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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Handel and Music              133

better than we had expected. I did not like the look of the
young man who wrote it and who also conducted. He had
long yellowish hair and kept tossing his head to fling it back
on to his shoulders, instead of keeping it short as Jones and I
keep ours.

Then came Schubert's "Erl Konig," which, I daresay, is very
fine but with which I have absolutely nothing in common.

And finally there was a tiresome characteristic overture
by Berlioz, which, if Jones could by any possibility have
written anything so dreary, I should certainly have begged
him not to publish.

The general impression left upon me by the concert is that
all the movements were too long, and that, no matter how
clever the development may be, it spoils even the most
pleasing and interesting subject if there is too much of it.
Handel knew when to stop and, when he meant stopping, he
stopped much as a horse stops, with little, if any, peroration.
Who can doubt that he kept his movements short because
he knew that the worst music within a reasonable compass
is better than the best which is made tiresome by being spun
out unduly ? I only know one concerted piece of Handel's
which I think too long, I mean the overture to Saul, but I
have no doubt that if I were to try to cut it down I should
find some excellent reason that had made Handel decide on
keeping it as it is.

At the Wind Concerts

There have been some interesting wind concerts lately;
I say interesting, because they brought home to us the un-
satisfactory character of wind unsupported by strings. I
rather pleased Jones by saying that the hautbois was the
clarionet with a cold in its head, and the bassoon the same
with a cold on its chest.

At a Handel Festival

i

The large sweeps of sound floated over the orchestra like
the wind playing upon a hill-side covered with young heather,
and I sat and wondered which of the Alpine passes Handel