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The Loves of Great Composers   By: (1857-1918)

Book cover

First Page:




[Frontispiece: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (photogravure)]

Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. New York Copyright, 1904 and 1905 By The Butterick Publishing Co. (Limited) Copyright, 1905, by Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. Published September, 1905 Composition and electrotype plates by D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, Boston

To Charles Dwyer

Table of Contents

Mozart and his Constance

Beethoven and his "Immortal Beloved"

Mendelssohn and his Cécile

Chopin and the Countess Delphine Potocka

The Schumanns: Robert and Clara

Franz Liszt and his Carolyne

Wagner and Cosima

List of Illustrations

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (photogravure) . . . . Frontispiece

Mozart at the Age of Eleven

Constance, Wife of Mozart

Ludwig van Beethoven

Countess Therese von Brunswick

"Beethoven at Heiligenstadt"

Félix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Fanny Hensel, Sister of Mendelssohn

Cécile, Wife of Mendelssohn

The Mendelssohn Monument in Leipsic

Frédéric Chopin [missing from book]

Countess Potocka

The Death of Chopin

Robert Schumann

Robert and Clara Schumann, in 1847

Clara Schumann at the Piano

The Schumann Monument in the Bonn Cemetery

Franz Liszt

Liszt at the Piano

The Princess Carolyne, in her Latter Years at Rome

The Altenburg, Weimar, where Liszt and Carolyne lived

Richard Wagner

Cosima, Wife of Wagner

Richard and Cosima Wagner

Richard and Cosima Wagner entertaining in their Home Wahnfried, Liszt and Hans von Wolzogen

Mozart and His Constance

Nearly eight years after Mozart's death his widow, in response to a request from a famous publishing house for relics of the composer, sent, among other Mozartiana, a packet of letters written to her by her husband. In transmitting these she wrote:

"Especially characteristic is his great love for me, which breathes through all the letters. Is it not true those from the last year of his life are just as tender as those written during the first year of our marriage?" She added that she would like to have this fact especially mentioned "to his honor" in any biography in which the data she sent were to be used. This request was not prompted by vanity, but by a just pride in the love her husband had borne her and which she still cherished. The love of his Constance was the solace of Mozart's life.

The wonder child, born in Salzburg in 1756, and taken by his father from court to court, where he and his sister played to admiring audiences, did not, like so many wonder children, fade from public view, but with manhood fulfilled the promise of his early years and became one of the world's great masters of music. But his genius was not appreciated until too late. The world of to day sees in Mozart the type of the brilliant, careless Bohemian, whom it loves to associate with art, and long since has taken him to its heart. But the world of his own day, when he asked for bread, offered him a stone.

Mozart died young; he was only thirty five. His sufferings were crowded into a few years, but throughout these years there stood by his side one whose love soothed his trials and brightened his life, the Constance whom he adored. What she wrote to the publishers was strictly true. His last letters to her breathed a love as fervent as the first.

Some six months before he died, she was obliged to go to Baden for her health. "You hardly will believe," he writes to her, "how heavily time hangs on my hands without you. I cannot exactly explain my feelings. There is a void that pains me; a certain longing that cannot be satisfied, hence never ceases, continues ever, aye, grows from day to day. When I think how happy and childlike we would be together in Baden and what sad, tedious hours I pass here! I take no pleasure in my work, because I cannot break it off now and then for a few words with you, as I am accustomed to... Continue reading book >>

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