General information
Type of the document Letter
SenderMartinů, Bohuslav
Sender (corporation)
Sender‘s locationSchönenberg - Pratteln
Send date17.11.1957
RecipientMiller, ?
Recipient (corporation)Cleveland Orchestra
Recipient‘s locationCleveland, Ohio
Note on Recipient‘s location[Cleveland]
AcquiredCleveland Orchestra Archives
Owner of the sourceCleveland Orchestra
Call number at IBMCO 1957-11-17
Content and physical description
Transcription of the letter

Nov. 17. 1957.

Dear Mrs Miller:

I will try to give you some arguments for my piece The Rock and, please, give it to Mr. Elwell with my best regards.

With the commission by Cleveland Orchestra I got also a problem. For the one movement musical piece we have as a Form only Overture or what we call Symphonic Poem, which means a program and that is not vell considered now in the music production. I chose the Poem just the same. I found the program in the Library of American Academy in Rome where I was last year as a composer in residence. I am giving you a part of the text; "So they left that goodly and pleasent city of Leyden. When they came to Delfs-Haven they found their ship and all things ready...... and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt and take their leaves of them." The rest of the text is in the score. It comes from the book New England’s Memorial. It is taken chiefly from the manuscript of William Bradford, one of the Pilgrims leaders. I got all these informations from the Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. I was very impressed by the beautiful language of the Memories and even much more by a feeling that this was written by the man who saw the life from every side and was satisfied by it, a man calme and positive. And there was the Rock, the background to amrican life. (The Little Rock came after and the Rock-n-roll before this comporition. And then I was thinking about our own life and how year ago I took the same way (only I got directly to New York) and the thousends who took it and are taken it all the time with the same hope, the hope of Pilgrims, to be free, eternel hope for the better life for themselves and for everybody else. So there is where my piece is descriptive but only in that way.

Would you be so kind and tell to Mr. Barksdale that I will send him my drafts and sketches for the archive, he can use also the copy which is a manuscript, because the sketches means only two three pages. I remember very happy moments in Cleveland with my #3th [sic] symphony and am sorry that I probably will not be present this time for premiere.

With my best regards

B. Martinů

B. Martinu. Schonenberg. Pratteln. BL. Switzerland

Total number of leaves1
Number of pages bearing text1
NoteTypescript transcription of the letter (possibly a carbon copy) is also located in the Cleveland Orchestra Archives
FixationTypescript, handwritten signature

Preview only available at the Institute.

Quality of digitisationNot professional colour
Digitized atCleveland Orchestra Archives
Date of digitisation05/2022
Location as subject
Cleveland, Ohio
New York, NY
Person as subject
Corporation as subject
Composition as subject
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