The World's Great Men of Music
Part 5 out of 5
attended a festival concert and heard Nicholas Rubinstein play the
Tschaikowsky B flat minor piano Concerto. His performance was a
revelation. "I can never learn to play the piano like that if I stay
here," exclaimed Edward, as they left the hall.
They began to consider the merits of the different European schools
of music, and finally chose Stuttgart. Mrs. MacDowell and her son went
there in November hoping that in this famous Conservatory could be
found the right kind of instruction.
But alas, MacDowell soon found out his mistake. He discovered that
he would have to unlearn all he had acquired and begin from the
beginning. And even then the instruction was not very thorough.
They now thought of Frankfort, where the composer Joachim Raff was the
director and Carl Heymann, a very brilliant pianist, was one of the
After months of delay, during which young MacDowell worked under the
guidance of Ehlert, he at last entered the Frankfort Conservatory,
studying composition with Raff, and piano with Heymann. Both proved
very inspiring teachers. For Heymann he had the greatest admiration,
calling him a marvel, whose technic was equal to anything. "In hearing
him practise and play, I learned more in a week than I ever knew
Edward MacDowell remained in close study at the Frankfort Conservatory
for two years, his mother having in the meantime returned to America.
He had hoped to obtain a place as professor on the teaching staff of
the institution. Failing to do this he took private pupils. One of
these, Miss Marian Nevins, he afterwards married. He must have been a
rather striking looking youth at this time. He was nineteen. Tall and
vigorous, with blue eyes, fair skin, rosy cheeks, very dark hair and
reddish mustache, he was called "the handsome American." He seemed
from the start, to have success in teaching, though he was painfully
shy, and always remained so.
In 1881, when he was twenty, he applied for the position of head piano
teacher in the Darmstadt Conservatory, and was accepted. It meant
forty hours a week of drudgery, and as he preferred to live in
Frankfort, he made the trip each day between the two towns. Besides
this he went once a week to a castle about three hours away, and
taught some little counts and countesses, really dull and sleepy
children, who cared but little if anything for music. However the
twelve hours spent in the train each week, were not lost, as he
composed the greater part of his Second Modern Suite for piano, Op.
14; the First Modern Suite had been written in Frankfort the year
before. He was reading at this period a great deal of poetry, both
German and English, and delving into the folk and fairy lore of
romantic Germany. All these imaginative studies exerted great
influence on his subsequent compositions, both as to subject and
MacDowell found that the confining labors at Darmstadt were telling
on his strength, so he gave up the position and remained in Frankfort,
dividing his time between private teaching and composing. He hoped
to secure a few paying concert engagements, as those he had already
filled had brought in no money.
One day, as he sat dreaming before his piano, some one knocked at
the door, and the next instant in walked his master Raff, of whom the
young American stood in great awe. In the course of a few moments,
Raff suddenly asked what he had been writing. In his confusion the boy
stammered he had been working on a concerto. When Raff started to go,
he turned back and told the boy to bring the concerto to him the next
Sunday. As even the first movement was not finished, its author set to
work with vigor. When Sunday came only the first movement was ready.
Postponing the visit a week or two, he had time to complete the work,
which stands today, as he wrote it then, with scarcely a correction.
At Raff's suggestion, MacDowell visited Liszt in the spring of 1882.
The dreaded encounter with the master proved to be a delightful
surprise, as Liszt treated him with much kindness and courtesy. Eugen
D'Albert, who was present, was asked to accompany the orchestral part
of the concerto on a second piano. Liszt commended the work in warm
terms: "You must bestir yourself," he warned D'Albert, "if you do not
wish to be outdone by our young American." Liszt praised his piano
playing too, and MacDowell returned to Frankfort in a happy frame of
At a music Convention, held that year in Zurich, in July, MacDowell
played his First Piano Suite, and won a good success. The following
year, upon Liszt's recommendation, both the First and Second Modern
Suites were brought out by Breitkopf and Haertel. "Your two Piano
Suites are admirable," wrote Liszt from Budapest, in February, 1883,
"and I accept with sincere pleasure and thanks the dedication of your
The passing of Raff, on June 25, 1882, was a severe blow to MacDowell.
It was in memory of his revered teacher that he composed the "Sonata
Tragica," the first of the four great sonatas he has left us. The slow
movement of this Sonata especially embodies his sorrow at the loss of
the teacher who once said to him: "Your music will be played when mine
For the next two years MacDowell did much composing. Then in June 1884
he returned to America, and in July was married to his former pupil,
Miss Marian Nevins, a union which proved to be ideal for both. Shortly
after this event the young couple returned to Europe.
The next winter was spent in Frankfort, instructing a few private
pupils, but mostly in composing, with much reading of the literature
of various countries, and, in the spring, with long walks in the
beautiful woods about Frankfort. Wiesbaden became their home during
the winter of 1885-6. The same year saw the completion of the second.
Piano Concerto, in D minor.
In the spring of 1887, MacDowell, in one of his walks about the town,
discovered a deserted cottage on the edge of the woods. It overlooked
the town, with the Rhine beyond, and woods on the other side of the
river. Templeton Strong, an American composer, was with him at the
time, and both thought the little cottage an ideal spot for a home.
It was soon purchased, and the young husband and wife lived an idyllic
life for the next year. A small garden gave them exercise out of
doors, the woods were always enticing and best of all, MacDowell was
able to give his entire time to composition. Many beautiful songs
and piano pieces were the result, besides the symphonic poem "Lamia,"
"Hamlet and Ophelia," the "Lovely Aida," "Lancelot and Elaine," and
other orchestral works.
In September, 1888, the MacDowells sold their Wiesbaden cottage and
returned to America, settling in Boston. Here MacDowell made himself
felt as a pianist and teacher. He took many pupils, and made a
conspicuous number of public appearances. He also created some of his
best work, among which were the two great Sonatas, the "Tragica" and
"Eroica." One of the important appearances was his playing of the
Second Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra of New York, under
Anton Seidl, in December, 1894.
In the spring of 1896 a Department of Music was founded at Columbia
University, of New York, the professorship of which was offered to
MacDowell. He had now been living eight years in Boston; his fame as a
pianist and teacher was constantly growing; indeed more pupils came to
him than he could accept. The prospect of organizing a new department
from the very beginning was a difficult task to undertake. At first he
hesitated; he was in truth in no hurry to accept the offer, and wished
to weigh both sides carefully. But the idea of having an assured
income finally caused him to decide in favor of Columbia, and he moved
from Boston to New York the following autumn.
He threw himself into this new work with great ardor and entire
devotion. With the founding of the department there were two distinct
ideas to be carried out. First, to train musicians who would be able
to teach and compose. Second, to teach musical history and aesthetics.
All this involved five courses, with many lectures each week,
taking up form, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, composition, vocal and
instrumental music, both from the technical and interpretative
side. It was a tremendous labor to organize and keep all this going,
unaided. After two years he was granted an assistant, who took over
the elementary classes. But even with this help, MacDowell's labors
were increasingly arduous. He now had six courses instead of five,
which meant more classes and lectures each week. Perhaps the most
severe drain on his time and strength was the continual correction of
exercise books and examination papers, a task which he performed with
great patience and thoroughness. Added to all this, he devoted every
Sunday morning to his advanced students, giving them help and advice
in their piano work and in composition.
Amid all this labor his public playing had to be given up, but
composition went steadily on. During the eight years of the Columbia
professorship, some of the most important works of his life were
produced; among them were, Sea Pieces the two later Sonatas, the Norse
and the Keltic, Fireside Tales, and New England Idyls. The Woodland
Sketches had already been published and some of his finest songs.
Indeed nearly one quarter of all his compositions were the fruit of
those eight years while he held the post at Columbia.
In 1896 he bought some property near Peterboro, New Hampshire--fifteen
acres with a small farmhouse and other buildings, and fifty acres of
forest. The buildings were remodeled into a rambling but comfortable
dwelling, and here, amid woods and hills he loved, he spent the summer
of each year. He built a little log cabin in the woods near by, and
here he wrote some of his best music.
In 1904 MacDowell left Columbia, but continued his private piano
classes, and sometimes admitted free such students as were unable
to pay. After his arduous labors at Columbia, which had been a great
drain on his vitality, he should have had a complete rest and change.
Had he done so, the collapse which was imminent might have been
averted. But he took no rest though in the spring of 1905 he began to
show signs of nervous breakdown. The following summer was spent, as
usual, in Peterboro but it seemed to bring no relief to the exhausted
composer. In the fall of that year his ailment appeared worse.
Although he seemed perfectly well in body, his mind gradually became
like that of a child. The writer was privileged to see him on one
occasion, and retains an ineffaceable memory of the composer in his
white flannels, seated in a large easy chair, taking little notice
of what was passing about him, seldom recognizing his friends or
visitors, but giving the hand of his devoted wife a devoted squeeze
when she moved to his side to speak to him.
This state continued for over two years, until his final release,
January 23, 1908, as he had just entered his forty-seventh year. The
old Westminster Hotel had been the MacDowell home through the long
illness. From here is but a step to St. George's Episcopal Church,
where a simple service was held. On the following day the composer was
taken to Peterboro, his summer home, a spot destined to play its part,
due to the untiring efforts of Mrs. MacDowell, in the development of
music in America.
Mr. Gilman tells us:
"His grave is on an open hill-top, commanding one of the spacious and
beautiful views he had loved. On a bronze tablet are these lines of
his own, used as a motto for his 'From a Log Cabin,' the last music he
'A house of dreams untold
It looks out over the whispering tree-tops
And faces the setting sun.'"
CLAUDE ACHILLE DEBUSSY
"_I love music too much to speak of it otherwise than
"_Art is always progressive; it cannot return to the past,
which is definitely dead. Only imbeciles and cowards look
backward. Then--Let us work_!"
It is difficult to learn anything of the boyhood and youth of this
rare French composer. Even his young manhood and later life were so
guarded and secluded that few outside his intimate circle knew much
of the man, except as mirrored in his music. After all that is just as
the composer wished, to be known through his compositions, for in
them he revealed himself. They are transparent reflections of his
character, his aims and ideals.
Only the barest facts of his early life can be told. We know that he
was born at Saint Germain-en-Laye, France, August 22, 1862. From the
very beginning he seemed precociously gifted in music, and began at a
very early age to study the piano. His first lessons on the instrument
were received from Mme. de Sivry, a former pupil of Chopin. At ten he
entered the Paris Conservatoire, obtaining his Solfege medals in 1874,
'75, and '76, under Lavignac; a second prize for piano playing
from Marmontel in 1877, a first prize for accompanying in 1880; an
accessory prize for counterpoint and fugue in 1882, and finally the
Grande Prix de Rome, with his cantata, "L'Enfant Prodigue," in 1884,
as a pupil of Guirand.
Thus in twelve years, or at the age of twenty-two, the young
musician was thoroughly furnished for a career. He had worked through
carefully, from the beginning to the top, with thoroughness and
completeness, gaining his honors, slowly, step by step. All this
painstaking care, this overcoming of the technical difficulties of his
art, is what gave him such complete command and freedom in using the
medium of tone and harmony, in his unique manner.
While at work in Paris, young Debussy made an occasional side trip to
another country. In 1879 he visited Russia, where he learned to know
the music of that land, yet undreamed of by the western artists. When
his turn came to go to Rome, for which honor he secured the prize, he
sent home the required compositions, a Symphonic Suite "Spring," and
a lyric poem for a woman's voice, with chorus and orchestra, entitled
"La Demoiselle Elue."
From the first Claude Debussy showed himself a rare spirit, who looked
at the subject of musical art from a different angle than others
had done. For one thing he must have loved nature with whole souled
devotion, for he sought to reflect her moods and inspirations in his
compositions. Once he said: "I prefer to hear a few notes from an
Egyptian shepherd's flute, for he is in accord with his scenery and
hears harmonies unknown to your treatises. Musicians too seldom turn
to the music inscribed in nature. It would benefit them more to watch
a sunrise than to listen to a performance of the Pastorale Symphony.
Go not to others for advice but take counsel of the passing breezes,
which relate the history of the world to those who can listen."
Again he says, in a way that shows what delight he feels in beauty
that is spontaneous and natural:
"I lingered late one autumn evening in the country, irresistibly
fascinated by the magic of old world forests. From yellowing leaves,
fluttering earthward, celebrating the glorious agony of the trees,
from the clangorous angelus bidding the fields to slumber, rose a
sweet persuasive voice, counseling perfect oblivion. The sun was
setting solitary. Beasts and men turned peacefully homeward, having
accomplished their impersonal tasks."
When as a youth Debussy was serving with his regiment in France, he
relates of the delight he experienced in listening to the tones of
the bugles and bells. The former sounded over the camp for the various
military duties; the latter belonged to a neighboring convent and
rang out daily for services. The resonance of the bugles and the
far-reaching vibrations of the bells, with their overtones and
harmonics, were specially noted by the young musician, and used by him
later in his music. It is a well-known fact that every tone or
sound is accompanied by a whole series of other sounds; they are
the vibrations resulting from the fundamental tone. If the tone C
is played in the lower octave of the piano, no less than sixteen
overtones vibrate with it. A few of these are audible to the ordinary
listener, but very keen ears will hear more of them. In Claude
Debussy's compositions, his system of harmony and tonality is
intimately connected with these laws of natural harmonics. His chords,
for instance, are remarkable for their shifting, vapory quality; they
seem to be on the border land between major and minor--consonance and
dissonance; again they often appear to float in the air, without any
resolution whatever. It was a new aspect of music, a new style of
chord progression. At the same time the young composer was well versed
in old and ancient music; he knew all the old scales, eight in number,
and used them in his compositions with compelling charm. The influence
of the old Gregorian chant has given his music a certain fluidity,
free rhythm, a refinement, richness and variety peculiarly its own.
We can trace impressions of early life in Debussy's music, through his
employment of the old modes, the bell sounds which were familiar to
his boyhood, and also circumstances connected with his later life.
As a student in Rome, he threw himself into the study of the music
of Russian composers, especially that of Moussorgsky; marks of the
Oriental coloring derived from these masters appear in his own later
music. When he returned to Paris for good, he reflected in music the
atmosphere of his environment. By interest and temperament he was
in sympathy with the impressionistic school in art, whether it be in
painting, literature or in music. In Debussy's music the qualities of
impressionism and symbolism are very prominent. He employs sounds as
though they were colors, and blends them in such a way as literally to
paint a picture in tones, through a series of shaded, many-hued chord
progressions. Fluid, flexible, vivid, these beautiful harmonies,
seemingly woven of refracted rays of light, merge into shadowy melody,
and free, flowing rhythm.
What we first hear in Debussy's music, is the strangeness of the
harmony, the use of certain scales, not so much new as unfamiliar.
Also the employment of sequences of fifths or seconds. He often takes
his subjects from nature, but in this case seems to prefer a sky less
blue and a landscape more atmospheric than those of Italy, more like
his native France. His music, when known sufficiently, will reveal a
sense of proportion, balance and the most exquisite taste. It may lack
strength at times, it may lack outbursts of passion and intensity, but
it is the perfection of refinement.
Mr. Ernest Newman, in writing of Debussy, warmly praises the
delightful naturalness of his early compositions. "One would feel
justified in building the highest hopes on the young genius who can
manipulate so easily the beautiful shapes his imagination conjures
The work of the early period shows Debussy developing freely and
naturally. The independence of his thinking is unmistakable, but it
does not run into wilfulness. There is no violent break with the past,
but simply the quickening of certain French qualities by the infusion
of a new personality. It seemed as if a new and charming miniaturist
had appeared, who was doing both for piano and song what had never
been done before. The style of the two Arabesques and the more
successful of the Ariettes oubliees is perfect. A liberator seemed to
have come into music, to take up, half a century later, the work of
Chopin--the work of redeeming the art from the excessive objectivity
of German thought, of giving it not only a new soul but a new body,
swift, lithe and graceful. And that this exquisitely clear, pellucid
style could be made to carry out not only gaiety and whimsicality but
emotion of a deeper sort, is proved by the lovely "Clair de Lune."
Among Debussy's best known compositions are "The Afternoon of a Faun,"
composed in 1894 and called his most perfect piece for orchestra,
which he never afterward surpassed. There are also Three Nocturnes for
orchestra. In piano music, as we have briefly shown, he created a
new school for the player. All the way from the two Arabesques just
mentioned, through "Gardens in the Rain," "The Shadowy Cathedral," "A
Night in Granada," "The Girl with Blond Hair," up to the two books of
remarkable Preludes, it is a new world of exotic melody and harmony to
which he leads the way. "Art must be hidden by art," said Rameau, long
ago, and this is eminently true in Debussy's music.
Debussy composed several works for the stage, one of which was
"Martyrdom of Saint Sebastien," but his "Pelleas and Melisande" is
the one supreme achievement in the lyric drama. As one of his critics
writes: "The reading of the score of 'Pelleas and Melisande' remains
for me one of the most marvelous lessons in French art: it would be
impossible for him to express more with greater restraint of means."
The music, which seems so complicated, is in reality very simple. It
sounds so shadowy and impalpable, but it is really built up with
as sure control as the most classic work. It is indeed music which
appeals to refined and sensitive temperaments.
This mystical opera was produced in Paris, at the Opera Comique,
in April, 1902, and at once made a sensation. It had any number of
performances and still continues as one of the high lights of the
French stage. Its fame soon reached America, and the first performance
was given in New York in 1907, with a notable cast of singing actors,
among whom Mary Garden, as the heroine gave an unforgettable, poetic
Many songs have been left us by this unique composer. He was
especially fond of poetry and steeped himself in the verse of
Verlaine, Villon, Baudelaire and Mallarme. He chose the most
unexpected, the most subtle, and wedded it to sounds which invariably
expressed the full meaning. He breathed the breath of life into these
vague, shadowy poems, just as he made Maeterlinck's "Pelleas" live
As the years passed, Claude Debussy won more and more distinction as
a unique composer, but also gained the reputation of being a very
unsociable man. Physically it has been said that in his youth he
seemed like an Assyrian Prince; through life he retained his somewhat
Asiatic appearance. His eyes were slightly narrowed, his black hair
curled lightly over an extremely broad forehead. He spoke little
and often in brusque phrase. For this reason he was frequently
misunderstood, as the irony and sarcasm with which he sometimes spoke
did not tend to make friends. But this attitude was only turned toward
those who did not comprehend him and his ideals, or who endeavored to
falsify what he believed in and esteemed.
A friend of the artist writes:
"I met Claude Debussy for the first time in 1906. Living myself in
a provincial town, I had for several years known and greatly admired
some of the songs and the opera, 'Pelleas and Melisande,' and I
made each of my short visits to Paris an opportunity of improving my
acquaintance with these works. A young composer, Andre Caplet, with
whom I had long been intimate, proposed to introduce me to Debussy;
but the rumors I had heard about the composer's preferred seclusion
always made me refuse in spite of my great desire to know him. I
now had a desire to express the feelings awakened in me, and
to communicate to others, by means of articles and lectures, my
admiration for, and my belief in, the composer and his work. The
result was that one day, in 1906, Debussy let me know through
a friend, that he would like to see me. From that day began our
Later the same friend wrote:
"Debussy was invited to appear at Queen's Hall with the London
Symphony Orchestra, on February 1, 1908, to conduct his 'Afternoon
of a Faun,' and 'The Sea.' The ovation he received from the English
public was exceptional. I can still see him in the lobby, shaking
hands with friends after the concert, trying to hide his emotion, and
saying repeatedly: 'How nice they are--how nice they are!'"
He went again the next year to London, but the state of his health
prevented his going anywhere else. For a malady, which finally proved
fatal, seemed to attack the composer when in his prime, and eventually
put an end to his work. We cannot guess what other art works he might
have created. But there must be some that have not yet seen the light.
It is known that he was wont to keep a composition for some time in
his desk, correcting and letting it ripen, until he felt it was ready
to be brought out.
One of his cherished dreams had been to compose a "Tristan."
The characters of Tristan and Iseult are primarily taken from a French
legend. Debussy felt the story was a French heritage and should be
restored to its original atmosphere and idea. This it was his ardent
desire to accomplish.
Debussy passed away March 26, 1918.
Since his desire to create a Tristan has been made impossible, let us
cherish the rich heritage of piano, song and orchestral works, which
this original French artist and thinker has left behind, to benefit
art and his fellow man.
The sharp rap of Arturo Toscanini's baton that cuts the ear like a
whiplash brought the rehearsal of the NBC Symphony Orchestra to
a sudden, shocking stop. Overtones from chords of Wagner's "Faust
Overture," killed in mid-career, vibrated through the throat-gripping
The men stared at their music, bowed their heads a little in
anticipation of the storm. "Play that again," the Maestro commanded
William Bell, the bass tuba player, who had just finished a solo. On
Mr. Bell's face there was an expression of mixed worry and wonderment.
Mr. Toscanini noticed the troubled anxious look.
"No, no, no," he said, with that childlike smile of his that suffuses
his whole face with an irresistible light. "There is nothing wrong.
Play it again; please, play it again, just for me. It is so beautiful.
I have never heard these solo passages played with such a lovely
There you have a side of Mr. Toscanini that the boys have forgotten to
tell you about. For years newspaper and magazine writers (in the last
couple of seasons the Maestro has even "made" the Broadway columns!)
have doled out anecdotes concerning his terrible temper.
From these stories there emerged a demoniacal little man with the
tantrums of a dozen prima donnas, a temperamental tyrant who, at
the dropping of a stitch in the orchestral knitting, tore his hair,
screamed at the top of his inexhaustible Latin lungs, doused his
trembling players with streams of blistering invective.
That's how you learned that, to the king of conductors, a musician
playing an acid note is a "shoemaker," a "swine," an "assassin" or
even something completely unprintable.
So far as they went the stories were true. Mr. Toscanini, as all the
world knows by now, is the world's No. 1 musical purist. Nothing but
perfection satisfies him. He hates compromise, loathes the half-baked
and mediocre, refuses to put up with "something almost as good."
As Stefan Zweig puts it: "In vain will you remind him that the
perfect, the absolute, are rarely attainable in this world; that,
even to the sublimest will, no more is possible than an approach to
perfection.... His glorious unwisdom makes it impossible to recognize
this wise dispensation."
His rages, then, are the spasms of pain of a perfectionist wounded
by imperfection. It was his glorious unwisdom that caused him, at a
rehearsal not long ago, to fling a platinum watch to the floor, where,
of course, it was smashed into fragments.
In the shadows of the studio that afternoon lurked John F. Royal,
program director of NBC. Next day he presented the Maestro with two $1
watches, both inscribed, "For Rehearsals Only." Mr. Toscanini was so
amused that he forgot to get angry with Mr. Royal for breaking
the grimly enforced rule barring all but orchestra members from
The sympathetic program director also had the shattered platinum watch
put together by what must have been a Toscanini among watchmakers. By
that time the incident had become such a joke that the orchestra
men dared to give the Maestro a chain, of material and construction
guaranteed to be unbreakable, to attach the brace of Ingersolls to the
dark, roomy jacket which for years he has worn at rehearsals.
Less than a week later that same choleric director, with the burning
deep-set black eyes, the finely chiseled features and the halo of
silver hair surrounding a bald spot that turns purple in his passions,
walked into a room where a girl of this reporter's acquaintance stood
beside a canary cage, making a rather successful attempt at whistling,
in time and tune with the bird.
For a moment the man who can make music like no one else on earth
listened to the girl and her pet. Then he sighed and said:
"Oh, if I could only whistle!"
Those who know Mr. Toscanini intimately find in those six simple words
the key to his character. He is, they say, the most modest man who
ever lived, a man sincerely at a loss to understand the endless fuss
that is made about him.
Time and again he has told his friends that he has no fonder desire
than to be able to walk about undisturbed, to saunter along the
avenue, look into shop-windows, do the thousand-and-one common little
things that are permitted other human beings.
That same humility, that same incurable bewilderment at public acclaim
must have been apparent to all who ever attended a Toscanini concert,
saw him at the close of a superb interpretation bowing as one of the
group of players and making deprecating gestures that seemed to
say: "What you have heard was a great score brought to life by these
excellent musicians--why applaud me?"
At rehearsals he is the strictest of disciplinarians but not a prima
donna conductor. He demands the utmost attention and concentration
from his men, brooks no disturbance or interruption. On the other
hand, he is punctual to a fault, arrives fifteen minutes ahead of
time, never asks for special privileges of any kind.
He has been described as the world's most patient and impatient
orchestral director. In rehearsal he will take the men through a
passage, a mere phrase, innumerable times to achieve a certain tonal
or dynamic effect. But he explodes when he feels that he is faced with
stupidity or stubbornness.
Some famous conductors have added the B of Barnum to the three
immortal B's of music--Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Those wielders of
the stick are great showmen as well as great musicians.
Not so Mr. Toscanini. In his platform manner there is nothing
calculated for theatrical effect. He doesn't care in the least what he
looks like "from out front." His gestures are designed not to impress,
enrapture or englamour the musical groundlings, but to convey his
sharply defined wishes to his men and transmit to them the flaming
enthusiasm that consumes him.
His motions are patiently sincere, almost unconscious. He enters
carrying his baton under his right arm, like a riding crop. Orchestra
and audience rise. He acknowledges this mark of respect and the
tumultuous applause with a quick bow, an indulgent smile and a gesture
that plainly say: "Thanks, thanks, all this is very nice, you're a
lot of kind, good children, but for heaven's sake let's get down to
While waiting a few seconds for listeners and players to settle
themselves he rests his baton against his right shoulder, like a
sword. Then the sharp rap. The Maestro closes his eyes. Another rap,
sharper than the first. Oppressive, electrical silence. He lifts the
baton as if saluting the orchestra. The concert begins.
As a rule the right hand gives the tempo and tracks down every
smallest melody, wherever it may hide in the score. In passages for
the strings, the baton indicates the type of bowing the conductor
wants from the violins, violas or cellos.
The left hand, with the long thumb separate from the other fingers,
is the orchestra's guide to the Maestro's interpretative desires. It
wheedles the tone from the men. It coaxes, hushes, demands increased
volume. It moves, trembling, to the heart to ask for feeling, closes
into a fist to get sound and fury from the brasses, thunder from the
drums. Through it all, the Maestro talks, sings, whistles and blows
out his cheeks for the benefit of trumpeters and trombonists.
After a concert, keyed to feverish excitement, he often plays over
piano scores of every number that appeared on the program. Then he
may lie awake all night, worrying over two possible tempi in which
he might have taken some passage--shadings in rhythm that the average
listener would not, could not discern.
He is never satisfied with himself. Some years ago, when he was still
conducting at the Scala in Milan, he came home one night after the
opera. Mr. Toscanini does not eat before a performance, and his family
wait with the evening meal until he joins them.
As he stepped into the hall he saw his wife and daughters walking into
the dining room. "Where are you going?" he asks them. "In to supper,
of course," one of them told him. The Maestro exploded: "What? After
THAT performance? Oh, no, you're not. It shall never be said of my
family that they could eat after such a horrible show!" All of them,
including the great man himself, went to bed without supper that
It stands to reason that a man of this type detests personal
publicity. The interviews he has granted in the fifty-six years of
his career--Mr. Toscanini, who is seventy-five, began conducting at
nineteen--can be counted on the fingers of one hand. He feels and has
often told friends that all he has to say he can say in musical terms;
that he gladly leaves to others what satisfaction they may derive from
publicly bandying words.
But his frequent brushes with news photographers don't come under this
head. The existence of numerous fine camera studies of the Maestro
proves that he doesn't dislike being photographed. Nor does he dislike
photographers. But he hates flashlights because they hurt his eyes.
This has bolstered the popular notion--based on the fact that he
conducts from memory--that his sight is so poor as to amount almost to
Mr. Toscanini is neither blind nor half-blind. He does not use a
strong magnifying glass to study his scores, note by note. He is
near-sighted, but not more so than millions of others, and reads with
the aid of ordinary spectacles.
He has always conducted from memory because he believes that having
the score in his head gives a conductor greater freedom and authority
to impose his musical will upon his men. At rehearsals the score is
kept on a stand a few feet from the Maestro. From time to time he
consults it to verify a point at dispute. He has never been known to
His memory is, of course, phenomenal. Anything he has once seen,
read and particularly, heard, he not only remembers but is unable to
forget. The other day he and a friend were discussing the concerto
played by a certain pianist on his American debut in 1911. Mr.
Toscanini remembered it as Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto; the
friend maintained it was the Second.
The Maestro said: "I recall the concert very well. He was soloist with
the Philharmonic." And he reeled off all the other compositions on
that program of twenty-seven years ago.
To settle the argument the skeptical friend called the office of
the Philharmonic. Mr. Toscanini had been right about the Beethoven
Concerto and had correctly remembered the purely orchestral numbers as
He is a profound student, not only of music but of all available
literature bearing upon it. A music critic who visited him in
Salzburg a few years ago, just before he was to conduct Wagner's "Die
Meistersinger," found him in a room littered with books on the opera,
books on Wagner, volumes of the composer's correspondence.
The Maestro, who has been coming to this country since 1908, speaks
better English than most of us. He knows his English literature and is
in the sometimes disconcerting habit of quoting by the yard from the
works of Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley and Swinburne.
Almost as great a linguist as he is a musician, he coaxes and curses
his men in perfect, idiomatic French, German and Spanish as well as
English and Italian.
He likes reading, listening to the radio--he is fond of good jazz--and
driving out in the country. He loves speed. An American friend who
some years ago accompanied him on a motor trip from Milan to Venice
groaned when the speedometer began hovering around 78. "What's the
matter with you?" the Maestro wanted to know. "We're only jogging
along." Whenever possible he flies.
Since 1926 he and Mrs. Toscanini have occupied an apartment in the
Astor--the same suite of four smallish rooms. The place is
furnished by the hotel, but the Maestro always brings his beloved
knickknacks--his miniature of Beethoven, his Wagner and Verdi
manuscripts, his family photographs.
He has no valet and dislikes being pawed by barbers. He shaves
himself, and Mrs. Toscanini or one of the daughters cuts his hair. He
eats very little--two plates of soup (preferably minestrone), a piece
of bread and a glass of chianti do him nicely for dinner.
He begrudges the time spent in eating and sleeping. Like the child
he is at heart, he loves staying up late. Occasionally he takes a
The other night, after a concert, he asked a friend to take him
somewhere--"some place where they won't know me and make a fuss over
The friend took him to a little place in the Village. The moment Mr.
Toscanini entered, the proprietor dashed forward, bowed almost to the
ground and said: "Maestro, I am greatly honored ... I'll never forget
this hour ..." Then he led the party to the most conspicuous spot in
Mr. Toscanini wanted a nip of brandy, but the innkeeper insisted that
he try some very special wine of the house's own making. From a
huge jug he poured a brownish-red, viscous liquid into a couple of
tumblers. The Maestro's companion says it tasted like a mixture of
castor oil, hair tonic and pitch.
Turning white at the first sip, Mr. Toscanini drained his glass at
a gulp. Outside, his friend asked him: "Why did you drink that vile
The Maestro said: "The poor fellow meant well, and I didn't want to
refuse. A man can do anything."
Many years ago this reporter was traveling, as a non-fiddling,
non-tooting member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, on a train that
carried the organization on one of its Pennsylvania-Maryland-Ohio
It was 2 o'clock in the morning, Mr. Stokowski, the conductor, was
secluded in his drawing room, perhaps asleep, but more likely trying
to digest three helpings of creamed oysters in which he had indulged
at the home of an effusive Harrisburg hostess. Mr. Stokowski in those
days couldn't let creamed oysters alone, but neither could he take
In the Pullman smoker sat the handsome gentleman who was then manager
of the orchestra and your correspondent. "Tell me," said the reporter,
"just between you and me--where did Stoky get that juicy accent?"
The manager removed his cigar to reply:
"God alone knows."
Mr. Stokowski then had been in this country nearly twenty years. He
has been here now more than thirty years, and still no one on earth,
with the possible exception of Mr. Stokowski himself, can tell you
where he dug up his rich luscious accent that trickles down the
portals of the ear as the sauce of creamed oysters trickles down the
Surely he didn't get it in London where, on April 18, 1882, he was
born. Nor did he learn it in Queens College, Oxford, where he was
considered a bright student, or on Park Avenue, New York, where he
landed in 1905 to play the organ at St. Bartholomew's.
Mr. Stokowski's dialectic vagaries are among the mysteries in which,
for his own good reasons, he has chosen to wrap himself. Another one
concerns his name and origin. Is he really Leopold Antoni Stanislaw
Stokowski? Was his father one Joseph Boleslaw Kopernicus Stokowski, a
Polish emigre who became a London stockbroker? Was his mother an Irish
colleen and the granddaughter of Tom Moore, who wrote "Believe Me
If All Those Endearing Young Charms"? Or is Stoky just plain Lionel
Stokes, the sprout of a humble cockney family?
Nobody knows. But everybody knows that Leopold Stokowski is one of the
world's really great orchestra conductors, a true poet of the stick
(though he has dispensed with the baton in recent years), and that he
has made the name of the Philadelphia Orchestra synonymous with superb
singing, beauty of tone and dazzling brilliance.
Everybody knows, too, that he has few peers as an interpreter of Bach,
many of whose compositions he unearthed from the organ repertoire and
gave to the general public in shimmering orchestral arrangements, and
that critics trot out their choicest adjectives to praise his playing
of Brahms and all Russian composers.
Everybody knows, further, that he and his orchestra have made a larger
number of phonograph recordings of symphonic music than any other
conductor and band, and that the Philadelphia organization was the
first of its kind to dare the raised eyebrows of the musical tories by
going on the air as a commercially sponsored attraction.
The list, here necessarily condensed, is one of impressive musical
achievements, which many an artist of a more placid temperament than
Mr. Stokowski's would have considered ample to insure his fame.
But the slender, once golden-locked, now white-thatched Leopold is
and always was a restless fellow, a bundle of nervous energy, an
insatiable lover of experiment, innovation and--the limelight.
Those traits began to come to the surface in 1922, when he had been
bossing the Philadelphia band for ten years. About that time he seemed
no longer satisfied with merely playing to his audiences--he started
talking to them.
There were (and still are) two groups of Philadelphia Orchestra
subscribers--the Friday afternoon crowd, consisting largely of stuffy
dowagers, and the Saturday night clientele, composed mostly of persons
genuinely interested in music.
The old society gals went to the Friday matinees because it was
the thing to do. While "that dear, handsome boy" and his men on the
platform were discoursing Beethoven, Schubert and Wagner, the ladies
swapped gossip, recipes and lamented the scarcity of skillful, loyal
but inexpensive domestics.
It was at one of those whispering bees (your reporter, who was there,
swears it really happened) that, during the playing of a gossamer
pianissimo passage, a subscriber informed her neighbor in a resonant
"I always mix butter with MINE!" Mr. Stokowski did not address the
audience on that occasion. He gave his first lecture at another
concert, and then he scolded the women not for talking but for
Many of the Friday afternoon customers were in such a rush to catch
trains for their Main Line suburbs that they seldom remained long
enough to give conductor and orchestra a well-deserved ovation. So
nobody ever quite knew whether the dead-pan Stoky was in earnest
or moved by an impish sense of humor when, following the usual thin
smattering of applause, he said:
"This strange beating together of hands has no meaning, and to me
it is very disturbing. I do not like it. It destroys the mood my
colleagues and I have been trying to create with our music."
Shortly afterward, the Philadelphia Orchestra and its blond, romantic
conductor invaded New York. Their Tuesday night concerts at Carnegie
Hall became the rage. The uninhibited music lovers of this town not
only applauded Stoky but cheered, yelled and stamped to express their
frenzied approval. He never lectured THEM.
But in Philadelphia he continued his extra-conductorial antics. When
the audience hissed an ultra-modern composition, he told them: "I am
glad you are hissing. It is so much better than apathy." Another time,
when they booed an atonal piece, he repeated it immediately.
He scolded the audience for coming late. He scolded them for leaving
early. Once he scolded them for coughing. They continued the rasping
noise. After the intermission, on Stoky's orders, the 100-odd men of
the orchestra walked out on the stage barking as if in the last stages
of an epidemic bronchial disease.
All those didoes promptly made the front page. Thereafter Mr.
Stokowski, who had tasted blood, or rather, printer's ink, came out on
the average of once a month with a new notion to astound the Quakers.
He shocked them with a demand for Sunday concerts--then a heresy in
Philadelphia. He changed the seating arrangement of the orchestra. He
discarded the wooden amphitheatre on which, since the dark symphonic
ages, the players had sat in tiers, and put them on chairs directly on
the stage. Then he shuffled the men, making the cellos change places
with the second violins, the battery with the basses. There must have
been some merit in all this switching, for several conductors copied
Next he announced that light was a distraction at a concert.
Henceforth, the Philadelphia Orchestra would play in darkness. Wails
of dismay from the Friday afternoon dowagers. How on earth was any one
going to see what her friends were wearing?
At the next matinee the Academy of Music was black as a crypt. On
the stage, at each of the players' desks, hung a small, green-shaded
light. Then Mr. Stokowski walked out on the podium. The moment he had
mounted the dais, a spotlight was trained on his head, turning his
hair into a glittering golden halo. The ladies forgot all about their
friends' dresses. Why, the darling boy looked like an angel descended
into a tomb to waken the dead!
Stoky explained to the press that the spot was necessary to enable his
men to follow the play of his facial expressions.
Most conductors make their appearance in a leisurely manner. Carrying
the stick, they stride out on the platform, acknowledge the audience's
reception with a courtly bow, say a few kind words to the men, and
when musicians and listeners have composed themselves, begin the
Leopold changed all that. Leander-like, he leaped from the wings,
dashed to the center of the stage, nodded curtly to the customers,
then accepted the baton which was handed to him, with a flourish, by
one of the viola players, and, before you could say "Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart," plunged into the opening number.
His audiences, particularly the ladies, doted on his conducting
technique. His slim, youthful, virile figure was held erect, his feet
remained still as if nailed to the floor, while his arms went through
a series of sensuously compelling, always graceful motions. The view
from the back was enhanced by the fact that the tailor who cut his
morning and evening coats was almost as great as Stoky himself. And
his hands! Ah, my dear, those hands----!
There was so much ecstatic comment on those slender, nervous,
expressive hands that Mr. Stokowski decided to give the gals a full,
unhampered view. He did away with the baton.
About the same time he invented a new way of rehearsing the
orchestra--the remote-control method. An assistant conductor wielded
the stick while Stoky sat in the rear of the dark hall manipulating an
intricate system of colored lights that made known his wishes to his
understudy on the platform.
Mr. Stokowski is inordinately fond of gadgets and fancies himself as
quite a technical expert. When he first conducted for the radio he
strenuously objected to the arrangement whereby the engineers in the
control room had the last word as to the volume of sound that was to
go out on the air.
Radio executives pacified him by rigging up an elaborate set of dials
on his desk. These he happily twirled, completely unaware that the
doodads were dead.
Meanwhile--and please don't lose sight of this cardinal fact--he made
transcendently beautiful music. His stature as a conductor grew
with the years and so did the repertoire of scores he conducted from
memory. This feat involved heartbreaking work, for his memory, while
good, is not unusually retentive. In the middle years of his career,
he devoted from ten to twelve hours a day to studying scores.
In periods when the Stokowski brain was unproductive of new stunts,
his private life and his recurrent rows with the directors of the
orchestra about matters of salary and control kept him in the papers.
His divorce from Mme. Olga Samaroff, the pianist, a Texan born as Lucy
Hickenlooper, whom he married in the dim days when he conducted in
Cincinnati, provided Rittenhouse Square with chit-chat for a whole
winter. So did his marriage to Evangeline Brewster Johnson, an
extremely wealthy, eccentric and independent young woman, who later
Mr. Stokowski's doings of the last few years can no longer be classed
as minor-league musical sensations. They have become Hot Hollywood
Stuff. First, there was his appearance in films. Then his
collaboration with Mickey Mouse. Then his friendship with Greta Garbo.
Then his five-month sentimental journey over half of Europe with the
Duse of the screen. Today he is as big a feature of the fan magazines
as Clark Gable and Robert Taylor.
Upon his return from Europe in August, Stoky made the most amusing
remark of a long amusing career. He told this reporter:
"I am not interested in publicity."
In the official biographies of Serge Alexandrovitch Koussevitzky you
will find that the boss of the Boston Symphony learned the art and
mystery of conducting at the Royal Hochschule in Berlin under the
great Artur Nikisch, but in this town there lives and breathes a
rather well-known Russian pianist who tells a different story.
Long ago, says this key-tickler, when he was a youth, he was hired by
Koussevitzky, then also a young fellow, to play the piano scores of
the entire standard symphony repertoire.
He pounded away by the hour, the day and the week, while Koussevitzky
conducted, watching himself in a set of three tall mirrors in a corner
of the drawing room of his Moscow home.
The job lasted just about a year, and our pianist has never looked at
a conductor since.
There's also an anecdote to the effect that, much earlier, when Serge
was still a little boy in his small native town in the province of
Tver, in northern Russia, he would arrange the parlor chairs in rows
and, with some score open in front of him, conduct them. Once in
a while he'd stop short and berate the chairs. Then little Serge's
language was something awful.
Whether these stories are true or not, the fact remains that Mr.
Koussevitzky became a conductor and a great one--one of the greatest.
The yarn of the mirrors is the most credible of the lot, for the
Russian batonist's platform appearance is so meticulous and his
movements are so obviously studied to produce the desired effects that
he seems to conduct before an imaginary pier glass.
For elegant tailoring he has no peer among orchestral chiefs, except,
perhaps, Mr. Stokowski. It's a toss-up between the two. Both are as
sleek as chromium statues. Mr. Stokowski, slim, lithe, romantic in
a virile way, looks as a poet should look, but never does. Mr.
Koussevitzky, broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, extremely military and
virile in a dramatic way, looks as a captain of dragoons in civvies
should have looked but never did.
Mr. Koussevitzy's conductorial gestures are literally high, wide and
handsome. His wing-spread, so to speak, is much larger than that of
either Mr. Stokowski or Mr. Toscanini, and he has a greater repertoire
of unpredictable motions than both of them put together. Time cannot
wither, nor custom stale, the infinite variety of his shadow boxing.
Those who knew his history look upon Mr. Koussevitzky's joyous,
unrestrained gymnastics with tolerant eyes. They realize that, for
years, he was forced to hide his fine figure and athletic prowess from
thousands of potential admirers.
For Mr. Koussevitzky, before he became a conductor, was a world-famous
performer on the double bass, that big growling brute of an instrument
popularly known as the bull fiddle. In those days all that was visible
of his impressive person was his head, one of his shoulders and his
He didn't want to be a bull fiddler any more than you or you or
you, and it's greatly to his credit and indicative of his iron will,
consuming ambition and extraordinary musicianship that he developed,
according to authoritative opinion, into the best bull fiddler of his
Here's what happened:
Serge was the son of a violinist who scratched away for a meager
living in a third-rate theatre orchestra. The boy, intensely musical,
wished to be a fiddler like his father. When he was fourteen, his
family gave him their blessing, which was all they had to give,
and sent him to Moscow to try for a scholarship at the Philharmonic
He arrived with three rubles in his pocket. At the school he was told
that the only available scholarship was one in bull fiddling. Serge
tried for it and won. He was, so far as is known, the first musician
to make the barking monster into a solo instrument.
An overburdened troubadour, he dragged the cumbersome thing all over
Russia and played it in recitals with amazing success. In 1903, when
Mr. Koussevitzky was twenty-nine (he's sixty-eight now but looks
a mettlesome fifty), the Czar decorated him--the only instance in
history of a decoration bestowed for bull fiddling.
That same year, while giving a concert in Moscow, the virtuoso
happened to look into the audience and his eyes met those of a
stunning brunette in the front row. The owner of the lovely eyes,
Natalya Konstantinova Ushkova, became his wife two years later.
Natalya, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and a rich girl in her own
right, promised him anything he wanted for a wedding gift. "Give me a
symphony orchestra." was Koussevitzky's startling request. The bride
was taken aback, for it was with the bull fiddle that he had wooed and
won her and she hated to see him give it up, but she kept her word.
Now here is where our old pianist comes in. It was at that time, he
says, that Mr. Koussevitzky sent for him and began an intensive course
of study before the triple mirror.
A year or so later Natalya hired eighty-five of the best musicians in
Moscow. After a season of rehearsals Mr. Koussevitzky took his band on
tour aboard a steamer--a little gift from his father-in-law.
They rode up and down the Volga. Every evening the vessel--a sort of
musical showboat--tied up at a different city, town or village and the
orchestra gave a concert, often before peasants and small-town
folk who had never heard symphony music before. In seven years Mr.
Koussevitzky and his men traveled some 3,000 miles.
Came the revolution. Kerensky ordered Koussevitzy and his men: "Keep
up with your music." They did, but it wasn't easy. It was a terribly
severe winter; the country was in the killing grip of cold and famine.
Koussevitzky and his players starved for weeks on end. The boss
conducted in mittens. The men wore mittens, too, but they had holes in
them, so they could finger the strings and keys of their instruments.
The Bolsheviks made Mr. Koussevitzky director of the state orchestras
which, in those early Soviet days, were at low musical ebb. He labored
in that job for three years, from 1917 to 1920, but he was out of
sympathy with the Lenin-Trotzky regime and asked permission to leave
the country. It was refused because officials said, "Russia needs your
The fiery Koussevitzky told the Government that, unless he were
allowed to travel abroad, he'd never play or conduct another note in
Russia. They let him go.
Mr. Koussevitzky says that the Bolsheviks robbed him of about a
million in money, land and other property. In illustration of the
state of things that impelled him to leave his native land, he likes
to tell this story:
A minor Bolshevik official came in one day to check up on the affairs
of the orchestra. "Who are those people?" he asked, pointing to a
group of players at the conductor's left. "Those," said Koussevitzky,
"are the first violins."
"And those over there?" asked the inspector, indicating a group at the
conductor's right. "The second violins," was the reply.
"What!" yelled the official. "Second violins in a Soviet state
orchestra? Clear them out!"
Mr. Koussevitzky went to Paris, where he conducted a series of
orchestral concerts and performances of Moussorgsky's "Boris
Godounoff" and Tschaikowsky's "Pique Dame" at the Opera. Between 1921
and 1924 he also appeared in Barcelona, Rome and Berlin. In Paris
he established a music publishing house (still in existence), which
issued the works of such modern Russian composers as Stravinsky,
Scriabine, Medtner, Prokofieff and Rachmaninoff.
In 1924, the offer of a $50,000 salary and the opportunity of
rebuilding the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which had sadly deteriorated
since the days of Dr. Karl Muck, lured him to this country.
American customs, he now admits, at first appalled him. He was amazed
to find musicians smoking in intermissions at rehearsals and concert.
This he called "an insult to art." He forbade smoking. The players
raised an unholy rumpus, but Koussevitzky persisted. The men haven't
taken a puff in Symphony Hall since that time.
The next unpopular move he made was to fire a number of the old
standbys who had sat in the orchestra for most of its forty-four-year
history. "I vant yongk blott!" he cried in his then still very thick
accent. "If dose old chentlemen vant to sleep, let dem sleep in deir
The Boston music lovers didn't like it. To them the Symphony is a
sacred cow and they regarded the older members in the light of
special pets. But when, at the opening of the new season, they heard
a brilliant, completely rejuvenated orchestra, they forgave the new
conductor. Since then, he has restored the Symphony to its old-time
glory. Today Beacon Hill has no greater favorite than Serge
The orchestra men, too, learned to like him. They discovered that,
with all his public histrionics, he was on the level as a musician.
He is a merciless task master, but in rehearsals he gives himself no
airs. Dressed in an old pair of pants and a disreputable brown woolen
sweater, which he has worn in private since the day he landed in
Boston, he works like a stevedore. When he, the pants and the sweater
had been with the Symphony ten years, the men gave him a testimonial
Next to Mr. Toscanini he's the world's most temperamental conductor,
but he has the ability to keep himself in check--when he wants to.
"Koussevitzky," says Ernest Newman, the eminent English music critic,
"has a volcanic temperament, yet never have I known it to run away
with him. It is precisely when his temperament is at the boiling point
that his hand on the regulator is steadiest."
At a concert in Carnegie Hall four years ago he gave a dramatic
demonstration of self-control. He was conducting Debussy's "Prelude
to the Afternoon of a Faun," when smoke from an incinerator fire in a
neighboring building penetrated the hall. The smoke grew dense. People
rose, rushed for the exits in near-panic. Women screamed.
He stopped the orchestra, turned to the audience, held up his hand and
"Come back! Sit down! Sit down--all of you! Everything is all right!"
The customers meekly resumed their seats. Mr. Koussevitzky swung
'round and continued playing Debussy's brooding, sensuous dreampiece
as if nothing had happened.
Because he has done so much, both as conductor and publisher, for
living composers (he is the high priest of the Sibelius cult), he has
been called a modernist. The label infuriates him.
"Nonsense!" he snarls. "I'm not a modernist and I'm not a classicist.
I'm a musician! The first movement of the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven
is the greatest music ever written and George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in
Blue' is a masterpiece."
"There you are! Make the best of it!"
a. The spelling of names and places are noted as having changed
between the publication of this book and the year 2004:
Chapter I (Palestrina):
'Michael Angelo' vs. 'Michaelangelo' (also in Chapter VI)
Chapter II (Bach):
Leipsic vs. Leipzig (repeated in following chapters)
Lueneberg vs. Lueneburg
Chapter X (Mendelssohn):
'Dreifaltigkeit Kirch-hof' vs. 'Dreifaltigkeit Kirchhof'
'Wiemar' vs. 'Weimar'
Chapter XIII (Berlioz):
Academie vs. Academie
Chapter XIV (Verdi):
'Sant' Agata' vs. 'Sant'Agata'
'Apeninnes' vs. 'Apennines'
'Corsia di Servi' vs. 'Corsia dei Servi'
Chpater XXI (McDowell):
Frankfort vs. Frankfurt (Germany)
Peterboro vs. Peterborough (New Hampshire)
* * * * *
b. Spelling errors found, not corrected:
Esterhazy (spelled unaccented twice) vs. Esterhazy (spelled with accent
Carreno vs. Carreno (Teresa; each spelling used once.)
* * * * *
c. Obvious spelling errors corrected:
Lueneberg (in 1 place) to Lueneburg (this spelling found in 3 places)
Febuary to February (One day in February ...);
obsorbed to absorbed (... soon became so absorbed ...);
polish to Polish (... a Polish emigre ...);
Intrumental to Instrumental (Instrumental music no longer satisfied ...);
Opportunties to opportunities (... greater opportunties for an
financee to fiancee (... assisted by his
turing to turning (... turing his hair ...)
* * * * *
d. Chapter numbers (Roman numerals) omitted
for start of chapters on Toscanini, Stokowski and Koussevitzky,
but were present in the Table of Contents;
so the proper numbers (XXIII, XXIV, XXV) were entered in the proper
Back to Full Books