Music Composers

Georges Bizet-Part 2

They approve of Humperdinck, whose Hansel and Gretel, fairy opera, hardly justifies the overburdened, Wagnerian instrumentation. Somebody said that he "shot with cannons at sparrows." They would perhaps reproach Bizet with "shooting at lions with children's pistols" in his tragic opera Carmen. It is impossible to please everybody.

Fortunately, there are very few musicians whose short sightedness prevents them from appreciating and enjoying the treasures of Bizet inspirations. I, for my part, although brought up in the severe German school of Friedrich Kiel and Max Bruch, feel mightily attracted by the charming muse of the French composer.

Sympathies and antipathies, especially in music, are hard to explain. Here, more than in anything else, prevails the saying: De gustibus non est desputandum. Tschaikowsky could not hear the music of Brahms. Brahms equally could not endure Tschaikowsky; although there was nothing personal in that disliking. Wagner could not tolerate Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn did not understand Berlioz.

The Divine Speak

There is not the slightest doubt that Bizet was born with the divine spark of genius. When he was only four years old he received the first notions of music from his mother. In the intervals between instruction the child, instead of playing, listened through the door to the lessons his father, a singing teacher, gave in his studio; and when four years later the father wanted to start the child's regular musical education he was deeply surprised and rejoiced to discover that he, the child, only by help of his own intelligence and his prodigious memory had already overcome many obstacles.

The Etude Magazine July 1921





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