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Title: Among the Great Masters of Music - Scenes in the Lives of Famous Musicians
Author: Rowlands, Walter
Language: English
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[Frontispiece: The Tone Masters.  Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Beethoven.
From painting by Hans Temple.]

Among the Great

Masters of Music

Scenes in the Lives of Famous Musicians

_Thirty-two Reproductions of Famous Paintings_

_with Text by_

Walter Rowlands


E. Grant Richards



Miss Jane Rowlands




  THE TONE MASTERS . . . . . . . . . _Frontispiece_


The compiler's thanks are due to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., and
to Mrs. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, for permission to use a selection
from "The Silent Partner."

Music is the link between spiritual and sensual life.--_Beethoven_.

          And while we hear
  The tides of Music's golden sea
  Setting toward eternity,
  Uplifted high in heart and hope are we.

Music in the best sense has little need of novelty, on the contrary,
the older it is, the more one is accustomed to it, the greater is the
effect it produces.--_Goethe_.

Music is a kind of inarticulate, unfathomable speech, which leads us to
the edge of the infinite, and lets us for moments gaze into



One of the most ancient legends handed down to us by the early Church
is that of St. Cecilia, the patroness of music and musicians.  She is
known to have been honoured by Christians as far back as the third
century, in which she is supposed to have lived.

Doubtless much of fancy has been added, in all the ensuing years, to
the facts of Cecilia's life and death.  Let us, however, take the
legend as it stands.  It says that St. Cecilia was a noble Roman lady,
who lived in the reign of the Emperor Alexander Severus.  Her parents,
who secretly professed Christianity, brought her up in their own faith,
and from her earliest childhood she was remarkable for her enthusiastic
piety: she carried night and day a copy of the Gospel concealed within
the folds of her robe; and she made a secret but solemn vow to preserve
her chastity, devoting herself to heavenly things, and shunning the
pleasures and vanities of the world.  As she excelled in music, she
turned her good gift to the glory of God, and composed hymns, which she
sang herself with such ravishing sweetness, that even the angels
descended from heaven to listen to her, or to join their voices with
hers.  She played on all instruments, but none sufficed to breathe
forth that flood of harmony with which her whole soul was filled;
therefore she invented the organ, consecrating it to the service of
God.  When she was about sixteen, her parents married her to a young
Roman, virtuous, rich, and of noble birth, named Valerian.  He was,
however, still in the darkness of the old religion.  Cecilia, in
obedience to her parents, accepted the husband they had ordained for
her; but beneath her bridal robes she put on a coarse garment of
penance, and, as she walked to the temple, renewed her vow of chastity,
praying to God that she might have strength to keep it.  And it so fell
out; for, by her fervent eloquence, she not only persuaded her husband,
Valerian, to respect her vow, but converted him to the true faith.  She
told him that she had a guardian angel who watched over her night and
day, and would suffer no earthly lover to approach her.  And when
Valerian desired to see this angel, she sent him to seek the aged St.
Urban, who, being persecuted by the heathen, had sought refuge in
catacombs.  After listening to the instructions of that holy man, the
conversion of Valerian was perfected, and he was baptised.  Returning
then to his wife, he heard, as he entered, the most entrancing music;
and, on reaching her chamber, beheld an angel, who was standing near
her, and who held in his hand two crowns of roses gathered in Paradise,
immortal in their freshness and perfume, but invisible to the eyes of
unbelievers.  With these he encircled the brows of Cecilia and
Valerian, as they knelt before him; and he said to Valerian, "Because
thou hast followed the chaste counsel of thy wife, and hast believed
her words, ask what thou wilt, it shall be granted to thee."  And
Valerian replied, "I have a brother named Tiburtius, whom I love as my
own soul; grant that his eyes, also, may be opened to the truth."  And
the angel replied, with a celestial smile, "Thy request, O Valerian, is
pleasing to God, and ye shall both ascend to his presence, bearing the
palm of martyrdom."  And the angel, having spoken these words,
vanished.  Soon afterward Tiburtius entered the chamber, and perceiving
the fragrance of the celestial roses, but not seeing them, and knowing
that it was not the season for flowers, he was astonished.  Then
Cecilia, turning to him, explained to him the doctrines of the Gospel,
and set before him all that Christ had done for us,--contrasting his
divine mission, and all he had done and suffered for men, with the
gross worship of idols made of wood and stone; and she spoke with such
a convincing fervour, such heaven-inspired eloquence, that Tiburtius
yielded at once, and hastened to Urban to be baptised and strengthened
in the faith.  And all three went about doing good, giving alms, and
encouraging those who were put to death for Christ's sake, whose bodies
were buried honourably.

Now there was in those days a wicked prefect of Rome, named Almachius,
who governed in the emperor's absence; and he sent for Cecilia and her
husband and brother, and commanded them to desist from the practice of
Christian charity.  And they said, "How can we desist from that which
is our duty, for fear of anything that man can do unto us?"  The two
brothers were then thrown into a dungeon, and committed to the charge
of a centurion named Maximus, whom they converted, and all three,
refusing to join in the sacrifice to Jupiter, were put to death.  And
Cecilia, having washed their bodies with her tears, and wrapped them in
her robes, buried them together in the cemetery of Calixtus.  Then the
wicked Almachius, covetous of the wealth which Cecilia had inherited,
sent for her, and commanded her to sacrifice to the gods, threatening
her with horrible tortures in case of refusal.  She only smiled in
scorn, and those who stood by wept to see one so young and so beautiful
persisting in what they termed obstinacy and rashness, and entreated
her to yield; but she refused, and by her eloquent appeal so touched
their hearts that forty persons declared themselves Christians, and
ready to die with her.  Then Almachius, struck with terror and rage,
exclaimed, "What art thou, woman?" and she answered, "I am a Roman of
noble race."  He said, "I ask of thy religion;" and she said, "Thou
blind one, thou art already answered!"  Almachius, more and more
enraged, commanded that they should carry her back to her own house,
and fill her bath with boiling water, and cast her into it; but it had
no more effect on her body than if she had bathed in a fresh spring.
Then Almachius sent an executioner to put her to death with the sword;
but his hand trembled, so that, after having given her three wounds in
the neck and breast, he went his way, leaving her bleeding and half
dead.  She lived, however, for the space of three days, which she spent
in prayers and exhortation to the converts, distributing to the poor
all she possessed; and she called to her St. Urban, and desired that
her house, in which she then lay dying, should be converted into a
place of worship for the Christians.  Thus, full of faith and charity,
and singing with her sweet voice praises and hymns to the last moment,
she died at the end of three days.  The Christians embalmed her body,
and she was buried by Urban in the same cemetery with her husband.

As the saint had wished, her house was consecrated as a church, and the
chamber in which she had suffered martyrdom was regarded as a place
especially sacred.  In after years, the edifice fell into ruins, but
was rebuilt by Pope Paschal I. in the ninth century.  While this pious
work was in progress, it is told that Paschal had a dream, in which St.
Cecilia appeared to him and disclosed the spot where she had been
buried.  On a search being made, her body was found in the cemetery of
St. Calixtus, together with the remains of Valerian, Tiburtius, and
Maximus, and all were deposited in the same edifice, which has since
been twice rebuilt and is now known as the church of St. Cecilia in
Trastevere.  At the end of the sixteenth century, the sarcophagus which
held the remains of the saint was solemnly opened in the presence of
several dignitaries of the Church, among whom was Cardinal Baronius,
who left an account of the appearance of the body.  "She was lying,"
says Baronius, "within a coffin of cypress-wood, enclosed in a marble
sarcophagus; not in the manner of one dead and buried, that is, on her
back, but on her right side, as one asleep, and in a very modest
attitude; covered with a simple stuff of taffety, having her head bound
with cloth, and at her feet the remains of the cloth of gold and silk
which Pope Paschal had found in her tomb."  The reigning Pope, Clement
VIII., ordered that the relics should be kept inviolate, and the coffin
was enclosed in a silver shrine and replaced under the high altar, with
great solemnity.  A talented sculptor, Stefano Maderno, was
commissioned to execute a marble statue of the saint lying dead, and
this celebrated work, which fully corresponds with the description of
Baronius, is now beneath the high altar of the church, where ninety-six
silver lamps burn constantly to the memory of Cecilia.  The
accompanying inscription reads, "Behold the image of the most holy
virgin Cecilia, whom I myself saw lying incorruptible in her tomb.  I
have in this marble expressed for thee the same saint in the very same
posture of body."

It seems hardly possible now to say when St. Cecilia came to be
considered as music's patron saint,--probably it was not until
centuries after her death.  We know that in 1502 a musical society was
instituted in Belgium, at Louvain, which was placed under the patronage
of St. Cecilia.  We know, also, that the custom of praising music by
giving special musical performances on St. Cecilia's Day (November 22)
is an old one.  The earliest known celebration of this nature took
place at Evreux, in Normandy, in 1571, when some of the best composers
of the day, including Orlando Lasso, competed for the prizes which were
offered.  It is recorded that the first of these festivals to be held
in England was in 1683.  For these occasions odes were written by
Dryden, Shadwell, Congreve, and other poets, and the music was supplied
by such composers as Purcell and Blow.  At the Church of St. Eustache,
in Paris, on St. Cecilia's Day, masses by Adolphe Adam, Gounod, and
Ambroise Thomas have been given their first performance.  In Germany,
Spohr and Moritz Hauptmann have composed works in honour of the day,
and Haydn's great "Cecilia" mass must not be forgotten.

Mrs. Jameson says that, before the beginning of the fifteenth century,
St. Cecilia was seldom represented in art with musical attributes, but
carried the martyr's palm.  Later, she appears in painting, either
accompanied by various instruments of music, or playing on them.
Domenichino, who was in Rome when the sarcophagus of St. Cecilia was
opened, and painted numerous pictures of the saint, shows her in one of
them as performing on the bass viol.  This picture is in the Louvre,
where also is Mignard's canvas, representing her accompanying her voice
with a harp.

Many painters have depicted St. Cecilia playing upon the organ, often a
small, portable instrument, such as she bears in the celebrated picture
by Raphael, which we reproduce.  For over six hundred years, from the
time of Cimabue to our own day, artists of all countries have vied with
each other in representations of St. Cecilia, but none have risen to
the height of Raphael's treatment of the theme.

[Illustration: St. Cecilia.  From painting by Raphael]

He shows us Cecilia, standing with enraptured face lifted to heaven,
where the parted clouds display six angels prolonging the melody which
the saint has ceased to draw forth from the organ she holds.  On her
right, the majestic figure of St. Paul appears as if in deep thought,
leaning on his sword, and between him and St. Cecilia we see the
beautiful young face of the beloved disciple, John the Evangelist.
Upon the other side, the foremost figure is that of Mary Magdalen,
carrying the jar of ointment in her hand, and behind her stands St.
Augustine with a bishop's staff, looking toward John.  At the feet of
St. Cecilia are scattered various instruments of music, a viol,
cymbals, the triangle, flute, and others.  They are broken, and some of
the pipes of the regal held by St. Cecilia are falling from their
place,--all seeming to indicate the inferiority of earthly music to the
celestial harmonies.  Of the five saints depicted, only Cecilia looks
upward, and it has been suggested that Raphael meant that she, alone,
hears and understands the heavenly strains.

She is clothed in a garment of cloth of gold, St. Paul in crimson and
green, and the Magdalen in violet.

Some writers claim that the face of the Magdalen is that of Raphael's
love, the "Farnarina," whom he frequently used as a model.  The baker's
daughter was a girl of the Trastevere, and it is a coincidence that her
home was near that church dedicated to Cecilia, where the saint's
remains have rested for hundreds of years.

As Mrs. Jameson observed, Sir Joshua Reynolds has given us a paraphrase
of Raphael's painting of music's patron saint in his fine picture of
Mrs. Billington, the famous English singer of his last years, as St.
Cecilia.  She holds a music book in her hand, but is listening to the
carolling of some cherubs hovering above her.  The composer Haydn paid
the singer a happy compliment suggested by this portrait when he said
to Sir Joshua, "What have you done? you have made her listening to the
angels, you should have represented the angels listening to her."  Mrs.
Billington was so delighted with this praise that she gave Haydn a
hearty kiss.  This splendid portrait of the charming young singer is in
the Lenox Library in New York.

Raphael's "St. Cecilia" has, of course, a history.  In October of the
year 1513, a noble lady of Bologna, named Elena Duglioli dall Olio,
imagined that she heard supernatural voices bidding her to dedicate a
chapel to St. Cecilia in the Church of S. Giovanni in Monte.  Upon
telling this to a relative, Antonio Pucci of Florence, he offered to
fit up the chapel at his own expense, and induced his uncle, Lorenzo
Pucci, then newly created a cardinal, to commission Raphael to paint a
picture for the altar.  It was finished in 1516.

Tradition relates that Pucci had no ear for music, and was laughed at
by his brother cardinals when chanting mass in the Sistine Chapel.  He
thereupon invoked the aid of St. Cecilia, who rewarded the donor of her
picture by remedying his harmonic deficiency.

In 1796, Napoleon's conquering army carried the painting to Paris,
where it remained until 1815, when it was returned to Bologna.  It was
at a later date transferred to the art gallery of that city, where it
now hangs.  About the middle of the eighteenth century, when the agent
of Augustus III., the Elector of Saxony, was negotiating the purchase
of Italian paintings for the royal gallery in Dresden, the "St.
Cecilia" was offered to him for $18,000, but the price was thought too
high, and a copy by Denis Calvaert sufficed.  This still hangs in the
Zwinger at Dresden, the home of the Sistine Madonna.  According to
Vasari, the organ and other musical instruments in this picture were
painted by one of the master's pupils, Giovanni da Udine.  Raphael
again designed a St. Cecilia in the now ruined fresco of her martyrdom,
which either the master or one of his pupils painted in the chapel of
the Pope's hunting castle of La Magliana, near Rome.  Fortunately, Marc
Antonio's engraving has preserved for us the composition of this work.

Of the many tributes to this "St. Cecilia," we will select the one by

"We saw besides one picture of Raphael--St. Cecilia; this is in another
and higher style; you forget that it is a picture as you look at it;
and yet it is most unlike any of those things which we call reality.
It is of the inspired and ideal kind, and seems to have been conceived
and executed in a similar state of feeling to that which produced among
the ancients those perfect specimens of poetry and sculpture which are
the baffling models of succeeding generations.  There is a unity and a
perfection in it of an incommunicable kind.  The central figure, St.
Cecilia, seems rapt in such inspiration as produced her image in the
painter's mind; her deep, dark, eloquent eyes lifted up; her chestnut
hair flung back from her forehead--she holds an organ in her hands--her
countenance, as it were, calmed by the depth of its passion and
rapture, and penetrated throughout with the warm and radiant light of
life.  She is listening to the music of heaven, and, as I imagine, has
just ceased to sing, for the four figures that surround her evidently
point, by their attitudes, toward her; particularly St. John, who, with
a tender yet impassioned gesture, bends his countenance toward her,
languid with the depth of his emotion.  At her feet lie various
instruments of music, broken and unstrung.  Of the colouring I do not
speak; it eclipses nature, yet has all her truth and softness."

Dryden's "Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687," set to music by Draghi, an
Italian composer, ends with this verse, apposite to our picture:

  "Orpheus could lead the savage race,
  And trees uprooted left their place,
        Sequacious of the lyre:
  But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher;
  When to her organ vocal breath was given,
  An angel heard, and straight appeared,--
        Mistaking earth for heaven!"

Ten years later he wrote his noble ode, "Alexander's Feast," in honour
of St. Cecilia's festival, at the close of which he again refers to the
saint's wondrous powers:

      "Thus long ago,
  Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,
    While organs yet were mute,
    Timotheus to his breathing flute
      And sounding lyre,
  Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
    At last divine Cecilia came,
    Inventress of the vocal frame;
  The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,
    Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
    And added length to solemn sounds,
  With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.
      Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
      Or both divide the crown;
    He raised a mortal to the skies,
      She drew an angel down."

Handel, in 1736, produced his oratorio of "Alexander's Feast."  Pope's
"Ode on St. Cecilia's Day," was written in 1708, and performed at
Cambridge, in 1730, with music by Maurice Greene.  In this composition
the poet uses a similar image to Dryden.  He sings:

    "Music the fiercest grief can charm,
    And fate's severest rage disarm;
    Music can soften pain to ease,
    And make despair and madness please;
    Our joys below it can improve,
    And antedate the bliss above.
    This the divine Cecilia found,
  And to her Maker's praise confin'd the sound.
  When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,
    Th' immortal pow'rs incline their ear;
  Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire,
  While solemn airs improve the sacred fire;
    And angels lean from Heav'n to hear.
  Of Orpheus now no more let poets tell,
  To bright Cecilia greater pow'r is given;
    His numbers rais'd a shade from Hell,
    Hers lift the soul to Heav'n."


Some twenty miles from Rome, the insignificant but picturesquely
situated town of Palestrina, lies on the hillside.  The Praeneste of
antiquity, it was once an important colony of Rome, many of whose
wealthy ones resorted thither in summer, for the sake of its bracing
atmosphere, which Horace extolled.  Excavations here have yielded a
rich harvest, and the Eternal City holds among its ancient treasures
few of more interest or value than those recovered from the soil of

[Illustration: Palestrina.  From painting by Ferdinand Heilbruth.]

Here, probably in 1524, was born Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who
received his last name from that of his native town.  His parents were
of humble station in life, but, beyond this fact, we know little that
is reliable about his youth or early education.  In 1540 he went to
Rome, and became a pupil at the music school of Claudio Goudimel, a
French composer, who turned Protestant, and perished in the massacre of
St. Bartholomew's Day.  Palestrina appears to have returned to his
birthplace when he was about twenty years old, and to have been made
organist and director of music in the cathedral.  He married in 1546,
and had several sons, but in 1551 was again in Rome, where he held the
position of teacher of the boy singers in the Capella Giulia, in the
Vatican.  While holding this office, he composed a set of masses, which
he dedicated to Julius III., and which were issued in 1554.  Before
that time, Flemish composers had supplied all the music of the Church,
and these masses are the first important work by an Italian musician.
The Pope recognised their value by appointing Palestrina one of the
singers of the papal choir, which was against the rules of the Church,
married singers being debarred.  Nor was the composer's voice such as
entitled him to a place in this splendid body of singers, and he
conscientiously hesitated before accepting the position.  He did not,
however, hold it long, for Julius III. died within a few months, and
his successor, Marcellus II., lived but twenty-three days after
becoming Pope.  Paul IV., who succeeded Marcellus, was a reformer, and
dismissed Palestrina from the choir, which was a severe blow to the
poor composer.  But in October of the same year (1555) he was made
director of the music at the Lateran Church, where he remained for over
five years.  During this time he produced several important works,
among them being his volume of _Improperia_ ("the Reproaches"), an
eight-voiced "Crux Fidelis," and the set of "Lamentations" for four
voices.  These compositions gave him fame as the leader of a new
school, the pure school of Italian church-music.  In 1561 the composer
became director of music at the Church of St. Maria Maggiore, where he
remained ten years, during which period the event took place which gave
him his greatest fame.

For years church music had been lacking in that dignity which should be
its main characteristic, and this fault was largely due to the Flemish
composers, who thought most of displaying their technical skill.  They
frequently selected some well-known secular tune around which to weave
their counterpoint, many masses, for instance, having been written on
the old Provencal song of "L' Homme Armé."  Some of the melodies chosen
as the basis for masses were nothing but drinking songs.  At that time
the tenor generally sang the melody, and, as in order to show on what
foundation their work rested, the Flemings retained the original words
in his part, it was not uncommon to hear the tenors singing some
bacchanalian verses, while the rest of the choir were intoning the
sacred words of a "Gloria" or an "Agnus Dei."  These abuses lasted for
an incredibly long time, but finally, in 1562, the cardinals were
brought together for the purification of all churchly matters, and the
Council of Trent took note of the evil.  All were agreed upon
abolishing secular words from the mass, and some even urged the
banishment of counterpoint itself, and a return to the plain song or
chant, but fortunately this sweeping reform met with a vigorous protest
from others.  At last the whole matter was referred to a committee of
eight cardinals, who wisely sought the aid of an equal number of the
papal singers, and the outcome of their debate was a commission given
Palestrina to write a mass, which should employ counterpoint without
irreverence, and prove that religion and music might be blended into

The composer, in response to this signal mark of confidence, wrote
three masses, which he submitted in 1565.  The third one was the
celebrated "Mass of Pope Marcellus," of which the Pope ordered a
special performance by the choir of the Apostolical Chapel.  The
rendition was followed by the complete acceptance of Palestrina's work.

A new office, that of "Composer to the Pontifical Choir," was created
for him, and in 1571 he became leader of the choir of St. Peter's.
Although highly honoured and rewarded with many offices, Palestrina
received no great pecuniary recompense for his labours.  His life was
blessed, however, with the love of a devoted wife, and the friendship
of many true admirers, especially Cardinal Carlo Borromeo and Filippo
Neri, the founder of oratorio, both of whom were afterward canonised.

Palestrina died in 1594, and lies buried in St. Peter's, where his
works are still performed.  To the end of his life he never ceased to
produce, and left behind him over ninety masses, one hundred and
seventy-nine motettes, forty-five sets of hymns for the entire year,
and an immense quantity of other compositions.  No composer, it is
said, has ever existed at once so prolific and so sustainedly powerful.
Both the man and his work deserve our regard.  Elson says: "If ever the
Catholic Church desires to canonise a musical composer, it will find
devoutness, humility, and many other saintly characteristics in

Palestrina, in reverend age, discoursing on his art to some pupils or
friends, has been painted by Ferdinand Heilbuth (1826-1889), an artist
who, born in Germany of Jewish parents, gained his greatest successes
in France.  He painted three classes of pictures,--those in which
celebrated personages of other times are the central attraction, as in
"Palestrina;" others which portray aged ecclesiastics of the Roman
Church, conversing with the orphan boys of some religious foundation,
or the like; and lastly, charming transcripts from field or wood, in
whose foreground he placed some fair dame in fashionable attire.


That Amazon of princesses, granddaughter of Henry IV., and cousin of
Louis XIV., the Duchesse de Montpensier (better known, perhaps, by the
name of "La Grande Mademoiselle"), once asked the Chevalier de Guise to
bring her from Italy "a young musician to enliven my house."  The
chevalier did not forget the great lady's whim, and noticing, one day
in Florence, a bright-eyed boy of twelve singing to the music of his
guitar, said to him, "Will you come with me to Paris?"  The lad, a poor
miller's son, without hesitation answered, "Yes;" and thus the young
Lulli got his start in the world.

He soon gained experience of the uncertainty which attended the favour
of royalty, for, after a few days, "La Grande Mademoiselle" grew tired
of her new toy, and sent him to the kitchen, where he became a cook's
boy.  Here, in the intervals of his work, surrounded by pots and pans,
and eatables of all kinds, he often played upon his violin, or sang to
his guitar.  He is credited with having set some verses to music, at
this time; among them the popular "Au Clair de la Lune," which the
numberless readers of "Trilby" will remember was sung by La Svengali,
on that famous night at the Cirque des Bashibazoucks.  Some couplets
reflecting on his mistress were sent to the young musician, and,
composing a pretty air to the words, he sang them to the frequenters of
the kitchen.  This disrespectful act reached the ears of the duchess,
who thereupon expelled Lulli from her house.

[Illustration: The Young Lulli.  From painting by H. de la Charlerie.]

His talent for the violin had, however, attracted the attention of some
people of influence, and he was placed under tuition, and finally made
one of the court musicians.  At nineteen years old, he played for the
first time before the king, who was much pleased, and appointed him
Inspector of the Violins, and organised for him a band of young
musicians, who were called _Les Petits Violons_, to distinguish them
from the _Grande Bande des Violons du Roi_.  Lulli was then chosen to
compose dance-music for the ballets performed at court, and afterward
the entire musical portion of these entertainments was entrusted to
him.  He became also a collaborator of Molière, furnishing the music
for many of the great dramatist's plays, and even acting in some of

His greatest fame was won in the composition of operas, for which the
poet Quinault wrote the words, and he is justly considered to be the
founder of French opera.  Among Lulli's operas are "Armide," "Isis,"
"Atys," "Alceste," "Psyche," "Proserpine," and "Bellerophon."  The
composer did not reach old age, but died in 1687, about fifty-four
years old, wealthy and honoured, and a great favourite of Louis XIV.,
who had made him "Superintendent of the King's Music," and treated him
with much liberality.  His death was caused, one might say, by an
illness of the king.  When Louis recovered from this sickness, Lulli
was commanded to write a Te Deum in grateful celebration of the event.
At the first performance, the composer himself conducted, and while
beating time with his baton, accidentally struck it against his foot,
causing a bruise, which developed into an abscess of such a malignant
character that the entire foot, and then the leg were affected.
Amputation was advised as the only hope of saving the patient's life,
but Lulli hesitated in giving his consent, and it was soon too late.
From all accounts, the closing scene of Lulli's life was not marked
with that awe which generally attends a death-bed.  He desired
absolution, but his confessor would not absolve him, except on the
condition that he would commit to flames the score of his latest opera.
After many excuses, Lulli at length acquiesced, and pointing to a
drawer, where was the rough score of "Achille et Polixene," it was
burned, the absolution granted, and the priest went home satisfied.

Lulli grew better, and one of the young princes visited him.

"What, Baptiste," said he, "have you burnt your opera?  You were a fool
for giving such credit to a gloomy confessor, and burning such good

"Hush! hush!" whispered Lulli, "I knew well what I was about,--I have
another copy of it!"

But this was not all.  Unhappily, this joke was followed by a relapse,
and the prospect of certain death caused him such dreadful remorse for
his deceit to the priest, that he confessed all, and submitted to be
laid on a heap of ashes, with a cord around his neck, which was the
penance recommended him!  He was then placed in bed, and expired
singing, "_Il faut mourir, pecheur, il faut mourir!_" to one of his own

Many anecdotes are told about Lulli, of which we will repeat one or two.

So fatal was the influence of success and its attendant fortune upon
Lulli's career, that he entirely laid aside his violin, and refused to
have such a thing in his house, nor could any one prevail upon him to
play upon one.  Marshal de Gramont, however, was his match.  He
determined not to be entirely deprived of his favourite treat, and
devised the ingenious plan of making one of his servants, who could
bring more noise than music out of the instrument, play upon the violin
in Lulli's presence; whereupon the ex-violinist would rush to the
unfortunate tormentor, snatch the fiddle from him, and seek to allay
his disturbed equanimity (which, much to the delight of those within
hearing, always took him a long time to accomplish) by playing himself.

At the first performance of "Armide," at Versailles, some delay
prevented the raising of the curtain at the appointed hour.  The king,
thereupon, sent an officer of his guard, who said to Lulli, "The king
is waiting," and was answered with the words, "The king is master here,
and nobody has the right to prevent him waiting as long as he likes!"

Hippolyte de la Charlerie, who painted Lulli as a boy in the kitchen of
"La Grande Mademoiselle," was a Belgian artist, who died young, in
1869, the same year that he sent this picture to the Paris Salon.


Crowest, the English writer on musical subjects, says: "Two hundred
years ago, the finest violins that the world will probably ever have
were being turned out from the Italian workshops; while at about the
same time, and subsequently, there was issuing from the homes of music
in Germany, the music for these superb instruments,--music not for any
one age, 'but for all time.'"

"In the chain of this creative skill, however, a link was wanting.
Nobody rose up who could marry the music to the instrument.  For years
and years the violin, and the music for it, marched steadily on, side
by side, but not united.  Bach was writing far in advance of his time,
while Stradivarius and the Amatis were 'rounding' and 'varnishing' for
a people yet to come.  It was not till the beginning of the present
century that executive skill, tone, and culture stepped in, and were
brought to bear upon an instrument that is, perhaps, more than any
other, amenable to such influences.  Consequently, to us has fallen the
happy fate to witness the very zenith of violin-playing.  A future
generation may equal, but can scarcely hope to surpass a Joachim, a
Wilhelmj, or a Strauss,--players who combine the skill of Paganini with
a purity of taste to which he was a stranger, and, moreover, with a
freedom from those startling eccentricities which, more than anything
else, have made the reputation of that strange performer."

The greatest violin-maker that ever lived, Antonio Stradivari, or
Stradivarius, was born in Cremona, probably in 1644.  No entry of his
birth has been found in any church register at Cremona, but among the
violins which once belonged to a certain Count Cozio di Salabue was one
bearing a ticket in the handwriting of Stradivarius, in which his name,
his age, and the date of the violin were given.  He was then ninety-two
years old, and the date of the violin was 1736.  He was the pupil of
another famous Cremonese violin-maker, Niccolo Amati, and his first
works are said to bear the name of his master, but in 1670 he began to
sign instruments with his own name.  His early history is quite
unknown, but a record exists showing that in 1667, when twenty-three
years old, he married Francesca Ferraboschi.  For about twenty years
after his marriage, Stradivarius appears to have produced but few
instruments, and it is supposed that during this time he employed
himself chiefly in making those scientific experiments and researches
which he carried into practice in his famous works.  It was about the
year 1700, when he was fifty-six years old, that Stradivarius attained
that perfection which distinguishes his finest instruments.  The first
quarter of the eighteenth century witnessed the production of his best
violins,--the quality of those made after 1725 is less satisfactory.

During his long life (he died in 1737), the great violin-maker worked
industriously, and produced a large number of instruments, but a far
greater number are attributed to him than he could possibly have made.
His usual price for a violin was about twenty dollars, (Haweis says
fifty dollars), but a fine specimen from his hand now sells in the
auction room for hundreds of dollars.  In 1888, a Stradivarius violin
brought the large sum of five thousand dollars, and double this sum was
paid a few years since for the celebrated "Messie" violin, made by
Stradivarius in 1716, and still in perfect condition.  Count Cozio di
Salabue had bought it in 1760, but never allowed it to be played upon,
and when he died (about 1824) it was purchased by that remarkable
"violin hunter," Luigi Tarisio.  Thirty years later, he, too, passed
over to the majority, and his friend, the Parisian violin-maker
Vuillaume, bought the "Messie" from Tarisio's heirs, along with about
two hundred and fifty other fiddles, many of which were of the greatest
rarity and value.  Vuillaume kept the "Messie" in a glass case and
never allowed any one to touch it, and many anxious days he passed
during the Commune, fearing for his musical treasures.  However, they
luckily escaped the dangers of the time, and when, in 1875, Vuillaume
died, the "Messie" became the property of his daughter, who was the
wife of M. Alard, the celebrated teacher of the violin.  From his
executors it was bought in 1890 for 2,000 pounds, for the English
gentleman who now possesses this most famous of all the works of
Stradivarius.  Charles Reade, the novelist, who was a lover of the
violin and an expert in such matters, in 1872 had thought this
instrument to be worth 600 pounds, so that its value had trebled in
less than twenty years.  The celebrated violinist, Ole Bull, owned a
Stradivarius violin, dated 1687, and inlaid with ebony and ivory, which
is said to have been made for a king of Spain.  In the "Tales of a
Wayside Inn" Longfellow speaks of it:

  "The instrument on which he played
  Was in Cremona's workshop made,
  By a great master of the past
  Ere yet was lost the art divine;

      *      *      *      *

  "Exquisite was it in design,
  Perfect in each minutest part,
  A marvel of the lutist's art;
  And in its hollow chamber, thus,
  The maker from whose hands it came
  Had written his unrivalled name,--
        'Antonius Stradivarius.'"

Haweis, in his admirable book on "Old Violins," reproduces for us "the
atmosphere in which Antonio Stradivari worked for more than half a

"I stood in the open loft at the top of his house, where still in the
old beams stuck the rusty old nails upon which he hung up his violins.
And I saw out upon the north the wide blue sky, just mellowing to rich
purple, and flecked here and there with orange streaks prophetic of
sunset.  Whenever Stradivarius looked up from his work, if he looked
north, his eye fell on the old towers of S. Marcellino and S. Antonio;
if he looked west, the Cathedral, with its tall campanile, rose dark
against the sky, and what a sky! full of clear sun in the morning, full
of pure heat all day, and bathed with ineffable tints in the cool of
the evening, when the light lay low upon vinery and hanging garden, or
spangled with ruddy gold the eaves, the roofs, and frescoed walls of
the houses.

"Here, up in the high air, with the sun, his helper, the light, his
minister, the blessed soft airs, his journeymen, what time the workaday
noise of the city rose and the sound of matins and vespers was in his
ears, through the long warm days worked Antonio Stradivari."

[Illustration: Stradivarius.  From painting by E. J. C. Hamman.]

Edouard Jean Conrad Hamman, who painted the picture of
Stradivarius--deep in thought amid his violins--which accompanies this,
was a Belgian.  Born at Ostend in 1819, and a pupil of De Keyser, he
lived a long time in Paris, won many medals and other honours, and died
in 1888, leaving behind him numerous pictures, several of which are
reproduced in this book.  His "Erasmus Reading to the Young Charles V."
is in the Luxembourg, and the Brussels museum has his "Dante at
Ravenna," and the "Entry of Albert and Isabella into Ostend."  Besides
these he produced "The Mass of Adrien Willaert," "The Childhood of
Montaigne," "Shakespeare and his Family," "Vesalius," "Hamlet," and
"Murillo in his Studio."  One of his paintings, entitled "The Women of
Siena, 1553," shows the women of that city working on the
fortifications intended to resist the besieging army of Charles V., and
another depicts Columbus first sighting land on October 12, 1492.


A few years ago the Istrian town of Pirano unveiled a statue, not
exactly to _one_ of its illustrious sons, but to the _only one_ of its
children who ever became famous, so far as we know.  The pedestal of
the statue is inscribed.

  _Istria to Giuseppe Tartini, 1896._

The admirably conceived figure which surmounts the pedestal represents
the master standing, violin and bow in hand, at the moment of his
accidental discovery of the curious acoustic phenomenon known as the
"third sound,"--_i. e._, the production of a third note in harmony when
only two are struck with the bow.  The statue was modelled by Dal
Zotto, an able Italian sculptor, whose work found so much favour with
those present at its inauguration that they enthusiastically carried
him about the piazza on their shoulders,--a tribute we judge to have
been well deserved.

The subject of Dal Zotto's statue was sent, while yet very young, from
Pirano, (where he was born of a good family in 1692) to Capo d' Istria,
to study at the college of the "Padri delle Scuole."  It was here that
he received his first instruction in violin playing, and in
fencing,--two accomplishments that were to play an important part in
his future life.  In spite of the fact that Tartini's family had
destined him to become a Franciscan, he had the strongest antipathy to
an ecclesiastical career.  His relatives fought in vain against his
unbending resistance, and finally sent him to Pavia, to study law.
Learning cost him little effort, and he still found plenty of spare
time for fencing.  Somewhat wild, and tired of serious study, he
decided to take up his abode in Paris or Naples, and there establish
himself as a fencing-master.  A love-affair put an end to this project.
Tartini having won the heart of a young and beautiful girl, a niece of
the cardinal and Bishop of Padua, George Cornaro, the lovers were
secretly married, but did not long succeed in keeping the knowledge of
their union from their relatives.  Tartini's family, enraged at his
conduct, withdrew at once the support they had hitherto given him, and
to cap the climax, the bishop accused him of seduction and theft.
Warned in time, Tartini fled to Rome, leaving his young wife in Padua
without confiding to her the direction of his travels.

Reaching Assisi, he ran across a monk in whom he recognised a near
relation from his native city of Pirano.  This good-natured brother,
who was a sacristan in the monastery at Assisi, took pity on the
refugee, and gave him an asylum in one of the cells.  This is the time,
and this is the cell in which the accompanying picture represents our
hero.  Two years he passed in this monastery, making use of his
involuntary seclusion to carry on with great zeal his musical studies.
The story of Tartini's dream, and his motive for writing the "Devil's
Sonata" is told in various ways and with many additions.  Tartini told
the tale himself to the astronomer Lalande, who relates it in the
following manner in his "Italian Travels."  "One night in the year
1713," said Tartini, "I dreamed that I had made a compact with the
Devil, and that he stood at my command.  Everything thrived according
to my wish, and whatever I desired or longed for was immediately
realised through the officiousness of my new vassal.  A fancy seized me
to give him my violin to see if he could, perchance, play some
beautiful melodies for me.  How surprised I was to hear a sonata, so
beautiful and singular, rendered in such an intelligent and masterly
manner as I had never heard before.  Astonishment and rapture overcame
me so completely that I swooned away.  On returning to consciousness, I
hastily took up my violin, hoping to be able to play at least a part of
what I had heard, but in vain.  The sonata I composed at that time was
certainly my best, and I still call it the 'Devil's Sonata,' but this
composition is so far beneath the one I heard in my dream, that I would
have broken my violin and given up music altogether, had I been able to
live without it."  The Paris Conservatory Library owns the manuscript
of the "Devil's Sonata," which was published many years later (in
1805), under the title of "Il Trillo del Diavolo."  This sonata has
become one of the show-pieces of leading violinists, such as Joachim,
Laub, and others.  One writer speaks of it as a "piece in which a
series of double shakes, and the satanic laugh with which it concludes,
are so dear to lovers of descriptive music."  Its title alone almost
ensures its success beforehand.  The listener is, however, less
impressed by the hidden diabolical inspiration than by the wonderful

[Illustration: Tartini's Dream.  From painting by James Marshall.]

Strange to say, this composition actually aided Tartini to obtain the
position of director of the orchestra in the Church of St. Antony at
Padua, in 1721.  Before this time, however, he heard in Venice the
famous violinist Veracini, whose achievements in bowing impressed
Tartini so much, that he left Venice the next morning for Ancona, where
he pursued the study of his art, unmolested, for seven years.  It was
here that he created a new method of playing, which, particularly as
regards the bowing, was the one followed for half a century.

Let us, however, return to Tartini at Assisi, and tell how an
unforeseen incident at last freed the young artist from his
hiding-place and gave him back to his family.  On a certain holiday,
Tartini was playing a violin solo, during services, in the choir of the
church, when a sudden gust of wind blew aside the curtains which had
concealed him from the assembly.  A man from Padua, who happened to be
in the church at the time, recognised Tartini, and betrayed his
hiding-place.  Circumstances had fortunately changed in the course of
two years, the anger of the bishop was pacified, and Tartini was
allowed to return to his wife at Padua.

In the year 1723 he was called to Prague to perform during the
festivities at the coronation of the Emperor Charles VI.  He went with
his friend, the violoncellist, Antonio Nardini, to Prague, where they
both accepted a position in the orchestra of Count Kinsky.  After three
years in this service, they returned to Padua, which city Tartini never
left again.  Invitations flowed in from all the great capitals, but no
terms tempted him to leave his native soil.

Among the first of these offers was one from Lord Middlesex, inviting
Tartini to London, and hinting that a visit to England would probably
bring him in at least three thousand pounds; but it was declined in the
following disinterested language: "I have a wife with the same
sentiments as myself, and no children.  We are perfectly contented with
our position, and if we wish for anything, it is, certainly, not to
possess more than we have at present."  The remainder of his long and
famous career passed quietly, dedicated to study, composition, and
teaching.  The school founded by him in 1728 soon became famous all
over Europe, and sent out some of the most noted violinists.  Padua was
then the place of pilgrimage for all violinists, and it was not without
cause that Tartini's countrymen called him "il maestro delle nazioni."

This period of Tartini's labour is, above all, remarkable for his
theoretic researches.  Already, in 1714, he had discovered the
combination tones (the so-called "third" or Tartini's tone).  This
discovery, a lasting and valuable acquisition to all later
investigations into acoustics, led him further and further, but apart
from the exact road of natural science into the nebulous regions of
mystic philosophy.  Tartini taught that with the problem of harmony
would also be solved the mystery of creation, that divinity itself
would be revealed in the mystical symbols of the tone relations.  In
these mystical investigations, the composer believed himself
particularly favoured by the grace of God.

The German composer, Naumann, who became Tartini's pupil at an early
age, and who enjoyed his favour as no other did, has written down many
remarkable facts concerning the master.  To be initiated into the last
secrets of the art of tone and the universe was Naumann's most ardent
wish, but he was always put off to some future time as not yet being
quite mature and worthy enough.  Naumann's illustrations of Tartini's
teachings resemble more a mystic and ecstatic sermon than a musical
theory.  Tartini died without having spoken his last word.  His
character in this last period of his life appears to have been amiable,
mild, and benevolent.  The sharp and violent disposition of his wife
did not make him happy, but he nevertheless always remained considerate
and tender toward her.  He died in Padua, at the age of seventy-eight,
on the sixteenth of February, 1770, and lies buried in the Church of
St. Catherine.  He perfected the art of bowing, composed eighteen
concertos for five instruments, as well as several trios and a number
of sonatas, and left a treatise on music.  Doctor Burney translated and
published, in 1779, a long letter of instructions for playing the
violin which Tartini wrote from Padua, in 1760, to "My very much
Esteemed Signora Maddalena."  It can also be found in the life of "Ole
Bull," who had a very high opinion of what Tartini must have been as a

The splendid collection of modern German pictures owned by Count von
Schack, at Munich, includes "Tartini's Dream," which was painted by
James Marshall.  He was born at Amsterdam in 1838, but studied in
Antwerp and Paris, and at Weimar under Friedrich Preller.  Most of
Marshall's life has been spent in Germany.


Bach's position as one of a numerous family of musicians is unique, for
it cannot be said of any other composer that his forefathers, his
contemporary relations, and his descendants were all musicians, and not
only musicians, but holders of important offices as such.

Johann Sebastian Bach, the greatest of all that bore that name,
considered the founder of his family to be Veit Bach, a Thuringian
musician who settled in Pressburg in Hungary as a baker and miller.
Later, because of religious persecution, he returned to his native
country, where he lived at the village of Wechmar near Gotha, dying in
1619.  Of his numerous musical descendants, Johann (1604-1673) became
organist at Schweinfurt, and afterward director of the town musicians at
Erfurt.  Here, though the town suffered much from the effects of war, he
founded a family which quickly increased and soon filled all the town
musicians' places, so that for about a hundred and fifty years, and even
after no more of the family lived there, the town musicians were known as
"The Bachs."

[Illustration: Bach's Preludes.  From painting by E. J. C. Hamman.]

Heinrich Bach (1615-1692) was organist of the Franciscan Church at
Arnstadt for fifty years, composed much, and had six children, three of
whom were, in their day, noted musicians.  Of the twin brothers, Johann
Ambrosius and Johann Christoph, born in 1645, the first was town organist
of Eisenach, and the second court musician at Arnstadt.  These brothers
were remarkably alike, not only in looks, but in character and
temperament.  They both played the violin in exactly the same way, they
spoke alike, and it is said that their own wives could scarcely tell them
apart.  They suffered from the same illnesses, and died within a few
months of one another.  Johann Christoph once figured in an action for
breach of promise of marriage brought before the Consistory at Arnstadt
by Anna Cunigunda Wiener, with whom he had once "kept company."  The
court decided that Bach must marry her, but, with the independence of his
family, he refused to do so, and he kept his word.

Another Johann Christoph, uncle of the great Sebastian, was organist at
Eisenach for sixty years, and is, together with his brother Michael,
distinguished as a composer.  Maria Barbara, the youngest daughter of
Michael, became Sebastian Bach's first wife.  One Johann Jacob Bach was
an oboe-player in the Swedish guard, and followed Charles XII. to his
defeat at Pultowa, later becoming court-musician at Stockholm.

A vigorous, ambitious, and altogether remarkable family was this of the
Bachs, and one of the most notable things about it is the uniformly high
moral character of its members.  Only one, of all those who flourished
before Sebastian, is spoken of as being given to drink.

Wilhelm Friedemann, the oldest son of the greatest Bach, unfortunately
had the same failing, and died in Berlin in 1789, poor and miserable
through intemperance.  His musical talent was exceptional, authorities
calling him the greatest organist in Germany after his father.  He is
sometimes spoken of as the "Halle Bach," from having been music director
of a church there.

The "father of modern piano music" was also the father of a large family,
not less than twenty children having been born to him.  The most
celebrated of his twelve sons was Carl Philipp Emanuel, who is called the
"Berlin Bach," having lived there in the court service for nearly thirty
years.  Emanuel was a prolific composer in all styles, and occupies an
important place in the history of music.  Another son, Johann Christoph
Friedrich, was a composer and also chamber musician to Count von Lippe at
Bückeburg, from which circumstance he is called the "Bückeburger Bach."
Sebastian's youngest boy, Johann Christian (the Bach family evidently
never wearied of the name of Johann), called the "Milanese" and afterward
the "English" Bach, composed a large number of works,--songs, operas,
oratorios, what not.  He lived and worked at one time in Milan, where he
was organist of the cathedral, and from there went to London, where he
died in 1782.  The daughters of Sebastian Bach--there were only eight of
them--mostly died young, nor did they exhibit any special musical talent,
and, after his sons' careers were ended, no one bearing the name has, we
believe, won distinction in the art.

The Bach family were as a rule both sincerely pious and fond of innocent
pleasure.  Their tribal feeling was strong, and it was a custom to meet
together once a year at Erfurt, Eisenach, or Arnstadt, and spend a day in
friendly intercourse, exchanging news and relating experiences.  Of
course on these occasions they devoted some of the happy hours to music,
and a favourite pastime was the singing of "quodlibets"--a kind of
musical medley--wherein portions of several well-known songs would be
dovetailed together.

[Illustration: Morning Devotions in the Family of Bach.  From painting by
Toby E. Rosenthal.]

Bach's home life was a happy one.  Both his marriage ventures turned out
well, and he was beloved by children and pupils alike.  His large family
circle was often added to by friends and visitors, who enjoyed his never
failing hospitality, especially toward musicians.  In the midst of all
his occupations, he found time for music in the family circle, and a
German-American artist has produced a charming work showing the great
composer seated at the clavichord and surrounded by his children, who are
singing their morning hymn.  This painting, which belongs to the Museum
of Leipsic, the city where Bach laboured so long and where he died, is by
Toby E. Rosenthal, who was born in Germany in 1848, but was brought to
the United States by his parents when but a few years old.  He grew up
here, but, at the age of seventeen returned to study art in the land of
his birth, where he became a pupil of Professor Raupp and also of the
celebrated Piloty.  Most of his life since then has been spent in Germany.

The dead Elaine, passing to Lancelot on her funeral barge, and Constance
de Beverley, before her judges in the Vault of Penitence, have been
finely pictured by Rosenthal, who has also treated lighter topics in
"Grandmother's Dancing-lesson," "The Alarmed Boarding-school," and "The
Cardinal's Portrait."

The last visit which Bach ever made was to the court of Frederick the
Great at Potsdam, in 1747.

His son Emanuel had been capellmeister to Frederick since 1740, and the
king had frequently, and always with more insistence, thrown out hints
that he would like to hear the great artist.  Bach, being much occupied,
and disinclined for travelling, did not accede to the king's wishes until
they amounted to a positive command.  Then, taking Friedemann with him,
he started for Potsdam, which he reached early in May.  The story of the
meeting with Frederick is variously told.  We will tell it in
Friedemann's own words: "When Frederick II. had just prepared his flute,
in the presence of the whole orchestra, for the evening's concert, the
list of strangers who had arrived was brought him.  Holding his flute in
his hand, he glanced through the list.  Then he turned around with
excitement to the assembled musicians, and, laying down his flute, said,
'Gentlemen, old Bach is come.'  Bach, who was at his son's house, was
immediately invited to the castle.  He had not even time allowed him to
take off his travelling clothes and put on his black court dress.  He
appeared, with many apologies for the state of his dress, before the
great prince, who received him with marked attention, and threw a
deprecating look toward the court gentlemen, who were laughing at the
discomposure and numerous compliments of the old man.  The flute concerto
was given up for this evening; and the king led his famous visitor into
all the rooms of the castle, and begged him to try the Silbermann pianos,
which he (the king) thought very highly of, and of which he possessed
seven.  The musicians accompanied the king and Bach from one room to
another; and after the latter had tried all the pianos, he begged the
king to give him a fugue subject, that he could at once extemporise upon.
Frederick thereupon wrote out the subject, and Bach developed this in the
most learned and interesting manner, to the great astonishment of the
king, who, on his side, asked to hear a fugue in six parts.  But since
every subject is not adapted for so full a working out, Bach chose one
for himself, and astounded those present by his performance.  The king,
who was not easily astonished, was completely taken by surprise at the
unapproachable mastery of the old cantor.  Several times he cried, 'There
is only one Bach!'  On the following day Bach played on all the organs in
the churches of Potsdam."

[Illustration: Frederick the Great and Bach.  From painting by Herman

Rosenthal portrayed the composer making music among his family; Hermann
Kaulbach has depicted him playing before Frederick.  The artist has given
such a look of naturalness to the scene, that we are quite satisfied to
accept his presentment and believe that thus the king and his court

  "While the majestic organ rolled
  Contrition from its mouths of gold."

Hermann Kaulbach is a son of the renowned painter, Wilhelm von Kaulbach.
A pupil of Piloty, he was born at Munich in 1846, and has produced some
works of a historic character, such as "Lucrezia Borgia," "Voltaire at
Paris," "Louis XI. and His Barber," and "The Last Days of Mozart," but is
perhaps still more successful with his admirable pictures of childhood.
We must not forget to mention his "Madonna," a work which should add much
to his fame.


Like many other children who grew up to fame, Handel was not intended
by his parents to follow the art in which he is renowned.  His father,
who was body surgeon to the Prince of Saxony, wished him to become a

All accounts of Handel's childhood "agree in representing him as
bright, clever, energetic, and singularly tenacious of purpose.  These
qualities he inherited; the special genius on which they were brought
to bear was all his own.  Unlike Bach, the flower and crown of a race
of born musicians, there seems no record in Handel's case of his having
a single musical or artistic progenitor.  From infancy, however, he
lived in music, its attraction for him was irresistible, and he began
to 'musicise' for himself (to quote Chrysander's expression) almost as
soon as he could walk, and before he could speak.  This inspired all
the family and friends with wonder and admiration, in which his parents
at first shared; but, as time went on, the thing began to wear a
different aspect, and the father grew alarmed.  The boy was a
curiosity, no doubt, and music as a pastime was all very well, but it
had never occurred to the worthy surgeon to look on it as a serious
profession for a child of his, least of all for this, his last, most
promising and favourite son.  For the others he had been contented with
situations in his own station of life; for this one he nourished more
ambitious designs.  He was to be a doctor of laws, a learned man, and
the child's intelligence and thirst for knowledge favoured the hope.

"The father set to work to stifle his son's musical proclivities in
every possible way, to separate him from musical society, to banish all
music from the house, to prevent him even from going to school, for
fear he should learn notes as well as letters there.  He had set
himself a difficult task, for the boy's inclination was obstinate, and
among his doting admirers were some who conspired in his behalf so
successfully as to convey into the house, undiscovered, a little
clavichord, or dumb spinet.  This instrument, much used at that time in
convent cells, is so tiny that a man can carry it under his arm, and as
the strings are muffled with strips of cloth, the tone is diminutive in
proportion.  It was safely established in a garret under the roof, and
here, while the household slept, the boy taught himself to play.  If
the master of the house ever suspected what was going on, he connived
at it, thinking that probably no very dangerous amount of art-poison
could be imbibed under such difficulties.  It proved, however, but the
thin edge of the wedge, and resulted before long in a collision between
the wills of father and son, in which the former sustained his first
real defeat.  He had occasion to visit Weissenfels, where a grandson of
his first marriage was chamberlain to the reigning duke.  George, who
was seven or eight years old, and was very fond of this grown-up nephew
of his, begged to be taken, too; but his father refused, turned a deaf
ear to all his entreaties, and set off alone.  Not to be baffled, the
pertinacious boy followed the carriage on foot, and after a
considerable time overtook it.  The father's vexation and wrath were
extreme, but futile; scolding and threats were thrown away on this
child.  He owned his fault, cried bitterly, promised endless good
behaviour in the future, but stuck all the time to his original point,
which was that this time he must go.  The end was that the father had
to give in and take him, and this journey practically decided Handel's

"Music at Weissenfels was held in high esteem.  The duke, a generous
and enlightened prince, was a friend to musicians.  And though Heinrich
Schütz had been twenty years dead, his long life and noble labours were
fresh in the memory of his fellow townsmen, who were justly proud of
their burgomaster's son.  He, too, had been educated for the law, and
not till after long doubts and severe struggles did he abandon it to
follow his true vocation.

"Little Handel soon found allies.  The choir of the ducal chapel
admitted him to their practices, and encouraged him to try his hand at
the organ.  Finding him soon quite able to manage it, they lifted him
up to the organ-stool, one Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the
service, and let him play away as best he could.  This attracted the
notice of the duke, who listened with astonishment to the performance,
and, at its close, inquired who the brave little organist might be.  On
hearing the whole story from his chamberlain, he summoned father and
son to his presence.  With the former he expostulated on the folly of
coercing a child in the choice of a profession, and assured him, with
all due respect for his conscientious scruples, that to restrain the
activity of a heaven-born genius like this was to sin against nature
and the public good.  As to the boy, he filled his pockets with gold
pieces, and exhorted him to be industrious.  Here was a change!  Music
was to be not only suffered, but furthered; his father was to lose no
time in finding him a good teacher.  Often as old Handel must have
stopped his ears to these very same arguments before, he could not
choose but listen, now that they fell from ducal lips.  He did not
change his mind,--a doctorship of law remained the goal of his
ambition,--but he practically acquiesced, and, on his return to Halle,
sent his son to study music with Zachau, organist of the Frauenkirche."

[Illustration: The Child Handel.  From painting by Margaret Dicksee.]

The legend that accompanied, in the catalogue of the Royal Academy of
1893, Miss Dicksee's picture of the boy Handel, varied somewhat from
the version just quoted.  It says that the father forbade the child
following his bent, and banished all the musical instruments in the
house to the attic, where, however, the little musician discovered
them, and, under cover of night, resumed his beloved pursuit.  The
sounds thus produced, and the flitting of the little white-clad figure
over the stairs, started the story that the house was haunted, which
was believed until the truth was revealed, as shown in the picture.

Miss Dicksee, an Englishwoman, and the sister of Frank Dicksee, R. A.,
has painted several deservedly popular pictures, having for their
subjects episodes in the lives of those who have reared themselves
above the common mass of humanity.  Such are her "Swift and Stella,"
"The First Audience--Goldsmith and the Misses Horenck," and "Sheridan
at the Linleys."

Handel, whom the Elector of Hanover had made his capellmeister, first
came to England in the autumn of 1710, having been granted a year's
leave of absence by his royal patron.  In the following February his
opera of "Rinaldo" was produced in London with great success, and at
once established the composer's reputation with the English public.  At
the close of the season he returned to Hanover, where he remained over
a year, but was back in England again toward the end of 1712.  In July
of the following year, his Te Deum and Jubilate, for the service of
thanksgiving held in celebration of the Peace of Utrecht, was performed
in St. Paul's, and Queen Anne bestowed a life pension of 200 pounds a
year upon him.  In August, 1714, the queen died, and Handel, who had
long out-stayed his leave of absence from Hanover, felt some qualms of
conscience while awaiting the coming of his master, who arrived within
six weeks after Anne's death to be crowned as George I.  George had
some reason to be vexed with both "his principal musicians: with the
capellmeister for neglect, with Farinelli, the concert-master at
Hanover, for obtrusiveness.  In the thick of all the bustle consequent
on the court's leaving Hanover, this gentleman wrote and thrust into
the elector's notice a composition to the words, 'Lord, remember me
when thou comest into thy kingdom.'  Handel was somewhat afraid to go
near his injured master, who, however, could not help hearing of him.
The new royal family cared for music, and for no other form of art.
They were not edified by entertainments in a language they did not
understand, and the English drama drooped while the Italian opera
revived, the Prince and Princess of Wales being present nearly every

"'Rinaldo' was remounted, with Nicolini, who had returned, in the
principal part.  'Amadigi,' by Handel, was produced toward the end of
the season, and repeated four times.  At the second performance the
concerto now known as the 'Fourth Hautboy Concerto' was played between
the acts.  A great deal of the opera is adapted from 'Silla;' the whole
stands high among the series to which it belongs.  It may be an
indirect testimony to its popularity that parodies and burlesques in
imitation of it drew crowded audiences to other theatres.  Meanwhile,
the awkwardness of the situation between the king and Handel increased
every day.  The account of the manner in which a reconciliation was at
last brought about has been repeated and believed by every biographer
since Mainwaring, including Chrysander, in his first volume, who,
however, by the time he wrote his third volume had discovered some
evidence tending to throw doubt on its veracity.  The story goes that
Baron Kielmansegge, the common friend of both king and capellmeister,
took occasion of a grand water-party, attended by the whole court, to
engage Handel to compose some music expressly for this festivity, the
result being the celebrated 'Water Music,' of which Handel secretly
conducted the performance in a boat that followed the royal barge.  The
king, as delighted as he was surprised by this concert, inquired at
once as to the author of the music, and then heard all about it from
Kielmansegge, who took upon himself to apologise most humbly for
Handel's bad behaviour, and to beg in his name for condonation of his
offence.  Whereupon his Majesty made no difficulties, but at once
restored him to favour, and 'honoured his compositions with the most
flattering marks of royal approbation.'

"A water-party did take place in August, 1715, but the brilliant
occasion when a concert of music was given, for which special music was
written 'by Mr. Handel,' and when Kielmansegge was present, and when
probably, therefore, the 'Water Music' was produced, only happened in
1717, when peace had long been made, and pardon sealed with a grant to
Handel of 200 pounds a year.  The ice was, perhaps, broken by
Geminiani, the great violinist, who, when he was to play his concertos
at court, requested to be accompanied on the harpsichord by Handel, as
he considered no one else capable of doing it.  The petition was
powerfully seconded by Kielmansegge, and acceded to by George I."

[Illustration: Handel and George I.  From painting by E. J. C. Hamman.]

Handel was not only honoured by those who were kings by birth, but also
by the rulers in his own art.  Beethoven always declared that Handel
was "the monarch of the musical kingdom;" Haydn said of him, "He is the
father of us all," and at another time, "There is not a note of him but
draws blood."  Scarlatti followed Handel all over Italy, and in after
years, when speaking of the great master, would cross himself in token
of admiration; and Mozart said, "Handel knows better than any of us
what will produce a grand effect."


Marie Antoinette, married at fourteen and Queen of France at eighteen,
found herself wearied and annoyed by the excessive etiquette of the
French court, so different from the comparatively simple life she had
led at Vienna.  While dauphiness, she often expressed a wish for a
country-house of her own where she could find freedom at times from the
pomp and intrigues of the court, and very soon after his accession
Louis XVI. offered her Little Trianon, which she joyfully accepted.

Built by Louis XV. for Madame du Barry, this charming residence lay in
the midst of a park which was intended to serve both as a school of
gardening and as a botanical garden, and united the various kinds of
gardens then known,--French, Italian, and English.  Marie Antoinette
sacrificed the botanical garden, for which she did not much care, in
order to improve and extend the English gardens, which she most
admired, and which were then becoming the fashion on the Continent.

The world was taxed to furnish specimens of trees and plants for her
garden.  From North America alone came two hundred and thirty-nine
kinds of trees and shrubs.  Besides these, there were everywhere and
always flowers; in the spring, lilacs, then syringas, snowballs,
tuberoses, irises, tulips, hyacinths, and so through the floral
calendar.  In addition to these beauties, the park of Trianon was
enhanced by all that the art of the landscape gardener could devise.
Architecture added its gifts in the theatre, the Temple of Love, the
Belvedere, and the palace, where the art of Lagrenée, of Gouthière,
Houdon, and Clodion found expression.  And there still remained the
queen's favourite creation, the little hamlet of eight cottages, where
she and her ladies played at farming, with its dairy, its mill, and its
poultry yard.

"At Trianon there was no ceremony, no etiquette, no household, only
friends.  When the queen entered the salon, the ladies did not quit
their work nor the men interrupt their game of billiards or of
_trictrac_.  It was the life of the château, with all its agreeable
liberty, such as Marie Antoinette had always dreamed, such as was
practised in that patriarchal family of the Hapsburgs, which was, as
Goethe has said, 'Only the first _bourgeoise_ family of the empire.'"

In spite of Marie Antoinette's many kindnesses to authors, it seems
doubtful if she really cared for literature, but of music she was a
constant lover.  As a child she had played with Mozart and had received
lessons from Gluck, and when she became queen she still took lessons
both in music and singing.

Gluck was to her not only a great composer, he was one of the dear
memories of her youth, her home, and her country, and also a hope for
reform in French music, which she found monotonous.  It was to please
her that the directors of the Grand Opera invited Gluck to come to
Paris and produce some of his works.  The great reformer of opera had
long wished for this opportunity, which he seized with alacrity, and
set out from Vienna for Paris in the autumn of 1773.  He was received
with every kindness and encouragement by Marie Antoinette and the
court, and proceeded to rehearse his "Iphigenia in Aulis"--not without
difficulties, as he found the French singers and musicians even less
inclined to reforms than those of Vienna.  Gluck, however, supported by
the protection of the dauphiness, made short work of those who held
back.  To the lady who sang the music of "Iphigenia," and who refused
to obey him at rehearsal, he said, "Mademoiselle, I am here to bring
out 'Iphigenia.'  If you will sing, nothing can be better; if not, very
well, I will go the queen and say, 'It is impossible to have my opera
performed;' then I will take my seat in my carriage and return to
Vienna."  Doubtless this result would have been much to the prima
donna's liking, but she had to submit.

[Illustration: Gluck at the Trianon.  From painting by E. J. C. Hamman.]

"Iphigenia" was produced on April 19, 1774, and Marie Antoinette
applauded from the royal box without ceasing.  On the first
representation, opinions were divided, but at the second performance
the approval was unanimous.  When Marie Antoinette became queen shortly
afterward, she gave the composer a pension of six thousand francs, with
the entrée to her morning receptions.  He often visited her at Trianon,
where the daughter of Maria Theresa was always gracious to the
forester's gifted son.  The next work of Gluck to be given in Paris was
his "Orpheus and Eurydice," whose success was greater than that of the
"Iphigenia," and caused Rousseau to publicly acknowledge that he was
mistaken in asserting that the French language was unsuitable to set to
music.  He also said that the music of "Orpheus" had reconciled him to
existence, and met the reproach that Gluck's work was lacking in melody
with the words, "I believe that melody proceeds from every pore."

When the composer's next opera, "Alcestis," was produced, in 1776, the
queen gave it her decided approbation, and loyally supported Gluck
against the king's preference for the older form of opera, and the
partisans of the Italian composer Piccini, who was Gluck's rival for
the favour of the Parisians.  Great was the battle between the warring
factions, the "Gluckists" and the "Piccinists," whose differences of
opinion sometimes even resulted in personal encounters in the theatre.
Between the two composers themselves, matters were more pleasant.  When
Piccini's "Roland" was being studied, the composer, unused to
conducting and unfamiliar with the French language, became confused at
a rehearsal.  Gluck happened to be present, and, rushing into the
orchestra, threw off his wig and coat, and led the performance with
such energy and skill that all went smooth again.  On the other hand,
Piccini, when he learned of the death of his whilom rival, expressed
his respect for Gluck by starting a subscription for the establishment
of an annual concert to be given upon the anniversary of the composer's
death, at which nothing but his music should be performed.

Gluck's "Armida" was given its first presentation in 1777, and
increased his fame so much that his bust was placed in the Grand Opera
beside those of Lulli, Rameau, and Quinault.  "Iphigenia in Tauris" was
produced in 1779, with great success, but "Echo and Narcissus," the
last opera which Gluck gave in Paris, was a failure.  He left France
for Vienna in the same year, never to return, though his royal pupil
pressed him to do so in the most flattering manner.

Before taking leave of Gluck, let us read the eloquent words with which
Ernest Newman closes his book on "Gluck and the Opera."  "The musician
speaks a language that is in its very essence more impermanent than the
speech of any other art.  Painting, sculpture, architecture, and poetry
know no other foe than external nature, which may, indeed, destroy
their creations and blot out the memory of the artist.  But the
musician's material is such that, however permanent may be the written
record of his work, it depends not upon this, but upon the permanency
in other men of the spirit that gave his music birth, whether it shall
live in the minds of future generations.  Year after year the language
of the art grows richer and more complex, and work after work sinks
into ever-deepening oblivion, until music that once thrilled men with
delirious ecstasy becomes a dead thing, which here and there a student
looks back upon in a mood of scarcely tolerant antiquarianism.  In the
temple of the art a hundred statues of the gods are overthrown; and a
hundred others stand with arrested lips and inarticulate tongues, pale
symbols of a vanished dominion which men no longer own.  Yet here and
there, through the ghostly twilight, comes the sound of some clear
voice that has defied the courses of the years and the mutations of
taste; and we hear the rich canorous tones of Gluck, not, perhaps, with
all the vigour and the passion that once was theirs, but with the
mellowed splendour given by the touch of time.  Alone among his fellows
he speaks our modern tongue, and chants the eternal passions of the
race.  He was, indeed, as Sophie Arnould called him, 'The musician of
the soul;' and if we have added new strings to our lyre, and wrung from
them a more poignant eloquence than ever stirred within the heart of
Gluck, none the less do we perceive that music such as his comes to us
from the days when there were giants in the land."


It was in 1762 that Leopold Mozart, father of the two musical
prodigies, Maria Anna and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, first began to turn
to account his children's talent.  Wolfgang was then six years old, and
his sister between four and five years older.  By easy stages the
family journeyed to Vienna in the month of September, and it is told
that upon their arrival the wonderful boy-musician saved his father the
payment of customs duties.  He made friends with the custom-house
officer, showed him his harpsichord, played him a minuet on his little
fiddle, and the thing was done,--"Pass--free of duty."

The imperial family were sincere lovers of music.  Charles VI., the
father of Maria Theresa, had two passions, hunting and music, and was
an accomplished musician.  He used to accompany operatic or other
performances at court upon the clavier, and also composed pieces.  At
one time he wrote an opera, which was performed with great splendour in
the theatre of his palace.  On this occasion the emperor led the
orchestra, and his two daughters, Maria Theresa and Maria Anne, danced
in the ballet.  Lady Mary Wortley Montagu speaks of an opera which she
saw at Vienna in 1716, the decorations and dresses of which cost the
emperor thirty thousand pounds.  He called Metastasio from Italy to
compose the operas for his court.  Maria Theresa inherited this love of
music, and in 1725, when only seven years old, sang in an opera by Fux,
at a fête given in honour of her mother, the Empress Elizabeth.
Alluding to this, she once said in a joking way to the celebrated
singer, Faustina Hasse, that she believed herself to be the first of
living vocalists.  In 1739 she sang a duet with Senesino so beautifully
that the famous old singer was melted to tears.  Her husband, Francis
I., was also a lover of music, and her daughters were carefully
instructed in singing, and often appeared in operatic performances at
court.  Maria Theresa's son, afterward the Emperor Joseph, also sang
well, and played both the harpsichord and the violoncello.

[Illustration: Mozart and His Sister before Maria Teresa.  From
painting by A. Borckmann.]

"With a court so favourably disposed toward music, it is not surprising
that Leopold, a few days only after his arrival, should have received a
command to bring his children on the 13th of October to Schönbrunn, an
imperial palace near Vienna, and this without any solicitation on his
part.  The children remained three hours with the court, and were then
obliged to repeat their performance.  The Emperor Francis I., the
husband of Maria Theresa, took a peculiar interest in the little

"He made the little fellow play with only one finger, in which he
perfectly succeeded.  An attempt which little Mozart made at the
special request of the emperor, to play with the keys covered by a
piece of cloth, was also a brilliant success.  It was, perhaps, owing
to the imperial fancy that this species of artistic trick obtained
considerable celebrity, and played a not unimportant part in the little
'sorcerer's' repertoire on all his long journeys.  Wolfgang entered
readily into any joke that was made with him, but sometimes he could be
very serious, as, for instance, when he called for the court composer,
Georg Christoph Wagenseil, a thorough connoisseur of the harpsichord,
and himself a performer.  The emperor stepped back and made Wagenseil
come forward, to whom Mozart said, quite seriously, 'I play a concerto
by you: you must turn over the pages for me.'  The emperor ordered a
hundred ducats to be paid to his father.  The empress was very kind to
the Mozarts, and sent them costly dresses.  'Would you like to know,'
writes Leopold to Hagenauer, his host at Salzburg, 'what Wolferl's (a
pet name for Wolfgang) dress is like?  It is of the finest cloth,
lilac-coloured, the vest of moire of the same colour.  Coat and
top-coat with a double broad border of gold.  It was made for the
Hereditary Duke Maximilian Franz.'  In the picture which is preserved
in the Mozart collection at Salzburg, Mozart is painted in this dress.
Wolfgang never showed the least embarrassment in the society of the

"At court, as elsewhere, Mozart was a bright, happy child.  He would
spring on the empress's lap, throw his arms around her neck, and kiss
her, and play with the princesses on a footing of equality.  He was
especially devoted to the Archduchess Marie Antoinette.  Once, when he
fell on the polished floor, she lifted him from the ground and consoled
him, while one of her sisters stood by.  'You are good,' said Wolfgang,
I will marry you.'  The empress asked him why.  'From gratitude,'
answered he; 'she was good to me, but her sister stood by and did

Nor was he shy with the Crown Prince Joseph, who, in after years, when
emperor, reminded him of his playing duets with Wagenseil, and of
Mozart's standing in the audience and calling out, "Fie!" or "That was
false!" or "Bravo!" as the case might be.

As was to be expected, the children became the rage in society, and all
the ladies fell in love with little Mozart.  No musical entertainments
could be given without him and Maria Anna, and they appeared in company
with the most celebrated performers, being everywhere petted, feasted,
and flattered, and receiving many costly gifts.

Their successes induced Leopold Mozart to plan a more extended tour,
and in the summer of the next year he and his children set out on a
journey which was intended to include visits to Paris and London.  The
trio arrived in Paris in November, and were greatly befriended by their
countryman, Grimm, the encyclopaedist, secretary to the Duke of
Orleans.  Leopold wrote home thus, about the help this powerful friend
had been to them: "He has done everything; he has introduced the matter
at court, and arranged the first concert.  He, alone, paid me eighty
louis-d'ors, then sold three hundred and twenty tickets, and, moreover,
bore the expense of lighting with wax.  We burnt more than sixty
candles.  It was he who obtained permission for the concert, and now he
is getting up a second, for which a hundred tickets have already been
distributed.  You see what one man can do, who possesses sense and a
kind heart.  He is a native of Ratisbon, but has been more than fifteen
years in Paris, and knows how to guide everything in the right
direction, so that all must happen as he intends."

[Illustration: Mozart and Madame de Pompadour.  From painting by V. de

Little Wolfgang had played before Maria Theresa; now he performed
before her ally, Madame de Pompadour, then within a few months of her
end, for the all-powerful favourite of Louis XV. died in the following
April.  Leopold Mozart, writing home to Salzburg, speaks thus of the
Pompadour; "She must have been very beautiful, for she is still comely.
She is tall and stately; stout, but well proportioned, with some
likeness to her Imperial Majesty about the eyes.  She is proud, and has
a remarkable mind."  Mozart's sister remembered in after days how she
placed little Wolfgang on the table before her, but pushed him aside
when he bent forward to kiss her, on which he indignantly asked: "Who
is this that does not want to kiss me?  The empress kissed me."  The
king's daughters were much more friendly, and, contrary to all
etiquette, kissed and played with the children, both in their own
apartments and in the public corridors.

As before at Vienna and afterward in London, the little Mozarts made a
great hit in Paris, and performed before the most distinguished
audiences.  Grimm relates in his correspondence "a truly astonishing
instance of the boy's genius."  Wolfgang accompanied a lady in an
Italian air without seeing the music, supplying the harmony for the
passage which was to follow from that which he had just heard.  This
could not be done without some mistakes, but when the song was ended he
begged the lady to sing it again, played the accompaniment and the
melody itself with perfect correctness, and repeated it ten times,
altering the character of the accompaniment for each.  On a melody
being dictated to him, he supplied the bass and the parts without using
the clavier at all; he showed himself in all ways so accomplished that
his father was convinced he would obtain service at court on his return
home.  Leopold Mozart now thought the time was come for introducing the
boy as a composer, and he printed four sonatas for the piano and
violin, rejoicing at the idea of the noise which they would make in the
world, appearing with the announcement on the title-page that they were
the work of a child of seven years old.  He thought well of these
sonatas, independently of their childish authorship; one andante
especially "shows remarkable taste."  When it happened that, in the
last trio of Opus 2, a mistake of the young master, which his father
had corrected (consisting of three consecutive fifths for the violin),
was printed, he consoled himself by reflecting that "they can serve as
a proof that Wolfgangerlf wrote the sonatas himself, which, naturally,
not everyone would believe."

[Illustration: Mozart at the Organ.  From painting by Carl Herpfer.]

Less than thirty years had passed since these triumphant days in the
life of the child Mozart, when there came the end of that wonderful
career.  In the summer of Mozart's last year,--1791,--he was at work on
the concluding portions of "The Magic Flute," when one day he received
a visit from a stranger.  This man, tall, gaunt, and solemn in manner,
clad all in gray, handed the composer an anonymous letter, sealed in
black, requesting him to write a "Requiem" as quickly as possible, and
asking the price.  Mozart agreed to do the work and received from the
messenger fifty (some say a hundred) ducats, with a promise of more
upon completion of the piece, he agreeing to make no effort to discover
who his patron was.  The unknown messenger then went away, saying, "I
shall return when it is time."

It is known now that this mysterious go-between was Leutgeb, the
steward of Count Franz von Walsegg of Stuppach, who often obtained
musical compositions in this way, copied them, and had them performed
as his own.  The count desired the "Requiem" for his wife, who had died
in the preceding February, and it was sung as his own production and
under his direction on the 15th of December, 1793.

But Mozart knew nothing of patron or steward; his spirits were
depressed by trouble, and he grew superstitious over the strange
affair.  Near the end of August, he was about to set out for Prague to
attend the coronation of Leopold II., upon which occasion the
composer's music to Metastasio's festival opera was to be performed.
Just as he was stepping into the carriage the mysterious messenger
appeared suddenly and inquired as to the "Requiem," to which Mozart
answered by excuses.  "When will it be ready?"  "I will work on it
without ceasing on my return."  "Good," said the stranger, "I shall
rely on your promise."  True to his word, upon again reaching home,
Mozart, though feeling melancholy and far from well, worked steadily
upon the "Requiem."  Always cheerful until now, his low spirits
increased, and he imagined that he was writing his own death-mass.  In
November, his illness grew alarming, and a consultation of physicians
was held.  "Mozart's only consolation during his suffering was to hear
of the repeated performances of 'Die Zauberflöte.'  He would follow the
representations in spirit, laying his watch beside him, and saying,
'Now the first act is over.  Now they are come to the place, "The great
Queen of Night,"' etc.  Only the day before his death he expressed a
wish that he might hear 'Die Zauberflöte' once more.  He hummed to
himself the song, 'Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja.'  Capellmeister Roser,
who happened to be with him, went to the harpsichord and played and
sang the song, which appeared greatly to cheer Mozart.  Nevertheless,
the 'Requiem' occupied him continually.  As soon as he had finished a
piece, he had it rehearsed by the friends who happened to be present.
At two o'clock in the afternoon of the day before his death, Schack,
who was the first 'Tamino,' sang soprano, Mozart himself contralto,
Hofer, his brother-in-law, tenor, and Geri, who was the first
'Sarastro,' bass.  At the 'Lacrymosa' Mozart began to weep violently,
and laid down the score.  Toward evening, when his sister-in-law,
Sophie Haibl, came in, Mozart begged her to remain and help Constance,
as he felt death approaching.  She went out again just to tell her
mother and to fetch a priest.  When she returned she found Mozart in
lively conversation with Süssmayer.  'Did I not say that I was writing
the "Requiem" for myself?' he said; and then, with a sure presentiment
of approaching death, he charged his wife instantly to inform
Albrechtsberger, on whom his post at St. Stephen's would devolve.  Late
in the evening he lost consciousness.  But the 'Requiem' still seemed
to occupy him, and he puffed out his cheeks as if he would imitate a
wind instrument, the 'Tuba mirum spar gens sonum.'  Toward midnight his
eyes became fixed.  Then he appeared to fall into slumber, and about
one o'clock in the morning of the 5th of December he died."

[Illustration: The Last Days of Mozart.  From painting by Herman

The "Requiem" was left incomplete, and Mozart's widow entrusted to
Süssmayer the task of finishing the imperfect portions.  But the
greatest part of it is the work of Mozart.


While making a tour of Italy with his father in 1770, Mozart stayed a
few days in Florence, and there formed a warm friendship with Thomas
Linley, an English boy of about his own age, who was studying under
Nardini, the celebrated violinist, and played so finely as almost to
surpass his teacher.  The two boys met at the house of Signora
Maddelena Morelli, who was famed as an improvisatrice under the name of
Corilla, and had been crowned as a poetess on the Capitol in 1776, and
when they parted, Tommasino, as Linley was called in Italy, gave the
young Mozart, for a souvenir, a poem which Corilla had written for him.
Linley was unfortunately drowned a few years after his return to
England, but not before he had given proof of the possession of talent
as composer as well as musician.

His father, Thomas Linley the elder, was born at Wells in 1732, and was
by trade a carpenter.  But being one day at work at Badminton, the seat
of the Duke of Beaufort, he heard Thomas Chilcot, the organist of Bath
Abbey Church, play and sing, and, feeling that he had now found his
true vocation in life, determined to become a musician.  At first he
received instruction from Chilcot at Bath, and then proceeded to Italy
and studied under Paradies.  Upon his return to England, he set up in
Bath as a singing-master, and he became a leader in his profession.
With the aid of his children, he carried on a series of concerts at the
Bath assembly rooms, paying special attention to the rendition of the
works of Handel.  Linley removed to London in 1775, and was manager
with Doctor Arnold of the Drury Lane Oratorios.  With his son Thomas,
he composed the music for his son-in-law Sheridan's comic opera of "The
Duenna," and his other works include the music for "The Camp," and
other pieces by Tickell, another son-in-law, for a version of Allan
Ramsay's "Gentle Shepherd," and for "Selima and Azor," and "Richard
Coeur de Lion," two adaptions from Gretry.  He wrote new accompaniments
to the airs in the "Beggar's Opera," also various elegies, ballads,
anthems, glees, and madrigals.  Doctor Burney praised him as a masterly
performer on the harpsichord, and his music, which is distinguished by
admirable taste and simplicity of design, gained for him a high place
among English composers.  During his last years his health was
undermined by money difficulties and grief at the loss of his
children,--of whom he had twelve, only three surviving him,--especially
Thomas.  He died suddenly, in London in 1795, and was buried in Wells
Cathedral, where a monument was erected to him and his two daughters.

Several of his children made their mark in music, especially his
youngest son, William Linley.  A younger daughter, Maria, a favourite
at the Bath concerts, died at an early age from brain fever.  After one
severe paroxysm, she rose up in bed and began to sing the air, "I know
that my Redeemer liveth," in as full and clear a tone as when in
perfect health.

Mary, the second daughter, who was also an excellent vocalist, married
Sheridan's friend, Richard Tickell, a wit, author, and man of pleasure,
and, after her older sister's retirement, filled her place in concert
and oratorio.  The sisters were very fond of each other, and one of
Gainsborough's finest paintings is that in the Dulwich gallery, which
shows them together.  In the same collection are the same artist's
portraits of the father and the son Thomas.

Little Elizabeth Ann Linley, the composer's eldest daughter, used to
stand at the Pump-room door, in Bath, with a basket, selling tickets,
when only a girl of nine.  She was very lovely, gentle, and good, and
came to be known as the "Maid of Bath."  After she sang before the king
and queen at Buckingham House in 1773, George III. told her father that
he never in his life heard so fine a voice as his daughter's, nor one
so well instructed.  Her beauty was praised in high terms by John
Wilkes, Horace Walpole, and Miss Burney, and the Bishop of Meath styled
her "the connecting link between woman and angel."  Of course she had
many admirers.  The Duke of Clarence persecuted her with his
attentions, and her parents wished her to marry Mr. Long, an old
gentleman of considerable fortune.  The latter, when Elizabeth told him
she could not love him, had the magnanimity to take upon himself the
burden of breaking the engagement, and settled 3,000 pounds on her as
an indemnity for his supposed breach of covenant.

A certain rascally Captain Mathews, a married rake, and a so-called
friend of her father, had the effrontery to follow her with his
solicitations, from which she was rescued by the young Sheridan, who
fell in love with Elizabeth and persuaded her to fly with him to
France.  There, at Calais, they went through a formal ceremony of
marriage, separating immediately afterward, the lady entering a
convent, and Sheridan returning to England.  Here he fought two duels
with Captain Mathews, in the second of which he was quite seriously
wounded.  Mr. Linley went to France and brought his daughter home, and
finally, about a year from the time of the Calais episode, the young
couple were married again, this time in full sight of the world.

The future author of "The Rivals" and "The School for Scandal,"
addressed to his Eliza, among other early productions, this pretty
snatch of song:

  "Dry be that tear, my gentlest love,
    Be hush'd that struggling sigh;
  Nor seasons, day, nor fate shall prove
    More fix'd, more true than I.
  Hush'd be that sigh, be dry that tear;
  Cease boding doubt, cease anxious fear;
      Dry be that tear.

  "Ask'st thou how long my love will stay,
    When all that's new is past?
  How long, ah!  Delia, can I say
    How long my life will last?
  Dry be that tear, be hush'd that sigh;
  At least I'll love thee till I die.
      Hush'd be that sigh.

  "And does that thought affect thee too,
    The thought of Sylvio's death,
  That he who only breath'd for you
    Must yield his faithful breath?
  Hush'd be that sigh, be dry that tear,
  Nor let us lose our heaven here.
      Dry be that tear."

For some eighteen years the Sheridans lived together,--Elizabeth never
sang in public again after her marriage,--and then their union was
broken by death.  The devoted wife to this brilliant, but selfish,
unreliable, and extravagant genius died in 1792, of consumption.

  "Music, when soft voices die,
  Vibrates in the memory,"

and surely during the years of life left to Richard Brinsley Sheridan,
he must often have recalled the happy days when he listened in delight
to the music of his loved one's voice.

[Illustration: Sheridan at the Linleys.  From painting by Margaret

Sir Joshua Reynolds painted her as St. Cecilia in a lovely picture
which he sent to the Royal Academy exhibition in 1775,--the year of
"The Rivals."  It remained in the artist's possession till 1790, when
Sheridan bought it for one hundred and fifty guineas.  It is now owned
by the Marquis of Lansdowne.


In 1790 Haydn had been capellmeister at Esterhaz, the magnificent
palace which Prince Nicolaus Esterhazy had created in imitation of
Versailles.  For nearly a quarter of a century, Esterhaz, though built
on an unhealthy site, was the favourite residence of the prince, who
never tired of altering, extending, and improving the palace and
grounds, and whose greatest ambition was to make the musical and
theatrical entertainments given there the best of their kind.  In many
ways Haydn was most happily situated at Esterhaz, and though his
isolated position there became more irksome to him as time went on, he
would not, though frequently approached with flattering offers from
abroad, leave his well-beloved master, of whom he wrote, in 1776, "My
dearest wish is to live and die with him."

The King of Naples, an ardent admirer of the composer, had urged him to
go to Naples with him.  Haydn's presence was also much desired in
Paris, and from London, especially, he had received many overtures.
Cramer, the violinist, had written to Haydn in 1781, offering to engage
him at his own figure for the Professional Concerts, and Gallini, the
owner and manager of the King's Theatre in Drury Lane, urged him to
compose an opera for him.  Salomon, still more enterprising, in 1789,
sent Bland, a well-known music publisher, to treat with Haydn, but
without success.  The composer gave him the copyright of several of his
productions, among them the "Stabat Mater" and "Ariadne," and the
"Razirmesser" quartette.  This composition is said to derive its name
from Haydn's exclaiming one morning, while shaving, "I would give my
best quartette for a good razor!"  Bland happened to enter the room at
that moment, and at once hurried back to his lodgings and, returning
with his own razors of good English steel, gave them to Haydn, who
thereupon kept his word by tendering in exchange his latest quartette.

The death of Prince Esterhazy, in September, 1790, gave Haydn the
opportunity he had long wished for, as Prince Anton, who succeeded
Nicolaus, had little taste for music, and dismissed most of the
performers, at the same time, however, increasing Haydn's pension of a
thousand florins a year, left him by Prince Nicolaus, by the addition
of four hundred florins.

Haydn, being now his own master, went to live at Vienna, with his old
friend Bamberger, and, declining an invitation to become capellmeister
to Count Grassalcovics, was working with his usual industry when, one
day, a visitor was announced.  He turned out to be Salomon, the London
manager, who, on his way back from Italy, whither he had been to engage
singers for the Italian opera in London, had heard of the prince's
death, and hastened at once to Vienna in the hope of inducing Haydn to
visit England.  This, after much negotiation, was at last accomplished.
Mozart, to whom Haydn was like a father, felt the separation deeply,
and vainly strove to prevent it.  He said to Haydn: "Papa, you have not
been brought up for the great world; you know too few languages." Haydn
replied: "But my language is understood by the whole world." Mozart
spent the day of his departure with him, and bade him farewell in
tears, saying, "We shall see each other no more in this world!" a
presentiment which was sadly fulfilled.

Haydn and Salomon left Vienna on the 15th of December, 1790, and
journeyed by way of Munich, Bonn, and Brussels to Calais, where they
arrived on the evening of December 31st.  At half-past seven the next
morning they embarked for Dover, but, the wind being contrary, they had
a stormy passage, and did not reach the English port until five in the
afternoon.  Haydn, whose first voyage it was, remained on deck the
whole time, in spite of the unfavourable weather.

[Illustration: Haydn Crossing the English Channel.  From painting by E.
J. C. Hamman.]

His first impressions of London, then a city of less than a million
people, were of its great size and its noise.  Many times the composer
must have longed for the comparative quiet of Esterhaz, or of his own
study in Vienna.

An amusing anecdote is told of Haydn in London.  One morning he came
upon a music shop, and, going in, asked to be shown any novelties that
might be for sale.

"Certainly," answered the salesman, who forthwith brought out "some
sublime music of Haydn's," as he termed it.

"Oh, I'll have nothing to do with that," said the customer.

"Why not?" asked the man, who happened to be a warm admirer of Haydn's
music.  "Have you any fault to find with it?"

"Yes," said the composer, "and if you can show me nothing better than
that, I must go without making a purchase."

"Well, then, you had better go, for I've nothing that I can supply as
suitable for such as you," and Mr. Shopman walked away.

Before Haydn could reach the door, however, a gentleman entered, who
was known not only to him, but to the music publisher.  He greeted the
composer by name, and began to congratulate him upon his latest
symphony produced at Salomon's concerts.  The music seller turned
around upon hearing the name of Haydn, and said, "Ah! here's a musician
who does not like that composer's music."

The gentleman at once saw the joke, and, explaining the matter to the
dealer, they all had a hearty laugh over the incident.

Haydn was received with the warmest hospitality in London, and, like
many other "lions," was at no little pains to secure sufficient time
for his work amid the pressure of social engagements and the visits of
celebrities of all kinds.  Doctor Burney, the musical historian, with
whom the composer had corresponded, wrote a poem in his honour.  This
appeared in the _Monthly Review_, and its concluding stanza runs as

  "Welcome, great master! to our favoured isle,
  Already partial to thy name and style;
  Long may thy fountain of invention run
  In streams as rapid as it first begun;
  While skill for each fantastic whim provides,
  And certain science ev'ry current guides!
  Oh, may thy days, from human sufferings free,
  Be blest with glory and felicity,
  With full fruition, to a distant hour,
  Of all thy magic and creative power!
  Blest in thyself, with rectitude of mind,
  And blessing, with thy talents, all mankind."

Less pleasant than such tributes was an experience Haydn had with a
noble pupil, who called upon him, saying that he was passionately fond
of music, and would be grateful if the composer would give him a few
lessons in harmony and counterpoint, at a guinea a lesson.

"Oh, willingly!" answered Haydn; "when shall we begin?"

"Immediately, if you see no objection," and the nobleman took out of
his pocket one of Haydn's quartettes.  "For the first lesson," said he,
taking the initiative, "let us examine this quartette, and you tell me
the reason of some modulations which I will point out to you, together
with some progressions which are contrary to all rules of composition."

Haydn did not object to this course, and the gentleman proceeded.  The
initial bar of the quartette was first attacked, and but few of the
succeeding ones escaped the critical comments of the _dilettante_.

The composer's reply as to why he did this or that was very simple.  "I
did it," he said, "because I thought it would have a good effect."

Such a reply did not satisfy "my lord," who declared that his opinion
of the composition as ungrammatical and faulty would be unchanged
unless Haydn could give him some better reason for his innovations and

This nettled Haydn, who suggested that the pupil (?) should rewrite the
quartette after his own fashion.  But, like many other would-be
critics, he declined to undertake the task, contenting himself with
impugning the correctness of Haydn's work.  "How can yours, which is
contrary to the rules, be the best?" he repeatedly asked Haydn.

At last the composer's patience was exhausted.  "I see, my lord," said
he, "it is you who are so good as to give lessons to me.  I do not want
your lessons, for I feel that I do not merit the honour of having such
a master as yourself.  Good morning."

Haydn then left the room, and sent his servant to show the man out.

One of Haydn's biographers says that the composer soon gauged the
musical taste of the English public, and rearranged most of his
compositions written earlier, before producing them in London.  "Our
national manners in the concert-room would seem to have descended to us
from our grandfathers, for we find Haydn doubting as to which of two
evils he shall choose: whether to insist on his stipulated composition
being placed in the first or the second part of each concert's
programme.  In the former case its effect would be marred by the
continual noisy entrance of late comers, while in the latter case a
considerable portion of the audience would probably be asleep before it
began.  Haydn chose this, however, as the preferable alternative, and
the loud chord (Paukenschlag) of the andante in the 'Surprise' symphony
is said to have been the comical device he hit upon for rousing the

Haydn was very desirous that one of his compositions should be
performed at an Ancient Music Concert in London, but one of their rules
was to admit only work by composers who had been dead twenty years.
The management would make no exception, even for Haydn, and it was not
until forty-one years later that they produced a composition by
him,--the "Let there be Light," from the "Creation."

One of the pleasantest incidents of Haydn's visit to England occurred
in November, when he made a visit of three days to Oatlands Park as a
guest of the Duke of York, who was spending his honeymoon there with
his young bride, the Princess of Prussia.  "The sight of the kind
German face and the familiar sound of the German tongue of the
musician, whose name had been a household word to her ever since she
could speak, must have been more than welcome to the little
transplanted bride (she was only seventeen), and Haydn writes tenderly
to Frau v. Genzinger (December 20th) how the 'liebe Kleine' sat close
by his side all the time he was playing his symphony, humming the
familiar airs to herself, and urging him to go on playing until long
past midnight."

Upon his second visit to London, Haydn received many attentions from
the royal family, especially from the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The prince had a taste for music at once genuine and intelligent.  He
played the violoncello, and took his place in the orchestra in the
concerts given at Carlton House, his brothers, the Dukes of Gloucester
and Cumberland, playing the violin and viola.

When Haydn returned to Vienna, he carried with him, besides the
substantial sum gained by his art, many presents from friends and
admirers.  One of the most original souvenirs was received from William
Gardiner, a Leicester manufacturer and a great lover of music, who
wrote a book entitled "Music and Friends."  His gift consisted of six
pairs of stockings, into which were woven airs from Haydn's
compositions, the "Emperor's Hymn," the "Surprise" andante, and others.


The picture of Weber sitting among the airy visions evoked by music's
spell, which is known as "Weber's Last Thoughts," and is supposed to
represent him as composing the waltz so called, is based upon an error.
For this popular piece, published in 1824, is not the work of Weber at
all, but was written by Reissiger.  The probable cause of its being
ascribed to Weber is that a manuscript copy of it, given him by
Reissiger on the eve of the master's departure for London, was found
among Weber's papers after his death.

[Illustration: The "Last Thoughts" of Von Weber.  From painting by E.
J. C. Hamman.]

Weber's son, in his life of his father, tells us that when the composer
was in London, Miss Stephens, of whose talent he was a great admirer,
offered to appear at his concert.  "The celebrated artist, however, was
desirous of singing some new composition by the master; and Weber,
exhausted as he was, could not gainsay her wish.  Miss Stephens herself
chose the words from Moore's 'Lalla Rookh;' and the composer set
himself to work on 'From Chindara's Warbling Fount I Come.'  But
fearfully painful was the effort now.  Twice Weber flung down his pen
in utter despair.  At last, on the morning of the 18th of May, the
great artist's flitting genius came back to him, and for the last time
gave him a farewell kiss upon that noble forehead, now bedewed with the
cold sweat of death,--for the last time!  The trembling hands were
unable to write down more than the notes for the voice.  Weber
rehearsed his last composition with the celebrated artist from this
sketch, and accompanied the song from memory at his concert."

Here we have the true story of the master's last composition.

The concert spoken of, at which he made his last appearance in public,
was, unfortunately, not a pecuniary success, because of the
indifference of the English aristocracy.  This was a severe blow to the
composer, who knew that he had not long to live, and who had hoped to
realise from this concert a substantial sum, which he could add to that
received from his opera of "Oberon," and use all in providing for his
wife and children.  "The following day Weber was somewhat better.  He
was still supported by the hopes of his benefit; he still found
sufficient strength to write to his wife in such wise as to place in
its least painful light his cruel disappointment.  As yet, in spite of
his bodily weakness, his handwriting had remained distinct and clear.
In this letter, it displays the utter ruin of his strength.  'Writing
is somewhat painful to me,' runs one phrase of it; 'my hands tremble
so.'  Fürstenau saw only too clearly the sinking state of the poor man,
and generously offered to give up his own concert, in order to hasten
the departure of his friend.  'What a word of comfort you have spoken!'
gasped Weber, clutching the hand of the kind fellow.  He wrote again to
his wife, with a last gleam of his spirit: 'You will not have many more
letters from me; and so receive now my high and mighty commands.  Do
not answer this to London, but to the _poste restante_, Frankfurt.  You
are astounded!  Well!  I am not coming home through Paris.  What should
I do there?  I cannot walk--I cannot speak.  I will have nothing more
to do with business for years to come.  So it is far better I should
take the straight way home by Calais, through Brussels, Cologne,
Coblentz, and thus by the Rhine to Frankfurt.  What a charming journey!
I must travel very slowly, however, and probably rest for half a day,
now and then.  I shall gain a good fortnight thus; and by the end of
June I hope to be in your arms.'  At this time he was still resolved to
keep his promise of conducting at Miss Paton's concert.  But he came
home in a state of such feverish agitation and complete exhaustion that
his friends came around him, and wrung from him the promise that he
would conduct no more, and even give up his own benefit.  This
resolution, strange to say, appeared to bestow fresh spirits on him; it
enabled him to hasten his return.  Now that all last earthly interests
were laid aside, love and affection for the dear ones at home had alone
possession of his mind.  One thought alone occupied his whole soul,--to
be at home again, amongst his own--to see them, if but once--but once!
With this feeling, in which gleamed one last ray of cheerfulness, he
wrote: 'How will you receive me?  In heaven's name, alone.  Let no one
disturb my joy of looking again upon my wife, my children, my dearest
and my best. . . .  Thank God! the end of all is fast
approaching.' . . .  The end of all _was_ fast approaching.  On the 1st
of June, every painful symptom of the poor sufferer had so increased
that his friends held counsel with Doctor Kind, who considered his
state highly precarious.  Fürstenau was desirous of watching by his
bedside.  'No, no,' replied Weber, 'I am not so ill as you want to make
me out.'  He refused even the attendance of Sir George Smart's servant
in his anteroom.  Blisters were applied to his chest, and he noted in
his diary, 'Thank God, my sleep was sweet!'  He fixed his departure for
the 6th, arranged all his pecuniary affairs with minuteness, and
employed his friends in purchasing presents for his family and friends
in Dresden.  He was strongly urged by his friends to postpone his
journey until he could have recovered some degree of strength.  But
this solicitation only irritated him.  'I must go back to my own--I
must!' he sobbed, incessantly.  'Let me see them once more--and then
God's will be done!'  The attempt appeared impossible to all.  With
great unwillingness he yielded to his friends' request to have a
consultation of physicians.  'Be it so!' he answered.  'But come of it
what may, I go!'  His only thought, his only word, was 'Home!'  On the
2d of June he wrote his last letter to his beloved wife,--the last
lines his hand ever traced.  'What a joy, my own dear darling, your
letter gave me!  What a happiness to me to know that you are
well! . . .  As this letter requires no answer, it will be but a short
one.  What a comfort it is not to have to answer! . . .  God bless you
all, and keep you well!  Oh, were I but amongst you all again!  I kiss
you with all my heart and soul, my dearest one!  Preserve all your love
for me, and think with pleasure on him who loves thee above all, thy
Karl.'  What an outpouring of the truest affection there was in that
last loving prayer!

"Weber's only thoughts were now concentrated on his journey, and he
even reproached Fürstenau with caballing with the others to prevent his
undertaking it.  'You may do what you will, it is of no avail,' he
said.  On the evening of the 3d of June he asked his friend Göschen,
with a smile, 'Have you anything to say to your father?  At all events
I shall tell him that his son has been a dear kind friend to me in
London.'  'But you leave many friends and admirers here,' said Göschen.
'Hush! hush!' replied Weber, still smiling softly; 'that's not the same
thing, you know.'  When, on the evening of the 4th, he sat panting in
his easy chair, with Sir George Smart, Göschen, Fürstenau, and
Moscheles grouped around him, he could speak only of his journey.  At
ten o'clock they urged him to retire to bed.  But he firmly declined to
have any one watch by his bedside, and even to forego his custom of
barring his chamber door.  When he had given his white, transparent,
trembling hand to all, murmuring gently, but in earnest tones, the
words, 'God reward you all for your kind love to me!' he was led by Sir
George Smart and Fürstenau into his bedroom.  Fürstenau, from whom
alone he would accept such services, helped him to undress; the effort
was a painful one to himself.  With his own hand, however, Weber wound
up his watch, with his usual punctilious care; then, with all that
charm of amiability for which he was conspicuous through life, he
murmured his thanks to his friend, and said, 'Now let me sleep.'  These
were the last words that mortal ear heard the great artist utter.  It
is clear, however, that Weber must have left his bed later, for, the
next morning, the door through which Fürstenau had passed, was barred.
For a long time the friends sat together in Sir George Smart's room,
filled with sorrowful presentiments, and earnestly consulting what
means might best be taken to prevent the journey.  About midnight they
parted.  On their leaving the house, all was dark in Weber's window.
His light had been extinguished.

"The next morning, at the early hour when Weber generally required his
aid, Sir George Smart's servant knocked at his chamber door; no answer
came; he knocked again, and louder.  It was strange, for Weber's sleep
had always been light.  The alarmed servant rushed to Sir George, who
sprang out of bed and hurried to the room.  Still, to his repeated
knocking, no answer was returned.  Fürstenau was sent for.  He came
half dressed, already anticipating the worst.  It was now resolved to
force the door.  It was burst open.  All was still within.  The watch,
which the last movement of the great hand which had written 'Der
Freischütz,' 'Euryanthe,' and 'Oberon,' had wound up, alone ticked with
painful distinctness.  The bed-curtains were torn back.  There lay the
beloved friend and master dead.  His head rested on his left hand, as
if in tranquil sleep,--not the slightest trace of pain or suffering on
his features.  The soul, yearning for the dear objects of its love, had
burst its earthly covering and fled.  The immortal master was not
dead,--he had gone home."

Weber died in London in 1826, but it was not until 1844, and then
mainly through the efforts of Wagner, that his remains were taken to
his native land.  They now rest in Dresden, where a statue was raised
in 1860 in honour of Carl Maria von Weber, who has been called "The
operatic liberator of Germany."


"No one can conceive," Beethoven wrote to the Baroness Droszdick, "the
intense happiness I feel in getting into the country, among the woods,
my dear trees, shrubs, hills, and dales.  I am convinced that no one
loves country life as I do.  It is as if every tree and every bush
could understand my mute inquiries and respond to them."  It was this
rage for fresh air and fields which made him such a bad stay-at-home
bird, whether he was sheltered amid the palatial surroundings of some
princely patron, or whether sojourning in the less luxurious and
comfortless atmosphere of some one of his frequently changed lodgings.
He disliked any control, and truly meant it when, at intervals, growing
impatient with the constant requests for his company, he complained
outright that he was forced too much into society.  His favourite
places for ruralising were Mödling, Döbling, Hentzendorf, and Baden;
while there is still cherished in the royal garden of Schönbrunn a
favourite spot, between two ash-trees, where the master is reputed to
have composed some of the music of "Fidelio."

A French artist, Paul Leyendecker, has painted the master thus at work
amid nature's peace.  Beethoven is sitting on the outskirts of a wood
near his native city of Bonn, absorbed in composition.  A funeral
procession is coming up the road, with the coffin borne upon the
shoulders of the mourners, and preceded by the priest, who recognises
the composer and bids the choristers cease chanting for a while in
order not to disturb his labours.  Turning from the master at work in
the open air to him at home, we find that Carl Schloesser, a German
painter long settled in London, exhibited at the Royal Academy, a few
years ago, a striking picture showing Beethoven at the piano absorbed
in composition, amid a litter of manuscripts and music-sheets.  It was
thus he must have looked when Weber called upon him in 1823.

[Illustration: Beethoven at Bonn.  From painting by Paul Leyendecker.]

"All lay in the wildest disorder--music, money, clothing, on the
floor--linen from the wash upon the dirty bed--broken coffee-cups upon
the table.  The open pianoforte was covered thickly with dust.
Beethoven entered to greet his visitors.  Benedict has thus described
him: 'Just so must have looked Lear, or one of Ossian's bards.  His
thick gray hair was flung upwards, and disclosed the sanctuary of his
lofty vaulted forehead.  His nose was square, like that of a lion; his
chin broad, with those remarkable folds which all his portraits show;
his jaws formed as if purposely to crack the hardest nuts; his mouth
noble and soft.  Over the broad face, seamed with scars from the
smallpox, was spread a dark redness.  From under the thick, closely
compressed eyebrows gleamed a pair of small flashing eyes.  The square,
broad form of a Cyclops was wrapped in a shabby dressing-gown, much
torn about the sleeves.'  Beethoven recognised Weber without a word,
embraced him energetically, shouting out, 'There you are, my boy; you
are a devil of a fellow!  God bless you!' handed him at once his famous
tablets, then pushed a heap of music from the old sofa, threw himself
upon it, and, during a flow of conversation, commenced dressing himself
to go out.  Beethoven began with a string of complaints about his own
position; about the theatres, the public, the Italians, the talk of the
day, and, more especially, about his own ungrateful nephew.  Weber, who
was nervous and agitated, counselled him to tear himself from Vienna,
and to take a journey through Germany to convince himself of the
world's judgment of him, and more especially to go to England, where
his works were more reverenced than in any other country.  'Too late!
too late!' cried Beethoven, making the pantomime of playing on the
piano, and shaking his head sadly.  Then he seized on Weber's arm, and
dragged him away to the Sauerhof, where he was wont to dine.  'Here,'
wrote Weber afterward, 'we dined together in the happiest mood.  The
rough repulsive man paid me as much attention as if I were a lady to
whom he was making court, and served me at table with the most delicate
care.  How proud I felt to receive all this kindness and affectionate
regard from the great master spirit!  The day will remain for ever
impressed on my mind, as well as on that of all who were present.'"

[Illustration: Beethoven in His Study.  From painting by Carl

Three years later the Swedish poet, Atterbom, being in Vienna, went to
visit Beethoven.  Atterbom was accompanied by his friend, Doctor
Jeitteles, who has left this account of their odd experience.  He says:
"We went one hot afternoon to the Alservorstadt, and mounted to the
second story of the so-called Schwarzspanier house.  We rang, no one
answered; we lifted the latch, the door was open, the anteroom empty.
We knocked at the door of Beethoven's room, and, receiving no reply,
repeated our knock more loudly.  But we got no answer, although we
could hear there was some one inside.  We entered, and what a scene
presented itself!  The wall facing us was hung with huge sheets of
paper covered with charcoal marks; Beethoven was standing before it,
with his back turned toward us, but in what a condition!  Oppressed by
the excessive heat, he had divested himself of everything but his
shirt, and was busily employed writing notes on the wall with a
lead-pencil, beating time, and striking a few chords on his stringless
pianoforte.  He did not once turn toward the door.  We looked at each
other in amused perplexity.  It was no use trying to attract the deaf
master's attention by making a noise; and he would have felt
embarrassed had we gone up to him.  I said to Atterbom, 'Would you, as
a poet, like to take away with you to the north the consciousness of
having, perhaps, arrested the loftiest flight of genius?  You can at
least say, "I have seen Beethoven create."  Let us leave, unseen and
unheard!'  We departed."

[Illustration: A Symphony by Beethoven.  From painting by A. Graefle.]

Another German artist, Graefle, has produced an interesting work
depicting Beethoven playing to his friends.

"At the pianoforte Beethoven seemed a god--at times in the humour to
play, at others not.  If he happened not to be in the humour, it
required pressing and reiterated entreaties to get him to the
instrument.  Before he began in earnest, he used sportively to strike
the keys with the palm of his hand, draw his fingers along the keyboard
from one end to the other, and play all manner of gambols, at which he
laughed heartily.  Once at the pianoforte, and in a genial mood with
his surroundings, he would extemporise for one and two hours at a
stretch, amid the solemn silence of his listeners.  He demanded
absolute silence from conversation whenever he put his fingers upon the
pianoforte keys to play.  If this was not forthcoming, he rose up,
publicly upbraided the offenders, and left the room.  This mode of
resenting a nuisance--one not yet extinct--was once illustrated at
Count Browne's, where Beethoven and Ries were engaged in playing a
duet, yet during which one of the guests started an animated
conversation with a lady.  Exasperated at such an affront to his
artistic honour, Beethoven rose up, glared at the pair, and shouted
out, 'I play no more for such hogs,'--nor would he touch another note
or allow Ries to do so, although earnestly entreated by the company.
'His improvisation,' Czerny tells us, 'was most brilliant and striking;
in whatever company he might chance to be, he knew how to produce such
an effect upon every hearer that frequently not an eye remained dry,
while many would break out into loud sobs, for there was something
wonderful in his expression in addition to the beauty and originality
of his ideas and his spirited style of rendering them.'  Ries says: 'No
artist that I ever heard came at all near the height Beethoven attained
in this branch of playing.  The wealth of ideas which forced themselves
on him, the caprices to which he surrendered himself, the variety of
treatment, the difficulties, were inexhaustible.  Even the Abbé
Vogler's admirers were compelled to admit as much.'"

Tomaschek was greatly impressed by Beethoven.  He writes: "It was in
1798, when I was studying law, that Beethoven, that giant among
players, came to Prague. . . .  His grand style of playing, and
especially his bold improvisation, had an extraordinary effect upon me.
I felt so shaken that for several days I could not bring myself to
touch the piano."

"His manner was to sit in a quiet way at the instrument, commanding his
feelings; but occasionally, and especially when extemporising, it was
hard to maintain the pose.  At extreme moments he warmed into great
passions, so that it was impossible for him to hide from his listeners
the sacred fires that were raging within him.  Czerny declares that his
playing of slow movements was full of the greatest expression,--an
experience to be remembered.  He used the pedal largely, and was most
particular in the placing of the hands and the drift of the fingers
upon the keys.  As a pianist, he was surnamed 'Giant among players,'
and men like Vogler, Hummel, and Wölffl were of a truth great players;
but as Sir George Grove aptly says, in speaking of Beethoven's _tours
de force_ in performance, his transposing and playing at sight, etc.,
'It was no quality of this kind that got him the name, but the
loftiness and elevation of his style, and his great power of expression
in slow movements, which, when exercised on his noble music, fixed his
hearers, and made them insensible to any fault of polish or mere

Beethoven has often served as a subject for painters, but, among the
numerous pictures dedicated to him, we recall none more impressive than
Aimé de Lemud's "Beethoven's Dream."  De Lemud, a Frenchman who died at
the age of seventy years, in 1887, first won success as a painter, and
then studied engraving.  At the Salon of 1863 he received a medal for
his engraving of this picture, which was then entitled, simply,

[Illustration: Beethoven's Dream.  From painting by Aimé de Lemud.]

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, in her story of "The Silent Partner," tells
how "a line engraving after De Lemud could make a 'forgetting' in the
life of a factory girl.

"An engraving that lay against a rich easel in a corner of the room
attracted the girl's attention presently.  She went down on her knees
to examine it.  It chanced to be Lemud's dreaming Beethoven.  Sip was
very still about it.

"'What is that fellow doing?' she asked, after a while.  'Him with the
stick in his hand.'

"She pointed to the leader of the shadowy orchestra, touching the baton
through the glass, with her brown fingers.

"'I have always supposed,' said Perley, 'that he was only floating with
the rest; you see the orchestra behind him.'

"'Floating after those women with their arms up?  No, he isn't.'

"'What is he doing?'

"It's riding over him--the orchestra.  He can't master it.  Don't you
see?  It sweeps him along.  He can't help himself.  They come and come.
How fast they come!  How he fights and falls!  Oh, I know how they
come!  That's the way things come to me; things I could do, things I
could say, things I could get rid of if I had the chance; they come in
the mills mostly; they tumble over me just so; I never have the chance.
How he fights!  I didn't know there was any such picture in the world.
I'd like to look at that picture day and night.  See!  Oh, I know how
they come!'

"'Miss Kelso--' after another silence, and still upon her knees before
the driving dream and the restless dreamer.  'You see, that's it.
That's like your pretty things.  I'd keep your pretty things if I was
you.  It ain't that there shouldn't be music anywhere.  It's only that
the music shouldn't ride over the master.  Seems to me it is like


In the Währing cemetery in Vienna three monuments of varying design
stand side by side.  The central one honours Mozart, the name of
Beethoven is inscribed upon the second, and the last bears that of
Franz Schubert.  Schubert died aged but thirty-one, in 1828, the year
after Beethoven had passed beyond.  He had the greatest reverence for
the sublime master, and on the day before his own death spoke of him in
a touching manner in his delirium.  Schubert was one of the
torch-bearers at the grave of Beethoven, and after the funeral went
with some friends to a tavern, where he filled two glasses of wine.
The first he drank to the memory of the great man who had just been
laid to rest, and the other to the memory of him who should be first to
follow Beethoven to the grave.  In less than two years he himself lay
beside him.

Schubert, in his youth, once asked a friend, after the performance of
some of his own songs, whether he thought that he (Schubert) would ever
become anything.  His friend replied that he was already something.  "I
say so to myself, sometimes," said Schubert, "but who can do anything
after Beethoven?"  At a later day he said of the master, "Mozart stands
in the same relation to him as Schiller does to Shakespeare.  Schiller
is already understood, Shakespeare still far from being fully
comprehended.  Every one understands Mozart; no one thoroughly
comprehends Beethoven."

Although Beethoven lived in Vienna during nearly the whole life of
Schubert, and for some years very near to his house, the two composers
were almost strangers.  Schindler, Beethoven's biographer, does indeed
state that they met in 1822, but the story has been much doubted.
Schindler says that the younger composer, whose "Variations on a French
Air" had just been published by Diabelli and dedicated to Beethoven,
went with the publisher to present the offering in person.  He received
them kindly, but Schubert was too confused to answer the master's
questions, and on Beethoven making some slight criticism upon the
piece, fled from the room in dismay.  Huttenbrenner says, on the other
hand, that Beethoven was not at home when Schubert called on him and
that they never met.  He, however, states that he, Schubert, and the
artist Teltscher, went to Beethoven's house during his last illness and
stood for a long time around his bed.  The dying man was told the names
of his visitors and made signs to them with his hand which they could
not comprehend.  Schubert was deeply touched, for his veneration for
Beethoven amounted almost to worship.

Schindler, during Beethoven's last illness, brought him a collection of
Schubert's songs, and he expressed the greatest admiration for their
beauty, coupled with regrets that he had not known more of him.  How
great must have been Schubert's delight to learn that Beethoven on this
occasion said of him, "Truly, Schubert possesses a spark of the divine
fire;" and again, "Some day he will make a noise in the world."
Beethoven is said to have frequently played the "Variations" which
Schubert dedicated to him.

The extraordinary fertility and facility of Schubert in composing are
well known.  Elson tells the story of the creation of "Hark, Hark, the
Lark!" from "Cymbeline."  "It was a summer morning in 1826 that
Schubert was returning from a long walk in the suburbs of Vienna, with
a party of friends; they had been out to Potzleindorf, and were walking
through Währing, when, as they passed the restaurant "Zum Biersack,"
Schubert looked in and saw his friend Tieze sitting at one of the
tables; he at once suggested that the party enter and join him at
breakfast, which was accordingly done.  As they sat together at the
table, Schubert took up a book which Tieze had brought with him; it was
Shakespeare's poems in a German translation; he began turning from page
to page in his usual insatiable search for subjects for musical
setting; suddenly he paused and read one of the poems over a few times.
'If I only had music-paper here,' he cried, 'I have just the melody to
fit this poem.'  Without a word, Doppler, one of his friends, drew the
musical staff on the back of the bill of fare, and handed it to the
composer, and on this bill of fare, while waiting breakfast, amid the
clatter and confusion of a Viennese outdoor restaurant, Schubert
brought forth the beautiful aubade, or morning song, 'Hark, Hark, the

Upon the same evening, he set two more of Shakespeare's songs to music,
"Who is Sylvia?" from the "Two Gentlemen of Verona," and the drinking
song from the second act of "Antony and Cleopatra."

The composer played the piano with much expression, but could not be
considered as a performer of great technical attainments.  He once
attempted to play his "Fantasia in C, Opus 15," to some friends, but
broke down twice, and finally sprang up from his chair in a fury,
exclaiming: "The devil may play the stuff!"

[Illustration: Schubert at the Piano.  From painting by Gustav Klimt.]

"The subtle influence which Schubert exercised over those with whom he
was brought into close contact was not to be accounted for by any grace
of person or manner.  Kreissle says that he was under the average
height, round backed and shouldered, with plump arms and hands and
short fingers.  He had a round and puffy face, low forehead, thick
lips, bushy eyebrows, and a short, turned-up nose, giving him something
of a negro aspect.  This description does not coincide with our ideas
of one in whom either intellectual or imaginative qualities were
strongly developed.  Only in animated conversation did his eye light
up, and show by its fire and brilliancy the splendour of the mind
within.  Add to this that in society Schubert's manner was awkward, the
result of an unconquerable diffidence and bashfulness, when in the
presence of strangers.  He was even less fitted than Beethoven to shine
in the salons of the Viennese aristocracy, for his capacity as an
executive musician was more limited.  But he was far more companionable
among his intimate acquaintances, and perhaps his greatest, and
certainly his most frequent, pleasure was to discuss music over a
friendly glass in some cosy tavern.  It would be entirely unjust to say
that he was a drunkard, but he was not overcautious in his potations,
and frequently took more than was prudent or consistent with a regard
to health.  This weakness was purely the result of his fondness for
genial society, for he was not a solitary drinker, and invariably
devoted the early portion of the day to work.  The enormous mass of his
compositions sufficiently proves his capacity for hard and unremitting
labour, and no diminution of energy was observable to the very last.
It is not easy for us at this distance of time, and with our colder
Northern temperament, to comprehend the romantic feelings of attachment
subsisting between Schubert and some of his friends,--feelings which,
however, are by no means rare among the impulsive youth of South
Germany,--but his naïve simplicity, cheerful and eminently sociable
disposition, insensibility to envy, and incorruptible modesty, were
qualities calculated to transform the respect due to his genius into a
strong personal liking.  Schubert was, in truth, a child of nature, one
whom to know was to love; for his faults might be summed up into a
general incapacity to understand his own interests, and it might be
said of him as truly as of any one that he was no man's enemy save his
own, thus reversing Shakespeare's words, the good which he did lives
after him; the evil was interred with his bones."


During the great English revolution of 1688, Lord Wharton, as Macaulay
says, wrote "a satirical ballad on the administration of Tyrconnel.  In
this little poem an Irishman congratulates a brother Irishman, in a
barbarous jargon, on the approaching triumph of popery, and of the
Milesian race.  The Protestant heir will be excluded.  The Protestant
officers will be broken.  The Great Charter, and the praters who appeal
to it, will be hanged in one rope.  The good Talbot will shower
commissions on his countrymen, and will cut the throats of the English.
These verses, which were in no respect above the ordinary standard of
street poetry, had for burden some gibberish which was said to have
been used as a watchword by the insurgents of Ulster in 1641.  The
verses and the tune caught the fancy of the nation.  From one end of
England to the other, all classes were constantly singing this idle
rhyme.  It was especially the delight of the English army.  More than
seventy years after the revolution, a great writer delineated, with
exquisite skill, a veteran who had fought at the Boyne and at Namur.
One of the characteristics of the good old soldier is his trick of
whistling 'Lillibullero.'

"Wharton afterward boasted that he had sung a king out of three
kingdoms.  But in truth the success of 'Lillibullero' was the effect,
and not the cause, of that excited state of public feeling which
produced the revolution."

The English revolution had its "Lillibullero," the French Revolution
its "Marseillaise."  The former is never heard now; the latter, in
which spirited words are wedded to inspiring music, is undying.
Lamartine said, "Glory and crime, victory and death, are mingled in its
strains."  Sir Walter Scott called it "the finest hymn to which Liberty
has ever given birth."  Heine exclaimed, "What a song!  It thrills me
with fiery delight, it kindles within me the glowing star of
enthusiasm;" and Carlyle pronounced it "the luckiest musical
composition ever promulgated."

In the spring of 1792, a young officer of artillery was in garrison at
Strasburg.  His name was Rouget de Lisle, and his talents as poet,
singer, and musician had rendered him a welcome guest at the house of
Dietrich, the mayor of the city.  Famine reigned in Strasburg, and one
day, when the Dietrich family could offer but a scanty repast to the
youthful soldier, Dietrich produced a bottle of wine, and said, "Let us
drink to Liberty and to our country.  There will soon be a patriotic
celebration at Strasburg; may these last drops inspire De Lisle with
one of those hymns which convey to the soul of the people the
intoxication from whence they proceed."  The wine was drunk and the
friends separated for the night.  De Lisle went to his room and sought
inspiration, "now in his patriotic soul, now in his harpsichord;
sometimes composing the air before the words, sometimes the words
before the air, and so combining them in his thoughts that he himself
did not know whether the notes or the verses came first, and it was
impossible to separate the poetry from the music, or the sentiment from
the expression.  He sang all and set down nothing."

In the morning De Lisle wrote down the words and music and went with
them to Dietrich's house.  The old patriot invited some friends, who
were as fond of music as himself, to listen, and his eldest daughter
played the accompaniment, while Rouget sang.  "At the first stanza all
faces turned pale; at the second tears ran down every cheek, and at the
last all the madness of enthusiasm broke forth.  The hymn of the
country, destined also to be the hymn of terror, was found.  A few
months afterward the unfortunate Dietrich went to the scaffold to the
sound of the very notes which had their origin on his own hearth, in
the heart of his friend, and in the voices of his children."

[Illustration: Rouget de l'Isle Singing the Marseillaise.  From
painting by I. A. A. Pils.]

It was on April 25th that De Lisle's hymn was sung at Dietrich's house.
The next day it was copied and arranged for a military band, and on
April 29th it was performed by the band of the Garde Nationale at a
review.  On June 25th, a singer named Mireur sang it with so much
effect at a civic banquet at Marseilles that it was at once printed and
distributed to the volunteers of the battalion just starting for Paris,
which they entered by the Faubourg St. Antoine on July 30th, singing
their new hymn.  It was heard again on August 10th, when the mob
stormed the palace of the Tuileries.  From that time the "_chant de
guerre pour l'armée du Rhin_," as it had been christened, was known as
the "Chanson" or "Chant de Marseillais," and finally as "La
Marseillaise."  The original edition contained only six couplets; the
seventh was added by the journalist Dubois.

Rouget de Lisle's authorship of the music has been often contested, but
it is proven by the conclusive evidence contained in the pamphlet on
the subject, by his nephew, published in Paris, in 1865.  Schumann has
used the "Marseillaise" in the overture to "Hermann and Dorothea," and
also in his song of the "Two Grenadiers."

Its author, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, was born at Montaigu,
Lous-le-Saulnier, in 1760.  Entering the school of Royal Engineers at
Mezières in 1782, in 1789 he was a second lieutenant and quartered at
Besançon.  Here, a few days after the fall of the Bastille, on July
14th, he wrote his first patriotic song to the tune of a favourite air.
The next year found him at Strasburg, where his "Hymn to Liberty," set
to music by Pleyel, was sung at the fête of September 25, 1791.  One of
his pieces, "Bayard en Bresse," produced at Paris in 1791, was not
successful.  Being the son of royalist parents and one of the
constitutional party, Rouget de Lisle refused to take the oath to the
constitution abolishing the crown, and was therefore cashiered,
denounced, and imprisoned, not escaping until after the fall of
Robespierre.  It is told that as he fled through a pass of the Alps he
heard his own song.  "'What is the name of that hymn?' he asked his
guide.  'The Marseillaise,' was the peasant's reply.  It was then that
he learned the name of his own work.  He was pursued by the enthusiasm
which he had scattered behind him, and escaped death with difficulty.
The weapon recoiled against the hand which had forged it; the
Revolution in its madness no longer recognised its own voice."

De Lisle afterward reëntered the army, made the campaign of La Vendée
under Hoche, was wounded, and at length, under the consulate, returned
to private life at Montaigu.  Poor and alone, he remained there until
the second Restoration, when, his brother having sold the little family
property, he came to Paris.  Here he was unfortunate and would have
starved but for a small pension granted by Louis XVIII., and continued
by Louis Philippe, and for the care of his friends, the poet Béranger
and the sculptor David d'Angers, and especially M. and Madame Voiart.
At the house of the Voiarts in Choisy-le-Roi, Rouget de Lisle died in

His other works include a volume of "Essais en vers et en prose,"
issued in 1797, "Cinquante Chants Français" (1825), and "Macbeth," a
lyrical tragedy (1827).  He also wrote a song called "Roland at
Roncesvalles," and a "Hymn to the Setting Sun."

Two statues, if no more, have been erected to him in France,--one at
Lous-le-Saulnier, from the hand of Bartholdi, and another at

Pils, to whom we owe the picture of Rouget de Lisle singing his
immortal chant, was a French artist, who died in 1875, at the age of
sixty-two, having gained many medals and a professorship of painting at
the Paris School of Fine Arts.  His fame was mostly won by pictures of
the war in the Crimea, notably by his "Battle of the Alma," now in the
gallery at Versailles.  The "Rouget de Lisle," painted in 1849, belongs
to the French nation.  Pils decorated the ceiling over the grand
staircase in the Paris Opera House.


Earth's effective picture of the great violinist in prison is an
instance of the use of that license which we are generally willing to
allow the painter and the poet.  Among the many astounding fictions
which were related about Paganini is one which asserts that, during
years spent in confinement on the charge of murdering his wife, he
solaced himself and perfected his art by the constant use of his
beloved instrument, and this story must serve as the artist's excuse.
Doubtless as many believers were found for this baseless tale as for
these others.

[Illustration: Paganini in Prison.  From painting by Ferdinand Barth.]

Some declared that he had a league with Satan, and held interviews with
him in an old Florentine castle, much frequented by the artist, from
which, they said, fearful sounds were heard proceeding on stormy
nights, and where the great master was known to have lain as one dead
for hours together, on different occasions.  These persons believed
that at such times Paganini had only come back to life by magical
agency.  Another swore to having seen a tall, dark shadow bending over
him at one of his concerts, and directing his hand; while a third
testified that he had seen nine or ten shadowy hands hovering about the
strings of the great master's violin.

Many of his admirers warmly upheld it as their opinion that he was in
reality an angel sent down to this world, in pity, for the purpose of
lightening the miseries of earthly life by giving man a foretaste of
what the heavenly harmonies will be hereafter.  They said that it was
as if a choir of sweet-voiced spirits lay hid within the instrument,
and that at times it seemed as though this choir turned into a grand

It was not only Paganini's wonderful playing, but his weird appearance
which helped to gain credence for such surprising anecdotes.  Leigh
Hunt has left us a graphic description of the renowned fiddler.

"Paganini, the first time I saw and heard him, and the first time he
struck a note, seemed literally to strike it, to give it a blow.  The
house was so crammed that, being among the squeezers in the
standing-room at the side of the pit, I happened to catch the first
glance of his face through the arm akimbo of a man who was perched up
before me, which made a kind of frame for it; and there, on the stage
in that frame, as through a perspective glass, were the face bent and
the raised hand of the wonderful musician, with the instrument at his
chin, just going to commence, and looking exactly as I described him:

        His hand,
  Loading the air with dumb expectancy,
  Suspending ere it fell a nation's breath,
  He smote, and clinging to the serious chords,
  With godlike ravishment drew forth a breath
  So deep, so strong, so fervid thick with love,
  Blissful yet laden as with twenty prayers,
  That Juno yearned with no diviner soul
  To the first burthen of the lips of Jove.
  Th' exceeding mystery of the loveliness
  Sadden'd delight, and with his mournful look,
  Dreary and gaunt, hanging his pallid face
  'Twixt his dark flowing locks, he almost seem'd
  Too feeble, or to melancholy eyes
  One that has parted with his soul for pride,
  And in the sable secret lived forlorn.'

"To show the depth and identicalness of the impression which he made
upon everybody, foreign or native, an Italian, who stood near me, said
to himself, after a sigh, O Dio!' and this had not been said long when
another person in the same manner exclaimed, 'O Christ!'  Musicians
pressed forward from behind the scenes to get as close to him as
possible, and they could not sleep at night for thinking of him."

Another writer shows us Paganini in his lodgings.

"Everything was lying in its usual disorder; here one violin, there
another, one snuff-box on the bed, another under one of the boy's
playthings.  Music, money, caps, letters, watches, and boots were
scattered about in the utmost confusion.  The chairs, tables, and even
the bed had all been removed from their proper places.  In the midst of
the chaos sat Paganini, his black silk nightcap covering his still
blacker hair, a yellow handkerchief carelessly tied around his neck,
and a chocolate-coloured jacket hanging loose upon his shoulders.  On
his knees he held Achillino, his little son of four years of age, at
that time in very bad humour because he had to allow his hands to be
washed.  His affectionate forbearance is truly wonderful.  Let the boy
be ever so troublesome, he never gets angry, but merely turns around
and observes to those present, 'The poor child is wearied; I do not
know what I shall do, I am already quite worn out with playing with
him.  I have been fighting with him all the morning; I have carried him
about; made him chocolate; I do not know what more to do!'

"It was enough to make one die of laughing to see Paganini in his
slippers fighting with his little son, who reached to about his knee.
Sometimes the little Achillino would get into a rage; draw his sabre
upon his father, who would retreat into the corner of the room and call
out, 'Enough, enough!  I am wounded already;' but the little fellow
would never leave off until he had laid his gigantic adversary
tottering and prostrate on the bed.  Paganini had now finished the
dressing of his Achillino, but was himself still in _dishabille_.  And
now arose the great difficulty, how to accomplish his own toilet, where
to find his neckcloth, his boots, his coat.  All were hid, and by
whom?--by Achillino.  The urchin laughed when he saw his father pacing
with long strides through the apartment, his searching looks glancing
in all directions; and upon his asking him where he had put his things,
the little wag pretended astonishment, and held his tongue, shrugged up
his shoulders, shook his head, and signified by his gesture that he
knew nothing about them.  After a long search, the boots were found;
they were hid under the trunk; the handkerchief lay in one of the
boots; the coat in the box; and the waistcoat in the drawer of the
table.  Every time that Paganini had found one of his things, he drew
it out in triumph, took a great pinch of snuff, and went with new zeal
to search for the remaining articles, always followed by the little
fellow, who enjoyed it vastly when he saw his papa searching in places
where he knew nothing was hid.  At last we went out, and Paganini shut
the door of the apartment, leaving behind him, lying about upon the
tables and in the cupboards, rings, watches, gold, and what I most
wondered at, his most precious violins.  Any idea of the insecurity of
his property never entered his head; and, fortunately for him, in the
lodgings which he occupied the people were honest."

The famous violinist, like the rest of us, had his faults, but we can
easily find instances to prove the kindness of his heart.

One day, while walking in Vienna, Paganini came across a poor boy
playing upon a violin.  He went up to him and learned that he
maintained his mother and a flock of little brothers and sisters by the
money which he picked up as an itinerant musician.  Paganini turned out
his pockets, gave the boy all the coins he could find, and then, taking
the boy's violin, commenced playing.  A crowd soon assembled, and, when
he had finished playing, Paganini went around with his hat, collected a
goodly sum, and then gave it to the boy, amid loud acclamations from
the bystanders.

In the autumn of 1832 Paganini was an invalid at Paris, and seldom saw
any one but Nicette, a merry country girl who waited upon him, and
often cheered him up in hours of sadness.  One morning she appeared
with weeping eyes, and waited upon the musician without saying a word.

"What's the matter, child?" said the musician.  "Has any misfortune
happened to you?"

"Alas! yes, sir."

"Speak! speak!  What is it?"

She was silent.

"Now, out with it," said he.  "I see it all clearly enough.  After he
had made you a thousand promises he has forsaken you.  Is it not so?"

"Alas! poor fellow, he has indeed forsaken me, but he is quite

"How has that happened?"

"He has drawn a bad number in the conscription, and must go off for a
soldier.  I shall never see him again!" sobbed the poor girl.

"But can't you buy a substitute for him?"

"How could I get such a large sum?  Fifteen hundred francs is the
lowest price, for there is a report that a war will soon break out,"
said she.

Paganini said no more, but when Nicette had left the room, he took his
pocketbook and wrote in it, "To think what can be done for poor

It was toward Christmas-time, and Paganini's health was improved, when
one afternoon Nicette came into the room where he was, and announced
that a box had come, addressed to Signer Paganini.  It was brought in,
and the first thing which he pulled out was a large wooden shoe.

"A wooden shoe," said Paganini, smiling.  "Some of these excellent
ladies wish to compare me with a child, who always receives presents
and never gives any.  Well, who knows but that this shoe may earn its
weight in gold?"

Nothing now was seen of Paganini for three days, during which time his
clever hand had transformed the shoe into a well-sounding instrument.
Soon afterward appeared an advertisement announcing that, on New Year's
eve, Paganini would give a concert, and play five pieces on the violin
and five on a wooden shoe.  A hundred tickets at twenty francs each
were instantly sold.  Paganini duly appeared, and played on his old
violin as he alone ever did.  Then, taking up the wooden shoe, he
commenced a descriptive fantasia.  There it was,--the departure of the
conscript, the cries of his betrothed at the parting, the camp life,
the battle and victory, the return-rejoicings, and marriage-bells, all
were vividly portrayed.

The company departed, but in the corner of the room stood Nicette,
sobbing bitterly.

"Here, Nicette," said Paganini, going up to her, "are two thousand
francs,--five hundred more than you require to purchase a substitute
for your betrothed.  That you may be able to begin housekeeping at
once, take this shoe-violin and sell it for as much as you can get for

Nicette did so, and a wealthy collector of curiosities gave her a very
large sum indeed for Paganini's wooden shoe.

Here is another anecdote of Paganini, as related by one who took part
in some of the frequent demands upon his goodness of heart.  When
Paganini was in London, he resided at No. 12 Great Pulteney Street, in
a house belonging to the Novellos, next door to which was a "young
ladies'" school, kept by a humpbacked old lady.  The girls were
perfectly aware who their next-door neighbour was, and, with the
fondness of female youth for mischief, had nicknamed Paganini "the

Now, in order to avoid being heard from the street, "the devil" used to
practise his violin in a back room, which happened to be divided only
by a thin partition from the next house.  The adjoining room was one
devoted by the old lady to the most advanced of her pupils, and here
they were allowed to do their needlework apart from the others, and
were frequently left to themselves.

When the cat's away, however, the mice will play.  The temptation to
make overtures to "the devil" was too great for the young ladies; and
whenever they heard him in his room, while one kept a lookout at the
door for the intrusions of "old humpback," there was a delicate
"tat-tat-tat" at the partition, and a half-singing, half-speaking call,
"Pag-an-in-ee, Pag-an-in-ee--the Carnival--'Carnival de Venise';"
whereupon he would go to his window, open it, and accede to the
request, playing the piece exactly as he did in public, nor did the
maestro ever once fail to gratify the wishes of his fair neighbours.

"Paganini received some enthusiastic receptions in his time, but
probably never a more spontaneous outburst than that which came from a
son of Erin's Isle, after one of his performances in Dublin.  On the
occasion in question, Paganini had just completed that successful
effort, the rondo _à la Sicilienne_ from 'La Clochette,' in which was a
silver bell accompaniment to the fiddle, producing a most original
effect (one of those effects, we presume, which have tended to
associate so much of the marvellous with the name of this genius).  No
sooner had the outburst of applause ended, than the excited Paddy in
the gallery shouted out as loud as he was able:

"'Arrah now, Paganini, just take a drop o' whisky, my darling, and ring
the bell again like that!'

"At a soirée given by Troupenas, the music publisher, in Paris, in
1830, Paganini gave one of the most wonderful exhibitions of his skill.
Rossini, Tamburini, Lablache, Rubini, De Beriot, and Malibran were of
the party.  Malibran, after singing one of her spirited arias,
challenged Paganini, who said, 'Madam, how could I dare, with all the
advantages you possess in beauty and your incomparable voice, take up
your glove?'  His declining was of no avail; the whole company, aware
that such an opportunity might never occur again, urged him most
strongly, and finally persuaded him to send for his violin.  After an
introduction, in which gleamed now and then the motive of Malibran's
song, he gave the whole melody with additional _fiorituras_, so that
the audience, amazed and overwhelmed, could not help confessing that he
was the master.  Malibran herself was most emphatic of all in
proclaiming him the victor."

Paganini's favourite violin was a Joseph Guarnerius.  An Italian
amateur, who evidently knew its value, lent it to the great maestro,
and, after hearing him play upon it, declared that no other hand should
touch it, and presented it to Paganini.  He left it to his native city
of Genoa, where it is preserved in the town hall.

Ferdinand Barth, who painted "Paganini in Prison," was the son of a
carpenter, and was born in Bavaria in the early forties.  For some time
he worked as a wood carver, and then began to paint, and studied at the
Munich Academy, under Piloty.  Probably his best known picture is
"Choosing the Casket," in which he has depicted the familiar scene from
the "Merchant of Venice."


Like Mozart, the composer of the "Songs without Words" had a sister, a
few years older than himself, who was possessed of great musical talent.

Mendelssohn's sister, Fanny, was born in 1805.  In 1829 she became the
wife of Wilhelm Hensel, a noted historical and portrait painter.
Probably the most valuable and interesting of his works is the series
of portraits of all the celebrities who, from time to time, were the
guests of the Mendelssohn family.  They number more than a thousand
drawings, and include, besides likenesses of poets, painters, and
philosophers, portraits of many people famous in the annals of
music,--Weber, Paganini, Ernst, Hiller, Liszt, Clara Schumann, Gounod,
Clara Novello, Lablache, and Grisi.

Rockstro tells the story of Fanny Mendelssohn's early death in the
following words:

"On Friday afternoon, the 14th of May, 1847, Madame Hensel, the beloved
sister Fanny, to whom, from earliest infancy, Felix, the child, the
boy, the man, had committed every secret of his beautiful art life; the
kindred spirit, with whom he had shared his every dream before his
first attempt to translate it into sound; the faithful friend who had
been more to him than any other member of the happy circle in the
Leipziger Strasse, of which, from first to last, she was the very life
and soul,--Fanny Hensel, the sister, the artist, the poet, while
conducting a rehearsal of the music for the next bright Sunday
gathering, was suddenly seized with paralysis; suffered her hands to
fall powerless from the piano at which she had so often presided; and,
an hour before midnight, was called away to join the beloved parents
whose death had been as sudden and painless as her own.  She had hoped
and prayed that she, too, might pass away as they had done, and her
prayer was granted; to her exceeding gain, but to the endless grief of
the brother who had loved her as himself.  On Sunday morning, in place
of the piano, a coffin, covered with flowers, stood in the well-known
hall in the Garden House.  And the life, of which that Garden House had
so long been the cherished home, became henceforth a memory of the

An English lady, Mrs. Florence Fenwick Miller, known not only as a
writer, but as an ardent advocate of woman suffrage, has in one of her
books written a chapter which she entitles "A Genius Wasted--Fanny
Mendelssohn."  She says: "One of the saddest instances with which the
world has ever become acquainted, of gifts repressed and faculties
wasted because of the sex of their possessor, is that of Fanny
Mendelssohn, the sister of the famous composer, Felix Mendelssohn.
With natural powers apparently fully as great as her brother's, Fanny
was not, indeed, denied all opportunity of cultivating them, but was
effectually prevented from utilising them, and, therefore, from fully
developing her genius or from displaying its force."

These two Jewish children were members of a family in which both
intellect, in its widest meaning, and musical talent, specifically,
were hereditary.  Their mother began to teach music both to the boy and
the girl in their early years.  Fanny, who was five years older than
her brother, was naturally more advanced than he; and when the two
children were allowed to show off their powers as pianists, it was
Fanny who always won the most applause.  They passed from their
mother's elementary tuition to that of superior teachers, L. Berger and
afterward Zeiter, and the former of these indicated Fanny as being, in
his opinion, the future great musician.

But a father and mother with a maiden of genius on their hands were
like a hen whose duckling takes to the water.  The difference of the
training of Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, as distinguished from their
musical education, is effectually indicated by the following letter
from their father to Fanny, written when she was fourteen years old.
After referring in terms of satisfaction to the compositions of both
his son and daughter, Abraham Mendelssohn proceeded to say to the
latter of his two gifted children:

"What you wrote to me about your musical occupations, with reference to
and in comparison with Felix, was both rightly thought and expressed.
Music will, perhaps, become _his_ profession (Felix was at this time
only nine years old.  Fanny was fourteen), whilst for _you_ it can and
must be only an ornament, never the root of your being and doing.  We
may, therefore, pardon him some ambition and desire to be acknowledged
in a pursuit which appears to him important, while it does you credit
that you have always shown yourself good and sensible in these matters;
and your very joy at the praise he earns proves that you might, in his
place, have merited equal approval.  Remain true to these sentiments
and to this line of conduct; they are feminine, and only what is truly
feminine is an ornament to your sex."

Ten more precious years of youth, the years of training and of hope,
passed by; the different ideal was persistently forced by the parents
upon the two, although Fanny, more fortunate than many girls, was,
nevertheless, allowed to study her art as well as she could in
intervals of housekeeping.  On her twenty-third birthday, her father
again felt it necessary to check his gifted daughter in her pursuit of
her art.  He wrote her a letter in which he praised her conduct in the

"However," he added, "you must still improve.  You must become still
more steady and collected, and prepare more earnestly and eagerly for
your real calling, the _only_ calling of a woman,--I mean the state of
a housewife.  Women have a difficult task; the constant occupation with
apparent trifles, the interception of each drop of rain, that it may
not evaporate, but be conducted into the right channel, the unremitting
attention to every detail,--all these are the weighty duties of a

The time came, at length, for Fanny Mendelssohn to love,--that crisis
came which stimulates a man in his work, and nerves him to fresh
efforts to make himself successful, that he may be worthy and able to
establish a home.  But to a woman this brings, only too often, yet
another heavy barrier in the way of success in any art or occupation.
So it was to Fanny Mendelssohn.

"Hensel was at first dreadfully jealous . . . even of Fanny's
art. . . .  Only _her_ letters have been preserved.  With
characteristic energy she refuses to sacrifice her brother to the
jealousy with which Hensel, in the beginning, regards her love for him,
but she consents to give up her friends, and even her music. . . .  She
never, in her thoughts, loses sight of that letter of her father's, in
which he calls the vocation of a housewife the only true aim and study
of a young woman, and in thinking of the man of her choice she
earnestly devotes herself to this aim."

What reprobation and what just indignation would be showered upon a
woman who should try to make the man of her choice give up his art, to
attend to her private comforts!

Although Fanny's good father and mother, yielding to the prejudices of
their day, had struggled to make housekeeping her main interest, and
music only her recreation, yet they had not denied her musical genius a
complete education.  Fanny was not only taught to play the piano in her
childhood, in company with Felix, but she was also allowed to receive
lessons in thorough bass and the theory of composition.  She was thus
rendered capable of the expression of her musical talents; and in
between her household duties, after, as well as before she became a
wife and mother, she often found time to compose.  Much of what she
wrote was of so high a character that her brother Felix felt no
hesitation in putting it forth to the world as _his_ own composition!
It is, apparently, impossible to discover which, amongst the works
published as those of Mendelssohn, were really those of his sister; but
references now and again occur in his private letters to the fact,
which thereby becomes incontrovertible, that he has claimed before the
public compositions which are hers exclusively.  The most famous of
such passages is one that has became widely known in consequence of its
quotation in Sir Theodore Martin's "Life of the Prince Consort."
Mendelssohn is telling of his visit to the queen, at Buckingham Palace,
in 1842.

"The queen said she was very fond of singing my published songs.  'You
should sing one to him,' said Prince Albert, and after a little begging
she said she would.  And what did she choose?  'Schöner und schöner
schmuckt sich;' sang it quite charmingly, in strict time and tune, and
with very good execution.  Then I was obliged to confess that Fanny had
written that song (which I found very hard, but pride must have a
fall), and to beg her to sing one of my own also."

As her father had kept her from appearing before the public when she
was young, so her brother strenuously opposed her wish to publish her
work in her maturity.  In the spring of 1837, Fanny, in defiance of
him, did issue one song with her own name to it.  It had a great
success, and Felix himself graciously wrote to her after it had been
performed at a concert; "I thank you, in the name of the public, for
publishing it against my wish."  Fanny's husband urged her to follow up
this success by issuing more of her works.  "Her mother was of the same
opinion, and begged Felix to persuade Fanny to publish.  The success
had not altered Felix's views, however, and he declined to persuade his
sister; and Fanny, who had herself no desire to appear in print,
readily gave up the idea."

Felix's influence sufficed to debar Fanny from all further attempt to
obtain recognition, after that one song, until the year 1846, when she
was forty-one years old.  Then the persuasions of another musical
friend led her to publish a small selection of her best work.  "Felix
had not altered his views, and it went against his wishes when he heard
that she had made up her mind to publish.  Some time passed before he
wrote on the subject at all, but on August 14th the following entry
appears in her diary: 'At last Felix has written, and given me his
professional blessing in the kindest manner.  I know that he is not
satisfied in his heart of hearts, but I am glad he has said a kind word
to me about it.'"

This little volume, too, was warmly received.  Encouraged by the
success of her published work,--delayed till so sadly late in
life,--tasting the stimulating elixir of appreciation, and knowing the
fascinating encouragement of public applause, she now began composition
on a larger scale than anything she had before attempted.  "I am
working a good deal," she wrote, "and feel that I get on,--a
consciousness which, added to the glorious weather, gives me a feeling
of content and happiness such as I have, perhaps, never before

Alas! it came too late.  In the spring of the next year, Fanny
Mendelssohn died, aged forty-two.  Her grand playing, "which made
people afraid to perform in her presence," went down with her into the
silence of her grave; and the musical genius and originality which
should have left a lasting mark in the world faded, too, leaving but a
few small tokens of what might have been.

The "Songs without Words" are more closely associated with Mendelssohn
than any other of his works.  The composer considered that music is
more definite than words, and these lovely songs had as exact an
intention as those which were written to accompany poetry.  It was in a
letter of Fanny Mendelssohn's, dated December 8, 1828, that their title
first appeared, and they are referred to as if Mendelssohn had but
lately begun to write them.  On the day after his arrival in London,
April 24, 1832, he played the first six to Moscheles.  The earliest one
is No. 2, of Book 2, which Felix sent to his sister Fanny in 1830.  "In
a Gondola," the last song in the first book, is said to be the earliest
of the six, in date.  A few only were given titles by the composer.
Six books, each containing six songs, were published during his life,
and the seventh and eighth after his early death.

[Illustration: Song without Words.  From painting by R. Poetzelberger.]

We reproduce the charming picture by a German painter, which, entitled
"Song without Words," is said to represent the young Mendelssohn and
his sister Fanny seated at the piano, side by side.  Poetzelberger's
other works, which he has named "Con Amore," "Old Songs," and
"Trifling," are also distinguished by their graceful sentiment.


Liszt, the friend and rival of Chopin, wrote a biography of him which
may almost be ranked among the curiosities of literature.  Liszt was a
genius, but not a good biographer, and his life of Chopin is largely a

For instance, Liszt writes thus about Chopin's short-lived passion for
the singer Constantia Gladkowska.  "The tempest, which, in one of its
sudden gusts, tore Chopin from his native soil, like a bird dreamy and
abstracted, surprised by the storm, upon the branches of a foreign
tree, sundered the ties of this first love and robbed the exile of a
faithful and devoted wife, as well as disinherited him of a country."
And the same tendency to "gush" is here again apparent.  "Chopin," he
says, "could easily read the hearts which were attracted to him by
friendship and the grace of his youth, and thus was enabled early to
learn of what a strange mixture of leaven and cream of roses, of
gunpowder and tears of angels, the poetic ideal of his nation is
formed.  When his wandering fingers ran over the keys, suddenly
touching some moving chords, he could see how the furtive tears coursed
down the cheeks of the loving girl, or the young, neglected wife; how
they moistened the eyes of the young man, enamoured of and eager for
glory.  Can we not fancy some young beauty asking him to play a simple
prelude, then, softened by the tones, leaning her rounded arms upon the
instrument to support her dreaming head, while she suffered the young
artist to divine in the dewy glitter of her lustrous eyes the song sung
by her youthful heart?"

It has been asserted both by Liszt and others that Chopin owed his
musical education to the generosity of Prince Anton Radziwill, but the
statement is untrue.  That wealthy and cultured nobleman was, however,
always a warm friend and helpful patron of the great Polish pianist,
who often visited the prince at his country-seat.  Prince Radziwill was
a musician himself,--a good singer and "cellist," and the composer of
numerous pieces, among them being the first portions of Goethe's
"Faust."  To him Chopin dedicated his first trio for pianoforte,
violin, and violoncello, published in 1833.  Chopin seems to have
passed a very pleasant time with the prince and his family, and,
indeed, not to have been blind to the fascinations of the prince's
charming daughters, one of whom was an excellent pianist.  The prince
himself was no mean performer on the violoncello, and he and Chopin
played a good deal together.  Writing from Antonin, Chopin says: "I
have written during my stay here an _Alla Polacca_ with violoncello.
It is nothing more than a brilliant salon piece, such as pleases
ladies.  I should like the Princess Wanda to practise it.  She is only
seventeen years of age, and very beautiful; it would be delightful to
have the pleasure of placing her pretty fingers upon the keys."  Chopin
was a susceptible being and ever a victim to the latest impression, so
it is not strange that the lovely Wanda was soon forgotten.

[Illustration: Chopin at Prince Radziwill's.  From painting by H.

A countryman of Chopin's, the distinguished artist, Siemiradski, has
produced a picture of the young pianist playing in the salon of Prince
Radziwill, which itself convinces us of its truthfulness.  The painter
(born in 1843, and a pupil of Piloty) secured a wide renown through his
painting of "The Living Torches of Nero."  From a long list of notable
pictures by Siemiradski, we select for mention "Phryne at Eleusis,"
"The Sword Dance," and "The Cremation of a Russian Chieftain in the
Tenth Century."

Twenty years from the time at which Siemiradski has painted Chopin, the
great pianist lay on his death-bed in Paris.  "His sister never left
him for a moment.  His dearest friend and pupil, Gutmann, was also now
constantly with him, and both friend and sister felt that the end was
not far off.  On the 15th of October, his friend, the Comtesse Delphine
Potocka, arrived in Paris, having hastened from Nice, where she was at
the time, directly she heard of the master's illness.  No sooner was he
made aware of her presence than he implored her to sing to him."  Says
Liszt; "Who could have ventured to oppose his wish?  The piano was
rolled to the door of his chamber, while with sobs in her voice and
tears streaming down her cheeks his gifted countrywoman sang.  She sang
the famous 'Canticle to the Virgin,' which, it is said, once saved the
life of Stradella.  'How beautiful it is!' he exclaimed.  'My God, how
very beautiful!  Again, again!'  Though overwhelmed with emotion, the
countess had the noble courage to comply with the last wish of a friend
and compatriot.  She again took a seat at the piano, and sang a hymn
from Marcello.  Chopin now feeling worse, everybody was seized with
fright; by a spontaneous impulse all who were present threw themselves
upon their knees--no one ventured to speak; the sacred silence was only
broken by the voice of the singer floating, like a melody from heaven,
above the sighs and sobs which formed its mournful earth
accompaniment."  Since the publication of Professor Niecks's biography,
considerable doubt must be felt as to the accuracy of Liszt's statement
touching upon what the lady sang; for he states that "Gutmann
positively asserted that she sang a psalm by Marcello, and an air by
Pergolesi, while Franchomme insisted on her having sung an air from
Bellini's 'Beatrice di Tenda,' and that only once, and nothing else."
We know that both the authors of these statements were present, whereas
Liszt was not; but while that leaves no doubt as to the incorrectness
of the abbé in this particular, it does not help us in deciding between
the relative statements of the two witnesses.  This, of course, is
impossible, as there is nothing whatever to guide us to a trustworthy
decision.  To Professor Niecks, also, do we owe much of interest
concerning these last hours of the master, inasmuch as he has brought
to light much new testimony of a further witness, M. Gavard, who
relates how, on the day following, Chopin called around him those
friends who were with him in his apartment.  To the Princess
Czartoryska and Mlle. Gavard, he said, "You will play together, you
will think of me, and I shall listen to you."  Beckoning to Franchomme,
he said to the princess, "I recommend Franchomme to you; you will play
Mozart together, and I shall listen to you!"  How well he was cared
for, and how much devotion and tenderness were lavished upon him, we
can judge from another letter of M. Gavard, quoted by Professor Niecks,
in which he says: "In the back room lay the poor sufferer, tormented by
fits of breathlessness, and only sitting in bed resting in the arms of
a friend could he procure air for his oppressed lungs.  It was Gutmann,
the strongest amongst us, who knew best how to manage the patient, and
who mostly thus supported him.  At the head of his bed sat Princess
Czartoryska; she never left him, guessing his most secret wishes,
nursing him like a Sister of Mercy, with a serene countenance which did
not betray her deep sorrow.  Other friends gave a helping hand to
relieve her,--every one according to his power; but most of them stayed
in the two adjoining rooms.  Every one had assumed a part; every one
helped as much as he could,--one ran to the doctor's, to the
apothecary; another introduced the persons asked for; a third shut the
door on intruders.

"But, alas! the door was not to be shut upon the greatest of all
intruders, and on the evening of the 16th of October the Abbé Alexander
Jelowicki, the Polish priest, was sent for, as Chopin, saying that he
had not confessed for many years, wished to do so now.  After the
confession was over, and the absolution pronounced, Chopin, embracing
his confessor, exclaimed, 'Thanks! thanks to you, I shall not now die
like a pig.'  The same evening two doctors examined him.  His
difficulty in breathing now seemed intense; but on being asked whether
he still suffered, he replied, 'No longer.'  His face had already
assumed the pure serenity of death, and every minute was expected to be
the last.  Just before the end--at two o'clock of the morning of the
seventeenth--he drank some wine handed to him by Gutmann, who held the
glass to his lips.  '_Cher ami_!' he said, and, kissing his faithful
pupil's hands, he died.  'He died as he had lived,' says Liszt, 'in

[Illustration: The Death of Chopin.  From painting by Felix Joseph

Barrias has worthily painted the last scene in the life of Chopin.  A
native of Paris, where he was born in 1822, this artist has to his
credit a long list of meritorious works which have secured him many
honours.  They include the "Exiles under Tiberius," in the Luxembourg,
"The Death of Socrates," "Sappho," "Dante at Ravenna," "The Fairy of
the Pearls," "The Sirens," "The Triumph of Venus," and "Camille
Desmoulins at the Palais Royal," in addition to a number of important
decorative works.  The "Death of Chopin" was exhibited in 1885.  A gold
medal was bestowed upon Barrias at the Paris Exposition of 1889, when
the artist was in his sixty-seventh year.  The critic, Roger Ballu,
said of him: "A painter of style, very careful of the dignity of his
art, he has never made a compromise with the taste of the day."


Among the chief mourners at Chopin's funeral was Meyerbeer, who, though
German by birth and training, passed the most important years of his
life in Paris, as did the gifted Pole.  In our picture Hamman has
represented the composer enthroned amid the characters of his chief
operas, doubtless as real to him as creatures of flesh and blood.

[Illustration: Mayerbeer.  From painting by E. J. C. Hamman.]

In the foreground, at Meyerbeer's right hand, are seen Nelusko and
Selika, from "L'Africaine," his last opera, which was not produced
until the year after his death.  "Vasco da Gama, the famous discoverer,
is the betrothed lover of a maiden named Inez, the daughter of Don
Diego, a Portuguese grandee.  When the opera opens he is still at sea,
and has not been heard of for years.  Don Pedro, the president of the
council, takes advantage of his absence to press his own suit for the
hand of Inez, and obtains the king's sanction to his marriage on the
ground that Vasco must have been lost at sea.  At this moment the
long-lost hero returns, accompanied by two swarthy slaves, Selika and
Nelusko, whom he has brought home from a distant isle in the Indian
Ocean.  He recounts the wonders of the place, and entreats the
government to send out a pioneer expedition to win an empire across the
sea.  His suggestions are rejected, and he himself, through the
machinations of Don Pedro, is cast into prison.  There he is tended by
Selika, who loves her gentle captor passionately, and has need of all
her regal authority--for in the distant island she was a queen--to
prevent the jealous Nelusko from slaying him in his sleep.  Inez now
comes to the prison to announce to Vasco that she has purchased his
liberty at the price of giving her hand to Don Pedro.  In the next act
Don Pedro, who has stolen a march on Vasco, is on his way to the
African island, taking with him Inez and Selika.  The steering of the
vessel is entrusted to Nelusko.  Vasco da Gama, who has fitted out a
vessel at his own expense, overtakes Don Pedro in mid-ocean, and
generously warns his rival of the treachery of Nelusko, who is steering
the vessel upon the rocks of his native shore.  Don Pedro's only reply
is to order Vasco to be tied to the mast and shot, but before the
sentence can be carried out, the vessel strikes upon the rocks, and the
aborigines swarm over the sides.  Selika, once more a queen, saves the
lives of Vasco and Inez from the angry natives.  In the next act the
nuptials of Selika and Vasco are on the point of being celebrated, with
great pomp, when the hero, who has throughout the opera wavered between
the two women who love him, finally makes up his mind in favour of
Inez.  Selika thereupon magnanimously despatches them home in Vasco's
ship, and poisons herself with the fragrance of the deadly manchineel

Behind Selika appear Robert and Bertram, from "Robert le Diable," the
first work of the composer's French period, produced in 1831.  Its
libretto, by Scribe, tells how "Robert, Duke of Normandy, the son of
the Duchess Bertha by a fiend who donned the shape of man to prosecute
his amour, arrives in Sicily to compete for the hand of the Princess
Isabella, which is to be awarded as the prize at a magnificent
tournament.  Robert's dare-devil gallantry and extravagance soon earn
him the sobriquet of 'Le Diable,' and he puts the coping-stone to his
folly by gambling away all his possessions at a single sitting, even to
his horse and the armour on his back.  Robert has an _âme damnée_ in
the shape of a knight named Bertram, to whose malign influence most of
his crimes and follies are due.  Bertram is in reality his
demon-father, whose every effort is directed to making a thorough-paced
villain of his son, so that he may have the pleasure of enjoying his
society for all eternity.  In strong contrast to the fiendish
malevolence of Bertram stands the gentle figure of Alice, Robert's
foster-sister, who has followed him from Normandy with a message from
his dead mother.  Isabella supplies Robert with a fresh horse and arms;
nevertheless, he is beguiled away from Palermo by some trickery of
Bertram's, and fails to put in an appearance at the tournament.  The
only means, therefore, left to him of obtaining the hand of Isabella is
to visit the tomb of his mother, and there to pluck a magic branch of
cypress, which will enable him to defeat his rivals.  The cypress grows
in a deserted convent haunted by the spectres of profligate nuns, and
there, amidst infernal orgies, Robert plucks the branch of power.  By
its aid, he sends the guards of the princess into a deep sleep, and is
only prevented by her passionate entreaties from carrying her off by
force.  Yielding to her prayers, he breaks the branch, and his magic
power at once deserts him.  He seeks sanctuary from his enemies in the
cathedral, and there the last and fiercest strife for the possession of
his soul is waged between the powers of good and evil.  On the one hand
is Bertram, whose term of power on earth expires at midnight.  He has
now discovered himself as Robert's father, and produced an infernal
compact of union, which he entreats his son to sign.  On the other is
Alice, pleading and affectionate, bearing the last words of Robert's
dead mother, warning him against the fiend who had seduced her.  While
Robert is hesitating between the two, midnight strikes, and Bertram
sinks with thunder into the pit.  The scene changes, and a glimpse is
given of the interior of the cathedral, where the marriage of Robert
and Isabella is being celebrated."

Next to the evil Bertram is portrayed, in his coronation robes, John of
Leyden, the chief character in "Le Prophète," which had its first
representation in 1849.  "John, an innkeeper of Leyden, loves Bertha, a
village maiden, who dwells near Dordrecht.  Unfortunately, her liege
lord, the Count of Oberthal, has designs upon the girl himself, and
refuses his consent to the marriage.  Bertha escapes from his clutches
and flies to the protection of her lover, but Oberthal secures the
person of Fidès, John's old mother, and, by threats of putting her to
death, compels him to give up Bertha.  Wild with rage against the vice
and lawlessness of the nobles, John joins the ranks of the Anabaptists,
a revolutionary sect pledged to the destruction of the powers that be.
Their leaders recognise him as a prophet promised by Heaven, and he is
installed as their chief.  The Anabaptists lay siege to Munster, which
falls into their hands, and in the cathedral John is solemnly
proclaimed the Son of God.  During the ceremony he is recognised by
Fidès, who, believing him to have been slain by the false prophet, has
followed the army to Munster in hopes of revenge.  She rushes forward
to claim her son, but John pretends not to know her.  To admit an
earthly relationship would be to prejudice his position with the
populace, and he compels her to confess that she is mistaken.  The
coronation ends with John's triumph, while the hapless Fidès is carried
off to be immured in a dungeon.  John visits her in her cell, and
obtains her pardon by promising to renounce his deceitful splendour,
and to fly with her.  Later he discovers that a plot against himself
has been hatched by some of the Anabaptist leaders, and he destroys
himself and them by blowing up the palace of Munster."

In front of John of Leyden are the leading personages in "Les
Huguenots."  Raoul is kneeling to Valentine, while the wounded Marcel
stands by, sword in hand.  Eugene Scribe was the author of the words of
this opera, which dates from 1836, and is thus summarised: "Marguerite
de Valois, the beautiful Queen of Navarre, who is anxious to reconcile
the bitterly hostile parties of Catholics and Huguenots, persuades the
Comte de Saint Bris, a prominent Catholic, to allow his daughter
Valentine to marry Raoul de Nangis, a young Huguenot noble.  Valentine
is already betrothed to the gallant and amorous Comte de Nevers, but
she pays him a nocturnal visit in his own palace, and induces him to
release her from her engagement.  During her interview with Nevers, she
is perceived by Raoul, and recognised as a lady whom he lately rescued
from insult and has loved passionately ever since.  In his eyes there
is only one possible construction to be put upon her presence in
Nevers's palace, and he hastens to dismiss her from his mind.
Immediately upon his decision comes a message from the queen, bidding
him hasten to her palace in Touraine upon important affairs of state.
When he arrives she unfolds her plan, and he, knowing Valentine only by
sight, not by name, gladly consents.  When, in the presence of the
assembled nobles, he recognises in his destined bride the presumed
mistress of Nevers, he casts her from him, and vows to prefer death to
such intolerable disgrace.  The scene of the next act is in the Pré aux
Clercs, in the outskirts of Paris.  Valentine, who is to be married
that night to Nevers, obtains leave to pass some hours in prayer in a
chapel.  While she is there she overhears the details of a plot devised
by Saint Bris for the assassination of Raoul, in order to avenge the
affront put upon himself and his daughter.  Valentine contrives to warn
Marcel, Raoul's old servant, of this, and he assembles his Huguenot
comrades hard by, who rush in at the first _cliquetis_ of steel and
join the general _mêlée_.  The fight is interrupted by the entrance of
the queen.  When she finds out who are the principal combatants, she
reproves them sharply, and _en passant_ tells Raoul the real story of
Valentine's visit to Nevers.  The act ends with the marriage
festivities, while Raoul is torn by an agony of love and remorse.  In
the next act Raoul contrives to gain admittance to Nevers's house, and
there has an interview with Valentine.  They are interrupted by the
entrance of Saint Bris and his followers, whereupon Valentine conceals
Raoul behind the arras.  From his place of concealment he hears Saint
Bris unfold the plan of the massacre of Saint Bartholomew, which is to
be carried out that night.  The conspirators swear a solemn oath to
exterminate the Huguenots, and their daggers are consecrated by
attendant priests.  Nevers alone refuses to take part in the butchery.
When they all have left, Raoul comes out of his hiding-place, and, in
spite of the prayers and protestations of Valentine, leaps from the
window at the sound of the fatal tocsin, and hastens to join his
friends.  In the last act, Raoul first warns Henry of Navarre and the
Huguenot nobles, assembled at the Hôtel de Sens, of the massacre, and
then joins the _mêlée_ in the streets.  Valentine has followed him,
and, after vainly endeavouring to make him don the white scarf, which
is worn that night by all Catholics, she throws in her lot with him,
and dies in his arms, after they have been solemnly joined in wedlock
by the wounded and dying Marcel."


"Had it not been for Meyerbeer, my wife and I would have starved in
Paris," Wagner once told a friend, in speaking of his dark days, and he
always esteemed the composer as a man, though his honesty in art
matters forced him to condemn Meyerbeer's music.

Wagner wandered over Europe for many years.  Born in Leipsic and dying
in Venice, he lived in many cities during the years between.  His youth
was spent at Leipsic and Dresden; then he was choir-master at Wurzburg;
next musical director at the Magdeburg theatre, conductor at Königsberg
and at Riga.  Proceeding thence by way of London to Paris, in 1839, he
remained in the French capital until the spring of 1842, thence going
to Dresden, where he served as court conductor for seven years.  Forced
to fly from Dresden because of his part in the uprising of 1849, he at
first went to Liszt at Weimar, and then to Zurich by way of Paris.  At
Zurich he stayed, with some intermission, until 1861, when he received
permission to return to Germany.  The misfortunes he met there decided
him, after three years, to return to Switzerland, and he was on his way
thither when Ludwig II. ascended the throne of Bavaria, and invited him
to go to Munich and work.  The end of 1865 found Wagner at the lovely
Villa Triebschen, on Lake Lucerne, where he composed the
"Meistersinger," and worked on the "Nibelungen."  In 1872, Wagner
settled in Bayreuth, where, soon after, the house which he called
"Wahnfried" was built for him.

At last the great composer's wanderings were coming to an end, but, as
we have said, he died in Venice, and not at his own home.  He was,
however, buried there, in the garden of the villa.

It is at "Wahnfried" that the artist has drawn Wagner discussing some
musical question with Liszt, Frau Wagner seated near by.

[Illustration: Wagner at Home.  From painting by W. Beckmann.]

Wagner's first wife was a beautiful and talented actress and singer, by
name Wilhelmina Planer, whom he married at Riga in 1834.  She was a
faithful helpmate for years, sacrificing to him her own career, but did
not comprehend his genius, and as years went by they drifted apart.
The composer's professional intercourse with Hans von Bülow led to an
intimacy with the latter's wife, Cosima von Bülow, who was an
illegitimate daughter of Liszt by the Countess d'Agoult.  In 1861
Richard and Wilhelmina Wagner separated, and in 1866 she died.  Four
years later, Cosima, then divorced from Von Bülow, was married to
Wagner, whom she both worshipped and well understood.  Their union was
a very happy one, blest with one son named Siegfried, and Madame Wagner
long survived her illustrious husband, and laboured indefatigably to
carry on his work and increase his fame.

Wagner owed much to Cosima, born Liszt, and still more to her father,
who was a never-failing friend.  In a work published in 1851, Wagner
says: "I was thoroughly disheartened from undertaking any artistic
scheme.  Only recently I had proofs of the impossibility of making my
art intelligible to the public, and all this deterred me from beginning
new dramatic works.  Indeed, I thought that everything was at an end
with artistic creativeness.  From this state of mental dejection I was
raised by a friend.  By most evident and undeniable proofs, he made me
feel that I was not deserted, but, on the contrary, understood deeply
by those even who were otherwise most distant from me; in this way he
gave me back my full artistic confidence.

"This wonderful friend, Franz Liszt has been to me.  I must enter a
little more deeply into the character of this friendship, which to many
has seemed paradoxical; indeed, I have been compelled to appear
repellent and hostile on so many sides, that I almost feel the want of
disclosing all that relates to this sympathetic intercourse.

"I met Liszt for the first time in Paris, and at a period when I had
renounced the hope, nay, even the wish, of a Parisian reputation; and,
indeed, was in a state of internal revolt against the artistic life I
found there.  At our meeting Liszt appeared the most perfect contrast
to my own being and situation.  In the Parisian society, to which it
had been my desire to fly from my narrow circumstances, Liszt had grown
up from his earliest age, so as to be the object of general love and
admiration, at a time when I was repulsed by general coldness and want
of sympathy.  In consequence, I looked upon him with suspicion.  I had
no opportunity of disclosing my being and work to him, and therefore
the reception I met with on his part was altogether of a superficial
kind, as indeed was quite natural in a man to whom every day the most
divergent impressions claimed access.  But I was not in a mood to look
with unprejudiced eyes for the natural cause of his behaviour, which,
friendly and obliging in itself, could not but hurt me in that state of
my mind.  I never repeated my first call on Liszt, and, without knowing
or even wishing to know him, I was prone to look upon him as strange
and adverse to my nature.

"My repeated expression of this feeling was afterward reported to
Liszt, just at the time when the performance of my 'Rienzi,' at
Dresden, attracted general attention.  He was surprised to find himself
misunderstood with such violence by a man whom he had scarcely known,
and whose acquaintance now seemed not without value to him.  I am still
touched at recollecting the repeated and eager attempts he made to
change my opinion of him, even before he knew any of my works.  He
acted not from any artistic sympathy, but led by the purely human wish
of discontinuing a casual disharmony between himself and a fellow
creature; perhaps he also felt an infinitely tender misgiving of having
hurt me unconsciously.  He who knows the terrible selfishness and
insensibility in our social life, and especially in the relations of
modern artists to each other, cannot but be struck with wonder, nay,
delight, by the treatment I experienced from this extraordinary man.

"Liszt soon afterward witnessed a performance of 'Rienzi,' at Dresden,
on which he had almost to insist, and after that I heard from all the
different corners of the world, where he had been on his artistic
excursions, how he had everywhere expressed his delight with my music,
and indeed had--I would rather believe unintentionally--canvassed
people's opinions in my favour.

"This happened at a time when it became more and more evident that my
dramatic works would have no outward success.  But just when the case
seemed desperate, Liszt succeeded by his own energy in opening a
hopeful refuge to my art.  He ceased his wanderings, settled down in
the small and modest Weimar, and took up the conductor's _bâton_, after
having been at home so long in the splendour of the greatest cities of
Europe.  At Weimar I saw him for the last time, when I rested a few
days in Thuringia, not yet certain whether my threatening prosecution
would compel me to continue my flight from Germany.  The very day when
my personal danger became a certainty, I saw Liszt conducting a
rehearsal of my 'Tannhäuser,' and was astonished at recognising my
second self in his achievements.  What I had felt in inventing the
music, he felt in performing it; what I wanted to express in writing it
down, he proclaimed in making it sound.  Strange to say, through the
love of this rarest friend, I gained, at the moment of becoming
homeless, a real home for my art, which I had longed and sought for
always in the wrong place.

"At the end of my last stay at Paris, when ill, broken down, and
despairing, I sat brooding over my fate, my eyes fell on the score of
my 'Lohengrin,' totally forgotten by me.  Suddenly I felt something
like compassion that this music should never sound from off the
death-pale paper.  I wrote two lines to Liszt; his answer was the news
that preparations for the performance were being made on the largest
scale the limited means of Weimar would permit.  Everything that men
and circumstances could do was done in order to make the work
understood. . . .  Errors and misconceptions impeded the desired
success.  What was to be done to supply what was wanted, so as to
further the true understanding on all sides, and with it the ultimate
success of the work?  Liszt saw it at once and did it.  He gave to the
public his own impression of the work in a manner the convincing
eloquence and overpowering efficacy of which remain unequalled.
Success was his reward, and with this success he now approaches me,
saying: 'Behold, we have come so far, now create us a new work that we
may go still further.'"


In a letter written to Franz von Schober, the poet and writer, and the
intimate friend of Schubert, in 1840, Liszt says: "Most affectionate
remembrances to Kriehuber.  His two portraits of me have been copied in
London.  They are without doubt the best."

Joseph Kriehuber, whose fine drawing of Liszt at the piano, playing
Beethoven's C sharp minor sonata to some friends, we reproduce, was a
Viennese artist of great talent, who made many excellent portraits in
pencil, lithography, water-colours, and miniatures.  In this work,
Kriehuber has introduced a portrait of himself seated at the left of
the pianist, with pencil and sketchbook in hand.  Behind the piano
stands Berlioz, and next him is Czerny, the celebrated music teacher
and composer, and the teacher of Liszt.

[Illustration: A Morning with Liszt.  From drawing by Joseph Kriehuber.]

We will quote here an interesting letter, written from Paris by Liszt
to Czerny.  At this time Liszt was but seventeen years old.

"MY VERY DEAR MASTER:--When I think of all the immense obligations
under which I am placed toward you, and at the same time consider how
long I have left you without a sign of remembrance, I am perfectly
ashamed and miserable, and in despair of ever being forgiven by you!
'Yes,' I said to myself, with a deep feeling of bitterness, 'I am an
ungrateful fellow, I have forgotten my benefactor, I have forgotten
that good master to whom I owe both my talent and my success.' . . .
At these words a tear starts to my eyes, and I assure you that no
repentant tear was ever more sincere!  Receive it as an expiation, and
pardon me, for I cannot any longer bear the idea that you have any
ill-feeling toward me.  You will pardon me, my dear master, won't you?
Embrace me then . . . good!  Now my heart is light.

"You have doubtless heard that I have been playing your admirable works
here with the greatest success, and all the glory ought to be given to
you.  I intended to have played your variations on the 'Pirate' the day
after to-morrow, at a very brilliant concert, that I was to have given
at the theatre of H. R. H. Madame, who was to have been present as well
as the Duchess of Orleans; but man proposes and God disposes.  I have
suddenly caught the measles, and have been obliged to say farewell to
the concert; but it is not given up because it is put off, and I hope,
as soon as ever I am well again, to have the pleasure of making these
beautiful variations known to a large public.

"Pixis and several other people have spoken much to me of four
concertos that you have lately finished, and the reputation of which is
already making a stir in Paris.  I should be very much pleased, my dear
master, if you would commission me to get them sold.  This would be
quite easy for me to do, and I should also have the pleasure of playing
them from first hand, either at the opera or at some big concerts.  If
my proposition pleases you, send them to me by the Austrian Embassy,
marking the price that you would like to have for them.  As regards any
passages to be altered, if there are any, you need only mark them with
a red pencil, according to your plan which I know so well, and I will
point them out to the editor with the utmost care.  Give me at the same
time some news about music and pianists in Vienna; and finally tell me,
dear master, which of your compositions you think would make the best
effect in society.

"I close by sending you my heartfelt greetings, and begging you once
more to pardon the shameful silence I have kept toward you: be assured
that it has given me as much pain as yourself!

"Your very affectionate and grateful pupil,

  "_December 23, 1828_.

"P. S.--Please answer me as soon as possible, for I am longing for a
letter from you; and please embrace your excellent parents from me.  I
add my address (Rue Montholon, No. 7bis)."

Returning to Kriehuber's picture, we see, on the master's right, Ernst,
the famous violinist.  Writing to his pupil and friend, Franz Kroll,
from Weimar in 1845, Liszt speaks thus of Ernst:

"Ernst has just been spending a week here, during which he has played
some hundred rubbers of whist at the 'Erbprinz.'  His is a noble,
sweet, and delicate nature, and more than once during his stay I have
caught myself regretting _you_ for him, and regretting _him_ for you.
Last Monday he was good enough to play, in his usual and admirable
manner, at the concert for the Orchestral Pension Fund.  The pieces he
had selected were his new 'Concerto Pathétique' (in F sharp minor) and
an extremely piquant and brilliant 'Caprice on Hungarian Melodies.'
(This latter piece is dedicated to me.)  The public was in a good
humour, even really warm, which is usually one of its least faults."

The following epistle, written by Liszt to Ernst, and dated at Weimar,
May 30, 1849, is of special interest because of its references to

"DEAR FRIEND:--Weimar has not forgotten you, and I hope soon to be
able, after the return of the hereditary prince, whom we expect for the
day of his _fête_, by the 24th of May at the very latest, to forward to
you the token of the distinguished remembrance in which you are held.
It pleases me to think that it will be agreeable to you, and that it
will tend to attach you more in the sequel to people worthy to
appreciate you.

"I should have desired to tell you sooner of this, but the inevitable
delays in present circumstances postpone more than one wish.

"After the deplorable days in Dresden Wagner came here, and only
departed again in order to escape from a warrant (_lettre de cachet_)
with which the Saxon government is pursuing him.  I hope that at the
present moment he will have arrived safe and well in Paris, where his
career of dramatic composer cannot fail to be extended, and in grand
proportions.  He is a man of evident genius, who must of necessity
obtrude himself on the general admiration, and hold a high place in
contemporary art.  I regret that you have not had the opportunity of
hearing his 'Tannhäuser,' which is for me the most lyric of dramas, the
most remarkable, the most harmonious, the most complete, the most
original and _selbstwürdig_ (the most worthy of his country), both in
foundation and form, that Germany has produced since Weber.  Belloni
has, I believe, written to you on the subject of Wagner, to ask for
information as to the actual state of the English opera in London.

"I make no doubt that if it were possible for Wagner to obtain from the
directors a tour of performances in the course of the year for a new
work ('Lohengrin,' the subject of which, having reference to the
Knights of the Round Table who went to search for the Holy Grail, is of
the most poetic interest), he would make a great sensation and large
receipts by it.  As soon as he tells me the news of his arrival in
Paris, allow me to induce him to write to you direct, if his plans do
not change in this matter."

As for Berlioz, we find Liszt in 1854 endeavouring to aid him in
securing a production of "Benvenuto Cellini."  Liszt writes about it to
Wilhelm Fischer, chorus director at Dresden, thus:

"DEAR SIR AND FRIEND:--Your letter has given me real pleasure, and I
send you my warmest thanks for your artistic resolve to bring 'Cellini'
to a hearing in Dresden.  Berlioz has taken the score with him to Paris
from Weimar, in order to make some alterations and simplifications in
it.  I wrote to him the day before yesterday, and expect the score with
the pianoforte edition, which I will immediately send you to Dresden.
Tichatschek is just made for the title rôle, and will make a splendid
effect with it; the same with Mitterwurzer as Fieramosca, and Madame
Krebs as Ascanio, a mezzo-soprano part.  From your extremely effective
choruses, with their thorough musicianly drilling, we may expect a
force never yet attained in the great carnival scene (finale of the
second act); and I am convinced that, when you have looked more closely
into the score, you will be of my opinion that 'Cellini,' with the
exception of the Wagner operas,--and they should never be put into
comparison with one another,--is the most important, most original
musical dramatic work of art which the last twenty years have to show.

"I must also beg for a little delay in sending you the score and the
pianoforte edition, as it is necessary entirely to revise the German
text and to have it written out again.  I think this work will be ready
in a few weeks, so you may expect the pianoforte edition at the
beginning of February.  At Easter Berlioz is coming to Dresden to
conduct a couple of concerts in the theatre there.  It would be
splendid if you should succeed in your endeavours to make Herr von
Luttichau fix an early date for the 'Cellini' performance, and if you
could get Berlioz to conduct his own work when he is in Dresden.  In
any case, I shall come to the first performance, and promise myself a
very satisfactory and delightful result.

"Meanwhile, dear friend, accept my best thanks once more for this
project, and for all that you will do to realise it successfully, and
receive the assurance of the high esteem of

Yours very truly,
  "F. LISZT,

"_Weimar, January 4 (1854)._"

A few years later, in 1862, Liszt addresses his friend, Dr. Franz
Brendel, the writer on music, saying:

"I have just received a few lines from Berlioz.  Schuberth, whom I
commissioned before I left to send the dedication copy of the 'Faust'
score to Berlioz, has again in his incompetent _good nature_ forgotten
it, and perhaps even from motives of economy has not had the
_dedication plate_ engraved at all!  Forgive me, dear friend, if I
trouble you once more with this affair, and beg you to put an
_execution_ on Schuberth in order to force a copy with the _dedication
page_ from him.  The dedication shall be just as simple as that of the
Dante symphony, containing only the name of the dedicatee, as follows:

    "'To Hector Berlioz.'

"After this indispensable matter has been arranged, I beg that you will
be so kind as to have a tasteful copy, _bound in red or dark green_,
sent perhaps through Pohl (?) to Berlioz at Baden (where he will be at
the beginning of August)."

Liszt was always generous to a fault; he carried charity almost to
excess.  If it were possible that his art could be forgotten, his name
would still be gratefully remembered for his numberless deeds of
kindness.  We have quoted Wagner's acknowledgment of Liszt's exertions
in his cause, and his efforts on behalf of Robert Franz rescued that
composer from poverty when old age was coming upon him.  Beethoven was
always the object of Liszt's worship, and the monument to the master at
Bonn was reared chiefly through his labours of love.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Among the Great Masters of Music - Scenes in the Lives of Famous Musicians" ***

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