excerpt from 'Louis Spohr's Autobiography' pp. 122-123 (256 words)

excerpt from 'Louis Spohr's Autobiography' pp. 122-123 (256 words)

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Louis Spohr's Autobiography

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At that time, perhaps incited by my Compositions for the voice, he [the Duke of Gotha] was seized with the desire to have one of his longer poems, a kind of Cantata, set to music. He did me the honour to consult me on the subject. But as the Duke probably could not prevail on himself to let me see his limited knowledge of music, he applied to his old music-master, the Concert-Director Reinhard, to carry it out. The Duke, read to his master seated at the piano, a passage of the text, and explained to him his ideas respecting the old style in which it should be composed. When the Duke had once heard or read the characteristics of the different tones, Reinhard was then obliged to strike several of them in sequent accords, so that he might find the right one for his text. If this was cheerful, a Major-Key was chosen, if it was mournful, a Minor-Key was selected. It happened one day that the Duke took the Major too sprightly, and the Minor was too mournful, upon this he required poor Reinhard to sound the Key in half Minor. When they had agreed upon this point, the melody suited to the text was next sought for. The Duke then whistled every melody that came into his head, and left the Master to choose the most suitable to the character of the words. When in this manner a few lines of the poem had been disposed of, they passed on to the next.

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excerpt from 'Louis Spohr's Autobiography' pp. 122-123 (256 words)


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