'...AS YOU REPRESENT THE ONE TO DETERMINE THE SPIRIT IN THE MUSIC WORLD...' AN UNKNOWN AUTOGRAPH LETTER OF VACLAV JAN TOMASEK TO HANS GEORG NAEGELI IN ZURICH
Together with the hitherto unpublished letter of 6 September 1831, Tomasek sent the score of his Requiem op. 70 to the Zurich publisher, music writer and composer Hans Georg Naegeli. The author of the letter expressed his firm belief that due to the 'prosperity of music practice in Switzerland' and the influence of the reputable Naegeli, it should not be a problem to find opportunity and funding to put on the enclosed work in that country. With gratitude, Tomasek puts Naegeli in mind of the fact that he had published some of his piano works between 1803 and 1805, calling him 'the one to determine the spirit in the music world'. He briefly mentions several of his earlier compositions and, with a great deal of sarcasm, criticizes the contemporary 'swamp of bad taste', in which the audience has recently fallen, misguided by the 'mendacious' Rossini and his followers. Tomasek draws Naegeli's attention to an enclosed article of his called 'On Criticism in Relation to Music', in which he appealed to 'all respectable priests of art' to cultivate sensible criticism. He encourages Naegeli not to let his 'whip' (meaning his feared sharp pen) 'rest until things have changed'.
Harald Strebel, Hudebni veda, redakce, Etnologicky ustav AV CR, v.v.i., Puskinovo nam. 9, 160 00 Praha 6, Czech Republic; http://dlib.lib.cas.cz/4629/
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