Page images
PDF
EPUB

70 /

HARVARD
UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY

CHISWICK PRESS : CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.

TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

[ocr errors]

HE mere outward details of the life of our great

master would scarcely afford sufficient matter for a prolonged account. Up to the time of that terrible event which, with fearful violence, tore him in full maturity from his family and his work, there were but few striking incidents in his life, and even these seem chiefly noteworthy from motives of affectionate regard and reverence. There are still no small number of people who have a higher and more exclusive right to his life, than the nation. To his country belongs what he achieved and created, such art treasures as he left behind in perpetual legacy; his life, on the contrary, is hers only in so far as it is revealed in these.

Such are the considerations that have guided me in my work. I have striven to explain the master's mental development as it is seen in his works, and also to show his great significance in the world of art and letters. The external course of his life will be mentioned only as it affected that mental development, and as it renders his art work more intelligible. For this subordinate part of my task I have chiefly relied upon Wasielewski's careful “Life and Letters of Schumann."

A more exhaustive statement of Schumann's artistic progress and importance, particularly as an innovating

281

genius, is now attempted for the first time. Valuable as such an attempt must be in view of the great number of works of varying nierit in which his genius is revealed, it is by no means always an easy task to classify them correctly. But I have at least steadily striven to avoid that phraseology which merely gives sonorous sentences without the true essence. May my little book help to make the master's mind plain to the most remote circles, and

may

it ever work with ardent and regenerative power to reorganize art in our age!

THE AUTHOR.

BERLIN, April, 1865.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

N printing a new edition, I see no occasion for

any essential changes. I have merely corrected some slight errors and inaccuracies, and added new facts.

THE AUTHOR.

[ocr errors]

BERLIN, May, 1871.

PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.

HE improvements found in this edition relate merely

to the of the master's life and works, the story of his artistic progress and significance remains unchanged.

THE AUTHOR.

FRIEDENAU, September, 1878.

« PreviousContinue »