Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Aaron Copland to Israel Citkowitz, July 18, 1933.
Download: ( Complete: Full Text )
July 18 [1933?]
Dear Israel ----
Your letter was not calculated to bring joy to the heart of an arranger of festivals! I regret the Blake Songs very much -- we need them badly -- and to put the Old Songs in the program causes complications. I can only manage to save my skin by making rules -- one of the most rigid being that those as was played last year can be played again provided they have new work and that it is more imposing than the piece of the year before. In fact, with possible exception of the oldest men -- all the music will be 'first time.' In the midst of that, your old songs would look like rank partisanship. I would even be willing to risk that, but I really think you owe it to your 'public', to America, to Nadia, to Roger, to me to arrange your life in such a way that it all leads to the production of at least one new oeuvre a year. I feel certain your trouble isn't Rogers -- its not a question of unproductivity but of something else, something more manageable. To read you a real lecture I'd have to have a clearer conception of how you spend the twenty-four hours of the day. But 'let your conscience be your guide'... And remember that all the ideals and ideas we have can best be advanced by tangible examples. There aren't so many of us that we can afford to have you loll by the wayside.
There are six weeks before Sept 1st. If you want to reconsider, and think you can finish the Blake songs by then I'll get them accepted on my say-so. Send the Myrtle Song in any case.
Incidentally, I'm all for getting the Old Songs performed again -- as I'm sure they were not appreciated when first heard in N.Y. There ought to be opportunities in N.Y. next year.
Let me hear what chances there are before the end of next week.