The Great German Composers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 143 pages of information about The Great German Composers.

“With all my heart, if you desire to have it for yourself alone, but if you wish to perform it in public, I must be excused; for, being written specially for my company at the Esterhazy Palace, it would not produce the proper effect elsewhere.  I would do a new score for your theatre; but what a hazardous step it would be to stand in comparison with Mozart!  Oh, Mozart!  If I could instill into the soul of every lover of music the admiration I have for his matchless works, all countries would seek to be possessed of so great a treasure.  Let Prague keep him, ah! and well reward him, for without that the history of geniuses is bad; alas! we see so many noble minds crushed beneath adversity.  Mozart is incomparable, and I am annoyed that he is unable to obtain any court appointment.  Forgive me if I get excited when speaking of him, I am so fond of him.”

Mozart’s admiration for Haydn’s music, too, was very marked.  He and Herr Kozeluch were one day listening to a composition of Haydn’s which contained some bold modulations.  Kozeluch thought them strange, and asked Mozart whether he would have written them.  “I think not,” smartly replied Mozart, “and for this reason:  because they would not have occurred either to you or me!”

On another occasion we find Mozart taking to task a Viennese professor of some celebrity, who used to experience great delight in turning to Haydn’s compositions to find therein any evidence of the master’s want of sound theoretical training—­a quest in which the pedant occasionally succeeded.  One day he came to Mozart with a great crime to unfold.  Mozart as usual endeavored to turn the conversation, but the learned professor still went chattering on, till at last Mozart shut his mouth with the following pill:  “Sir, if you and I were both melted down together, we should not furnish materials for one Haydn.”

It was one of the most beautiful friendships in the history of art; full of tender offices, and utterly free from the least taint of envy or selfishness.

IV.

Haydn landed in England after a voyage which delighted him in spite of his terror of the sea—­a feeling which seems to be usual among people of very high musical sensibilities.  In his diary we find recorded:  “By four o’clock we had come twenty miles.  The large vessel stood out to sea five hours longer, till the tide carried it into the harbor.  I remained on deck the whole passage, in order to gaze my fill at that huge monster—­the ocean.”

The novelty of Haydn’s concerts—­of which he was to give twenty at fifty pounds apiece—­consisted of their being his own symphonies, conducted by himself in person.  Haydn’s name, during his serene, uneventful years with the Ester-hazys, had become world-famous.  His reception was most brilliant.  Dinner parties, receptions, invitations without end, attested the enthusiasm of the sober English; and his appearance at concerts and public meetings was

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The Great German Composers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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