30 JULY 1921, Page 21

SOME BOOKS ON MUSIC.* MR. LOCKE'S short study' is a

most welcome addition to the "Library of Music and Musicians." French music at the beginning of the nineteenth century came much under the influence of contemporary literature, and Mr. Locke has described its development largely in relation to the intellectual background of the period. Music did not lose its independence, but those qualities in it which are analogous to language and which we call romantic were exploited, and its classical aspect whose nearest analogue is to be found in architecture and decorative painting was neglected. Although literary

• (I) Music and the Romantic Movement in France. By Arthur Ware Locke. London : Regan Paul. [45. Od. net.]—(2) The Spirit of French Music. By Pierre Lasserre. Translated by Denis Turner. Same publishers. [45. net.l- (3) The Enjoyment of Music. By Arthur W. Pollitt. London : Methuen. (Sc. net.)---(4) How to Enjoy Music. By Herbert Anteliffe. London : Kegan Paul. 4s. 6d. net.]—(5) A Handbook of Orchestration. By Florence G. Fidler. Sam:: publisher and price.—(6) Twelve Good Musicians. By Sir F. Bridge. Sam: publisher. [Sc. net.]—(7) Dictionary of Musical Compositions and Composers. By W. Edmund Quarry. London : Routledge. [5s. net.)— (C) The Complete Organist. By Harvey Grace. London : Grant Richards. Od. net.1--(0) Musical Memories. By Camille Sabt-Saeus. Translated by E. Gila Rich. London: John Murray. [15s. net.]

romanticism dominated artistic society in France, other influences also contributed to the romantic tendency in French music. The invention and perfection of orchestral instruments and a relaxa- tion of the laws of structure gave the musician greater resources ; and in Germany the romantic movement was in full develop- ment, though not until 1824, when Mine. de Steel and Chateau- bris.nd had already saturated Jeune-France with their poetic and melancholy egotism, was the Parisian public familiar with the work of Beethoven and Weber. A strong influence, however, came from the composers immediately preceding Beethoven. In France during the eighteenth century music was practically confined to the Opera. Indeed, the early history of the romantic movement is almost entirely concerned with the struggle for public favour, between opera of the Gluck school, which aimed at dramatic expressiveness and used an independent instru- mental accompaniment, and Italian opera which merely sought to please the ear with suave melodies and the simplest of accom- paniments. When the symphonies of Haydn and Mozart were heard in Paris, instrumental music received a great stimulus. Curiously enough, in Berlioz the two types were combined ; his " symphonies " take the form of operas with a distinct story of which the characters and action are relegated to the imagination of the listener.

Mr. Locke rightly emphasizes the part played by Berlioz in the romantic movement. Chopin and Liszt did not, because of their nationality, write music that was essentially French. Moyerbeer and Rossini merely adapted the superficial emotional- ism of Italian opera—in itself antithetical to the spirit of roman- ticism—to the purposes of romantic opera. Meyerbeer un- blushingly adopted ideas from Rossini, Mozart, Weber, and others, yet the " Constitutionnel " hailed him with, " Enfin !

void du nouveau . . . ce plus du Gluck abiitardi, du Mozard [sic] effemine, cc n'est pas mtme du Rossini." Auber, Herold and Halevy and other opera composers merely touched the fringes of romanticism. Berlioz, above all, expressed every important tendency of the romantic movement :—

"The paintings of Delacroix or Gericault were no more start- ling in the originality of their subjects than the early works of Berlioz. Victor Hugo was no more revolutionary in his con- ception of the drama than Berlioz was in his use of instrumental music for descriptive and autobiographical purposes. De Musset or Vigny never displayed a more sensitive and suffering soul, depressed by the 'mal d'isolement 'but responding and quivering to every impression of life and love and nature.

Berlioz has been aptly described as a, "genius without talent." His best work is a perfect exemplification of the romantic

spirit. There are passages in his R011140 ei Juliette which are surpassed only by the love-scene in Tristan. But all his work

is eccentric in places and disfigured by commonplace har- monies. This perhaps accounts for the comparative neglect into which he has now fallen. An index would have increased the value of Mr. Locke's book, which, for its size, is amazingly comprehensive.

The title of M. Lasserre's book, The Spirit of French Music,' is misleading, for from it we expect something which we do not get. The two studies of Gretry and Rameau are interesting,

especially the latter, but after these come essays on Rossini, Verdi, Meyerbeer, and Wagner, none of whom has anything to do with the spirit of French music. The author's very appreciative account of Rameau's operas makes one long for quotations, especially in that part where he discusses the eternally difficult question of Recitative. In this connexion no mention is made of the great dialogue between Tamino and

the Orator in The Magic Flute, where Mozart seems to point

the way to a solution of the problem.

The Enjoyment of Music3 is principally written for those who —to adapt Samuel Butler's cynical observation—find themselves

more interested in the advertisements at the end of the pro- gramme than in the actual performance of a piece of music. In short, comprehensive chapters Dr. Pollitt endeavours to supply enough general knowledge of music to make its apprecia- tion an easier matter for the plain man. Many consider the "art of listening" a greater test of musical talent than mere dexterity on some instrument ; certainly one must not remain in the somnolent state of the average concert-goer. A certain mental activity is necessary. Themes must be dis?ntangled from the masses of harmony which surround them, and remem- bered; their development must be followed ; the composer's devices of accompaniment must b3 appreciated ; and yet the work must be regarded, not as a series of agreeable sounds,

but as a "whale," obeying the same fundamental laws of

composition as the most crowded canvas of Rubens. Dr. Pollitt's chapters on musical form are excellent. He writes on the sonata, the symphony, and the suite, and gives some very lucid pages on the construction of melodies and "theme transformation "—a device of Liszt much favoured by modern composers for obtain- ing greater unity, by using a modified form of the principal theme in each movement of a composition. The numerous musical quotations include a minuet of Lully and extracts from the splendid quartets of Franck and Ravel. There are certain minor inaccuracies in this readable 'little book. Mahler, the German conductor, who wrote nine symphonies—the one respect in which he resembled Beethoven—is credited with six only. The number of Haydn's symphonies is given on one page as one hundred and eighteen, and a few pages later as one hundred and fifty-seven ; according to Grove he wrote one hundred and twenty-five.

Mr. Antcliffe's little book* struggles to cover a vast field and deals out criticism and information in a condensed form, and a good deal of it by means of annotated lists. In one of these concerning orchestral instruments the violin is described as moderately easy to learn (!). A good deal of elementary infor- mation is given about musical form and composition. This is useful, as it is of great importance for people to have some idea of how music is made if they are to derive real pleasure from listening to it. At the end of the book are "suggestive lists" of compositions suitable for the development of musical taste and knowledge. The author tries to settle at the outset of his book what is classical music, and his conclusion amounts to this, that music is classical which is the best of its kind, creates new beauties, and stands the test of time. We must, however, protest vehemently against the statement that " Fid,elio, in spite of many beauties, will never be a classic because it contains nothing that sets a standard or creates a new style." Previously there had been nothing in existence like the music of the prison scene, with its swirling emotion. It shows also a want of critical faculty to say that if Beethoven had not written "greater works than the first three of the nine symphonies he would never have become a classical composer," for the third symphony, the Eroica, contains the greatest and most original elegiac movement ever written.

Miss Fidler has written a handbook on orchestration 5 which is excellent in its method, clearness, and arrangement. It has

only one defect, and that is an entire absence of quotations from scores. This was no doubt done to save space, but it is a draw- back to so good a book. The scores of four works, including the Eroica symphony, are constantly referred to, and the student

is expected to read these together with the volume, but we think the author might have done more in the way of calling attention

to the special characteristics of sound of different instruments.

What better example could there be of the songlike quality of the horn than its entry with the theme in the key of F just after the return of the first subject in the first movement of the Eroica, or the revelation of the mysterious depths of the orchestra given when the double basses usher in with three ascending notes the major part of the funeral march ; and what more thrilling than the cry of the oboe as it holds the high A flat thirty-three bars from the end of the movement ?

Sir Frederick Bridge tells the story of twelve great English musicians from Dr. John Bull the Elizabethan to Purce11.6

Again we long for quotations. What are the interest of bio- graphical details of composers in comparison with their works ? Even if space forbade adequate extracts from Byrd's great church music, could we not have had the clavier arrangement of 0 Mistress Mine which Sir Frederick says "is one of the few pieces of Shakespearean music which was published in the poet's lifetime " ? Also, how tempting it is to read about Harry

Lawes's setting of the songs in Comas, and to be told that they are "full of beauty and expression and well worthy of the words to which they were so admirably fitted" I Would it not have been possible to have given us the song of Sabrina?

Mr. Quarry's dictionary7 of composers and compositions is a useful book. It is of moderate dimensions and has a biblio- graphical section. A certain number of inaccuracies are to be noted; for instance, the accompaniment of the " Trillo del Dia- volo " (spelt " Davolo ") is described as for orchestra instead of for figured bass, and the song of "Die Beiden Grenadiere " is given to Schubert and not to Schumann.

Mr. Harvey Grace has written an admirable books of advice and encouragement for parish church organists. He supplies them with many arguments for use when the eternal controversy

between the congregation and the organist rages. But in doin so he makes the organist understand the other point of view, ami that congregations do not only go to church to listen to the organist's "little concert party." After some sound practical advice on the management and vocal training of choirboys, the author devotes some chapters to accompaniment, and here he goes into the question of the rhythm of certain hymn tunes, Some glaring instances are given of the fatal effect of the editing and revising in Ancient and Modern when the changes of time demanded by the words, which were recognized in the old chorales, have been ruthlessly rolled out as by a steam-roller. Mr. Grace has something to say about the tunes of mission. hymns, and in an amusing dialogue between a vicar and the organist the musician shows what the result would be if the words were as ungrammatical as the tunes. Scattered through the book are many wise sayings as to the place of elaborate music in church services, and the author truly says that often it is much better for the organist's and choir's ambition to perform something beyond the ordinary, to take the form of a separate performance rather than a constant striving to make services more ornate. In this way really great works can be brought to the notice of people who would otherwise not hear them. There is also a. very interesting chapter on "Plain Song" with its great advantages over the awful repetitions of the ordinary Anglican chant, which nearly drove Dvorak crazy when he first heard what he called the barbarous repetition of a poor tune.

M. Saint-Saens has written his memoirs,9 and very good reading they make. The book has no particular plan, and after a chapter of early reminiscences is largely discursive, dealing with Berlioz, Pauline Viardot, Rossini, Meyerbeer, and others. The writer began to show extraordinary musical ability at a vely early age, and went through the usual course of study. Of course when he began his career as a composer of operas he was confronted by the inevitable period of long waiting and the rascality and want of faith in all things theatrical ; as M. Saint. Sauna asks, What would not the world have lost if Mozart

had had no opera produced until he was forty, dying as he did at thirty-six ? The post of organist at the Madeleine gave M. Saint-SaUns an assured position in the musical world, and success in many directions came in time. Some of the stories told about this period of his life are amusing :—

"One day one of the parish vicars undertook to instruct me on this point [the organist's love of severe music]. He told me that the Madeleine audiences were composed in the main al wealthy people who attended the Opera-Comique frequently, and formed musical tastes which ought to be respected. 'M. l'Abbe,' I replied, 'when I hear from the pulpit the language of the Opera-Comique I will play music appropriate to it, and not before ' " M. Saint-Saens has such a devotion for the classics that it is strange on one hand to find him speaking of Schubert's "insignificant" "Unfinished Symphony," and on the other hand praising Meyerbeer extravagantly. The descriptions given of the way

this composer's operas were hashed and rehashed in the endless search for mere stage effectiveness might, one would have expected, have brought disillusion. It is perhaps natural that Berlioz should be regarded as in the first rank of musicians. He was so sincere in his devotion to his art, and had such a literary power of displaying his strong personality, that it was no doubt difficult for those who came in contact with him to separate the music from the man. Readers of Berlioz's treatise on Instrumentation will be amused to find in these memoirs the key to the riddle of the clarinets in thirds in Sachini's opera ; they were put into the score when it was furbished up for a new production by Benoist. We, of course, now find it difficult to understand the admiration for Gounod's sacred music, and indeed for some other things which M. Saint-Saens admires, but of the brilliance and honesty of his criticism of modern tendencies there is no question. Our only regret is that there is no mention of Debussy or Ravel. "Operas for the orchestra accompanied by voices" is an epigram which goes straight to the point of the Wagnerian recitative.