I’ve been feeling a little blue about the forgotten Romantic music in my course of study. The circle of musicians that I study with are so focused on 20th and 21st century music that it seems they want to forget completely about the music that was written from the soul. I was refreshed and delighted when I came across this profound and beautiful quote from the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, a quote that I will most likely frame and put on my wall to keep for as long as I live. As a photographic element I have also added some photos I discovered in some of my older archives.
“Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts and especially in the art of words. If music has one advantage over the other media through which a person can represent the impressions of the soul, it owes this to its supreme capacity to make each inner impulse audible without the assistance of reason. Reason, after all, is restricted in the diversity of its means and is capable only of confirming or describing our affections, not of communicating them directly in their full intensity. To accomplish this even approximately, reason must search for images and comparisons. Music, on the other hand, presents at once the intensity and the expression of feeling. It is the embodied and intelligible essence of feeling, capable of being apprehended by our senses. It permeates them like a dart, like a ray, like a mist, like a spirit, and fills our soul.”
If only I could have met Mr. Liszt.