Day-Lewis, Cecil. (1904–1972) [Effinger, Cecil. (1914–1990)]
Autograph Letter Signed - From the Collection of David Diamond
Autograph letter signed from the Anglo-Irish poet to American composer Cecil Effinger. November 27, ; 2 pp. Day-Lewis writes: "Dear Mr. Effinger, I am most interested to hear that you have done a setting of 'The Christmas Tree.' It is curious that you have mentioned a detection plot in connection with opera, for although none of my own work would be suitable—I feel sure a new plot would be necessary, not a re-hashed one, with a fantastic or mock-heroic approach—a fellow-poet over here, Patric Dickinson, suggested to me only a few months ago that he thought of trying his hand at the libretto of such an opera. You might be interested to get in touch with him: his address is 38 Church Square, Rye, Sussex; he has had two poetic plays performed by the B.B.C. & in the theater, & is no novice at dramatic construction, though I do not know how well versed he may be in musical matters. Yours sincerely, C. Day-Lewis." Together with a half-tone photograph of the author as a young man with a dog. Slight mounting traces; overall fine. Letter 5.25 x 7 inches (13.3 x 17.7 cm); photograph 3.25 x 4.75 inches (8.5 x 12.3 cm).
American composer Cecil Effinger studied with Nadia Boulanger in 1939, and later in life became a professor of composition at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was an oboist, and is also remembered for inventing a musical typewriter, which he patented in 1954 as the "Musicwriter."
From the collection of David Diamond, considered one of the preeminent American composers of his generation. He enjoyed wide success in the 1940's and 1950's, before the serial and modernist trends largely pushed him into the shadows. The New York Times described him as "part of what some considered a forgotten generation of great American symphonists, including Howard Hanson, Roy Harris, William Schuman, Walter Piston and Peter Mennin."