Milano, 6 Marzo 1896.
Direttore del Liceo Musicale Rossini.
A mezzo del
Ora il trionfo di
Altra volta già le dissi ch’io aveva
Avrà Ella occasione di venire in breve a
Milan, 6 March 1896
Maestro Pietro Mascagni
Director of the Liceo Musicale Rossini
You will have received my congratulations from Comm. Guidi Carnevali. I’ve read quite a few newspaper reviews, and while all of them note the enormous success of your work, they reserve particular praise for the vibrant spontaneity of your melodies, for which I am extremely happy because they are the true essence of the music! – I only returned to my office two days ago, having had a touch of the flu which, while light, was no less inconvenient!..... and I was most sorry not to have been able to be there, even because I would have had the opportunity to speak with you and to make some decisions about things together.
It would seem to me now that the triumph of Zanetto is indicative of the public’s preference for simple things, for tenderness, for delicacy. Are you continuing to focus on Vistilia? Is much of the work already done? If not, would you perhaps not find it more opportune to choose a less-demanding subject, less complicated and easier to produce?.....
I’ve already mentioned that I had a new, extravagant subject, which seems quite appropriate for you – so much so that I have never wanted to give it to anyone else despite various other occasions when I might have done so. This subject, which still needs some revision, is by Illica; and although I remember what you told me, the union of two names produced an excellent result, and I hope for even more for another libretto. Could we not think about a quid simile [something similar]?
Will you have any occasion to come to Milan in the near future?.... We can talk about it: obviously I confirm my fervent desire to know you are well along in your work, and to your complete satisfaction; but certain things you have said seem to indicate that you still have some uncertainty about Vistilia! The fact is that, while the libretto may be good in general, it is not as clear and effective as what you have told me about how you envision the staging of the narrative.
Is it true then that Zanetto will be performed at La Scala?.... I anxiously await the kindness of a word from you, and with renewed congratulations may I extend my highest regards.