Item #39701 Important autograph letter signed "Felix" to the distinguished composer's close friend and collaborator, Carl Klingemann. Felix MENDELSSOHN.

Important autograph letter signed "Felix" to the distinguished composer's close friend and collaborator, Carl Klingemann

6 carefully written pages in Mendelssohn's characteristically dense script. Quarto. Dated Leipzig, 1 January 1839. With integral autograph address panel with oval Leipzig handstamp and two circular "London 17 Jan 1839" datestamps. In German (with translation and transliteration).

A long and highly interesting letter with significant musical content, including mention of the composer's latest works (a sonata for piano and cello, three quartets for violins dedicated to the Royal Prince of Sweden, his psalm "Wie der Hirsch" and various songs with and without words); expressions of satisfaction with both the orchestra and soloists performing his most recent concerts, played to an overflowing hall; his participation in the Dusseldorf festival; his admiration for the poems Klingemann has sent him; and considerable discussion of his personal affairs including news of Vincent Novello and the soprano Clara Novello, Hogarth, the soprano Mary Shaw, Thalberg, and Moscheles; his travels, including a possible trip to England of "not less than 6 months" with his wife and child when he would bring "a lot of new pieces and stage them;" his health, family, and social life, including mention of his sister Rebecca's gradual recovery from the shock of her youngest child's death, etc.

The letter provides important documentary evidence of the composer's high admiration for Klingemann and appreciation of their close working relationship:
"Surely you received my little songs for four voices through Mr. Bowley, the clarinet player? It was nice that I received your letter with your songs the day after his departure ... What a great pleasure you gave me with these songs ... My favorite piece is no. 5, "Herbstlied," which corresponds to my inmost thoughts; I set it to music at once. I like your poetry so much that I don't know if my music is good or whether I only like it because I can sing it ... The 2nd and 3rd, too, are favorites of mine ... but in fact they are all my favorites; after all, they are the first new poems for a long time which fill my heart and I made my own. ... I am now looking forward to your Liederkreis, which you still have up your sleeve ... "

It also provides interesting first-hand commentary on his recent concerts:
"You want to hear of our concerts and, in fact, all went splendidly this winter; the concert-hall has become too small for the number of listeners, and everybody seems to be content, the orchestra plays so well, and all is very festive indeed."

In addition, the letter mentions Mendelssohn's most recent compositional activity:
"Talking of new pieces I have written a sonata for piano and cello, which you will like, I hope, 3 quartets ... a new psalm in Eb major, a bad sonata for piano and violin, various songs with and without words ..."

With an autograph letter to Mendelssohn from his friend, critic and social reformer Hermann Franck (1802-1855), added to pp. 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the composer's letter. Franck comments on him and Felix being married; his (Franck's) wife; letters he has written to Klingemann; and his and Mendelssohn's time together in Berlin, noting that he is writing in Mendelssohn's presence as the composer sits at the table talking to Franck's wife.

Slightly worn and browned; creased at folds and with several small splits, some just touching text, two repaired with clear tape; small hole to one leaf with loss to several letters; some additional very small holes; several small chips to edges; a number of minor deletions and corrections.

Published in Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Sämtliche Briefe, Band VI, no. 2188, pp. 274-278.

"One of the most gifted and versatile prodigies, Mendelssohn stood at the forefront of German music during the 1830s and 40s, as conductor, pianist, organist and, above all, composer. His musical style, fully developed before he was 20, drew upon a variety of influences, including the complex chromatic counterpoint of Bach, the formal clarity and gracefulness of Mozart and the dramatic power of Beethoven and Weber.

Mendelssohn’s emergence into the first rank of 19th-century German composers coincided with efforts by music historiographers to develop the concept of a Classic–Romantic dialectic in 18th and 19th-century music. To a large degree, his music reflects a fundamental tension between Classicism and Romanticism in the generation of German composers after Beethoven." R. Larry Todd in Grove Music Online

Klingemann (1798-1862) was an important, life-long friend of Mendelssohn, with whom he had an extensive correspondence.

Lengthy letters with such significant content rarely come to market.

Item #39701

Price: $12,500.00  other currencies

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