The viaLibri website requires cookies to work properly. You can find more information in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recently found by viaLibri....

An Essay on the History and Theory of Music; and on the qualities, capabilities, and management of the human voice.
London: Whittaker, 1823. Large quarto, including 40 leaves of engraved musical scores continuously paginated with the text; old pencil marginalia, in mid-nineteenth century black half with gilt lettering. A treatise on the art of singing and the philosophy of music by Isaac Nathan, fondly remembered as the 'father of Australian music'.By most accounts a witty and vivacious character, Nathan was a scholar of Aboriginal music, composer of the first opera written in Australia, and a prominent figure in Sydney social circles. Born in Canterbury in 1790, Nathan's father was a singer in the local synagogue and instructed his son in the lore of traditional Jewish music. Throughout his life, Nathan forged links between Jewish music and mainstream European culture. In this respect he is best remembered for his collaboration with Lord Byron on the Hebrew Melodies of 1815. Nathan composed the scores for Byron's verse (including the enduring She Walks in Beauty) and the book was a resounding success for decades to follow.Following Byron's self-imposed exile and early death, Nathan continued to work as a singing instructor and composer. Nathan struggled with gambling debts throughout the late 1830s and finally sought a fresh start in Australia in 1841. He burst upon the parochial Sydney scene and quickly established a reputation as a singing teacher, composer, and vibrant conversationalist. Nathan was the first to record and memorialize Aboriginal music and in 1847 composed Don Juan of Austria, the first opera written and produced in Australia.An Essay on the History and Theory of Music is an example of this fruitful cultural exchange, including illuminating detail on the history of Jewish melodies. It includes a table of Hebrew accents as pronounced by both Spanish and German (i.e. Sephardic and Ashkenazy) Jews accompanied by an engraved musical score. In this book Nathan insists that poetry and music are inseparable: 'Harmony prevails throughout the works of our Creator; it is perceivable in all living things, even to the minutest fibre of the smallest field-flower, and it is their just and symmetrical proportions which delight us by throwing a pleasing harmony over the whole. In poetry, sublimity of ideas, brilliancy of imagination, and the reasoning of philosophy, would be nothing if the versification did not strike in sweet numbers on the ear.' Nathan played an important role in the advancement of Australian music as the Sydney scene became increasingly cosmopolitan following the end of convict transportation. Possessing mercurial curiosity (evidenced in the present book by an entire chapter concerning the effect of music upon animals), he was a successful ambassador for Jewish culture in both England and Australia.This copy is from the library of the Australian bibliophile and publisher Walter Stone, with his bookplate. An original early twentieth century photograph of Isaac Nathan's engraved tombstone is pasted to the front endpaper. Nathan died tragically in 1864, the first fatality of a horse-drawn tram in Sydney. The Australian Dictionary of Biography records he was buried in Camperdown cemetery. Neat marginal repair of three leaves; a good copy.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2017-03-03           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    


Browse more rare books from the year 1823

      Home     Wants Manager     Library Search     562 Years   Links     Contact      Search Help      Terms of Service      Privacy     

Copyright © 2018 viaLibri™ Limited. All rights reserved.