Octavo. 1 page. Dated 20 June 1979. In black ink. On lightweight personal letterhead with Thomson's name and address at 222 West 23rd Street in New York printed at head. with autograph envelope with Thomson's handstamp to verso.
Relative to his interest in purchasing a copy of Alice B. Toklas's account of her legendary life with Gertrude Stein:
"Yes please I shall be happy to have the A.B. Toklas What I Remembered for $15," requesting that the book be sent to Palaemona Mörner in Stockholm with the bill sent to him in New York.
Lightly creased at folds; envelope torn at right margin with minor loss.
An American composer and critic, "[Thomson] produced a sizeable catalog of stylistically diverse compositions characterized by expressive directness and textural transparency, written in a language that drew from hymnbook harmony, popular song, and dance idioms of the late 19th century, and utilizing plain-spoken tonal procedures but also diatonic dissonance and polytonal elements. In his many vocal works, and his two path-breaking operatic collaborations with Gertrude Stein, Thomson demonstrated a mastery of prosody. His settings of English convey American speech patterns with naturalness and clarity. He brought strong predilections for living composers and American music to his criticism. The wit, vitality, and descriptive precision of his writing, which demystified the complexities of music for lay readers, made him among the most influential and lasting critics of the 20th century." Anthony Tommasini and Richard Jackson in Grove Music Online
What I Remembered is Toklas's only account of her life with Gertrude Stein, with whom Thomson collaborated on the two "path-breaking" operas referred to above, Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of us All.
Mörner (1908-1990) translated Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts into Swedish in 1979, apparently for a 1979 Stockholm production cited by Andrew Porter in "Virgil Thomson: A Composer of Operas" in Opera 47, 1996.
An interesting association item.
Price: $285.00 other currencies