Musical Studies

Musical Studies

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1905 edition. Excerpt: ...by the poetry. Now imagine that you hear the same song three I months later. You have forgotten the actual words point by point; but you still retain the recollection of the emotional moods they suggested; and so you are still responsive to each nuance of expression in the music. Listening to a song under these conditions is precisely the same as listening to a symphonic poem. In Die Ideale, for example, Liszt divides Schiller's poem into sections of different intensity or different timbre of feeling, and places each of these in the score before the section of the music that illustrates it. Die Ideale is, in fact, an extension of the song-form, in which the words are not sung but are either suggested to us or supposed to be known to us. But it is folly to suppose that either in the Brahms song or Die Ideale the man who does not know the literary basis can get the same pleasure as the man who does. We have only to treat all other symphonic poems in the same way as we have just treated Tchaikovski's Romeo and Juliet--to ask ourselves what the composer meant us to hear, and how much of it we really do hear if we do not know his poetical scheme--to see the folly of holding up absolute music as the standard to which programme music ought to conform. Occasionally, however, the objection is put in the inverse way, and we are told that programme music is absurd because it does not speak intelligibly to us, does not carry its story written upon it so plainly that no one can mistake it. The charge of absurdity must be really laid at the door of the composer. The plain truth is that a composer has no right to put before us a symphonic poem without giving us the fullest guide to his literary plans. It would be ridiculous of Wagner or Schubert to think their...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 74 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 150g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236619374
  • 9781236619372