Text Box: PIANIST autographs


Price: $250.00



Three page autographed letter signed on his personal letterhead to an unnamed concert organizer, no place, no date.



I am very sorry not to be able to respond favorably to your request for me to play at a song concert on May 4. I would have been very charmed to be able to please you by forging myself to the artists of merit that you have. Unfortunately, I am horribly tired and even a little unwell from having played too much this winter, for my health which is not yet very solid because of a liver disease from which I have been suffering for some years and the medicine does not allow me to play in public (or at the least possibly a few weeks!) at least, if I want to avoid a violent crisis.


So I very much regret madam, not to be able to give a better answer and in the hope of being happier another time, please agree.

 I wish you Madame, my best regards.

 Diemer (1843-1919) is considered the “father” of the modern French school of piano. The critics called him “The King of the scales and the trill”.  The Director of Pianoforte at the Paris Conservatoire, he was considered a much finer pianist than his predecessors in the role, his teacher Antoine Marmontel and his teacher Pierre Zimmerman.  A large number of important composers in his world dedicated concertos to him including the Tchaikovsky 3rd Piano Concerto, Saint-Saëns 5th Piano Concerto, Franck’s Variations Symphonique, the Massenet Piano Concerto, the Lalo Piano Concerto in F Minor,  Fauré’s Bacarolle #12, D’Indy’s “Helevetia”, Casella’s Variations sur un Chaconne, and Thomes Piece de Clavecin op. 97 among the many.  He helped reintroduce the harpsichord as a virtuoso instrument several decades before Wanda Landowska.  His harpsichord recitals were as anticipated as his piano recitals and allowed him to truly demonstrate his gift for trills.  He would go on to be one of the founders of the Société des Instruments Anciens. 

Diemer’s pupil Lazare-Levy stated, “The astonishing precision of his playing, his legendary trills, the sobriety of his style, made him the excellent pianist we all admired.” In 1903  he was still playing to rave reviews wherever he went by the critics.  His list of pupils which included: Alfredo Casella, Gaby Casadesus, Robert Casadesus, Marcel Ciampi, Alfred Cortot, Marcel Dupré, Emil Frey, Marius Gaillard, Lazare-Levy, Robert Lortat, Edouard Risler and E. Robert Schmitz were but some of the best known of the hundreds who studied with him.  A veritable whose who of the French piano world.  An award he established in 1903 is still given to the finest pianist at the Paris Conservatoire.  By 1915 he had wound down many of his recital activities and while he was still willing to travel, he would generally perform one work with orchestra.  Our letter would appear to be within a few years of 1915 when he wound down his activities, though he literally performed to the end.


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