NOVELLO J. Alfred - Autograph Letter Signed 1887 sending thanks for A History of Cheap Music
Joseph Alfred NOVELLO (1810-1896)Autograph Letter Signed (“J Alfred Novello”) to Alfred Littleton, thanking him for sending him A Short History of Cheap Music.
1 page 8vo with integral blank leaf, Villa Novello, Genoa, 12 August 1887.
“I suppose few elderly gentlemen on the day they complete their 77th anniversary have rec’d so great satisfaction, as I have experienced today by reading the elegant volume “A Short History of Cheap Music” received by last night’s post. The Preface by Sir George Grove is in itself a reward of inestimable gratification proceeding from a gentleman so well informed of the subject he has written upon.
I am grateful for the friendly spirit which pervades the compilation of this very interesting history and feel it none the less, because the editors have been so modest as not to proclaim themselves on the title page of their excellent work.
The reading of the Volume occupied me for four hours of this my 77th birthday anniversary and the continuous interest in its details produced great thankfulness of spirit; seeing I have been vouchsafed so bountiful a share of life and good health.”
In 1811 Vincent Novello founded what was to become one of the great music publishing houses, Novello and Company. Eighteen years later his son Joseph Alfred Novello took over the business at the age of only 19. A few years later, Novello’s started publishing a periodical dedicated to music, but its core business, and great contribution to the music world, was to remain the publication of sheet music, introducing the era of inexpensive sheet music. The composers published by Novello’s was a long and distinguished one, including names such as Elgar and Holst.
Henry Littleton, Alfred Novello’s associate in the business, became a full partner in 1861 and took over the business when Alfred retired and moved to Genoa in 1866. Following Henry Littleton’s retirement the firm was taken over by his sons, Alfred and Augustus.
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