« НазадПродовжити »
and very handsome. She might have been “Where?” That was every word-in just marble herself like the mantel, she was so such a tone as if she had met me on the cold, and I, suddenly aroused by the shock, corner, and I had said I was going to walk. was on fire with resolve and fierce hunger She was standing by the mantel with her for sympathy. She did not hesitate a mo- shapely arm resting lightly on the marble. ment; and I walked out. She had given I said, “God only knows, but somewhere me a deep wound. I saw the sun rise in far enough away.” the streets.
“When are you coming back?” Within two weeks I had made all my “Never." arrangements; had closed up my affairs; “Oh, yes you will,” she said coolly, argiven up everything in the world I had; ranging a bracelet, so coolly that it stung executed my notes to my creditors and told me like a serpent and brought me on my them they were not worth a cent unless I feet. lived, in which case they would be worth “I'll be —! No, I will not," I said. principal and interest; sold my law books “Good-by.” to Peck for a price which made his eyes “Good-by.” She gave me her hand and glisten, had given him my office for the un- it was as cool as her voice. expired term and was gone to the West. “Good-by.” And mine was as cold as if
The night before I left I called to see the I were dead. I swear, I believe sometimes young lady again-a piece of weakness. I did die right there before her and that a But I hated to give up.
new man took my place within me. She looked unusually handsome.
As I walked out of her gate, I met Peck I believe if she had said a word or had going in, and I did not care. I did not looked sweet at me I might have stayed, even hate him. I remember that his collar and I know I should have remained in love was up to his ears. I heard afterward that with her. But she did neither. When I she accepted him that same week. told her I was going away, she said, I started West that night.
(To be continued.)
THE USE OF ENGLISH IN SINGING
By Francis Rogers
ASIACHE announcement that the ways sent to the continent of Europe for
management of the Metro- her inspiration, her masters, and her compolitan Opera House will posers. As a result, in the field of musical soon begin the production creation, England is practically non-exof operas in English is wel- istent. Her first, last, and only great com
come news to those who be- poser, Henry Purcell, died in 1695! She lieve that the present practice of giving has produced no singers, instrumentalists, operas in languages unintelligible to nine- or conductors of international reputation, tenths of the public is highly detrimental to Let us hope that America is to have a less the cause of vocal music in this country. barren record. Until we shall cease to treat music as an The statement that all great art must exotic art, holding it at arm's length, we, spring from an original creative impulse as a nation, shall continue to be unmusical seems hardly to need proof. Imitative or (even though we may merit the name of borrowed art may be wonderfully clever music lovers), and creatively of no account and great in its kind, but it is inconceivable at all in the eyes of the great musical world. that it ever could find a resting place in the The case of England illustrates strikingly hearts of men—and that is where all great this point. No other nation has supported art has its ultimate home. Borrowed art, sc loyally for more than two centuries if it survive at all the fashion of the day music in all its branches, but she has al- which produces it, does so only in the musty
pages of histories and encyclopædias. With claim to a lyric wealth as great as ours. this thought in mind, it would be interest- The language we inherit is an extraordiing to take up the question of musical de- narily rich one. A German authority credvelopment in America in its various its it with a vocabulary three times as large branches, but just now I wish to deal with as that of its nearest competitor, German, one point only. This point I deem of car- and ten times as large as that of French, dinal importance—the use of the English the poorest, in number of words, of all the language in singing and its bearing upon great languages. With such an enormous ourfuture growth as a really musical people. fund of words to choose from it seems as if
The field of vocal music divides itself we not only should be able to express our into two styles—the dramatic, or operatic thoughts with unparalleled exactness and (including the oratorio), and the lyric, subtlety, but also with unequalled variety which includes the smaller forms of expres- of sound. Further, it is probable that sion of sentiment and emotion and the bal- English surpasses the other three great lad, or narrative, form. These forms often languages of song, German, Italian and encroach upon one another, but for our French, in number of distinguishable vowel present purpose we may safely group them sounds, but in questions of ear authortogether and treat the subject as a whole. ities usually differ, and it is hazardous to
In all forms the text is the foundation claim in this an indubitable supremacy. upon which the musical structure is built; It seems certain, however, that English has the composer is inspired by the poem and rather more than twice as many vowel strives to interpret and illuminate it through sounds as Italian (the poorest language in the medium of his own musical thoughts. this respect), which has only seven or The music of many a song and of many an eight. opera is so far superior to the text as to Again, it is asserted that the sound of make us wonder in what the composer really English is unmelodious because of its many found his inspiration (as, for instance, in consonants, but we are no richer in consomany of the Schubert songs and the early nants than the Germans, and German is Italian and French operas); but, all the accepted as a suitable vehicle for song. same, the text is always the basis of Furthermore, a richness and variety in conthe musical thought. Even in the days of sonant sounds adds to the vocal expressivethe Italian bel canto, when the words were ness of a language, as the best German singfrankly a mere framework upon which to ers have amply proved. Italian is the hang the musical fabric, and when the easiest language in which to sing because it beauty of the melody was the prime pur- contains the fewest vowels and consonants, pose of the song, the text did mean some- and, for the same reason, is, despite certhing and did bear a certain, if not an tain obvious beauties, the most limited in over-intimate, relation to the music. As its range. It is easy to illustrate the beauty musical taste and culture have increased, of our mother-tongue, considered merely the text has come to play a part of ever- as sound. I quote a few lines from four growing importance in the mind of the com- standard poets, chosen almost at random. poser, who nowadays endeavors to merge Their indisputable loveliness is owing in into each other absolutely the verbal and very large part to the richness, beauty, and the musical form. Possibly the highest grouping of the consonant sounds. development of this modern tendency is to
“When to the Sessions of sweet silent thought be found in Debussy's “Pelléas et Méli
I summon up remembrance of things past." sande.” Fine settings of English texts are deplor
“Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night.” ably hard to find, and their scarcity is often
-SHAKESPEARE. attributed to alleged lacks in our language. We are told that it is unmelodious, ill- “That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, adapted to musical uses, and unsingable. In some melodious plot Against this too generally accepted expla
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease." nation I wish to protest most emphatically. We have a poetic literature of marvellous “Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy richness. Only the Germans can lay
“There is sweet music here that softer falls and sing their own language in so nearly Than petals from blown roses on the grass, unanimously wretched
unanimously wretched a fashion that the
fashion that Or night-dews on still waters between walls Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass.”
public is convinced that the fault lies with
-TENNYSON. the language and not with the singers them"In the fell clutch of circumstance
selves. Dear and long suffering public! I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Don't be imposed upon any longer. If you Under the bludgeonings of chance
can't understand what a singer is singing My head is bloody, but unbow'd."
about, it is his fault-not yours, and not -HENLEY.
that of your common language. Remember These lines are, I grant, hard to read well that the old saying: “He who says well, and still harder to sing, but the difficult is sings well," has a converse—“The singer not the impossible, and the singer who can who cannot say his words intelligibly and deliver skilfully such verbal beauties as beautifully doesn't know how to sing!” these has at his command a choice of ex- The patience of the American public is quisite effects of sound such as he could ob- proverbial, and nowhere is this patience tain from no French or Italian sources. more strikingly exemplified than in our
There is no dearth of fine English po- fashionable opera houses. Only a patient etry, both dramatic and lyric, suitable for and bewildered public would, year after musical setting. We lack only the com- year, listen to opera sung in languages posers equal to their opportunities, and are which, for the most part, they do not underawaiting with some signs of impatience the stand, when, by the assertion of their plain arrival on the scene of our Schubert, our rights, they could hear them sung in the Verdi, and our Fauré. Composers, as well vernacular. The book of an opera means as poets, are born and not made, but there a great deal to its composer, and it ought to is no reason why we should not manu- mean at least something to the public. It facture plenty of singers capable of doing is not enough to have a vague knowledge justice to the tonal beauty of our language. of the plot; one should be able to follow the Demosthenes proved more than two dialogue. Mr. Mahler has proved in his thousand years ago that the question of conducting of some of the great Wagner good diction is merely one of persistence in operas that a properly controlled orcheswisely directed effort. Even if we grant tra does not drown the singers' voices. that of all languages English is the hardest Of last season's cast of “Tristan and to sing, this only means that we have to work Isolde," at the Metropolitan, three of the proportionately harder in order to achieve principal singers, Fremstad, Homer, and a similar degree of perfection in its use, and Blass, are Americans; if the opera had been if our singers would devote to the study of sung in a good English translation, how their own language one-half of the time much more thoroughly the great mass of which they give to the study of foreign the public would have enjoyed the beauties tongues, their hearers would all be justi- of this masterpiece of composition! In all fiably proud of the mere sound of English. the great opera houses of continental Eu
American singers feel that because they rope one hears only the language of the have always spoken English, they need not country, and foreign singers are not enstudy its theoretic side at all, and may gaged until they have mastered it. We safely take for granted their own ability to certainly have the right to exact a similar use it sufficiently well. The French, who capacity from our high-priced foreign songare justly famed for the perfection of their sters. It is only laziness on their part, and diction in singing, take nothing for granted, unadmirable patience on ours, which deexcept that their language is a beautiful lays this desideratum. one to listen to; and, consequently, they translation is never so good as the origisubmit themselves to a long, rigorous, and nal, it is true, but it is much better than intelligent study of the whole subject, and unintelligible poems or librettos. That then send out such splendid exponents of the translations of operas and songs with clear and mellifluous diction as Plançon and which we are unfamiliar have not satisfied Gilibert. So, also, to a less extent, with the us, is only due to our not having insisted Germans and Italians. English-speaking that the translations be well done. Last singers bring up the rear of the procession winter, in London, Hans Richter conducted
a season of Wagner's operas which were but who is, at the same time, self-dependent sung in English, and the reports seem to in his musical thinking. Even if he speak agree that the translation was adequate and a bit indistinctly at first and fall far short that the experiment of giving the English of his ideal, let him hold his head high and public a chance to follow the text at first be proud to carry the torch of progress in hand was a great success. Wagner him- his hand, if only for a moment. As Proself believed thoroughly in this matter of fessor Woodberry points out, the history translation.
of the growth of the Race-mind is to be Musical America has worn its swaddling- read in the aspiration of the race rather clothes too long and should free itself from than in its actual achievements. the bands which retard its growth into ma- Let the American singer educate himturity. We owe a large debt of gratitude to self. President Eliot says truly that a libEurope, which has, of necessity, been our eral education is a state of mind, and that nurse, and must for years to come be an in- to be alert and responsive to the signal of dispensable tutor, but we are now old every honest new thought and sympathetic enough to begin to think our own musical with all striving after worthy ideals is better thoughts and to express them in our than to be the most highly developed mother-tongue. Three great German com- specialist. Therefore he should familiarposers, Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn, ize himself with all the foreign schools of have shown us that English can lend itself singing and composition, accepting and reto the happy expression of great musical jecting as his experience guides him; but he ideas, and the Gilbert and Sullivan operas should remember that he can develop prove to us that, in lighter vein, good Eng- himself to his highest efficiency only as an lish and good music can dwell together in American. When he is called upon to blissful wedlock.
sing foreign music, which is not, so to The American public should rouse itself speak, in his blood, he must inevitably infrom its lethargy and insist that its operas terpret it in the light of the experience of his and songs be sung in its own familiar race. Therefore, he should make the tongue. Where this exaction necessitates most of his race inheritance, modifying and a translation from another language, we strengthening it wherever he sees the need. should demand that the translating be done He should make himself at home in the by competent men. The translations into rich treasure-house of English literature, Italian of the librettos for Verdi's “Otello” and make of our language an obedient and and “Falstaff" were made by Boito, to-day expressive medium for musical thought. the first poet in Italy. Let us make our He should render himself so skilful in the singers sing to us in good intelligible Eng- singing of English that his hearers cannot lish. Singers whose diction is not intelligi- fail to recognize its beauty and strength; if ble have not mastered their art. It is both he cannot do this, it is not the fault of the our right and our duty to demand all this language, but is due to his own indifference for the cause of the domestication and and laziness. growth of song in this country.
So long as our operas and songs are sung The American composer should gird up to us in foreign tongues, so long will the his loins and interpret for us some of the art of song play only a small part in our noble dramatic and lyric poems which are inner life. But when the American comours by right of heritage. There they lie poser shall arouse himself and express himin splendid profusion right at his hand, and self as an American to Americans, even as here in America is a great hungry public the great German composers to the Geryearning, even if unconsciously, to hear its mans, and shall find for his interpreters inmost ideals embodied in musical form. American singers who are conscious and Let the American composer do for us what proud of their race inheritance, then, and Wagner and Schubert did for the Germans, not till then, shall we fully comprehend the and Verdi for the Italians. He should ex- solace and inspiration, to both heart and press himself as an American who is fa- mind, which a whole nation may derive miliar with the great music of all nations, from song.
THE CROWNING OF LABOR
By William Walton
r. Alexander been
Work on his
A LTHOUGH occasional pirations, even in their portrait statues
glimpses have been given of are required to think, more or less assiduMr. Alexander's three years' ously, before they begin to model. In porwork on his mural paintings traiture, it is more difficult for them to find in the Carnegie Institute, adequate rendering of the ordinary frock
Pittsburg, its approaching coated citizen than it is for the painter. completion makes it possible for the first Even among the great mural commissions time to consider comprehensively this very for our public buildings no such theme as extensive scheme of interior decoration. Raphael's Disputa is now possible. And, in Not only the large amount of actual wall the United States, it is practically only the space placed at his disposal but also the painters who work on walls who are called number, and variety in size, shape, and upon for great synthetical creations. This location, of the sets of panels in the three commission, given in June, 1905, by the stories of the building, permitted him, President and Trustees of the Institute, to called upon him, to embroider his theme, furnish the eastern wing or pavilion of the to elucidate the various heads to his dis- great new facade of their building with course. Opportunities like this are not mural decorations, was not arrived at withvery numerous in modern art-for the out due deliberation. The artist's qualifipainters, even less than the sculptors. The cations were carefully weighed, his record at latter, in their personifications of various home and abroad examined, the long list of abstract conceptions—virtues, epochs, as- his honors (membership in the important