Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview

[Review of Anton Schindler, The Life of Beethoven]

This book bears on its outside the title, Life of Beethoven, by Moscheles. It is really only a translation of Schindler's,1 and it seems quite unfair to bring Moscheles so much into the foreground merely because his name is celebrated in England. He has only contributed a few notes and a short introduction, giving a most pleasing account of his own devotion to the Master.—Schindler was the trusty friend of Beethoven, and one whom he, himself, selected to write his biography. Inadequate as it is, there is that fidelity in the collection of materials which makes it serviceable to our knowledge of Beethoven and we wish it might be reprinted here,—though there is little knowledge of music here, yet, so far as any exists in company with a free development of mind, the music of Beethoven is the music which delights, which awakens, which inspires an infinite hope.

This influence of the most profound, bold, original, and singular compositions, even upon the uninitiated,n above those of a simpler construction and more obvious charms, we have observed with great pleasure. For we think its cause lies deep, far beneath fancy, taste, fashion, or any accidental cause.

It is because there is a real, and steady unfolding of certain thoughts which pervades the civilized world. It strikes its roots through to us, beneath the broad Atlantic, and those roots shoot upwards stems to the light wherever the soil allows them free course.

Our era which permits of freer inquiry, of bolder experiment than ever before, and on a firmer, broader basis may also, we firmly trust, be depended on for nobler discovery, and a grander scope of thought.

Although we sympathize with the sadness of those who lament the decay of forms and methods round which so many associations had wound their tendrils, and understand the sufferings which gentle, tender natures undergo from

____________________
1
Anton Schindler (1796–1864), German violinist and conductor.
n
untitled, [untitled,

-71-

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