Chopin the Composer: His Structural Art and Its Influence on Contemporaneous Music

Chopin the Composer: His Structural Art and Its Influence on Contemporaneous Music

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Chopin the Composer: His Structural Art and Its Influence on Contemporaneous Music

Chopin the Composer: His Structural Art and Its Influence on Contemporaneous Music

Read FREE!

Excerpt

So fierce was once the conflict between the classical and romantic schools of art and literature, that the former was popularly regarded as exclusively concerned with manner and form; the latter, as dogmatically devoted to the subject-matter regardless of structural laws. In the light of subsequent research and in the calm of impartiality we find that the truly great men of the classical school possessed romantic qualities, while the masters of romanticism were keenly sensitive to the essentials of form.

In reviewing the merits of a work of art there is such a strong temptation to fall into a recounting of one's prejudices or rehearsing one's preferences that a recent writer claims that criticism is frequently merely a criticism of the opinions of others, rather than an original estimate of a given phenomenon.

Indeed, Anatole France argues that all criticism must be subjective, and the candid man can only say, "I will now talk to you about myself with reference to Shakespeare, Pascal, Voltaire, etc." If we accept this dictum, we must despair of attaining aught else than a mere personal impression of a given work. Possibly the nearest approach to a fixed criterion, or standard of objective criticism, might be obtained by means of a species of spiritual triangulation; a sort of soul- survey from different altitudes.

Various brilliant literary productions dealing with Poland's composer from a biographical, pianistic or æsthetic standpoint, have graced the tables of the music-loving world from time to time. The apology for the appearance of a treatise like the present may be found in the fact that it will not be devoted to the expression of opinions concerning the import . . .

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