Autograf: Universitätsbibliothek Kassel - Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel (D-Kl), Sign. 4° Ms. Hass. 287[Taylor, E.:22

Dr. Louis Spohr
Hesse Cassel

Red Lion Court. Fleet Street –
Sept. 23. 1841 –

My dear & honoured Friend,

By some unfortunate delay, your esteemed Letter of the 21th1 August, only reached me yesterday, and I lost no time in going to Rothschild, to whom I paid (on account of Mess. Pfeiffer Brothers of Hesse Cassel) £ 39 „ 3 „ „ for you. I regret this delay, as you must have been surprise that I took no notice of your letter. Allow me to repeat my warmest & cordial thanks for the kindness with which you have aceeded to all my wishes.
My last letter informed you of the safe arrival of the parts for the Orchestra, into which I am occupied in writing the words of the Recitatives.
I am, at present, deprived of the assistance of my dear Secretary2, who is just become a Mother, so that I am not quite sure whether my Son3 & I have translated your letter right. But before I begin to reply to it, I will just add, that the Secretary & her little girl are very well – and we hope there is very prospect of her safe recovery.
In order that we may quite understand each other, I will first state what I understand to be the meaning of two words which I shall have occasion to use –
Klavierauszug – An arrangement containing the voice parts, & a compressed accompaniment for the Piano Forte (like my English editions of the ”Last Judgement“4 & the ”Crucifixion“5).
Partitur – a full Score of Voices & Instruments (like Mosel’s edition of Handel’s Jephta or Samson)
Now, if I understand your letter right, it expresses a wish from your Publisher that my English Text should be added to the copy of the Partitur. If such is your wish also, I need not say that it is willingly granted. At the same I cannot help giving you my opinion that the addition will be of little or no use. In England there is scarely any sale for Oratorios – except two – Handel’s ”Messiah“ & Haydn’s ”Creation.“ They can only be performed at great Festivals, and they6 are very rare. The only purchasers of a Partitur are the persons (copyistes) who supply Orchestras with parts; and of them there there are but two in London. My own opinion is that there would not be ten of them sold in England. It would be impossible to perform any one of your Oratorios in any provincial Town here, as (except in London) there are no competent singers or players. There is no place out of London where you can find Wind Instruments except of the most ordinary character & poor abilities.
Whoever, in England, bought the partitur, would buy it for the sake of the Instrumental Score alone; and such purchasers, as I have said, would be very few. But if it be your wish that the English version should be added, I shall be most happy to send you the proofs of my edition as they are finished.
The request you make (if I mightly understand your letter) does not extend to the Klavierauszug, which, I believe, you say will have only the German words. This arrangement allow me to say, I should prefer, for the reason I have stated – that is that so few copies of any works of real vocal excellence are sold in England. It was on this account that no publisher in London would undertake to print the „Last Jugdment”, though I offered to give them my translation. When they all refused – I said ”the work shall be published – and if you want print it, I will.”
This is a melancholy account to give of English musical taste - & the misfortune is that it is true.
Let us hope for better times.
You rejoice me by saying that your wish to visit us next year is unchanged. When I conversed with you on this subject, it was your opinion that we had better ask Prince Albert & our Ambassador7 at Frankfort to apply to your Prince. Whenever you think best, we will make the necessary request here.
I am going into Norfolk in a few days, where I hope to remain some time with my wife & daughter, but my Letters will all be regularly forwarded to me. I had great pleasure in reading Mad. Spohr’s charming letter to my wife, & hearing of your delightful journey into Switzerland, & of the deserved honours that awaited you.
Prey make my best compliments to her, and to my excellent & dear friends in Cassel, & believe me,

my hounored friend
Yours most truly
Edw. Taylor.

Dieser Brief ist die Antwort auf Spohr an Taylor, 19.08.1841, vor dessen Erhalt Taylor noch am 11.09.1841 einen Brief an Spohr richtete. Spohr beantwortete diesen Brief am 12.12.1841.

[1] Wohl ein Schreibfehler: Dieser Brief antwortet offensichtlich auf Spohr an Taylor, 19.08.1841.

[2] Taylor hatte in der letzten Zeit seine Briefe an Spohr durch seine Schwiegertochter Meta Taylor übersetzen lassen (vgl. Taylor an Spohr, 10.11.1840).

[3] John Edward Taylor.

[4] Die letzten Dinge.

[5] Des Heilands letzte Stunden.

[6] Unabhängig vom Kontext wirkt dieses Wort eher wie: „there“.

[7] Noch nicht ermittelt.

Kommentar und Verschlagwortung, soweit in den Anmerkungen nicht anders angegeben: Karl Traugott Goldbach (20.12.2018).