Incidentally, hidden in Act II of “Siegfried” is a choice morsel, indicative of make of Wanger a patron saint. The hero, having slain Fafner, the dragon, tastes that monster’s blood, and at once becomes endowed with miraculous clairvoyance. It was Lauritz Melchior’s fault the other night that this development seened incredible: Herr Melcenior is not a profound actor. But the Nazis always extract great comfort from the symbolism inherent in the passage, and continue to taste blood with great gusto, hoping the clairvoyance will follow.
These is small comfort for Nazis, all the same, in the fact that among the leading Wagnerian interpreters hereabouts are Artur Bondansky, Friedrich Schorr, Marek Windheim and Emanuel List, none of these distinguished for his aryanism.
Arturo Toscanini (with the Philharmonic-Symphony) and Leopold Stokowski (with the Philadelphia Orchestra) aided the grandeur of a week, the former by a stirring reading of “Don Juan,” the early Strauss masterpiece; the latter through his impassioned adherence after some straying to the “Three B’s” of music.
Paul Hindemith, the German-Jewish apostle of atonality, figured prominently in two major events of recent days. The League of Compossers’ concert at Town Hall, devoted to two Stravinsky works and Hindemith’s Kannermusik, No, 1 (Op. 24, No. 1) and Klavier-konzert (Op. 36, No. 1) found Fritz Reiner, who has not been accorded the renown which is his due, conducting a distinguished orchestra, composed of the Philharmonic-Symphony’s first-desk flute, oboe; clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, string bass, trombone and percussion; the Gordon String Quartet; Edna Bockstein and Frank Sheridan, Pianists, and Henry Brant, organist. I have never heard Hindemith more attractively presented. To the League must go the credit for producing still another “unduplicable” evening.
Harold Bauer not only recognized Hindemith, but his audience’s desire for entertainment, when the pianist juxtaposed the Twelve Short Pieces of Hindemith and William Byrd’s Variations on a Popular Tune-“As I Went to Walsingham”-which was written late in the loth Century.