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Owing to a whim of Humboldt's the chorus was confined to men's voices, and the orchestra to clarinets, horns, trumpets, cellos, and basses. The thing came off in September; but no ladies—not even Fanny—were admitted, no report is given in the musical paper; and as there is no mention of it in the MS. Catalogue the autograph has probably vanished. Chopin was  present at the sitting of the congress, and saw Mendelssohn with Spontini and Zelter; but his modesty kept him from introducing himself, and their acquaintance was put off to a later date. Fanny gives us the interesting  information that he especially avoided the form of an Overture with Introduction, and wished his work to stand as two companion pictures.
She mentions also his having written pianoforte pieces at this time, including some 'Lieder ohne Worte' a title not destined to come before the world for some years and a great Antiphona and Responsorium for 4 choirs, 'Hora est,' etc.
For Christmas he wrote a second Kinder-symphonie, which delighted every one so much that it had to be repeated on the  spot. They have since been published, but are not satisfactory specimens of such work. He also wrote the Variations in D for P. The 'Calm sea and Prosperous voyage' was finished, or finished as nearly as any score of Mendelssohn's can be said to have been finished before it was publicly performed, and had received those innumerable corrections and alterations and afterthoughts, which he always gave his works, and which in some instances caused the delay of their appearance for years—which in fact prevented the appearance of the Italian Symphony till his removal made any further revision impossible.
We have already seen that the basis of the work was furnished by the visit to Dobberan. Felix's little choir had steadily continued their practice of the Passion, and the better they knew the mighty work the more urgent became their desire for a public performance by the Singakademie to voices under Felix's own care. Apart from the difficulties of the music, with its double choruses and double orchestra, two main obstacles appeared to lie in the way—the opposition of Zelter as head of the Akademie, and the apathy of the public.
Felix, for one, 'utterly  disbelieved' in the possibility of overcoming either, and with him were his parents and Marx, whose influence in the house was great. Against him were Devrient, Schubring, Bauer, and one or two other enthusiasts. At length Devrient and Felix determined to go and beard Zelter in his den. They encountered a few rough words, but their enthusiasm gained the day. Zelter yielded, and allowed Felix to conduct the  rehearsals of the Akademie.
The principal solo singers of the Opera at once gave in their adhesion; the rehearsals began; Felix's tact, skill, and intimate knowledge of the music carried everything before them, the public flocked to the rehearsals; and on Wednesday, March 11, , the first performance of the Passion took place since the death of Bach; every ticket was taken, and a thousand people turned away from the doors. Thus in Felix's own words for once and once only alluding to his descent 'it was an actor and a Jew who restored this great Christian work to the  people.
It is probable that these successes did not add to Felix's popularity with the musicians of Berlin. Whether it was his age, his manner, his birth, the position held by his family, or what, certain it is that he was at this time in some way under a cloud. He had so far quarrelled with the Royal Orchestra that they refused to be conducted by him, and concerts at which his works were given were badly attended.
Paganini made his first appearance in Berlin this month, gave four concerts, and  bewitched the Berliners as he did every one else. He very soon found his way to the Leipziger  Strasse. It would be interesting to know if he heard the Passion, and if, like Rossini, some years later, he professed himself a convert to Bach. Whistling's Handbuch shows that by the end of this year Felix had published his 3 P.
Quartets; the Sonata for P. The dedications of these throw a light on some things. The quartets are inscribed respectively to Prince A. Ritz, Felix's favourite violin player; the 7 Characteristic P. The rest have no dedications. The engagement of Fanny Mendelssohn to William Hensel the painter of Berlin took place on January 22, , in the middle of the excitement about the Passion; and on April 10 Felix took leave for England. He was now His age, the termination of his liability to military  service, the friction just alluded to between himself and the musical world of Berlin—all things invited him to travel, and  Zelter was not wrong in saying that it was good for him to leave home for a time.
Hitherto also he had worked without fee or reward. He was now to prove that he could make his living by  music.
But more than this was involved. His visit to England was the first section of a long  journey, planned by the care and sagacity of his father, and destined to occupy the next three years of his life. In this journey he was 'closely to examine the various countries, and to fix on one in which to live and work; to make his name and abilities known, so that where he settled he should not be received as a stranger; and lastly to employ his good fortune in life, and the liberality of his father, in preparing the ground for future  efforts.
The answer attributed to a young Scotch student who was afterwards to become a great English archbishop, when asked why he had come to Oxford—'to improve myself and to make friends'—exactly expresses the special object of Mendelssohn's tour, and is the mark which happily distinguished it from those of so many of his predecessors in the art. Music had not been adopted as a profession for Felix without much hesitation, and resistance on the part of some of his relations, and his father was wisely resolved that in so doing nothing should be sacrificed in the general culture and elevation of his son.
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It was their first serious parting. His father and Rebecka accompanied him to Hamburg. The boat the 'Attwood' left on the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday, April 18, and it was not till noon on Tuesday, the 21st, that he reached the Custom House, London. The passage was a very bad one, the engines broke down, and Mendelssohn lay insensible for the whole of Sunday and Monday. He was welcomed on landing by Klingemann and Moscheles, and had a lodging at , Great Portland  Street, where his landlord was Heincke, a German ironmonger. It was the middle of the musical season, and Malibran made her first reappearance at the Opera, as Desdemona, on the night of his arrival.
His account of her, with other letters describing this period, will be found in Hensel's 'Familie Mendelssohn' i. Stockhausen, and Donzelli; also Velluti, the castrato, a strange survival of the ancient world, whom it is difficult to think of in connexion with Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. De Beriot and Madame Dulcken were among the players.
Felix was much with the Moscheleses, and there met Neukomm, with whom, in everything but his music, he sympathised warmly. His first appearance before an English audience was at the Philharmonic Concert then held in the Argyll Rooms, at the upper end of Regent Street on Monday evening, May 25, when he conducted his Symphony in C minor.
Old John Cramer 'led him to the piano,' at which in those days the conductor sat or stood, 'as if he were a young  lady. How deeply he felt the warmth of his reception may be seen from his letter to the  Society. He published the Symphony with a dedication to the  Philharmonic, and they on their part elected him an honorary member on Nov. It was thus an English body which gave him his first recognition as a  composer.
The simple applause of London had wiped out the sneers and misunderstandings of Berlin. This he never forgot; it recurs throughout his correspondence, and animates his account of his latest visits to us. Near the close of his life he spoke of it as 'having lifted a stone from his  heart. Five days afterwards, on the 30th, at 2 p. Two other concerts must be mentioned: After the concert the score of the overture was left in the hackney coach by Mr. Attwood, and  lost. On Mendelssohn's hearing of it, he said, 'Never mind, I will make another.
The other concert was on July 13, for the benefit of the sufferers from the floods in  Silesia. At this the Overture was repeated, and Felix and Moscheles played for the first and only time in England a Concerto by the former for two Pianofortes and Orchestra,  in E. All this was a brilliant beginning, as far as compositions went; it placed him in the best possible position before the musical society of London, but it did not do much to solve the question of livelihood, since the only commission which we hear of his receiving, and which delighted him hugely, he was compelled for obvious reasons to decline, viz.
But he found time for other things besides music; for the House of Commons, and picture galleries, and balls at Devonshire House and Lansdowne House, and so many other parties, that the good people at home took fright and thought he was giving up music for society, and would  become a drawing-room ornament.
The charm of his manner and his entire simplicity took people captive, and he laid a good foundation this year for the time to come. At length the musical season was over. Felix and Klingemann left London about July 21, and, stopping at York and  Durham, were in  Edinburgh by the 28th.
On the 29th they were  present at the annual competition of Highland Pipers in the Theatre Royal. On the 30th, before leaving 'the gray metropolis of the north,' they went over Holyrood Palace, saw the traditional scene of the murder of Rizzio, and the chapel, with the altar at which Mary was crowned standing 'open to the sky, and surrounded with grass and ivy, and everything ruined and decayed'; 'and I think,' he continues, 'that I found there the beginning of my Scotch  Symphony.
From Edinburgh they went to Abbotsford, and thence by Stirling, Perth, and Dunkeld, to Blair-Athol; then on foot by Fort-William to Tobennory, sketching and writing enormous letters at every step. At Liverpool they went over a new American liner called the Napoleon, and Felix, finding a Broadwood piano in the saloon, sat down to it and played for himself and his friend the first movement of Fanny's 'Easter-Sonata'—whatever that may have been.
Home was always in his thoughts. Then to Holyhead for Ireland, but the weather was dreadful apparently as bad as in —'yesterday was a good day, for I was only wet through three times. John Taylor, the mining engineer, at Coed-du near Holywell. Here he remained for some days, seeing a very pleasant side of English country life, and making an indelible impression on his hosts; and here he composed the three pieces which form op.
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The following letter, written after his death by a member of the Taylor family, gives a good idea of the clever, genial, gay, and yet serious, nature of the man at this happy time of life: It was in the year that we first became acquainted with Mr. He was introduced to us by my aunt, Mrs. Austin, who had well known his cousin Professor Mendelssohn, at Bonn. He visited us early in the season in Bedford Row, but our real friendship began at Coed-du, which was a house near Mold in Flintshire, rented for many years by my father, Mr. Mendelssohn came down there to spend a little time with us, in the course of a tour in England and Scotland.
My father and mother received him kindly, as they did everybody, but his arrival created no particular sensation, as many strangers came to our house to see the mines under my father's management, and foreigners were often welcomed there. Soon however we began to find that a most accomplished mind had come among us, quick to observe, delicate to distinguish.
There was a little shyness about him, great modesty. We knew little about his music, but the wonder of it grew upon us; and I remember one night when my two sisters and I went to our rooms how we began saying to each other 'Surely this must be a man of genius … we can't be mistaken about the music; never did we hear any one play so before. Yet we know the best London musicians.
Surely by and bye we shall hear that Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy is a great name in the world. My father's birthday happened while Mr. Mendelssohn was with us. There was a grand expedition to a distant mine, up among the hills; a tent carried up there, a dinner to the miners. We had speeches, and health-drinkings, and Mendelssohn threw himself into the whole thing, as if he had been one of us.
He interested himself in hearing about the condition and way of life of the Welsh miners. Nothing was lost upon him. A letter that he wrote to my brother John just after he left Coed-du, charmingly describes the impressions he carried away of that country. Sometimes he would go out sketching with us girls, sitting down very seriously to draw, but making the greatest fun of attempts which he considered to be unsuccessful.
One figure of a Welsh girl he imagined to be like a camel, and she was called the camel accordingly. Though he scorned his own drawings, he had the genuine artist-feeling, and great love for pictures. I need not say how deeply he entered into the beauty of the hills and the woods.
His way of representing them was not with the pencil; but in the evenings his improvised music would show what he had observed or felt in the past day. The piece called The Rivulet, which he wrote at that time, for my sister Susan, will show what I mean; it was a recollection of a real actual  rivulet.
We observed how natural objects seemed to suggest music to him. There was in my sister Honora's garden, a pretty creeping  plant, new at that time, covered with little trumpet-like flowers. He was struck with it, and played for her the music which he said the fairies might play on those trumpets. When he wrote out the piece called a Capriccio in E minor he drew a little branch of that flower all up the margin of the paper. The piece an Andante and Allegro which Mr.
Mendelssohn wrote for me, was suggested by the sight of a bunch of carnations and  roses. The carnations that year were very fine with us. He liked them best of all  the flowers, would have one often in his button-hole. We found he intended the arpeggio passages in that composition as a reminder of the sweet scent of the flower rising up. Mendelssohn was not a bit 'sentimental,' though he had so much sentiment. Nobody enjoyed fun more than he, and his laughing was the most joyous that could be.
One evening in hot summer we staid in the wood above our house later than usual. We had been building a house of fir branches in Susan's garden up in the wood. We made a fire, a little way off it, in a thicket among the trees, Mendelssohn helping with the utmost zeal, dragging up more and more wood: Off rushed our boys to get the fiddle. When it came, it was the wretchedest thing in the world, and it had but one string. Mendelssohn took the instrument into his hands, and fell into fits of laughter over it when he heard the sounds it made.
His laughter was very catching, he put us all into peals of merriment. But he, somehow, afterwards brought beautiful music out of the poor old fiddle, and we sat listening to one strain after another till the darkness sent us home. My cousin  John Edward Taylor was staying with us at that time. He had composed an imitation Welsh air, and he was, before breakfast, playing over this, all unconscious that Mr. Mendelssohn whose bed-room was next the drawing-room was hearing every note. That night, when we had music as usual, Mr.
Mendelssohn sat down to play. After an elegant prelude, and with all possible advantage, John Edward heard his poor little air introduced as the subject of the evening. And having dwelt upon it, and adorned it in every graceful manner, Mendelssohn in his pretty, playful way, bowing to the composer, gave all the praise to him. I suppose some of the charm of his speech might lie in the unusual choice of words which he as a German made in speaking English.
He lisped a little. He used an action of nodding his head quickly till the long locks of hair would fall over his high forehead with the vehemence of his assent to anything he liked.
A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Mendelssohn, Felix
Sometimes he used to talk very seriously with my mother. Seeing that we brothers and sisters lived lovingly together and with our parents, he spoke about this to my mother, told her how he had known families where it was not so: He was so far from any sort of pretension, or from making a favour of giving his music to us, that one evening when the family from a neighbouring house came to dinner, and we had dancing afterwards, he took his turn in playing quadrilles and waltzes with the others.
He was the first person who taught us gallopades, and he first played us Weber's last waltz. He enjoyed dancing like any other young man of his age. He was then 20 years old. He had written his Midsummer Night's Dream [Overture] before that time. I well remember his playing it. He left Coed-du early in September Mendelssohn whenever he came to England, but the visits he made to us in London have not left so much impression upon me as that one at Coed-du did.
I can however call to mind a party at my father's in Bedford Row where he was present. Sir George Smart was there also: Our dear old master, Mr. Attwood, often met him at our house. Once he went with us to a ball at Mr. Returning by daylight I remember how Mr. Mendelssohn admired the view of St. Paul's in the early dawn which we got from Blackfriars bridge. But the happiest visit to us was that one when he first brought his sweet young wife to see my mother.
Madame Felix Mendelssohn was a bride then, and we all of us said he could not have found one more worthy of himself. And with the delightful remembrance of his happiness then, I will end these fragments. Such were a private plan for a journey to Italy in company with the parents and Rebecka, for which he enters into a little conspiracy with his sister; and a scheme for the celebration of his parents' silver wedding Dec. His first drive was on Nov. He reached Berlin to find the Hensels and the Devrients inhabiting rooms in the garden-house.
His lameness still obliged him to walk with a stick; but this did not impede the mounting of his  piece for the silver wedding, which came off with the greatest success on Dec. The Liederspiel however was not enough to occupy him, and during this winter he composed a  Symphony for the tercentenary festival of the Augsburg Confession, which was in preparation for June 25, This work, in the key of D, is that which we shall often again refer to as the 'Reformation Symphony.
A Chair of Music was founded in the Berlin university this winter expressly with a view to its being filled by Mendelssohn. But on the offer being made he declined it, and at his instance Marx was appointed in his  stead. There can be no doubt that he was right. Nothing probably could have entirely kept down Mendelssohn's ardour for composition; but it is certain that to have exchanged the career of a composer for that of a university teacher would have added a serious burden to the many occupations which already beset him, besides forcing him to exchange a pursuit which he loved and succeeded in, for one for which he had no turn—for teaching was  not his forte.
The winter was over, his leg was well, and he was on the point of resuming his 'great journey' in its southern portion, when, at the end of March, , both Rebecka and he were taken with the measles. This involved a delay of a month, and it was not till  May 13 that he was able to start. His father accompanied him as far as Dessau, the original seat of the family, where he remained for a few days with his friend Schubring.
He travelled through Leipzig, Weissenfels, and Naumburg, and reached Weimar on the 20th. There he remained a fortnight in the enjoyment of the closest intercourse with Goethe and his family, playing and leading what he calls a mad life—  Heidenleben. There his portrait was taken, which, though like, 'made him look very sulky,' and a copy of the score of the Reformation Symphony was made and sent to Fanny.
On June 3 he took leave  of Goethe for the last time, and went by Nuremberg to Munich, which he reached on  June 6. Both here and at Vienna he is disgusted at the ignorance on the part of the best players—Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven utterly ignored, Hummel, Field, Kalkbrenner, accepted as classics. He himself played the best music, and with the best effect, and his visit must have been an epoch in the taste of both  places. Here he passed more than a month of the gayest  life with Hauser the  singer, Merk the cellist, the Pereiras, the Eskeles, and others, but not so gay as to interfere with serious composition—witness a cantata or anthem on 'O Haupt voll Blut und  Wunden' MS.
His stay in Italy, and his journey through Switzerland back to Munich, are so fully depicted in the first volume of his Letters, that it is only necessary to allude to the chief points. He went from Venice by Bologna to Florence, reaching it on Oct. He arrived in Rome on Nov. The latter half of April and the whole of May were devoted to Naples Sti. Here he met Benedict and renewed the acquaintance which they had begun as boys in Berlin in , when Benedict  was Weber's pupil. Thence on foot across the mountains to Interlaken; and thence by Grindelwald and the Furka to Lucerne, Aug.
At Interlaken, besides sketching, and writing both letters and songs, he composed the only  waltzes of which—strange as it seems in one so madly fond of dancing—any trace survives. At Lucerne he wrote his last letter to  Goethe, and no doubt mentioned his being engaged in the composition of the Walpurgisnacht, which must have brought out from the poet the explanation of the aim of his poem which is printed at the beginning of Mendelssohn's music, with the date Sept. Then, still on foot, he went by Wallenstadt and St. Gall to Augsburg, and returned to Munich early in September.
Into both the Nature and the Art of this extended and varied tract he entered with enthusiasm. The engravings with which his father's house was richly furnished, and Hensel's copies of the Italian masters, had prepared him for many of the great pictures; but to see them on the spot was to give them new life, and it is delightful to read his rapturous comments on the Titians of Venice and Rome, the gems in the Tribune of Florence, Guide's Aurora, and other masterpieces. His remarks are instructive and to the point; no vague generalities or raptures, but real criticism into the effect or meaning or treatment of the work; and yet rather from the point of view of an intelligent amateur than with any assumption of technical knowledge, and always with sympathy and  kindness.
Nor is his eye for nature less keen, or his enthusiasm less abundant. His descriptions of the scenery of Switzerland during the extraordinarily stormy season of his journey there, are worthy of the greatest painters or letter-writers. Some of his expressions rise to grandeur. The sky was flecked with white clouds floating far above the highest snow-peaks, no mists below on any of the mountains, and all their summits glittering brightly in the morning air, every undulation and the face of every hill clear and distinct. It was their height that formerly took such possession of me.
Now it was their boundless extent that I particularly felt, their huge broad masses, the close connexion of all these enormous fortresses, which seemed to be crowding together and stretching out their hands to each other. Then too recollect that every glacier, every snowy plateau, every rocky summit was dazzling with light and glory, and that the more distant summits of the further ranges seemed to stretch over and peer in upon us.
I do believe that such are the thoughts of God Himself. Those who do not know Him may here find Him and the nature which He has created, brought strongly before their  eyes. I love it almost more than the sky. I always feel happy when I see before me the wide expanse of waters. In Rome he devoted all the time that he could spare from work to the methodical examination of the place and the people.
But his music stood first, and surely no one before or since was ever so self-denying on a first visit to the Eternal City. Not even for the sirocco would he give up work in the  prescribed hours. His plan was to compose or practise till noon, and then spend the whole of the rest of the daylight in the open air. He enters into everything with enthusiasm—it is 'a delightful existence. Peter's, or the Vatican. He lashes the German painters for their hats, their beards, their dogs, their discontent, and their incompetence, just as he does one or two German musicians for their empty pretension.
The few words which he devotes to Berlioz who although always his good friend is antagonistic to him on every point and his companion Montfort, are strongly tinged with the same  feeling. On the other hand, nothing can be more genuinely and good-naturedly comic than his account of the attempt to sing Marcello's psalms by a company of dilettanti assisted by a Papal singer. This sound and healthy habit of mind it is, perhaps, which excludes the sentimental—we might almost say the devotional—feeling which is so markedly absent from his letters. Strange that an artist who so enjoyed the remains of ancient Italy should have had no love of antiquity as such.
At sight of Nisida he recalls the fact that it was the refuge of Brutus, and that Cicero visited him there. These are the antiquities that interest me, and are much more suggestive than crumbling mason-work. There they can scribble no names and compose no inscriptions … and to these I cling. They say it is canto fermo , Gregorian, etc. If at that period there was neither the feeling nor the capacity to write in a different style, at all events we have now the power to do so'; and he goes on to suggest two alternative plans for altering and reforming the service, suggestions almost reminding one of the proposition in which the Empress Eugenie endeavoured to enlist the other Empresses and Queens of Europe, to pull down the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem and rebuild it in conformity with modern taste and requirements.
Religious he is, deeply and strongly religious; every letter shows it. It is the unconscious, healthy, happy confidence of a sound mind in a sound body, of a man to whom the sense of God and Duty are as natural as the air he breathes or the tunes which come into his head, and to whom a wrong action is an impossibility. But of devotional sentiment, of that yearning dependence, which dictated the th Psalm, or the feeling which animates Beethoven's passionate prayers and  confessions, we find hardly a trace, in his letters or his music.
He was very fortunate in the time of his visit to Rome. These latter he has described in the fullest manner, not only as to their picturesque and general effect, but down to the smallest details of the music, in regard to which he rivalled Mozart's famous feat. Indeed it is impossible not to feel that in such letters as these he is on his own ground, and that intense as was his enjoyment of nature, painting, society, and life, he belonged really to none of these things—was 'neither a politician nor a dancer, nor an actor, nor a bel esprit, but a  musician.
For with all these distractions his Italian journey was fruitful in work. The 'Walpurgisnight,' the result of his last visit to Weimar, was finished, in its first form, at Milan the MS. Several smaller works belong to this period—the Psalm 'Non Nobis' Nov. In fact then, as always, he was what Berlioz  calls him, 'un producteur infatigable,' and thus obtained that facility which few composers have possessed in greater degree than Mozart and himself. He sought the society of musicians. At Milan his encounter with Madame Ertmann, the intimate friend of Beethoven, was a happy accident, and turned to the happiest account.
There too he met the son of Mozart, and delighted him with his father's Overtures to Don Juan and the Magic Flute, played in his own 'splendid orchestral style' on the piano. Not the least pleasant portions of his letters from Switzerland are those describing his organ-playing at the little remote Swiss churches at Engelberg, Wallenstadt, Sargans, and Lindau—from which we would gladly quote if space allowed. Nor was his drawing-book idle. Between May 16 and August 24, , 35 sketches are in the hands of one of his daughters alone, implying a corresponding number for the other portions of the tour.
How characteristic of his enormous enjoyment of life is the following passage Sargans, Sept. The great event of his second visit to Munich was the production and no doubt the composition of his G minor Concerto, 'a thing rapidly thrown  off,' which he played on Oct. Before leaving he received a commission  to compose an opera for the Munich Theatre. From Munich he travelled by Stuttgart Nov.
He arrived in Paris about the middle of December, and found, of his German friends, Hiller and Franck settled there. He renewed his acquaintance with the Parisian musicians who had known him as a boy in , especially with Baillot; and made many new friends, Habeneck, Franchomme, Cuvillon, and others. He went a great deal into society and played frequently, was constantly at the theatre, and as constantly at the Louvre, enjoyed life thoroughly, saw everything, according to his wont, including the political scenes which were then more than ever interesting in Paris; knew everybody; and in fact, as he expresses it, 'cast himself thoroughly into the  vortex.
His Reformation Symphony was rehearsed, but the orchestra thought it too  learned, and it never reached performance. His Octet was played in church at a mass commemorative of Beethoven, and several times in private; so was his Quintet with a new  Adagio and his Quartets, both for strings and for piano. The pupils of the Conservatoire, he writes, are working their fingers off to play 'Ist es  wahr? On the other hand, there were drawbacks.
Edward Ritz, his great friend, died Jan. Goethe too died March The rejection of his Reformation Symphony, the centre of so many  hopes, was a disappointment which must have thrown a deep shadow over everything, and no doubt after so much gaiety there was a reaction, and his old dislike to the French character—traces of which are not wanting in a letter to Immermann dated Jan.
In addition to this his health had not latterly been good, and in March he had an attack of  cholera. Though he alludes to it in joke, he probably felt the truth of a remark in the Figaro that 'Paris is the tomb of all  reputations. He himself never again set foot in Paris. On April 23, , he was once more in his beloved London, and at his old quarters, Great Portland Street.
It was warm, the lilacs were in bloom, his old friends were as cordial as if they had never parted, he was warmly welcomed everywhere, and felt his health return in full measure. His letters of this date are full of a genuine heartfelt satisfaction. He plunged at once into musical life. The Hebrides was played in MS. He gave a MS. During his stay in London he wrote his Capriccio brillant in B op. In , Alfonso und Estrella was refused, partly owing to its libretto written by Schubert's friend Franz von Schober. Domenico Barbaia , impresario for the court theatres, largely lost interest in new German opera due to the popularity of Rossini and the Italian operatic style, and the failure of Carl Maria von Weber 's Euryanthe.
Despite his operatic failures, Schubert's reputation was growing steadily on other fronts. In , the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde finally accepted him as a performing member, and the amount of performances of his music grew remarkably. In , Schubert made the acquaintance of both Weber and Beethoven , but little came of it in either case: On his deathbed, Beethoven is said to have looked into some of the younger man's works and exclaimed: Despite his preoccupation with the stage, and later with his official duties, Schubert found time during these years for a significant amount of composition.
He completed the Mass in A-flat major , D. Also in that year, symptoms of syphilis first appeared. He also wrote the Sonata in A minor for arpeggione and piano D. In love with a Countess of youthful grace, —A pupil of Galt's; in desperate case Young Schubert surrenders himself to another, And fain would avoid such affectionate pother . The setbacks of previous years were compensated by the prosperity and happiness of Publication had been moving more rapidly, the stress of poverty was for a time lightened, and in the summer he had a pleasant holiday in Upper Austria where he was welcomed with enthusiasm.
The original only opens with the greeting "Ave Maria", which also recurs only in the refrain. From to , Schubert resided continuously in Vienna, except for a brief visit to Graz , Austria, in In , he dedicated a symphony D. Later in the year came the String Quartet No. The works of his last two years reveal a composer entering a new professional and compositional stage. In , Schubert wrote the song cycle Winterreise D. The orchestra of the Gesellschaft reportedly read through the symphony at a rehearsal, but never scheduled a public performance of it.
The reasons continue to be unknown, although the difficulty of the symphony is the possible explanation. On 26 March , the anniversary of Beethoven's death, Schubert gave, for the only time in his career, a public concert of his own works. In the midst of this creative activity, his health deteriorated.
By the late s, Schubert's health was failing and he confided to some friends that he feared that he was near death. In the late summer of , the composer saw the physician Ernst Rinna, who may have confirmed Schubert's suspicions that he was ill beyond cure and likely to die soon. He was generally unable to retain solid food and his condition worsened. Five days before Schubert's death, his friend, violinist Karl Holz , and his string quartet visited him to play for him. The last musical work he had wished to hear was Beethoven's String Quartet No.
Schubert died in Vienna, aged 31, on 19 November , at the apartment of his brother Ferdinand. The cause of his death was officially diagnosed as typhoid fever , though other theories have been proposed, including the tertiary stage of syphilis. In , a memorial to Franz Schubert was erected in Vienna's Stadtpark. His epitaph, written by his friend, the poet Franz Grillparzer , reads: Schubert was remarkably prolific, writing over 1, works in his short career.
His compositional style progressed rapidly throughout his short life. Schubert also composed a considerable number of secular works for two or more voices, namely part songs , choruses and cantatas. He completed eight orchestral overtures and seven complete symphonies, in addition to fragments of six others. While he composed no concertos, he did write three concertante works for violin and orchestra. Schubert wrote a large body of music for solo piano, including fourteen completed sonatas, numerous miscellaneous works and many short dances, in addition to producing a large set of works for piano four hands.
He also wrote over fifty chamber works, including some fragmentary works. Schubert's sacred output includes seven masses, one oratorio and one requiem, among other mass movements and numerous smaller compositions. In July the Austrian composer Ernst Krenek discussed Schubert's style, abashedly admitting that he had at first "shared the wide-spread opinion that Schubert was a lucky inventor of pleasing tunes Bach or Beethoven ".
Krenek wrote that he reached a completely different assessment after close study of Schubert's pieces at the urging of his friend and fellow composer Eduard Erdmann. Krenek pointed to the piano sonatas as giving "ample evidence that [Schubert] was much more than an easy-going tune-smith who did not know, and did not care, about the craft of composition. That "appetite for experimentation" manifests itself repeatedly in Schubert's output in a wide variety of forms and genres, including opera, liturgical music , chamber and solo piano music, and symphonic works.
Perhaps most familiarly, his adventurousness manifests itself as a notably original sense of modulation, as in the second movement of the String Quintet D. Although Schubert was clearly influenced by the Classical sonata forms of Beethoven and Mozart , his formal structures and his developments tend to give the impression more of melodic development than of harmonic drama.
It was in the genre of the Lied that Schubert made his most indelible mark. Leon Plantinga remarks that "in his more than six hundred Lieder he explored and expanded the potentialities of the genre, as no composer before him. His last collection of songs published in after his death, Schwanengesang , is also an innovative contribution to German lieder literature, as it features poems by different poets, namely Ludwig Rellstab , Heine, and Johann Gabriel Seidl.
The Wiener Theaterzeitung , writing about Winterreise at the time, commented that it was a work that "none can sing or hear without being deeply moved". When Schubert died he had around opus numbers published, mainly songs, chamber music and smaller piano compositions. An important step towards the recovery of the neglected works was the journey to Vienna which the music historian George Grove and the composer Arthur Sullivan made in October The travellers unearthed the manuscripts of six of the symphonies, parts of the incidental music to Rosamunde , the Mass No.
With these discoveries, Grove and Sullivan were able to inform the public of the existence of these works; in addition, they were able to copy the fourth and sixth symphonies, the Rosamunde incidental music, and the overture to Die Freunde von Salamanka. Since relatively few of Schubert's works were published in his lifetime, only a small number of them have opus numbers assigned, and even in those cases, the sequence of the numbers does not give a good indication of the order of composition. Austrian musicologist Otto Erich Deutsch — is known for compiling the first comprehensive catalogue of Schubert's works.
This was first published in English in Schubert Thematic Catalogue and subsequently revised for a new edition in German in Franz Schubert: Thematic Catalogue of his Works in Chronological Order. Confusion arose quite early over the numbering of Schubert's late symphonies.
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An even broader confusion arose over the numbering of the piano sonatas , with numbering systems ranging from 15 to 23 sonatas. A feeling of regret for the loss of potential masterpieces caused by Schubert's early death at age 31 was expressed in the epitaph on his large tombstone written by Grillparzer: Just before he died, when he wrote his beautiful two-cello String Quintet in C, he said very modestly that he was trying to learn a little more about counterpoint, and he was perfectly right. We'll never know in what direction he was going or would have gone.
For instance, Robert Schumann said: In 31 years, he lived more than other people would live in years, and it is needless to speculate what could he have written had he lived another 50 years. It's irrelevant, just like with Mozart; these are the two natural geniuses of music. Schubert's chamber music continues to be popular.
In a survey conducted by the ABC Classic FM radio station in , Schubert's chamber works dominated the field, with the Trout Quintet ranked first, the String Quintet in C major ranked second, and the Notturno in E-flat major for piano trio ranked third. Furthermore, eight more of his chamber works were among the ranked pieces: The New York Times ' chief music critic Anthony Tommasini , who ranked Schubert as the fourth greatest composer, wrote of him:.
You have to love the guy, who died at 31, ill, impoverished and neglected except by a circle of friends who were in awe of his genius. For his hundreds of songs alone — including the haunting cycle Winterreise , which will never release its tenacious hold on singers and audiences — Schubert is central to our concert life Schubert's first few symphonies may be works in progress.
But the Unfinished and especially the Great C major Symphony are astonishing. The latter one paves the way for Bruckner and prefigures Mahler. From the s through the s, Franz Liszt transcribed and arranged a number of Schubert's works, particularly the songs.