"the most remarkable of all is that he is an English composer who can write for the piano"

Sorabji, Kaikhosru Sapurji, English composer, music critic and pianist (1892-1988). Typed letter signed.

Corfe Castle, Dorset, 18. IV. 1954.

4to. 1 page.


A diatribe to defend the English composer and pianist "Uncle Yobo" (i. e. York Bowen), written to one Mr. Isaacs, apparently Harry Isaacs, with whom Bowen had formed a successful piano duo: "MA SICURO! ... THAT I will and with alacritous eagerness empressment and all ... My admiration and respect for 'Uncle Yobo' as our dear mutual and disrespectfully dutiful friend Clinton Gray Fisk calls him can with difficulty have bounds set to it. His complete aloofness from the fashionable tricks of the moment ... démodé no sooner than they are set on paper ... AND ... malheuresment, the paper on which they are set becomes thenceforth QUITE unwholesome, to use in what Max Reger called 'the smallest apartment of his house' unless one wants to risk contracting MUCH more than one WANTS to ... is not the least admirable thing about him, among so many others as and more admirable still ... the most remarkable of ALL is that he is an English composer who can write for the piano ... and write music of supreme quality for that instrument … an accomplishment becoming ever rarer and rarer allow me to inform you ... OF THE BLATANTLY OBVIOUS BIEN ENTENDU!!!! ... AND ... I roundly assert VERY VERY RARE IN ANY TIME OR PLACE AMONG MASTERS I CARE NOT HOW GREAT ... You remember the German governess in one of the slightly less cretinously imbecile-than-usual plays of the insufferable bore Tchekov who speaks of someone as being 'Gute[r] Mensch, aber schlechter Musikant!' Well, let us paraphrase it and say à propos Y.B. 'Gute[r] Mensch und vortrefflicher Musikant!' To return to our good mutual ... C.G.F. He constantly bewails the fact that Y.B. does not get the recognition from ces messieurs of the Fleet St. Sewers that he ought ... But OUGHT he to? ... What I mean is ... WHAT HAS EVER Y.B. DONE BAD ENOUGH TO INCUR THE Gowning insult of PRAISE OF THOSE INSECTS THOSE PARASITES WHO THINK MASTER REUBEN PIPSQUEAK A GREAT COMPOSER AND MASTER RANCID FRICASSEE A COMPOSER AT ALL?????? [...]". Further quoting from Milton's "Paradise Regained".

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