Autograph letter signed "L. Ds."
3 pp. of a bifolium. Small octavo. Dated "Thursday morning." In French (with translation).
Delibes would like to see his friend to discuss some issue of importance. He also mentions several prominent musical figures in Paris: the baritone Jacques Bouhy; Philippe Gille, the co-librettist of Delibes's opera, Lakmé; Halanzier, a director at the Paris Opera; and Léon Carvalho, director of the Opéra-Comique. "In spite of everything, Carvalho wants all the same to go ahead and at full steam ... When one speaks to him of waiting ... he jumps to the ceiling and does not accept any hesitation. This is very embarrassing."
Slightly worn and creased.
"Outside the theatre (for which Delibes wrote nearly all his music) his most notable work was as a composer of choruses, now undeservedly neglected. His output of songs was relatively small and that of instrumental and church music almost negligible. His cantata Alger (1865) attracted much attention at the time but has lain in obscurity since. Despite his poor record at the Conservatoire his workmanship was of the highest order; he had a natural gift for harmonic dexterity and a sure sense of orchestral colour, and nothing in his music is out of place. He was a disciplined composer, and it is tempting to see in the exquisite pastiche dances that he composed in 1882 for Hugo’s Le roi s’amuse not just a sharp ear for style but a genuine feeling for the world of 17th-century French classicism, later to be espoused with such ardour by Saint-Saëns, d’Indy and Debussy." Hugh Macdonald in Grove Music Online
Leon Carvalho (1825-1897) was an important French theatre impresario. He was director of the Opéra-Comique in Paris from 1876 to 1887, during which time Delibes’s Lakmé was first performed.
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