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MARSH, S.H. [STEPHEN HALE]. - The Australian Valse, composed for the opening of the Government House, Sydney ...

London, Boosey & Co [184-?]. Sheet music 34x25cm, disbound; title leaf with handcoloured lithograph view (by Marsh's brother-in-law Skinner Prout) and 9pp of engraved music. Some marks and signs of use, pretty good. ¶ In the papers of Marsh's son George in the Huntington Library, Marsh is described as court musician to Queen Victoria - a nice example of self-aggrandisement and family myth seeping into ostensible fact. Did anyone wonder how a bankrupt music seller of Bristol got invited to Victoria's court? In any case, continual re-invention was a skill as necessary as delicate touch on the harp for most performers and composers whose ambitions outweigh their fame or patrons. Marsh arrived in Sydney in 1842, preceded by accounts of his celebrated performances and compositions, and set himself up in short-lived grandeur. Much of the next decade seems to have been spent in a blow-for-blow musical feud with Isaac Nathan. By the 1860's he was managing the Melbourne branch of his brother Henry's music publishing business and by the mid seventies the Marsh clan were all in California. I don't mean to imply that Marsh was insignificant. He and Nathan were the closest thing Australia had to 'real' composers for some time and he was busy. He remains overshadowed by Nathan but having never heard anything but some of Nathan's hardly riveting Don John I can't judge how good either of them were. I'd guess neither was any Schumann. Graeme Skinner posits that this piece was for the 1843 Queen's birthday celebration held in the still unfinished government house but wasn't printed until later in forties.
AUD 500.00 [Appr.: EURO 320.75 US$ 385.56 | £UK 277 | JP¥ 41646] Book number 10603

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