Autograph letter signed "Ch. Koechlin" to a violinist addressed as "Chère Madame" Charles KOECHLIN.

Autograph letter signed "Ch. Koechlin" to a violinist addressed as "Chère Madame"

1 page. Large quarto (ca. 209 x 265 mm). Dated January 24 [no year]. Written in black ink on dark ivory paper. With several autograph corrections. In French (with translation).

Koechlin thanks his correspondent – and the French pianist Jean Doyen – for their very beautiful rendition of his Sonata in a radio broadcast. He goes on to describe their performance of the "beginning and the end of the first movement," andante, scherzo, and finale, and to say that "Radio is truly a remarkable discovery! There will be more programs for both the stations and the broadcasts... I'm counting on you, dear Madame, to tell Jean Doyen how much I admired his interpretation of this work, which he has understood so well, and so masterfully executed (and I say the same for you, this goes without saying)..."

Creased at folds and lower left margin; very small stain at central fold of blank verso; in very good condition overall.

Koechlin was a French composer, teacher, and musicologist. He "described his life as a ‘series of happy chances under a cloud of general misfortune’. One aspect of the silver lining was the necessity to teach, which led him to a profound study of Bach’s music that considerably strengthened his own, and an increasing interest in counterpoint, as well as in modality, is evident in the compositions of the 1930s. Koechlin’s polytonal music is never cerebral in its conception, for all its skilled craftmanship; it shows balanced concern for vertical and horizontal effect that is often lacking in Milhaud. In the 1940s Koechlin’s aim was a self-sufficient ‘art monodique’ and this led to an increasing simplicity of expression and a Classical refinement parallel to that of Debussy’s final years. His unworldly and uncompromising nature undoubtedly contributed to his neglect as a composer during his lifetime, and he attached great importance to the high opinions of his music expressed by Milhaud, Roussel, Falla, Fauré and other composers whom he, in turn, admired. In retrospect these opinions have been vindicated, and Koechlin’s originality, visionary breadth and profundity place him well above the rank of petit maître. Rather, as Wilfrid Mellers concluded as early as 1942, he ‘is among the very select number of contemporary composers who really matter’." Robert Orledge in Grove Music Online.

Jean Doyen "was an ardent champion of the piano music of his French contemporaries, particularly Pierné, d’Indy, Hahn, Samazeuilh and Ropartz. His recordings of Ravel’s concertos... and Chopin’s complete waltzes are outstanding for their subtlety and esprit." Charles Timbrell in Grove Music Online. Item #25322

Price: $475.00  other currencies

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