JULES MASSENET - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 11/27/1893 - HFSID 29934
Sale Price $680.00
Signed autograph letter (1893) to the commander of a French regiment, requesting that a very talented student of Massenet's, Fernand Halphen, be given time to write music while under the colonel's command. Massenet predicts - correctly - that Halphen would win a Prix de Rome.
Autograph Letter signed: "Massenet", 4 pages, 4½x7, front and verso (integral leaf). Nice, 1897 November 27 "while traveling." To a colonel, In French, loosely translated. "I have learned the soldier Fernand Halphen is at Fontainebleu, under your command, in the 4th Regiment." Massenet asks permission to say that this young man is one of the best students in his music composition class, already a composer of great talent. Massenet gives assurance that if Halphen is given leave to write, he won't fail to fulfill his military duties absolutely, and that he has a good chance to win the Prix de Rome. French composer Jules Massenet (1842-1912) made his name with the comic opera Don César de Bazan (1872). Other operas followed, including Manon (1884), considered by many to be his masterpiece, Le Cid (1885) and Werther (1892). In addition to his ambitious operas and orchestral works, Massenet wrote over 200 popular songs, many of them based on published poems. Fernand Halphen (1872-1917) studied music composition under Massenet at the Paris Conservatory. His talent justified his teacher's confidence when he won 2nd Prize in the Prix de Rome in 1896 for his cantata Melusine. (The Prix de Rome competition, which awarded scholarships in several artistic categories, was established in France in 1663 and moved to Rome by Napoleon in 1803. Massenet himself had won the Prix de Rome in 1863 for his cantata David Rizzio.) Returned to military service in World War I, Halphen died on the battlefield in 1917. Soiled at fold creases. Lightly toned. Adhesive residue at vertical crease. Otherwise, fine condition.
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