An autograph letter, in French, signed by Berlioz to his friend Charles Hallé, the German conductor and pianist, dated 1 February 1857, regarding the recruitment of French musicians for the important Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition (May to October 1857). Hector BERLIOZ.
An autograph letter, in French, signed by Berlioz to his friend Charles Hallé, the German conductor and pianist, dated 1 February 1857, regarding the recruitment of French musicians for the important Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition (May to October 1857)
An autograph letter, in French, signed by Berlioz to his friend Charles Hallé, the German conductor and pianist, dated 1 February 1857, regarding the recruitment of French musicians for the important Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition (May to October 1857)

An autograph letter, in French, signed by Berlioz to his friend Charles Hallé, the German conductor and pianist, dated 1 February 1857, regarding the recruitment of French musicians for the important Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition (May to October 1857)

Octavo, 2 pages (the first leaf of a bifolium).

Light horizontal creases where folded for posting; short split to the foot of the hinge; two tiny splits to the leading margins at the crease across the middle (the top one neatly sealed); thin strip of paper residue on the verso near the hinge (where previously mounted); overall an appealing item in excellent condition.

Hallé had recently been contracted to form and direct an orchestra to give daily afternoon concerts during the exhibition. Berlioz writes that the violinist Jean-Marie Becquié de Peyreville had offered his services as assistant conductor, an offer Hallé was to accept. He further advises that Becquié does not believe that musicians can live in Manchester at the fee proposed, and 'franchement je ne le crois pas non plus, à moins de ne manger que des coquilles de noix et de ne boire que de l'eau impure' [frankly I do not believe it either, unless they eat nutshells and drink dirty water].

He concludes with some practical but hard-headed advice, clearly based on personal experience. 'Enfin arrangez tout cela avec lui, et tachez de bien ficeler vos engagemens pour que personne ne vous .... tourne dans la main au moment d'agir' [Anyway, arrange all that with him and try to tie down your engagements so that no one ... slips through your fingers at the last minute]. The letter is signed 'Mille amitiés, votre tout dévoué, H. Berlioz, 4 Rue de Calais, 1 Février 1857'.

Hallé was to settle in Manchester after the exhibition and establish his orchestra as one of Britain's premier symphony orchestras; it still bears his name today.

In 1857 Berlioz was at the peak of his international fame. On the back of successful tours to Germany, Russia and Britain he had been elected to the Institut de France, and had begun composing his epic opera 'Les Troyens'.

This letter is cited in Volume VI of 'Correspondance Générale' (No. 2205).

Item #113153

Price: $2,500.00

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