Karajan, Herbert Von. (1908-1989)

Three Signed Letters to David Blum

Three signed typed letters from the legendary conductor to David Blum, the symphonic conductor and writer on classical music. Vienna, September 17, 1957; Slazburg, January 15, 1985; and Salzburg, September 3, 1986. Each 1 p., in English and German. Karajan first writes to to say that Blum is welcome to assist at rehearsals for an upcoming performance; the later letters mention both Karajan's and Blum's upcoming book and recording projects. Full texts below. 8 x 10 and 8.25 x 11.75 inches. Fine.

Text in English:
"Vienna, September 17, 1957. Dear Mr. Blum, thank you so much for your interesting letter. – I am glad about all you said me about the orchestra and certainly I appreciate your information. – Of course, you may assist at the rehearsals. – Would you get in touch with me or better with my secretary after my arrival, he will arrange all for you. With my best greetings, Herbert von Karajan."

Translated from the German:
"Salzburg, 1985–01-15. Dear Herr Blum, Thank you for your letter of December 18. You write that you don't know how far I have come with my own book. Actually, the concepts are completely finished, I only need the time to write, which I will certainly not have in the next two years, because I first have to finish a big film project. But when I begin work, we could talk about a possible translation. In this case I would get in touch with you. With best wishes, Herbert von Karajan."
"Salzburg, 1986-09-03. Dear Herr Blum, First thank you very much for sending your new book. I read it with great interest and I can understand the worldwide success that it has obviously had. It is written by an expert primarily for quartet players, because it contains a multitude of experiences and facts. Now to the content of your letter: I am engaged at the moment in an extremely extensive and difficult task. I am producing 38 recordings of my own repertoire, symphonies, oratorios and opera. The works are recorded in a technically new way, and now comes the even more difficult processing with a new computer system, exclusively reserved for the video recording which will appear on the market in two years. Only when this project is over will I have the chance to think about anything else besides my conducting responsibilities. I am also fairly far into planning my own book, and I wouldn't like to get ahead of myself. As soon as you see that the video recording on the market is, I would be grateful to talk to you again. With best wishes, Herbert von Karajan."

David Blum made a number of recordings, including works by Mozart and Telemann and a series of Haydn symphonies for the Vanguard label, with the Esterhazy Orchestra of New York, which he founded in 1961 and directed until 1969. He was music director of the Lausanne Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland from 1973 to 1982 and of the Geneva Symphony Orchestra, which he also founded, from 1977 to 1986, and conducted many other orchestras as a guest. Blum devoted his later years to writing, showing a particular fascination with musical performers and their approaches to their art. In addition to three books -- ''Casals and the Art of Interpretation,'' ''The Art of Quartet Playing: The Guarneri Quartet in Conversation With David Blum'' and ''Paul Tortelier'' -- he wrote articles for The New Yorker, The Musical Times, The Strad and the Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times. (11001)

Classical Music