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    Ernst Friedrich Richter's "Manual of
    Simple and Double Counterpoint,
    A Practical Guide to its Study"

    Ernst Friedrich Richter. Lehrbuch des einfachen und doppelten Contrapunkts. Praktische Anleitung zu dem Studium desselben zunächst für das Conservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig. Zweite Auflage. Leipzig: Druck und Verlag von Breitkopf und Härtel, 1875. Second edition (first published in 1872). Octavo (8.125 x 5.0625 inches; 206 x 129 mm.). viii, 172 pages. Issued as the second volume of Richter's Die praktischen Studien zur Theorie der Musik. In drei Lehrbüchern ("Practical Studies on the Theory of Music. In three Textbooks"). Musical notation in the text.
    Contemporary half brown cloth over blue marbled boards. Smooth spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt. Marbled edges. Small label with shelf number (154) on front cover.
    Binding lightly rubbed and darkened at the edges, upper corners lightly bumped, spine faded to a light brown. Front hinge just starting at top and bottom, endpapers lightly foxed and browned at the edges from turn-in glue, slightly over-opened between pages viii and page 1 and between pages 160 and 161, at the stubs for the free endpapers. The text is quite browned, and there is a faint dampstain in the lower blank margin of the last four leaves (pages 166-172), most noticeable on the final leaf. A very good copy. With a pencil annotation on the recto of the series title, and a previous owner's blue ink stamp at head of title: Franz Weiss. From the library of John Carroll Collins, with his booklabel on front pastedown.
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    German musical theorist, teacher, and composer Ernst Friedrich Richter (1808-1879) attended the Gymnasium at Zittau from about 1818. In 1831 he went to Leipzig, where he began to study theology at the university, but soon turned to music. In 1843 he was appointed professor of harmony and counterpoint with Moritz Hauptmann at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music, newly founded by Felix Mendelssohn. From 1843 to 1847 he conducted the Leipzig Singakademie, and after 1850 was organist at several churches. In 1868 he succeeded Hauptmann as cantor of the Thomasschule, conducting the Thomanerchor, an office he held until his death.


    "As a composer, Richter was a classicist whose large choral works were influenced by Mendelssohn and Friedrich Schneider. His best-known compositions were the oratorio Christus der Erlöser (1849) and the cantata Dithyrambe op.48 (1859). He also wrote songs, sacred choral works, an overture, string quartets, organ works, violin and keyboard sonatas, and a cello sonata. Richter's theoretical writing proved immensely popular during the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th. His successful approach is presented in his earliest treatise, Die Grundzüge der musikalischen Formen und ihre Analyse (1851). In its preface, Richter stated his intention to follow the 'practical way to the goal'. Contrary to the extended treatment found in the 'newer composition manuals' (such as those by Gottfried Weber, A.B. Marx and J.C. Lobe), his method treats the subject 'in its most general, most important features and in the shortest, clearest possible demonstration'. Richter's Lehrbuch der Harmonie (1853), adopted as the official textbook at the Leipzig Conservatory, had appeared in 36 editions by 1953 and was translated into nine languages. Each of Richter's basic texts - Lehrbuch der Harmonie, Lehrbuch der Fuge (1859) and Lehrbuch des einfachen und doppelten Kontrapunkts (1872) - presents its material in a single, slim volume that proved suitable for beginners" (Janna Saslaw in Grove Music Online).


    Richter's Lehrbuch des einfachen und doppelten Contrapunkts ("Manual of Simple and Double Counterpoint") was expressly prepared for the Conservatory of Music at Leipzig. It was translated and adapted from the German by Franklin Taylor as Treatise on Counterpoint (Boston: 1874).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    4th Thursday
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