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Lot n° 45

HAHN Reynaldo (1874-1947).

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L.A.S. "Reynaldo", [Monte-Carlo February 1902], to Mademoiselle Suzette; 6 pages in-8 (small cracks). Very beautiful letter about Massenet's Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (premiered in Monaco on February 18, 1902). He pays tribute to the talent of his friend as a letter writer, evokes the life in Monaco, the fever of the game.... "The Juggler of Notre-Dame is a small work written quickly and with all the sincerity of which is capable a marvellous artist who has not been sincere with himself for a long time. Massenet's psychology is a complicated thing; I alone know it well, having lived in daily intimacy with him for years and having seen him work. - This work would be quite charming if, with the very talent it contains, it had been written 15 years ago, when ideas were still in full bloom. Then there would have been no need to make up for what is lacking on this side by a little sentimental affectation, by tiresome insistence on small things, by an abuse of nuances that is irritating, etc. But such as it is, the work is pleasant, not banal, and orchestrated in a prodigious way; nobody, know it, not even Wagner in the Masters singers! has orchestrated as well as Massenet orchestrates now; Grisélidis is superb from this point of view; in this respect, he has made unheard-of progress that seemed impossible; and the admirable instrumentation of St. Saëns pales in comparison with that of Massenet [...For my part, I will always instrument more classically than Massenet, and thus I will come closer to this incomparable artist whom I admire so much (the only one, perhaps, that I fully admire in some of his works) and who has so strongly and so poorly offended me "... A L.A.S. to a friend (3 p. in-8, on the letterhead of the Grand Hôtel de Toulon), ironizing on a "young writer"...

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