THOMAS Ambroise - Autograph Letter Signed 1843 praising Adolphe Sax inventor of the saxophone
Ambroise THOMAS (1811-1896)Autograph Letter Signed (“Ambroise Thomas”) to an unidentified correspondent, praising the merits of the inventions and improvements to wind instruments made by M. Sax.
2 pages 8vo in French with integral blank leaf, Paris, 16 November 1843.
Trans: “The reputation of Monsieur Sax is well known to me, and I have no doubt that the improvements and innovations made by him to various wind instruments will be a step forward for music, of which we composers will feel the benefits most directly. If my opinion has any value, I hasten to say, Sir, that I will be very happy to add my voice to that of other competent persons who have recognized the merit of M. Sax.
As I have heard the instrument in question but a little, I can hardly discuss it from a scientific point of view, nor go into precise details; but if my signature on a better phrased appreciation could be of use to you, please let me know and I shall provide it. . .”
The Belgian musician, Adolphe Sax, made many improvements to wind and brass instruments; indeed, he seems to have been endlessly working on new ideas for instruments, but he is remembered for his invention of the saxophone. The first saxophones appeared in the early 1840s, and it may well be this instrument which prompted this letter. By this time, Sax was living in Paris, where he patented his invention a few years later.
In 1857, Sax joined the faculty at the Paris Conservatoire. A year later, Ambroise Thomas was named professor at the Conservatoire, eventually becoming director in 1871.
Thomas’ many operas, though very popular in their day, are less often performed today; the best-known is Mignon.
A pinhole at the bottom of the letter, not touching the text.
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