excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 229-230 (274 words)

excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 229-230 (274 words)

part of

Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character

original language

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

in pages

229-230

type

text excerpt

encoded value

On one occasion he [Richard Wagner] wrote, in relation to this speciality of his illustrious father-in-law : "He who has enjoyed frequent opportunities, particularly in a small intimate circle, of hearing Liszt play — Beethoven's music, for example — must have realised the fact that the playing in question was not mere reproduction, but actual production. The real boundary- line between these two achievements is not so easily settled as most people believe; but this I have ascertained beyond dispute — that in order to reproduce Beethoven, one must be able to produce with him. It would be impossible to make this comprehensible to those who, as long as they have lived, have heard nothing but ordinary performances, and professional renderings of Beethoven's pianoforte works. In the course of time I have gained so melancholy an insight into the evolution and essence of such renderings that I had rather not wound anybody's feellngs by expressing myself more clearly with regard to them. On the other hand I would ask all musicians who have, for instance, heard Beethoven's Op. 106 or 111 played by Liszt to friends in private, what they previously knew about those compositions, and what they learned of them upon those occasions? If this was reproduction, assuredly it was worth much more than all the sonatas reproducing Beethoven which are 'produced' by our pianoforte composers in imitation of those imperfectly comprehended works. The peculiarity of Liszt's development as a musician was simply this — that he did at the piano what others do with pen and ink; and it is undeniable that even the most original composer, during his first period, does nothing but reproduce." 

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excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 229-230 (274 words)

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