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BERLIOZ Hector - Autograph Letter Signed 1845 requesting an accompanist

  • £1,725.00

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)

Autograph Letter Signed ("H. Berlioz") to Monsieur Darboville in Marseille, requesting his assistance as accompanist for rehearsals with the Trotebas choir.

2 pages 12mo in French with integral address leaf, n.p. [Marseille], 27 June 1845.

Trans: "Allow me to call upon your kindness to accompany the Trotebas choir for two or three rehearsals they will have for my 3rd concert. This will be of great assistance to me and I will be very grateful to you. We are rehearsing tomorrow Saturday at 9 o'clock in the Thubaneau Hall. Kindly let me know by sending word whether it will be possible for you to assist me in this new work. Many apologies for my indiscretion . . ."

In 1845, Berlioz embarked on concerts outside Paris in order to make his work better known outside the capital, visiting Marseille and Lyon. He found enough musicians of acceptable standard, but the chorus of the Grand Theatre, where he performed, proved to be a disappointment. He was, however, far more encouraged by the Trotebas Society, a male choir, who stepped into the breach.

During the course of his concerts in Marseille he performed excerpts from Harold in Italy and the Symphonie Fantastique, as well as the Hymne à la France and the apotheosis of the Symphonie Triomphale. Audience numbers were disappointing, and Berlioz was not to return to Marseille, concentrating instead on tours outside France.

The first two concerts in Marseille are recorded in the local press and Berlioz's own writings; however, it is unclear as to whether or not this third concert actually took place.

The letter has very minor waterstaining at the lower right corner, not touching the text and is slightly browned at the fold, but is otherwise in very good condition.


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