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The well tempered listener,

Author: Deems Taylor
Publisher: New York, Simon and Schuster, 1940.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966.
Well tempered listener.
New York, Simon and Schuster, 1940
(OCoLC)592671007
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Deems Taylor
OCLC Number: 386786
Notes: "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, Women's day, and the late New York world and Vanity fair."--Introduction.
Description: xvi, 333, [1] pages 21 cm
Contents: Makers : 1. The old contemporarie : Thoughts on meeting three old-timers ; Beethoven draws the line ; The wrong-note school, and how not to make an omelet ; Music as a branch of haut couture ; The unfashionable immortals --
2. Guesswork : Bach at saint Soandso's, Mozart on a fellowship, Beethoven on a postage stamp, Berlioz in the middle west, and Wagner in Hollywood --
3. More of the same : Concerning five who lived through a lot of trouble, and what they might do about it now ; The unimportance of crisis --
4. Down, but hardly out : The background of an all-Wagner program ; Free-for-all in Magdeburg, trouble in Riga, more in London, most in Paris ; Respite in Dresden ; The exiled 49-er ; Bad news in Moscow ; Sunrise in Stuttgart ; The scarcity of mute Miltons --
5. Five who died young : Concerning a group who left early, and what might have happened if they had stayed --
6. The twilight of the gods : How mortal is an immortal? ; The infancy of an art and the difficulty of putting things down ; The struggle for elbowroom ; Survival in an album --
7. The flood : More on survival ; 2039 looks back on the golden age --
8. The great divide : The stage versus the platform ; The nonco-operative philosopher and the accommodating journalist ; What Puccini can do in fourteen minutes ; Wagner proves the rule ; So, incidentally, does Strauss --
9. The fruits of condescension : The art of finding a bad opera book, and the discovery that music isn't everything ; The happy-go-lucky Russians ; Rimsky-Korsakoff stops the show --
10. Piotr the great : Tchaikovsky worries a devotee ; Off days of the titans ; Strauss's paper music and Shakespeare the bromide ; Concerning one who said things first, and where did he get them? --
11. The perennial victor : Uncritical ravings of an addict, interspersed with a few reminiscences of one of the minor great 12. The fat man of Passy : Origins of a genius ; Opera by the yard ; Nineteen years on the road ; The fall and rise of a barber ; Rossini waits for an overdue muse and circulates a few legends ; The swing mass --
13. How Spillville helped : An innkeeper serves free beer, and his son turns down a silver spoon ; The polka that didn't come off, and the job that eventually did ; Brahms takes a hand and London approves ; The national conservatory ; Where Spillville comes in --
14. Branded : Concerning the unwelcome children of a group of remorseful fathers --
15. Finders, keepers : Remarks about family resemblances ; Who stole from whom? ; The ethics of robbing a stranger ; Unfortunate misstep of a critic ; How the playwrights and novelists feel about it ; Great men who happen to think of the same thing ; What Brahms said, and what he did with it --
16. Guest speaker : Mr. Macdonald takes the floor ; On staring composers out of countenance, and bothering too much about personality ; What composers think of their music and how wrong they may be ; Kreisler and the eighteenth-century outrage ; Taps and the dinner call ; Never mind who did it --
17. What makes it tick : How a composer begins, what he does in the middle, and where, if possible, he ends --
18. Music a la carte : Hindemith and the first-rate carpenter ; A few notes on shoes ; Some who cobbled to fit ; Tchaikovsky on 1812 ; What the patrons wanted ; Music for an oil well, and the impossibility of making a useful citizen out of a composer --
19. Aid and comfort : Where are the tunes? ; Two opinions, with explanations by Shelley and Millay ; Horror of the shelleyites ; The composers break away ; On the importance of being not too earnest The givers : 1. The necessary evil : Pious hope of a guest conductor ; The dream of a self-starting orchestra, and the deaf-and-blind orchestra musician ; How to forget a conductor --
2. A little rope, please : The unavoidability of giving a conductor leeway ; Sheet music as a blueprint ; How loud is pretty loud? ; Wherein Beethoven and Ravel were wrong and also right --
3. How right is "correct"? : The advisability of disobeying orders on occasion ; Disagreements among oboes, and impossibility of keeping out of the way ; Smith, Jones, and Cesar Franck, and the futility of awarding a blue ribbon --
4. The devil and the deep sea : A rebellious listener wants to know why ; The conductor and his "must" list ; Telepathy among the program builders --
5. Bill of fare : Programs and cookery, with suggestions concerning what not to serve, and when ; Tristan as a sedative ; We wax specific --
6. The irrational art : A scientist scowls at music ; The impossible violin and the regrettable piano ; How to play an imaginary horn and a nonexistent trumpet, in a scale that is all wrong ; A hint from the track team concerning the stubborn human ear --
7. Sir Jame's umbrella : Conclusions of an astrophysicist after photographing a touch ; How a pianist pulls the trigger and steps on the brake ; Five behind a screen ; The first mate keeps the log ; Improbability of a one-note concert ; Four ways of fooling an audience --
8. First you hear it : The shortcomings of an ear, and the difficulty of singing by one --
9. The high-polish question : Intention and achievement and the esthetic innocence of movie houses ; The importance of giving a show, and the amateurishness of professionals ; A note on gilded violins and Iturbi in a green sash 10. Hoking it up : On relieving the strain of good singing ; The cheerful classic and the despondent hit --
11. Bach in the grove : A president writes a letter, and bach writes a few hits ; Why not jail brahms? ; On the toughness of masterpieces and the inadvisability of writing to the times --
12. Beethoven goes to town : Concerning the senility of swing, with a glance at Beethoven in a jam session --
13. Hands across the C's : Singing as a branch of athletics ; A friend telephones ; His ancestor gives a party, with Mozart also present ; Of personality, and the conduct of an artist in the presence of his monster --
14. Too good to learn : Sixteen conductors and how they grew ; The American who hates to learn his tribe --
15. Woman's place : The lonely harpist and her nonexistent sister ; The flute runs away with the horn ; Concerning hereditary woodwinds and the social standing of an oboe --
16. To play's the thing : Distressing incident in Connecticut ; Junior finds a champion ; The paramount importance of useless information, with no reference to Mrs. Gimmick ; The risk of sitting down at the piano ; On understanding tennis and knowing music from the inside ; The usefulness of banging and the fun of playing in a crowd --
17. Portrait of an artist : The pursuer who never traveled ; Jascha takes a few trips to the moon ; The perfect craftsman and the hall that was cool for pianists ; Close-ups of a miracle ; Schmalz, and the reward of getting along without it ; The jealous Strad and the off-stage genius ; Heifetz and his rival The hearers : 1. The violent ward : One who wept, and why ; Music gets into politics ; The danger of hating the wrong thing, and the difficulty of writing propaganda music ; Race and music, and the Wagner question --
2. Euterpe and the Gestapo : Revolutionary music --
or is it? ; Three nations listen to a tune ; Tannhauser and his military march ; Those who play the words instead of the music ; A voice from not so long ago --
3. Saying it with music : This program-music business ; Where the classic masters stopped and where Berlioz and Company began ; The value of a springboard and the utility of being told what to paint ; The "tell us a story" tendency, with a horrible example ; The trouble with labels --
4. Landmark : Concerning a man who upset the orchestral applecart, together with remarks, by himself and others, about the first tone poem --
5. All things to all men : The professor makes an experiment, with dire results ; Lohengrin and Gurnemanz sing a serenade ; The accommodating Valkyries --
6. Culture the hard way : Thoughts inspired by a baffled attempt to read a book --
7. A share of the air : The girl who kept a record ; Critics of radio and what they overlook ; Filling an eighteen-hour day ; One week's record, together with other rather dull statistics --
8. Other people's poison : The necessity for bad music ; Grim reflections after a radio poll 9. The latecomers : The awkwardness of being introduced to Stravinsky just after meeting Brahms --
10. Making the most of it : The small soprano and the ten-dollar set ; How to find good music on the air, and what to do about it when you have found it --
11. The lighter side : The solemn listener and the frivolous classic ; Reflections on not being too suspicious of attractive strangers --
12. Never mind the three B's : The American composer and the search for a champion ; Sherwood and Shakespeare ; The moral of Arizona, and the inadvisability of worrying about posterity --
13. The swish of the bow : Six who did not look like a firing squad ; Bach and his amateurs ; Reflections concerning varieties of off-the-record music --
14. Richard and Joseph --
and you : The stop and go schools ; Wherein is shown how Wagner shushes a listener and Verdi eggs him on --
15. The judgment seat : The ideal music critic, what he must know and be, and where he will go when he is found ; The American critic and his annual nervous breakdown --
16. The useful pest : Chronicler, guide, salesman, and guardian of the flame ; The trouble with critics, and how to pick a good one --
17. Mark Twain and I : Complaints of a great American and a modern listener ; An excursion into autobiography, with particular reference to glee clubs and the contrasting musical privileges of two generations.
Responsibility: by Deems Taylor.

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schema:description"12. The fat man of Passy : Origins of a genius ; Opera by the yard ; Nineteen years on the road ; The fall and rise of a barber ; Rossini waits for an overdue muse and circulates a few legends ; The swing mass -- 13. How Spillville helped : An innkeeper serves free beer, and his son turns down a silver spoon ; The polka that didn't come off, and the job that eventually did ; Brahms takes a hand and London approves ; The national conservatory ; Where Spillville comes in -- 14. Branded : Concerning the unwelcome children of a group of remorseful fathers -- 15. Finders, keepers : Remarks about family resemblances ; Who stole from whom? ; The ethics of robbing a stranger ; Unfortunate misstep of a critic ; How the playwrights and novelists feel about it ; Great men who happen to think of the same thing ; What Brahms said, and what he did with it -- 16. Guest speaker : Mr. Macdonald takes the floor ; On staring composers out of countenance, and bothering too much about personality ; What composers think of their music and how wrong they may be ; Kreisler and the eighteenth-century outrage ; Taps and the dinner call ; Never mind who did it -- 17. What makes it tick : How a composer begins, what he does in the middle, and where, if possible, he ends -- 18. Music a la carte : Hindemith and the first-rate carpenter ; A few notes on shoes ; Some who cobbled to fit ; Tchaikovsky on 1812 ; What the patrons wanted ; Music for an oil well, and the impossibility of making a useful citizen out of a composer -- 19. Aid and comfort : Where are the tunes? ; Two opinions, with explanations by Shelley and Millay ; Horror of the shelleyites ; The composers break away ; On the importance of being not too earnest"@en
schema:description"The hearers : 1. The violent ward : One who wept, and why ; Music gets into politics ; The danger of hating the wrong thing, and the difficulty of writing propaganda music ; Race and music, and the Wagner question -- 2. Euterpe and the Gestapo : Revolutionary music -- or is it? ; Three nations listen to a tune ; Tannhauser and his military march ; Those who play the words instead of the music ; A voice from not so long ago -- 3. Saying it with music : This program-music business ; Where the classic masters stopped and where Berlioz and Company began ; The value of a springboard and the utility of being told what to paint ; The "tell us a story" tendency, with a horrible example ; The trouble with labels -- 4. Landmark : Concerning a man who upset the orchestral applecart, together with remarks, by himself and others, about the first tone poem -- 5. All things to all men : The professor makes an experiment, with dire results ; Lohengrin and Gurnemanz sing a serenade ; The accommodating Valkyries -- 6. Culture the hard way : Thoughts inspired by a baffled attempt to read a book -- 7. A share of the air : The girl who kept a record ; Critics of radio and what they overlook ; Filling an eighteen-hour day ; One week's record, together with other rather dull statistics -- 8. Other people's poison : The necessity for bad music ; Grim reflections after a radio poll"@en
schema:description"The givers : 1. The necessary evil : Pious hope of a guest conductor ; The dream of a self-starting orchestra, and the deaf-and-blind orchestra musician ; How to forget a conductor -- 2. A little rope, please : The unavoidability of giving a conductor leeway ; Sheet music as a blueprint ; How loud is pretty loud? ; Wherein Beethoven and Ravel were wrong and also right -- 3. How right is "correct"? : The advisability of disobeying orders on occasion ; Disagreements among oboes, and impossibility of keeping out of the way ; Smith, Jones, and Cesar Franck, and the futility of awarding a blue ribbon -- 4. The devil and the deep sea : A rebellious listener wants to know why ; The conductor and his "must" list ; Telepathy among the program builders -- 5. Bill of fare : Programs and cookery, with suggestions concerning what not to serve, and when ; Tristan as a sedative ; We wax specific -- 6. The irrational art : A scientist scowls at music ; The impossible violin and the regrettable piano ; How to play an imaginary horn and a nonexistent trumpet, in a scale that is all wrong ; A hint from the track team concerning the stubborn human ear -- 7. Sir Jame's umbrella : Conclusions of an astrophysicist after photographing a touch ; How a pianist pulls the trigger and steps on the brake ; Five behind a screen ; The first mate keeps the log ; Improbability of a one-note concert ; Four ways of fooling an audience -- 8. First you hear it : The shortcomings of an ear, and the difficulty of singing by one -- 9. The high-polish question : Intention and achievement and the esthetic innocence of movie houses ; The importance of giving a show, and the amateurishness of professionals ; A note on gilded violins and Iturbi in a green sash"@en
schema:description"10. Hoking it up : On relieving the strain of good singing ; The cheerful classic and the despondent hit -- 11. Bach in the grove : A president writes a letter, and bach writes a few hits ; Why not jail brahms? ; On the toughness of masterpieces and the inadvisability of writing to the times -- 12. Beethoven goes to town : Concerning the senility of swing, with a glance at Beethoven in a jam session -- 13. Hands across the C's : Singing as a branch of athletics ; A friend telephones ; His ancestor gives a party, with Mozart also present ; Of personality, and the conduct of an artist in the presence of his monster -- 14. Too good to learn : Sixteen conductors and how they grew ; The American who hates to learn his tribe -- 15. Woman's place : The lonely harpist and her nonexistent sister ; The flute runs away with the horn ; Concerning hereditary woodwinds and the social standing of an oboe -- 16. To play's the thing : Distressing incident in Connecticut ; Junior finds a champion ; The paramount importance of useless information, with no reference to Mrs. Gimmick ; The risk of sitting down at the piano ; On understanding tennis and knowing music from the inside ; The usefulness of banging and the fun of playing in a crowd -- 17. Portrait of an artist : The pursuer who never traveled ; Jascha takes a few trips to the moon ; The perfect craftsman and the hall that was cool for pianists ; Close-ups of a miracle ; Schmalz, and the reward of getting along without it ; The jealous Strad and the off-stage genius ; Heifetz and his rival"@en
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