The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf

By Henry Pleasants; Hugo Wolf | Go to book overview
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Hermine Braga ( 1859- ? ). a member of the Court Opera from 1878 to 1888.
Johann Nepomuk Fuchs ( 1841-1899). a Styrian conductor who had joined the conductorial staff of the Court Opera in 1880. He was the older brother of the composer Robert Fuchs.
Wolf was obviously inspired here by the motto appended to his Opus 17 by Schumann. a quotation from Friedrich Schlegel:

Durch alle Töne tönet
Im bunten Erdentraum
Ein leiser Ton gezogen
Für den, der heimlich lauschet

[Through every tone there sounds
In the gay terrestrial dream
A softer tone by far
To which he harks unseen.]

7. The Hellmesberger Quartet

March 2, 1884

He is gone; Rubinstein is gone, and the musical gourmets who have glutted themselves on an abundance of musical delicacies in his recitals should not neglect to attend the concerts of key-slaughtering marauders, on hand as after every major battle, and to combine this attendance with a kind of musical convalescence. They should drink seltzer water on top of champagne. They should approach the concert halls with easy, measured strides as befits a patient andante con lentezza. There they will be fanned by an agreeable coolness, and any thought of fire hazard will be forbidden on pain of deprivation of their peace of mind.

You will be able to stretch yourself out and be comfortable. A general sense of well-being will envelop the suffering listener, a mid-summer afternoon mood such as characterizes the transition from thoughtless rumination to total forgetfulness of the outside world, the more intensively so as piano recitals, by and large, have proven themselves the most effective means of accelerating this phenomenon. (Cello recitals arc riskier, and often have a cataleptic effect upon the listener, while sustained melodies played on the harp can cause instant death. Be on your guard against harp recitals, therefore, lest you place your life in jeopardy.) It would not be long before the patients slip off gradually into a soft refreshing slumber, and since the greatest danger then is that the peaceful sleepers could be disturbed in their reverent repose by the barbaric tutti of hands being clapped together, it is no more than fair that we should have wished to present and commend this thoroughly agreeable and


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The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf
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