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From Grieg to Brahms / Studies of Some Modern Composers and Their Art. E-book

From Grieg to Brahms / Studies of Some Modern Composers and Their Art. E-book

di Daniel Gregory Mason

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  • Editore: iOnlineShopping.com
  • Data di Pubblicazione: gennaio 2019
  • Dimensione: 1.31 MB
  • Formato: PDF
  • Protezione: Non Protetto
  • Dettagli Protezione: Nessuno
  • EAN: 9788829587421
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Music may be hard to understand, but musicians are men;» so remarked a friend of mine when I was first planning these essays. The sentence sums up very happily a truth I have constantly had in mind in writing them. As all music, no matter what its complexity on the technical side, is in essence an expression of personal feeling, and as the qualities of a man's personality show themselves not only in his works, but in his acts, his words, his face, his handwriting and carriage even, it has seemed natural and fruitful, in these studies, to seek acquaintance with the musicians through acquaintance with the men.

But personal expression depends not alone on the personality of the artist; it depends also on the resources of art, which in turn are the product of a long, slow growth. Accordingly, if we would understand the individual composers, we must have a sense of the scheme into which they fall, the great universal evolution of which they are but incidents. It is for this reason that I have tried, in the introductory essay on The Appreciation of Music, to describe some of the fundamental principles of the art, and to sketch in their light the general movement of musical history, in order to give the reader a perspective sense, a bird's-eye view of the great army of artists in which the supreme masters are but leaders of battalions and regiments. Without this sense it is impossible truly to place or justly to estimate any individual.

At the end of the introduction I apply the principles worked out to determining in a general way how the half dozen composers to be studied are related to modern music as a whole. My result is that although they are practically contemporary, they are by no means peers in the scope and significance of their work. If we arrange them in the order of their influence on art, which depends upon their power both to assimilate previous resources and to add new ones, we must pass «from Grieg to Brahms.»

The purpose of the last essay in the book, on The Meaning of Music, will be obvious enough. Just as the introductory essay tries to sketch the general musical environment, as determined by basic principles and developed in history, in relation to which alone the individuals discussed can be understood, so the epilogue seeks to suggest that still larger environment of human feeling and activity on which music, like everything else, depends for its vitality. The first essay considers music as a medium for men, the last considers life as a medium for music.