[ Algernon Ashton, Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('Algernon Ashton') to the editor of the Daily Graphic, discussing the works of Franz Lachner and the 'overrated' Tchaikovsky.

Algernon Ashton [ Algernon Bennet Langton Ashton ] (1859-1937), English composer and Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music 1884-1910
Publication details: 
44 Hamilton Gardens, St John's Wood, London. 6 April 1903.
SKU: 19785

3pp., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly aged and worn paper. Two days previously, as Ashton explains, the newspaper had published 'a paragraph on Franz Lachner, the once famous composer, the centenary of whose birth has just occurred', in which it quoted Ashton's comment that it was 'a crying scandal and a burning shame that Lachner's superb Suites for orchestra should be allowed to fall into oblivion, while the most ghastly trash of certain latter-day composers is performed, and even applauded by the public.' Regarding the phrase 'ghastly trash' the newspaper inserted the editorial comment: 'By which elegant periphrasis we suppose Mr. Ashton to indicate the music of his “bête noire” Tschaikowsky'. Ashton denies that this is the case: 'I am not quite so stupid as not to be able to distinguish good music from bad, and in Tschaikowsky's works every musician knows that the good largely predominates.' He continues to clarify his position, ending with the claim that the composer's 'works are absurdly overrated, and that he is not one of our greatest masters in music.'