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Francisco Curt Lange's handwritten letter (1979)

Francisco Curt Lange's handwritten letter (1979)

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Musicologist Curt Lange honors a fellow researcher.

Unpublished handwritten letter from Francisco Curt Lange to Alden Dittmann, and his business card. One page. In German. Berlin, September 4, 1979. Excellent condition. Single piece.

Translation from German to Portuguese

Sincerely dedicated to Mr. Alden Dittmann in recognition of his significant development work that impressed me greatly. After this visit to the new building of the Ibero-American Institute, I hope to be able to resume my longtime collaboration. It all started in 1933 and went very well with my friend Dr. Hans-Joachim Bock.

Berlin, September 4, 1979

Francisco Curt Lange

Will you know the music frontiers? Traditional training teaches us that yes, as different nationalities have created multiple ways of expressing themselves musically all over the world. The cultural influences of each portion of the earth on this planet are responsible for the creation of these different styles, however, even so, does the melody know borders or would it be something universal, capable of touching us far beyond the country engraved in our passport? A German-Uruguayan, responsible for the compilation of valuable Brazilian musical works, seems to have transcended the concept of nationality to leave his name in the history of music.

Franz Kurt Lange (1903 - 1997) was born in Germany, but it was in Latin America that he brought to life his greatest contributions to 20th century music. Lange arrived on the continent after the First World War and soon became a Uruguayan national, changing his name to “Francisco Curt Lange”, the way in which he would become widely recognized. On the American continent, he became an expert in the musicology of Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and was responsible for starting the movement of Musical Americanism. He also worked to establish a solid musical education in Uruguay, and in Argentina he was responsible for creating the musicology department at the University of Cuyo, also teaching at several North American universities.

In addition, Lange was an essential collaborator at the Instituto Ibero-Americano, a research center on Latin American culture located in Berlin, a role that he enjoyed very much. As we can see in the letter he dedicated in 1979 to Alden Dittmann, declaring himself impressed by his work. Chilean with a German father, Dittmann devoted himself to organizing exhibitions and conferences at the institute, in addition to having founded his music library, compiling works from across the continent. Thus, it is not surprising that Lange admired his contribution to the development of the Ibero-American Institute, and wanted to resume his work with the center.

But the German-Uruguayan musicologist also landed in Brazilian lands, and here, it was in the welcoming state of Minas Gerais that he left his main marks, carrying out unprecedented work in locating scores and musical manuscripts produced by generations of musicians since the 18th century . It should be remembered that the gold cycle that took place at that time in Minas promoted the artistic development of the region, but, until then, much had been lost over time due to the lack of registration and compilation, hence the importance of Lange's contribution. Nowadays, his work is under the care of the Museu da Inconfidência, in Ouro Preto, and continues to be a reference in national music.

A man passionate about his craft, as we can see in his letter that shows his years of following the work of the Ibero-American Institute, Lange's passion for music governed his life and contributed to the construction of the history of an entire continent. Music, even if it has a nationality and comes from a culture, knows no borders, otherwise it expresses feelings that are not universal, perhaps for this reason it has incited the marriage of this German with America, and from his work, music has recovered and tells part of our story.

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