2 autograph letters signed.
4to. Together 3 pp.
The earlier letter was originally sent with a musical score to the tenor Marius Audran, apparently via the French violinist Albert Vizentini. Gevaert gives Audran "carte blanche to modify" eventual "twists of chant" that he does not like and explains that had the piece, a "Romance", not already been finished, he would have written something in a different key for Audran. He then provides the recipient with instructions for the conductor Jean-Baptiste Singelée and reports on the dire financial state of the Opéra-Comique in Paris, calling it a "sick bay"; Audran should "thank God" that he is not engaged there in its current "lamentable condition". According to the letter, Marius Audran was engaged at the Ghent opera at the time, which agrees with Singelée's engagement as head conductor there. Today, Marius Audran (1816-87) is best known as first tenor of the Opéra-Comique, later director of the Marseille conservatory (from 1863), and father of the composer Edmond Audran.
The second letter contains a short bibliography of five books, including one of Gevaert's own, concerning various topics in the history of music. Apparently, the unnamed recipient had asked about historical military marches, French, and Flemish medieval chansons.
Both letters are beautiful documents of Gevaert's profound enthusiasm for music, be it as a composer or as a musicologist. Since 1871 Gevaert served as director of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and was able to engage important teachers, such as Henri Vieuxtemps and Eugène Ysaÿe, at this young institution.
The letter from 1889 on stationery of the "Cabinet du Directeur" of the Brussels Conservatory. Lower left corner of the 1861 letter clipped, affecting a short postscript. With traces of former mounting and some browning. The letter from 1889 shows a restored tear affecting the text and a minor tear. Browning to the margins.