Aloys Fuchs

Austrian musicologist and collector of music, 1799-1853

Aloys Fuchs was one of the most important music researchers and music collectors of the 19th century. In 1820, he began to build up his collection of music and autographs, which according to his own account only few years before his death, includes 1400 autographs (mostly complete works) by Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and others. He was considered the greatest expert in music manuscripts among contemporaries. His confirmations of authenticity for Mozart autographs are still important today. After his death, a large part of his collection came to the Royal Library at Berlin, another part could be acquired in 1853 from the library of the Austrian Benedictine Göttweig Abbey.


Fuchs, Aloys

Musikforscher und Autographensammler (1799-1848). Autograph letter signed. Wien. 30.3.1844. 8vo. 4 pp. Braune und rote Tinte, Unterstreichungen, leicht gebräunt.
$ 5,012 / 4.500 € (61451)

To a friendly collector about the acquisition of autographs and the creation of his autograph collection, which was considered one of the most important of his time. - Brown and red ink, small underlinings, slightly browned.

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Fuchs, Aloys

Sein Album mit 115 eigenh. Eintragungen von Komponisten, Musikern und Musikfreunden aus den Jahren 1817/1830 bis 1851.
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An extraordinary album assembling 115 musical manuscripts signed by many of the foremost composers of the first half of the 19th century, focusing on but not limited to the Viennese musical scene, including Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Lortzing, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Rossini, Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann. Aloys Fuchs was a civil servant in the Vienna Hofkriegsrat (Aulic War Council), where his immediate superior was the distinguished musicologist Raphael Georg Kiesewetter. Fuchs compiled important early catalogues of the works of Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, and others, occasionally sang as a bass in the court chapel choir, and was appointed a member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in 1829. He began to assemble his enormous musical collection and library around the year 1820. For the plentiful valuable autographs and manuscripts it contained, it was hailed as “one of the largest and most valuable private collections in Europe” (cf. MGG IV, p. 1074). It was dispersed by sale after his death, but “the greater part went to the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek in Berlin; lesser amounts were acquired by the Bendictine Foundation at Göttweig (Lower Austria); others were sold through second-hand booksellers” (New Grove VII, p. 1). Only a small fraction remains in private hands. “A singular feature of the Fuchs Collection were four guest-books (albums)” (Schaal, Autographen der Wiener Musiksammlung, p. 13), of which the present book was by far the largest and most encompassing specimen. Fuchs began the album in 1830 with 85 leaves (170 pages) of eight-stave paper as a musical friendship album for his famous guests: the first entry was penned by Ignaz Lachner on 4 Sept. 1830, the last by G. D. Duprato on 28 Dec, 1851. In all, 80 entries are dated. Several entries (some in-8vo) were added and intercalated, bringing the final page count to 242. Three items were transferred from another of Fuchs’s albums, formerly owned by the musicologist Franz Sales Kandler and acquired by Fuchs after Kandler’s death in 1831: those of Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven, and H. Woržischek. The Schubert song “Der Blumen Schmerz” is transferred from an unidentified album, as may also be the “Canone” by Muzio Clementi. With these few exceptions, all entries were inscribed for Fuchs personally. The fine calligraphy of the title-page and index are the work of the same calligrapher whom Kandler had employed for his own album. A “collector’s note” prefixed to the title was added by the same scribe in 1832, advising the reader that the contributions of Archduke Rudolph and Beethoven were acquired after the title was composed and Fuchs did not presume to a personal friendship with either of these eminent men, but had wished to glorify his album by including these relics. The six-page index lists 108 contributors (from no. 98 onwards they are in Fuchs’s own hand), and seven more are added in pencil, bringing the sum to 115. The most outstanding entries in the album include: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). “Gesang der Mönche” (“Rasch tritt der Tod den Menschen an”) for two tenors and bass, from Schiller’s “Wilhelm Tell” (WoO 104). 3 May 1817. Oblong 8vo, 3 pp., 10 staves. 12 bars in c minor, marked “Ziemlich langsam” (“Maelzels Zeitmeßer 126”). Inscribed to Kandler at the end: “aus Schillers Wilhelm Tell / zum Angedenken mit Tönen begleitet für Hrn Fr. v. Kandler von Ludwig van Beethoven 1817 am 3ten May. Auch zur Erinnerung an den schnellen unverhoften Tod unseres Krumpholz” (referencing the “the sudden and unexpected death” of the violinist Wenzel Krumpholz, who had died suddenly the previous day, which had deeply upset Beethoven). Robert Schumann discovered the piece in Fuchs’s album in November 1838 and published it in June 1839 in the “Sammlung von Musikstücken alter und Neuer Zeit”, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, 6. Fuchs published on the composition in the “Allgemeine Wiener Musikzeitung” of 31 March 1846. Frederic Chopin (1810–1849). “Mazur” (op. 7 no. 3). 20 June 1831. 4to, 4½ pp., 8 staves. Mazurka in f minor for piano. Signed and dated at the end: “F. Chopin / Vienne ce 20/6 1831”. Chopin visited Vienna for the second time in late November 1830; he remained there until 20 July 1831. He visited Fuchs twice and presented him with the manuscript of his Rondo, while Fuchs offered him a Beethoven manuscript. Muzio Clementi (1752–1832). “Canone”. No place or date. Oblong 8vo, 1 p., 8 staves. Canon for four voices, 24 bars in C major. Franz Liszt (1811–1886). Improvisation (series of diminshed seventh chords). Signed “Wien / 23 Februar / [1]840 / F. Liszt”. Oblong 8vo, 1 p., 2 staves; blindstamped floral borders. Albert Lortzing (1801–1851). “Lied des Knappen Veit aus der Oper: Undine”. Leipzig, 22 July 1845. Voice with piano accompaniment. Inscribed “Zu freundlicher Erinnerung an den Komponisten / Albert Lortzing”. 4to, 1 p. The end of the song “Vater, Mutter, Brüder, Schwestern”. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847). “Auf der Fahrt” (re-titled “Scheidend”, op. 9, no. 6) for voice and piano. Signed “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy”. No date. 4to, 3 pp., 8 staves. The present copy departs from the printed version, especially in the accompaniment. Mendelssohn held Fuchs in high regard for his wide knowledge and frequent assistance. Otto Nicolai (1810–1849). Canon for four voices (G major, 4/4 time) based on the words: “Mein lieber Fuchs, ich sag’ dir flugs: Du bist so schlau als wie ein Luchs.” Signed “Otto Nicolai Kapellmeister des K. K. Hof-Operntheaters. Wien 18 Jan 1838”. 4to, 1 p. 8 staves. Nicolai succeeded Conradin Kreutzer as Court Kapellmeister in Vienna from 1841 to 1847; from 1847 to 1849 he was conductor of the Cathedral Choir and Kapellmeister of the Royal Opera in Berlin. Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868). Humoristic canon for four voices (“Canon”, E major, 6/8 time) based on the words “Or chè si oscuro il ciel ... G Rossini / Parigi li 4 Aprile 1832”; inscribed “à Monsieur Fux”. 4to, 1 p., 4 staves. Franz Schubert (1797–1828). Song “Der Blumen Schmerz” (op. 173, no. 4) for voice and piano. Title written by Schubert, signed and dated: “Der Blumen Schmerz. 1821 Sept. Frz Schubert mpr”. Oblong 8vo, 4 ff. (= 8 pp.), 12 staves. Cf. p. 160 in Nottebohm’s catalogue. Published in Breitkopf & Härtel’s edition, series XX, no. 399, based on the present autograph. Robert Schumann (1810–1856). First part of No. 7 (g minor) of the “Davidsbündlertänze”, op. 6. Untitled, with the instruction “Mit vielem Ausdruck”, inscribed “Erinnerung an / Robert Schumann / Wien, den 8ten November/ 1838.” 4to, 1 p, 8 staves. Schumann was in Vienna from the beginning of October 1838 until early April 1839; there he met Aloys Fuchs and saw his collection. The “Davidsbündlertänze” were published by Robert Friese in Leipzig in 1838, at Schumann’s expense. Clara Schumann (1819–1896). The first 12 bars from her “Hungarian Rondo” (g minor, 2/4 time, Allegro moderato) for piano. “Ungarisches Rondo, geschrieben zu Wien im Januar 1838. Clara Wieck.” 4to, ½ p., 8 staves. Clara’s entry is added below Chopin’s Mazurka in f minor (see above). The “Hungarian Rondo” remained unpublished. Gasparo Spontini (1774–1851). The first 7¼ bars from Julia’s prayer “ò des infortunés déesse tutelaire Latone” from the second Finale of the opera “La Vestale”. Voice with accompaniment. Untitled, with the instruction “Andantino sost[enut]o”, inscribed “Je ne sais pas au juste si je m’en suis bien rappelle [!] / Spontini Vienne ce 12 7bre 1827”. 4to, 1 p., 10 staves. Further noteworthy contributors include: Joseph Böhm (1795–1876, Jospeh Joachim’s violin instructor). “Caprice” (g minor, 4/4 time) for solo violin. 10 Oct. 1831. Johann Baptist Cramer (1771–1858, pianist). “Petit Souvenir” (f sharp minor) for piano. 25 October 1836. Friedrich Curschmann (1805–1841, song composer). “Altes Volkslied” (“Schätzelein, es kränket mich”) for voice and piano. 4 Dec. 1833. Theodor Döhler (1814–1856, pianist). Etude (a minor, ¾ time) for piano. 22 Dec. 1837. John Field (1782–1837, pianist and composer). 23 bars of a piece for piano (Nocturne?, C major, ¾ time). 13 August 1835. Friedrich v. Flotow (1812–1883). The first 4 bars from the Bandits’ Duet from Act II of the opera “Alessandro Stradella”. Voice with accompaniment. [After 1845.] Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763–1850). 26 bars from the arietta “Mir leuchtet die Hoffnung” from the comical opera “Der Augenarzt” (1811). Piano reduction. Signed “Adalbert Gyrowetz 1845 / In seinem 83sten Lebens-Jahre.” Moritz Hauptmann (1792–1868). “Lied von Uhland” (“O Tannenbaum, du edles Reis”) for voice and piano. With note by Fuchs: “für meine Sammlung geschrieben, vor seiner Abreise nach Italien. Wien den 15. Septbr [1]829.” Georg Hellmesberger the Elder (1800–1873, instructor to Ernst, Joachim, Auer). Violin étude (d minor, 4/4 time), dated “1830” by Fuihs. Adolph Henselt (1814–1889). Untitled piece for piano (c minor, ¾ time). 20 March (no year). Louis dit Aimé Maillart (1817–1871, French opera composer). Theme from his “Sinfonia della vendetta” (c minor), piano reduction. 19 July 1844. Eduard Marxsen (1806–1887, Brahms’s theory instructor). “Canone a quatro” (a flat major, 2/2 time) based on the words “Vita brevis ars longa”. 28 April 1834. The “elder Müller quartet”: Carl (1797–1873), Georg (1808–1855), Gustav (1799–1855), and Theodor Müller (1802–1875). The first 12 bars from Beethoven’s string quartet in F major (op. 18, no. 1). Each of the four brothers entered his own part of the quartet. Undated. Ferdinand Ries (1784–1838, Beethoven’s student). “Canone a tre all' Unisono” (c minor, 4/4 time). Rome, 8 January 1833. Bernhard Romberg (1767–1841, cellist). The first 13 bars from “Der Traum” (“das, was ich am liebsten spiele”) for cello and piano. 14 March 1833. Archduke Rudolph of Austria, archbishop of Olmütz (1788–1831, Beethoven’s student and patron). “Capriccio” (d flat major, 2/4 time, “Andante”, 72 bars) for piano. 6 June 1817. Johann Schenk (1753–1836, Beethoven’s harmony instructor). “Romanze” (“Bei Otto Graf von Liebenstein”) for voice and piano. Friedrich Schneider (1786–1853). “Kyrie eleison” (f minor, 4/4 time) for four voices. Inscribed “comp. 18 Aug. 1829. / Augsburg.” Ferdinand Schubert (1794–1859, the elder brother of Franz). “Pleni sunt coeli” from the mass in F major for choir with instruments. 14 Jan. 1832. Ludwig Schunke (1810–1834, piano composer, close friend of Robert Schumann). The first 13 bars of a “Marcia funebre” in d minor for piano. 28 October 1833. Simon Sechter (1788–1867, teacher of Anton Bruckner). Three-part fugue (c minor, ¾ time, “Energico”) based on the name “Fuchs”, 15 March 1831. Adrien François Servais (1807–1866, Belgian cellist). 6 bars from “Fantaisie romantique” for cello, “un petit Souvenir offert à M. Fouchx [!]”. 23 March 1842. Friedrich Silcher (1789–1860). Melody (E flat major, 6/8 time) of his “Lorelei / von H. Heine.” With the words of the first two verses. Leopold v. Sonnleithner (1797–1873, a friend and patron of Franz Schubert). “Kyrie eleison” (c minor, ¾ time) “Aus meiner im Jahre 1817 componirten / Messe.” Piano reduction of the entire movement. 30 March 1831. Sigismund Thalberg (1812–1871). “Canon” in C major, 2/2 time, for piano. Henri Vieuxtemps (1820–1881) “Chant du Concerto de H. Vieuxtemps / qu’il a composé à Vienne”. The first bars of the theme in B major from the 1st violin concerto (E major, op. 10). Solo voice with pizzicato bass (cello). Joseph Weigl (1766–1846). Melody of the song “Laßt uns standhaft die Trennung ertragen”. As well as: Joseph Drechsler (26 Feb. 1838), Johann Gänsbacher (21 April 1831), Fr. A. Gevaert (8 Jan. 1852), Adolf Hesse (5 June 1831), Leopold Jansa (no date), Alexander Klengel (1 March 1834), Antoine de Kontski (2 Dec. 1833), Ignaz Lachner (4 Sept. 1830), Wenzel Müller (16 May 1827), Heinrich Proch (4 Sept. 1834), Benedikt Randhartinger (no date), Xaver Schnyder von Wartensee (26 July 1839), Ignaz v. Seyfried (1 Feb. 1833), Joh. Hugo Woržischek (“Lebewohl-Lied”, 29 April 1817). Provenance: 1) Aloys Fuchs (compiler); 2) acquired by Fuchs’s friend, the pianist and composer Sigismund Thalberg (1812–71), shortly before Fuchs’s death; 3) sold to the Frankfurt jeweller Louis Koch (1862–1930); 4) by descent to his wife Maria Floersheim-Koch (1895–1955); 5) consigned to Stargardt by her heirs and auctioned at Sale 667 (26 Nov. 1997, lot 779); 6) acquired by the Japanese trade; 7) subsequently in the Museum of the Osaka Aoyama University until 2012; 8) acquired by Collections Aristophil. References: Georg Kinsky, Manuskripte, Briefe, Dokumente von Scarlatti bis Stravinsky. Katalog der Musikautographen-Sammlung Louis Koch (Stuttgart, 1953), no. 349 (pp. 330–337). Richard Schaal, Quellen und Forschungen zur Wiener Musiksammlung von Aloys Fuchs (Graz, 1966), p. 67, Album no. III. The same, “Die Autographen der Wiener Musiksammlung von Aloys Fuchs”, in: Haydn Yearbook VI (1969), pp. 5–191, here at pp. 7 f., 13 f. (album III) and passim s.v. Katalog der autographischen Sammlung von Sigismund Thalberg (Naples, Iride, 1872), p. 20 ff. Wurzbach vol. 44 (1882), p. 130 (“das dritte Volumen”). Ingrid Fuchs, “Aloys Fuchs (1799–1853): A Private Collector’s As a Public Institution”, in: Collecting Music: Stories of a Passion (Turnhout, 2010).