252
252
Tchaikovsky, Pyotr
FINE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, CONTAINING A MUSICAL QUOTATION FROM THE OVERTURE "ROMEO AND JULIET"
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 27,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
252
Tchaikovsky, Pyotr
FINE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, CONTAINING A MUSICAL QUOTATION FROM THE OVERTURE "ROMEO AND JULIET"
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 27,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Musical Manuscripts

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London

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr
FINE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, CONTAINING A MUSICAL QUOTATION FROM THE OVERTURE "ROMEO AND JULIET"
comprising six bars in D-flat major, the full score written in brown ink, with all the instrumental parts condensed onto two staves, signed and inscribed by the composer ("tiré de la Fantaisie "Roméo et Juliette", à Monsieur Edouard Bergson souvenir affectueux avec sincères excuses, P.Tchaïkovsky, 28 Avril 1888, Frolowskoe, près Kline"); Tchaikovsky graciously begs Bergson's indulgence for replying to his most flattering letter three months late, assuring him that he usually responds to such requests in a timely manner and explaining that he had come across it by chance on that very day and was responding immediately

"...Mes amis pourraient Vous attester que je ne pèche jamais par l'inexactitude ou l'incivilité, et je Vous dirai très franchement que j'avais tout bonnement égaré Votre lettre parmi d'autres papiers et que ce n'est qu'aujourd'hui qu'elle est tombé sous mes mains fortuitement..."

3 pages, large 8vo (c.22.5 x 14cm), stationery bearing Tchaikovsky's monogram embossed in red ink, Frolovskoye (Klin, near Moscow), 28 April 1888, tear at hinge expertly repaired, tiny stains


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Catalogue Note

THIS IS A REMARKABLE AN UNUSUAL AUTOGRAPH MUSICAL QUOTATION.  Tchaikovsky fills the third page of the letter with an extract from one of his best-loved concert overtures, the "fantasy overture" Romeo and Juliet (1869).  This passage is a part of the "Love theme" in D-flat major, scored for violins and violas alone.  Most unusually for an autograph quotation, Tchaikovsky takes great care to include all the music (bars 164 to 170).   The first and second violins are interlaced in the full score, marked divisi and con sordini, and Tchaikovsky takes care here to include all their notes, dynamics and phrasing, writing notes out separately even when they sound in unison.  Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet overture was a complete failure on its various premieres in Moscow, Vienna and Paris.  Mily Balakirev wrote to the composer to say how much his Russian contemporaries (the kuchka or "Mighty Handful": Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Cui and Balakirev himself) appreciated the work, in particular the "Love theme" in D-flat.  

Musical Manuscripts

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London