Grainger, Percy - Autograph Letter SignedClick Image to ZoomEnlarge Image

Grainger, Percy (1882-1961)

Autograph Letter Signed

"Percy Grainger". To Mrs. Krehbiel. New York, January 31, 1915. 2 pp. on folded stationery. In very good condition. Typical fold. Page 2 with minor original smudging and some light spots (one only just affecting the P of Percy).
The Australian composer writes to the wife of noted music critic Henry Edward Krehbiel: As you were kind enough to be interested in my piano pieces the other day, I am taking the liberty of sending you two of my arrangements for voice + piano of traditional songs, in case you might like to have them. (The songs are not present). He also promises to send along several original songs not based on folksongs of any kind once he has received them from his publisher in London.
Grainger penned this letter just two weeks before undertaking his first American tour. He had left England the previous September and despite his popularity there both as pianist and composer, he had made some enemies of British patriots who accused him of dodging the service. His biographer, John Bird, later explained: he wanted to emerge as Australia's first composer of worth, and to have laid himself open to the possibility of being killed would have rendered his goal unattainable. Grainger would go on to serve as a bandsman in the US Army in 1917.

Henry Edward Krehbiel was the foremost American music critic of his time, holding posts first at the Cincinnati Gazette and later at The New York Tribune. He helped to popularize the music of Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Dvorak in America, produced the first (and still standard) English-language translation of Thayer's Beethoven biography, and translated librettos for several important American premieres (including Mozart's Così fan tutte in 1922).

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