THE MUSIC BOX
Now that the music season is under way, a batch of interesting concerts have cropped up around town, and this column intends to be no more than a partial catalogue of some of them.
First, in Boston, at the Gardiner Museum, a fairly orthodox series of chamber recitals has been in progress for the past three weeks, occurring on alternate Sundays at two o'clock in the Tapestry, Room, usually featuring some concert artist. This Sunday the soloist is to be one of the world-famous violinists, Bronislaw Huberman, and following that, on November 1, Frank Glazer, the eminent Boston pianist. The opportunity to hear Huberman is a rare and exceptional one, for Huberman has in past years been known to this country chiefly through his tremendous reputation in Europe. Those who know his recording of the Tchaikowski Violin Concerto may recall that his style in that is brilliant and flashy, pretty much on the slick side, and he seems to be the only one of the Leopold Auer brood of violinists who has developed this way. It would be interesting to compare his concert Sunday with the old recording, and if the two jibe, to draw interesting and appropriate conclusions on the state of musical taste in Europe, where Huberman has enjoyed such fame.
Again in Boston, the Fine Arts offers its annual series of alternate Sunday reictals, devoted as before mainly to little-known and early music, and music in small forms. The program for this Sunday is listed as "English Music from Earliest Times to the Present Day" by Stanley Bates, Composer-Pianist, and if Mr. Bates lives even part way up to his title, he ought to quash the ill-be-gotten notion that the English are not a race of composers.
Here in Cambridge, the Germanic Museum Concerts are getting under way next Monday night with an organ recital by E. Power Biggs, of the Six Trio Sonatas of J. S. Bach and the F major Toccata. This is a marathon concert in any man's language, as the Trio Sonatas are generally conceded to be the most formidable things in the organ repertoire, and whether Biggs, who has never sparkled on Bach, will do them justice, is a question. But the wonderful music in the Sonatas and the fact that there is no adequate recording of them definitely warrants a trip to the Germanic Monday night. Incidentally, beginning with this concert it will be first come first served on every seat-no more reserved seats for subscribers to the organ fund.
The Germanic Museum Organ, by the way, continues to be owned not by Harvard University but by the Aeolian-Skinner Company which built it. And the Friends of the Bach Organ, an enthusiastic group of patrons, continues struggling to raise the sum that Aeolian-Skinner demands for it. As to why the University has done nothing about purchasing the organ-that should perplex no one. The Corporation just isn't interested. It will barter its birthright to acquire a new scientific instrument, or some rare species of flora for the Arnold Arboretum, but when it comes to seeing the value of a thing like the Bach Organ, which reaches hundreds of people in a tangible, practical way, the Corporation draws a complete blank.
Lastly, I suppose I should mention the inevitable Strad Quartet concert at the Fogg next Wednesday evening, for which all tickets are gone, and for which the program has not yet been announced.