Spent the forenoon completing those wan diagrams of beds, an indelible image of which, crudely coloured in crayons, is now imprinted upon my pericranium. Made myself scarce (sans pass) and hovered about the door of the Concert Hall, being informed on all sides that it was quite impossible to obtain admission. I was not ass enough to give up, but sufficiently mulish to wait the commencement of the performance before mounting the breach, i.e. the gallery; where I was promptly handed a ticket in exchange for 3 M: so heard entire concert anew.
Of the Beethoven “Pastoral” I feel that it has an effect similar to the greatest passages of Wordsworth’s poetry.
The Brahms (as a neighbouring fraulein, who informed me that she “spoke too, the English, but not many”, remarked) was more “difficult to comprehend”, but a banquet of sound nevertheless. There is a subtlety about even the simplest themes employed by the great composers. One was repeated in a hundred hues in the “Pastoral”, yet on leaving it had eluded me – how different from a music-hall tune, which usually defies all attempts to be rid of it! I am uncritical – I become intoxicated with music – I am the “audience par excellence”. (I no sooner talk of intoxicants than I am forcibly reminded that today was pay-day by the uproarious entry of a bevy of boozed and boisterous Bohemians).
Have discovered all about the “Konzert Gesellschaft” of Coln. It is a Society with a municipal subsidy. They give 12 performances during the winter, some purely instrumental, some choral. Every performer has to pass an examination before he is allowed to give his services free, and benefit as a teacher by an advertisement.