The greatest composers of music lived to express the full passion, power, and beauty of music, often losing all thought of the self and becoming so absorbed by the consciousness of music that space and time were entirely forgotten. It was thus that they produced their greatest works and by their music helped the whole world to a better understanding and a truer conception of what life should be. And in the doing of this, they had their compensation, although on the face of it, it might seem that all the physical poverty and hardships they endured, and the mental anguish and sorrow they passed through would make it appear that life gave them little in the way of compensation. But while the world for which they worked gave but little in return, they were not without the real satisfaction and joys of living; for all creative work brings with it its own reward. When heart and mind and hands are all engaged in an effort to produce something new or something beautiful, then to the person thus engaged comes the sense of exaltation wherein he rises above the world and the things of the world. For the time being he is in a new world; he has lost all consciousness of the past, and is living in the wonder and beauty of the eternal present.
"There is sweet music here that softer falls Than petals from blown roses on the grass, Or night-dews on still waters between walls Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass; Music that gentler on the spirit lies, Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies. Here are cool mosses deep And thro' the moss the ivies creep, And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep, And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep."
Were it not for this power to penetrate, as it were, into the invisible and realize the wonder and ecstasy of a higher consciousness, it would not have been possible for a great composer to exist and produce really beautiful, soul-satisfying music, in a world constituted as it is to-day, or even in a world of the past. For the everyday world of man's life is so filled with the things that do not count, the dull, dead materialism and the constant grind of the body of humanity in order to maintain a purely physical existence, that all spiritual vision is entirely shut out, or at least, largely obscured. The composer, therefore, finds it necessary to leave the every-day consciousness and enter, as it were, a new world, one filled with music and colour, and with this his whole life becomes inspired, and because of his new vision there are set up in his mind new ideals to be expressed through musical tones. The composer who can fully realise the truth of this and who uses his divine power to express the eternal love and joy of life, becomes a true saviour of the world to lead man out of the thraldom and bondage of material thought and desire, and cause him to realise not only his kinship to God, but his true relation to his fellow-men; and the composer who through his life-giving music shall awaken the love of God and of man in the breasts of his fellow-men, shall rank with the greatest prophets of all time, a divinely inspired prophet with a divinely inspired message of peace and good-will to all men.