Friday, June 29, 2007

Doctor Faustus

But Bach had almost been lost to the memory of the period, and particularly in Vienna people still had no wish to hear about Protestant music. For Beethoven, Handel had been the king of kings, though he had a great fondness for Cherubini, whose Medea overture (when he could still hear) he could not hear often enough. He had owned only a very few works by Bach: a couple of motets, The Well-Tempered Clavier, a toccata, and some odds and ends, all collected into one volume. Into that volume had been inserted a note, written in an unknown hand, with the dictum: "One cannot better examine the depth of a man's musical knowledge that by attempting to learn how far he has come in his admiration for the works of Bach." At both sides of this text, however, the owner had used his thickest musical quill to draw an emphatic, vehement question mark.

Doctor Faustus, Thomas Mann

1 comment:

MDD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.