Phone: 212-860-5541


Price: $150.00

Autographed two page letter signed to the violinist Yvonne Astruc on Société des Auteurs Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique stationary, Paris, June 12, 1934.


Casadesus writes:


3 rue Cretet Paris 9th

Tel: Lamartine 87.45


My dear Artiste,


Le Chant de Mistral has just been published.  Allow me to send you a copy.  My publisher, Mr. Charles Hayet, 12 rue Gaillon in Paris 2nd, is at your disposal to send you free of charge, at your request, the additional parts of my account that you may need. Thanking you in advance for the use you will make of this piece, please accept my sincere and admiring wishes.


Your devoted,


Francis Casadesus


P.S. My fondest memories to your dear Marcel Ciampi.


Casadesus (1870-1954) was the oldest sibling of the first generation of France’s outstanding family of musicians and other artistic endeavors.  Francis was the first to attend the Paris Conservatoire where his main teachers were Lavignac and Franck. 


The composer began his professional career as a conductor to support himself at both the Paris Opera and the Opera Comique, taking the orchestras on symphonic tours in the major cities en Provence between 1890-1892.  In 1895 he took the Opera Comique Orchestra on a European tour.  In addition to conducting and composing, Casadesus was also a music critic starting in 1907 for the journal “Aurore” and in 1916, he founded the journal “La Musique” where he made it his business to publish the works of composers who were killed in the War, or imprisoned which would never have seen the light of day.  In 1918 at the end of World War I, General John J. Pershing sent Walter Damrosch to France to examine the state of music instruction in the Country after the War, as well as the status of the Military Bands.  Damrosch reported back in April of 1919 to Pershing recommending a collaboration of French and American musicians in a conservatory atmosphere, bringing his friend Francis Casadesus into the project.  Casadesus led the initial Conservatory from 1919 until it was moved to the Palace at Fontainebleau, where Charles Widor became the General Director and Casadesus became the Artistic Director until 1923, afterwards, he continued to teach conducting there.  In the early 1920’s the composer was a pioneer in conducting orchestral music over the radio as his friend Walter Damrosch was doing in America.  He also became the General Director of the Fêtes du Peuple, The People’s Music Festival and in 1942, he was elected Vice President of the Société des Auteurs Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique.


Casadesus was a prolific composer, with five operas, the first commissioned by the Monnaie in Brussels, and two others for Monte Carlo. His first ballet, “Le Ballets de Fleurs” had 150 performances in it’s first run in Paris in 1898.  His ballet, “Le Cigale et Magali” first performed at Marseilles in 1934 contains a violin solo in the 2nd Tableau.  The composer segmented the solo and named it “Le Chant Mistral” and offered the piece as a violin solo, violin solo with piano accompaniment and as a string quartet.  Yvonne Astruc (1889-1980) was a leading violin virtuoso and pedagogue in Paris for decades.  She studied at the Conservatoire with Leffort and later privately with Enesco and became his assistant and also a concert partner. She was a great supporter of the composers of the period in France and frequently programmed the latest works of contemporary classical composers.  It is known that she had frequent contact with the entire Casadesus family and programmed Francis Casadesus’s works.  She also performed in concert and recorded with Nadia Boulanger as her accompanist and Boulanger was particularly fond of Casadesus.   Astruc was also a pedagogue and two of her leading pupils were Christian Ferras and Salvatore Accardo.  She was also married to the pianist Marcel Ciampi, who was her most frequent accompanist.


Today, Casadesus best known work is his spectacular, rollicking late Romantic 1906 “Symphonie Scandinave”.