STRAUSS, Richard [1864-1949]: Autograph letter with place, date and signature. Hotel Verenahof in Baden bei Zürich, 22. 3. 47. Oktavo. 18,5 x 14 cm. 3 pages on double leaf. Printed letterhead of the Hotel Verenahof. Traces of folding.
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THE SOLUTION TO MONEY PROBLEMS IN OLD AGE - SEARCH FOR A NEW PUBLISHER - FASCINATING DOCUMENT ON THE PRINTING HISTORY OF HIS WORKS. Detailed letter, unprinted according to our research, to Adolf Aber the director of the Novello music publishing house in London, which had made a name for itself primarily by promoting German music abroad, which was not easy at the time due to the English's aversion to anything German. Strauss left Germany shortly after World War II, together with his wife Pauline, went to Switzerland in 1946 at the age of 82 and took up residence in the cozy Hotel Verenahof with its fine French cuisine, on whose letterhead this letter is written. After the "Washington Agreement," his royalties earned through performances were frozen, so he had no money abroad. To make a living and pay unpaid bills at the Verenahof, Strauss had to "try to raise money... his music was not played, and he could not understand what he was being punished for" To Willi Schuh he wrote: "Must all the chauvinistic German-hatred of the Swiss fall upon me alone just now?" (Boyden, M: Richard Strauss. The Biography, p. 614) His scores, carried in his luggage, served as his only security. Quite frustrated and suffering from growing deafness, Strauss tries to get his works printed by the music publisher Novello in London and to get money: "...My two good warrantors.... are of the opinion... that your license from the English Ministry of Commerce at least legalizes you for England and America [for printing] - but with regard to Germany etc., if it would later come to disputes with German publishers, the indemnity license dictated to me by Director Moch will suffice and any judge will recognize that it is not a matter of the law. every judge will recognize that it is an impossible state of affairs if my symphonic works have to disappear from world trade for years because the German publishers (as has been the case for 8 years now) can no longer deliver and can no longer reprint because the plate material is destroyed and the printers can no longer work! So I would courageously cut the Gordian knot of uncertainty (which can still last who knows how long) and if Novello is ready to fulfill my conditions courageously go into action and start reprinting before serious spiritual and material damage is caused by ...lack. I agree! If you agree and are determined, I request a short telegram and sending of the contract... Payment in English currency is sufficient for me for the time being, we can decide on its settlement later." This very special letter conveys very well with which problems in the post-war period a successful and great German composer had to struggle due to his problematic positioning in the Nazi era. Complete transcription available.