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Handwritten letter from Carlos Gomes (1888)

Handwritten letter from Carlos Gomes (1888)

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In 1888, Carlos Gomes, the composer and author of O Guarani, tried to improve his situation and recover his prestige.

Letter written by Carlos Gomes to a journalist, Mr Palazzi or Palaggi. Two pages. In Italian. 14cm x 21.7cm. Milan, 2? January 1888. Good condition, with some markings and typographic inscriptions in blue or red, burn marks in the lower corners that do not alter the text. Single piece.


I will not pretend; I was disappointed to see this piece of music published because the title has misprints, as it did with Madrigal. But it's gone and I'd rather not think about it anymore. Anyway, I'm honored by the importance you give to my boring songs. (...) For now I'm too busy and even worse: with a lot of worries.

Carlos Gomes (1836 – 1896) was certainly the greatest Brazilian composer of the 19th century. Despite having lived most of his career in Europe, especially in In Italy, where many of his operas were performed at the prestigious Scala in Milan, the composer felt deeply Brazilian; lived in full Imperial Brazil, with its masters and slaves, between Independence in 1822 and the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889, which inspired much of his work.

Even though the success in Europe of O Guarani, his most famous work, gave Carlos Gomes immense fame in Imperial Brazil, the following operas were less appreciated, which made the composer fall into a deep disillusionment and discouragement, worsening problems persistent health problems.

In 1888, the year in which he wrote these lines, Gomes had difficulty finishing his opera Lo Schiavo (The Slave) in Milan, in honor of Princess Isabel and the abolition of slavery; he also treated a serious nervous breakdown with opium and tried to pay off his debts by selling his house and furniture. In short, a difficult period for the composer, sick and far from his homeland.

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