Music and Bad Manners by Carl Van Vechten

Music and Bad Manners by Carl Van Vechten

Music and Bad Manners

By THE SAME AUTHOR
MUSIC AFTER THE GREAT WAR

Music- : ”
and Bad Manners

Carl Van Vechten
New York Alfred A. Knopf

MCMXVI

* COPYRIGHT; r9M, BY

” Alt r ‘ignis resefved

PRINTED Itf THK UNITED SXATSfl OF AMERICA

To my Father

Contents

PAGE

Music AND BAD MANNERS 11

Music FOR THE MOVIES 4&

SPAIN AND Music &*t

SHALL WE REALIZE WAGNER’S IDEALS? 165

THE BRIDGE BURNERS 169

A NEW PRINCIPLE IN Music 217
LEO ORNSTEIN

Music and Bad Manners

Music and Bad Manners

SINGERS, musicians of all kinds, are notori-
ously bad mannered. The storms of the
Titan, Beethoven, the petty malevolences of
Richard Wagner, the weak sulkiness of Chopin
(” Chopin in displeasure was appalling,” writes
George Sand, ” and as with me he always con-
trolled himself it was as if he might die of suffoca-
tion ” ) have all been recalled in their proper
places in biographies and in fiction ; but no attempt
has been made heretofore, so far as I am aware, to
lump similar anecdotes together under the some-
what castigating title I have chosen to head
this article. Nor is it alone the performer who
gives exhibitions of bad manners. (As a matter
of fact, once an artist reaches the platform he is
on his mettle, at his best. At home he or she
may be ruthless in his passionate display of
floods of ” temperament,” I have seen a soprano
throw a pork roast on the floor at dinner, the day
before a performance of Wagner’s ” consecra-
tional festival play,” with the shrill explanation,
” Pork before Parsifal! ” On the street he may
shatter the clouds with his lightnings as, indeed,
Beethoven is said to have done but on the stage
he becomes, as a rule, a superhuman being, an in-

Music and Bad Manners

terpreter, a mere virtuoso. Of course, there are
exceptions.) Audiences, as well, may be relied
upon to behave badly on occasion. An auditor is
not necessarily at his best in the concert hall. He
may have had a bad dinner, or quarrelled with his
wife before arriving. At any rate he has paid
his money and it might be expected that he would
make some demonstration of disapproval when he
was displeased. The extraordinary thing is that
he does not do so oftener. On the whole it must
be admitted that audiences remain unduly calm at
concerts, that they are unreasonably polite, in-
deed, to offensively inadequate or downright bad
interpretations. I have sat through perform-
ances, for example, of the Russian Symphony So-
ciety in New York when I wondered how my fel-
low-sufferers could display such fortitude and
patience. When Prince Igor was first performed
at the Metropolitan Opera House the ballet,
danced in defiance of all laws of common sense or
beauty, almost compelled me to throw the first
stone. The parable saved me. Still one doesn’t
need to be without sin to sling pebbles in an opera
house. And it is a pleasure to remember that
there have been occasions when audiences did
speak up!

In those immeasurably sad pages in which
[12]

Music and Bad Manners

Henry Fothergill Chorley describes the last Lon-
don appearance of Giuditta Pasta, recalling Pau-
line Viardot’s beautiful remark (she, like Rachel,
was hearing the great dramatic soprano for the
first time), ” It is like the Cenacolo of Da Vinci at
Milan a wreck of a picture, but the picture is
the greatest picture in the world ! ” this great
chronicler of the glories of the opera-stage recalls
the attitude of the French actress : ” There were
artists present, who had then, for the first time,
>to derive some impression of a renowned artist
perhaps, with the natural feeling that her reputa-
tion had been exaggerated. Among these was
Rachel whose bitter ridicule of the entire sad
show made itself heard throughout the whole thea-
tre, and drew attention to the place where she sat
one might even say, sarcastically enjoying the
.scene.”

Chorley’s description of an incident in the
career of the dynamic Mme. Mara, a favour-
ite in Berlin from 1771 to 1780, makes far
pleasanter reading: “On leave of absence being
denied to her when she wished to recruit her
strength by a visit to the Bohemian baden, the
songstress took the resolution of neglecting her
professional duties, in the hope of being allowed
to depart as worthless. The Czarovitch, Paul the
[13]

Music and Bad Manners

First of Russia, happened about that time to pay
a visit to Berlin ; and she was announced to appear
in one of the grand parts. She pretended illness.
The King sent her word, in the morning of the
day, that she was to get well and sing her best.
She became, of course, worse could not leave
her bed. Two hours before the opera began, a
carriage, escorted by eight soldiers, was at her
door, and the captain of the company forced his
way into her chamber, declaring that their orders
were to bring her to the theatre, dead or alive.
6 You cannot ; you see I am in bed.’ * That is of
little consequence,* said the obdurate machine;
* we will take you, bed and all. 5 There was noth-
ing for it but to get up and go to the theatre;
dress, and resolve to sing without the slightest
taste or skill. And this Mara did. She kept her
resolution for the whole of the first act, till a
thought suddenly seized her that she might be
punishing herself in giving the Grand-Duke of
Russia a bad opinion of her powers. A Idramra
came ; and she burst forth with all her brilliancy, in
particular distinguishing herself by a miraculous
shake, which she sustained, and swelled, and dimin-
ished, with such wonderful art as to call down
more applause than ever.” This was the same
Mara who walked out of the orchestra at a per-
[14]

Music and Bad Manners

formance of The Messiah at Oxford rather than,
stand during the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus.
In that curious series of anecdotes which Ber-
lioz collected under the title, ” Les Grotesques de
la Musique,” I discovered an account of a per-
formance of a Miserere of Mercadante at the
church of San Pietro in Naples, in the presence of
a cardinal and his suite. The cardinal several
times expressed his pleasure, and the congregation
at two points, the Redde MM and the Benigne fac,
Domine, broke in with applause and insisted upon
repetitions ! Berlioz also describes a rehearsal of
Gretry’s La Rosier e de Salency at the Odeon, when
that theatre was devoted to opera. The members
of the orchestra were overcome with a sense of
the ridiculous nature of the music they were per-
forming and made strange sounds the while they
played. The chef d’orchestre attempted to keep
his face straight, and Berlioz thought he was scan-
dalized by the scene. A little later, however, he
found himself laughing harder than anybody else.
The memory of this occasion gave him the in-
spiration some time later of arranging a concert
of works of this order (in which, he assured him-
self, the music of the masters abounded), without
forewarning the public of his purpose. He pre-
pared the programme, including therein this same
[15]

Music and Bad Manners

overture of Gretry’s, then a celebrated English
air Arm, Ye Brave, a ” sonata diabolique ” for the
violin, the quartet from a French opera in which
this passage occurred:

” JPaime assez les Hollandaises,
Les Persanes, les Anglaises,
Mais je prefere des Fran9aises
L’esprit, la grace et la gaite,”

an instrumental march, the finale of the first act
of an opera, a fugue on Kyrie Eleison from a
Requiem Mass in which the music suggested any-
thing but the words, variations for the bassoon on
the melody of Aw Clair de la Lwn,e 9 and a sym-
phony. Unfortunately for the trial of the ex-
periment the rehearsal was never concluded. The
executants got no further than the third number
before they became positively hysterical. The
public performance was never given, but Berlioz
assures us that the average symphony concert au-
dience would have taken the programme seriously
and asked for more! It may be considered cer-
tain that in his choice of pieces Berlioz was mak-
ing game of some of his contemporaries. . . .

In all the literature on the subject of music
there are no more delightful volumes to be met
with than those of J. B. Weckerlin, called ” Mu-
[16]

Music and Bad Manners

siciana, 5 * u Nouveau Musieiana,” and ” Dernier
Musiciana. 5 * These books are made up of anec-
dotes, personal and otherwise. From Bourdelot’s
” Histoire de la Musique ” Weckerlin culled the
following : ” An equerry of Madame la Dauphine
asked two of the court musicians to his home at
Versailles for dinner one evening. They sang
standing opposite the mantelpiece, over which
hung a great mirror which was broken in six
pieces by the force of tone ; all the porcelain on the
buffet resounded and shook.” Weckerlin also re-
calls a caprice of Louis XI, who one day com-
manded the Abbe de Baigne, who had already in-
vented many musical instruments, to devise a
harmony out of pigs. The Abbe asked for some
money, which was grudgingly given, and con-
structed a pavilion covered with velvet, under
which he placed a number of pigs. Before this
pavilion he arranged a white table with a keyboard
constructed in such a fashion that the displacing
of a key stuck a pig with a needle. The sounds
evoked were out of the ordinary, and it is recorded
that the king was highly diverted and asked for
more. Auber’s enthusiasm for his own music, usu-
ally concealed under an indifferent air, occasion-
ally expressed itself in strange fashion. Mme.
Damoreau recounted to Weckerlin how, when the
[17]

Music and Bad Manners

composer completed an air in the middle of the
night, even at three or four o’clock in the morning,
he rushed to her apartment. Dragging a piano-
forte to her bed, he insisted on playing the new
song over and over to her, while she sang it, mean-
while making the changes suggested by this ex-
traordinary performance.

More modern instances come to mind. Maria
Gay is not above nose-blowing and expectoration
in her interpretation of Carmen, physical acts in
the public performance of which no Spanish ciga-
rette girl would probably be caught ashamed.
Yet it may be doubted if they suit the music of
Bizet, or the Meilhac and Halevy version of Meri-
mee’s creation. … A story has been related to
me I do not vouch for the truth of it that
during a certain performance of Carmen at the
Opera-Comique in Paris a new singer, at some
stage in the proceedings, launched that dreadful
French word which Georges Feydeau so ingenu-
ously allowed his heroine to project into the sec-
ond act of La Dame de ckez Maxim, with a result
even more startling than that which attended Ber-
nard Shaw’s excursion into the realms of the ex-
pletive in his play, Pygmalion. It is further
related of this performance of Carmen, which is
said to have sadly disturbed the ” traditions,” that
[18]

Music and Bad Manners

in the excitement incident to her debut the lady
positively refused to allow Don Jose to kill her.
Round and round the stage she ran while the per-
spiring tenor tried in vain to catch her. At
length, the music of the score being concluded, the
curtain fell on a Carmen still alive; the salle was
in an uproar.

I find I cannot include Chaliapine’s Basilio in my
list of bad mannered stage performances, although
his trumpetings into his handkerchief disturbed
many of New York’s professional writers. II
Barbiere is a farcical piece, and the music of Ros-
sini hints at the Rabelaisian humours of the dirty
Spanish priest. In any event, it was the finest
interpretation of the role that I have ever seen
or heard and, with the splendid ensemble (Mme.
Sembrich was the Rosina, Mr. Bonci, the count,
and Mr. Campanari, the Figaro), the comedy went
with such joyous abandon (the first act finale to
the accompaniment of roars of laughter from the
stalls) that I am inclined to believe the perform-
ance could not be bettered in this generation.

The late Algernon St. John Brenon used to re-
late a history about Emma Eames and a recalci-
trant tenor. The opera was Lohengrin, I be-
lieve, and the question at issue was the position of
a certain couch. Mme. Eames wished it placed
[19]

Music and Bad Manners

here; the tenor there. As always happens in ar-
guments concerning a Wagnerian music-drama, at
some point the Bayreuth tradition was invoked,
although I have forgotten whether that tradition
favoured the soprano or her opponent in this in-
stance. In any case, at the rehearsal the tenor
seemed to have won the battle. When at the per-
formance he found the couch in the exact spot
which had been designated by the lady his indig-
nation was all the greater on this account. With
as much regard for the action of the drama as
was consistent with so violent a gesture he gave
the couch a violent shove with his projected toe,
with the intention of pushing it into his chosen
locality. He retired with a howl, nursing a
wounded member. The couch had been nailed to
the floor!

It is related that Marie Delna was discovered
washing dishes at an inn in a small town near
Paris. Her benefactors took her to the capital
and placed her in the Conservatoire. She always
retained a certain peasant obstinacy, and it is said
that during the course of her instruction when she
was corrected she frequently replied, ” Je m’en
vais.” Against this phrase argument was un-
availing and Mme. Delna, as a result, acquired a
habit of having her own way. Her Orphee was

Music and Bad Manners

(and still is, I should think) one of the notable
achievements of our epoch. It must have equalled
Pauline Viardot’s performance dramatically, and
transcended it vocally. After singing the part
several hundred times she naturally acquired cer-
tain habits and mannerisms, tricks both of action
and of voice. Still, it is said that when she came
to the Metropolitan Opera House she offered, at a
rehearsal, to defer to Mr. Toscanini’s ideas. He,
the rumour goes, gave his approval to her inter-
pretation on this occasion. Not so at the per-
formance. Those who have heard it can never
forget the majesty and beauty of this character-
ization, as noble a piece of stage-work as we have
seen or heard in our day. At her debut in the
part in New York Mme. Delna was superb, vocally
and dramatically. In the celebrated air, Che
faro senza Euridice, the singer followed the tradi-
tion, doubly established by the example of Mme.
Viardot in the great revival of the mid-century,
of singing the different stanzas of the air in differ-
ent tempi. In her slowest adagio the conductor
became impatient. He beat his stick briskly
across his desk and whipped up the orchestra.
There was soon a hiatus of two bars between
singer and musicians. It was a terrible moment,
but the singer won the victory. She turned her

Music and Bad Manners

back on the conductor and continued to sing in her
own time. The organ tones rolled out and pres-
ently the audience became aware of a junction
between the two great forces. Mr. Toscanini was
vanquished, but he never forgave her.

During the opera season of 191516, opera-
goers were treated to a diverting exhibition.
Mme. Geraldine Farrar, just returned from a
fling at three five-reel cinema dramas, elected to
instil a bit of moving picture realism into Carmen.
Fresh with the memory of her prolonged and bru-
tal scuffle in the factory scene as it was depicted
on the screen, Mme. Farrar attempted something
like it in the opera, the first act of which was en-
livened with sundry blows and ticks. More seri-
ous still were her alleged assaults on the tenor
(Mr. Caruso) in the third act which, it is said,
resulted in his clutching her like a struggling eel,
to prevent her interference with his next note.
There was even a suggestion of disagreement in
the curtain calls which ensued. All these inci-
dents of an enlivening evening were duly and im-
pressively chronicled in the daily press.

There is, of course, Vladimir de Pachmann,
Everybody who has attended his recitals has come
under the spell of his beautiful tone and has been
annoyed by his bad manners. For, curiously

Music and Bad Manners

enough, the two qualities have become inseparable
with him, especially in recent years. Once in Chi-
cago 1 saw the strange little pianist sit down in
front of his instrument, rise again, gesticulate,
and leave the stage. Returning with a stage-hand
he pointed to his stool; it was not satisfactory*
A chair was brought in, tried, and found wanting ;
more gesticulation this time wilder. At length,
after considerable discussion between Mr. de Pach-
mann and the stage-hand, all in view of the audi-
ence, it was decided that nothing would do but
that some one must fetch the artist’s own piano
bench from his hotel, which, fortunately, adjoined
the concert hall. This was accomplished in the
course of time. In the interval the pianist did not
leave the platform. He sat at the back on the
chair which had been offered him as a substitute
for the offending stool and entertained his audi-
ence with a spectacular series of grimaces.

On another occasion this singular genius ar-
rested his fingers in the course of a performance of
one of Chopin’s etudes-. His ears were enraptured,
it would seem, by his own rendition of a certain
run ; over and over again he played it, now faster,
now more slowly ; at times almost slowly enough to
give the student in the front row a glimpse of the
magic fingering. With a sudden change of man-
[23]

Music and Bad Manners

ner he announced, ” This is the way Godowsky
would play this scale ” : great velocity but a dry
tone. Then, ” And now Pachmann again ! ”
The magic fingers stroked the keys.

Even as an auditor de Pachmann sometimes ex-
ploits his eccentricities. Josef Hofmann once
told me the following story: De Pachmann was
sitting in the third row at a concert Rubinstein
gave in his prime. De Pachmann burst into hi-
larious laughter, rocking to and fro. Rubinstein
was playing beautifully and de Paehmann’s neigh-
bour, annoyed, demanded why he was laughing.
De Pachmann could scarcely speak as he pointed
to the pianist on the stage and replied, ” He used
the fourth finger instead of the third in that run.
Isn’t it funny? ”

I cannot take Vladimir de Pachmann to task for
these amusing bad manners I But they annoy the
bourgeois. We should most of us be glad to have
Oscar Wilde brilliant at our dinner parties, even
though he ate peas with his knife ; and Napoleon’s
generalship would have been as effective if he had
been an omnivorous reader of the works of Laura
Jean Libbey. But one must not dwell too long
on de Pachmann. One might be tempted to de-
vote an entire essay to the relation of his eccen-
tricities.

[84]

Music and Bad Manners

Another pianist, also a composer, claims atten-
tion: Alberto Savinio. You may find a photo-
lithograph of Savinio’s autograph manuscript of
Bellovees Fatales, No, 1%, in that curious period-
ical entitled ” 291,” the number for April, 1915.
There is a programme, which reads as follows :

LA PASSION DES ROTULES

La Femme : Ah ! II m’a touche de sa j ambe

de caoutchouc! Ma-ma! Ma-ma!
L’Homme: Tutto s’ha di rosa, Maria,

per te. . . .
La Femme : Mar-ma ! Ma-ma !

There are indications as to how the composer
wishes his music to be played, sometimes glissando
and sometimes ” avec des pomgs” The rapid and
tortuous passages between the black and white
keys would test the contortionistic qualities of any
one’s fingers. Savinio, it is said, at his appear-
ances in Paris, actually played until his fingers
bled. When he had concluded, indeed, the ends of
his fingers were crushed and bruised and the key-
board was red with blood. Albert Gleizes, quoted
by Walter Conrad Arensberg, is my authority for
this bizarre history of music and bad manners.
I have not seen (or heard) Savinio perform. But
when I told this tale to Leo Ornstein he assured me
[25]

Music and Bad Manners

that he frequently had had a similar experience.

Remain Holland in ” Jean-Christophe ” relates
an incident which is especially interesting because
it has a foundation in fact. Something of the
sort happened to Hugo Wolf when an orchestra
performed his Penthesttea overture for the first
time. It is a curious example of bad manners in
which both the performers and the audience join.

“At last it came to Christophers symphony.”
(I am quoting from Gilbert Cannan’s transla-
tion.) ” He saw from the way the orchestra and
the people in the hall were looking at his box that
they were aware of his presence. He hid himself.
He waited with the catch at his heart which, every
musician feels at the moment when the conductor’s
wand is raised and the waters of the music gather
in silence before bursting their dam. He had
never yet heard his work played. How would the
creatures of his dreams live? How would their
voices sound? He felt their roaring within him;
and he leaned over the abyss of sounds waiting
fearfully for what should come forth.

” What did come forth was a nameless thing, a
shapeless hotchpotch. Instead of the bold col-
umns which were to support the front of the build-
ing the chords came crumbling down like a build-
ing in ruins ; there was nothing to be seen but the
[26]

Music and Bad Manners

dust of mortar. For a moment Christophe was
not quite sure whether they were really playing his
work. He cast back for the train, the rhythm of
his thoughts ; he could not recognize it ; it went
on babbling and hiccoughing like a drunken man
clinging close to the wall, and he was overcome
with shame, as though he himself had been seen in
that condition. It was to no avail to think that
he had not written such stuff ; when an idiotic in-
terpreter destroys a man’s thoughts he has always
a moment of doubt when he asks himself in con-
sternation if he is himself responsible for it. The
audience never asks such a question; the audience
believes in the interpreter, in the singers, in the
orchestra whom they are accustomed to hear, as
they believe in their newspaper ; they cannot make
a mistake ; if they say absurd things, it is the ab-
surdity of the author. This audience was the less
inclined to doubt because it liked to believe.
Christophe tried to persuade himself that the Ka-
pellmeister was aware of the hash and would stop
the orchestra and begin again. The instruments
were not playing together. The horn had missed
his beat and had come in a bar too late ; he went on
for a few minutes and then stopped quietly to
clean his instrument. Certain passages for the
oboe had absolutely disappeared. It was impossi-
[27]

Music and Bad Manners

ble for the most skilled ear to pick up the thread
of the musical idea, or even to imagine there was
one. Fantastic instrumentations, humoristic sal-
lies became grotesque through the coarseness of
the execution. It was lamentably stupid, the work
of an idiot, of a joker who knew nothing of music.
Christophe tore his hair. He tried to interrupt,
but the friend who was with him held him back,
assuring him that the Herr Kapellmeister must
surely see the faults of the execution and would
put everything right that Christophe must not
show himself and that if he made any remark it
would have a very bad effect. He made Chris-
tophe sit at the very back of the box. Christophe
obeyed, but he beat his head with his fists; and
every fresh monstrosity drew from him a groan of
indignation and misery.

” < The wretches ! The wretches ! . . ,’
” He groaned and squeezed his hands tight to
keep from crying out.

” Now mingled with the wrong notes there came
up to him the muttering of the audience, who were
beginning to be restless. At first it was only a
tremor; but soon Christophe was left without a
doubt ; they were laughing. The musicians of the
orchestra had given the signal ; some of them did
not conceal their hilarity. The audience, certain
[28]

Music and Bad Manners

then that the music was laughable, rocked with
laughter. This merriment became general ; it in-
creased at the return of a very rhythmical motif
with the double-basses accentuated in a burlesque
fashion. Only the Kapellmeister went on through
the uproar imperturbably beating time.

” At last they reached the end (the best things
come to an end) . It was the turn of the audience.
They exploded with delight, an explosion which
lasted for several minutes. Some hissed; others
applauded ironically; the wittiest of all shouted
6 Encore ! ‘ A bass voice coming from a stage box
began to imitate the grotesque motif. Other jok-
ers followed suit and imitated it also. Some one
shouted c Author ! * It was long since these witty
folk had been so highly entertained.

u When the tumult was calmed down a little the
Kapellmeister, standing quite impassive with his
face turned towards the audience, though he was
pretending not to see it (the audience was still
supposed to be non-existent), made a sign to the
audience that he was about to speak. There was
a cry of * Ssh, ? and silence. He waited a moment
longer; then (his voice was curt, cold, and cut-
ting) :

” * Gentlemen,’ he said, ‘ I should certainly not
have let that be played through to the end if I had
[29]

Music and Bad Manners

not wished to make an example of the gentleman
who has dared to write offensively of the great
Brahms.’

” That was all ; jumping down from his stand he
went out amid cheers from the delighted audience.
They tried to recall him ; the applause went on for
a few minutes longer. But he did not return.
The orchestra went away. The audience decided
to go too. The concert was over.

” It had been a good day.”

Von Biilow once stopped his orchestra at a pub-
lic performance to remonstrate with a lady with a
fan in the front row of seats. ” Madame,” he
said gravely, ” I must beg you to cease fanning
yourself in three-four time while I am conducting
in four-four time ! 5>

Here are a few personal recollections of bad
mannered audiences. A performance of The
Magic Flute in Chicago comes to mind. Fritzi
Scheff, the Papagena, and Giuseppe Campanari,
the Papageno, had concluded their duet in the last
act amidst a storm of applause, in face of which
the conductor sped on to the entrance of the Queen
of the Night. Mme. Sembrich entered and sang a
part of her recitative unheard. One could see,
however, that her jaws opened and closed with the
mechanism incidental to tone-production. After
[30]

Music and Bad Manners

a few bars she retired defeated and the bad man-
nered audience continued to shout and applaud un-
til that unspeakable bit of nonsense which runs
a Pa-pa-pa,” etc., was repeated. Mme. Sembrich
appeared no more that day.

Another stormy audience I encountered at a
concert of the Colonne Orchestra in Paris. Those
who sit in the gallery at these concerts at the Cha-
telet Theatre are notoriously opinionated. There
the battles of Richard Strauss and Debussy have
been fought. The gallery crowd always comes
early because seats in the top of the house are un-
reserved. They cost a franc or two ; I forget ex-
actly how much, but I have often sat there. To
pass the time until the concert begins, and also to
show their indifference to musical literature and
the opinions of others, the galleryites -fashion a
curious form of spill, with one end in a point and
the other feathered like an arrow, out of the pages
of the annotated programmes. These are then
sent sailing, in most instances with infinite dexter-
ity and incredible velocity, over the heads of the
arriving audience. The objective point is the
very centre of the back cloth on the stage, a spot
somewhat above the kettle-drum. A successful
shot always brings forth a round of applause.
But this is (or was) an episode incident to any
[31]

Music and Bad Manners

Colonne concert. I am describing an occasion.
The concert took place during the season of
poor Colonne’s final illness (now he lies buried in
that curiously remote avenue of Per e-La chaise
where repose the ashes of Oscar Wilde). Gabriel
Pierne, his successor, had already assumed the ba-
ton, and he conducted the concert in question.
Anton Van Rooy was the soloist and he had chosen
to sing two very familiar (and very popular in
Paris) Wagner excerpts, Wotan’s Farewell from
Die Walkiire, and the air which celebrates the eve-
ning star from Tanrihauser. (In this connection
I might state that in this same winter 1908-9
Das Rheingold was given m concert form it
had not yet been performed at the Opera on
two consecutive Sundays at the Lamoureux Con-
certs in the Salle Gaveau to standing room
only.) The concert proceeded in orderly fashion
until Mr. Van Rooy appeared ; then the uproar be-
gan. The gallery hooted, and screamed, and
yelled. All the terrible noises which only a Paris
crowd can invent were hurled from the dark re-
cesses of that gallery. The din was appalling,
terrifying. Mr. Van Rooy nervously fingered a
sheet of music he held in his hands. Undoubtedly
visions of the first performance of TannMuser at
the Paris Opera passed through his mind. He
[32]

Music and Bad Manners

may also have considered the possibility of escap-
ing to the Gare du Nord, with the chance of catch-
ing a train for Germany before the mob could tear
him into bits. Mr. Pierne, who knew his Paris,
faced the crowd, while the audience below peered
up and shuddered, with something of the fright of
the aristocrats during the first days of the Revo-
lution. Then he held up his hand and, in time,
the modest gesture provoked a modicum of silence.
In that silence some one shrieked out the explana-
tion : * c Tannhauser avant WalJcure.” That was
all. The gallery was not satisfied with the or-
der of the programme. The readjustment was
quickly made, the parts distributed to the orches-
tra, and Mr. Van Rooy sang Wolfram’s air before
Wotan’s. It may be said that never could he
have hoped for a more complete ovation, a more
flattering reception than that which the Parisian
audience accorded him when he had finished. The
applause was veritably deafening.

I have related elsewhere at some length my ex-
periences at the first Paris performance of Igor
Strawinsky’s ballet, The Sacrifice to the Spring,
an appeal to primitive emotion through a nerve-
shattering use of rhythm, staged in ultra-modern
style by Waslav Nijinsky. Chords and legs
seemed disjointed. Flying arms synchronized
[33]

Music and Bad Manners

marvellously with screaming clarinets. But this
first audience would not permit the composer to
be heard. Cat-calls and hisses succeeded the
playing of the first few bars, and then ensued a
battery of screams, countered by a foil of ap-
plause. We warred over art (some of us thought
it was and some thought it wasn’t). The oppo-
sition was bettered at times ; at any rate it was a
more thrilling battle than Strauss conceived be-
tween the Hero and his enemies in HelderHeben
and the celebrated scenes from Die Meister ‘singer
and The Rape of the Lock could not stand the
comparison. Some forty of the protestants were
forced out of the theatre but that did not quell
the disturbance. The lights in the auditorium
were fully turned on but the noise continued and
I remember Mile. Piltz executing her strange dance
of religious hysteria on a stage dimmed by the
blazing light in the auditorium, seemingly to the
accompaniment of the disjointed ravings of a
mob of angry men and women. Little by little, at
subsequent performances of the work the audi-
ences became more mannerly, and when it was given
in concert in Paris the following year it was re-
ceived with applause.

Some of my readers may remember the demon-
stration directed (supposedly) against American
[34]

Music and Bad Manners

singers when the Metropolitan Opera Company in-
vaded Paris some years ago for a spring season.
The opening opera was A’ida, and all went well un-
til the first scene of the second act, in which the
reclining Amneris chants her thoughts while her
slaves dance. Here the audience began to give
signs of disapproval, which presently broke out
into open hissing, and finally into a real hulla-
baloo. Mme. Homer, nothing daunted, contin-
ued to sing. She afterwards told me that she had
never sung with such force and intensity. And in
a few moments she broke the spell, and calmed the
riot.

Arthur Nikisch once noted that players of the
bassoon were more sensitive than the other mem-
bers of his orchestra; he found them subject to
quick fits of temper, and intolerant of criticism.
He attributed this to the delicate mechanism of
the instrument which required the nicest appor-
tionment of breath. Clarinet players, he discov-
ered, were less sensitive. One could joke with
them in reason ; while horn players were as tracta-
ble as Newfoundland dogs ! A case of a sensi-
tive pianist comes to mind, brought to bay by as
rude an audience as I can recall. Mr* Paderewski
was playing Beethoven’s C sharp minor sonata at
one of these morning musicales arranged at the
[35]

Music and Bad Manners

smart hotels so that the very rich may see more in-
timately the well-known artists of the concert and
opera stage, when some women started to go out.
In his following number, Couperin’s La Bandoline,
the interruption became intolerable and he stopped
playing. ” Those who do not wish to hear me will
kindly leave the room immediately,” he said, ” and
those who wish to remain will kindly take their
seats.” The outflow continued, while those who
remained seated began to hiss. ” I am astonished
to find people in New York leaving while an artist
is playing,” the pianist added. Then some one
started to applaud; the applause deepened, and
finally Mr. Paderewski consented to play again
and took his place on the bench before his instru-
ment.

The incident was the result of the pianist’s well-
known aversion to appearing in conjunction with
other artists. He had finally agreed to do so on
this occasion provided he would be allowed to play
after the others had concluded their performances.
There had been many recalls for the singer and
violinist who preceded him and it was well after
one o’clock (the concert had begun at eleven) be-
fore he walked on the platform. Now one o’clock
is a very late hour at a fashionable morning niusi-
cale. Some of those present were doubtless hun-
[36]

Music and Bad Manners

gry; others, perhaps, had trains to catch; while
there must have been a goodly number who had
heard all the music they wanted to hear that
morning. There was a very pretty ending to the
incident. Once he had begun, Mr. Paderewsld
played for an hour and twenty minutes, and the
faithful ones, who had remained seated, applauded
so much when he finally rose from the bench, even
after he had added several numbers to the printed
programme, that the echoes of the clapping hands
accompanied him to his motor.

I have reserved for the last a description of a
concert given at the Dal Verme Theatre in Milan
by the Italian Futurists. The account is culled
from the ” Corriere della Sera ” of that city, and
the translation is that which appeared in ” Inter-
national Music and Drama ” :

” At the Dal Verme a Futurist concert of 6 in-
tonarumori * was to be held last night, but instead
of this there was an uproarious din intoned both
by the public and the Futurists which ended in a
free-for-all fight.

” In a speech which was listened to with suffi-
cient attention, Marinetti, the poet, announced
that this was to be the first public trial of a new
device invented by Luigi Russelo, a Futurist
painter. This instrument is called the ‘noise-
[87]

Music and Bad Manners

maker * and its purpose is to render a new kind of
music. Modern life vibrates with all sorts of
noises ; music therefore must render this sensation.
This, in brief, is the idea. In order to develop it
Russelo had invented several types of noise-
makers, each of which renders a different sound.

** After Marinetti’s speech the curtain went up
and the new orchestra appeared in all its glory
amidst the bellowings of the public. The famous
* noise-intonators ‘ proved to be made out of a
sort of bass-drum with an immense trumpet at-
tached to it, the latter looking very much like a
gramaphone horn. Behind the instrument sat the
players, whose only function was to turn the crank
rhythmically in order to create the harmonic
noise. They looked, while performing this agree-
able task, like a squad of knife-grinders. But it
was impossible to hear the music. The public
was unconditionally intolerant. We only caught
here and there a faint buzz and growl. Then
everything was drowned in the billowing seas of
howls, jeers, hisses, and cat-calls. What they
were hissing at, it being impossible to hear the
music, was not quite clear. They hissed just for
the fun of it. It was a case of art for art’s sake.
Painter Russelo, however, continued undisturbed
to direct his mighty battery of musical howitzers
[88]

Music and Bad Manners

and his professors kept on grinding their pieces
with a beautiful serenity of mind, all the while
the tumult increasing to redoubtable proportions.
The consequence was that those who went to the
Dal Verme for the purpose of listening to Futurist
music had to give up all hopes and resign them-
selves to hear the bedlam of the public.

” In vain did Marinetti attempt to speak, beg-
ging them to be quiet for a while and assuring
them that they would be allowed a whole carnival
of howls at the end of the concert the public
wanted to hiss and there was no way to check it.
But Russelo kept right on. He conducted with
imperturbable solemnity the three pieces we were
supposed to hear: The Awakening of a Great
City, A Dinner on a Kursaal Terrace, and A Meet
of Automobiles and Aeroplanes. Nobody heard
anything, but Russelo rendered everything con-
scientiously. The only thing we were able to find
out about Futurist music is that the noise of the
orchestra is by no means too loud, or at least not
louder than impromptu choruses.

” But the worst was reserved for the middle of
the third piece. The exchange of hot words and
very old-fashioned courtesies had now become
ultra-vivacious and was being punctuated with
several projectiles and an occasional blow. At
[89]

Music and Bad Manners

this point, Marinetti, Boccioni, Carra, and other
Futurists jumped into the pit and began to dis-
tribute all sorts of blows to the infuriated spec-
tators. The new Futurist style enables us to
synthesize the scene. Blows. Carbineers. In-
spectors. Cushions and chairs flying about.
Howls. Public standing on chairs. Concert
goes on. More howls, shrieks, curses, and thun-
derous insults. Futurists are led back to stage
by gendarmes. Public slowly passes out. Mar-
inetti and followers pass out before public.
Again howls, invectives, guffaws, and fist blows.
Piazza Cardusio. More blows. Galleria. Dit-
to. Futurists enter Savini’s cafe while pugilistic
matches go merrily on. Mob attempts to storm
stronghold. Iron gates close. Futurists are
shut in, in good condition, save few torn hats.
Mob slowly calms down and disperses. The end. 55

New York, May, 1916.

[40]

Music for the Movies

ff O Temporal O Movies!”

W. B. Chase.

Music for the Movies

DESPITE the fact that it would seem that
the moving picture drama had opened up
new worlds to the modern musician, no im-
portant composer, so far as I am aware, has as
yet turned his attention to the writing of music
for the films. If the cinema drama is in its in-
fancy, as some would have us believe, then we may
be sure that the time is not far distant when mov-
ing picture scores will take their places on the
musicians’ hook-shelves alongside those of operas,
symphonies, masses, and string quartets. In the
meantime, entirely ignorant of the truth (or obliv-
ious to it, or merely helpless, as the case may be)
that writing music for moving pictures is a new
art, which demands a new point of view, the di-
rectors of the picture theatres are struggling with
the situation as best they may. Under the cir-
cumstances it is remarkable, on the whole, how
swiftly and how well the demand for music with
the silent drama has been met. Certainly the
music is usually on a level with (or of a better
quality than) the type of entertainment offered.
But the directors have not definitely tackled the
problem ; they still continue to try to force old wine
into new bottles, arranging and re-arranging mel-
[43]

Music for the Movies

ody and harmony which was contrived for quite
other occasions and purposes. Even when scores
have been written for pictures the result has not
shown any imaginative advance over the arranged
score. It is strange, but it has occurred to no one
that the moving picture demands a new kind of
music.

The composers, I should imagine, are only wait-
ing to be asked to write it. Certainly none of
them has ever shown any hesitancy about compos-
ing incidental music for the spoken drama. Men-
delssohn wrote strains for A Midsummer Night’s
Dream which seemed pledged to immortality until
Granville Barker ignored them ; the Wedding
March is still in favour in Kankakee and Keokuk.
Beethoven illustrated Goethe’s Egmont; Sir Ar-
thur Sullivan penned a score for The Tempest;
Schubert was inspired to put down some of his
most ravishing notes for a stupid play called Rosa-
munde; Greig’s Peer Gynt music is more often
performed than the play. More recent instances
of incidental music for dramas are Saint-Saens’s
score for Brieux’s La Foi, Mascagni’s for The
Eternal City, and Richard Strauss’s for Le Bour-
geois Gentilhomme. Is it necessary to continue
the list? I have only, after all, put down a few
of the obvious examples (passing by the thousands
[44]

Music for the Movies

upon thousands of scores devised by lesser compos-
ers for lesser plays) that would spring at once to
any musician’s mind. Of course it has usually
been the poetic drama (do we ever hear Shake-
speare or Rostand without it?) which has seemed
to call for incidental music but it has accompanied
(with more or less disastrous consequences, to be
sure) the unfolding of many a ” drawing-room J?
play ; especially during the eighties.

When the first moving picture was exposed on
the screen it seems to have occurred to its pro-
jector at once that some land of music must ac-
company its unreeling. The silence evidently ap-
palled him. A moving picture is not unlike a bal-
let in that it depends entirely upon action (it dif-
fers from a ballet in that the action is not neces-
sarily rhythmic) and whoever heard of a ballet
performed without music? Sound certainly has
its value in creating an atmosphere and in empha-
sizing the ” thrill ” of the moving picture, espe-
cially when the sound is selected and co-ordinated.
It may also divert the attention. On the whole,
more photographed plays follow the general lines
of Lady Windemere’s Fan or Peg o* My Heart
than of poetic dramas such as Cymbelme or La
Samarltaine. The problem here, however, is not
the same as in the spoken drama* For in motion
[45]

Music for the Movies

pictures a poetic play sheds its poetry and be-
comes, like its neighbour, a skeleton of action.
There is no conceivable distinction in the ” mov-
ies ” (beyond one created by preference, or taste,
or the quality of the performance and the photog-
raphy) between Dante’s Inferno and a picture in
which the beloved Charles Chaplin looms large.
The directors of the moving picture companies
have tried to meet this problem; that they have
not wholly succeeded so far is not entirely their
fault.

It is no easy matter, for example, in a theatre
in which the films are changed daily (this is the
general rule even in the larger houses), for the mu-
sicians (or musician) to arrange a satisfac-
tory accompaniment for 5,000 feet of action which
includes everything from an earthquake in Cuba
to a dinner in Park Lane, and it is scarcely possi-
ble, even if the distributors be so inclined (as they
frequently are nowadays) to furnish a music score
which will answer the purposes of the different
sized bands, ranging from a full orchestra to an
upright piano, solo. As for the pictures without
pre-arranged scores, the orchestra leaders and pi-
anists must do the best they can with them.

In some houses there is an attitude of total dis-
respect paid towards the picture by the chef d’or-

[46]

Music for the Movies

chestre. He arranges Ms musical programme as
if he were giving a concert, not at all with a view
to effectively accompanying the picture. In a
theatre on Second Avenue in New York, for exam-
ple, I have heard an orchestra play the whole of
Beethoven’s First Symphony as an accompaniment
to Irene Fenwick’s performance of The Woman
Next Door. As the symphony came to an end be-
fore the picture it was supplemented by a Wald-
teufel waltz, Les Patineurs. The result, in this
instance, was not altogether incongruous or even
particularly displeasing, and it occurred to me
that if one had to listen to music while the third
act of Hedda Gabler were being enacted one would
prefer to hear something like Boceherini’s cele-
brated minuet or a light Mozart dance rather than
anything ostensibly contrived to fit the situation*
In the latter instance the result would be sure to
be unbearable bathos.

On the other hand there are certain players for
pictures who remind one by their methods of the
anxiety of Richard Strauss to describe every pea-
cock and bean mentioned in any of his opera-
books. If a garden is exposed on the screen one
hears The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring; a
love scene is the signal for Un Peu d* Amour; a
cross or any religious episode suggests The Ros-
[47]

Music for the Movies

ary to these ingenuous musicians ; Japan brings a
touch of Madame Butter-fly; a proposal of mar-
riage, Promise Me; and a farewell, Tosti’s Good-
bye! This expedient of appealing through the in-
tellect to the emotions, it may be admitted, has
the stamp of approval of no less a composer than
Richard Wagner.

Lacking the authority of real moving picture
music (which a new composer must rise to invent)
the safest way (not necessarily the best way) is
the middle course one method for this, another
for that. One of the difficulties is to arrange a
music score for a theatre with a large orchestra,
where the leader must plan his score or have it
planned for him for an entire picture before his
orchestra can play a note. Music cues must be
definite : twenty bars of Alexander’s Ragtime Rand,
seventeen of The Ride of the Valkyries, ten of Vissi
d’Arte, etc. An ingenious young man has discov-
ered a way by which music and action may be ex-
actly synchronized. I feel the impulse to quote ex-
tensively from the somewhat vivid report of his
achievement, published in one of the motion picture
weekly journals: ” Here was a man-sized job
how to measure the action of the picture to the
musical score, so that they would both come out
equal at every part of the picture, and would be

Music for the Movies

so exact that any orchestra might take the score
and follow the movement of the play with absolute
correctness. It was a question primarily of
mathematics, but even so it was some time before
a system of computation was devised before the
undertaking was gotten down to a certainty. As
an illustration, on the opening night of one of the
most notable photoplay productions now before
the public, the orchestra, notwithstanding a three
weeks’ rehearsal, found at the conclusion of the
picture that it was a page and a half behind the
play’s action in the musical setting.” Then we
learn that Frank Stadler of New York ” provided
the remedy for this condition of affairs.” It is
impossible to resist the temptation to quote fur-
ther from this extremely racy account. 6 He re-
membered that Beethoven had overcome the diffi-
culty of proper timing for his sonatas by a me-
chanical arrangement known as the metronome,
invented by a friend of his. This is an arrange-
ment with a little bell attached which may be set
for the movement of the music and used as an
exact guide to the right measure, the bell giving
warning at the expiration of each period so that
the leader knows whether he is in time or not, 5 *
Mr. Stadler then began the measurement of a film
with a metronome, a stenographer, and a watch.
[49]

Music for the Movies

He found that the film ran ten feet to every eight
seconds and he set the metronome for eight second
periods accordingly. ” The stenographer made a
note of the action of the picture each time the
bell rang, with the result that when the entire pic-
ture had been run Mr. Stadler had a complete rec-
ord of the production. All that was necessary
then was to select from the classics and the popu-
lar melodies the music which would give a suitable
atmosphere and a harmonious accompaniment to
the theme of the play, so synchronizing the music
with the eight second periods that every bar of it
fitted the spirit of the many score of scenes of the
production.”

The single man orchestra, the player of the up-
right piano, need not make so many preparatory
gestures. He may with impunity, if he be of an
inventive turn of mind, or if his memory be good,
improvise his score as the picture unreels itself
for the first time before what may very well be
his astonished vision ; and, after that, he may vary
his accompaniment, as the shows of the day pro-
gress, improving it here or there, or not, as the
case may be, keeping generally as near to his orig-
inal performance as possible. Of course he puts
a good deal of reliance on rum-ti-tum shivery pas-
sages (known to orchestra leaders as ** agits ”
[50]

Music for the Movies

an abbreviation of agitato; a page or two of them
is distributed to every member of a moving picture
band) to accompany moments of excitement.
This music you will remember if you have ever
attended a performance of a Lincoln J. Carter
melodrama in which a train was wrecked, or a hero
rescued from the teeth of a saw, or a heroine pur-
sued by bloodhounds. (Those were the good old
days!) Recently I heard a pianist in a moving
picture house on Fourteenth Street in New York
eke out a half-hour with similar poundings on two
or three well-used chords (well used even in the
time of Hadyn). The scenes represented the
whole of a two-act opera, and the ambitious pian-
ist was trying to give his audience the effect of
singers (principals and chorus) and orchestra,
with his three chords. (Shades of Arnold Schoen-
berg!)

A certain periodical devoted to the interests of
the moving picture trade, conducts a department
as first aid to the musical conductors and pianists
who figure at these shows. In a recent number
the editor of this department gives it as his solemn
opinion that musicians who read fiction are the
best equipped for picture playing. Then, with
an almost tragic parenthesis, he continues,
” Reading fiction is the last diversion that the av-
[51]

Music for the Movies

erage musician will follow. He feels that all the
necessary romance is to be found in his music.”
Facts are dead, says this editor in substance, but
fiction is living and should make you weep. When
you cry, all that remains for you to do is to think
of a tune which will synchronize with the cause of
your tears ; this will serve you later when a simi-
lar scene occurs in a film drama.

There is one tune which any capable moving
picture pianist has found will synchronize with
any Keystone picture (for the benefit of the un-
initiated I may state that in the Keystone farces
some one gets kicked or knocked down or spat
upon several times in almost every scene), I do
not know what the tune is, but wherever Keystone
pictures are shown, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa ; Grand
Rapids, Michigan; Chicago, and even New York,
I have heard it. When a character falls into the
water (and at least ten of them invariably do)
the pianist may vary the tune by sitting on the
piano or by upsetting a chair. In one theatre I
have known him to cause glass to be shattered be-
hind the screen at a moment when the picture
exposed a similar scene. How Marinetti would
like that !

However, the day of this sort of thing is rapidly
[52]

Music for the Movies

approaching its close, I venture to say. Some
of the firms are already issuing arranged music
scores for their productions (one may note in
passing the score which accompanied Geraldine
Farrar’s screen performance of Carmen* largely
selected from, the music of Bizet’s opera, and Vic-
tor Herbert’s original score for The Fall of a Na-
tion, a score which does not take full advantage
of the new technique of the cinema drama). It
will not be long before an enterprising director
engages an enterprising musician to compose mu-
sic for a picture. For the same reason that d’An-
nunzio, very early in the career of the moving
picture, wrote a scenario for a film, I should not
be surprised to learn that Richard Strauss was
under contract to construct an accompaniment to
a screened drama. It will be very loud music and
it will require an orchestra of 143 men to interpret
it and probably the composer himself will conduct
the first performance, and, later, excerpts will be
given by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the
critics will say, in spite of Philip Hale’s diverting
programme notes, that this music should never be
played except in conjunction with the picture for
which it was written. Mascagni is another com-
poser who should find an excellent field for his tal-
[53]

Music for the Movies

ent in writing tone-poems for pictures, although
he would contrive nothing more daring than a well-
arranged series of illustrative melodies.

But put Igor Strawinsky, or some other modern
genius, to work on this problem and see what hap-
pens ! The musician of the future should revel in
the opportunity the moving picture gives him to
create a new form. This form differs from that
of the incidental music for a play in that the flow
of tone may be continuous and because one never
needs to soften the accompaniment so that the
voices may be heard ; it differs from the music for
a ballet in that the scene shifts constantly, and
consequently the time-signatures and the mood
and the key must be as constantly shifting. The
swift flash from scene to scene, the ” cut-back,”
the necessary rapidity of the action, all are
adapted to inspire the futurist composer to
brilliant effort; a tinkle of this and a smash of
that, without ” working-out ” or development ;
illustration, comment, piquant or serious, that’s
what the new film music should be. The ultimate
moving picture score will be something more than
sentimental accompaniment.

New York, November 10, 1915.
[54]

Spain and Music

r II faut mediterraniser la musique”

Nietzsche.

Spain and Music

IT has seemed to me at times that Oscar Ham-
merstein was gifted with almost prophetic
vision. He it was who imagined the glory of
Times (erstwhile Longacre) Square. Theatre
after theatre he fashioned in what was then a
barren district and presently the crowds and
the hotels came. He foresaw that French opera,
given in the French manner, would be successful
again in New York> and he upset the calculations
of all the wiseacres by making money even with
Pelleas et Melisande, that esoteric collaboration
of Belgian and French art, which in the latter
part of the season of 1907-8 attained a record
of seven performances at the Manhattan Opera
House, all to audiences as vast and as devoted as
those which attend the sacred festivals of Parsifal
at Bayreuth. And he had announced for pre-
sentation during the season of 1908-9 (and again
the following season) a Spanish opera called
Dolores. If he had carried out his intention (why
it was abandoned I have never learned ; the scen-
ery and costumes were ready) he would have had
another honour thrust upon him, that of having
been beforehand in the production of modern
Spanish opera in New York, an honour which, in
[57]

Spain and Music

the circumstances, must go to Mr. Gatti-Casazza.
(Strictly speaking, Goyescas was not the first
Spanish opera to be given in New York, although
it was the first to he produced at the Metropolitan
Opera House. II Guarany, by Antonio Carlos
Gomez, a Portuguese born in Brazil, was per-
formed by the “Milan Grand Opera Company”
during a three weeks’ season at the Star Theatre
in the fall of 1884. An air from this opera is
still in the repertoire of many sopranos. To go
still farther back, two of Manuel Garcia’s operas,
sung of course in Italian, VAmante Astuto and
La Figlia delVAria, were performed at the Park
Theatre in 1825 with Maria Garcia later to
become the celebrated Mme. Malibran in the
principal roles. More recently an itinerant Ital-
ian opera-bouffe company, which gravitated from
the Park Theatre not the same edifice that
harboured Garcia’s company! to various play-
houses on the Bowery, included three zarzuelas
in its repertoire. One of these, the popular La
Gran Via, was announced for performance, but
my records are dumb on the subject and I am not
certain that it was actually given. There are
probably other instances.) Mr. Hammerstein
had previously produced two operas about Spain
when he opened his first Manhattan Opera House
[58]

Spain and Music

on the site now occupied by Macy’s Department
Store with Moszkowski’s Boabdil, quickly fol-
lowed by Beethoven’s Fidelia. The malaguena
from Boabdil is still a favourite morceau with
restaurant orchestras, and I believe I have heard
the entire ballet suite performed by the Chicago
Orchestra under the direction of Theodore
Thomas. New York’s real occupation by the
Spaniards, however, occurred after the close of
Mr. Hammer stein’s brilliant seasons, although
the earlier vogue of Carmencita, whose celebrated
portrait by Sargent in the Luxembourg Gallery
in Paris will long preserve her fame, the interest
in the highly-coloured paintings by Sorolla and
Zuloaga, many of which are still on exhibition in
private and public galleries in New York, the suc-
cess here achieved, in varying degrees, by such
singing artists as Emilio de Gogorza, Andrea de
Segurola, and Lucrezia Bori, the performances of
the piano works of Albeniz, Turina, and Gran-
ados by such pianists as Ernest Schelling, George
Copeland, and Leo Ornstein, and the amazing
Spanish dances of Anna Pavlowa (who In at-
tempting them was but following in the footsteps
of her great predecessors of the nineteenth cen-
tury, ^anny Elssler and Taglioni), all fanned the
flames.

[59]

Spain and Music

The winter of 1915-16 beheld the Spanish
blaze. Enrique Granados, one of the most dis-
tinguished of contemporary Spanish pianists and
composers, a man who took a keen interest in the
survival, and artistic use, of national forms, came
to this country to assist at the production of his
opera Goyescas, sung in Spanish at the Metro-
politan Opera House for the first time anywhere,
and was also heard several times here in his inter-
pretative capacity as a pianist ; Pablo Casals, the
Spanish ‘cellist, gave frequent exhibitions of his
finished art, as did Miguel Llobet, the guitar vir-
tuoso ; La Argentina (Senora Paz of South
America) exposed her ideas, somewhat classicized,
of Spanish dances; a Spanish soprano, Maria
Barrientos, made her North American debut and
justified, in some measure, the extravagant re-
ports which had been spread broadcast about her
singing; and finally the decree of Paris (still valid
in spite of Paul Poiret’s reported absence in the
trenches) led all our womenfolk into the wearing
of Spanish garments, the hip-hoops of the Velas-
quez period, the lace flounces of Goya’s Duchess
of Alba, and the mantillas, the combs, and the
accrocTie-coeurs of Spain, Spain, Spain. … In
addition one must mention Mme. Farrar’s brilliant
success, deserved in some degree, as Carmen, both
[60]

Spain and Music

in Bizet’s opera and in a moving picture drama;
Miss Theda Sara’s film appearance in the same
part, made with more atmospheric suggestion
than Mme. Farrar’s, even if less” effective as an
interpretation of the moods of the Spanish cig-
arette girl; Mr. Charles Chaplin’s eccentric bur-
lesque of the same play; the continued presence
in New York of Andrea de Segurola as an opera
and concert singer; Maria Gay, who gave some
performances in Carmen and other operas; and
Lucrezia Bori, although she was unable to sing
during the entire season owing to the unfortunate
result of an operation on her vocal cords ; in Chi-
cago, Miss Supervia appeared at the opera and
Mme. Koutznezoff, the Russian, danced Spanish,
dances ; and at the New York Winter Garden Isa-
bel Rodriguez appeared in Spanish dances which
quite transcended the surroundings and made that
stage as atmospheric, for the few brief moments in
which it was occupied by her really entrancing
beauty, as a maison de danse in Seville. The
tango, too, in somewhat modified form, continued
to interest ” ballroom dancers,” danced to music
provided in many instances by Seiior Valverde, an
indefatigable producer of popular tunes, some of
which have a certain value as music owing to their
close allegiance to the folk-dances and songs of
[61]

Spain and Music

Spain. In the art-world there was a noticeable
revival of interest in Goya and El Greco.

But if Mr. Gatti-Casazza, with the best inten-
tions in the world, should desire to take advantage
of any of this reclame by producing a series of
Spanish operas at the Metropolitan Opera House
say four or five more he would find himself
in difficulty. Where are they? Several of the
operas of Isaac Albeniz have been performed in
London, and in Brussels at the Theatre de la Mon-
naie, but would they be liked here? There is
Felipe Pedrell’s monumental work, the trilogy,
Los PireneoSj called by Edouard Lopez-Chavarri
” the most important work for the theatre written
in Spain ” ; and there is the aforementioned Do-
lores. For the rest, one would have to search
about among the zarzuelas ; and would the Metro-
politan Opera House be a suitable place for the
production of this form of opera? It is doubt-
ful, indeed, if the zarzuela could take root in any
theatre in New York.

The truth is that in Spain Italian and German’
operas are much more popular than Spanish,
the zarzuela always excepted; and at Seiior
Arb6s*s series of concerts at the Royal Opera in
Madrid one hears more Bach and Beethoven than
Albeniz and Pedrell. There is a growing interest
[62]

Spain and Music

in music in Spain and there are indications that
some day her composers may again take an im-
portant place with the musicians of other na-
tionalities, a place they proudly held in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However,
no longer ago than 1894, we find Louis Lombard
writing in his ” Observations of a Musician ” that
harmony was not taught at the Conservatory of
Malaga, and that at the closing exercises of the
Conservatory of Barcelona he had heard a four-
hand arrangement of the TannJiauser march per-
formed on ten pianos by forty hands ! Havelock
EUis (“The Soul of Spain, 5 ‘ 1909) affirms that
a concert in Spain sets the audience to chattering.
They have a savage love of noise, the Spanish,
he says, which incites them to conversation.
Albert Lavignac, in ” Music and Musicians ”
(William Marchant’s translation), says, ” We
have left in the shade the Spanish school, which
to say truth does not exist.” But if one reads
what Lavignac has to say about Moussorgsky,
one is likely to give little credence to such ex-
travagant generalities as the one just quoted.
The Moussorgsky paragraph is a gem, and I am
only too glad to insert it here for the sake of
those who have not seen it : “A charming and
fruitful melodist, who makes up for a lack of
[63]

Spain and Music

skill in harmonization by a daring, which is some-
times of doubtful taste; has produced songs,
piano music in small amount, and an opera, Boris
Godunow.” In the report of the proceedings of
the thirty-fourth session o the London Musical
Association (1907-8) Dr. Thomas Lea South-
gate is quoted as complaining to Sir George Grove
because under ” Schools of Composition ” in the
old edition of Grove’s Dictionary the Spanish
School was dismissed in twenty lines. Sir George,
he says, replied, “Well, I gave it to Rockstro
because nobody knows anything about Spanish
music.” The bibliography of modern Spanish
music is indeed indescribably meagre, although a
good deal has been written in and out of Spain
about the early religious composers of the Ibe-
rian peninsula.

These matters will be discussed in due course.
In the meantime it has afforded me some amuse-
ment to put together a list (which may be of
interest to both the casual reader and the stu-
dent of music) of compositions suggested by Spain
to composers of other nationalities. (This list is
by no means complete. I have not attempted
to include in it works which are not more or
less familiar to the public of the present day;
without boundaries it could easily be extended into
[64-]

Sp ain and Music

a small volume.) The repertoire of the concert
room and the opera house is streaked through and
through with Spanish atmosphere and, on the
whole, I should say, the best Spanish music has
not been written by Spaniards, although most of
it, like the best music written in Spain, is based
primarily on the rhythm of folk-tunes, dances and
songs. Of orchestral pieces I think I must put
at the head of the list Chabrier’s rhapsody,
Espanct, as colourful and rhythmic a combination
of tone as the auditor of a symphony concert is
often bidden to hear. It depends for its melody
and rhythm on two Spanish dances, the jota, fast
and fiery, and the malaguena, slow and sensuous. ”
These are true Spanish tunes; Chabrier, accord-
ing to report, invented only the rude theme given
to the trombones. The piece was originally writ-
ten for piano, and after Chabrier’s death was
transformed (with other music by the same com-
poser) into a ballet, Espana, performed at the
Paris Opera, 1911. Waldteufel based one of his
most popular waltzes on the theme of this rhap-
sody. Chabrier’s Habasnera for the pianoforte
(1885) was his last musical reminiscence of his
journey to Spain. It is French composers
generally who have achieved better effects with
Spanish atmosphere than men of other nations,
[65]

Spain and Music

and next to Chabrier’s music I should put De,~
bussy’s Iberia ? the second of his Images (1910).
It contains three movements designated respec-
tively as ” In the streets and roads,” ” The per-
fumes of the night, 5 ‘ and ” The morning of a
fete-day. 55 It is indeed rather the smell and the
look of Spain than the rhythm that this music
gives us, entirely impressionistic that it is, but
rhythm Is not lacking, and such characteristic
instruments as castanets, tambourines, and xylo-
phones are required by the score. a Perfumes of
the night ” comes as near to suggesting odours
to the nostrils as any music can and not all of
them are pleasant odours. There is Rimsky-
Korsakow’s Capriccio Espagnole, with” “its^gZbpr-
ado or lusty morning serenade, its long series of
cadenzas (as cleverly written as those of Sche-
herazade to display the virtuosity of individual
players in the orchestra; it is noteworthy that
this work is dedicated to the sixty-seven musicians
of the band at the Imperial Opera House of
Petrograd and all of their names are mentioned
on the score) to suggest the vacillating music of
a gipsy encampment, and finally the wild fan-
dango of the Asturias with which the work comes
to a brilliant conclusion. Engelbert Humper-
dinck taught the theory of music in the Conserva-
[66]

Spain and Music

tory of Barcelona for two years (1885-6), and
one of the results was his Mawrische Rhapsodie
in three parts (1898-9), still occasionally per-
formed by our orchestras. Lalo wrote his Sym-
phonie Espagnole for violin and orchestra for the
great Spanish virtuoso, Pablo de_ Sarasate, but
all our violinists delight to perform it (although
usually shorn of a movement or two). Glinka
wrote a Jot a Aragonese and A Night in Madrid;
he gave a Spanish theme to Balakirew which the
latter utilized in his Overture on a theme of a
Spanish March. Liszt wrote a Spanish Rhap-
sody for pianoforte (arranged as a concert piece
for piano and orchestra by Busoni) in which he
used the jota of Aragon as a theme for vari-
ations. Rubinstein’s Toreador and Andalusian
and Moszkowski’s Spanish Dances (for four
hands) are known to all amateur pianists as
Hugo Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch and Robert
Schumann’s Spanisches Liederspiel, set to F.
GiebeFs translations of popular Spanish ballads,
are known to all singers. I have heard a song
of Saint-Saens, Guitares et Mandolines, charm-
ingly sung by Greta Torpadie, in which the instru-
ments of the title, under the subtle fingers of that
masterly accompanist, Coenraad V. Bos, were
cleverly imitated. And Debussy’s Mandoline and
[6T]

Spain and Music

Delibes’s Les Fittes de Cadiz (which in this coun-
try belongs both to Emma Calve and Olive Frem-
stad) spring instantly to mind. Ravel’s Rapso-
die Espagnole is as Spanish as music could be.
The Boston Symphony men have played it during
the season just past. Ravel based the habanera
section of his Rapsodie on one of his piano pieces.
But Richard Strauss’s two tone-poems on Spanish
subjects, Don Juan and Don Quixote ‘, have not a
note of Spanish colouring, so far as I can remem-
ber, from beginning to end. Svendsen’s sym-
phonic poem, Zoraliayda, based on a passage in
Washington Irving’s “Alhambra,” is Spanish in
theme and may be added to this list together with
Waldteufel’s Estudiantina waltzes.

Four modern operas stand out as Spanish in
subject and atmosphere. I would put at the top
of the list Zandonai’s ConcJiita; the Italian ^cofS^
poser has caught on his musical palette and trans-
ferred to his tonal canvas a deal of the lazy rest-
less colour of the Iberian peninsula in this little
master-work. The feeling of the streets and pa-
tios is admirably caught. My friend, Pitts San-
born, said of it, after its solitary performance at
the Metropolitan Opera House in New York by
the Chicago Opera Company, ” There is musical
[68]

Spain and Music

atmosphere of a rare and penetrating kind ; there
is colour used with the discretion of a master;
there are intoxicating rhythms, and above the or-
chestra the voices are heard in a truthful musical
speech. . . . Ever since Carmen it has been so
easy to write Spanish music and achieve supremely
the banal. Here there is as little of the Spanish
of convention as in Debussy’s Iberia, but there is
Spain.” This opera, based on Pierre Louys’s
sadic novel, ” La Femme et le Pantin,” owed some
of its extraordinary impression of vitality to the
vivid performance given of the title-role by Tar-
quinia Tarquini. Raoul ^Laparra, born in Bor-
deaux, but who has travelled much in Spain, has
written two Spanish operas, La Habanera and La
Jofa> both named after popular Spanish dances
and both produced at the Opera-Comique in
Paris. I have heard La Habanera there and
found the composer’s use 1 of the dance as a pivot
of a tragedy very convincing. Nor shall I forget
the first act-close, in which a young man ? seated
on a wall facing the window of a house where a
most bloody murder has been committed, sings a
wild Spanish ditty, accompanying himself on the
guitar, crossing and recrossing his legs in com-
plete abandonment to the rhythm, while in the
house rises the wild treble cry of a frightened
[69]

Spain and Music

child. I have not heard La Jot a, nor have I seen
the score. I do not find Emile Vuillermoz enthusi-
astic in his review ( S. I. M.,” May 15, 1911) :
a Une danse transforme le premier acte en un
kaleidoscope frenetique et le combat dans Peglise
doit donner, au second, dans 1’intention de Pauteur
*une sensation a pic, un peu comme celle d’un
puits ou grouillerait la besogne monstreuse de
larves humaines/ A vrai dire ces deux tableaux de
cinematographe papillotant, corses de cris, de
hurlements et d’un nombre incalculable de coups de
feu constituent pour le spectateur une epreuve phy-
siquement douloureuse, une hallucination confuse
et inquietante, un caucheniar assourdissant qui le
conduisent irresistiblement a Phebetude et a la
migraine. Dans tout cet enfer que devient la
musique ? ” Perhaps opera-goers in general are
not looking for thrills of this order ; the fact re-
mains that La Jota has had a modest career when
compared with La Habanera, which has even been
performed in Boston. Carmen is essentially a
French opera; the leading emotions of the char-
acters are expressed in an idiom as French as that
of Gounod; yet the dances and entr’actes are
Spanish in colour. The story of Carmen’s en-
trance song is worth retelling in Mr. Philip Hale’s
words (” Boston Symphony Orchestra Programme
[70]

Spain and Mu sic

Notes “; 1914-15, P. 87) : ” Mme. Galli-Marie
disliked her entrance air, which was in 6-8 time
with a chorus. She wished something more au-
dacious, a song in which she could bring into play
the whole battery of her perversites artistiques,
to borrow Charles Pigot’s phrase : * caressing
tones and smiles, voluptuous inflections, killing
glances, disturbing gestures.* During the re-
hearsals Bizet made a dozen versions. The singer
was satisfied only with the thirteenth, the now fa-
miliar Habanera, based on an old Spanish tune
that had been used by Sebastian Yradier. This
brought Bizet into trouble, for Yradier’s pub-
lisher, Heugel, demanded that the indebtedness
should be acknowledged in Bizet’s score. Yradier
made no complaint, but to avoid a lawsuit or a
scandal, Bizet gave consent, and on the first page
of the Habanera in the French edition of Carmen
this line is engraved : * Imitated from a Spanish
song, the property of the publishers of Le Mene-
streU ”

There are other operas the scenes of which are
laid in Spain. Some of them make an attempt
at Spanish colouring, more do not. Massenet
wrote no less than five operas on Spanish subjects,
Le Cid, Cherubin, Dan Cesar de Bazan, La Navar-

rmse and Don Quichotte (Cervantes’s novel has

Spain and Music

frequently lured the composers of lyric dramas
with its story; Clement et Larousse give a long
list of Don Quixote operas, but they do not include
one by Manuel Garcia, which is mentioned in John
Towers’s compilation, ” Dictionary-Catalogue of
Operas.” However, not a single one of these lyric
dramas has held its place on the stage). The
Spanish dances in Le Cid are frequently performed,
although the opera is not. The most famous of
the set is called simply Aragonaise; it is not a jota.
Pleurez, mes yeux y the principal air of the piece,
can scarcely be called Spanish. There is a de-
lightful suggestion of the jota in La Navarraise.
In Don Quichotte la belle Dulcinee sings one of her
airs to her own guitar strummings, and much was
made of the fact, before the original production at
Monte Carlo, of Mme. Lucy Arbell’s lessons on
that instrument. Mary Garden, who had learned
to dance for Salome, took no guitar lessons for
Don Quichotte. But is not the guitar an an-
achronism in this opera? In a pamphlet by Senor
Cecilio de Roda, issued during the celebration of
the tercentenary of the publication of Cervantes’s
romance, taking as its subject the musical refer-
ences in the work, I find, ” The harp was the aris-
tocratic instrument most favoured by women and
it would appear to be regarded in Don Quixote as

Spain and Mu sic

the feminine instrument par excellence.” Was
the guitar as we know it in existence at that
epoch? I think the vihuela was the guitar of the
period. . . . Maurice Ravel wrote a Spanish op-
era, VHeure TEspagnoli (one act, performed at
the Paris Opera-Comique, 1911). Octave Sere
(” Musiciens fran9ais d’ Au j ourd’hui “) says of it:
” Les principaux traits de son caractere et Pinflu-
ence du sol natal s’y combinent etrangement. De
P alliance de la mer et du Pays Basque (Ravel was
born in the Basses-Pyrenees, near the sea) est nee
une musique a la f ois fluide et nerveusement ryth-
mee, mobile, chatoyante, amie du pittoresque et
dont le trait net et precis est plus Incisif que pro-
fond.* 5 Hugo Wolf’s opera Der Corregidor is
founded on the novel, ” II Sombrero de tres Picos,”
of the Spanish writer, Pedro de Alarcon (1838-
91). His unfinished opera Manuel Venegas also
has a Spanish subject, suggested by Alarcon’s ” El
Nino de la Bola.” Other Spanish operas are Bee-
thoven’s Fidelia, Balfe’s The Rose of Castille, Ver-
d?s Ernani and II Trovatore, Rossini’s 11 Barbiere
di Siviglia, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le Nozze
di Figaro, Weber’s Preciosa (really a play with in-
cidental music), Dargomij sky’s The Stone Guest
(Pushkin’s version of the Don Juan story. This
opera, by the way, was one of the many retouched
[73]

Spain and Music

and completed by Kimsky-Korsakow), Reznicek’s
Donna Diana and Wagner’s Parsifal! The
American composer John Knowles Paine’s opera
Azara, dealing with a Moorish subject, has, I
think, never been performed.

II

The early religious composers of Spain deserve
! niche all to themselves, be it ever so tiny, as In
the present instance. There is, to be sure, some
doubt as to whether their inspiration was entirely
peninsular, or whether some of it was wafted from
Flanders, and the rest gleaned in Rome, for in
their service to the church most of them migrated
to Italy and did their best work there. It is not
the purpose of the present chronicler to devote
much space to these early men, or to discuss in de-
tail their music. There are no books in English
devoted to a study of Spanish music, and few in
any language, but what few exist take good care
to relate at considerable length (some of them with
frequent musical quotation) the state of music in
Spain in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth
centuries, the golden period. To the reader who
may wish to pursue this phase of our subject I
[74]

Spain a nd Music

offer a small bibliography. There is first of all
A. Soubies’s two volumes, ” Histoire de la Mu-
sique d’Espagne,” published in 1889. The second
volume takes us through the eighteenth century.
The religious and early secular composers are
catalogued in these volumes, but there is little at-
tempt at detail, and he is a happy composer who
is awarded an entire page. Soubies does not find
occasion to pause for more than a paragraph on
most of his subjects. Occasionally, however, he
lightens the plodding progress of the reader, as
when he quotes Father Bermudo’s “Declaracion
de Instruments ” (1548; the 1555 edition is in
the Library of Congress at Washington):
” There are three kinds of instruments in music.
The first are called natural; these are men, of
whom the song is called musical harmony. Others
are artificial and are played by the touch such
as the harp, the mhuela (the ancient guitar, which
resembles the lute), and others like them; the
music of these is called artificial or rhythmic. The
third species is pneumatique and includes instru-
ments such as the flute, the douyaine (a species of
oboe), and the organ.” There may be some to
dispute this ingenious and highly original classi-
fication. The best known, and perhaps the most
useful (because it is easily accessible) history of
[75]

Spain and Music

Spanish music is that written by Mariano Soriano
Fuertes, in four volumes : ” Historia de la Musica
Espanola desde la venida de los Fenicios hasta el
ano de 1850 ” ; published in Barcelona and Madrid
in 1855. There is further the ” Diccionario Tec-
nico, Historico, y Biografico de la Musica/ 5 by
Jose Parada y Barreto (Madrid, 1867). This,
of course, is a general work on music, but Spain
gets her full due. For example, a page and a half
is devoted to Beethoven, and nine pages to Eslava.
It is to this latter composer to whom we must turn
for the most complete and important work on
Spanish church music : ” Lira Sacro-Hispana ”
(Madrid, 1869), in ten volumes, with voluminous
extracts from the composers’ works. This collec-
tion of Spanish church music from the sixteenth
century through the eighteenth, with biographical
notices of the composers is out of print and rare
(there is a copy in the Congressional Library at
Washington). As a complement to it I may men-
tion Felipe PedrelPs ” Hispaniae Schola Musica
Sacra,” begun in 1894, which has already reached
the proportions of Eslava’s work, Pedrell, who
was the master of Enrique Granados, has also is-
sued a fine edition of the music of Victoria.

The Spanish composers had their full share in
the process of crystallizing music into forms of
[76]

Spain and Music

permanent beauty during the sixteenth and seven-
teenth centuries. Rockstro asserts that during
the early part of the sixteenth century nearly all
the best composers for the great Roman choirs
were Spaniards. But their greatest achievement
was the foundation of the school of which Pales-
trina was the crown. On the music of their own
country their influence is less perceptible. I think
the name of Cristofero Morales (1512-53) is the
first important name In the history of Spanish
music. He preceded Palestrina in Rome and
some of hfs” masses and motets are still sung in the
Pajrnl cHapel there (and in other Roman Catholic
edifices and by choral societies). Francesco
Guerrero (158 99; these dates are approximate)
was a pupil of Morales. He wrote settings of the
Passion choruses according to St. Matthew and
Sf/’ John and numerous masses and motets.
Tomas Luis de Victoria is, of course, the greatest
Sgure in Spanish music, and next to Palestrina
(with whom he worked contemporaneously) the
greatest figure in sixteenth century music. Sou-
bies writes : ” One might say that on his musical
palette he has entirely at his disposition, in some
sort, the glowing colour of Zurburan, the realistic
and transparent tones of Velasquez, the ideal
shades of Juan de Juares and Murillo. His mys-
[77]

Spain and Music

ticism is that of Santa Theresa and San Juan de
la Cruz.” The music of Victoria is still very
much alive and may be heard even in New York,
occasionally, through the medium of the Musical
Art Society. Whether it is performed in churches
in America or not I do not know ; the Roman choirs
still sing it. …

The list might be extended indefinitely . , . but
the great names I have given. There are Cabe-
zon, whom Pedrell calls the ” Spanish Bach,” Na-
varro, Caseda, Comes, Ribera, Castillo^ Lobo* Du-
ron, Romero, Juarez. On the whole I think these
composers had more influence on Rome the
Spanish nature is more reverent than the Italian
than on Spain. The modern Spanish compos-
ers have learned more from the folk-song and
dance than they have from the church composers.
However, there are voices which dissent from this
opinion. G. Tebaldini (” Rivista Musicale,” Vol.
IV, Pp. 67 and 494) says that Pedrell in his
studies learned much which he turned to account in
the choral writing of his operas. An<J,BdI|jjPed-
rell himself asserts that there is an unbroken chain
between the religious composers of the sixteenth
century and the theatrical composers of the seven-
teenth. We may follow him thus far without
believing that the theatrical composers of the sev-
[78]

Sp ain and Music

enteenth century had too great an influence on the
secular composers of the present day.

Ill

All the world dances in Spain, at least it would
seem so, in reading over the books of the Marco
Polos who have made voyages of discovery on the
Iberian peninsula. Guitars seem to be as common
there as pea-shooters in New England, and strum-
ming seems to set the feet a-tapping and voices
a-singing, what, they care not. (Havelock Ellis
says : ” It is not always agreeable to the Span-
iard to find that dancing is regarded by the for-
eigner as a peculiar and important Spanish insti-
tution. Even Valera, with his wide culture, could
not escape this feeling ; in a review of a book about
Spain by an American author entitled * The Land
of the Castanet J a book which he recognized as
full of appreciation for Spain Valera resented
the title. It is, he says, as though a book about
the United States should be called * The Land of
Bacon,*”) Oriental colour is streaked through
and through the melodies and harmonies, many of
which betray their Arabian origin; others are
flamenco, or gipsy. The dances, almost invaria-
bly accompanied by song, are generally in
[79]

Sp ain and Mo sic

time or Its variants such as 6-8 or 3-8 ; the tango,
of course, is in -&. But the dancers evolve the
most elaborate inter-rhythms out of these simple
measures, creating thereby a complexity of effect
which defies any comprehensible notation on pa-
per. As it is on this fioriture, if I may be per-
mitted to use the word in this connection, of the
dancer that the sophisticated composer bases some
of his most natural and national effects, I shall
linger on the subject. La Argentina has re-ar-
ranged many of the Spanish dances for purposes
of the concert stage, but in her translation she has
retained in a large measure this interesting com-
plication of rhythm, marking the irregularity of
the beat, now with a singularly complicated de-
tonation of heel-tapping, now with a sudden bend
of a knee, now with the subtle quiver of an eye-
lash, now with a shower of castanet sparks (an in-
strument which requires a hard tutelage for its
complete mastery ; Richard Ford tells us that even
the children in the streets of Spain rap shells to-
gether, to become self-taught artists in the use of
it). Chabrier, in his visit to Spain with his wife
in I88, attempted to note down some of these
rhythmic variations achieved by the dancers while
the musicians strummed their guitars, and he was
partially successful. But all in all he only sue-
[80]

Spain and Mu sic

ceeded in giving in a single measure each varia-
tion; he did not attempt to weave them into the
intricate pattern .which the Spanish women con-
trive to make of them.

There is a singular similarity to be observed be-
tween this heel-tapping and the complicated drum-
tapping of the African negroes of certain tribes.
In his book ” Afro-American Folksongs ” H, E.
Krehbiel thus describes the musical accompani-
ment of the dances in the Dahoman Village at
the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago:
” These dances were accompanied by choral song
and the rhythmical and harmonious beating of
drums and bells, the song being in unison. The
harmony was a tonic major triad broken up
rhythmically in a most intricate and amazingly in-
genious manner. The instruments were tuned
with excellent justness. The fundamental tone
came from a drum made of a hollowed log about
three feet long with a single head, played by one
who seemed to be the leader of the band, though
there was no giving of signals. This drum was
beaten with the palms of the hands. A variety of
smaller drums, some with one, some with two
heads, were beaten variously with sticks and fin-
gers. The bells, four in number, were of iron and
were held mouth upward and struck with sticks.
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The players showed the most remarkable rhyth-
mical sense and skill that ever came under my no-
tice. Berlioz in his supremest effort with his
army of drummers produced nothing to compare
in artistic interest with the harmonious drumming
of these savages. The fundamental effect was a
combination of double and triple time, the former
kept by the singers, the latter by the drummers,
but it is impossible to convey the idea of the
wealth of detail achieved by the drummers by
means of exchange of the rhythms, syncopation of
both simultaneously, and dynamic devices. Only
by making a score of the music could this have
been done. I attempted to make such a score by
enlisting the help of the late John C. Filmore, ex-
perienced in Indian music, but we were thwarted
by the players who, evidently divining our purpose
when we took out our notebooks, mischievously
changed their manner of playing as soon as we
touched pencil to paper. 99

The resemblance between negro and Spanish
nusic is very noticeable. Mr. Krehbiel says that
in South America Spanish melody has been im-
posed on negro rhythm. In the dances of the peo-
ple of Spain, as Chabrier points out, the melody
is often practically nil ; the effect is rhythmic (an
effect which is emphasized by the obvious harmonic
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Spain and Music

and melodic limitations of the guitar, which in-
variably accompanies all singers and dancers).
If there were a melody or if the guitarists played
well (which they usually do not) one could not
distinguish its contours what with the cries of Ole !
and the heel-beats of the performers. Spanish
melodies, indeed, are often scraps of tunes, lite
the African negro melodies. The habanera is a
true African dance, taken to Spain by way of
Cuba, as Albert Friedenthal points out in his book,
” Musik, Tanz, und Dichtung bei den Kreolen
Amerikas.” Whoever was responsible, Arab, ne-
gro, or Moor (Havelock Ellis says that the dances
of Spain are closely allied with the ancient dances
of Greece and Egypt), the Spanish dances betray
their oriental origin in their complexity of rhythm
(a complexity not at all obvious on the printed
page, as so much of it depends on dancer, guitar-
ist, singer, and even public!), and the fioriture
which decorate their melody when melody occurs.
While Spanish religious music is perhaps not dis-
tinctively Spanish, the dances invariably display
marked national characteristics; it is on these,
then (some in greater, some in less degree), that
the composers in and out of Spain have built their
most atmospheric inspirations, their best pictures
of popular life in the Iberian peninsula. A good
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Spain and Music

deal of the interest of this music is due to the im-
portant part the guitar plays in its construction ;
the modulations are often contrary to all rules of
harmony and (yet, some would say) the music
seems to be effervescent with variety and fire. Of
the guitarists Richard Ford (” Gatherings from
Spain”) says: “The performers seldom are
very scientific musicians ; they content themselves
with striking the chords, sweeping the whole hand
over the strings, or flourishing, and tapping the
board with the thumb, at which they are very ex-
pert. Occasionally in the towns there is some
one who has attained more power over this un-
grateful instrument; but the attempt is a failure.
The guitar responds coldly to Italian words and
elaborate melody, which never come home to Span-
ish ears or hearts/’ (An exception must be made
in the case of Miguel Llobet. I first heard him
play at Pitts Sanborn*s concert at the Punch and
Judy Theatre (April 17, 1916) for the benefit of
Hospital 28 in Bourges, France, and he made a
deep impression on me. In one of his numbers,
the SpamsJi Fantasy of Farrega, he astounded
and thrilled me. He seemed at all times to exceed
the capacity of his instrument, obtaining a variety
of colour which was truly amazing. In this par-
ticular number he not only plucked the keyboard
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Spain and Music

but the fingerboard as well, in intricate and rapid
tempo; seemingly two different kinds of instru-
ments were playing. But at all times he variated
his tone ; sometimes he made the instrument sound
almost as though it had been played by wind and
not plucked. Especially did I note a suggestion
of the bagpipe. A true artist. None of the mu-
sic, the fantasy mentioned, a serenade of Albeniz,
and a Menuet of Tor, was particularly interest-
ing, although the Fantasia contained some fasci-
nating references to folk-dance tunes. There is
nothing sensational about Llobet, a quiet prim
sort of man ; he sits quietly in his chair and makes
music. It might be a harp or a ‘cello no striv-
ing for personal effect.)

The Spanish dances are infinite in number and
for centuries back they seem to form part and
parcel of Spanish life. Discussion as to how they
are danced is a feature of the descriptions. No
two authors agree, it would seem ; to a mere anno-
tator the fact is evident that they are danced
differently on different occasions. It is obvious
that they are danced differently in different prov-
inces. The Spaniards, as Richard Ford points
out, are not too willing to give information to
strangers, frequently because they themselves lack
the knowledge. Their statemerts are often mis-
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Spain and Music

leading, sometimes Intentionally so. They do not
understand the historical temperament. Until re-
cently many of the art treasures and archives of
the peninsula were but poorly kept. Those who
lived in the shadow of the Alhambra admired only
its shade. It may be imagined that there has been
even less interest displayed in recording the folk-
dances. ” Dancing in Spain is now a matter
which few know anything about,” writes Have-
lock Ellis, ” because every one takes it for granted
that he knows all about it; and any question on
the subject receives a very ready answer which is
usually of questionable correctness,,” Of the mu-
sic of the dances we have many records, and that
they are generally in 8-4 time or its variants we
may be certain. As to whether they are danced
by two women, a woman and a man, or a woman
alone, the authorities do not always agree. The
confusion is added to by the oracular attitude of
the scribes. It seems quite certain to me that this
procedure varies. That the animated picture al-
most invariably possesses great fascination there
are only too many witnesses to prove. I myself
can testify to the marvel of some of them, set to
be sure in strange frames, the Feria in Paris, for
example ; but even without the surroundings, which
Spanish dances demand, the diablerie, the shiver-
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ing intensity of these fleshly women, always wound
tight with such shawls as only the mistresses of
kings might wear in other countries, have drawn
taut the real thrill. It is dancing which enlists the
co-operation not only of the feet and legs, but of
the arms and, in fact, the entire body.

The smart world in Spain to-day dances much
as the smart world does anywhere else, although it
does not, I am told, hold a brief for our tango,
which Mr, Krehbiel suggests is a corruption of the
original African habanera. But in older days
many of the dances, such as the payana, the sara-
bande, and the gallarda, were danced at the court
and were in favour with the nobility. (Although
presumably of Italian origin, the pavana and gal-*
larda were more popular in Spain than in Rome.
Fuertes says that the sarabande was invented in
the middle of the sixteenth century by a dancer
called Zarabanda who was a native of either Seville
or Guayaquil.) The pavana, an ancient dance of
grave and stately measure, was much in vogue in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. An ex-
planation of its name is that the figures executed
by the dancers bore a resemblance to the semi-
circular wheel-like spreading of the tail of a pea-
cock. The gallarda (French, gaillard) was usu-
ally dancecTas a relief to the pavana (and indeed
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Spain and Music

often follows it In the dance-suites of the classical
composers in which these forms all figure). The
jacara, or more properly xacara, of the sixteenth
century, was danced in accompaniment to a ro-
mantic,, swashbuckling ditty. The Spanish folias
were a set of dances danced to a simple tune treated
in a variety of styles with very free accompani-
ment of castanets and bursts of song. Corelli in
Rome in 1700 published twenty-four variations in
this form, which have been played in our day by
Fritz Kreisler and other violinists.

The names of the modern Spanish dances are
often confused in the descriptions offered by ob-
serving travellers, for the reasons already noted.
Hundreds of these descriptions exist, and it is diffi-
cult to choose the most telling of them. Gertrude
Stein, who has spent the last two years in Spain,
has noted the rhythm of several of these dances by
the mingling of her original use of words with the
ingratiating medium of vers libT0. She has suc-
ceeded, I think, better than some musicians in sug-
gesting the intricacies of the rhythm. I should
like to transcribe one of these attempts here, but
that I have not the right to do as I have only seen
them in manuscript ; they have not yet appeared in
print. These pieces are in a sense the thing it-
self I shall have to fall back on descriptions of
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Spain and Music

the thing. The tirana, a dance common to the
province of Andalusia, is accompanied by song.
It has a decided rhythm, affording opportunities
for grace and gesture, the women toying with their
aprons, the men flourishing hats and handker-
chiefs. The polo, or ole, is now a gipsy jJance.
Mr. Ellis asserts that it is a corruption of the
sarabande ! He goes on to say, ” The so-called
gipsy dances of Spain are Spanish dances which
the Spaniards are tending to relinquish but which
the gipsies have taken up with energy and skill. 55
(This theory might be warmly contested.) The
bolero, a comparatively modern dance, came to
Spain through Italy.,, Mr. Philip Hale points out
the fact that the bolero and the cachucjtia (which,
by the way, one seldom hears of nowadays) were
the popular Spanish dances when Mesdames Favi-
ani and Dolores Tesrai, and their followers, Mile.
Noblet and Fanny Elssler, visited Paris. Fanny
Elssler indeed is most frequently seen pictured in
Spanish costume, and the cachucha was danced by
her as often, I fancy, as Mme. Pavlowa dances Le
Cygne of Saint-Saens. Anna de Camargo, who
acquired great fame as a dancer in France in the
early eighteenth century, was born in Brussels but
was of Spanish descent. She relied, however, on
the Italian classic style for her success rather than
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Spain and Music

on national Spanish dances* The seguidilla is a
gipsy dance which has the same rhythm as the
bolero hut is more animated and stirring. Exam-
ples of these dances, and of the jota, fandango,
and the sevillana, are to be met with in the compo-
sitions listed in the first section of this article, in
the appendices of Soriano Fuertes’s ” History of
Spanish Music,” in Grove’s Dictionary, in the
numbers of ” S. I. M. s? in which the letters of Em-
manuel Chabrier occur, and in collections made by
P. Lacome, published in Paris.

The jota is another dance in 3,-4 time* Every
province in Spain has its own jota/ but the most
famous variations are those of Xragon, Valencia s
and Navarre. It is accompanied by the guitar,
the bandarria (similar to the guitar), small drum,
castanets, and triangle. Mr. Hale says that its
origin in the twelfth century is attributed to a
Moor named Alben Jot who fled from Valencia to
Aragon. “The jota,” he continues, “is danced
not only at merrymakings but at certain religious
festivals and even in watching the dead. One
called the * Natividad del Senor 3 (nativity of our
Lord) is danced on Christmas eve in Aragon, and
is accompanied by songs, and jotas are sung and
danced at the crossroads, invoking the favour of
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Spain and Music

the Virgin, when the festival of Our Lady del Pilar
is celebrated at Saragossa.”

Havelock Ellis’s description of the jota is worth
reproducing: “The Aragonaise jota, the most
important and typical dance outside Andalusia, is
danced by a man and a woman, and is a kind of
combat between them; most of the time they are
facing each other, both using castanets and ad-
vancing and retreating in an apparently aggres-
sive manner, the arms alternately slightly raised
and lowered, and the legs, with a seeming attempt
to trip the partner, kicking out alternately some-
what sidewise, as the body is rapidly supported
first on one side and then on the other. It is a
monotonous dance, with immense rapidity and vi-
vacity in its monotony, but it has not the delib-
erate grace and fascination, the happy audacities
of Andalusian dancing. There is, indeed, no
faintest suggestion of voluptuousness in it, but it
may rather be said, in the words of a modern poet,
Salvador Rueda, to have in it c the sound of hel-
mets and plumes and lances and banners, the roar-
ing of cannon, the neighing of horses, the shock of
swords. 5 5>

Chabrier, in his astounding and amusing letters
from Spain, gives us vivid pictures and interesting
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Spain and Music

information. This one, written to his friend,
Edouard Moulle, from Granada, .November 4,
1882, appeared in S. I. M.” April 15, 1911 (I
have omitted the musical illustrations, which, how-
ever, possess great value for the student) : ” In a
month I must leave adorable Spain . . . and say
good-bye to the Spaniards, because, I say this
only to you, they are very nice, the little girls ! I
have not seen a really ugly woman since I ‘have
been in Andalusia : I do not speak of the feet, they
are so small that I have never seen them ; the hands
are tiny and well-kept and the arms of an ex-
quisite contour ; I speak only of what one can see,
but they show a good deal ; add the arabesques, the
side-curls, and other ingenuities of the coiffure,
the inevitable fan, the flower and the comb in the
hair, placed well behind, the shawl of Chinese
crepe, with long fringe and embroidered in flowers,
knotted around the figure, the arm bare, and the
eye protected by eyelashes which are long enough
to curl ; the skin of dull white or orange colour,
according to the race, all this smiling, gesticulat-
ing, dancing, drinking, and careless to the last de-
gree. . . .

cs That is the Andalusian.

” Every evening we go with Alice to the cafe-
concerts where the malaguenas, the Soledas, the
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Spain and Music

Sapateados, and the Peteneras are sung; then the
dances, absolutely Arab, to speak truth; if you
could see them wriggle, unjoint their hips, contor-
tion, I believe you would not try to get away ! . . .
At Malaga the dancing became so intense that I
was compelled to take my wife away ; it wasn’t even
amusing any more. I can’t write about it, but I
remember it and I will describe it to you. I have
no need to tell you that I have noted down many
things; the tango, a kind of dance in which the
women imitate the pitching of a ship (le tangage
du nawre} is the only dance in $ time ; all the oth-
ers, all, are in 3-4? (Seville) or in 3-8 (Malaga and
Cadiz); in the North it is different, there is
some music in 5-8, very curious. The -4 of the
tango is always like the habanera; this is the pic-
ture: one or two women dance, two silly men play
it doesn’t matter what on their guitars, and five
or six women howl, with excruciating voices and in
triplet figures impossible to note down because
they change the air every instant a new scrap
of tune. They howl a series of figurations with
syllables, words, rising voices, clapping hands
which strike the six quavers, emphasizing the third
and the sixth, cries of Anda I Anda ! La Salud !
eso es la Maraquita! gracia, nationidadi Baila,
la chiquilla! Anda I Anda! Consuelo! Ole, la
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Spain and Music

Lola, ole la Carmen ! que gracia ! que elegancia ! all
that to excite the young dancer. It Is vertiginous
it is unspeakable !

a The Sevillana is another thing: it is in 8-4
time (and with castanets). * . . All this becomes
extraordinarily alluring with two curls, a pair of
castanets and a guitar. It is impossible to write
down the malaguena. It is a melopceia, however,
which has a form and which always ends on the
dominant, to which the guitar furnishes 3-8 time,
and the spectator (when there is one) seated be-
side the guitarist, holds a cane between his legs
and beats the syncopated rhythm; the dancers
themselves instinctively syncopate the measures in
a thousand ways, striking with their heels an un-
believable number of rhythms. … It is all
rhythm and dance: the airs scraped out by the
guitarist have no value; besides, they cannot be
heard on account of the cries of Anda! la chi-
quilla! que gracia! que elegancia! Anda! Ole!
Ole! la chiquirritita ! and the more the cries the
more the dancer laughs with her mouth wide open,
and turns her hips, and is mad with her
body. . . .”

As it is on these dances that composers inva-
riably base their Spanish music (not alone Albeniz,
Chapf, Breton, and Granados, but Chabrier,
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Spain and Music

Ravel, Laparra, and Bizet, as well) we may linger
somewhat longer on their delights. The following
compelling description is from Richard Ford’s
highly readable ” Gatherings from Spain ” :
” The dance which is closely analogous to the
Ghowasee of the Egyptians, and the NautcJi of
the Hindoos, is called the Ole by Spaniards, the
Romalis by their gipsies; the soul and essence of
it consists in the expression of a certain sentiment,
one not indeed of a very sentimental or correct
character. The ladies, who seem to have no
bones, resolve the problem of perpetual motion,
their feet having comparatively a sinecure, as the
whole person performs a pantomime, and trembles
like an aspen leaf; the flexible form and Terp-
sichore figure of a young Andalusian girl be
she gipsy or not is said, by the learned, to
have been designed by nature as the fit frame for
her voluptuous imagination.

“Be that as it may, the scholar and classical
commentator will every moment quote Martial,
etc., when he beholds the unchanged balancing of
hands, raised as if to catch showers of roses, the
tapping of the feet, and the serpentine quivering
movements. A contagious excitement seizes the
spectators, who, like Orientals, beat time with
their hands in measured cadence, and at every
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Spain and Music

pause applaud with cries and clappings. The
damsels, thus encouraged, continue in violent
action until nature is all but exhausted; then
aniseed brandy, wine, and alpisteras are handed
about, and the fete, carried on to early dawn,
often concludes in broken heads, which here are
called * gipsy’s fare/ These dances appear, to a
stranger from the chilly north, to be more marked
by energy than by grace, nor have the legs less
to do than the body, hips, and arms. The sight
of this unchanged pastime of antiquity, which ex-
cites the Spaniard to frenzy, rather disgusts an
English spectator, possibly from some national
malorganization, for, as Moliere says, *l’Angle-
terre a produit des grands hommes dans les
sciences et les beaux arts, mais pas un grand
danseur allez lire Phistoire.* ” (A fact as true
in our day as it was in MoKere’s.)

On certain days the sevillana is danced before
the high altar of the cathedral at Seville. The
Reverend Henry Cart de Lafontaine (” Proceed-
ings of the Musical Association ” ; London, thirty-
third session, 1906-7) gives the following account
of it, quoting a ” French author ” : 6t While
Louis XIII was reigning over France, the Pope
heard much talk of the Spanish dance called the
6 Sevillana.’ He wished to satisfy himself, by ac-
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Spain and Music

tual eye-witness, as to the character of this dance,
and expressed his wish to a bishop of the diocese of
Seville, who every year visited Rome. Evil
tongues make tht Bishop responsible for the pri-
mary suggestion of tlie idea. Be that as it may,
the bishop, on his return to Seville, had twelve
youths well instructed in all the intricate measures
of this Andalusian dance. He had to choose
youths, for how could he present maidens to the
horrified glance of the Holy Father? When his
little troop was thoroughly schooled and per-
fected, he took the party to Rome, and the audi-
ence was arranged. The * Sevillana * was danced
in one of the rooms of the Vatican. The Pope
warmly complimented the young executants, who
were dressed in beautiful silk costumes of the
period. The bishop humbly asked for permission
to perform this dance at certain fetes in the
cathedral church at Seville, and further pleaded
for a restriction of this privilege to that church
alone. The Pope, hoist by his own petard, did
not like to refuse, but granted the privilege with
this restriction, that it should only last so long as
the costumes of the dancers were wearable. Need-
less to say, these costumes are, therefore, objects
of constant repair, but they are supposed to
retain their identity even to this day. And this
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Spain and Music

is the reason why the twelve boys who dance the
6 Sevillana 3 before the high altar in the cathedral
on certain feast days are dressed in the costume
belonging to the reign of Lo?:ls XIII.”

This is a very pretty story, but it is not un-
contradicted. , . . Has any statement been made
about Spanish dancing or music which has been
allowed to go uncontradicted? Look upon that
picture and upon this : ” As far as it is possible
to ascertain from records,” says Rhoda G. Ed-
wards in the ** Musical Standard,” ” this dance
would seem always to have been in use in Seville
cathedral; when the town was taken from the
Moors in the thirteenth century it was undoubtedly
an established custom and in 14$8 we find the six
boys recognized as an integral part of the chapter
by Pope Eugenius IV. The dance is known as
the (sic) *Los Seises,’ or dance of the six boys
who, with four others, dance it before the high
altar at Benediction on the three evenings before
Lent and in the octaves of Corpus Christi and La
Purissima (the conception of Our Lady). The
dress of the boys is most picturesque, page cos-
tumes of the time of Philip III being worn, blue
for La Purissima and red satin doublets slashed
with blue for the other occasion; white hats with
blue and white feathers are also worn whilst
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dancing. The dance is usually of twenty-five
minutes’ duration and in form seems quite unique,
not resembling any of the other Spanish dance-
formsj or in fact those of any other country.
The boys accompany the symphony on castanets
and sing a hymn in two parts whilst dancing.”

From another author we learn that religious
dancing is to be seen elsewhere in Spain than at
Seville cathedral. At one time, it is said to have
been common. The pilgrims to the shrine of the
Virgin at Montserrat were wont to dance, and
dancing took place in the churches of Valencia,
Toledo, and Jurez. Religious dancing continued
to be common, especially in Catalonia up to the
seventeenth century. An account of the dance
in the Seville cathedral may be found in “Los
Espanoles Pintados por si Mismos ” (pages
287-91).

This very incomplete and rambling record of
Spanish dancing should include some mention of
the faoaidango. The origin of the word is ob-
scure, but the dance is obviously one of the gayest
and wildest of the Spanish dances. Like the
malagQena^ it is in^-SI time, but it is quite dif-
ferent in spirit from that sensuous form of terp-
sichorean enjoyment. La Argentina informs me
that a fandango ” in Spanish suggests very much
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Spain and Music

what ” bachanale ” does in English or French.
It is a very old dance, and may be a survival of
a Moorish dance, as Desrat suggests. Mr. Philip
Hale found the following account of it somewhere :

“Like an electric shock, the notes of the
fandango animate all hearts. Men and women,
young and old, acknowledge the power of this air
over the ears and soul of every Spaniard. The
young men spring to their places, rattling cas-
tanets, or imitating their sound by snapping their
fingers. The girls are remarkable for the wil-
lowy languor and lightness of their movements,
the voluptuousness of their attitudes- beating
the exactest time with tapping heels. Partners
tease and entreat and pursue each other by turns.
Suddenly the music stops, and each dancer shows
his skill by remaining absolutely motionless,
bounding again in the full life of the fandango as
the orchestra strikes up. The sound of the gui-
tar, the violin, the rapid tic-tac of heels
(taconeos}) the crack of fingers and castanets,
the supple swaying of the dancers, fill the specta-
tors with ecstasy.

66 The music whirls along in a rapid triple time.

Spangles glitter; the sharp clank of ivory and

ebony castanets beats out the cadence of strange,

throbbing, deafening notes assonances un-

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Spain and Music

known to music, but curiously characteristic,
effective, and intoxicating. Amidst the rustle of
silks, smiles gleam over white teeth, dark eyes
sparkle and droop, and flash up again in flame.
All is flutter and glitter, grace and animation
quivering, sonorous, passionate, seductive. OU!
Ole! Faces beam and burn. OU! Ole!

” The bolero intoxicates, the fandango in-
flames.”

It can be well understood that the study of
Spanish dancing and its music must be carried on
in Spain. Mr. Ellis tells us why : ” Another
characteristic of Spanish dancing, and especially
of the most typical kind called flamenco, lies in its
accompaniments, and particularly in the fact that
under proper conditions all the spectators are
themselves performers. . . Thus it is that at
the end of a dance an absolute silence often falls,
with no sound of applause: the relation of per-
formers and public has ceased to exist. . . . The
finest Spanish dancing is at once killed or degraded
by the presence of an indifferent or unsympathetic
public, and that is probably why it cannot be
transplanted, but remains local.”

At the end of a dance an absolute silence often
falls. … I am again in an underground cafe
in Amsterdam. It is the eve of the Queen’s birth-
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Spain and Music

day, and the Dutch are celebrating. The low,
smoke-wreathed room is crowded with students,
soldiers, and women. Now a weazened female
takes her place at the piano, on a slightly raised
platform at one side of the room. She begins to
play. The dancing begins. It is not woman with
man; the dancing is informal. Some dance to-
gether, and some dance alone; some sing the
melody of the tune, others shriek, but all make a
noise. Faster and faster and louder and louder
the music is pounded out, and the dancing becomes
wilder and wilder. A tray of glasses is kicked
from the upturned palm of a sweaty waiter.
Waiter, broken glass, dancer, all lie, a laughing
heap, on the floor. A soldier and a woman stand
in opposite corners, facing the corners ; then with-
out turning, they back towards the middle of the
room at a furious pace ; the collision is appalling.
Hand in hand the mad dancers encircle the room,
throwing confetti, beer, anything. A heavy stein
crushes two teeth the wound bleeds but the
dancer does not stop. Noise and action and
colour all become synonymous. There is no
escape from the force. I am dragged into the
circle. Suddenly the music stops. All the
dancers stop. The soldier no longer looks at the
woman by his side; not a word is spoken. People
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Spain and Music

lumber towards chairs. The woman looks for a
glass of water to assuage the pain of her bleeding
mouth. I think Jaques-Daleroze is right when
he seeks to unite spectator and actor, drama and
public.

IV

In the preceding section I may have too
strongly insisted upon the relation of the folk-
song to the dance. It is true that the two are
seldom separated in performance (although not
all songs are danced; for example, the canas and
play eras of Andalusia). However, most of the
folk-songs of Spain are intended to be danced;
they are built on dance-rhythms and they bear
the names of dances. Thus the jota is always
danced to the same music, although the variations
are great at different times and in different
provinces. It is, of course, when the folk-songs
are danced that they make their best effect, in the
polyrhythm achieved by the opposing rhythms of
guitar-player, dancer, and singer. When there is
no dancer the defect is sometimes overcome by
some one tapping a stick on the ground in imita-
tion of resounding heels.

Blind beggars have a habit of singing the songs,
in certain provinces, with a wealth of florid orna-
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Spain and Music

ment, suet ornament as is always associated with
oriental airs in performance, and this ornament
still plays a considerable role when the vocalist
becomes an integral part of the accompaniment
for a dancer. Chabrier gives several examples of
it in one of his letters. In the circumstances it
can readily be seen that Spanish folk-songs writ-
ten down are pretty bare recollections of the real
thing, and when sung by singers who have no
knowledge of the traditional manner of perform-
ing them they are likely to sound fairly banal.
The same thing might be said of the negro folk-
songs of America, or the folk-songs of Russia or
Hungary, but with much less truth, for the folk-
songs of these countries usually possess a melodic
interest which is seldom inherent in the folk-songs
of Spain. To make their effect they must be
performed by Spaniards, as nearly as possible
after the manner of the people. Indeed, their
spirit and their polyrhythinic effects are much
more essential to their proper interpretation than
their melody, as many witnesses have pointed out.
Spanish music, indeed, much of it, is actually
unpleasant to Western ears; it lacks the sad
monotony and the wailing intensity of true orien-
tal music; much of it is loud and blaring, like the
hot sunglare of the Iberian peninsula. However,

Spain and Music

many a Western or Northern European has found
pleasure in listening by the hour to the strains,
which often sound as if they were improvised, sung
by some beggar or mountaineer.

The collections of these songs are not in any
sense complete and few of them attempt more than
a collocation of the songs of one locality or people.
Deductions have been drawn. For example it is
noted that the Basque songs are irregular in
melody and rhythm and are further marked by
unusual tempos, 5-8, or 7-4. In Aragon and
Navarre the popular song (and dance) is the
jota; in Galicia, the seguidilla; the Catalonian
songs resemble the folk-tunes of Southern France.
The Andalusian songs, like the dances of that
province, are the most beautiful of all, often truly
oriental in their rhythm and floridity. In Spain
the gipsy has become an integral part of the
popular life, and it is difficult at times to deter-
mine what is flamenco and what is Spanish. How-
ever, collections (few to be sure) have been at-
tempted of gipsy songs.

Elsewhere in this rambling article I have
touched on the wUancicos and the early song-
writers. To do justice to these subjects would
require a good deal more space and a different
intention. Those who are interested in them may
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Spain and Music

pursue these matters in PedrelFs various works.
The most available collection of Spanish folk-
tunes is that issued by P. Lacome and J. Puig y
Alsubide (Paris, 1872). There are several col-
lections of Basque songs ; Demofilo’s ” Coleccion
de Cantos Flamencos” (Seville, 1881), Cecilio
Ocon’s collection of Andalusian folk-songs, and
F. Rodriguez Maria’s “Cantos Populares Es-
panoles” (Seville, 188&-3) may also be men-
tioned.

After the bullfight the most popular form of
‘ amusement in Spain is the zarsuelay the only
distinctive art-form which Spanish music has
evolved, but there has been no progress ; the form
has not changed, except perhaps to degenerate,
since Its invention in the early seventeenth cen-
tury. Soriano Fuertes and other writers have
devoted pages to grieving because Spanish com-
posers have not taken occasion to make something
grander and more important out of the zarzuela.
The fact remains that they have not, although,
small and great alike, they have all taken a hand
at writing these entertainments* But as they
found the zarzuela, so they have left it. It must
be conceded that the form is quite distinct from
[106]

Spain and Music

that of opera and should not be confused with it.
And the Spaniards are probably right when they
assert that the zarzuela is the mother of the
French opera-bouffe. At least it must be ad-
mitted that Offenbach and Lecocq and their pre-
cursors owe something of the germ of their in-
spiration to the Spanish form. To-day the mel-
ody chests of the zarzuela markets are plundered
to find tunes for French revues, and such popular
airs as La Paraguaya and Y . . . Coma le Yd?
were originally danced and sung in Spanish the-
atres. The composer of these airs, J. Valverde
fils, indeed found the French market so good that
he migrated to Paris, and for some time has been
writing musique melangee . . . une moitie de
chaque nation. So La Rose de Grenade, com-
posed for Paris, might have been written for
Spain, with slight melodic alterations and tauro-
machian allusions in the book.

The zarzuela is usually a one-act piece
(although sometimes it is permitted to run into
two or more acts) in which the music is freely
interrupted by spoken” dialogue,, and that in turn
gives way to national dances. Very often the
entire score is danced as well as sung. The sub-
ject is usually comic and often topical, although
it may be serious, poetic, or even tragic* The
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Spain and Music

actors often introduce dialogue of their own,
” gagging ” freely ; sometimes they engage in long
impromptu conversations with members of the
audience. They also embroider on the music after
the fashion of the great singers of the old Italian
opera (Dr. de Lafontaine asserts that Spanish
audiences, even in cabarets,, demand embroidery
of this sort). The music is spirited and lively,
and in the dances, Andalusian, -flamenco, or Se-
villan, as the case may be, it attains its best re-
sults. H. V. Hamilton, in his essay on the sub-
ject in Grove’s Dictionary, says, “The music is
, . . apt to be vague in form when the national
dance and folk-song forms are avoided. The
orchestration is a little blatant. 55 It will be seen
that this description suits Granados 5 s Goyescas
(the opera), which is on its safest ground during
the dances and becomes excessively vague at other
times; but Goyescas is not a zarzuela, because
there is no spoken dialogue. Otherwise it bears
the earmarks. A zarzuela stands somewhere be-
tween a French revue and opera-comique. It is
usually, however, more informal in tone than the
latter and often decidedly more serious than the
former. All the musicians in Spain since the form
was invented (excepting, of course, certain ex-
clusively religious composers), and most of the
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Spain and Music

poets and playwrights, have contributed numerous
examples. Thus Calderon wrote the first zarzuela,
and Lope de Vega contributed words to enter-
tainments much in the same order. In our day
Spain’s leading dramatist, Echegaray (died 1916),
has written one of the most popular zarzuelas,
Gigantes y Cabezudos (the music by Caballero).
The subject is the fiesta of Santa Maria del Pilar.
It has had many a long run and is often revived.
Another very popular zarzuela, which was almost,
if not quite, heard in New York, is La Gran Via
(by Valverde, pcre\ which has been performed in
London in extended form. The principal theatres
for the zarzuela in Madrid are (or were until re-
cently) that of the Calle de Jovellanos, called the
Teatro de Zarzuela, and the Apolo. Usually
four separate zarzuelas are performed in one eve-
ning before as many audiences.

La Gran Via, which in some respects may be
considered a typical zarzuela, consists of a string
of dance-tunes, with no more homogeneity than
their national significance would suggest. There
is an introduction and polka, a waltz, a tango, a
j ota, a mazurka, a schottische, another waltz, and
a two-step (paso-doble) . The tunes have little
distinction; nor can the orchestration be consid-
ered brilliant. There is a great deal of noise and
[109]

Spain and Music

variety of rhythm, and when presented correctly
the effect must be precisely that of one of the
dance-halls described by Chabrier. The zarzuela,
to be enjoyed, in fact, must be seen in Spain,
Like Spanish dancing it requires a special audi-
ence to bring out its best points. There must be
a certain electricity, at least an element of sym-
pathy, to carry the thing through successfully.
Examination of the scores of zarzuelas (many of
them have been printed and some of them are to
be seen in our libraries) will convince any one that
Mr. Ellis is speaking mildly when he says that
the Spaniards love noise. However, the combi-
nation of this noise with beautiful women, dancing,
elaborate rhythm, and a shouting audience, seems
to almost equal the cafe-concert dancing and the
tauromachian spectacles in Spanish popular af-
fection. (Of course, as I have suggested, there
are zarzuelas more serious melodically and dra-
matically ; but as La Gran Via is frequently men-
tioned by writers as one of the most popular
examples, it may be selected as typical of the
larger number of these entertainments.)

H. V. Hamilton says that the first performance

of a zarzuela took place in 1628 (Pedrell gives

the date as October 9, 169), during the reign

of Felipe IV, in the Palace of the Zarzuela (so

[110]

Spain and Music

called because it was surrounded by zarzas,
brambles). It was called El Jardm de Falerina;
the text was by the great Calderon and the music
by Juan Risco, chapelmaster of the cathedral at
Cordova, according to Mr. Hamilton, who doubt-
less follows Soriano Fuertes on this detail.
Soubies, following the more modern studies of
Pedrell, gives Jose Peyro the credit, Pedrell, in
his richly documented work, ” Teatro Lirico Es-
panola anterior al siglo XIX,” attributes the
music of this zarzuela to Peyro and gives an ex-
ample of it. The firstSjD^^ from
the same period, Lope de Vega’s La Selva sm
Amor (1629). As a matter of fact, many of tike
plays of Calderon and Lope de Vega were per-
formed with music to heighten the effect of the
declamation, and musical curtain-raisers and
interludes were performed before and in the midst
of all of them. Lana, Palomares, Benavente and
Hidalgo were among the musicians who contrib-
uted music to the theatre of this period, Hi-
dajgp^ wrote the music for Calderon’s zarzuela,
Ni Amor se Libre de Amor. To the same group
Belong Miguel Ferrer, Juan de Navas, Sebastien
de Navas, and Jeronimo de la Torre. (Examples
of the music of these men may be found in the
aforementioned “Teatro Lirico.”) Until 1659
[HI]

Spain and Music

zarzuelas were written by the best poets and com-
posers and frequently performed on royal birth-
days, at royal marriages, and on many other
occasions; but after that date the art fell into a
decline and seems to have been in eclipse during
the whole of the eighteenth century. According
to Soriano Fuertes the beginning of the reign of
Felipe V marked the introduction of Italian opera
into Spain (more popular than Spanish opera
there to this day) and the decadence of national-
ism (whole pages of Fuertes read very much like
the plaints of modern English composers about
the neglect of national composers in their coun-
try). In 1829 there was a revival of interest in
Spanish music and a conservatory was founded
in Madrid. (For a discussion of this later period
the reader is referred to ” La Opera Espanola en
el Siglo XIX,” by Antonio Peiia y Goni, 1881.)
This interest has been fostered by Fuertes and
Pedrell, and the younger composers to-day are
taking some account of it. There is hope, indeed,
that Spanish music may again take its place in
the world of art.

Of course, the zarzuela did not spring into being
out of nowhere and nothing, and the true origins
are not entirely obscure. It is generally agreed
that a priest, Juan del Encina (born at Sala-

Spain and Music

manca, 1468), was the true founder of the secular
theatre in Spain. His dramatic compositions are
in the nature of eclogues based on Virgillan
models. In all of these there is singing and in
one a dance. Isabel la Catolica in the fifteenth
century always had at her command a troop of
musicians and poets who comforted and consoled
her in her chapel with motets and plegarias
(French, priere), and in the royal apartments
with canciones and wllancicos. (Canciones are
songs inclining towards the ballad-form. Villan-
cicos are songs in the old Spanish measure; they
receive their name from their rustic character,, as
supposedly they were first composed by the
villanos or peasants for the nativity and other
festivals of the church.) ” It is necessary to
search for the true origins of the Spanish musical
spectacle/ 5 states Soubies, ” in the villancicos and
cantacttlos which alternated with the dialogue in
the works of Juan del Encina and Lucas Fernan-
dez, without forgetting the ensaladas, the jacaras,
etc., which served as intermezzi and curtain-
raisers. 55 These were sung before the curtain, be-
fore the drama was performed (and during the
intervals, with jokes added) by women in court
dress, and later created a form of their own (be-
sides contributing to the creation of the zar~
[113]

Spain and Music

zuela), the tonadilla, which, accompanied by a
guitar or violin and interspersed with dances, was
very popular for a number of years, H, V, Ham-
ilton is probably on sound ground when he says,
” That the first zarzuela was written with an ex-
press desire for expansion and development is,
however, not so certain as that it was the result
of a wish to Inaugurate the new house of enter-
tainment with something entirely original and
novel.”

VI

We have Richard Ford’s testimony that Spain
was not very musical In his day. The Reverend
Henry Cart de Lafontalne says that the con-
temporary musical services in the churches are not
to be considered seriously from an artistic point
of view. Emmanuel Chabrier was impressed with
the fact that the music for dancing was almost
entirely rhythmic in its effect, strummed rudely
on the guitar, the spectators meanwhile making
such a din that it was practically impossible to
distinguish a melody, had there been one. And
all observers point at the Italian opera, which is
still the favourite opera in Spain (in Barcelona at
the Liceo three weeks of opera in Catalon is given
after the regular season in Italian; in Madrid
[114]

Sp ain and Music

at the Teatro-Real the Spanish season is scattered
through the Italian), and at Senor Arbos’s con-
certs (the same Senor Arbos who was once concert
master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), at
which Brandenburg concertos and Beethoven sym-
phonies are more frequently performed than works
by Albeniz. Still there are, and have always
been during the course of the last century, Span-
ish composers, some of whom have made a little
noise in the outer world, although a good many
have been content to spend their artistic energy
on the manufacture of zarzuelas in other
words, to make a good deal of noise in Spain. In
most modern instances, however, there has been
a revival of interest in the national forms, and
folk-song and folk-dance have contributed their
important share to the composers’ work. No one
man has done more to encourage this interest in
nationalism than Felipe Pedrell, who may be said
to have begun in Spain the work which the ** Five ”
accomplished in Russia. Pedrell says in his
“Handbook” (Barcelona, 1891; Heinrich and
Co. ; French translation by Bertal ; Paris, Fisch-
bacher): “The popular song, the voice of the
people, the pure primitive inspiration of the
anonymous singer, passes through the alembic of
contemporary art and one obtains thereby its
[115]

Spain and Music

quintessence ; the composer assimilates it and then
reveals it in the most delicate form that music
alone is capable of rendering form in its technical
aspect, this thanks to the extraordinary develop-
ment of the technique of our art in this epoch.
The folk-song lends the accent, the background,
and modern art lends all that it possesses, its con-
ventional symbolism and the richness of form
which is its patrimony. The frame is enlarged
in such a fashion that the lied makes a correspond-
ing development; could it be said then that the
national lyric drama is the same lied expanded?
Is not the national lyric drama the product of the
force of absorption and creative power? Do we
not see in it faithfully reflected not only the ar-
tistic idiosyncrasy of each composer, but all the
artistic manifestations of the people?” There
is always the search for new composers in Spain
and always the hope that a man may come who
will be acclaimed by the world. As a consequence,
the younger composers in Spain often receive
more adulation than is their due. It must be re-
membered that the most successful Spanish music
is not serious, the Spanish are more themselves
in the lighter vein.

I hesitate for a moment on the name of Martin
y Solar, born at Valencia ; died at St. Petersburg,
[116]

Spain and Music

1806 ; called The Italian ” by the Spaniards on
account of his musical style, and ” lo Spagnuolo ”
by the Italians. Da Ponte wrote several opera-
books for him, VArbore di Diana, la Cosa Rara,
and La Capricciosa Corretta (a version of The
Taming of the Shrew) among others. It is to
be seen that he is without importance if considered
as a composer distinctively Spanish and I have
made this slight reference to him solely to recount
how Mozart quoted an air from one of his operas
in the supper scene of Don GiovarmL At the time
Martin y Solar was better liked in Vienna than
Mozart himself and the air in question was as
well known as say Musetta’s waltz is known to us.
Juan Chjys,a&toma Arri&ga, born in Bilbao
1808; died 188 (these dates are given in Grove:
1806-1826), is another matter. He might have
become better known had he lived longer. As it
is, some of his music has been performed in London
and Paris, and perhaps in America, although I
have no record of it. He studied in Paris at the
Conservatoire, under Fetis for harmony, and
Baillot for violin. Before he went to Paris even,
as a child, with no knowledge of the rules of har-
mony, he had written an opera! CherubinI de-
clared his fugue for eight voices on the words in
the Credo, ” Et Vitam Venturi ” a veritable chef
[117]

Sp aln and Music

d’ceuvre, at least there is a legend to this effect.
In 184? he wrote three quartets, an overture, a
symphony, a mass, and some French cantatas and
romances. Garcia considered his opera Los
Esclavas Felices so good that he attempted, un-
successfully, to secure for it a Paris hearing. It
has been performed in Bilbao, which city, I think,
celebrated the centenary of the composer’s birth.
Manuel Garcia is better known to us as a
singer, an impresario, and a father, than as a
composer! Still he wrote a good deal of music
(so did Mme. Malibran; for a list of the diva’s
compositions I must refer the reader to Arthur
Pougin’s biography). Fetis enumerates seven-
teen Spanish, nineteen Italian, anct seveirFrench
operas by Garcia. He had works produced in
Madrid, at the Opera in Paris {La mart du> Tasse
and Florestan), at the Italiens in Paris (Fazzo-
letto\ at the Opera-Comique in Paris (DeiuE
Contrats), and at many other theatres. How-
ever, when all is said and done, Manuel Garcia’s
reputation still rests on his singing and his daugh-
ters. His compositions are forgotten; nor was
his music, much of it, probably, truly Spanish.
(However, I have heard a polo [serenade] from
an opera called El Poeta Calcwlista, which is so
Spanish in accent and harmony and so beau-
[118]

Spain and Music

tif ul that it has found a place in a collection
of folk-tunes !)

Miguel Hilarion Eslava (born in Burlada, Oc-
tober 21, 1807, died at Madrid, July 3, 1878)
is chiefly famous for his compilation, the “Lira
Sacra-Hispana,” mentioned heretofore. He also
composed over 140 pieces of church music, masses,
motets, songs, etc., after he had been appointed
chapelmaster of Queen Isabella in 1844, and sev-
eral operas, including II Solitario, La Tregua di
Ptolemaide, and Pedro el Cruel. He also wrote
several books of theory and composition: “Me-
todo de Solfeo ” (1846) and ” Ejscuelp, , .de
Armonfa y Composicion ” in three parts (har-
mony, composition, and melody). He edited
(1855-6) the ” Gaceta Musical de Madrid.”

There is the celebrated virtuoso, Pablo de Sara-
sate, who wrote music, but his memory is perhaps
BeEfeF*preserved in Whistler’s diabolical portrait
than in his own compositions.
Felipe Pedpelt* (born February 19, 1841) is

‘*””= rfmrilinir “”*””

also perhaps more important as a writer on mu-
sical subjects and for his influence on the younger
school of composers (he teaches in the conserva-
tory of Barcelona, and his attitude towards
nationalism has already been discussed), than he
is as a composer. Still, Edouard Lopez-Chavarri
[119]

Spain and Music

does not hesitate to pronounce his trilogy Los
Pireneos (Barcelona, 1902; the prologue was per-
formed in Venice in 1897) the most important
work for the theatre written in Spain. His first
opera, El Ultimo Abencerrajo, was produced in
Barcelona in 1874. Some of his other works are
Quasimodo, 1875 ; El Tasso a Ferrara, Cleopatra,
Mazeppa (Madrid, 1881), Celestine (1904), and
La Matinada (1905). J. A, Fuller-Maitland
says that the influence of Wagner is traceable in
all his stage work. (Wagner is adored in Spain ;
Parsifal was given eighteen times in one month at
the Liceo in Barcelona.) If this be true, his case
will be found to bear other resemblances to that
of the Russian ” Five/ 5 who found it difficult to
exorcise all foreign influences in their pursuit of
nationalism.

He was made a member of the Spanish Academy
in 1894 and shortly thereafter became Professor
of Musical History and ^Esthetics at the Royal
Conservatory at Madrid. Besides his “His-
paniae Schola Musica Sacra” he has written a
number of other books, and translated Richter’s
treatise on Harmony into Spanish. He has made
several excursions into the history of folk-lore
and the principal results are contained in ” Mu-
sicos Anonimos” and “For nuestra Musica.”
[120]

Spain and Music

Other works are ” Teatro Lirico Espafiol anterior
al siglo XIX,” “Lirica Nacionalizada,” “De
Musica Religiosa,” u Miisiquerias y mas Mii-
siquesias.” One of his books, ” Musieos Contem-
poraneos y de Otros Tempos ” (in the library of
the Hispanic Society of New York) is very cath-
olic in its range of subject. It includes essays on
the Don Quixote of Strauss, the Boris Godwnow
of Moussorgsky, Smetana, Manuel Garcia, Ed-
ward Elgar, Jaques-Dalcroze, Bruckner, Mahler,
Albeniz, Palestrina, Busoni, and the tenth sym-
phony of Beethoven !

In John Towers’s extraordinary compilation,
” Dictionary-Catalogue of Operas,” it is stated
that Manuel Fernandez Caballero (born in 1835)
wrote sixty-two operas, and the names of them
are given. He was a pupil of Euertes (haxm^ny)
and Eslaya (composition) at the Madrid Con-
servatory and later became very popular as a
writer of zarzuelas. I have already mentioned his
Gigantes y Cabezudos for which Echegaray fur-
nished the libretto. Among his other works in
this form are Los^Dineros del Sacristan, Los
Africanistaj (Barcelona, 1894), El Cdbo Primero
(Barcelona, 1895), and La Rueda de la Fortuna
(Madrid, 1896).

At a concert given in the New York Hippo-
[121]

Spain and Music

drome, April 3, 1911, Mme. Tetrazzini sang a
Spanish song, which was referred to the next day
by the reviewers of the ” New York Times ” and
the ” New York Globe.” To say truth the so-
prano made a great effect with the song, although
it was written for a low voice. It was Carce-
leras, from Rupertp Chapfs zarzuela Hija del
Zebedeo. Chapi was one of the most prolific an3
popular composers of Spain during the last cen-
tury. He produced countless zarzuelas and nine
children. He was born at Villena March 27,
1851, and he died March 25, 1909, a few months
earlier than his compatriot Isaac Albeniz. He
was admitted to the conservatory of Madrid in
1867 as a pupil of piano and harmony. In 1869
he obtained the first prize for harmony and he con-
tinued to obtain prizes until in 1874 he was sent
to Rome by the Academy of Fine Arts. He re-
mained for some time in Italy and Paris. In
1875 the Teatro Real of Madrid played his La
Hija de Jefte sent from Rome. The following is
an incomplete list of his operas and zarzuelas:
Via Libra, Los Gendarmes, El Rey que Babio (3
acts). La Verbena de la Paloma, El Reclamo, La
Tempestad, La Bruja, La Leyenda del Monje, Las
Campanados, La Czarina, El Mtlagro de la Vir-
gen, Roger de Flor (3 acts), Las Naves de Cortes 9
[122]

Spain and Music

Circe (3 acts), A qui Base Farsa mi Hombre,
Juan Francisco (S acts, 1905 ; rewritten and pre-
sented in 1908 as Entre Rocas), Los Madrilenos
(1908), LaDamaJloja (1 act, 1908), Hespena
(1908), Las Calderas de Pedro Bdero (1909)
and Margarita la Tornera, presented just before
his death without success.

His other works include an oratorio, Los
Angeles, a symphonic poem, Escenas de Capo, y
Espada, a symphony in D, Moorish Fantasy for
orchestra, a serenade for orchestra, a trio for
“piano, violin and ‘cello, songs, etc. Chapi was
president of the Society of Authors and Com-
posers, and when he died the King and Queen of
Spain sent a telegram of condolence to his widow.
There is a copy of his zarzuela, Blasones y Tale-
gas in the New York Public Library.

I have already spoken of Dolores. It is one of
a long series of operas and zarzuelas written by
Tomas Breton y Hernandez (born at Salamanca,
December 9, 1850). First produced at Madrid,
in 1895, it has been sung with success in such dis-
tant capitals as Buenos Ayres and Prague. I
have been assured by a Spanish woman of impec-
cable taste that Dolores is charming, delightful
in its fluent melody and its striking rhythms, thor-
oughly Spanish in style, but certain to find favour
[123]

Spain and Music

in America, if it were produced here. Our own
Eleanora de Cisneros at a Press Club Benefit in
Barcelona appeared in Breton’s zaraiela La Ver-
bena de Id Paloma. Another of Breton’s famous
zarzuelas is Los Amantes de Ternel (Madrid,
1889). His works for the theatre further include
Tabare, for which he wrote both words and music
(Madrid, 1913); Don Gtt (Barcelona, 1914*);
Garin (Barcelona, 1891); Raquel (Madrid,
1900); Guzman el Bueno (Madrid, 1876); El
Cert amen de Cremona (Madrid, 1906) ; El Cam-
panere de Begona (Madrid, 1878) ; El Barberillo
en Ordn; Corona contra Corona (Madrid, 1879) ;
Les Amores de wn Principe (Madrid, 1881); El
Clavel Rojo (1899); Covadonga (1901) ; and El
Domingo de Ramos, words by Echegaray (Mad-
rid, 1894). His works for orchestra include:
En ‘la AlJiambra, Los Galeotes, and Escenas An-
daluzas, a suite. He has written three string
quartets, a piano trio, a piano quintet, and an
oratorio in two parts, El Apocalipsis.

Breton is largely self-taught, and there is a
legend that he devoured by himself Eslava’s
* 6 School of Composition.” He further wrote the
music and conducted for a circus for a period of
years. In the late seventies he conducted an
orchestra, founding a new society, the Union
[124]

Spain and Music

Artisticp Musical, which is said to have been the
Beginning of the modern movement in Spain. It
may throw some light on Spanish musical taste
at this period to mention the fact that the per-
formance of Saint-Saens’s Danse macabre almost
created a riot. Later Breton travelled. He ap-
peared as conductor in London, Prague, and
Buenos Ayres, among other cities outside of
Spain, and when Dr. Karl Muck left Prague for
Berlin, he was invited to succeed him in the Bo-
hemian capital. In the contest held by the per-
iodical ” Blanco y Negro ” in 1913 to decide who
was the most popular writer, poet, painter, mu-
sician, sculptor, and toreador in Spain, Breton as
musician got the most votes. . . . He is at pres-
ent the head of the Royal Conservatory in Mad-
rid.

No Spanish composer (ancient or modern) is
better known outside of Spain than

(born May 529, 1861, at Comprodon; died at
Cambo, in the Pyrenees, May $5, 1909). His
fame rests almost entirely on iwdLve piano, pieces
(in four books) entitled collectively Iberia, with
which all concert goers are familiar. They have
been performed here by Ernest ScheEing, Leo Orn-
stein, and George Copeland, among other virtuosi.
… I think one or two of these pieces must be
[125]

Spain and Music

in the repertoire of every modern pianist.
Albeniz did not imbibe his musical culture in Spain
and to the day of his death he was more friendly
with the modern French group of composers than
with those of his native land. In his music he
sees Spain with French eyes. He studied at Paris
with Marmontd; at Brussels with Louis Brassin;
and at Weimar with Liszt (he is mentioned in the
long list of pupils in Huneker’s biography of
Liszt, but there is no further account of him in
that book) ; he studied composition with Jadas-
sohn, Joseph Dupont, and F. Kufferath. His
symphonic poem, Catalonia, has been performed
in Paris by the Colonne Orchestra, I have no
record of any American performance. For a
time he devoted himself to the piano. He was a
virtuoso and he has even played in London, but
later in life he gave up this career for composi-
tion. He wrote several operas and zarzuelas,
among them a light opera, The Magic Opal (pro-
duced in London, 1893), Enrico Clifford (Barce-
lona, 1894; later heard in London), Pepita
Jiminez (Barcelona, 1895; afterwards given at
the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels), and San
Anton de la Florida (produced in Brussels as
VErmiiage Fleurie). He left unfinished at his
death another opera destined for production in
[126]

Sp ain and Music

Brussels at the Monnaie, Merlin V Enchant eur.
None of his operas, with the exception of Pepita
Jiminez, which has been performed, I am told, in
all Spanish countries, achieved any particular
success, and it is Iberia and a few other piano
pieces which will serve to keep his memory green.

Juan Bautista JPjjjfiL (1836-1898) gained con-
siderable reputation in Spain as a pianist and as
a teacher of and composer for that instrument,
He also wrote a method for piano students en-
titled “${uevo Mecanismo del Piano.” His fur-
ther claim to attention is due to the fact that he
was one of the teachers of Granados.

The names of PaHssa^(both a conductor and
composer; one of his symphonic works is called
The Combat)^ Garcia Robles, represented by an
Epitalame, and Gibert, with two Marines, occur on
the programmes of the two concerts devoted in
the main to Spanish music, at the second of which
(Barcelona, 1910 ; conductor Franz Beidler) Gra-
nados’s Dante was performed.

E. Fernandez Arbos (born in Madrid, Decem-
ber 26, 1863) is better known as a conductor and
violinist than as cpmposer* Still, he has written
mEESfej 1 especially for his own instrument. He was
a pupil of both Vieuxtemps and Joachim ; and he
has travelled muchj teaching at the Hamburg
[127]

Spain and Music

Conservatory, and acting as concertmaster for the
Boston Symphony and the Glasgow Orchestras.
He has been a professor at the Madrid con-
servatory for some time, giving orchestral and
chamber music concerts, both there and in Lon-
don. He has written at least one light opera, pre-
sumably a zarzuela, El^Centro de la Tierra (Mad-
rid ; December 22, 1895) ; three trios for piano
and strings, songs, and an orchestral suite.

I have already referred to the Valverdes, father
and son, Th^ father, in collaboration with Fed-
erico Chuec% wrote La Gran Via. Many another
popular zarzuela is signed by him. The son has
lived so long in France that much of his music is
cast in the style of the French music hall ; too it
is in a popular vein. Still in his best tangos he
strikes a Spanish folk-note not to be despised.
He wrote the music for the play, La Maison de
Danse, produced, with Polaire, at the Vaudeville
in Paris, and two of his operettas, La Rose de
Grenade and T’ ‘Amour en Espagne, have been per-
formed in Paris, not without success, I am told by
La Argentina, who danced in them. Other mod-
ern composers who have been mentioned to me are
Manuel de Falla, Joaquia Tuma (George Cope-
land has played his A los TOTO&),
(who died in 1915), the^coiSpdBfeirof
[128]

Spain and Music

nos, Oscar Erpla, Conrado del Campo, and En-
rique Mofef a.

“Enrique Granados was perhaps the first of the
important Spanish composers to visit North
America. His place in the list of modern Iberian
musicians is indubitably a high one; though it
must not be taken for granted that all the best
music of Spain crosses the Pyrenees (for reasons
already noted it is evident that some Spanish
music can never be heard to advantage outside of
Spain), and it is by no means to be taken for
granted that Granados was a greater musician
than several who dwell in Barcelona and Madrid
without making excursions into the outer world.
In his own country I am told Granados was ad-
mired chiefly as a pianist, and his performances
on that instrument in New York stamped him as
an original interpretative artist, one capable of
extracting the last tonal meaning out of his own
compositions for the pianoforte, which are his
best work.

Shortly after his arrival in New York he stated
to several reporters that America knew nothing
about Spanish music, and that Bizet’s Carmen was
not in any sense Spanish. I hold no brief for
Carmen being Spanish but it is effective, and that
Goyescas as an opera is not. In the first place,
[129]

Spain and Music

Its muddy and blatant orchestration would de-
tract from its power to please (this opinion might
conceivably be altered were the opera given under
Spanish conditions in Spain). The manuscript
score of Goyescas now reposes in the Museum of
the Hispanic Society, in that interesting quarter
of New York where the apartment houses bear the
names of Goya and Velasquez, and it is interest-
ing to note that it is a piano score. What has
become of the orchestral partition and who was
responsible for it I do not know. It is certain,
however, that the miniature charm of the Goyes-
cas becomes more obvious in the piano version,
performed by Ernest Schelling or the composer
himself, than in the opera house. The growth of
the work is interesting. Fragments of it took
shape in the composer’s brain and on paper seven-
teen years ago, the result of the study of Goya’s
paintings in the Prado. These fragments were
moulded into a suite in 1909 and again into an
opera in 1914 (or before then). F. Periquet, the
librettist, was asked to fit words to the score, a
task which he accomplished with difficulty. Span-
ish is not an easy tongue to sing. To Mme. Bar-
rientos this accounts for the comparatively small
number of Spanish operas. Goyescas, like many
a zarzuela, lags when the dance rhythms cease. I
[130]

Spain and Music

find little joy myself in listening to ” La Maja y el
Ruisenor ” ; in fact, the entire last scene sounds
banal to my ears. In the four volumes of Spanish
dances which Granados wrote for piano (pub-
lished by the Sociedad Anonima Casa Dotesio in
Barcelona) I console myself for my lack of inter-
est in Goyescas. These lovely dances combine in
their artistic form all the elements of the folk-
dances as I have described them. They bespeak a
careful study and an intimate knowledge of the
originals. And any pianist, amateur or profes-
sional, will take joy in playing them*

Enrique Granados y . Campina was born July
7, 1867, at Lerida, Catalonia. (He died March
24, 1916 ; a passenger on the Sussex, torpedoed in
the English Channel.) From 1884 to 1887 he
studied piano under Pujol and composition under
Felipe Pedrell at the Madrid Conservatory. That
the latter was his master presupposed on his part
a valuable knowledge of the treasures of Spam’s
past and that, I think, we may safely allow him.
There is, I am told, an interesting combination of
classicism and folk-lore in his work. At any rate,
Granados was a faithful disciple of Pedrell. In
1898 his zarzuela Maria^ Ael^Carmen was pro-
duced in Madrid ancThas since been heard in Va-
lencia, Barcelona, and other Spanish cities. Five
[131]

Spain and Music

years later some fragments of another opera,
Ietto 3 were produced at Barcelona. His third op-
era, Liliana, was produced at Barcelona in 1911.
He wrote numerous songs to texts by the poet,
Apeles Mestres; Galician songs, two symphonic
poems. La Nit del Mart and Dante (performed by
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the first time
in America at the concerts of November 5 and 6,
1915); a piano trio, string quartet, and various
books of piano music (Danzas Espanolas, Valses
Poeticos, Bocetos, etc.).

New York, March $0, 1916.

Shall We Realize Wagner’s Ideals?

Shall We Realize Wagner 9 s

Ideals?

HISTORIANS of operatic phenomena have
observed that fashions in music change;
the popular Donizetti and Bellini of one
century are suffered to exist during the next only
for the sake of the opportunity they afford to
some brilliant songstress. New tastes arise, new
styles in music, Dukas’s generally unrelished (and
occasionally highly appreciated) Ariane et Barbe-
Bleue may not be powerful enough to establish a
place for itself in the repertoire, but its direct in-
fluence on composers and its indirect influence on
auditors make this lyric drama highly important
as an indication of the future of opera as a fine
art. Moussorgsky’s Boris Godunow, first given in
this country some forty years after its production
in Russia, is another matter. That score con-
tains a real thrill in itself, a thrill which, once felt,
makes it difficult to feel the intensity of a Wagner
drama again : because Wagner is becoming just a
little bit old-fashioned. Lohengrin and Tanrihaw-
ser are becoming a trifle shop-worn. They do not
glitter with the glory of a Don Giovanni or the
invincible splendour of an Armide. There are
parts of Die Walkiire which are growing old.
[135]

Shall We Realize

Now Wagner, in many ways the greatest figure as
opera composer which the world has yet produced,
could hold his place in the singing theatres for
many decades to come if some proper effort were
made to do justice to his dramas, the justice which
in a large measure has been done to his music,
This effort at present is not being made.

In the Metropolitan Opera House season of
1895-6, when Jean de Reszke first sang Tristan in
German, the opportunity seemed to be opened for
further breaks with what a Munich critic once
dubbed ” Die Bayreuther Tradition oder Der mis-
verstandene Wagner.” For up to that time, in
spite of some isolated examples, it had come to be
considered, in utter misunderstanding of Wagner’s
own wishes and doctrines, as a part of the tech-
nique of performing a Wagner music-drama to
shriek, howl, or bark the tones, rather than to sing
them. There had been, I have said, isolated ex-
amples of German singers, and artists of other
nationalities singing in German, who had sung
their phrases in these lyric plays, but the appear-
ance in the Wagner roles, in German, of a tenor
whose previous appearances had been made largely
in works in French and Italian which demanded
the use of what is called bd canto (it means only
good singing) brought about a controversy which
[136]

Wagner 5 s Ideals?

even yet is raging in some parts of the world.
Should Wagner be sung, in the manner of Jean de
Reszke, or shouted in the traditional manner?
Was it possible to sing the music and make the
effect the Master expected? In answer it may be
said that never in their history have Siegfried,
Tristan und Isolde, and Lohengrin met with such
success as when Jean de Reszke and his famous as-
sociates appeared in them, and it may also be said
that since that time there has been a consistent
effort on the part of the management of the Met-
ropolitan Opera House (and other theatres as
well) to provide artists for these dramas who could
sing them, and sing them as Italian operas are
sung, an effort to which opera directors have been
spurred by a growing insistence on the part of the
public.

It was the first break with the Bayreuth bug-
bear, tradition, and it might have been hoped that
this tradition would be stifled in other directions,
with this successful precedent in mind; but such
has not been the case. As a result of this failure
to follow up a beneficial lead, in spite of orchestral
performances which bring out the manifold beau-
ties of the scores and in spite of single impersona-
tions of high rank by eminent artists, we are be-
ginning to see the Wagner dramas falling into
[137]

Shall We Realize

decline, long before the appointed time, because
their treatment has been held in the hands of Co-
sima Wagner, who with the best of intentions,
of course not only insists (at Bayreuth she is
mistress, and her influence on singers, conductors,
stage directors and scene painters throughout the
world is very great) on the carrying out of Wag-
ner’s theories, as she understands them, and even
when they are only worthy of being ignored, but
who also (whether rightly or wrongly) is credited
with a few traditions of her own. Wagner indeed
invented a new form of drama, but he did not have
the time or means at his disposal to develop an
adequate technique for its performance.

We are all familiar with the Bayreuth ver-
sion of Wotan in Die WdLkure which makes
of that tragic father-figure a boisterous, silly
old scold (so good an artist as Carl Braun,
whose Hagen portrait is a masterpiece, has fol-
lowed this tradition literally) ; we all know too well
the waking Briinnhilde who salutes the sun in the
last act of Siegfried with gestures seemingly de-
rived from the exercises of a Swedish turnverein,
following the harp arpeggios as best she may ; we
remember how Wotan, seizing the sword from the
dead Fasolt’s hand, brandishes it to the tune of
the sword motiv, Indicating the coming of the hero,
[138]

Wagner ‘s Ideals?

Siegfried, as the gods walk over the rainbow bridge
to Walhalla at the end of Das Rheingold; we smile
over the tame horse which some chorus man, look-
ing the while like a truck driver who is not good to
animals, holds for Brtinnhilde while she sings her
final lament in Gotterdammerwig ; we laugh aloud
when he assists her to lead the unfiery steed, who
walks as leisurely as a well-fed horse would to-
wards oats, into the burning pyre ; we can still see
the picture of the three Rhine maidens, bobbing up
and down jerkily behind a bit of gauze, reminiscent
of visions of mermaids at the Eden Musee; we all
have seen Tristan and Isolde, drunk with the love
potion, swimming (there is no other word to de-
scribe this effect) towards each other; and no per-
fect Wagnerite can have forgotten the gods and
the giants standing about in the fourth scene of
Das Rheingold for all the world as If they were the
protagonists of a fantastic minstrel show. (At
a performance of Parsifal in Chicago Vernon
Stiles discovered while he was on the stage that his
suspenders, which held his tights in place, had
snapped. For a time he pressed his hands against
his groin ; this method proving ineffectual, he fin-
ished the scene with his hands behind his back,
pressed firmly against his waist-line. As he left
the stage, at the conclusion of the act, breathing
[139]

Shall We Realize

a sigh of relief, he met Loomis Taylor, the stage
director. “Did you think my new gesture was
due to nervousness ? ” he asked. ” No,” answered
Taylor, ” I thought it was Bayreuth tradition! “)

These are a few of the Bayreuth precepts which
are followed. There are others. There are in-
deed many others. We all know the tendency of
conductors who have been tried at Bayreuth, or
who have come under the influence of Cosiina Wag-
ner, to drag out the tempi to an exasperating de-
gree. I have heard performances of Lohengrin
which were dragged by the conductor some thirty
minutes beyond the ordinary time. (Again the
Master Is held responsible for this tradition, but
though all composers like to have their own music
last in performance as long as possible, the tradi-
tion, perhaps, is just as authentic as the story
that Richard Strauss, when conducting Tristan
wnd Isdlde at the Prinz-Regenten-Theatre in Mu-
nich, saved twenty minutes on the ordinary time it
takes to perform the work in order to return as
soon as possible to an interrupted game of Skat.)

But it is not tradition alone that is killing the

Wagner dramas. In many instances and in most

singing theatres silly traditions are aided in their

work of destruction by another factor in hasty;

[ 140 ]

Wagner ? s Ideals?

production. I am referring to the frequent lib-
erties which have been taken with the intentions of
the author. For, when expediency is concerned,
no account is taken of tradition, and, curiously
enough, expediency breaks with those traditions
which can least stand being tampered with. The
changes, in other words, have not been made for
the sake of improvement, but through carelessness,
or to save time or money, or for some other cog-
nate reason. An example of this sort of thing is
the custom of giving the Ring dramas as a cycle In
a period extending over four weeks, one drama a
week. It is also customary at the Metropolitan
Opera House in New York to entrust the role of
Briinnhilde, or of Siegfried, to a different inter-
preter in each drama, so that the Briinnhilde who
wakes in Siegfried is not at all the Briinnhilde who
goes to sleep in Die WalJciire. Then, although
Briinnhilde exploits a horse in GotterdammeTung,
she possesses none in Die Walkiire; none of the
other valkyries has a horse; Fricka’s goats have
been taken away from her, and she walks to the
mountain-top holding her skirts from under her
feet for all the world as a lady of fashion might as
she ascended from a garden into a ballroom. At
the Metropolitan Opera House, and at other thea-
[141]

Shall We Realize

tres where I have seen the dramas, the decorations
of the scenes of Brunnhilde’s falling asleep and of
her awakening are quite different.

Naturally, ingenious explanations have been de-
vised to fit these cases. For instance., one is told
that animals are never at home on the stage.
This explanation suffices perhaps for the animals
which do not appear, but how about those which
do? The Tague phrase,, “the exigencies of the
repertoire/* is mentioned as the reason for the ex-
tension of the cycle over several weeks, that and
the further excuse that the system permits people
from nearby towns to make weekly visits to the
metropolis. Of course, Wagner intended that
each of the Ring dramas should follow its prede-
cessor on succeeding days in a festival week. If
the Ring were so given in New York every season
with due preparation, careful staging, and the
best obtainable cast, the occasions would draw au-
diences from all over America, as the festivals at
Bayreuth and Munich do indeed draw audiences
from all over the world. Ingenuous is the word
which best describes the explanation for the
change in Briinnhildes ; one is told that the out-
of-town subscribers to the series prefer to hear as
many singers as possible* They wish to a com-
pare ” Brtinnhildesj so to speak. Perhaps the
[142]

Wagner’s Ideals?

real reason for divergence from common sense is
the difficulty the director of the opera-house would
have with certain sopranos if one were allowed the
full set of performances* As for the change in
the setting of Briinnhilde’s rock it is pure expedi-
ency, nothing else. In Die Walkure, in which, be-
tween acts, there is plenty of time to change the
scenery, a heavy built promontory of rocks is re-
quired for the valkyrie brood to stand on. In
Siegfried and Gotferdammerung, where the scen-
ery must be shifted in short order, this particular
setting is utilized only for duets. The heavier ele-
ments of the setting are no longer needed, and are
dispensed with.

The mechanical devices demanded by Wagner
are generally complied with In a stupidly clumsy
manner. The first scene of Das Rheingold is usu-
ally managed with some effect now, although the
swimming of the Rhine maidens, who are dressed
in absurd long floating green nightgowns, is car-
ried through very badly and seemingly without an
idea that such things have been done a thousand
times better in other theatres ; the changes of scene
in Das Rheingold are accomplished in such a man-
ner that one fears the escaping steam is damaging
the gauze curtains ; the worm and the toad are silly
contrivances; the effect of the rainbow is never
,[143]

Shall We Realize

properly conveyed; the ride of the valkyries is
frankly evaded by most stage managers ; the bird
in Siegfried flies like a sickly crow; the final
scene in Gotterdammerung would bring a laugh
from a Bowery audience: some flat scenery flaps
over, a number of chorus ladies fall on their knees,
there is much bulging about of a canvas sea, and a
few red lights appear in the sky ; the transforma-
tion scenes in Parsifal are carried out with as lit-
tle fidelity to symbolism, or truth, or beauty ; and
the throwing of the lance in Parsifal is always
seemingly a wire trick rather than a magical one.
The scenery for the Wagner dramas, in all the
theatres where I have seen and heard them, has
been built (and a great deal of it in recent years
from new designs) with a seemingly absolute ig-
norance or determined evasion of the fact that
there are artists who are now working in the thea-
tre. In making this statement I can speak per-
sonally of performances I have seen at the Metro-
politan Opera House, New York ; the Auditorium,
Chicago; Covent Garden Theatre, London; La
Scala, Milan; the Opera, Paris; and the Prinz-
Regenten-Theatre in Munich. Are there theatres
where the Wagner dramas are better given ? I do
not think so. Compare the scenery of Gotter-
dammerung at the Metropolitan Opera House with
[144]

Wagner *s Ideals?

that of Boris Godunow, and you will see how little
care is being taken of Wagner’s ideals. In the
one case the flimsiest sort of badly painted and
badly lighted canvas, mingled indiscriminately
with plastic objects, boughs, branches, etc., placed
nest to painted boughs and branches, an effect
calculated to throw the falsity of the whole scene
into relief; in the other case, an example of a
scene-painter’s art wrought to give the highest ef-
fect to the drama it decorates. Take the decora-
tion of the hall of the Gibichs in which long scenes
are enacted in both the first and last acts of Got-
terdammerung. The Gibichs are a savage, war-
like, sinister, primitive race. Now it is not neces-
sary that the setting in itself be strong, but it
must suggest strength to the spectator. There
is no need to bring stone blocks or wood blocks on
the stage; the artist may work in black velvet if
he wishes (it was of this material that Professor
Roller contrived a dungeon cell in Fidelio which
seemed to be built of stone ten feet thick). It will
be admitted, I think, by any one who has seen the
setting in question that it is wholly inadequate to
express the meaning of the drama. The scenes
could be sung with a certain effect in a Christian
Science temple, but no one will deny, I should say,
that the effect of the music may be greatly height-
[145]

Shall We Realize

ened by proper attention to the stage decoration
and the movement of the characters in relation to
the lighting and decoration. (I have used the
Metropolitan Opera House, in this instance, as a
convenient illustration; but the scenery there is
no worse, on the whole, than it is in many of the
other theatres named.)

The secret at the bottom of the whole matter is
that the directors of the singing theatres wish to
save themselves trouble. They will spend neither
money nor energy in righting this wrong. It is
easier to trust to tradition on the one hand and ex-
pediency on the other than it would be to engage
an expert (one not concerned with what had been
done, but one concerned with what to do) to pro-
duce the works. Carmen was losing its popular-
ity in this country when Emma Calve, who had
broken all the rules made for the part by Galli-
Marie, enchanted opera-goers with her fantastic
conception of the gipsy girl, Bizet’s work had
dropped out of the repertoire again when Mme.
Bressler-Gianoli arrived and carried it trium-
phantly through nearly a score of performances
during the first season of Oscar Hammerstein’s
Manhattan Opera House. Geraldine Farrar and
Toscanini resuscitated the Spanish jade a third
time. An Olive Fremstad or a Lilli Lehmann or a
[146]

Wagner 3 s Ideals?

Milka Ternina can perform a like office for Got-
terddmmerung or Tristan und Isolde; but It is to a
new producer, an Adolphe Appia or a Gordon
Craig, that the theatre director must look for the
final salvation of Wagner, through the complete
realization of his own ideals. It must be obvious
to any one that the more completely the meaning
of his plays is exposed by the decoration, the light-
ing and the action, the greater the effect.

Adolphe Appia wrote a book called ” Die Musik
und die Inscenierung,’ 5 which was published in Ger-
man in 1899. (An earlier work, “La mise-en-
scene du drame Wagnerien,” appeared in Paris in
1893.) Since then his career has been strangely
obscure for one whose effect on artists working at
stage decoration has been greater than that of any
other single man. In the second edition of his
book, ” On the Art of the Theatre,” Gordon Craig,
in a footnote, speaks thus of Appia : ” Appia,
the -foremost stage-decorator of Europe (the ital-
ics are mine) is not dead. I was told that he was
no more with us, so, in the first edition of this
book, I included him among the shades. I first
saw three examples of his work in 1908,’ and I
wrote a friend asking, c Where is Appia and how
can we meet? 5 My friend replied, * Poor Appia
died some years ago. 5 This winter (1912) I saw

Shall We Realize

some of Appia’s designs In a portfolio belonging
to Prince Wolkonsky. They were divine; and I
was told that the designer was still living.”

Loomis Taylor, who, during the season of 1914
15, staged the Wagner operas at the Metropolitan
Opera House (and it was not his fault that the
staging was not improved; there is no stage di-
rector now working who has more belief in and
knowledge of the artists of the theatre than Loo-
mis Taylor) has written me, in response to a
query, the following regarding Appia : ” Adolphe
Appia, I think, is a French-Swiss ; he Is a young
man. The title of the book which made him fa-
mous, in its German translation, is ‘Die Musik
und die Inscenierung.’ It was translated from the
French by Princess Cantacuzene. . . . Five years
ago I was told by Mrs, Houston Stewart Chamber-
lain that Appia was slowly but surely starving to
death in some picturesque surroundings in Swit-
zerland. I then tried to get various people in
Germany Interested in him, also proposing him to
Hagemann as scenic artist for Mannheim. Two
years later, before his starving process had
reached its conclusion, I heard of him as collabo-
rator with Jaques-Dalcroze at his temple of
rhythm on the banks of the Elbe, outside of Dres-
den, where, I think, up to the outbreak of the war,
[148]

Wagner’s Ideals?

Appia was doing very good work, but what has be-
come of him since I do not know.

” His book is very valuable ; his suggestions go
beyond the possibilities of the average Hof thea-
tre, while in Bayreuth they have a similar effect to
a drop of water upon a stone, sun-burned by the
rays of Cosima’s traditions. By being one of the
first if not the first to put in writing the in-
consistency of using painted perspective scenery
and painted shadows with human beings on the
stage, Appia became the fighter for plastic scen-
ery. His sketch of the Walkiiren rock is the most
beautiful scenic conception of Act III, Die Wai-
Jcure, I know of or could imagine. To my knowl-
edge no theatre has ever produced anything in con-
formity with Appia’s sketches.”

In a letter to me Hiram Kelly Moderwell, whose
book, ” The Theatre of To-day, 55 is the best ex-
position yet published of the aims and results of
the artists who are working in the theatre, writes
as follows in regard to Appia: “Appia is now
with Dalcroze at Hellerau arid I believe has de-
signed and perhaps produced all the things that
have been done there in the last year or two. Pre-
vious to that I am almost certain he had done no
actual stage work. Nobody else would give him
free rein. But, as you know, he thought every-
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Shall We Realize

thing out carefully as though he were doing the
actual practical stage work. . . . By this time he
has hit his c third manner/ It’s all cubes and
parallelograms. It sounds like hell on paper but
Maurice Browne told me it is very fine stuff.
Browne says it is as much greater than Craig as
Craig is greater than anybody else. All the recent
Hellerau plays are in this third manner. They
are lighted by Salzmann, indirect and diffused
lighting, but not in the Fortuny style. I imagine
the Hellerau stuff is rather too precious to go on
the ordinary stage.”

Mr. ModerwelFs description of Appia’s book is
so completely illuminating that I feel I cannot do
better than to quote the entire passage from ” The
Theatre of To-day “: “Before his (Gordon
Craig’s) influence was felt, however, Adolphe Ap-
pia, probably the most powerful theorist of the
new movement, had written his remarkable book,
* Die Musik und die Inscenierung.’ In this, as an
artist, he attempted to deduce from the content of
the Wagner music dramas the proper stage set-
tings for them. His conclusions anticipated much
of the best work of recent years and his theories
have been put into practice in more or less modi-
fied form on a great many stages not so much
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Wagner ? s Ideals?

(if at all) for the Wagner dramas themselves,
which are under a rigid tradition (the ‘what the
Master wished’ myth), but for operas and the
more lyric plays where the producer has artistic
ability and a free hand in applying it.

” Appia started with the principle that the set-
ting should make the actor the all-important fact
on the stage. He saw the realistic impossibility
of the realistic setting, and destructively analyzed
the current modes of lighting and perspective ef-
fects. But, unlike the members of the more con-
ventional modern school, he insisted that the stage
is a three-dimension space and must be handled so
as to make its depth living* He felt a contradic-
tion between the living actor and the dead setting.
He wished to bind them into one whole the
drama. How was this to be done?

** Appia’s answer to this question Is his chief
claim to greatness genius almost. His answer
was < By means of the lighting. 5 He saw the
deadliness of the contemporary methods of light-
ing, and previsaged with a sort of inspiration the
possibilities of new methods which have since be-
come common. This was at a time when he had at
his disposal none of the modern lighting systems.
His foreseeing of modern practice by means of
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Shall We Realize

rigid Teutonic logic in the service of the artist’s in-
tuition makes him one of the two or three foremost
theorists of the modern movement.

” The lighting, for Appia, is the spiritual core,
the soul of the drama. The whole action should be
contained in it, somewhat as we feel the physical
body of a friend to be contained in his personality.
Appia’s second great principle is closely connected
with this. While the setting is obviously inani-
mate, the actor must in every way be emphasized
and made living. And this can be accomplished,
he says, only by a wise use of lighting, since it is
the lights and shadows on a human body which re-
veal to our eyes the fact that the body is * plastic *
that is, a flexible body of three dimensions.
Appia would make the setting suggest only the at-
mosphere, not the reality of the thing it stands
for, and would soften and beautify it with the
lights. The actor he would throw constantly into
prominence while keeping him always a part of the
scene. All the elements and all the action of the
drama he would bind together by the lights and
shadows.

“With the most minute care each detail of
lighting, each position of each character, in Ap-
pia’s productions is studied out so that the dra-
matic meaning shall always be evident. Hence
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Wagner’s Ideals?

any setting of Ms contains vastly more thought
than is visible at a glance. It is designed to serve
for every exigency of the scene so that a char-
acter here shall be in full light at a certain point,
while talking directly to a character who must be
quite in the dark, or that the light shall just touch
the fringe of one character’s robe as she dies, or
that the action shall all take place unimpeded,
and so on. At the same time, needless to say, Ap-
pia’s stage pictures are of the highest artistic
beauty.” *

In Appia’s design for the third act of Die Wal-
Jcure, so enthusiastically praised by Loomis Tay-
lor, the rock of the valkyries juts like a huge
promontory of black across the front of the scene,
silhouetted against a clouded sky. So all the fig-
ures of the valkyries stand high on the rock and
are entirely silhouetted, while Sieglinde below in
front of the rock in the blackness, is hidden from
the rage of the approaching Wotan. Any one
who has seen this scene as it is ordinarily staged,
without any reference to beauty or reason, will
appreciate even this meagre description of an art-
ist’s intention, which has not yet been carried

i For a further discussion of Appia’s work and its prob-
able influence on Gordon Craig, see an article “Adolpfae
Appia and Gordon Craig” in my book “Music After the
Great War.”

[153]

Shall We Realize

out in any theatre with, which I have acquaint-
ance.

Appia’s design for the first scene of Parsifal
discloses a group of boughless, straight-stemmed
pines, towering to heaven like the cathedral group
at Vallombrosa. Overhead the dense foliage hides
the forest paths from the sun. Light comes in
through the centre at the back, where there is a
vista of plains across to the mountains, on which
one may imagine the castle of the Grail. He
places a dynamic and dramatic value on light
which it is highly important to understand in esti-
mating his work. For example, his lighting of the
second act of Tristan und Isolde culminates in a
pitch-dark stage during the singing of the love-
duet. This artist has designed the scenery for all
the Ring and has indicated throughout what the
lighting and action shall be.

I do not know that Gordon Craig has turned
his attention to any particular Wagner drama, al-
though he has made suggestions for several of
them, but he could, if he would, devise a mode of
stage decoration which would make the plays and
their action as appealing in their beauty as the
music and the singing often now are. In his book,
” On the Art of the Theatre,” he has been explicit
in his descriptions of his designs for Macbeth, and
[154]

Wagner ? s Ideals?

the rugged strength and symbolism of his settings
and ideas for that tragedy proclaim perhaps his
best right to be a leader in the reformation of the
Wagner dramas, although, even then, it must be
confessed that Craig is derived in many instances
from Appia, whom Craig himself hails as the fore-
most stage decorator of Europe to-day.

Read Gordon Craig on Macbeth and you will
get an idea of how an artist would go to work on
Tristan und Isolde or Gotterdammerung. ” I see
two things, I see a lofty and steep rock, and I see
the moist cloud which, envelops the head of this
rock. That is to say, a place for fierce and war-
like men to inhabit, a place for phantoms to nest
in. Ultimately this moisture will destroy the rock ;
ultimately these spirits will destroy the men,
Now then, you are quick in your question as to
what actually to create for the eye. I answer as
swiftly place there a rock ! Let it mount high.
Swiftly I tell you, convey the idea of a mist which
hangs at the head of this rock. Now, have I de-
parted at all for one-eighth of an inch, from the
vision which I saw in the mind’s eye?

” But you ask me what form this rock shall take

and what colour? What are the lines which are

the lofty lines, and which are ta be seen in any

lofty cliff? Go to them, glance but a moment at

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them ; now quickly set them down on your paper ;
the lines and their direction, never mind the cliff.
Do not be afraid to let them go high ; they cannot
go high enough ; and remember that on a sheet of
paper which is but two inches square you can make
a line which seems to tower miles in the air, and
you can do the same on your stage, for it is all a
matter of proportion and has nothing to do with
actuality.

“You ask about the colours? What are the
colours which Shakespeare has indicated for us?
Do not first look at Nature, but look at the play
of the poet. Two 9 one for the rock, the man; one
for the mist, the spirit. Now, quickly, take and
accept this statement from me. Touch not a sin-
gle other colour, but only these two colours
through your whole progress of designing your
scenes and your costumes, yet forget not that each
colour contains many “variations. If you are timid
for a moment and mistrust yourself or what I tell,
when the scene is finished you will not see with
your eye the effect you have seen with your mind’s
eye when looking at the picture which Shake-
speare has indicated.”

The producers of the Wagner music dramas do
not seem to have heard of Adolphe Appia. Gor-
don Craig is a myth to them. Reinhardt does not
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Wagner 9 s Ideals?

exist. Have they ever seen the name of Stanislaw-
sky? Do they know where his theatre is? Would
they consider it sensible to spend three years in
mounting Hamlet? Is the name of Fokine known
to them? of Bakst? N. Roerich, Nathalie Gontcha-
rova, Alexandre Benois ? Theodore Federowsky?
. . . One could go on naming the artists of
the theatre. (Recently there have been evidences
of an art movement in the theatre in America.
Joseph Urban, first in Boston with the Boston
Opera Company, and later in New York with vari-
ous theatrical enterprises, may be mentioned as an
important figure in this movement. His settings
for Monna Vanna were particularly beautiful and
he really seems to have revolutionized the staging
of revues and similar light musical pieces. Robert
Jones has done some very good work. I think he
was responsible for the imaginative staging [in
Gordon Craig’s manner, to be sure] of the inner
scenes in the Shakespeare mask, Caliban. But I
would give the Washington Square Players credit
for the most successful experiments which have
been made in New York. In every instance they
have attempted to suit the staging to the mood of
the drama, and have usually succeeded admirably,
at slight expense. They have developed a good
deal of previously untried talent in this direction.
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Shall We Realize

Lee Simonson, in particular, has achieved distinc-
tive results. I have seldom seen better work of
its kind on the stage than his settings for The
Magical City, Pierre Pat din, and The SfeaguU.
At the Metropolitan Opera House no account
seems to be taken of this art movement, although
during the season of 191516 in TJie Taming of
the Shrew an attempt was made to emulate the
very worst that has been done in modem Ger-
many. )

For several years the Russian Ballet, under the
direction of Serge de Diaghilew, has been pre-
senting operas and ballets in the European capi-
tals, notably in London and Paris for long seasons
each summer (the Ballet has been seen in America
since this article was written). A number of art-
ists and a number of stage directors have been
working together in staging these worts, which,
as a whole, may be conceded to be the most com-
pletely satisfying productions which have been
made on the stage during the progress of this new
mo^ment in the theatre. One or two of the Ger-
man productions, or Gordon Craig’s Hamlet in
Stanislawsky’s theatre, may have surpassed them
in the sterner qualities of beauty, the serious truth
of their art, but none has surpassed them in bril-
liancy, in barbaric splendour, or in their almost
[158]

Wagner ? s Ideals?

complete solution of the problems of mingling peo-
ple with painted scenery. The Russians have
solved these problems by a skilful (and passion-
ately liberal) use of colour and light. The painted
surfaces are mostly flat, to be sure, and crudely
painted, but the tones of the canvas are so divinely
contrived to mingle with the tones of the costumes
that the effect of an animated picture is arrived
at with seemingly very little pother. This method
of staging is not, in most instances, it must be ad-
mitted, adapted to the requirements of the Wag-
ner dramas. Bakst, I imagine, would find it dif-
ficult to cramp his talents in the field of Wagner-
ism, though he should turn out a very pretty edi-
tion of Das Rheingold. Roerich, on the other
hand, who designed the scenery and costumes for
Prince Igor as it was presented in Paris and Lon-
don in the summer of 1914, would find no difficulty
in staging Gotterdammerung. The problem is the
same: to convey an impression of barbarism and
strength. One scene I remember in Borodine’s
opera in which an open window, exposing only a
clear stretch of sty the rectangular opening
occupied half of the wall at the back of the room
was made to act the drama. A few red lights
skilfully played on the curtain representing the
sky made it seem as if in truth a city were burning
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Shall We Realize

and I thought how a similar simple contrivance
might make a more imaginative final scene for Got-
terddmmerung.

It is, however, in their handling of mechanical
problems that the Russians could assist the new
producer of the Wagner dramas to his greatest
advantage. In Rimsky-Korsakow’s opera, The
Golden Cod”, for instance, the bird of the title has
several appearances to make. Now there was no
attempt made, in the Russians’ stage version of
this work, to have this bird jiggle along a sup-
posedly invisible wire, in reality quite visible, flap-
ping his artificial wings and wiggling his insecure
feet, as in the usual productions of Siegfried. In-
stead the bird was built solid like a bronze cock for
a drawing room table ; he did not flap his wings ;
his feet were motionless; when the action of the
drama demanded his presence he was let down on a
wire ; there was no pretence of a lack of machinery.
The effect, however, was vastly more imaginative
and diverting than that in Siegfried, because it
was more simple. In like manner King Dodon,
in the same opera, mounted a wooden horse on
wheels to go to the wars, and the animals he cap-
tured were also made of wood, studded with bril-
Eant beads. In Richard Strauss’s ballet, TJte
Legend of Joseph, the figure of the guardian angel
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Wagner 5 s Ideals?

was not let down on a wire from the flies as he
might have been in a Drury Lane pantomime ; the
naive nature of the work was preserved by his
nonchalant entrance across the loggia and down a
flight of steps, exactly the entrance of all the hu-
man characters of the ballet, I do not mean to
suggest that these particular expedients would fit
into the Wagner dramas so well as they do into
works of a widely different nature. They should,
however, indicate to stage directors the possibility
of finding a method to suit the case in each in-
stance. And I do assert, without hope or fear of
contradiction, that Briinnhflde with a wooden
horse would challenge less laughter than she does
with the sorry nags which are put at her disposal
and which Siegfried later takes down the river
with him. It is only down the river that one can
sell such horses. As for the bird, there are bird
trainers whose business it is to teach pigeons to
fly from pillar to post in the music-halls; their
services might be contracted for to make that pas-
sage in Siegfried a little less distracting. The dif-
ficulties connected with this particular mechanical
episode (and a hundred others) might be avoided
by a different lighting of the scene. If the tree-
tops of the forest were submerged in the deepest
shadows, as well they might be, the flight of the
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Shall We Realize

bird on a wire might be accomplished with some
sort of illusion. But why should one see the bird
at all? One hears it constantly as it warbles ad-
vice to the hero.

The new Wagner producer must possess many
qualities if he wishes to place these works on a
plane where they may continue to challenge the ad-
miration of the world. Wagner himself was more
concerned with his ideals than he was with their
practical solution. Besides, it must be admitted
that taste in stage art and improvements in stage
mechanism have made great strides in the last
decade. The plaster wall, for instance, which has
replaced in many foreign theatres the flapping,
swaying, wrinkled, painted canvas sky cyclorama
(still in use at the Metropolitan Opera House; a
vast sum was paid for it a few years ago) is a new
invention and one which, when appropriately
lighted, perfectly counterfeits the appearance of
the sky in its different moods. (So far as I know
the only theatre in New York with this apparatus
is the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street. )
In Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s “Richard
Wagner,” published in 1897, I find the following:

“Wagner foresaw that in the new drama the
whole principle of the stage scenery must undergo
a complete alteration but did not particularize in
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Wagner’s Ideals?

detail. The Melster says that * music resolves the
rigid immovable groundwork of the scenery into a
liquids yielding, ethereal surface, capable of re-
ceiving impressions * ; but to prevent a painful
conflict between what is seen and what is heard,
the stage picture, too, must be relieved from the
curse of rigidity which now rests upon it. The
only way of doing this is by managing the light in
a manner which its importance deserves, that its
office may no longer be confined to illuminating
painted walls. … I am convinced that the next
great advance in the drama will be of this nature,
in the art of the eye, and not in music.” (The
passage quoted further refers to Appia’s first book,
published in French. Chamberlain was a close
friend of Appia and ” Die Musik und die Inscenie-
rung ” is dedicated to him. )

It must also be understood that Wagner in some
instances, when the right medium of his expression
was clear to him, made concessions to what he con-
sidered the unintelligence of the public. Wotan’s
waving of the sword is a case in point. The motiv
without the object he did not think would carry
out the effect he intended to convey, although the
absurdity of Wotan’s founding his new humanity
on the power of the degenerate giants must have
been apparent to him. Sometimes the Master
[168]

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changed his mind. Paris would have none of
Tannhauser without a ballet and so Wagner re-
wrote the first act and now the Paris version of the
opera is the accepted one. In any case it must
be apparent that what Wagner wanted was a
fusion of the arts, and a completely artistic one.
So that if any one can think of a better way of
presenting his dramas than one based on the very
halting staging which he himself devised (with the
limited means at his command) as perhaps the best
possible to exploit his ideals, that person should be
hailed as Wagner’s friend. It must be seen, at
any current presentation of his dramas, that his
way, or Cosima’s, is not the best way. The single
performances which have made the deepest impres-
sion on the public have deviated the farthest from
tradition. Olive Fremstad’s Isolde was far from
traditional. Her very costume of deep green was
a flaunt in the face of Wagner’s conventionally
white robed heroine. In the first act, after taking
the love-potion, she did not indulge in any of the
swimming movements usually employed by so-
pranos to pass the time away until the occasion
came to sing again. She stood as a woman dazed,
passing her hands futilely before her eyes, and it
was to be noted that in some instances her action
had its supplement in the action of the tenor who
[164]

Wagner ‘s Ideals?

was singing with her, although, in other instances,
he would continue to swim in the most highly ap-
proved Bayreuth fashion. But Olive Fremstad,
artist that she was, could not completely divorce
herself from tradition ; in some cases she held to it
against her judgment. The stage directions for
the second act of Parsifal, for example, require
Kundry to lie on her couch, tempting the hero, for
a very long time. Great as Fremstad’s Kundry
was, it might have been improved if she had al-
lowed herself to move more freely along the lines
that her artistic conscience dictated. Her Elsa
was a beautiful example of the moulding of the tra-
ditional playing of a role into a picturesque, imag-
inative figure, a feat similar to that which Mary
Garden accomplished in her delineation of Mar-
guerite in Faust. Mme. Fremstad always sang
Briinnhilde in Gotterdammerung throughout with
the fire of genius. This was surely some wild crea-
ture, a figure of Greek tragedy, a Norse Elektra.
The superb effect she wrought, at her first per-
formance in the role, with the scene of the spear,
was never tarnished in subsequent performances*
The thrill was always there.

In face of acting and singing like that one can
afford to ignore Wagner’s theory about the wed-
ding of the arts. A Fremstad or a Lehmann can
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Shall We Realize

carry a Wagner drama to a triumphant conclusion
with few, if any s accessories, but great singing
artists are rare; nor does a performance of this
kind meet the requirements of the Wagner ideal,
in which the picture, the word, and the tone shall
all be a part of the drama (Wort-Tondrama).
Wagner invented a new form of stage art but only
in a small measure did he succeed in perfecting a
method for its successful presentation. The
artist-producer must arise to repair this deficiency,
to become the dominating force in future perform-
ances, to see that the scenes are painted in ac-
cordance with the principles of beauty and dra-
matic fitness, to see that they are lighted to ex-
press the secrets of the drama, as Appia says they
should be, to see that the action is sympathetic
with the decoration, and that the decoration never
encumbers the action, that the lighting assists
both. There never has been a production of the
Ring which has in any sense realized its true possi-
bilities, the ideal of Wagner.

June 24, 1915.

[166]

The Bridge Burners

” Zteh’hin/ ich kann dich nicht Mien!”

Der Wanderer.

The Bridge Burners

IT is from the enemy that one learns. Riche-
lieu and other great men have found it folly
to listen to the advice of friends when rancour,
hatred, and jealousy inspired much more helpful
suggestions. And it occurred to me recently that
the friends of modern music were doing nothing by
way of describing it. They are content to like
it. I must confess that I have been one of these.
I have heard first performances of works by Kieh-
ard Strauss and Claude Debussy on occasions when
the programme notes gave one cause for dread.
At these times I have often been pleasurably ex-
cited and I have never lacked for at least a meas-
ured form of enjoyment except when I found those
gods growing a bit old. The English critics were
right when they labelled The Legend of Joseph
Handelian. The latest recital of Leo Ornstein’s
which I heard made me realize that even the ex-
treme modern music evidently protrudes no great
perplexities into my ears. They accept it all, a
good deal of it with avidity, some with the real
tribute of astonishment which goes only to genius.
On the whole, I think, I should have found it im-
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The Bridge Burners

possible to write this article which, with a new
light shining on my paper, is dancing from under
my darting typewriter keys, if I had not stumbled
by good luck into the camp of the enemy. For I
find misunderstanding, lack of sympathy, and
enmity towards the new music to a certain degree
inspirational. These qualities, projected, have
crystallized impressions in my mind, which might,
tinder other circumstances, have remained vague
and, in a sense, I think I may make bold to say,
they have made it possible for me to synthesize to
a greater degree than has hitherto been attempted,
the various stimuli and progressive gestures of
modern music. I can more clearly say now “why
I like it. (If I were to tell others how to like it I
should be forced to resort to a single sentence:
” Open your ears “.)

A good deal of this new insight has come to me
through assiduous perusal of Mr. Richard Al-
drich’s comment on musical doings in the columns
of the “New York Times.” Mr. Aldrich, like
many another, has been bewildered and annoyed by
a good deal of the modern music played (Heaven
knows that there is little enough modern music
played in New York. Up to date [April 16,
1916] there has been nothing of Arnold Schoen-
berg performed this season later than his Pelleas
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The Bridge Burners

und Melisande and his Kammersymphonie; of
Stravinsky aside from the three slight pieces
for string quartet nothing later than Pe-
troucJika. Such new works as John Alden Car-
penter’s Adventures in a Perambulator and En-
rique Granados’s Goyescas as an opera do
not seriously overtax the critical ear) but he has
done more than some others by way of expressing
the causes of this bewilderment and this annoy-
ance. Some critics neglect the subject altogether
but Mr. Aldrich at least attempts to be explana-
tory. My first excerpt from his writings is
clipped from an article in the ” New York Times ”
of December 5, 1915, devoted to the string quar-
tet music of Strawinsky, performed by the Flon-
zaleys at ^Eolian Hall in New York on the evening
of November 30 :

66 So far as this particular type of futurist *
music is concerned it seems to be conditioned on an
accompaniment of something else to explain it from
beginning to end/*

Is this a reproach? The context would seem
to indicate that it is. If so it seems a late date
in which to hurl anathema at programme music.
One would have fancied that that battle had al-
ready been fought and won by Ernest Newman,
Frederick Nieeks, and Lawrence Gilman, to name
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The Bridge Burners

a few of the gladiators for the cause. Why Mr.
Aldrich, having swallowed whole, so to speak, the
tendency of music during a century of its develop-
ment, should suddenly balk at music which re-
quires explanation I cannot imagine. However,
this would seem to be the point he makes in face
of the fact that at least two-thirds of a symphony
society’s programme is made up of programme mu-
sic. Berlioz said in the preface to his Symphonic
Fantastique, ” The plan of an instrumental drama,
being without words, requires to be explained be-
forehand. The programme (which is indispensa-
ble to the perfect comprehension of the dramatic
plan of the work) ought therefor to be considered
in the light of the spoken text of an opera, serving
to … indicate the character and expression. 55
Ernest Newman built up an elaborate theory on
these two sentences, a theory fully expounded in
an article called ” Programme Music ” published
in ” Music Studies ” (1905), and touched on else-
where in his work (at some length, of course, in
his ” Richard Strauss.” He brings out the facts.
Representation of natural sounds, emotions, and
even objects or attempts at it in early music
were not rare. He cites the justly famous Bible
Sonatas of Kuhnau, Rameau’s Sighs and Tender
Plants, Dittersdorfs twelve programme sym-
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The Bridge Burners

phonies illustrating Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and
John Sebastian Bach’s Capriccio on the Departure
of my Dearly Beloved Brother. Beethoven wrote
a Pastoral Symphony in which he attempted to
imitate the sound of a brook and the call of a
cuckoo. There is also a storm in this symphony.
The fact that Beethoven denied any intention of
portraying anything but ” puce emotion ” in this
symphony is evasion and humbug as Newman very
clearly points out. From what do these emotions
arise? The answer is. From the contemplation of
country scenes. The auditor without a pro-
gramme will not find the symphony so enjoyable
as the one who knows what awakened the emotions
in the composer. Beethoven wrote a ” battle **
symphony too, a particularly bad one, I believe (I
have never seen it announced for performance).
It is true, however, that most of the composers of
the ” great ” period were content to number their
symphonies and to call their piano pieces im-
promptus, sonatas, valses, and nocturnes. Nous
avons change tout cela. Schumann was one of the
first of the composers of the nineteenth century to
write music with titles. In the Carneval, for ex-
ample, each piece is explained by its title. And
explanations, or shadows of explanations (Cathe-
dral, Rhenish, Spring, etc.), hover about the
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four symphonies. Berlioz, of course, carried the
principle of programme music to a degree that was
considered absurd in his own time. He wrote sym-
phonies like the Romeo and Juliet and the Fan-
tastique which had to be ” explained from begin-
ning to end.” Liszt invented the symphonic poem
and composed pieces which are only to be listened
to after one has read the poem or seen the picture
which they describe. Richard Strauss rounded
out the form and put the most elaborate natural-
istic details into such works as Don Quixote and
Till Eulenspiegel. Understanding of this music
and complete enjoyment of it rely in a large meas-
ure on the ” explanation.’ 5 The Symphonia Do-
mestica and Heldenle”ben are extreme examples of
this sort of thing. What does Wagner’s whole
system depend on but ” explanation 5J ? How does
one know that a certain sequence of notes repre-
sents a sword? Because the composer tells us so.
How does one discover that another sequence of
notes represents Alberich’s curse? Through the
same channel. Bernard Shaw says in The Perfect
Wagnerite: ” To be able to follow the music of
The Ring, all that is necessary is to become famil-
iar enough with the brief musical phrases out of
which it is built to recognize them and attach a
certain definite significance to them, exactly as any
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ordinary Englishman recognizes and attaches a
definite significance to the opening bars of God
Save the Queen.” Modern music is full of this sort
of thing. It leans more and more heavily on titles,
on mimed drama, on ” explanation. 35 Think of
almost all the music of Debussy, for example, La
Mer, I’Apres-midi d’un Faune, Iberia, nearly all
the piano music; Rimsky-Korsakow’s Schehera-
zade, Antar, and Sadko (the symphonic suite, not
the opera) ; Vincent d’Indy’s Istar; Borodine’s
Thamar; Dukas’s VApprenti Sorcier; Franck’s Le
Chasseur Maudit and Les Eolides; Saint-Sa’ens’s
Phaeton, La Jeunesse d’Hercule, and Le Rouet
d’Omphale; Busoni’s music for Turandot: the list
is endless and it is futile to continue it.

But, Mr. Aldrich would object, in most of these
instances the music stands by itself and it is pos-
sible to enjoy it without reference to the titles. I
contend that this is just as true of Strawinsky’s
three pieces for string quartet (of course one never
will be sure because Daniel Gregory Mason ex-
plained these pieces before they were played).
However Mr. Newman has already exploded a good
many bombs about this particular point and he has
shown the fallacy of the theory. Mr. Newman
concedes that a work such as Tschaikowsky’s over-
ture Romeo and Juliet, would undoubtedly ” give
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Intense pleasure to any one who listened to it as a
piece of music, pure and simple. But I deny,” lie
continues, ” that this hearer would receive as much
pleasure from the work as I do. He might think
the passage for muted strings, for example, ex-
tremely beautiful, but he would not get from it
such delight as I, who not only feel all the musical
loveliness of the melody and the harmonies and the
tone colour, but see the lovers on the balcony and
breathe the very atmosphere of Shakespeare’s
scene. I am richer than my fellow by two or three
emotions of this kind. My nature is stirred on two
or three sides instead of only one. I would go fur-
ther and say that not only does the auditor I have
supposed get less pleasure from the work than I,
but he really does not hear Tschaikowsky’s work
at all. If the musician writes music to a play and
invents phrases to symbolize the characters and to
picture the events of the play, we are simply not
listening to Ms work at all if we listen to it in igno-
rance of Bis poetical scheme. We may hear the
music but it is not the music he meant us to hear. 55
And Mr. Newman goes on to berate Strauss for
not providing programmes for some of his tone-
poems (programmes, however, which have always
been provided by somebody in authority at the
eleventh hour). Niecks thinks that nearly all
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music has an implied programme : ” My opinion
is that whenever the composer ceases to write
purely formal music he passes from the domain
of absolute music into that of programme music.”
(” Programme Music in the Last Pour Centu-
ries. “) But Niecks does not hold that explana-
tion is always necessary, even if there is a pro-
gramme.

Under the circumstances it seems a bit thick to
jump on Strawinsky for writing music which has
to be explained. Such pieces as Fireworks or the
Scherzo Fantqstique need no more extended ex-
planation than the titles give them. His three
pieces for string quartet were listed without pro-
gramme at the Flonzaley concert and might have
been played that way, I think, without causing the
heavens to fall. But Strawinsky had told some
one that their general title was Grotesques and
that he had composed each of them with a pro-
gramme in mind, which was divulged* When the
music was played, in the circumstances, what he
was driving at was as plain as A* B. C. There
was no further demand made on the auditor than
that he prepare himself, as Schumann asked audi-
tors to prepare themselves to listen to the Carne-
val, by thinking of the titles. In Strawinsky’s
opera, The Nightingale^ the text of the opera
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serves as the programme. There are no repre-
sentative themes ; there is no ” working-out.”
You are not required to remember leit-motive in
order to familiarize your emotions with the proper
capers to cut at particular moments when these
motive are repeated. You are asked simply to
follow the course of the lyric drama with open ears,
open mind, and open heart. Albert Gleizes, the
post-impressionist painter, once told me that he
considered the title an essential part of a picture.
” It is a pointe de depart” he said. ” In painting
a picture I always have some idea or object in
mind in the beginning. In my completed picture
I may have wandered far away from this. Now
the title gives the spectator the advantage of start-
ing where I started.” A title to a musical com-
position gives an auditor a similar advantage. No
doubt Strawinsky’s Fireworks would make a nice
blaze without the name but the title gives us a pic-
ture to begin with, just as Wagner gives us scenery
and text and action (to say nothing of a hand-
book of representative themes) to explain the
music of Die Walkure. . . .

An important point has been overlooked by those
who have watched painting and music develop dur-
ing the past century: while painting has become
less and less an attempt to represent nature, music
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has more and more attempted concrete representa-
tion. There has seemed, at times, to be an inter-
change in progress in the values of the arts.
(” He [Cezanne] is the first of the great painters
to treat colour deliberately as music; he tests all
its harmonic resources, 33 Romain Holland.) Ob-
servers of matters aesthetic have frequently told us
that both of these arts were breaking with their
old principles and going on to something new but,
it would seem, they have failed to grasp the sig-
nificance of the change. Music, as it drops its
classic outline and form, the cllclie of the studio
and the academy, becomes more and more like
nature, because natural sounds are not co-ordinated
into symphonies with working-out sections and
codas, first and second subjects, etc., while in
painting, in some of its later manifestations, the re-
semblance to things seen has entirely disappeared.
This fact, at least one phase of it, was realized in
concrete form by the futurists In Italy who as-
serted that polyphony, fugue, etc., were contrap-
tions of a bygone age when the stage-coach was in
vogue. Machinery has changed the world. We
are living in a dynasty of dynamics. A certain
number of futurists even give concerts of noise
machines in which a definite attempt is made to
imitate the sounds of automobiles, aeroplanes, etc.
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At a concert given at the Dal Verme in Milan, for
example, the pieces were called The Awakening of
a Great City, A Dinner on the Kursaal Terrace
(doubtless with an imitation of the guests eating
soup), and A Meet of Automobiles and Aeroplanes.
Picasso and Picabia have made us acquainted
with a form of art which in its vague realization of
representative values becomes almost as abstract
an art as music was in the time of Beethoven, while
such musicians as Strauss, Debussy, and Straw-
insky, have gradually widened the boundaries
which have confined music, and have made it at
times something very concrete. Debussy’s La
Mer 9 for example, is a much more definite picture
(in leaning over the rail of the gallery of the
Salle Gaveau in Paris during a performance of
this piece I actually became sea-sick!) than Marcel
Duchamp’s painting of the Nu Descendant I’Esca-
lier. So Strawinsky’s three pieces for string
quartet represent certain things in nature (the
first a group of peasants playing strange instru-
ments on the steppes ; the second sounds in a Cathe-
dral heard by a drowsy worshipper, the responses
of the priest, chanted out of key, the shrill antiph-
onal choruses; and the third a juggling Pierrot
with a soul-pain j” much more definitely than Picas-
so’s latest Nature Morte dans un Jardwi.
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” Now the law which has dominated painting for
more than a century is a more and more compre-
hensive assimilation of musical idiom. Even Dela-
croix spoke of c the mysterious effects of line and
colour which, alas, only a few adepts feel like
interwoven themes in music . . .* and Baudelaire,
in another connection, wrote, * Harmony, melody,
and counterpoint are to be found in colour. Ingres
also remarked to his disciples, * If I could make
you all musicians you would be better painters/
Renoir, who journeyed to Sicily to paint Wagner’s
portrait and to translate TannMuser, is a musical
enthusiast and his work is music. Maurice Denis
tells us that his pals at Julian’s Academy, those
who were to found synthesism with him, never
tired of discussing Lamoureux’s concerts, where
they were enthusiastic habitues. Gaugin an-
nounced that c painting is a musical phase.* He
speaks continually of the music of a picture ; when
he wants to analyze his work he divides it into the
literary element, to which he attaches less impor-
tance, and the musical element which he schemes
first. Cezanne, whom Gaugin compared to Cesar
Franck, said, * not model, but modulate.’ Metz-
inger invokes the right of cubist painters to ex-
press all emotions as music does, and one of the
sestheticlans of tne new school writes : * The goal
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of painting is perhaps a music of nature, visual
music to which traditional painting would have
somewhat the status that sacred or dramatic music
has compared to concert music.’

” This, then, is the revolution in the art of line
and colour which has become aware of its intrinsic
power, independent of any subject. In truth,
even among the Venetians, as has been well said,
the subject was * only the background upon which
the painter relied to develop his harmonies, 5 but
the mentality of spectators clings to this back-
ground as to the libretto of an opera. At present,
an end to librettos : Pure music : those who wish
to comprehend it must first of all master its idiom,
for 6 Colour is learned as music is/ ” (Romain
Holland: “The Unbroken Chain, 55 Lee Simon-
son’s translation.)

So far, in spite of the protestations of horror
made by the academicians, the pedants, and the
Philistines, which would lead one to suppose a state
of complete chaos, there has not been a complete
abandonment of co-ordination, of selection, or of
intention, in either art. In fact, it seems to me>
that the qualities of intention and selection are
more powerful adjuncts of the artist than they
have been for many generations. In painting
colour and form are cunningly contrived to give
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us an idea, if not a photograph, and in music nat-
ural (as well as unnatural) sounds are still ar-
ranged, perhaps to a more extreme extent than
ever before.

II

I wonder if all the suggestion music gives us is
associative. Sometimes I think so. Was it Ber-
lioz who remarked that the slightest quickening of
tempo would transform the celebrated air in Orphee
from ” J’ai perdu mon Euridice ” to ** J’ai trowve
mon Euridice “? Rossini found an overture
which he had formerly used for a tragedy quite
suitable for H Barbiere di Siviglia, and the inter-
changeable values which Handel gave to secular
and sacred tunes are familiar to all music students.
Are minor keys really sad? Are major keys al-
ways suggestive of joy? We know that this is not
true although one will be more sure of a ready re-
sponse of tears from a Western audience by re-
sorting to a minor key. In our music wedding
marches are usually in the major and funeral
marches usually in the minor modes. But almost
all Eastern music is in a minor key, love songs and
even cradle songs. Recall, or play over on your
piano, the Smyrnan lullaby (made familiar by
Mme. Sembrich) which occurs in the collection of
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Grecian and oriental melodies edited by L. A.
Bourgault-Ducoudray. . . . Even the composers
who do not call their pieces by name and who
scorn the use of a programme, depend for some of
their most powerful effects on emotion created by
association , . . and a new composer, be he inde-
fatigable enough, can rouse new associations in
us. … Why if three or four composers would
meet together and decide that the use of a certain
group of notes stood for the town pump, in time it
would be quite easy for other composers to use this
phrase in that connection with no explanation
whatever.*

Ill

**It is a mistake of much popular criticism,”
says Walter Pater, in the first two sentences of
his essay on ” The School of Giorgione,” cc to re-
gard poetry, music, and painting all the various
products of art as but translations into differ-
ent languages of one and the same fixed quantity
of imaginative thought, supplemented by certain
technical qualities of colour, in painting; of sound,
in music ; of rhythmical words, in poetry. In this
way, the sensuous element in art, and with it al-
most everything in art that is essentially artistic,
is made a matter of indifference; and a clear ap-
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prehension of the opposite principle that the
sensuous material of each art brings with it a
special phase or quality of beauty, untranslatable
into the forms of any other, an order of impres-
sions distinct in kind is the beginning of all true
aesthetic criticism,”

Strawinsky, in a sense, is quite done with pro-
gramme music; at least he says that this is so.
” La musique est trop bete pour exprimer autre
chose que la musique ” is his pregnant phrase,
which I cannot quote often enough. And in an
interview with Stanley Wise, which appeared in
the columns of the ” New York Tribune ” he fur-
ther says, * 6 Programme music . . . has been ob-
viously discontinued as being distinctly an
uncouth form which already has had its day;
but music, nevertheless, still drags out its life in
accordance with these false notions and concep-
tions. Without absolutely defying the pro-
gramme, musicians still draw upon sources foreign
to their art. . . . The true inwardness of music
being purely acoustic, the art so expresses itself
without being concerned with feelings alien to its
nature. . . . Music in the theatre is still held in
bondage to other elements. Wagner, in particu-
lar, is responsible for this servitude in which music
labours to-day.”

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The greater part of Igor Strawinsky’s music,
up to date, is written to a programme, but these
remarks of the composer should not be incompre-
hensible on that account. Somewhat later than
the performance of the three pieces for string
quartet, The Firebird and Petrouchka were per-
formed in New York and were hailed by the critics,
en masse, as most delightful works. But the music
depends for its success, they said, on the stage
action to explain it. I fancy this is true of many
operas which were written for the stage. Sieg-
fried, as a whole, would be pretty tiresome in con-
cert form and so would La Fille du Regiment.
And read what Henry Fothergill Chorley has to
say about the works of Gluck (” Modern German
Music “) : ” The most experienced and imagina-
tive of readers will derive from the closest perusal
of the scores of Gluck’s operas, feeble and distant
impressions of their power and beauty. The de-
licious charm of Mozart’s melody the expressive
nobility of Handel’s ideas may in some measure
be comprehended by the student at the pianoforte
and the eye may assure the reader how masterly
is the symmetry of the vocal score with one, how
rich and complete is the management of the in-
strumental score, with the other master. But this
is in no respect the case with Alceste, the two
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Iphigenies and Armide It may be added, with
almost any opera written according to the canons
of French taste. That which appears thin, bald,
severe, when it is merely perused, is filled up,
brightens, enchants, excites, and satisfies, when it
is heard with action, to a degree only to be be-
lieved upon experience. Out of the theatre, three-
fourths of GlucPs individual merit is lost. He
wrote for the stage.” That all this is true any
one who, like me, has taken the trouble to study
the scores of the Gluck operas, which are infre-
quently performed, may have discovered for him-
self. I have never heard Alceste and that lyric
drama, as a result, has never sprung to me from
the printed page as do the notes of Orphee, AT-
mide y and IpMgenie en Tauride. I am convinced
of the depth of expression contained in its pages ;
I am certain of its noble power, but only because
I have had a similar experience with other Gluck
music dramas, with which I have later become ac-
quainted in the theatre.

This theory in regard to Petrouctika and The
Firebird may be easily contradicted, however.
One listener told me that she got the complete pic-
ture of the Russian fair by closing her eyes ; it was
all in the music. The action, as a matter of fact,
she added, annoyed her. It is quite certain that
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the music of either of these works is delightful
when played OB the piano ; an average roomful of
people who like to listen to music will be charmed
with it. The Sacrifice to the Spring was hissed in-
tolerantly when it was performed as a ballet in
Paris but, later (April 5, 1914), when Pierre
Monteux gave an orchestral performance of the
work at a concert it was applauded as violently.

Strawinsky has, it is true, worked away from
representation (in the sense of copying nature or,
like Wagner, relying on literary formulas for his
effects) in his music, but he has written very little
that does not depend on a programme, either ex-
pressed or implied. All songs of course are ” ex-
plained ” by their lyrics. The Scherzo F ant as-
tique and Fireworks are programme music in the
lighter sense, and naturally the music of his bal-
lets and Ms opera depends for its meaning on the
stage action. What Strawinsky means to do ? I
think certainly what he has done is to avoid
going outside his subject or requiring his listener
to do so. To understand the music of his opera
you need never have heard a real nightingale sing,
for the bird does not sing at all like a nightingale,
a fact which was not understood by the critics
when the work was first produced, and In The
Sacrifice to the Spring you will find no attempt
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made to ape natural sounds, although there was
ample opportunity for doing so. , . . Another
modern worker In tone, Leo Qrnstein, in the ac-
companiment to his cradle song (it is the same
wiegenlled set by Richard Strauss, by the way)
tries to give his hearers the mother’s overtones,
her thoughts about the child’s future, etc.; the
music, instead of attempting to express the exact
meaning of the poem, expresses more than the
poem.

And Mr. Ornstein once said to me, a What I
try to do in composing is to get underneath, to ex-
press the feeling underneath not to be photo-
graphic. I do not think it is art to reproduce a
steam whistle but it is art to give the feeling that
the steam whistle gives us. That can never be
done by exact reproduction. … I should not
like a steam whistle introduced into the concert
room ** (I had shamelessly suggested it) ” . . .
but great, smashing chords. . . ?*

Yet Mr. Ornstein in his Impressions of the
Thames is as near actual representation as Whis-
tler or Monet . . . certainly a musical impres-
sionist.

Is anything true? I hope not. At dinner the
other evening a lady attempted to prove to me that
there were standards by which beauty could be
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judged and rules by which it could be constructed.
She was unsuccessful.

IV

It has occurred to me that Mr. Aldrich meant
that he wanted the juxtaposition of notes ex-
plained from beginning to end. Inspiration is not
always conscious . , one feels in the end whether
such a collocation is inevitable or not … I won-
der if Beethoven could have explained one of his
last quartets or piano sonatas. I doubt it. Of
course, on the other hand, Wagner explained and
explained and explained.

I am afraid that this quality alone, the fact
that the music needs explanation, is not the
rock on which Mr. Aldrich splits, so to speak.
He writes somewhere else in this same article:
” All he asks of his listeners is to forget all they
know about string quartet music.*’ Now this is
really too much. That is exactly what Straw-
insky does, and why shouldn’t he? Has not every
great composer done as much? To quote Ernest
Newman again (this time from his book ” Richard
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Strauss”), “All the music of the giants of the
past expresses no more than a fragment of what
music can and some day will express. With each
new generation it must discover and reveal some
new secret of the universe and of man’s heart ; and
as the thing uttered varies, the way of uttering it
must vary also. There is only one rational defi-
nition of good * form * in music that which ex-
presses most succinctly and most perfectly the
state of soul in which the idea originated ; and as
moods and ideas change, so must forms.” ” The
true creator strives, in reality, after perfection
only,” writes Busoni, in ” A New ^Esthetic of
Music,” ” and through bringing this into harmony
with Ms own individuality, a new law arises with-
out premeditation.” The very greatness of Bee-
thoven is due to the fact that he made a perfect
wedding of form and idea. His forms (in which
he broke with tradition in several important
points) were evolved out of his ideas. Now the
very writers who give Beethoven the credit for hav-
ing accomplished this successful revolution and
who write enthusiastically of Gluck’s ” reform of
the opera,” object to any contemporary instances
of this spirit (Maurice Ravel a corrects ” with
great care, I am told, the exercises of his pupils.
” He who breaks rules must first know them,” he
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says. And I have no disposition to quarrel with
this sort of reverence although I think it is some-
times carried too far. However the critic at-
tempts to ” correct ” the finished pupil’s work,
from the work of the past a sad and impossible
task). Why in the name of goodness should not
Strawinsky, or any other modern composer, for
that matter, be allowed to make us forget every-
thing we know about string quartets, if he is able ?
Some of us would be grateful for the sensation.
Leo Ornstein in a recent article said, ” The very
first step which the composer must be given the
privilege of insisting upon is that his listeners
should approach his work with no preconceived
notions of any kind ; they must learn to allow abso-
lute and full freedom to their imaginations as it is
only under such circumstances that any new work
can be understood and appreciated at first. All
preconceived theories must be abolished, and the
new work approached through no formulas. 55
And in the same article Mr. Ornstein relates how,
after he had played his Wild Men’s Dance to
Leschetizky that worthy pedagogue murmured,
amazed, ” How in the world did you get all those
notes on paper ! ” That, unfortunately, con-
cludes Mr. Ornstein, is the attitude of the average
listener to modern music. A similar instance is
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related in the case of Strawinsky. He played
some measures of his ballet. The Firebird, on the
piano to his master, Rimsky-Korsakow, until the
composer of Scheherazade interposed, ” Stop
playing that horrid thing ; otherwise I might begin
to enjoy it.” And even the usually open-minded
James Huneker says in his essay on Arnold
Schoenberg (” Ivory, Apes, and Peacocks “), ” If
such music-making is ever to become accepted,
then I long for Death the Releaser. More shock-
ing still would be the suspicion that in time I might
be persuaded to like this music, to embrace, after
abhorring it.” These phrases of Huneker’s re-
mind me of a personal incident. My father has
subscribed for the ” Atlantic Monthly ” since the
first issue and one of the earliest memories of my
childhood is connected with the inevitable copy
which always lay on the library table. On one
occasion, contemplating it, I burst into tears ; nor
could I be comforted. My explanation, between
sobs, was, ” Some day I’ll grow up and like a maga-
zine without pictures! I can’t bear to think of
it ! ” Well, there is many a man who weeps be-
cause some day he may grow up to like music with-
out melody! Music has changed; of that there
can be no doubt. Don’t go to a concert and ex-
pect to hear what you might have heard fifty years
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ago ; don’t expect anything and don’t hate your-
self if you happen to like what you hear. Mr.
George Moore’s evidence on this point of receptive-
ness is enlightening (Mr. George Moore who spoke
to me once of the ” vulgar noises made by the Rus-
sian Ballet “) : ” In PetroucTika the orchestra all
began playing in different keys and when it came
out into one key I was quite dazed. I don’t know
whether it is music but I rather liked it ! ”

Still another point is raised by Mr. Aldrich.
I quote from the ” New York Times ” of Decem-
ber 8, 1915; the reference is to the second string
quartet of David Stanley Smith, played by the
Kneisel Quartet (the italics are mine) : ” Mr.
Smith does not hesitate at drastic dissonance when
it results from the leading of Jiis part ‘writing. 99
There at last we have the real nigger in the wood-
pile. The relation between keys is so remote, the
tonalities are so inexplicable in a modern Straw-
insky or Schoenberg work that the brain, pre-
pared with a list of scales, refuses to take in the
natural impression that the ear receives. This sort
of criticism reminds me of a line which is quoted
from some London journal by William Wal-
lace in ” The Threshold of Music,” ” The whole
work is singularly lacking in contrapuntal interest
and depends solely for such effect as it achieves
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upon certain emotional impressions of harmony
and colour.” And, nearer home, I culled the fol-
lowing from the ” New York Sun ” of December
12, 1915 (Mr. W. J. Henderson’s column), ” This
is what is the matter with the futurists or post-im-
pressionists in music. They are tone colourists
and that is all.” (Amusingly enough Mr. Hen-
derson begins his remarks by praising Joseph
Pennell for writing an article in which the post-
impressionist painters were given a drubbing; this
article is treated with contumely and scorn by the
art critic of the ” Sun ” on the page opposite that
on which Mr. Henderson’s article appears.) In
all these cases you find men complaining because
a composer has done exactly what he started out
to do. F. Balilla Pratella in one of his futurist
manifestos discusses this point (the translation is
my own), ” The fugue, a composition based on
counterpoint par excellence, is full of (such) arti-
fices even when it achieves its artistic balance in
the works of the great German Sebastian Bach.
Soul, intellectuality, and instinct are here fused in
a given form, in a given manifestation of art, an
art of its own times, historical and strictly con-
nected with the life, faith, and culture of that par-
ticular period. Why then should we be compelled
or asked to live it over again at the distance of
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several centuries? ” And later, ” We proclaim as
an essential principle of our futurist revolution
that counterpoint and fugue, stupidly considered
as one of the most important branches of musical
learning, are in our eyes only the ruins of the
old science of polyphony which extends from the
Flemish school to Bach. We replace them by
harmonic polyphony, logical fusion of counter-
point and harmony, which allows musicians to es-
cape the needless difficulty of dividing their efforts
in two opposing cultures, one dead and the other
contemporary, and entirely irreconcilable, because
they are the fruits of two different sensibilities, 5 *
To quote Busoni ; again : ” How important, indeed,
are * Third, 5 * Fifth/ and c Octave’! How
strictly we divide * consonances ? from * disso-
nances * in a sphere where no dissonances can
possibly exist! ” When Bernard Shaw published
a The Perfect Wagnerite ” he wrote for a public
which still considered Wagner a little in advance
of the contemporary in music. What did he say?
” My second encouragement is addressed to modest
citizens who may suppose themselves to be dis-
qualified from enjoying The Ring by their techni-
cal ignorance of music. They may dismiss all
such misgivings speedily and confidently. If the
sound of music has any power to move them they
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will find that Wagner exacts nothing 1 further.
There is not a single bar of * classical music ‘ in
The Ring not a note in it that has any other
point than the single direct point of giving musi-
cal expression to the drama. In classical music
there are, as the analytical programmes tell us,
first subjects and second subjects, free fantasias,
recapitulations, and codas ; there are fugues, with
counter-subjects, strettos, and pedal points; there
are passacaglias on ground basses, canons and
hypodiapente, and other ingenuities, which have,
after all, stood or fallen by their prettiness as
much as the simplest folk-tune. Wagner is never
driving at anything of this sort any more than
Shakespeare in his plays is driving at such ingenu-
ities of verse-making as sonnets, triolets, and the
like. And this is why he is so easy for the natural
musician who has had no academic teaching. The
professors, when Wagner’s music is played to
them, exclaim at once, What is this ? Is it aria,
or recitative? Is there no cabeletta to it not
even, a full close? Why was that discord not
prepared; and why does he not resolve it cor-
rectly? How dare he indulge in those scandalous
and illicit transitions into a key that has not one
note in common with the key he has just left?
Listen to those false relations. What does he
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want with six drums and eight horns when Mozart
worked miracles with two of each? The man is
no musician/ The layman neither knows nor
cares about any of these things. It is the adept
musician of the old school who has everything to
unlearn; and I leave him, unpitied, to his fate.”
All Wagner asked his contemporaries to do, in
fact, was to forget all they knew about opera !

VI

This piling up of Shaw on Huneker, these dips
into Newman and Niecks, are beginning to be for-
midable, but one never knows what turn of the
road may lead the traveller to his promised land
and it is better to draw the map clearly even if
there be a confusion of choices. And so, just
here, I beg leave to make a tiny digression, to
point out that the new music is not so terrible as
all this explanation may have made it seem to be.
Granville Bantock talks learnedly of w horizontal
counterpoint ” but his music is perfectly compre-
hensible. Schoenberg writes of ” passing notes,”
says there Is no such thing as consonance and dis-
sonance, and “I have not been able to discover
any principles of harmony. Sincerity, self-ex-
pression, is all that the artist needs, and he should
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say only what he must say ” but Mr. Huneker
points out that he has founded an order out of
his chaos, ” that his madness is very methodical.
For one thing he abuses the interval of the fourth
and he enjoys juggling with the chord of the
ninth. Vagabond harmonies, in which the remot-
est keys lovingly hold hands do not prevent the
sensation of a central tonality somewhere in
the cellar, on the roof, in the gutter, up in the
sky.” Percy Grainger says he dreams of ” beat-
less ” music without rhythm at least academ-
ically speaking but he certainly does not write
it. F. Balilla Pratella writes pages condemning
dance rhythms and still more pages elaborating
a new theory for marking time (which, I admit,
is absolutely incomprehensible to me) and pub-
lishes them as a preface to his Musica Futurista
(Bologna, 1912), a composition for orchestra,
which is written, in spite of the theories, and the
fantastic time signatures, in the most engaging
dance rhythms. Nor does Ms disregard for fugue
go so far as to make him unfriendly to scale ; the
whole-tone scale prevails in this work. His dis-
like for polyphony seems more sincere ; there is a
great deal of homophonous effect. Leo Ornstein
has admitted to me that his ” system ” would be
fully understood in a decade or two. As for
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Strawinsky . . . how the public joyfully and rap-
turously takes to its heart his dissonances, and
even asks for more !

VII

Vincent d’Indy, reported by Marcel Duchamp,
said recently that the philosophy of music is
twenty years behind that of the other arts.

VIII

The fact that Schoenberg has written a hand-
book of theory, explaining, after a fashion,
his method of composition has misled some
people. a Schoenberg is a learned musician,”
writes Mr. Aldrich (” New York Times,” Decem-
ber 5, 1915), “and his music is built up by
processes derived from methods handed down to
the present by the learned of the past, ho-wever
widely the results may depart from those hitherto
accepted. . . . There results what he chooses to
consider c harmony,’ the outcome of a deliberate
system, about which he theorizes and lias written
a book” (the italics again are mine). Against
this train of reasoning (further on in the same
article it becomes evident that Mr. Aldrich is
annoyed with Strawinsky because he has not done
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likewise) it is pleasant to place the following
paragraph from Chorley’s ” Modern German Mu-
sic 5i : ” Mozart, it will be recollected, totally and
(for him) seriously, declined to criticize himself
and confess his habits of composition. Many
men have produced great works of art who have
never cultivated aesthetic conversation: nay, more,
who have shrunk with a secretly entertained dis-
like from those indefatigable persons whose fancy
it is * to peep and botanize * in every corner of
faery land. It cannot be said that the analytical
spirit of the circle of Weimar, when Goethe was
its master-spirit did any great things for Mu-
sic.” Do not misunderstand Strawinsky’s silence
(which has only been relative, after all). It is
sometimes as well to compose as to theorize*
Some of the great composers have let us see into
their workshops (not that they have all consist-
ently followed out their own theories) and others
have not. In one pregnant paragraph Strawin-
sky has expressed himself (he is speaking of The
Nightingale) : ” I want to suggest neither situa-
tions nor emotions, but simply to manifest, to
express them, I think there is in what are called
6 impressionist ? methods 35 (” Mr* Strawinsky, on
the other hand, is a musical impressionist from,
the start ” : R. A. again) ” a certain amount of
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hypocrisy, or at least a tendency towards vague-
ness and ambiguity. That I shun above all
things, and that, perhaps, is the reason why my
methods differ as much from those of the impres-
sionists as they differ from academic conventional
methods. Though I often find it extremely hard
to do so, I always aim at straightforward expres-
sion in its simplest form. I have no use for
* working-out J in dramatic or lyric music. The
one essential thing is to feel and to convey one’s
feelings.”

This idea of natural expression becomes asso-
ciated In any great composer’s mind with another
idea, the horror of the cliche. Each new giant
desires to express himself without resorting to the
thousand and one formulas which have been more
or less in use since the ” golden age ?> of music
(whenever that was). Natural expression im-
plies to a certain extent the abandonment of the
cliche, for, under this principle, if a rule or a
habit is weighed and found wanting it is immedi-
ately discarded.

“Routine (cliche) is highly esteemed and fre-
quently required ; in musical * officialdom * it is a
sme qua non” writes Busoni. ” That routine in
music should exist at all, and furthermore that
it can be nominated as a condition in the musi-

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cian’s bond, is another proof of the narrow con-
fines of our musical art. Routine signifies the
acquisition of a modicum of experience and art
craft, and their application to all cases which may
occur ; hence, there must be an astounding num-
ber of analogous cases. Now I like to imagine a
species of art-praxis wherein each case should be
a new one, an exception.” Even so early a com-
poser (using early in a loose sense) as Schumann
found it unnecessary, at times, to close a piece
with the tonic; and many other composers have
disregarded the rule since, leaving the ear hang-
ing in the air, so to speak. Is there any more
reason why all pieces should end on the tonic
than that all books should end happily or all
pictures be painted in black and white? In music
which Mozart wrote at the age of four there are
chords of the second (and they occur in music be-
fore Mozart). In books of the period you can
read of the horror with which ears at the begin-
ning of the nineteenth century received consecu-
tive fifths. Some of the modern French compos-
ers have disposed of the cliche of a symphony in
four movements. Chausson, Franck, and Dukas
have written symphonies in three parts. What
composer (even the most academic) ever followed
the letter of a precept if he found a better way
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of expressing himself? Moussorgsky avoided
cliche as he would have avoided the plague.
He toot all the short cuts possible. There
are no preambles and addendas, or other dod-
dering concessions to scientific art in his music
dramas and his songs. He gives the words their
natural accent and the voice its natural inflec-
tions. Death is not always rewarded with blows
on the big drum. The composer sometimes ex-
presses the end, quite simply, in silence. In all
the arts the horror of cliche asserts itself so vio-
lently indeed that we find Robert Ross (” Masks
and Phases 5J ) assailing Walter Pater for such a
fall from grace as the use of the phrase, ” rebel-
lious masses of black hair.” Of course some small
souls are so busy defying cliche, with no ade-
quate reason for doing so, that they make them-
selves ridiculous. And as an example of this
preoccupation I may tell an anecdote related to
me by George Moore, “For a time,” he said,
” Augusta Holmes was interested in an opera she
was composing, La Montague Noire, to the exclu-
sion of all other subjects in conversation. She
talked about it constantly and always brought one
point forward: all the characters were to sing
with their backs to the audience. That was her
novel idea. She did not seem to realize that, in
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itself, the innovation would not serve to make
her opera interesting.” Strawinsky’s horror of
clichS is by no means abnormal. He does not
break rules merely for the pleasure of shocking
the pedants. In each instance he has developed?
quite naturally and inevitably, the form out of
his material. In Petrouchka, a ballet with a Rus-
sian country fair as its background, he has harped
on the folk-dance tunes, the hurdy-gurdy manner,
and, as befits this work, there is no great break
with tradition, except in the orchestration. The
Firebird, too, in spite of its fantasy and brilliance,
is perfectly understandable in terms of the chro-
matic scale. In The Sacrifice to the Spring, on
the other hand, unhampered by the chains which
a ” story-ballet ” (the fable of these “pictures
of pagan Russia ” is entirely negligible) inevita-
bly imply, he has awakened primitive emotions by
the use of barbaric rhythm, without any special
regard for melody or harmony, using the words in
their academic senses. There is no attempt made
to begin or end with major thirds* Strawinsky
was perhaps the first composer to see that melody
is of no importance in a ballet. Fireworks is
impressionistic but it is no more so (although the
result Is arrived at by a wholly dissimilar method)
than La Mer of Debussy. But it is in his opera,
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Tlie Nightingale^ or his very short pieces for
string quartet, or his Japanese songs for voice
and small orchestra that the beast shows his
fangs, so to speak. It is in these pieces and in
The Sacrifice to the Spring that Strawinsky has
accomplished a process of elision, leaving out some
of those stupidities which have bored us at every
concert of academic music which we have attended.
(You must realize how much your mind wanders
at a symphony concert. It is impossible to con-
centrate one’s complete attention on the perform-
ance of a long work except at those times when
some new phrase or some new turn in the work-
ing-out of a theme strikes the ear. There is so
much of the music that is familiar, because it has
occurred in so much music before. If you hear
tum-ti-tum you may be certain it will be followed
by ti-ti-ti and a good part of this sort of thing
falls on deaf ears. . . . There are those, I am
forced to admit, who can only concentrate on
that which is perfectly familiar to them.) As a
matter of fact he gives our ears credit (by this
time!) for the ability to skip a few of the con-
necting links. Now this sort of elision in paint-
ing has come to be the slogan of a school. Ce-
zanne painted a woman as he saw her; he made
no attempt to explain her; that pleasure he left
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for the spectator of his picture. He did not draw
a fashion plate. The successors of Cezanne (some
of them) have gone much farther. They draw us
a few bones and expect us to reconstruct the
woman, body and soul, after the fashion of a pro-
fessor of anatomy reconstructing an ichthyosau-
rus. Strawinsky and some other modern musi-
cians have gone as far; they have left out the
tum-ti-tums and twilly-wigs which connect the
pregnant phrases in their music. * . This does
not signify that they do not think them, some-
times, but it is not necessary for any one with a
receptive ear (not an expectant ear, unless it be
an ear which expects to hear something pleasant !)
to do so. In fact this kind of an auditor ap-
preciates these short cuts of composers, gives
thanks to God for them. Surprise is one of the
keenest emotions that music has in its power to
give us (even Hadyn and Weber discovered that !),
It is only the pedants and the critics, who, after
all, do not sit through all the long symphonies,
who are annoyed by these attempts at concen-
tration and condensation. (I say the pedants
but I must include the Philistines. It is really
cliche which makes certain music ” popular. 9 *
The public as a whole really prefers music based
on cUche, with a melody in which the end is fore-
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ordained almost from the first bar. Of course In
time public taste is changed. . . . The transition
is slow . * . but the composer who follows public
taste instead of leading it soon drops out of hear-
ing. The cliche of to-day is not the cliche of day
before yesterday* According to Philip Hale,
Napoleon, then first consul [1800] said to Luigi
Cherubim, ” I am very fond of Paisiello’s music ;
it is gentle, peaceful. You have great talent,
but your accompaniments are too loud. 55 Cheru-
bini replied, ” Citizen Consul, I have conformed
to the taste of the French.” Napoleon per-
sisted, ” Your music is too loud ; let us talk of
Paisiello’s which lulls me gently.’ 5 ” I under-
stand,” answered Cherubini, **you prefer music
that does not prevent you from dreaming of
affairs of state. 55 ) Strawinsky, working gradu-
ally, not with the intention to astonish but with
no fear of doing so, dropping superfluities, and
all cliche of the studio whatsoever, arrives at a
perfectly natural form of expression in his lyric
drama. The Nightingale, in which there is no
working-out or development of themes; the music
is intended to comment upon, to fill with a bigger
meaning, the action as it proceeds, without re-
sorting to tricks which require mental effort on
the part of the auditor. The composer does not
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wish to burden him with any more mental effort
than the mere listening to the piece requires and
he strikes to the soul with the poignancy of his
expression. (The foregoing may easily be misun-
derstood. It does not mean necessarily that there
is no polyphony, that there are no parts leading
hither and thither in the music of Strawinsky.
It does not mean that dissonance has become an
end in itself with this composer. It simply means
that he has let his inspiration take the form nat-
ural to it and has not tried to cramp his inspira-
tion into proscribed forms. There should be no
more difficulty in understanding him than in un-
derstanding Beethoven once one arrives at listen-
ing with unbiased ears. The trouble is that too
many of us have made up our minds not to listen
to anything which does not conform with our
own precious opinions.)

At the risk of being misunderstood by some and
for the sake of making myself clearer to others
I hazard a frivolous figure. Say that Wagner’s
formula for composition be represented by some
expression; I will choose the simple proverb,
” Make hay while the sun shines,” Humperdinck
is content to change a single detail of this for-
mula. He says, musically speaking, “Make
wheat while the sun shines. 55 Richard Strauss
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nakes a more complete inversion. His para-
phrase would suggest something like this, ” Make
Drass while the band brays.” Strawinsky, wea-
ried of the whole business (as was Debussy be-
fore him; genius does not paraphrase) uses only
two words of the formula . . . say ” make ” and
f *sun. 5? Later even these are negligible, as each
aew composer makes his own laws and his own
formulas. The infinity of it! In time the work
of Strawinsky will establish a cliche to be scorned
by a new generation (scorned in the sense that it
will not be imitated, except by inferior men).

That his music is vibrant and beautiful we may
be sure and it has happened that all of it has been
appreciated by a very worth-while public. He
has done what Benedetto Croce in his valuable
work, 4C ^Esthetic,” demands of the artist. He has
expressed himself . , . for beauty is expression.
” Artists,” says this writer, ” while making a ver-
bal pretence of agreeing, or yielding a feigned obe-
dience to them, have always disregarded (these)
laws of styles. Every true work of art has vio-
lated some established class and upset the ideas
of the critics who have been obliged to enlarge
the number of classes, until finally even this en-
largement has proved too narrow, owing to the
appearance of new works of art, which are natu-
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rally followed by new scandals, new upsettings,
and new enlargements.”

” It must not be forgotten/ 5 says Egon Wellesz
(” Schoenberg and Beyond ” in “The Musical
Quarterly,” Otto Kinkeldey’s translation), ” that
in art there are no e eternal laws * and rules. Each
period of history has its own art, and the art of
each period has its own rules. There are times
of which one might say that every work which
was not in accord with the rules was bad or ama-
teurish. These are the times in which fixed forms
exist, to which all artists hold fast, merely varying
the content* Then there are periods when artists
break through and shatter the old forms. The
greatness of their thoughts can no longer be con-
fined within the old limits. (Think of Beethoven’s
Ninth Symphony and the Symphonie Fantastique
of Berlioz.) There arises a category of art works
whose power and beauty can be felt only and not
understood. For this reason an audience that
knows nothing of rules will enthuse over works of
this kind much sooner than the average musician
who looks for the rules and their observance.”

Remember that Hanslick called Tristan und
Isolde ” an abomination of sense and language ”
and Chorley wrote ” I have never been so blanked,
pained, wearied, insulted even (the word is not too

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strong), by a work of pretension as by …
Tanntiauser.” . . . ” Fortunately,” I quote Bene-
detto Croce again, ” no arduous remarks are neces-
sary to convince ourself that pictures, poetry, and
every work of art, produce no effects save on souls
prepared to receive them*”

The clock continues to make its hands go round,
so fast indeed that it becomes increasingly difficult
to keep track of its course. For example, just
before his death, John F. Runciman in ” Another
Ode to Discord 59 (“The New Music Review,”
April, 1916) seemed to present an entirely new
front. Here is a sample passage, ” We have
grown used to dissonances and our ears no longer
require the momentary rest afforded by frequent
concords; if a discord neither demands prepara-
tion nor resolution, and if it sounds beautiful and
is expressive, there is no reason on earth why a
piece of music should not consist wholly of a series
of discords. . . . From Monteverde to Scriabine
the line is unbroken, each successive generation
growing bolder in attacking dissonances and still
bolder in the manner of quitting them. I heard
a gentleman give a recital of his own pianoforte
works not long ago. They seemed to consist en-
tirely of minor seconds B and C struck together
and the effect to my mind was excruciatingly

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abominable. But that is how Bach’s music, Bee-
thoven’s, Wagner’s, struck their contemporaries;
and heaven knows what we shall get accustomed to
in time. One thing is certain that the most
daring modern spirit is only following in the steps
of the mightiest masters. . .”

We may be on the verge of a still greater revolu-
tion in art than any through which we have yet
passed; new banners may be unfurled, and new
strongholds captured. I admit that the idea gives
me pleasure. Try to admit as much to yourself.
Go hear the new music ; listen to it and see if you
can’t enjoy it. Perhaps you can’t. At any rate
you will find in time that you won’t listen to sec-
ond-rate imitations of the giant works of the past
any longer. Your ears will make progress in spite
of you and I shouldn’t wonder at all if five years
more would make Schoenberg and Strawinsky and
Ornstein a trifle old fashioned. . * The Austrian
already has a little of the academy dust upon him.

New York, April 16, 1916.

[818]

A New Principle in Music

A New Principle in Music

ALTHOUGH Igor Stravinsky plainly pro-
claimed himself a genius in The Firebird
(1909-10), it was in PetrouchJca (1910-
11) that he began the experiment which estab-
lished a new principle in music. In these ” scenes
burlesques ” he discovered the advantages of a
new use of the modern orchestra, completely up-
setting the old academic ideas about ” balance of
tone/* and proving to his own satisfaction the
value of ” pure tone,” in the same sense that the
painter speaks of pure colour. And in this work
he broke away from the standards not only of
Richard Strauss, the Wagner follower, but also
of such innovators as Modeste Moussorgsky and
Claude Debussy.

Strauss, following Wagner’s theory of the leit-
motiv, rounded out the form of the tone-poem,
carried the principle of representation in music a
few steps farther than his master, gave new
colours to old instruments, and broadened the
scope of the modern orchestra so that it might
include new ones (in one of his symphonies Gustav
Mahler was content with 150 men!). Mous-
sorgsky (although his work preceded that of
Strauss, the general knowledge of it is modern).

A New Principle In Music

working along entirely different lines, strove for
truthful utterance and achieved a mode of expres-
sion which usually seems inevitable. Debussy en-
dowed music with novel tints derived from the ex-
tensive, and almost exclusive, use of what is called
the whole-tone scale, and instead of forcing his
orchestra to make more noise he constantly re-
pressed it (in all of PelUas et Melisande there is
but one climax of sound and in I ‘Apres-midi d*un
Faune and his other orchestral works he is equally
continent in the use of dynamics).

Igor Strawinsky has not been deaf to the blan-
dishments of these composers. He has used the
leit-motiv (sparingly) in both The Firebird and
PetroucJika. He abandoned it in The Sacrifice to
the Spring (1913) and in The Nightingale (1914).
His powers of representation are as great as those
of Strauss ; it is only necessary to recall the music
of the bird in The Firebird, his orchestral piece,
Fireworks , which received warm praise from a
manufacturer of pyrotechnics, and the street
organ music in Petrouclika. Later he conceived
the mission of music to be something different.
a La musique est trop bete,” he said once iron-
ically, ” pour exprimer autre chose que la mu-
sique/’ In such an extraordinary work as The
Nightingale we find him making little or no at-
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A New Principle in Music

tempt at representation. The bird does not sing
like the little brown warbler; instead Strawinskj
has endeavoured to write music which would give
the feeling of the bird’s song and the effect it made
on the people in his lyric drama to the auditors
In the stalls of the opera house. As for Strauss’s
use of orchestral colour the German is the merest
tyro when compared to the Russian. There is
some use of the whole-tone scale in The Firebird,
and elsewhere in Strawinsky, but it is not a pre-
dominant use of it. In this 6t conte danse ” he
also suggests the Pelleas et Melisande of Debussy
in his continent use of sound and the mystery and
esotericism of his effect. Strawinsky is more of
an expert than Moussorgsky; he handles his me-
dium more freely (has any one ever handled it
better?) but he still preaches the older Russian
doctrine of truth of expression, a doctrine which
implies the curt dismissal of all idea of padding.
But all these composers and their contempo-
raries, and the composers who came before them,
have one quality in common; they all use the
orchestra of their time, or a bigger one* Strauss,
to be sure, introduces a number of new instru-
ments, but he still utilizes a vast number of violins
and violas massed against the other instruments,
diminishing in number according to the volume of
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A New Principle in Music

sound each makes. He divides his strings con-
tinually, of course; they do not all play alike as
the violins, say, in II Barbiere di Siviglia, but they
often all play at once.

Stravinsky experimented at first with the full
orchestra and he even utilized it in such late works
as PetroucJika and The Nightingale. However,
in his search for ” pure tone ” he used it in a new
way. In Petrouchka, for example, infrequently
you will hear more than one of each instrument
at a time and frequently two, or at most three,
instruments playing simultaneously will be suf-
ficient to give his idea form. The entire second
scene of this mimed drama, is written for solo
piano, occasionally combined with a single other
instrument. At other times in the action the
bassoon or the cornet, even the triangle has the
stage. And when he wishes to achieve his most
complete effects he is careful not to use more than
seven or eight instruments, and only one of each.

He experimented still further with this prin-
ciple in his Japanese songs, for voice and small
orchestra (1912). The words are by Akahito,
Mazatsumi, and Tsaraiuki. I have not heard
these songs with orchestral accompaniment (the
piano transcription was made by the composer
himself) but I may take the judgment of those

A New Principle in Music

who have. I am told that they are of an inde-
scribable beauty, and instinct with a new colour,
a colour particularly adapted to the oriental
naivete of the lyrics. The orchestra, to accom-
pany a soprano, consists of two flutes (one a little
flute), two clarinets (the second a bass clarinet),
piano (an instrument which Strawinsky almost
invariably includes in his orchestration), two
violins, viola and ‘cello. This form of chamber
music, of course, is not rare. Chausson’s violin
concerto, with chamber orchestra, and Schoen-
berg’s Pierrot Lunaire instantly come to mind, but
Strawinsky did not stop with chamber music. He
applied his new principle to the larger forms.

In his newest work, TJie Village Weddings* which
I believe Serge de Diaghilew hopes to produce, his
principle has found its ultimate expression, I am
told by his friend, Ernest Ansermet, conductor
of the Russian Ballet in America and to whom
Strawinsky dedicated his three pieces for string
quartet. The last note is dry on the score of
this work, and it is therefore quite possible to talk
about it although no part of it has yet been per-
formed publicly. According to Mr. Ansermet
there is required an orchestra of forty-five men,
each a virtuoso, no two of whom play fhe same
instrument (to be sure there are two violins but
[221]

A New Principle In Music

one invariably plays pizzicato, the other invari-
ably bows). There are novelties in the band but
all the conventional instruments are there includ-
ing, you may be sure, a piano and an infinite
variety of woodwinds, which always play sig-
nificant roles in Strawinsky’s orchestration. And
Mr. Ansermet says that in this work Strawinsky
has achieved effects such as have only been dreamed
of by composers hitherto. . * . I can well believe
him.

He has made another innovation, following, in
this case, an idea of Diaghilew’s. When that im-
presario determined on a production of Rimsky-
Korsakow’s opera, The Golden Cock, during the
summer of 1914 he conceived a performance with
two casts, one choregraphic and the other vocal.
Thus Mme. Dobrovolska sang the coloratura
role of the Queen of Shemakhan while Mme.
Karsavina danced the part most brilliantly on her
toes; M. Petrov sang the role of King Dodon,
which was enacted by Adolf Bolm, etc. In order
to accomplish this feat Mr. Diaghilew was obliged
to make the singers a part of the decoration.
Nathalie Gontcharova, who has been called in to
assist in the production of The Village Weddings,
devised as part of her stage setting two tiers of
seats, one on either side of the stage, extending

A New Principle In Music

into the flies after the fashion of similar benches
used at the performance of an oratorio. The
singers (principals and chorus together) clad in
magenta gowns and caps, all precisely similar, sat
on these seats during the performance and, after
a few seconds, they became quite automatically a
part of the decoration. The action took place in
the centre of the stage and the dancers not only
mimed their roles but also opened and closed their
mouths as if they were singing. The effect was
thoroughly diverting and more than one serious
person was heard to declare that the future of
opera had been solved, although Mine. Rimsky-
Korsakow, as she had on a similar occasion when
the Russian Ballet had produced Fokine’s version
of Scheherazade, protested.

Rimsky-Korsakow wrote his opera to be sung
in the ordinary fashion, and, in so far as this mat-
ters, it was perhaps a desecration to perform it
in any other manner. However, quite beyond the
fact that very large audiences were hugely de”-
lighted with The Golden Cock in its new form,
these performances served to fire Strawinsky with
the inspiration for his new work. He intends The
Village Weddings to be given precisely in this
manner. It is an opera, the roles of which are
to be sung by artists who sit still while the figures
[*]

A New Principle in Music

of the ballet will enact them. The words, I am
told, are entirely derived from Russian folk stories
and ballads, pieced together by the composer him-
self, and the action is to be like that of a mar-
ionette show in which the characters are worked
by strings from above. It may also be stated on
the same authority that the music, while embrac-
ing new tone colours and dramatic effects, is as
tuneful as any yet set on paper by this extraordi-
nary young man; the songs have a true folk
flavour. The whole, it is probable, will make as
enchanting a stage entertainment as any which
this composer has yet contrived.

It is not only folk-tunes but popular songs as
well that fascinate Igor Strawinsky. Ernest
Ansermet collected literally hundreds of examples
of American ragtime songs and dances to take
back to the composer, and he pointed out to me
how Strawinsky had used similar specimens in the
past. For example, the barrel organ solo in the
first scene of PetroucJika is a popular French song
of several seasons ago. La Jambe de Bois (a
song now forbidden in Paris); the final wed-,
ding music in The Firebird is an adagio version
of a popular Russian song, with indecent words.
He sees beauty in these popular tunes, too
much beauty to be allowed to go to waste. In
[224]

A New Principle in Music

the same spirit he has taken the melodies of two
Lanner waltzes for the dance between the Ballerina
and the Moor in the third scene of PetroucTika.
It would not surprise me at all to discover Hello
Frisco bobbing up in one of his future works.
After all turn about is fair play ; the popular com-
posers have dug gold mines out of the classics.

Consistent, certainly, is Strawinsky’s delight in
clowns and music halls the burlesque and the
eccentric. He has written a ballet for four
clowns, and Ansermet showed me one day an ar-
rangement for four hands of three pieces, for small
orchestra, in style music hall, dated 1914. We
gave what we smilingly referred to as the ” first
American audition 5> on the grand pianoforte in
his hotel room. I played the base, not a matter
of any particular difficulty in the first number,
a polka, because the first bar was repeated to the
end. This polka, I found very amusing and we
played it over several times. The valse, which
followed, reminded me of the Lanner number in
PetroucTika. The suite closed with a march, dedi-
cated to Alfred Casella. . . . The pieces would de-
light any audience, from that of the Palace Thea-
tre, to that of the concerts of the Symphony Soci-
ety of New York.

New York, February 6, 1916.
[225]

Leo Ornstein

” the only true Hue, genuine Futurist composer alive!’

James Huneker.

Leo Ornstein

THE amazing Leo Ornstein! … I should
have written the amazing Leo Omsteins for
” there are many of them and each one of
them is one.” Ornstein himself has a symbol for
this diversity ; some of his music he signs ” Van-
nin.” He has told me that the signature is auto-
matic : when Vannin writes he signs ; when Ornstein
writes Tie signs. But it is not alone in composing
that there are many Ornsteins ; there are many
pianists as well. One Ornstein paints Ms tones
with a fine soft brush; the other smears on his
colours with a trowel. In his sentimental treat-
ment of triviality he has scarcely a competitor on
the serious concert stage (unless it be Fanny
Bloomfield-Zeisler). Is this the Caliban, one asks,
who conceived and who executes TJie Wild Men’s
Dance? The softer Ornstein is less original than
his comrade, more imitative. … I have been told
that Jews are always imitative in art, that there
are no great Jewish composers. Wagner? Well,
Wagner was half a Jew, perhaps* Certainly there
is imitation in Ornstein, but so was there in the
young Beethoven, the young Debussy. . * .

Recently I went to hear Ornstein play under a
misconception. I thought that he, with an an-
[229]

Leo Ornsteln

nounced violinist, was going to perform his an-
archistic sonata for violin and piano, opus 31.
They did perform one of his sonatas but it was
an earlier opus, 6, I think. At times, while I
listened it seemed to me that nothing so beautiful
had been done in this form since Cesar Franck’s
sonata. The first movement had a rhapsodic
character that was absolutely successful in estab-
lishing a mood. The music soared; it did not
seem confined at all. It achieved perfectly the
effect of improvisation. The second part was
even finer, and the scherzo and finale only less good.
But this was no new idiom. I looked again and
again at my programme ; again and again at the
man on the piano stool. Was this not Harold
Bauer playing Ravel? . . . One theme struck me
as astonishingly like Johnson’s air in the last act
of The Girl of the Golden West. There was a
good use made of the whole-tone scale and its at-
tendant harmonies, which sounded strangely in our
ears a few seasons past, and a ravishing series of
figurations and runs made one remember that De-
bussy had described falling water in a similar
fashion.

This over the pianist became less himself so
far as I had become acquainted with him to this
time than ever. He played a banal barcarole
[230]

Leo O rnsteln

of Rubinstein’s ; to be sure he almost made It sound
like an interesting composition; he played a
scherzino of his own that any one from Schiitt
to Moszkowski might have signed ; he played some-
thing of Grieg’s which may have pleased Mr, Finck
and two or three ladies in the audience but which
certainly left me cold ; and he concluded this group
with a performance of Liszt’s arrangement of the
waltz from Gounod’s Faust. Thereupon there was
so much applause that he came back and played
his scherzino again. His repertoire in this genre
was probably too limited to admit of his adding
a fresh number. … At this point I arose and
left the hall, more in wonder than in indigna-
tion.

Was this the musician who had been reviled and
hissed? Was this the pianist and composer whom
Huneker had dubbed the only real futurist in mod-
ern music ? It was not the Ornstein I myself had
heard a few weeks previously striking the key-
boards with his fists in the vociferous measures of
The Wild Men’s Dance; it was not the colour
painter of the two Impressions of Notre Dame;
it was not the Ornstein who in a dark corner of
Pogliani’s glowed with glee over the possibility of
dividing and redividing the existing scale into
eighth, sixteenth, and twenty-fourth tones* . .

Leo Ornstein

This was another Ornstein and in searching my
memory I discovered him to be the oldest Ornstein
of all. I remembered five years back when 1 was
assistant to the musical critic of the * 6 New York
Times ?5 and had been sent to hear a boy prodigy
play on a Sunday evening at the New Amsterdam
Theatre. Concerts by serious artists at that
period seldom took place outside of recognized
concert halls, nor did they occur on Sunday nights.
But there was something about this concert that
impressed itself upon me and I wrote more than
the usual perfunctory notice on this occasion.
Here is my account of what I think must have been
Leo Ornstein’s first public appearance (March 5,
1911), dug from an old scrap book:

* c The New Amsterdam Theatre is a strange
place for a recital of pianoforte music, but one was
held there last evening, when Leo Ornstein, the
latest wunderkind to claim metropolitan attention,
appeared before a very large audience to con-
tribute his interpretation of a programme which
would have tested any fully grown-up talent.

” It began with Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and
Fugue, included Beethoven’s Sonata Appassionato.*
six Chopin numbers, and finally Rubinstein’s D
minor concerto, in which young Ornstein was as-
sisted by the Volpe Symphony Orchestra. To say

Leo O rnstein

that this boy has great talent would be to mention
the obvious, but to say that as yet he is ripe for
such matters as he undertook last night would be
stretching the truth. It should be stated, how-
ever, that his command of tone colour is already
great and that his technique is usually adequate
for the demands which the music made, although
in some passages in the final movement of the
Beethoven sonata his strength seemed to desert
him.”

I never even heard of Leo Ornstein again after
this concert at the New Amsterdam (his exploits
in Europe escaped my eyes and ears) until he gave
the famous series of concerts at the Bandbox The-
atre in January and February of 1915, a series
of concerts which really startled musical New York
and even aroused orchestral conductors, in some
measure, out of their lethargic method of pro-
gramme-making. So far as he was able Ornstein
constructed his programmes entirely from the
” music of the future,” and patrons of piano recit-
als were astonished to discover that a pianist
could give four concerts without playing any music
by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms,
Liszt, or Schubert. . . . Since these occasions
Ornstein has been considered the high apostle of
the new art in America, as the post-futurist com-
[33]

Leo Ornstein

poser, and as a pianist of great technical powers
and a luscious tone quality (it does not seem
strange that these attributes are somewhat exag-
gerated in so young a man).

Nearly a year later (December 15, 1915, to be
exact) Ornstein gave another concert at the Cort
Theatre in New York, Here are my impressions
of that occasion, noted down shortly after:

” Leo Ornstein, a few years ago a poor Russian
Jew music student, is rapidly by way of becoming
an institution. His concerts are largely attended
and he is even taken seriously by the press, espe-
cially in England.

“He slouched on the stage, stooping, in his
usual listless manner, his long arms hanging limp
at his sides like those of a gorilla. His head is
beautiful, crowned with an overflowing crop of
black hair, soulful eyes, a fine mask. There are
pauses without expression but sometimes, notably
when he plays The Wild Men’s Dance, his face
lights up with a sort of sardonic appreciation.
He has discarded his sack cloth coat for a velvet
jacket of similar cut.

“He began with two lovely impressionistic
things by Vannin (Sanborn says that this is * pro-
gramme for Ornstein *), The Waltzers and Night.
A long sonata by Cyril Scott (almost entirely in
[*84]

Leo Ornstein

the whole-tone scale, sounding consequently like
Debussy out of Bach, for there was a fugue and
a smell of the academy) followed. RavePs
Oiseaux Trutes twittered their sorrows prettily in
the treble, and a sonatina by the same composer
seemed negligible. Albeniz’s Almeria-, a section
of the twelve-parted Iberia, was a Spanish picture
of worth, Ornstein followed with his own pieces,
Improvisata, a vivid bit of colour and rhythm, and
Impressions of the Thames, in which an attempt
was made to picture the heavy smoking barges,
the labours on the river, the shrill sirens of the
tugs. The limited (is it, I wonder?) medium of
the piano made all this sound rather Chinese.
But some got the picture. A few laughed. The
Wild Metis Dance convulsed certain parts of the
audience. It always does (but this may well be
hysteria) ; others were struck with wonder by its
thrill. Certainly a powerful massing of notes,
creating wild effects in tone, and a compelling
rhythm. In the Fairy Pictures of Korngold,
which closed the programme, Ornstein was not at
his best; nor, for that matter, was Korngold.
They were written when the composer was a very
young boy and they are not particularly original,
spontaneous, or beautiful. The difficulties exist
for the player rather than for the hearer. . * .
[85]

Leo Ornsteln

Ornstein did not bring out their humour. Hu-
mour, as yet, is not an attribute of his playing.
He has always imparted to the piano a beautiful
tone; his touch is almost as fine as Pachmann’s.
But his powers are ripening in every direction.
Formerly he dwelt too long on nuances, fussed too
much with details. His style is becoming broader.
His technique has always been ample. There is
no doubt but that he will become a power in the
music world.”

Some time later I met Leo Ornstein and we
talked over a table. He is fluid in conversation
and while he talks he clasps and unclasps his hands.
. . . He referred to his debut at the New Amster-
dam. “My ambition then was to play the con-
certos of Rubinstein and Tschaikowsky . . . and
I satisfied it. Soon after that concert I went
abroad. . . . Suddenly the new thing came to me,
and I began to write and play in the style which
has since become identified with my name. It was
music that I felt and I realized that I had become
myself at last, although at first, to be frank, it
horrified me as much as it has since horrified oth-
ers. Mind you, when I took the leap I had never
seen any music by Schoenberg or Strawinsky. I
was unaware that there was such a generality as
* futurism.*

[236]

Leo O rnstein

” I spent some time in Norway and Vienna,
where I met Leschetitzky ” (this incident is re-
ferred to elsewhere in this volume) ” and then I
went down to Paris. I was very poor. … I
met Harold Bauer and one day I went to play for
him. We had a furious argument all day. He
couldn’t understand my music. But he asked me
to come again the next day, and I did. This
time Walter Morse Hummel was there and he sug-
gested that Calvocoressi would be interested in me.
So he gave me a note to Calvocoressi.

” Calvocoressi is a Greek but he speaks all
languages. He read my note of introduction and
asked me if I spoke French or English. We spoke
a little Russian together. Then he asked me to
play. While I played his eyes snapped and he
uttered several sudden ejaculations. ‘Play that
again, 5 he said, when I had concluded one piece.
Later on he asked some of his friends to hear me.
. . . At the time he was giving a series of lectures
on modern musicians, Strauss, Debussy, Dukas,
Ravel, Schoenberg, and Strawinsky, and he in-
cluded me in the list ! I illustrated two of his lec-
tures and after I had concluded my performance
of the music of other composers he asked me to
play something of my own, which I did. . , .”
Ornstein looked amusingly rueful. ” The audi-
[237]

Leo O r nstein

tors were not actually rude. How could they be
when I followed Calvocoressi? But they giggled
a little. Later on in London they did more than
giggle.

” I went to London because my means were get-
ting low. I had almost no money at all, as a mat-
ter of fact. … In London I found Calvocoressi’s
influence of great value (he had already written
an article about me) and some people at Oxford
had heard me in Paris. These friends helped ; he-
sides I played the Steinway piano and the Stein-
ways finally gave me a concert in Steinway Hall.
At my first concert (this was in the spring of
1914) I played music by other composers. At
my second concert, devoted to my own composi-
tions, I might have played anything. I couldn’t
hear the piano myself. The crowd whistled and
howled and even threw handy missiles on the stage
. . but that concert made me famous,” Ornstein
wound up with a smile.

He is a hard-working youth, serious, it would
seem, to the heart. His published music is num-
bered into the thirties and his repertoire is ex-
tensive. He spends a great deal of time working
hard on the music of a by-gone age, although he
finds it no stimulation for this one, but to be taken
seriously as a pianist he is obliged to prove to
[238]

Leo Ornstein

melomaniacs that he has the equipment to play
the classic composers. Of all the compositions
that he learns, however, he complains o his own
as the most difficult to memorize ; a glance at The
Wild Men’s Dance or more particularly at a page
of his second sonata for violin and piano will con-
vince any one of the truth of this assertion. The
chords will prove strangers to many a well-trained
eye. I wonder if so uncannily gifted a sight
reader as Walter Damrosch, who can play an
orchestral score on the piano at sight, could read
this music?

Of his principles of composition the boy says
only that he writes what he feels. He has no re-
gard for the rules, although he has studied them
enough to break them thoroughly. He thinks
there is an underlying basis of theory for his
IT ‘thod of composition, which may be formulated
later. It is not his purpose to formulate it. He
is sincere in his art.

Once he said to me, ” I Bate cleverness. I don*t
want to be clever. I hate to be called clever. I
am not clever. I don’t like clever people. Art
that is merely clever is not art at all, 55

With Busoni and Schoenberg he believes that
there are no discords, only chords and chords . . .
and that there are many combinations of notes,
[ 239 ]

Leo O rnstein

” millions of them ” which have not yet been de-
vised.

“When I feel that the existing enharmonic
scale Is limiting me I shall write in quarter
tones. In time I think the ear can be trained to
grasp eighth tones. Instruments only exist to
perform music and new instruments will be created
to meet the new need. It can be met now on the
violin or in the voice. The piano, of course, is
responsible for the rigidity of the present scale.”

Ornstein never rewrites. If his inspiration does
not come the first time it never comes. He does
not try to improve a failure. His method is to
write as much as he can spontaneously on one day,
and to pick the composition up where he left off
on the next*

His opinions of other modern composers are
interesting: he considers Ravel greater than De-
bussy, and speaks with enthusiasm about Daphnis
et Clilo’e* He has played music by Satie in pri-
vate but does not find it ” stimulating or interest-
ing.” . . . Schoenberg …” the last of the aca-
demics , . . all brain, no spirit. His music is
mathematical. He does not feel it. Korngold’s
pieces are pretty but he has done nothing im-
portant. Scriabine was a great theorist who
never achieved his goal. He helped others on.
[MO]

Leo O rnsteln

But Strawinsky is the most stimulating and inter-
esting of all the modern composers. He feels what
he writes.”

Most of Ornstein’s music is inspired by things
about him, some of it by abstract ideas. His
social conscience is awake. He wanted to call
The Wild Men’s Dance, Liberty (” I attempted to
write music which would dance itself, which did
not require a dancer “), but finally decided on the
more symbolic title. ” I am known as a musical
anarch now,” he explained to me, ” I could not
name a piece of music Liberty at least not that
piece without associating myself in the public
mind with a certain social propaganda.” Just
the same he means the propaganda. In the Dwarf
Suite he gives us a picture of the lives of the
struggling Russian Jews. These dwarfs are sym-
bols, . . . He is fond of abstract titles. He often
plays his Three Moods* ” In Boston they did not
like my Three Moods. They found my Anger too
unrestrained; it was vulgar to express oneself so
freely. . . . But there is such a thing as anger.
Why should it not find artistic expression? Be-
sides it is a very good contrast to Peace and Joy
which enclose it. 55 The Impressions of the Thames
I have already referred to. With the two Impres-
sions of Notre Dame it stands as his successful
[241]

Leo Ornsteln

experiment with impressionism. The Notre Dame
pictures include gargoyles and, of course, bells.
. . , I have not heard the violin and piano sonata,
opus 31 Nor can I play it. Nor can I derive
any very adequate idea of how it sounds from a pe-
rusal of the score. Strange music this. . . Some
time ago some one sent Ornstein the eight songs of
Richard Strauss, Opus 49. The words of three
of these songs (Wiegenliedchen, In Goldener Fulle,
and Waldselig’keit) struck him and he made set-
tings for them. Compare them with Strauss and
you will find the Bavarian’s music scented with
lavender. ** In the Wiegeriliedchen Strauss gives
you a picture of the woman rocking the cradle for
his accompaniment. I have tried to go further,
tried to express the feelings in the woman’s mind,
her hopes for the child when it is grown, her fears.
I have tried to get underneath” But the
Berceuse in Ornstein’s Nine Miniatures is as simple
an expression as the lover of Ethelbert Nevin’s
style could wish. Not all of Ornstein’s music is
careless of tradition. He was influenced in the
beginning by many people* His Russian Suite is
very pretty. Most of it is like Tschaikowsky.
These suites will prove (if any one wants it
proved) that Ornstein can write conventional
melody,

[243]

Leo O rnstein

Ornstein has also written a composition for
orchestra entitled Thg Faun, which Henry Wood
had in mind for performance before the war. It
has not yet been played and I humbly suggest it
to our resident conductors, together with Albeniz’s
Catalonia, Schoenberg’s Five Pieces, and Strawin-
sky’s Sacrifice to tlie Spring.

Leo Ornstein was born in 1895 at Krementchug,
near Odessa. He is consequently in his twenty-
first year. He is already a remarkable pianist,
one of the very few who may be expected to achieve
a position in the front rank. His compositions
have astonished the musical world. Some of them
have even pleased people. Whatever their ulti-
mate value they have certainly made it a deal
easier for concert-goers to listen to what are called
” discords ” with equanimity. His music is a
modern expression, untraditional, and full of a
strange seething emotion; no calculation here.
And like the best painting and literature of the
epoch it vibrates with the unrest of the period
which produced the great war.

June 14, 1916.

THE END