BY HERBERT G. PATTON.
It would, indeed, be a lamentable condition were the best educated and most highly-cultured to confine their associations to their equals. We are too ready to commend the resolution to shun inferiors and to associate only with equals and superiors, forgetting that to lend the helping hand to those lower in the scale is nobler and grander. Let us, then, see to it that a portion of our efforts is given for the furtherance of art among the isolated and the neglected.
Remenyi, the violinist, condescended to appear for a season in connection with vaudeville performances, that he might reveal to the lower classes the grandeur and beauty of genuine music; but, while playing at the initial performance, the hand of death stilled the music and the heart of the player. The great artists, who appear only in the larger cities and for large sums of money, would be deserving of greater honors were they to occasionally favor the smaller places with their presence, that these isolated music-lovers might hear, for the first time possibly, the highest form of musical interpretation.
Frequently the methods of furthering art in the smaller towns are such that general progress is hindered. The few who graduate from colleges and conservatories return home, sometimes, with gloomy forebodings in regard to taking up life in so unimportant a location. Sometimes these more-favored persons form themselves into a set, exclusive of their less-favored neighbors, and the latter learn to regard them with jealous disdain. How much better the homecoming, with the resolve that the friends shall receive a tactful uplift during the years that may follow!
I have in mind a musical club whose contributions are largely spent in engaging artists for their musicales, but these are given behind closed doors and only a select few, who are favored with invitations, are admitted. The club, being in a small city, those who are not members are almost totally deprived of hearing really good music. Is such an organization a promoter of art? I fear its object is largely the gratification of its own desire for pleasure.
Neglect the less educated, and we place stumbling-blocks in the path of future progress. Art should be free as the air; the flower blooms as sweetly in the plat of the peasant as in the garden of a king.Etude Magazine. December, 1901