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 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.
Our edition is based on the manuscript cello solo part in Herbert's hand, and the orchestra score, which was copied out by a second hand from the holograph manuscript (houses at the Library of Congress). Both sources can be sparse at times with regards to slurring, dynamics and articulations. The solo part has a few missing accidentals, which have been restored using editorial brackets. The solo part gives an empty bar marked "Kadenz," but the orchestra score presents the start of an idea (3 bars in a wrong clef) for the cadenza and the ending (6 bars), with a note that says that the 16 middle bars are missing. It is not evident where the number 16 comes from, but the editor of this publication has supplied a re-composed 16 bars to connect the two sections.
We hope that our edition will raise awareness of this masterpiece.