The Masters and their Music - Preface-When a musical student begins to think of music as a literature and to inquire about individualities of style and musical expression, it is necessary for him to come as soon as possible to the fountainheads of this literature in the works of a few great masters who have set the pace and established the limits for all the rest. In the line of purely instrumental music this has been done by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Wagner. The latter, who exercised a vast influence upon the manner of developing a musical thought and in the selection of the orchestral colors in which it can be expressed advantageously, powerfully stimulated all composers later than himself, nevertheless exerted this influence at second-hand, so to say, never having written purely instrumental movements, but merely dramatic accompaniments of one intensity or another. Hence, for our present purposes we may leave Wagner out altogether. Practically, down to about the year 1875, everything in instrumental music is original with the masters already mentioned, or was derived from them or suggested by them. Hence, in order to understand instrumental music we have, first of all, to make a beginning with the peculiarities, individualities, beauty, and mastership of these great writers. Such is the design of the following programs and explanatory matter.
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