Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/405

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solidity, but otherwise interesting.' (See Haupt- raann's Letters to Hauser, Leipzig, 1871, vol. i. P. 255.)

In October 1835 the musical world of Leipzig was enriched by the arrival of Mendelssohn. It was already in a flourishing state : operas, con- certs, and sacred performances alike were of great excellence, and well supported by the public. But although the soil was well prepared before Mendelssohn's arrival, it was he who raised Leipzig to the position of the most musical town of Germany. The extraordinarily vigorous life that at once grew up there under the influence of his genius, drawing to itself from far and near the most important musical talent of the country, has shown itself to be of so enduring a character that even at the present day its influences are felt. Schumann too, who had long felt great respect for Mendelssohn, was drawn into his circle. On Oct. 4, 1835, Mendelssohn conducted his first concert in the Gewandhaus ; the day before this there was a musical gathering at the Wiecks', at which both Mendelssohn and Schumann were present, and it seems to have been on this occasion that the two greatest musicians of their time first came into close personal intercourse. (Moscheles's 'Leben,' i. 301 ; English translation, i. 322.) On Oct. 5, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Moscheles, Banck, and a few others, dined together. In the afternoon of the 6th there was again music at Wieck's house ; Moscheles, Clara Wieck, and L. Rake- mann from Bremen, played Bach's D minor Concerto for three claviers, Mendelssohn putting in the orchestral accompaniments on a fourth piano. Schumann, who was also present, writes in the 'Zeitschrift,' 'It was splendid to listen to.' Moscheles had come over from Hamburg, where he was staying on a visit, to give a concert in Leipzig. Schumann had already been in corre- spondence with him, but this was the first oppor- tunity he had enjoyed of making the personal acquaintance of the man whose playing had so delighted him in Carlsbad when a boy of 9. Moscheles describes him as 'a retiring but in- teresting young man,' and the F J minor Sonata, played to him by Clara Wieck, as ' very laboured, difficult, and somewhat intricate, although in- teresting.'

A livelier intimacy, so far as Schumann was concerned, soon sprang up between him and Mendelssohn. When Mendelssohn had to go to Dusseldorf in May 1836, to the first performance of St. Paul ' at the Niederrheinische Musikfest, Schumann even intended to go with him, and was ready months beforehand, though when the time arrived he was prevented from going. They used to like to dine together, and gradually an in- teresting little circle was formed around them, including among others Ferdinand David, whom Mendelssohn had brought to Leipzig as leader of his orchestra. In the early part of January 1837 Mendelssohn and Schumann used in this way to meet every day and interchange ideas, so far as Schumann's silent temperament would allow. Subsequently when Mendelssohn was kept more



��at home by his marriage, this intercourse became rarer. Schumann was by nature unsociable, and at this time there were outward circum- stances which rendered solitude doubly attractive to him. Ferdinand Hiller, who spent the winter of 1839-40 in Leipzig with Mendelssohn, relates that Schumann was at that time living the life of a recluse and scarcely ever came out of his room. Mendelssohn and Schumann felt them- selves drawn together by mutual appreciation. The artistic relations between the two great men were not as yet, however, thoroughly reciprocal. Schumann admired Mendelssohn to the point of enthusiasm. He declared him to be the best musician then living, said that he looked up to him as to a high mountain-peak, and that even in his daily talk about art some thought at least would be uttered worthy of being graven in gold. And when he mentions him in his writ- ings, it is in a tone of enthusiastic admiration, which shows in the best light Schumann's fine ideal character, so remarkable for its freedom from envy. And his opinion remained unaltered : in 1842 he dedicated his three string quartets to Mendelssohn, and in the 'Album fur die Jugend* there is a little piano piece called ' Erinnerung/ dated Nov. 4, 1847, which shows with eloquent simplicity how deeply he felt the early death of his friend. It is well known how he would be moved out of his quiet stillness if he heard any disparaging expression used of Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn, on the contrary, at first only saw in Schumann the man of letters and the art- critic. Like most productive musicians, he had a dislike to such men as a class, however much he might love and value single representatives, as was really the case with regard to Schumann. From this point of view must be regarded the expressions which he makes use of now and then in letters concerning Schumann as an author. (See Mendelssohn's 'Briefe,' ii. 116; Lady Wal- lace's translation ii. 97 j 1 and Killer's 'Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy,' Cologne, 1878, p. 64.) If they sound somewhat disparaging, we must remember that it is not the personal Mendelssohn speaking against the personal Schumann, but rather the creative artist speaking against the critic, always in natural opposition to him. In- deed it is obviously impossible to take such remarks in a disadvantageous sense, as Schu- mann quite agreed with Mendelssohn on the subject of criticism. One passage in his writings is especially remarkable in this respect. He is speaking of Chopin's pianoforte concerto, and Florestan exclaims ' What is a whole year of a musical paper compared to a concerto by Cho- pin? What is a magister's rage compared to the poetic frenzy? What are ten complimentary addresses to the editor compared to the Adagio in the second Concerto ? And believe me, David- ites, I should not think you worth the trouble of talking to, did I not believe you capable of com- posing such works as those you write about, with the exception of a few like this concerto. Away

i Hardly recognisable, owing to ' Die musikalische Zeitung (Schu- mann's Taper) being rendered ' The musical papers.'

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