By Joseph Horowitz
Arguing that the prior can turn out instructive and inspirational, Horowitz revisits 4 marvelous personalities—Henry Higginson, Laura Langford, Henry Krehbiel and Charles Ives—whose missionary paintings within the realm of tradition signaled a trust within the primary decency of civilized human nature, within the universality of ethical values, and in development towards a nation of peace and love.
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Additional resources for Moral Fire: Musical Portraits from America's Fin de Siècle
Lilli Lehmann, an imperious artist, used to be while a no-nonsense activist who could rummage in the course of the Met’s estate room or rearrange surroundings. Writing to Langford, she used to be totally usual; she signed herself “Lilli. ”47 Mutual appreciation girded Seidl’s dating to Langford. At one 1894 dinner, he quipped that Grau and Henry Abbey, on the Met, will be taught a “lesson” via the Seidl Society in how you can supply 16 performances for seventy thousand funds. while the society gave him a rocking chair for a gift, he wrote to Langford: “As a lot excitement this chair has given me, I don’t prefer the belief, that my buddies hassle themselves, to gift my inventive doings which come from the ground of my middle. ” A revealing episode: in 1896, Seidl’s Brighton seashore orchestra employed its first woman member—the harpist Inez Carusi (“a good-looking Italian-American, with the temperament of a girl and the contact of a man”). a few musicians objected that she was once now not a member of the union—which, being woman, she couldn't be. She complained that she used to be paid under her male predecessor—whereupon Seidl’s longtime orchestra supervisor, Samuel (or Siegmund or Sigismund) Bernstein, reportedly threatened to fireside her. Langford took Carusi’s side—publicly. She informed the click she had put the problem in Seidl’s arms: “I belief him. ” Carusi stayed. forty eight A unmarried main issue interrupted the equanimity of the Langford/Seidl courting. The Met’s Wagner-dominated “German seasons” of 1884 to 1891 have been ended by means of a boxholders’ uprising in prefer of extra glamorous French and Italian fare. not engaged by means of the Met, Seidl took over the hot York Philharmonic. however the Germans wouldn't be placed down: opera in German back to the home in 1895. For no matter what purposes, the Met dates provided to Seidl conflicted with scheduled Seidl Society commitments in Brooklyn—which Seidl elected to desert. “It will be an odd factor if a physique of girls, who've stored Mr. Seidl in bread and butter for a number of years may still move on doing it after he had repudiated his contract,” mused the day-by-day Eagle. “If they have been males there will be yet one resolution to the query. ” different articles inferred that Seidl had used the society whereas pursuing his major pursuits in other places. Seidl himself stated: “I won't resolution any query. yet i'm going to say that i don't ask any girls for my bread. ”49 In an agonizing circulation, the Seidl Society replaced its identify to the Brooklyn Symphony Society and employed Seidl’s onetime manhattan rival, Theodore Thomas, to accomplish in Brooklyn together with his Chicago Orchestra. yet big apple had outgrown Thomas’s staid demeanour; his concerts—in March 1896—failed to ignite. Weeks later, the “Seidl Society” was once again, and so used to be Seidl; he known as himself a “victim of situations. ” “I consider you recognize that we've got long past again to our previous Seidolatry,” acknowledged the Musical Courier. “There used to be this iciness an attempt to transform [Brooklyn] from fake gods to a worship of song as divorced from any character no matter what. The test has failed.