Viardot, Pauline. (1821-1910)

Autograph Letter Signed

ALS of the singer and composer to an unidentified female, an invitation to a domestic concert. Dated "P[aris] April." 1 p. Bifolium. Translated from the French, in full: "Dear Madam, would you be interested in listening to an oratorio by my daughter, Mrs. Heritte, [performed by] a small gathering of artists? We will sing it tomorrow night at half past nine, and I have no need to tell you how much we would be flattered and happy to see you. One thousand good memories, in a hurry P. Viardot." In very fine condition. 6.5 x 4.25 inches (16.5 x 10.5 cm).

Pauline Viardot, one of the most important singers of the 19th century, was the dedicatee of Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, and Saint-Saëns wrote that it was her voice he had in mind when composing the role of Dalila. Viardot created Fidès in Meyerbeer's Le prophete, Orphée in the Berlioz version of Gluck's Orphée et Euridice, Gounod's Sapho, and Massenet's Marie Magdalene among others. In recent years, she has also attracted increasing attention as a composer. Louise Hérrite-Viardot (1841-1918), Pauline's eldest child, married since March 1863, followed her mother's footsteps but, while also active as a singer and pianist, she became best known as a composer in her lifetime. The available lists of her works do not mention any "oratorios" but three cantatas, one of which is possibly referenced here. Unfortunately, most of her music is lost. (3953)

Autograph Letter
Autographs & Manuscripts