by Godowsky, Leopold. (1870 - 1938) & Godowsky, Leopold Jr. (1900-1983)
Used; Like New/Used; Like New. Two long and colorful autograph letters from the great Polish American pianist and his son (a violinist and the inventor of Kodachrome), written whileÂ on Godowsky's 1922 South American tourÂ to piano manufacturer and artistic sponsor Berthold Neuer of Knabe Pianos, New York. In the letters, dated July 19 and July 20 (Leopold Jr.), 1922, father and son give a detailed account of the ups and downs of the tour, including the difficulties of advertising Godowsky's concerts in a market dominated by the Teatro ColÃ³n, the beauty of Rio de Janeiro, and the struggle to find a bilingual piano tuner to accompany them.Â Infuriated by the circumstances of the beginning of the tour, where he was obliged to perform in a "third rate" theatre, Godowsky writes, "Nobody can know or understand conditions of any country without having been there. Now that I am here, I am fully enlightened as to what the proper thing is to do to make a successful tour in this far away part of the world." Luckily, his performances so impressed audiences that "the Colon clique opened the Cervantes theatre, the finest institution next to the Colon in Argentine, for my future appearances. This is an unprecedented triumph, and I do hope that it is still not too late to remedy the bad impression my appearance at the vile Teatro Nuevo has made." After describing the various cities he has visited, Godowsky turns to business: "All the piano dealers refuse to put in their store any of my posters or window-cards on account of the Knabe pianos. Some big and energetic advertising must be done at once or all will be lost. We must have your whole-hearted and full support in the advertising campaign."Leopold Jr.'s letter reports the same stories of "inefficient" tuners and "utterly inexperienced" piano houses with "incapable and inactive" agents, ending also with a subtle hint: "...my father has changed halls and the next time when he will play in the most beautiful theatre in B. A. (perhaps South America), we hope one of the difficulties will be obviated. It will then depend mostly on good advertising."A very interesting pair of letters from the musical family, showing their canny business sense. 6 pp. and 3 pp. respectively on letterhead of the Plaza Hotel, Buenos Aires. Folds, light wear and a few small tears to the edges; overall in very good condition. 8.25 x 10.75 inches (21.6 x 27.3 cm).
(Inventory #: 13403)
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