|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
noble thrones of gold, all caked with jewels, and in the two middle
ones sat old white-whiskered men, and in the two others a couple of
the most glorious and gaudy giants, with platter halos and
beautiful armor. All the millions went down on their knees, and
stared, and looked glad, and burst out into a joyful kind of
murmurs. They said, -
"Two archangels! - that is splendid. Who can the others be?"
The archangels gave the barkeeper a stiff little military bow; the
two old men rose; one of them said, "Moses and Esau welcome thee!"
and then all the four vanished, and the thrones were empty.
The barkeeper looked a little disappointed, for he was calculating
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:
their command. These miners' candlesticks are of massive iron,
terminated at the lower extremity by a point, by means of which
they are stuck into the rock.
He took the candlestick in his right hand; holding his breath
and trying to deaden the sound of his tread, he directed his
steps to the door of the adjoining room, occupied by the Bishop,
as we already know.
On arriving at this door, he found it ajar. The Bishop had not
WHAT HE DOES
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gambara by Honore de Balzac:
from under Gambara's fingers like the vapor of incense from an altar.
The composer's voice grew young again, and, far from marring the noble
melody, it elucidated it, supported it, guided it,--just as the feeble
and quavering voice of an accomplished reader, such as Andrieux, for
instance, can expand the meaning of some great scene by Corneille or
Racine by lending personal and poetical feeling.
This really angelic strain showed what treasures lay hidden in that
stupendous opera, which, however, would never find comprehension so
long as the musician persisted in trying to explain it in his present
demented state. His wife and the Count were equally divided between
the music and their surprise at this hundred-voiced instrument, inside
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
"My safety!" he said, bitterly.
"Yes," she answered; "so long as I stay at Fougeres your life is
threatened, and I love you too well not to leave it. I go to-night."
"Leave me! ah, dear love, I shall follow you."
"Follow me!--the Blues?"
"Dear Marie, what have the Blues got to do with our love?"
"But it seems impossible that you can stay with me in France, and
still more impossible that you should leave it with me."
"Is there anything impossible to those who love?"
"Ah, true! true! all is possible--have I not the courage to resign
you, for your sake."