STRAUSS, RICHARD

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STRAUSS, RICHARD - Following the Successful Berlin Premiere of Symphonia Domestica, Strauss Writes from an Address That Once Almost Cost Him His Marriage
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STRAUSS, RICHARD - Following the Successful Berlin Premiere of Symphonia Domestica, Strauss Writes from an Address That Once Almost Cost Him His Marriage

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STRAUSS, RICHARD. (1864-1949). German composer; creator of Der Rosenkavalier, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Salome and other 20th-century classics. ALS. (“Dr. Richard Strauss”). 2/3p. 8vo. Berlin, January 10, 1905. Written on (Berlin) Charlottenburg stationery, the printed address of which has been struck through and amended in an unknown hand with Strauss’ Joachim­sthaler­ Strasse address. To German concert agent HERMANN FERNOW (1849-1917).

 

Many thanks for your great effort concerning my concert. I am so happy with the profitable result and ask you kindly to deposit the amount with the ‘Disconto Bank’ (Branch: Unter den Linden). Best regards…”

 

In 1903, Strauss composed Symphonia Domestica, inspired by his familial experiences, choosing to premier it during his first North American tour, undertaken in the spring of 1904, where it met with great success in New York and Chicago. Gustav Mahler gave its European premiere in Vienna in November, 1904, and on January 8, 1905, two days before writing our letter, Strauss conducted the Berlin premier. Two weeks later, Strauss conducted the premier of Arnold Schoeberg’s Pelleas and Melisande in Vienna.

 

Our letter was written from Strauss’ Joachim­sthaler­ Strasse address in Berlin, a residency that led to the plot of his two-act opera Intermezzo. “In 1903, the conductor Josef Stransky and the tenor Emilio de Marchi [were] approached by a girl in a Berlin hotel bar seeking tickets to a performance. The tenor, whose German was not its best, said ‘Oh, Herr Strausky (meaning ‘Stransky’) will look after that.’ Stransky never followed through, and the lady never received the tickets. The young lady looked up ‘Strausky’ in the phone book and found... Kapellmeis­ter Strauss living in the Joachimsthaler­ Strasse. She wrote him a note: ‘Dar­ling love! Do get me the tick­ets. Your faith­ful Mitze. P.S. My address is Mitze Mücke, 5 Lüneburgerstrasse.’ It almost destroyed the marriage. Pauline [Strauss] started divorce proceedings, would not answer Strauss’ letters and telegrams, and it took some doing before she was persuaded that it had all been a misunderstanding. The above is essentially the plot ofIntermezzo,” for which Strauss himself wrote the German libretto, (“The Strauss Project: Intermezzo,” Superconductor blog, Pelkonen).

 

Following the 1902 death of its founder, Fernow owned the Konzert-Direktion Hermann Wolffagency, responsible for arranging the world-wide concert appearances for everyone from Tchaikovsky to Heifetz.“The concert promotion business in Berlin was ruthless, and agencies competed to attract the biggest names and consequently the biggest profits… Success depended on [the widow of the agency’s founder] Louise Wolff, and Berlin musical life was made in the salon of this powerful woman. Fernow, on the other hand, conducted the logistical side of the agency’s business,” (Jascha Heifetz: Early Years in Russia, Kopytova).

 

Folded with some minor creasing. Framed with a portrait of Strauss. Not examined out of the frame.

 


This autograph will be auctioned live on May 23, 2018. For more information and to place your bid click the "BID NOW!" button above.
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