Music Composers

Anton G. Rubinstein-Part 8

Of Beethoven also, he spoke with reverence, and declared that the most marvelous ofhis master's works dated from the period of his deafness. "His absolute concentration, his imagery, his tuneful soul, his complaining never before expressed in music, his tragic earnestness, this bound Prometheus can be explained only by his deafness. It is true he produced beautiful unrivaled works before this period, but the highest and most wonderful of his works date from his deafness. Just as the seer can be imagined blind, that is, blind to his surroundings and seeing only with the soul's perception, so the hearer can be imagined deaf to all his surroundings and hearing ony with the soul's perception."

Schubert, he pronounced a remarkable personage in music, whose productiveness in a short life he ascribed to the fact that the man "sang as the birds sing, always and incessantly from a full heart, simply voicing his inspiration."

His tribute to Chopin is most illuminating and should be read complete. He says, in part: "Chopin is the bard of the pianoforte, the rhapsodist, the spirit and the soul of it. I do not know whether this instrument inspired him, or he the instrument. But only a thorough identification of both could produce his compositions."

Every student of the pianoforte and its literature should read this book, which overflows with helpful suggestions and descriptions. Rubinstein, the man of warm, sympathetic heart and great intellect, seems to have been absolutely free from narrow prejudices and petty jealousies.

The Etude Magazine December 1920





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