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JOSEPH HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) Autograph Letter Signed
Name: JOSEPH HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) Autograph Letter Signed
Stock Status: Sold

  JOSEPH HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) Autograph Letter Signed
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JOSEPH HOLBROOKE Autograph letter Signed.

British (English) composer, pianist and conductor.

ALS. 2pp. Authors' Club, 2 Whitehall Court, SW1.  February 14th [no year].  To the music critic [Richard] Capell.

"If you ... think you are getting away with your d___ nonsense in your paper on my work - you will have a rude shock one of these days.  I am not likely to let any rubbish you emit pass - and I shall store it all for another day.  For 15 years and more you have kept this attitude up, and althro' you have probably robbed me of many performances.  You will not be so heroic as you imagine.  History always repeats itself and it is natural that folk like you are found trying to obstruct anything which does not belong to your fancies.  Have you not enough mediocrities under your wing?  To a nice low level have you brought your puffing of native music!  Yours J. Holbrooke".

8vo bifolium. Approx 8 x 5 inches (20 x 12.5 cms). Very slight edge fraying and some handling marks. VG.

Joseph Holbrooke writes to the music critic of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph in delightfully ascerbic style with only thinly veiled threats of what retribution might be to come!  This was typical of Joseph Holbrooke who never had an easy relationship with the critics or the concert going public.  Indeed, on occasions, he is known to have inserted notes in his concert programmes frankly insulting the very audiences upon whom he depended for his livelihood. Nevertheless, Joseph Holbrooke was a very talented musician and composer.  His early works were premiered at Crystal Palace with August Manns conducting, at the Queen's Hall under the baton of Henry Wood and by Hans Richter at the Birmingham Festival.  His 'Illuminated Symphony' caused something of a sensation when it was premiered at Queens Hall in 1908 with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting, as the entire orchestra were hidden behind a screen which was illuminated by projected lantern slides synchronised to the music.  Joseph Holbrooke seemed all set for a glittering career and a place among the very best of British composers but his antagonistic style and a number of controversies surrounding his self-promotion and personal attacks on the press and public marred his success.  His music was increasingly neglected after the First World War and his growing deafness added to his isolation and irascibility.  In an effort to rescue his work and reputation a Joseph Holbrooke Society was formed in 1931 with Granville Bantock as its president.  He was, at that time, described by some as Britain's greatest living composer.  Since his death opinion on Joseph Holbrooke has been divided, with some seeing him as a self-serving self-publicist of modest talents and others recognising a rare uniqueness in his work that marks it out as truly special and deserving of greater recognition.

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