Typed letter signed to Renée Longy-Miquelle; with presentation copies of two of his books, The Joy of Music (1959) [and] The Infinite Variety of Music (1966).
The Joy of Music [and] The Infinite Variety of Music.New York: [Simon & Schuster,] 1945 Stock Code: 50137
A touching and resonant group, gifts of gratitude from the composer to his former music teacher, Renée Longy, who taught him at the Curtis Institute. The letter, undated but the envelope postmarked 5 January 1945, was written shortly after the opening of Bernstein's first Broadway musical, On The Town.
"Well the show has opened and is a phenomenal hit, in spite of it all. The reviews are fantastic raves, especially the Times and PM, and the Hollywood Reporter which called it the greatest musical ever produced! It's thrilling, and I would be a rich man, except that whatever money I get goes back to Uncle Samovitch for taxes." He concludes that he is "struggling to get back into my beard (long-hair) and study Brahms First for Pittsburgh next week" signing off with "Love and thanks again Lenny Spookietchka".
The books are both first editions, first printings. Each bears the composer's signed presentation inscription: "To Renee who taught me much about the Joy of teaching Love Lenny" and "For Renee with love & every good warm wish for '67 - Lenny B".
Together 3 items. Letter: single leaf folded for mailing with the envelope. Two books, octavo. Original cloth, with the dust jackets. Housed together in a dark blue quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Letter very lightly marked, books very good in torn and creased dust jackets.
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