Voltaire never wrote anything equal to Omars fascinating rhapsodies in praise of wine, love and all earthly joys, and his passionate denunciations of a malevolent and inexorable fate which dooms to slow decay or sudden death and to eternal oblivion all that is great, good and beautiful in this world.
The compositions belonging to the period of his residence at Weimar comprise two pianoforte concertos, in E flat and in A, the " Todtentanz," the " Concerto pathetique " for two pianos, the solo sonata " An Robert Schumann," sundry " Etudes," fifteen " Rhapsodies Hongroises," twelve orchestral " Poemes symphoniques, " " Eine Faust Symphonie," and " Eine Symphonie zu Dante's ` Divina Commedia,' " the " 13th Psalm " for tenor solo, chorus and orchestra, the choruses to Herder's dramatic scenes " Prometheus," and the " Missa solennis " known as the " Graner Fest' Messe."
At the pianoforte his achievements culminate in the two books of studies, twice rewritten, and finally published in 1852 as Etudes d'execution transcendante, the Etudes de concert and the Paganini Studies; the two concertos and the Todtentanz, the Sonata the Hungarian Rhapsodies and the fine transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies (the 9th for two pianofortes as well as solo), and of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, and the symphony, Harold en Italie.
And III.; La lugubre Gondola; Dem Andenken Petofi's; Mosonyi's Grabgeleit; Romance oubliee; Valses oubliees, 1-3; Liebestraume, 1-3 (originally songs); Hexameron; Rhapsodies Hongroises, 1-18.
Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke; Marches, Rakoczy, Goethe, Huldigung, " Vom Fels zum Meer " (for a military band); Ungarischer, Heroischer and Sturmmarsch; Le Triomphe funebre du Tasse; " Von der Wiege bis zum Grab "; six Hungarian rhapsodies; four marches; four songs, and Die Allmacht, by Schubert.
They must therefore have been, as Bentley had said, " a sequel of songs and rhapsodies," " loose songs not collected together in the form of an epic poem till about 50o years after."
In the two "Scottish Rhapsodies" for orchestra, in the music to The Little Minister, and in a beautiful fantasia for pianoforte and orchestra on Scottish themes, he has seized the essential, not the accidental features of his native music.
It has been the theme of endless critical rhapsodies, among which that of Pater is perhaps the most imaginative as it is the best known.
The love-songs of the time are primitive imitations of the NeoGreek lyric dithyrambs and rhapsodies, which through the teaching of the princes .of Walachia were considered as the fountainhead of poetical inspiration.
The Russian military historians in so far as they submit to claims of logic must admit that conclusion, and in spite of their lyrical rhapsodies about valor, devotion, and so forth, must reluctantly admit that the French retreat from Moscow was a series of victories for Napoleon and defeats for Kutuzov.