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Lot 18: Swiss Composer Ernest Bloch Autograph Letter Mentioning a Number of His Compositions
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Mentioning a Number of His Compositions and Sending Thanks for: “Your too dithyrambic, but moving tribute to E.B.!” ********** BLOCH, ERNEST. (1880-1959). Swiss-born, American composer of Schelomo and other modern masterpieces. ALS. (“Ernest Bloch”). 1 1/3pp. 4to. Agate Beach, December 8, 1947. To Mr. Griffith (possibly Kenneth E. Griffith from Shreveport, Louisiana, with whom Bloch corresponded). ********** “Many thanks for your kind letter and your too dithyrambic, but moving tribute to E.B.! Enclosed a few data ab[out] my published works. The Poeme Mystique was published –1925? – in Germany – Leukhardt! – Unfortunately – may be it is available at the Associated Music Publ. Inc. 25 West 45th St. N. York 19 – (?) Other works of mine are published by C. C. Birchard Boston (America – Helvetia – Concerto Grosso – four episodes) Carish (Milano) – Now possibly Carl Fischer, New York has my Piano Sonata – Boosey & Hawkes, London & N. York has the Violin Concerto – Suite Symphonique – and the Second Quartet – I will prepare a booklet with all these data, but I have so little time! And so much correspondence – and… no help – and poor health! With best wishes and greetings…” ********** After studying in Belgium and Germany, Bloch moved to the United States where he became the first composition teacher at the Mannes College’s New School for Music. From 1920 to 1925, he was the Cleveland Institute of Music’s first director, after which he was director of the San Francisco Conservatory until 1930. He returned to Switzerland, but came back to America in 1939 to accept a music professorship at the UC Berkeley. Bloch retired in 1952, continuing to live in Agate Beach, Oregon (whence our letter is written) from 1941 until his death. “The quality of Bloch’s output is, on the whole, high, particularly in the orchestral and chamber media... His firm beliefs in his own work and his faith in the spirituality of mankind make him a singular figure of 20th-century music,” (The New Grove Dictionary). ********** Folded with two staple marks in the upper left margin.