Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.
and also by Franz Liszt, then rising almost on the top wave of his dazzling fame as a virtuoso.  Liszt was a profound admirer of the less fortunate Schumann, and did everything possible to make him a favorite with the public, but for a long time in vain.  Liszt writes of this as follows:  “Since my first knowledge of his compositions I had played many of them in private circles at Milan and Vienna, without having succeeded in winning the approbation of my hearers.  These works were, fortunately for them, too far above the then trivial level of taste to find a home in the superficial atmosphere of popular applause.  The public did not fancy them, and few players understood them.  Even in Leipzig, where I played the ‘Carnival’ at my second Gewandhaus concert, I did not obtain my customary applause.  Musicians, even those who claimed to be connoisseurs also, carried too thick a mask over their ears to be able to comprehend that charming ‘Carnival,’ harmoniously framed as it is, and ornamented with such rich variety of artistic fancy.  I did not doubt, however, but that this work would eventually win its place in general appreciation beside Beethoven’s thirty-three variations on a theme by Diabelli (which work it surpasses, according to my opinion, in melody, richness, and inventiveness).”  Both as a composer and writer on music, Schumann embodied his deep detestation of the Philistinism and commonplace which stupefied the current opinions of the time, and he represented in Germany the same battle of the romantic in art against what was known as the classical which had been carried on so fiercely in France by Berlioz, Liszt, and Chopin.

III.

The year 1840 was one of the most important in Schumann’s life.  In February he was created Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Jena, and, still more precious boon to the man’s heart, Wieck’s objections to the marriage with Clara had been so far melted away that he consented, though with reluctance, to their union.  The marriage took place quietly at a little church in Schonfeld, near Leipzig.  This year was one of the most fruitful of Schumann’s life.  His happiness burst forth in lyric forms.  He wrote the amazing number of one hundred and thirty-eight songs, among which the more famous are the set entitled “Myrtles,” the cycles of song from Heine, dedicated to Pauline Viardot, Chamisso’s “Woman’s Love and Life,” and Heine’s “Poet Love.”  Schumann as a song-writer must be called indeed the musical reflex of Heine, for his immortal works have the same passionate play of pathos and melancholy, the sharp-cut epigrammatic form, the grand swell of imagination, impatient of the limits set by artistic taste, which characterize the poet themes.  Schumann says that nearly all the works composed at this time were written under Clara’s inspiration solely.  Blest with the continual companionship of a woman of genius, as amiable as she was gifted, who placed herself as a gentle mediator

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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