2-1/3 pp. of a bifolium. Dated [Berlin]-Charlottenburg, January 23, 1902. In German (with transcription and translation).
Regarding a recommendation for the director of the Berliner Tonkünstlerorchester, Herr Strunz, and mentioning Strauss's "Singgedicht," Feursnot.
Strunz "is looking for some patrons enthusiastic about the arts who could help him materially... Is it very outrageous of me to bother you with this? Since, however, I myself, too, am only guided by purely artistic interest in this enterprise, to which I contribute the greatest sacrifices of time and effort myself, perhaps you will forgive me... I am going to travel to Vienna tomorrow for the premiere of my opera..."
Creased at folds; four small file holes to blank inner margins filled in with matching paper just slightly affecting several letters.
We have been unable to identify Strauss's correspondent with certainty, although it is possible that he is the German composer and patron of the arts, Martin Levy (1836-1911).
The Berliner Tonkünstlerorchester, an ensemble devoted to contemporary music, was founded by Strauss.
Feuersnot ("Fire-Famine"), a "Singgedicht" or "sung poem" in one act to a libretto by Ernst von Wolzogen, was first performed at the Hofoper in Dresden on November 21, 1901; it had its Viennese premiere on January 29, 1902. "Strauss’s second operatic essay was a ribald exercise in snook-cocking. His first opera Guntram had suffered a painful fiasco in Munich, his home town, and Feuersnot was his jovial revenge... That Feuersnot should be appreciated only by scholars was the last thing Strauss intended: for the sake of the dewily attractive, well-shaped score, there is a strong case for reinventing its text in terms as rudely up to date as need be." David Murray in Grove Music Online. Item #23142
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