22. 27 July 1970 (Scarlatti quotation in Brahms op. 72)

Dear Andrew,

   I wonder whether you, as the authority on inter alia everything ending in "i" would know the answer to this?

   Brahms Op. 72 No 5, Unüberwindlich; a (marvellous) song about wine-drinking, is prefaced thus (B&H Urtext)



- is that because he thinks of the phrase as somehow dry and/or sparkling, or is there some clearer verbal association? [for Sams's interpretation, see Zwei Brahms Rätsel, ED]

   My phrasing increasingly absents itself from felicity; thus I hope you didn't construe my references to the economical use of time as meaning that there is anything I'd rather do than talk to you on the telephone. On the contrary; I have no precious time, etc, nor services, etc; and if I don't have your Prokofiev pieces (and a furtive and guilty search in follow-up of my instant denial confirms that in fact I don't) it's not for want of trying.


   yours ever