Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, December 25, 1912
8 Rue de la Barouillère
I was happy when I saw you come to S. EustacheL’église Saint-Eustache, a Gothic–Renaissance church in Paris built between 1532 and 1632 and attributed to Domenico da Cortona (ca. 1465–ca. 1549). It is reputed to have the largest pipe organ in France. last night—but soon afterwards almost wished you hadn’t. The taste of the French today in music is too horrible; I could see the hand of the fat old ladies of the banc d’oeuvreThe banc d’oeuvre is a bench of honor in the nave of a church reserved for the parochial church wardens. in some of the stuff they gave. Still, if the rest of it didn’t prevent your hearing and realizing the Ave vera virginitas of Josquin des Prés,Josquin des Prez (ca. 1450–1521), a Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer. The “Ave vera virginitas” is a sacred choral mass. all is well.
Consider this. Last year everything they gave was good. This year, as you heard, some bad stuff leaked in, and next year, unless God remedy it, they will be giving selections from Massenet’s “Ste Therèse”Jules Massenet (1842–1912), a French opera composer. Thérèse is an opera that was first performed in Monte Carlo in 1907. or the “Appel à Paris” of Carpentier [sic].Gustave Charpentier (1860–1956), a French composer. In the last act of his opera Louise (first performed in Paris in 1900), the heroine cannot resist the “call of Paris” and the freedom and pleasure that it will bring. If you will show me you forgive me, keep your eye on Experts’ concerts, and go when any Josquin des Prés is to be given. That is the real stuff.
Love from both of us to you and Robert—the beautiful glassThis glass has not been identified. is a source of great joy to us.