My Thoughts on Music and Musicians

Henry Heathcote Statham

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. 1892 Excerpt: ...stress in the music there is not for a moment any forgetfulness of the conditions of the art, any indication of the idea that emotional earnestness can compensate for roughness of execution, except in one brief but significant passage, to be noted just now. This passes in a moment, however in the main the composer never forgets, in this work with its poetic meaning, that he is writing music, and writing it for a band the minute finish of the composition is as remarkable as its expressive power, every instrument is treated in the manner most characteristic of its peculiar genius and most fitted to contribute towards the general musical effect of the whole. What was that one passage, referred to just now, where the composer may be said to have momentarily forgotten or put aside the true conditions of musical art? It is the passage, well known to musicians, just before the return of the principal subject iu the second part of the movement, where, while we are still occupied with the harmony of the dominant seventh, which is leading up to the return of the principal subject on the full chord of the tonic, the horn softly plays the opening phrase of the said subject, as if to draw attention to the fact that its return may be immediately expected: --The horn plays the notes of the tonic harmony while the violins are continuing their parts in the harmony of the dominant seventh (the B flat of the bass has been sounded, but is dropped for the moment) the G of the horn clashes in an arbitrary manner with the A flat of the second violins and young Ries, Beethovens pupil, standing by while the master conducts at rehearsal, and feeling sure the horn has blundered, exclaims, Listen to that stupid! Cant he count? and narrowly escapes getting his ears box...