1 page. Octavo (ca. 207 x 133 mm). Dated Thursday, March 7, 8:15 a.m. [ca. 1889?]. On ivory paper. In French (with translation).
Massenet apologizes profusely for having double-booked himself for a Sunday meal with Gallet. He asks Gallet to reschedule, and lists the days and hours when he is available. He hopes his publisher and fellow librettist, Georges Hartmann, will also be available during his proposed times.
"In promising to come dine with you on Sunday I made the most egregious stupidity that could come from a brain as empty as mine!!! ... If it were even [possible] to put off the business that ties me up on Sunday, I would quit it all to have the pleasure of dining with you and especially of hearing Lumen! ... Forgive me, my dear Gallet, and promise me right away to give us another appointment ... these are my hours, my only free hours. I do not know whether Hartmann will find them good, but I believe he will."
Slightly worn; edges browned from former mat; creased at folds; slightly frayed at left edge; minor ink stains, not affecting text.
The "Lumen" to which Massenet refers could have been an opera that Gallet and composer Emmanuel Chabrier had decided to write in 1888, but never finished. If so, then this letter could date from this period, likely 1889, when March 7 fell on a Thursday.
"[Massenet] was the most prolific and successful composer of opera in France at the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th." Hugh Macdonald, et al. in Grove Music Online.
"In 1857 French writer and librettist Louis Gallet "moved to Paris, where his career was in the Assistance Publique, and published treatises on hospital administration. His continuing literary interests are reflected in a long list of novels, memoirs and many librettos, several of which he prepared in collaboration, as was customary at the time... Gallet worked with major composers – Gounod and Massenet – as well as with a good many lesser ones." Christopher Smith in Grove Music Online. Item #26829
Price: $250.00 other currencies