"Le Martyre [The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian] LB Version." Typescript annotated by Bernstein's assistant conductor Yuri Krasnapolsky

Price: 500.00 USD

Folio. 24 pp. On onionskin. With typed note at conclusion "Translation by Leonard Bernstein August 29th 1962." Contents: Prologue: 2 pp. Act I: First Window: the Court of Lilies, 5 pp. Act II: Second Window: The Magic Chamber, 3 pp. Act III: Third Window: The Council of False Gods, 9 pp. Act IV: Fourth Window: The Wounded Laurel, 4 pp. Act IV: 1 p. With numerous annotations, corrections, etc. in ink and lead, red, and blue pencil throughout by Yuri Krasnapolsky (1934-2018). Somewhat worn and creased; several leaves stapled together at upper inner corners. Together with: - An extensively corrected draft of an interesting autograph letter from Krasnapolsky to Leonard Bernstein. 5 pp. Folio. In pencil on 4ff. of yellow lined paper. No date. Addressed "Dear Lenny." Krasnapolsky writes regarding his travels in Europe after seeing Bernstein in Vienna, possible conducting engagements, having been blacklisted during the McCarthy era, etc. The letter is particularly poignant regarding his relationship with, and feelings of indebtedness to, Bernstein: "The European experience... showed me that my association with you, over the past eighteen years, has been crucial & pervasive... Your working style in every respect became for me, as for many others, an object of tremendous admiration and imitation... My own style took longer... to evolve but now that it has I can see & feel more clearly what it owes to yours." Krasnapolsky very much regrets the fact that he has apparently offended Bernstein in some way and is struggling to understand "how & when." He goes on to say that "it is a simple fact of my life that I am deeply indebted to and, in a sense, derived from you and can no more separate myself from that fact than I can deny my love for music. I literally cannot survive professionally without your help." Krasnapolsky goes on to request various letters of endorsement. - A corrected draft of an autograph letter from Krasnapolsky to Sir John Barbirolli. 3 pp. Folio. In pencil on 3ff. of yellow lined paper. No date. Addressed "Dear Sir John." Krasnapolsky apologizes for the delay in writing but says that he has been "unexpectedly but unavoidably busy with a series of youth concerts." He thanks Barbirolli for his kindness and hospitality. "It was a great pleasure and a privilege to see you at work again and to have assisted you however briefly." Krasnapolsky has regarded Barbirolli as a "heroic musical figure... for many years." He mentions going to a concert of Barbirolli's at Carnegie Hall "at age 8 and/or 9, quite alone" with Gieseking as soloist. "Furthermore, now that I am at the age you were when you took on the N.Y. Phil. I realize more than ever what an enormous task and brilliant achievement that was. Who else could have done that, I don't know. But you have remained undeniably a heroic figure of 20th century music... I can only wish that someone... will say the same of me someday... My wife and I are planning to be in London again just after the first of the year. I'll be looking for ways to become a part of the musical life of London and the Continent." - A corrected draft of a letter to John S. Edwards, General Manager of the Chicago Symphony. 1 page. Folio. In pencil on 1f. of yellow lined paper. Thanking him for his time whle in New York, mentioning "the Florida affair," etc. - A corrected draft of a letter to Walter Hendl at the Eastman School of Music. 2 pp. Folio. In pencil on 1f. of yellow lined paper. Recommending a colleague [?Francois Jarosely] for a possible conducting appointment at the school. - Biographical notes. 5 pp. Folio. In pencil on 5 ff. Le Martyre de Saint Sébastian, a "mystère" in five acts to a libretto by Gabriele D'Annunzio composed for the dancer Ida Rubinstein, was first performed in Paris at the Châtelet on May 22, 1911. Debussy's last stage work, it is "a synthesis of orchestra and vocal music, dance, mime, and speech." Bernstein translated D'Annunzio's text and conducted a recording of the work in 1962 with the Choral Art Society and the New York Philharmonic featuring his wife, Felicia Montealegre, as Sebastian, one of the narrators: "...among its best moments the serenely celestial 'Magic Chamber,' in which the NYPO strings bloom, and 'The Wounded Laurel,' which could have come from La mer. Mr and Mrs. Bernstein were having a good day judging by the passion which comes across." Christopher Fifield, BBC Music Magazine. "The following year [1963], he conducted The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian to commemorate Debussy's centenary. The sung parts were in German, the dialogue in English. Fritz Weaver, the actor, was the narrator and Felicia appeared as the male saint. Bernstein probably thought of her as at least a saint. If he tested orchestra managements and presidents to see how far he could push them, he repeatedly tested Felicia, too. She seemed to pass all his tests right up to the end of her life. As for the Debussy, critics remarked on the clean articulation of the text." Peyser: Bernstein, p. 359. Krasnapolsky was an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein.

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