CHARLES GOUNOD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/14/1881 - HFSID 71615
Writing just before the debut of his long-delayed last opera, The Tribute of Zamora, he thanks an unnamed woman.
Autograph Letter signed:: "Ch. Gounod" on third page, 3p, 4½x7, conjoined leaves. Monday, 1881 March 14. To “Madam”. In French, translated in full: “I wanted to thank you sooner for your gracious note, but I had to read it with some tranquility and understanding on the point for which I was thanking. I am so busy that I am reduced to borrowing from my sleep if I wished to read it. I don't regret the insomnia that you caused me. In another sense I could say that "you owe me," but that is more than paid for by what you have said. There are, among others, two very little pieces "After the Defeat" and "Memory" that have particularly pleased me. I don't speak of the delicacy of your hand. It is so flattering that it reduces me to Silence. Accept, Madam, my very respectful praise and thanks. Please remind your husband of me”.French composer Charles Gounod (1818-1893) is best known for his religious works and operas, including Faust (1959), Mireille (1864) and Romeo and Juliet (1867). Later in his life, Gounod, who had lived in England from 1870-1875, wrote his famous musical setting of "Ave Maria". He also wrote oratorios, symphonies and chamber music. This letter was written just two weeks before the premier in Paris of his long delayed last opera, The Tribute of Zamora. Critics were not kind to the opera, and claimed that Gounod's reluctance to finish it revealed his awareness that it was not up to the standard of his earlier works. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Heavily penned, light show through of ink. File holes at lower left blank margins of both pages, minor paper loss at upper right corner of signature page, nicked at lower right edge of that page. Mounting remnants at upper margin of verso, light show through at last line of writing and signature. Minor stains at upper left corner of front and on verso of integral leaf. Otherwise, fine condition.
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