D'Indy, Vincent. (1851–1931) [Rogister, Jean. (1879–1964)]
Three Autograph Letters
Group of three autograph letters from the important French composer to Belgian violist Jean Rogister. July 5, 1921 (1 p.); October 30, 1921 (3 pp.); and July 10, 1922 (1 p.). The letters concern D'Indy's advice to Rogister on his compositions, with D'Indy apologizing for his delay in responding to Rogister's manuscripts, and giving criticism on Rogister's trombone concerto. Complete translations below. In very fine condition overall, ranging in size from 4 x 5 inches to 8.5 x 11 inches.
Jean Rogister (1879–1964) was a Belgian virtuoso violist, teacher, and composer who studied at and later became professor at the Liège Conservatory. In 1925, he founded the Quatuor de Liège together with Henri Koch, Joseph Beck, and Lydia Rogister-Schor.
Translated from the French, in full:
"July 5, 1921.
Dear Monsieur Rogister, I have received all your mailings, manuscripts etc, and you will excuse me for not having acknowledged receipt if you only knew what I have had on my hands since May 15! I have literally not 10 minutes of freedom, being obliged to take my meals in a quarter of an hour! Fortunately, now, the school is closed, the exams are over and I leave Paris tomorrow morning for 3 months. I will have, during these holidays (!) a mad amount of work, because I must orchestrate a new work that I will take to America in November and for which the publishers are hounding me to have the orchestral material ready on time. Nevertheless, there will be a few moments available and I intend to use them by reading the manuscripts you have sent me and on which (according to my habit for my students), I will mark, very lightly, in pencil, my remarks [...] So please have a little patience, dear Monsieur, and please excuse me for worrying you. [...] Vincent D'Indy.
October 30, 1921
Dear Monsieur Rogister, I wish, however, before leaving for America, to send you your Trombone Concerto, which I "finally" was able to read. You will see, by my observations in pencil, that I find this piece is lacking in "composition"... it seems like a perpetual improvisation, without a solid base, without well-regulated harmonic foundations, and of which the melodic elements, often poetic and really musical [...] are almost all drowned in the end in little time in a verbiage that seems improvised. I think one could make good use of the idea of the slow movemen, which is really good and musical, and also of the initial phrase of the finale, which unfortunately finishes too quickly; but for that everything would have to be reworked completely. Do not judge me too severe, dear sir; it is because your idea of art interests me that I speak to you so ... severely! As for the changes to your "Nuit d'Octobre," although I no longer have the piece at the moment, they seem to me all good, and in any case, they would certainly improve the piece. Don't send me anything more before the end of February, I won't return from America until then. [...] Vincent d'Indy.
July 10, 22.
Dear Monsieur, I received your music and your letter as I was leaving Paris. I do not remember having received another one in March... and did not find this one in the package of the innumerable letters to answer that are accumulated on my desk... And then, I have been so overwhelmed with work since my return from America that I could not have answered them before this month. But, rest assured, I took your score of the "Goblin" and I will examine it thoroughly as soon as I have a "stale" moment to devote to it. Believe me, Monsieur [...] Vincent d'Indy."