Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Aaron Copland to Benjamin Britten, September 23, 1959.
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September 23, 1959
It was good to get your recent letter with detailed suggestions for Aldeburgh.
As to date, there is just a possibility that I may not be able to be at the Festival until the final week, starting June 20. I hope that doesn't cause any complications from your end.
Of course I want to be as active as possible, without 'overdoing.' I like the idea of conducting IN THE BEGINNING with the Toronto Singers, but how many of them are there? The piece should have a fairly solid sound and I need reassurance as to the size of the choral group. I would be glad to serve as pianist in a performance of the PIANO QUARTET. (The SEXTET always makes complications and we had better not attempt it.) I'm afraid however thet the PIANO FANTASY is quite beyond me and the VARIATIONS would take more practicing than I would have time for.
What chance would there be of my introducing a new work I am presently engaged upon? The first performance anywhere is reserved for Dumbarton Oaks, who commissioned it. That will take place in mid-April in Washington, D.C. I should love to conduct its English premiere in Aldeburgh, but it is being written for 3 violins, 3 violas and 3 cellos. Are you that rich? The piece should last about 14 minutes and is rather elegiac in character.
I'd be glad to prepare a lecture, though it's still too early for me to decide what I had best choose for subject matter.
Let me have reactions to the above.
All my best to you and Peter