EINSTEIN, ALBERT. (1879-1955). German-born physicist, humanitarian and Nobel Prize winner; promulgator of the General and Special Theories of Relativity. TLS. (“A. Einstein”). 2/3p. 4to. Saranac Lake, August 15, 1944. On his blind-embossed Princeton stationery. To Russian-born American composer, violinist and teacher GEORGE PERLMAN (1897-2000).
“It was extremely kind of you to send me the two beuatiful [sic] Vivaldi Concertos. I consider Vivaldi one of the greatest musicians of all time and your edition as a real achievement of lasting value.
With the expression of my heartiest thanks and with kind greetings, I am yours very sincerely…”
Famous for his theories of relativity and the law governing the photoelectric effect, for which he was awarded the 1921 Physics Nobel Prize, Einstein was also one of the leading humanists of his time and an enthusiastic violinist who often performed with renowned musicians in his own home. “Music was not only a relaxation to Einstein, it also helped him in his work. His second wife, Elsa, gives a rare glimpse of their home life in Berlin. ‘As a little girl, I fell in love with Albert because he played Mozart so beautifully on the violin,’ she once wrote. ‘He also plays the piano. Music helps him when he is thinking about his theories. He goes to his study, comes back, strikes a few chords on the piano, jots something down, returns to his study.’ In later life, his fame as a physicist often led to invitations to perform at benefit concerts, which he often generally accepted eagerly. At one such event, a critic – unaware of Einstein’s real claim to fame as a physicist – wrote, ‘Einstein plays excellently. However, his world-wide fame is undeserved. There are many violinists who are just as good,’” (“Einstein and his love of music,” Physics World, Foster).
Einstein cited Venetian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) as among his favorite composers, along with Mozart, Bach, Schubert, Corelli, and Scarlatti. It was for his violin concerti, including those which are, together, known as the Four Seasons, that Vivaldi is best known. Our letter regards Perlman’s arrangement of Vivaldi’s concerti published by Carl Fischer.
Beginning in 1933, Perlman worked as an editor at Carl Fischer putting together “editions of such works as the Bach a minor violin concerto and the Ten Have Allegro Brilliant [which] are still used by many teachers. Also popular are his anthologies, such as the Violinist’s Solo Album and the Violinist’s Contest Album,” (“George Perlman Dies in Chicago,” www.newmusicusa.com). However, Perlman was also an influential teacher of violin as well as a composer whose works reflect his Jewish heritage. Among his compositions are Suite Hebraique, Ghetto Sketches and Israeli Concertino.
Our letter is written from Camp Knollwood, the preferred summer vacation spot of Albert Einstein. Located in New York State’s Adirondacks and built for six friends including Daniel Guggenheim and Louis Marshall, Camp Knollwood was where Einstein first heard of the dropping of the atomic bomb over Japan. Folded and in very fine condition. Matted and framed; not examined out of the frame.