Italian composer (1863-1945) whose 1890 masterpiece ‘Cavalleria rusticana’ takes a place among the most beloved staples of the operatic repertoire. ALS in Italian, signed “P. Mascagni,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 6 x 6, March 8, 1894. Handwritten letter to novelist Jules Claretie, in part: "I would be truly very happy to be able to work on an opera whose subject were inspired by you, but except for your best known and most appreciated novels, I do not know your literary work and I would be very grateful to you if you would direct me to a short and passionate story that could be turned into the scenario for a lyrical drama. But as for Cigarette, dear Sir, I read your letter with real disappointment: you know quite well that I cannot adopt the music that was already composed to a new topic…I would give authorization now without any difficulty to Mr. Massenet to use the same story line. We've seen this done recently with Cavalleria…It goes without saying that without a word from you I will not take the liberty to write and will promise, no matter what, to have my Cigarette performed only after Mr. Massenet's opera." In fine condition. A significant association piece, connecting the worlds of literature and music in fin de siècle France.
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