Clara Schumann: An Artist's Life Based on Material Found in Diaries and Letters -
CLARA SCHUMANN AN ARTIST'S LIFE BASED ON MATERIAL FOUND IN DIARIES AND LETTERS by BY BERTHOLD LITZMANN. Originally published in 1913. TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE: The task of translation can never be a light one, since every language has not only its own peculiar shades of meaning, but also its own peculiar charm a fragrance which evaporates as soon as the national frontier is crossed. This is especially true of the German of Robert Schumann. His delicate, poetic imagination found perfect expression in the language of his hero, Jean Paul, and the endeavour to render his love letters, and still more his poems, in another tongue is foredoomed to failure; the original words alone fitly express the poet's thought In the following pages an attempt has been made to give as far as possible the spirit of the German, but only a poet could hope for success in such an enterprise, and I am conscious of many shortcomings. It is with great pleasure and the warmest gratitude that I acknowledge my indebtedness to Miss BL C. Deneke and to Miss Eugenie Schumann, both of whom read through the manuscript and gave me much valuable advice and criticism. Miss Schumann went through the translation word by word, and to her never wearying patience and consideration is due whatever in it there may be of good. It was unfortunately found necessary to turn the original three volumes into two in the English edition, and by so doing the balance of the whole had necessarily to be re adjusted. Prof. Litzmann in his prefaces explains the principle which underlies the whole work. I have endeavoured to interfere as little as possible with his method, though some Translator's Preface. slight changes were necessary in order to avoid any abrupt break between the volumes, vol. ii of the German edition being divided between the two volumes of the English edition. It is with sincere apologies and deep regret that I have ventured to make what omissions were called for by reason of space, and I have to tender my thanks to Prof. Litzmann for his courtesy in permitting such changes. Cirencester 1912. Grace E. Hadow, PREFACE: The reproach is commonly brought against musical bio graphies that they are monotonous: and indeed the life of the musician has not often afforded much scope for incident or variety. If he be a composer he treads the accustomed course of early struggles, hard-earned victories and posthumous fame: if he be a virtuoso his career is one triumphal progress which leaves little to record except the successive trophies that he has planted and the successive laurels that he has won. The concentration required by his art removes him in some degree from the stir and stress of public events: for the most part he dwells in an ideal city of his own and breathes the more freely when he has shut its gates upon the world. To this it may be added that the biographers of our great musicians have too often tended to merge the historian in the advocate. They are full of a generous enthusiasm for their subject; they are anxious above all things to present it in an attractive light; but they sometimes neglect Cromwell's advice to Sir Peter Lely and spoil their portrait by giving it a classic regularity of feature. No doubt every biographer is something of a partisan; it is no use writing a man's life unless you think well of him: but the worst of all ways to arouse interest in your hero is to represent him on a faultless pala din and to treat as a paynim and a miscreant everyone who ever offered him the least opposition. No man can build the monument of departed greatness if he is using up all the stones to pelt his adversaries. ...
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