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CHARLES GOUNOD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 148437

CHARLES GOUNOD On letterhead of the Orphéon choral society, he declines a request for a composition because he is already under contract to compose an opera Autograph Letter signed: "Ch. Gounod", 2p (front and verso), 5¼x6½. Paris, undated.

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CHARLES GOUNOD On letterhead of the Orphéon choral society, he declines a request for a composition because he is already under contract to compose an opera Autograph Letter signed: "Ch. Gounod", 2p (front and verso), 5¼x6½. Paris, undated. On his letterhead as Director of the Orphéon choral society. To “My dear Mr. deStigny [?]”. In French, translated in full: I have always kept (even though I hardly get the occasion to prove it), a so excellent and so agreeable memory of you, that it's a real shame that I don't have at this time a minute to spare for what you proposed to me, and that coming from you it should be very seductive and very fascinating- you see, I allowed four days to respond to you, and I have on my table at least thirty confessions of negligence and ineptitude. You think even though I will never respond- it's necessary that [5 words difficult to decipher] I made and orchestrated an opera in two acts that I promised to draft: the ordinary everydayness of my affairs [3 words difficult to decipher] make me fear I won't finish on time./ I send all my thanks and best memories the assurance of my deep regrets. Warm regards”. French composer Charles Gounod (1818-1893) is best known for his religious works and operas, including Faust (1859), Mireille (1864) and Romeo and Juliet (1867). From 1852 to 1860, he was director of L'Orphén, a Parisian choral society, so this letter dates from that decade. The opera he was composing was probably Faust (1859), his best known work in that genre. It was also during this period that Gounod wrote "Vive l'Empereur" in honor of Napoleon III, a piece which became the anthem of the Second Empire. 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. ¼" slits at left edge of horizontal folds. Archival tape at left edge of center section - not affecting writing. Light foxing. Minor ink show through, front to verso. Otherwise, fine condition.

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