The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf

By Hugo Wolf; Henry Pleasants | Go to book overview

30. The Meiningen Orchestra's
Last Concert

December 7, 1884

The opening work was Hector Berlioz's Overture to Byron's "The Corsair." The composition does not achieve the heights of the gifted Frenchman's great instrumental works, and it is significant that Berlioz, usually capable of uniting the most vivid colors on his palette, could give so little character to the instrumental shading of this overture that one imagines him at work on his painting with a wet sponge rather than his color-saturated brush. (What does Herr Brahms use, one wonders, when orchestrating his symphonies? Compared with Brahms's instrumentation, even Berlioz's (very exceptional) wet sponge is a brush dipped in the colors of a Makart.)

But in the Overture to " The Corsair," Berlioz was unable to evoke those instrumental sounds of nature that so distinguish the "March of the Pilgrims" in "Harold in Italy," the love scene in Romeo and Juliet and the "Scène aux Champs" in the Symphonic Fantastique. And for a very simple reason: the sole true and characteristic motif, or theme, did not occur to him. Without the right theme, the loveliest instrumentation is of no avail.

(Herr Brahms is clever, and orchestrates badly on purpose, lest anyone think that he looks to brilliant instrumentation to disguise the poverty of his ideas. It was on that account, recently, that he was given a fanfare | a pun here on "vertuschen", meaning to disguise, and " Tusch, " meaning a flourish |.

"A fanfare?"

"Yes, by trumpets and tympani!"

"There, you see, you see? Thus is honesty rewarded."

"Yes, yes, composers, there is still justice on this earth. With the motto: 'Honor endures longest when poverty (of ideas) is no disgrace,' compose away. Fanfares will be cheap, clique pays claque, trumpets and tympani, click‐ clack, and longer or shorter, louder or softer, however agreed upon for cheap goods, but always honestly orchestrated! Composers! What prospects! Bring on your piano, violin and bass fiddle concertos! If one has composed a symphony in which a tragic motif occurs, slithering like a 'convulsive worm,' even if it's no good, out with it! It is still not bad enough not to be trumpeted and tympanied. Oh, an innocent in chains must put the most tender-hearted keeper into the mood of a tiger compared with the heartbreaking spectacle of poverty of invention celebrated by tympani rolls and trumpet fanfares."

-88-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 291

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.