- Haggin, B. H.
Music in the Nation
William Sloane Associates, Inc., New York, 1949, Cloth, , First Edition, First Printing, Good+ /No Jacket
Corners rubbed and spine ends frayed, pages are still supple and relatively bright. Brief inscription to P.O. on FFEP. ix, 376 pp., indexed. Articles from the Nation magazine, from 1929 through 1948. On Copland's Lincoln Portrait: '. . . its use and effect are those of incidental music in a play--to create an impressive atmosphere for the words of Lincoln. These words are well chosen; but I squirmed at the business of 'He was six feet tall, and he said.' Haggin is opinionated, but he makes his points convincingly and doesn't take hostages. Taking unlikely and at the time unpopular positions like a 'dislike of much of Brahms music,' is, after all, only an ellipsis in a skewering of Alfred Einstein, but con brio: 'The very first work that I disliked was the Sonata Opus 99 for cello and piano: here for the first time I became aware of a mere filling out of formal pattern by arbitrary manipulation of synthetic substance--of a form of expression without real expression.' Not satisfied to reveal only his dislike of Brahms, he says, 'Now that I think of it, that pose of feeling and of artistic expression of feeling is one of the things I have heard and disliked in the music of Shostakovitch, of Villa-Lobos, of Roy Harris, of William Schuman, and of others like them.' One may not agree, but can hardly help being entertained.