Text Box: COMPOSER autographs


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Three page autographed letter by the composer and conductor on Director of the Conservatoire National letterhead to Puccini’s friend and Ricordi Director Carlo Clausetti, Paris, December 23, 1931.


December 23, 1931


My dear friend,


I see received "La Sposa Fedele" and I took great pleasure in reading. This is not only "for song", it is "to song", but a song that can be sung! - and for me this is a very great piece.


On my part, I welcome Pietro - here is a young boy who loves music. Well done! It is rare among the "musicians".


Your letter made me very happy. Great friend, will I have the opportunity to return an Italy? I do not know but I know that I will be happy to see you again.


I am working on my important work - which I hope to have finished next summer - and you may one day be the excellent translator, not a traitor.


Please present my respectful greetings to Madame Clausetti, with all my wishes.


A thousand friendly memories to your sons - and from your cordially devoted.

Rabaud (1873-1949) was known both for his composing as well as his conducting.  ?He was a pupil of Massenet and won the Prix de Rome.  Rabaud became a conductor at the Opera Comique and rose to Music Director of the Paris Opera from 1914-1918, where he was hired by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the 1918-1919 season to replace Karl Muck who had become persona non grata due to his German sympathies during World War I.  He returned to Paris at the end of that season and in 1922 succeeded Gabriel Fauré as the Director of the Paris Conservatoire.  His most fertile years as a composer were prior to his acceptance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra position.  His opera 1914 opera comique “Marouf” does receive performances in France, most recently in Bordeaux in 2018, his other performed opera, “La Fille de Roland” is less performed.  The only important work and the one he may be referring to in this letter is his 1934 opera, “Rolande et le Mauvais Garçon”.  As an academic he taught several important composers including Olivier Messian, Jean Langlais and Jehan Alain and advised Henri Dutilleux. Rabaud also composed two symphonies, incidental orchestral music, a well performed oratorio of the time, “Job”, several other operas, a cello concertino with orchestra, a string quartet and songs. 

Carlo Clausetti (1869-1943) was a lawyer by training, a composer of Neapolitan songs and the scion of a Neapolitan music publishing house.  At the time of this letter, he was co-director of the publishing house Ricordi.  His son Pietro (1904-1963) was a composer.  His poem “La Sposa Fedele” (The Faithful Bride) was a song he wrote with a second “Infedele” or (Unfaithful) for voice and piano.  They received their World Premiere in Milan in 1936 inserted into a musical entitled “Ali Baba”. 

Clausetti is also remembered for his long friendship and professional relationship with Giacomo Puccini.  They met when Clausetti was a publicist and agent for Ricordi in Naples. Puccini relied on Clausetti’s good taste and judgment and they wrote to each other incessantly.  Clausetti brought Puccini to Brussels and stayed with him throughout his treatments and was at his bedside when he passed away.  Later Clausetti was the mediator between Toscanini and Puccini’s son when Alfano was chosen to complete Turandot.

An interesting letter, Rabaud letters rarely have interesting content.