Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/342

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��SCHUBERT.

��piano, or my own breast. If this often makes me sad, on the other hand it often elevates me all the more. Several songs have lately come into existence, and I hope very successful ones.' He is evidently more at home in the servants' hall than the drawing-room. ' The cook is a pleasant fellow; the ladies'-maid is thirty; the housemaid very pretty, and often pays me a visit; the nurse is somewhat ancient ; the butler is my rival ; the two grooms get on better with the horses than with us. The Count is a little rough ; the Countess proud, but not without heart ; the young ladies good children. I need not tell you, who know me so well, that with my natural frankness I am good friends with everybody.' The letter ends with an affectionate message to his parents.

The only songs which can be fixed to this autumn, and which are therefore doubtless those just referred to, besides the great 'Einsamkeit,' are the 'BlumenbrieP (Lief. 21, no. i), 'Blon- del und Maria,' 'Das Marienbild' and ' Litaney,' ' Das Abendroth ' for a contralto, evidently composed for the Countess ; ' Vom Mitleiden Maria/ and three Sonnets from Petrarch (MS.). The Hungarian national songs left their mark in the * 36 original dances,' or ' Eirst Waltzes ' (op. 9), some of which were written down in the course of the next year. The 'Divertisse- ment a la hongroise,' and the Quartet in A minor (op. 29), in which the Hungarian influence is so strong, belong the first apparently, the second certainly to a much later period.

A third letter of this date, hitherto unprinted, with which the writer has been honoured by the granddaughter 1 of Ferdinand Schubert, to whom it was addressed, is not without interest, and is here printed entire. The Requiem referred to was by Ferdinand, and had evidently been sent to his brother for revision. The letter throws a pleasant light on the strong link existing be- tween Franz and his old home, and suggests that assistance more solid than 'linen' may often have reached him from his fond step -mother in his poverty in Vienna. In considering the pecuniary result of the engagement, it must be remembered that the florin was at that time only worth a franc, instead of two shillings. The month's pay therefore, instead of being 20, was really only about 8. Still, for Schubert that was a fortune.

24 Aug. 1818. BEAU BROTHER FERDINAND,

It is half-past 11 at night, and your Requiem is ready. It has made me sorrowf uLas you may believe, for I sang it with all my heart. What is wanting you can fill in, and put the words under the music and the signs above. And if you want much rehearsal you must do it yourself, without asking me in Zele"sz. Things are not going well with you ; I wish you could change with me, so that for once you might be happy. You should find all your heavy burdens gone, dear brother ; I heartily wish it could be so. My foot is asleep, and I am mad with, it. If the fool could only write it wouldn't go to sleep !

Good morning, my boy, I have been asleep with my foot, and now go on with my letter at 8 o'clock on the 25th. I have one request to make in answer to yours. Give

i Fr&ulein Caroline Geisler, daughter of Linus Geisler and Fer- dinand's second daughwr, Elise.

��SCHUBERT.

my love to my dear parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and acquaintances, especially not forgetting Carl. Didn't he mention me in his letter ? As for my friends in the town, bully them, or get some one to bully them well till they write to me. Tell my mother that my linen is well looked after, and that I am well off, thanks to her motherly care. If I could have some more linen I should very much like her to send me a second batch of pocket-handkerchiefs, cravats, and stockings. Also I am much in want of two pair of kerseymere trowsers. Hart can get the measure wherever he likes. I would send the money very soon. For July, with the journey-money, I got 200 florins.

It is beginning already to be cold, and yet we shall not start for Vienna before the middle of October. Next month I hope to have a few weeks at Freystadt, which belongs to Count Erdody, the uncle of my count. The country there is said to be extraordinarily beautiful. Also I hope to get to Pesth while we are at the vintage at Bpsczmedj, which is not far off. It would be delight- ful if I should happen to meet Herr Administrator Taigele there. I am delighted at the thought of the vintage, for I have heard so much that is pleasant about i t. The harvest also is beautiful here. They don't stow the corn into barns as they do in Austria, but make immense heaps out in the fields, which they call Tristen. They are often 80 to 100 yards long, and 30 to 40 high, and are laid together so cleverly that the rain all runs off without doing any harm. Oa ts and so on they bury in the ground.

Though I am so well and happy, and every one so good to me, yet I shall be immensely glad when the moment arrives for going to Vienna. Beloved Vienna, all that is dear and valuable to me is there, and nothing but the actual sight of it will stop my longing ! Again entreating you to attend to all my requests, I remain, with much love to all, your true and sincere,

FRANZ Mpia.

A thousand greetings to your good wife and dear Besi, and a very hearty one to aunt Schubert and her daughter.

The inscription 'Zele*sz, Nov. 1818' on the song ' Das Abendroth' shows that the return to Vienna was not till nearly the end of the year. He found the theatre more than ever in posses- sion of Rossini. To the former operas, 'Elisabetta' was added in the autumn, and ' Otello ' early in Jan. 1819. But one of the good traits in Schu- bert's character was his freedom from jealousy, and his determination to enjoy what was good, from whatever quarter it came, or however much it was against his own interest. A letter of his to Hiittenbrenner, written just after the production of ' Otello,' puts this in very good light. ' Otello is far better and more characteristic than Tan- credi. Extraordinary genius it is impossible to deny him. Hie orchestration is often most origi- nal, and so is his melody ; and except the usual Italian gallopades, and a few reminiscences of Tancredi, there is nothing to object to.' But he was not content to be excluded from the theatre by every one, and the letter goes on to abuse the ' canaille of Weigls and Treitschkes,' and * other rubbish, enough to make your hair stand on end/ all which were keeping his operettas off the boards. Still, it is very good-natured abuse, and so little is he really disheartened, that he ends by begging Hiittenbrenner for a libretto; nay, he had actually just completed a little piece called 'Die Zwillingsbriider ' ('the Twins'), translated by Hofmann from the French a Singspiel in one act, containing an overture and 10 numbers. He finished it on Jan. 19, 1819, and it came to performance before many months were over.

Of his daily life at this time we know nothing. We must suppose that he had regular duties with his pupils at the Esterhazys' town house.

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