Page 3, 22nd April 1943

22nd April 1943
Page 3
Page 3, 22nd April 1943 — A utoblography

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Organisations: Music Club


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A utoblography

Arnold Bax

Farewell my Youth: An Autobioil graphy. By Arnold Base (Locigmans, 7s. 6d.) Reviewed by GRACE CONWAY

BACK M 19013 some " wealthy paunchy men" and generouslyproportioned 'seamen formed themselves into the Music Club and "decided to invite four eminent foreign composers to be their guests, and to glut them with copious 'nod, strong wines and selections from their own

works." ' Mr. Bax impishly describes the tortures through which the hapless fOurDebussy, D'Indy, Sibelius arid Schenburg—went.

Of the four, be says. Debussy's agonies were the greatest. All inordinately shy man, he could hardly understand a word of English, and placed on a chair in, the exact centre of the stage facing the audience he had to listen to a eulogy spoken in French of the school Stratford-atte-Bow. He was clearly nonplusseth and all he could do was to make a little stiff bow whenever he recognised his own name. D'Indy had the reputation of being one of the most bigoted and inveterate antiSemites in France All the artists engaged to play his music, hnwever, with the exception of Rae' himself and Sir Frederick Bridge were Sernite-s. Twentyone year-old Myra Hess was among them.

Early in life Mr. Bax discovered Ireland, and the most' delightful things in the book are the lyrical rhapsodies in which he recalls the beauty of the Irish landscape, the savagery of the Atlantic on the West Coast and. the good folk of Glen Columcille, whom he calls the " hest people in Ireland." His Visit to Russia, on the other hand, is hut dimly recorded arid so are the handful of personalities who appear ler short moments. There is something unsatisfactory about this book—and it might have been more wisely deferred until Mr. Bait was prepared to write a fail-sired autobiography.

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