Carl Schuricht to Frederick Delius

Wiesbaden, Biebricherstr: 3, ll.
3 October, 1906.

Dear Maestro,
Much as I wished to write to you after leaving you in Essen, my subsequent life did not allow me to get down to it: I took up my post as conductor of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra - substituting for Georg Hüttner - straight afterward, and only now that all that activity is over do I find a little time here in Wiesbaden.
How much inspiration, pure delight and joy "Sea Drift" awakened in me and left imprinted on me, I will not describe to you in more detail, but will just tell you that the mere knowledge of your physical existence has given me a source of inner warmth and joy in activity that enriches me in all my artistic undertakings.
My job in Dortmund was difficult: - as a young conductor, who had completely abandoned his career because of two years' interruption through sickness, suddenly to be put in so responsible a post (Hüttner handed the post over to me when I visited him with my compositions), a post which might easily have overtaxed my strength, it was up to me to sacrifice all consideration for my personal welfare and above all to justify by deeds the colossal confidence placed in me. It came off. I got on really marvellously with the orchestra, and also with Hüttner, the critics, the public. - It was a splendid opportunity to put matters to the test, - that is, to see whether I was any good as an orchestra conductor (that can only be found out on the rostrum) - and in consequence to set a different course for the future! Thank God it turned out so splendidly; so my childhood dream has not deceived me - as a boy of 3 I already used to stand for hours (at concerts and at home) humming and conducting with stubborn persistence; - the orchestra governed my imagination, my games; - only during my illness did I lose hope of realising my dream; and now it has come true after all, I didn't stick it out alone, no - it's the basis of my life without which I cannot survive, and through it my spirit and body are as fresh and active as ever!
Now (and that is why I have told you quite so much about it) I can at last do what I longed to: perform new works and good older ones; devote my energies to the service of the (terribly few) real composers. And so I am asking you, dear Maestro, who have so wonderfully revived my hopes for a new flowering of the purest, most spiritual and most perfect art, firstly: So long as I have no orchestra of my own, let me get your works better known privately: I meet all sorts of people, perhaps some conductor (for instance, Hüttner - Dortmund, or Theil - Danzig) will let me perform something of yours; I also have it in mind to perform something of yours here (Wiesbaden) off my own bat - only I haven't got enough money, and yet I would take the risk if necessary, provided I could get the music for nothing; we must talk about this; but in any case I will devote all my energies to interesting whoever I meet in your works. - To this end I should be very grateful if you could send me on loan, chiefly for detailed study, the score of your "Sea-drift", and perbaps some other not too large a work for orchestra alone (a symph. poem or something similar), because at the moment I cannot buy anything, I am afraid; it would be very good if you could send me these works as soon as possible, preferably by return - On 6. 10. I am going to Danzig (where I am doing something of mine) and have high hopes that I might work something good for you there. - - -I
And, as soon as I once have a position of my own, then, with my modest powers and according to my heart's desire, I can see to it that living, real composers no longer have to hide their light under a bushel, but can let it shine out brightly, and that after this period of nauseating cliquishness pure beauty and living art at last return to favour.
Please excuse this long letter of mine; I am not a man of words. - As soon as I have your scores I can do a lot - a single individual can do so much, even if he is almost unknown and a beginner with few connections. I will close now, I don't want to talk about how much I love your art and how loyal I am to you, I want to show it to you.
Attached are some reviews from Dortmund by way of example; as some sort of example of my other musical attributes I shall venture to send you shortly my work - only as a kind of example, you do understand? I shall not lay claim to the title of "composer" until I have done something big.
With kindest regards to your wife and yourself and with my warmest devotion.

Your happy, loyal and sincere admirer
Carl Schuricht

My fiancée sends her greetings

In admiration, my best wishes to you and your wife,
Yours sincerely,
Friedel Heinemann.

The original (written in German) is in the Delius Trust Archive.

I In a postcard from Danzig, dated 10 October 1906, Schuricht was to acknowledge receipt of a score (Paris) and to express the hope of performing it in Dortmund during the coming season.

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