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Rome, January 22nd, 1867
51. To Julius von Beliczay in Vienna
[Hungarian composer, living in Budapest since 1871]
Accept my sincere thanks for your very friendly letter and for the dedication of the Beethoven Cadenza. It sounds well and is pleasant to play. Of course somewhat more might have been made of the thing, and a different key taken at the outset than C minor.
But it is easier for me to play the critic than to do things myself, and so today I will merely thank you and a.s.sure you of my interest in your efforts and your success.
Very truly yours,
Rome, April 29th, 1867
52. To Madame Jessie Laussot
I cannot tell you how your generosity of mind and heart touches me. The favorable reception you have obtained at Florence for the "Beat.i.tudes" and the "Pater noster" is a link the more in the chain of my musical obligations to you, dear and valliant Maestra. Will you kindly convey my best thanks to your co- operators. .--.
As a slight musical indication observe that in the "Pater noster"
I simply modulate and develop somewhat,--in the somewhat confined limits of a sentiment of trusting and pious submission,--the Gregorian intonation as sung in all our churches--
[Figure: Musical score excerpt setting the words "Pater noster qui es in coelis"]
following the traditional intonations for each verse. This framework was naturally adapted to the arranging of my Oratorio-- "Christ",--in which I employed two or three other intonations of the plain-song, without considering myself guilty of a theft by such a use.
You know that the rehearsals of the "Christ" have begun. With the help of our dear and admirable Sgambati it will be able to be given here at the end of June. I shall invite you to come and hear it, and shall send you shortly the programme of the whole work, which is going to be published previously.
But since you interest yourself with so rare a zeal in my poor works and in making them known, I am tempted to propose to you the 23rd and 137th Psalms for your Florence programmes. The latter has been sung here this winter with some success. It is not very troublesome to study; provided that the singer understands what she has to say the rest goes of itself. The accompaniment is limited to four instruments,--Harp, Violin, Harmonium and Piano; and, as in the Magnificat of the Dante Symphony, the chorus is written for Soprano and Alto voices (without Tenors or Ba.s.ses). The text is excessively simple, and is reduced to the one word, Jerusalem!
Perhaps you may also meet with a kind soul who is willing to translate into Italian the Chorus of Reapers ("Schnitterchor") from the Prometheus, which could be performed quite simply with piano accompaniment.
I will permit myself to send you the two Psalms next week by Mrs.
Pearsoll (of New York), to whom I have sung your praises, a matter in which I yield to no one. Happily the opportunity for practising this recurs often: Mme. d'Usedom (whom I met the other evening at Bn. Arnim's) will speak to you of it. .--.
As soon as I receive positive tidings about the coronation at Pest you shall know. I shall certainly not stir from Rome this time without coming to spend some hours with you at Florence.
Continue your friendship to me, and believe in mine, very cordial and grateful.
Rome, May 24th, 1867
The success of Bronsart's Trio delights me. You will give him great pleasure if you will write him a couple of lines, which you must address simply "H. v. B. Intendant des Hoftheaters.
Hannover." Tell him about Sgambati and his Trio at Rome and Florence. I, on my side, will write to Bronsart as soon as my summer plans are fixed.
53. To Eduard Liszt
Very dear Eduard,
You know that the Coronation Ma.s.s has met with the most kind reception. [At its performance at Ofen (Budapest)] None of my works up to the present time had been so favorably accepted. I have begged Franz Doppler in particular to let you know about it, knowing that you would like to hear me praised, even with some exaggeration, by a friend as competent as he is affectionate.
Since the performance of the "Gran Ma.s.s" Doppler has always shown the kindest feelings towards me. Tell him that I am very sincerely grateful to him. I am anxious to thank Sch.e.l.le [Musical critic of the Vienna Presse, since dead] for his excellent article in the Presse, and send you herewith a few lines which you will be good enough to give him...
The rehearsals of my Oratorio "Le Christ" are progressing. It will probably be performed in the early part of July, and I will have the programme sent to you.
Towards the end of July I shall go to Weimar. The "Wartburg Festival" is fixed for the 28th August. On that day the Elisabeth will be heard in the hall of the Minnesingers. A fortnight before that the concerts of the Tonkunstler-Versammlung will take place at Meiningen. Possibly you may be able to come and look me up in the course of this same month of August.
Yours ever from heart and soul,
Rome, June 20th, 1867
54. To William Mason in New York
Dear Mr. Mason,
Your kind letter gives me a very cordial pleasure, and I beg you to be a.s.sured of the continuance of my very affectionate feelings. I frequently hear your success in America spoken of.
You deserve it, and I rejoice to know that your talent is justly appreciated and applauded. Your compositions have not yet reached me, but I am fully disposed to give them a good reception. In about a fortnight I shall start for Weimar. The Tonkunstler- Versammlung is to take place at Meiningen this year from the 22nd to the 25th August. I shall be present at it, as also at the Jubilee Festival at the Wartburg, at which my Oratorio "Saint Elizabeth" will be performed on the 28th August. Perhaps I shall meet there Mr. Theodore Thomas and Mr. S.B. Mills, of whom you speak. I have heard the highest praises of the capability of Mr.
Thomas, whom I have to thank particularly for the interest he takes in my Symphonic Poems. Artists who are willing to take the trouble to understand and to interpret my works cut themselves off from the generality of their fraternity. I, more than any one, have to thank them for this, therefore I shall not fail to show my thanks to Messrs. Thomas and Mills when I have the pleasure of making their acquaintance.
The news which reaches me from time to time about musical matters in America is generally favorable to the cause of the progress of contemporaneous Art which I hold it an honor to serve and to sustain. It seems that, among you, the cavillings and blunders and stupidities of a criticism adulterated by ignorance, envy and venality exercise less influence than in the old continent. I congratulate you on this, and give you my best wishes that you may happily pursue this n.o.ble careerof an artist,--with work, perseverance, resignation, modesty, and the imperturbable faith in the Ideal, such as was indicated to you at Weimar, dear Mr.
Mason, by your very sincerely affectionate and attached
Rome, July 8th, 1867
55. To E. Repos, director of the "Revue de Musique sacree" in Paris
[Autograph of all the letters to Repos in the possession of Herr Dr. Oscar von Hase in Leipzig.]
I am very much obliged to you for the kind feelings you express to me, and beg to a.s.sure you of my desire to correspond to them.