Unknown Ernst pieces discovered

Three new Ernst pieces have been discovered since 2008. I found a photocopied manuscript copy of three waltzes for solo piano in the Janacek Institute in Brno. Numbers two and three are the two posthumously published waltzes in Ab and Db, but the first is a previously unknown and unpublished short waltz in A major. All three are dedicated to ‘Maurice’ – Maurice Schlesinger, one of Ernst’s regular Parisian publishers, and the recipient of several Ernst letters, seems the most likely candidate.

Jon Fronen, however, has excelled himself by discovering two much more significant works, both for violin. First, in the autograph book of Ernst’s friend Heinrich Panofka, Fronen found a fiery little D major Capriccio for solo violin by Ernst, signed and dated 16th July 1828. This makes it the earliest of Ernst’s compositions to survive.


Second, Fronen discovered another Ernst arrangement for violin and piano of a piano piece by Stephen Heller. This particular example is entitled Etude Melodique, and is an A major piece in ¾ time marked Allegro Scherzoso. The piece is arranged from Heller’s solo piano etude op.45, no.13. The arrangement probably dates from around the same time as the Feuillet D’Album (Ernst’s arrangement for violin and piano of Heller’s solo piano etude op.16, no.15), i.e., about 1842, although it would be useful to discover when Heller’s op.45 was published.


All three new pieces will be recorded as part of the Lupu/Hobson/Toccata edition of Ernst’s complete works.

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