Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix, German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period (1809-1847). Autograph letter signed ("Felix").

Leipzig, 20 Nov. 1837.

Large 4to. 2 pp.


To an undisclosed recipient: "When I posted the letter to you the day before yesterday, I already half suspected that yours would come yesterday - and it really did, and scolded me, and I deserved it, too. But write me again soon and tell me how you are. Your letter is in a bad mood, and it couldn't very well be otherwise; but tell me, couldn't you undertake some good and proper project of your own, in seclusion, as a comfort and therapeutic? [...] I am sending this letter with Rosen's portrait to Paul in Hamburg, who has just arrived there and will be staying there a few months; he will certainly be able to send it to you soon. I hardly think the sketch will be of any use because it was done so very hastily; but I find the likeness so very good, and I ask particularly to see to it that I get it back undamaged. When you write of the dead season again, and I think again of the despairing foggy days I was amazed to see this time in James Park, and when I then also see the disgusting snow that has been lying here for several days, then I say Germany forever, after all. Small and miserably dead it is here, and yet there is much to live for. If I had enough character to turn down the next Rhinish Music Festival, it could be possible that I would stay entirely, my whole life, sitting here in Leipzig, and I and my art, we would be only the better for it. But I fear I am too vain for them; and yet I must do it sooner or later. We are furnishing our flat - as people say - i.e., there has been constant talk of wallpaper, curtains, and furniture, and in a week we are supposed to be able to move in, although we don't want to until 4 weeks from now; in a new house standing alone, on the third floor, the view to the South over the fields and the forest, to the North on the promenade and the city and towers, to the West on a big water mill with its wheels, then you only have to drop in, your quarters are ready; in a room papered with bouquets of flowers you are to have lodgings, and the white hall and our rooms are completely at your disposal. You shall hear music, half as much as I in the last weeks, i.e., up to your ears - singing, piano, quartets, of whatever kind you want. And better than all that you will find my Rüdesheimer 1834 wine. I picked it out in Bingen, had a cask of it transported here, and am creating a huge furor with it here in Leipzig because they aren't used to things like that. And now even you, who has had to make do with the barbaric [...] things: Hock [Hochheimer is a wine from the Main area], and still have a German heart - you will like it [...]" (transl. from the German original).

Mendelssohn paraphrases the quote from the opening poem of Goethe's collection of poetry, The West Eastern Divan: "North and West and South splinter, thrones burst, kingdoms tremble; fee to taste the air of patriarchs in the pure East". Rosen, to whom he refers, is the Sanskrit scholar Friedrich Rosen, who had died in London on September 12, 1837. Cecile Jeanrenaud is Mendelssohn's wife, who he had married on March 28, 1837.

Crude repair to marginal tears.

Stock Code: BN#33034 Tag: