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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 121

    GARRICK, David (1717-1779). Autograph letter signed to Charles Burney, Naples, 5 February 1764, 4 pages, 4to, including integral address panel (addressed to 'maitre de musique'), (a few restored losses affecting text, some wear and browning at folds). Provenance: the Albin Schram Collection.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    GARRICK, David (1717-1779). Autograph letter signed to Charles Burney, Naples, 5 February 1764, 4 pages, 4to, including integral address panel (addressed to 'maitre de musique'), (a few restored losses affecting text, some wear and browning at folds). Provenance: the Albin Schram Collection.

    'I fear ... good musick is ye needle in a bottle of hay': Garrick on the state of music in Italy, on performances by Gabrielli and Caffarelli, and on Neopolitans. With dampened spirits due to Mrs Garrick's rheumatism, Garrick offers the musician and writer Charles Burney a damning report on Naples' citizens ('they are literally & figuratively a Race of Thieves ... all pantomimers from ye Prince to ye Beggar ...') and on the 'bad taste' of music, which he feels lacks 'simplicity or pathos'. He has heard Gabrielli sing, and although 'transported' by her 'astonishing powers', feels 'she is always ye same ... wanting that nice feeling of ye passions ... she cannot give that variety, & that peculiar pleasure which alone can support the tediousness of an Opera'. However Garrick is deeply affected by attending a 'ceremony of making a nun, she was ye daughter of a duke ... and to crown ye whole the first part was sung by ye famous Caffarelli, who tho old ... touch'd me ... ye first time I have been touch'd since I came into Italy'. About to set off to experience the carnivals in Rome and theatres of Bologna and Venice, Garrick intends to report back, but tells his friend 'you will get little' by journeying to Italy.

    The Garricks made a Grand Tour in September 1763, and in 1764 a tour from Lyons to Turin, Rome and Naples; Garrick was received as a celebrity, and when in Naples was guest to the expatriate English nobility.


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    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Saleroom Notice

    Some overall light browning, particuarly along folds and in the centre of the second leaf; first leaf with restored marginal loss affecting a few words, and two small holes at folds restored; the second leaf with small holes at folds and inner margin, touching script, and restored seal tears to centre and edge of leaf - the central hole with the ends of two words supplied; two short tears at folds.