The Well Tempered Listener

The Well Tempered Listener

The Well Tempered Listener

The Well Tempered Listener

Excerpt

Like its predecessor, Of Men and Music, this book is based on a series of radio talks. They were delivered as part of the Columbia Broadcasting System's broadcasts of the Sunday-afternoon concerts of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra during the seasons of 1937-1938 and 1938-1939, and have been augmented by various articles and reviews that I wrote for Stage, Woman's Day, and the late New York World and Vanity Fair. I say "based" because the chapters that follow are the result of considerable editing and rewriting. The radio talks, especially, had to undergo rather drastic revision in order to eliminate the colloquialisms and occasional downright illiteracies that distinguish spoken from written English. Speaking of revisions, I owe a debt of thanks to the brilliant young pianist, Abram Chasins, for making valuable suggestions regarding the facts and conclusions in the chapter entitled "Sir James's Umbrella."

For convenience I have divided the book into three sections. The first, The Makers, is devoted to discussions of music in the abstract, and from the point of view of the composer. In the second, The Givers, we discuss music with particular reference to its performers and interpreters. The third section, The Hearers, is written largely from the point of view of those who listen to it. Naturally, there is no razor-keen line of cleavage among these three . . .

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