(Harmonie et mélodie, Calmann-Lévy, 1899, 1–31)
This chapter offers some remarks as to why the author, Saint–Saëns, decided to express his views of an artist. The fragments he gathered together, taken here and there from articles he published at various times, have nothing to commend to them except their utter sincerity. He enormously admired those who, in artistic matters, can make an instant judgment that they never change, even if he could not understand them. Music for him is like people — only really knowable over time. Many factors can influence one's judgment of this art that moves in time, and only through the more or less helpful caprices and moods of the performers reaches the more or less capricious audience. He also admired Wagner's works profoundly, for all their bizarre nature. But he noted that he never belonged, would not belong to the Wagnerian religion.
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