Rosenhain, Jakob. (1813-1894). [Pixis. Johann Peter. (1788-1874)]

Six Autograph Letters Signed

An intriguing collection of letters from the German Jewish pianist and composer, who lived in Paris from 1837 to 1870.
1. To German composer and pianist Johann Peter Pixis. In German. 2 pp. Small bifolium with blind stamped monogram "JR." Dated "Wednesday." "Dear friend Pixis, my wife and I ask you to please us by having dinner with us tomorrow at half past five. We will take care of your return home." 5.25 x 4 inches (13.3 x 10.5 cm).

2. To Johann Peter Pixis. In German. 1 p. Small bifolium. Dated "Saturday." "Friend Pixis, I ask you to please us by having dinner with us tomorrow Sunday at three. You must agree to make us really happy." 5.5 x 4.25 inches (13.6 x 11 cm).

3. To the publisher Maurice Schlesinger (1798-1871). In German. 2 pp. Small bifolium. Dated "Wednesday." Address to final page, establishing the recipient, who is not mentioned in the letter itself. "Most worthy friend, I prefer to turn to you in writing rather than discuss my cause orally once more. I set the price of my etudes for two reasons, which does not allow me to depart from it even more. 1) Because they have been written for a publisher [i.e. Schlesinger] with whom I desire very much to enter a permanent business relationship. 2) Because they are for a man whom I hold in high esteem and who is very kind. Therefore I believed I would have to demand less from you than I would have demanded from anybody else, but I must insist on the price of 800 francs. Be so kind to answer within a few days. I will not offer my etudes to anybody else until then." 3.75 x 6 inches (15.5 x 9.8 cm).

4. To unidentified male recipient. In German. 2 pp. Bifolium. Dated "Wednesday evening." "Rest assured that I thought of you quite often, but I did not come because I was not able to. I was a prisoner to my bed and home for three months. Now I am doing better. I took a few coach rides, weather permitting, but I haven't taken any walks so far. Thus I cannot hope to get permission to visit you as soon as I would like to." 8.25 x 5.25 inches (21 x 13.5 cm). 

5. To "Monsieur Anders". In German. 2 pp. Bifolium. Dated "Wednesday." Address, "Monsieur Monsieur Anders en ville [Paris]," to final page. "I don't know how I can apologize to you. I am so extremely sorry for letting you wait in vain. I had more things to do than I thought, and thus it happened that I completely forgot about my meeting with you. Only today [...] people reminded you of it." The recipient could be the German painter Friedrich August Anders (1826-after 1856), who lived in Paris in the 1850s and probably after as well. 8 x 5.25 inches (20.2 x 13.5 cm).

6. To unidentified recipient (probably a diplomat). In French. 3 pp. Bifolium with blind stamped monogram "JR." Baden (Grand Duchy) [now Baden-Baden], August 12, 1865. "A bit more than two months ago I received a letter from Madrid (copy attached) from the Ministry of the State telling me that Her Majesty the Queen [of Spain] has bestowed the order of Isabella the Catholic on me. I have not received either the diploma or the insignia ever since. I would be very much obliged to you, Monsieur, if you were so kind as to complain on my behalf and let the French ambassador in Madrid intervene. I think you are in a business relationship with him." The aforementioned copy of the letter from Madrid, on a single leaf of the same paper, is attached. It is in Spanish, dated June 4, 1865, and signed "A. Benavide." 7.75 x 5 inches (19.8 x 12.5 cm).

Rosenhain began his career in Frankfurt, and then moved to Paris in 1837 by way of London. In Paris (where he remained for over thirty years), he became a prominent figure in the musical scene, particularly through his chamber-music evenings, attended by Cherubini, Rossini and Berlioz.  During his over eighty-year life, Rosenhain composed in many genres, including four operas, an oratorio and three symphonies. He also wrote many other orchestral and chamber pieces, and a plethora of works for solo piano, including variations based on famous contemporary operas tunes. He was friends with Felix Mendelssohn, and Ignaz Moscheles. Early essays in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik reveal Robert Schumann’s enthusiasm for Rosenhain’s Piano Trio No 1 Op 2 (1836) and the Douze études caractéristiques Op 17 (1839). Rosenhain wrote two concerted for works for piano and orchestra, including the A minor Concertino Op 30 (reviewed rather tersely by Schumann in the Neue Zeitschrift in July 1843), and the Piano Concerto in D minor Op 73 (probably composed in the 1840s and published later). (Stephan D Lindemann, notes for Hyperion CDA67765) (21666)

Autograph Letter
Classical Music