excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 309-310 (270 words)

excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 309-310 (270 words)

part of

Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

309-310

type

text excerpt

encoded value

In the year 1869, Wagner was staying at Lucerne, busy with the composition of his famous Tetralogy. His Bavarian Majesty, desiring to give the Saxon Master a birthday treat such as would delight his soul, specially engaged the famous French stringed quartet (Messrs. Maurin, Colblain, Mas, and Chevillard) which at that time enjoyed the reputation of interpreting Beethoven's three last quatuors with supreme intelligence and felicity. Early in the morning of the 22nd May, Wagner's natal day, these executants were introduced into the composer's house, by the connivance of a member of his family, about an hour before he had risen from his bed. They softly tuned their instruments and took up a position in his breakfast-room, awaiting his appearance to strike up. What was his astonishment and pleasure when he came down to breakfast as usual in his duffel dressing-gown, to be received by the strains of a composition for which he entertained profound admiration and reverence — one of the Posthumous Quartets —performed by artists of such surpassing ability! For a few seconds he stood, as though turned to stone, mouth and eyes alike wide open; then, suddenly recognising Maurin, whom he had known and frequently heard in Paris, he rushed up to him with open arms and embraced him, fiddle and all. The French musicians spent the whole day with Wagner, during which they played at least a dozen quartets for his delectation. He, on his art, feasted them right royally, and during dinner proposed two toasts in eloquent language — one to "his Royal benefactor," and the other to "the greatest of French musicians, Camille Saint-Saens." 

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excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 309-310 (270 words)

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