Autograf: nicht ermittelt
Druck: „Letters by Louis Spohr. Hitherto unpublished”, in: New York Musical Review and Gazette 11 (1860), S. 3f., 21 und 34f., hier S. 21 (engl. Übersetzung)

Cassel, Dec. 28th, 1851.

I am sorry, and it awakens my whole sympathy, to hear that you are still without the means to commence the right studies, which, with your ardent love for musical art, must reach the desired end. You must, if you would at all succeed, by all means study under the supervision of a teacher, and reside in a place where you can hear good music and good performances. Your overture proves that you have good disposition, yet lack a distinct form and the necessary connection between the parts. The design upon which you based your work, is in many respects true and just, but in others full of errors. The opera can not develop itself from the overture, and the latter was probably never written by the composer before he had finished his opera. An overture has no other purpose than to introduce the first scene of the opera, or to prepare for the style of the whole work – that is, to place the listener in the right frame of mind. Besides this, it must be an independent work of art, even when ideas from the opera are woven into it. It is true, this has lately become quite the fashion, although not very commendable, for it renders difficult to obtain the unity of the
work of art. Most overtures of modern times are, therefore, lacking in wholeness and fluency.
I must earnestly caution you, not to lose yourself in idle dreams and subtilties. No music can be made with mere intellectual operations. It must be the work of feeling, regulated, of course, by intelligence and understanding. One must also be master of the theory, in order that it watch ever the imagination and invention. All this you will appreciate at once, as soon as you have an opportunity to hear good music.
I am sorry to say that I can not satisfy your wish to let you have one of my operas, as I have not a second copy of any of them. But you will receive with this a piano-score of one of my oratorios1, which, it is true, is written in church style, but has, in accordance with the text, a dramatic character. The study of this may be of the same use to you as that of one of my operas.
Wishing you, as a New-Year's gift, the much-hoped-for support for the undertaking of severe musical studies, I sign respectfully,

Louis Spohr.

Erwähnte Personen:
Erwähnte Kompositionen: Keppner, Franz Joseph : Ouvertüre (1851)
Spohr, Louis : Des Heilands letzte Stunden
Erwähnte Orte:
Erwähnte Institutionen:


Dieser Brief ist die Antwort auf Keppner an Spohr Keppner an Spohr, 21.12.1851 und 22.12.1851. Keppner beantwortete diesen Brief am 03.04.1852.

[1] Laut Kommentar im Druck: Des Heilands letzte Stunden.

Kommentar und Verschlagwortung, sofern in den Anmerkungen nicht anders vermerkt: Wolfram Boder (26.09.2019).