4 pp. of a bifolium. Small octavo (162 x 104 mm). Dated "Tuesday," no year, but most likely after 1855. In ink on ivory paper. In French (with translation).
Delibes writes of his indecision regarding which of two pianos to buy:
"... I am still filled with indecision! At first, the grand piano had the advantage, and I thought I had my mind completely made up. Then I had grown accustomed to working with the little one, and for the moment I prefer it, in spite of its lack of sonority ..."
He also asks his correspondent to "thank Mr. Wolff for the exceptional reduction that he is so kind to make for me."
Slightly worn and browned; creased at folds; small stain and hole affecting small portion of one word.
The "Mr. Wolff" referred to in the present letter is most likely Auguste Wolff (1821-1887), Camille Pleyel's son-in-law, who took over the business in 1855. Pleyel pianos were the first to incorporate a metal frame and were the pianos of choice of French musicians from Chopin to Ravel.
Léo Delibes is best known today for his ballet Coppélia (1870) and his opera Lakmé (1883). "His workmanship was of the highest order; he had a natural gift for harmonic dexterity and a sure sense of orchestral colour, and nothing in his music is out of place. He was a disciplined composer, and it is tempting to see in the exquisite pastiche dances that he composed in 1882 for Hugo’s Le roi s’amuse not just a sharp ear for style but a genuine feeling for the world of 17th-century French classicism, later to be espoused with such ardour by Saint-Saëns, d’Indy and Debussy." Hugh Macdonald in Grove Music Online.
Price: $450.00 other currencies