Scope and arrangement
The Jeremy Commons Letters to Solange Bak consist of a set of letters from the opera scholar received by Bak over a ten-year period. Commons initiated the correspondence with Bak in 1984 after having been informed by a mutual friend during a research trip to Italy that Bak was a descendant of the composers, Federico and Luigi Ricci, who were among the many subjects he was researching. The earliest letters deal with information exchanged on the Ricci brothers. In addition to discussing Commons' research projects and his efforts to get the works of lesser-known composers, such as Giuseppe Balducci, recorded and performed, the letters also chronicle his extensive travels and offer a glimpse into the New Zealand concert and social scene. Along with the nine folders of letters, the collection includes some writings by Commons and other materials that were sent with the letters; these items have been filed in five folders after the letters. A few of the letters have had parts of the leaf excised.