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The Longy School open house concert tonight is made up of four small chamber works--Violin and Viola Duos by Mozart; Konzert in G dur by Heinichen for oboe, two violins, violoncello, and harpsichord; a Handel sonata for oboe and harpsichord, and a Harpsichord Solo by Bach. Concerts like this typify the contemporary tendency to play harpsichord music on the harpsichord rather than on the more common piano. This tendency is an interesting result of the musicological development which has led to the revival in modern times of so much old music and several old instruments.
Music written for harpsichord does often make better sense when played on the instrument for which it was intended. Since the harpsichord seems to have a definite place musically, it is strange that modern composers in their search for new colors and mediums have not attempted to write for it, except in a very few instances (De Falla's Concerto and his puppet-opera El Retablo de Maese Pedro, for example), It will be interesting in the future to see whether this instrument will take its place again as a medium of the expression of the time, or will remain only a means of reawakening the music of the past.
It is unfortunate that the Stradivarius Quartet concert scheduled for Wednesday evening had to be postponed. The quartet was to play Beethoven's Quartet in E flat, op. 12; a Wolzan-Kodaly Serenade for two violins and viola; and Quartet No. 4 by Milhaud. It is to be hoped that this concert will be given later in the season.
Reactionary program planners have been subjected to some rather bitter attacks from critics all over this country during the last few years. Jose Rodriguez, in Script, addressed a statement to Leopold Stokowski of which a part is quoted here:" . . . If you wish, you can please the mob, and also the students and the initiated. You can give a hearing to the masters of tomorrow as well as those of yesterday; among the first, particularly those who speak of the aspirations of our time and our own country; among the second, those who have been undeservedly neglected in spite of their excellence and meaning. In doing this for music, you will be doing as much for yourself. You can grow, as once you so richly promised, to the full stature of a missionary and prophet. You may even suffer a little toward martyrdom, which never hurt a true artist. You will be remembered as a brave and generous leader, not as a tired repeater of empty ritualistic formulae."
Though Mr. Rodriguez is somewhat dramatic about the problem, he has presented the issues of which everyone interested in the future of our music ought to be aware.
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