2 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Dated June 10, 1909. In purple ink on stationery with letterhead of the "Villa Erminia Meina Lago Maggiore" embossed in red. In German (with translation). With envelope addressed in Finck's hand: "Germania Frau Marg. Dayas Weimar Lothenstraße [!Lottenstraße] III." Postmarked and stamped.
D'Albert responds to a request for a letter of recommendation on behalf of a piano student of Dayas's:
"How much would I like to help your Fräulein Pomter [?Poenter] and try to ease the burdensome career she has chosen! But I am totally out of the pianistic orbit and totally occupied by my operas. All I can do is to recommend her to the excellent pianist, musician, and pedagogue, Herr Carl Friedberg in Cologne, who will certainly be helpful to her if she refers to me."
Envelope slightly worn and torn.
English-born pianist Eugen d'Albert increasingly turned to composition after 1895; while he continued to give concerts, he identified himself first and foremost as a composer by the time he dictated this letter.
Mezzo-soprano Hermine Finck, who created the role of the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, was Eugen d'Albert's third wife (out of six); their marriage lasted from 1895 to 1910. The "Villa Erminia," d'Albert's house on Lake Maggiore, was named for her.
Margarethe Dayas (née Vocke; 1870-?) was the widow of English pianist William Humphrey Dayas (1863-1903), a student of Liszt in Weimar. They married in Peterborough, England, in 1891; it seems that she was also a pianist and moved to Weimar after her husband's death. The identity of "Fräulein Pomter/Poenter" is unknown.
Pianist Carl Friedberg (1872-1955) taught at the Institute of Musical Arts in New York from 1916, which later became the Juilliard School of Music. Item #23677
Price: $75.00 other currencies