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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Handel and Music

Susanna all through, and most parts (except the recita-
tives) many times over, Jones and I have gone through them
again and again; I have heard Susanna performed once, and
Theodora twice, and I find no single, piece in either work which
I do not admire, while many are as good as anything which
it is in my power to conceive. I like the chorus " He saw
the lovely youth " the least of anything in Theodora so far
as I remember at this moment, but knowing it to have been
a favourite with Handel himself I am sure that I must have
missed understanding it.

How comes it, I wonder, that the chorale-Hke air " Blessing,
Honour) Adoration " is omitted in Novello's edition ? It is
given in Clarke's edition and is very beautiful.

Jones says of " With darkness deep ", that in the accom-
paniment to this air the monotony of dazed grief is just
varied now and again with a little writhing passage. Whether
Handel meant this or no, the interpretation put upon the
passage fits the feeling of the air.

John Sebastian Bach

It is imputed to him for righteousness that he goes over
the heads of the general public and appeals mainly to
musicians. But the greatest men do not go over the heads
of the masses, they take them rather by the hand. The true
musician would not snub so much as a musical critic. His
instinct is towards the man in the street rather than the
Academy. Perhaps I say this as being myself a man in the
street musically. I do not know, but I know that Bach
does not appeal to me and that I do appeal from Bach to
the man in the street and not to the Academy, because
I believe the first of these to be the sounder.

Still, I own Bach does appeal to me sometimes. In my
own poor music I have taken passages from him before now,
and have my eye on others which I have no doubt will suit
me somewhere. Whether Bach would know them again
when I have worked my will on them, and much more whether
he would own them, I neither know nor care. I take or leave
as I choose, and alter or leave untouched as I choose. I
prefer my music to be an outgrowth from a germ whose source
I know, rather than a waif and stray which I fancy to be rny