York Modern Books Out-of-Print, First editions
      Home - Back
Search :  
 May 27, 2020   
About York Modern Books  button
New Books button
Featured Books button
All Books
Advanced Search button
Rare Books Wanted button
Links button
Contact YMB - specialist online shop button

Welcome to the specialist online shop, York

We are a specialist online bookshop dealing in rare books in the following areas:

- Modern First Editions
Fine Illustrated  Books and Private Press
Twentieth Century British Art
Twentieth Century European History
- Twentieth Century Ephemera

antiquarian bookseller
PBFA member

If you wish to purchase or enquire about any item please contact us by e-mail or telephone.

We are operating as normal so if there is anything on the website you are interested in or have any questions about  don't hesitate to contact us.

Of course under present circumstancies it might take a little longer to get things to you.

We are still interested in buying - so if you have anything we might be interested in please get in touch.

Stay safe.

Philip Barraclough



The Poisoned Kiss or The Empress and the Necromancer. A Romantic Extravaganza written by Evelyn Sharp

The Poisoned Kiss or The Empress and the Necromancer. A Romantic Extravaganza written by Evelyn Sharp


Two volumes 4to; original paper covers. The vocal score and the chorus score, together with the programme for the World Premiere of 'The Poisoned Kiss' at the Arts Theatre of Cambridge, Tuesday, May 12th, 1936. The chorus score is annotated heavily in pencil, indicating the cuts the composer introduced immediately before the performance. Vaughan Williams had significant concerns about the dramatic structure of the piece as the background story is narrated twice and he was also worried that the explanatory passages about poisons were too long. Accordingly, he cut about twenty minutes of music and a good deal of dialogue. This volume is also heavily annotated with notes on the text to the inside front cover and the last page. The inside of the rear cover has the score and text of the Blue Larkspur written out in pencil. The programme is signed on the title-page by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Cyril Rootham (Conductor) and Camille Prior (Producer). Gwen Raverat (Designer) has signed on the inside front cover and the cast has signed on the back and inside cover, including the leading cast Margaret Field-Hyde, Meriel St. Clair, Trefor Jones, Mabel Ritchie, Geoffrey Dunn and Frederick Woodhouse. Also included is a black and white photograph of a scene from the performance. All formerly the property of Jean Aikman a member of the chorus at the premier, she has signed her name in pencil to the front covers of the programme and chorus score. Good, covers worn and creased, consistent with use. Foxing to the cover of the chorus score and Vaughan Williams commemorative postage stamp stuck to inside cover of the programme.

Photograph Signed by Shostakovich

Photograph Signed by Shostakovich


A black and white gelatin silver photograph 120mm by180mm. Signed to the front by Shostakovich. A fascinating photograph of the greatest composer of the the Twentieth Century, taken in the Moscow apartment of Tikhon Khrennikov by Khrennikov's wife Klara. Shostakovich appears to be enjoying himself immensely in the company of the French composer Henri Sauguet in the home of the person many regarded as his arch enemy. Khrennikov as described in his Daily Telegraph obituary the "despotic" First Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers. "An acolyte of Stalin's who terrorised the country's leading composers - Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Aram Khachaturian and Alfred Schnittke among them - while claiming to protect them." In 1948, Stalin personally picked him to lead the Union of Soviet Composers. His first job was to attack abstract, "formalist" music in a speech at the First Congress of Composers in 1948, two months after the infamous Resolution of the Central Committee that condemned the "formalism" of Shostakovich, Prokofiev and others. "Enough of these symphonic diaries - these pseudo-philosophic symphonies hiding behind their allegedly profound thoughts and tedious self-analysis," he proclaimed. "Armed with clear party directives, we will stop all manifestations of formalism and popular decadence." In the next few years, Shostakovich composed three categories of work: film music to pay the rent, official works aimed at securing official rehabilitation, and serious works "for the desk drawer". The latter included the Violin Concerto No. 1 and the song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry. The year this photograph was taken Shostakovich joined the Communist Party which many saw as an act cowardice. On the other, his son recalled that the event reduced Shostakovich to tears, and he later told his wife Irina that he had been blackmailed.

About York Modern Books


New Rare Book Arrivals


First Editions & Featured Books

Rare Books Wanted


Advanced Search




Contact York Modern Books

Terms & Conditions


Privacy Policy

© York Modern Books 2020