Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/381

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SCHUBERT.

Mozart or Mendelssohn, or our own Purcell, must be accounted for on the ground partly of his extra- ordinary exertions, but still more of the privations to which he was subjected from his very earliest years. His productions are enormous, even when measured by those of the two great German com- posers just named, or even of Beethoven, who lived to nearly double his years. At an age when Beethoven had produced one Symphony, he had written ten, besides all the mass of works great and small which form the extraordinary list in the Appendix to this article. ' Fairer hopes ' ? Had he lived, who can doubt that he would have thrown into the shade all his former achieve- ments ? But as we have endeavoured to explain, his music came so easily and rapidly that it was probably not exhausting. It was his privations, his absolute poverty, and the distress which he naturally felt at finding that no exertions could improve his circumstances, or raise him in the scale of existence, that in the end dragged him down. His poverty is shocking to think of. Nearly the first distinct glimpse we catch of him is in the winter of 1812, supplicating his brother for a roll, some apples, or a few halfpence, to keep off the hunger of the long fast in the freezing rooms of the Convict. Within a year of his death we catch sight of him again, putting up with coffee and biscuits because he has not 8%d. to buy his dinner with; selling his great Trio for 1 75. 6d. and his songs at lod. each, and dying the possessor of effects which were valued at little more than two pounds. Beside this the poverty of Mozart the first of the two great musicians whom Vienna has allowed to starve was wealth.

Such facts as these reduce the so-called friend- ship of his associates to its right level. With his astonishing power of production the commonest care would have ensured him a good living ; and that no one of his set was found devoted enough to take this care for him, and exercise that watch over ways and means which Nature had denied to his own genius, is a discredit to them all. They prate of their devotion to their friend, when not one of them had the will or the wit to prevent him from starving ; for such want as he often endured must inevitably have injured him, and we cannot doubt that his death was hastened by the absence of those comforts, not to say neces- saries, which should have nursed and restored the prodigal expenditure of his brain and nerves.

We are accustomed to think of Beethoven's end as solitary and his death as miserable, but what was his last illness compared to Schubert's ? Officious friends, like Pasqualati, sending him wine and delicacies ; worshipping musicians, like Hummel and Hiller, coming to his deathbed as if to a shrine ; his faithful attendants, Schindler, Hiittenbrenner and Breuning waiting on his every wish ; the sense of a long life of honour and renown ; of great works appreciated and beloved; the homage of distant countries, ex- pressed in the most substantial forms what a contrast to the lonely early deathbed, and the apparent wreck of such an end as Schubert's ! Time haa so altered the public sense of his merits

��SCHUBERT.

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��that it is all but impossible to place oneself in the forlorn condition in which he must have resigned himself to his departure, and to realise the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death through which his simple sincere guileless soul passed to its last rest, and to the joyful resurrection and glorious renown which have since attended it. Then an intelligent and well- informed foreign musician could visit the Aus- trian capital and live in its musical circles, without so much as hearing Schubert's name. 1 Now memorials are erected to him in the most public places of Vienna, institutions are proud to bear his name, his works go through countless editions, and publishers grow rich upon the pro- ceeds even of single songs, while faces brighten and soften, and hands are clasped, as we drink in the gay and pathetic accents of his music.

For even his privations and his obscurity have now been forgotten in the justice since done to him, and in the universal affection with which he was regarded as soon as his works reached the outside world an affection which, as we have conclusively shown, has gone on increasing ever since his death". In the whole range of composers it may be truly said that no one is now so dearly loved as he, no one has the happy power so completely of attracting both the ad- miration and the affection of his hearers. To each one he is not only a great musician, not only a great enchanter, but a dear personal friend. If in his ' second state sublime ' he can know this, we may feel sure that it is a full compensation to his affectionate spirit for the many wrongs and disappointments that he en- dured while on earth.

The very wide field over which Schubert ranged in poetry has been more than once alluded to in the foregoing. It would be both interesting and profitable to give a list of the poems which he has set. Such a list, not without inaccuracies, will be found in Wurzbach's ' Biographical Lexi- con,' vol. xxxii. p. 94. Here we can only say that it includes 634 poems, by 100 authors, of whom the principal are :

Goethe 72; Schiller 54; Mayrhofer48; Miiller 44; Holty 25; Matthisson 27; Kosegarten 20; F. Schlegeli9; Klopstockip; Korneri6; Schober 15; Seidl 15; Salis 14; Claudius 13; Walter Scott 10 ; Rellstab 9 ; Uz 8 ; Ossian 7 ; Heine 6 ; Shakspeare 3 ; Pope I ; Colley Cibber I ; etc. etc.

�� ��VOL. III. PT. 3.

��Compared with the literature on other com- posers that on Schubert is not extensive.

Biographical. The original sources are scat- tered in German periodicals and elsewhere.

1. The first place must be given to Ferdinand Schu- bert's sketch, entitled 'Aus Franz Schuberts Leben,' four short papers which appeared in Schumann's period- ical, the 'Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik,' in Nos. 33-36 (April 23 May 3), 1839. These are written with great simplicity, and apparently great exactness ; but might

i Tha allusion la to E. Holmes, the biographer of Mozart, who passed some time in Vienna in the spring of 1827, evidently with the Tiew of finding out all that was best worth knowing in music, and yet does not mention Schubert's name. (See his 'Ramble uinong the Musiclau* of Germany.';

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