MENDELSSOHN, Felix, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Mendelssohn in London

MENDELSSOHN, Felix (1809-1847). German composer.
Autograph Letter Signed in English to Mrs [Elizabeth] Horsley, 2 pages 8vo with the central panel of the address leaf remaining, 103 Great Portland Street, 19 June 1832. Extending his thanks to [William] Horsley for a gift, evidently something musical, complaining of a headache and promising to call the next day as soon as he could wriggle out of 'musical party'.
This was Mendelssohn's second visit to London. He was lodging again in Great Portland Street (the house later renumbered to 79 - 'That smoky nest ... is fated to be now and ever my favourite residence' [in a letter to his sisters, not this one]). He had a long and close friendship with all of the talented Horsleys, who lived out in the country in Kensington. William (1774-1858) was a composer and organist and was marreid to Elizabeth Callcott, the daughter of John Wall Callcott, also a composer.
'I cannot wait till to-morrow ['for' deleted] expressing my thanks for your kind attention to send me today Mr. Horsley's beautifull present ... he knows what a pleasure and how great a treat I am to receive by his music. ...
I beg you will excuse my bad letter for this reason [the headache] and allow me to come to-morrow as early as I can get off from a musical party, to which I must go. ...'
Mendelssohn also sends news of his family laterly received in a letter from his mother.
The day prior to writing this letter, 18 June, he had played his G minor piano concerto, and the next day (20th) he appears to have put the final touches to his Hebrides overture, which had already been performed in London on 14 May. There is a version of the Hebrides overture for piano duet in the Bodleian Library (Horsley papers b1) which bears the date of the present letter.
[No: 20507]

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