In the year of his marriage alone he composed no less than one hundred and 'thirty-eight songs. In the year Schumann composed his first two symphonies and Heine's Tragodie. These were followed a year later by the three string quartetts, the piano quintett and quartett in E flat major. In The Paradise and Peri made its first appearance. In he composed the fugues for piano and organ. In Schumann was appointed professor at the Leipzig Conserva- torium ; but after a concert tour with his wife through Russia he removed to Dresden, in Here he founded a Choral Union, which still exists, and bears his name.
In Ferdinand Hillcr, on leaving Dusseldorf in order to accept the position of chapel-master at Cologne, recommended Schumann for his late post of " Musik-Director. On his return to Diisseldorf his malady increased alarmingly, and he attempted to put an end to his life by throwing himself into the Rhine ; he was, however, rescued, and removed to the establishment at Endenich, near Bonn, where he died on July 29th, No tone-poet has been more enthusiastic in the praise of woman than Robert Schumann: In a monument by Donndorf, of Stutgardt, on which was represented Schumann, accompanied by his wife as the muse of music, was placed on the grave.
We have already mentioned the fact that Schumann possessed more than ordinary gifts as a critic. This brings us back to the noteworthy fact that after Beethoven — that is, at the close of the German Genius epoch — composers began to address the public as litterateurs. Karl Maria von Weber was renowned as a critic, humourist, and contributor to the Dresdener Abendzeitung ; Spohr was the first musician to write an autobiography; as early as we find Berlioz engaged as a critic on the Correspondent, the Courrier de V Europe, and the Revue Europeenne, the special champion of Beethoven, Spontini, and Karl Maria von Weber.
Schumann held the same position in the literary world of Germany as that occupied by. Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner likewise exemplify the rule. Wagnernas gained reputation as a poet, and in his writings has far out- stripped the poetical works of Weber and Berlioz. Literary activity among the Great Talents was the result of gift, and differed widely from that of the host of semi-talents and talentless, who make use of this tendency to cloak their lack of productive power in music ; members of this class have even descended from concert composition to concert oration.
In answer to the argument that we find no litterateurs among the great masters, we can only offer the proposition that the talents wield the pen in order to establish firmly the principles of the Romantic school. As I was unsuccessful in my endeavour to find you after the performance the ether day I cculd not express my thanks to you. Receive them then now, and accept my good wishes for your future, which to you and yours, to whom I beg to he kindly remembered, ean only bring joy and happiness.
With much esteem, Yours devotedly, B. The in- vestigation of the more profound reasons for the need of literary aid on behalf of the steadily increasing Romantic principles we shall reserve for a later chapter. Schumann became a litterateur through his opposition to many of the features of the musical world, but nowhere do we find him claiming indulgence for extreme principles, or a leader of rebellioh against all pre-existing tenets.
As a composer, the storm and stress period of youth past, Schumann might be designated a classic in the new Romantic school; as a critic he never indulged in one-sided or unjustifiable arguments j his pro- positions can, even at the present day, be accepted with safety by musicians of every party. The best testimony will be found in the master's own words.
There is an historical interest attached to his explanation as to the reasons why he founded his opposition paper in The aim of these meetings was social communion, and this soon included the mutual exchange of ideas on that art which was to them the meat and drink of their life, music. It cannot be said that the musical state of Germany at that period was enjoyable. On the stage Rossini reigned supreme, on the piano almost exclusively Herz and Hlinten, and yet it was but a few years since Beethoven, Karl Maria von Weber, and Franz Schubert had lived among us.
However, the star of Mendelssohn was rising, and wonderful things were being said of a Pole, by name Chopin. No lasting effect was, however, produced until a much later period. One day an idea seized the young enthusiasts: It is simple; this is it: Scarcely ten years elapsed before he resigned the editorship, hoping as a gifted artist to aid more powerfully by his compositions than by his literary work. After this period it was only on special request that he contributed minor articles. A very important item in Schumann's literary work is his first reference to Chopin, o one like Schumann has pointed to the importance of Chopin as the com- poser of pianoforte music of a most poetical and refined character, and the creator of a fresh feature in the new Romantic school.
No one has exerted himself with so much energy to gain for Chopin an appreciative reception, in spite of the attacks of the Philistines, than the composer of the Peri. Though we introduce Chopin into this chapter, which had been set apart for the discussion of the great German talents, it must not be inferred that we have any desire of claiming for Germany the possession of that composer. Chopin's position is peculiar. He cannot be identified with the French school, no Polish school existed in the first half of the nineteenth century to which he could be affiliated, therefore we are only just in classing him as a pianoforte composer with Mendelssohn and Schumann.
Both masters admired Chopin, and there are moments in the pianoforte works of Schu- mann and Chopin in which the mental relation and mutual influence of the composers cannot escape notice. It is worthy of note too that Chopin, notwithstanding the number of monographs and notices in dictionaries of biography, has, with the single exception of Brendel, received no notice in the most important musical histories of the latter half of our century.
Arrey von Dommer closes his musical history with Beethoven ; and Am- bros, who was a warm admirer of the works of Chopin, was prevented by death from continuing his work beyond the life of Palestrina. Owing to his descent from a French father and Polish mother, and the influence exercised on him by the German school, Chopin may well be styled cos- mopolitan. Chopin was not only a highly-gifted musician, but possessed of a most poetical and refined -nature. Though the waltz was first raised from the level of a common dance tune by Franz Schubert, in his " Valses Senti- mentales," Op.
His productions were by no means intended to serve as mere dance music, but rather as complete poems depicting the various emotions and sen- timents engendered in the mind of the dancer. Just as Mendelssohn raised the German " folk-song J ' into an art-song, so Chopin raised the dance into an art-form, and the virtuoso salon music that found favour with his predecessors into a form of composition possessing a distinctive artistic character.
He may be said to have infused for the first time the genuine spirit of romance into pianoforte music, for it is only in the works of Schubert and Field that we find isolated cases, whieh are still rarer in the productions of Hummel and Moscheles. We find this feature inde- pendent in Mendelssohn, whereas in Schumann's compositions it is without doubt due in part to the influence of Chopin. Indeed, as a pianoforte eomposer, Schumann may be with justice placed 'at the side of the latter contemporary, whose influence is seen directly in the works of Henselt, Schulhoff, and Hermann Scholtz.
There is yet another feature in the new Romantic school of Germany which is prominent in the compositions of Chopin ; we allude to the use of the chromatic progression. This means of obtaining effect was but rarely used by earlier masters, like Schubert, Weber, and Marschner, and then in order to express the presence of something strange, super- natural, or demoniaeal ; in the invention and working of their themes and motivi they kept strictly to the diatonic.
We only meet one exception to this rule, in the person of Ludwig Spohr, who not only used the chromatic progression without special purport, but even made it the basis of his peculiar manner, whieh can be traced not only in his part-writing, but also in the outline of his themes. The continued presence of an element like this in the creations of a master cannot always be considered a faulty Art presents such a boundless field that it allows the existence of a pathological character, sentimentality, discordance, and even to a certain degree that which is baroque, adven- turous, and fantastic, beside healthy vigour, the natural, the euphonic, and the beautiful.
The latter compared with the former phase is as the first crop compared to the second, or the healthy open-air vegetation to that reared in the hothouse, which is sickly and mean, commonplace, and u oly; the latter, unless used for the purpose of contrast, should be ex- cluded from the precincts of art ; whereas we can never fail to be charmed by tenderness, longing reverie, and feminine sentiment. These "last qualities proclaim their presence in Chopin's works in the strong chro- matic element, by which he not only bridges the space intervening between the old and new Romantic school, but approaches nearer to the head of the new Romantic school, Richard Wagner, than does any other master".
The works of Chopin include two concertos for the piano in P minor and F sharp minor, a pianoforte trio, and two sonatas for piano and violon- cello, with many others. The grand symphonic development of instrumental music which had been applied to the pianoforte concerto by Beethoven, Mozart, and Weber, and was con- tinued by Mendelssohn and Schumann, was beyond the reach of Chopin, for he lacks the power of organic development of themes,' and strict working out of motivi.
Chopin appears at his best in the smaller forms of composition, such as his twelve polonaises, fifty-two mazurkas, twenty- seven etudes, twenty-five preludes, nineteen nocturnes, thirteen waltzes, five rondos, as. AJler an original Lithograph drawn from lift. We must here not fail to point to the exquisite beauty and originality of his sixteen Polish songs.
Chopin's originality, which is inseparable from his individuality — a feature common to the talents of his period — renders his works almost inimitable. The name of his mother was Justina Kryzanowska. He received the earliest portion of his musical education at the Warsaw Conservatorium, under the direc- tion of Joseph Eisner; and even as a child excited general admiration.
He visited Berlin in , in company with the zoologist, Professor Jarocki, who was on his way to attend a meeting under the presidency of Humboldt. It was now that he wrote about HandeVs Alexander's Feast: From here he wrote: They are accustomed to the thumping of their pianoforte virtuosi ; but that does not matter.
Like a true poet, he had ever before him a female ideal, to whom he addressed his inspirations. His first love was Constance Glad- kowska. He wrote to his friend, Titus Woyciechowsky: I have not, as yet, spoken a single syllable to her, but for six months her image has been ever before me. At the end of the year he again visited Vienna, whence he removed to Paris. Schumann's enthusiasm was first excited by Chopin's variations on a theme from Mozart's Bon Giovanni, Op. Besides this friendly society, he entered the aristocratic circle of the French capital.
Prince Radziwill introduced him at the soirees of Rothschild, where he soon became a great favourite; and indeed, before very long, he became the hero of every Parisian salon. The master was helped into this position by the enthusiasm felt for the cause of Poland, and the identification of his plaintive melodies with the sorrows of his down-trodden fatherland. One of the composer's friends writes at the period: He is all the rage. The fashionable world will, before long, be wearing gloves a la Chopin" Every year Chopin gave several seances musicales, to which it was very difficult to gain admission.
The entree was exceptionally high, as his patrons wished to keep the concerts as exclusive as those in their own salons. The daughters of the highest French and Polish families eagerly sought lessons from him. In , passing through Leipzig, Chopin spent a day with Mendelssohn, concerning. However different may be our objects, it makes no difference, but I cannot bear those half-hearted people.
We cannot fail to notice how our master was attracted by Germany and German composers. Before his visit Chopin had been affianced to Maria Wodzynska, a Polish lady of noble birth, but on his return to Paris he found that she had broken faith, and was married to a Polish nobleman.
It was now that he formed an intimacy with the novelist George Sand. Of this George Sand says, in her memoirs: All he cared for was myself and my children ; all else beneath the southern sky was painful to. Here her favourite occupation- was to write while he improvised, and to this she refers more than once in her novels.
Plagiat (German Edition)
Moritz Karasowsky, Chopin's biographer, attributes the rupture between them, which took place in , to the conduct of George Sand ; and it may be inferred that it caused a rapid increase of the composer's malady, of which he finally died after two lingering years. In the spring of he rallied, and accepted engagements in London. The improvement in his health proved to be, however, only temporary ; and the excitement of the London season, and worry caused by a journey into Scotland, hastened his death.
On his return to Paris it was evident that his life could not be of long duration. His knowledge o r: On the day previous to his death he begged the Countess Potocka, who stood at his bedside, to sing something to him. She complied by tearfully singing an Italian hymn to the Madonna, at the conclusion of which he said, " Oh, Heaven! October he died, after takiug affectionate leave of his friend Gutmann. His funeral was public, all Paris taking part in it. The burial service was held in the Madelaine. On the way to the crnireh his " Funeral March,'' which had been pur- posely scored, was performed, and the ceremony, according to his desire, was concluded with Mozart's Requiem,.
Thus he was accompanied to the grave by the tones of that master to whom he paid homage on his first entrance into publicity. Chopin's grave at Pere la Chaise is situated between those of his friends Bellini and Cherubini, for whom he felt a marked respect. Amongst his lady-pupils Princess Czartoryska is undoubtedly the best. On Jules Schulhoff, born at Prague in , Chopin exercised remarkable influence.
The author considers that there is no such genial and characteristic pianist as Schulhoff! We must reckon as one of the best editions of Chopin's works that by Hermann Scholtz. Before we take leave altogether of the three masters, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and Schumann, who possess many features in common, we must consider the position in which they stood with their musical contemporaries, as that is the only manner in which we can gain a positive apprecia- tion of their importance in the history of musical art.
Mendelssoh n is "S the r eno vator of the oratorjo, which assertion will be proved beyond all doubt by reference to the sacred compositions of his immediate prede- cessors and contemporaries. Paul, Graun's oratorio The Death of Jesus was regarded as an unsurpassable master- work in the north of Germany, and especially at Berlin.
The immediate and most im- portant predecessors of Mendelssohn in oratorio writing were Schneider and Klein. These were considered models of this species of composition, and were frequently heard at the German musical festivities at the period in which St. Though the Weltgericht contains much that is sound and earnest, it has, like the other works of the same master, vanished entirely from our churches and concert rooms, although less con- ventional than his other works.
Bernhard Klein born at Cologne in , died at Berlin in approaches nearer to Mendelssohn. Klein's David contains much meritorious and fine writing, as do his Jephtha and Job. These works display talent and not mere imitation, but they, with those by Reissiger, also including an oratorio entitled David, as well as the oratorios of Spohr, the most prominent contemporary of Mendelssohn, pale before St. We have already given praise to Mendelssohn for his resuscitation of the works of Bach. Forty-eight Preludes and Fugues.
After his death, Baeh's works again fell into oblivion. The Passions had long been forgotten, his motets and a few of his cantatas were occasionally performed at the Church of St. Thomas at Leipzig, and in a few isolated eases at vocal academies. Men- delssohn directed general attention to the greatness of Bach by his perform- ances of the Passion of St.
Matthew, , after more than half a century of oblivion. The classical vocal unions referred to were that of St. Cecilia, founded by Nepomuck Scheibler — at Frankfort-on- the-Maine in the year 18 19, and that at Breslau established in by Johann Theodor Mosewius — Not only was Mendelssohn suc- cessful in resuscitating Bach's vocal music, but he put an end to the organ Zopfy and brought about the death of the meaningless " Kapell-meister " fugue. In support of his endeavours Mendelssohn wrote six preludes and fugues for piano, Op. Schumann aided in the same cause with four fugues for piano, Op.
These works were permeated with the spirit of Bach and Handel, and, whilst removing everything meretricious, they infused into the orthodox forms the spirit of modern thought. These praiseworthy efforts produced good effect on other com- posers. It was under this influence that Alexander Klengel — , the court organist at Dresden, composed his excellent canons and fugues, which were published after his death by Moritz Hauptmann. The same might be said of J. Rinck — , a disciple of Bach's pupil Kittel, who became famous through his chorales ; R. Hesse, whose life we have discussed in a former chapter ; A.
Ritter — ; and Gustave Rebling, born With the exception of his splendid choruses to Edipus and Antigone, Mendelssohn has written but few part- songs for male voices, yet this small number not only gained great popularity, but may be said to vie with those of Karl Maria von Weber, and have done much towards reinstating this form of art-song.
His most gifted follower in this branch of composition was undoubtedly Robert Schumann. To gain a definite idea of the value of the songs of these two masters, we must compare them with those of their contemporaries. Friedrich Silcher — , the senior of their contemporaries, whose songs were already in vogue in the early days of Mendelssohn and Schumann, compares favour- ably with Reichardt and Zelter.
In chronological order, Silcher is followed by Josef Dessauer, born in at Prague, who, like the other composers of the period, wrote operas, orchestral, choral, and chamber compositions, but owes his popularity chiefly to his songs and romances, many of which became extremely popular in France. We may almost say the same of Norbert Burgmuller — , who has left some excellent specimens of orchestral composition, chamber music, and songs. Many of his songs gained great popularity. These two, like Curschmann arid Franz Abt, although popular, may be justly accused of hypersentimentality, which at times approaches dangerously near to tri- viality.
Proch's " Alpen Horn,'' and Kiicken's " Ach wenn du warst mein eigen," enjoyed popularity for over twenty years. With a reference to Wilhelm Speier, born at Frankfort-on-the-Maine in ; Hieronymus Priedrich Truhn, born in atElbing; and Karl Banck, we close the list of song-writers who enjoyed popularity in the time of Schumann and Mendelssohn. In favour of Banck we may add that he aimed higher than most of his contem- poraries, as may be seen in his setting of well-known poems, which give proof of Schumann's influence.
Both Schutaann and Mendelssohn stand out boldly as composers of chamber and orchestral composition. In chamber music Schumann un- doubtedly surpasses his contemporary, although Mendelssohn's octett for strings and his qnartett in E flat major rise above most works of the same kind by his contemporaries. Though Schumann may excel in the symphony, Mendelssohn is superior in the concert overture ; and if their works are carefully examined, and their value duly weighed, their import- ance in the history of modern tonal art cannot fail to strike the student. However clever may be the well-finished orchestral and chamber music of Kalliwoda — , Lindpaintner — , Reissiger — 1S59 , Vincenz Lachner , Onslow — , Hummel — , and others, none of them have, like Schumann and Mendelssohn, approached so near to their great predecessors of the Genius epoch in thematic treatment of poetical ideas.
As the best works of Lindpaint- ner and Reissiger, we quote the overtures to Faust and Felsenmilhle, Kalliwoda's " Das Deutsche Lied " has been adopted as the national anthem by the Germans in Austria. Mendelssohn and Schumann infused new life into orchestral music. Chopin raised the waltz and mazurka from simple folk-melodies to the level of art-productions, and Mendelssohn may be said to have done the same in song.
Nearly all the previous attempts to achieve this may be recorded as failures. Weber and Silcher must, of course, be excepted ; Reichardt and Zelter may be said to have succeeded occasionally ; Strauss, Lanner, and Labitzky have produced works far superior to those or! Schumann, Chopin, and Mendelssohn must be also regarded -as the renovators of modern pianoforte music, which — the works of Weber, 10? Hummel, and Moscheles excepted— had degenerated as jnuch as the other branches of the tonal art. The three musicians with whom we are dealing in this section carefully eschewed programme music.
Schumann's works of this class belong to his early period; and during the epoch of his greatness he carefully refrained from expressing more than the mere title of his work. In their great symphonic works Mendelssohn and Schumann have altogether ignored programmes, although B erlioz and Liszt had adopted them, and Wagner had even supplied one for the ninth symphony. Mendelssohn ridiculed the idea of attempting to supply programmes to his songs without words; in Chopin's works we find no traces of any programme. In this respect our composers were stricter than the great masters of the Genius epoch.
Of those masters Haydn indulged to the greatest extent in musical painting; next to him we must place Beethoven, who employed programmes for several of his symphonies. This ignoring of programme music is rendered still more remarkable by the fact that the composers in question belong to the Romantic school. Many modern romantic composers consider that instrumental music is incomplete unless accompanied by a programme. The author suggests that in many cases the programme is merely a cloak to conceal artistic incapability and want of power in working in the classical art-form.
There are still more links of a mental and artistic relation between Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Chopin ; for example, the feminine element which we find in their being, their creation, and conception of the world. This element is most prominent in Chopin. A special feature of these three masters is the entire absence of envy. Chopin gave proof of this by his enthusiasm for so dangerous a rival as Liszt ; Mendelssohn by his interest in the works of Schumann and Gade ; Schumann by his respect for Mendelssohn and Berlioz, and the extraordinary zeal which he displayed in smoothing the way for Chopin and Brahms.
A trait equally common to these com- posers was their reverence for the classical composers and everything great in art. Mendelssohn wrote to Taubert: Chopin's reverence for Mozart and Beethoven has been already referred to. Party spirit was disagreeable to all three. Schumann was annoyed at praise from the paper he had established, and the comparison drawn between himself and Mendelssohn.
Mendelssohn's letters prove positively his dis- like for all musical clique; Chopin, with his retiring nature, never took any part in such matters. E took leave of the most musically-gifted of the Latin races in an earlier chapter, when noticing the decadence of their music, which was owing to the influence exercised over European art in the eighteenth century by the entrance of the Zopf period. The sway of the Zopf was rendered doubly potent from the fact of its emanating from the Italians, who claimed seniority as a cultured nation.
Notwithstanding the power exercised by Scarlatti over the French school of music, and by Bernini and Borromini over the architecture and sculpture of the period, the French nation intui- tively formed an idiosyncratic artistic manner, which had been in existence even during the period of the Baroque. This is especially noticeable in the operas of Lully and Rameau, and the tragedies of contemporary writers.
Notwithstanding the generally pernicious influence of the Zopf, men of talent existed in the eighteenth century who were enabled by their individual power to stand out in bold relief from among the multitude of their fellow-artists. On Italian music for piano and violin, either chamber or orchestral, the Zopf exercised less power than on opera, oratorio, and other sacred music. This is proved by the works of the celebrated violin virtuosi and composers, such as Tartini — ; Locatelli — ; Sammartini — , who, by his symphonies, overtures, and chamber compositions, might be almost considered the forerunner of Joseph Haydn ; Boccherini — , who has composed much solid and tasteful music for that period ; Nardini, died ; Lolli, died Pugnani, died ; Clementi — ; Viotti — Valentini, who lived about the latter half of the eighteenth century and Sacchini, who has written many trios and sonatas.
If other nations could not escape the influence of Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, how much greater power must those masters have exercised over the Italians and French, the most gifted of their neighbours, especially when their music had become familiar to the masses, and Germany added to its Genius epoch such a brilliant array of talents as Schubert, Weber, Spohr, and Meyerbeer, for the influence of Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Wagner had as yet not extended thus far. Proof of this is found in the works of Cberubini, Spontini, Rossini Tell and Barbiere , and the followers of the Italian melodist.
Among the French it is exemplified by the works of Gretry, Mehul, Boieldieu, Herold, Halevy, and rarely Auber, as well as a considerable number of prominent masters who have added to the repertoire of French comic opera during the last, half of the eighteenth and first of the nineteenth century.
This genre of composition, notwithstanding the German influence, contains all the French grace and finesse. The influence of the Germans over the French and Italian music con- tinues at the present day, and to such an extent, indeed, that both nations imitate them in errors and in improvement. It will be remembered that when the old French school of contrapuntists of Notre Dame, the Nether- land school, and the Italians ruled the musical world in turn, the position was reversed.
The imitation by the French and Germans of the Italian school, albeit the Italians were then in the midst of their Zopf period, was attended with advantage. Such talents as Cherubim — who might almost claim a place next to the six great masters of the Genius epoch — or Spontini could never have existed without the influence of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Gluck; nor could the masters of the charming comic Romanuc French opera have perfected their purity of expression, freed themselves -from conventionality, and acquired such a mode of poly- phonic treatment, had not they received aid from the German Genius and Talent epochs that preceded them.
In the same way we find that the works of the French Romantic school of music are inspired by Mozart's Don Giovanni, Weber's ' Freischiltz and Oberon, Franz Schubert's songs and instrumental music, by the symphonies and sonatas of Beethoven, and the works of Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Wagner. The Romantic school of the French does not only consist of.
The grand French opera has yielded in part to the influence of the Romantic school, and we shall deal with it in the following chapter with the comic opera, as an interesting, important, and influential factor in the development oE dramatic music altogether. Auber and Halevy must be placed in the ranks of the composers of comic opera, notwithstanding that their Mawniello, Gustave III. Our reason for acting thus is that the greater number of their works can be classed as comic, and in them they exhibit that musical naivete and rhythmic melody which form the greatest charm of the music of this genre.
We intend in this chapter to furnish most striking proof of this assertion. This is most natural, as the French possess a facility for dramatic expression and a power of lapsing into the pathetic at will. This talent for dramatic action is noticeable in the history of the nation, for at times this tendency has affected the people as a whole, and has caused many crises and violent catastrophes, none of which have altogether lacked stage effect.
Thus we find the French opera in the foreground of their musical world, reflecting, as far as music is capable, every phase of national, political, and mental existence. The passions of the Revolution, and the national principle which had travelled throughout Europe, found a place in the realms of sound. In the middle of the eighteenth century we meet with unpremeditated and primitive features in their art which express what we should designate the soul and innermost kernel of French dramatic music, being independent of external influences.
If this music is credited with being the head of the French tonal art, the other opera school which deals with the inner life of the populace must be called the heart. We purposely employ the term school, as, where the Teutonic love of indivi- dualising is prominent, which was the case in the Genius epoch, the Latin races indulged involuntarily in forming schools.
Of the above schools that which represents the innermost life of the people is the national ; the other, which absorbs political events, is international, although in its present form it is only possible in France. But the circumstance that the French possessed the power of attracting foreigners to the country and rendering them serviceable to their art-cause proves that the grand opera, as well as its sister form the comic romantic opera, is the result of the gift of the French.
The so-called grand opera may be designated the special product of Paris, particularly as all the foreign composers of that form resided at the time in the French capital. We find the most prominent French masters of the modern grand opera, Auber and Halevy, at the side of the Italian Rossini and the German Meyerbeer, the older grand French opera having been fostered by Gluck, Spontini, and Cherubim.
It may be said that the foreigners— Spontini, Cherubini, Rossini, and Meyerbeer— have elevated the special style of the grand French opera in a great degree, thereby making it a standard to a greater extent than was accomplished by Auber and Halevy. The name of the father of grand opera is in justice applic- able to Spontini alone ; he, with his Vestale, preceded all the others and established the classical model, the ideal of the new style.
Auber with Masaniello, Rossini with Tell, and Meyerbeer with the Huguenots, em- ployed Spontini's style with a new and characteristic expression hitherto unknown in musical art. We must not ignore the fact that a grand opera could nowhere be put on the stage to such perfection as in Paris, which city at that time was far more cosmopolitan than at present.
The opera comique, however, flourished equally well throughout all France, and in every country where the French language was spoken. The grand opera presents to the unbiassed observer the review of two distinct periods differing entirely in character and style. The first of these periods might be desiguated the " Period of the Com- posers of the Great French Revolution and the succeeding Empire," as the grand opera continually reflects political and social events ; the second, the " Period of the Restoration, July, and Forty-eight Revolution. Berton profited by the traditions of Lully and Rameau, which is proved by the great number of additions made by him to the operas of those and other masters of that school.
His reverence for Gluck, in the performance of whose works lie took the greatest interest, when in he was appointed conductor of the Grand Opera, prevents his classification with the school of Lully and Rameau, which was antagonistic to the "style of the composer of Jrmirla. Berton is instrumental in teaching us that the influence of Gluck, Cherubini, and Spontini was necessary for the formation of that peculiar style which dis- tinguishes the grand opera of the French. When Cherubini went to Paris for the second time in , in order to reside there, musical France was under the influence of Gluck and Gretry; and the contest between the partisans of Gluck and Piccini was at its climax.
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Although Italian by birth , Cherubini did not side with Piccini. Gluck had revealed to Cherubini an ideal world elevated in his idea above that of the Italian, and his serious and conscientious character soon determined his choice. The ultimate result of this decision was the production of Cherubini's immortal tragic opera Medee, Although the grand opera is not so decisively typified in Mcde'e as in Spontini's Vestale, which appeared ten years later, yet it exhibits features which that style still possesses.
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