La pagina 408, malriuscita nel copialettere, fu riprodotta anche a pag.409
Milano 10 Giugno 1896.
Questa volta sono in arretrato di lettere: intanto ti spiego un po’ il silenzio di casa nostra
In massima al
Poco da fidarsi del figlio
La tua proposta relativa al 90% alle filiali è ottima ma parmi che tu intenda limitarla alla sola prima stampa, delle novità - ciò complica alquanto le registrazioni, non essendovi uno sconto unico e fisso per tutta la musica immessa in magazzino. D’altra parte è da osservarsi che moltissime nostre novità o non si possono vendere in Francia, o non conviene mandare. Esempio:
2°. U Priggiuneru - Canzone napoletana = inutile spedirla
3°. Alcuni pezzi p[er] trombone, da noi rilevati = “ “
In via d’esperimento, dunque, direi di fare il 90% sulle novità alle sole case di
Ho ricevuto la
Per la Esposizione teatrale, avevo già disposto per l’invio di preziosi autografi, ed il Comitato si era incaricato di esporli e custodirli in vetrine dello Stato. Per quanto costi poco la vetrina ed il posteggio, l’invio di una cassa, con edizioni scelte, con figurini scene, costerà non poco!! - Non parliamo dei teatrini, che sono in istato cattivo; si dovrebbero rinfrescare tutti i dipinti, ormai sbiaditi. Tutto sommato, non vale la pena di aumentare quanto disposi: ho visto anche a
A Pavone ho dato permesso d’andar a salutare sua madre: sarà di ritorno alla fine della corrente settimana. Aspetto tuo avviso per spedirtelo a gran velocità: oramai ha visto tutto nelle linee generali, e la vera pratica la farà, non in corpore vili, ma così, sul campo d battaglia.
Procedi dunque sollecito col
Credo superfluo il raccomandarti ottimi rapporti coll’
Non vi faccio altre raccomandazioni, certo che sarai compreso di tutta l’importanza del mandato affidatoti, e che saprai a tutto provvedere con fermezza, con costanza e con prudenza.
Tornaghi cordialmente ti saluta ed io di tutto cuore ti abbraccio
Page 409 repeats page 408, originally ill reproduced.
Milan, 10 June 1896
This time I’m getting behind in my correspondence: let me explain somewhat the silence from our house. Ginetta has gone to Comerio, and Mamma preceded her, remaining a couple of days to ensure everything was prepared. For the rest, by the grace of god I can say we are all fine, and we hope you both are as well.
In general I no longer think abut the Bordese affair. I don’t know if you found time to speak about it with Ikelmer, as I had telegraphed you, but in any event think about what I had proposed in my previous letter. It’s time to stop with the experiments: we must proceed with due caution before assigning the management of the Paris affiliate to someone and thus we must have patience await the right occasion. But so as not to allow the affiliate itself to collapse we need to find the right person who can truly represent us there, and not some clown!
There is little to trust in the younger Grus, who strikes me as a devious sort. Moreover, even that candidate Lecoq needs to be screened thoroughly. It is not convenient to accept the up-front offer made by Grus; meanwhile, if there is no commitment, we can take the time of see how his editions are doing in London: if they are sought after it’s good to have them in stock, if not, good night all!!!...
I’ll have someone write to Lobel for the lawsuit in America, in the terms you have indicated.
Your proposal regarding giving 90% to the affiliates is fine but it appears that you intend that to be limited only to the initial print run of new titles: this would make things somewhat complicated for the accounting since there would not be a fixed, standard discount applied to all the sheet music sent to the warehouse. On the other hand, note that a large number of our front-list titles either cannot be sold in France or else it is not convenient to do so. For example:
1st. Fantasia on Faust for Piano and Mandolin by Walter Graziani: cannot be sent to Paris.
2nd. U Priggiuneru, Neapolitan song: no point sending this [for sale on the French market]
3rd. Various pieces for trombone which we acquired: idem as above.
By way of experiment, therefore, I’d suggest offering 90% solely on the new publications issued by Paris and London, and indicate to the Workshops those new publications that they should stock in the Warehouse at 95%, leaving the Italian branches, for the time being, with the discounts they have, which are sufficient for them since they don’t have all those expenses the foreign affiliates do. Over time, experience will show us what the best measures to adopt might be.
Messager did not live up to expectations: his music is elegant, of course, but inconsequential. I know another opera by Pfeiffer: well written, but not destined to empoigner [grip] the audience’s attention, especially in Italy. Perhaps Jaqueline is better.
I received the Reine de Saba, abridged to 4 acts. I’ll have a look at it but I don’t believe Choudens claim that it was the work of Gounod. The Choudenses were always notorious for messing about with operas!.... witness the last act of Pescatori di perle and others. I have not received Le Chevalier d’Armental [sic].
For the Exhibit at the theatre I had already made arrangements to ship the precious autograph documents, and the Committee had taken on the responsibility of displaying them and preserving them in showcases under the responsibility of the Government. But whereas the showcase and the housing of the documents is not expensive, the shipment of a crate, with selected editions and costume and set designs, costs quite a bit indeed!! Not to mention the stage maquettes, which are in poor condition; the colors are faded and need to be touched up. All told, it’s not worth the trouble to add to what I already arranged: I saw in Vienna, and recently even in Milan, that no one stops to admire the publications!!.... In Vienna people stopped only during those few hours in which music was being handed out gratis!... otherwise, the exhibit hall for publications was deserted.
I gave Pavone permission to leave to visit his mother: he will return by the end of this week. I await your instructions to have him go to you in all haste. By now he has seen everything in a broad sense, but he needs to get experience directly, on the battlefield (as it were), though not in corpore vili [as a guinea pig].
Move quickly therefore with Sig. Calabi for the delivery, and for the pulping of excess stock in your warehouse, because who knows how much useless stuff is accumulated there: it’s good to clear things out every once in a while to make space. Then I will need Sig. Calabi back as soon as you can manage, in order to work on the financial statement.
I think it is superfluous to urge that you maintain an excellent rapport with Harris … mais en restant sur tes gardes [but stay on your guard], don’t be too trusting. Write about the real outcome of Chénier. La bohème drove the audience wild in Trento as well. Puccini has left for Torre del lago. Mascagni is ever more enthusiastic about the libretto: he is working… dear me, perhaps too much, I think! Soon I will have to make a quick trip to Pesaro, to hear something. Here’s hoping. He always asks me about you; it is necessary and useful that you write him a brief note. The same for Verdi, who spoke at length about you both. Find a moment soon to write to the two of them.
We are in complete agreement about Menozzi at Paris.
Give my affectionate regards to Cricrì: I’m anxious to find out how you’ve set yourselves up so far as housing, etc. I hope your stay there is wonderful, but do take special care, the weather in London can be quite variable.
I won’t make other recommendations, since I’m certain you’re well aware of the importance of the charge with which you have been entrusted, and that you will know how to proceed with a steady hand, consistency, and prudence.
Tornaghi sends his cordial regards and I embrace you with all my heart.