Lot 213
  • 213

Verdi, Giuseppe

1,800 - 2,000 GBP
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  • Verdi, Giuseppe
  • Two autograph notes, one about Beethoven, Gluck and Handel, and memoranda about his finances in 1898
  • paper
1)  Part of an autograph letter [to the critic Camille Bellaigue], in which he takes issue with Bellaigue's preference for Gluck over Handel, Verdi asserting that Handel was much the better musician, and expressing his agreement about the "tre colossi” of music, comprising 23 incomplete lines in all, unsigned,  [Milan, 2 May 1898], 1 page, c.18 x7 cm, torn into pieces, repaired on verso with tape

2)  Autograph memorandum of Verdi's financial accounts in March 1898, titled "Pro Memoria", listing shares in banks in Milan (“Cassa di Risparmio”), comprising railway shares and the public debt, amounting to 622,200 Lire, and funds deposited in the “Cassa a Genova", [Genoa], 20 March 1898,, 1 page, oblong (c.11 x 13.8cm), very fine paper, torn into pieces, laid down



Catalogue Note

This fragmentary draft of the well-known letter to Bellaigue was a response to the latter's Portraits et silhouettes de musiciens.   Verdi gives his opinions about many famous composers in his letter, which, in the final version, ends with an impassioned and detailed defence of Rossini and Bellini (“...[Tutti] sono d'accordo con voi sul...Gluck, ma io [deleted: non posso] credo...che malgrado il suo [deleted: forte]...[sentime]nto drammatico, Egli [deleted: non] [è]...come da riguardarsi...meglio ai [deleted: altri] migliori del suo tem[po, e come music]ista inferiore a Handel...”).  The final version is preserved in Verdi's retained copybook I copialettere, and has been quoted, translated and reproduced many times; see: (G. Cesari & A. Luzio, I copialettere di Giuseppe Verdi, (Milan: 1913) p.415, (letter no. CCCLXXXVII) and  C. Osborne, Letters of Giuseppe Verdi, London: 1971), p.263 (letter 289).