The renowned fickleness of the Viennese audiences was underlined when his opera The Marriage of Figaro met with only moderate success in No wonder Mozart was especially fond of the Prague audiences. Eventually, at the end of and after many years of hoping for official employment, Mozart was appointed Imperial Chamber Composer to Joseph II, following the death of Christoph Willibald Gluck. By the end of the following year Mozart was seriously ill — partly through exhaustion due to obsessive overwork, but the cause of his death on 5 December has never been conclusively established; symptoms included swelling of the limbs and acute fever.
Symphonies Mozart was still only about nine years old when he composed his earliest symphonies. The outstanding sequence from No. The contrapuntal tour de force that forms the finale of No. The dozen or so finest of them form a body of work that surpasses even his symphonic achievement. During the years —6 he composed a wonderful succession of 12 concertos beginning with K — eight of them completed between February and March Even more remarkable is their diversity, each work being strikingly individual in character.
Among them can also be found a fine work for two pianos K and one for three pianos K The authenticity of another Sinfonia Concertante — for four wind instruments, Kb — has been questioned by some scholars. Serenades, divertimenti, dances etc. Mozart composed numerous serenades, divertimenti, dances and marches — genres that are loosely categorised as mere entertainment music, though they are by no means short of masterpieces by the composer. A large proportion of his music specifically intended for dancing — dozens of contredanses, minuets, German dances etc. Although Mozart is generally regarded as a perfecter of existing genres rather than an innovator, his string quintets and the two superb piano quartets are the first important works of their kind.
Six of the piano trios are very early, but the last four, all mature and attractive works, are often underrated. Mozart composed other chamber works featuring solo flute, oboe, horn a quintet including, rather unusually, two violas and clarinet the sublime Clarinet Quintet, composed for the outstanding Anton Stadler. Like the mature piano trios, many of the later sonatas are of very fine quality. Other chamber works include a group of early flute sonatas, two superb duos for violin and viola, 12 duets for two horns, and a late work that includes the glass harmonica.
Two of the finest works for two pianos are the Fugue in C minor also arranged for strings, K, with preceding Adagio and the Sonata in D major K There are also a few sonatas for piano duet and some pieces for organ. The touching Das Veilchen, a Goethe setting, is the most famous, but other outstanding examples include the dramatic Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte and Abendempfindung, both from Mozart composed a few Masonic works including cantatas, but the finest piece is the sombre, purely orchestral Masonic Funeral Music K Among the shorter works, the motet Ave verum corpus K stands out as a particularly beautiful miniature.
Another famous motet, the brilliant Exsultate, jubilate K, dating from , was originally written for a castrato. Operas Mozart completed 18 operas. His earliest works within the genre are Apollo et Hyacinthus, La finta semplice and Bastien und Bastienne, all composed during —8. They contain, especially in the ensembles, hints of that depth of characterisation with which Mozart endows his great mature operas, but the opera seria Idomeneo — already, by , his 11 operatic venture — is the first masterpiece.
Some of the earliest recognisable and independent symphonies came from the pens of Giovanni Battista Sammartini — , who composed over 70 works in Milan in the Baroque style, and the Lucca born Luigi Boccherini, who composed nearly 30 of his own symphonies in the s and s. Meanwhile, in Austria, Mathias Monn — wrote string symphonies and a D major symphony, exceptionally scored for an orchestra of violins, cellos, basses and flutes, horn and bassoon. Already the convention of the symphony as a work merely for strings had been broken and the standard symphony orchestra had begun to grow.
Monn led a new generation of symphonic composers in Austria that included Gassmann — , Hofmann — and Dittersdorf — The composers of the court included Stamitz, Richter and Holzbauer. By , when Mozart produced his first symphony in London K16 , the form had taken hold across northern Europe. Most important of all, it had found favour in the hands of Joseph Haydn who had already embarked upon the composition of his great series of works. It was therefore natural that the young Mozart should begin to compose to or adapt examples of the work. This structure created a balanced, ternary composition, opening and closing with fast movements and containing a central point of repose in an Andante.
The style of the opera buffa overture was to predominate in all of these early works right up to Symphony No. Although J. Bach was an obvious influence on these early works, Mozart had also fallen under the spell of the German composer Carl Friedrich Abel and the symphony originally known as K18 was later found to be by Abel himself. By the time of Symphonies Nos.
The K45 symphony later became an overture to his early opera La finta semplice. What is certain is that he introduced both Wolfgang and his sister Maria Anna to the courts of Europe and to the music of the time at an age that would now seem inappropriately young. Youth, however, was no respecter of genius in the case of Wolfgang and there may well be an excuse for treating a child prodigy in a different way to ordinary offspring in our own time.
The Mozart family thus set out on a series of journeys across Europe both for the education of the children and for Leopold to benefit commercially from the musical aptitude of his son and daughter. The first of these journeys was to the Court of the Elector Maximillian in Munich, although at this stage Wolfgang was only six years old. Nevertheless, he was presented as a child virtuoso and only six months later, in the autumn of , during a trip to Vienna, he had become a child composer. It was on this journey that Mozart contracted the scarlet fever that was to affect his health for the rest of his life.
After his recovery, the family moved on to Pressburg where Mozart was introduced to central European folk music, although it had little future influence on him. It was, however, on 9 June that the family began the most major of their tours to date — a journey that would ultimately lead to France and England, and from which they would not return to Salzburg until the end of The London of the time had a musical patron in Queen Charlotte who employed the two major composers of the day, Karl Friedrich Abel —87 and Johann Christian Bach — Mozart was initially impressed by the symphonies of Abel but was ultimately to adopt J.
Bach as both a mentor and as a friend, an influence that almost ranks with his uncritical love and respect for Haydn. After his trip and whilst in Vienna, Mozart composed his Symphony No.
This is a surprisingly festive work and includes parts for both trumpets and drums. Shortly afterwards Mozart composed a brilliant Symphony in C K73 , confirming his growth from a composer of works in the style of overtures to a true symphonist. The following Symphony No. It was with this work that Mozart entered into the spirit of the German Romantic movement Sturm und Drang, which was also a significant influence on Haydn.
The Symphony No. He could hardly have known that his son would turn out to be perhaps the most talented of all musical prodigies and one of the undisputed masters of music. But it was always to Salzburg that they would return in those early years and it was to the Archbishops of Salzburg that Wolfgang had to look for commissions and a form of permanent employment.
In the 18th century, Austria was a very different place to the small alpine country of that name today. It was one of the major powers of Europe, together with England and France, and the seat of an Empire that consisted of German speakers, Slavs and Hungarians stretching far further to the east and with a far broader cultural base than it does now. The Empire was ruled from Vienna by a series of Habsburg rulers who, although they had become liberalised with the days of Maria Theresa and Leopold, still remained one of the most conservative ruling houses of Europe.
Despite this, liberal movements were to grow, nationalism was soon to become a driving force and the cultural life of the country, based around the centre of Vienna, would become one of the most flourishing in Europe. Outside the capital, one of the major cultural centres was developing in the small, Baroque jewel that was Salzburg, ruled as it was by its Archbishops.
During the s Mozart had a place in the Salzburg Court orchestra, which according to some commentators was a fine group of musicians but which Mozart himself found severely wanting. Despite the many tales of dislike and outright rebellion against his new master, things began well enough for Mozart under his new patron. Colloredo was both sensitive and highly musical in his own way and that Mozart was aware of this and the possibilities of his new employment was clear from the group of works he produced for his new employer over an amazingly short period of time.
Between 30 December and August Mozart presented his new master with no less than eight symphonies, before leaving Salzburg for Italy to concentrate on his new opera Lucio Silla. Not surprisingly, Colloredo was impressed and in that August gave Mozart notice of his new permanent salary. The first of these, Symphony No. Bach, both bearing the dates of May A more recent edition was published in and thus some of the works now have more than one number. The four works on this present disc can be considered to be relatively mature works in the symphonic canon and all date from the period between July and May , whilst Mozart was resident in Salzburg.
The first of the symphonies on this disc is the Symphony No. Symphony No. Koechel dates the work as from April although the autograph is illegible. Similarly, the Symphony No. The opening Allegro spiritoso is just that, a typically brilliant opening which then leads to the remarkable Andantino grazioso, which becomes something of a miniature oboe concerto in the style of a Siciliano, full of melody in contrast to the opening bustle. After the completion of Symphony No.
Indeed, he instead turned to writing a whole series of shorter works, chamber works, serenades and piano sonatas, as well as the fine collection of violin concertos. As a young man, Mozart had accepted commissions from various patrons and spread his net far and wide, writing not only the early symphonies on the previous discs of this set but also venturing into the fields of sonatas, concertos and choral and vocal works such as la finta semplice, La Betulia liberata, the grand opera seria Lucio Silla and now the first of the great comic operas La finta giardiniera. He had gained experience working with and alongside the composers of the day such as Abel and J.
Bach and had progressed from writing symphonies in the Italian overture style to establishing a typical sort of Austrian symphony that was to be the standard blueprint for himself and Haydn for the next years. These final works of the period were to represent an achievement which, for the time being at least, he felt he was unable to surpass or improve upon. It was time for a change.
Some of the symphonies of represent an element of perfection that mirrors the successes of the last six symphonies of his career, particularly Nos. Perhaps it is fair to say that the Symphony No. It is possible that Mozart was now so involved with operatic commissions that he may well have anticipated such a use for the piece. In that respect, this work it has its cousins in the Symphony No. Although not included on this disc, it is interesting to note that Mozart had now begun to compose a symphony in a minor key K , contrary to his usual choice of a major key.
The music demonstrates the composer having learnt the lessons of chamber music, intensifying the argument and opening his first movement with a passage for strings alone that is then repeated by the whole orchestra. A new spirit is afoot here, and the individual instruments take on more extreme characteristics. The central Andante has the feeling of a string quartet with the addition of two pairs of wind instruments. The Minuet that follows shows off the graceful nature of the dance against a violence that would not be alien to early Beethoven, and the final Allegro con spirito contains one of the most original and highly charged development sections that Mozart had dared to write at this point in his career.
With this symphony it is fair to say that Mozart had traversed the long path from Italian overture to true classical symphony. Mozart was satisfied with his A major symphony and was to repeat it on further occasions, unlike the later Symphony No. This is his final Salzburg work, composed before his journey to Paris. Despite being in four movements, suggesting an element of progression, Mozart had little new to say here and much of the influence of the work comes directly from Haydn. Similarly, although the opening movement has some interesting features it relies very much on ideas from previous compositions, while the Andantino is scored for strings alone and the Minuet lacks any strong originality.
The final movement has links to the opening but lacks any convincing argument. K is perhaps the most significant in its position as Mozart Complete Edition 4 the final part of the series of Salzburg Symphonies, concluding the period up to The opera was first performed in Milan on 17 October as part of the marriage celebrations of Archduke Ferdinand and the Princess Maria Ricciarda Beatrice of Modena. Symphonies Nos. It is in four movements and dates from Salzburg, May The first movement is in sonata form and begins surprisingly quietly, followed by a serene slow movement Andantino grazioso with muted strings.
The third movement is a Minuet and the symphony ends with a finale in sonata form, to parallel the opening. It is remarkable for the unquiet nature of its slow movement rather than the Haydenesque facility of its finale. This is a particularly agitated work with a remarkable, although short, slow movement and a dark and troubled Minuet, matched by a Trio section written for winds alone. The first two works on this disc K and K are written in the style of Italian overtures.
The latter work in particular, Symphony No. The companion work, Symphony No. Mozart composed his comic opera La finta giardiniera in Salzburg and Munich between and and its first performance took place in January that year. It was not a success, although recent revivals have found more in it than the original audience may have done. He revised the work into a German version Die Gaertnerin aus Liebe and took the overture and added a third movement to make up an independent, if somewhat lightweight, symphony Symphony in D K The final Allegro con spirito is one of those virtuosic movements that spells delight to the listener and a sense of alarm to the players.
The final work on this disc is the powerful Symphony No. The original plan was for three movements, but when he came to revise the work later in Vienna together with the subsequent Symphony No. The earlier of the two symphonies is scored in a simple manner with an orchestra of oboes, horns, bassoons and strings.
The opening movement shows traces of Beethoven to come and the symphony as a whole was taken as something of a starting point by the younger composer for his own Symphony No. The Andante moderato second movement is written in E flat and represents a moment of restrained peace with a recapitulation that states its main themes in reverse order. The opening Allegro is the same in form as the earlier work but the specific attempt at a French style has vanished and instead there is energy and playfulness, with an oscillation between C major, E minor and A flat major. The songlike Andante di molto that follows relies only on bassoons as its wind soloists whereas the final Presto is an expression of wit.
The third movement Minuet, again added later in Vienna, shows Mozart writing particularly virtuosic sections for the Vienna wind players, while adding flute parts to the entire symphony. Not only did Mozart move to Vienna and experience disagreements with his old patron, Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, premieres of two remarkable operas by him had also taken place. Idomeneo, performed in Munich, had somehow managed to redefine the old form of opera seria, while the Turkish comic fantasy of The Seraglio had received its first performance in July , establishing at once the success of the German Singspiel.
Mozart had created his first two stage masterpieces and his confidence in writing for the orchestra increased demonstrably, becoming ever more apparent in subsequent works. This was to be a symphony to celebrate the opening of the Corpus Christi celebrations, written in the current Parisian style for a large orchestra. Paris was proud of its orchestra but Mozart did not arrive unprepared — he had already worked with the great orchestra in Mannheim and was ready for the demands of Parisian taste from exposure to the works of Stamitz and Gossec.
There are certainly stretches of musical padding here and there, and it is significant that Mozart was deeply unsatisfied with the original slow movement so composed a second version as well as altering orchestration in the other movements. Whatever present day opinion of the work may be, Le Gros was pleased Mozart Complete Edition 5 and claimed the work to be the best of the symphonies written for his orchestra to date.
Mozart made two versions of his Symphony No. There is not one note too many, and the symphony contains a sense of almost violent despair, foreshadowing the developments of the Romantic era. The first version of the score is written for flute, oboes, bassoons and horns as well as the usual string band, the horns contributing a particularly aggressive tone to the music. The earlier version is leaner, the later more fulsome, but the economy of material is apparent in both versions.
The version presented on this disc is the original score without the later revisions and added clarinets. It is therefore perhaps a little strange that the symphony was actually completed in Vienna in December although Mozart performed it in Prague the following year and that its genesis is not a straightforward one. Indeed, much of the opening material of the movement is firmly in the minor key.
Mozart omits a Minuet movement and proceeds straight to the headlong Presto finale, with its emphasis on the wind section of the orchestra. Mozart arranged a series of Viennese subscription concerts in and it is likely that the three final symphonies were performed there at that time. Mozart probably also performed the works whilst on tour in Germany the following year and must have revised them particularly the very different scoring of the two versions of K with specific orchestras in mind. This symphony reverts to the more usual fourmovement pattern with the reinstatement of a Minuet and trio for the third section.
The opening Allegro is again preceded by a slow introduction and is notable for its singing legato theme. The slow movement is an Andante con moto in A flat major, a lyrical movement disturbed by great outbursts in related minor keys. The conventional Minuet and trio that follows is notable not only for its tendency to sound somewhat like Schubert but also for the prominence of the clarinet parts in the trio section.
It was unusual for Mozart to write symphonies in the summer months and the dates of the first performances of these works are unclear. As with the preceding symphonies, it was originally assumed that the final three masterpieces were never performed during his lifetime, but it is now thought to be likely that Mozart performed them during his Viennese subscription concerts of and on tour in Germany the following year. Indeed, it was almost certainly with different orchestras in mind that Mozart made two versions of his Symphony No.
The final work in this great trilogy of late symphonies is known today by the nickname given to it by the great impresario Johann Salomon, a patron of Haydn who had persuaded the older composer to travel with him to London, suggesting that Mozart should follow at a later date. The grandeur of the music also reflects the political situation of the era, a time when Austria was at war with the Turks.
Religious quotations within the symphony give the work a positive and triumphant attitude that is far removed from the questioning and neurotic despair that colours much of the previous symphony. Mozart had, by now, outgrown his own earlier style and forged a new type of music, looking towards Schubert and Beethoven rather than back to his revered master Haydn. Similarly, the counterpoint within the work is totally confident and fully integrated into the piece. Nowhere in the history of music has a series of symphonic works ended with such a confident assertion of style and with such a revelation of an enduring masterpiece.
With one exception K the orchestra gives a lengthy introduction to the work, quoting a number of different themes and preparing the listener for the entrance of the main instrument. Whilst hitherto the keyboard was almost treated as one of the orchestra, Mozart gave it some independence: on its entrance in his works the piano does not always make reference to motifs already heard but is often required to develop its own themes. To find this style took practice and it was not until the fifth numbered concerto K from that Mozart felt able to compose using his own original ideas.
Before that, at the suggestion of his father Leopold, he practiced for the genre by arranging the solo works of other composers for keyboard and small orchestra. Whilst in Berlin, Johann Christian became fascinated by Italian opera and he made plans to visit Italy at the earliest opportunity. After a period in Milan he studied with Padre Martini in Bologna.
His operas composed for London and the Italian stages were highly successful, resulting in his own reputation exceeding that of his father at this time. In April the Mozart family arrived in London as part of their European tour and Johann Christian Bach was immediately captivated by the precocious genius of young Wolfgang. Both musicians were set in friendly competition in public together and, in the eyes of many witnesses, the child often beat the man with his clever improvisations.
In he was one of the first musicians in England to play the fortepiano in public and he almost certainly appreciated the dynamic and expressive capabilities of this instrument as opposed to the somewhat dry and monotonous tones of the harpsichord. Indeed the pieces here arranged by Mozart were advertised upon publication in to be played on either harpsichord or fortepiano. Framed by these two movements is the stillness of the Larghetto, introduced by a few bars simply from the piano and then followed by an orchestral dialogue the textures then become richer as the soloist and orchestra take turns to embroider the basic fabric in one of the most uplifting slow movements.
In fact, Mozart did probably conceive the early Concertos of K and the first four in the numbered sequence of the twenty seven major Concertos for a harpsichord. The first early Concertos are all in major keys and follow a model of pastiche that stretches to the present in works as diverse as those by Stravinsky, Webern and Britten.
Completed in , the third of the Piano Concertos K 40 is in D major and scored for an orchestra of oboes, horns, trumpets and strings. Based upon music Mozart would have encountered whilst travelling in Paris between and , for a time these four early Concertos were thought of as being original Mozart compositions.
Nevertheless, those trumpets and timpani do add a sense of brilliance to the Concerto in its full orchestral guise. The present disc contains three Concertos that represent very different aspects of these Concertos from the simplicity of the F major Salzburg Concerto, through the difficulties of the B flat major Concerto from that year of Mozart Complete Edition 7 and up to the undeniable masterpiece of the A major K Concerto, arguably the finest of all the Concertos. Having composed his E flat major Concerto K for his pupil Barbara Ployer, Mozart set about writing both a second Concerto for her K and two others exclusively for himself.
The whole project took no more than two months and Mozart was keen to add some rather more difficult and virtuoso passages for his own performance, particularly so in the B flat major Concerto K , dated 15th March which not only is intent on stretching its solo performer but is also scored for a relatively large orchestra.
These difficulties are immediately apparent in the opening Allegro which is a surprisingly good natured and lively piece, despite its frequent recourse to the minor key.
OPERA-GUIDE: Don Giovanni
Taking its place as the first of a series of three Concertos beginning in December , the F major Concerto K is scored simply for strings and wind and is also available together with its two successors in an arrangement made by the composer himself for Piano and string Quartet. This is the Mozart of geniality rather than the Mozart of genius, the composer appealing not only to the cognoscenti, but also to the general public although it is on record too that the Concerto made a distinct appeal to a person no less than the Emperor as well as providing a substantial income for the Academy.
In the usual three movement form, the Concerto opens somewhat unusually with an Allegro in triple time before leading to an amiable, if hardly profound Larghetto, more of an Intermezzo than a true slow movement. Although these are Concertos where Mozart is stretching his audience to an unprecedented degree, the A major work begins simply enough. The scoring lacks trumpets and timpani but still has a darker side to it that permeates the whole work.
Unusually too, the Cadenza in this movement is incorporated in the full score. The slow movement is an Adagio of quite unsurpassable emotion and beauty and stands as one of the finest single movements in any composition by Mozart; it is written in F sharp minor, the only time that Mozart used the key in any of the Concertos.
That key has been hinted at in the opening Allegro, but here it has a sense of tragedy that can only be seen to express the most profound of sorrows. That such deep sadness can be dispelled at all is quite amazing but the final Allegro assai manage a light heartedness and an exuberance that are not occasionally without a backward glimpse aimed towards a tinge of sadness beneath that apparent stream of joyous melody.
The film in this case was the rather sentimental story of Elvira Madigan directed by the Swede Bo Widerberg. So well known did the slow movement of the Concerto become that since then the Concerto itself has on many occasions been given the subtitle Elvira Madigan. The opening Allegro maestoso is permeated by a theme in March rhythm punctuated by fanfares in the winds and an affecting and simple second subject.
After the usual orchestral introduction there is a particularly fine entrance for solo piano. The following Andante, mentioned above in the context of the film, bases a soaring almost vocal melody without words above a pizzicato string accompaniment. Finally, the Allegro Vivace is a good humoured Rondo taking in several changes of key before reaching its final Cadenza and Coda. Written in Salzburg in April , the first of the Piano Concertos K37 is in F major and scored for oboes and horns with strings and a pianoforte or harpsichord. The Concerto is based upon music Mozart would have encountered whilst travelling in Paris between and The C major Andante is of unknown origin whilst the final Allegro is based on work by the Strasbourg based composer Leontzi Honauer.
It is fair enough to say that the C major Concerto K is the concluding work in the series of great Concertos composed between and After this there is a break in composition before the two final Concertos where Mozart concentrated on his final major Symphonies and the opera Don Giovanni. Indeed this Concerto was followed immediately by the Prague Symphony and the C major Quintet rather than any further Concertos. The C major is a suitably grand work related to its predecessor in the same key, K Again Mozart takes a March theme for his opening Allegro, a theme which enters in the minor key scored for the string section and flutes, oboes, bassoons and horns.
The mood of the movement is already symphonic, pointing forward to what was to follow. Finally, the concluding Rondo is a less exuberant piece than may normally have been expected at this point, more in a style of confident affirmation which at times becomes even stormy and agitated. Mozart has been accused of a degree of indifference at this point but this is hardly relevant in context of the drive and positive nature of the Concerto as a whole. Whilst in London Wolfgang played alongside Johann Christian Bach, the most influential musician in Britain at that time.
Both man and boy set each other tasks at improvisation and it was felt that Mozart consistently bettered the elder player. Johann Christian Bach held no grudge and the two became firm friends although they did not meet again until Mozart visited Paris in , at which time Bach was supervising the first performances of his opera Amadis. To give him practice in composing for orchestra, Leopold set young Wolfgang the task of arranging various piano sonatas by wellknown and respected composers of the time for solo keyboard and small orchestra. It is scored for solo keyboard, two oboes, two horns and strings.
Raupach, whose first and final movements from his Sonata op. His opera Alceste, produced the year in which he became Kapellmeister was one of the first successful Russian operas and its sombre style anticipated that of Gluck, whose own version of Alceste had such an overwhelming effect on Mozart in Vienna in For a short time Raupach left Russia and found work in Hamburg and Paris where he met and heard Mozart , returning to St Petersburg in However he failed to achieve the same success in that city as heretofore and he died there in relative obscurity.
Little is known of Schobart other than that he was in Paris in around and that he died in great agony alongside other members of his family having consumed poisoned mushrooms. The same musical forces are used for the other two concertos on this disc. She created such a sensation that Mozart named his Piano Concerto no. Before the orchestra has finished its customary introduction one hears the piano trilling on a high B flat before launching into its own theme.
The beautifully melancholic slow movement is in C minor the first Mozart concerto movement in a minor key and its form and character resemble a recitative and aria from an opera seria. The exhilarating Rondeau finale changes gear suddenly to introduce a minuet passage with four variations. The Piano Concerto no. Mozart offered the scores for sale at the relatively high price of six ducats possibly due to the fact that a large debt was about to be called in and announced the imminent sale of arrangements for piano solo and string quartet thus making it possible for chamber groups and amateurs to play but was later forced to cut the price.
It must have been particularly galling for the composer to witness the firm of Artaria making a tidy profit on these concertos when they were published in As a tribute to Johann Christian Bach, who had died in , Mozart used a theme by his late friend in the Andante movement. These apprenticeship works cannot be dated with precise accuracy but it is thought that they were composed in about ie when the composer was about eleven years old.
Mozart learned much from the works of Johann Christian Bach, whom he met and accompanied in London. This style has been referred to as galant, music that is graceful, refined yet also spirited in the finale movements. Following these apprenticeship works there was a gap of a few years until December when Mozart produced his first keyboard concerto which did not stem from the work or works of other composers. The concerto, known as the Piano Concerto no. The concerto reveals a certain amount of charm, but also demonstrates a lack of experience with scoring with often uneccessary doubling of parts the work is scored for two oboes, horns and trumpets with timpani and strings in addition to solo keyboard , although Mozart later remedied this to a certain extent by altering the wind parts.
Following its premiere in this new movement became hugely popular and Mozart chose to retain this later movement when the work came to be published in The bright and vivacious Piano Concerto no. This engaging work is clearly more sophisticated than its predecessor and one gains the impression that Mozart composed the piece as much to show off his skill at the keyboard as to entertain the public.
And entertaining it certainly is, with delicacy and rhythmical brilliance marking the opening Allegro aperto movement, a tender and expressive Andante and a finale that was the first of many Rondo with variations Mozart used to close the concertos. Following his precipitous move to the Austrian capital it did not take long for Mozart to discover the Viennese liking for technical brilliance and drama once he arrived in that city following his escape from the rather stifling atmosphere of Salzburg.
Always someone that lived beyond his means, Mozart strived to make ends meet by appearing as often as possible in public showing off his formidable and inventive prowess at the keyboard. Consequently piano concertos appeared thick and fast: for example six piano concertos were composed during , of which the fourth that year, the G K was completed on 12 April.
He also found time to move house in Mozart Complete Edition 9 January of that year and again in September having just recovered from a kidney infection that laid him low for a few weeks. At the end of the year he joined the freemasons, presumably hoping to acquire important contacts.
There is more drama in the second movement marked Andante following a contemplative beginning demonstrating the close stylistic link that Mozart displayed between his concertos and opera. The Allegretto finale is a typically joyous Rondo with variations. Amazingly too, despite the closeness of composition, each of these works bears the stamp of its own originality. Scored for a relatively large orchestra including trumpets and timpani and with an accent on the wind soloists, the D major Concerto has a distinctly symphonic feel about it. The opening Allegro is a typical Mozartean March movement with an accent on the heroic mood but with an unusual and unexpected quiet section in its recapitulation.
This is followed by a slow song like Andante with the added bonus of a final contrapuntal climax and then a Rondo marked Allegro di molto which initially appears to owe much to the spirit of Haydn but also contains a surprisingly serious development section. This F major work was written for the composer himself to play and shows a progression of ideas and geniality throughout its three movements which makes it a particularly satisfying work taken as a whole. This proud and somewhat arrogant introductory movement prefaces the charming Allegretto in C major that follows.
That final movement seems to act as a combination of Sonata form, Rondo and Fugue, all with hints of the genius of a Mozart comic opera. Later as a young man he was to take commissions for his musical compositions from princes and noblemen, professional musicians and amateurs alike as well as still performing his own works. His life and work in Salzburg, the town of his birth were to be unhappy experiences, blighted by his dislike of the fractious Archbishop Colloredo, his main employer.
It was there in the capital city of the Empire and centre of European culture that Mozart was to blossom and to find better fortune. Vienna was in all respects unwilling to encourage any sort of revolutionary activity both in politics and the Arts but Viennese Society was ready to accept talent and to, if somewhat grudgingly, offer some sort of patronage to its most renowned musician. It would take Beethoven and his more aggressive stance to change the climate of things musical in the city but at least the atmosphere was conductive to Mozart producing some of his finest masterpieces to which the Piano Concertos composed between and are a major part.
The first of the Piano Concertos of was the famous D minor work, the first of any of the Concertos to be written in a minor key and the only one that remained popular throughout the nineteenth century. There is a new dynamic in the opening movement showing an antagonism between soloist and orchestra which would finally become the touchstone of works such as the Brahms Piano Concertos. The final Allegro is both passionate and dramatic with much chromatic writing, full of pessimism until the key turns to the major and a glimpse of optimism.
The E flat major Concerto K is somewhat rare among the cycle in that it is one of only three of the Concertos that substitutes clarinets for oboes and that it has a slow movement in the minor key. The lack of formality in this Concerto owes much to the opera The Marriage of Figaro on which Mozart was working at the same time. This is a return to a simpler form of Concerto after Mozart perhaps feeling that his recent works had progressed a little too far away from the conservative tastes of his Viennese public.
It is perhaps even fair to suggest that the opening and closing movements of the Concerto are somewhat backward looking and even routine. Routine is certainly not a word that could be used in connection with the central Andante in C minor which Mozart was obliged to repeat as an encore at his concert on 23rd December.
This is a mixture Mozart Complete Edition 10 of arioso and variation which also contrasts major and minor keys in a unique expression of sadness, despair and final consolation. From the clavichord he took the idea of the struck string and from the harpsichord the principle of dampers fitted with cloth. This aloud for a new range of dynamics ranging between piano and forte together with the idea of a pedal to dampen the sound. Those early instruments can be seen in the early pianoforte housed now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. These were then followed by the instruments of John Broadwood in England and those by the Brothers Erard of Strasbourg which were to combine the benefits of the English and German actions.
This prototype was to be adopted under licence by firms such as Steinway, Bechstein and Pleyel. P E Bach were writing for it in favour of the older instrument. In fact, Mozart wrote nearly all of his keyboard music for the piano as did Beethoven and by the beginning of the nineteenth century the harpsichord had become almost redundant for the contemporary composer. Of those Concertos, six date from including the B flat major Concert K Long considered to have been composed for the blind pianist, Maria Theresia Paradis, it is now certain that Mozart premiered the Concerto himself in Vienna in February The Concerto is in the conventional three movement form and opens with an Allegro Vivace that provides the main themes of the movement in its opening introduction, initially in the piano and then in the orchestra.
The development is littered with scale passages and gives way to an accompanied cadenza and a final recapitulation. The Andante which follows is a set of theme and five considerably elaborate variations and a Coda variations, all suffused with an element of anxiety and even despair. It is likely that the full version of the Concerto was written down by Johann Andre who published the first edition of the parts of the Concerto in These three Concertos, written in Vienna in , bear the consecutive numbers of K , K and K Nevertheless, this E flat Concerto is a rather unique entry in the Mozart catalogue.
Completed in , the fourth of the Piano Concertos K 41 is in G major and based upon music Mozart would have encountered whilst travelling in Paris between and As with many of the Piano Concertos and unlike those for Violin and Orchestra written much earlier, this was clearly a work written for Mozart himself and one that was introduced to the public without any undue former notice.
The very opening of the initial Allegro sets a mood of sadness beneath the apparently normal surface of things and there are a number of rapid key changes and surprising dissonances, passages of chromatic intensity and an amazing clarity within the scoring. Energy is surpressed within this opening Mozart Complete Edition 11 movement and even more so in the following Larghetto, an almost religious experience. The final Rondo too, marked as a conventional Allegro, has a quality about it which suggests not merely joyfulness but a feeling of resignation.
Mozart found teaching irksome, but as his father Leopold never tired of reminding him, it was a necessary part of his daily routine, for it might lead to a lucrative commission.
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Indeed it is noticeable that Josepha was the poorer of the three players as her part scarcely tests the average concert pianist. Mozart later rewrote the concerto for two soloists, presumably for his sister Nannerl and he to play, and this arrangement was in his repertoire following his arrival in Vienna in Just as this concerto does not place too many demands upon the players, neither does it place any great demands upon the listener; the most memorable section is the middle movement with its light accompaniment and amiable interplay between the soloists.
There is evidence that the Concerto for Two Pianos in E flat K, usually dated January , might predate the Concerto for Three Pianos as the cadenzas for K were written on similar paper used by Mozart for works known to date from between August and January The scoring is more adventurous in this work, two bassoons being added to his regular forces of two oboes and horns plus strings. Following his arrival in Vienna in Mozart expanded the scoring still further, adding a pair of clarinets and trumpets and timpani to the fast outer movements.
Of particular interest is the Allegro Rondo finale whose main theme takes a different harmonic turn at each appearance. In this instance Mozart did not merely rescore the work, he substituted an entire movement. He introduced this new finale at the Burgtheater on 3 March at a concert which also included newly composed music for Idomeneo and an improvised fantasy for piano solo. The Rondo K successfully gave the Concerto in D a new lease of life and when the concerto came to be published, Mozart chose to include the Rondo rather than the original finale.
At one concert during the Lent season in Mozart was asked to repeat the Rondo and this movement has become hugely popular being performed by itself as often as it is included within the concerto setting. The scoring for solo piano, flute, two oboes, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings is imaginative throughout and the melodies are memorable.
Often linked with the Piano Concerto in A K , it has long been considered to have been the original finale to that work since it shares not only the temperament of the surviving finale but also its key and time signature. The Rondo was then arranged for piano solo by Cipriani Potter in as the various leaves of the original were scattered. It is scored for piano solo, two oboes, two horns, strings and cello obbligato. Short in years perhaps, but this was a career that produced an almost incredibly large number of works, many of which are undoubted masterpieces.
It is to that category of superlatives that the clarinet concerto belongs. Not surprisingly, the Concerto bears many similarities to the earlier Quintet composed for Stadler, although the later work expresses the lyrical ideas in a more dramatic and fuller fashion whilst still maintaining the closest of relationships between the soloist and the orchestra. The final movement is a joyful Rondo although nowhere does Mozart allow himself to resort to virtuosity for the sake of outward show. Mannheim was the reason for the composition to commission of the flute concerto in G K whilst in Paris he set about work on a Sinfonia Concertante for four professional wind players Wendling, Ramm, Ritter and Punto intended for performance at the Concerts Spirituels in that city.
The work is, perhaps necessarily, simple in its technical demands and somehow typical of the French style whilst remaining suitable for the settings envisaged for its performance. The Flute and Harp Concerto follows the usual three movement pattern and is scored for a small orchestra including oboes and horns. Although Mozart is on record as considering the young Duchess to be somewhat stupid and lazy, he produced a subtle combination of the two instruments, never drowned by the orchestra whether intertwining their own melodies or playing against the full tutti.
The original cadenzas for the work have been, unfortunately, lost but there is enough charm and an abundance of light themes to ensure the opening Allegro makes its gracious effect. The following Andantino is scored against divided violas and with the absences of the horns and oboes but maintaining a rich and sensuous atmosphere.
Finally, the concluding Rondeau is in typical French style in the tempo of a courtly Gavotte. For many consecutive years the demand for compositions for the flute were so great that composers as well as publishers often remarked that pieces written for other instruments could also be adapted for flute. Mozart met one of these flute lovers when he stopped in Mannheim between the end of October and the middle of March , when he undertook his journey to Paris.
In a letter to his father in Salzburg, he informed him of the commission from the Dutchman Ferdinand Dejean who gave him Guilders to write ''3 small, light and short concertos and a pair of quartets for the flute". But Mozart didn't like the flute very much, perhaps because of the frequent fluctuations in intonation. Besides that, because he was at that time head over heels in love with the singer Aloysia Weber, he didn't have much time to think of music. Researchers still wonder today if Mozart actually composed a flute concerto for Dejean in Mannheim.
But with the Concerto in G major K there's a slight problem. And so it's probable that Mozart delivered existing rearranged or copied concertos or scores to Ferdinand Dejean. The only composition certainly from the time he spent in Mannheim is the Andante in C major K In this respect they are very different from the Piano and Violin Concertos.
That being said, the earlier Concertos all have something individual to say for themselves and occasionally reach considerable peaks of inspiration. The grumbling, growling giant can, however, be an affectionate and witty instrument and that is how Mozart obviously sees it. It is significant too, that despite his less than conventional choice of solo player, the Concerto has something about it that shows the piece is throughout conceived only for the Bassoon with its own very definite characteristics.
Mozart did later write a bassoon sonata for his friend as well as several piano pieces including three of his Concertos. When Mozart reached Mannheim at the end of October, he met the oboist Friedrich Ramm and made a present of the new Concerto to Ramm, who immediately took up the new work and played it several times. Although plans were afoot for at least two further Oboe Concertos, both to be in F major, only fragments of those works exist and thus the C major Concerto is the only completed one for the instrument.
The Concerto is in the standard three movement form with an Andante at the centre of the opening Allegro and concluding Rondo. Bach produced many such works, Mozart moved away from the form towards Concertos for solo instruments. These were musicians at the Mannheim Court except for Punto who was a travelling player. This original version is unfortunately lost and the work is now known in its version for Oboe and Clarinet instead of Flute and Oboe. Of a virtuoso kind with prominent attention given to the soloists, it lies somewhere between a Concerto and a Symphony with obbligato.
The highlight of the piece comes in the slow movement but the final set of ten connected variations including one for each of the solo instruments is the display point of the work. His style is repellent and always hopping to different beats. The temple hornist weeps, extracts the notes from the depths of his soul and also, with his breath, inspires the entire instrumental accompaniment.
In the concert hall and the opera house the hornist can be made to produce innumerable expressive effects.
He is equally effective at a distance and close up. Nothing is more capable or skilful than the horn at echo effects. Therefor the study of this instrument is highly recommended for a composer.
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When Mozart was young, this famous or infamous horn virtuoso was employed by the Hofkapelle in Salzburg; later he settled in Vienna, where he tried to combine his work as a freelance hornist with running a cheese shop. Here Mozart met him again, in March For the concerto in E flat major, K , which Mozart listed in his own catalogue of works on 26th June , he used four different colors of ink as a joke: red, green, blue and black.
The pieces were often written on loose, probably spare pages in heavily compressed handwriting, and the two violin parts are often notated on one line. Indications of articulation and even tempo are often missing. The numerous points of harmonic, melodic and structural correspondence between the horn concertos suggest that Mozart did not take this genre especially seriously.
Long passages from the concertos in E flat major, K and K , were missing, and these could only be reconstructed with great difficulty on the basis of the existing, far from reliable copies. As for the concerto in D major, K , Mozart only left the opening Allegro and a score sketch of a rondo finale.
He not only took no notice of the original accompaniment but also replaced the original middle section by a paraphrase of the Gregorian melody to the laments of Jeremiah, which are sung on Good Friday. This fragment comprises an almost completely scored orchestral introduction as well as the beginning of a solo section of which, however, only the first bars possess an accompaniment.
It is possible that the pages have been lost before , but it seems more plausible that Mozart himself, upon closer consideration, laid the work aside. An introductory ritornello on such a grand scale implied a major concerto with a total duration of about half an hour — and, in view of the possibilities of the natural horn of the period, would have been almost an impossible task both for the composer and also for the hornist. Whether the hornist in question was Leutgeb or someone else can no longer be determined. A large number of these often very short fragments have only come to light in recent decades.
The Rondo, K , was also for a long time not as complete as was generally imagined. This is but an exaggerated instance of the separation of tlie arts, one from another, in the view of criticism. It is precisely as if in relation to the flora of a country, one set of men confined their attention to the monocotyledons, making that a special science, another to the dicotyledons, making that a special science, and a tliird to the flowerless plants, making that also a science by itself, while none of them gave any thought to any.
It seems iMiimi Hoi a not yct to have been fully understood that the,. At present, so far from there being in exist- compara- ence anything which can bear the name ofdBm. In like manner the historical criticism of works of art, with a glimmer of science in its method, is out of the question, until we can compare art with art, can see how the lise of one coincides with the setting of another, and can take note of the circum- stances under which two or more flourish to- gether. It was a theory of Leibnitz that the. We know from Gibbon that in the darkness of the thirteenth century the orders of a Mogul Khan who reigned on the borders of China told on the price of herrings in the English market.
And is it only of such remote influences as rule the price of a herring that we can take account? There is in all antiquity only one systematic work of criticism which is of much worth or of any authority, to. They have studied figures of speech and varieties of metre, with little care for the weightier points of action, passion, manner, cha- racter, moral and intellectual aim. In simile and metaphor, in rhyme and rhythm, they have seen rules and measures, and they have reduced all the art of expression to a system as easy as grammar; but they have not sought to methodise the poet's dream, they have not cared in their analysis to grasp his higher thought.
The scope of such criticism will best Example of. Situation, incidents, characters, and aims, these are of small accoimt beside similes and metar phors. Johnson's project was conceived entirely in the spirit of systematic criticism, as it has been most approved in modern times. Its analysis of images and phrases is, if not perfect, yet very elaborate. Its analysis of the substance which these images and phrases clothe, is, although not wholly neglected, yet very trivial. And the result is, that as a mere theory of language, as a.
No one has more pungently and truthfully described the critical science of what may be termed the Renaissance than Mr. Nearly the whole body of criticism comes firom the leaders of the Renaissance, who " discovered sud- denly," says Mr. Rusldn, " that the world for ten centuries had been living in an ungrammatical manner, and they made it forthwith the end of human existence to be grammatical. And it mattered thenceforth nothing what was said or what was done, so only that it was said with scholarship, and done with system.
Falsehood in a Ciceronian dialect had no opposers; truth in patois no listeners. A Roman phrase was thought worth any number of Gothic facts. We are anxious to learn what so fine a judge as Reynolds. If the criticism of the Renaissance is afflicted with a deficiency of thought, the new epoch of criticism, which the Germans attempted to inaugurate, is charged The defect with a superfecundity of thought tending to overlay the facts that engage it. Arnold complains of the want of idea in Enghsh criti- cism. Observe how instinctiyely he goes to the grammar of Rubens's treatment. His first thought is for the white sheet.
The greatest peculiarity of this composition is the contri- vance of the white sheet, on which the body of Jesus lies. This circumstance was probably what induced Rubens to adopt the composition. The hanging of the head on his shoulder, and the falling of the body on one side, give such an ap- pearance of the heaviness of death that nothing can exceed it. As in Hegel.
Germany is that of Hegel. To follow it, how- ever, with understanding, you have first to accept the Hegelian philosophy, of which it is a part. It begins by declaring art to be the manifesta- tion of the absolute idea, and when we ask what is the absolute idea, we are told that it is the abstraction of thought in which the identical is identical with the non-identical, and in which absolute being is resolved into absolute nothing.
The German constructs art as he constructs the camel out of the depths of his moral consciousness. Out of Germany it is impossible and useless to argue with these systems. We can only dismiss them with the assurance that if this be science, then. It has never been so noble in aim, so conscientious in labour, so large in view, and withal so modest in tone, as now. In point of fact, philosophy, baffled in its aims, has passed into criticism, and minds that a century back might have been lost in searching into the mystery of knowledge and the roots of being, turn their whole gaze on the products of human thought, and the history of human endeavour.
The deeper, therefore, their criticism delves, the more it becomes a laby- rinth of confusion. Fertile in suggestions, and rioting in results, it is a chaos in which the sug- gestions, though original, do not always connect themselves clearly with first principles, and in which the results, though valuable, are reft of half their importance by the lack of scientific arrangement. A fair example oflfers itself in the criticism of Shakespeare.
In England we are most struck with Shakespeare's knowledge of human nature, and power of embodying it in the characters of the drama. We rank this above all his gifts, even ubove his wondrous gift of speech. Pass over to Germany and note. Instead of the truth of the characters, what has he to show? He shows the doctrine of the Atonement preached in one play, the difference between equity and law set forth in another, and in all the plays a shower of pims that continually remind us of the Original Sin of our nature, the radical antithesis between thought and action, idea and reality, produced by the FaU.
He is, they declare, the creator of Lear,the creator of Hamlet, the creator of Othello. He has created none of these. Why this conflict of opinion where there ought to be no room for doubt? Why this Babel of voices where all are animated by a common aim? And where the good of criticism if it cannot prevent such misunder- standings? We can get prize oxen and prize pigs that come up to our expectations; but prize essays, prize poems, prize monuments, prize de- Prize de- signs of any kind, are notoriously poor in this fenT country, however high we bid.
On the other hand, when prizes were offered for the designs of a Foreign Office and an India Office, some admirable drawings were exhibited, but there followed this odd jarring of opinions, that the design to which the judges allotted the. Now, what is the meaning of this? Why are prize essays glittering on the surface, and worthlesB below it? Why is a prize play so notoriously Kul that mauacers have lontr ceased to offer ivwarxls tor the inevitable damnation?
Cor- inna, it will be remembered, won the prize for lyric verse from Pindar himself. Whether it be a fact or not about the poetical contest between Homer and Hesiod, and the prize of a tripod won by the latter, the tradition of such a contest is a voucher for the custom and for the honour in which it was held.
To realize such a state of things in our time, we must imagine poete, painters, and musicians assembled on Epsom Downs to contend for the honours of the games with colts, the sons of Touchstone and Stockwell, and fillies, the descendants of Pocahontas and Beeswing. Why should that be possible in Greece which is impossible now? Why do we draw the line between jockeys who ride racehorses, and poets who ride their Pegasus— offer prizes for the grosser animals and produce results that have made English horses the first in the world, while the most magnificent offers cannot get a fit monument for the greatest Englishman of the present century?
If there were any doubtfulness about the test the owners of the best Horses would never allow their favourites to run. But in any contest between painters or sculptors, poets or essayists, there is just that dubiety as to the standard of measure- ment which would prevent the best men from competing. It fireeoe. In Greek art, in Greek poems, in Greek prose, there is this uniformity, a uniformity that bespeaks, if not clear science, yet, at any rate, a system of.
Not that these laws will ever enable an inferior artist to produce another Parthenon or another Venus to enchant the world, but that like the laws of harmony in music, they ought to keep the artist within the lines of beauty. Whatever be the practical value of the rules, we see that to every work of Greek art they give the character of a school, iand the imity of aim and of habit produced by a school gives us a standard of measurement about iniiaeoce of which there need be little ambiguity. On a France! Frenchmen are surprised at the individuality of English art Every artist among us seems to be standing on his own dais, and working out of his own head.
CHAPTER in a country where the influence of school is so —1 apparent, the prize system should be more suo- cessful than among us who assert the right of private judgment and our contempt of authority, in no mincing terms. The nation that has three dozen religions and only one sauce, is not likely to have common standards in philosophy, in literature, or in art. Wanting these standards, what faith can we have in our judges? And what wonder that criticism, no matter how deep it goes, should be a byword?
Matthew Arnold, who has come forward to denounce our criticism -as folly, and to call upon the critics to mend their ways. In many most important points it is impossible to agree with this delightful writer. Especially when he attempts to reason and to generalize, he rouses in his readers the instincts of war, and makes them wish to break a lance with him. He is a suggestive writer, but not a convincing one.
He starts many ideas, but does not carry out his conclusions. It would be unjust so to charac- terize his robust scholarship, and his keen bio- graphical insight. But when he comes to what is more especially called an idea, then his merits and his defects alike are those of youthfulness. We learn as we read him to have so much sympathy with the fine purpose, the fine taste, the fine temper of his writing, that we forget, or we are loth to express, how much we diflfer with him whenever he attempts to generalize. In the next chapter I shall have occasion to mention some of his errors.
Here the great point to be noticed is, that his outcry against English criticism for its want of science though that is not the phrase by which Tie would describe its deficiency has been received with the greatest favour. All alike fall short of science. Arnold would have been much nearer. We may take it for a sure proof that the tide is on the turn, and that a change is working. Arnold is too sympathetic for a solitary thinker.
When such a man complains of the lack of idea in English criti- cism, we may be satisfied that he is giving form to an opinion which, if it has not before been expressed with equal force, has been widely felt, and has often been at the point of utterance. We may be satisfied also that things are mend- ing. There is not one of these lines of comparison which criticism can afford to neglect.
It must. Accordingly that is the main course of inquiry which, in the present instal- ment of this work, an attempt will be made to follow. We want, first of all, to know what a watchmaker would call the movement in art — the movement of the mind, the movement of ideas. Why does the mind move in that way? Some of these questions are among the most abstruse in philosophy, and so well known to be abstruse, that the mere suggestion of them may be a terror to many readers.
I may seem to be calmly inviting them to cross with me the arid sands of a On thfi dui- Sahara, and to meet the hot blasts of a simoom. There is a curious picture in the Arabian Nights of a little turbaned fellow sitting cross- legged on the ground, with pistachio nuts and dates in his lap. He cracks the nuts, munches the kernels and throws the shells to the left, while by a judicious alternation he sucks the delicate pulp of the dates and throws the stones to his right.
The philosopher looks on with a mild interest and speculates on the moral that sometimes the insides of things are best and sometimes the outsides. Now, most of the dis- cussions on mind with which we are familiar are like the pistachio nuts of the gentleman of Bag- dad: the shell is uninviting, and the kernel, which is hard to get at, and most frequently is rotten, is the only part that is palatable. That is quite fair and natural. The doubt is, whether the science be approachable by any son of man. It is a doubt that cleaves just now to any science which baa the mind and will of man for its theme.
I therefore desire, in this chapter, to make a few. John Greorge. Kingsley, who has written one book to show that a science of history is impossible, has written another to show the great and religious advantage at water- ing-places of studying science in the works of God — that is, in sea-jellies and cockle-shells. Tlie AftUthefcfa popular science of the day makes an antithesis worknof between God and man. Animals, vegetables, and minerals — these are the works of God. Kingsley, " one more thought of the divine mind from Hela and the realms of the unknown.
Or if he goes to some quiet inland village, plucks flowers, dries them in blotting-paper, and writes a name of twenty syllables under each — that is studying the works of God. Or if he analyzes a quantity of earthy can tell what are its ingredients, whether it is better for turnips or for wheat, and whether it should be manured with lime or with guano — that is studying the works of God. As though He, whose glory it is to conceal a thing, left finger-marks on his work, the exponents of popular science are always finding the fcager of God' and by so doing extol their favourite pursuit, while they tacitly rebut the maxim of Pope, that the proper study of The proper mankind is man.
Amid all this cant of finding God in the mate- rial and not in the moral world, and of thence. Mimn- This antithesis between the works of Gk d and. It was from Wordsworth's region of thought that the petty controversy arose, many years ago, as to the materials of poetry. We can trace this chapter misanthropy downwards to Mr. What more stimulating to curiosity than the researches of Goethe, Cuvier, and Owen? What more enticing to the adventurer than the geological prediction of the gold fields of Australia?
In chemistry we have well-nigh. Photography is a. In meteorology, the wind has been tracked, storms and tornados have been reduced to law. In electricity we seem to be hovering on the verge of some grand discovery, and already the electric spark has been trained to feats more marvellous than any recorded of Ariel or Puck.
Optics now enables us to discover the composition of the sun, and to detect the presence of minerals to the millionth part of a grain. A thousand years hereafter poets and historians may write of our 'great en- gineers and scientific discoverers, as we now speak of Arthur and liis Paladins, Faust and the Devil, Cortes and Pizarro. Why should not those who figure in " the fairy tales of science " obtain the renown which is rightfully theirs? The results they have achieved are all the more. None of the foimders of the Royal Society had then emerged from obscurity, and the Royal Society was a small club that met in secret and called itself the Invisible College.
Two centuries have brought a marvellous change. It has so commended itself by great achievements that at length eveiy one of the sciences has a society for itself, all the great cities of the United Kingdom have scientific societies, and there is such a rage for science throughout the country and in every class, that, not unlike the tailors of Laputa, who, abjuring tape, took altitudes and longitudes with a quadrant, the London tailors profess to cut.
Philosophy, v. Let me say a few words upon each of these passages of despair. Lewes has written a very clever and learned book on the history of philosophy, in which he always insists that the chief problems of metaphysics are insoluble. Does it follow that because meta- physical methods have failed, therefore scientific methods must 'fail also? Now the despair of a mental science which Mr. Lewes entertains he also entertains, as it would seem, for all the what Mr. We all find the greatest diflSculty.
Thev are afraid to be clear, lest thev be Jeemeil shallow; or thev love to think themselves protV-und, because they are unable to plimib their own ideas. Bridgemau's translation. If this is what Mr. Lewes condemns, who in this country will contradict him? In point of fact, the great fault of criticism is its ignorance The great — at least its disregard of psychology. The most advanced of the sciences that relate specially to human conduct is the science of wealth, and political economy is but a century old.
Sir Edward Lytton expresses despair of a The despair diflFerent kind. Hence, in one of his most lively. Here is a view of poetry that survives, and that derives importance from the great name of Plato. He condemns art as false, because when a painter paints a flower he takes a copy not of the thing itself. The flower is not the thing itself, but the earthly copy of the thing which, according to his system, exists as an idea in the Divine mind. The picture of the flower, therefore, is the copy of a copy, and must be imtrue.
Nobody would now accept this reasoning, but people accept the conclusion. So, again, art is bad because pleasure is its cliief end, and, as the gods feel neither pleasure nor pain, the end of art is not godlike. Here, again, nobody would accept the reasoning,. Contemplating such a result, the essayist is inclined to ask what is the good of system, and suggests that it may be enough to put forth oracles in disjointed utter- ance.
It is good not to overrate system; it is good to see that its use is but temporary. Still in our time, in which, through the extension of The forms. System is science. Science is impossible without the order and method of system. Yet these fragments would never have reached us if they had not at one time been built into a ship. When the voyager goes across the Atlan- tic he may be wrecked; he may get on shore only with a plank. But he will never cross the Atlantic at all if he starts on a plank, or on a few planks tied together as a raft.
There is a momentum in a system which does. Such men as Mr. Froude have so strong a sense of the freedom of the will, and of the incalculable waywardness with which it crosses and mars the best laid plans and the most symmetrical theories, that they will not hear of such a thing as a science of history. Its general conclusion, however, must be firmly re- sisted by those who, admitting the freedom of the.
If a system is not true, it will scarci'ly be con- vincing; and if it is not rea- soned, a man will bo little. An unresr soned philosophy, even though true, curries no guarantee of its truth. It may be true, but it cannot be certain. In point of fact, however, we can predict a good deal in human history, as, for example, by the aid of political economy, a science which is barely a century old; and Mr. John Stuart Mill points out that though the science of human nature falls far short of the exactness of astronomy as now imderstood, yet there is no reason why it should not be as much a science as astronomy was, when its methods had mastered only the main phenomena, but not the perturbations.
But art is crystalline in its forms, and the first, the deepest, the most constant impression which we derive from it is that of its oneness. I have already quoted the saying, that he who sees only one work of Greek art has seen none, and that he who sees all has seen but one. Far apart from each other, the one at Delos, the other at Ephesus, carved half of a wooden statue of tlie Pythian Apollo, and when the two were brought together, they tallied as if they had been wrought in one piece by one.
Chemistry, with all its exactitude, does not save its professors from making a wrong analysis. Why then should a critical science, if there is ever to be one, do more than all other sciences in leading its. If it be remembered that Euripides was Milton's favourite poet, the in- nocence of Scholefield's remark will appear all the more inimit- able. It is absurd, therefore, to suppose that any science can abolish all doubts and prevent all. Few sayings about art are more memorable than that of Mozart, who declared that he composed as he did because he could not help it, and who added, " You will never do anything if you have to think how you are to do it.
Neverthe- less, it comes according to laws which it is possible to note and which imperatively demand our study. It is not long since people regarded the weather as beyond the province of science, and treated the labours of Fitzroy either as useless, because they did not enable him to foretell but only to forecast, or as impious, because it was argued that if we can forecast the weather, it must be idle to pray for rain. Criticism is nought, people think, because it does not make poets perfect, and judges infallible. So it has happened that chemistry was despised when it failed to turn lead into gold, that astronomy was neglected when it failed to prognosticate, that the Bible is said to be in danger because we do not find in it the last new theory of science.
Matthew Arnold, is also the most imperious in vaunting the office of the critic; and there is a danger lest from his unguarded expressions it should be supposed that criticism promises more than it can perform. What he means by this it is not easy to make out. Bn w:.
Das Geistliche Jahr
Arnold can pebbly mean? Is it a proof of our Englii-h want of insight that with all the vivacity of his Mondav chats, we on this side of the water fail to see in M. Once more we return to another form of the chapter statement that the intellectual movement of our — 1. We Kve amid prescriptions and customs that have been crusted upon us from ages.
When we become alive to the fact that the forms and institutions of our daily life — the life individual and the life national, are prescribed to us not by reason but only by custom, that, says Mr. Arnold, is the awakening of the modem spirit. The truth is, however, that what he describes as the peculiar spirit of modem thought— that is, nineteenth-century thought — is the spirit of every reforming age. It was, for example, the spirit of Christianity as it showed itself at first in the midst of surrounding Judaism.
It was the spirit that actuated the protest against the mummeries of Eomanism in the sixteenth century. Prom these and other illustrations of what he The wrong understands by criticism, it would seem that whicTmay Mr. Arnold makes out his case or not. They will but carry away the general impression, that here is a man of genius and of strong conviction, who speaks of criti- cism as just now the greatest power upon earth.
They will, therefore, expect from it the mightiest eflFects; and grievous will be their disappointment at the modesty of its actual exploits. If men will criticise, it is desirable that their judgments should be based on scientific groimds. This is so obvious, that instead of dwelling on the worth of critical science in and for itself, I would here rather insist on its value from another On the in- point of vicw — as a historical instrument.
They believe that the history of philosophy yields the phi- losophy of history. They may be right, though it is awkward for the facts, or at least for our power of dealing with them, that the philosopher is ever represented as before his age. While he lives his thought is peculiar to himself, and his. There is this wide difference between philosophy and art, that whereas the former is the result of conscious effort, the latter comes unconsciously, and is the spontaneous growth of the time, ifow, supposing we had a critical science, and knew somewhat of the orbits and order of the arts, their times and seasons, we should have a guide to history so much safer than that fur- nished by the course of philosophy, as a spon- taneous growth is less likely to deviate from nature than any conscious effort.
In their shady retreate they reflect upon the world the light from on high, as I have seen an eclipse of the sun exquisitely pictured on the ground, while the crowds in Hyde Park were painfully looking for it in the heavens with darkened glasses. There were myriads of eclipses on the ground for the one that was passing in the sky.
But I can scarcely imagine that when putting in a word for a science of human nature, and for criticism as part of it, and when claiming for that science the place of honour, I am fairly open to the charge of jrielding to private partiality. At all events, in mitigation of such a charge, let it be remem- bered that man too has the credit of being a worm, and that he may be entitled to some of the regard of science, were it only as belonging to the subject of helminthology. We may give up any claims which the science of hiunan nature has to precedence over all the other knowledges, if we can get it recognised in popular opinion as a science at all, were it but as a science of worms.
And for criticism, as a part of the science of human nature, it may be remembered that Sir Walter Scott was pleased to describe the critics as caterpillars, and that, therefore, they suinnwiy may have a special claim to be regarded in this mont. Or if. There are men like lago, who think that they are nothing if not critical, but the critic is nothing if not scientific.
Of the following attempt I am not able toAimofUie think so bravely as to challenge for it the 5! Any one, indeed, who will read this volume through, will see that it is a fight for the first principles and grounds of the Not a. I have the greater confi- dence, however, in laying the present theory before the reader, inasmuch as gUmpses and.
HOUGH foundation stonee are laidc: with silver trowels and gilded plum- mets, amid miuic and banner, feast- 01 ing and holiday, in the present chapter, which to has to do with the basis of the Gay Science, there wiU be found nothing of a gala. It embodies the dull hard labour of laying down truisms — heavy blocks which are not to he handled in sport, but which it is essential that we should in the outset fix in their places.
What is here maintained to be the only safe foundation of the science of criti- cism, however obvious it may appear to be, has never yet been fully accepted as such, and has never yet been built npon. There are some. The donkey will not go round two sides of a field to get to his fodder if, peradventure, he can go in a straight line. The object of this chapter is to uphold the wisdom of the ass. No critical canon has a wider and more undoubting acceptance than that which jissumes the sisterhood of the arts.
The family. Terence, iu one of his prologues Phor- iiid j refers to the j cts as musicians. Christopher Tye, defined poetry as music in words, and music as poetry in sounds. Other writers dwell on the similarity of the poet and the Umner. Simonides, among the Greeks, is the author of the famous saying which comes down to us through Plutarch, that poetry is a speaking picture, and painting a mute poetry.
What is the bond of unity which knits poetry and the fine arts together? What is the com- mon ground upon which they rest? What are we to understand by the sisterhood of the muses? Whenever the philosopher has encountered these questions, as the first step to a science of criti-. All the accredited systems of criticism therefore take their rise either in theories of imitation or theories of the And both beautiful. It is not difficult, however, to show that both of the suppositions on which these.
Poetry is an imitation, said the philosopher. Imitation is the grand achievement which gives to the arts their form and prescribes their law. It is the mani- fold ways and means of imitation that we are to study, if we are to elevate criticism into a science. It was accepted in the last century with undoubting faith as an axiom, and the most astonishing conclusions were built upon it, as some divines draw the. Hence the plcsiKure of verse, because it throws difficulties in the way of imitating speech. Milton is, in this rcsj oct, p:reater than Yirgil, says the sapient Titic, for whereas the Roman poet imitated llomiT directly, the English one has the gloiy not only of imitating him directly, but also of imitjiting him at second or even at third hand, through Virgil and othera.
I do not give these illustrations of the theory of imitation as proofs of its fallacy. It would fare ill with most doctrines if they were to be j'udged by the manner in which the imwary have applied them. It was a good thing of which the critics could not have How it. But it died hard, and held its ground so lustily, that, even in our own time, critics whom we should not reckon as belonging to the school of the Renaissance, but to the more original schools of Germany, have given their adhesion to it.
Music, for example, is not imitative. When Haydn stole the melody to which he set the eighth commandment, the force of musical imitation could no further go. As music is not imitative, so neither is narration. Words represent or stand for, but cannot be said to hiniiti of imitate ideas. Thus the foundation of critical science is laid in a definition which is not the peculiar property of art. He declared that the principle of imitation lies at the root not merely of the fine arts, but also of thought itself.
In a word, it is not peculiar to art, and is incapable of supplying the defini- tion of it. For in truth, although imitation bulks so large in Aristotle's definition of poetry, it sinks into insignificance, and even passes out of sight, in the body of his work. Notvrith- Btanding Richter's, notwithstanding Coleridge's adliesion to it, the theory of imitation is now utterly exploded. The Aristotelian theory ruled absolute in literature for two millenniums. No other theory was put forward to take its place, as TheoUicr thc fouiidatiou of critical science, till within wStii.
There came a time, how- ever, when the need of a deeper criticism began to be felt. The old criticism that through the Renaissance traced a descent from Aristotle, dealt chiefly with the forms of art. A new criticism. It is always an idea. As all nature's thousand changes But one changeless God proclaim. So in art's wide kingdom ranges One sole meaning still the same. In the meantimfe it may be enough to point out that whereas innumerable attempts have been made to analyze the grand idea of art which is generally supposed to be the idea of the beautiful, and out of this analysis to trace the laws and the development of arty it cannot be said that in following such a Kne.
It is for this very reason that the theory of the beautiful, as the common theme of art, subsists. If it were less vague, it would be more oppoeed. With all its vagueness, however, two facts may be discovered which are fatal to it as a founda-. Two faitH tion for the science of criticism. The first is the more fatal, namely, that it does not cover the whole ground of art.
The worship and manifes- tation of the beautiful is not, for example, the province of comedy, and comedy is as much a part of art as tragedy. Moreover, on the other hand the second fact I have referred to , is it to be supposed that to display beauty is to produce II work of art? La belle chme qile la philosophie 1 sjivs M. Horace, long ago, in a verse wliich lias become proverbial, expressed the truth about the position of beauty in art. TiiataiiiM Convinced that the idea of the beautiful is. Music is an art, but in what sense are we to say that its theme is eternal truth, or that Mendels- sohn's concerto in D minor is a reflex of the ab- solute idea?
In what sense are the arabesques of the Alhambra eternal truths or reflections of the eternal essence? The idea of the true is not the theme of all art, and it is not peculiar to works of art to take the true for a theme. Still the same objections apply to yet another defini- tion of the artistic theme.
Ideas of power, ideas of truth, ideas of beauty — it will not do to bind art as a whole, or poetry as a part of it, to the. If the unity of the arts does not lie in the possession either of a common method which they pursue, or of a common theme which they set forth, wherein does it consist? Even if poetry and the arts could boast of a common method and a common theme, still every question of method and the choice of tlieme must be subordinate to the end in view.
The end determines the means, and must there- fore be the principal point of inquiry. If, then, we inquire what is the end of poetry and the poeticiil arts, we shall find among critics of all countries and all ages a singular unanimity of opinion — a unanimity which is all the more remarkable, when we discover that, admitting tlie fact with scarcely a dissentient voice, they have never turned it to account — they have.
It is admitted that the im- chapter mediate end of art is to give pleasure. The dreamer and the thinker, the singer and the sayer, at war on many another point, are here at one. Here, however, care must be taken that the some expia- reader is not misled by a word. There is in pleasure so little of conscious thought, and in pain so much, that it is natural for all who pride them- selves on the possession of thought to make light of pleasure.
It is possible, however, in magnifying the worth of conscious thought, to underrate the worth of unconscious life. We cannot say that it is ignorance, because tliat is a pure negation. But there is no objection to our saying — life ignorant of itself, unconscious life, pleasure. I do not give this explanation as sufficient — it is very insufficient — but as indicating a point of view from which it will be seen that the establisliment of pleasure as the end of art may involve larger issues, and convey a larger meaning than is commonly sup- see Chapter poscd. What that larger meaning is may in due course lie shown.
In the ninth chapter of this work I attempt to state it, and stating it to give a remodelled definition of art. In the mean- time, one fiiils to see how, bv anv of the new- fangled expressions of German philosophy, we. But if this be granted, and it is all but univer- sally granted, it entails the inevitable inference that criticism is the science of the laws andTheneoes- conditions under which pleasure is produced.
Criticism, however, is built anywhere but upon the rock. Instead of taking a straight line, like the venerable ass which was praised by the Eleatic philosopher, they went off zigzag, to right, to left, in every One and aii. So they bounced off to the left. So they bounced off to the right. Why does not the critic take the one plain path before him, proceeding instantly to inquire into the nature of pleasure, its laws, its conditions, its requirements, its causes, its effects, its whole history?
Whenever I have insisted with my friends on this point, as to the necessity of recog- nising criticism as the science of pleasure, the invariable rejoinder has been that there is no use in attempting such a science, because the nature of pleasure eludes our scrutiny, and there is no accounting for tastes. But the rejoinder is irre- levant. Chemistry was at one time a diCBcult study, and seemed to be a useless one. If art be the minister, criticism must be the science of pleasure, is so obvious a truth, that since in the history of literature and art the inference has never been drawn except once in a faint way, to be mentioned by and by , a doubt may arise in some minds as to the extent to which the production of pleasure has been admitted in criticism as the first principle of art.
I proceed, accordingly, to take a rapid survey of the chief schools of criticism that have ruled in the repuUic of letters, with express reference to their opinion of pleasure and the end of art. Speaking ronndly, there are but two "f great systems of criticism. But these divided systems may be subdivided, and perhaps the plainest method of arranging the critical opinions of paist ages is to take them by countries.
It will be convenient to glance in succession at the critical schools of Greece,ltaly, Spain, France, Germany, and England. And from this survey,. In our old Anglo-Saxon poetry, the harp is de- scribed as " the wood of pleasure," and that is the universal conception of art.
Homer, Plato, and Aristotle are the leaders of Greek thought, and their word may be taken for what constitutes the Greek idea of the end of poetry. The uppermost thought in Homer's mind, when he speaks of Phemius and Demo- docus, is that their duty is to delight, to charm, to soothe. When the strain of the bard makes Ulysses weep, it is hushed, because its object is defeak'd, and it is desired that all should rejoice togotlier. Wherever the minstrel is referred to, his chief business is described in the Greek verb to delight.
What the great poet of Greece thus indicated, the great philosophers expressed in logical fonn. That pleasure is the end of poetry, is the pervading idea of Aristotle's treatise on the subject. To Plato's view I have already more than once referred. He excluded the poets from his republic for tin's, as a cliief reason, that poetry has pleasure for its leading aim. In another of his works he defines the pleasure, which poetry aims at, to be that which a man of virtue. The argument is, that because pleasure is a be- coming — that is, a state not of being, but of going to be — it is unbecoming.
He starts with the Cyrenaic definition of pleasure as a state not of being, but of change, and he argues that the gods are unchangeable, therefore not capable of pleasure. Pleasure which is a becoming, is imbecoming to their nature; and man seeking pleasure seeks that which is unseemly and un- godlike.
Think of this argument what we will, the very fact of its being urged against poetry in this way, brings into a very strong light the conviction of Plato as to the meaning of classical art. And what was Plato's, what was Aristotle's view of the object of art, we find consistently maintained in Greek literature while it pre- served any vitality.
Is it a tme or a faJ. But is it tnie? Is the pleasure which it affords, the pleasure of a truth or that of a lie? The question naturally arose from their critical jx int of view, which led them to look for tlie definition of art in its form. They defined art as an imitation, which is hut a nar- rower name for fiction. It will he found, indeed, tliroughout the history of criticism, that so long as it started from the Greek point of view, followed tlu? Greek metliod, and accepted the Greek definition of art, that this question as to the truth of fiction was a constant trouble. And when th?
Greek raised liis doubt as to the truth of art, let it be rememl ered that he had in his mind something very different from what we should now be thinking of were we to question the truthfulness of this or that particular work of art. A work of art may be perfectly true in our sense of the word, that is to say, drawn to. The first suggestion of the Greek doubt, as to Treatment the reahty of the foundation of pleasure in art, question.
It is said that when Thespis came to Athens with his strolling stage, and drew great crowds to his plays, Solon, then an old man, asked him if he was not ashamed to tell so many lies before the people, and striking his staff on the groimd, growled out that if lies are allowed to enter into a nation's pleasures, they will, ere long, enter into its business.
Gorgias said that tragedy is a cheat, in which he who does the cheat is more honest than he who does it not, and he who accepts the cheat is wiser than he who refuses it. Many of the Greeks accepted the cheat so simply that, for example, they accused Euripides of impiety for putting impiety into the mouth of one of his dramatic personages. And not a few of their painters undertook to How the cheat with the utmost frankness. Apelles had to deceive. Zeuxis suffered a grievous disappointment when, having painted.
CHAPTER a boy carrying grapes, the birds came to peck at —1 the fruit but were not alarmed at the apparition of the boy. There are other stories of the same kind, as that of the painted curtain, and yet again that of the sculptor Pygmalion, who became enamoured of the feminine statue chiselled by himself. Life is wanting to enable them to show their fury. I might quote whole pages from Vasari to show how an artist and a critic of the Cinque Cento thought of art. He says tliat one of. He says that the instru- ments, in a picture of St. Cecilia, lie scattered around her, and do not seem to be painted, but to be the real objects.
He says of Raphael's pictures generally that they are scarcely to be called pictures, but rather the reality, for the flesh trembles, the breathing is visible, the pulses beat, and life is in its utmost force through all his works. In Italian art also it may be. Many another picture might be mentioned in which a similar treatment is adopted, and especially by the painters before Raphael, as Dominic Ghirlan- dajo, and men of that stamp. But everybody knows the crowning work of Raphael, and that, therefore, may serve best for an illustration.
What are we to make of the two Dominicans? If, instead of the two bald-pated, black-robed monks, the artist had placed on the Mount of Transfiguration a couple of wild bulls feeding or fighting, they would puzzle one less than his two monks.. Why is their monastic garb in- truded among the majestic foldings of celestial. And yet Raphael introduces on the scene two modem monks to share the vision! Not only is the Gospel narrative thus violated; there is a still stranger anomaly. The three disciples are lying down, blinded with the light and bewildered in their minds.
The Dominicans are kneeling up- right and looking on. Raphael has deliberately introduced into his picture — the spectator. More than one generation has passed away, and there the figures in the picture have remained unchanged. The Italians, when, on the canvas of Ghirlandajo, they looked on the well-known figures of Ginevra di Benci and her maidens, as attendants in an interview between Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary, found themselves projected into the picture and made a part of it.
The most marked characteristic of the Greek drama is the presence of the chorus. The chorus are always present, — watching events, talking to the actors, talking to the audience, talking to themselves, — all through the play, indeed, pour- ing forth a continual stream of musical chatter. And what are the chorus? The only intelligible explanation which has been given is that they represent the spectator. What the Greeks thus did artistically on their stage, we moderns have also sometimes done inartistically and unintentionally, but still to the same effect.
We have had the audience seated on the stage, and sometimes, in the most. Dublin to the Cordelia of Mrs. Woffington, an Irish gentleman who was present actually ad- vanced, put his arm round the lady's waist, and thus held her while she replied to the reproaches of the old king. The stage in the last century was sometimes so beset with the audience, that Juliet has been seen, says Tate Wilkinson, lying all solitary in the tomb of the Capulets with a couple of hundred of the audience about her. We should now contemplate such a practice with horror, as utterly destructive of stage illusion; and yet we must remember that it had its illusive aspect also, by confounding the dream that appeared on the stage with the familiar reaUties of life.
From all this, however, it follows that if the Greeks made a confusion between fact and fiction, art and nature, they were not peculiar What is in so doing. What is peculiar to them is this, thVcrieks. It was fairly rea- soned. The Greeks were the first to raise this subject of the truth of art into an important critical question which they transmitted to after times.
This is not the place to enter into a dis- chapter cussion whether they were right or wrong, — 1 and whether fiction be or be not falsehood, manner of That discussion will be more fitly handled when "riSiy we come to examine the ethics of art. Plato, as I have already said, exhausted his dialectical skill in showing the untruthfulness of art. He con- demned it as an imitation at third hand.
Plato's statement as to the truth of art is thus grounded on his theory of ideas, and when that theory goes, one would imagine that the statement should go also. It is incredible that mankind should find enduring pleasure in a lie. There cannot. AVe should now express the same thing in the statement that whereas history is fact, poetry is truth.
Aristotle does not set him- self formally to answer Plato, but throughout his writings we find him solving Plato's riddles, imdoing Plato's arguments, and rebutting Plato's objections. Many of his most famous say- ings are got by recoil from Plato. Thus his masterly definition of tragedy, which has never been improved upon, and which generation after generation of critics have been content to repeat like a text of Scripture, is a rebound from Plato.
And the same is to be said very nearly of Aris-. It was reserved for Aristotle to put the defence of art on the right ground — to deny that it is a cheat at all — and to claim for it a truthfulness deeper than that of history. This, then, is one of the earliest lessons which The lesson the student of art has to learn.
The first lesson criticism. He rather prided himself on his anatomy of thought and expression, but he hardly ever made a clean dissection. Mark what he says in this case. He says that the true opposite of poetry is not prose, but science. This is not right. Coleridge has defined science by reference to the external object with which it is engaged; but he has defined poetry by reference to the mental state which it produces. There is no comparison between the two. If he is to run the contrast fairly, he ought to deal with both alike, and to state cither what is the outward object pursued by each, or what is tlie inward state produced by each.
The true whilc that of poctry is pleasure. To say that tlic object of art is pleasure in contrast to know- ledge, is quite different from saying that it is pleasure in contrast to tiiith. By thus getting rid of the contrast between truth and pleasure, which Coleridge has unguardedly allowed, a difficulty. His statement has an air of extra- ordinary precision about it that might wile the imwary into a ditch. All his precision goes to misrepresent the pure Greek doctrine. From Greece we pass over into Italy, as The Italian the stepping-stone to modern Europe; and itaiudsm.
Everybody wiU remember how Horace describes a poem as fashioned for pleasure, and failing thereof, as a thing of nought, that belies itself, like music that jars on the ear, like a scent that is noisome, like Sardinian honey bitter with the taste of poppy. Next to Scaliger stands another Italian critic, Castelvetro, who wrote a commentary on.
He, too, saw in enjoyment the end of poetry, and maintained the doctrine so uncompromisingly, that some of the French critics long afterwards took him to task for it. Tasso was more distinctly a modem, and has left us, with his poems, a number of critical discourses. In these he states unflinch- ingly that delight is the immediate end of poetry, and the whole of the Italian school of criticism goes with him. The doctrine is firmly stated in Yida's famous poem, whiit is It is less interesting, however, to know that.
Here we come tp another great lesson. If the first of all lessons in art is that art is for pleasure, and the second is that this pleasure has nothing to do with falsehood, the third is that art is not to be considered as in any sense opposed to utility. Scaliger describes the Italians of. In the Latin language, indeed, the verb to please or delight signifies at the same time to help or be of use, and the two ideas became inseparable in all criticism traced back to Rome. Castelvetro leant more to the Greek view, and put all thought of profit as connected with art How tmsu. The strain of criticism thus originated flows through all modern literature that owns to Italian influr ence.
In one fonn or another, we come upon it in Spanish, in French, in German writers; and we find it very rife in England during those Elizabethan days when our literature was most open to Italian teaching. Deep at the root of them lies the conviction which takes possession of every thoughtful mind, tliat nothing in this world exists for itself, can in the long run be an end to itself, can have an ultimate end in its Wherein it owu good plcasurc.
In pursuing this line of thought, however, a man soon finds that he is apt to argue in a circle — such a circle as one of our subtlest poets suggests in saying —. And thus the laureate sings —. Again, there is a core of truth in the Horatian How far m maxim that art should be profitable as well as pleasing, since it always holds that wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, that enduring pleasure comes only out of healthful action, and that amuse- ment as mere amusement is in its own place good, if it be but innocent.
There is profit in art as there is gain in godliness, and poKcy in an honest life. But we are not to pursue art for profit, nor god- liness for gain, nor honesty because it is poHtic, There are minds, however, so constituted that nothing seems to be profitable to them, except it comes in the form either of knowledge or of.
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Divines opposed to dancing, from Saint Ambrose to the Rev. John Northbrooke, have yet had much to say in fiivour of what they call spiritual dancing, such. These are, of course, vanities on which it is needless to comment. Nor need we waste time on those who apply to art the utilitarian test. The inhabitants of Yarmouth in begged that Parliament would grant them the lead and other materials " of that vast and alto- gether useless cathedral in Norwich" towards the building of a workhouse and the repairing of their piers, Thomas Heywood, who has been described as a sort of prose Shakespeare, gave a rather prosaic proof of the utility of the drama from the effect produced by a play acted on the coast of Cornwall.
The Spaniards were landing "at a place called Perin," with intent to take the town, when hearing the drums and trumpets of a battle on the stage, they took fright and fled to their boats. Ruskin has here, in fact, touched on one of the most curious laws of pleasure. It will be found that when we begin to talk of pleasure, at once we fall into seeming inconsistencies and contradictions.
It is only by a concession to the exigencies of language that we can speak of pleasure as obtained from any conscious seeking. Not to forestall what has to be said of pleasure in the proper place, it may be enough here to illustrate the present diffi- culty about it by quoting what Lord Chester- field says of wit. Ruskin says, you will fail of joy. And yet, after his kind, with what may be called an under-conscious- ness, the man of wij intends wit, the man of art intends pleasure, and both attain their ends. Why is dehght expressed except for delight?
There is not only no objection to saying that art is the ex- pression of delight, but also the statement of that fact is essential to the true conception of art. It is, however, an advance upon the Italian doctrine of pleasure, which will more properly be handled in the sequel, when in the course of travel we come to Germany. The spwiJi III.
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