Many eminent composers possessed an outstanding literary gift. In their literary heritage: music journalism and criticism, musicological, musical and aesthetic works, reviews, articles and much more. Often, musical geniuses were authors of the librettos of their operas and ballets, and they created romances on their own poetic texts. The epistolary heritage of composers is a separate literary phenomenon. Very often, literary works for creators of musical masterpieces were an additional means of explaining the musical language in order to give the listener the key to an adequate perception of music. Moreover, the musicians created a verbal text with the same passion and dedication as the musical one.
WRITERAR ARSENAL OF ROMANTIC COMPOSITORS Subtle connoisseurs of art literature were representatives of musical romanticism. R. Schumann wrote articles about music in the diary genre, in the form of letters to a friend. They are characterized by a beautiful syllable, free flight of fancy, juicy humor, bright imagery. Having created a kind of spiritual union of fighters with musical philistinism (“David’s Brotherhood”), Schumann addresses the public on behalf of his literary characters – the frantic Florestan and the poetic Eusebius, the beautiful Ciara (the prototype is the spouse of the composer), Chopin and Paganini. The connection between literature and music in the work of this musician is so great that his characters live both in the literary and musical lines of his compositions (piano cycle “Carnival”).
Inspirational romantic G. Berlioz composed musical novels and feuilletons, reviews and articles. Pushed for writing and material need. The most famous of the literary works of Berlioz, brilliantly written by him “Memoirs”, captured the vigorous spiritual quest of innovators of art of the mid-XIX century. The elegant literary style of F. Liszt was especially vividly reflected in his “Bachelor of Music Letters”, in which the composer expresses the idea of a synthesis of the arts, with an emphasis on the interpenetration of music and painting. In confirmation of the possibility of such a merger, Liszt creates piano pieces under the impression of paintings by Michelangelo (play “The Thinker”), Raphael (play “Betrothal”), Kaulbach (symphonic work “Battle of the Huns”). The colossal literary heritage of R. Wagner, besides numerous critical articles, contains voluminous works on the theory of art. One of the most interesting works of the composer “Art and Revolution” was written in the spirit of utopian ideas of the romance about the future world harmony, which will come when the world changes through art. The main role in this process Wagner assigned to the opera – the genre, which embodied the synthesis of the arts (study “Opera and Drama”).
SAMPLES OF LITERARY GENRES IN RUSSIAN COMPOSERS The past two centuries have left the world culture a great literary heritage of Russian and Soviet composers – from the “Notes” of M.I. Glinka, to “Autobiography” S.S. Prokofiev and notes G. V. Sviridov and others. Practically, all the famous Russian composers tried themselves in literary genres.
Articles A.P. Borodin about F. Liszt has already been read by many generations of musicians and music lovers. In them, the author tells about his visit to the great romance in Weimar, reveals interesting details about the everyday life and labors of the composer – the abbot, the features of the Liszt conducting piano lessons. ON. Rimsky-Korsakov, whose autobiographical work has become an outstanding musical and literary phenomenon (“Chronicle of my musical life”), is also interesting as the author of a unique analytical article about his own opera “The Snow Maiden”. The composer reveals in detail the leitmotiv dramaturgy of this charming musical tale.
Prokofiev’s autobiography, deeply informative and brilliant in his literary style, worthily stands in line with the masterpieces of memoir literature. Sviridov’s notes about music and musicians, about the creative process of the composer, about spiritual and secular music are still waiting for their design and publication. The study of the literary heritage of outstanding composers will make a lot of amazing discoveries in the art of music.