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Price: $2600.00

FINE CONDITION

One page typed letter signed by the great French composer to his younger colleague, Henri Martelli, March 11, 1924.  Included is the transmittal envelope and a postcard portrait of the composer.

Monsier Henri Martelli

Rue Francisque-Sarcey, 5

PARIS. (xvie)

Dear Sir,

             I deeply regret not being able to find a moment to hear your works: I have undertaken a little work, it is true, but which has just begun and should be ready in a month.

             Of course, the works you have deposited alone are in sufficient number (we have not yet sent them). Try to send the orchestration of your prelude in time.

             As for your lyric poem, I do not believe that the rules of the contest oppose that you send it at the last moment.

             I beg you to excuse me, dear Sir, and to believe in my most distinguished feelings.

The “little work” Ravel refers to is his “Tzigane”, a gypsy czardas themed piece composed for Joseph Joachim’s niece, violinist Jelly D’Aranyi!  The piece, loaded with virtuosic passages is perhaps the most recorded 20th Century work for the violin!  Despite many younger colleagues disdain of the work as not true to modern French music, the original for violin and piano was so successful at the April 26, 1924 World Premiere, he orchestrated the work for an October performance the same year with Pierre Monteux and the Concertgebouw Orchestra.  Samuel Dushkin was the soloist.  Since the World Premiere, most concert violinists at some point in their career performed the work.

Henri Martelli (1895-1980) was a lawyer by training and also studied informally at the Paris Conservatoire with Charles Marie Widor and Georges Caussade. He received his law degree from the Universite de Paris in 1919.  His career took a musical turn and he was involved in music as a composer and politically.  From 1945-1967 he was the Secretary of the Societé Nationale de Musique and program director from 1968 until his retirement.  He was also President of the French section of the International Society for Contemporary Music from 1953 to 1973.  As a composer he was highly prolific, using neoclassical themes with old French musical tradition.  His works covered many genres including operas, symphonic works, concertos, chamber  and solo works.  He also composed 17 radio-phone works.  

The other important theme of this letter is Ravel’s willingness to help his younger colleagues, even if they had not been his pupils.

Slight discoloration at top due to it’s retention in the original transmittal envelope.


MAURICE RAVEL - COMPOSER