A large vintage portrait photograph of Australian-born composer Percy Grainger, signed by him with a warm inscription and musical sentiment. Percy GRAINGER.

A large vintage portrait photograph of Australian-born composer Percy Grainger, signed by him with a warm inscription and musical sentiment

The inscription reads in full: 'To dear Harry, in warm admiration of his true genius, thanking him for his glorious first performance of "The Lost Lady", & in happy memory of one of the few electric concerts of my life (June 2). His friend, Percy, June 1938'. The musical sentiment that follows comprises the first three bars of 'The Lost Lady Found', the sixth movement of Grainger's 'Lincolnshire Posy', a collection of folk songs arranged for concert band. Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961) is well-known for his work in collecting folk music and experimentation with early electronic instruments; the inscription is singularly apposite. The 'Australian Dictionary of Biography' notes that 'In the latter part of his life, Grainger's surplus energy and time were directed into two large-scale projects: the completion and arrangement of his museum in Melbourne [opened in 1938], and his White Plains-based experiments in what he called "free music". In pursuit of the imagined sound of his free music, a music unconstrained by fixed pitch, regular metre and human performance, he built mechanical music machines which combine the makeshift and the futuristic'. The gelatin silver photograph (an impressive 330 × 250 mm) is signed and dated by the photographer Frederick Morse ('Morse 1937', written in ink on the bottom right-hand corner of the image). 'After World War 1, Frederick Morse, a young professional photographer, built a house next door to Percy and Rose Grainger in White Plains, New York. He produced many of Grainger's promotional photographs during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s as well as informally documenting the Grainger household and Percy's eclectic pursuits. Their association became close, with Morse periodically working as Percy's secretary and as an occasional wrestling partner' (Brian Allison, 'Grainger Photographs', University of Melbourne Library Journal, 2000). The photograph has a little silvering-out to the lower right-hand portion, and its edges are a little darkened with a few trifling chips; overall it is in excellent condition. (We currently have in stock three volumes in 'The Dolmetsch Collection of English Consorts' series, scored for modern string instruments by Grainger, all warmly inscribed with different sentiments to 'Harry ... from Percy. Oct 1944'. We have been unable to identify the recipient, but definitely not for want of trying).

Item #105365

Price (AUD): $4,000.00