hold fast that which is good" [I Th 5:21]. And his work does, indeed, represent a charming bouquet of the best thoughts of Delibes, Doppler, 7 Strauss, etc. The sensitive and thoroughly skillful exploitation is unquestionably to Hellmesberger's credit, and certainly not the least of his accomplishments. As for originality, however, that is a ticklish matter —
As a very young man, I was innocent enough to show the great Wagner some of my piano pieces, in order to hear from the master's mouth whether or not I had musical talent. As he was amiably leafing through the manuscript, I could not refrain from observing that they were all pretty much in a Mozartean style. He replied, to my great relief, half seriously, half jokingly: "Yes, yes. ... One can't be original right from the start! I wasn't, either." 8
Herr Hellmesberger, Jr., is, to be sure, quite a grown-up young fellow [he was thirty-two], and it would seem to be almost time for him to be thinking seriously about his originality. In the meantime, he will lose nothing while waiting, nor, I think, will we.
And therewith we close the chapter.
February 27, 1887
Just as everything in this world must come to an end, so too, and very soon, will the bitter cup of the Kretschmann Orchestra Concerts have been drained. Let us rejoice, and be not ungrateful to merciful Father Time, that great sponge soaked in the tears of mankind which cheerfully wipes away the hours and years of our life, and which will surely erase the memory of Kretschmann