Autograf: Universitätsbibliothek Kassel - Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel (D-Kl), Sign. 4° Ms. Hass. 287[Taylor, E.:41
Dr. Louis Spohr
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.
My Dear & valued Friend
Yours in the truest sincerity & regards
|Erwähnte Personen:||Benedict, Julius|
Malsburg, Caroline von der
|Erwähnte Kompositionen:||Arne, Thomas : Comus|
Bishop, Henry : Comus
Purcell, Heny : King Arthur
Spohr, Louis : Die Kreuzfahrer
|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.
 Dieser Brief ist derzeit verschollen.
 Die Kreuzfahrer.
 Henry Purcell, King Arthur. An Opera in five Acts, hrsg. v. Edward Taylor, London 1844.
 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.
 Vgl. Comus. A Masque altered from Milton. As performed at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden. The Musick Composed by Dr. Arne, London 1772.
 Abk. f. „Henry Rowley“.
 Vgl. A. Wilson Verity, Milton‘s Arcades and Comus, Cambridge 1891, S. xliv.
 Vgl. Marianne Spohr, Tagebucheintrag, 16.07.1843.
Kommentar und Verschlagwortung, soweit in den Anmerkungen nicht anders angegeben: Karl Traugott Goldbach (30.01.2019).