Autograph Musical Quotation on Enormous Wooden Fan Blade.
Oversize decorative fan blade, measuring 2 FEET [60 cm.] in length, inscribed by Mahler with an autograph musical quotation of original music, two measures in Bb, signed "Romigio [Rome] / Gustav Mahler." Extracted from the fan autograph collection assembled 1900 - 1910 by Emma de Schebek, apparently a relation of the Czech violin dealer Edmond de Schebek. The present blade having once followed another dated September, 1909 and preceding the blade dated November, 1910. In very fine condition.
Mahler visited Rome to conduct the Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in March, 1907 and again in April, 1910. Based on the dates of the previously surrounding fan blades, the present quotation was presumably inscribed on this occasion in 1910. The beginning of the theme written here very closely resembles one of the themes from Strauss' Salome, though it does not appear in this key in the opera. Nor does the theme come from any of the works conducted by Mahler in Rome during this visit (as per Knud Martner in "Mahler's Concerts"), which included Wagner (Siegfried Idyll, Tannhäuser Overture), Strauss (Till Eulenspiegel) and Bach-Mahler (Suite for Orchestra) in the first concert, and Tchaikovsky Pathétique, Wagner Meistersinger and Siegfried Idyll, and Beethoven Leonore No. 3 in the second. In consultation with leading Mahler scholars and conductors, we believe this quotation to be an original and previously unrecorded theme by Mahler.