24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 15

IT involves no disparagement to Mr. Hadow's able and erudite

collaborators in the great " Oxford History of Music" to say that the fifth volume, for which he is res- ponsible, is likely to appeal to a wider circle of readers than any of its predecessors. This result is largely due to the nature of his theme, which Mr. Hadow describes as " The Viennese Period," and which embraces the contribu- tions to the evolution of the Art of Music of Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. But if Mr. Hadow has been fortunate in the period allotted him, he has not proved • The Oxford History of Music. Vol. V. "The Viennese Period." By W. H. Endow. Oxford: at the Clarendon Prem. (lbs. nst.J

unworthy of the trust. It is an exacting as well as an inspiring subject, and he has shown himself finely equipped both by temperament and education for his arduous task. He has reverence, enthusiasm, and sympathy. His style is easy, yet distinguished ; enriched with felicitous literary allusions and pointed epigrams, yet never degenerating into preciosity. How excellent, for example, is the characterisa- tion of Spohr's attitude : " His whole conception of the art is soft and voluptuous, his Heaven is a Garden of Atlantis, and even his Judgment-day is iridescent" ; or the happy phrase on Beethoven's Mass in D : " It does not, like Mozart's Requiem , defy criticism, but simply ignores it."

We do not know whether Mr. Hadow is original in the choice of his title, "The Viennese Period," but the epithet is as satisfying and suggestive as could have been devised. The genius of place is a potent factor in the history of art, and nowhere has its influence been more strikingly manifested than in the case of the Austrian capital. There must have been something compelling in the atmosphere, something inspiring in the environment, which drew so many of the great masters to make Vienna their home. For of those mentioned above only Schubert was a true Viennese born, and the greatest of them all came from furthest afield.

Nor was Vienna always an Alma Mater to her children. She treated Gluck like a stepmother, she let Mozart go down to a pauper's grave, and Schubert die without the chance of hearing his greatest works. The Opera. House was a battlefield of chicanery and intrigue, as was shown time and again in the cases of Gluck and Mozart.

If, however, Vienna was far from being the composer's paradise in the eighteenth century, and if her musical annals are stained by grievous instances of ingratitude and in- appreciation, a variety of causes conspired to render the atmosphere of the Austrian capital more congenial and stimulating to creative effort than was to be found anywhere else. Most of these causes are set forth in Mr. Hadow's illu- Minating pages, and may be summarised and, in a measure, supplemented here. To begin with, there was the traditional affability of the Viennese, that easygoing bonhomie and love of the amenities which, in spite of all rebuffs and disappoint- ments, must have appealed peculiarly to the temperament of Mozart.* Another peculiar feature of Vienna, which tended to promote a certain fusion of classes, was its lack of dis- tinctively poorer quarters. The nobility lived inside the city, not in the environs, and " the same tall mansions sheltered wealth, competence, and poverty under one roof?' This state of affairs is vividly illustrated by the case of Haydn. On the third stage of the old Michaeler-Haus in the Kohlmarkt, where he took up his quarters on being dismissed from the choir school of St. Stephen's, lived Metastasio, his first patron in Vienna, while the lower part of the house was the town residence of Prince Paul Esterhazy, who twelve years later appointed him to his office at Eisenstadt. The mention of Metastasio reminds us to note, as another powerful factor in the diffusion of musical culture in Vienna, that contact with Italy, politically and geographically, had placed the resources of the peninsula within reach of the Austrian musicians. It is true that these influences were largely concerned with the training of executive talent, and the promotion of technical dexterity, vocal and instrumental ; but the importance of this training from the point of view of the composer is not to be gainsaid. It was, as Mr. Hadow points out in an interesting passage, a case of Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit over again :—

"Italy was not then, as now, a single undivided kingdom, but was partitioned among many princes, foreign as well as native. Naples and Sicily belonged to Spain : a great part of Northern Italy was under Austrian rule ; and in this way was opened a certain freedom of intercourse which enabled the captive land to take captive her conquerors. At the Viennese court the Italian language was more readily spoken than the German : Francis I, the husband of Maria Theresa, was Duke of Tuscany, and for some generations his family held the title with all that it implied. The large Slav population of Austria was fertile in musicians, thany of whom had Italian blood in their veins, and most of whom softened their harsh patronymics with Italian syllables and terminations. Even Haydn at first wrote his Christian name Giuseppe, and the list may be extended through Tartini, Giornovichi, and several others. Had this been only deference • Mr. Hadow quotes with approval M. Chouquet's happy epithet of " Sophoelean" as applied to the perfection of Mozart's work. The s6s0Aia of. Sophoeles which Aristophanes noted as rendering him invulnerable to parody was another point in common. to a passing fashion, still the fashion itself would have been significant, and as a matter of fact it was far more than this. The bond was strengthened by all the ties of intermarriage, of contiguity, of common government, and Salieri and Paisiello felt as much at home in Vienna as Scarlatti and Farinelli at Madrid. In the second place this intercourse was further maintained by operatic companies who poured from Italy in a continuous stream, and carried their voices, their language, and their method to every palace where there was a patron and to every city where there was a theatre."

Next we have to notice the peculiarly favourable conditions under which the system of patronage was developed in Austria. " In every capital from Madrid to St. Petersburg

there were court-appointments of varying dignity and position : in most countries aristocracy followed the royal

practice and established a private orchestra as an essential part of its retinue." This, be it marked in passing, was at a time when the corresponding classes in England were occupied mainly in politics or fox-hunting. The contrast struck that acute observer Arthur Young, who remarks, a propos of the

Duc d'Aguillon's private orchestra, "this elegant and agree- able luxury, which falls within the compass of a very large fortune, is known in every country of Europe except England." Young wrote in 1787, but English millionaires and American multi-millionaires of to-day are still conspicuous for their failure to resort to this blameless method of expending their surplus wealth. But while the maintenance of musicians by munificent patrons was common in all European countries in the middle of the eighteenth century, it was in Austria that the

custom was chiefly prevalent; " partly, it would seem, from a doctrine of noblesse oblige, partly from a genuine love of music which ran through every rank and grade of society." Royal personages frequently took part in performances in their private theatre, and "almost all the great Viennese families —Lichtenstein, Lobkowitz, Auersperg, and many others—

displayed the same generosity, the same artistic apprecia- tion." The relation between patron and proteqg was not without humiliating aspects. Even at its best, as in the case of Haydn and Prince Esterhazy, the musician was clad in a servant's livery, and was paid with a servant's wages. But if the system was fraught with evil as well as good—the tyranny of the Archbishop of Salzburg must be set against the enlightened generosity of the Esterhazys- it afforded opportunities to at least two of the greatest masters of the eighteenth century—Haydn and Gluck— without which they might never have made their memorable contributions to the development of symphonic and dramatic music.

Mr. Hadow's survey closes with the third decade of the nineteenth century, but in the main Vienna has remained true to the noble and enlightened traditions which honourably distinguished her among the musical centres of Europe in the period under discussion. Berlioz, writing in the " forties," though he laments the incredible ignorance of Gluck's operas displayed by the Viennese, waxes enthusiastic over their passion for music. Incidentally, he pays a handsome tribute

to Strauss, the founder of the dynasty of the Viennese Waltz- Kings, for the influence he has exerted over musical feeling throughout Europe by the introduction of cross-rhythms in waltzes. Sir George Grove never wearied in extolling the

liberality and enterprise of Viennese amateurs and publishers, of which he had such ample experience in his visit in 1867.

The record of the famous Society of the Friends of Music deserves to be written in letters of gold in the annals of the art. Vienna was the home of the greatest violin school of the nineteenth century ; it is still the seat of the greatest pianoforte school ; it was the home of Brahms in the days of his maturity, and of Hans Richter, another of the Olympians, until he migrated to our shores.

We have only touched on one aspect of Mr. Hadow's deeply interesting and suggestive volume, full justice to which cannot possibly be rendered in a single article. We can only add that, while he deals fully with such technical details as the development and elaboration of the sonata and symphony forms, his appreciations of the great masters and his descrip- tions of their environment will be read with enjoyment and delight by all lovers of music, whether scientifically trained or not. Not even Sir George Grove, devout and faithful worshipper of Beethoven and Schubert as he was, has written

with more eloquent or infectious enthusiasm of the greatest of symphonists and the most inspired of song-writers. C. L. G.