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Tschaikowski's Ideals.

Probably the first thing the young musician prides himself on having, when he starts out on his musical career, is musical "ideals" of the most lofty kind. Well, indeed, is this the case, for in this mercenary age ideals are scarce enough, and those that exist are often sadly battered out of shape. ' Nevertheless, the musician without ideals is a sorry creature, though he need not necessarily pour them out into unsympathetic ears on every possible occasion. Tschaikowski was a man with ideals. At least, few modern writers have betrayed such passionate longing as may be found in his music, and none have portrayed such bitter despair and longing over shattered ideals as the composer of the "Pathetic" Symphony—all of which, as the advertisements say, "must be experienced to be appreciated." Nevertheless, Tschaikowski did not care to talk about his ideals, as the following extract from Rosa New- march's biography of him will show:
 
"What, then, were Tschaikowski's musical ideals in his youth and maturity, and how far did they influence his individual temperament? He himself would have repudiated the use of the word ideals. He had the positive Russian temperament that feels intensely, and instinctively avoids gush. Was it not a Russian who remarked that a piece of bread and cheese was worth all the poems of Poushkin (the great Russian poet) put together? In a similarly practical manner Tschaikowski answered those who asked him about his inner consciousness.
 
"'What are your musical ideals?' Serov's daughter inquired of Tschaikowski as he sat at the piano during one of her father's musical evenings in Petersburg.
 
"'My ideals?' he answered. 'Is it absolutely necessary to have ideals in music? I have never given a thought to them.' Then, after a few minutes' reflection: 'I never possessed any ideals.'
 
"To another young lady who put the same question he replied: 'My ideal is to become a good composer.' "

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