Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/356

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.



��to six songs ; or, if the rest of those to Seidl's words forming ops. 105 and 80, and marked merely ' 1826,' were written at the same time (as, from Schubert's habit of eviscerating his books, they not improbably were) twelve. Three Shakspeare songs are due to this July 'Hark! hark! the lark,' 1 from 'Cymbeline'; 'Who is Sylvia ? ' from the ' Two Gentlemen of Verona ' ; and the Drinking-song in 'Antony and Cleopatra' the first two perhaps as popular as any single songs of Schubert's. The circumstances of the com- position, or rather creation, of the first of these has already been mentioned (p. 327 a). The fact of three songs from the same volume belonging to one month (not improbably to one day, if we only knew) is quite A la Schubert. A beautiful and most characteristic piece of this year is the ' Nacht- helle ' (or Lovely night), written to words of Seidl's not improbably for the Musikverein, through Anna Frb'hlich for tenor solo, with accompani- ment of 4 men's voices and pianoforte, which would be a treasure to singing societies, for its truly romantic loveliness, but for the inordinate height to which the voices are taken, and the great difficulty of executing it with sufficient delicacy. A song called ' Echo ' (op. 1 30), probably written in 1826, was intended to be the first of six ' humorous songs ' for Weigl's firm. 2

We hear nothing of the new Symphony during the early part of this year. No doubt it was often played from the MS. score at the meetings of the Schubert set, but they say no more about it than they do of the Octet, or Quartets, or Sonatas, which were all equally in existence ; and for aught we know it might have been ' locked in a drawer,' which was often Schubert's custom after completing a work 'locked in a drawer and never thought about again.' 3 It was however destined to a different fate. On the pth Sept. 1826, at one of the first meetings of the Board of the Musik Verein after the summer recess, Hofrath Kiesewetter reports that Schubert desires to dedicate a symphony to the Society; upon which the sum of 100 silver florins (io)is voted to him, not in payment for the work, but as a token of sympathy, and as an encouragement. The letter conveying the money is dated the 1 2th, and on or even before its receipt Schubert brought the manuscript and deposited it with the Society. His letter accompanying it may here be quoted :

To the Committee of the Austrian Musical Society. Convinced of the noble desire of the Society to give its best support to every effort in the cause of art, I venture, as a native artist, to dedicate this my Symphony to the Society, and most respectfully to recommend myself to its protection. With the highest esteem, Your obedt. FRANZ SCHUBERT.

In accordance with this, the MS. probably bears his formal dedication to the Verein, and we may expect to find that though so long talked of, it bears marks of having been written down as rapidly as most of his other productions.* At

1 Entitled ' Serenade,' but more accurately an ' Aubade.'

2 See Nottebohm's Catalogue under op. 130.

s Lachner's expression to my friend Mr. C. A. Barry in 1881. < The documents on which these statements are based are given by Herr C. F. Pohl in his History of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde


present however all trace of it is gone ; not even its key is known. There is no entry of it in the catalogue of the Society's Library, and except for the minute and letter given above, and the posi- tive statements of Bauernfeld quoted below 5 it might as well be non-existent. That it is an entirely distinct work from that in C, written 2 1 years later, can hardly admit of a doubt.

Of the publications of 1826, the most re- markable are the seven songs from ' The Lady of the Lake,' for which Artaria had paid him 200 florins in the preceding October, and which appeared on the 5th of this April, in two parts, as op. 52. They were succeeded immediately, on April 8, by the PF. Sonata in D (op. 53), and the 'Divertissement a la hongroise* (op. 54), both issued by the same firm. For these two splendid works Schubert received from the penurious Artaria only 300 Vienna florins, equal to 12. Songs issued fast from the press at this date ; for on the 6th of April we find op. 56 (3 songs) announced by Pennauer, and ops. 57 and 58 (each 3 songs) by Weigl ; on June 10, op. 60 (' Greisengesang ' and ' Dithyrambe ') by Cappi and Czerny ; in Sept. op. 59 (4 songs, including ' Dass sie hier gewesen,' ' Du bist die Ruh,' and 'Lachen und Weinen') by Leidesdorf ; and op. 64 (3 part-songs for men's voices) by Pennauer ; and on Nov. 24, op. 65 (3 songs) by Cappi and Czerny. Some of these were com- posed as early as 1814, 15, 16; others again in 1820, 22, and 23. The Mass in C (op. 48), and three early pieces of church music, ' Tantum ergo' (op. 45), ' Totus in corde' (op. 46), and ' Salve Regina' (op. 47), were all issued in this year by Diabelli. Of dances and marches for piano there are 8 numbers : a Galop and 8 Ecossaises (op. 49) ; 34 Valses sentimentales (op. 50) ; 'Hommage aux belles Viennoises' (16 Landler and 2 Ecossaises, op. 67) ; 3 Marches (4 hands, op. 51) all published by Diabelli; the 2 Russian Marches (op. 55, 56), by Pen- nauer; 6 Polonaises (op. 61), Cappi and Czerny; and a Divertissement, or 'Marche brillante et raisonne'e,' on French motifs (op. 63), Weigl. In all, 22 publications, divided between 6 pub- lishers, and containing 106 works.

We have been thus particular to name the numbers and publishers of these works, because

or Musikverein Vienna 1871. p. 16 ; and by Ferdinand Schubert in the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik for April 30. 1839, p. 140.

^ Bauernfeld. in an article ' Ueber Franz Schubert* in the ' Wiener Zeitschrift fur Kunst, Literatur, Theater, und Mode,' for 9, 11, IS June, 1829 (Nos. 69, 70, 71), says as follows : ' To the larger works of his latter years also belongs a Symphony written in 1825 at Gastein,

for which its author had an especial predilection At a great

concert given by the Musik Verein shortly after his death a Sym- phony in C was performed, which was composed as early as 1817 118181. and which he considered as one of his less successful works. . . Perhaps the Society intends at some future time to make us ac- quainted with one of the later Symphonies, possibly the Gastein one already mentioned.' [N.B. The two movements of the B minor Sym- phony (1822) were not at this time known, so that by later Sym- phonies ' Bauernfeld must surely intend the two of 1825 and 1828.] At the end of the article he gives a ' chronological list of Schubert's principal works not yet generally known.' Amongst these are ' 1825, Grand Symphony.' .. '182S, Last Symphony Grand ' (grosse) being the word used by Schubert himself in his letter to Kupelwieser referred to above (p. 340 o). It is plain therefore that at this time, seven months after Schubert's death, the Gastein Symphony of 1825, and that in C major of 1828, were known as distinct works. The present writer has collected the evidence for the existence of the Symphony in a letter to the London ' Atheneum ' of Nov. 19. 1881.

�� �