Today, Victor Herbert is best remembered for his operettas, but he was an accomplished cellist, a student of the infamous Bernhard Cossmann, and a composer of some lovely cello works. As much as it is difficult to believe, Herbert's Cello Concerto No. 1 has not been published until now. Composed in 1884, while Herbert resided in Stuttgart, the first cello concerto has been circulated in the manuscript form via paid reprinting companies such as Kalmus and Luck's Music Library, but never properly engraved or published.
We are happy to bring to the world the "first edition," dedicated to the memory of Lynn Harrell, who was the first cellist to record this concerto. We would like to thank the Victor Herbert Foundation, Alyce Mott, and the Library of Congress for giving us permission to use these invaluable sources.
Our edition is based on 3 copies of the manuscript cello solo part in Herbert's hand, and the holograph orchestra score, housed at the Library of Congress. All of the sources can be sparse at times with regards to slurring, dynamics, and articulations. As a cellist, Herbert was probably changing bowings/slurring for each performance, as most string players do. The cadenza of 49 bars was left incomplete. Herbert wrote a partial cadenza in one of the solo part manuscripts, as well as the orchestra score. The editor has composed the rest of the cadenza in Herbert's style, using and developing thematic material from the movement.
We hope that our edition will raise awareness of this masterpiece.