BERLIOZ Hector (1803-1869)

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BERLIOZ Hector (1803-1869)


L.A.S. "Hector Berlioz", 11-12 May 1865, to Princess Caroline de SAYN-WITTGENSTEIN; 3 pages in-8 of a bifeuillet.
Magnificent letter-dedication of his opera Les Troyens.
12 May. Berlioz sent [on May 11] to the "dear princess", "without seeing her enough, the dedicatory epistle of Les Troyens". He asks her to "replace the sheet you have received" with the new version.
11 May. "To Princess Caroline of Wittgenstein."
Do you remember, madam, the apostrophe you once addressed to me in Weimar? I had just spoken of my desire to write a vast lyrical composition on the 2nd and 4th books of Aeneid. I added that I would nevertheless refrain from undertaking it, knowing too well the sorrows that such a work would necessarily cause me, in France, in our time, with the baseness of our literary and musical instincts.
You then forbade me to be afraid. In the name of my honor as an artist you summoned me to carry out this project, threatening to withdraw your esteem if I failed to do so.
I wrote the Trojans.
Without you and without Virgil this work would not exist.
You spoke, sending me to fight, like those women of Sparta who said to their sons by giving them a shield: "Come back with or on top of it."
I came back, bleeding and weakened, with the shield.
The work suffered, like me, during the war, cruel wounds.
I had the strength to bandage them. He's healed now.
He has this votive inscription: Divo Virgilio. But could he not also bear your name?
Let him live under this double patronage!"...
General Correspondence, t. VII, no. 3009
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