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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 13. June 29, 1950

Music in Town

Music in Town

At VUC, regular recitals by Ruth Pearl and Frederick Page together with other artists proride a most welcome opportunity for bearing chamber music. On Wednesday lunchtime (at 1.15 p.m.) there is the chance to hear the Bach violin sonatas expertly presented—a chance nobody should miss. A violinist of Miss Pearl's calibre should be treasured, and Mr Page's playing, far from being taken for granted, deserves our constant appreciation—his part in the Trout quintet remains a delightful memory.

In the field of broadcasting Wellingtonians have recently suffered from a decreased potential of Station 2YC, only refuge for the racetired and anti-serialist listener. By now, things seem to have improved again, and it is again possible to enjoy the brief interlude of chamber recitals on Monday nights at 8 p.m. For years I have been waiting to see something done regularly, and now in the "History of Chamber Music," we seem to be getting closer to it Before that, we had a series of Beethoven and Schubert works. Why not add some Brahms? Why not give a history of the sonata, a history of the violin concerto? Some works seem to be doomed to eternal dust on the proverbial shelves .... Mr Doidge may yet go down in N.Z. Broadcasting History of The man of monumental stature. His announced New Deal, experimentally being introduced in Auckland, sounds really good. It has finally been realised that of the four stations "servicing" the main centres, one might be singled out for what one might term middle-brow to high-brow continuous programmes. Time signals—we hope!—and similar stem reminders of the March of Time may be eliminated, chamber music—we hope again!—will not be rudely followed by band music, and the price for a classical programme on Wednesday will no longer be trash on the six other nights. The solution seems to be in sight, and although it may be too early yet to rejoice, one may reasonably cease moaning: Let's only hope that the New Deal will proceed as rapidly southward as the unending cyclones reaching us—as we are told ad nauseam—via the harbinger of all ills, Tasmania Arise, ye sufferers, salvation is near!

I found myself perusing—to the detriment of my scholastic achievements—the most perplexing book I have yet seen, it is called "Musical Uproar in Moscow," by Alexander Werth (a Yank of course). Well, Yank or no Yank, this book contains much original material: translations of official publications concerning the proceedings of the higher Soviet authorities against Soviet Composers, led by that stalwart of Soviet Music (self-appointed and self-styled), the late Comrade Zhanov. My, my, how difficult it must be to know just what is Soviet music and what is not! How totalitarian the classless society must be, if it may only dance to a certain tune, not! too sharp, not too flat; what a host of proletarian genius must have been hidden in Tschaikovsky and Rimsky Korsakoff, unknown to themselves. And how imperialistic, decadent poor old Gershwin is, compared to them! it's high time we had a "Rhapsody in Red"—however, joking apart, how anyone can feel not disturbed by this streamlining of culture (or Kultur??) is a puzzle to me. Go and read for yourself—I'd like to know your reactions. Just think what would happen if Comrade Fairburn were our, musical dictator! Thank God for the correspondence column in "The Listener," friends.... And herewith I leave you for today.

—HB.