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Item 723 - Claude Debussy Catalog 448 (Mar 2015)

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Minimum Bid: $300.00
Sold Price: $10,003.35 (includes buyer's premium)


ALS in French, two pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.25 x 6.5, September 18, 1906. Letter about casting the role of the title character for the upcoming Brussels premiere of his opera Pelleas et Melisande. In part (translated): “I received a letter from Clement effect in which he hid behind his fragile organ…! A tenor is not an artist, this outcome is all too natural. Following this incident I searched Stephane Austin to know his worth; I heard it this morning, I must admit that he has qualities, and with a little practice he certainly would make a lovely Pelleas…Not attending the Conservatory, I do not know the little baritone who you tell me is admirable…I don’t distrust your judgment but the role of Pelleas requires a comprehensive artistic temperament, and this between us, the people who come out of the Conservatory are not exactly prepared to love my music! So if possible send me this bluebird.” In fine condition, with mild toning. Pelleas et Melisande was an opera in five acts that Debussy adapted from from Maurice Maeterlinck's Symbolist play of the same title. It is the only opera he ever completed, and is considered a landmark in 20th-century music. The opera debuted at the Opera-Comique in Paris in 1902, and this letter concerns its first foreign performance, which would take place at the Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels, on January 9, 1907. Excellent content from the notoriously perfectionist composer concerning a vital element of the performance of his work. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.

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