Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Aaron Copland to his parents, October 25, 1921.
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Oct 25, 1921
Dear Ma & Pa, --
I am in an American club just now, where I occasionally come to read some magazines.
Yesterday was our first cold day, and now it seems as if winter has finally come. For heat, we are going to buy a sort of gas stove which will cost about $500. Of course, we will be able to resell it when we get out. Our appartment is quite nice, tho we haven't got it all fixed up yet. For instance, the walls are rather bare, and I want to buy a tea kettle to make tea when company comes. The concierge (that is, the janitress), comes every of the day to fix up the rooms and keep everything clean. So you see we are well settled.
So you have sold the Steinway at last. You know, I haven't played on any piano nearly as good as that one was, since I've arrived here. But I suppose there are plenty more like it in America so I think you did wisely to sell it. It was a very pleasant surprise also to hear about the 3,000 franc deposit that pop made for me. All expenses included, I now have enough money in the bank to keep me until May 1st next year, I think.
I have not yet received the proofs of my piano piece but I expect it every day. I still hope to be able to send you a copy by Nov. 14th. Harold and I have been going to many shows and concerts. Miss Florance, Alma Harwood's friend, invited me to [the] theatre one night, so I got all togged out in my tuxedo again and we had a box! I was invited to tea last Sunday afternoon at her house and I played for them. Thats the least I could do for her, since she has been so nice to me.
To-morrow, I have an appointment with a teacher who I hope to study composition with. I will give you more details in my next letter.
I thought I would get out of the lime-light when I left Fontainebleau, but it seems as if I won't yet. During that week I spent at the Palace after the school closed, I wrote one movement of a String quartet, (for 2 violins, viola and cello.) that is what we had to do for the composition test. I have been waiting for the decision, but I have now heard, that the quartet is to be played here in Paris at an invitation affair, with all the big French musicians there. I am not so tickled as I might be, because I don't like the quartet myself, (don't tell this to anyone!) Another composer (aged 40) who was at Fontainebleau also wrote a quartet, which will be played at the same time. After the concert they both will be judged. The affair is to take place about the middle of November. The prize is only a diploma, so I don't care even if I get the booby prize. Anyway its some more excitement.Thats about all the news this time. Did I ever tell you I got a New Years card from Jennie? Thank her for me. Give my love to all.
P.S. Here is a favor I would like you to do for me. I have not been able to find any "Musical America" in paris and I am losing track of music in N.Y. without it. Will you write them (501 Fifth Ave) to renew my subscription? Tell them to send it directly to Europe c/o Guaranty Trust Co. and they will send you the bill. You will do this, wont you? ----- Thanks!