Price: $450.00


 One page autographed letter to the orchestra administrator and impresario Enrich Straram, Hotel de Bordeaux, Vichy, November 3, 1941.  Straram has written holographed notes on the left margin.

Dear Sir,

Would you be kind enough to tell me exactly what the contents were in the package you asked me to take with me when you telephoned in early September in Paris, while I was there?  Was there not my “French Pieces”, which I had requested Marseilles to ask you for?  I had left them there temporarily.  Please note above my definitive address.  And accept my best wishes.

Straram writes in pencil in the let margin, Piece Francaise (without parts), Poeme violin et orch, le 12/9 Chants populaire diverse a capella.

A most unique letter linking Canteloube to the new Orchestre Radiodiffusion Nationale. 

Marie-Joseph Canteloube de Malaret (1879-1957) was born in the Auvergne region of France, to a well to do aristocratic family of monarchists.  A child prodigy, he was taken to study with a Polish-French Chopin friend and pupil Amalie Doetzer who taught the composer’s technique and principals. He furthered his education at the Schola Cantorum under Vincent D’Indy.  Canteloube who is best remembered for his Chants  d’Auvergne, which is still well widely performed today is best known as a musical folklorist, particularly from the D’Auvergne region where he compiled and orchestrated folksongs of the region.  He compiled songs of that specific region into four collections.  Canteloube also wrote operas, “Le Mas” written between 1911 and 1913 and finished in 1928, first performed at the Opera Comique at the height of his fame in 1929 and his second, “Versingetorix”  about the the Gauls and Romans in 1933.  The Compser also wrote numerous works for orchestra, with orchestra alone, solo instruments and voice.  The tone poems, “Eglogue d’Automne”, “Vers la Princess Lontain”, Poeme pour Violin et Orchestre are several of his important works for orchestra.  Canteloube established a musical folklorist society La Bourée comprised of like minded musicians who scoured the Country for local songs, described in some areas as peasant songs.  Unfortunately he joined the Vichy Regime in 1941 the year of our letter, where he published a Monarchist journal.  Canteloube also used his membership in the regime to popularize his cannon of regional songs on the radio, essentially a pioneer in marketing music via the radio.  

Enrich Straram (1903-1983) was the son of conductor Walther Straram.  He ran his Father’s famous Orchestra, Concerts Straram after his death. The orchestra at the time of his Father’s death was the best in France and a proponent of new music, including the introduction of “Bolero” by Ravel and several important Stracvinsky works.  Not a money making venture, the orchestra folded after American “soprano” and professional widow Ganna Walska walked away from her investment in the orchestra in 1934. (Not withstanding an offer from Pierre Monteux to purchase it.)  She also owned the Theatre Champs-Elysées which Straram managed for her until she under his advice sold her investment in 1970.  The same year, 1934,  Telecommunications Minister Jean Mistler appointed Straram Administrator of his brain child, the brand new Orchestre Radiodiffusion Nationale.  (The Music Director was conductor Desiré Inghelbrecht.)  In 1940, the government decided to build a music library of new French music and due to his relationships with contemporary composers of the time, he headed up the project.  Canteloube had an obvious interest in insuring they played his works on the air and he was particularly interested in having his folkloric pieces played by the orchestra.  As a member of the Vichy government at the time, he held a position of great sway to insure his music was played and his radio broadcasts from 1942-1943 at the piano with tenor Christian Selva of his folklore songs received a great amount of air time in France and were recorded in four volumes.

Despite the horrendous optics of Canteloube joining the Vichy Regime, it allowed the composer to publicize his music in perhaps a way he had never been able to in the past. A scarce letter.



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