Unpublished Works | [On the Musical Composition, "Ermanaric."] 1862© The Nietzsche Channel

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[On the Musical Composition, "Ermanaric."]1

September-October 1862.

Excerpt from:
Friedrich Nietzsche in Words and Pictures.
Appendix 2. Chronology of Nietzsche's Music.

Translation Copyright 2012, The Nietzsche Channel.

Nietzsche's Writings as a Student.
Translation Copyright 2012, The Nietzsche Channel.

It was Michaelmas2 1861 when I started and finished in a few days the extant fragment of the Ermanaric Symphony; written for two pianos after the model of the Dante Symphony,3 with which, shortly before, I had acquainted myself. It was a time when the Ermanaric piece moved me more intensely than ever, I was still too deeply moved for poetry and not yet distanced enough to create an objective drama; but in music I succeed in expressing the mood that the Ermanaric saga utterly incarnated in me. Nevertheless, I was still undecided as to whether I should christen the piece "Ermanaric Symphony" or "Serbia," since I had planned to include the emotions of the Slavic people in a composition, like Liszt did in "Hungaria," moreover, since I could not yet impartially analyze and only guessed what I had expressed therein. Now it's just one year later when I find precisely in it the moods, the changes of feelings which push and press themselves, often suddenly and harshly, in which the central figures of the Ermanaric piece work their way through and then fulfill my soul.

Now with the revision of the fragment I have tried to reflect a more precise version that was often only something outlined in the first version. I inserted some missing moments,4 the ending in particular is entirely new and its ferocity surpasses by far what I presented in the first version.

However, I have depicted neither Goths nor Germans, they are—I dare assert it—Hungarians; the material is borne from the [....]

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Unpublished Works | [On the Musical Composition, "Ermanaric."] 1862© The Nietzsche Channel