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The American Journal produced for a national educational radio under a grant from the National Home Library Foundation in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin radio station WAGA and Riverside radio WRVA are in New York. Oh I think that training is very good in America I think you're an excellent teacher. For instance the FBI comes easy to catch and kill these voices are valid ways to many of gentility. But if you send back a foot June 18 in Baghdad because she is so talented and I was arrested last month. We're listening to your crippling interview on a local radio station and asked about the same question he commented on the fact that in Vienna which has been his
home city that three of the leading tenors live Yeah our company are young Americans. Norman may arise he be very gifted but he doesn't have a great deal to say as yet and I feel extremely sympathetic generally. I would I think he would normally and should do is wish just this to be very simple and just to sit down and write every day little skiffs for a toast I did until he assimilates his experience instead of worrying about being a national figure. The American Journal a look at the fine arts and the not so fine arts in America today. This series is not a history not a diary not a
seminar not a critique. It's a few people in for our long programs talking about the fine arts without being arty about it or precious or obscure far out or far in are anything but honest about the whole business. We could say this series is dedicated to all of the Fine Arts Theatre literature painting music poetry but that's pretty precious right there and it's only half the truth. This series is really dedicated to the proposition that the finest of all arts is living how to live a fuller life without emptying out your neighbors. That's where the art comes in. Music Beethoven said is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. All those spirits be not master of that which it creates through music. Yet it is blessed in this creation
which like every creation of art is mightier than the artist. William Shakespeare wrote the man that hath not music in himself and is not moved with Concord of sweet songs is fit for treasons stratagems and spoils. Let no man trust him. And possibly the most profound observation of all on music comes from a man who played second fiddle to no one in his time. Music of all the liberal arts can stand as the greatest influence over the passions. And it is that to which the legislator ought to give the greatest encouragement. Napoleon Bonaparte said that and everybody knows what a swagger he was. We have three music makers on our program today. Artists if you will who have
consented to discuss the state of American music as it looks are more accurately how it sounds to them. First here's Norman Carroll concertmaster of the Minneapolis symphony talking with our girl Jae Fitz about his early training I suppose to a degree. Most of the technical things that I have learned really were learned as a as a young boy with his first teacher as I mentioned you kobun off and by the time one goes to Curtis or at least at the age I went there which was. 13 or 14 I suppose the technique is much more or less more or less set at this point. It's rather interesting because Eugene Ormandy the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra has a theory that if you don't start studying the violin by about four or five that in a sense the technique deteriorates from that point on you see. So technically what technique you may have a 12 or 14 never really grows afterwards.
I think that's oh that's an interesting theory I don't quite go along with so many people do change. Right about right right. That's true. There were certain eras actually a rather amazing considering. Well there are certain limitations actually that Curtis has. Perhaps I shouldn't say this. Maybe defeat some of the ideas of CURTIS But I think Curtis basically is a virtue also type of school early the enrollment is limited to what I know roughly 75 to 90 students and this includes all category voice and organ piano etc. and gluing the string instruments and most of them are scholarship. They are all a score that is what only what you can go there. Presently all the key players at least in our major symphonies are x Curtis students. Yes. Evidently you have never had a point in your life when you became dist interested or apathetic in music but most young people do at some time or other. What do you think should their parents exercise strict discipline in their practice habits at this time or let them have a rest.
Well when you have children. Yeah that's what I'm thinking about. I probably have one theory and in practice I do something else. I suppose the worst thing we can do is to really force our children into something they don't want to do but I feel firmly that once they have at least committed themselves and show a certain amount of interest at least as big for my daughter who is 11 and plays the flute as long as she sincerely wishes to continue playing that she must know there is a certain regimentation that goes along with it. You know this ability to play and I think if we don't you know I perhaps was lazy as a as a young student I know very well my daughter is extremely lazy and I think I actually didn't do it. Well I suppose my mother told me when I had to come in and practice. But as I say anyway I think once the child has committed themselves I think the parents must be guided in sometimes with a bit of force and see them through. I think so.
That gap. Because I find that true in almost every instance where I've talked with mothers who say Oh my child had just so much talent as a youngster and then they come to about the junior high age and other things and I was like This is the whole point that there are other things that do become more important for instance just to give you going back to a personal thing again. My daughter has started to ski this year. Well they started skiing for about eight o'clock in the morning they don't come home until 5:30 or 6:00 at night and the entire family is exhausted. Now this excludes me I don't ski but this is another day that's available for practicing which is now just been dissipated since the skiing started but yet I feel that learning to ski is important enough for her now and she should do it. Wow they have certain instincts they have to fulfill. Right right guys they feel cheated later on and still find that little niche in there for practice. But the violin takes a great deal more time doesn't it. Yeah this is true this is one of the problems actually in this country today and that not only in this country even in Europe. We had a guest conductor last week by the name
of an art hiding from Amsterdam concert about our history. And I was telling him about the problem that we that we have here in this country with the string players and he repeated the same thing in Europe the problem that going back to original question is so much more difficult for instance to produce a tome on a string instrument than it is on a whim instrument. I know from again from my daughter experience or even comparing it to the piano. Anyone can just bang on the piano and meet at least the notes come out in room right. Right so this is the biggest problem they get. Keep the interest in a young person while we're trying to get over this. You know scratchy era string playing now only that mothers are complaining now that there is so much curriculum and so much concentration in school on other subjects that they don't have time to develop music talents art talent right and the fine arts. But you know the man I think on homework with children is a great deal more than it was and I think it's overdone frankly I'm against homework but I would say when I was
studying music as a child rather seriously my father broached me with the alarming statistics that musicians suffer the lowest paid and the highest rate of unemployment over all other occupations. I hope the situation has changed as well not very much. I'm afraid there are. Still only three. The major symphonies who have full time employment in Minneapolis symphony is not one of these we are now only employed 31 weeks of the season of the year. Of course we have hopes that these things may change. That was Norman Carroll concertmaster of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. Next Dr. Carl Ernst prominent music educator who talks with John Campbell American musicianship and American music coming into its own. Well I was interested last Sunday of listening to Mr. Cripps. I mean you know viewed on a local radio station when asked about this same question
and he commented on the fact that you know which has been his home city that three of the leading tenors in the Vienna Opera Company are young Americans right now. The tables have been turned. We are turning out in excess of five young performers both instrumentally. And these people find it easier in performance to earn a living in European countries partly because opera companies 77 and groups of this kind are subsidized by governments while here these groups must operate entirely by private support. We do not have the number of opera companies nor the number of professional symphony orchestras per capita that they have in most European countries or even in South American countries small countries. And so because our school systems have turned out excellent performers they go there. Have they become recognised because of the many opportunities they have to perform professionally. And many of them stay there for years. Twenty years ago this was not true. In order
to make our Symphony Orchestra's rate to a superior level we had to import string players and wind players and we had them for singers for our few opera companies. But this table has turned down and I think America can be very proud of the American program of music education and result of the excellent standards of performance. Technical skill and We now export this product. How does this you know this in terms of. Conductors that we are still in a sense importing major conductors for the major symphonies in the country. What about when you mention performance you're also talking about composers American composers are they being accepted the same thing they are accepted but what I think we as a people are still lack the maturity to be sure of ourselves for example in the in the convention at the pass that I attended last summer we had one American musical organization
a very fine high school choir from Princeton New Jersey. However in spite of the excellence of this the technical. Technical as excellence of this choir they sang a programme that included only one composition by an American composer. They sang round the sound and music of many European composers but the European groups we heard performing very badly sing music of their own composers. We are not quite sure of ourselves and we are still an outward I suppose by the big name composers of the past generations. And because most great American composers are contemporary We are just a little afraid and many times I have been asked when I've been abroad by people we would like to know more about your Aaron Copeland's and your American composers we don't often hear their music. Part of the responsibility the failure to let them hear our music is the fact that when we travel with our groups we tend to play the music of the big
European names rather than our own. Finally not a lot of women talking to Studs Terkel. You know if everybody would things the same way let's see an end in and concept program some sing I would sing it very beautifully and now everybody takes this one seeing as it's a no model. Yeah martyrs and does it in the same be wouldn't that be boring. I mean then one has heard that once and one sees I don't go ever ever in my life again to a concert over everything I know is this should be different it should be. It should fit to the personality instead is what I always strive to do in my teaching and not that I want to eat meat eat meat. Imitation is obvious and sign off often to speak weakness. I only want to arouse their imagination into develop their
personalities. This matter you spoke of develop into your own personalities would you try to teach your students which you have done so eloquently on the opera and country stage. Something you said you may not even recall you saying are you speaking of leaders singing and this is a quote of yours I found. I like to feel that my singing is not a finite thing in itself but rather the means of communicating my personal convictions. Yes yes that's quite nicely ex-post I had forgotten that it did you said it. But it's going to gradually expose the matter of the singing actress the art of acting and singing that you refused so beautifully. You're one of the first under when you were very young weren't the singers then florid acting was acting a major or adding voice not so important but it stuck that way. Only by time it started I have here first certainly a lot of us of
a detached house and he was always there and he was very very he wanted very much the part that say is he didn't care for did tears he wanted so hold parts of one review live his part. It's of when I developed and as I have developed slowly I must see my way was not a quick one in a humbled I sing for quite a while. Small rules and I think that just good knowledge is so girls so turn into stars so overnight I don't think that is very good. You're raising a very serious question I wish you'd expand on the small matter moment today. The matter of the training the time. Oh I think that training is very good in America I think you are excellent teachers. For instance where ever I comes is a technical is these voices are very weird to me and generally is a lack of opportunity in America which is sort of terrible you know at my time I was born in Germany I came
916 to Vienna and then I became a Viennese. But if I didn't get one in Gage's and Zambia turned out also as every small town hit Opelousas. And here it is so yes the Metropolitan and Chicago would and did do this season is too short so you cannot smell all of that and they are now developing. Troops need to go over as a currently which is very wonderful but that but the goal generally was this very small repertory so that to sing at learns one or two rules and cause an hour for weeks and weeks with the same roads over the currently so it is not really a development we are ever changing your repertoire ever changing now and then. I hear interviewing a modern singer so we have a broad repertoire they are more than singers of the Early on the ones that are absolutely not legals. I was not possible that they say that may be in concert in so far as that is seeing very cheap music on television and on the radio and on cars that
are brought repertory. Hawkins is saying is that because it is even it's a metropolitan they cannot have it every day and not at all pious to be headed in Vienna. Oh no. Here at least our time now there is a dearth of opera and opportunities. Quite why it's too much competition if obvious television interests vis a vis movies and it ended with the ease with which one flies now from one place to another when one wants to hear it. Look I have a flu versus a jet plane from Los Angeles to cheap cargo in three and a half hours isn't that absolutely Fernie it's really funny on Morse. So if this is a sing us little lift an entirely different live. Well it is. I'm sorry to see it's seems to mean as a conventional lives and when I came to to Europe spent four months in Europe last summer and I went to several theaters where former students were here in our
positions and I talked with them and I talked with my old colleagues and also old colleagues said to me it is not the system isn't our time it is not any more. So this fanatic. Desire to do the right thing. It is very much business everywhere. One one is much more highly than we ever where there is not a feeling of our sound anymore really is a metropolitan is one of the few places who has hasn't been yet and the star making them in the headlines. Yeah but the two years we have said is a steady company at least. But if you go to Vienna now I mean Second companies from a repertory company that put out a kind of actually invest outside of it. Is that art of off of our song bird singing which we were taught there it's very fun for us not to starve everyone was a part of so all of us that have gone gone to pieces. Now this style is more important.
And if you go to modern productions now this singers are almost a part of the stage setting and of some of the orchestra and it's all but is is is is they don't stand out anymore as they see it as they don't do their job anymore as we have been taught to do it all chooses it to be a tremendous emphasis on technique and also singing patiently except if a singer who is perfect in technique is a great great star and I don't think he's not feeling it. That's it that's it. I think we have enough now don't you think so. Oh this is my animus of hearing how you feel you're tired now and I think you have found that you know you're a marvelous one perhaps one last bit of advice. Yeah Madam I'm going to be young students to be those who want to sing who are looking for opportunities. You have offered a great deal of advice in this conversation we have had down just one last opportunity to you know that it's a question that makes me very embarrassed.
There often come students to me who are now ready to leave the nest and to be free and get an engagement. But where do they get it. So if your best is yet to go to Europe but who can afford that. And if single to Europe are so there slowly as the doors are closing because they don't like the influx of thought for foreign foreigners which one can understand or what is it do you have a suggestion. Do you have something. Suppose you have unlimited funds. If I would have unlimited funds which is a very charming idea I would build open houses in America. I would like to see one thing to a young singer. Sometimes young singer comes to me and sees that I am a man I feel I really feel that if I don't give enough and don't you think I should give up. And I always see ya if you asked his question. Then it's better you
get it. But if you know if I give you now I was advised give up. Don't pay any attention to me. Go ahead. As long as you feel you have to go ahead it will be all right. And I tell you Zach from my own experience I as a young student was thrown out of the singing school of it taken gaster in belly and was a great a singing teacher and I have a feeling now a letter from her in which she sees you will never make a penny with your singing. You have no voice in Nortel and now this woman certainly didn't tape me as was her honest opinion. So it is terribly defeat could to see to a young singer give up. And if somebody sings terribly then I see my own opinion is that I don't think you could make it make it count yet but and then I tell her overseas story and as you know make up your own. What Madame Lehmann was really saying to the younger singer is simply you gotta have heart. It's
a philosophy most working professionals going to great. And it makes no difference whether they're belting out labo am or pushing a pencil. It's interesting the professional writers for example rarely mention inspiration talent or even creativity when they discuss writing. George Bernard Shaw said simply the way to write is to attach to the seat of the trousers to the seat of the chair in front of man's most diabolic and worst invention the typewriter. Nelson Algren enumerating his four rules for writers put it this way. One never played cards with him and called Doc never eat at a place called Three never sleep long in a bed and four never never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own. Here's writer Kent ready to enlarge the store of accumulated wisdom. You are an articulate spokesman for the man and I do it for me and
for me. What about the kinds of things which stifle a creative artist in today's society. Still if you keep beating your head against I don't consider them Stonewall so much as. Road with stone walls on each side that don't let you get off and running on the field. It's hard to find ways out through the wall. Are. Our ability to to wonder often maker is being inhibited. From the time. That we hit the ground especially grade school. When I look back on. Grade school. Our first six or seven years of school. I think now what did I learn that was it that still is valuable to me important to me not the multiplication table. I haven't multiplied
anything in years. I have only worked with modeling clay a long time. I learned. During hours of the recesses. I learned. How to get along with my peers how to. Evaluate somebody else's feelings and react to those feelings. In fact if I could do that I'd have my kids stay out of school just to know. When the researchers. Because once you learn to read. Then about all that teacher can do from there on I just tell you what you should be reading. And it's taking me up to the present to overcome. The good intentions of a lot of. High school. Teachers to get you to Canterbury to get computers to be a product that is experienced OK. Who would you. Be just heard of his experiences are being. Extended by being exposed to the literature which came before him
by being exposed to the literature that the teacher picks for the readers different. He has what you learned to read. Dearest you can't possibly read everything. And what reason do we have to believe that. I should. Read Shakespeare. Just because you reach a spear when I might enjoy Mickey's folly. As much we don't know where we stand now. Mickey's flame is. Greater. You know that Shakespeare he was you know sort of the Mickey Slayers day for popular audiences. I believe the person is a whole lot more likely to come around to Shakespeare. I was a card of peace if he's left to just wonder and read what he wants to read.
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The American journal
American music and writing, part 1
Producing Organization
WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-gm81px65).
Episode Description
This program focuses on the state of American music, writing, and creativity. Features speakers include Norman Carroll, Carl Ernst, Ken Kesey, and Lotte Lehmann.
Series Description
This is an informal, "magazine" style interview series on the fine arts.
Broadcast Date
Fine Arts
Media type
Composer: Voegeli, Don
Host: Schmidt, Karl
Interviewee: Kesey, Ken
Interviewee: Lehmann, Lotte
Interviewee: Carroll, Norman
Interviewee: Ernst, Carl
Interviewer: Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 65-13-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:45
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Chicago: “The American journal; American music and writing, part 1,” 1965-03-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
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