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The first real attempt at a biography of a composer that should interest all classes was the work of an Englishman. We agreed, also, that minds which are able to receive and appreciate art for its own sake, must yield themselves captive to Mozart, but without sacrificing their freedom to recognise all that is grand and beautiful elsewhere. But the inherent defects of the original work prevented more than a moderate success. For my own part, I confided to you how, after severe illness, which had debarred me from music for many years, it was Mozart who first gave me courage and interest to turn to it again. He was not only a thorough practical musician, a careful and sympathetic critic, and a learned musical bibliographer, but he was a skilled littrateur; an adept in philology and archaeology and in the history of art and literature; the author of many original works on these subjects, and of innumerable editions of the classics, ancient and modern; and imbued with the true spirit of patient investigation and accurate research. The exposition would have been too comprehensive for an introduction, and I determined to arrange the ill-digested and unreadable mass of biographical material which Nissen had collected into a readable treatise on the life of Mozart, to serve as a foundation for the observations which I meant to deduce therefrom. Jahn himself enjoyed even higher advantages for his task than Holmes had done. Occupied at first only with the biography of Beethoven, I soon saw that it would be impossible to do full justice to his great and original creations without a clear survey of the life and works of Mozart, the pioneer of the musical future, as whose natural heir Beethoven attained his pre-eminent position in the history of music.So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.The Project Gutenberg EBook of Life Of Mozart, Vol. The book is not a Life of Mozart so much as an Encyclopaedia of musical art and biography. 94) is only an abridgment of the article in the Nekrolog; and a French translation was made by Beyle, under the noms de plume of Bombet and Stendhal, as "Lettres sur Haydn suivies d'une vie de Mozart" (Paris, 1814).
A step in the right direction was taken in Moscheles' English translation (or rather adaptation) of Schindler (1841). Thus, for instance, we coincided in our experience that at a certain period of our mental development Mozart's music had seemed cold and unintelligible to our restless spirits, ever soaring into the unknown, and incapable of appreciating a master whose passions in their workings are not laid bare to view, but who offers us perfect beauty victorious over turbulence and impurity. The plan of the work is one which few English authors could by any possibility adopt. This is precise and trustworthy so far as it relates to the period of his childhood, and rests on the testimony of his sister; but the notices of his later years are superficial; and the judgment passed upon him as a man rests upon a preconceived and unfavourable opinion which then prevailed in Vienna partly on professional grounds, and which took such deep root that even at the present day I know not if I shall succeed in establishing the truth. i.-xxiv), as well as the pains which he took to revise his work for the second edition,** twelve years later, and utilise the additional information acquired in the interval (pp. The book which is the result of this combination of toil, intelligence, ability, knowledge, and affectionate devotion, could only have been successful by the addition to these qualities of a remarkable amount of literary tact and skill. Soon after Mozart's death there appeared a biographical article upon him in Schlichtegrolls Nekrolog for 1791. 2, 7, and 19, which form Appendixes 1, 2, and 3 of the present edition. Of these it has been considered necessary to retain only Nos.