Long and interesting letter to the conductor about his concerts in Germany, his main works and their piano reductions.
He thanks Bülow for his letter "full of cordiality; it has done me good to the soul and spirit. You write French with a grace and purity that irritates us who find it so difficult to get out of the difficulties of this infernal language.
He hopes for a good performance in Weimar (February 16) of his Benvenuto Cellini, "now that the score is righted and reworked like a sword. The singers are as willing as possible; Caspari, who was told that the role was unchangeable and would break his voice, sings it, on the contrary, with love and without eff ort. He at least will sing the aria "Sur les monts", which I regretted not being able to let you hear. Yesterday we rehearsed at length the Corsair's opening for the next court concert". He would be happy if Bülow would arrange this Overture: "I think it is reducible for the two-handed piano, and it would be much better. When two pianists perform a four-handed piece together, either on one or two pianos, they never go together (at least for me) and the end result of the performance is always (for me again) more or less hilarious. Moreover, four-hand arrangements for a single piano have the disadvantage of accumulating in the lower part of the keyboard a mass of notes whose sonority is disproportionate to that of the first pianist's right hand, and the result is a harmonic pâté that is louder than harmonious and horribly indigestible. It is therefore better to entrust the translation of a symphonic work to the two hands of a single intelligent pianist, whenever possible. The author then is at least sure not to be pulled in