Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/361

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Oct. Bong. ' Schwanengesang/ No. 14.

New Beuedlctus to Mass In C.

Der Hlrt aut den Felsen. 1 Voice and Clarinet (op. 129). 1828* only. String Quintet In C (op. 163).

This truly extraordinary list includes his great- est known symphony, his greatest and longest mass, his first oratorio, his finest piece of chamber music, 3 noble PF. sonatas, and some astonishingly fine songs. The autograph of the symphony, 218 pages in oblong quarto, is now one of the treasures of the Library of the Musik-verein at Vienna. It has no title or dedication, nothing beyond the customary heading to the first page of the score 'Symfonie Marz 1828, Frz. Schubert Mpia,' mark- ing the date at which it was begun. If it may be taken as a specimen, he took more pains this year than he did formerly. In the first three movements of this great work there are more afterthoughts than usual. The subject of the Introduction and the first subject of the Allegro have both been altered. In several passages an extra bar has been stuck in between the Scherzo and the Trio, 2 bars ; in the development of the Scherzo itself 16 bars of an exquisite episode first sketched in the Octet have been substituted. The Finale alone remains virtually untouched. 1 But such alterations, always rare in Schubert, are essentially different from the painful writing, and erasing, and rewriting, which we are familiar with in the case of Beethoven's finest and most spontaneous music. This, though the first draft, is no rough copy ; there are no traces of sketches or preparation; the music has evidently gone straight on to the paper without any inter- vention, and the alterations are merely a few im- provements 2 en passant. It is impossible to look at the writing of the autograph, after Schubert has warmed to his work, especially that of the Finale, and not see that it was put down as an absolute impromptu, written as fast as the pen could travel on the paper.

It seems that Schubert's friends used to lec- ture him a good deal on the diffuseness and want of consideration which they discovered in his works, and were continually forcing Beethoven's laborious processes of composition down his throat. This often made him angry, and when repeated, evening after evening, he would say, ' So you're going to set upon me again to day ! Go it, I beg you ! ' But, for all his annoyance, the remon- strances appear to have had some effect; and after Beethoven's death he asked 3 Schindler to show him the MS. of Fidelio. He took it to the piano, and pored over it a long time, making out the passages as they had been, and comparing them with what they were ; but it would not do; and at last he broke out, and exclaimed that for such drudgery he could see no reason under any circumstances ; that he thought the music at first just as good as at last ; and that for his part he had really no time for such cor- rections. Whether the amendments to the Great Symphony were a remorseful attempt on Schu-

1 See details by the present writer In Appendix to the Life of Schubert, translated by A. D. Coleridge, Esq., vol. H. p. 320.

2 The original MS. orchestral parts show at any rate that the alterations in the score were made before they were copied from It. Mr. Stanford kindly examined them for me with that view.

3 Schindler. Erinnerungen.' in Siederrheinische Musikzeltung.' 1867, pp. 73-78; 81-85.



��bert's part to imitate Beethoven and satisfy the demands of his friends we cannot tell ; but if go they are very unlike the pattern. ^ The autograph of the Eb Mass, in the Bib- liothek at Berlin, does not show at all the same amount of corrections as that in Ab (see p. 3366), nor do the fugal movements appear to have given any special trouble. True, the 'Cum Sancto' was recommenced after the erasure of 7 bars,* but apparently merely for the sake of changing the tempo from C to (, and the larger part of the movement was evidently written with great rapidity. In the ' Et vitam ' there are barely a dozen corrections, and the ' Osanna ' has every mark of extreme haste. Some of the erasures in this work are made with the penknife surely an almost unique thing with Schubert! The 4 -hand PF. fugue in E minor (op. 152, dated 'Baden, June 1828') is not improbably a trial of counterpoint with reference to this Mass.

The Songs of 1828 are splendid. It does not appear that the 14 which were published after his death with the publisher's title of ' Schwan- engesang' 'the Swan's song' were intended by him to form a series of the same kind as the Schb'ne Miillerin and Winterreise ; but no lover of Schubert can dissociate them, and in the Liebesbothschaft, Aufenthalt, Standchen, etc., we have some of the most beautiful, and in the Atlas, Am Meer, Doppelganger, etc., some of the most impressive, of his many songs. The words of some are by Rellstab, and the origin of these is thus told by Schindler. 5 Schubert had been much touched by Schindler's efforts to make Bee- thoven acquainted with his music, and after the great master's death the two gradually became intimate. Schindler had possession of many of Beethoven's papers, and Schubert used to visit him in familiar style, to look over them. Those which specially attracted him were the poems and dramas sent in at various times for con- sideration; amongst others a bundle of some 20 'anonymous lyrics which Beethoven had intended to set, and which therefore attracted Schubert's particular notice. He took them away with him, and in two days brought back the Liebesbothschaft, Kriegers Ahnung, and Aufent- halt, set to music. This account, which is per- fectly natural and consistent, and which Mr. Thayer allows me to say he sees no reason to question, has been exaggerated 7 into a desire expressed by Beethoven himself that Schubert should set these particular songs ; but for this there is no- warrant. Ten more quickly followed the three just mentioned; and these thirteen 7 to Rell- stab 's and 6 to Heine's words (from the 'Buch 8

4 The omission of the words 'Jesu Christe' at the end of the Quonlam,' and other omissions, show that he had not conquered the carelessness as to the treatment of the words, so frequent In his early Masses. Schindler, ' Erinnerungen,' etc., as before.

They proved afterwards to be by Rellstab.

7 See Bellstab's 'An m. Leben' 11. -245.

Baron SchOnsteln relates K. H. 447 (11. 186) that he found Heine's 'Buch der Lieder' on Schubert's table some years before this date, and that Schubert lent them to him with the remark ' that he should not want them again.' But such reminiscences are often wrong la point of date: the fact remains Ineffaceable In the mind, the date easily gets altered. In fact Heine's 'Buch der Lieder' was first published In 1827. The 6 songs which Schubert took from It are all from the section entitled 'Die Heimkehr.'

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