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Title: Beethoven's Symphonies Critically Discussed
Author: Teetgen, Alexander
Language: English
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                  ALEXANDER TEETGEN
            With Preface by John Broadhouse

            W. REEVES, 83 CHARING CROSS ROAD, W.C.


                TO J. O'MABONY, ESQ.

     Who taught me, when a happy schoolboy--in the house of my
     beloved and venerated master, the Rev. Alfred Whitehead, M.A.,
     and his dear wife--to sing at sight, who first fostered my
     passion for music; to that genial and highly accomplished man,
     who has vanished from my view for years, but not from my
     memory, where he resides ever, as a kind of Apollo Belvedere
     of those far-off days--that New World to which the Columbus
     Man, may never return.



   PREFACE                                                     v

   BEETHOVEN'S HARBINGERS                                      1

   SYMPHONY, No. 1, Op. 21                                    16

   SYMPHONY, No. 2, Op. 36--The Adagio                        23
          "            "      "      The Allegro              27
          "            "      "      The Larghetto            33

   SYMPHONY, No. 3, Op. 55                                    37
          "            "      "      Funeral March            46
          "            "      "      The Scherzo              49

   SYMPHONY, No. 4, Op. 60                                    51
          "            "      "      The Adagio               56

   SYMPHONY, No. 5, Op. 67                                    59
          "            "      "      The Andante              66
          "            "      "      The Allegro              69
          "            "      "      The  Finale              72

   THE PASTORAL SYMPHONY, No. 6, Op. 68                       76

   SYMPHONY, No. 7, Op. 92                                    86
          "            "      "      The Vivace               88
          "            "      "      The Allegretto           94

   SYMPHONY, No. 8, Op. 93                                    96

   THE CHORAL SYMPHONY, Op. 125                               98

   SUMMING UP                                                108

   INDEX                                                     119


These essays originally appeared in _The Musical Standard_, for which
paper they were written.

While admitting that the author has at times been carried away by his
exuberant fancy, it is impossible to deny that he possesses in a very
high degree those powers of analysis without which it is impossible
to do justice to, or even approximately to understand, Beethoven.
Music is verily the language of the soul--higher, finer, more
delicate in its methods, and more ethereal in its results, than
anything to which the tongue can give utterance; expressing what
speech cannot speak, and affecting, as no mere talking can, the
invisible player who manipulates the keyboard of the human intellect,
and whom we call _The Soul_. Music is truly of such a nature, and
appeals so powerfully and mysteriously to that soul, that the words
of Jean Paul seem quite justified,--

    _Ich glaube, nur Gott versteht unser Musik._

Beethoven wrote such music as few even among those calling themselves
musicians can understand, as the word is generally used; and which,
in Jean Paul's sense of the word, is understood not at all. Like the
ocean, or Mont Blanc, we can feel its power, while at the same time
we are conscious that explanation would be almost desecration. We do
not want Beethoven's music explained, but would rather be left alone
with that which we can only feel, but cannot understand while
hampered with "this mortal coil." Under the spell of such music, we
can only explain the emotions it produces in us, and we can only do
this in a fashion far from complete. Mr. Teetgen has only attempted
an explanation of Beethoven's symphonies in this latter sense; and so
far from feeling his little book as an impertinence--which any
attempt to explain Beethoven's music (his soul, _id est_) would
be--we feel helped in our endeavours to understand something of the
means by which the greatest tone-poet worked his incantations and
wove his spells.

We cannot always agree with Mr. Teetgen in his estimate of other
composers--notably, Mendelssohn, whom he holds in much lighter esteem
than we do, and we could not endorse all he says of Mozart, either;
he does not worship his great hero too much, but the others too
little. Of his most intense admiration for Beethoven, however, none
can doubt; and those who read this little work will, we think, agree
with us in saying that Mr. Teetgen's analytical and descriptive
powers, in dealing with the symphonies, are on a par with his
veneration for the great master whom we all delight to honour, and
who realised his own ideal--some of us, at least, think so--"There is
nothing higher than this--to get nearer the Godhead than other men,
and thence diffuse its beams over mankind." Fashions change in music
as in other things; but Beethoven's music has in it that truth which,
being eternal, cannot change; and we cannot conceive a state of
culture so advanced that these Symphonies shall be deemed
old-fashioned. If ever that condition is reached, it will be reached
not by progression, but retrogression.

                                                  J. B.



There are some words of such indefinite pregnancy that they expand
the soul when we pronounce them. The highest of these I do not name;
but "love" is one, "spirit" another, "immortality" another, and
"symphony" another. We suppose, the first symphony was when "the
morning stars shouted together for joy;" and the mystic world-tree,
Igdrasil, with its "leaves of human existence," and myriad
manifestations, maketh a symphony for ever in the ear of the Eternal.
As music is sound, so perhaps all sound is music, to a higher
being--even the discord of pain, and the half cadence of sorrow being
justified by a soul of meaning; just as music proper, itself would
not be half so sweet or complete without its profound minors and
expressive dissonances. The world is full of music--from the
"tiny-trumpeting gnat" and the forest-buzz of summer, the happy
murmur of the sea on its mother's breast, and the equally happy hum
of the bee in the waxen cup, to the scream of the eagle and the roar
of the lion, the thunder of the breakers and of heaven's artillery.
Every one has observed how the very creak of a door may sometimes
rise into music. And the whole world goeth up in music, swelling the
symphony of the spheres. But, from these ground tones--these
universal hints to their human expression and counterpart in the
"father of all such as handle the harp and organ," was a long, long
way. Nature waited to produce her mouthpiece, Man, to manifest
herself forth in that prolongation of herself which we call _human_
nature. Then the vague sublimity of unfettered sound became
incorporated in tone--became conscious--and spoke more humanly to the
soul of man. At length, after a whole history of evolution, the pride
of modern times--modern music--appeared; and in due course, after a
tottering infancy and empiric youth, the modern symphony. As in every
case, the outcome is the result of an endless series of gradations;
for, if nature abhors a vacuum, she at least equally abhors drawing a
line, and taking a jump. Therefore, if we denominate brave old Haydn
as the father or founder of the modern symphony, it is for happy
convenience sake, and not because strictly accurate. Always there
were Agamemnons before Agamemnon; and Haydn borrowed and imitated
like everybody who is first student and then master (in his old age,
_sogar_, he learnt of and benefitted by Mozart). Cursorily we may
mention as kinds of forerunners Bach's "Suites," such a piece as
Purcell's prelude to "King Arthur" (what a prelude would such a
subject demand now! Milton, too, thought of poemizing King Arthur);
and Handel's "Pastoral Symphony," which so beautifully and for ever
corroborates old King George's remark (which we suspect he stole).
The value of no word is known till the greatest master of it has
arrived. This is strikingly illustrated by a Handel symphony, and a
Beethoven. It is the latter which expands the better part of us in
the way spoken of at the outset. The unconscious men of Handel's time
used it in little more than the sense of a strain; and here it may be
remarked that progress is impossible without consciousness, but
that--wheel within wheel--the higher consciousness will always have a
soul of unconsciousness. The two are _sine quâ non_. Conservatism and
convention are the eternal necessary protests and counterpoises to
chaos; and _every_ man has his _roots_ in his time (and in the past);
therefore we are not surprised that Haydn constructed his symphonies
in the mode and spirit of that day--especially retaining the
minuet--which Beethoven himself only later discarded for the scherzo.
Moreover, a moment's reflection will show us that the form of a
symphony, as of a sonata, is naturally dictated, of inner necessity,
by the simple need of natural contrast. An adagio may well open the
piece--so may an allegro; but then we certainly want an andante, or
largo; scherzo, or minuet, are next expected; and a presto to wind
up--for art also is dependent on flesh and blood; and the human body,
as well as mind, dictates many of art's proceedings. The form, then,
of the symphony was, we may say, on the whole, dictated, from the
beginning of things. Nobody can particularly claim to be its
inventor; "nature, even in art, has ever the greatest share." If
Haydn could really claim to be the inventor of the symphony, he would
be a far more original genius than he is ever believed to be--though
probably we do really underrate his originality, a fate which
inevitably overtakes all such men. If we leave the form, then, and
consider the spirit of Haydn's symphonies, it is, shortly, the spirit
of eternal youth; just as one could apply to Mozart Gilfillan's
appellation of Shelley, "the eternal child." We get a negative idea
of Haydn if we reflect how infinitely removed from Hamlet!
(Beethoven, on the contrary, how allied!--a German Hamlet). I do not
believe that Haydn, any more than the other two of that glorious
Orion's belt, was a "good Catholic." I imagine, all three had a
proclivity rather to natural than revealed religion; and I believe
that we may compass and understand, in a manner, that marvellous
outburst of South German music, with all its freedom and glow, by
considering it as Roman Catholic without Roman Catholicism; one feels
and sees rather the eternal truth and poetry of nature than the
warped narrow spirit and practice, and garish glare, of papal dogma,
priest-presided slavery, and superstition. But, to quit these
impossible difficulties, the music of all three is stamped by one
grand common characteristic--it is German. When to nationality we add
individuality, we are more or less near to a tolerable understanding
of it. Race is mixed in every man--who can resolve it? The influence
of religion--especially so-called religion--is nearly as obscure; but
nationality and individuality we can to some extent comprehend. No
better epithets are to be found for Haydn than the time-honoured ones
of "genial," "cheerful." We like to think of him under his poor old
gable-roof, that let in the rain--happy at his poor old spinnet.
Touching picture! the irrepressible spirit of the obscure composer,
miserably poor, and neglected, for the first fifty or sixty years of
his life! But the stars, we know, shone in on him through that dim
old gable; and the grass outside was not fresher in spring than the
spirit of Joseph Haydn. If reading, alone, maketh a "full man," as
Bacon says, then Joseph Haydn was, I imagine, a very empty one. He
knew nothing of books, or society, and little of men; _direct_ out of
the fulness of his melodious heart he uttered himself forth in poetic
music essentially genial and vigorous, "spraying over," as our German
cousins say, with kindly humour. A "man child" he was, who will ever
be historically--if not contemporaneously--immortal. The great
forerunners! we owe them a debt which we must at last lose out of
sight; but verily they _have_ their reward! Haydn's fundamental
simplicity and child-like objectiveness, utterly prevented him from
giving us Beethovenian music. He neither read, nor thought--nor did
he feel very deeply. The doubts and difficulties which Brendel finely
(though mistakenly, perhaps) speaks of Mozart's having fought out
beforehand unconsciously, Haydn neither consciously nor unconsciously
experienced. He was simply and purely a German musical genius of his
time, blessed with one of the happiest constitutions ever given to
mortal--_mens sana in corpore sano_. The unfathomable and infinitely
involved beauty of Beethoven's symphonies is not to be dreamt of in
Haydn. Those of the latter, indeed, may smell at times rather of the
peruke than of the lion's mane (whence what "dew-drops"!) But such
melodious eloquence as Haydn's "Hymn to the Emperor," one cannot
imagine perishing--it is like a rainbow out of the Eden-time, hung
for ever in heaven. The "Creation," too, is so inexpressibly fresh,
naïve, vigorous, and beautiful, that it has given to some more
_pleasure_ than the very "Messiah." "The heavens are telling," must
be surely also melodious eloquence immortal, with its exquisite
opening and noble culmination. The music of Haydn (Mozart too) may,
perhaps, emphatically be called natural; in spite of--especially in
the minuets--that _non so che_ which summons up the old-fashioned
continental _noblesse_ and the frigid gardens of Versailles. If we
_want_ a taste of this--or, also, after our higher flights (and none
the less after our intermediate and subterranean flights in the
wizard world of a Wagner), a banquet in the unlaboured loveliness of
old time, we shall recur to Haydn; but if we want the higher flights,
and broader flights, and deeper flights themselves, the sublime
loveliness and Alpine grandeur--not Saxon Switzerland, but Tell's--we
shall hasten with reverence and gladness to Beethoven, who towers
above Haydn--and also above these colossal upshoots of this later
"tertiary" period; for these latter men seem rather intense than
universal; whereof more anon. A German word or two (they are always
interesting, because earnest,) about Haydn, and we turn to
Mozart. "Köstlin's remark about Haydn holds good also for his
symphonies:--With Haydn began the free-style epoch, the spring and
golden age of music. In him, music became conscious that she was not
system and science, but free motion, and lyrical." Free motion--yes,
significant words. What _e.g._, would the sea, would light be,
without that? Undulatory free light! And I had as lief compare music
with light as anything. As postscript here, we may recall Haydn's
indignant exclamation after a Dryasdust dictum by the then pedantic
oracle, Albrechtsberger, respecting, forsooth--I believe--our old
acquaintances, those irrepressible "consecutive fifths":--"This will
never do"! exclaimed Haydn, "art must be free." How really curious it
is, your pedant never flashes _such_ a glance into things--into his
own trade. But, indeed, the poor man can never have a glimmering of
what one little word, yet so _multum in parvo_, like "free" means. He
is full of learning, it is true, but still "in block"; and when the
Apollo at his side suddenly takes wings, and flashes out of the
marble, he knows not, poor man, whether he is more astounded or
indignant. A clever man called Shakespeare, also, a barbarian. When
will Dryasdust see that, _c[oe]teris paribus_, where innovation is
the step of genius, and _not ignorance_, he, Dryasdust, had better,
at least for a while, hold his tongue; see, rather, if he can't, by a
dead-lift effort, raise himself up to Apollo, than try (ridiculously
enough) to drag down the god flashing to the sun. I fear the
difficulty is insuperable, because subjective. The misfortune is,
Dryasdust never _can_ recognize genius, but wanders on with his blue
"specs." to his unvisited grave.

But, to recur to Elterlein, _ueber_ Haydn:--"When we look into
Haydn's symphonies a little closer, with a glance at the same time at
Haydn's followers, we find them stamped by greater simplicity in the
expression of feeling, and by a limitation to certain well-defined
spheres of mood and humour. This characteristic we may express in the
definition, pure child-like ideality. Of course, we do not mean
literal childhood, but rather abstract childhood in the soul and
constitution, whose representation is worthy of the greatest of
artists, _e.g._, of a Schumann in his charming 'Kinderscenen.' Naïve
child humour plays a leading part in Haydn's symphonies; wherefore
Brendel rightly names him the greatest master of sport and mood. Of
inner necessity, the pangs and earnest of life, in their entirety,
are excluded from these works. They do now and then appear, but only
as light clouds skimming over. Haydn's restrictedness is, however,
far from limiting his invention; on the contrary, we are astounded at
it; he is veritably inexhaustible in his mode of expressing himself.
The minuets are generally playgrounds for the most delicious sportive
humour." (In Haydn himself we discover the germs of the so-called
programme music:--_e.g._, symphonies entitled 'The Bear,' 'Maria
Theresa,' 'The Schoolmaster'). We now turn to Mozart.

Mozart was a world's-wonder in his boyhood, and neglected--especially
at Vienna, and by the court--in his manhood. He has been denominated
the most abstract musician that ever lived--a term which is more or
less suggestive, if not precise. But, in so far as it points to his
being wholly and solely a musician, it points to a defect and
hindrance in him. (It has been said, however, that he had a great
aptitude also for figures, and would have made no contemptible
mathematician. His parents were one of the handsomest couples of
their day.) Robert Schumann's wonderful music, so rich in contents
(_inhaltreich_), sprang from a cultivated poet, equally practised
with the heart, and soul, and brain, and hand. Wagner's marvellous
art is the birth of a similar genius. In short, the age we live in
has certainly this advantage: an artist now must be an educated man
(in many senses). Haydn and Mozart--who never found time for
study--were ill-informed, nay, ignorant men. They knew nothing of the
past, little of the present, and less than nothing of the future.
Beethoven, I think, certainly did know more--if only a little--and
compensated for his deficiency by what alone can
compensate--overpowering genius, universally colossal. I do not
undertake to affirm that greater culture would have improved Haydn
and Mozart, but I throw out the suggestion. Possibly, by expanding
their minds, and strengthening their faculties, it might have done
so. By reading (not only musical) they might have got new
lights--loam and enrichment to their own fertile soil; they might
have, at least, _widened_ that channel of inspiration which they
were. A man's utterance, whether it be musical or other, is, at
bottom, the outcome of the whole man. I know, that, in literature,
such "education" as I have glanced at--a discipline and growth all
ways, through _communion_ with deeper and higher spirits, and
thoughts, and truths, has the effect I speak of. Natural genius is
deepened, and enriched, and expanded, and sent up higher; roots and
leaves, with increased fruit-capacity, grow together. It may be,
therefore, that Haydn and Mozart, _minus_ a Shakespeare's genius
(which seems an utter self-justified exception), owe their deficiency
in music to their deficiency in culture--in a scientifically
comprehensive sense. They were _too_ much musicians. It may be, that
the fact of their lack was partly also due to an original inherent
non-proclivity to culture. If so, here we have a deeper explanation;
the bare fact is seen to be the symptom of a radical cause. But
Beethoven was a born thinker: remember his flashes of remark:--"Read
Shakespeare's 'Tempest.' 'So knocketh Fate at the portals.' 'I have
another law for myself than Kant's "Categorical Imperative."' 'Better
water from my body than from my pen.'" He was a born thinker; and in
this fact we have the deeper explanation of his mighty music. Do we
not see the fact stamped on his very brows! the very thrones of
concentrated thought,--as the deep-set eyes full of dusky fire in the
lion-like head are the homes of intense feeling, such as, possibly,
no man equalled. The comparison, let alone the coupling, of Mozart
with Shakespeare, I, for one, cannot for a moment away with; in fact,
am inclined to cry with that author who could not tolerate a similar
bracketing of Turner with Shakespeare, "Bah!" There is a power, a
depth, a _seraphic_ wisdom of inspiration and universal view, an
oracular utterance and constructive power _from within_ (the nearest
approach to the Divine _modus operandi_ itself) in Shakespeare which
Mozart can lay no proper claim to. The theory which would make his
"Don Juan" characters (forsooth!) display this similar power--in the
organic dramatic verisimilitude of the music--I cannot endorse. Only
a very long way off is your Mozart like Shakespeare, with whom,
properly, no one can measure, or be likened. He stands alone, a
phenomenal unique. Such divine propriety he had! the intellect of an
archangel; and a prolonged moulding-from-within power from
Nature. Mozart had a lovely, sometimes heavenly, profuse--not
incontinent--gift of melody, which is wont, however, to tire (unlike
Beethoven's), by being too Mozartish; a marvellous genius for
counterpoint; and a beautiful instinct for harmony and form. He was,
_par excellence_, amiable; his music is loveable. He shines like the
sun on a mild spring day. That he has serenity, as Shakespeare had,
of course is patent and cardinal; but that it is Shakespeare's
serenity I must beg to dispute. Shakespeare's is profound as the
centre of the sun; Mozart's is rather diffusive than profound or
moonlike. Shakespeare's is that of a god-like man; Mozart's that of
an "eternal child." Mozart's is that of the Mediterranean;
Shakespeare's of the whole ocean. And of Shakespeare--not of Mozart
(according to our instinct)--may it be so eloquently asserted, "his
serenity is that of one" (a _Potente_, as Dante says) "who had
unconsciously fought out beforehand all the doubts and difficulties,
and put them to flight." Mozart is supposed to have been "light o'
love," if not fond of wine too. To be "light o' love" goes very well
with the composer of "Don Juan," but I do not think anybody ever
charged it on the inspirer of the passionate grandeur of the Countess
Guicciardi sonata; of the heroic, C minor and other symphonies. _Had_
he been so, we should have had _such_ strains of remorse wailing up.
Do we find them in Mozart? I trow not!--"Thy terrible beauty,
Remorse, shining up from the depths of pain!" Mozart is cheerful,
beautiful, at times vigorous; but surely somewhat light--a mountain
lake with fleecy clouds, not the sea, with its sunsets and thunders.
Not _his_ serenity, but Beethoven's rather, presupposes, like the sun
of summer, and calm heart of nature, all the storms fought out(?) Was
there, as in Beethoven, a soul of earnestness in him? Had he aim,
consciously, or unconsciously? Does he speak from inspired depths,
almost painful? Had he a glimmering of atheism? Did he ever clutch at
the vanishing skirts of the Almighty? Could he kill himself almost,
to be sure of immortality? So far from thinking he had thought and
fought all these things out, consciously or unconsciously, we feel
that he had no experience of them--_could_ not have--and so was for
ever an incomplete man. "He knew not ye, ye mighty powers." Sunshine
he can give us; yes, but sunshine _and_ thunderglooms (say,
tropical)--roar of ocean, and spasm of lightning--no. His best
symphonies will not strictly compare with Beethoven's best; his
sonatas still less. And it is no very adventurous prediction (however
horrifying to sundry), that his "Don Juan"--"the first opera in the
world"(!), with its contemptible trash for libretto, and meagre
musical constituents, will hide its diminished head more and more,
till it disappear. Mozart, says the German essayist, means operas
rather than symphonies: well, and what did he make of them? At this
time of day, it is simply inconceivable how any intelligent man--let
alone a tone-poet--could set trash by the hour or week together. It
has become almost a trite idea now, that poetry is the soul of music:
_caeteris paribus_, in proportion as the word is divine, so will the
flesh be, which it takes unto itself and moulds from within, in which
it eventuates. How great by comparison is Handel here! We have but to
think of his words--"Hallelujah! Lord God Omnipotent! He shall reign
for ever and ever, Amen!" to explain why we may search Mozart in vain
for a Hallelujah Chorus, that temple of immortality! Beethoven,
indefinitely higher and greater than Mozart, did have a notion of the
exigency of the word--he spent hours and hours looking through some
hundred libretti for an opera, and rejected them all. In setting
trash, poor dear Mozart, the gifted, the easy-going nature, conscious
of little but his fluent genius, and thinking of little but winning
his painful bread for the day passing over, did not reflect that he
was guilty of sacreligious high treason; as it were, of violation of
Pallas Athene herself. "Music!" another of those _infinite_ words!
When will her servants be worthy of her? When will she suffer the
veil to be completely drawn away, and reveal herself in her full
beauty? Not by the hands of a Mozart, with his deplorable "Don Juans"
and chaotic nonsense of magic flutes. In his better sacred music he
is better. But even in that I detect neither real belief--which can
alone justify sacred music, and ensure its highest excellence--nor a
great soul. Mozart was an inspired child; when grown up, a
child-man--as Hadyn was a man-child. Nature selected him to speak out
this element in her, as she selected Beethoven to speak out her
passion and paradox, her divine and her terrible beauty--her
world-wide grandeur--the infinitude of her universe; as she selected
Schumann to speak out her romance, and twilight beauty; and Wagner
her supernatural, demoniac, wizardlike. We must recollect, too, that
Mozart was the child of his time. Every man is this, more or less,
_plus_ his individuality. Now, in truth, Mozart seems rather "more,"
not "less." Beethoven approaches Shakespeare, in being for all time;
but not Mozart. His individuality was not strong enough. I cannot
agree with Elterlein, that Mozart represents "fair, free, humanity,"
if we are to give a higher, a Shakesperian meaning to these words.
Shakespeare was truly representative of the Wisdom, viz., that covers
the whole world, and every age; and belongs neither to the past,
present, nor future, but to all time--to all three together; and so
is the unique shadow afar off in the history of man, of the eternal I
Am and Now. But such high language we can by no manner of means apply
to Mozart, who hadn't a tithe of Shakespeare's insight and power; nor
a third part of Goethe's--with whom Elterlein and others also put
him. The "fair, free, humanity," which, in its unfettered action and
thought towers towards the divine, which has long ago sloughed away,
or stepped out of old crusts and rags of prejudice, superstition, and
the things whose name is legion--but which remains equally free from
shallow sin and selfish action; from the paralysis of indifferentism,
and the laziness of no-thought; from mere bread-winning, and waste of
genius (which waste is always rapidly hurried into oblivion)--this
"fair, free, humanity," Mozart does not, can not, as it seems to us,
represent. Shakespeare and Goethe truly do. And Beethoven, in his
happier, victorious moods--in his darker moods he shadows forth
rather man on the way to it; or, indeed, on the way from it.
Elterlein couples Mozart with Raphael, as well as Goethe; that may
pass; but who can imagine either of the two former being capable of a
"Werther" and "Faust"? Mozart may "stand alone" for "amiability," and
may truly enjoy the reputation of giving us, more or less, organic
form; but he was a limited, local nature, neither based on the lowest
deeps nor towering into the highest heights. He was no reformer--did
not revolutionize music (his operas are but German-Italian by an
Italian-German, to that extent), no one can call him colossal. He was
a palm, rather than an oak. Handel, to me, is a name far grander.
Like Beethoven, I would bare my head at _his_ tomb. And now let us
turn to the shadowy colossus himself--towering aloft

    "In stifled splendour and gloom."

If there are some nouns that affect us, there are some proper nouns
that equally do so. One of the most potent of these is "Beethoven."
At the mere mention of that name, we experience a "shock of joy" and
reverence at once vaguely and vastly filling us with the sublime and
beautiful--the grand and tender; in short, with all those attributes,
in a degree, of Nature, for this seems to be the special and peculiar
function and privilege of genius--of great human nature--to reflect
and reproduce, with, as before noted, the force and charm peculiar to
itself, nature, divinity. Great men are distinguished by the height
to which they tower in doing this; they are but further
manifestations of God--revelations of arcana. Up to our time, no man
in any art has so towered aloft more than Beethoven. Armed with the
most mystical of prophecies and utterance--music, he strewed abroad
upon the winds and world such pregnant messages as stirred men to
depths they were before unconscious of, and live and operate with the
force of immortality. Let us approach these wonderful works and
glance more or less into their truly divine depths. We shall not,
however, by any means be indiscriminate--in the sympathy of the
hero-worshipper forget the justice of the judge. We shall not forget
that the best of men are but men at best; and that, for our comfort
and ensample, as ever, the great Beethoven was also a child, a
beginner, a student, an acolyte, as well as imperial master; and,
alas! mortal man--with his sad liability to madness and decay; with
his basis on the infernal, as well as heights in the divine.

In the first place, what shall we say about the peculiarly original
Beethoven's reflection at the outset of Hadyn and Mozart? At first
sight, it rather jars. But shall we he correct if after consideration
we pronounce that this is rather a merit, and to be expected, than
otherwise; for it is characteristic of hero-worship, which is most
passionate in genius truly original. Shakespeare, perhaps, is the
great or even sole exception; but, as it is borne in on us,
Shakespeare seems to be unique--a semi-god, or "seraph," rather than
mere man; and I, for one, have no disinclination or repugnance to own
that Beethoven, like the rest, does not equal Shakespeare. In parts
he does--perhaps even gives us more terribly grand glances into
depths than _Macbeth_ and _Lear_--but not as a whole. It the whole of
Shakespeare that is so unique and overpowering. Beethoven often
suggests rather Dante and Milton; though it is his peculiar praise,
too, that he suggests all three, and yet is like none.

And now to work: SYMPHONY NO. 1, OP. 21.

"Opus 21."--So, when Beethoven came of age, musically speaking, he
wrote his first symphony. Ah! who can realize the feelings of a
Beethoven sitting down to write his first symphony; _fuller_ feelings
probably were not, and could not, be in the world, among all the
manifestations of human existence. What flush of hope! what throbs of
pleasure! what high-beating plethora of imaginative blood! what
almost painful fulness!--necessity to rush forth in poetic utterance,
and fling all together what of latent as well as patent was within
him! what struggling consciousness--what waking sense of giant
powers--what secret assurance in the end of immortal victory, nay,
perhaps, of an empire in music towering aloft above that of Hadyn and
Mozart and predecessors and successors of all nations and
individualities. I envy neither the powers nor immortality of that
contemporary, Napoleon, compared with those of Beethoven:--Meteoric
Corsican adventurer--eternal eldest son of genius! Dazzling egotist
and semi-quack--concentrated sun of nature and the imperishable
heavens!--I wonder what Beethoven had been reading previous to
undertaking his first symphony--what he had been doing, talking,
thinking! I like to picture imaginary scenes where he sat down to the
intoxicating enterprise. Was it in the country, of an early morning,
all dripping in the sunshine like the orange-bowers here, with the
sun welcoming with his sweetest smile the fleecy clouds wandering up
the heaven? Or was it (probably it was, for reality is painfully
prosaic,) in some back attic--such as where Shakespeare perhaps wrote
_his_ symphonies? The sublimely interesting young Beethoven! There he
sits for a moment with his two hands pressed on those concentrated
brows of the lion-like head, previously to penning the first chord!
There he sits--look at him well--the fullest incarnation of music,
till now the greatest home, emporium, and royal residence of musical
power, with all which that implies--including, lowest down, the
ineffable; for, always, a man is tender in proportion as he is
strong, great in proportion as he is good--Ludwig van Beethoven, in
his divine genius and terrible infliction (one of the most painful
ironies of human history--like a fate out of high Greek story), one
of the most intensely interesting of the race of men!

And now for our criticism; or, rather, for our impressions--for every
one of us is dominated by unknown moods and biasses. And the wise
spirit which made Goethe call his autobiography "Fact and Fancy,"
should rule every critic--often the victim and slave of himself, the
child of circumstance and time.

First, for a general remark:--I see no essential difference--query,
should there be?--between a symphony, especially a Beethoven one, and
a sonata. Next, as corollary, let us even say that some of his
sonatas (or at least parts) surpass the symphonies. For instance,
that first part of the sonata "Patetica," as it is absurdly called,
always impresses me as something really almost colossal--the "grave"
itself truly so, like a temple four-square, based on the foundations
of the world, and high towering towards all the winds. There is no
comparison between it and any of the movements of the "No. 1
Symphony," except the first; and here, too, I am inclined to give the
palm to the "Patetica," which, _au reste_, curiously enough is just
as incongruously weak in the remaining movements as this symphony.
Both, in fact, have one element (or stamp) in common, viz., the
energetic, which we may characterise as martial--heroic. Beethoven is
peculiarly distinguished by this--_plus_ a tender beauty of the most
profound and healthy description. It is as with the fascinating
Schumann; who is equally conspicuous for the energetic and
tender--more mystical than Beethoven's, if not so healthy. But, in
spite of the ineffable in Beethoven, I almost think we associate
power more peculiarly with him. With power Beethoven ushers in his
"No. 1." Mark that sforzando, and--B flat. A similar effect occurs in
the opening to "Prometheus" (which we noticed independently of
Berlioz). Here Beethoven--young and consciously vigorous--took that
step of genius we adverted to as opposed to the rashness of
ignorance; as it were, champion king-at-arms, flinging the gage of
defiance to all the Dryasdusts alive. Poor Dryasdust! who never can
be manly enough or genius enough to get free. Dryasdust, it is well
known, armed with his blue "specs" and properly obscured thereby,
enounces, pronounces, and proclaims--"Allah Akbar! it is unlawful and
forbidden to open with a discord" (just as the poor Midas declares
it is unpermissible to end in any other key--what has that got
to do with it?). Young Beethoven, however--thank the god of
originality--has inspired instinct--says "No," and "Take that! you'll
soon get used to it." We do get used to it, and then--O the copyists!
That B flat is a stroke of genius. Hence we learn, from what _depths_
genius speaks--your Beethoven young and vigorous, fresh into the
world, henceforth to be a lawgiver and creator of the imperishable.
That "B flat" is power; in short, all that originality includes and
implies. But, to pass on from this point, which--as every
point--might furnish an essay. The _p_ after the _sf_ is noteworthy;
so, too, the chords--powerfully beautiful, unexpected. The strain is
not peculiarly Beethoven; it does give us a taste of that Ineffable
in him, but is meagrely brief--in fact, fragmentary and
uncharacteristic--besides, too much suggesting "Prometheus." _Re_ the
latter, a word _en parenthèse_. After hearing it, Haydn met Beethoven
and complimented him on it. "Yes," said the young giant, "but it does
not equal the 'Creation'". "No, I don't think it quite does," was the
reply from the old maestro, "who didn't seem to like the remark."
Poor, dear old Haydn! the glimmering suspicion he had was true
enough--that young giant would shake dew-drops from the lion's mane
more precious than the grandest Louis Quatorze peruke, plus the
unspeakable Louis himself--sarcasm apart, would infallibly eclipse
even Haydn's "Creation," naïve and fresh as that may be. We approach
the "Allegro" _con amore_. It stirs our depths; it fills us with
ideas. _En passant_, it opens with the same notes of the Sonata in F,
Op. 54 (I think). This is another proof that it is not quite true
that even Beethoven "never repeats himself;" though it is perhaps
true enough to be said--because characteristic; and when he repeats
himself, he generally does so consciously--the great point (another
text for essay). The _p_ on the chord C E G rather surprises us--we
expect a forte(?)--but it has original beauty, and makes an
harmonious breathing instead of an emphatic utterance. The following,
in the bass, is equally characteristic. As it goes on, the passage is
powerfully suggestive, especially at the _cresc._ in unison. The
mind's-eye sees a great river rising to overflow its mountain-guarded
banks; or, forsooth, a great nation, to guard them! All this is the
early Beethoven almost at his best--a true foreshadower of _the_
Beethoven--as much as to say, I _am_ Beethoven, in spite of Haydn, my
very good master, and Mozart. We see the giant waking. About the next
_motiv_ I hardly know what to say. In one mood it strikes me, like
many other things even in Beethoven, as an incongruity; I think, "Why
all at once this pastoral strain in the middle of a warlike
defiance!" Such unconsciousness as this is an error. A genius must be
an artist as well; and a man has no right to fling the first idea
that occurs to him into a piece, which is incongruous with the whole.
Undoubtedly Beethoven himself sinned here, and not seldom. It is
notorious that he tacked on and foisted in pieces which literally had
nothing to do with the work as a whole. Lazy or even thoughtless bad
taste is a high crime in art--for art truly means, tasteful industry.
The sense of fitness must not be offended. Incongruity is a great
fault. The men of the conscious school are right here. Consciousness
truly has its duties as well as its dangerous frailty. So we argue in
that mood. But yet again, so diversified is music, we feel a
peculiar, almost unspeakable charm, when, sympathetic fancy coming to
our assistance, we consider this abstractly beautiful strain as
giving us a glance back from the press of warriors and the noise of
battle, to the green fields and silver streams far off we have left;
and we think of Arnold von Winkelried leaving his wife and children,
as in Deschwanden's affecting picture, so familiar in Switzerland.
Then, almost tears come into the eyes, and we exclaim--Oh! thou
unconscious wizard, Beethoven!--making us give to thy utterances a
meaning thou thyself never didst dream of. Soon again, after this
wistful glance back--with none of the sin in it of Lot's wife--we
have the thunder and blaze of war, with his pride, pomp, and
circumstance. Nay, I will say, are we not even reminded of the
world-famous Symphony, No. 8, itself? Have we not essentially the
same clamour and glamour? our blood is roused, hearts beat high, and
we feel we are on the road to righteous victory--"Against the tyrant
fought with holy glee." The _pp_ strain ensuing does not strike as
incongruous, but of peculiar feeling and beauty. How beautifully
melody, harmony, and bass, are all one--work together for good, and
progress to the climax. As a bit of writing, it is a model for study;
a very charming instance of the success of true scholarship and
feeling--scholarship based on feeling; scholarship unconscious, so
that the effect is nature. The codetta carries us back again to the
pastoral mood--whence we are congruously re-taken to the warlike by
the pompous vague chords--long used before Stephen Heller, for
instance!--at the end.

Part No. 2 suggests at the outset one broad general remark, which we
hasten to make. It is this. Beethoven, herein not original, but
imitative, generally confines himself--in the sonatas as well--to
making the second part mostly a mere elaboration of the first. Now,
we beg--at all events, at this time of day--to dissent from, and
traverse this. We are for making your first part long enough, and
repeating it if you will; but for giving us mostly new ideas, yet in
character, in the second. We are not afraid of the "as a whole"
theory; _da capo_ we traverse the dogma that what you have got to do
is, to give one good idea thoroughly worked out. Wagner has carried
this to a wearisome excess. We want no opera or symphony constructed
out of "four notes" or forty. We want not an idea, but ideas. Your
vaunted elaboration does not disguise--or rather conceal--the
essential sameness--which becomes tameness. And we don't want as
sets-off mere "episodes." Beethoven's episodes, as here, are of
course, interesting; but, because episodes (?) fragmentary,
intercalated, rather than essential; postponements of the old
"Hauptsache," rather than independent new ideas. Because this second
part is essentially but an elaboration (often a mere repetition, in
another key, of ideas already repeated--surely, for the most part, an
exploded error?), we have little new to say. The harmonious
progressions to the episodes will be studied and felt by every
musician. The minor passage, la--do--mi--sol nat.--la, is fine, but
not novel in Beethoven. The crash, _ff_, is characteristically grand;
the whole elaboration full again of power--power that _is_, and
prophetic power to do; power latent and patent. At the beautiful
contrapuntal passage in E flat we are again reminded of the F Sonata.
The melodious breathings--which must be studied--a little farther on,
teach us the very beautiful and interesting lesson (another subject
for essay) of the unconscious effect of imitation; and of the
unconscious imitation which often lies in effect. The progressions
and culminations are Beethovenially grand; in fact, the whole second
part superior, if possible, to the first, once admitted the right or
propriety of the _modus operandi_. As a whole, the movement stands
four-square, noble, filling us with the benefit and pleasure of
energetic beauty. This is life--_mens sana in corpore sano_; no hint
or shadow of madness; youthful power, generosity, enthusiasm, valour,
and hope. At that utterance when first heard, once more men must have
felt "a man-child is born into the world;" and the government shall
be upon his shoulders--note especially, the do, do, la, do sharp,
passage, and other culminations. Here, though Beethoven has not
surpassed, if rivalled, the "Allegro" of Op. 13, he has given it a
worthy counterpart. We are invigorated, and cheered--nay, roused to
enthusiasm; poured full of virtuous resolve and noble daring. _Lebe
hoch der junge Beethoven! Au reste_--we should have to use much
colder language for the other movements (except the splendid minuet,
so superior to the trio, which also suggests incongruity--unless we
like to call it contrast?). The andante seems in no way superior to
Haydn, and becomes veritably _langweilig_. How inferior to the
"Andante, Op. 26!" The rondo is, comparatively, mere trifling--we are
inclined to say, unworthy of Beethoven. We have no real pleasure in
playing it, but constantly think, "Oh, for the first movement!"
Summing up this symphony, we may perhaps decide: On the whole, guilty
of incongruity--of want of proper consciousness. Why this halting
between the pastoral and warlike? If your "as a whole" theory is good
for a movement, why not for a symphony? due allowance for contrast
excepted. Certainly, it may be said, the symphony is of unequal
value; and that had Beethoven given us all equal to the "Allegro," it
would have been a truly great symphony, quite worthy of his great
name. As it is, the allegro and minuet alone partake of the immortal.



The worn-out despot offered a premium for a new pleasure; the critic
would often do so for a new epithet. How shall I characterize this
exquisite prelude? It is as the portico to the Walhalla of the gods.
Here we have the real Beethoven in his _divine_ profundity--profound,
_because_ beautiful; its very beauty constituting the depth, as it
were, _thickening_ into it, like the ocean and heaven. This beauty,
the true Proteus, is evasive; its import was not clear to the utterer
himself, no message of the Divine is, to the human vehicle--

    "A coral conduit ivory cisterns filling."

We cannot exactly translate or interpret it, only we feel that _were_
it translated, we should have a divine poem in a divine language. One
could spend hours going into the details of it--for every note
demands a word; those two opening ones namely. How characteristic!
There is the Emperor Tone-Poet, Napoleon of music, commanding
"Attention!" and not--God forbid!--for himself, but for his message.
It is the "Thus saith the Lord" of the prophet (some Elijah) of old.
Utterance so simple--so all-compelling! Those two notes, merely, are,
as it were, like the slightest scratch of an apostle. Then the next
three bars! They at once usher us into that ineffability of
Beethoven's which we spoke of. We have no reluctance to admitting
that originality is not particularly studied here. Nay, we are
inclined to say something higher--the modesty and moral courage to
reject originality is displayed. Beethoven had to deliver that "Thus
saith the Lord!" and he did it. First feel, and then study, the
_un_studied eloquence of it. It is one of the beautiful instances
whose name is legion in Beethoven, of simplicity--

    "In its simplicity sublime."

To me it says--"There! the storms _are_ all fought out. Peace, after
all, is at the bottom, and in the heart." Or it is like a high
man--say Beethoven himself--after the despicable petty disgusts, as
well as chaotic horrors of life, falling back upon nature, the
eternal star-glimmering universe--"they will not repel and deceive
me, they are everlasting and sublime!" The phrase--like every great
message--is really indescribable except by itself; the profound
peace, or rather peaceful profundity of it, are unutterable--

    "O that my tongue could utter"--

It is a great instance of height towering out of depth, high because
deep, a peak in music, yet not clad with eternal glacier, except for
its purity of heart, but eternal sunbeams.

After an interesting passage of "harmonious breathing" interposed,
and the still more interesting one of chromatic part-repetition, the
shakes--which are ultimately to play a great part--first make their
appearance. The taste for the shake can soon degenerate; and
Beethoven himself sometimes used it incontinently. But, when properly
introduced, as here, and especially at the last, it is an ornament
that has a more or less magical charm.

The next noble bit reminds us a little of the "Funeral March" in the
A flat Sonata. Thereupon Beethoven, in his unconscious or conscious
unconscious progress, promulgates some of these characteristic
utterances of his--those harmonious and melodic breathings, so
profound and pregnant with we know not what. Who or what moved him to
his wonderful "progressions?" Truly indescribable tone-poet! so deep
with tenderness, so rich with glow--glow is where Beethoven exceeded
all of them, especially the Saxon school; he added glow to height,
breadth, and depth; or, rather, his glow and depth--as in the
sun--are like cause and effect, one.

Now follow those warblings--

    "Wild bird! whose warble liquid sweet
        Rings Eden through the budded quicks,"

and "deep answering unto deep," which we mentally alluded to at the
outset, hard to decipher, seraphically beautiful. In what a musical
river, to employ another figure, or concourse of confluences, the
inspired orchestra rolls on; for yes, verily, the river is inspired
with utterance, big with its message. And this is no merely European
river, but rather some tropical Zambesi or Amazon with its colossal
origin and surroundings; or, again, the river that rolls from the
throne of the Fountain of Life--which truth it seems to declare, in
the magnificent emphatic passage (anticipating the choral symphony?)
so originally grand, in D minor, in unison, mark that. It seems to
say--"Hear that, and believe it. The rolling river which this
universe is, does not flow from Chaos and Diabolus, but from Eternal
Self-Justified Will--humanly named, in short, 'God'; as it were,
takes its course through the bosom of God, as 'King John' wished the
rivers of his realm to, through his." After this colossal passage, we
seem to be invited to listen to the warblings and happy murmurs in
the halls of heaven--the habitation of the blest, of just spirits
made perfect. It is all delicately, crystallinely ineffable; and the
language of imaginative sympathy itself can scarcely transcend the
beauty and exceeding excellence of the whole movement--that profound
inspiration--any more than it can transcend the beauty and exceeding
excellence, amounting to divinity, of the universe, that "Midsummer
Night's Dream!" THE ALLEGRO.

I often doubt, war can never cease, for its element is so great and
potent in art--especially music and her twin-sister, poetry. Carlyle
specially speaks of the "great stroke, too, that was in Shakespeare,
had it come to that;" and, indeed, makes this--together with the "so
much unexpressed in him to the last"--in short, his infinitude, the
very thing which Schubert's kindred eye saw in Beethoven,
differentiating him, his two chief points of admiration and test in
general of a man. Besides, in our great historian himself--in Milton,
too--we feel that there was a great stroke, as of the sublime
Ironside; before him, in Dante; before him, in Homer--perhaps,
Virgil; but not Horace. In our own day, the noble ring of our
poet-laureate's verse, to mention no more, is at once a voucher for
the same fact, apart from his "Maud," and more than one indignant
utterance. The poetic imagination and classic beauty of all such men
is not only concomitant with, but inseparable from, a "good stroke in
them" (Dante and Cervantes were actually on the battle-field)--from
an heroic element, the best thing they have. The greatest
utterance--inspiration--cannot possibly come from any other. The hero
is dear to God; the coward perhaps most despised of all. And why? The
reason is philosophical enough. Because the soul of the universe is
power--and without courage there can be no goodness. The grand
doctrine of evolution, penetrating everywhere, has brought home to
us, and borne in upon us, that there is not a field or a grove which
is not the theatre of perpetual struggle--not one manifestation
exempt from it. _Vae victis_ is the word of Nature herself, and the
"struggle" is divinely ordained (competition is the salt of
existence) for the elaboration of energies--the eventuation in higher
life. What man would wish for the _dolce far niente_ of the Fool's
Paradise? The world hath been groaning and travailing until now, and
must for a long, long time to come; only one-fourth of it is even now
"civilized," and in that civilisation what dregs and dens of
barbarism seem ineradicable. All sorts of wrong still tyrannise;
therefore, spiritually and physically, the warrior must stand forth
great to wage war against the bad everywhere, politically and
intellectually--against social evils, and art-darkness--against lies,
and for truth--against weakness, and for strength; for Might _is_
Right in the universe--weakness is one with evil, strength with good.
Only the good is strong; only the bad is weak.

We have been led into these remarks by dwelling on the fact, how
frequently the warlike spirit manifests itself forth in our
Beethoven--indeed, is irrepressible; nay, I am urged to say,
cardinal. In spite of Beethoven's truly divine beauty, he is stamped
and distinguished by power. When he issues young into the arena, we
see "victorious success" gleaming on his brows. Handel is
distinguished in the same way. Hence the secret of Beethoven's
own hero-worship for him. Apollo is great, but Jupiter is
greater--Jupiter Optimus Maximus. If Mozart, Weber, Schubert may,
more or less, figure as the sun-god, they cannot figure as the god of
the sun-god. We might almost say, the first notes of Beethoven
proclaimed power. He had to go forth and do battle with things. Nor
is his own struggle for existence (not mere being, but immortality--a
life in immortality here; that is existence to your Beethoven) in his
own life-element, so strong and chaotic, in his own soul progress,
undepicted, or shadowed forth. With unconscious-consciousness did he
do it--on, right on to the end, the bitter end; on the verge of
blindness, insanity--we know not what. Rushing as he did, into the
conflict, conscious only of power, Beethoven would have been struck
had he seen what, through the long vista of "stifled splendour and
gloom," that power boded and implied: he would have been awed, had it
been revealed to him what that power represented--little short of the
Nineteenth Century itself, with all its Hamlet doubts, and chaotic,
yet germ-rich smouldering of transition, whereof more anon.

If the ineffable adagio--prelude of preludes (?), out, as Marx says,
the last movement is the finale of finales--shows us the young
God-disguised athlete, with the morning light on his brow, making
ready to enter only the Olympian Games, the _allegro con brio_ shows
him to us rushing into battle! The "heroic symphony" is by no means
the first or last symphony heroic--indeed, could not have been
written but for the pre-existence and exercise of that full power in
the inspired young composer. Here is a grand epic outburst and
onrushing worthy of that immortal masterpiece, and essentially one
with it. We could almost say, not only the same power, but the same
sort of power, is indiscernible in Haydn and Mozart. The style (which
is truly the man--that to the man what the bark is to the tree) is so
different--the man's dialect, as well as message; the phraseology
altogether. These modulations are not those of Haydn and Mozart!
(beyond praise grand is the _ff_ on the dominant of A minor--one of
those glorious bursts and surprises of Beethoven's--we expect D
minor); nor is the masculine fancy (god-like shall we say? and a
Mozart's, goddess-like) theirs; and the great broad, quasi-Titanic
strains and themes. This movement (Op. 36) is an advance on that of
the symphony No. 1 (Op. 21), if in grade only, not kind. Here we see
the young giant, not yet done growing, a little riper. There is no
strain in it which we feel inclined to qualify, which "gives us
pause," like the second motiv in its predecessor; all is homogeneous,
epically great. But let us descend a little to details. At bars 1, 2,
and 3, we imagine the firm tread of the warriors, singing (like the
Ironsides before Dunbar--the 68th Psalm, "Let God arise,") on their
way to victory, which they never doubt for a moment, not only because
they are triumphant veterans, but on account (and more) of their
cause. At bar 4 what a poetic rush (inrush) of fifes is suggested!
then the great step is heard again; a great strain joins in; the
chaunt of the warrior basses becomes more and more ominous;
preliminary thunder is heard, and at last, with Olympian pæan and
war-cry battle is joined;--great is the shock, and glorious is the

The second subject in A is ushered in by those grand _third-less_
chords (long before our modern writers):--


the chromatic passage being doubled two octaves below by the basses.
The new subject, more absolutely melodious, still keeps up the same
theme--(for, _apropos_, we may also look upon this allegro as some
Homeric or Shakespearian recital of a great victory--recall the
superb opening lines of "Richard the Third," the "warriors' wreathed
brows, and their bruised arms hung up for monuments"). At first it is
heard softly--like a reinforcement in the distance (we think of the
Prussians at Waterloo, in the westering summer sun)--then as it were
in a blaze of music bursts in. Immediately after, where its exquisite
first half (so simple--mark that--but so eloquent and picturesque)
reappears in the basses (high), we are rather reminded of
Mendelssohn's "Huntsman's Song without Words," in A (the same key),
Book 1; but--we need not say--Mendelssohn has not gilded gold, or
improved the lily; for his fancy was distinctly lighter and smaller
than Beethoven's--or, let us say, he had fancy, Beethoven
imagination. And now a happy spirit of triumph sings in the basses;
and then burst out some crashing Beethoven-chords, of which I will
but point to the one _ff_ (5th bar of them); it is characteristically
the 6--4 of D--not, as anticipated, the 5--3 of F sharp minor.

Then, after a foreboding crescendo--characteristic growth out of an
initial fragment--and these two emphatic notes:--


--Beethoven all over--the first part closes, so to say, in a breadth
of thunder-peals and fiery rain. Technically, note the grand entry of
D minor, and mi--do--si--la--mi in unison, with the 3rd omitted; and
the minor-seventh chords, resolving into the tonic dominant of the
minor (D^1), so exquisitely expressive--alike of the pangs of victory
and the heroic resolution to endure them.

In the 2nd Part, on the way to G minor (Beethoven himself often never
knew whither he was taking us, or at least the precise route--and so
much the better!), we soon meet with a remarkable juncture of notes,
viz., do and mi of the chord (G minor), with fa superadded:--


This fa, at first sight perplexing, turns out to be a stray note (as
it seems) of the minor seventh chord on its way to the seventh,
which, however, ultimately appears (with beautiful effect) as the 3rd
of the dominant-seventh chord (to C minor). This powerfully,
painfully expressive dissonance is likewise to be found in his "Lied
Vom Tode" (Op. 48), amongst other instances; and the opening to
Schubert's "Wanderer" owes its intense expression to the same. The
_raison d'être_ of such discords is perhaps to be found in the
enhancement they give to the resolution. We could not bear them too
long, or too frequent; but, as a passing reminder of the tragedy of
life, they profoundly move and interest us; and, perhaps, discords in
life (likewise instituted by no Dryasdust) have essentially the same
_raison d'être_ and explanation--life is _agro-dolce_, not _dolce_
alone, and better so. Thereupon we have a new idea, surely as
playfully felicitous and characteristic as the scherzo of the
"Eroica" itself--like the warriors at sport after victory; or like a
glimpse of the same by them, back in a pause in the battle, which
soon recommences, with the shouts of the combatants and groans of the
wounded and dying. A page farther on, we have a truly sublime
episode; great is the chaunt on the earnest theatre (proclaiming
Right must and shall win) made up of the sufficient chord of F sharp
minor, and the basses moving in such a way as served as a model for
Wagner; this is epic, heroic, indeed! and--even greater--Pelion upon
Ossa, piled by this Titan fighting on the side of the gods, is the
culmination. Semitone by semitone mount the basses; and over all the
great clouds become richer in the setting sun, and pealing hosts of
heaven (as it were) join in the shouts of the victors,
crying--"Hosanna in excelsis! Alto trionfo del regno verace! Right
_is_ done!"

   "Glory of warrior, glory of orator, glory of song,
   Paid with a voice flying by, to be lost on an endless sea.
   Glory of virtue to fight! to struggle, to right the wrong,
   Give her the glory of going on, and still to be."


 At the moment we write, all round us we see nature emerged--

    "Nobler and balmier for her bath of storm."

The grim tempests of early winter have passed over, and after a
South-Italian night--a perfect blaze of constellations, with the
Evening Star incredible in the west, large, lustrous, evanescent--and
Orion sublime in the forehead of the Night over the mountain--with
Jupiter passed over, Mars and Sirius not far off, and the eternal
cluster of the Pleiades (those beautiful heralds) winging its flight
towards the north-west, and the leading star of the Ursus Major
plunging through the dusk (yet shining) over Naples; after such a
night, lo! the great amphitheatre of the world is a spectacle indeed!
The mountain-island sweeps like a garden at our feet to the sea; the
sea itself like an unspeakable floor or carpet spread out _for us_,
bearing the islands--the "great globe itself"--so proudly on its
nourishing bosom; and all round, out of a tender dusk (as it were,
like Compassion) rises the snow-peaked world (like virtue clothing
beauty, reason crowning power), the magnificent spur of the
Alps--showing what mountains can do at an effort--called the
Apennines, stretching down and around from Gaeta to Alicote, towering
over treasures, as it seems, of unearthly beauty; Monte St. Angelo,
with his colossal foot in the sea and roots in the world, his
wrinkles lined with snow, looms and towers before us; on the right
sweeps and bares itself the grand Bay of Salerno, and on the left the
proud Bay of Naples, with its eternal Watch-fire, like a sentinel
over all. Stupendous scene of beauty and power! and all that--on this
heavenly morning, when the world once more seems made again, and to
overpower us with its reiteration of Immortality--all that comes
before us as a grand subject set to music in this larghetto of
Beethoven's; all that, too--if the fancy may be allowed--seems in the
key of A natural. Before _it_, we should like to hear this exquisite
masterpiece--this, I will not say, Song without Words, but rather Te
Deum laudamus--adequately performed, say by the Künstler of his
"Vaterland." Here we have a sweetness and a serenity the more
touching, because they are _not_ those of a Mozart, but a Beethoven;
those of nature, "_nobler and balmier_ for her bath of storm" (human
as well as physical nature); whether Mozart do or do not represent
the storm already fought out, this is the sweetness, not of
sweetness, but depth--the serenity, not of serenity, but power. And,
indeed, we must hold, and urge, that however the objective may be of
value, and rank pre-eminent in poetry, the greatest music has come
down to us from perhaps the greatest subjective soul; and
essentially, much of contemporary, morbidly-conscious music seems in
comparison not only objective but material, not only material but
sensational; the delusively brilliant (phosphorescently brilliant)
product of a decaying time--we had almost said the elaborate
effeteness of a written-out age.

This larghetto is of Beethoven's first period, ripened of course
(strive as refiners may, they will scarcely be able to alter the
time-honoured division, so obviously founded in truth). Haydn and
Mozart are distinctly discerned glimmering through it, but not very
much more; it is Haydn and Mozart _plus_ Beethoven, which makes all
the difference. We repeat, it is _his_ serenity and sweetness, his
youth (so full and rich--of such _infinite_ promise), not theirs.
Theirs be the grace, but his the grandeur; theirs the amiability, but
his the milk of human kindness--so broad and deep (as of a yet
unsoured Hamlet, an Othello, a King Lear; for there are great
characters in Shakespeare which we _can_ blend Beethoven with, but
not the others). The details of the larghetto must be studied (say,
at the organ). I will here only advert to its reminiscence of the
andante (the exquisite episode) in the pastoral sonata, written about
the same period, truly worthy of symphonic treatment, with the
deliciously-delicate passage, as it were like a shower of sunbeams,
of gold sparkles--

    "In the æther of Deity"

(as the manifestations named men have been called). The movement is
rich both in the great strokes and tender touches of genius--of
genius which is power; and what we call the phraseology of the man as
a whole, and in its parts, is again beautifully Beethovenian. Here is
a lovely bit:--


The movement is not so _great_ as the preceding, and is perhaps too
long (which is a decided art-fault--not merely a mistake in
judgment); but, as a whole, it reminds us of Shakespeare's "entire
and perfect chrysolite;" we greet it (and other movements of
Beethoven's) with feelings of profound affection; as though we had
realised those words "Yet a little while and ye have me with ye"; as
though we had been living, for at least a breathing space, in the
atmosphere and society of higher life, out of the sphere of time and
in the sphere of the eternal. We have had such pleasure that we feel
more good; we issue grateful and earnest, happier, better men. There
have been sighs of regret that Beethoven did not write more music
like his Symphony in F; but not only this movement, but these two
first symphonies, the sonatas in E flat, "Adelaide"--nay, almost all
his first period compositions. And here our glances at this symphony
must cease. The trio, with its delicious strain, pleases us more than
the scherzo (a strain that might be made much more of). The scherzo
itself is less sympathetic than that of No. 1: seems, in fact, rather
heavily frolicsome. The finale is a masterpiece, though decidedly
inferior to the first movements. Do composers often write their
finale when they are jaded? they should make this their golden rule,
_toutes les choses ont leur matinée_.


    "Lo Motor primo a lui si volge licto,
    Soora tant'arte di natura, e spira
    Spirito nuovo, di virtù repleto"--

When we stand before this Symphony, like Death, it "gives us pause";
it looms so great, so vast. It was no wonder that it was not
comprehended at first; and this should be not a subject of regret,
but gratification, to the genius. Genius implies non-comprehension at
first, and all sorts of "cold obstruction"; and here it may at once
be said that, on the whole, genius, like virtue, is its own reward,
and perfect compensation for all drawbacks. This should be borne in
mind when uncalled-for lamentations are, not unnaturally, yet rather
thoughtlessly made. Certainly, Beethoven would not have been
satisfied had this phenomenal work, this prodigy, this spiritual
Labour of Hercules (type of all the great Helpers and Saviours of
mankind), been immediately grasped. To comprehend, in some small
measure, the prodigy called the Universe around us, men and things
have had to evolve for countless ages; it is the same, on a miniature
scale, with individual works; and every poet rids himself of his
message in the great spirit of the great Kepler:--"I may well wait a
century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an
observer." To no man not rich in such a spirit will any great message
be whispered and entrusted.

Beethoven was, in his sphere, and with his vehicle of utterance, a
prophet--a coming event that threw its shadow before. He revealed to
men, if they could but have seen it, the Nineteenth Century--_its_
inner life, _plus_ the nature and passions of the present (his own
day) and the past. No wonder, then, that the men of his own day--the
great mass, the local majority--could not understand what really is a
truer mirror of us--our doubts, and fears, and struggles, and hopes.
And the _Sinfonia Eroica_, I take it, must be so interpreted--in a
spiritual sense (at least as well as in the physical, or literal)--as
much as the Symphony in C minor, at least as much as the Pastoral
Symphony which Beethoven himself said was really emotional rather
than descriptive. And it little matters whether or not Beethoven
himself consciously uttered these manifold messages of his in this or
that sense; he has as perfect a right as Shakespeare to be deemed
full of all that can be packed into him; nay, it is all the better if
he was _not_ conscious: to repeat--unconsciousness was the soul of
his consciousness, as it ever is, and must be, of all higher speech
and performance.

No mere battle, or ordinary warfare--certainly Napoleonic--can
adequately explain, is solely depicted in, this grand work; though
they become far more satisfactory, so applied, when we consider them
as coarse manifestations of the higher qualities; in fact, as
backgrounds for and revelations of heroism. By dwelling on this, we
get nearer to the soul of the symphony; spiritual warfare, rather, is
what it proclaims.[A] Of Beethoven's notes, it may be quite as
much said as of Luther's words--his notes are like other men's
battles. Better than any poem this symphony (especially the first
movement--_facile princeps_) seems to hold the mirror up to Man in
his Warfare, specially and generally, physically and spiritually,
with and in his own inscrutable self, and with and in the unspeakable
elements of time. It is not without special beauty, in the last but
one, or Faust sense (we were struck and pleased to come across
Bendel's words, corroborating our own notion, that Beethoven was in
some sort a Faust); and, before this symphony, we feel Beethoven was
that good man, struggling with adversity, the spectacle of which is a
benefit to the very gods; and, under this feeling, the symphony does
us double good. The fact on the face of it is, its Titanic power in
_maturity_. The first two symphonies, also rich in power, are stamped
by a spirit of youth. This gives them a delicious charm which makes
them extra dear; and which Beethoven himself (let alone others) was
fundamentally mistaken (we feel) in underrating, nay, disparaging, as
he was afterwards wont to do (really, when his mighty powers were
waning, and he was perhaps in secret aware of that; it is the common
melancholy trick of men). That peculiar spirit of freshness here at
length we seem to miss, or are no longer struck by. Here we may draw
the line. Here we see the ripe man, or very nearly so; at least in
the prime and plenitude of his powers; not quite so _happy_ as
before, but stronger; and as yet with no serious threatening shadow
of gloom--though there may be clouds "as big as a man's hand," and
even occasionally, perhaps, hints, like the mole "cinque-spotted i'
the bottom of a cowslip," of tragedy and aberration among the most
melancholy in the history of men. Beethoven was an emphatically
conscious, but profoundly unconceited man. We are sure, therefore,
that he entitled his symphony "Heroic" (if he did do so) with no
unpardonable vanity; nevertheless, we regret that (as also in his
"Grand" sonatas) he did not leave it to others--for itself to call
itself that. Truly, he did not exceed much in betitling and
programming--his sense of the infinitude of music was too profound,
of that as being _the_ charm; but even in the few cases where he did,
perhaps the breach would have been better than the observance. One
great disadvantage of betitling music is, that it does not allow us
to approach it afterwards without preoccupation and convention;
whereas, we should approach it utterly free, except from our own
nature, and previous existence. Moreover, if the work correspond ever
so to the title or description, it is discounted beforehand. To say
_afterwards_, "that is heroic!"--"this is pastoral!" is an added
charm. But to details.

[A] Strauss (_not_ the dance composer), in rather a cavilling spirit,
says this symphony describes the life of a hero. So it does, but not
in the external sense he uses it in, but in the internal; life, means
inner life. Or, again, the work celebrates heroism rather than a

It will at once be noticed that Beethoven begins this symphony quite
differently from its predecessors; _allegro con brio_, two emphatic
chords, and then _in medias res_; the bass, however, leading off, as
in No. II., with, moreover, the same well-balanced poise (delicate,
yet firm as that of planet in its orbit), springy step, and
self-contained power. A characteristic originality is the C sharp,
where the bass breaks off, hardly begun, and the

    "Upper air bursts into life,"

with glorious breadth and soaring--soaring to the _primum mobile_
through obstructive cloud (discords of the dim. 7th on pedal tonic)
with only increased _éclat_! Thereupon, the basses worthily show
forth the heroic confidence of the nobly unstudied theme--great and
gay with the certainty of final victory; as it were, the warriors of
Israel advancing to conquer the Promised Land. Then, from none knows
where--from the very heart of heaven--fall shafts of light indeed, as
it were through the bosom of fragrance; which exquisite strain,
perhaps, contradicts what we said about the absence of youth in this
work. In any case, it is one of those many melodies which so movingly
proclaim Beethoven a profoundly good man, and how he wrote them so
_from above_, or rather they poured through him from infinite heights
(depths overhead) of ineffability. In this, in the _power_ of his
sweetness, he has never been surpassed, hardly equalled.

There are melodies by later men very beautiful too, which seem,
however, to come (we are almost tempted to write) like certain later
poetry, from a profoundly _bad_ source; they have demoniac, not
divine beauty. The strain in question:--


Certainly a

    "Dolce melodia in aria luminosa,"

seems the spirit of Love itself pure and simple--as it were,
a glance from the "young-eyed cherubim" into the Warrior's--into
Beethoven's own heart. But, in this "painfully earnest world,"
such blessedness cannot long last, and the sunshafts are soon again
obscured in the smoke of battle--the mystic whisperings drowned
in the din of artillery. _Apropos_, it struck us that, if we
like the warlike figure, this grand battlepiece (by Rubens? or
Tintonello?--_Rembrandt_, we would rather say) gains, if we consider
it as a _sea_-battle, in a storm, with wizard lights and seams of
fire all along the horizon. Nay, in the second part--those wonderful
strokes of genius where the chord of the sub dominant (?) is piled on
to and clashes against that of the relative minor A--we fancy it
vividly depicting "Nelson falls!" (the true hero, whose pole-star is
duty; not pleasure, nor ambition); and the unspeakable passage a
little further on (in E minor--Beethoven alone capable of it--never
dreamt of in the philosophy of his predecessors), suggested his
death--(or rather, more stupendously, that of _the_ Christian Hero,
when He "gave up the ghost," crying, "_Finitus est!_").

More than one modern work has attempted to depict the world-old great
subject: Virtue and Vice contending for (or within) a human soul--the
struggle of Good and Evil. Methinks, as long ago as this Heroic
Symphony the same struggle is represented, or shadowed forth (for its
great text, like music in general, and more so with Beethoven, has
many meanings). The third (?) subject in this theme-rich movement,
where Beethoven from his full heart pours forth one motiv after
another, is especially suggestive of conflict--what shocks, clashes,
contentions!--but the "good angel fires the bad one out," and bears
the precious prize aloft in a whirl of triumph--resounding, as it
were, through the halls of heaven--

    "Whose Titan angels, Gabriel, Abdiel,
    Starr'd from Jehovah's gorgeous armouries,
      Tower, as the deep-domed empyrean
        Rings to the roar of an angel onset."

But then--

    "Me rather all that bowery loveliness,
    The brooks of Eden mazily murmuring,
      And bloom profuse and cedar arches
        Charm, as a wanderer out in ocean,"

    "Where some refulgent sunset of India
    Streams o'er a rich ambrosial ocean isle,
      And, crimson-hued, the stately palm-woods
        Whisper, in odorous heights, of even."

Then we have a strain which seems to anticipate Schumann himself, the
greatest symphonist after Beethoven--a singular repose, of almost
unearthly loveliness, after the high commotion.

A little later, and _ecco!_ a new idea:--


exquisite in its lightness and strength (like a giant at play, or a
river disporting in its banks); and thereupon, after bold
progressions, six remarkable iterations--also like "So Fate knocketh
at the portals!" or like blow after blow of virtuous resolutions;
where all is characteristic, this is strikingly so. Then follows
another of his ineffable thoughts (supremely); and then, after
another whirl of the _sacred_ fury, which seems to be the soul of
this unexampled movement, we are brought back to the original
subject, which re-enters in its own colossal continence; and these
truly "_stupendi pagine_" (and not those about Goethe's Frederika of
Sessenheim, in his "Autobiography,") are repeated. The second part,
or elaboration (as it is called) is likewise, and _par excellence_,
stupendous, especially the part before adverted to, in A and E minor.
Here, truly, the music quite transcends ordinary language and
thought; to bring ideas worthy to it, we must recur to Him who cried
"_Lama, Lama, Eli Sabbacthani!_" This is the anguish of a
Redeemer-soul. But to such, also, is the victory; and to such the
Father sendeth legions of angels. See, also, especially the passage
further on, in G flat (should it not be _andante_?)--which, as it
were, almost overcomes us with enchantment. Here, methinks, the
Invisible Auxiliaries already bear the poor shell, and whisper at the
same time a word of comfort to the Mother--whom no Power strikes into
stone, like Niobe.

"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!"--ears that are but the
outwork of the soul. Let him go, even as it were, prepared and
attuned, in some sort like a Communicant--and receive music's banquet
mysteriously provided for him. The message of a Beethoven is not
trifling, but earnest; speaks inarticulately (more divinely so) of
the greatest, solemnest, things; whispers and thunders from the
Altar. If "the value of no word is known till the greatest master of
it has arrived," so also the value of no utterance is known till the
greatest receiver--understander--of it has arrived. Plato said, Poets
speak greater things than they know. Of none was this ever truer than
of Beethoven. He alone, in his day, most knew the value and import of
his music; others come after (and will come) who know more. This is
his greatest praise. There is no more congenial occupation to a
sympathetic imagination than throwing together some of the images,
thoughts, or ideas which his mighty music suggests. Goethe was
displeased when importuned for the key idea (_more Germanico_) of his
"Wilhelm Meister;" thought that itself should be sufficient of
itself. It is the same with Beethoven and this symphony. No _rigid_
principle must be sought, or insisted on. The first movement
especially does indeed stand very four-square and homogeneous; but
the fiery soul of it (sun-fire, passion and beauty,) is very various
in its manifestation; and unless we understand and apply the term
"heroic" in its amplest sense, we are fettered and injured rather
than benefitted and helped. The greatest Hero we yet wot of was
personified self-sacrifice, love--who did not flame abroad over that
world a devastation, but made his life answer the queries of
philosophy, and the doubts of the sceptic; the greatest Hero was one
who "went about doing good."

Tennyson's eloquent alcaics on Milton--

    "O mighty-mouth'd inventor of harmonies,
    O skill'd to sing of Time or Eternity"--

the rest of which have been already quoted, seems not inapplicable to
Beethoven and this his symphony. Many others would do as well, or
better. Of general application--when we _think_ of its melodious rush
of ideas (one of the distinguishing features between it and the first
two symphonies), great republican spirit (in the highest sense),
Sun-god beauty, and Jove-like power; of its intellect, superior to
that of Bach's (it seems to us), as Carlyle well says Shakespeare's
was to that of the author of "_Novum Organum_," and of its grace and
sweetness, profounder than, not only of Haydn's and Mozart's, but any
other composer's, then the beautiful words of Dante, at the head of
this chapter, may apply.

The Prime Mover turns joyfully unto him, and, surpassing nature,
breathes into him a new spirit, replete with virtue and power. THE

Beethoven was a gloomily profound soul;--herein differentiated from
Shakespeare, who was pellucidly, cheerfully profound; and unlike
Schopenhauer (whom he otherwise rather suggests), who was profoundly
gloomy--one of the most so who ever lived; therefore he composed a
"_Marcia Funèbre_" specially _con amore_, and therefore it is
specially characteristic of him. In the present instance, this, as it
were, unfathomably profound inspiration, gains, as in every other
case, if we interpret it liberally rather than literally, and
consider it to depict and deplore rather the death of a great
Principle (such as Faith, Virtue, Truth,) than a great man; or the
great man, the hero, _plus_ the heroic, buried with him, _ultimus
Romanorum_. If we would realize the depths of this utterance--as it
were almost speechless--choked with tears--we shall think of it in
connection with such words as the following:--

    "Tired with all these, for restful death I cry--
      As to behold desert a beggar born,
    And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
      And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
    And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
      And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
    And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
      And strength by limping sway disabled,
    And art made tongue-tied by authority,
      And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
    And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
      And captive good attending captain ill;
    Tired with all these, from these I would be gone,
    Save that, to die, I leave my love alone."

Speaking of Schopenhauer, the difference between him and Beethoven
seems to be this:--the latter shows us Optimism _victorious_ over
Pessimism; his works, indeed, seem specially and wonderfully to
mirror the struggle, as indeed, the whole of this century at least is
profoundly tinctured, nay seems almost characteristically stamped by
Pessimism; but Beethoven does not, and will not give way to, and end
in the rayless paralysis of Pessimism; he fights through, and soars
triumphant; in Mr. Picton's words, _re_ Materialism, "comes out at
the other side." In this, methinks, the deadly struggle betwixt
Optimism and Pessimism around us and within us; but the victory of
the former, and the triumph of Immortality over Doubt and Denial, we
have the key to Beethoven's music (of course unconsciously, and, as
we say, so much the better; it would have been worse expressed had it
been conscious). At a moment when Pessimism was uppermost, he might
have sat down to write this Dead March: that it was to celebrate
Napoleon Buonaparte was never the case, though it might have been to
celebrate the Napoleon of Beethoven's imagination, a _Hero_, to
bewail whose departure from among us no tones can be too pregnant and
profound, especially if we think we have "fallen on evil times," and
that we shall "never look upon his like again." And here a word about
Beethoven's (the true hero) immortal act, when he heard that Napoleon
had made himself crowned--(the other hero we spoke of refused a
crown, and hid himself); was not _that_ a repudiation of Tyranny and
Quackery? was not _that_ a royal piece of Iconoclasm? to me it is one
of the highest private scenes of History. Summon it up one
moment:--Beethoven's eye flashing fire; the lion locks almost shaking
flames, as he tears the superscription in half (and Napoleon's fame
with it), and dashes the "carefully written out" symphony on the
floor, "put his foot down on _that_." _So_, I should like to see
Beethoven painted; or still better, sculptured. Dr. Nohl has taken
occassion to draw an elaborate parallel or comparison between
Beethoven and another great contemporary of his, Goethe--(we would
draw it also to the advantage of the former;) Carlyle has done so,
between Napoleon and Goethe; we would do so between Napoleon and
Beethoven, and call the latter in our great Sage's words, a "still
white light shining far into the centuries," while the other was
meteoric flame and volcanic glare--not wholly, solely, for he too was
an instrument--an able, and necessary one, but in comparison. Let
anyone ask himself how he feels at the mention of the two names. Is
he not expanded, cheered, comforted, and made better--unconsciously
made surer of goodness, truth, immortality, and all high things, at
the name of Beethoven; and is he not repelled, if dazzled, by that of
Napoleon? The good was not buried with Beethoven's bones. Think of
the amount he has done after his death (like Handel and his
"Messiah"); think of his industrious great life and character--so
originally grand; and contrast it with the portentous mass of lies
and murders, the conflagrations and widow's tears, the hideous
battle-fields of the heartless, semi-conscious, semi-quack,
diabolically selfish Napoleon, and the good _he_ has done after him.
No! the good Wolfe had rather have been Gray than the victor of
Quebec, and we would rather have been Beethoven than Napoleon--whose
very genius, moreover, is over-rated; for we decidedly think with
Madame de Stäel, that had he met with an able and honest adversary
early, he would have been checked or defeated; nay, he _was_, when he
met Sydney Smith at Acre; and, curiously enough, after, when he met
_another_ Briton, who was never defeated--Wellington. Napoleon will
always be marvelled at and written about, but it will never be said
of him--"in his works you will find enrichers of the fancy,
strengtheners of virtue, a withdrawing from all selfish and mercenary
thoughts, a lesson of all sweet and honourable thoughts and actions,
to teach them courtesy, benignity, generosity, humanity; for, of
examples teaching these virtues, his pages are full;"--as it was said
of the author of "Hamlet," and as it is here repeated of the mighty
composer of this "Dead March," with its wails from the deepest and
strains from the highest thing known--the heart of man.


With a glance at the Scherzo, we will bring our remarks to a close,
the more especially as the Finale seems less interesting, relevant,
and original (Beethoven seems more to have copied himself,) than the

The Scherzo, with its _obbligato_ constituent element, the "Trio," is
on the same great scale, and in the same epic spirit (we see no
particular need, with Wagner, to seek a connection,) as the first
movement. Here we _see_ the gods and heroes, the immortals, at sport
in their own high hall--green-hill'd theatre, and "deep-domed
empyrean." Here Optimism is not only victor, but full of play and
humour. Such Olympian sport, such great picturesque music, was
inconceivable to Beethoven's predecessors; and we get some idea of
his merit when we reflect that the ground, when he began to write
quartets and symphonies, seemed already occupied, the sphere
exhausted; and when we reflect, how, of all Haydn's 119 symphonies
(!) not one, in some seasons, is performed; whereas, Beethoven's are
the feature of almost every performance, and are found now to be
"favourite with all classes," as the Sydenham programme asserts--a
statement which, otherwise, rather provokes an elevation of the
eyebrows. The trio, especially, is of exceeding original beauty;
there are few more grateful pages in Beethoven; none where his
peculiarly characteristic _healthy_ sweetness
(freshness-and-power--_depths_ of purity, beyond plummet's sound,) is
so strikingly, so enchantingly displayed. At the base of a great
mountain in Switzerland, with his foot in two lakes, and with sides
that might almost have been an envy in Eden, there runs--from one
magical sheet of water to the other--a heavenly valley. There we once
saw a local military _Fest_, with flying banners and echoing music;
and, as we walked along, under the eternal brow of that immense
emerald bastion, with the spring sun before us, we thought of this
Trio, and said--"Here is where it ought to sound, by a noble army on
its return, laurel-laden, from righteous victory;" and Shakespeare's
lines again _festeggiavano_ in the memory:--

    "Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
    And all the clouds that lower'd upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
    Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings;
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
    Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
    And now, instead of mounting barbèd steeds,
    To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
    He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute."

How exquisitely we can fancy the horns making those mountain-walls
and woodlands ring! and the hautboys in response, gladdening the
pastures; while the flutes (later) curl the wave; and the bassoons,
along with the other two epico-pastoral instruments, after the maiden
welcome of the violins--welcome by maidens:--

          "Oneste e leggiadre in ogni atto."--

    "Set all the bells a-ringing--over lake and lea,
    Merrily, merrily, along with them in tune."

It is all enchanting; no greater epico-lyric poem in Beethoven--who,
even in the midst of this triumph and beauty, cannot (thank
inspiration!) but speak from the profundities of him. I allude to
that wonderful passage where he brings in (hitherto reserved) the
clarinets (that voice of heroic women, as Berlioz finds it), over the
intensely expressive progression of the strings, in response to the
breathings of the horns. In music perhaps there is no profounder
interchange of heart and soul, of sorrow and affection, touching
reminiscence from the lowest well-spring. This, perhaps, is a glance
at the "happy autumn days that are no more;" or an heroic wail over
the dead and desolated; a glance back at the horrors of war--a
thought for the widows and orphans' tears falling even now around;
and yet, under all, a stern determination to brook no tyranny, love
of duty, and a high submission, cost what it might, to the Supreme


This Symphony is only another proof of Beethoven's kinship with
Shakespeare. The terrible romance of "Romeo and Juliet" (where the
atmosphere seems loaded with love and doom); the classic grandeur of
"Coriolanus" and "Julius Cæsar"; the passionate intensity of
"Othello"; the fearful sublimity (depth, as well as height and
breadth) of "Macbeth" and "Lear;" the beautiful greatness of the
"Tempest"; and the subtlety (seraphic, not demoniac), tragic
picturesqueness, inner life, and almost superhuman power and insight
of "Hamlet," are all, more or less (and, indeed, more rather than
less), to be found reproduced in Beethoven; and truly, as it is borne
in on us, in him, the tone-poet, more than in speech-poet, certainly
more than in Schiller and Goethe; more also than in our own men, of
whom none after Shakespeare can compare with Beethoven except
Milton--and him we reckon inferior. There are indeed two elements of
Shakespeare which Beethoven lacks, his characteristic serenity and
humour; besides that, _Beethoven's tragedy is the tragedy of his own
soul, whereas Shakespeare wrote outside himself_. Beethoven was a
colossally subjective storm-tossed spirit (though also eminently
objective--none surpasses him in broad vivid painting of images, as
well as "the life of the soul";)--the dove of whose ark (to speak
figuratively) never found soil for her foot after youth had died out,
and the flood fairly set in. But, in his prime, also in the "April of
his prime", and at his best, he bears a greater family likeness to the
great ancestor than any other man, though he really resembles no one
but himself, just like Shakespeare, as we feel after long but futile
efforts to pair him with somebody--a fact highly curious and
interesting! The kinship, however, is equally striking and
fascinating; and nowhere, perhaps, is it more fascinating than in this
B flat Symphony, which we are inclined to term _par excellence_
beautiful; as its predecessors are powerful and great. Indeed there
seems something of the opaline varnish--or rather, lustre, like a
leaf's--_from within_--of Mozart; specially beautiful, as _he_ is
specially beautiful, and is not powerful or great, profound and
earnest, grand. But, again, _plus_ the grace, there is also, below,
the characteristic depth; after all, and as ever, power is _doch_ the
soul of the beauty--as--and here is our point--in the "Tempest" (and
"Midsummer Night's Dream"), as in Shakespeare, rather than in Mozart;
indeed, we know not but what Haydn's beauty has more a soul of power.

The enchanting spirit of Shakespeare's fairy plays, and the enchanting
spirit world, seems that too of this symphony. Here are Puck and
Blossom, Oberon and Titania; here are Ferdinand and Miranda--above
all, Ariel and Prospero. Prospero, whose sublime spirit shines and
rules in this inaugural adagio--adumbration of Chopin (?) which dwarfs
Chopin indeed!--is much nearer akin to Schumann. It is like an
inspired dream (a Jacob's, or Elijah's, or Daniel's). It seems a great
foreshadowing of his later style; in its vagueness it is vast--as it
were, a vestibule or forecourt of the Infinite, of higher life; of
that beyond, methinks, whereinto Prospero (our own great dear, sad
Beethoven, tired of all, and of himself,) sinks his dreamy glance,
when he casts away for ever his magic wand (magic only in a lower
sphere, where life and character are inferior); "deeper than did
plummet sound," and cries, wrapt from the bystanders:--

    "The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a wrack behind."

In the allegro we seem to continue our analogy--in the wondrous isle
itself (Isle of Formosa), "full of strange sights and sounds." Here,
not Greek Naiads and Dryads, but Christian sprites and fairy-things,
or both in loving rivalry, flit and trip invisibly and visibly; here
is freshness! here are sunbeams! here simplicity and sweetness
(woodland and pastoral beauty)! And if, in the matchless adagio the
sea murmurs round the "still-vext Bermoothes," and Ariel fetches
thence dew; here we have all-compelling Prospero commanding the most
exquisite airy sport--but not for himself--but for the lovers.

The scherzo (to take that next), forces upon us once more the
question--how far did Beethoven, in composing, draw upon his early
treasures? This delicious burst--or gush--of inspiration, as it were a
moment flashing over, might have been written in the same spring
months as that other delicious morsel--specially cherished by us; the
scherzo ("Allegro") in E flat, in the early sonata of the same
key--which has always seemed to us the very breath of spring itself--a
page of nature in April. And why should a Beethoven disparage his
early works? were they not _doch_ the works of a Beethoven! Alas, he
can never be young again, never after equal them, for their breath and
spirit, for the April of their prime.

We should like to hear Liszt or Rubinstein play this morsel arranged.
It is as delicate as Heller (whom it indeed anticipates) and
Mendelssohn, and strong as Wagner;--but nay, Beethoven will compare
only with himself. It is originally exquisite and exquisitely
original. It has, too, the same magical, nay, mystical beauty whose
glamour is over all this musical mirror of the "Tempest." The
imaginative Sonata in D minor, which Beethoven himself referred to the
enchanting drama--especially the first movement--reflects, I take it,
the deeper bases and significance of the poem; tempest-tossed man,
with his cries to the Unknowable, almost like a wounded animal, and
rays of sunshine pouring still through storm; man, at war with the
elements and himself, the elements without and within him; man, so
little on this stupendous stage; man, so great with his
alone-perception of it; man, so mean and hateful in his baser parts,
so colossal, so divine in his higher; so low as animal (lower than
they), so high as hero and sage. Indeed, the tremendous conflict of
outer and inner life, this appalling discrepancy we seem to meet with
everywhere; man's struggle with nature, and the struggle of both with
themselves, seems to be the inner picture both of Shakespeare and
Beethoven--especially the latter, who was a mighty brooding fermenting
soul--how far transcending our Byron and his "Manfreds"!--more allied
to "Faust," yet greater, nobler, dearer, difficult to arrive at
harmony with others and himself ("perplext in faith, yet pure in
deeds"), who seems happy only in the first part of his progress
(expedition, undertaking, crusade), and victorious in the middle; and
whom, alas! we fancy almost as despairing of solving the problem (_é
pure troppo per me_) in the end, and going down in the tempest--yet,
like the traditional Vengeur, with guns all shooting, and flag at the
mast-head flying, and glorified in the setting sun.

I will not dwell on the finale, but conclude with some fancies
suggested by the rarely beautiful adagio--like a lovely bird from
another world, like the ph[oe]nix new born. Here is what Elterlein
says of the finale:--"The truly phantastic, airy, sprite-like
(_elfenartige_), at times even boding twilight" (the Scotch uncanny
gloaming would more approach the original, _Unheimlicht
Düstere_--Scotch, by the way, would often marvellously translate
German--they have a mass of expressive words which we have
not)--"boding twilight, nay, wild culminates, however, only in the
fourth movement. How light and vanishing do these tone-pictures hover
and pass, what characteristic glooming (_Helldenkel_) does not
envelope this scene too."

Of course, this symphony cannot compare one moment with the Eroica and
C minor, for grandeur, opulence, and power; but it is a lovely
interlude, giving us a divine moment of gratification and repose--an
Italian spring day by a lake, to a tropical one, with its Himalayas
and interwoven forest, "like a cathedral with service on the blazing

And now for the adagio! which I will only preface by this admonition,
always to be recollected; viz., that whatever fancies or figures music
may suggest, and however the abstract terms--such as sweet, tender,
vigorous, grand, &c.--may, and must be applied in common to all
composers, yet each composer has a special individuality; and _the
music that suggests the figures and fancies, the ideas, has, apart
from this, for ever a special charm of its own_, which cannot be lost,
nor yet transcribed. To those who do not, and to those who do approve
the fancies, this charm _per se_ remains.


A work of supererogation, the adagio is still sometimes executed at
concerts, which rejoices in the sensational title of "Le trille du
Diable;" founded, it is said, on a dream of the composer's (Tartini);
this, simply-named "Adagio," of Beethoven's, then--in considering
which, I mean to surrender myself wholly to poetry--might be a
reminiscence of his of music, in a dream, by the angel, Gabriel; or
such, for instance, as might have escorted the seraph when he
descended, and said, "_Ave Maria!_"--or it might be an unconscious
reminiscence of previous existence of the great and good man; or the
strain the Shepherds heard, in the field, watching their flocks by
night--again, and more specially, a

    "Dolce melodia in aria lumino,"

through the purple air, mingled with ambrosia, and the beams of _that_
evening star. Nay, it might have lulled that head which had nowhere to
rest, when perchance it _did_ find some rocky corner; or Saul of
Tarsus, or Jonah below on the raging sea. It puts us in mind of the
immortal line--

    "After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well."

Ah! we see therein the great weary spirit of its own eternal
messenger, for once at least, rocked on its waves and soothed by its
balm, in the sea of immortality. It is a pleasure to throw together
all the ideas with which it inspires us. It seems a foretaste of
Schumann and Ernst ("Elegy"); it has their glimmering romance, and
Beethoven's own peculiar profound sweetness, _not_ tainted (at least
here and yet) by anything morbid, or the suspicion of it. It, too,
suggests earlier years--"_Ach!_" a reminiscence of childhood in
Rhineland. It is glamorous, but with the glamour of Ariel--a spirit of
good--the spirit of Shakespeare. It is tender and beautiful as Jean
Paul; deep, sweet, unutterably. Methinks it paints this:--

    "Oh sea! that lately raged and roared--
    Art now unruffled by a breath?--
    So shall it be, thou Mighty Teacher,
    With us--after Death."

And this:--

    "And balmy drops in summer dark
    Slide from the bosom of the stars."

And this:--

    "When summer's hourly mellowing change
      May breathe with many roses sweet,
      Upon the thousand waves of wheat
    That ripple round the lovely grange."

And this--with peculiar propriety:--

    "Fair ship, that from the Italian shore
      Sailest the placid ocean-plains
      With my lost Arthur's loved remains,
    Spread thy full wings and waft him o'er.

    So draw him home to those that mourn
      In vain; a favourable speed
      Ruffle thy mirror'd mast, and lead
    Through prosperous floods his holy urn.

    All night no ruder air perplex
      Thy sliding keel till Phosphor, bright
      As our pure love, through early light
    Shall glimmer on thy dewy decks.

    Sphere all your lights around, above,
      Sleep, gentle heavens, before the prow;
      Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now,
    My friend, the brother of my love."

(Note especially the truly seraphic ineffability of the passage in G
flat). It is such music as might have accompanied Him who made the
storm his mere mantle, and the raging sea the mere pathway of power;
of Him who had the right of all men to say--out of whose mouth the
word sounded fullest--Peace!


Beethoven might well write an Heroic Symphony, for the very soul of
his symphonies is heroism. He _named_ one "heroic," but he _wrote_
many, including the sonatas, which are unfortunately limited to the
piano, whose powers they utterly transcend. Heroism is the soul, and
antagonism the substance, through which heroism ultimately fights its
way. Beethoven is the Hercules of music (Hercules was in some sort
also the Pagan Christ), undertaking labours for men's emancipation and
help; beating Hydros down; conquering all sorts of
opposition--unconquerable except by love; and, like the antique hero,
alas! with an end as tragic. Such comparisons we are obliged to have
recourse to, to explain Beethoven's music--its might and significance.
"What, then, does this eternal conflict, and victorious heroism
storming through, mean?" Ah! how they still paint the conflict of rule
and anarchy, of the intellect and reason, of passion and prejudice!

Man is called the microcosm of nature, and music is the microcosm of
man; _his_ antagonism and heroism, internal as well as external, are
herein mirrored. Music is the highest art; because the most spiritual,
infinite, self-existent (creating, not copying), and comprehensive. No
statue, picture, or pile, can compare with the power of a
symphony--which, indeed, all but rivals that of nature herself, of the
great world and starry heavens; the secret of whose power is also the
Infinite, with its whispered promise--its soul--Immortality. Art is
the shadowing forth of the infinite: music does this most, and
Beethoven's is most music. Music, as we said, is the microcosm of man.
As the world is comprised in him--alone realized _by_ him, and
therefore in some sort alone existent _in_ him, so are his nature and
history comprised in music--his depths and heights, beauties and
deformities, aspirations and passions, circumstances and powers. It is
the "might, majesty, and dominion," inarticulateness, _profound_
beauty--as it were searching flower-cups with star-beams: the
effluence of a soul deep as heaven (beyond the other side of
earth)--of man (not "_etwas_," of a man) that Beethoven shadows forth.
That one, also, who struggled in the womb--what was he but a type of
man in the all-comprising womb of nature? And this, also, Beethoven's
music suggests; not least the music of this stupendous symphony--only
another "Eroica," and greater, without the name (better so). _More
suo_, Beethoven himself flashed a meaning more or less on it. "So
knocketh Fate at the portal;" yes! with the portentousness of the
"knocking at the gate" (see Lamb's remarks), in "Macbeth;" yes! fate
in the form of duty. And truly, what higher subject--subject dear to
the ancients as they are called--subject constantly treated in his own
inspired way (Nature's), by Shakespeare--could be chosen? And
Beethoven has rivalled Aiskulos and Shakespeare. Here is battle! here
is victory!--here, too, the air seems almost oppressive with love and
doom; and here, too, in the background, and from the deepest deeps,
are wreaths and similes of celestial beauty. "Well done, good and
faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Another thing
the first movement suggests is, that it is the greatest of "_Dies
Iræ_." That passage, especially on the second page of the second part,
where one half the orchestra answers the other with the same terrific


(_en passant_, did ever reiteration play such a part?), prompts the
wildest fancies. We think of

                      "The glooms of hell
    Echoed with thunder, while the angels wailed;"

or again, echoes of deserted hell on the day of doom--the fiends
summoned to the judgment-seat. But let us recur to Beethoven's more
human suggestion. Fate knocketh in the form of Duty; Promethean
free-will, human passion, rebels and struggles for a time, but at last
yields; and heroic resolve is triumphant--heroic love. For, "Ach!"
methinks these terrible blows are indeed those of Fate; but also
those, viz., which nailed Heroic Love (comprehend both words) to the
cross--heroic love that made even

    "Destiny coincide with Choice;"

--that from the horrible instrument of torture and death itself,
cried, "Father! forgive them, for they know not what they do;" and in
the midst of the greatest of struggles and temptations (viz., with
himself), wrestled and conquered, and cried, "Not my will (the local),
but Thine (the universal) be done."--Such is the colossal difference
between the pictures of Christ submitting, and Prometheus cursing the
gods. It is a remarkable fact, that this symphony is so great--indeed,
the greatest; and yet, it is a fact fundamentally, instructively
natural; for, not premeditating it beforehand, Beethoven sat down to
write about the greatest thinkable subject out of his inmost own
heart--nay, as it were, with his own heart's blood. Another remarkable
fact is, that the so much abused public soon realized that this
symphony was the greatest. This symphony paints Beethoven's
life--especially inner life--which "life" properly means. Here we see
genius struggling with fate, in which his life was sunk (like every
life); wherewith our little life is rounded, as with a sleep. Fate!
What had it done for Beethoven? What does it mean?

In the first place--mysteriously great fact--Fate had from the outset
given him her own answer, had put into his hands _the_ weapon for
defeating her, viz., Genius. Armed with this, he can bide his time,
and take all the drawbacks _plus_; especially as with him genius
implies, what, properly, it always implies, Valour--or, in the
valuable Latin double-sense or many-sense of the word, Virtue. The
drawbacks--disagreeables, obstacles, from drunken father, aye, and own
character, downward--in no wise fail to come. Amongst the gravest are
the physical, deafness; one mixed, unsatisfied heart; and one
spiritual, unsatisfied soul--all sunk in the adamantine environment of
Fate. But then, as observed, Fate equips her adversary for the battle.
And mark how Beethoven quits himself in the encounter. In early
morning, in the burden and heat of the day, and by declining sun,
he--like every true man, (like the Son of Man, or Brother of
Man)--fights Fate with his life; makes his _life_ answer doubts; and
queries; and despair, the crucial questions which Fate forces on him.
It is in this sense Emerson's saying applies. Beethoven thus answered
questions he was not conscious enough to put; as, on the other hand,
he also put questions he had not the power to answer--like the
nineteenth century itself--questions which the twenty-ninth will
probably be seeking a solution for. When Fate buffeted Beethoven at
home (bitter mockery!), he worked in the direction, and with the
instrument, which nature gave him; when she appeared as grim _Vièrge
de Fer_, commanding him to earn his bread, he worked; when she
appeared (more cruelly) as syren (mocking him), he worked (not went
away and rioted); when--the most unkind cut of all--she made him deaf
(him, Beethoven the grandest representation of man for the
constituency, Music), he worked harder than ever; and all through the
time, down to the end, _when_ he could not, _though_ he could not,
satisfy the most irrepressible and unsatisfiable of all inquirers, his
own unsettled soul--incapable of _grasping_ eternity, _knowing_ it
must exist; incapable of _proving_ immortality, feeling it is the very
breath of life and beauty, and must be--from first to last, he worked.
For this, he could dispense with going to hear Immanuel Kant; though,
assuredly, their understanding of the "Categorical Imperative" was
one, viz., Conscience(?). "Two things strike me dumb,--the heavens by
night, and the moral law in man." Let Fate knock as she
may,--unannounced, her loudest, long-sustained--as in these portentous
notes (was ever chord of the dim. 7th so treated--so inspiredly?):--


in these notes--whose indefinite dwelling seems to say, "I pause for a
reply." Fate confronts man--a being _repleto di virtù_; a being bound
by will, but with an unique sense of freewill: here she meets
consciousness-and-conscience. Her blows are hard; but "a soft answer
(the _p_ ensuing) turneth away wrath"--Beethoven turns her blows
(_her_ blows) into beauty. I am also here struck by the reflection,
that we may consider these as the blows of death (_cum æquo
pede_)--_that_ form of fate; and they are answered by the soft
whisper--"immortality." This soft whisper rises into storm-loudness,
at its grandest (further on), that is, where man cries, "Aye, and
though personal immortality be a vain dream, I will be immortal here,
and thus answer thee, thou bug-bear, Death! Suffice it for me to be
here great and good!"

Mark especially, somewhat further on, after the stormy passage, the
strain in the major (E flat). I have no words for its beauty
(especially if played _andante_); it is like star-dew fallen into the
bosom of a lily. Or, again, "deep answering unto deep," he rises and
strikes her back with power. Every depth into which her blows fell
him, only confers on this Antæus new power. Though o'er him, in the
words of the Greek Beethoven (Aiskulos--in the Greek Macbeth,

    "Billow-like, woe rolls on woe,
    In the light of heaven,"


    "Cannot bring him wholly under, more
    Than loud south-westerns, rolling ridge on ridge,
    The buoy that rides at sea, and dips and springs
    For ever;"

--to use our own poet's magnificent image--(type, as here applied, of
character; or of immortality--the eternal hope of it in man). Such we
figure the conduct of this Titan in the stupendous conflict--Titan,
who made the very gods tremble:--

    "FIALTE.--La nome; e fece le gran prove,
    Quando i giganti fer paura ai Dei."--

He conquers, because

                        "Soleva la lancia
    D'Achille e del suo padre esser cagione
    Prima di triste e poi di buona mancia,"

to quote the _Italian_ Beethoven; the spear of Achilles, and his
father, heals its wounds. The cruel blows of Fate and Temptation (to
error and despair) are resisted, cured, and beaten, as before said, by
her own gift, or by herself, in the form of character and genius. In
the light of the higher reading before-mentioned, Fate, under the
terrible but divine form of duty (divine necessity), knocks at man's
heart, and bids it open; but that being human--

    "Frailty, thy name is Man,"--

hesitates, protests, rebels, in all the strength of selfish passion,
of full-armed nature. As before thrown out, the grand lesson (whatever
dialect man may speak or think), the tremendous spectacle, is in the
Garden of Gethsemane and in Golgotha. Thither we must repair, if we
would realize the force of this idea--of this music. In the light of
morning we have once again played it (_gewiss_ not like a Rubinstein),
and find our words no whit too strong (after orchestral performance
one is simply overpowered). We are struck with the impression that it
is the most dramatic work, not only in music, but human performance
(no painting, even, can so evoke all the feelings of the Cross); and
we would use the higher imaginings we have to give our brother
musicians an idea of the true greatness, the sacred grandeur, of their
art: it knows no rival but poetry.

Let us, then, with a final glance at that stupendous drama, close.
Fate, in the thunder-pregnant darkness, over all the cypress-bowers
and cedar-glooms, "commends" the fearful chalice to the lips. Ensues
the highest of struggles--godlike; but, finally, with the most
immortal of earth's words, Character, the softly invincible heroism of
self-sacrificing love, the grandeur of filial submission to the
Universal Will, conquers; and a strain of seventh-heaven triumph bears
away the words--"FATHER, not my will, but Thine be done!" It is the
same in the fell scene of Golgotha. As we said, these blows are the
nails driven home; _but they cannot nail down the spirit_; and the
spouting blood is a fountain of glory; the cross by magic, made the
highest symbol of men. Fate may do her worst now--from without or
within; temptation was trampled under foot; and, lo! Fate is
conquered!--or rather, one with apotheosis and immortality.


I recollect reading, some one exclaimed, in natural rapture on hearing
this andante of andantes (the only rival of the sonata theme in A
flat--?) "Oh! what must that man have felt who wrote this!" Yes; felt
when he wrote it, and all through life. What inner life was not his!
"It comes before me," as the Germans say, that this movement should be
played before the distant sea, in the westering sun of a summer's day.
Methinks, on its heavenliest of dreams, in view of that suggested sea
of immortality, Beethoven's own spirit might pass away; had a
sanctioned longing so to do; not in misanthropic disgust (nothing
Byronic, _à la_ Manfred) but at peace--with all, all. This is the
celestial _Nunc Dimittis_: the life and worship, including work, in
the temple--this infinite--is over; the Messiah is come; higher life
dawns upon men--therefore, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart
in peace!"

It is impossible to express, only possible in some sort to feel, the
unfathomable peace shadowed forth in this music. Or, again, it is a
_Kinderscene_, greater than any of any Schumann. As for "Songs without
words," they are tinsel to it. Here is a reverie by one of the
highest, dearest, of men, from the summit where he first sees his
shadow slope towards the grave, back into the holy dreamland of
childhood. Here is its mystic infinitude reflected and shadowed forth
by a heart that almost dies in the process for yearning and love.
_Dies heisst Sehnsucht, dies Liebe!_

If Shakespeare, in his marvellous serenity, implies all the storms
fought out beforehand (a description difficult to mend); here we have,
at least, "the Peace of God which passeth understanding" (is superior
to--as Goethe reads it--as well as, baffles), when they _have_ been
fought out by the man, the sight of whom struggling with adversity
(inner as well as outer, faults of character as well as blows of fate)
benefits the gods. Here we have a spirit sunk in such peace as
Petrarch's departed Laura speaks of--

    "Mio ben non cape in intelletto umano"--

in the sphere Mamiani's "Ithuriel" describes, where there reigns an

    "Santa armonia di voglie e di pensieri"--

sacred harmony of thought and will--which is the eternal desideratum,
which so few men have, even the greater ones; sphere wherein our
Beethoven himself, that

    "Anima alpestre,"

storm-tossed soul, buffeted spirit, out of harmony with himself and
others, did not most reside (Shakespeare, on the contrary, did--seemed
a _native_ of it, nay, dwelling _in_ it, and speaking _thence_ of the
tragedies and annoys of earth); but of whose profoundest heart in
compensation he knew the deepest secret, in whose bosom's centre he
nestled (in his happy hours), repairing thither from the disgusts and
battles of the world, or expatiating in the blessed hope of
everlasting life, after the raging conflict of doubts and queries, to
whose inmost holy of holies he penetrated, and was welcomed; he, the
wayward child--to extend the idea--leaving all his toys, and running
in a passion of sobs to the Eternal Bosom, with a more peculiar smile
than that other who dwelt for ever in its courts, or lingered round
his mother's (the Madonna's) knee; for Mozart I fancy the Mother's
favourite, Beethoven the Father's; o'er Mozart's music one would
inscribe this--

    "Madre, fonte d'amore
    Ove ogni odio s'ammorza
    Che su dal ciel tanta dolcezza stille,"

but over Beethoven's--

    "Ma sovra Olimpo ed Ossa
    Trona il gran Giove."

Here, in this andante of andantes, we have, as in the bosom of spring
after the storms of winter--as over cerulean seas in a southern clime
after them,--that effluence, which is like the satisfaction of a good
conscience; that breath which went up from the dominated ocean, when
One said--"Be Still!"


    "_Quando Giove fu arcanamente giusto._"
    "_Ich glaube, nur Gott versteht unser Musik._"

These two mottoes, from Dante and Jean Paul, give some sort of
expression to the feelings excited by this music--music which makes
rather premature that offer of a premium for a new epithet, at
Symphony, No. 2. And yet it is distinctly the same Beethoven here,
only full grown; not only serpent-strangling, but hydra-killing and
labour-doing Hercules. Jove, left for ever the society of the nymphs,
and speaking from the central throne, _orcanamente giusto_. One is
certain, Beethoven himself could not have _explained_ this music;
there is such a mysterious pregnancy in it, such a holy ominousness
(if not played too fast), such a shadowy sorrow, such other-world
tones of pathos and resolution and triumph. This is a message the
prophet does not dream of daring to try and comprehend; an utterance
which oracle itself would never attempt to explain. This is the sort
of music Jean Paul alluded to, when he declared that it was above our
own understanding, clear only to the Divine. This is the sort of music
which might illustrate his sublime utterance, "Women are beautiful,
because they suffer so much." Here (once more), we have the Invisible
Host chaunting in almost appalling mournfulness round the cross, or
the tomb--"It is over; it is over. The Man of Sorrows, and acquainted
with grief! Thus have they 'done to death' their Highest among them!"
But then--


ensues such high retrospect and encouragement--

    "Love bears it out even to the end of doom;"

then such angelic clamour of triumph--"O grave, where is thy victory!
O death, where is thy sting?" This, too, is a walk "over the field of
battle by night" (Marx, _re_ the Funeral March, _Eroica_); but it is
another battle-field than a Napoleonic one--the world is the field,
and Heroic Love has gone down on it, like a cloven star at sea. The
world is the field, and the highest and the lowest in us doing battle
therein, amidst heaps of slain. Poor humanity!

It has been a fearful conflict. What do we not deplore? But, lo! as
the infernal volumes roll sluggishly away, as though loth to quit the
hateful banquet, high above all an unspeakable orb shines through, the
orb of promise and peace. "Ach!" poor man, there is enough, indeed, to
root pessimism in thee; evil seems to have nestled in every pore; life
seems to try how hard she can make it to live; thou thyself shudderest
at thy self; art tortured by appetites, goaded by passions, infested
by thoughts, distracted by doubts, almost driven to despair. But, no!
do _not_ despair. Progress is slow, but sure. All is justified at
last; and higher life lightens in the dawn. Nay, even if thy dearest
hope be a dream--that word too great for any mouth, Immortality--be
good (great and strong) _here; that_, if not so happy, is a still
higher immortality--

    "Then what could death do, if thou should'st depart,
    Leaving thee living in posterity?"

In such a sea of thoughts--such a thousand-path'd forest--does
Beethoven's music plunge us; such a branching piece of the Infinite is
it. For the rest, apart from ideas and images, the mere notes have an
eternal self-charm. Who fore-ordered this collocation and sequence?
Who suggested these harmonious mysteries? How minor and major here
phrase and fall together! Never did they do so before; rarely will
they do so again. Beethoven was a divine kaleidoscope in a divine

       *       *       *       *       *

The _fugato_ page takes us into another order of ideas. Here it would
almost seem as though tragedy, which threatened to take entire
possession of the spirits, were shaken off, and cheerful activity
resumed. Here we seem to have the chase, or a military _festival_, or
the resolute alacrity which precedes a patriotic war. The climax,
those _klingende_ concords, in C _alt._, are very fresh and brilliant;
and the imitation is a very interesting characteristic bit of
Beethoven (proof amongst many that he studied Handel, if he studied
anybody); nevertheless, though the resumption of the original inspired
motive is simply grand (peculiar to Beethoven), a slightly
uncomfortable feeling is occasioned by this music, in juxtaposition
with its predecessor. A certain violence seems done to us; we feel "Is
not this rather an incongruous intercalation?" Contrast it certainly
is, and excellent in itself; but, had it not been better to have left
it out altogether? nay, to have been content with the wonderful
allegro as it stood--in those continent bars sublime, and not to be
eclipsed. Are we not here too suddenly transported from sub-tropical
to temperate zone; or, rather, from some undiscovered inter-world,
where is the highest discourse on the

    "Issues of Life and Death"

to every-day life? In any case, the music is curiously lighter than
the preceding; nay, almost suggests the thought that Beethoven might
have here made use of a more youthful idea. And, in strict justice, we
must say, it is below the level--if not, indeed, unworthy of,
incompatible with, this stupendous symphony. In one word, it does not
seem to exist of inner necessity (the eternal test), like its
marvellous predecessor: it was written, but not inspired.



This, rather than, as Marx says, the last movement of Symphony No. 2,
might be designated the finale of finales (?)--"The most sublime
chaunt of triumph ever pealed forth by an orchestra." _Multum in
parvo_ I have put a mark against the D, because that one touch (of
nature) makes all the difference; nay, I had almost said, stamps the
passage. Substitute a B, and the emphasis is lost, together with the
originality. Nevertheless, the movement is hardly of equal value
throughout; it has its "worser half;" and is also, unfortunately, too
long. As in so many other cases, ideas are repeated, repeated already.
But this is not the worst; the worst is, that the overwhelming effect
of the stupendous burst is seriously impaired. It should have

    "Smitten once, to smite no more."

This terrible "elaboration," so superfluously "necessary"; such a
fancied _sine quâ non_! Here, we must seriously repeat the protest
against the conventional custom; nay, almost raise the question,
whether it is not rather a reproach to Beethoven (the original) that
he did not get out of this thoughtless old groove. Here, the idea did
not extrude the form, but rather _con_formed to it; was, as it were,
poured into the traditional mould. But the form should be the
eventuation of the idea, of the germ-soul ("_pensiero di Dio_"), as in
a living organism (tree, _e.g._, or man).[A] With regard to the
"worser half" we ventured to speak of, it is simply, as in so many
cases, even in Beethoven himself, and notably (as we have so often
felt) in the _Lieder ohne Worte_; there, very rarely is the second
motive equal to the first; the first _was motive_--the "germ-soul,"
inner necessity of the piece, _perforce_ giving birth to it; the
second was factitious. In the present case, does not this subject--


seem really trifling (nay, almost jiggy) by
the side of the grand opening, so broad and victorious? We are rather
reminded of that traditional movement, whose ambling hilarity is our
special horror, viz., the Rondo--we hope by now decently dead and
buried; nay, we think, too, of the Sonata in G (Op. 31). This unlucky
subject seems to us as unworthy its glorious predecessor as the last
movement of that sonata is unworthy of the first--that burst of
inspiration, like water from the rock, rolling on into broad
_Symphonische Dichtung_. (In the course of the present _motiv_,
consecutive octaves are prominent). A little further on--one bar and a
half, true Beethoven, is worth a page of such undignified _Tonspiel_.
It is one of those bars which convey a "shock of delight" whenever
they catch the musician's eye--


[A] Neither can we but regret the re-introduction of the "allegro"
subject; that sublime idea had already done its true work (as we
feel), and there only remained to break into one overwhelming burst of
triumph, and then an end.

Few pleasures could be more elegant than to extend such an idea _ad
lib._ as an andante on the organ. (We can imagine its effect as a
prelude in some old rural church--say on a mellow Sunday afternoon).

Another notable point is, the "grinding out" (long before Berlioz) of
the minor second against the tonic; an effect of extraordinary
resolution and power--


eloquently expressive, indeed, of a determination to bear it out
against the shocks of doom. In this and other traits, we have the true
Beethoven--such spiritual energy as (except in Handel, and with him it
was less human) had not yet been dreamt of; such suffering in strife,
and yet such glorying in it; such temptations in the wilderness (of
his own heart, as well as elsewhere); such final victorious success!
And, here we are brought back into our old more genial vein and
strain; we forget the spots on the sun, and lose ourselves in his
overpowering effulgence. This "_erhabensten Triumphgesang_" is, to us,
that of resurrection; when the ponderous lid was burst from within
with light, which at once--so the great fancy expatiates--redoubled
the splendour of day all over the world. Handel's selected words--nay,
and very remarkably, the great flash-of-chorus itself (one could,
indeed, imagine it as having suggested Beethoven's, they are so much
alike)--come into the mind,--

"By Man came also the Resurrection of the Dead."


And these--


    "Viva l'eterno Dio: sconfilto e vinto
    D'Averno il crudo regnator sen giace:
    L'empio pur sente il fiero braccio avvinte.
    E l'aspra morte abbassa it ciglio, e tace.
    Cade all'uom la catena onde fu cinto
    Per fallo antico di pensiero audace:
    Iddio, dell'nom vendicatore ha vinto!
    Il ciel canta vittoria, e annunzia pace.
    Io veggo gia sovra l'eterea mole
    Erger di Croce trionfale insegna,
    Primo terror d'ogni tartarea trama.
    E veggo in alto soglio il sommo Sole,
    Che a regnare in eterno ov'egli regna
    I redenti mortali aspetta, e chiama."

In Teutonic language, which finds in the highest imaginings only the
symbol and apotheosis of human worth and endeavour; which believes,
indeed, that by man came and comes the resurrection from the dead; and
which regards that life as the most priceless page in human history,
to be for ever applied and interpreted by sympathy at will; and first
becoming truly divine when we regard it as truly human--in Teutonic
thought and dialect, we will conclude with this eloquent and intrinsic
application to the greatest of Beethoven's symphonies:--"Nohl names
the work the musical Faust of the moral will and its conflicts; a work
whose progress shows that there is something greater than Fate,
namely, Man, who, descending into the abysses of his own self, fetches
counsel and power wherewith to battle with life; and then, re-inforced
through his conviction of indestructible oneness with the god-like,
celebrates, with dythyrambic victory, the triumph of the eternal Good,
and of his own inner Freedom."


"Here (in Heiligenstadt, near Vienna, in the summer of 1808, lying by
the brook with nut-trees, listening to the birds singing), I wrote the
'Scene by the Brook,' and the goldhammers there up above me, the
quails and cuckoos round about me, helped compose."--Beethoven to
Schindler. These last words throw a light on the oft-abused passage
where the birds are imitated. We should not judge a Beethoven
hastily--especially not assign to his action low grounds. We here see
that the passage was not introduced in mere material imitation, but
rather as a genial tribute and record; _so_ the passage becomes
beautiful, and the opposite of superficial. Emerson says, "Yon swallow
weaving his straw into his nest should weave it into my poem." No
doubt, in the savage--in his passionate love of freedom and
roaming--we already find the germ of the poetic love of nature; and
some two thousand years ago we find such sublime celebration as this
(and what ages of evolution does it imply!)--

    "As when in heaven the stars about the morn
    Look beautiful, when all the winds are laid,
    And every height comes out and jutting peak
    And valley, and the immeasurable heavens
    Break open to their highest."--Iliad (Tennyson).

    "A rock-wall'd glen, water'd by a streamlet,
    And shadowed o'er with pines."--Euripides (Milman).

                      "Yon starry conclave
    Those glorious dynasts of the sky, that bear
    Winter and summer round to mortal man."

          --Aiskulos (Idem).

    "Smooth lies the surface of the purple seas,
    Nor curl'd, nor whiten'd, by the gentle breeze;
    No more, hoarse dashing from the breakers steep,
    The heavy waves recoil into the deep;
    The zephyrs breathe, the murm'ring swallow weaves
    Her straw-built chamber 'neath the shadowy eaves."

          --Agathias (Idem).

And yesterday, was written--

    "Vesuvius wears his brilliant plume
      Above a sun-lit dome of snow;
    And darkly thro' the illumin'd gloom
      Extends his mighty base below:
    On Mount St. Angelo's ponderous crest,
      And in his furrows, snow, too, sleeps;
    Great glitt'ring clouds are piled o'er that:
      All rises out of glamourous deeps;

    For, glinting up, thro' olive bowers,
      And many an arm-outstretching tree,
    Is the sun-tipt, early-winter-morning,
      Slumberous, breathing sea."

In the sister arts--sister graces--painting and music, down to Turner
and the Turner of music, Beethoven (he also would have given us the
Python slaying Apollo, and the going home of the Teméraire, the Plague
of Darkness, Æneas leaving Carthage, and Italy, Ancient and Modern:
Schumann, too, is very Turner-like, perhaps more so, has more of that
mystical glamour--Beethoven, like Rembrandt, only ideal); in the
sister arts, Nature could not fail to be celebrated, or rather let us
say ideally reproduced, and even transfigured, through the geniuses of
these arts, her eldest children--nay, herself (made man). In
Beethoven, then--a tone-poet, German, and _born on the Rhine_, at,
perhaps, its grandest part--as we might expect, this worship and
celebration of nature, this apotheosis in tone, culminates. Her
sweetness and her grandeur, coloured, too, by his own Beethoven-soul,
are by him sublimely revealed--in many a page and passage dear to the
sympathetic knower. It was, then, impossible that Beethoven should
_not_ write (betitled or not) a Pastoral Symphony; and this, if only
as one manifestation of his (like nature) many-sidedness. Moreover,
though the Greek poesy reads as fresh as if written yesterday,
nevertheless nature-worship, such as we understand it--an overpowering
sense of her mysticism, a rapturous _losing_ of ourselves in
her--seems a thing not only specially Teutonic and modern, but modern
even among the Teutonic peoples themselves, dating after the
Reformation; and, indeed, almost as though nature-worship was to
supply the place of religion (in the narrow sense, worship of an
anthropomorphic maker of nature), rapture in her to supply the place
of religious rapture, no longer possible; if so, a beautiful
ordinance! Hence, then, if we go a little way below the surface, the
present masterpiece, Beethoven's universally favourite (though far
from greatest, indeed, the Symphony in D is superior--much more
powerful, especially the first movement, and at least equally fresh)
"Pastoral Symphony." It does not, indeed (at least the opening
allegro), celebrate that peculiar, that sacred sentiment we have been
speaking of; it does not utter the unutterable, but it is a true and
lovely nature-poem nevertheless, worthy of all acceptation; without it
the splendid series of symphonies would have been incomplete. Let us
approach it.

What STRIKES us in this "household-word" work, especially in the first
movement, is its significant simplicity. It is wonderful, as revealing
to us how _profoundly_ simple a great man can be, and is; sublime in
that, as well as in his opulence and power; indeed, simplicity is an
inevitable concomitant and _sine quâ non_ of power; even in a
Napoleon, let alone a Shakespeare, a Newton, and a Beethoven.

So simple is the allegro, that it almost seems studiously so--almost
as though Beethoven thereby wished to convey a reproach, at least a
monition, to the artificial, and said, "Thus I hold the mirror up to
Nature!" Musically, the piece (as it has always seemed to us) rather
suffers by this. The ideas are more than usually re-repeated; and,
remarkably, reiterations (though perhaps there was a psychological
reason for this in the soul of Beethoven, as instinctively expressive,
over and over again, of the one great joy he felt, or as
saying--"After all, the essence and compelling spirit of this great
Nature is one"). Moreover, the ideas, though in themselves beautifully
pure and characteristic, seem almost _too_ simple, nay we had almost
said languid, for they rather suggest to us the gratification of a
convalescent than of a passionately profound (aye, and profoundly
passionate) lover of nature, such as all Germans are, such as Schumann
intensely was, and such as Beethoven must have exceptionally been.
(Brendel says, Haydn's love of nature, as revealed in his music, was
that of her very child, unconscious; Beethoven's, that of a
town-dweller, conscious. But to this I would reply, town-dweller by
compulsion). On the other hand, if Beethoven wished to enter a protest
against _Schwärmerei_, for nature, none could be more effective than
this movement. But nature ever was and remains mystic, and no
celebration of her, above all by a Beethoven, can satisfy us which
does not shadow forth, is not overpowered by, a sense of this--sense
peculiar to this latter age; more so, even, than the similar
companion-sense of love. Love without _Schwärmerei_ were not love; no
more is love of nature. For these profounder realizations of nature,
"glances into the deepest deeps of beauty," (Carlyle, on the remark
about "the lilies of the field") reflected adumbrations of her
wizardry, a sense of her intoxicating aroma, the ecstasy in her bosom,
that mesmerizing infinitude of hers, we must look to Beethoven's
sonatas, or other portions of his symphonies; and to such music as
Schumann's; hardly in his Pastoral Symphony (except somewhat in the
andante); more in his Pastoral Sonata--_that_ first movement is
_profound_, as well as richer. There we see the poet-philosopher, nay,
high-priest of nature; and the movement, four-square, almost perfect,
is one of the masterpieces, and most precious legacies of Nature's
Eldest Child. In the present movement we have peaceful pleasure, but
not rapture, if even joy, or delight (in the Sonata Pastorale we have
contemplative joy)--though Beethoven may possibly have expressly
chastened the expression of feeling, as being, so, more "pastoral." Be
that as it may, here we have sweetness rather than power (except,
indeed, behind all); nay, rather the gratification of an habitual
dweller in the country (and he no longer a young man), than the burst
of rapture we might have expected from a lover of nature only just let
loose from town. However, Beethoven _has_ written over the
movements--"_Awakening_ of cheerful emotions on arrival in the
country." He further said, the symphony was feeling rather than
painting. This is a matter of course from a Beethoven; and note, it is
a Beethoven's feelings that are depicted. What we have in the work is
Nature _plus_ Beethoven--nature photographed after passing through
him, and so becoming idealised. We have, however, both scene-painting
and soul-painting through the emotions here excited and described; we
see also the landscape which to a great extent occasioned them; (thus,
this, like Goethe's, is an occasional poem). It is a truly pastoral
district; quiet, sunny scenery, with a scent of the earliest hay; but
nature in her splendour, with, say, in the distance, the great sea;
nature, a blaze of flowers embosomed in hills, as in our own beautiful
England in May; let alone nature in spring, with her background of
Alps and Appenines. Nature, whose greatest hint--the secret of whose
greatest power is, Immortality; a promise of that is hardly here
celebrated; or, rather, that hint is not, for it is in every
landscape:--"I, too, have looked upon the hills in their hazy veil,
but their greatest charm, to me, was their promise." Neither, in spite
of Elterlein's charming allusion, have we the scenery where, or the
time when (_soust_) as Goethe so truly, sublimely expresses it (in two
of his most inspired lines)--

    "_Stürzte_ sich der Himmelsliebe Kuss
    Auf mich herab in ernsber Sabbath stille."

When Beethoven wrote this music he had not in mind his revered
Shakespeare's magnificent--

    "Full many a glorious morning have I seen
      Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
    Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
      Gilding pale streams with heaving alchemy."

This, rather, the immortal Symphony in A suggests; or such lines as

    "My other mighty passion was for thee,
    Thou glimmering, glamouring, manifestation of God!
    Unspeakable Nature, with thy distant sea,
    Wave-framing hills, dim woods, and flowery sod;
    My haziest, sweetest memories, are of you,
    Where inland-county beauty guards its stream;
    Oh! 'violet' memory 'dim' with _my_ tears' dew;
    Oh! shadowy pausing, touch'd with earliest beam;
    And sea-side recollections stir my heart,
    The calm's majestic cheerfulness, the storm,
    The bluff that through the vapours seem'd to start,
    A thousand miracles of tint and form;
      And ever as I yearn'd on wave and hill,
      The unconscious secret was thy Promise still."

The "Scene by the Brook"--

    "I draw them all along, and flow
      To join the brimming river;
    Men may come and men may go,
      But I go on for ever."

(exquisite image of immortality bearing along mortality)--is richer in
significance. There, indeed, we do get some of those deep glimpses,
far glances (and tender ones into flower-cups)--those unspeakable
hints (note especially, as usual, the passage in the extra-poetic key
of G flat; where, however, also as usual, Beethoven lingers too
little; indeed, even he seems rather to _deviate_ into such keys, and
to be afraid of dwelling in them). We see Beethoven, the colossally
_un_happy soul, here at least happy, nay, blessed; lapped in flowers;
caressed by the stream; soothed and tended by all the "angels and
ministers of grace" of nature; while the everlasting heaven pronounces
its benediction over him.

For our own part, we are specially affected, because we call to mind a
brook where we also were wont to be happy. But, it was not in quiet
scenery, but in a Swiss mountain-valley; the brook came from heaven,
and coursed through pine-woods and pastures into a stupendously
beautiful lake, the shadows of whose mighty guardian Alps are
reflected also in the Moonlight Sonata; while, afar off, as it were in
colossal admonition, towered those eternal reminders, the peaks of the
Bernese Oberland.

The Scherzo has always seemed to us an inspiration--as much as the
storm; so original and powerful, so tuneful in its picturesque,
spontaneous gaiety. It is Beethoven at his genialist. The sublimity of
the storm may speak for itself: I will only remark, in reply to the
German Hume, who rather cavils and carps, and is no
Beethoven-worshipper (but Mozart), and says "the cause for such a very
loud storm is too trifling"--that the storm _also_ perchance broke
over crowned heads and the fate of empires (Napoleon died in a storm,
and so, just as curiously characteristic, did Beethoven). Storms do,
too, come up in the brightest summer day (without or within us); and,
in short, though the criticism is truly philosophical, that it should
be left doubtful whether the storm was a physical or moral one--of
nature or human nature--Beethoven, as ever, is entitled to a genial
interpretation, a liberal application. In the meanwhile, _as_ a
storm--storm of music, as well as musical storm--it is as grand as
original; shaking us with the fullness of those sublime emotions of
the natural storm (and surely our German Hume would not disparage
these!), and its introduction is a happy felicity.

_Beethoven's_ "Lobgesang," which concludes the work, is very noble in
its unstudied beauty, expressing "pious and grateful feelings" by
unsophisticated men after storm. The treatment of the greatly-simple
theme is a masterpiece and model. Here is Wagner anticipated, but not
spoilt! To sum up: the first movement, very exceptionally, is the
weakest of all; and the whole work, though a treasure of its own,
coming from Beethoven, revealing him as singularly loveable, is in no
way so surpassing as to preclude the attempt by a follower also to
compose a Pastoral Symphony. We conclude with Herr Elterlein's summary
of the work--very charming, although he finds in the allegro
considerably more than we do.

"A refreshing morning breeze greets us; we have left behind the crowds
and walls of the town. We are in the mood of Faust, on the sunny
Easter spring morning. At first we are in silent rapture, the climax
is not yet reached, Nature's myriad living voices do not at once
re-echo in our inmost spirit. The farther we wander, the more natural
beauties open up and greet us, the more multifarious becomes the
scene. In proportion as the variety becomes richer, and the impression
of this divine beauty--(_Gottesnatur_--German ought to be _known by
every musician_, and read in the original, because their pregnant,
often pantheistic, shades of expression, become lost in English; or,
if 'transcribed,' are 'not English')--deeper, the more our rapture
swells to utmost joy. Now, we perfectly revel (_schwelgen ganz_) in
the full feast; entirely abandon ourselves to the impressions of
absolute Nature; completely at one with ourselves, in this kingdom, we
feel ourselves at one with her.

"We have now reached the acmé of enthusiasm; our soul trembles in
silent ecstasy; involuntarily the desire awakes in us, after
expatiating in the universal beauty of Nature, to contemplate and
enjoy her still life and operations in intimate communion.

"Therefore, the scene changes in the second movement. We are
transplanted to a peaceful woodland vale, through which a brook
babbles. _'Scene am Bach_,' the tone-picture is also called by the
master; it is elaborated out in the most thoughtful manner, and
displays before us, in the richest, fullest colours, the murmur of the
brook, the rustling of the swayed tree-tops, and the song of the
birds. At last the brook is still, the trees rustle no more; we have
already once said farewell to the soft babbling that long kept us
spell-bound--quail, cuckoo, and nightingale are alone still
heard.--(Beautifully imagined!) as it were, also saying 'farewell' to
the sympathetic wanderer up the vale; who, only another human form of
them, had stayed so long with them, loving them like their brother,
enchanted by their song--enchanted in Nature's bosom. This way of
putting it (of receiving it) is only another proof of the
non-materialism, non-superficialism, nay, of the beauty of this
passage (withal, quite brief--_only introduced at the end_); and a
proof of the value and necessity of sympathetic audition of a
Beethoven's works. (Only a poet--never Dryasdust--can rightly
criticise a poet).

"In the third movement the scene is again changed. We find ourselves
in meadows. The characteristic multiformity of this piece would have
told us its meaning, without the master's words. So, too, the
storm--those tones full of fearful, dark sublimity. At last, the
tempest and its fury cease, only in the distance the thunder still
growls; the blue sky again opens up, the evening sun casts its mild
light o'er the landscape--(genial thought)--enlivened by shepherds
whose shalm now sounds.

"The fourth movement, therefore, is dedicated to 'Shepherd's
Song,'--'pious and grateful feelings after the storm.' The grateful
strains begin softly, then swell ever more and more to topmost joy,
pouring forth at their climax an intense, solemn, and yet again such a
plain, simple thank-offering to Nature's Creator."

 SYMPHONY, NO. 7, OP. 92.

In this magnificent symphony, the most picturesque of all, Beethoven
seemed to have taken a new lease of originality. It is specially
instructive and encouraging on that account; and, amongst other
evidences, makes us weigh, whether his "third manner" (whereof this
may be considered the noble isthmus that joins those continents), was
really progress or decay, or a dubious transition step to something
higher. However, the work is reckoned among those of his second
manner, and so is certainly a potent argument for those who, with
enlightened honesty (and not Philistine blindness), feel that
Beethoven's second style is, _par excellence_, Beethoven--whether
Wagner began or not where Beethoven left off. _Apropos_ of Wagner,
does not this "Poco Sostenuto" call to mind that Wizard of the South's
famous morçeaux in "Lohengrin," in the same key? Is not the
style--nay, the motiv--much the same?--


There seems something of the same _mysticism_, though Beethoven is not
tainted with the morbidness one scents in Wagner; seems, as a whole,
broader, nobler, more _natural_, more truly deep; in a word, more
healthy, and therefore greater, notwithstanding Wagner's undoubted
genius, and still more stupendous energy for which we most envy him.
This opening theme has a powerful tranquility about it--like that,
say, of some Epaminondas; seems, as it were, an assurance and
announcement that Beneficence, at bottom and after all, is paramount
in this stupendous paradox and discrepancy called the universe;
notwithstanding, it seems to go on to say, the ground-bass of storm,
on and over which true heroism will ever ride (_re-entry of the theme
ff_); notwithstanding the painfulnesses, which are only subtler proofs
and manifestations of self-justified righteousness and power--most
sublime in its subtlest judgments--as the private life of every
self-strict person knows. Then, a new theme--fragment of the same
essential peace--enters; curiously (and beautifully) reminding us of
that early, early work of Beethoven's (Oh, Rhine-lad, written _how_
long ago!), the Sonata in C dedicated to Haydn--


but gaining by being slow.

But "action, action, action," which these climbing basses--("And ever
climbing up the climbing wave"), "life is painfully real,"--seem to
say, soon break in again on this Elysian dream. It re-appears,
however, like a heavenly messenger, holding us spell-bound, in a
trance or veritable dream, whereof these two conflicting elements form
the chief apparitions; conflicting, yet viewed largely, harmonious,
like their counterparts in that oneness, Life,--whose painfulnesses
are as much a _necessary_ part of it, as discords are of entire music.


Great pictures--pictures of great action (like the actions
themselves)--represent the moral qualities behind. Hence, many a page
of music, eminently of Beethoven, may be objectively or subjectively
interpreted, or both. It is the usual practice, and a natural one, to
regard the "Eroica" symphony as objective, and the C minor as
subjective--both illustrating the grand abstract fact, Conflict. The
_vivace_ of the A major symphony _strikes_, no less, as objective.
There is a ringing cheerfulness about it that suggests no spiritual
struggles, psychological battle, but the open air and its beloved
objects--by no means excluding the world's great foreground feature,
man; rather, pre-eminently presenting and illustrating him, and this
from your Beethoven, the intensely subjective soul. Intensely
subjective, yes! far more so,--more grandly so,--than your Byron; more
_characteristically_ so than Shakespeare; but, nevertheless--nay,
therefore--also more truly, nobly objective than the former, kin with
the latter (Turner is greater than Rosa).

It is impossible to overstate the bright, the exhilarating impression
of these tones. Here we at once revel in the outer world, in all the

    April of its prime,

and feel ourselves magically strung up to virile deeds, to face the
"rugged Hyrcanian boar"--"to do or die." Here the ringing woodland of
feudal times is around us, and all the panoply, pride, pomp, and
circumstance of a royal chase. The motto of Stephen Heller's admirable
"Chasse" was very apt, which records how the French monarch, plunged
in gloom by the death of his beloved, seeks distraction in the chase.
Sir Walter--of our erst beloved "Ivanhoe"--comes sweeping through the
mind; a rush of joy almost to tears. We see Garth, born thrall of
Cedric, and the Jester in the gladed woodland; and there, at the
glittering jousts (even more so) the heavenly Rebecca, Rowena, the
Hero, and the Knight Templar; Jew and Christian; plumèd knight and
lovely dame. This music is Ivanhoe, not forgetting the glamour of the
Crusades, with knight and Saracen, and the breath of the Holy Land
through it. Here is the chivalry of warriors, who fought for the
Cross; in an age--so different from ours--when there was a frenzy of
belief (thus we be-soul our objective); here is a phalanx of Bayards
_sans peur et sans reproche_, inflamed with passion of hatred and
love, _en route_ to storm their way to Calvary. This is the picture to
fill our mind with; though we may also think of this glorious music as
painting forth the Conqueror William, breaking up the chase to invade
Harold's England, as being rock'd over thither on crisp seas in
knight-throng'd vessels, gallant with streaming pennon; though we may
also think of Ferdinand going out to welcome Columbus (in our copy, at
the passage in G minor we have ejaculated, "Our
Columbus"--Beethoven!--"has found a New World"), of Cortes and Pizarro
invading Mexico (copper-coloured men and tropical scenery we may also
conjure up); or, again, of Philip and his pompous Armada--of Elizabeth
and English chivalry preparing to greet him. But that picture of the
Crusades best suits us. So our nothing-if-not-religious Beethoven, the
glorious genius, in the name of music, whose High Priest he was (and
whom other great spirits serve), concerned only to pour forth what
streamed into him; or rather, concerned only to let it stream through
him (for it is certain he did not intentionally celebrate and pourtray
all that his mighty music suggests, however the Germans may stamp it
as Intellectual Music, _die Musik des Geistes_), so our
hardly-entreated, much-bound, but triumphant immortal shadowed forth,
on canvas made of air, pictures surpassing Angelo and
Raphael--pictures that only a painter-Shakespeare could surpass or
rival--pictures that have the material splendour and _éclat_ of a
Rubens, the intense originality of a Rembrandt, _plus_ a _soul_ behind
and within them, which only higher spirits than they can glimmeringly
reveal. We have but to repeat, that these tone-pictures have always a
charm _plus_ (or even apart from), viz., that of the tones themselves.
Our interpretation of this master-movement is the same as that of Marx
Nohl and Elterlein (whom we should _like_ to quote at length).
Wagner's idea, genially understood, is also acceptable. That gifted
despot "finds in the Symphony the apotheosis of the Dance _der in
Tönen idealisch verkörperten Leibesbewegung_." Yes, it is a dance that
sings; high dance and song together, as at some Pindar-celebrated
Festival of Apollo; nay, of some ideal, some skylark soul of joy, not
so much convinced of, as absolute lyrical part of, and one with the
All; and threatening to melt for very rapture in its bosom. The
Dance!--that is applicable enough, too! What a majestic _pas de deux_
is this ever advancing and retiring Day and Night! What a stately
minuet the Four Seasons! The river dances to the sea; the blood (of
the lover-poet) dances in the veins; what a wild waltz of elements we
have!--galop of the north wind; the very sea as it were dances in
prolonged rhythmic sway, "_molto maestoso_," to the all-compelling
moon; nay, the moon and stars themselves, with stupendous majesty
"keep time" to their "music of the spheres" through space; and the
great rhythm of obedience--action and re-action, attraction and
repulsion--is the grand universal law.

Such are some of the lessons and suggestions of this curiously happy,
magnificently pregnant rhythmic movement of Beethoven's; his first
great performance in his new lease of originality--great step on the
new road to immortality. The motive itself, truly a motive, is as
exquisitely tuneful and simple (how great was Beethoven in not
straining after effect!) as _grossartig_; and, _en passant_, it has
only to be compared for our instruction for one moment with
Mendelssohn's "Song without words." "The Chase," in the same key and
time, Book I, to show the _striking_ superiority of Beethoven; nay,
their generic difference--Mendelssohn was talent, and Beethoven
genius. The grandiose breadth, the unstudied inspiration (cause of the
former) is essentially, fatally absent in Mendelssohn, say what his
fascinated devotees may! It is with him almost all talent and fancy,
not oracle and prophecy. He is only a nephew of Beethoven's, Schumann
his "well-beloved" son (as Wagner is of Schumann).

I should be wrong not to give some of Herr Elterlein's ideas. After
citing Wagner's notion, and repudiating it (naturally enough, unless
one gives due weight to the word apotheosis, and due interpretation to
the word dance), he alludes to (and also rejects as premature) the
notion of Alberti, and others, that the symphony is an "announcement
of German triumph and enthusiasm at their freedom at length from the
French yoke." He then says, "Marx and Nohl seem to us to come nearer
the truth, when the former finds embodied in the symphony the life of
a southern people, especially of the Moorish race in ancient
Spain,"--(picturesquely suggestive this; only does not the
key-colouring seem rather too cool? have we not Teutonic brilliance
rather than Oriental?)--"and the latter" (Herr Dr. Nohl),
"_ritterliche Festpracht_" in general (the festival splendour of
chivalry). He continues:--"We also, the more and more profoundly we
have entered into this creation, have become clearer convinced, that,
as in the "Eroica," we have displayed political heroism, battling and
victorious; in the C minor symphony, the moral conflicts and triumphs
of man; so in the A major symphony, we behold the manifold life and
phenomena (_Lebensströmungen_) of a chivalrous, imaginative,
hot-blooded people, in the full enjoyment of their health and power."
We fancy one might prefix Goethe's words--

    "_Im_ vollgewühl, im lebensregen Drange
    Vermischte sich die thätige Völkerschaar."

    ("In lusty swarms, crowds full of life,
    The deedful peoples intermixed.")

"To arms! is now the word--arms and harness; and forwards to the
peaceful jousts in the fair land. And now, how all hearts at first
lightly thrill! then pulses beat ever higher; the crowds muster; the
warrior horsemen curvet and gambol on slender steeds; pennons glitter,
armour dazzles, swords flash in the sun; and the motley swarms stream
forth pell-mell, not to bloody battle, like the hero-spirits of the
"Eroica,"--no, but the peaceful tournament!"

The scherzo and finale ("a sort of Bacchus triumph"--?) we shall
abstain from discussing (they are of much less intrinsic import than
the first two movements); but conclude with a glance at the greatest
movement of all (with creditable and instinctive instinct almost
always redemanded) the allegretto; first, however, citing two
remarkable passages from the finale, worthy the attention of those
correspondents of the _Musical Standard_ on "False Notation,"
especially of that one "whose memory could not serve him whether such
a passage occurred in the masters":--

[Music] This repeatedly and persistently occurs; and it would have
been gratifying had Beethoven indicated what he meant by
it:--"Bacchusfest?"--or something deeper? The other passage is
curiously like the one ventured by Dr. Macfarren's criticiser. The
venture was no doubt perfectly justifiable--almost everything is
allowable in music, for deliberate poetic effect.


Beethoven no doubt did it for the sake of intensity.

[P.S.--Since writing the above we have come across a chance remark of
Goethe's, which struck us as singularly applicable to this great
picturesque symphony. During the campaign in France, he noticed in one
of the old German towns, the living contrast of knighthood and
monkhood (or chivalry and the cloister, we might say). The suggestive
words set us thinking if they might not prompt a symphony; and soon
after, we saw that they may be applied, perhaps with curious felicity,
to Beethoven's A major. Have we not here, indeed, an epitome of the
olden time, with its knights, monks, revels, and all?]


This has been well called "the riddle" of the symphony; nor can we
altogether accept Herr Elterlein's solution of it, though
_geistreich_. He prolongs his fancy, and looks upon this music as a
contagious pause and period of melancholy, of pathetic reminiscence in
the "hot-blooded southern folk." Imaginative sympathy has a right to
its own fancies, and these fancies will ever be more or less true;
nevertheless, a more profound, more sacred gloom--mystery of
sorrow--is borne in upon us in these unfathomable tones. Here we seem
to have the portentous, almost God-accusing, grief of insane love and
virtue, in this fate-and-madness-haunted world--of Juliet in the tomb
(re-read the tremendous lines)--of the ineffable Ophelia, after
outraged princeliness and intellect had lost its reason, and killed
Ophelia's own venerable father;--"Ach!" previous to the violent death
(her own) of an angel. Or, we might feel here the incipient atheism of
a Hamlet himself; wrestling with it, but dreading he wrestles in vain.
Later, it is true (the A major melody--"immortal" Berlioz calls it),
solace descends from heaven, through the toppling sun-gilt clouds; but
it is unavailing (indeed, we rather regret the introduction of this
episode? we had liefer be plunged to, and remain in, the heart of this
"deeper, and deeper still" of grief): Rachel will not be comforted, in
her _sublime_ despair; and the final strains seem those of incurable,
illimitable woe. Ah! these are the strains, too, the accents--"Oh,
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! thou that killest the prophets, how often would
I have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her chickens and thou wouldst
not!" The divine resolution to sacrifice self for all that (the A
major motive?) remains even firmer, but the divine sorrow _at_ it
remains even deeper and inextinguishable.

 SYMPHONY NO. 8. OP. 93.

Man divides his time chiefly between love (of all sorts) and action.
One of his most passionate, as well as purest, loves, is of nature.
When the two blend--when at once the lover, and lover of nature, roams
in nature, besouling and transfiguring her by love, then is passion at
its sweetest, life at its highest. In this opening gush, or burst, of
the 8th Symphony (_allegro vivace e con brio_) we seem to have such
love. Here is that rapture we missed in the expressly culled Pastoral
Symphony--rapture of emancipation, thrill and burst of joy! The great
action of the Eroica, and C minor--aye, and of the A major
symphonies--here gives place to the pure ecstatic emotion.

Here we have indeed the broad breath of the fields; we perfectly revel
in the flowery gold; the sweet streams winding there enchant us; the
blue mountains sublime us with their great tender reminders; in the
divine whole--this "_transcenden Tempel des Frühlings_"--we are ready
to fall on our knees for joy. Rural, without doubt, are these opening
strains; "escaped into the country"--"love in the country," seems
written over them. Later, Alberti's and Elterlein's notion
(independent) more obtains; "the symphony represents humour," (chiefly
caprice, mood); "the base and character of the work is throughout
humouristic." This, however, may well be, and the scene of these
caprices still remains the divine country; the lights and shadows and
fleecy clouds of the soul amid those of nature. Here we may fancy the
scene of a superior Watteau. By running brook and swaying bough,
gracious nymph and gallant swain exchange fancies and glances, and
sport, and make love. Nay it is indeed like a back-glance of our
Beethoven himself into his early years--when the days were bluer, the
world broader, by the celestial Rhine yonder, and when he too, in his
sweet and awful heart, felt shy unutterable emotions; thrill'd, as
though fire had flashed in waves through his veins when _she_ touched
his hand--that hand to be so creative. This may be a glance at those
days, as the Countess Guicciardini Sonata (most lyric of all, like the
passion of an Oriental night) is a burning record of others.

In a word, and finally, Beethoven, who was essentially imaginative,
has in this pendent to the Fourth Symphony, given himself up to, and
given us, fancy; and a gracious present it is, like a handful of
pearls, from the master. Not less precious, but more precious, are the
smiles and sportive caresses of Hercules--the pleasantries of Jove.
Ah! He who challenged the terrors of the cross, and threatened _Dies
Irae_, (we must ever recur to Him as our highest type), spoke of the
lilies of the field, and gathered to him little children; and more
precious, if possible, than his words, or very deeds, were--if He ever
had them--his smiles.

The query is suggested by this youth-fresh work--did Beethoven write
this Opus 93 out of his heart at that age (if so, what a heart!--with
styles one and three close together), or did he draw upon fancies of
his early years--tone-lyrics of that time?

The Allegretto Scherzando, that Ariel-gush ("On a bat's back I do
fly") is thus described by the German critic:--"In the second movement
we have, especially, naïve joy; nay, at once the child-like innocence
and mischievous sport of humour. The first motiv (as is well known)
had its origin in a playful canon improvised by Beethoven for the
metronome-maker, Maelzel; the whole piece has been praised by many, as
the most charming morçeaux of Beethoven's." The Minuet he speaks of
as dry humour, the Trio as revealing an inner _Liebesdrange_ (urgent
need of and for love)--"such as is ever innate in the true humourist."

The Finale seems another piece of "Tempest" music; now grateful as
chased or filagree silver, now inly tender, as the soul of Ferdinand
and Miranda of course is; now, even with a glance at the "dæmonish."
These extraordinary "_Schreckennoten_," now as C sharp, now as D
flat--which we were tempted to substitute on the first appearance of
the note as C sharp--may furnish another pretty quarrel between the
wranglers over "False Notation." They form one of the most original
flashes of Beethoven (if not a hint of aberration), and strike us as
properly belonging to a profoundly tragic movement, and not to such a
one as this; where, indeed, their value seems hardly utilised. Such
notes might have been blown as the "Blast of the breath of His
displeasure"--before the Hand-writing on the Wall; at the Rending of
the Veil 'fore the Holy of Holies; at the dawn of the Day of Doom;
though, indeed, this latter also would break upon fairy revels,
foambells, and butterflies, as well as wars, earthquakes, and

In conclusion, we regret the absence of an Adagio in this genial work.
We now turn to the portentous Choral Symphony.


A noble poet, on reading certain strophes in a long poem to a friend,
remarked that they were experiments. The remark rather jarred, at the
time, on the friend's ear, and sunk into his mind. _Apropos_, say what
one will about the Choral Symphony, it strikes us as an experiment.
The very title seems empiric. What we should understand by a choral
symphony would be a symphonically grand chorus blended with a
symphony; but this is rather a chorus preceded by a symphony--its
opposite, too (though intentionally), in character; in part
independent of, in part made up of the themes of the chorus. Now, a
similar work--Mendelssohn's "Lobgesang,"--struck us as being likewise
an experiment, and not a happy one; the prevailing and overpowering
impression was--"Oh! when will the singers begin?" This gigantic
preluding of the essential is a distracting postponement, a colossal
interruption--difficult to be done justice to by the impatient hearer,
even if perfect in itself. But, if perfect _in_ itself, it would be
more perfect _by_ itself--(?)--for, as a prelude, it remains
subordinate; and this to the symphony is fatally derogatory. Most
"experiments" are mistakes in judgment, and these in art. This
symphony strikes us as disproportionate as well as incongruous--no
less serious musical than statuesque and architectural faults. We feel
that it is indeed bound up with, but not one of the others; that it is
an appendix. Beethoven himself began, after it, another symphony,
whole in itself, like the others. No doubt he was impressed (and
rightly) with the feeling that an Ode to Joy demanded a grandiose
introduction; but he made an elementary mistake (?) in making that
introduction too long and heterogeneous--in short, by giving us a
symphony instead of an overture. With respect to its character, let us
draw a little nearer--it is, no doubt, of the greatest importance. In
this symphony, Beethoven summoned up all his then powers to pour forth
and portray in one tremendous focus _the_ conflict which his
symphonies and deeper music more or less generally depict, viz., that
of Pessimism and Optimism--of good and evil. And in this he was
herald-representative of the nineteenth century. Bach, Handel, Haydn,
and Mozart, did not depict this struggle; at least we are not _struck_
by it. Pathos, and even tragedy, in general they too of course
reveal--for joy and sadness make up music; nay, sadness is perhaps the
soul of music, at least Beethoven makes us think so; but the
characteristic Hamletism of the nineteenth century (which is
Hamlet--as, according to Freiligrath, Germany is, or was before
1870),--it was reserved for Beethoven to manifest forth; Beethoven,
the greatest Hamlet (not Faust he was too good) of all. The other
centuries were centuries of belief or unbelief; this is one of doubt,
with a soul--belief, groping after a new one. It _will_ be new, and
not local--let alone parochial. Fearful doubts must have seized
thinking, feeling men, at all times, after looking abroad and
pondering what we have called this tremendous paradox and discrepancy,
the universe. St. Paul himself said, with poignant realization, "The
world groaneth and travaileth until 'now';" and it is difficult to
overstate the wide-spread and individual imperfection and unhappiness.
This sense, of old, drove men into what we called a frenzy of
belief--in something exterior. That they clutched, and to that they
clung, nailing their gaze, as it were, to happiness promised for faith
bestowed; and full of such a fearful sense of the wretchedness below,
that they laughed to scorn even torture and the stake; and warped away
from this world, to bide wholly in the contemplation of another. As
might have been predicted, however, this, too, could only be a phase
and period of transition (and that not a long one in the history of
man; we must revolutionise our ideas of time and greatness); and,
inevitably, when science, beginning greatly with Copernicus, set in,
Luther, the first Freethinker (modern), would soon follow, and in due
course a Hume, a Spinoza, a Schopenhauer, and a Kant. Our Beethoven,
who had his own "categorical inspiration," no doubt derived terrible
arguments for Pessimism from few things more emphatic than his own
life--so mysteriously gifted and afflicted, stinted and endowed.
Hence, then, the Titanic character of his music; the tremendous
temptation in the wilderness (of his own heart, of a feared to be God
abandoned world), of a soul inclining to good, to go over to evil--but
the good in the end is triumphant, and we see it ever struggling

    In pits of passion and dens of woe
    We see strong Eros struggling through.

At the end of the awful conflict shadowed forth in the colossal
opening of the choral symphony, we have been tempted to inscribe, "as
if the world's heart-strings were cracking":--


--the atheism of a King David himself: "the fool hath said in his
heart, there is no God!" but after that (the recitative to "O'er the
raging waters of Galilee, the voice of One 'who made the storm his
mere mantle, and the sea the pathway of power'":) the voice of
peace--in modern dialect the voice of man; in the light of which
reading, this entry of the human voice becomes portentous, as though
it said, let the elements rage, let the arts stutter, the human voice
alone can bring relief--light, and hope, and joy.

Thus, Beethoven's design was characteristically and colossally grand;
he wished to strive to paint what painting certainly could not, and
what sculpture could not--nay, in a sense, what poetry could not, for
words cannot represent a conflict (especially of the emotions) like
music, cannot so awfully or sweetly thrill the soul. And he succeeded
in a way that Michael Angelo (his analogue) and Raphael (whom
Beethoven also blended with the Angelo in him), certainly did not,
when they foolishly attempted to paint the unpaintable (the Last
Judgment, and Transfiguration). Whether, however, he succeeded
musically, in this symphony, as a tail-work, is a debateable question.
The query may be put--Might he not have treated the Pessimism also
vocally, and thereby avoided the undue length and unsupported
character of the instrumental prelude? The work would then have been a
homogenous whole. But, and perhaps even more importantly, the question
arises--Might not the music itself have been better? The second
movement, _Molto vivace_, marvellously pourtrays (before Wagner) the
_Venusberg_--the Mephistopheles-pact into which the poor despairing
Pessimist may be driven to plunge; and we recollect well how we felt
after first hearing the _Adagio molto e cantabile_, and going away
perforce into the outside world; _Ach! that_ is the true world--that
world we have been in; and this is a world of dross! But the first
movement we cannot help feeling to be laboured, especially in parts,
compared with that of the C minor, which is simply one rush of
inspiration, and the chief theme of the last movement is, we must say
it, tame and undignified, if not commonplace--nay, almost "jiggy,"
played and sung so fast (_allegro assai_)--not to compare for one
moment with that other burst, the Hallelujah Chorus, (or "For unto
us"), or many of Beethoven's own motivs. But, besides, it is guilty of
the gross, the heinous offence in this instance, of setting words
utterly different. Here is the melody; notice, besides its extremely
smooth (amounting, as we say, to the commonplace) character (and so,
not characteristic)--notice, that it consists (_mirabile dictu!_)
merely of one strain repeated, with the cadence slightly altered
(full, instead of half):--


   "Joy, thou gracious spark of God, His daughter, out of heaven sped."
    "With thy fire intoxicated, we thy sanctuary tread."

it continues--


    "Thy blessed magic binds again, Ties sever'd by the world."

and then the phrase to the words "With thy fire intoxicated," &c., is
used for:--

    "All men are Brothers, where, sweet Joy,
    Thy gentle wing is furl'd."

But, much worse--nay, absolutely shocking to the spiritual sense, is
the persistent use of the same phrase, mediocre as it is, to these

    "Who that victory hath gained,
    Of a friend, the friend to be;
    Who a graceful wife hath gained

(This, too, should hardly be sung by women?)

    Mix with ours his 'holy glee';[A]
    Yea, who calls but one soul his
    In all this round of sea and land:
    He who never knew that blessing
    Steal in tears from this bright band."

[A] Wordsworth's sonnet on the Swiss.

Would it have been thought possible for Beethoven (Inspired
Instinct), to set these last lines to the same--we are almost
provoked to say, rattling jingle. To a lower deep, alas! our
Beethoven-Hamlet could scarcely fall--

    "Oh, what a sovereign mind is there o'erthrown!"

It was an incredible aboriginal mistake to set these lines to the
same time, let alone same tune. Nor, indeed, can his choice of the
words be considered happy. What made him in his grand old age (old
for him) so harp upon Schiller's crude performance, we know not; nay,
we ask whether a Beethoven should not have treated the glorious subject,
Joy, when he was already young;--despise as he might (an egregious error)
his earlier works. Had he at least undertaken it when he wrote the
Symphony in D and the "Eroica"; or, in the "high and palmy state" of
his powers, when he wrote the _facile princeps_ C minor! Schiller's
first words would alone repel us; he talks--"babbles" would be the
strictly truer word, barbarously babbles--of joy, as that spark of the
gods, and, in the same breath, daughter out of Elysium. How could he
so talk of that grand abstract fact--Joy! Joy, the sunshine of the
soul--whose glow, thence outwards, fills the Universe; life, absolute
being; wherein alone we rightly, fully live. We have no patience with
such barbarous metaphorising, such schoolboy personification, such
hectic rapture! No wonder Beethoven failed, falling on such words as

(In passing--he has a few bars of interlude which Mendelssohn's famous
"'Tis thus decreed," strangely resembles.)


If the C were sharp, the passages would be identical.

In continuation--Beethoven seems in general equally careless (or
perverse) and unhappy in his treatment of the words--a curious
misfortune in an expressly vocal celebration. We have the same smooth
passages, and the same rattling pace, for various inflections of
thought and feeling. He does not fail, however, to give us one of
those "flashes" of his true genius, old power, which Spohr alluded to,
at the words _ver Gott_:--


He proceeds thenceforth to intermix symphony with words in the way we
spoke of as that which would seem natural to a choral symphony; and of
the passage where the great broad theme (far happier) is _blended_
below, with the original motiv. Dr. Nohl strikingly remarks, that "Lo!
here was a proof that music is also a thinker!" No doubt in our
glorious Beethoven, who was all heart, and soul, and brain, (_plus_
robust body, till his sad latter days), if not exactly _mens sana in
corpore sano_.

Nevertheless, on the whole, we feel we must agree with Spohr (surely
no unworthy judge, unless blinded by envy); and still rank this
symphony as a colossal experiment rather than a genial success. As far
as our feelings are a guide (and we have expressly acknowledged at the
outset, how each one of us is the creature of prejudice and mood), we
find the work veritably stamped and distinguished by laboured
elaboration--nay, almost painful labour. Beethoven (we feel)
perpetuated a fundamental, primary, pregnant mistake, in _setting
himself_ to "work out" one melodic idea, and that such a poor
one--disappointing almost to exasperation. Above all, varied words
cannot be so set. Even in purely instrumental music the possibility
soon has its natural limits, whatever the genius of the composer, and
despite the undeniably great effects that may be accomplished. Did not
Beethoven himself, on overhearing his--how many variations was it, on
a theme?--exclaim: "Oh, Beethoven, what an ass thou art!" There spoke
the great man! Nature will never be sacrificed to a crotchet.

The design of this celebrated work was grand, characteristic, worthy
of its great designer; but the execution we cannot feel corresponded.
It seems to us the A-B-C of reasoning, that a time _must_ come in the
career of every man when his powers decay. We speak, and rightly, of
the records of his brain as messages from the Infinite; but,
nevertheless, when those cells get enfeebled, that telegraph of
nervous tissue corrupted, the messages are no longer mighty as of
yore: Divine messages do not and will not come, except through the
mystically-operating (for they also are divine) healthy physical
mediums. Psychology and physiology are inextricably blended, if not
one. Beethoven's faculties, then, it seems to us, had already begun to
decay--he was older than other men at his years. He had been long
deaf; was almost broken down with worry and care; and, probably, alas!
trembled on the verge of incipient insanity (were it not already
incipient). He was no longer rich in the fresh originality of his
prime--in the original freshness of his youth; he had, perhaps,
essentially written himself out (herein below Shakespeare). He began
to repeat himself, to theorise, to _make_ music. Did he not himself
say, "I plan, but when I sit down to perform, I find I have nothing to
write." There again spoke the truly great man, honest to the last. He
could, of course, never get away from his individuality--get out of
himself; no man can. But even ideas now seemed to fail him, and their
absence is no compensation for a new style of the old individual, let
alone when that is dubious.

To sum up. The Choral Symphony seems, at the best, a grand but
doubtful experiment. Its greatest, its only inspired movement, is the
adagio; and that, heavenly as it is, interferes with the progress of
the work--with the scheme of it--as depicting doubt, denial, and
despair ("there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth"), to be
followed by oil upon the waters--by an uncontrollable outburst, sacred
fury almost, of joy, at the perception by man that he is imperishable,
part of the All; not only recipient of joy here, but justified
demander and mortgagee of it hereafter; and joy of joy even at the
high perception that even if we personally are not immortal, we are
bubbles of the eternal sea, and that is immortal.


Finally, it is such thoughts as these, consciously or unconsciously
expressed, which stamp and distinguish Beethoven's music as a whole,
to which we now turn. In his jubilation is the "fulness of joy"; in
his sadness the core of sorrow. He has "made the passage from heaven
to hell"; he has sounded the gamut of sound. In his four great
symphonies, the one in D (the rushing forth and soaring up of youth,
Elterlein considers it); the Eroica, the C minor, and the A major; in
these four symphonies, to which the soul's eye in predilection turns,
which stand out from all the rest; and in many of his other
works--whose soul is as great, but substance less--we see Beethoven,
probably the most glorious emotional representative of man in
history--not only in music, but art, almost literature. He is thus the
greatest phenomenon perhaps of modern times after Shakespeare.
Shakespeare over-tops him; but who else? Not Dante--too fierce, and
crude, and narrow (see how blatant he is about Mahomet, and his
annotator, Professor Bianchi, ten times worse--he has the most
stupendously stupid note we ever read!) not Milton, less rich and
influential; not his own contemporary and countryman, Goethe, whose
Faust and Egmont are in Beethoven's music rather than in his own
words, and who had not Beethoven's genial humanity, world-wide
breadth, heaven's-heart depth, and titanic power. Only his
Fatherland's philosophical giants, methinks, can rank with him; and
their influence and effect are naturally limited. He thought in
music--the most delicious volumes of philosophy! thought and feeling
are presented to us in one--aye, and painting too. _Apropos_, so also
do we rank him above the artists. The works of Apelles and Phidias are
gone; the very Parthenon is going. But his works will last; and they
mesmerise and master us with a power which theirs never could
do--theirs, and Angelo's, and Raphael's; or Rubens, and Rembrandt, and
Turner. For music is the highest of the arts, as being most the
message of the Highest: and here is the music of the highest of her
messengers. Yes! for only Handel (whom he so characteristically
revered) can match with him, and that only in power. In originality,
in richness, in depth (including intensity--glow), in humanity,
eminently in influence think of Beethoven's sonatas spread over the
world, besides his quartets and symphonies, pyramidal models; whereas
Handel would hardly be known but for his "Messiah," (and that chiefly
in England); in a word, in universality, and a certain mystical soul
of meaning--sacred mystery of insight and sorrow--within him; in these
he surpasses Handel--and all. Not that he has exhausted music. No.
Music was considered exhausted before him; and even his music,
symphonies and sonatas alike, are of unequal quality and merit
individually as well as comparatively. And not that all great music
does not, more or less, like his work--reveal (or shadow forth) what
his does; and instrumentation has made advances since him; but he is
the _ne plus ultra_ as yet, though not, indeed, without companions.
For this is a law as much morally or intellectually as physically. The
highest peaks in the Himalayas, Andes, and Alps, are together; and
here the appearances around me preach the same truth. One summit is
the special manifestation of a general upheaval (we have already given
particular instances), and these take place at periods. The musical
upheaval (the tertiary deposit) has taken place late. Primevally was
the architectural (least original, and slowest of all the arts--?),
then the sculptural, pictorial, and poetic; groups and series, peaks
and summits of masters, in all. With revived art and literature came
the quasi seraph, Shakespeare; then science and music, contemporary
with the greatest movement in philosophy, and this significantly--for
nothing happens without import and relation. Beethoven, it is true,
set masses; but he was essentially a Theist, if not Pantheist
(unconscious pantheism, we take it, is the soul of his music). One
worthy gentleman delivered himself of the following lucubration _re_
Beethoven's "Mount of Olives":--"It is a fine work, _but_ proves its
author to have been a Deist, and--" Oh, that "but"! I cry you mercy,
my fine particle; there is great virtue too in a "but." We could not
help smiling, and thinking of "Poor God, with nobody to help him!" A
highly curious and most instructive fact about Beethoven is, that (as
we before remarked, I think), it is very difficult, if not impossible,
to find his analogue. In this individuality he is sublime. Hardly any
comparison satisfies us; neither Aiskulos, Homer, Virgil, Dante,
Milton, or Shakespeare, is exactly his like. He has Dante's intensity,
Milton's sublimity (more organ-like than Dante's), and Shakespeare's
universality to a great extent--that is, his humanity and quasi
superhuman lyrical beauty and dramatic power, but not his wonderful
comic genius (as far as we can judge from music, though Beethoven's
shows undoubted humour--which is part, indeed, of humanity); his
_characteristic_, seraphic serenity, and infinity, wealth of creation,
and inexhaustibility to the last. Beethoven is a unique (as Carlyle
called Dickens) blending of these three (and allied to Shakespeare
most), _plus_ his own great indispensable self (for there is ever a
new factor in every new man). Neither can we quite match him with any
of the artists. He has the severity of Phidias--or Praxiteles--who was
famous for bronze, the grandeur of Bruneleschi and Angelo, the grace
and feeling of Raffael and Canova, the mystic splendour of Turner, and
the unique originality, the powerful chiaroscuro of Rembrandt. Indeed,
his relationship to the latter is curiously interesting. These words,
applied to Rembrandt, might be applied to Beethoven:--"His advance
from youth to age is marked, if not by inexperience or feebleness, at
all events by successive and distinctive manners." "The product of his
art is startling; it is singular for individuality of character,
supreme in light, shade, and colour." Beethoven, however, was not an
"artist who took what may be termed his daily constitutional walk
through the lower types of nature;" rather he was a Jove's eagle, a
Gannymede on his pinions, winging his unseen way through empyreans.
Among the artists of his own vocation he is likewise unique. It is
true, that as Guinicelli closely preceded Dante (and may even be
called his master--_Il Saggio_ Dante names him); as Tasso, and
Ariosto, and Shakespeare, and Milton, were a grand cluster in the
Elizabethan period, Corneille, Racine, and Voltaire later, Schiller,
Goethe, and Wieland, after; so Beethoven splendours in what we have
called the Orion's Belt of music, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven; but,
to slightly vary, he is the red star in Orion, the Mont Blanc of the
Alps; neither is Handel, the great sun in the "constellation Hercules"
(to which our system is said to move), his superior--or quite his

Our persuasion of Beethoven's religious impressions ("he could be
seldom got to speak about religion") was derived rather from internal
evidence: but here is an explicit passage on the matter. We read in
his _Tagebuch_, 1816, underlined, and written out in his own
hand:--"_Aus der Indischen Literatur_: God is immaterial, therefore
unthinkable: (_geht über jeden Begriff_: since he is invisible, he can
have no form). But, from what we can gather in his works, we may
conclude that He is almighty, all-knowing, and omnipresent." The
following (still more significant) he wrote out in a _Quartblatt_, in
large letters, had framed, and kept before him on his writing-table.
It was taken from the temple of the Egyptian goddess, Neith, at Sais:

    1. I Am what Is.
    2. I am all that is, was, will be. No mortal hath ever lifted my veil.
    3. He is alone, self existent (_Er ist allein von ihm selbst_);
          and to this Unique all things owe their being.

In the last sentence, we may observe, there is (as usual) a
contradiction with the first--a confusion between theism and
pantheism; for, if the great I Am is all, all things cannot be said to
owe their being to him, but _are_ him--fragmentary manifestations of

A list of the books found in Beethoven's _Handbibliothek_, are also,
in some sort, a key to the man (and his music). _Ecco!_ Shakespeare;
Goethe's Poems, "Wilhelm Meister," and "Faust"; Schiller; Tiedge's
"Urania" (Beethoven's beautiful "An die Hoffnung," Op. 32, is a
setting of a song in that); Seumes' and Matthison's Poems, and others;
"Briefe an Natalie über Gesang," von Nina d'Aubigny-Engelbrunner (much
esteemed, and recommended by Beethoven); Klopstock; Zach; Werner;
Herder (Goethe's "Master"); Plato; Aristotle; Xenophon; Plutarch;
Euripides; Horace; Pliny; Quintilian (these, I presume,
translated--Dr. Nohl does not say); Thomson (whose nature-painting
made him specially prized); and Ossian (Napoleon's favourite).

We read that against the words, often cited too, of Carlyle, "Two
things strike me dumb; the moral law within us, and the starry heavens
over us"; he wrote--"_mit kräftigen Schriftzug_"--KANT. In his
celebrated will, we read--"I will seize Fate by the throat, quite bow
me down it never shall." In his Journal, 1816, we read, "The grand
mark of a great man; stedfastness in unhappy circumstances." One of
his remarks was this:--"There is nothing higher than this--to get
nearer to the Godhead than other men; and thence diffuse its beams
over mankind." Another noteworthy observation was this:--"Celebrated
artists are always prejudiced (or pre-occupied); therefore,
their first works are the best, although they germinated in
obscurity."--(Nohl's "Life of Beethoven," vol. 3, p. 238). One of his
most pregnant remarks was the following:--"All real invention is moral
progress" (_Alle echte Erfindung ist moralisher Fortschritt_).

Beethoven's music is so pregnant, that it is difficult to sum up what
it contains. As before stated, it is a microcosm, both of man and the
world: it especially unrolls before us man (how he thinks, and feels,
and fights) as much as the powerful disquisitions of a Kant or Hegel.
It is representative, because so intensely subjective; representative
from himself outward--he being not a narrowly but comprehensively
subjective soul; we find in it (very profoundly) his own unsatisfied
heart--type of how much in the world! We find in it his unhappy
life--type of still more. We find in it his intense character, full of
sublime passion, and only more dear to us for its faults. We find in
it his infirmities--especially a dark prophesy of _mens_ IN_sana in
corpore insano_; but we were spared that sad spectacle, by the
"cruel-to-be-kind" messenger of Providence. We find in it the pure
passionate love of Nature most concentrated in the Teutonic
nature--coruscating with mystic sparks shooting from the heart on all
sides outward. We find in it at once the most intense lyrical and
dramatic power hitherto known. We find in it, alike, gracious fancy
and grand imagination. We find in it humanity and humour. Moreover, we
find in it the grandest _objective_ power of painting--heroic battles,
as well as with hope--on "our prison walls; far-reaching landscapes
and aurora"; together with a subjective power and pre-eminence that is
almost awful in its majesty. We find in it the subtle and the
sublime--if it be not for sublime to be subtle. Last, and lowest, we
find in it unsettled faith--distracting a soul of good, wearying and
worrying his great good heart, but not overcoming it:

    "It could not bring him wholly under more
    Than loud south-westerns, rolling ridge on ridge
    The buoy that rides at sea, and dips and springs
    For ever;"

and herein is our Beethoven--he, too, a man of sorrows, and acquainted
with grief. _Ach!_ Man is that, most--most intensely representative.
This is the real reason why he so speaks to us, and shakes us; why he
so influenced his contemporaries and followers. An age is represented
by its greatest--that is, by the richest in goodness and insight, and
these mutually represent each other; but you will not find them in
temple or tabernacle--except, indeed, that not made by hands. You will
find them where you find their heart--(where a man's treasure is,
there is his heart also). Ask them what they think, and feel. You will
find that they consider all our common _isms_ and _alities_ but as
episodes--aye, and brief ones--if not, more or less, unconscious
insanities. That, inevitably, as the world in its giant history
proceeded from Nothingism (for how many ages?) to Fetishism--to
Confuciusism--to Buddhism--to Jewism--to Paganism (or Greek and
Romanism)--to Christianity; so common Christianity (the temporal,
dogmatic, superstitious, local, parochial), must also proceed to
something higher; which shall be at once outcome and all-compriser of
the rest. Man has got to realise his identity with the Imperishable
(caring little, if he must "soon be making head to go" from this--has
soon "notice to quit" this lodging--in the cold ground); the absolute
indestructibility of any one manifestation of force--or rather fact of
force--for the manifestations change, and pass away. He has got to
learn to love goodness for its own sake alone, and know that
Conscience is God--_realising_ with the most lyric and scientific
conviction that _every_ violation of right or law, moral even more
inevitably than physical--let every one search his own life and
conscience for the proof--is punished here without or
within--frequently, and most sublimely, subtly, within. Finally, he
has got to make this his faith that--while clinging to the truly
blessed hope of everlasting life, which is the natural corollary of
our consciousness, as our dearest sheet-anchor; as the sense that most
makes us feel infinite; and as the soul of beauty, or beautifying soul
of all--so, nevertheless, the practical immortality of right action
(or of goodness) perpetuating itself in what we do and say, here and
now--is our chief concern, the sole thing essential; which we may
supplement and consummate by falling back on the tremendous
realization before expressed. If _we_ are not immortal, we are bubbles
of the eternal sea of being, and _that_ is----

Once again, then, let us repeat, such high belief, more or less, is
the _soul_ of Beethoven's music (aye, even in his masses), for the
eternal speaks behind the temporary, the mask; hence its specific
gravity (greatest of all), its infinite significance. He is the
morning star of this reformation, the breast-inflaming dawn of a new
heaven in a grander clime--new firmament over New Jerusalem.
Powdered-wigged Haydn and Mozart--powdered-wigged genius even,
including full-bottomed-wigged Handel--could not proclaim such a
creed;--almost, as it were, with thunder of cannon. But Beethoven
ushered in the nineteenth century; he was the Napoleon of its better
half--higher life; and in due time and order followers and apostles
will succeed--have already arisen. The symphony, especially the
un-betitled be-programmed symphony, is the purest manifestation of
music, whose eloquence is better than words--(space, too, is silent);
and the talk of sundry German professors, &c., about music "no longer
playing a single part," coolly assuming, almost, the symphony to be an
exploded error, we are almost tempted to describe as crotchety
maundering or wordy wind, if not blatant jargon. This superfluous pity
for music standing alone, also reminds us of "Poor God! with nobody to
help him!" No! the symphony will still be penned by the
tone-poet--intensely feeling and thinking, lyrico-dramatic man. It
will be broad as the world, and have a soul of the highest. It will be
the grandest absolute expression of the best which we see and are. But
it will also be counterparted and supplemented by the
"Word-made-Flesh" in tone (the Word is never so beautifully made Flesh
as in tone), as Thought is made Flesh in the Word. Religion is the
Heart of Art, whence all pulses and flows; and composers will--at
last--get sick of setting twaddle and dogma, however venerable; and
will celebrate pure truth, old or new. In setting the Higher Utterance
of the past, they will reject the husk and keep the kernel--that of
eternal universal application; or they will transfigure by ideal
interpretation. In setting the new, they will set lyrical expression
of the profound poet--the earnest words of the intense thinker, and
not the jingle of the song-writer, the farrago of the
libretto-concocter. In a word, the higher oratorio (as well as the
higher drama), will play its part; be the exponent--as the symphony
will be the expression--of the new man. This will be the mightiest
manifestation of music--universal truth, profound feeling,
transcendency, and humanity; Shakespeare and Emerson (not Milton) in
one; incarnate in tone, published and borne aloft by Music and the
Human Voice; culminating in such apotheosis at last!--after so many
ages of stuttering, _singing_ will at length have reached to Highest




  Allegro con Brio of the 1st Symphony,                               29
  Adagio of 4th Symphony,                                             56
  Andante of 5th Symphony,                                            66
  Allegro of 5th Symphony,                                            69
  Allegro of 5th Symphony depicts a Conflict,                         70
  Allegretto of 7th Symphony,                                         92
  Allegretto Scherzando of 8th Symphony,                              97

  Beethoven suggestive of Dante and Milton,                           15
  Beethoven rivals Æschylus and Shakespeare,                          60
  Beethoven compared with Napoleon,                                   16
  Beethoven distinguished by his great power,                         28
  Beethoven admired Handel,                                           28
  Beethoven, his modulations peculiar to himself,                     29
  Beethoven a prophet,                                                37
  Beethoven, his combined power and sweetness,                        41
  Beethoven compared with Shakespeare,                                52
  Beethoven not to be conquered by fate,                              63
  Beethoven, his music not to be explained,                           69
  Beethoven, his profound simplicity in the Pastoral Symphony,        79
  Beethoven another Columbus,                                         90
  Beethoven a Theist,                                                110
  Beethoven, his individuality,                                      111
  Beethoven, his religious creed,                                    112
  Beethoven, his library,                                            113
  Beethoven, his music pregnant with ideas,                          114

  Carlyle,                                                            27
  Chords without thirds,                                              30
  Choral Symphony,                                                    98
  Choral Symphony was an experiment,                                  99
  Choral Symphony, errors of judgment in,                            104
  Choral Symphony, execution not equal to the design,                107

  Eroica, analysed,                                                   40
  Elterlein's summary of the Pastoral Symphony,                       84
  Eighth Symphony,                                                    96

  First Symphony,                                                     16
  Funeral March of Eroica Symphony,                                   46
  Funeral March not written in honour of Napoleon,                    48
  Fourth Symphony,                                                    51
  Fifth Symphony,                                                     59
  Fifth Symphony another Eroica,                                      60
  Fifth Symphony paints Beethoven's life,                             62
  Finale of Fifth Symphony,                                           72
  Goethe and Wilhelm Meister,                                         45

  Haydn,                                                               4
  Haydn, Elterlein's opinion upon,                                     7
  Handel studied by Beethoven,                                        71
  Heller, Stephen,                                                    21

  Inspiration defined,                                                27

  Larghetto of 2nd Symphony                                           32
  Larghetto    "       "    shows influence of Haydn and Mozart,      33
  Larghetto    "       "    not so great as the preceding movement,   36

  Mozart,                                                              8
  Mozart compared with Shakespeare,                                   10
  Mendelssohn compared with Beethoven,                                31
  Mozart compared with Beethoven,                                     68
  Michael Angelo the analogue of Beethoven,                          102
  Molto Vivace of 9th Symphony,                                      102

  Napoleon,                                                           24
  Ninth Symphony,                                                     98

  Ode to Joy,                                                        103

  Pastoral Symphony,                                                  76
  Pastoral Symphony written near Vienna,                              76
  Pastoral Symphony feeling rather than painting,                     81

  Symphony and Sonata compared,                                       17
  Symphony, power of the,                                             59
  Second Symphony,                                                    23
  Schumann, greatest symphonist after Beethoven,                      43
  Scherzo of Eroica Symphony,                                         49
  Sixth Symphony,                                                     76
  Scherzo of Pastoral Symphony,                                       83
  Seventh Symphony,                                                   86
  Seventh Symphony, scherzo and finale of,                            93
  Schiller's Ode to Joy,                                             103
  Spohr's judgment on the Choral Symphony,                           106
  Summing up,                                                        108

  Third Symphony,                                                     37
  Third Symphony, a prophecy of the 19th century,                     38

  Vivace of Seventh Symphony,                                         88

  War, potent in art,                                                 27

_Printed by the New Temple Press, Norbury Crescent, S.W. 16_

  Transcriber's Notes:
  Page  3 -removed ex from ex-expected
   "    4 -changed hononored to honoured
   "   13 -changed on to no
   "   40 -changed how to show
   "  100 -changed afier to after

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operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.