Autograf: Universitätsbibliothek Kassel - Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel (D-Kl), Sign. 4° Ms. Hass. 287[Taylor, E.:41

Dr. Louis Spohr
Hesse Cassel

via France

London. April 17. 1845

My very dear and honoured Friend.

A long time has now deposed since last I had the gratification of having from you, although your kind letter1 to Margaret informed of some circumstances espescially your visit to Brunswick which interested & delighted me. How grateful I am to you for this proof of kindness to my dear child – To think of you – Spohr – sitting down to write a long & most interesting letter to a girl! Well – she values it more than if it had come from any European Monarch, & so does her father -
I was charmed, too, to hear of the success of your Opera2 – When will it be published – for I am longing to feast my eyes with a sight of it?
The books inclosed in this parcel would have been sent long siche, but that all communication with Hamburg has ben stopped by the ice. I request your acceptance of a Copy of ”King Arthur“3 which I edited for the ”Musical Antiquarian Society.“ Looking at its date, I am sure you will regard it as a work of great genius – In originality and inventions, and in the variety of forms in which Music is employed in connection with the Drama, I think it superior to any comtemporary Italian work. The Italian Opera of that time, and even the time of Handel & Bononcini, were but a succession of Songs, with, here & there, a Duet. Purcell employs music in every form that suits his purpose, and it always comes when it is wanted – never intrusively. His instrumentation will sometimes make you smile – but it must remembered that he had every thing to create. He suceeded a period of musical darkness in England. For 20 Years before his birth all the Organs in our Cathedrals bad been pulled down. Their choirs dispersed - All Theatres were shut, and Music was accounted a sind. He died at the age of 37, and yet he formed the English Opera – performed his daily duty as Organist of Westminster Abbey, and wrote new Anthems & Services than any English composers.
The little work called ”The People‘s Music Book“4 awaits your kind acceptance from its Editors, my friend Turle & Myself: You may regard it as a brief epitome of English music. Although in a work desinged for popular use it was neccessary to exclude all the more elaborate compositions. The work was in progress while I had the pleasure to see you here. It is now completed.
I heard of the application of the Committee that you would conduct the Norwich Festival, although I feared it would be an unsuccessful one. I retired from any office oat the comclusion of the last; for I felt that I had then mounted to the top step in my ladder of ambition. You had allowed me to bring out one of your Oratorios – and I had the nonour to conduct it. Complete success attended my effort. ”Now,“ said I, ”is the time for me to retire – for nay higher I cannot climb.“ The Committee urged me to resume my place, and the members of the Orchestra kindly requested me to take the command of them again; but I was inflexible. I am happy to say that Benedict will take my place. Your ”Calvary“ will be performed, and he has got my Score at which he is studying with intense interest and delight.
I have now almost entirely withdrawn from all public musical concerns. London, as to Music, is a scene of dishonourable strife - of intrigue – cabal – lying & slandering. I have a few dear musical friends, whose society I love, & whose talent I admire, but I keep out of the was of the rest, contenting myself with my labour in Gresham College, where I can preserve(???) them in accordance with my own wishes & tastes.
I inclose a few papers which will serve to show you how I am occupied there – Among these is a Syllabus of a Lecture on Comus (which I also delivered at Leicester) in which I have attempted to set to music some beautiful passages in the poem which had not been set by Dr. Arne5 & Sir HR.6 Bishop7 – Do you remember the melody which you did me the honour to harmonize at Monmouth?8 I was the Jackdaw decorated with Peacock‘s feathers – for I void(???) it in this Lecture, taking care to tell the audieence the favour you had conferred upon me. It is to the word ”Noble Lord & Lady bright.“
I had hoped that this year I might again have enjoyed the great pleasure of visiting Cassel, but I fear that the state of my poor Wife‘s health will not permit me to realize this gratification.
I inclose a few lines to Madame Spohr, & also to Madame de Malsburg with an English book for each of those kind & excellent friends.
Believe me,

My Dear & valued Friend
Yours in the truest sincerity & regards
Edw. Taylor.

Autor(en): Taylor, Edward
Adressat(en): Spohr, Louis
Erwähnte Personen: Benedict, Julius
Malsburg, Caroline von der
Purcell, Henry
Taylor, Margaret
Turle, James
Erwähnte Kompositionen: Arne, Thomas : Comus
Bishop, Henry : Comus
Purcell, Heny : King Arthur
Spohr, Louis : Die Kreuzfahrer
Erwähnte Orte: London
Erwähnte Institutionen: Musical Antiquarian Society <London>
Norfolk and Norwich Triennial Festival


Der letzte erhaltene Brief dieser Korrespondenz ist Taylor an Spohr, 10.01.1844. Spohr beantwortete diesen Brief am 28.05.1845.

[1] Dieser Brief ist derzeit verschollen.

[2] Die Kreuzfahrer.

[3] Henry Purcell, King Arthur. An Opera in five Acts, hrsg. v. Edward Taylor, London 1844.

[4] Bd. 1 A Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes [...], Bd. 2 Sacred Music [...], Bd. 3 Songs, Duets, Trios, Glees, Madrigals [...], hrsg. v. James Turle und Edward Taylor, London 1844.

[5] Vgl. Comus. A Masque altered from Milton. As performed at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden. The Musick Composed by Dr. Arne, London 1772.

[6] Abk. f. „Henry Rowley“.

[7] Vgl. A. Wilson Verity, Milton‘s Arcades and Comus, Cambridge 1891, S. xliv.

[8] Vgl. Marianne Spohr, Tagebucheintrag, 16.07.1843.

Kommentar und Verschlagwortung, soweit in den Anmerkungen nicht anders angegeben: Karl Traugott Goldbach (30.01.2019).