« ElőzőTovább »
SUBSCRIPTION:-Stamped for Postage, 20s. per annum-Payable in advance, by Cash or Post Office Order,
to BOOSEY & SONS, 28, Holles Street, Cavendish Square.
CONVERSATIONS WITH FELIX MENDELSSOHN.* ; I have already said, few men without idiosyncracy originally, but
there are very few of them who possess such independent minds (Continued from page 480.)
as to be able to develope themselves entirely in accordance with
their nature; they allow themselves to be caught by other inONE day. I succeeded in leading the conversation back again fluences, by æsthetical arguments, by criticisms on their works, to the subject mentioned in the last chapter, and put the ques
by celebrated men, who command a large public, etc. They think tion to him : Whether the artist could, knowingly, do still more they will pursue a safer course by taking the road followed by for his idiosyncracy, and whether hé, Mendelssohn, was not
such persons, than by following the manner that is naturally conscious of certain modes of mental proceeding for this end ?
their own, and thus, from this constraint, to which they subject “Except sharp self-criticism when the work is finished, and themselves, become more or less imitators.” careful alterations, I can name you no others,” said Mendelssohn.
“That is perfectly right,” said Mendelssohn, interrupting me. “And yet,” he added, after a short pause, smiling ironically, and
“Such independence, however, I can claim for myself, for I have tapping me on the shoulder," the fact of a musician's composing
been conscious of it from my earliest youth upwards. I cannot more, and grubbing on less in reflection, may also assist idio
remember a single occasion on which I ever said in my own syncracy. As in every other thing in the world, so also in the
mind, "You shall write a trio, like such and such a one of case of the musician, there are secret agencies at work, which
Beethoven, or Mozart, or any other master,' but I wrote it in we perceive in the fact, but whose primitive grounds we can
conformity with my own taste, according to what floated before never find out. We enable these, by continual labour, to de
me generally as pleasing. Thus, for instance, I never liked the velope themselves, while we keep them back by too much
boisterous brass instruments, and have never favoured them merely critical reflection.”
especially, although I have frequently enough had occasion to "I may grant that." I replied, “but still, we may be too easily remark on how many of the public they produce an effect. I like contentert, we take this last view, and consider what is ex
parts finely worked out—the polyphonous style of composition, in
20: plicable in a subject as exhausted, at a stage when such is not,
which I may be no doubt principally influenced by my carly perhaps, the case. Had we dug further, we might, possibly,
contrapuntal studies with Zelter, and the study of Bach. And have discovered more."
thus, in the fact of my seeking to develope what satisfies me, "Have you done so, and discovered more ?” inquired Men
and what exists in my nature, may have arisen whatever idiodelssoha, eagerly.
syncracy people choose to attribute to me. That is not so bad, “I have certainly thought further about a thing, but without
not so bad,” he exclaimed, as his eyes sparkled in that inimitably discovering much. The following ideas on the matter have
| amiable manner, which was peculiar to him, when an idea
pleased him. “That is not so bad," he continued, after he had suggested themselves to me': "It strikes me that all we create is principally, though other
walked on a few steps further, immersed in thought. “If, therecauses have some influence, decided by what, in our art, interests
fore, I remember these principles, and act consistently with or repels, especially pleases or especially displeases, in the works vegar
regard to them, I can guide myself by them, and direct myself of our predecessors; for if we want to render ourselves a strict
| alone in the sphere of creating minds, properly so called." account of the impressions which musical compositions produce
“But,” I observed, “this relying upon one's self has, also, its upon us, we find that many works do not please us at all
perils, when pursued too unconditionally, as, for instance, when indeed, it is very seldom that we meet with one which satisfies
the individuality of the art of a period is opposed to it. In such us in every respect. In one case the melodic outline of the
| a case, the artist remains alone; he cannot obtain a public, and thought pleases us but not the accompaniment, or if the latter
becomes a martyr to his idiosyncracy.” pleases, the harmony to it does not, and so on. Some persons,
“Better to be a martyr than a mere repeater of others," said again, delight especially in the most vigorous thoughts, with a
Mendelssohn. "But when was there ever a peculiar, and, at the plentiful supply of brass instruments, while another individual,
same time, naturally important artistic mind that did not make more delicately organised, does not like them, but prefers far
its way, sooner or later ? Every man in whom there is an energetic more the finer, milder shades, etc. These likings and dislikings
idiosyncracy obtains a public, provided he only holds out. Many implanted in us, for productions of art, constitute our original
a man is, however, ruined from not continuing as be has begun, individual dispositions, and are, in their various degrees and
and, when he sees himself left a short time without exciting any combinations, intellectually, what the outward varieties of
remarkable degree of interest, abandoning his nature, and enfigure, bearing, and features are physically. In this respect, all
deavouring to accommodate himself to such as are account the
heroes of the day. Such men become renegades and co to men, or at least the great mass of individuals, possess a disposition for idiosyncracy."
and turn back, exhausted, when perhaps near the victory “There is something in what you say,” replied Mendelssohn.
would have achieved, had they continued to fight on manfully. “I presume that you deduce from this the fact that the artist
Do you suppose that I did not know I found no real appreciation must give the reins to his original disposition; that he should
for a considerable time? It is true that there was no dearth of not, for instance, seek to remodel or modify it in obedience to
apparcnt appreciation when I was present, but that did not the authority of great artists, or even prevailing views, and that,
mean much. I was under the nocessity of introducing my works by this means, he can work, with full consciousness, towards the
myself, for I seldom found hem anywhere I went. This was development of his idiosyncracy ?"
in truth, not very encouragi. , But I thought: 'what you have “That is certainly what I mean,” I continued. “There are, as
done, you have done, and now you must go and see how it gets
on in the world. It must at last, although slowly and thor * By the author of Fliegende Blätter für Musik, Leipsic, 1853. who think like it; for the world is very large and variedad
EWSPAPE so it proved. It proved so, too, because I continued in my own
GIACOMO MEYERBEER. way, without troubling my head much whether or when it would find more general acceptation.”
(Continued from page 484.) "And would you really have held out, if appreciation had Robert le Diable was begun in 1828, but, interrupted by the frequent never been bestowed ?" I inquired; “or did you not, as was journeys of Meyerbeer, it was not completed before the month of July, natural, feel within you the conviction that your way was really 1830. *Written for the Académie Royale de Musique, this work was worth something, and must force itself a passage ?"
disposed of by the composer to the Administration about the same time. “I will not make myself out stronger than I really am,” said | | But the revolution which then arose extended even to the coulisses of Mendelssohn ; “I never lost this conviction, or, at least, strong the theatres. To the royal direction of the Grand-Opéra succeeded a hope. One stroke does not fell a tree, I said to myself : very particular management, which in the clauses and conditions of its frequently a great number fail to do so, if it is vigorous. Every | contract did not admit the obligation
contract did not admit the obligation of producing Meyerbeer's opera, artist depends upon an éclat, that is to say, a work that hits the
considering it an onerous and unprofitable charge. It was not, therepublic hard; if that is achieved, the thing is done. The atten
fore, until the month of November, 1831, that Robert le Diable was tion of the public is thenexcited, and, from that instant, it not only
represented. From that moment dates the fortune of the Académie takes an interest in all the artist's subsequent works, but makes
Royale de Musique. The last general rehearsal presents one of the inquiries about his former ones, which it has passed by with un
most remarkable circumstances in the history of art. A number of those
gaugers of the profession, without the requisite knowledge, who abound concern, and thus he is fairly started. All music publishers
in Paris more than in any other place, assembled and passed sentence reckon on this, too. They continue to publish the works of
on the work of the master in the most lively possible manner. It was talented composers for a long period, without expecting a
| who should utter the pleasantest bon-mot, who make the most spiritual profit from them. They wait for the work, the éclat, which funeral speech. That the opera could not outlive ten representations enables them to dispose of the former ones as well.”
was agreed to unanimously. The director, whose ears had been assailed “And such an éclat you achieved most triumphantly with | by these sinister forebodings, encountered, in the green-room, one of the your overture to the Midsummer Night's Dream," I said. “I most active of the ill-omened prophets, and addressed him thus:-“Do recollect very well what a sensation that overture produced, by not be uneasy; I have listened attentively, and am satisfied that I am its astonishing originality and truthfulness of expression, and not deceived. In this work the great qualities immeasurably transcend how, from that moment you went up very high in the estimation its imperfections. The situations are striking; the expression is power. of musicians as well as unprofessional people."
ful; the impression cannot fail to be striking and deep. It will make “I believe so, too,” said Mendelssohn, “and thus, you see, we
the tour of the world.” must trust a little to luck as well.”
The result proved the judgment of the director to be correct. Never “Luck!” I exclaimed. “I should say that it was not the luck,
did a work of art achieve a triumph more popular and universal. The but the genius of the composer that created an overture like the
critics, chagrined at the ill-success of their prophecy, at first essayed to one in question."
combat public opinion, but, in the end, were obliged to give way, since “Talent,” replied Mendelssohn, modestly changing my expres
they could not oppose themselves to the whole world. Robert le Diable
not only made the fortune of the director of the opera, but saved various sion, “is naturally requisite in the matter; but I here call luck
managers of provincial theatres from bankruptcy. One hundred and the inspiration of choosing the subject for the overture—a sub
sixty successive representations, with an average receipt of ten thousand ject calculated to supply me with such musical ideas and forms francs, did not diminish the excitement of the public. Translated into as contained within themselves a general interest for the great German, English, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Danish, Swedish, etc. mass of the public. All that I could do, at that period, as a | Robert le Diable was played in the largest cities and the smallest towns, composer, I was able to do previously. But I had never had and everywhere created the same enthusiasm. Its success was not such a subject for the exercise of my imagination. This was an limited to Europe. In New Orleans Robert le Diable was played for inspiration, and the inspiration was a lucky one."
many months at the two opera houses, the English and the French. At (To be continued.)
Havannah, Mexico, and Algiers, it was also performed and received with
immense applause, THE ORGANIST OF ST. GEORGE'S HALL, LIVERPOOL.–At the
A new composer was revealed in Robert le Diable. It was no longer usual meeting of the Liverpool town-council, the appointment of
Meyerbeer, the German, the stiff and pedantic pupil of Abbé Vogler; organist at St. George's Hall, at a salary of £300 a-year (exclu
nor was it Meyerbeer in Italy, forcing himself violently out of the sive of remuneration for services for presiding at special concerts)
trammels of his own school, to acquire, by imitating Rossini, the art of was brought under consideration, the committee to whom thé
writing for the voice and that of giving colour to effect by means of matter had been referred having unanimously recommended the
instrumentation. It was not even a fusion of these two manners
assumed for the sake of variety. It was a wholly complete and new applicant, Mr. Best, late of the Panopticon, London. In the
creation, wherein nothing of the early style remained except the expe. course of the discussion it was announced that Dr. Wesley, under rience acquired by the artist in the course of his labours. Six years of whose superintendence the organ has been constructed, had de repose, or rather of study ; six years of meditation, observation, and clined to apply for the office because of the inadequacy of the analysis had concentrated into one complete whole, as original as it was salary, and that all the applicants, with the exception of one powerful, the energetic sentiments which Nature had planted in his gentleman, whose name did not appear, had retired on hearing soul, the freshness and vigour of ideas which daring had given him, that Mr. Best was an opponent. Mr. Robertson Gladstone, who | loftiness of style derived from a philosophical contemplation of his art, deemed the salary exorbitant for the duties of the office, moved and certainty in the effect to be produced, the result of incessant study a negative to the original motion to confirm the recommendation and practice. of the committee, but, in a division, it was lost by 14 to 18. Mr.
It has been affirmed more than once, that when Meyerbeer has no Best was therefore appointed as organist, at a salary of £300
strong situation to express, when he is desirous of merely giving uttera-year. - Times.
ance to a simple and natural feeling, his melodies become vulgar, even LAIBACH-(From a Correspondent. July 20).--Miss Arabella
trivial; that, in seeking to be original, he sometimes falls into man. Goddard, the young English pianist, has just given two concerts
nerism; that he only produces his great dramatic effects by violent here—the one on Friday, the other on Tuesday last-with
contrasts where the musical interest is languishing, etc., etc. immense success. The first was only tolerably attended, but
Let us, for argument sake, acquiesce in the justice of these critical such was the effect produced, that the second drew an immense
observations; let us even add others, which have escaped the antago
nists of the composer, and might have been adduced against the solidity audience to the concert-room. On the following day Miss of his successes! These successes have been obtained by emotions dif. Arabella Goddard was appointed Honorary Member of the ferent from those which had hitherto been produced-emotions which Philharmonic Society. So great a sensation has not been created Meyerbeer elicited by means peculiar to him, and a manner entirely his in musical circles here for many years.
own. To the forms art already possessed, be added new forms. From BRESLAU.-Herr Theodor Formes, and Mad. Herrenburg.Tuczeck, the ensemble of these forms and these means resulted that particular are singing at the theatre here. Le Nozze di Figaro is the chief style, which the uninitiated, no less than the dilettanti, recognize as the attraction. The Grosse Schlessische Gesangverein will celebrate the Meyerbeer style. It was enough to demonstrate that the name of the 25th anniversary of its existence on the 31st inst. and the 1st and 2nd composer should be placed among those who made an epoch in the proximo.
history of art, and who survived its transformation. The overwhelming majority of public suffrages has sanctioned this appreciation of Meyer. Cinti-Damoureau seceded from the company. "The quarrels with tho beer's talent. On the other hand, it must be acknowledged, that subscribers and artists," says Mr. Gruneisen, " as to the establishment there are some who are no great admirers of the music of the master- of three distinct companies--French, Italian, and German-at one time, a circumstance hardly to be wondered at, and to which many things also stood in the way of its popularity. Meyerbeer came to London combine. The moral and physical organisation of individuals, educa expressly to bring out the work, but, through various delays, was comtion, and, what is more to be grieved at, conflicting interests, are likely 1 pelled to leave for Berlin before the performance, without ever attending to beget very different opinions upon works of art; but these opinions a single rehearsal.” can only prevail with those who own them. If each is confident in his Although, so far as the opera-going public was concerned, Robert le impressions, he cannot offer them to others as a standard of judgment. Diable achieved a decided success at the Italian Opera House, and Truth is unassailable, except by positive facts. When, therefore, the was progressing in favour when the performances were interrupted, admiration and enthusiasm of the friends of Meyerbeer and the con. the critics were not all well disposed, while several exhibited the tempt of his adversaries shall have equally fallen into oblivion, the utmost hostility against the composer and his work. “The opinions compositions and the name of the artist will endure in the history of of certain critics of the day-in 1832"- (we have again recourse to music for self-evident reasons.
Mr. Gruneisen's sketch, which was written in 1848)—“almost reconOn Monday, the 20th February, 1832, an English version of Robert ciles us to some of the musical notices of the present period. By ono le Diable was brought out at Drury Lane, and on the following night writer, Robert le Diable was styled-'the aomé of insane fiction''tho a rival adaptation at Covent - Garden, under the title of The Fiend apothéosis of blasphemy, indecency, and absurdity'- Fuseli set to Father. The history of these events is too curious to pass over. We music' etc. Another critic wrote as follows:-'And first of the 80shall quote an authority of the day:
much vaunted music of Meyerbeer, which, it gives us real pleasure to "The celebrity," says the Harmonicon of March, 1832, “which state, does but in a very slight degree redeem from the mingled con. Meyer beer's Crociato in Egitto so deservedly obtained for him in this tempt and indignation which they deserve, the monstrosities and country, the anxious curiosity with which his so long-announced new fooleries of the French emasculation of a piece of German diableriework has been expected by the musical world in general, and the enthu- for Robert the Devil is but a sort of French Faust, diverted of the siastic accounts of its success and beauties, with which the newspapers bitter irony, the pungent satire, the exquisite poetry, and the useful were crowded, naturally led the managers of our great theatres into an moral. The only piece of music deserving of high and unqualified intense and active competition for the honour and profit of being the consideration is the opening chorus, a Bacchanalian at once brilliant, first to introduce it to an English audience. Mr. Monk Mason was the original, and highly expressive of the mingled sentiments sought to be successful candidate, giving, it is said, £500 for a copy of the score, and conveyed-those engendered by love and wine. The minstrel's air and the exclusive right of playing it at the King's Theatre (Italian Opera), | its accompanying chorus, which follow in the same scene, are clever London. The managers of the winter theatres determined, however, and effective; but their effect is the result of trick, not of any. not to put up with entire disappointment; the pianoforte copy, pub- thing deserving the name of 'music.' The Princess has one very lished in Paris, put them in possession of the vocal parts and the out. | pleasing and brilliant air, of the joyous kind, in the second act; and line of the accompaniments, and they forth with employed persons in Robert has also one, of a simple character, whicb is worthy of preserva. England to prepare a score in imitation of M. Meyerbeer's--set the scene- tion. Having mentioned these, our debt of gratitude tu this so extrapainters, macbinists, dressmakers, and copyists to work, and put each vagantly entitled composition is paid-at least, a first hearing of it has his own version of Robert le Diable into rehearsal. The intention of left no traces upon our memory, and that we take to be the true the Drury-Lane mapager was so early and openly avowed, that it was criterion.'” for some time thought it must have shared with the Opera House in A conscientious critic would have refrained from offering a decided the purchase and right of performance. The proceedings at the rival | opinion, after a first hearing, on a work so long, so elaborato, and so establishment were more secret; reports, indeed, got abroad, but it original. From 1832 to 1845-during which space of time Meyerbeer's was not until Drury-Lane announced The Demon; or, the Mystic operas, with Rossini's Guillaume Teli, alone sustained the lyric stage Branch, with Meyerbeer's music, as published in Paris, for Tuesday, throughout France-not one work of the composer of Robert le Diable 21st February; and Covent-Garden gave out The Fiend Father; or, -French or Italian-was produced in London. In 1845, a new English Robert of Normandy, for the same Tuesday, that the town was fully version of Robert le Diable was brought out at Drury Lane, under Mr. assured of the worthy race which the two winter establishments had | Bunn's management, with little success, however, owing to the in. been running. The Drury-Lane manager was too good a general to be efficiency of the principal singers, and the incompleteness of the band disconcerted by a surprise, or defeated by a coup de main. He forth- and chorus. The manager could not create vocalists, but it was quite in with altered his day from Tuesday to Monday, and succeeded in snatch his power to strengthen his orchestra and his chorus. As a spectacle, ing the honour of giving-twenty-four hours in advance of his rival Robert the Devil was almost unsurpassed. Mere show, however, is but an imitation of Robert le Diable to a London audience."
a poor accessory to a work of genius, which makes its appeals to other " In no country in the world," writes Mr. O. A. Gruneisen, in his senses besides the external. Robert the Devil was withdrawn interesting Memoir of Meyerbeer, “not even amongst the savage after a brief career, and did not replenish the treasury of Drury Algerine, or Mexican tribes, has Robert le Diable undergone worse Lane. The Brussels operatic company, in the same year, gave å treatment than in London-a painful and mortifying fact." All the much more satisfactory representation of the opera at Covent pains and care were expended in the spectacle, but even splendour, Garden Theatre, and attracted crowded audiences. In 1846, the magnificence, and novelty, could not of themselves conduce to success same company obtained similar success, in the same opera, Both the English versions of Robert le Diable proved failures*-no at Drury Lane. On the 4'h of May, 1847, the first Italian fault of the singers, it may be presumed, as the following list will show version was brought out at Her Majesty's Theatre, Malle. Jenny Lind -Mr. Keeley's being the only pon-musical nume which appears in the making her debut on the London boards in the part of Alice. The two casts, and, even in his best day, this now great comedian, it will be opera of Meyerbeer was considered as little or nothing in this perform. acknowledged, could hardly be suited to a part sustained by Mario :- ance, the prima donna absorbed all the attention, and the part of
OOVENT GARDEN. DRURY LANE. 1 Isabelle was omitted!
On Saturday, May the 12th, 1849, Roberto il Diavolo was reproBertram,
Mr. Reynoldson. Mr. H. Phillips. sented for the first time at the Royal Italian Opera, with great splenRaimbaut,
Mr. Keeley. Mr. Templeton. dour and magnificence. The principal parts were distributed as follows: Isabel,
Miss Ayton. Alice, Miss Catherine Hayes; Isabella, Mdlle. Corbari: Roberto, Signor Miss Inperarity. Mrs. Wood. Salvi; and Bertram, Sig. Marini. The cast, bowever, as it embracod
only one or two public favourites, was not sufficiently strong, and tbo In Paris, Nourrit was the original Robert; Levasseur, Bertram ; l opera not proving lucrative to the treasury, was withdrawn after two Lafont, Raimbaut; Malle. Dorus (afterwards Mdme. Dorus-Gras), representations. In the same season, it may be observed, the Huguenots, Alice; Mdme. Cinti-Damoureau, Isabelle ; and Malle. Taglioni, the the performance of which included nearly all the strength of the Royal Abbesg. On Monday, June 11th, 1832, Robert le Diable was given in Italian Opera Company, made the fortune of the theatre. In 1850, the original version, at the King's Theatre, with nearly the same cast as Roberto was given with a much stronger cast-among other improve that of the Académie-Royale at Paris, the exceptions being Mdme. de ments, Mario appearing as the Minstrel Rambaldo- and the succes Meric in Alice, and Malle. Heberlé in the Abbess. The opera was | was in proportion. Sig. Tamberlik created a marked sensation in the splendidly got up and was running a triumphant career, when Mdme. part of the hero. Perhaps, when it was given at the Royal Italian
Opera in 1850, Robert le Diable may be said to have been really heard. * This is an error. The success at Drury Lane was very great. ED. M. W.
for the first time in England.
(To be continued).
...OPERA AND DRAMA.
person's mouth. When the musician—that is to say: the abso
lute musician-tries to paint, he produces neither music nor a BY RICHARD WAGNER.
picture; but if he wished to accompany the view of a picture with : (Continued from page 482.)
his music, he might be sure that neither his music nor the pic
ture would be understood. The man who can only understand PART IL
the union of all the arts in a work of art as meaning, for instance,
that in a picture gallery, between a number of statues, a romance THE DRAMA AND THE CONSTITUTION OF by Goethe should be read, as well as a symphony by Beethoven
played,* is certainly right in insisting on a separation of the arts, pathing , DRAMATIC POETRY,
and in having each one treated so as to arrive at the greatest - CHAPTER I.
degree of clearness in the description of its especial subject. But When Lessing endeavoured, in his Laocoon, to discover and for our modern state æstheticians to place the drama, also, in the determine the limits of poetry and painting, he had in view only category of a branch of art, and, as such, award it to the poet as that poetry, which was itself merely painting. He sets out from his especial property, but with the understanding that the introlines of comparison and limitation, which he draws between the duction of another art, such as music, into it, needs an apology, plastic piece of sculpture pourtraying the scene of Laocoon's is to draw from Lessing's definition a conclusion, of which the death struggle, and the description Virgil gives of the same definition does not contain the slightest trace of justification. scene, in his Æneid, an epic written for perusal. Although, in Such people, see, however, in the drama nothing but a branch of the course of his investigation, Lessing touches upon Sophocles literature, a species of poetry, like the romance or the didactic as well, he is only thinking of the literary Sophocles, as he stands poem, with the sole difference, that the drama, instead of being before us, or, if he has in his mind the poet's living tragic work simply read, is intended to be learned by heart, declaimed, and of art as produced upon the stage, he involuntarily places it accompanied with gestures by several persons, and lighted up by beyond the sphere of any comparison with the work of sculpture the stage float. It is very true that music would hold about the or painting, because the living tragic work of art is not limited same relative position to a mere literary drama produced upon in relation to these two plastic arts, but these, from their needy | the stage, as it would if played to a picture while the latter was nature, find their necessary bounds when placed by its side. In exhibited, and it was, therefore, with perfect justice that the soevery case where Lessing assigns boundaries and limits to called melodrama was rejected as a medley of the most unedipoetry, he does not mean the work of dramatic poetry, placed fying description. The above kind of drama, however, which immediately before our eyes, and materially represented, and alone our men of letters have in view, is just as little a true which, uniting in itself every moment of the plastic art, with the drama, as a pianot is an orchestra, or an entire company of greatest amount of fullness, attainable by itself alone, first im singers. The origin of the literary drama sprang from exactly the parted to the above art the power of higher artistic life, but the same egoistical spirit of our general art development as the sorry shadow of this same work, the narrative, descriptive piano, and I will briefly render very clear, by means of that inliterary poem, manifesting itself not to the senses but the imagi- strument, the course that has been pursued. nation, and in which the latter is constituted the real repre- The oldest, most genuine, and most beautiful organ of music, senting factor, while the poem simply acts as an incentive to it. the organ to which alone our music is indebted for its existence,
Such an artificial art, it is true, can only achieve any result is the human voice, which was most naturally imitated by wind at all, by the strictest observance of boundaries and limits, instruments, and these, in their turn, by stringed instruments; because great care must be taken in order that, by a prudent the symphonic consonance of an orchestra of wind and stringed course of proceeding, it shall guard the unbridled imagination, instruments was then imitated by the organ, while the place of which has really to be the representing power in its place, from the unwieldy organ, finally, was supplied by the easily manageeverything like exaggerated confusion, so as to lead it to the able piano. The first thing we remark in this process, is that one concise point, where it is able to display, as clearly and the primitive organ of music has sunk, from the human voice to decidedly as the case will allow, the object it has in view. But the piano, lower and lower in deficiency of expression. The it'is to the imagination that all egotistically isolated arts appeal, instruments of the orchestra, although even they wanted the especially the plastic art, which can only realise the most im- speaking tones of the voice, were still able, more satisportant moment of art, namely movement, by an appeal to the factorily than anything else, to imitate the human tone, with its fancy. All these arts merely intimate; actual representation is endlessly varied and lively changing power of expression ; the only possible for them through promulgation to the universality pipes of the organ could only catch the tone as far as its duraof the artistic susceptibility of man, and communication with his tion was concerned, but not its changing expression, until, at perfect material organisation and not his imagination, for the last, the piano could only intimate the tone, but left its real real work of art is begotten only by the advance from imagina-body to the imagination of the acoustic organs. Thus we have tion to reality, that is: materialism.
in the piano an instrument which simply pourtrays music. But Lessing's honest endeavours to determine the limits of these how did it come to pass that the musician contented himself at separate branches of art, which could not immediately represent last with a toneless instrument ? For no other reason than to but only describe, is, at the present day, most stupidly misunder- be enabled to make music alone, entirely by himself, without stood by those to whom the immense difference between these arts working in common with any one else. The human voice, and reál art properly speaking is unintelligible. While they which of itself can be melodically enounced only in connection have present to their mind only these branches of art, of them with speech, is an individual ; nothing but the co-operation of selves powerless for immediate representation, they can naturally a number of such individuals agreeing with each other can proi only suppose the object of each of them—and thus (as they must duce symphonic harmony. The wind and stringed instruments
imagine) of art generally—to consist in overcoming as quietly as were also nearly allied to the human voice, from the fact that possible the difficulty of providing the imagination with a steady this individual character was peculiar to them as well, and that, fulcrum in description; heaping up the means of this description can very truly only confuse it, and by harassing and disturbing the imagination, through the introduction of dissimilar means
* Thus, in truth, do childishly-clever court-literati represent to
themselves the “united work of art” referred to by me, when they of description, divert it from grasping the subject.
think they must regard this as an act of “wild jumbling up of various Purity in a branch of art is therefore the first requisite for its
elements. A royal statesman-minister-critic of Saxony thinks fit, intelligibility, while, on the other hand, a mixing up of the dif- also, to understa
| also, 10 understand my appeal to materialism as the coarsest "sensuferent branches can only obscure this intelligibility. We can, ality,” under which he naturally includes certain pleasures of the belly. in truth; fancy nothing more confusing than if, for instance, a We can only explain the stupidity of these æstheticians by their lying painter wished to represent an object in motion such as a poet intentions. only could describe; but a picture first strikes us as altogether! + A violin played to a piano mingles as little with that instrument, as repulsive, when the poet's verses are written and placed in a l the music to a literary drama would with that.
through it, each of them possessed a decided shade of tone, how- | This poem pourtrayed human actions and events and their agitated ever richly it might be modified, as well as from the fact that connection, in a manner similar to that in which the painter they were compelled to co-operate, in order to bring forth har attempts to present us with the characteristic moments of such monic results. Even in the Christian organ, all these living actions. The power of the poet, who turned away from the individualities were ranged in rows of dead registers, which immediate, actual representation of the action by real men, raised their voices, driven forth by mechanical means, to the was, however, as unlimited as the imagination of the reader or glory of God, at the touch of the one and indivisible player upon listener, to whom alone he addressed himself. He felt he was the notes. Finally, with the piano, the virtuoso could set in the more called upon to exert this power in the most extravamotion a countless number of knocking-hammers, to his own gant combinations of incidents and localities, in proportion as glory, without the assistance of any one (the organist would have its horizon spread over a more and more swelling sea of events, required a bellows-blower), and all that was left to the hearer, going forward without, and produced by the temper of those · who had no longer a music with tone to delight him, was admi adventurous times. The man, inwardly at variance with
Tation for the dexterity of the beater of notes. In truth, all our himself, and who wished to find, in artistic creation, a modern music resembles the piano ; in it each single person means of escape from this internal division-having previously performs the work of an entire community, but, unfortunately, attempted, but in vain, to overcome this dissension artistically only in abstracto, and with the most absolute absence of tone! himself*_ did not experience the impulse to utter a decided Hammers-but not men!
something of his inward being, but rather first to seek for this Let us follow the literary drama, into which our state something in the outward world; he diverted himself, to a æstheticians, with such puritanic arrogance, close the entrance certain extent in an inward direction, by most willingly seizing against beautiful breathing music, from the point of view of the on everything presented to him by this outward world, and the piano* backwards to the origin of the latter, and what is the more varied and motley the manner in which he could mix up result? We come, at last, to the living human speaking tone, the various objects, the more assuredly might he hope to attain · which is one and the same with the singing tone, and without just the involuntary aim of inward diversion. The master of which we should have neither piano nor literary drama.
this amiable art, which, however, was destitute of all inward
ness and all hold upon the soul, was Ariosto. CHAPTER II.
The less, however, after immense excesses, these glimmering MODERN Drama has two origins : a natural one, peculiar to our pictures of the imagination were able to satisfy the inward man, historical development the romance; and a foreign one, foisted and the more that man, under the pressure of political and upon our development by means of reflection - the Greek religious violence, was compelled to exert his strength in proDrama, conceived according to the wrongly understood rules of ducing a counter-pressure from out his inward self, the more Aristoteles.
plainly do we recognise in the kind of poetry under consideration The real pith of our poetry lies in the romance ; in their en- the enunciation of the endeavour to become master of the multideavour to render this pith as palatable as possible, our poets | farious matter from within, to give its conformation a fixed centre, have repeatedly fallen on a more distant, or more strict, imita and to take this centre asaxis of the work of art of one's own'views, tion of the Greek Drama.
out of the steady wish for something, in which the inward being is The very prime of the drama immediately sprung from the evident. This something is the producing matter of modern times, romance, is contained in the plays of Shakspere; at the great- the condensation of the individual being to a fixed artistic wish. est possible distance from this drama, we meet with its complete Out of the immense mass of external phenomena, which previously antithesis in the “ Tragédie ” of Racine. Between these two could not present themselves to the poet in sufficient multifariousextreme points, all the rest of our dramatic literature floats, ness and diversity, the component parts having any affinity indecisively and waveringly, to and fro. In order to become with each other are separated, and the diversity of the various accurately acquainted with the character of this indecisive moments condensed into a decided sketch of the character of the wavering, we must look round rather more closely for the persons concerned. How immeasurably important is it now for natural origin of our drama.
any investigation of the constitution of art, that this inward im
pulse of the poet, as we plainly see it before our eyes, could When, in the course of the history of the world, and after the finally be satisfied only by obtaining the most decided utterance, extinction of Greek art, we look round for a period of art, in by immediate representation to the senses, in a word, by romance which we would take a pride, such a period is that of the so- becoming Drama! It was only possible to master the outward called “ Renaissance," by which term we designate the conclu- i matter, so as to convey the inward view of its constitution, when sion of the Middle Ages, and the commencement of modern the subject itself was placed in the most convincing reality betimes. The inward man here struggles, with a giant's strength, fore the senses, and this was to be done in the drama alone. to find utterance. The whole leavening of the wonderful mix The Shaksperian Drama sprang, with the most complete ture of Germanic individual heroism-with the spirit of Roman- necessity, from life and our historical development. Shakspere's Catholicising Christianity-pushed its way from within to with- creations were determined by the nature of our poetry, just as out, as if, in the utterance of its being, to get rid of its unsolvable the Drama of the Future will be very naturally produced from inward scruple. This impulse was everywhere displayed only the satisfaction of those wants, which the Shaksperian Drama eras a desire for delineation, for no one but the man inwardly cited but did not calm.. agreed with himself, can give himself entirely and uncondition- Shakspere, whom we must here consider only in conjunction ally ; this, however, was not the case with the artist of the with his predecessors, and as their head, condensed the narrative “ Renaissance ;" he seized upon outward things only, in the hope romance into the drama, by translating it, in a certain degree, of flying from the discord within. Though this tendency spoke for representation upon the stage. The human actions previously most plainly in the direction of the plastic arts, it is also very only pourtrayed by the talking narrative poetry, he had placed visible in poetry. We must bear in mind, however, that, as before both eye and ear, by really speaking beings, who, during painting had given promise of the truest delineation of the living the representation, identified themselves in appearance and man, poetry already turned from delineation to actual repre- demeanour with the persons of the romance to be represented. sentation, when it proceeded from the romance to the drama. He found for his purpose a stage and players, who had, hitherto,
The poetry of the Middle Ages had already produced the | as subterranean, concealed, and secret springs of the people's narrative poem and brought it to the highest stage of perfection. | work of art, but as springs which still gurgled on, held back
from the poet's eye, but were speedily discovered by his * It strikes me as by no means insignificant that the piano virtuoso, anxiously-seeking glance as soon as necessity compelled him to who has manifested, in every direction, the acmé of virtuosity that search for them. The characterising feature of this " show the miracle-worker of the piano, Liszt, at present devotes his attention, with such intense energy, to the resounding orchestra, and, as it were, through the latter, to the living human voice.
* Let the reader recollect the Christian poetry properly so-called.