Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Price: $250.00

FINE CONDITION

Autographed postcard photograph of the Bank of England and Royal Exchange from the Mansion House with a two bar musical quotation of the opening of the composer, conductor and pianist’s 3rd Symphony in C minor “The Scandinavian”, February, 1904. We offer with a half length vintage postcard portrait of the composer.

 

Cowen (1852-1935) born Cohen came into the world on the island of Jamaica.  His father was a musical administrator and after the family moved to London, he was appointed Treasurer of Her Majesties Opera.  His father’s position allowed the young Cowen to hear music regularly.  A child prodigy, he published his first work, a waltz at 6 and completed his first operetta, “Garibaldi” with his older sister’s libretto at the age of 8. He studied piano with Julius Benedict and composition with organist John Goss, who also taught Sullivan, Bridge and Stainer.  His debut as a concert pianist took place in a recital at the age of 11 at Her Majesties Theatre in 1863.  His father became private secretary to the Earl of Dudley who had a large concert hall in his home and the young Cowen gave a further recital at Dudley House the following year with Joseph Joachim and
Alessandro Pezze, where he played solo works and accompanied the pair of musicians in a Trio of his own composition.  He won the Mendelssohn Prize in 1865, but his parent thought he was too young to go to Leipzig to study by himself.  Ignaz Moscheles, then the head of the Leipzig Conservatory stepped in and convinced his parents and they finally relented and off to the Leipzig Conservatory he went to study with Moscheles, Louis Plaidy, Carl Reinecke, Ernst Richter, Moritz Hauptmann and Ferdinand David.  The Austro-Prussian War in 1866 cut his time in Leipzig short, though he gained a superb musical education whilst he was there. He returned to Berlin once the war was over the following year and studied in Berlin with Carl Taussig, Friedrich Kiel and Carl Taubert at the Stern Conservatory. Essentially, Cowen followed in the footsteps of his slightly older colleague, Sir Arthur Sullivan with both British and German training, including a number of the same professors.  Up and to this point he was known chiefly as a concert pianist, but that all changed in 1869 when his 1st Symphony and his 1st Piano Concerto were performed. At that point he was taken seriously as a composer in Britain.  Cowen was  prolific in a number of classical genres in addition to orchestral works, chamber, opera and operetta, oratorio, choral and song. 

 

His 3rd Symphony in C minor, known as “The Scandinavian” was composed and first performed in England in 1880 and put him on the international map.  For about a decade, the symphony in four moments which lasts around 39 minutes was regularly programmed internationally.  He followed up with two more symphonies, one in 1884 and the other in 1887.  While he continued to write for large orchestral ensembles in mainly suites, his fame after the turn of the Century moved to popular and art songs; over 300!  The press nicknamed him the British Schubert! 

 

Great autograph of a once popular symphony with fine examples of the work on YouTube.     

FREDERICK HYMEN COWEN - COMPOSER
Text Box: COMPOSER AUTOGRAPHS

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247