1. 28 May 1966 (Rastlose Liebe; Einstein's Schubert book; Schumann essay on NZfM)
Dear Mr. Brown,
Thank you for your interesting letter. I hope you are by now wholly recovered from what must have been a very trying indisposition.
I don't think I misunderstood your point about seeming plagiarism, though no doubt in my anxiety to disclaim any such notion I phrased my rejoinder maladroitly. The short answer in any event is that it's all to be found in Schweitzer and Pirro already. The more detailed answer is that – if Susanne Langer is right, and I dare say she is – any work one does on this question will necessarily relate only to the particular composer under discussion, and not to music in general; which is why I referred to the field of Schubert and suggested how unlikely it was prima facie that anyone was going to dispute your primacy or priority, or whatever, in that context.
I now what you mean about the expression of “Liebe” at the end of Rastlose Liebe; though this always seems to me a rather specialized dramatic (not to say stagey) expression of an idea which finds its ideal lyric form in such songs as that marvellous Fülle der Liebe. Speaking of the Schubertian expression of love reminds me that I have rashly contracted to do another programme in the so–called "Interpretation series”, and am trying to summon up enough courage to tackle some Schubert songs – perhaps Die Schöne Müllerin, of which there are some quite tolerable recordings for purpose of comparison.
I was glad to hear that you found the cipher article reasonably convincing. I think it's right enough; there is quite a lot of further evidence that there wasn't room to publish in what was already a longish article. The editor was heard to complain that although there ought no doubt to be a book on the cipher ho wished that I would refrain from writing it in his pages! In response to your kind enquiry – yes, the theory has aroused a certain interest in Europe and indeed in the U.S.A.; notably so far by the publication in the current issue of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik of a translation of the earlier, more speculative MT article of August last year. I was rather bucked by this; partly because it is nice to be published by Schumann's own journal, and partly because it is something of an accolade to be translated into German at all – a view very strongly shared and promulgated by the Germans themselves!
So it is doubly good to hear that B & H have your biography in mind. I'm afraid I'm not great admirer of Einstein, whose work on Schubert or anyone else always strikes me, after the first half–hour or so's reading, as really rather flat and pompous. He seams to me to be deficient in the quality – humility, pietas, affection, love, whatever one likes to call it – is arguably the sine qua non of criticism, since without it one doesn't realty know, in any sense, what one is talking about. However, it’s perhaps just that I am deficient in charity.
Yes, I shall be around, I expect, in July, and should welcome e chance of meeting you. My lunch hour is reasonably elastic (we bureaucrats are nothing if not flexible, in that respect at least); or alternatively an early dinner would suit very well (I normally finish between six and six–thirty). I shall be happy in any event to fall in with whatever arrangements best suit you; perhaps you let me know what would suit nearer the time