Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The "good old" time is past, it sang itself out in Mozart-- how happy are we that his Rococo still speaks to us, that his "good company", his tender enthusiasm, his childish delight in the Chinese and its flourishes, his courtesy of heart, his longing for the elegant, the amorous, the tripping, the tearful, and his belief in the South, can still appeal to something left in us! Ah, some time or other it will be over with it!--but who can doubt that it will be over still sooner with the intelligence and taste for Beethoven! For he was only the last echo of a break and transition in style, and not, like Mozart, the last echo of a great European taste which had existed for centuries. Beethoven is the intermediate event between an old mellow soul that is constantly breaking down, and a future over-young soul that is always coming; there is spread over his music the twilight of eternal loss and eternal extravagant hope,--the same light in which Europe was bathed when it dreamed with Rousseau, when it danced round the Tree of Liberty of the Revolution, and finally almost fell down in adoration before Napoleon.

Friedrich Nietzsche, from 'Beyond Good and Evil', translated by Helen Zimmern