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Martinu, Bohuslav
IMPORTANT SERIES OF TWENTY AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED ("B. MARTINU"), AND ONE AUTOGRAPH LETTER, TO HIS FRIEND AND SUPPORTER PAVEL DEUTSCH
in Czech and in French, about Martinu's former lover, the young composer Vitezslava Kaprálová (1915-1940), asking whether he might not be able to help her out, announcing her death, mentioning Safránek's booklet about him, his wife Charlotte, financial matters, his propaganda work, reflecting on the nature of the artist, commenting that the artistic oeuvre will endure as evidence of a nation's aspirations and achievements, observing that were it not for the war, his music would played all over the world, informing him that his compatriots not only did nothing to help him [leave Paris] but also were unwilling to save his manuscripts, reflecting bitterly that his government saved its own pointless employees and ministers, but is not interested in artists capable of really doing something, DISCUSSING MANY OF HIS COMPOSITIONS, including: the Field Mass, which he describes as embodying a longing for home as well as faith in the future, Tre Ricercari, the ballet Spalícek, Sonata for flute, violin and piano, Double Concerto, Concerto grosso for chamber orchestra, Sonata no.1 for violoncello and piano, Sinfonietta giocosa, and the Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra; in the letters Martinu also describes his situation in New York, states that he is well-known and appreciated there, regrets that he has not been able to salvage any of his manuscripts or clothing, and mentions various musicians including Ansermet, Sacher, Koussevitzky, who has offered him a position, the pianist Germaine Leroux, Rodzinski and Mitropoulos, 35 pages, various sizes, sixteen in Czech and five in French, five on postcards, with six autograph envelopes, Paris, Aix en Provence, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Jamaica, N.Y., and elsewhere, 16 October 1939-11 June 1943, where indicated; together with:

Kaprálová, Vitezslava. Seven autograph letters in Czech to Pavel Deutsch signed ("Vita Kaprálová"; "Vitka-listicka" etc.), written just before her untimely death on 16 June 1940, ABOUT MARTINU, admitting that she would like to escape to Africa since two men have suddenly asked her to marry them, describing Mucha as her main suitor, discussing Martinu's sadness at her wedding , referring to her compositions, noting that she would like to compose some small orchestral pieces inspired by the landscape near Policka, and touching on other matters, 22 pages, various sizes, with three autograph envelopes, one stamped "3. V 1940", and another "31.I 1940") Paris, 1 November 1939 to 11 May 1940, where indicated; with a letter signed by Kaprálová's husband Jirí Mucha, [to Deutsch], about Kaprálová in hospital, 7 June 1940; an autograph letter signed by Charlotte Martinu to Deutsch, describing Martinu's unhappiness in America (1942), drafts of letters by Deutsch to Tomás Hejzlar (1975), to Kaprálová, 4 pages, and carbon copies of others to Stokowski  (1940), and letters to Deutsch from Universal edition in Vienna and Otto Kraus in Paris (1940),


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Catalogue Note

PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF MARTINU LETTERS EVER TO APPEAR AT AUCTION: dating from the most difficult and tormented period of the composer's life, these twenty-one letters cover the anxious months before the fall of Paris in June 1940, Martinu's flight from the city, his eventual escape to America, and his first few years in the New World. 

Martinu's correspondent, the Jewish-Czech entrepreneur Pavel Deutsch, played an important role in Martinu's life in the late '30s and early '40s, providing financial support, as well as lobbying influential people and authorities, including the legation in Washington, in support of Martinu. Originally a textile industrialist, Deutsch first heard Martinu's music in 1933 or 1934, and met the composer for the first time at the International Festival at Prague, where he heard The Miracles of Mary. Deutsch, like Martinu, also managed to save himself in the United States, where he later changed his name - to Paul Dayton. While the name of Deutsch/Dayton is not to be found in the well-known studies of the composer by Milos Safranek and Brain Large, the present letters lay bare the huge debt Martinu owed to his friend.  

Also included with this lot are seven autograph letters to Pavel Deutsch by the Czech composer Vítezslava Kaprálová, whose tragically early death at 25 from tuberculosis, on 16 June 1940, robbed Czech music of one of its most promising rising talents. Martinu had met Kaprálová in Prague in 1937 and had encouraged her to come to Paris where he was living; there they pursued an intense affair. Only two months before her death, however, Kaprálová married the writer Jirí Mucha, a letter by whom, about Kaprálová in hospital shortly before her death, is also contained with this lot. 

 

Musical Manuscripts

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