Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.

“Gioacchino Rossini.

“P.S.—­In a month’s time I will forward you the alterations of the drama ‘Moise,’ in order that you may judge if they are conformable to the operatic style.  Should they not be so, you will have the kindness to suggest any others better adapted to the purpose.”


Viotti, though in many respects proud, resolute, and haughty in temperament, was simple-hearted and enthusiastic, and a passionate lover of nature.  M. Eymar, one of his intimate friends, said of him, “Never did a man attach so much value to the simplest gifts of nature, and never did a child enjoy them more passionately.”  A modest flower growing in the grass of the meadow, a charming bit of landscape, a rustic fete, in short, all the sights and sounds of the country, filled him with delight.  All nature spoke to his heart, and his finest compositions were suggested and inspired by this sympathy.  He has left the world a charming musical picture of the feelings experienced in the mountains of Switzerland.  It was there he heard, under peculiar circumstances, and probably for the first time, the plaintive sound of a mountain-horn, breathing forth the few notes of a kind of “Ranz des Vaches.”

“The ‘Ranz des Vaches’ which I send you,” he says in one of his letters, “is neither that with which our friend Jean Jacques has presented us, nor that of which M. De la Bord speaks in his work on music.  I can not say whether it is known or not; all I know is, that I heard it in Switzerland, and, once heard, I have never forgotten it.  I was sauntering along, toward the decline of day, in one of those sequestered spots....  Flowers, verdure, streamlets, all united to form a picture of perfect harmony.  There, without being fatigued, I seated myself mechanically on a fragment of rock, and fell into so profound a reverie that I seemed to forget that I was upon earth.  While sitting thus, sounds broke on my ear which were sometimes of a hurried, sometimes of a prolonged and sustained character, and were repeated in softened tones by the echoes around.  I found they proceeded from a mountain-horn; and their effect was heightened by a plaintive female voice.  Struck as if by enchantment, I started from my dreams, listened with breathless attention, and learned, or rather engraved upon my memory, the ’Ranz des Vaches’ which I send you.  In order to understand all its beauties, you ought to be transplanted to the scene in which I heard it, and to feel all the enthusiasm that such a moment inspired.”  It was a similar delightful experience which, according to Rossini’s statement, first suggested to that great composer his immortal opera, “Guillaume Tell.”

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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