Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/52

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��supplanted by novel methods of balancing the structure of the movement. The coda either presents new features, or takes fresh aspects of the principal ones, enhanced by new turns of modulation, and ending with the insistance on the primary harmonies of the principal key, which is necessary to the stability of the move- ment. In all these respects Schumann is a most worthy successor to Beethoven. He re- presents his intellectual side in the consistency with which he developes the whole movement from a few principal features, and the freshness and individuality with which he treats the firm; and he shows plenty of the emotional ?ind spiritual side in the passionate or tender qualities of his subjects, and the way in which they are distributed relatively to one another. Schumann's symphonic slow movements have also a distinctive character of their own. Though extremely concise, they are all at the same time rich and full of feeling. They are somewhat in the fashion of a ' Romanze,' that in the D Symphony being definitely so called ; and their development depends rather upon an emotional than an intellectual basis; as it seems most just that a slow movement should. His object appears to have been to find some noble and aspiring strain of melody, and to contrast it with episodes of similar character, which carry on and bear upon the principal idea without diverting the chain of thought into a different channel. Hence the basis of the movements is radically lyrical ; and this affords an important element of contrast to the first movement, in which there is always an antithetical element in the contrast of the two principal subjects. The romanze of the D Symphony is constructed on a different prin- ciple; the sections and musical material being strongly contrasted; this may be partly owing to the closeness of its connection with other parts of the symphony, as will be noticed further on. The scherzos, including that in the 'Overture Scherzo and Finale ' (op. 52), have a family like- ness to one another, though their outlines are dif- ferent ; they all illustrate a phase of musical and poetical development in their earnest character and the vein of sadness which pervades them. The light and graceful gaiety of most of the minuets of Haydn and Mozart is scarcely to be traced in them ; but its place is taken by a certain wild rush of animal spirits, mixed up in a strange and picturesque way with expressions of tenderness and regret. These scherzos are in a sense unique ; for though following in the same direction as Beethoven's in some respects, they have but little of his sense of fun and grotesque, while the vein of genuine melancholy which per- vades them certainly finds no counterpart either in Spohr or Mendelssohn ; and, if it may be traced in Schubert, it is still in comparison far less prominent. In fact Schumann's scherzos are specially curious and interesting, even apart from the ordinary standpoint of a musician, as illus- trating a phase of the intellectual progress of the race. Schumann belonged to the order of men with large and at the same time delicate sym-


pathies, whose disposition becomes so deeply impressed with the misfortunes and unsolvable difficulties which beset his own lot and that of his fellow men, that pure unmixed lighthearted- ness becomes almost impossible. The poetical and thoughtful side of his disposition, which supplied most vital ingredients to his music, was deeply tinged with sadness ; and from this he was hardly ever entirely free. He could wear an aspect of cheerfulness, but the sad- ness was sure to peep out, and in this, among thoughtful and poetically disposed beings, he cannot be looked upon as singular. Hence the position of the Scherzo in modern instrumental music presents certain inevitable difficulties. The lively, almost childish, merriment of early examples cannot be attained without jarring upon the feelings of earnest men ; at least in works on such a scale as the symphony, where the dignity and importance of the form inevit- ably produce a certain sense of responsibility to loftiness of purpose in the carrying out of the ideas. A movement corresponding to the old Scherzo in its relation to the other move- ments had to be formed upon far more compli- cated conditions. The essential point in which Schumann followed his predecessors was the de- finition of the balancing and contrasting sections. The outlines of certain groups of bars are nearly always very strongly marked, and the movement as a whole is based rather upon effects attainable by the juxtaposition of such contrasting sections than upon the continuous logical or emotional development which is found in the other movements. The structural outline of the old dance-forms is still recognisable in this respect, but the style and rhythm bear little trace of the dance origin; or at least the dance quality has been so far idealised as to apply rather to thought and feeling than to expressive rhythmic play of limbs. In Schumann's first Symphony the scherzo has some qualities of style which connect it with the minuets of earlier times, even of Mozart ; but with these there are genuine characteristic traits of expression. In the later scherzos the poetical meaning seems more apparent. In fact the scherzo and the slow movement are linked together as the two sections of the work most closely representa- tive of human emotion and circumstance ; the first and last movements having more evident depend- ence upon what are called abstract qualities of form. In its structural outlines Schumann's Scherzo presents certain features. In the Sym- phonies in Bb and C he adopts the device of two trios. Beethoven had repeated the trio in two symphonies (4th and 7th), and Schumann ad- vanced in the same direction by writing a second trio instead of repeating the first, and by making the two trios contrast not only with the scherzo, but also with each other ; and as a further result the trios stand centrally in relation to the first and last statement of the scherzo, while it in its turn stands centrally between them, and thus the whole structure of the movement gains in in- terest. It is worthy of note that the codas to all Schumann's scherzos are specially interesting and

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