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March 04, 1923 - Image 4

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Music and American Audiences
The attitude of American audiences NORMAND LOCKWOOD most certain to be, but such reforms
toward ensemble playing is one lack- are not to be created artificially. A
ing greatly in understanding. The valuable lessons that the old world In music, we Americans have no slow process it will be. though in tine
average concert goer is an advowee has to teach, and instead created a background, but the leading perform- we shall find the European seeking
of the star system; he is insincere in civilization based upon a practical
his judgment of music and when he viewpoint of life, ths naturally ex e omposersare spiration from the American music
hears an orchestra concert, he fixes eluding art and refinement from her deeply concerned in the making of and admiring the American people for
his attention upon the conductor, or habitude. one. The elimination of trash and their understanding and recognition
upon a musician or some instrument Nothing, however, so imperils the the setting of a high standard is al- of Ute cultured.
who or which happens to draw his spread of culture as the music teacher
fancy. In his mood toward chamber who informs the pupil that MacDowell
music these facts are unmistakably is one of the greate t composers, or
proven. He sits through a quartet the music contest which requires the
concert, and then he leaves the hall playing of the MacDowell Concert
with to inmiressisin left 01)0n tim. The Etuude or of 'Chanitnade's conspost-
instruments, the musicians did not tions. In technique and methods our
sen: to save captured his attention. institutions hav e, by far, out-classed
He sat the restless for want of the European conservatories; hut b There will come a time when you will need a tailor who
somsething to do- for sootething to biiid the methods there moustbe taste,'
think about, while before him played and that can not be drilled into a stu- is above the average-whose work reflected the pride of
the Flonzaleys -Haydn. Mozart, Schu- dent. One who is not yet well enough a
mann, or Cesar Franck. along in his work to form his own a craftsman and the skill of an artist. When that time
Ensemble playing is the highest and ideas upon music and composers takes comes, remember
most artistic form of music. Idivi- for granted his teacher's word; and
dual playing has, of course, m a n y, when he is assigned the MacDowell
timese risen to a sublime degree of "Water Lily", the "Flatterer" bhiDT NTa l
aptitude, but in nearly all the instru- Chaininade, or Nevin subtleties, he is D E T T L IN G Tailor
mentalists and singers exaggeration filling his mind with the most com-
and one-sidedness is evident. These nionplace side of music; he is entirely 1 121 S. Univ.
faults are very nearly impossible in unaware of his pliight; and further-
good ensemble playing, for it demands more, he considers such choice as the
a smoothing-over of one's sharp points bet. No wonder, then, that when he
thus preventing exaggeration, which iruns up against a Beethoven Sonata he
has meant the decline of many artists., is unable to conquer it. It is far be-
In all foirm of art moderation of ideas yond his mental ability. He has ba-
and toning-down of extreme points are bied and humoured his mind up to that
the factors which decide upon the ac- time, and so he compares MacDowell
tual artistic and lasting value of the and Beethoven much the same as Y our Friends at H om e
work. There is no such thing as ex- would a farmer compare a cheap pi-
tremity in art. If there is extremity ture of Pocahontas on an alfalfa seed
there is no art, for art is measured advertisement with a Rembrandt .
by its lasting qualities, and iii ex- painting. Feeding a student on Ma- wiii be interested in Views Of the
tremity no such qualities exist. Dowell is usually a case of egotism.
But coming back to our Americann MacDowell is an American! That is h
audiences: why do they not appreciate the winning pass-word. It is merely Cam pus and the many other Michigan
the scholarship in a well trained or-' an example of "turning aside what
ganiza'ion? Why are they not able' the old world has to teach" Of late,
to listen to a Beethoven Symphony or there have been American composersC actvtes. Send home some pictures
a Mozart Trio with as great satisfac- who are sure to win i place in the
tion as they obtain from hearing Mary' world. They are men who are serious,
Garden's rendition of "A Little Grey who are travailed and experienced, andj
Home in the West", or at best, an aria' lea t, though perhaps most to say. they
from some well known opera? It is have learned the difference between
because they find no pleasure, beauty,.! the commnonplace and the lofty. Such
nor satisfaction in anything that is composers will indeed be of value,
not spectacular-in anything that de- particularly if the people still insist
n .ands concentration and serious' upon the American composer's being 90
thought. unexcelied.3AIL bf 9 J
The question is: can appreciation of To the American, such a concert as
ensemble, the classic composers, and given by Guy Maier and Lee Pattison 719 N. UNIVERSITY
of the foremost composers of the pre- is a novelty, just as the Ukrainian
sent day be taught to the public? Is Choros was a novelty. We do not
it reasonable to create an artificial fully appreciate it when two such
appreciation, or shall we trust evolu- artists play as though it were one'
tion to bear our audiences toward a man, nor when a chorus sings in as
right understanding of music? I am perfect coordination as an orchestra
inclined to favour the latter. Nothing or an orgas. The. piano being more
is so utterly commonplace as to in- easily understood by the average per-
flit upon a mortal a knowledge of art, son than .the orchestra, we obtained
It would be as ;stupid as to train a unrlsual pleasure from a two-piano
naive Frenchman or Russian into the concert. When the Russians sang to
customs of our country. No, to create us, we were impressed-merely im-
spurious enlightenment would only! pressed. We viewed the performancewih n w {
end in satisfying the people with a much as would a child behold a giant w ith a n ew lam p
superficial education in music, thoughi redwood tree. He would give no
it is more probable that the conscien- thought to the wonders of nature, but
tious attempts of the apostles of mu- merely stand aghast. Also did we
sical righteousness would not result stand aghast when Roshetz and his I uI ll mean great improvement
in even that much. The only method singers in their gorgeous costumes
through which a sense of refinement entertained us. Their effects - the
can be instilled Into the American is unusual rhythms, the ranges and re- OUR room will be cozier, more
by presenting only artistry to the pub- courses of the bass section pleased coo nt e oze me
ic from generation to generationi ts. But when we thought of the'romforable, and at the same time
Think 16f the background the simplest chorus as a unit, that was too much ; you'll have better light for reading
European possesses! His ancestors for us. We could not consider the if you place in it one of these boudoir
have lived in the very midst of the ensemble of the singers, the fact that 'r reading lamps. Metal bases; beau-
classicists and he has thus inherited the emotions and mnuical traits of tiful shades; very artistic.
a foundation of well-rounded, un- each member, including the conductor,
sophisticated ideals; while America had been disciplined so that no ex-
has produced very few artists, and aggeration remained, so that a perfecti
what is more, she has turned aside theI democratic spirit prevailed. '3
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