Lot 707: LS in French, one page, 8.25 x 10, November 1, 1803. Letter to Madame Moreau, an accomplished pianist of Creole descent and the wife of the Napoleonic general Jean Victor Moreau. In part (translated): "Mr. Prince Esterhazy did me the honor to say you wanted to have a Sonata of my composition, it required nothing less than my extreme desire to please, to induce me to take care of this work; my age and disease forbid me any application for two years, and I fear that you do apperceive, but the indulgence was always the prerogative of grace and talent, so it's allowed me to rely on your own. The doctors make me hope for a softening of my woes, I aspire to do, Madam, to repair the weakness of my work, making you recognize a new composition." In fine condition, with mild toning.Nikolaus II, Prince Esterhazy, was the last principal patron of Haydn and in 1803 requested him to write a sonata for Madame Moreau. By this time, Haydn's health was in serious decline and he was physically too frail to compose. Rather than writing a new composition, Haydn took a pianoforte trio which he had previously composed in 1795 and, omitting the cello part, rearranged it as a duet for clavier and violin. This version, which he gave to Madame Moreau, later gained the reputation as Haydn's 'derniere sonate,' or last sonata, in early editions of his works. An exceedingly rare letter from the composer with outstanding content, discussing both his work as a composer and the ill health that brought his career to an end.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 462
Wednesday, 14th October 2015
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