From all this you will see that, for a musical reconstruction of the chorus, it would be necessary to make experiments in the style of the first two epochs; and this might be accomplished by means of quite short oratorios.
* * * * *
Weimar, June 1, 1805.
Since writing to you last, I have had few happy days. I thought I should die myself, and instead I lose a friend, and with him the half of my being. I would really begin a different mode of life, but for one of my years there is no way of doing that. I only look straight ahead of me each day, and do the thing nearest to me without thinking of the consequences.
But as people in every loss and misfortune try to find a pretext for amusement, I have been urgently solicited in behalf of our theatre, and on many other sides, to celebrate on the stage the memory of the departed one. I wish to say nothing further on the subject, except that I am not disinclined to it, and all I would ask of you now is whether you are willing to assist me in the matter; and, first, whether you would furnish me with your motet—“Man lives,” etc., about which I have read in the Musical Review, No. 27; also whether you would either compose some other pieces of a solemn character, or else select and make over to me some musical pieces already composed—the style of which I will indicate later—as a foundation for appropriate compositions. As soon as I know your real opinion on the subject, you shall receive further details.
Your beautiful series of little essays on orchestra organization I have left lying around till now, and the reason is that they contained a sort of satire on our own conditions.
Now Reichard wishes them for the Musical Review. I hunt them up again, look them over, and I feel that I really could not deprive the Intelligence Page of our Literatur-Zeitung of them. Some of our conditions here have changed, and, after all, a man may surely be allowed to censure those things which he did not try to hinder.
Privy Councillor Wolf of Halle is here at present. If only I could hope to see you also here this year! Would it not be possible for you to come to Lauchstaedt the end of July, so as to help, there on the spot, in the preparation and performance of the above-mentioned work?
Think it over and only tell me there is a possibility of it; we shall then be able to devise the means of bringing it to pass.
* * * * *
Weimar, October 30, 1808.