[Pianists] [Hofmann, Josef. (1876–1957)] Chasins, Abram. (1903–1987)
"I've explained and re-explained, and yelled and cajoled and demonstrated..." - Typed Letter Signed
TLS from the composer, author, educator, and radio executive replying to correspondence from one Roger Derby. January 21, 1958. 1 pp., on WQXR FM stationary. Chasins begins the letter by responding to a suggestion of a future book topic from Mr. Derby, seemingly to do with piano technique and possibly on how best to perform his own work. "Even with marvelously endowed pianists such as Kapell or Bolet or Keene, I've explained and re-explained, and yelled and cajoled and demonstrated...and still more, and only occasionally have problems been fully understood or solved even after hours and hours at the keyboard together."
The second half of the letter consists of numbered answers to questions which have been noted in the margins in Derby's hand. In response to a question about Rachmaninoff's recording of Chopin's second Piano Sonata: "Great piano playing, but not a full realization of Chopin's music. You should have heard Hofmann!" On Hofmann's Brunswick recordings: "Yes, I know all these recordings. Not one does Hofmann justice. But Hofmann at his worst was still a miracle-worker." And on the decline of Hofmann's art by 1940, Chasins says only "A personal tragedy, which I am not at liberty to disclose."
Photograph affixed to upper left of letter, and a label below the text, else fine. 8.5 x 11 inches (21.6 x 27.9 cm.).