- 1 page. Octavo. Signed "Chevalier de Kontski." Dated London May 18, 1871. In purple ink. "Dear Sir, my wife and I, we beg you instantly to make us the honor of your company, next Sunday 21th[!] May, at 6 o'clock, for a diner[!] party – I am sur[!] that you will kindly accept our invitation and I remain your[!] faithfully."
- 2 pp. Octavo. Signed "Natulie de Kontski." To "Mr. Parnell." Dated [London], May 28, 1871. In purple ink. This letter offers a fascinating glimpse into the 19th-century virtuoso's art of self-promotion.
- Manuscript drafts of two articles in Natulie's hand lauding her husband's piano playing. She hopes Parnell will edit and publish them in upcoming issues of British newspapers."I take the liberty of sending you this article to be inserted on Tuesday next through your kind intervention in the Dayly Telegraph – Dayly News, the Times, the Standard and Observer if possible. I trust you will oblige me by putting it in better inglish[!] and different kind of style – but be so kind as not to change the chief attraction and comparison with [Sigismond] Thalberg and [Franz] Listz[!] – You are only allowed to dwell a little more, if you think it advisable – We hope you will do us the favor to come and dine with us on Sunday next – sans cérémonie – I rejoice at the idea of preparing your pipe myself and handing it to you lighted..."
- "For the Daily Telegraph." 2 pp. Octavo. In purple ink.
"The first summer Ballad Concert under the direction of Mr. John Boussey took place last night at St. James Hall... but the chief attraction was the marvellous execution of the incomparable artist Chevalier de Kontski, Pianist to the Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia – who played for the first time Spanish airs with the brilliant and melodious style of Thalberg, and the fougue of Listz[!]. The Chevalier is the only surviving pianist who unites all the styles combined together adding the poetical expression that distinguishes him from all the other pianists."
- "For the Times or Observer." 1 page. Octavo. In purple ink.
"Monday, on[!] 29th took place in St. James Hall the first summer Ballad Concert... in which we heard... the Chevalier de Kontski, Pianist to ... the Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia – We know of no foreign Artist of this instrumental order who has so quickly won a place in popular favour as the Chevalier de Kontski – his style is essentially didactic and Germanesque, but at the same time he is not above creating very fine effects with very simple means. The unusual expression which marks his playing, and the great power of sound he produces are the chief ingredients of his success."
Slightly worn, foxed and stained; creased at folds; remnants of adhesive; pagination notated in red pencil to lower portion of several pages.
Polish pianist and composer Anton de Kontski studied with John Field, Sigismond Thalberg, and Simon Sechter. "He was a court pianist in Berlin between 1851 and 1853, and between 1854 and 1867 he was in St Petersburg, where he founded the Classical Music Lovers' Society. Later he lived in London and from 1883 to 1896 in America. In 1897 he started a world tour, visiting Australia, New Zealand, East Asia, Siberia and Warsaw. He died during this tour. He was decorated with orders by many kings in Europe. His playing was characterized by great delicacy of touch and brilliance of execution, but some critics considered him superficial. His repertory changed from virtuoso pieces to more serious works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Mendelssohn... He composed over 400 salon pieces, published in Germany, France, Russia and England, of which Le réveil du lion op.115 became widely popular. He also composed symphonies, piano concertos, overtures, chamber and sacred music as well as operas... He also wrote a piano tutor L'indispensable du pianiste, published in French, German and Russian." Paul David et al. in Grove Music Online. Item #24385
Price: $275.00 other currencies