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    Richard Strauss Autograph Letter Signed in full. Two pages (front and verso), 5.75" x 8.25", in German on a letterhead from the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Munich, January 23, 1935, to an unnamed friend. The famous composer and conductor writes, in part (some words unintelligible [noted ??]), "Please don't always talk in worried hints. If you already have to do it, please explain to me clearly and in detail: why is Mr. von K[arajan]'s ?? threatened? I can send ?? only after Mr. von K's answer to a very delicate question. Now I am the one talking in riddles. Why shouldn't the National Socialist Cultural Association stage contemporary music festivals? The more the better... I had a ?? preliminary discussion with Hansegger and Claas and, since there doesn't seem to by any German opera that hasn't yet had its first performance, I agreed that the "Arme Heinrich" [by Hans Pfitzner] was acceptable. I can't come to Berlin: I have quite a bad cold... A heartfelt farewell to Mr. [Fritz] Stege!..." He closes the letter "With best regards and Heil Hitler". The part German-born Strauss played in the early years of the Nazi Party is very controversial. He received an unsolicited appointment by Joseph Goebbels in 1933 to the post of president of the State Music Bureau. Strauss decided to keep the post but to stay apolitical, a very difficult tightrope to walk. He composed the "Hymn" for the 1936 Olympics and befriended several highly placed Nazis. But he also had a Jewish daughter-in-law that he used his influence to protect and befriended a Jewish librettist (for which he lost his position at the Bureau). The addition of "Heil Hitler" to the end of this letter in interesting but may only reflect who he was writing the letter to and who might see it. It was only two months after the penning of this letter that one of its subjects, Herbert von Karajan, applied for membership in the Nazi Party. Maybe this is one of the riddles he mentioned? Fine condition with an English translation included.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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