Popper, David. (1843–1913)
Autograph Letter Signed
A highly amusing autograph letter signed from the Bohemian cellist and composer remembered for his many cello compositions and his universally-used volume of etudes, the High School of Cello Playing. 4 pp., n.d. Popper writes (translated from the German): "To Marianne Eisler (Violin) - - Dresden. 'During man's lifetime one feels that some letters should have been written—yet one had to!' Please remember these words which, as you may sense immediately, have the right and certain potential to become a classic citation. 'Man cannot escape from immortality.' Please do not pay too much attention to these 'words.' You will not discover their meaning—nor will I! So, please, do not be too concerned. I am still in full control of my weak brainpower which only at the beginning of this letter refused to abdicate its right to exist. So, let's now rather talk about discourse. I am sincerely pleased about the kind reception you received from the Lauterbachs which indicates the best hopes for the studies which are your prime aim at this point. My blessings for tomorrow morning when you are to play for Lautenbach. Spare him Popper; he was always so nice and kind to me! Today I did something very stupid. Somebody asked me where I will travel at the beginning of January. I replied 'Struwestrasse 27.' I mean, for God's sake! I didn't even mention the name of the town, or whether it's to the left or the right, which I did not even know myself. I believe it must be to the left because Struwestrasse is always to the left! Please excuse this stupid talk. (Scharwenka is here with me and makes the most impossible Berlin jokes!) My letter has now reached the circumference of your violin: it has 4 sides; therefore, I have no choice but to close. Write to me everything that you experience in Dresden, what you see, hear and feel. If you are so inclined, treat me to a few lines again very soon. Your sincere and devoted Popper." Folding creases with one small split; overall fine. 4.25 x 7 inches (11 x 17.5 cm).
Violinist Marianne Eissler (1865–after 1921) was the sister of harpist Clara Eissler and pianist Emma Eissler. She studied at the Vienna Conservatory and led a long concert career. Marianne and Clara were together the dedicatees of Saint-Saëns' Fantaisie for violin and harp. op. 124.