Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Discoveries of Manuscripts, Acquisitions and Sales

This page provides a chronological list of discoveries of manuscripts by Sorabji. It also lists, as they are found (usually in descriptions published in auction catalogues or on Abebooks), acquisitions and sales of items by or related to him. The items belong to the following categories:

  • Musical manuscripts (acquisitions as gifts from the composer or as a result of a purchase at an auction)
  • Letters
  • Inscribed copies of Around Music and Mi contra fa (plain copies are normally not listed)
  • Inscribed copies of published scores (plain copies are normally not listed)
  • Objects (art works and collectibles) from the composer’s collection

The list is divided into two sections:

Items spotted on websites such as Abebooks may be introduced only by a year rather than a fuller date, such as month and year. This happens when the items were discovered serendipitously rather than by receiving an automatic notification, which is an easy way of being kept aware of sales.

Links to the specific pages where items are located in libraries and archives are given whenever possible, but it should be kept in mind that URLs resulting from searches in library databases are often very long and complex and are subject to change. Permanent links (permalinks) are given whenever possible.

Links to the websites of auction houses, like those linking to Abebooks offers, are very likely to have disappeared once a sale has been conclude. There is a possibility that they can be recovered with tools like the Wayback Machine.

Special editions of published works are treated on another page.

Warning: Collectors are warned not to be misled by offers made on websites like Abebooks for bound or “deluxe” copies, which are simply print-on-demand copies.

A plea to private collectors: Private collectors who have acquired manuscripts and other valuable documents relating to Sorabji are strongly encouraged to consider the possibility of eventually turning their treasures to research libraries rather than selling them to second-hand dealers, as this will simply move them from one private collection to another and keep them inaccessible to scholars for research purposes. Their heirs, or their representatives, may not be in a position to properly assess the significance of such documents for scholarship and could find it difficult to dispose of them properly.

Discoveries of Manuscripts

1970s: The manuscripts of several previously unknown early works are discovered to be part of a private collection, thereby putting to rest the legend spread by his friend and dedicatee Clinton Gray-Fisk in his Musical Times article of April 1960 that Sorabji had burnt “a mass of juvenilia”:

Also part of this group are the first manuscript of Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.) and that of “Pantomine” from Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.).

1987: Alistair Hinton discovers the manuscript of the previously unknown Concerto pour piano et orchestra da camera [no. 3] (1918; 100 pp.); acquired in 1994 by the Paul Sacher Stiftung.

1988: Alistair Hinton receives from his friend and dedicatee Christopher à Becket Williams’s daughter the score of the previously unknown Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no.] III [no. 6] (1922; 144 pp.); acquired in 1994 by the Paul Sacher Stiftung.

1989: Clive Spencer-Bentley discovers in an antiquarian bookshop in southern England a previously unknown Sorabji letter of 1963 to that bookshop inserted in a copy of Mi contra fa. This leads Alistair Hinton to establish that pp. 1-24 of what would become known as Sonata no. 0 (1917; 30 pp.) had been acquired by a private collector in the early 1960s. Thanks to the instrumentality of the record producer Chris Rice, Alistair Hinton was asked to authenticate various manuscripts purchased in the 1970s in a street market by another private collector:

A fuller description of the events leading to the reassembling of the manuscript of Sorabji’s early sonata can be found in a posting by Alistair Hinton on the Sorabji Group (31 March 2003).

March 1991: Alistair Hinton receives from Harold Morland three manuscripts:

18 June 1999: Marc-André Roberge locates the manuscript of Opus secretum atque necromanticum (1980-81; 48 p.), which was reported as unknown in Paul Rapoport’s catalogue of works (SCC, 173), at Syracuse University (New York), where it had been since December 1982. Roberge also establishes that Sorabji, when he dedicated it to Kenneth Derus, had already dedicated the piece (formerly known only as Opus secretum) to Norman P. Gentieu.

Around September 2000: The manuscript of a formerly unknown first version of Rapsodie espagnole de Maurice Ravel: transcription de concert pour piano (1923; 16 pp.) is purchased by the Pierpont Morgan Library (New York) from Lisa Cox Music (Exeter, Devon).

11 May 2004 at the latest: The previously unknown Fragment: Prelude and Fugue on FxAxx DAxEx (1926; 3 pp.), a brief work written in 1926 as a wedding present for a friend named Frank G. Davey, is purchased by a private collector from the dealer Jonathan Gibbs (Malvern, Worcestershire), with a catalogue price of USD 832.26 (equivalent of the price in British pounds).

19 September 2006: Marc-André Roberge locates the heiress to the English writer Robert Malise Bowyer Nichols and learns that the manuscript of the libretto The Rider by Night, written for Sorabji, had been for some time in the Manuscripts Department of the British Library, where it is still in an uncatalogued collection. The first edition of the libretto is now available as part of Roberge’s edition of Sorabji’s work (Sorabji Archive, 2008).

October 2006: Alistair Hinton learns that the leather-bound manuscript of Chaleur—​Poème (1916-17; 32 pp.), of which only a copyist’s copy was known, is in a private collection. The work is offered by Sotheby’s (sale L07408, 4 December 2007, lot 131 of 133) but fails to meet its reserve price of GBP 4,000. The manuscript is subsequently acquired by the Paul Sacher Stiftung in 2008.

23 April 2008: Marc-André Roberge, while browsing the Sorabji entries in the online catalogue of Northwestern University, discovers citations for two manuscripts, thus identifying the owner of the first work and bringing to light the existence of the second one.

28 March 2017: Travis & Emery (London) offers, under the title “From an Imaginary String Quartet”, a fragment written as a gift “for my very good friend Francis George Scott”. The existence (but nothing more) of a such musical manuscript received by Scott in October 1926 was known from a letter from the gift’s recipient to Sorabji, dated 30 December 1926. This album leaf had already been offered by the same seller on 28 July 2014 and, previously, by Colin Coleman Music (Stewkley, United Kingdom).

25 September 2019: The manuscript of Toccata terza (1955; 91 p.), long thought to have disappeared, and a piano part for Symphony [no. 1] for Piano, Large Orchestra, Chorus, and Organ (1921-22; 300 pp.), previously unknown to exist, surface, as announced on the Sorabji Forum.

Acquisitions and Sales

Before 30 March 1928: The Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.) receives six manuscripts as a gift from Sorabji:

After 1945 (date unknown): The Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town acquires the manuscript of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.).

29 and 30 November 1966: A copyist’s copy of the piano part for Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] (1920; 144 pp.), from the collection of Alfred Cortot, its dedicatee, is sold at auction for 280 DM. The score was advertised in Autographen aus verschiedenen Besitz. Auktion am 29. und 30. November 1966 in Marburg, Kurhotel Ortenberg — Katalog 577 (Marburg: J. A. Stargardt, 1966), 182, with a price tag of DM 180.

16 June 1973: The British Library acquires the manuscripts of the Music to “The Rider by Night” (1919; 54 pp.) from Philip Heseltine’s son, Nigel; filed under Add. 57966.

1977: The manuscript of Le jardin parfumé: Poem for Piano Solo (1923; 16 pp.) is sold to Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) by H. Baron (London), after having been in their hands for probably several years. The score was advertised in the firm’s Catalogue 100 (“Around the Piano”) with a catalogue price of USD 560.

1 August 1978: The British Library acquires from Raymond Monk the manuscript of the previously unknown Concerto [no. 1] pour piano et grand orchestre (1915-16; 177 pp.); filed under Add. 65183.

March 1988: The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) acquire from Frank Holliday, a former friend of Sorabji, via Bertram Rota (London), a large collection of letters and memorabilia. This collection forms the first accrual of the Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Collection.

1989: The Paul Sacher Stiftung (Basel) acquires at a Sotheby’s auction sale the manuscript of the work now known as Introduction, Passacaglia, Cadenza, and Fugue (1929; compl. Alexander Abercrombie, 2004; 79 pp.). The score was advertised in Music, Continental Manuscripts and Printed Books, Science and Medicine, including the Autograph Manuscript of Turgenev’s “Fathers and Sons”, London, Thursday 18th and Friday 19th May 1989, 255 (item 507), with a reserve price of GBP 600-800.

3 and 4 December 1992: Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) acquires the manuscript of the Third Symphony for Piano Solo (1959-60; 144 pp.) from Sotheby’s. The score was advertised in Continental Printed Books, Manuscripts and Music, comprising Printed Books, Autograph Letters and Manuscripts..., 307 (item 623). The score of the Second Symphony for Organ (1929-32; 350 pp.), advertised as item 624 and offered at a reserve price of GBP 4,000-5,000, finds no buyer; it was to be acquired in 1994 by the Paul Sacher Stiftung.

1994: The Paul Sacher Stiftung (Basel) acquires the collection of Sorabji manuscripts owned by the Sorabji Archive (Bath). A basic catalogue is available as Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji: Musikmanuskripte, Inventare der Paul Sacher Stiftung, no. 15, compiled by Felix Meyer and Sabine Hänggi-Stampfli (Winterthur: Amadeus Verlag, 1995), 16 pp.

1994: Philips, de Pury & Company (New Bond Street, London) offers a copy donated by the composer and BBC producer Robert Simpson (1921-97) of Sonata III for Piano (1922; 75 pp.), “with the composer’s markings in purple ink”. Outcome of sale unknown. Donald Macauley, The Power of Robert Simpson: A Biography (Bloomington: Xlibris Corporation, 2013), 218, writes that Robert Ponsonby, who was the administrator of the Musician’s Benevolent Fund and Simpson’s former boss at the BCC, had asked him for a signed manuscript, but that he sent Sorabji’s score instead of one by himself.

1994: Sotheby’s, as part of a sale of “Continental Manuscripts and Music”, offers a collection of letters (lot 120) to Colin Scott-Sutherland, the biographer of Arnold Bax, by Sorabji. An excerpt of a letter about Bax, Harriet Cohen, and Ireland is reproduced verbatim on the website invaluable.

1998: The National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh) acquires the papers of the composer Ronald Stevenson (Acc. 11567), comprising 87 items of correspondence between Sorabji and Stevenson.

November 1998: The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections at McMaster University acquires from Dr. Cecil Ewing, a professor of ophthalmology who had befriended Sorabji, a collection of letters forming the second accrual of the Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Collection.

26 June 2000: The manuscript of a formerly unknown first version of the Rapsodie espagnole de Maurice Ravel: transcription de concert pour piano (1923; 16 pp.) is purchased by the Pierpont Morgan Library (New York). The score was advertised in Catalogue 38 (Autumn 2000) of Lisa Cox Music (Exeter, Devon) with a catalogue price of GBP 1,500.

8 December 2000: Sotheby’s offers one or two letters by Sorabji to the music critic Ernest Newman, dated “11-20 November 1958” (11 and 20?) as part of sale L00209 (lot 101, identified as “Howells, Herbert. Seven autograph letters by Howells, Sorabji and Bush”). Link <http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetailPrintable.jsp?lot_id=37CM2> no longer active. Current location unknown.

2002: Christie’s, as part of a sale of “English and Continental Furniture, Tapestries and Works of Art”, offers an “Edwardian travelling ivory Staunton pattern chess set in a fitted rosewood box”, inlaid with a plaque inscribed with the name Kaikhosru Sorabji MCMXXVI. Accompanied by a letter by Sorabji, saying that the box and board were “made to commission”. Outcome of sale unknown.

June 2005: The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections at McMaster University acquires from Paul Rapoport the collection of Norman P. Gentieu, an American friend and dedicatee of Sorabji, a large collection of letters. This collection forms the third accrual of the Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Collection.

23 May 2007: Sotheby’s, as part of a sale of “Printed and Manuscript Music” (lot 165), offers five letters by Sorabji in defence of Rachmaninov, dated 26 February to 1 November 1941. Also includes a page-proof of a letter by Clinton Gray-Fisk to The Musical Times, one letter from William McNaught and one unsigned carbon copy of another letter. Hammer price with buyer’s premium: GBP 660. Current owner unknown.

2009: RR Auction (Amherst, NH), as part of as sale entitled “RR Auction Monthly Autograph Auction #352” (lot 708), offers five detailed letters to William McNaught, editor of The Musical Times, dated from 1941. Accompanied by a printer’s proof of a review, a letter from McNaught to Sorabji, and an unsigned letter (by McNaught) to Sorabji. Excerpts are quoted in the sale’s documentation. Outcome of sale unknown.

July 2009: Schubertiade Music (Newton, MA) offers a copy of The Meaning of the Glorious Koran: An Explanatory Translation by Marmaduke Pickthall (London: Alfred Knopf, 1930) containing an inscription to Alec Rowley by Sorabji, dated 16 April 1932. The catalogue entry include a picture of the inscription. Marked as sold as of September 2018.

19 October 2009: A copy of the published score of Concerto for Piano and Orchestra [no. 5] (1920; 144 pp.) bearing an inscription to the conductor Walther Straram (1876-1933), is offered by Alde (Paris) in its catalogue Musique: Vente aux enchères publiques. Le lundi 19 octobre 2009 à 14 h 00..., 90 (no. 388); see a description on Invaluable. Now in a private collection.

1 December 2010: The manuscript of Il tessuto d’arabeschi (1979; 32 pp.) is sold at auction by Sotheby’s (hammer price with buyer’s premium: GBP 2,750) as part of a sale of Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts (sale L10406, lot 85 of 140); see also a description on Invaluable.

May 2011: Travis & Emery (London) offers on AbeBooks.com a copy of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) bearing the ownership stamp of Edmund Rubbra, who had reviewed the score of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) for the Monthly Musical Record in 1932. Outcome of sale unknown.

April 2012: Jonathan Gibbs Books (Worcestershire, United Kingdom) offers on AbeBooks.com a postcard dated 27 May 1972 to a Mr. Wright about Medtner records.

June 2012: Travis & Emery (London) offers on AbeBooks.com a copy of Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.) signed by the composer and inscribed to Francis George Scott.

12 June 2012:

4 July 2012: Bonhams, of New Bond Street (London), as part of a sale of “British and European Ceramics, Glass & Asian Art” (auction 20054, lot 322), sells for GBP 687 what is described as an “Chinese brass dragon incense burner, 19th century”, formerly the property of Sorabji.

5 July 2012: Bonhams, of New Bond Street (London), as part of a sale of “Fine European Furniture, Sculpture and Works of Art” (auction 20017, lot 134), sells for GBP 13,750 what is described as a “Roman 19th century micromosaic panel depicting Pliny’s Doves”, formerly the property of Sorabji.

18 December 2012: Bonhams, of New Bond Street (London), as part of a sale of “Fine Watches and Wristwatches” (auction 19810, lot 258), sells for GBP 5,000 what is described as a “fine and interesting 18ct gold bracelet watch especially commissioned for the composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji”, built around 1937 by the English firm of Charles Frodsham (whose founder lived from 1810 to 1871).

April 2013: Travis & Emery (London) offers on AbeBooks.com a copy of Mi contra fa bearing the inscription “To my dear friend Erik with love from K.” (with three corrections in Sorabji’s hand).

23 April 2013: Bonhams, of New Bond Street (London), as part of a sale of “Islamic and Indian Art” (auction 20833, lot 301), sells for GBP 8,750 what is described as a “repoussé gold tea Caddy[,] India, Kutch”, formerly the property of Sorabji. This had been previously offered as part of auction 20020, lot 242.

September 2013: Travis & Emery (London) offers on AbeBooks.com a copy of Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.) signed by the composer and inscribed to Francis George Scott. See the entry for June 2012, of which this announcement could be a reposting of the same item.

6 June 2015: Bonhams sells in San Francisco, for USD 305,000, two fountain pens described as “Golden Tiger and Black Cat A-Grade Maki-e Fountain Pens, Emperor-Size, Commissioned by Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Signed by Haruo and Mansui, early 1930s” as part of a sale of fine writing instruments (lot 1126). The seller’s webpage includes an extensive essay on the significance of the items and of their provenance. They formerly belonged to Kevin Vicars, to whose mother Sorabji had given them in the 1980s. The pens were housed in a humidor and, according to a note by Denise Vicars, were used to write some of his largest works.

July 2014: Peter Ellis (London) offers on AbeBooks.com a copy of Mi contra fa, signed and dated (VI.V.MCMLVII) by the author.

July 2015: Travis & Emery offers on AbeBooks.com a copy of Nicolas Medtner: A Memorial Volume — A Tribute to His Art and Personality, edited by Richard Holt, in which Sorabji’s contribution is signed.

2016: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of Mi contra fa signed and dated by the author.

2016: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of Nicolas Medtner: A Memorial Volume — A Tribute to His Art and Personality in which Sorabji’s is signed by the author (on p. 122). This may be identical with the item listed above for July 2015.

2016: Henry Pordes Books (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of Mi contra fa containing a printed slip marked in red biro (a kind of ball-point pen dating from 1947) “With compliments to Mr. Desmond Shawe-Taylor. Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji.” The description also mentions that there is “a couplet of verse in the same hand” at the bottom. One or more letters by Sorabji to the music critic Desmond Shawe-Taylor (1907-95) are in the collection of Indiana University.

May 2016: Wool House Books (Beckley, East Sussex) offers on eBay a one-page letter from Sorabji to Yonty Solomon, 17 November 1974.

August 2016: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of Valse-fantaisie for Piano (1925; 16 pp.) signed by the composer.

August 2016: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of Trois fêtes galantes de Verlaine (ca. 1919; 11 pp.) signed by the composer.

September 2016: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of the Hyperion reprint (1979) of Around Music inscribed “Kaikhosru” to Clive [Spencer-Bentley].

[September 2016?]: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of Mi contra fa inscribed “Kaikhosru” to Clive [Spencer-Bentley].

January 2017: A seller identified as “vinyltreasures1” offers on eBay, for GBP 399.99, a copy of Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.) with an inscription reading “For Mr. Emyln Davies:— / fine musician and accomplished organist — / in memory of a splendid performance of ‘Ad Nos ad Salutarem Undam’[.] / [B]est wishes and kindest regards / of Kaikhosru Sorabji / 1926”. The sale ended on 8 January 2017. The listing on the Dutch eBay website offers several pictures not found on the British one. This score was at one time the possession of Yonty Solomon (seen in 1997 at the owner’s house).

March 2017: Colin Coleman Music (Stewkley, United Kingdom) offers on Abebooks.com copies signed by the composer of Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.) and Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.).

April 2017: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks.com a copy of Richard Holt’s book Nicolas Medtner (1879 [n.s. 1880]-1951): A Tribute to His Art and Personality in which Sorabji’s contribution is signed. This may be identical with the item listed above for July 2015 and in 2016.

22 May 2017: Peter Kennedy Antique Books (Surrey; aka pkartandbooks) offers on eBay a card from Yonty Solomon to Sorabji dated 5 July 1977, consisting of a typed side and a handwritten one (in red ink). Images are offered.

Early 2018: An article by Tony Earnshaw, “Sold! Composer’s letters make a grand before they even get to monks’ auction”, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 3 February 2018, reported that letters from Sorabji to the actor George Bethell Datch (1893-1976), which had been donated to Anglican monks of the Community of the Resurrection, has been purchased for GBP 1,000 even before the auction, scheduled to take place on 23 June at the Community of the Resurrection, Stocks Bank Road, Mirfield. The photograph that comes with the article shows copies of the score of Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.) and Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.), the latter much damaged, as well as photographs of Sorabji and press clippings showing Datch. See also the thread entitled “Auction with Sorabji-related items” on the Sorabji Forum, 8 May 2018.

20 March 2018: Christie’s, as part of Live auction 16044 (Modern: British & Irish Art), 21 March 2018, lot 112, sells a drawing in pencil, ink, watercolour, and metallic paint on paper by Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956), described as “An ascending plume of faces, figures and atavistic forms”, dated ca. 1929. Estimated at GBP 10,000-15,000; sold for GBP 20,000. Originally the property of Sorabji, the drawing was initially sold on 25 February 1987 by Sotheby’s (Sussex) as lot 839. From the American art collector Frederick R. Koch (1933-2000), it was sold on 30 October 1997 by Sotheby’s (London) as part of sale “Realms of the Mind: British Fantasy Art and Illustration”, lot 86, and again as described above.

5 April 2018: Schubertiade Music (Newton, MA) offers under no. 13025 copy no. Eleven of Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.) in the special edition on Whatman paper, formerly the property of Carl Engel (1883-1944), chief of the Music Division at the Library of Congress, to which Sorabji had given six of his manuscripts in 1928. The inscription reads “For Mr. Carl Engel with friendly regards and remembrance”. Previously offered in January 2014 by Bradley Ross Books (Los Angeles). Marked as sold as of September 2018.

15 May 2019: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks a copy of Mi contra fa with an inscription reading (reproduced as in the seller’s description) “Have you [.] read this? What??!! No???!!! Gesu-Maria!!! Then its high time you did!! [.] of friend Mr. Anglo-Saxon from Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji.”

{12 October 2019}: Schubertiade (Newton, MA) offers under no. 17751 a copy of Fantaisie espagnole (1919; 23 pp.) in which the composer added his signature in red ballpoint (which the composer was often using in the 1960s and after) on the title page as well as “75p.” below the original retail price blotted out in black by the publisher (Seven shillings and six pence net). He also crossed out (in black) the wrong copyright date (MCMXII) at the bottom of the first page of music and replaced it with “MCMXXII”. The price is set at USD 600. This was previously offered on 13 July 2019 on eBay by a seller named “bossyossy”, who sold it on 19 July 2019 for GBP 199.99. The picture of the final page has ossias giving the possibility that the octaves in the left hand of the last two systems, except for the final sonority, not be C sharp but C natural. This means that most of ending can alternate between tonic and tritone rather than tonic and dominant.

{3 February 2020}: Travis & Emery (London) offers on Abebooks a copy of Prelude, Interlude, and Fugue for Piano (1920, 1922; 17 pp.) previously owned by Yonty Solomon, and bearing two inscriptions: “for my dear friend Yonty, with much love from Alistair [Hinton] (Sept., 1990)”, “this, the very last printed copy of this work is and shall remain the sole property of Yonty Solomon and shall not be given or lent to anyone else under any circumetances [sic?] (.!!).” The price is set at USD 238.83.

18 August 2020: Colin Coleman Music (Stewkley, United Kingdom) offers under no. 13402 (also on Abebooks) a copy of Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.) signed and dated by the composer (iv.iv.MCMLXXI). The price is set at GBP 175.

{10 November 2020}: J. & J. Lubrano Music Antiquarians (Syosset, NY) offers under no. 35825 a copy of Symphony [no. 1] for Organ (1924; 81 pp.) with the (undated) inscription “To Bill Little / Best wishes for an effective performance / George Faxon” on the title page. See also Catalogue 90 (November 1990) (Modern Music: A Collection of Manuscripts and First & Early Editions, 20th Century, Part I) under no. 232. The American organist George Faxon (1913-92) taught at Boston University from 1956 to 1978. Bill (William A.) Little is likely to be the professor emeritus of organ and music at the University of Virginia and the author of Mendelssohn and the Organ (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010). Neither name is known in connection with Sorabji. The price is set at USD 110.

{10 November 2020}: J. & J. Lubrano Music Antiquarians (Syosset, NY) offers under no. 34336 a copy of Sonata seconda for Piano (1920; 49 pp.) with the (undated) inscription “À Monsieur Borowsky avec les compliments de l’auteur” on the title page. Sorabji also crossed out and replaced the publisher’s address there and on the cover. See also Catalogue 90 (November 1990) (Modern Music: A Collection of Manuscripts and First & Early Editions, 20th Century, Part I) under no. 233. The score comes from the collection of the Cairo-born American pianist Mario Feninger (1923-2016), who was a champion of Busoni’s music. The price is set at USD 225. The recipient is obviously the Russian-American pianist Alexander Borowsky (1889-1968), whom Sorabji had called “a pianist of quite extraordinary attainments” (“Music”, The New Age 35, no. 7 [12 June 1924]: 79-81; 80). On the other hand, he wrote two years later that he was very disappointing in Bach’s Concerto in D Minor and that his playing of “hideous arrangement of the Carnival scene from ‘Pétruschka’ was a sad lapse in taste” (“Music”, The New Age 38, no. 26 [29 April 1926]: 308).

21 January 2021: Dominic Winter Auctioners (Cirencester, UK) puts on sale under lot 608 (part of a sale of Children’s Books, Literary Autographs, 19th & 20th Century First Editions) a musical quotation from Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.), written on three staves, in black ink, in the lower-right corner of one of his pages of music paper, consisting of the opening melodic line (with some rhythmic variants), with the inscription “Opening melody of my Opus clavicembalisticum / Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji”. Provenance not mentioned; estimated at GBP 300-400.

{10 February 2021}: Lyon & Turnbull (Edinburgh) puts on sale under lot 242 (Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs, 24th February 2021; see also this link) a set of first proofs to Opus clavicembalisticum (1929-30; 253 pp.), marked “1. Korrektur” and dated 11 July 1931; estimated at GBP 800-1,200.

Last modified: 2021-06-08
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

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