21 November 2012
MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY, Felix (1809-1847). Autograph letter signed ('Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy') to [Jenny Lind], Leipzig, 25 January 1846, two pages, 8vo, bifolium (a few nicks, traces of mount on integral blank). Provenance: collection of Dr Edward J. Keffer (d.1937), Philadelphia; Walter R. Benjamin Autographs, New York, 1952.
MENDELSSOHN AND THE 'SWEDISH NIGHTINGALE'. The composer writes to introduce two acquaintances, who are coming to Weimar to hear Lind -- one of them 'Herr Wieck, the father and teacher of the remarkable pianist Clara Wieck-Schumann'; they desire to attend a rehearsal as well as a concert, and they believe that a word from Lind would achieve this -- 'they also believe that I through my request to you etc etc etc' ('sie glauben wieder, daß ich durch meine Bitte bei Ihnen &c &c &c'). Mendelssohn was 'far from pleased' on his return to Leipzig to hear that Lind had been there in his absence, but had left three hours before, but he is encouraged to hear that her stay in Weimar has been prolonged: 'could you not perhaps spend a quiet day or even half a day in Leipzig? If only you would! That would be the most delightful thing ... that you could do for us' ('können Sie denn da nicht vielleicht noch einen oder einen halben ruhigen Tag in Leipzig verbringen? Wenn Sie das doch thäten! Das wäre die schönste Freude ... die Sie uns machen könnte!'). The letter is not amongst the 14 by Mendelssohn to Lind published in her Memoir (1891), suggesting it may have been retained by Wieck or his companion after their introduction.
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