Barber, Samuel. First Symphony (In One Movement). New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1943. G. Schirmer’s Edition of Study Scores of Orchestral Works & Chamber Music, No 32, First edition, signed; [title-page, verso gives instrumentation, information about first performances in Europe and the United States, duration time; 97 pages], full-score, Opus 9, Schirmer plate number 40720, copyright 1943. This copy was signed, inscribed and dated by Samuel Barber: “To my boss and friend Dan Saidenberg Samuel Barber June 1944”. 26 cm. x 19cm. Cover was de-acidified and mended, and the book block resewn. Very good and a usable reading copy. A rare early inscription on an early work to an important musician when both men were in the U.S. Army.
Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981) was one of the most celebrated composers of the twentieth century. Barber was a triple prodigy in voice, piano, and composition, entering the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia at age 14. Best remembered internationally for his hauntingly beautiful Adagio for Strings, first championed by Arturo Toscanini, his music has been used at times of national and international crisis to honor the dead and console the living.
The First Symphony dates from 1936 and bears the opus number 9 on the first page of the score. The first performance was by Bernardino Molinari and the Augusteo Orchestra in Rome, December 13, 1936. The first American performance was given by Arthur Rodzinski and the Cleveland Orchestra, January 22, 1937. Samuel Barber enjoyed the distinction for winning the Pulitzer Prize twice, as well as distinguished commissions, such as writing the opera for the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera House in 1966 (Anthony and Cleopatra).
In 1942, Barber joined the Army Air Corps. The dedicatee here is Daniel Saidenberg, a violoncellist in the Philadelphia Orchestra starting in 1926, and in 1930 he was a ‘cellist in the Chicago Symphony. Saidenberg was the first ‘cellist to win the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg International Competition, after which he pursued a solo career; and, in later years, he was a Manhattan gallery owner, known for his sponsorship of faculty recitals at New York’s Juilliard School. He died in 1997 at age 90.