July 15, 1894
I only saw your article on Schubert last night and I lose no time in asking you to accept my best and warmest thanks for it. It is certainly the best and the most interesting thing that has been written upon that great musician; and every student and every amateur should be grateful to you for thus throwing the light of your genius upon the career and works of your follow-composer.
I shall read and re-read it until I know it by heart! Let me thank you especially for what you say of his Pianoforte music and his orchestral composition. The pianoforte sonatas and pieces may not be as good “teaching pieces” as those of Beethoven and others; but surely they are too much neglected by the teachers. Even if they do not form the fingers as readily as other compositions, surely the poetry and pathos which they contain must be good food for the imagination and intellect of the young students.
As to the orchestral works I am most grateful to you. I was fortunately able, long before Breitkopf’s great edition was thought of, to get copies of all the Symphonies for the Crystal Palace. There they were all played in order in 1880-81, and excited the greatest interest. You do not mention the “Rosamunde” enter’actes; but, dear Master, pray look at the one in h moll and see how noble, how melodious, how dignified and beautiful it is! Surely he has written nothing finer anywhere!
How completely what you saw of the value of the use of national music to composers is confirmed by the discovery of the use which Beethoven made of Slavonic Dances in the Pastoral symphony (see Professor Kuhatch’s collection, Agram 1878-81, and Siegmann’s Allg[emeine] Musik-Zeitung, October 6, 13, 20, 1893) But I must not go on like this. Let me only ask you where you found what you say about two movements of the great symphony being performed in Vienna with an opera air between them; I can find no notice of this in A[llgemeine] Musik-Zeitung of that date. The performances are mentioned in 1828 and 1829, but apparently of the entire work (see Vol. 31 - p. 75 and 296). Also the story of Habeneck - I should be very glad to have a reference to. Now, dear Mr. Dvořák, I must stop. I hope you are well and happy and that Mrs. Dvořák is as well and charming as ever. Your works are as great favorites in London as ever. I heard a splendid performance of the Symphony in G, and shall soon hear the last one.
With my respectful hommage to Madame and my most affectionate wishes to you, believe me, yours most sincerely.
I am grateful and proud for your mention of me in the article.