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Avior Byron will present a paper on Bronislaw Huberman in the 2010 'The Embodiment of Authority' Conference at Helsinki, Finland.   

 

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Bronislaw Huberman: the cherubim descended at the recall to play

Carl Bronson wrote at The Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express of 16 April 1937: ‘the results of [Huberman’s] … magnificent musical ideals are overwhelming. His violinresponds to every whim, and these are many, as this very unusual Paganini draws from the wood and strings his celestial idioms… Strange to say, Huberman looks as did Brahm’s friend Remenyi and the concerto sounds more Hungarian than German. Merely coincidence, but very interesting.’

The Smith’s Weekly from Sydney Australia wrote on 23 June 1937: ‘Short of stature, stern of mien, with grave eyes that calmly surveyed the crowded Sydney Town Hall without apparent interest; prominent brows surmounted by a massive dome of forehead; pouted lip, compressed in a thin line of individual character almost as forbidding in its seriousness as the mask of Beethoven – Bronislaw Huberman … bowed solemnly when he appeared at his first concert on Saturday night.’
 
Thorold Waters of The Sun News-Pictorial from Melbourne, Australia wrote on 12 July 1937: ‘It was a though one of the cherubim [angels] descended at the recall to play the Andante from the Third Partita, spiritually the most serene Bach performance Melbourne has enjoyed on any instrument, or set of them, for ever so long.’
 
The Argus Monday wrote on 26 July 1937: ‘The popular conception of Delius as an enfeebled visionary found no echo in Huberman’s dynamic reading of the composer’s only violin concerto. Not alone a great musical performance, but a psychological study of significance and power, this interpretation revealed the authentic Delius, whose proud, secretive, and indomitable temperament rose superior to paralysis and loss of sight.’

Conference on Schumann in Israel




אירוע אביב מס’ 1 מטעם האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה
בשיתוף
בית הספר למוסיקה ע"ש בוכמן-מהטה, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
 

יום ג’, 23 בפברואר 2010, אולם קלרמונט, 19:30, אוניברסיטת תל אביב

 

"דמיון ופיוט, מחלה ויצירתיות ביצירתו של רוברט שומאן"

במלאת 200 שנה להולדתו
 
בתכנית:

פרופ’ משה צוקרמן (אוניברסיטת תל אביב):

"פאוסט, מנפרד, קרייזלר וכל השאר"הערות על המימד הספרותי ביצירתו של שומאן
פרופ’ אליעזר ויצטום (האוניברסיטה העברית):

"ראיתי מלאכים, פגשתי שדים" — מחלה ויצירתיות אצל רוברט שומאן

פרופ’ יהואש הירשברג (האוניברסיטה העברית):

"עולם הפיוט בלידר של שומאן"; "שומאן והפסנתר הרומנטי"

 
מיצירות שומאן יבוצעו:

מחזור "שירי המלכה מריה סטיוארט" אופ. 135 (1852)

מבחר לידר לטקסטים של ריקרט, היינה ואחרים

"הומורסקה" לפסנתר, אופ. 20 (1839)
 
בביצוען של:
ברניקה גליקסמן – פסנתר

הגר שרביט (מצוֿ־סופרן), דניאל בורוביצקי (פסנתר)

 

כרטיסים במחיר 75 ₪ ניתן להשיג במקום החל מהשעה 18:30

לחברי האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה, לאזרחים ותיקים ולסטודנטים 40 ₪

מנויי ביה"ס למוזיקה ע"ש בוכמן-מהטה – במסגרת הקונצרטים המיוחדים או 40 ₪  

 

האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה מודה לכל משתתפי הערב המופיעים ללא תמורה. הכנסות הערב מיועדות לפעילות האקדמית של האיגוד.

 

 

A photo of a sculpture of Bronislaw Huberman

The following photo was taken at the Felicia Blumental Library at Tel-Aviv with the kind permission of the Library and Bronislaw Huberman Archive.

I need to add the name of the sculpture…

Note how the sculpture depicted Huberman looking to (or perhaps beyond) the sky. In many concert reviews, he was perceived as a musician who did not merely play music, but signified something that transcends music.

What do you think?

Do you know who made the sculpture? What do you think about it? Please comment below.

Related posts

Huberman in Scotland and Honolulu

Two antithesis reviews of Huberman

More newspaper clippings about Huberman’s violin playing

Bronislaw Huberman’s faith: the affect of events on the perception of performance

Reviews of Huberman by Neville Cardus, part II: technique and spirit

Huberman and the divine: concert reviews by Neville Cardus

Huberman and the Divine: letters from listeners

Huberman and the divine: report by Edmondo De Amicis

Max Brod on Bronislaw Huberman’s violin playing

Bronislaw Huberman: funding ideas

 

Huberman in Scotland and Honolulu

Glasgow Times, on 13 January 1937 wrote the following review on a concert with Szell and the Scottish Orchestra, under the subtitle ‘Human Outlook’: ‘Beethoven’s violin concerto is a great human work, and there is no living violinist with a more human outlook than Huberman … everything combined to provide us with a rare experience in our musical life.’

On 31 May 1937 an news paper in Honolulu Reviewed a concert with Huberman and the pianist Jakob Gimpel: ‘the listener was … deeply stirred by the silken quality of his bowing which was fraught with ineffable charm and literally breathed a spirit of serene meditation… Huberman … satisfies thje poetic carving of his listeners and leaves them serene and satisfied, and conscious of a sublime musical experience.’  
 
The Boston Evening Transcript wrote on 25 March 1937: ‘Schnabel and Huberman portrayed …[Beethoven] in his superb masculinity, a masculinity, by the way, which at will can manifest the tenderness of a woman.’

Two antithesis reviews of Huberman

Today I had only one hour to sit in the Huberman Archive in Tel-Aviv. But I read two interesting newspaper clippings about Huberman’s performances:

The Argonaut, from San Francisco, California wrote on 3 April 1936 about Huberman’s ‘imperfect’ technique: "It is but natural, if not essential, that the utter submergence of self to the recreation of the composer’s message can not always result in a one hundred per cent technical performance – nor should it. We would rather hear an artist give his heart and soul to transmitting a master’s ideas and ideals than concentrate his mind upon exact placing of every note, the unchanging clarity of tone quality and the cold, methodical precision of approximate technical perfection. In other words, we prefer an artist of warmth of expression and intensity of emotional versatility to another who has technical precision but no depth of feeling."

Not all critics saw Huberman as a messenger of the composer or any other metaphysical entity. W. L. wrote at The Manchester Guardian on 4 November 1935 about Huberman’s approach to the Brahms Violin Concerto and compared it to that of other violinists: ‘Heifetz stands aloof from it, observing all but seemingly remaining unmoved by it. Kreisler comes to it with love and reverence, and, without disturbing the unity of the work, shows us each of it wonders like a connoisseur lovingly proud of his treasures. Huberman sees with so many of us that Brahms lacks inner vitality, and, again without disturbing the shape of the work, infuses it with his own quick, intense vitality. It is impossible to imagine finer-nerved or more sensitive fiddling than Huberman gave us.’ Here the critic argued that Huberman adds to the music an important element that is lacking from the score due to the composer’s limitations. This is an antithesis to the views mentioned above.    

3 Conferences on Musical Performance

The Embodiment of Authority: Perspectives on Performances

The Embodiment of Authority: Perspectives on Performances Conference

Sibelius-Academy, Helsinki, Finland 

10–12 September 2010


A call for papers will be announced at January 2010.


Keynote speakers:


Nicholas Cook

Professor of Music

University of Cambridge (UK)


Della Pollock

Professor of Performance and Cultural Studies

University of North Carolina (US)


Allen S. Weiss

Associate Adjunct Professor of Performance Studies and Cinema Studies

New York University (US)


For further information, please contact:

Dr Taina Riikonen

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

+358 40 710 4294

 

 

The Piano Trio: History, Technique, Performance

THE PIANO TRIO: HISTORY, TECHNIQUE, PERFORMANCE

 

12-13 November 2010

Senate House, University of London

 

Call for Proposals:

 

The piano trio is a relatively late arrival on the scene in the history of chamber music. When in the late eighteenth century, the first piano trios as we now understand them – with emancipated string parts that are assigned near-equal partnership with the keyboard – appeared, the string quartet was already well established as a genre. The development of the piano trio has been contingent upon the ways in which changes to the construction of keyboard instruments affected the nature of the inter-relationships between instruments and composers’ responses. This conference aims to bring together researchers working on the historical, technical and performative aspects of the piano trio genre.

 

The keynote presentation will be given by David Owen Norris.

 

Proposals (250 words) for individual papers (20 minutes, with 10 minutes discussion), lecture-recitals and performances /demonstrations (30 minutes maximum, with 15 minutes discussion) or panels (three of four papers, each to be 20 minutes maximum, with 10 minutes discussion) are invited on the following topics:

 

 

•Historical origins of the piano trio

•Changing social function of the genre

•Canonic works, and mainstream repertoire for the piano trio

•Significance of the genre as a cultural phenomenon

•Historical and contemporary performance practice of the piano trio repertoire

•Performance history of the piano trio

•Equal partnership or ensemble hierarchy in performance?

•National identities in relation to the genre

•The place of the piano trio in historical and contemporary concert programmes

•The rise and careers of professional piano trios

•Recording history of the piano trio

•Contemporary repertoire for the piano trio

•Patronage and the piano trio

•The piano trio as a foundation for larger ensembles

•Subversion of the genre: piano trio with non-traditional instrumental combinations

•Progressive and conservative trends in 20th-century piano trio repertoire

•The development of modern pianos and its relationship to the repertoire for the piano trio

•Compositional issues in relation to the piano trio

•Issues of balance in the performance of piano trios

•Landmarks in the history of the piano trio repertoire

•The future of the piano trio

 

 

DEADLINE for proposals: 5pm (GMT), Monday 1 March 2010

 

Notification of acceptance and preliminary programme: 15 April 2010

Final programme issued: 15 July 2010

Registration opens: 1 August 2010

 

Please submit by email, in an attachment including your full name and contact details, to the IMR Administrator Mrs Valerie James, at  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Proposals will be judged anonymously. Paper proposals from students are especially encouraged.

 

Conference Committee:

Mine Dogantan Dack (Chair – Middlesex University)

John Irving (Director of the Institute of Musical Research)

Peter Fribbins (Middlesex University)

Mieko Kanno (Durham University; Orpheus Institute)

Ferenc Szücs (Irish World Academy of Music and Dance)

Marianne Tyler Brown (Middlesex University)


http://music.sas.ac.uk/imr-events/imr-conferences-colloquia-performance-events/the-piano-trio-history-technique-performance.html#c1446

 

Performance Studies Network, CMPCP

 

The Performance Studies Network - hosted by the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP) - will hold its first international conference at the University of Cambridge from Thursday 14 July to Sunday 17 July 2011. Most conference activities will be held in the Faculty of Music, and delegates will be accommodated in nearby Robinson College. Plenary sessions will be led by members of the CMPCP team and by invited speakers from outside the Centre; there will also be a range of performance events, including a concert given by the internationally renowned Endellion Quartet.
 
The Call for Papers will be issued in Autumn 2010, inviting proposals for individual papers, panel sessions, posters, and events featuring live performance. Registration forms will also be made available then; early booking is strongly encouraged owing to the limited number of spaces available at Robinson College.


* * * * *

Information about CMPCP can be found by visiting www.cmpcp.ac.uk
See 
www.cmpcp.ac.uk/performance_studies_network.html for details of the Performance Studies Network and for updates about this conference.

More newspaper clippings about Huberman’s violin playing

The Manchester Guardian wrote on 24 April 1933 that the ’sudden, violent plundege into the scherzo [of Beethoven’s G majour Sonata] came as though we had escaped a revelation which it is not for mortals to know’.

Neville Cardus wrote on 23 February 1934 (The Manchester Guardian) about a forthcoming concert of Huberman in aid of German refugees from the Nazi regime:
‘Kriesler, who has never rebelled against his own beauty pf line and form, has entered into disillusionment through as sort of satiety. Art cannot live on its own perfections; the artist must shed skin after skin… until you have heard Huberman in the slow movement of the Beethoven Violin Concerto you can scarcely be said to have heard it at all. He brings to it a wonderfully shaded tone, quite yet of spiritual intensity, a tone which, as he plays his fiddle, Huberman himself seems to be overhearing, as though the music came from some withdrawn place of meditation.’ Cardus went on to write about how Huberman affects the form of the piece with his playing: ‘in the rondo … he will make the music much more than a pretty gambol, a conventional rounding of off the work. He exults in the tough energy he brings to the rhythm; he trashes his instrument, shakes the patterns of classical form until the playing becomes a daemonic protest against formalism. Yet the same artist will give you Bach pure and absolute. He is the most uninhibited violinist; he is not afraid of any mood that may come over him. He is not afraid, even, of playing badly. His gospel, in art and in all the ways of his varied life, is freedom.’
 
There is much one can learn about how Cardus perceived Huberman from the way he compared the violinist to other musicians. On 26 February 1934 he compared Huberman to Heifetz. Here too he describes Huberman as a ’searching spirit, not to be satisfied by such external things as sensuously satisfying fiddling.’ For Cardus, Heifetz is Huberman’s antithesis, since he ‘lacks vivid, changeful life, and there is not in his art anywhere that enigma which is the mark of the finest imagination… Heifetz lacks a daemon… There is nothing difficult to comprehend in his art.’ Cardus claimed that the older Huberman grows the more he ’seems to pursue some private truth of self-expression, as though searching in music for a freedom of spirit not to be got out of the external universe. A more inhibited violinist never lived. Sometimes the limitations of his medium seem to stir a divine impatience in him; then he will achieve what few artists ever dare to venture – the tone that rebels and protests against the eternal complacence of beauty, whose very order and fulfillment are finite, and, therefore, irksome to the creative spirit.’ He describes Huberman’s performance of the beginning of Beethoven’s Kreuzer Sonata as ‘mystical’. Cardus sums up his review by articulating ‘the old problem of all artistic activity’: ‘How far may a master pursue truth without infidelity to his medium, and how far does absorption in his medium tend to imprison imagination and make a routine of it?’
 
New York Times, 31 December 1934, Olin Downes:
‘Mr. Huberman played the fiery introduction, the great fugue and the lesser movements of the G-minor sonata with an eloquence that reveled the spirit as well as the mind of Bach … more virtuosity than ever.’
 
Cincinnati Enquirer, 1 December 1943, George A. Leighton
The New York Herald-Tribune of 20 February 1935 wrote about Huberman’s performance of the Brahms concerto. It suggested that ‘the wraith of the composer had he been listening from some fourth-dimensional box , might excusably have droped an astral tear or two upon his beard.’
 
B. H. Haggin from Brooklyn, N. T. Eagle wrote on 25 February 1935 about a recital of Huberman and Schnabel. He suggested that during the Brahms sonata in D minor ‘Huberman seemed to be trying to do things with the music, and did things that were unnatural and sometimes in shocking taste.’ However, in their performance of ‘Beethoven’s sonata in G. Op. 96, one found oneself in a new world… Huberman’s playing was itself something beyond mere violin playing. It had, in fact, nothing to do with violin playing as produced by other violinists… One recognized that Mr. Winthrop Sargeant had been correct in reporting … [that] Huberman "seemed to be straining every physical capacity of the violin as an instrument in an attempt to produce an interpretation that transcended its limitations."’
 
O. T. of The New York Times wrote on 24 February 1935 that ‘Huberman communicated at the opening [of Schubert’s C major "Fantasie"] a vision as of another world.’                  

Related posts

Bronislaw Huberman’s faith: the affect of events on the perception of performance

Reviews of Huberman by Neville Cardus, part II: technique and spirit

Huberman and the divine: concert reviews by Neville Cardus

Huberman and the Divine: letters from listeners

Huberman and the divine: report by Edmondo De Amicis

Max Brod on Bronislaw Huberman’s violin playing

 

Bronislaw Huberman’s faith: the affect of events on the perception of performance

Bronislaw Huberman’s faith: the affect of events on the perception of performance

 
Did Bronislaw Huberman encourage the perception of his performances as something that is related to the metaphysical? Huberman’s relation to Judaism was complex. Judaism is more than a religion, is contains important national and cultural beliefs that are present in the lives of Jews that may be considered secular. Huberman’s huge efforts to help Jews during the Second World War were manifested in his foundation of the Palestine Orchestra and his efforts to help Jewish musicians that chose to emigrate to other places than Israel, such as the cellist Emanuel Feuermann. On the other hand, he was not a strict observant Jew, as there is evidence that he did not observe the holiday of Sabbath according to the Jewish religious laws. For example, the Talmud instructs the observant Jew that musical instruments should not be played by a Jew during Sabbath. Huberman was asked to change a date of a concert of the Palestine Orchestra so that it will not occur on Sabbath evening (Friday night). On 23 April 1940 he replied:
 
      Then there remains the question whether a concert with a serious classical program of music representing the sublimest thoughts and feelings of mankind should not embellish and deepen Sabbath feelings for the listener as well as for the player.
      In Palestinian colonies the concerts could only take place on Sabbath because most of the colonists cannot leave their hard work during the week. And far from being distraction and amusement, these concerts give them a spiritual uplift and force for months and years.
      You write “Mr. Huberman has given a soul to Palestine and fame and happiness”. – Now then, this has not been done by strictly abiding by a law and sitting down and doing nothing, but by carrying out a law from within: to help persecuted people and to support them in their hard work and loneliness, regardless of day and hour. – Which do you think counts for more? (Hubermanm, Ibbeken ed., An Orchestra is Born, p. 70). 
 
Huberman did not argue that he secular or that the Sabbath is not important. He claimed that not only the sublime feeling of mankind that are represented in the performance of classical music ‘deepen Sabbath feelings’, but his inner law that dictates him to help persecuted musicians through the foundation and performances of the Palestine Orchestra is more important than the ‘strict’ religious law of avoiding playing during this day. The significance of these concerts to the Jews in Israel during these hard times is reflected also from the following letter dated 16 January 1939, Huberman reported to Sidney Matz that
 
In any other country, no matter how musical it might be, there would scarcely have been concerts altogether in a period of such a political struggle and economic crisis. For our people, on the contrary, the concerts proved to be a most necessary lifting up, filling them with new strength to hold out. One could gather it from the almost religious concentration with which the audiences listened. (Ibid., p. 65)
 
It is fascinating the Huberman himself uses the word ‘religious’ in order to describe the way listeners listened to performance of classical music. Indeed, the Palestine Orchestra’s performance and Huberman’s performances from the 1930s and 1940s can be better understood under the backdrop of the Jewish people’s struggle in Europe and Israel. In a speech Huberman gave at the Temple Shaare Emeth on 20 November 1942 and the Palestine Society of Philadelphia on 22 March 1944, he described the Jewish revival in Israel and the foundation of the Palestine Orchestra as ‘miracles’ (Ibid. pp. 73-76). He concluded his speech with the following statement: ‘As a child O often wondered how in our times of modern rationalism we could be expected to be as religious as people were in ancient times when they witnessed miracles. Well, today in Palestine one can see endless miracles, if only one has the sense to see miracles…’. Indeed, the combination of a special event and/or place may highly influence the perception of a musical performance. Consider the way the painter and author Nahum Gutman described how the violinist Moshe Hopenko received in 1917 the news of Lord Balfour’s declaration supportive of a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Hopenko not only received the news about the Balfour declaration, but he also returned with the other inhabitants of Te-Aviv after being expelled by the Turkish.
 
It was no miracle that when Mr Hopenko returned home, he noisily opened the shutters to allow the light into the house which has been sealed for many months… It was no miracle that the violinist opened the black case and took out his good friend, the violin. For many months the case has been wrapped in rags for fear of arousing the curiosity of the Turkish soldiers. The violinist tuned the strings and drew the bow. It was no miracle that he felt happy and liberated. No miracle. His wife sat at the piano, wiped the dust off the keys, and the hitherto dormant sounds emerged.
                        No miracle? Yes, there was a mircle!
            Since the music poured through the windows on to the green road and filled the air. It endowed everything with a certain festive light, which is seen but not grasped. (Nahum Gutman, Shvil Klipot Hatapuzim (The Orange Skin Alley) (Tel Aviv, 1959), p. 78. Quoted and translated by Jehoash Hirshberg, Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine 1880-1948 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 49-50).
  

Related posts

 
 
 

Huberman and the divine: report by Edmondo De Amicis

Max Brod on Bronislaw Huberman’s violin playing

Save the Music Library in Tel-Aviv - sign petition now!

Reviews of Huberman by Neville Cardus, part II: technique and spirit

Reviews of Huberman by Neville Cardus, part II: technique and spirit

 
Huberman’s technique was an issue that was discussed in various newspaper reviews, and letters from listeners. In the follwing review for The Manchester Guardian, dated 13 December 1933, Neville Cardus discussed this issue in his normal poetic manner, and suggested that Huberman’s technique points to metaphysical issues.
 
Cardus talked about Menuhin’s ‘perfect’ technique, who was only seventeen years old and performed in England during those days, and claimed that if his ‘playing remains for ever sensuously satisfying, flawless in line and tone, he will remain outside the secret places of the imagination.’ The critic reported that a remark was made in the audience that Huberman’s tone was not as consistent as that of Menuhin. Cardus argued that there is not only a difference of age between the two violinists, but also a psychological difference: ‘Huberman is a searcher, a chaser if ideals’. He suggested that if Huberman would be given Menuhin’s technique, he would find it ‘a prison for his spirit.’ Cardus told his readers that several years ago Huberman reached the peak of his technique, and at that very moment he stopped playing for a year, and went to study philosophy during that pause period, at the Sorbonne. Cardus suggested that Huberman is neither a slave of ‘beautiful sounds’ nor ‘the allurements of the fiddle’. Just like Max Brod, Cardus compares Huberman to Beethoven. He suggested that their similar great quality is in ‘penetrating and penetrating’ beyond the mere beautiful sound. He hinted to Moses when he wrote that Huberman ’strikes music out of his instrument as though with the rod on the rock.’
           
Cardus argued that if Huberman can do an ‘exquisite’ violin sound in one place, surly his ‘hard’ sounds are not an outcome of technical flaw. This ‘hard’ sound, so he claimed, is connected to the idea of music. Cardus regretted that in England, music is regarded as something beautiful that is apart of life, while Huberman’s playing is a ‘criticism of life’.
 
Huberman’s performance of the slow movement of Beethoven’s violin concerto was describe by Cardus in the following: ‘Never before have I heard the figuration sound so unearthly, so spiritual in its mazeful transitions.’     

Related posts

Huberman and the divine: concert reviews by Neville Cardus

Huberman and the Divine: letters from listeners

Huberman and the divine: report by Edmondo De Amicis

Max Brod on Bronislaw Huberman’s violin playing

Save the Music Library in Tel-Aviv - sign petition now!

How Twitter helped my research on music

 

Huberman and the divine: concert reviews by Neville Cardus

Huberman and the divine: concert reviews by Neville Cardus

In the last few weeks I have examined the subject of the perception of the divine in performances of Huberman as reflected from reviews by Max Brod and Edmondo De Amicis, as well as admiration letters from various listeners to the violinist. The reviews by Max Bord and Edmondo De Amicis were written by literary figures. In the following posts I will study reviews that appeared in various newspapers and were written by other music critics. This post will focus mainly on two reviews by the Neville Cardus.

Neville Cardus, wrote for The Manchester Guardian from 1917 until 1975. He was one of England’s most famous classical-music critics. HE was also a critic on cricket. His autobiography from 1947 became a best-seller. He was knighted in 1967, the first music critic to receive such an honor. His criticism on both music and cricket was subjective and full of prose. His style was very different from the objective and factual criticism of Ernest Newman of The Sunday Times. It was argued that Newman "probed into Music’s vitals, put her head under deep X-ray and analysed cell-tissue. Cardus laid his head against her bosom and listened to the beating of her heart." (Brookes, Christopher (1985). His Own Man — the Life of Neville Cardus, Methuen, p. 137). The Yehudi Menuhin claimed that Cardus "reminds us that there is an understanding of the heart as well as of the mind… in Neville Cardus, the artist has an ally". (Daily Telegraph Review supplement, 8 August 2009, "Knighted for services to cricket and music", p. R21.)
 
Cardus wrote about Huberman on 19 March 1932. He argued that he had never saw a violinist ’so possessed, so far removed from the normal.’ He interpreted the ‘failures’ of intonation and rhythm as ’signs of a subtle, enigmatical temperament.’ Ordinary violinists may not have these problems. Yet Huberman is not ordinary: ‘Huberman’s violin is as though bewitched out of the ordinary and rational world of music.’ The critic tried to trance the source of Huberman’s violin playing claiming that is sparks from the tradition of ‘Paganini, Sarasate, and those necromancers of the instrument of whom it is possible to believe that they learnt their secrets by communication and contact with unearthly forces.’ 
 
The critic went on to describe Huberman’s visual aspects of performance. He noted that Huberman is a short man with a big head, and that he crouches and sways during performance. [I will insert here caricatures of Huberman in various newspapers].
 
I mentioned above De Amicis report of Huberman playing as if he was tearing off a vampire sucking his blood. Cardus, too, wrote that
 
We get a sense that there is a genie within his violin, and that he is now coaxing and then tormenting it with his bow. Or we feel that it is not his bow at all but his fingers that are, so to say, putting a hypnotic influence upon the fiddle. His playing is extraordinarily tactile; his instrument might well be compact of living nerves.


 
Cardus argued that Huberman’s performance was ‘not a classical interpretation; the phrases were too lithe, too magical for that.’ He implied to the myth of the violin as the instrument of the devil and other creatures, when we wrote ‘there was somehow an alien note – the note of a fawn-like fantasy, a cloven-hooved allurement.’
 
As in Max Brod’s review, Cardus suggested that Huberman’s music does not come from himself, but from metaphysical sources. He wrote that at times Huberman ‘appeared to be listening to his own music, as though hearing it from a distance, blown to him of the winds of Elf-land.’
 
Not only Brod argued that Huberman’s performance was a struggle. Cardus reflected a similar idea, developing his aforementioned metaphor of a struggling beast when he noted that during the cadenza, ‘Huberman’s bowing was hard to follow with the eye in all its gyrations and pawings and sword-thrusts and attacks.’ 
 
Cardus concluded his review claming that Huberman is ‘a violinist possessed… capable of holding everybody in thrall by the genius that dwells in him.’ 
 
Cardus wrote another piece of criticism about Huberman on 30 January 1933 in the same newspaper. Similar ideas from the pervious article appear here. Huberman is described as a violinist ‘possessed by the demonic’ and that ‘there is a vampire sort of tenacity in his playing; he sucks the music dry’ so that when the performance is finished one gets the impression that the work of music that was performed is ‘now done with, explored and exhausted’. He echoed the notion of Huberman listening from a distance. He argued that Huberman’s sprit seeks to ‘penetrate behind the notes and pierce the core of things’.
 
Cardus’s notion that Huberman’s performance is not just music, as it points to a metaphysical reality, is clear from the following passage:
 
Huberman, who is a philosopher as well as a musician, plays as though aware that, as Goethe puts it, all the transitory world is only symbolical. Even the notes of music may well be nothing more than a great imagination’s unrealized effort to get behind the veil. Huberman is far more than a fiddler intent upon thrilling and pleasing us; often he appears to challenging his music to reveal its ultimate secret.
 
Music is not just sound. It serves to point to something that is beyond sound. Huberman’s bow, the critic argued, is used as ‘a rod to strike the impersonal, everlasting inscrutability of the music’s noble rock, to wring out of it a human truth and beauty.’ Although he wrote about ‘human’ beauty, the language is similar to that religious thinking claiming that reality points to the divine that is beyond it.
 
Cardus also argued that Huberman is a mediaeval alchemist … he makes us think of agencies of good and evil. There is an enigma in his art. He wrestles, and often it strikes us that the beauty he is conjuring about him and us is a matter likely at any moment to get out of his control.’
 
He concluded his criticism stating that ‘Huberman is the modern "Doktor Faust" of the violin – two souls do dwell within his breast, the surging romantic and the contemplative thinker.’      
 
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Something from the next post:
 
The Morning Post of 6 February 1933 reviewed a concert in the Queen’s Hall. It argued that the audience was ‘quick to appreciate the privilige of hearing interpretations so profound, so ardent, so transcending.’ This critic too, argued that Huberman’s playing is pointing to something that is beyond the material. He claimed that ‘Huberman’s playing … is comparable to Schnabel’s in its relentless grip upon the music’s form, a grip that never relaxes until from the form the spirit is recreated.’
 

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