His Musical Opinions and Grotesques
s since I last visited Germany. Before the Franco-Prussian War there was an air of sweetness, homeliness, an old-fashioned peace in the land. The swaggering conqueror, the arrogant Berliner type of all that is unpleasant, modern and insolent now overruns Germany. The ingenuousness, the naïve quality that made dear the art of the Fatherland, has disappeared. In its place is smartness, flippancy, cynicism, unbelief, and the critical faculty developed to the pathological point. I thought of Schubert, and sighed in the presence of all this wit and savage humor. Bayreuth is full of doctrinaires. They eagerly dispute Wagner's meanings, and my venerable notions of the Ring were not only sneered at, but, to be quite frank with you, dissipated into thin, metaphysical smoke.
In 1869 I fancied Reinecke a decent composer, Schopenhauer remarkable, if somewhat bitter in his philosophic attitude towards life. Reinecke is now a mere ghost of a ghost, a respectable memory of Lei