18 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 17


TEE cry of "England for the English" is periodically raised in the musical world, but of such importations as the late Mr. Dannreuther England can never have too many. As a matter of fact, he could be almost claimed as one of ourselves— ?roster utinant nostras—for though born and, apart from a brief sojourn in the United States, educated in Germany, he settled in England just forty years ago, made his home in London, and without losing any of the best traits of the land of his birth; definitely cast in his lot with the country of his adoption. In noticing the first volume of the new edition of Grove's Dictionary we expressed regret that his long and faithful services to the art he served so well in the country of his adoption had not been more adequately recognised. This, however, was perhaps inevitable, because he was not a composer, for many years he bad not figured on the concert platform, and when the volume appeared he was still an active member of the profession he so conspicuously_ but so unobtrusively adorned. It was not that he was lacking in social gifts. His talent and his interesting personality secured for him an immediate welcome in the best artistic society of London on his first arrival in our midst. He was admitted to the friendship of William Morris, Rossetti, and others of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, and in the mid " sixties " was already a familiar figure at the brilliant gatherings of musicians, men of letters, and artists who used to frequent the house of the late Mr. Frederick Lehmann. But his studious nature and his professional engagements caused him to give up to art what was meant for mankind. He was not a figure who loomed large in the public eye. Yet the influence he exerted on the elect was deep and abiding, and the range of his activities was only equalled by the width of his sympathies. More than perhaps any musician of his generation, he combined a devout admiration for the classical composers with a fervent championship of those who trod the new paths. From the very first he recognised the commanding genius of Wagner, with whom be was on terms of intimate personal friendship ; but he was never betrayed by his belief in the ultimate triumph of the music-drama into the acrimony of partisanship, or the depreciation of antagonistic methods. He was content to spread the light without resorting to controversial tactics or invidious comparisons. He never tried to force his views on others, but did his pioneer work in an eminently conciliatory spirit. This large and wholesome sanity, this discreet enthusiasm, was a special mark of the man, and rendered him a living disproof of the belief still held by many educated persons in this country, who, generalising from the eccen- tricities of semi-educated virtuosi, hold that the pursuit of the musical career necessarily exerts an emasculating and unhinging effect on those who embrace it. The true antidote is to be found in general culture, and Mr. Dannreuther belonged to that increasing class of musicians whose artistic influence is fortified and enhanced by the wide range of their interests. He was a great musical scholar, but he was no pedant ; he was a Professor and attached to the staff of the Royal College of Music, but in view of his championship of Wagner and the modern Romantic school, not even the most rabid of our musical Jacobins ever ventured to label him as an "academic." He was the first to play the concertos of Tschaikowsky, Grieg, and Liszt in public in London, he founded the Wagner Society thirty-three years ago—in the same year, by a significant coincidence, in which H. F. Chorley died— translated Wagner's "Music of the Future" and "On Con- ducting," and received him as his guest in 1877. But it was in the same house in Orme Square where he enter- tained Wagner that he used to give year after year those delightful concerts of classical chamber music of which his finely intellectual readings of Bach and Beethoven were so welcome a feature. He had been a brilliantly distinguished pupil at the Leipzig Conservatorium, where he studied under Moscheles, Richter, and Moritz Hauptmann, and no one ever better realised the motto given to that institution by Mendelssohn, Res severa eat serum gaudium. For forty years he was a pianoforte teacher, but the inevitable drudgery associated with that department of his calling never blunted his enjoyment of good music or dulled his appreciation of good work. There have been more effective trainers in the gymnastics of agility, but for any one anxious to obtain an insight into the deeper meaning of the classics and to assimilate the best traditions, and prepared to subordinate desire for display to respect for the composer's intentions, there have been few more stimulating or helpful masters than Edward Dannreuther.

But besides being a pioneer, propagandist, interpreter, and teacher, Mr. Dannreuther rendered a great deal of valuable assistance to the cause of musical education in a variety of other ways. We have already spoken of his admir- able translations of two of the most important of Wagner's brochures. In addition to this, be was one of the most illuminating contributors to "Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians." Here the help that he rendered was twofold : first, by his admirable articles on Wagner, Tschaikowsky, and Chopin ; and second, by laying his exact scholarship and expert technical knowledge at the disposal of the original editor. Grove, with all his enthusiasm and wide range of interests, had his limitations. But he was fully conscious of them, and always ready to supplement his deficiencies by consulting musicians better equipped than himself. Of all those whom he referred to during the course of his editorial labours, , there was none on whom he leant with greater reliance than Mr. Dannreuther. Indeed, for months at a time—in particular, when Grove was engaged on his monograph on Beethoven—hardly a day passed without his writing to consult his friend on some point or .other where he distrusted his own unaided judgment. Nor was Grove's an isolated case. Many other musicians regarded him as their mentor and adviser-in-ordinary, and in particular Sir Hubert Parry has placed on record his deep sense of indebtedness to the instruction, the criticism, and the encouragement of Mr. Dannreuther. For the last eight years he had been attached to the professorial staff of the Royal College of Music, where, in virtue alike of his great ability, his fine character, and his commanding influence, he was held in the highest esteem by his colleagues and pupils, and where, long after his physical strength had begun to fall, his strong sense of duty and loyalty kept him at his post. Indeed, he may almost be said to have died in harness, for his last lesson was given less than a week before his death. He was only sixty years old, and his greatest ambitions had been altruistic; none the less, he had achieved a great and peculiar position, for the best judges would probably agree that in the liberal and stimulating influence which he brought to bear on the pro- gress of higher musical culture in this country he was excelled

by none of his contemporaries. C. L. G.