Autograf: Universitätsbibliothek Kassel - Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel (D-Kl), Sign. 4° Ms. Hass. 287[Taylor, E.:45

Dr. Louis Spohr
Hesse Cassel

Via France

Gresham College,
April 27. 1846

My Dear & Honoured Friend

I should not so soon have troubled you with another letter, but that I think you will be pleased to know the extraordinary success with which your Sinfonie in D (Op 49) was performed at the last Philharmonic Concert. Perhaps you know that, this year, Signor Costa (late Director of the Italian Opera here) has been appointed to conduct all the Philharmonic Concerts.1 I have alqways been an advocate for having one Conductor there, instead of a new one every night, altho‘, I confess, I should not have fixed upon Signor Costa, who was a born disciple of the Rossini school, to conduct the Philharmonic. But he has arguably disappointed me.
He has a thorough love of our Art, and understands perfectly the discipline of an Orchestra. When your Sinfonia was rehearsed, it was apparent that he had thouroughly studied the Score, (partitur) and that he went into the Orchestra not merely to beat time, but to enable & compel the Band to realize (to display in performance) all the effects that he found there.
What follows is extracted from the Spectator Newspaper, written, I believe, by Mr. Holmes, an excellent judge, and who, perhaps, you may remember meeting at the Mayor‘s2 table at Norwich3 -
„Spohr‘s beautiful Sinfonia, now for more than 20 years established at the Philharmonic Concerts, was never before received with such an acclamation of applause: diversity of opinion respecting it having been aided & encouraged by indifferent rehearsals and careless performances.4 Such a picture as that of Monday, however, produced by the conscientious orchestral study of Costa, with whom whereas rehearsals are what they ought to be5, no one could resist.6 The brilliant figures for the Violins in the first Allegro were executed with a clearness & ensemble never yet obtained in England. The accents of the Appogiature in the Larghetto, & the clear accurate delivery of the Finale (in which a multitude of details had escape the notice of previous Conductors) charmed the audience; who seized the occasion to encore every thing that came within the limits of such a requisition.“
Such, my excellent Friend, is your present position in England. Wonder not that you attain your proper rank here but slowly. We, English, require a long time to form a right estimate even of our own great men. Shakespeare was accounted a barbarian for nearly 200 years after he died - Milton is only now beginning to be known & understood. - & Purcell is less known in England than Donizetti. The day of your triumph is coming – must come: but wonder not that is has not yet arrived.
While you allow me to suggest to you to write to Costa & thank him for the pains he has taken with your Sinfonia? I need not say that he will be flattened by it, and that he will be induced to redouble his attention in producting your compositions. I know not his adress, but if you write soon, undercover to me, I will take care to forward the letter. I shall leave London for Marseille7 on the 7th June. I send your letter to the Committee of the Exeter Hall Society8, and very much gratified they were with it. They look forward (and I think you will believe that I and mine do) to the great pleasure of seeing you & Mad. Spohr again in Old England, had grant us a happy meeting!
”Die letzten Dinge“ was performed last week at Bristol with great success9. My friend Corfe at whose house we dined10, was the conductor.
I beg to renew my best compliments to Mad. Spohr & to Mad. De Malsburg, with the assurance of my sincere friendship & esteem to yourself from

My Dear Sir yours most faithfully
Edw. Taylor

I was in Devonshire last week, where I left all my family as well as usual.

I must take another paper to say that nothing will give me greater pleasure than to be of any service to Miss Speyer. I wrote directly to Mr. Alsager, who promises his guard offices. I only regret that my power is now so small. Having withdrawn from all active exertion in the profession, & being no longer a resident in London, the sphere of my influence is now very much circumscribed. I need not say to you, who know London, that the influx of foreigners here is immense; and I believe that hundreds of your countrymen (who believe they have only to come here in order to get rich) go home beggars. In this immense hive nothing but the very first talent has the least chance of exciting any public attention. I presume that Miss Speyer has not yet arrived in England, as I have not heard of her: but you may be sure that I shall have the greatest pleasure in paying her every attention, & being of any service to her in my power.

Dieser Brief ist die Antwort auf Spohr an Taylor, 27.03.1846. Der nächste erhaltene Brief dieser Korrespondenz ist Spohr Taylor, 13.09.1846.

[1] Hier ein Wort oder Wortanfang unleserlich gestrichen.

[2] John Marshall.

[3] Vgl. Taylor an Spohr, 16.11.1845.

[4] Im Druck hier: „indifferent rehearsal and careless performance of his works“ ([Edward Holmes], „Third Philharmonic Concert – Monday, April 29“, in: Spectator 19 (1846), S. 402).

[5] Im Druck hier: „rehearsals mean waht their name imports“ (ebd.).

[6] Hier im Druck außerdem: „and we really think that an impulse was given to the fame of Spohr as an orchestral composer through the novel effects of this old symphony.“ (ebd.)

[7] Vgl. Taylor an Spohr, 15.03.1846.

[8] Sacred Harmonic Society.

[9] Zur Aufführung am 07.04.1846 in Bristols Vorort Clifton vgl. „Clifton“, in: Musical Times 1 (1846), S. 7.

[10] Vgl. Marianne Spohr, Tagebucheintrag 15.07.1843.

Kommentar und Verschlagwortung, soweit in den Anmerkungen nicht anders angegeben: Karl Traugott Goldbach (05.02.2019).