Autograph Letter Signed, A. Borodin, two and one-half pages, octavo, St. Petersburg, May 6, 1884. To My dear Monsieur Jadoul.
“I have just received your letter accompanied by two programs at once. I thank you infinitely for the kindness of having performed my piece and having notified me of its success. I am also very grateful for having written me, since not having received the engraved romance nor any news from you or M. Stein, whom I had charged to send you my letter and my photograph, I was a little uneasy as to the fate of my missive. Now I am relieved, and I hope to receive yours. I take the liberty of renewing my request to write me directly to my address (St. Petersburg, Academy of Medicine, Professor A. Borodin), for this time exactly the same thing happened in regard to your missive as last time: it circulated for a long time before falling into my hands.”
When Alexander Borodin wrote this letter his “fame was spreading in western Europe. The Belgian Countess of Mercy-Argenteau had the First Symphony performed at Vervier [in 1884]. On her initiative his songs and three excerpts from Prince Igor were provided with French translations, and he was made a member of the French Societe des Auteurs, Composituers et Editeurs, with Saint-Sains and Bourgault-Ducoudray as his sponsors. The A major Quartet was played in Paris in 1884. In 1885 he showed his gratitude to the countess by dedicating to her a set of piano pieces and to the young Belgian conductor Jadoul a piano scherzo in Ab ( published as an arrangement of a non-existent orchestral version)” [The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians]. Aside from his work as a composer, Alexander Borodin was also a scientist. He had been named chemistry professor of the Medico-Surgical Academy in St. Petersburg on April 28, 1864. “Borodin’s musical work was constantly subordinated to his professional activities, which were increased in 1872 by the foundation of the medical courses for women, in which he took a leading part; for the rest of his life these involved not only additional lecturing in chemistry but considerable administrative work as treasurer. From 1874 onwards his laboratory work consisted less of original research than of supervision of student work, a more arduous and less interesting task to which he nevertheless devoted most of his time, tremendous energy and even at times his private purse” [The New Grove].
This item is associated with the following category in our inventory:
- Music Composers