Milano, 6 Ottobre 1897
Gentilissimo Signor Barone.
le sono molto grato per l’interessante cortese lettera 4 corr/ = tanto più sapendo quanto Ella sia occupato. In parte ha interpretato bene, in parte male il mio telegramma, non avendo mai avuto intenzione di trovare fuori luogo l’invito da Lei fatto ad
Io non pretendo riconoscenza da alcuno: prima di tutto è moneta che non ha corso!...poi non è del caso le partite d’affari essendo pareggiate. Ma sui sentimenti d’amicizia, posso ben pretendere si risponda con sentimenti uguali: se ad ogni cader di foglia, se ad ogni stupido pettegolezzo riportato, se ad una qualsiasi discussione, deve succedere uno stato di guerra guereggiata… dico francamente che non fa per me.
Ho sufficienti grattacapo, per non aggiungervene altri.
Alla di Lei lettera, ho risposto francamente, ed Ella potrà così giudicare le cose, e regolarsi come Le sembrerà più opportuno, ben lieto se tutte queste epidemie nervose saranno passate e non se ne parlerà nemmeno più, come non avessero mai esistito.
Aspetto domani l’
Spero aver il piacere di vederla tra non molto e di nuovo ringraziandola, mi ripeto con tutta amichevole stima
di Lei dmo
Milan, 6 October 1897
Eg. Maestro Barone Alberto Franchetti
Most gracious Signor Barone,
I am quite grateful for your courteous and interesting letter of the 4th of this month, all the more so knowing how busy you are. Your interpretation of my telegram was only partially correct, since it was never my intention to infer that I found your invitation to Illica to come and read Germania to you as out of place. Indeed, with too much time already having been wasted, you certainly did the right thing. But since you have been kind enough to broach what we could well call a most singular subject, you should know how absolutely surprised I was not to have had any news of Illica for months when it had been his habit to write me often, not to mention the fact that he even disappeared completely for days at a time! It’s true that when Tito returned from Pesaro, he told me about a certain discussion on the train, which was all the more strange after the days they passed in pleasant and amicable company there with Mascagni; but neither I nor Tito gave it much thought, knowing how Illica’s volcanic nature is always ready to burst into some sudden eruption! Still, Illica’s prolonged absence, his silence, his well-disguised refusals to come to Milan to meet with Mascagni and Galeotti for business that, while of interest to the company, was in the end also in the interests of the author of the libretti – all this had me repeatedly turning to Sig. Tornaghi and Sig. Blanc with questions and asking for information that, naturally, they could not withhold. My astonishment was enormous upon hearing requests for contracts, declarations that he had no intention of taking on any more work and refusing to work on the libretto that he had already agreed to do, etc. etc.!!.... In sum, all of these things I find incredible, but they are true. And for what reason? A discussion with Tito.... on the train!... about what?... for what?... Who the devil knows!.... Different personal appraisals?... contrary opinions?... criticisms?... Whatever it may be, was it necessary to resort to such extreme gestures?... And with whom?... with people who have always been there to offer Illica considerable proof of their genuine respect and unwavering friendship!!... You know yourself how much Tito and I have said, done, and insisted toward reestablishing peace between the two belligerent parties of Franchetti and Illica!!.. So what objection could Illica possibly make regarding us and my company?... I would be quite curious to know!
I am not one to demand gratitude from anyone: first of all because it is worthless currency!... besides, it is hardly the case here, since our business affairs have been of mutual benefit. But when it comes to friendship, I have every reason to expect that my sentiments are fully reciprocated: if the slightest irritation, appearance of a stupid bit of gossip, or hint of discussion results in a state of open warfare... frankly, it’s not for me. I have more than enough problems to manage without adding more.
I have answered your letter candidly, so that you can judge things for yourself and act in the manner you find most opportune. It would make me more than happy if all these nervous outbreaks were to become a thing of the past and we need speak of them no more, as if they had never happened.
I imagine it’s superfluous to tell you how pleased I am with your impression of Germania – which is to say that the most difficult part is done – and which will be fine work coming from you the musician! Quod est in votis [Thus is it hoped].
I await the arrival of Act 2 tomorrow. Here we are working busily on the edition [of the vocal score], for which task four good engravers have been assigned; and I continue to anticipate the new duet, which will be a brilliant stroke of color for that act.
Hoping for the pleasure of your visit soon and thanking you once again, I remain with the utmost respect and friendship
Yours most sincerely,