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PNR 277
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This item is taken from PN Review 238, Volume 44 Number 2, November - December 2017.


I find Iain Bamforth’s article ‘Tarantara!’ (PNR 236, p. 41) very interesting, although he seems rather unenthusiastic about some composers whose music I greatly enjoy. However, it is spoiled by several small errors.

Section 4: It says: ‘he [i.e., George Gershwin] was actually a great admirer of Alban Berg’s short opera Lulu.’ Why ‘short’? Was Gershwin an admirer of Lulu? He never saw a performance: the first performance was on 2 June 1937 in Switzerland, by which time Gershwin in America was beginning to notice the effects of the brain tumour from which he died on 11 July. Gershwin certainly did admire the music of Berg (whom he once met) in general: he was at the American premiere of Wozzeck in 1931 (sitting next to Elliot Carter, as he recalled some seventy-five years later).

Section 5: Grainger’s masterpiece is The Warriors, not The Warrior. The instruments listed are confused: the dulcitone is an alternative to the bass glockenspiel as an ad-lib possibility, the heckelphone is also ad-lib, while there is no trace of the sarrusophone. And the two extra conductors are not absolutely essential (although three pianos are).

Section 11: What the theological position of an ‘honorary Arian’ would be I do not know, but Lehár’s wife was an ‘honorary Aryan’.

Section 13: Luigi Russolo (not Roussolo) was the organiser of Futurist noise concerts. And the early electrophonic instrument is an ‘ondes Martenot’ (not martinot).

This item is taken from PN Review 238, Volume 44 Number 2, November - December 2017.

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