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Ferdinand David » Introduction et Variations sur un thème russe

Printed editions of Ferdinand David’s own compositions in the Uppingham Collection Among the most tantalising of the items in the Uppingham Collection is a 12-folio fragment including copies of Ferdinand David’s own compositions. This clearly comes from a bound volume, which may well have included copies of the violin part of many, most, or all his works for violin and orchestra/piano. The fragment currently consists of two complete pieces and the title page of a third: Introduction et Variations sur un thème Russe op. 6; Introduction et Variations sur un thème de F. Schubert op. 15; and the title page (only) of the Andante et Scherzo Capricioso op. 16. Each piece has the F.D stamp in the top right-hand corner of the title page and the title pages are numbered consecutively 7-9 in pencil at the top centre of the page, indicating that the volume originally began with six more works. Although the opus numbers in the existing fragment are successive, they need not have been so throughout the volume; indeed, only three, or possibly four other violin pieces (the identity of op. 1 has not yet been ascertained) precede op. 6, and between opp. 6 and 15 David published several other violin pieces. Since all three pieces in the fragment were published by Breitkopf und Härtel it is possible that the other pieces in the original volume were arranged by publisher. The two complete pieces in the fragment contain numerous markings by David, which were evidently made before the individual numbers were bound together, since an annotation in the top margin of op. 15 has been cropped during the binding process.

Both complete pieces reveal David making post-publication revisions to his compositions, not just in respect of bowing or fingering, but in respect of musical content. The revisions seem to have taken place in two phases; in op. 6 they are in blue crayon and pencil and in op. 15 in orange crayon and pencil.

[C. B.]

Opus No: op. 6

Editor(s) Title Publisher Publication No. Year
David, Ferdinand Introduction et Variations sur un thème russe Breitkopf & Härtel 1838 View