Autograf: Universitätsbibliothek Kassel - Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel (D-Kl), Sign. 4° Ms. Hass. 287[Taylor, E.:40

Dr. Louis Spohr
Hesse Cassel

via France

Liverpool, Jan 10. 1844

My Dear and honoured Friend

The immediate occasion of my writing to you from this place, is that I have been requested by my old & repected friend Dr. Saml. Sebastian Wesley, to solicit from you a testimonial to his ability as a composer. In order to enable you (should you feel disposed to do so) to judge of his talents, he has sent you (via Hamburg) a Te Deum of his composition, written, as all our Cathedral music is, for voices with Organ accompaniment only. The Professorship of Music in the University of Edinburgh is vacant, & Dr. Wesley is a Candidate for it. I certainly think him the most accomplished performer on the Organ that I ever heard, & should not be afraid to match him even against the best German player I have ever met with. He is, withal, a man of modesty & integrity. I met him on a recent visit at Leeds, where he lives, and he asked me, with great hesitation, if I thought you would condescend to look at this composition of his, with a view to give such an opinion of it, addressed to him at Leeds, as he could lay before the Senatus at Edinburgh, who are the persons to elect the Professor of Music.1
I ventured, after having previously looked through his Score, to say that I thought it probable you would, for it appears to me a composition of unsual ability, & certainly written not for profit or general popularity. You will see that though well versed in the compositions of the old Masters, there is one of the moderns whom he has also attentively studied.
If, however, you should, from any reason, wish to decline giving an opinion on the merits of this Te Deum, you will, of course, consider yourself at perfect likely to do so, & nothing but my long friendship for Dr. Wesley would have emboldened me to make the request.
How I rejoice to hear, from Margaret, that you are engaged in the composition of an Opera!2 It is really a duty in a composer like yourself to sustain the reputation of the German school. I think, in Dramatic music, all traces of nationality seem likely to be obliterated, and that entire Europe seems in danger of declined up into the hands of the puny Italians & frivolous Frenchmen of the present day. Our school of Dramatic music is at an end. It expired in 1842 with the revival of Purcell’s “King Arthur,” & and now the only great Theatre we have (for Covent Garden is closed) performs nothing but translations of Donizetti’s wretched Operas. Under these circumstances I am sure that you will feel it to be a duty to vindicate the honour of the German school. – I am glad to hear that you have a “libretto” that you like, and that your assistant Poet is under your roof. You have probably found the difficulty of dealing with the “irritabile genus”, but with Madame Spohr at your elbow, this will vanish. –
I heard with concern, of your father’s3 death. Painful it always must be to separate the parental & filial tie, however much it may be prolonged. But the peaceful end of a good man, in a full old age, is an event from which such a son as you will take comfort.
I am now far away from my family, being engaged in giving Six Lectures here on English Cathedral music.
Let me thank you for your great kindness to Margaret. That in the midst of your numerous and important avocations, you should have remembered her, was more than she could have anticipated.
I beg my best compliments to Madame Spohr, & to Madame de Malsburg. I hope I may also add to her excellent husband, altho’ I have not the pleasure of his personal acquaintance, Believe me, My Dear Friend

Yours, with my feeling of regard, Edw. Taylor.

Der letzte erhaltene Brief dieser Korrespondenz ist Taylor an Spohr, 19.08.1843. Der nächste erhaltene Brief dieser Korrespondenz ist Taylor an Spohr, 17.04.1845.

[1] Vgl. Spohr an Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 30.01.1844 und Zeugnis von Spohr für Wesley, 30.01.1844.

[2] Die Kreuzfahrer.

[3] Carl Heinrich Spohr starb am 01.12.1843.

Kommentar und Verschlagwortung, soweit in den Anmerkungen nicht anders angegeben: Karl Traugott Goldbach (30.01.2019). Mit Herzlichem Dank an Peter Horton, der bei der Entzifferung einiger schwer zu lesender Worte half.