Item 1 - Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/7/1

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Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

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  • [July? 1907] (Creation)

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Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Has '[o]ne more carp' with Trevelyan's draft libretto [for "The Bride of Dionysus"]: is 'full of themes and possibilities' but has trouble with the very first line. If it could be altered, he could 'get an idea of the first notes (& hence of the overture...)'; has 'frivolous... fears' that at the moment it sounds 'partly like an address from the stage to the conductor & partly like a catch-word for critics'. The rest is 'perfectly setable [sic]' and he does not want to change a word. Wishes to begin with 'Dark ship' rather than 'slow', to 'hit the aural eye... with a colour at once'. Recognises that this complicates Trevelyan's rhythm, though with music that would not be noticeable. Reassures Trevelyan that he will not be 'like this about every line'. Trevelyan must not gather from what Tovey said to Mrs Trevelyan [see 7/153] that he objects to setting passages Trevelyan has adopted from earlier works.

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7/153: Letter from Donald Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan, [19 July 1907?], in which he tells her Trevelyan should not 'despoil his own works' for the opera.

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