Text Box: PIANIST autographs
Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247

 

Price: $125.00

FINE CONDITION

MYRA HESS - PIANIST

Two page autographed letter signed to Doubleday editor Peggy Lesser Foster, November 19th, 1963.  We offer with a 5” x 7” photograph of Hess at the microphone with a Steinway piano in the background.

Hess writes:

November 19th 1963

 

Dearest Peggy

 

Your book has arrived & I so happy to have it. It is most interesting to know who wrote the words of songs one knows so well & to have the translations.

 

It seems to me to be a superlative achievement & thank you again for sending to me.

How tiresome that you still have complications – you must be sick of them!

 

Let us hope you will be able to come over in January -

 

With my best love

Yours as ever

Myra

 

P.S.

 

Unfortunately I was not available when Philip Miller telephoned & evidently he did not have the time to phone again -

 

Hess (1890-1965) retired after her last concert in London in October, 1961.  Here she writes from her London home where she resided for the final thirteen years of her life.  Hess suffered a third stroke by the end of the year and as is described in Myra Hess By Her Friends, she had suffered some brain damage, however this is not evidenced in her very distinct handwriting, nor in the content of the letter.  It was also said that she was entirely bored after her retirement, a difficult thing for a gregarious and fun-loving person.

 

The content of this letter is quite interesting as it shows a different dimension to the beloved concert pianist and that is an interest in song.  Hess spent 3-4 months every year in the United States touring as well as taking some vacation.  She was a beloved figure in America and the criticism that followed her concert was always first rate. As she spent a great deal of time in America, especially New York City, she met a lot of people.  Peggy Lesser Foster (1901-1979) was a leading editor at Doubleday.  Whilst she is best remembered as a children’s book editor, she did edit music books including a biography of Ruth Crawford Seeger and Philip Miller’s 1963 Doubleday book, The Ring of Words, An Anthology of Song Texts. Miller (1906-1996) who is mentioned in the postscript was the Chief of the Music Division of the New York Public Library for many decades and a well-known music cataloger.  The book is 200 pages and gives the translated text and names of the poets of a limited number of “art songs” in the Continental European and Russian tradition.  It is known that Hess penned a letter to Miller this same day.