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MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: COMPOSER AUTOGRAPHS

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FINE CONDITION

The Italian composer, conductor and pianist writes a 15 bar original composition for composer Paolo Tosti as an invitation to come stay with him in London, c. 1875.         The card measured 3.5” x 4.5”.

The lyrics to the invitation are:

I'm here! my dear Tosti-cello

 

Let me know, when it is decided when you are coming here?

 

Believe me always,

 

Yours,

 

Tito Mattei

Mattei (1841-1914) was born near Naples and was declared a child piano prodigy, making his concert debut at the age of five in 1846 in Naples, followed by a tour of Italy, France and Germany.  He studied at the Naples Conservatory with Composers Carlo Conti and Michele Ruta and privately with legendary pianist Sigismund Thalberg.  In 1852 at the age of eleven he was appointed a Professor at the Santa Cecilia Convervatorio in Rome.  In 1853 he made a tour of England, France and Italy including a command performance in front of Pope Pius IX and was appointed court pianist to Victor Emmanuel II.  Over the next few years, his success to an honorary membership in the Philharmonic Society of Florence.  He decided to further his education studying harmony in Italy, France and Germany.  In 1863 he settled in London as base for his performances as a concert pianist.  In 1865 he organized a season of Italian Opera at the Lyceum Theatre in 1870 which he led from the podium. As a composer, he was prolific, literally hundreds of songs and piano works in his oeuvre.  His most famous song “Non e Ver” is still widely recorded.  Also the songs, “Dear Heart”, “Non Torno”, “Bianca”, “The Sailor’s Prayer”, ’Tis Not True” and “The Chase” were all well recorded in their day and copious amounts of 78 RPM records can be found with the songs.  Additionally he wrote comic operas, “Maria di Grande” was the most noteworthy.  Also ballets and what were described as burlesque melodramas.  He spent the remainder of his life in Great Britain, wealthy for most of his life, it would appear he did not spend wisely as his life ended in near poverty.

Composer Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) was also a student at the Naples Conservatory.  Despite their 5 year age difference, they certainly would have moved in the same musical circles.  Tosti initially started on the violin, whilst Mattei was a pianist.  Both were song writers, both were Freemasons.  Mattei and Tosti followed a line of Italian musicians and composers who arrived and stayed in Britain for longer periods of time, or permanently including; Sir Michael Costa, Cesare Pugni and Alberto Randegger.  Tosti like Mattei rose to fame with his songs, eclipsing Mattei eventually.  We know that they were friendly after Tosti’s arrival in London in 1875 and they moved in the same social circle.

A most unusual “custom” musical quotation!  

 

 

 

TITO MATTEI - COMPOSER & PIANIST
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