Tausig begins (translated from the German), "My dear sir, you can imagine how delighted I was when Weitzmann came yesterday to tell me that you are interested in joining my business, which I hope will have a ... considerable future... I want to make everything known to you, so that you are not in doubt about anything, and can make your decision quite freely." He continues with a modest but optimistic view of the new undertaking: "We must start small, as with everything that should grow and thrive properly. What I can offer you is certainly little, but it will soon become more and eventually it should guarantee you a limited but secure salary for the costs of living in Berlin." Noting wryly that "talented young people never have money," Tausig explains that he has set the cost of lessons at "5 thalers per month (60 thalers per year), for which they receive 16 lessons every 4 weeks. I think that is as cheap as possible," and mentions that "apart from you and me, the only other teacher at the beginning will be Herr Bendel [most probably Liszt pupil Franz Bendel], who is an excellent pianist."
After explaining in detail the yearly salary and the arrangements for sick days and substitutions, Tausig goes on to a request, "which you incidentally do not need to accept, and which you may freely decline sans gêne": whether his correspondent would also be willing to take on some "lessons devoted to sight-reading and ensemble playing" for a lower hourly wage. "That is three hours a week, which will later stop when there is a higher number of students, and you will have only the 'Solo' lessons." Writing that he is "not accustomed to the dry business tone," Tausig ends the letter with the hope that he has mentioned everything necessary, and adds how much he admires his correspondent: "Above all, come to Berlin soon; I shall stand by you as a friend in all your doings, and will be the first to praise and admire your excellent talent at your concerts and everywhere."
3 pp. Folding creases, otherwise in very fine condition overall. 14 x 22 cm.
The most celebrated pupil of Thalberg, Tausig was also a student of Franz Liszt at Weimar, who described his technique as "infallible." Already established as a touring pianist by his early twenties, he moved from Vienna to Berlin in 1855 and opened his Schule des höheren Klavierspiels shortly afterwards. The school was short-lived, but counted several important pianists among its faculty and students. Tausig's busy touring schedule weakened his health and he died of typhoid at age 29. Autograph material is extremely scarce.
German pianist and composer Adolf Jensen was born in Königsberg and studied with Louis Ehlert, Louis Köhler and Friedrich Marpurg. In 1861 he became the second director of the music academy of Königsberg, and thereafter began to build up his reputation as a pianist. In 1866 he was invited by Carl Tausig to move to Berlin and join the faculty of Tausig's piano academy, where he remained for two years before moving to Dresden, and turning his attention to composing. "Jensen possessed one of the most delicate sensibilities of all late Romantic composers. The model for his early works was Schumann, and he succeeded in his mature piano music and songs in assimilating the stylistic influences of Chopin and Liszt into a thoroughly personal style." (New Grove.) (Inventory #: 11828)