I consider it a great honor to occupy the Charles Eliot Norton chair of poetics today, and I take particular pleasure in thanking the Committee that has so kindly invited me to address the students of Harvard University.
And that is how music comes to reveal itself as a form of communion with our fellow man—and with the Supreme Being.
One of the greatest of contemporary composers has here set down in delightfully personal fashion his general ideas about music and some accounts of his own experience as a composer. Every concert-goer and lover of music will take keen pleasure in his notes about the essential features of music, the process of musical composition, inspiration, musical types, and musical execution. Throughout the volume are to he found trenchant comments on such subjects as Wagnerism, the operas of Verdi, musical taste, musical snobbery, the influence of political ideas on Russian music under the Soviets, musical improvisation as opposed to musical construction, the nature of melody, and the function of the critic of music. Musical people of every sort will welcome this first presentation in English of an unusually interesting book.
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