Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Aaron Copland to his parents, April 11, 1922.
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6 P.M. Tues. Apr. 11, 1922
Dear Ma & Pa, --
This morning at 9 P.M. I left Rome, one day earlier than I had intended, as everyone told me so much about the beauties of Florence, that I thought I ought to have 4 days here at least. We arrived at 2:30 P.M., after having a delicious dinner on the train. Then I began searching for a room in a hotel, which just now, is like looking for a pin in a haystack. Finally, after going into 10 places (with no exaggeration), I struck this one an hour ago by some miracle. Already I have bought a ticket for the opera to-night and now I am resting and writing to you at the same time.
Yesterday, before leaving Rome, I received your letter of the 26th which Harold forwarded to me. I was very sorry to hear Grandma had been so sick and hope she is well now.
Once more, you say you are thinking very seriously about coming to Europe. Of course, I wrote two letters ago, what I thought of the idea. The only circumstance which has changed is that you say it is your only chance of coming as pop will go into business next winter. I also see that it is not a question of Texas or Europe, but of a summer in the mountains or Europe. Yet, in spite of everything, if you ask me where you will get most rest and enjoyment I should say in the mountains. This applies particularly to Pop, whom I imagine, would have a better time in a decent Yiddisher hotel with plenty of pinochle than in the swellest dumps in Europe. Then don't forget that July and August are two very hot months in all the big cities here, and one has no energy for sight seeing. And yet, after all is said and done, I may be all wrong. You may enjoy some good Pilsner Beer in a good old German beer garden very much. So, in the end I leave it for you to decide what to do, and you can easily imagine how anxiously I shall await your final decision. I was thinking that you might even put off the trip till next spring (the ideal time to come) if Pop wasn't very anxious to go, and come here with Laurine or Dorothy or someone else in the family, and then we might all come home together. But if you decide to come in July let me know very soon as I shall have lots of advice to give you about traveling and so forth. It seems quite wonderful that there should even be a slight chance that I may see you in less than three months.
Now, to come to less important matters, I am very glad to hear of the good news you have to tell in each letter about my first published piece. The incident with the salesman at Schirmer's was very amusing indeed. You seem to be selling so many copies that I almost regret not having it published on a royalty basis. Don't be discouraged if no one seems able to play it for you, as its not nearly so difficult as they make it, which point I hope to illustrate some day. (Let me say right here that that famous critic of music, Mr. Charles Marcus, is not going to like it!)
So there has been a great fuss about a name for the new baby. Well, that is as it should be. I, as a member of the family, have a right to put in my two cents, have I not? Therefore, as a connoisseur of names, I hereby suggest a name which I think is neither too common nor too fancy, too Jewish nor too Goyish, in short, -- just right. Here we have it, -- GINA (pronounce the G soft); or you can say it just that way and spell it like this -- DJINA. Of course, I know everyone's opinion of this marvellous suggestion of mine, -- Lou will think it too stuck-up, Dorothy will think it too stagey, La will think it too odd and so forth, -- but Lils will agree with me! Anyway, now that I've had my say, you can name the kid anything you like.
I will let you know when I arrive in Paris next Sunday. I leave Florence Sat. at 5:30 P.M. and arrive next day at 8 P.M.
Love to all.