Text Box: PIANIST autographs

Price: $300.00



Early four page octavo autographed letter signed to a member of the distinguished Bernoulli family of Basel; Worpswede near Bremen, September 4, 1903.  We offer with a vintage original press photograph for potential display.



Dear Dr. Bernoulli!


Your card has been forwarded here - I'm only now able to send you the desired proposals

for the orchestral concert, I ask you to choose between Brahms in D minor and Liszt in A major.


As a solo number I suggest, 2 Chorale Preludes - Bach-Busoni, Nocturne in D flat major and Polonaise in A flat major—Chopin, (at 17 min.)


As a solo number in chamber music, I would prefer to play one of the following, Beethoven op 57, op 109, or the C minor, or the Handel variations. Will the quartet require a pianist. Also, I would like it best if you choose something yourself - my particular favorites are Schubert, Cesar Franck - also Brahms - but as for singing, I would like to leave that to your choice.


Would you be so kind as to share your trip with me……


I'm really looking forward to getting to know Basel someday…….

This letter by the young twenty-two year old Petri (1881 - 1962) is literally at the start of his legendary career.  He had made his professional debut and whilst still working with his mentor Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin, so it is particularly fitting that he offered one of the Bach-Busoni transcriptions as a work for the solo recital.  Petri also offers specific works by Beethoven, the “Appassionata” Sonata no. 23, op 57,  Sonata no. 30, op 109 and the 32 Variations in C minor based upon an original theme, WoO (works without opus number) 80.  He also offers the famed Brahms Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel, op. 24.  What is really interesting is he gives Dr. Bernoulli the opportunity to select items for him suggesting Schubert, Franck and Brahms, but not Liszt, who despite the fact he is offering to perform the A minor concerto was to become one of his most important composers in his repertoire of solo piano works.  As a matter of fact, at the beginning of the 20th Century, Liszt’s music had fallen out of favor on the concert platform and Petri was one of the few virtuosos who were performing his works.

Interestingly Petri writes from Worpswede an artist’s colony near Bremen where for a few years, Busoni would spent several weeks in the Summer and as his major domo, Petri was expected to be there during this annual respite.

The Bernoulli family were for generations academics of extraordinary intelligence and among the most important families in Basel.  The only musical Bernoulli from the generation this letter could be directed to, was Edward Bernoulli (1867 - 1927) who was a musicologist at The University of Leipzig at this time and after 1910 at the University of Leipzig.  His papers are contained at the library of the University of Basel.  

An extraordinary content rich letter by the then young pianist at the beginning of his career. 




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