Milano 6 Gennaio 1900.
Direttore delle officine G.Ricordi & C. Città
Rispondo il più brevemente possibile alle due lettere 5 corr/. Le giustificazioni di cui nella lettera ufficiale, se dimostrano tutta l’attività della Direzione, se giustificano in parte i lamentato ritardi, non sono per me esaurienti. Infatti, non è nei tempi di calma estiva che deve esplicarsi la regolarità di esecuzione delle novità - ma appunto nei momenti in cui più si addensa il lavoro. E’ ovvio osservare poi che, precisamente nell’epoca estiva, si rallenta e si riduce a zero la distribuzione
Non vale nemmeno a giustificare il ritardo l’annuncio del prossimo invio al magazzino delle novità! - E precisamente se di mano in mano che alla Direzione si comunicano le circolari novità, subito si preparassero i trasporti, una buona parte del ritardo verrebbe a sparire! - La oscillazione quindi tra l’epoca estiva, e l’epoca presente, viene appunto dagli impegni dei lavori per terzi - ed anche per questi, se trovo motivo di lodare l’attività e l’iniziativa della Direzione, non è meno vero che sono causa di posporre a quelli, i lavori della ditta: valga, per non dire d’altro, l’avviso
In merito alla lettera personale dell’
Non esiste dunque affatto una qualsiasi mancanza di fiducia del Gerente verso il Direttore stesso! - ma poiché colla di lui lettera particolare mi dà agio di entrare in argomento, gli esporrò invece alcuni desiderata: e cioè:
- una più esatta regolarità materiale: necessaria in quanto riflette manoscritti musicali, risposte a lettere, esami di manoscritti qualsiasi - molte volte dimenticate giacenti, con pericolo di smarrimento, dei quali chi è responsabile?... il Gerente! -
- una più calma ripartizione dei lavori, in modo che questi “s’incasellino” dirò così, nella memoria, e vengano esauriti in tempo debito! -
- una minore fiducia nella propria attività, per la quale si viene, per via della stessa fiducia, a ritardare all’ultimo momento il compimento di cose, che meglio sarebbersi estrinsecate prima.
E se tali osservazioni faccio, ripeto non è già per menomata fiducia, ma perché l’
Gerente G.Ricordi e C.
Milan 6 January 1900
Sig. Ing. Tito Ricordi
Director of the workshops G. Ricordi & C. City
I’ll respond as briefly as possible to the two letters of the 5th of this month. The official letter offers justifications which — while they describe all the activity of the Office of the Director and while they justify in part the lamented delays — nonetheless do not fully explain things. In fact, it is not in the calm of the summer that one needs to ensure the regular production flow of new editions, but rather in those periods in which the workload is heaviest. Furthermore, it is obvious that in the summer season, the distribution of new publications slows down to zero, because experience has shown that it is useless to announce new editions at that time. And from that, it naturally follows that orders sent to the workshops slow down, until a more opportune time: if our company were to be considered in the same way that a third-party client is, the Workshops could not, certainly, demand that the Company print and issue its new editions in the summer months!!! And to a greater or lesser degree we have always received complaints about these end-of-year delays, delays which this Office of the Director still has not found a way to resolve, even though I recognize that this Office of the Director works a great deal, and admirably.
Nor does the announcement of the imminent delivery to the warehouse of new editions serve to excuse the delay! Indeed if, hand in hand with the announcement to the Office of the Director that new editions have arrived, you would immediately arrange for their shipment, a considerable part of the delay would disappear! Thus the fluctuation between the summer months and the current months is caused by the work taken on behalf of third parties. And even if, for such work, I have reason to praise the initiative and activity of the Office of the Director, it is nonetheless true that they are the cause of postponing this company’s work in order to fulfill those orders. One example for all, Hohenstein’s poster for Tosca!! A poster which, miraculously, the graphic artist had in this occasion consigned on time!!
As for the personal letter from Ing. Tito, I am surprised that you can interpret the observations I made, and the relative dispositions I laid out, as representing a diminutio capitis [reduction of your status] or a lessening of my faith in you! You tend to give too literal an interpretation to those dispositions, almost as though they could slow down the production flow of the workshops. There is no need, for instance, that the Office of the Director inform the General Manager about irrelevant minutiae!! But it is strange indeed that the General Manager is not kept informed of the major commitments undertaken by Office of the Director!! I would like to see what would happen, for example, if the General Manager were to commit to a job (as he would be fully within his rights to do) without first consulting the Office of the Director!! In any event, this fact is certain: that in some cases, the jobs for third parties have bumped the jobs for the Company to second place; and I want that disadvantage to disappear, in no uncertain terms. My dispositions were intended to achieve that result, and nothing more. Once the Office of the Director devises a simple method to inform the Office of the General Manager on a weekly basis about the jobs underway and those being planned, I can once again restore that certain amount of autonomy to act that the Director appears to want.
There is, therefore, no loss of trust on the part of the General Manager toward the Director! But since the Director’s letter offers me the opportunity to address the question, I will list some of the things I wish for, which are:
- A more precise regularity in keeping after practical matters, which is necessary when dealing with musical manuscripts; when responding to correspondence; when examining manuscripts of any type, which are often set aside and forgotten, with the risk that they may get lost, and then whose responsibility does it become? Of the General Manager!
- A more orderly division of labor, so that these assignments are “compartmentalized”, as it were, in your memory, and are thus completed by their deadlines!
- Placing less blind faith in your own capacities, which leads to delaying until the last moment the completion of tasks that it would have been better to take care of earlier.
I repeat, if I make such observations it is not due to a diminished trust on my part, but rather because Ing. Tito Ricordi must not ignore the future that may await the principal offspring of my family as well as the hypothesis, more or less far-off but inevitable, that the current General Manager will no longer be with us, which should serve as a constant reminder to Sig. Tito Ricordi of the sum of responsibilities that will come to weigh upon him, and even on the family itself! This renders natural, and indeed justifies, the desire of this writer that Ing. T.R. will come to understand how to add, alongside his innate qualities, those that he must acquire, and that is, steadiness and precision at every level of ideas and deeds.
Ing. T.R., in carefully considering this letter of mine, will find how worthy are the desires expressed therein, which come from the mind of an administrator and from the heart of a father, a father who will never fail, so long as he is able, to exercise a justified restraint upon him, but without ever, with such restraint, diminishing the respect, trust, and affection he maintains for him.
General Manager, G. Ricordi e C.