original version of Morte de Tintagiles

Loeffler's original version Morte de Tintagiles


Loeffler, Charles Martin

Notes on one of Loefflers Autographs of works with Viola d′amore held by the LOC

The Library of Congress's Music Division administers the rights to reproduce primary source material of Charles Martin Loeffler, acting as the de facto estate for this material. Authorization to reproduce any of Loeffler's autographs, letters and other material music be sought by contacting the Chief of the Music Division.

Charles Martin Loeffler, an American impressionist composer, had a very lively upbringing, with periods in Russia, Hungary, Germany, France, as well as the USA. He was a performing orchestral violinist (the LOC collection includes his cadenzas for the Brahms, as well as two or three other late Romantic violin concertos,) but he was also a composer. Unusual for his time, he played the viola d'amore, and used it in a number of works, including the following orchestral one.

As there is a recording of his tone poem La Morte de Tintagiles, of the second version of the work for solo viola d'amore and orchestra, Loeffler has a place in the consciousness of viola d'amore players, and also at the margin of the modern classical repertoire. The original 1897 version of this work was for two violas d'amore, and it was this version I focused my attention on this week.

ML 96 .L61 case

La Morth de Tintagiles

Des Tod Des Tintagiles

a Eugene Ysaye

original version Molto Allegro e appassionato, manuscript is fragile, first page torn, but is clean, little evidence of handling. In the folder with this manuscript there is also a Klavier augzug for the two violas amore with 1 to two extra staves for other instruments, for the portions of the work that have solo violas d′amore. This reduction has many emendations in pencil, and bowings in the solo parts. In addition there is a copy of the second solo part, with additions, corrections, and marking (including bowings) in pencil, red and blue pencil. I think the piano reduction may have been a 1st solo part for the original version, as there are bowings and corrections, also in pencil, red and blue pencil.

The card catalog is far from a complete guide to the contents of the Loeffler holdings. There is no mention, for example, of the two manuscript solo parts, which contain much interesting information about Loeffler's manner of composing and also his approach to bowing and musical expression, as a player.

One viola d′amore version was published Schirmer 1905, with a new tempo indication: Allegro Tempestoso

both viola d'amore version manuscripts have been handled enough that the corners of the pages are dirty.

In the original version the two violas d′amore are both equally important; the two d′amore play in thirds a good deal of the time, and their solo entrance is 27 pages into a manuscript of 89 pages.. Their role in the work is more in character of featured solo instruments rather than a concerto like part. The second viola d′amore part is given to solo violin in the second version. None of the solo writing is over virtuosic.

The second version has many more details of harmony, elaboration of passage work, counterpoint, interpretation, including passages where vibrato is specifically requested. Bar 7 after O in version 2, vibrato in upper solo strings, vibrato teneramente in solo cello..The second version also differs in tempo markings and there are new passages. In the second version manuscript in the manila folder, at the the end there is a typed concordance, in German, of the varying names of the instruments in the orchestration, maybe to prepare the score for publication?

There are two manuscript copies of the second version, one bound in calf skin which is turning to reddish dust.

Original verion with two violas d′amore. Picolo, 2 flutes, 2 clarinettes in A, 2 bassoons, bass clarinet 4 horns, (two in C, two in F- manuscript torn) 2 trumpets in D, two cornets a piston in A, three trombones, tuba, 4 tympani in ebdg, tambour militarie, tam-tam, grosse caisse, cymbale, harp, triangle, 2 violes d′amour, 1st and 2nd violins, altos, violoncelles, Contrebasses.

Manuscript in ink with pencil additions, normal pencil and colored pencil

no tuning given in first version, D major with 6 strings given in second manuscript score, and 7 strings in D appear in alternate ink in second copy of second version.