Important autograph letter signed in full to violinist, conductor, and composer Joseph Joachim. Hector BERLIOZ.

Important autograph letter signed in full to violinist, conductor, and composer Joseph Joachim.

4 pp. of a bifolium (ca. 135 x 207 mm). Dated Sunday, October 16, [1853] Brunswick, Deutsches Hause. In black ink on ivory paper. In French (with translation).

Berlioz writes to Joachim about rehearsals for a performance of Faust in Hanover, stating that he intends to perform the work in its entirety there and noting his detailed requirements for the orchestra and choir. He goes on to mention concerts planned in Brunswick for October 22 and 25. After emphasizing that the most important thing is that the singers know their parts by the time he arrives, Joachim specifies the additional instruments he will need as well as requesting an "army" for the children's choir.

"Mr. De Perglasse, in his last letter, having left me free to do what I would like for the composition of the program, I decided to give the whole Faust tour, one of the principal motives being to allow you to understand the entire score. I was also told here that the Hanover Orchestra has improved a great deal more than I have heard... The Hanover concert is now set for November 8..."

Slightly worn and browned; creased at folds; very minor ink stains to margins.

A "légende dramatique" in four parts to a libretto by the composer and Almire Gandonnière after Gérard de Nerva’s French translation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, the Damnation of Faust was given its first concert performance in Paris at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart) on December 6, 1846.

Berlioz was touring Europe in 1853, as he had been doing for years following a series of career setbacks in the 1840s. A group of musicians in Weimar were advocating for Berlioz in Germany, including a new production of Benvenuto Cellini led by Liszt in 1852. Although success was minimal, his reception there was better than anywhere else, and so it is that he came to Brunswick and Hanover in the fall of 1853 for performances of Faust.

The performance referred to in the present letter did, indeed, take place as planned, on November 8, 1853, with Joachim as concertmaster. The audience was small but enthusiastic, and the entire German tour was a much-needed success.

The violinist Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) studied under Mendelssohn in Leipzig and Liszt in Weimar, becoming concertmaster in Hanover in 1853. His presence there is credited with a vast improvement in the orchestra, a difference Berlioz was well-aware of and experienced firsthand. See Cairns: Berlioz, Servitude and Greatness, p. 519.

A significant letter, offering insight into both Berlioz's relationship with Joachim and his concert preparation. Item #31324

Price: $4,500.00  other currencies

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