Autograph letter with signed, 1 1/3 pages (both sides), 8 x 5,25 inch, September 1863, in French, emotional letter to the music publisher Antoine de Choudens* - concerning a note in the journal `Le Ménestrel`**, his opera `Les Pêcheurs de perles` (The Pearl Fishers), his relationship with the correspondent, and his attitude towards friends' judgment of his music, written and signed in black ink "Georges Bizet", attractively mounted (removable) for fine display with a photograph, shows Georges Bizet in a chest-up portrait (altogether 16,5 x 11,75 inch).
"Je n’ai nullement prié M. Heugel d’insérer ma note dans son journal [Le Ménestrel du 27 septembre 1863 affirmait que Georges Bizet n'avait pas vendu ses droits de publication aux éditions Choudens]. Si quelqu’un a manqué à la vérité dans cette affaire, c’est vous. Vous qui avez laissé croire, qui avez dit même que vous m’aviez acheté ma partition. J’ai des témoins - de Quercy, Hébert, Schimon et tant d’autres. Moi, je déclare dans ma circulaire qu’il est inexact que vous ayez jamais eu l’intention d’acheter Les Pêcheurs et je vous défie de me prouver le contraire. Vous ne m’en avez pas offert 500 f. Que ma musique vous soit antipathique, Va Bene. Je tacherai de m’en consoler. Laissons cela. Vous semblez depuis quelque temps être fort irrité contre moi ! Pourquoi ?... Hier vous n'êtes pas venu me serrer la main, pourquoi ?... Je ne vous comprends pas !... Ne vous croyez engagé à rien par nos conventions verbales. Je serais très fâché que nos relations s'interrompent d'une façon aussi brusque - et je ne comprendrais pas votre conduite - mais il y a des choses si singulières - en tout cas je suis assez intelligent pour ne pas exiger que mes amis aiment ma musique. Je ne vous en jouerai jamais. - J'attends de vos nouvelles, et, si vous voulez toujours, bien à vous
"I did not ask Mr. Heugel to insert my note in his journal [Le Ménestrel of September 27, 1863 affirmed that Georges Bizet had not sold his publication rights to the Choudens editions]. If anyone was untruthful in this matter, it was you. You who let believe, who even said that you had me bought my score. I have witnesses - from Quercy, Hébert, Schimon and so many others. I declare in my circular that it is incorrect that you ever intended to buy Les Pêcheurs and I defy you to prove me the contrary. You didn't offer me 500 f. May my music be unsympathetic to you, Va Bene.
I will try to console myself. Let that. You seem for some time to have been very irritated with me! Why?... Yesterday you didn't come to shake my hand, why?... I don't understand you!... Do not consider yourself bound to anything by our verbal conventions. I would be very angry if our relationship ended in such a sudden way - and I would not understand your conduct - but there are such singular things - in any case I am intelligent enough not to demand that my friends love my music. I will never play that for you again. - I'm waiting to hear from you, and, if you still want, yours
* Georges Bizet was a close friend of Antoine de Choudens, for whom he also executed works of copy and arrangements, in particular the reduction for piano and voice of Charles Gounod's opera `The Queen of Sheba`.
** Le Ménestrel (The Minstrel) was an influential French music journal published weekly from 1833 until 1940. It was founded by Joseph-Hippolyte l'Henry and originally printed by Poussièlgue. In 1840 it was acquired by the music publishers Heugel and remained with the company until the journal's demise at the beginning of World War II.
Further Information on the person
(1838-1875, né Alexandre César Léopold Bizet) French composer of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.
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