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October 02, 1955 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1955-10-02

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2,'1955

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

p

SUNDAY. OCTOBER 2, 1955 THE MICHIGAN DAILY I

Singer Adds
New Twist
To Success
When the young soprano, Teresa
Stich-Randall, returns to her na-
tive United States in the spring
of 1956, she will be appearing in
important engagements as an art-
ist celebrated for her artistic con-
quests in Europe.
For, with this reverse twist to
the success of a young American
singer, Miss Stitch-Randall is one
of the leading sopranos of the
Vienna State Opera, a star about
whom one Viennese music critic
recently wrote, "her voice is for
us one of the most beautiful and
most promising of today."
Although she first studied in the
U.S. and after her professional de-
but achieved a number of out-
standing successes, she went to
Europe, where during the past sev-
eral years she had been in constant
demand in concert, opera, radio
and leading music festivals.
Born in Connecticut
Born in West Hartford, Con-
necticut, Miss Stitch-Randall is a
graduate of the Hartford School of
Music, where she was a scholarship
student for six years.
Her success as a performing art-
ist began at the early age of 15
when she sang the title role of
"Aida." Then in New York she
performed the role of Gertrude
Stein in the world premiere of the
Virgil Thomson-Stein opera, "The
Mother of Us All."
She also created the title role
in the American premiere of Er-
nest Bloch's "Macbeth" and of
Mehul's "Stratonice." She sang
for several seasons with the New
Lyric Stage touring opera com-
pany and with some of the coun-
try's leading orchestras,, among
them the NBC Symphony under
the baton of Toscanini.
First Prize at Lausanne
In 1951 the gifted young soprano
was awarded, by unanimous deci-
sion of the judges, first prize in
the "Concours International for
Opera Singers" in Lausanne,
Switzerland.
That same season she emerged
one of the winners of the "Geneve
Concours" in Geneva. She sang
concert and radio engagements in
Switzerland and Italy, but it was
in Austria that she had he biggest
European triumph.
That was at the Salzburg Fes-
tival in 1952, where she was the
"artistic event of a Mozart mati-
nee" under the baton of the fam-
ous Prof. Paumgartner.
Because of that last success Miss
Sticn-Randall . was immediately
engaged by the Vienna State
Opera, where she has been one of
its stars, performing as Gilda,
Pamina, Constanza, Mimi, Antonia,
Sophie, Micaela and Manon.

PHENOMENAL MEMORY:
Gieseking Needs No Practice

Cleveland Symphony Gains
Heights Under Szell's Baton

in a day and country where the
use of the superlative is common-
place, the practice of referring toE
a musical entertainer without thet
use of an adjective before hisl
name is unheard of.
There are many concert pianistsl
who are spoken of as great. In the
case of Walter Gieseking, however,
there is along respected back-
ground which has indisputably
earned him the reputation of be-
ing one of the world's top ranking
pianists.
Not long after leaving his native
city of Lyons at the age of 16,
Gieseking's formal musical train-
ing ended, with the advent of the
First. World War, where many
musician's have barely begun.
Living in Germany with his par-
ents, he studied at the Hanover
Conservatory for only five years.
While a student there, he perform-
ed the entire 32 sonatas of Beet-
hoven at six concerts.
Never Practices
Following that early and short
period of training, Gieseking has
never since found it necessary to'
devote long hours to practicing
scales, chordshor arpeggios.
His unique musical talent and
amazing power of mental applica-
tion have enabled him to commit
to memory millions of musical
notes - the full scores of 24 con-
certos for orchestra, several hun-
dred sonatas and 1000 shorter
piano pieces.
As a matter of fact, he ex-
plains with a laugh that he never
practices when he is on a concert
tour because, he says, "I have to
rest my fingers. Concerts and
practice would be too much."
After a compulsory two year
stint of duty in the German army
in World War I, during which
period he was assigned to play
several instruments in dance and
symphony orchestras, Gieseking
was compelled to earn money.

He taught piano and out of that
experience evolved theories of
training which, in cooperation with
his former conservatory instructor,
Karl Leimer, became known as the
Leimer-Gieseking Method.
Soon afterwards, the Franco-
German launched himself on the

cionados was such that his Car-
negie Hall recital was sold out one
day after the box office opened.
During the interim years, Giese-
king had other successful tours in
the U.S. and throughout the world.
Since World War II alone he has
performed in Japan, Australia,
South America, Singapore, the
West Indies, Turkey, France, Italy,
Germany, Portugal, Great Britain,
Scandinavia, Belgium, Holland and
Switzerland.
When he returned to tour the
United States after a 16 year
absence, his concerts were sell-
outs in almost every city in which
he appeared.
He received the wildest critical
and popular acclaim from coast
to coast. "Genius, of course, is the
only word for Gieseking," wrote
Albert Goldberg in the Los Angeles
Times.
Review Exerpts
And reflecting sentiments ex-.
pressed elsewhere, the Boston
Herald's Rudolph Elie wrote:
" . . .so elevated is his art, so
noble and communicating the es-
sence of his aesthetic, it almost
seems a mundane insolence to
mention his technique at all.
"For the art of Walter Gieseking
is the achievement of that musical
nirvana in which technique, like
the consummate technical mastery
of a Picasso or a Dylan Thomas in
the materials of their expression,
is a secondary phenomenon.
"Here was a supreme musical
artist at work in music, and from
the moment he appeared until he
left the stage for the last time no
one could for a moment doubt it."
There are many thousands of
people who feel that it is not nec-
essary to sing out Gieseking's
praises hysterically, that it is
enough to listen and to be thank-
ful for the privilege of hearing
him play.

Now in his tenth season as mu-
sical director and conductor of
the Cleveland Orchestra, George
Szell has brought the group to a
new peak in its development, so
that it now ranks, in the words of
Olin Downes (New York Times),
"high among the half-dozen lead-
ing symphonic bodies of the na-
tion."
Since his appointment in 1946,
Szell has increased the personnel
until it now numbers 100 musi-
cians.

concert at Bad Kissingen when
the regular conductor was indis-
posed.
In 1929 he went to Prague to
become general musical director
of the German Opera House and
the Philharmonic concerts. At
this period, in his career he be-
gan to make appearances as guest
conductor, leading most of the
great orchestras of Europe and
journeying to America for exten-
sive engagements with the St.
Louis Symphony Orchestra.
After many successful guest ap-
pearances in England, he was ap-
pointed conductor of the Scot-
tish Orchestra of Glasgow in
1937.
These engagements were inter-
rupted by the war. In 1938 and
1939 he made trips to Australia to
conduct the Celebrity Concerts of
the Australian Broadcasting Com-
mission. Finding himself ma-
rooned in New York at the out-
break of the war, he determined
to remain in this country.
Szell made his New York debut
March 1, 1941 as guest conductor
of the NBC Symphony Orchestra
at the invitation of Arturo Tos-
canini.
Engagements followed with the
orchestras in Boston, New York,
Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Ange-
les, Detroit and Cleveland. He was
a regular conductor at the Met
from 1942 to 1946.
During his years in Cleveland he
has also made regular appear-
ances as guest conductor of the
New York Philharmonic and ap-
'peared frequently with the or-
chestras in Boston, Chicago, Phil-
adelphia, San Francisco and
Washington.
Szell has also conducted at the
Salzburg Festival, and with the
Concertgebouw Orchestra and the
London Philharmonic.

THE VIENNA Choir Boys, who are beginning their 458th season.
Vienna Choir Group Started
By Hapsburg Dynasty in 1498

WALTER GIESEKING
... Debussy interpreter

The history of the Vienna Choir
Boys dates back to 1498 when Em-
peror Maximilian I ordered his
Huebemeister, Hans Harrasser, to
acquire and maintain singers for
the court chapel in Vienna.
A dozen boys were engaged and
the choirmaster, in addition to di-
recting their musical activities,
was granted funds for their board
and education.
The court assumed its responsi-
bility with minute seriousness.
Imperial orders specified not only
the quality but the amount of
fish, meat and bread rationed to
the boys, as well as the quantity
and cut of their clothing.
Tours in 17th Century
As early as the first half of the
17th century, the Choir went on
occasional concert tours. While
public concerts were not then in
vogue, the "Instructions to the
Kgpellmeister" permitted perform-
ances outside the chapel "if re-
quested by reputable persons."
In the early 18th century, the
scope of the choir was broadened
to include secular music. At that
time Ignaz Umlauf, the choirmas-
ter, received permission to have
the boys appear not only in other
churches but also the choruses of
operas and other public halls.
After the death of Maximilian,
the Hapsburgs continued to subsi-
dize the choir and it became one
of the foremost groups in Europe.
As boys, Josef Haydn and Franz

Schubert were members
their voices changed.

until

With the crumbling of the Haps-
burg regime at the end of World
War I, the choir faced extinction,
averted by the devotion of Father
Josef Schnitt, the choir's dean.
In 1926 the choir initiated tours
which took it throughout Europe.
It was brought to the United
States in 1932.
Today the standards of the
choir are firmly upheld by the
finest supervision in Vienna. Be-
fore enrollment is possible, the
prospective choir boys must pass
rigid examinations of their scho-
lastic ability and musical talents.
Boys from 8 to 15
Their ages range from eight to
15 and their number in Vienna is
limited to 60. On tour, the choir
presents a phalanx of more than
20.
The school is divided into three
choirs for touring purposes and
each unit receives an opportun-
ity to visit the numerous countries
on the Choir's itineraries.
In addition to sacred songs and
folk music, the Choir performs
costumed operas of all nations.
Many remember with delight the
boys playing romantically gowned
maidens with towering pompa-
dours in such works as Mozart's
"Bastien and Bastienne" and
Strauss' "On the Beautiful Blue
Danube."

beginning of his fabulous career.
He gave a full series of concerts
throughout Europe, which won him
acclaim wherever he appeared.
Then he decided upon an Ameri-
can tour.
His debut in this country was at
Aeolian Hall in New York Febru-
ary 22, 1926. There had been no
fanfare, little advance publicity.
But that made no difference, for
his acceptance was instantaneous
and sensational, his talent richly
received.
A quarter of a century later
Gieseking returned to New York
and the anticipation of music afi-

GEORGE SZELL
... Conductor
Szell is of Czech background,
Hungarian birth and Viennese
training.
Born in Budapest June 7, 1897,
he was taken to Vienna at the age
of three.
Szell gave his first public con-
cert as an infant prodigy at 11
and first appeared as a conductor
at 16, leading the Vienna Sym-
phony Orchestra in a summer'

ENmmNA

CHOIR

BOYS

Sunday, January 15, 2:30 p.m.

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