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Thomson, Virgil (Author); Page, Tim & Weeks Page, Vanessa (Editors). SELECTED LETTERS OF VIRGIL THOMSON. London, England: Summit Books, 1988. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 413 pages. Fine/Fine.

Collection of letters by subject. One of the most important music books of the 20th century. The true First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. "There have been previous collections of the writings of the Grand Old Man of American music but none as various and personally revealing as this. All his life, Thomson has been a meticulous correspondent, unfailingly courteous, crisp, and elegant, and it is a special pleasure to see these employed on minutiae as well as on such major matters as working on a libretto with Gertrude Stein. Two testy letters to a dilatory watch-repair company are models of their kind. But perhaps the heart of the volume is the letters Thomson returned to correspondents who took issue with him during his years on the New York Herald Tribune as the best, and certainly the most knowledgeable, music critic ever to write for an American newspaper. We see only Thomson's side of the correspondence but his good sense and generosity of spirit, often in response to clearly irate muddle-headedness, is something to marvel at. The Pages have selected the letters from what they describe as a staggering quantity with great skill, to show Thomson in all his diversity. The concise identifying notes are both necessary and unobtrusive" (Publishers Weekly). Virgil Thomson is a central figure in 20th-century music. His correspondence, that is to say, his flawless writing, not only complements but demonstrates his unique genius. A "must-have" title for Virgil Thomson collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time and is now collectible. This is one of relatively few copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the greatest composers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER VIRGIL THOMSON TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0671621173. $20.00

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