Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/313

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VIOLIN-PLAYING.

being as a rule written with the aim of bringing out the capabilities of the violin, contain a large amount of useful material for technical training, which in the end must benefit and improve the execution of music of any style. The correctness of this theory is strikingly proved by JOACHIM, who as Boehm's pupil at Vienna, was made thoroughly familiar with the technique of the modern French school, while he studied most of his classical repertoire at Leipzig under David's guidance, and in what we may term Mendels- sohn's musical atmosphere. Joachim's unlimited command over technical difficulties in music of any style, which enables him to do equal justice to Paganini and Bach, is undoubtedly largely owing to the fact that his early training was free from onesidedness, and that he gained through the study of brilliant modern music the highest finish as well as the completest mastery. David trained a large number of good violinists : Japha (Cologne), Kontgen (Leipzig), Jacob- eohn (Bremen), Schradieck (who succeeded him at Leipzig), F. Hegar (Zurich), and many more. By far the most eminent of his pupils is WiL- HELMJ (born 1845), a virtuoso of the very first rank, who combines a fine broad tone with a technique of the left hand unrivalled by any other living violinist.

A most powerful influence on the style of the German violinists of the present-day has been exercised by the Vienna school, more especially by the pupils of BOEHM (i 798-1876) . Although it is difficult to trace any direct connexion be- tween the Viennese violin-players of the last century and the school of Italy, Italian violinists came very early to Vienna, and the local players adopted their method and style. We know that Tartini was for three years in the service of Count Kinsky, a Bohemian noble, and also that Trani, Ferrari, and other Italian virtuosos came to Vienna. It is remarkable that the leading Viennese composers of the last century, down to Haydn, were almost without exception violinists. Some of them, like Anton Wranitzky and Ditters- dorf, were virtuosos of high rank, but most of them were in the first place composers and leaders, and in the second place only violinists. Naturally they excelled less as solo-players than in the performance of chamber-music, which at that period hardly enjoyed anywhere so much popularity as at Vienna. It was the time of preparation for the great classical period which opened with Haydn, and the circumstance that the violin was even then cultivated in Vienna far more in connexion with good and serious music than merely as a solo-instrument, has undoubtedly contributed much towards giving to the later representatives of that school their thoroughly musical character, and towards making Vienna the earliest home of quartet- playing. As a quartet -player SOHUPPANZIGH (1776-1830), a pupil of Wranitzky, attained great reputation, and may be regarded as stand- ing first on the roll of great quartet-players. For many years in close intercourse with Haydn and Beethoven, enjoying the advice and guid-

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��ance of these great masters in the production of their Quartets, he established the style of quartet-playing which has been handed down by the most eminent Vienna violinists to our days. His greatest pupil was MAYSEDEB (1789- 1863), a brilliant solo-player, of a style more elegant than powerful. Among his pupils the best known are MISKA HAUSEB (born 1822), and DE AHNA (born 1835). The latter, an excellent soloist, has lived for many years at Berlin, and plays second violin in Joachim's quartet.

It is however through the pupils of JOSEPH BOEHM (1798-1876) that the Vienna school attained general renown and importance. ERNST (1814-1865), G. HELLMESBEEGER sen., DONT sen., JOACHIM, LUDWIG STEAUS, EAPPOLDI, and GRUN, all studied under Boehm. Boehm himself can hardly be reckoned as belonging to the old Vienna school, since he made his studies under Rode, and no doubt was also influenced by Spohr, who resided at Vienna in 1813, 14, and 15. The modern Vienna school therefore, though cer- tainly not uninfluenced by the musical traditions of Vienna, appears in reference to technique and specific violin-style to be based on the principles of the classical French school. Counting among its representatives players of a great diversity of talent and artistic temperament, who after- wards formed more or less a style of their own, the Vienna school, or, strictly speaking, Boehm's school, can hardly be said to have been directly continued at Vienna. Boehm, although a thoroughly competent violinist, was not a player of great genius, but he was possessed of an emi- nently sound and correct taste and judgment in musical and technical matters, and had a rare talent for teaching. Ernst, next to Joachim the most famous of his pupils, came largely under the influence of Paganini, whose style he for some time closely imitated. Undoubtedly a violinist of the first rank, and by no means exclusively a bravura-player, he did not to any extent affect the prevailing style of violin-playing, nor did he train pupils. An enormous influence on modern violin-playing, and on the general musical life of Germany and England, is exercised by Joachim. He combines in a unique degree the highest executive powers with the most excellent musi- cianship ; and while through his brilliant example he may truly be said to have given to modern German violin-playing a peculiar character, it has not been without effect even on the style of the French school. Unsurpassed as a master of the instrument, he uses his powers of execution exclusively in the service of art. First musician, then violinist, seems the motto of his life and the gist of his teaching. His performances undoubt- edly derive their charm and supreme merit from the strength of his talent and of his artistic character, and are stamped with a striking origin- ality of conception ; at the same time fidelity to the text, and careful endeavour to enter into the spirit and feeling of the composer, are the prin- ciples of executive art which Joachim through his long career has invariably practised. In the

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