with Johannes Brahms from whom he developed a taste for so-called absolute music, studying with Eusebius Mandyczewski. In these years he wrote several Lieder and the Concerto for violin and orchestra, opus 20. From 1900 he worked in Prague with Antonín Dvořák (whom he possibly met through his friendship with the Bohemian Quartet in Vienna). His productivity diminished progressively in the following decades, during which European music underwent far-reaching changes. He died during the Second World War, in tragic circumstances: his Jewish origins made him subject to the persecutions of the Nazi police who occupied Turin during 1944; despite his 75 years he was to be sent to Germany as slave labour, but suffered a fatal heart attack at the moment of his arrest.