admirers included Brahms, Dvorak, Joachim

,
Funtwa1nglt:r, and Toscanini. Today, in an age ot standardization,
playing constantly challenges our expectations.
you can download and listen to many of Huberman·s
reanrdinns Decide r or yourself if he deserves his notorious
Broni slaw Huberman ( 1062· 1947)
was the most îndîvidual violinist
to
c:xlt t hm w: isa1 ion o f his
interpretations brought him great
fame particularly in Central turope.
bul also the label ol rnaverick.
Patrick Harris
Bronislaw HUBERMAN
(huberman.info, 2005)
Bronislaw Huberman
http://www.huberman.info/[02/11/12 06:25:46]
Forum How to listen Recordings Home
Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
Huberman’s admirers included Brahms, Dvorak, Joachim,
Furt wängler, and Toscanini. Today, in an age of st andardizat ion,
his playing const ant ly challenges our expect at ions.
Here you can download and list en t o many of Huberman’s
recordings. Decide for yourself if he deserves his not orious
reput at ion.
New Huberman recording
The previously unpublished Adagio from Beet hoven
Sonat a no. 6 has been released on t he Japanese
label Opus Kura 7019. The CD includes t ransfers of
t he 1945 Mozart 4 wit h Walt er, and t he Bach D
minor Part it a.
Post ed by Pat rick on 2006- 03- 14 14: 08 | Comment s
Brahms autograph sold at Sothebys
Brahms musical aut ograph t o Huberman sold at
Sot hebys on 20 May for over t en t housand pounds.
View t he sale page at Sot heby' s websit e.
Post ed by Pat rick on 2005- 05- 20 13: 16 | Comment s
Brahms autograph for sale
I n January 1896 Brahms wrot e a musical dedicat ion t o Huberman
aft er hearing him perform his violin concert o. Read about t he
not e’s fort hcoming sale at Sot hebys in an art icle by Allan Crane.
Post ed by Pat rick on 2005- 01- 17 06: 21 | Comment s
Classic Record Collector
The quart erly magazine Classic Record Collect or
feat ured Huberman in t he Aut umn 2004 issue, wit h
phot ographs and several art icles.
The main art icle ( by Howard Smit h and Tully
Pot t er) can be read online at t he magazine
websit e, www. classicrecordcollect or. com
Post ed by Pat rick on 2004- 11- 23 16: 02 | Comment s
New transfers from metals
The elect rical recordings of short pieces t hat Huberman recorded
for t he Columbia record company are being digit ally t ransferred
Welcome, Guest .
Please login, or regist er

Recordings
Numerous downloads include a recent ly
discovered live radio broadcast . GO >
How to listen
Musical phrasing and int erpret at ion was
complet ely different 100 years ago.
Learn how t o underst and it .
Biography
As a young boy he played t o Brahms.
Lat er, he recorded t he Brahms concert o.
Read about Huberman’s event ful life.
Interview
Read an int erview wit h Huberman culled
from several art icles. GO >
Br oni sl aw Huber m an ( 1882- 1947)
was t he most individual violinist
ever t o record.
The ext reme charact erisat ion of his
int erpret at ions brought him great
fame part icularly in Cent ral Europe,
but also t he label of maverick.
Bronislaw Huberman
http://www.huberman.info/[02/11/12 06:25:46]
from t he met al mast ers for t he first t ime ever. The sound qualit y
will be superior t o all previous t ransfers t aken from 78s.
I f you wish t o be informed when t hey are published, please
regist er in t he forum.
Post ed by Pat rick on 2004- 07- 03 12: 33 | Comment s
Top phot o: New York, 5 Dec 1896
Ticket : 27 Mar 1895, Musikverins- saal, Vienna

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Biography: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/[02/11/12 06:26:50]
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Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
This biography of Huberman’s life is based upon various essays, much of
which is available in t he art icles sect ion. I f you click on t he small
rect angular pict ures on t he right hand side of t he screen, t hey will
enlarge in t heir own window, but for t his t o work you will need j avascript
enabled in your browser. Clicking in t hese newly opened windows will
close t hem.
Alt hough you can skip t o any sect ion of t he biography, t o read it in
chronological order, st art wit h early years.
I f you don’t want t o plough t hrough t he whole biography, here is t he
short ened version:
1882 Born in Czest ochowa, Poland.
1892 Plays t o Joachim, who accept s him as a st udent .
1895 Plays at Pat t i’s farewell concert in Vienna.
1896 Plays Brahms concert o t o an ast ounded Brahms.
1910 Marries Elza Galafrés and has a child, Johannes.
1914 Divorces Elza.
1920 Becomes involved in t he Pan- Europa movement .
1933 Refuses Furt wängler' s invit at ion t o play in Nazi Germany.
1936 St rad st olen in Carnegie Hall.
1936 Forms t he Palest ine Symphony Orchest ra.
1937 Plane crash in Sumat ra.
1947 Dies in Swit zerland.
Top phot o: New York, blah.
Newspaper: New York Times, 15 Nov 1896.

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Early years: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/early_years/[02/11/12 06:27:25]
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Early years
Bronislaw Huberman was born in Czest ochowa, Poland on 19
December, 1882. His fat her Jacob, worked as a modest clerk in a
lawyer’s office, his ungovernable t emper having lost him his
original t eaching posit ion. Temperament and musicalit y ran in t he
family – Huberman’s fat her had been an amat eur violinist , and
alt hough he had given up because of lack of progress, he hoped
t hat one of his sons would become a musician. This dream
seemed t o be realised in young Bronislaw, t he eldest of t hree
brot hers, who at t he age of 4 could sing in t une, and desperat ely
want ed an accordion for his birt hday. One evening at a family
house- concert , a violinist not iced t hat Huberman’s hands had an
ext raordinary st ret ch, and so at t he age of 6, Huberman was
bought a violin and st art ed lessons. Wit hin a year he gave his
first public appearance, a benefit concert for t he poor where he
played Spohr’s Second Violin Concert o. He had lessons for a short
t ime from Michalowicz and Rosen in Warsaw, and also st udied for
t hree mont hs wit h t he well known t eacher I sidor Lot t o at t he
Warsaw Conservat ory. Huberman combined t his st udy wit h
frequent public appearances, and alt hough some felt t hat it was
t he financial aspect of concert ising t hat mot ivat ed his parent s,
Huberman lat er felt t hat t hese appearances had been an
immense educat ion t o him.
He had made except ional progress, but t here were no great
t eachers in Warsaw and friends advised t he family t o send him t o
t he great pedagogue Joseph Joachim in Berlin. The family was
poor t hough, and in order t o do t his, t hey had t o save for a
whole year, even selling some of t he household furnit ure. I n June
1892 t hey left for Germany. I t was a brave as well as expensive
decision. I f t hey st ayed out of Poland for more t han a year,
Huberman’s fat her would lose his j ob as advocat e. The family
was full of hopes, but scarcely had t hey arrived in Berlin t hey
st ruck a serious problem. There had been such a spat e of recent
‘enfant s prodiges’ t hat Joachim had become t ot ally sick of t hem.
Any request for an int erview met wit h st ubborn refusal.
I n t he end Huberman’s fat her resort ed t o a t rick, and made an
appoint ment in his professional capacit y as advocat e, wit hout
ment ioning t he purpose of his visit . Joachim, assuming t he
meet ing was regarding a j udicial mat t er, was welcoming and
polit e, but when he saw young Bronislaw hiding behind his fat her
and holding a violin case he became furious and shout ed
“ Anot her ‘enfant prodige’, ah non, ah non! ! I have had more t han
enough of t hem, I do not want t o know any more of t hem. Go
away, go away! ” I t was a t errible moment , but aft er much
begging and imploring t he Maest ro gave in, and t old t he young
boy harshly “ Play! ” Huberman began t o play a Noct urne by
Chopin. Wit h t he first st rokes of t he bow, Joachim relaxed and
Warsaw 1889
Joseph Joachim, c.
1892
Huberman aged 10,
1892
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Early years: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/early_years/[02/11/12 06:27:25]
became more at t ent ive … at t he end of t he piece he ran t o
embrace Huberman, t elling him t hat he would be one of his
dearest pupils, and t hanking his fat her for bringing him … t o t he
fat her it sounded like “ t he words of a God. ”
Joachim immediat ely gave a let t er of recommendat ion, writ ing:
“ I st at e wit h pleasure t hat t he 9 year old Huberman
from Warsaw possesses a t ruly remarkable musical
t alent . I n all my life I have hardly ever encount ered
such a promising, precocious musical development
on t he violin. ”
“ Mit Vergnügen spreche ich es aus, dass der
neunj ährige Hubermann aus Warschau ein ganz
hervorragendes, musikalisches Talent besit zt . Mir ist
kaum in Leben eine so viel versprechende,
frühzeit ige Ent wicklung auf der Violine
vorgekommen. ”
On t he st rengt h of t his t est imony, a series of concert s in different
healt h spas t hroughout Germany and Aust ria were arranged, and
Huberman was able t o earn some money for his family during t he
summer, before ret urning t o Berlin t o commence his st udies. At
one of t hese concert s in Oct ober, Ant on Rubinst ein wrot e “ Only a
genius plays like t hat . ”
I t was at t his st age, when Huberman was almost 10, t hat his
fat her gave up work in order t o build up his son’s career. The
financial support of t he whole family fell ont o t he shoulders of t he
young boy; a role t hat he t ook very seriously, and t hat was t o
cause him much st ress and anxiet y in lat er years.
cont inue
Joachim concert ,
Grosser Musikvereins-
saal, 11 Feb 1889
Joachim' s t est imonial, Berlin, 24 June 1892
Top Phot o: Huberman aged 6 ( 1888)
Early years: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/early_years/[02/11/12 06:27:25]
Joachim phot o is a woodburyt ype by W & D Downey, London, 3 3/ 4 x
5 1/ 2 inches.
Thanks t o Wolfgang Wendel who sent me t he 1889 phot ograph. .

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Patti: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/patti/[02/11/12 06:27:47]
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Patti’s farewell
I n Sept ember Huberman performed at t he Viennese I nt ernat ional
Fest ival of Music and Theat re; he was int roduced t o t he Emperor
of Aust ria, Franz Joseph ( 1830- 1916) , who present ed him wit h a
sum of money for a valuable violin. I n t he same mont h he began
an eight mont h course of st udy wit h Joachim, but t he Maest ro
was unfort unat ely absent from Berlin for most of t he t ime.
Huberman was not sat isfied wit h t he qualit y of lessons he
received from Joachim’s assist ant Markees, and so st udied
secret ly wit h t he brilliant virt uoso Charles Gregorovit ch.
Huberman was pleased t hat t he Berlin course last ed only eight
mont hs, as he lat er said t hat he might have lost his nat ural
originalit y, as ot her st udent s had, if he had complet ed t he normal
t wo year course.
I n t he summer of 1893 concert t ours of Holland and Belgium
followed, and alt hough Huberman found “ t he many- headed
Hydra, t he public” his best t eacher, he st udied new repert oire for
six weeks wit h t he fant ast ic violinist Hugo Heermann in Frankfurt ,
and at t he age of eleven, had t hree weeks of lessons from Mart in
Marsick in Paris; aft er t his, he became his own t eacher. I t was in
Paris t hat he met t he wealt hy and music loving Polish Count
Zamoyski who was recovering aft er t he recent loss of a daught er.
The Count persuaded his parent s t o t ake him t o London. This
t hey did, and four unsuccessful concert s were given, as it was
difficult t o at t ract public at t ent ion in t he huge met ropolis. The
Count t hen int roduced him t o t he most famous singer in t he
world, Adelina Pat t i, who received him in such royal splendour
t hat Huberman was surprised t hat a t hrone was missing.
Alt hough nervous and t rembling, he must have played well, as
Pat t i emot ionally called him “ Angel” and promised t hat he would
play in her fort hcoming farewell t our of Aust ria and Germany in
January 1895. This was superb news, but it did mean wait ing for
several mont hs, so t he family t ravelled back t o Germany.
Back in Berlin t he public was “ surfeit ed” wit h violinist s and
alt hough Huberman was achieving much success he was earning
very lit t le money, and money was desperat ely needed t o cover
t he cost s of t ravelling, piano- accompanist s, and hot el
accomodat ion. I t was “ t he most dismal period” of his art ist ic life.
His fat her became ill, and t he serious st rain of t he concert giving
and t ransient lifest yle was t aking such a t oll on t he young
Huberman’s healt h t hat his mot her t hreat ened t o smash his violin
and t ake him back t o Warsaw. To avert t his possibilit y Count
Zamoyski present ed Huberman wit h a St radivarius, “ The Gibson, ”
wort h at t he t ime 20 000 lira.
When t he family event ually reminded Pat t i of her London
promise, t hey received t he t errible reply t hat ot her art ist s had
Huberman, Berlin,
1893
Mart in Marsick, Oct
1895
Hugo Heermann, c.
1900
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Patti: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/patti/[02/11/12 06:27:47]
already been engaged. Pat t i’s agent who was in Vienna where t he
great singer was t o appear was cont act ed, and he at first agreed
t o Huberman’s part icipat ion, but lat er wit hdrew it giving t he
“ cust omary refrain t hat one did not want t o see and hear any
more of prodigies. ” I n desperat ion t he family t hen t ravelled t o
Vienna despit e t he refusal, and aft er much prot est at ion, aft er
“ saying and doing many t hings” t heir perseverance was
rewarded. I t was agreed Huberman would play at Pat t i’s farewell
concert on 22 January 1895.
The first piece he chose t o play was t he first movement of t he
Mendelssohn Violin Concert o. As he approached t he podium his
small, slim, and sickly figure generat ed a compassionat e murmur
from t he audience. By t he conclusion of t he piece, his success
was great er t han anyt hing he or his parent s had expect ed or
hoped for. I t is said t hat aft er one of his encores t he singer
t hreat ened t o leave if he were permit t ed t o play any more.
Ludwig Speidel wt ot e t he next day in t he Wiener Fremdenblat t
“ We bade farewell t o a descending st ar ( Pat t i) and had t he j oy t o
greet a rising st ar. ” The famous Aust rian crit ic Hanslick wrot e
“ The yout hful art ist achieved a success so brilliant as
could not be exceeded by t he bright est st ar in t he
galaxy of art ist s. I t is not his precocit y as such t hat
charact erized t he display of his genius, but rat her
his phenomenal endowment of musical inspirat ion
and musical capacit y. ”
The associat ion wit h such a legendary figure as Pat t i was t he
success t hat Huberman felt secured his professional fut ure. He
was asked t o give t welve solo concert s in Vienna, and his
t riumph was enormous.
cont inue
Charles Gregorovit ch,
c. 1910
Adelina Pat t i, 1895
Pat t i farewell concert ,
22 Jan 1895
Post card: Huberman in Vienna, January 1895 ( Adele) - kindly sent t o
me by Thomas Schult z from Vienna
Top phot o: Huberman aged about 7, 1889
Patti: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/patti/[02/11/12 06:27:47]
Berlin 1893 phot o by Schaarwächt er
Hugo Heermann Heermann ( 1844- 1935) paid t ribut e t o Huberman in
his book Meine Lebenserinnerungen which was privat ely published in
Leipzig in 1935. You can download and read Meine Lebenserinnerungen
in PDF format ( ht t p: / / home. nikocit y. de/ ge/ musik/ heermann. pdf)
For more informat ion on Mart in Pierre Marsick ( 1847- 1924) go t o t he
Marsick family web sit e. ( ht t p: / / www. famille- marsick. fr. st / )
Adelina Pat t il Phot o is used court esy of:
Philip H. Ward Collect ion
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Universit y of Pennsylvania

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Search
Viennese triumph: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/viennese_triumph/[02/11/12 06:28:06]
Forum How to listen Recordings Home
Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
Viennese triumph
I n Sept ember Huberman performed at t he Viennese I nt ernat ional
Fest ival of Music and Theat re; he was int roduced t o t he Emperor
of Aust ria, Franz Joseph ( 1830- 1916) , who present ed him wit h a
sum of money for a valuable violin. I n t he same mont h he began
an eight mont h course of st udy wit h Joachim, but t he Maest ro
was unfort unat ely absent from Berlin for most of t he t ime.
Huberman was not sat isfied wit h t he qualit y of lessons he
received from Joachim’s assist ant Markees, and so st udied
secret ly wit h t he brilliant virt uoso Charles Gregorovit ch.
Huberman was pleased t hat t he Berlin course last ed only eight
mont hs, as he lat er said t hat he might have lost his nat ural
originalit y, as ot her st udent s had, if he had complet ed t he normal
t wo year course.
I n t he summer of 1893 concert t ours of Holland and Belgium
followed, and alt hough Huberman found “ t he many- headed
Hydra, t he public” his best t eacher, he st udied new repert oire for
six weeks wit h t he fant ast ic violinist Hugo Heermann in Frankfurt ,
and at t he age of eleven, had t hree weeks of lessons from Mart in
Marsick in Paris; aft er t his, he became his own t eacher. I t was in
Paris t hat he met t he wealt hy and music loving Polish Count
Zamoyski who was recovering aft er t he recent loss of a daught er.
The Count persuaded his parent s t o t ake him t o London. This
t hey did, and four unsuccessful concert s were given, as it was
difficult t o at t ract public at t ent ion in t he huge met ropolis. The
Count t hen int roduced him t o t he most famous singer in t he
world, Adelina Pat t i, who received him in such royal splendour
t hat Huberman was surprised t hat a t hrone was missing.
Alt hough nervous and t rembling, he must have played well, as
Pat t i emot ionally called him “ Angel” and promised t hat he would
play in her fort hcoming farewell t our of Aust ria and Germany in
January 1895. This was superb news, but it did mean wait ing for
several mont hs, so t he family t ravelled back t o Germany.
Back in Berlin t he public was “ surfeit ed” wit h violinist s and
alt hough Huberman was achieving much success he was earning
very lit t le money, and money was desperat ely needed t o cover
t he cost s of t ravelling, piano- accompanist s, and hot el
accomodat ion. I t was “ t he most dismal period” of his art ist ic life.
His fat her became ill, and t he serious st rain of t he concert giving
and t ransient lifest yle was t aking such a t oll on t he young
Huberman’s healt h t hat his mot her t hreat ened t o smash his violin
and t ake him back t o Warsaw. To avert t his possibilit y Count
Zamoyski present ed Huberman wit h a St radivarius, “ The Gibson, ”
wort h at t he t ime 20 000 lira.
When t he family event ually reminded Pat t i of her London
promise, t hey received t he t errible reply t hat ot her art ist s had
Musikverins- Saal, 15
Feb 1895
Musikverins- Saal, 12
Mar, 1895
Musikverins- Saal, 27
Mar, 1895
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Viennese triumph: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/viennese_triumph/[02/11/12 06:28:06]
already been engaged. Pat t i’s agent who was in Vienna where t he
great singer was t o appear was cont act ed, and he at first agreed
t o Huberman’s part icipat ion, but lat er wit hdrew it giving t he
“ cust omary refrain t hat one did not want t o see and hear any
more of prodigies. ” I n desperat ion t he family t hen t ravelled t o
Vienna despit e t he refusal, and aft er much prot est at ion, aft er
“ saying and doing many t hings” t heir perseverance was
rewarded. I t was agreed Huberman would play at Pat t i’s farewell
concert on 22 January 1895.
The first piece he chose t o play was t he first movement of t he
Mendelssohn Violin Concert o. As he approached t he podium his
small, slim, and sickly figure generat ed a compassionat e murmur
from t he audience. By t he conclusion of t he piece, his success
was great er t han anyt hing he or his parent s had expect ed or
hoped for. I t is said t hat aft er one of his encores t he singer
t hreat ened t o leave if he were permit t ed t o play any more.
Ludwig Speidel wt ot e t he next day in t he Wiener Fremdenblat t
“ We bade farewell t o a descending st ar ( Pat t i) and had t he j oy t o
greet a rising st ar. ” The famous Aust rian crit ic Hanslick wrot e
“ The yout hful art ist achieved a success so brilliant as could not
be exceeded by t he bright est st ar in t he galaxy of art ist s. I t is not
his precocit y as such t hat charact erized t he display of his genius,
but rat her his phenomenal endowment of musical inspirat ion and
musical capacit y. ” This associat ion wit h such a legendary figure
was t he success t hat Huberman felt secured his professional
fut ure. He was asked t o give t welve solo concert s in Vienna, and
his t riumph was enormous.
I n a review of t he 12 March concert , t he Wiener Allgemeine
Zeit ung wrot e:
“ Bronislaw Huberman' s success however has
overshadowed all previous performances in t he
living memory of t he music- loving Viennese public.
On Wednesday he gave his farewell concert in t he
capacit y filled Musicvereinssaale. We don' t have t o
t ake his "farewell" t oo t ragically, as t hree furt her
concert s of t he lit t le "Wunderman" are not only
programmed but already sold out . He could give
farewell concert s int o t he summer, such is t he
enormous demand from t he public. Easily
underst andable. We hear a great art ist and see a
divine wonder, which cannot be explained by
physiological or psychological wisdom.
An 11- year - old boy wit h t he abilit y t o perform
Beet hoven and Mendelssohn concert i wit h complet e
t echnical mast ery, sufficient st rengt h, wit h full
underst anding of t he spirit ual cont ent , wit h
absorpt ion, humour, and esprit - everyt hing in t he
right place - wit h a never flagging memory - wit h
at t ent ion t o det ails and an ext raordinary variat ion of
bowing, t his is a phenomenon where t he voice of
t he divinit y speaks t o us. Only a human who cannot
appreciat e beaut y and noble expression could t ake a
pat hological int erest in such a manifest at ion. The
"lit t le Huberman" will convince t he worst skept ics.
Such miracles as t old in t he Bible may now readily
be accept ed, if in our over - enlight ened t ime, such
an art ist ic miracle can become realit y. ”
cont inue
Musikverins- Saal, 29
Mar, 1895
Viennese triumph: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/viennese_triumph/[02/11/12 06:28:06]
A let t er from Huberman t o t he conduct or Albert von Hermann,
t hanking him for conduct ing t he 12 March concert .

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Brahms: huberman.info
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Brahms listens
Success cont inued t he next season, when Huberman played in
four concert s in Vienna in January 1896. Dvorak heard t he boy
play and present ed him wit h an aut ograph “ I n friendly
remembrance of t he lit t le, t hough great art ist . ” By t he end of
January excit ement was so int ense, everybody of musical
significance in t he cit y had heard of t he Huberman phenomena.
For t he 29 January concert at t he GroßeMusikvereinssaal
Huberman was t o play t he Brahms concert o. The audience t hat
night cont ained such celebrit ies as Gust av Mahler, Ant on
Bruckner, Alfred Grünfeld, Hans Richt er, Eduard Hanslick, Count
Hohenlowe, Karl Goldmark, Ferdinand Löwe, Eusebius
Mandyczewski, Johann St rauss, and t he composer himself,
Johannes Brahms.
Brahms was expect ing t o hear a st udent like performance of t he
work. I n t he words of his biographer, Max Kalbeck:
“ As soon as Brahms heard t he sound of t he violin, he
pricked up his ears, during t he Andant e he wiped his
eyes, and aft er t he Finale he went int o t he green
room, embraced t he young fellow, and st roked his
cheeks. When Huberman complained t hat t he public
applauded aft er t he cadenza, breaking int o t he
lovely Cant ilena, Brahms replied, ‘You should not
have played t he cadenza so beaut ifully. ’ ”
Brahms brought him a phot o of his, wit h t he inscript ion “ To
Bronislaw Huberman so t hat he may kindly remember Vienna,
February 1896, and his grat eful list ener J. Brahms. ” The musical
quot at ion is t he opening of t he slow movement of t he concert o.
Hanslick wrot e “ I n t he face of such t ranscendent genius, crit icism
as such ceases, ” and Schwarz t ells us t hat t he composer Carl
Goldmark ent ered int o Huberman’s album, “ Now I begin t o
believe in t he wonders of t he Bible. ”
I n May he performed before Carmen Sylva, Queen Elizabet h of
Romania ( 1843 - 1916) who gave him a poem she had writ t en in
his honour.
cont inue
Brahms, 1895
Musikvereinssaal, 29
Jan 1896
Brahms’ dedicat ion t o
Huberman, 31 Jan
1896
Brahms’ inscript ion t o
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Brahms: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/brahms/[02/11/12 06:28:34]
Huberman, 1 Feb 1896
Bronislaw Huberman performs t he Brahms violin concert o at
t he GroßeMusikvereinssaal, Vienna, 29 January, 1896.
( Silhouet t e by Ot t o Böhler)
1. Johannes Brahms, 2. Hans Richt er
3. Eusebius Mandyczewski, 4. Alfred Grünfeld,
5. Johann St rauss, 6. Gust av Mahler
7. Eduard Hanslick, 8. Count Hohenlowe
9. Ant on Bruckner, 10. Ferdinand Löwe
Top phot o: Huberman in America, Dec 1896

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America 1896
Aft er receiving “ such ast onishing cert ificat es of proficiency from
musicians and crit ics in Europe, ” Huberman and his parent s
sailed from Sout hhampt on t o New York on t he Spree, arriving on
15 Oct ober 1896. The first performance of his 40 concert t our
was t he next mont h, so he had four weeks t o sight see and
pract ice. On ent ering America his declared age of 11 must have
raised a few eyebrows. I t was soon increased by a year, wit h one
large advert isement referring t o him as “ A great art ist , not a
prodigy . . . at 12, t he great est living violinist . ” The not so young
looking Huberman was in fact almost 14.
Huberman debut ed in Carnegie Hall on 21st November, playing
t he Mendelssohn concert o wit h a symphony orchest ra under
Seidl, and t hen a Bach Air and Prelude, Romanza by Wagner,
Sarasat e Gypsy Airs, and as an encore, Bazzini’s La ronde des
Lut in.
Wieniawski st udent Charles Gregorowit sch, t he violinist who
Huberman had credit ed wit h t eaching him “ everyt hing t hat could
be learned from a t eacher, ” had sailed from Sout hampt on on
11t h November and was making his own American debut wit h t he
American Symphony Orchest ra in Chickering Hall on 24t h
November, playing Wieniawski 2. I ’m sure t hat he would have
at t ended t he debut of his most famous st udent .
The next day t he New York Times print ed a long and very
percept ive review of t he concert . The reviewer ( who was aware of
Huberman’s real age) wrot e:
“ I f a musical hearer … had t urned his back t o t he
st age … he would have been great ly int erest ed and
impressed by what he heard. For it was a
performance … which not only did j ust ice t o t he
suavit y of t he composit ion, but also impart ed a
willfulness and impet uosit y … as he could not oft en
have heard before. He could have heard it delivered
in a t one which, if not exquisit e, was full and clear,
and wit h a complet e mast ery of it s difficult ies. His
conclusion would have been t hat some t heret ofore
unknown but very individual violinist was giving his
own int erpret at ion, at many point s novel, of t he
familiar classic.
I f he had t hen t urned round and looked … it would
have seemed t oo prepost erous t hat t he slight child
of t hirt een, in long hair and a silken blouse, should
know and feel and do all t hat .
The most remarkable point about his playing is not
at all it s precocit y, but it s mat urit y, t he magist ral
15 Nov 1896
21 Nov, 1896
Carnegie Hall, 1895
Huberman, 5 Dec 1896
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
America 1896: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/america_1896/[02/11/12 06:28:58]
and aut horit at ive way in which he present s you wit h
his int erpret at ions t o t ake or t o leave – t he t ot al
absence of anyt hing t ent at ive or conj ect ural or
dubious about t hem. ”
All of t he mat ure Huberman’s t rademark qualit ies were already
apparent . The ‘unbeaut iful’ t one, t he st riking individualit y and
flair, t he force of his personalit y, and t he dept h of his
int erpret at ion. Ot her papers were equally ent husiast ic, wit h The
Sun writ ing “ Huberman is a genius; his movement s and looks
indicat e it , and his playing more surely yet verifies t his idea, ” and
t he Press exclaiming “ I f t his child does not burn wit h t he t rue
fires of genius, t hen genius never exist ed. ” The Evening Post
obsered “ His performance of t he Mendelssohn Concert o would
have been marvelous had he been t went y years older, ” t he
double meaning being presumably unint ended.
Huberman’s first recit al was an aft ernoon Thanksgiving Day
Mat inee at Carnegie Hall on 26 November, where he played t he
Bruch G minor concert o, Wieniawski’s Faust Fant asie, and
Chopin’s Romance. This t ime a crit ic for t he New York Times was
not so compliment ary, referring t o him as about 16 years of age,
and writ ing:
“ Bronislaw Huberman, t he j uvenile violinist , suffers
from over - advert ising and underdressing. There
really is no good reason why Huberman should be
advert ised as a mat ure art ist , nor is t here good
ground for dressing him in knee t rousers, loose silk
shirt s, and long hair . . . he pleases most by t he
splendid sonorit y of his t one, a t one rough and
impure yet , but very noble in it s maj est ic breadt h . . .
he has a fine fut ure before him, if he will cont ent
himself wit h being a violinist and drop his present
st yle of dress and advert ising. ”
Several informal dayt ime concert s followed at wealt hy pat rons’
houses, wit h audiences of about 500. The dat e of t he second
Carnegie Hall recit al was changed from Sat urday 5t h December
t o t he following Tuesday due t o “ numerous request s, ” and t he
program was also changed, wit h Goldmark’s Concert o being
subst it ut ed for Raf’s Suit e – t he ot her pieces were Chopin’s
Romance from t he E minor concert o, and Vieuxt emps’ Ballade
and Polonaise.
At a series of Sunday night concert s at t he Met ropolit an Opera
House under t he conduct or Ant on Seidl, an at t empt was made by
t he Gerry Societ y ( a New York Societ y for t he Prevent ion of
Cruelt y t o Children) t o st op “ young Huberman” from performing
because of his age. Huberman was beyond t he Gerry Societ y age
limit , and he was able t o keep performing. At one of t hese
January concert s:
“ Mast er Huberman played t he ‘Ballade and
Polonaise, ’ by Vieuxt emps, and t he ‘Faust Fant asie, ’
by Wieniawski. His wonderful t echnique and t he
amount of feeling displayed gained him a shower of
applause, and as encores he gave t he ‘Träumeri, ’ by
Schumann, and Sarasat e’s Spanish dances. ”
On 1st April a concert was given before an ent husiast ic audience
at t he new ballroom of t he Waldorf. “ Five hundred musicians and
lovers of music list ened t o t he yout hful player and demanded
encores … some of t he pieces played by Mast er Huberman were
Ant on Seidl, 1895
26 Nov, 1896
20 Dec, 1896
26 March, 1897
America 1896: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/america_1896/[02/11/12 06:28:58]
Spohr’s ‘Gesangscene, ’ Raff’s ‘Romanze, ’ and Paganini’s
‘Hexent anze. ’ ”
Aft er America, a t our of Russia was undert aken in t he wint er of
1897/ 98 where Huberman had part icular success in t he German
colony Riga.
cont inue
Newspaper clipping: New York Times, 27 Nov 1896
Ant on Seidl ( 1850- 1898) was born in Budapest , and worked at
Bayreut h from 1872 assist ing in making t he first copy of Der Ring des
Nibelungen. I n 1876 t ook part in t he first Bayreut h fest ival, and in
1885 he moved t o America, conduct ing German opera at t he
Met ropolit an. He became t he permanent conduct or of t he New York
Philharmonic in 1891, and conduct ed t he premiere of Dvorak' s New
World Symphony wit h t hem at Carnegie Hall in December 1893.
Unsurprisingly he disagreed wit h Nordau' s book The Richard Wagner
Cult which discussed Wagner and musicial degenerat ion. You can read
Seidl' s art icle on t his, A Musician' s Ret ort as well as Nordau' s Reply t o
my Crit ics.
Ant on Seidl Phot o is used court esy of:
Philip H. Ward Collect ion
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Universit y of Pennsylvania
Top Phot o: Huberman in America, 1896
Huberman phot ographs by R. Wilhelm, New York, 5 Dec 1896

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Paganini’s violin
Aft er ret urning t o Europe, Huberman wit hdrew from t he concert
scene for t hree years of privat e st udy. I n t he middle of t his
int erlude he made his very first recordings, t wo Berliner discs in
May 1900. List en t o t he beginning of one of t hese recordings,
Moment Musical by Schubert [ wma 129k] .
Huberman’s fat her had cont ract ed an illness during t he uncert ain
t imes in Germany in 1894, and he event ually died “ a paralyt ic” in
1902. Huberman was not of age, and since his considerable
fort une had been in his fat her’s name, t he law dict at ed t hat
everyt hing should be divided equally bet ween mot her and
brot hers. Huberman decided t o t ake t he capit al under an
obligat ion t o provide for his mot her, and educat e his t wo
brot hers. At t he yout hful age of 20, t he st ress of his
responsibilit ies made him feel he had been living for half a
cent ury.
I n 1903 during a t our of I t aly, Huberman gave an int erest ing
int erview t o t he writ er Edmondo De Amicis in Turin. He described
t hat t he calmness he felt prior t o a performance would be
replaced by a dreadful anxiet y and agit at ion when playing. While
appearing relat ively passive and immobile, t he great effort he
exert ed t o suppress his emot ions would invariably react on his
st omach. “ All my suffering” he said, “ is rest rained passion. ”
A recit al concert would oft en feat ure t he accompanist in solo
works as well. For inst ance, on 13 May at t he Teat ro Vit t orio
Emanuele, Huberman’s pianist Wily Klasen played Schumann’s
Carnival, Liszt ’s Réve d’amour and Sinding’s Seranat a, and t he
violinist played a Raff Suit e, Goldmark Andant e, Chopin Noct urne
Op 27, no 2, Kont ski Mazurka, Vieuxt emps Polonaise, and
Sarasat e Carmen Fant asy.
Three days lat er on 16 May, Huberman was invit ed t o play on
Paganini’s violin, t he Guarnerius del Gesù, in Genoa – t he only
previous violinist t o have played it since Paganini’s deat h had
been Paganini’s only st udent , Sivori. The t reasured Guarnerius
t hat Paganini left t o t he cit y was ceremoniously removed from it s
cryst al case at t he Municipal Museum and t aken t o t he Civic
Palace where t he concert t ook place. The invit at ion for t his event
read:
“ On Sat urday t he 16t h, in one of t he chambers of t he
Town Hall, t he famous violinist , Hubermann, will
make Paganini’s violin resound. The undersigned
begs t he honour of your at t endance on t his
occasion.
The Mayor,
c. 1902
c. 1902
c. 1902
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Paganini: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/paganini/[02/11/12 06:29:21]
G. B. Boraggini. ”
When t he violin had been removed from it s case and t he seals
broken in t he presence of wit nesses, it was found t hat new
st rings were required, and t hat t he bridge and t he pegs all
needed readj ust ment . The sounds produced were at first dull, but
soon improved. Huberman played Bach, Schubert , Chopin and
Paganini for an hour, t o an ecst at ic audience. He t hen t hanked
t he aut horit ies for t he honour accorded him, which even in lat er
years, he regarded as one of t he great est of his life. Various
ceremonials were gone t hrough and document s execut ed, on
replacing t he Guarnerius in it s case.
Several ot her violinist s have received t his honor since 1903, most
not ably t he virt uoso Ruggiero Ricci in 1988, who at very short
not ice recorded t he complet e 24 Caprices on it over t wo days.
I n 1904 Huberman t oured Russia once more. Just before t he t rip
t he Aust rian aut horit ies denied a passport t o his pianist unt il he
had complet ed his milit ary service, so a replacement pianist was
immediat ely found. I n Riga, which Huberman considered t he
most musical cit y in Europe, t he first concert left a lot t o be
desired, but aft er a rehearsal wit h t he pianist t he problems were
fixed. During t he second concert t he Tchaikovsky concert o went
very well, but received only mediocre applause. Huberman t hen
played some solo Bach and, very much t o his surprise, received a
st anding ovat ion. All was explained t he next day when a reviewer
wrot e:
“ Huberman’s presence of mind is quit e wonderful.
When he realized t he pianist was not up t o t he
st andard of accompaniment required for t he
Tchaikovsky concert o, he sacked him on t he spot ,
and cont inued wit hout piano. ”
During anot her concert , a well known officer in t he audience
appeared quit e bored unt il t he very final it em which was solo
Bach, when he became suddenly ent husiast ic and animat ed.
Huberman’s impresario Hofer could not resist asking t he
gent leman t he reason for his sudden change of heart . The officer
explained:
“ I have heard many violinist s. There was Sarasat e in
t he rooms of t he Musical Societ y of Vienna who
required t he accompaniment of 60 musicians, t hen
Joachim for whom t hree ot hers were enough. I liked
Kubelik even more for he needed t he help of only
one pianist . Huberman is unsurpassed t hough, as he
shows in his performance of Bach t hat he can
manage superbly by himself. ”
While amusing, t hese st ories do highlight a real problem for t he
art ist . How is it possible t o succesfully communicat e wit h an
audience of diverse backgrounds and educat ion? Huberman
wrot e:
“ The development of art ist ic t ast e is anot her benefit
of cont act wit h t he public. The art ist learns what
influences t he masses, what is bet t er for t he elit e,
and what t ouches everybody' s heart . This is most
import ant . Art does not belong t o only t he art ist .
True art must benefit everybody, ot herwise it is not
art .
13 May 1903, Teat ro
Vit t orio Emanuele
Queen' s Hall, London,
6 May 1905.
Grossen Musikvereins-
Saale, Vienna, 4 Jan
1909.
c. 1910
Paganini: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/paganini/[02/11/12 06:29:21]
I have t o say t hat on t he basis of my many
observat ions and experiences I have developed t he
highest respect for what is called ‘vox populi. ’ The
public it self present s specific problems. I t is
fright ening how much snobbism, ignorance, and
indifference one can see on closer inspect ion. The
percent age of reasonable persons at any given
concert is very small. Yet t he public is a wonder: full
of pure inst inct , open heart , and t he abilit y t o
marvel. At t he same t ime it is lacking conscience
and logic, but t hese are t he qualit ies t hat t he art ist
must have t o be able t o learn from his public. ”
A devast at ing eart hquake at Messina, I t aly, on 28 December
1908, killed bet ween 60 and 100 t housand people. Huberman
was once again invit ed by t he cit y of Genoa t o play on Paganini’s
violin, t his t ime for eart hquake relief. Like Ruggiero Ricci, he lat er
expressed disappoint ment in t he inst rument and st at ed t hat a
great violin should not be kept in a museum. Huberman only
played t he Paganini it ems on t he violin, and used his own
St radivarius for t he ot hers.
cont inue
Post card: Huberman in Riga, ( Hebensperger) 1904
Top phot o: c. 1900
Phot o playing violin c. 1902, Got t heil & Sohn - Königsberg
Phot o c. 1910, V Angerer - Vienna
Ricci’s best version of t he 24 caprices is from 1959, on Decca 440 034-
2, where he uses Huberman’s del Gesu.

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Huberman had met t he singer Elza Galafrés on several occasions,
but it was a chance meet ing at t he Weisser Hirsch sanat orium in
Dresden t hat led t o t heir romance. The sanat orium promot ed
healt hy living, wit h cold showers, brisk walks, and food which
consist ed mainly of salads and fruit . Perhaps if t he food had been
bet t er, Elza and Huberman would have spent less t ime t oget her ?
As it was however, t hey discussed everyt hing under t he sun,
including Huberman’s invent ion of a special pneumat ic cover for
his violin t hat prot ect ed it on voyages. I n t he close confines of
t he inst it ut ion, a relat ionship soon developed.
When Elza’s mot her heard t hat t he pair were involved, she was
horrified, and alt hough Huberman was unsympat het ic, he
reluct ant ly agreed t o a secret engagement wit h Elza t hat wint er.
Back in Vienna t hey rent ed a t wo- st oried villa on t he out skirt s,
where t hey lived wit h Bronislaw’s secret ary and pianist . Gossip
and not ices began appearing in papers, and alt hough Huberman
was st ill not keen on marriage, t o placat e Elza’s mot her once
again, a public engagement was announced.
Life wit h Bronislaw wasn’t easy. His hyper - sensit ive nerves and
upt ight t emperament meant t hat each night he fought a bat t le
against chronic insomnia. When he was on t our, his secret ary
and accompanist would sleep in rooms on eit her side of his t o
help prevent noise from adj acent rooms. Somet imes Huberman
would even book a whole floor in an at t empt t o gain some peace
and quiet .
Elza also didn' t share Huberman’s economic viewpoint , and felt
t hat he was mean in t he t reat ment of t heir domest ic st aff.
Huberman could be ext remely generous, but j ust ified his
t hrift yness by explaining t hat t he point of undergoing endless
t ours and sleepless night s was t o become financially free and
independent so as t o be able t o enj oy life in t he fut ure. Years
lat er in 1931 a female admirer wrot e t o Huberman:
“ [ …] I f Beet hoven himself had been in t he audience,
he would have realised t hat his concert o had never
been performed wit h t he perfect ion wit h which you
played it t hat evening. Aft er t he concert [ …]
someone alleged t hat even you don’t make music
for it s own sake but for purely financial reasons. I
was furious [ …] and [ …] said t hat if I were t o ask
you for a free t icket for your concert on 20 February
you would grant me t his request . Please give me t he
opport unit y t o disprove t he offensive opinions of
t hese people. ”
Elza Galafrés
Bronis & Elza at
Sanat orium Lahmann,
Dresden
At t he summer home,
“ Rekawinkel” , Aust ria
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Marriage: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/marriage/[02/11/12 06:29:48]
Huberman replied:
“ I f your friends need t he supply of a free t icket as
proof for a musician’s art ist ic convict ions, if t hey
cannot read sufficient int o t he art ist ic
accomplishment t o rid t hemselves of such childish
ideas, t hen I am not in t he least int erest ed in
convincing t hem of t he cont rary. [ …] Apart from t his
only a dreamer would deny for one moment t hat
even t he most precious art ist ic mat t ers have an
economic ingredient , namely at t he point in t ime at
which t hey are being sold. [ . . . ] t he essent ial
requirement is t hat an art ist ic product must be free
from such considerat ions at t he moment of it s
creat ion. ”
Elza became pregnant and t he couple decided t o marry during
t heir upcoming t rip t o London. As Huberman was a Polish Jew,
and Elza a German Prot est ant , t hey could only legally marry in a
Prot est ant church which Huberman was reluct ant t o do, so t hey
decided on a civil marriage which was performed on 21 July
1910. Their child Johannes was born in December, and 15 days
lat er Elza was back at work at t he t heat re.
Elza and Bronislaw were bot h commissioned t o writ e books for
t he series “ I n t he workshop” by t he Viennese publisher Verlag
Hugo Heller. Elza wrot e Aus Der Eigenen Werkst at t which lat er
became her first published work, and Bronislaw wrot e Aus der
Werkst at t des Virt uosen ( I n t he workshop of t he virt uoso) , a
book about t he role and responsibilit ies of t he virt uoso, which
was published in 1912.
For t he summer t hey rent ed a villa near Vienna, as Elza was
commut ing int o t he cit y each day. Baron Albert Profumo was one
of Huberman’s best friends, and during t he summer when he
visit ed t hem as a guest , he asked why Huberman didn’t buy t he
villa and make it his permanent home. When Huberman replied
t hat he didn’t want t o burden his nerves wit h any more
commit ment s, Profumo offered t o buy it for him as a gift . When
Huberman refused, Profumo suggest ed he could pay back some
of t he money if he preferred, as and when he felt like. Huberman
was t ouched, but st ill refused.
cont inue
Rekawinkel, 1911
Rekawinkel, 1911-
1912
Elza and Johannes,
1912
c. 1912
Huberman’s pneumat ic case pat ent , Jul 1910
Marriage: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/marriage/[02/11/12 06:29:48]
Top Phot o: Dat e unknown

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Huberman’s Russian t our consist ing of 150 concert s st art ed in
November. I n some of t he smaller t owns condit ions were
ext remely primit ive, and t he local managers were not always
honest . I n t he short period of t ime bet ween t he end of t he
concert and t he sleigh ride t o t he local t rain st at ion violent
argument s over figures would somet imes ensue wit h t he
management . However t he t our overall was a massive success.
I n St . Pet ersburg Huberman gave nine sold- out concert s, which
t he local newspapers described as t he great est success of t he
season. The papers also print ed a st ory on Huberman’s upcoming
“ divorce and marriage t o a St . Pet ersburg arist ocrat ” … Huberman
described t his as a harmless publicit y st unt , but Elza was
violent ly upset . Huberman felt t hat art and publicit y were
inseperable, and necessary t o overcome t he “ law of inert ia t hat
rules over masses. ” I n fact , he felt t hat art ist s were obliged t o
provide publicit y. Elza had quit e t he opposit e view, and felt in any
case t hat t his was publicit y of t he very cheapest kind. The
difference in t hinking bet ween her and Bronislaw was now
becoming more and more evident .
Back in Rekawinkel, t hree- quart ers of an hour from Vienna, t hey
rent ed a summer place, Quellenhof , and invit ed t he composer
and pianist Erno von Dohnanyi t o st ay. Huberman had want ed t o
meet him for several years, and t he t wo immediat ely found a
raport in t heir love of music, playing t he Kreut zer sonat a
t oget her. Lat er during t he st ay, a romance bet ween Elza and
Erno developed which t he busy Huberman was perhaps not aware
of. His frequent concert s at t his t ime included concert o
performances, solo recit als, and a Beet hoven sonat a cycle wit h
t he pianist Eugene D' Albert .
Event ually in 1914 t he unhappy Elza decided t o end t he marriage
– as a religious ceremony had not t aken place it was declared
illegal, and she was free t o marry Dohnanyi . The t wo parent s
shared cust ody of t heir child ‘Hally. ’ Elza lat er wrot e an
aut obiography Lives, Loves, Losses which describes t his period of
her life in great det ail.
I n December 1915 Huberman at t ended t he premiere of St rauss’
new “ Alpine” Symphony in Berlin, along wit h Leo Blech, Art ur
Schnabel, Carl Flesch, Frederic Lamond, Franz von Vecsey, Ernst
von Dohnanyi, and Josef Lhevinne. I gnoring t he sensible
Viennese advice “ I f you want St rauss have Johann, if you want
Richard have Wagner, ” even t he New York Times gave t his event
import ant and sympat het ic coverage, calling it a “ brilliant War
Premiere” and a phenomena accompanying “ t his great period in
Germany hist ory. ” There was obviously very lit t le ant i - German
c. 1912
Crown Princess Cecilie
Beet hoven cycle wit h
Eugen d' Albert , Dec
1913
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
World War One: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/world_war_one/[02/11/12 06:30:10]
feeling in America at t he t ime!
Lat er while on holiday in Heligoland aft er performing in Berlin, he
was arrest ed because of his nat ionalit y and int erned. Luckily his
st aunch friend t he German Crown Princess Cecilie ( 1886- 1954)
who was a great admirer of his, arrived at t he prison t o secure
his immediat e release, t aking him back t o Berlin in her car.
I ndignant at t he t reat ment he had received, he repeat edly
refused t o play in Berlin.
Aft er t he war, Huberman reappeared in London billed as one of
t he met ropolis’s foremost cult ural at t ract ions and “ est ablished
himself securely in t he first rank of mat ure musicians. ” I n June
1919 at a recit al at St einway Hall he was report edly mobbed by
crowds of women, and at t he Albert Hall he appeared wit h Nellie
Melba dividing honours equally wit h t he Aust ralian singer.
The cat ast rophe of t he First World War, a civil war bet ween
Europeans, caused Huberman t o become int erest ed in Polit ics.
What had all t he int ernat ional conferences for milit ary
disarmament before t he war acheived? I f t he primary element of
capit alism is capit al, how could war which dest roys capit al be
considered a nat ural phenomenon of t he syst em? Where t here
are no front eirs, t here are no wars. Huberman became convinced
t hat t he problem of peace was inseparable from t he problem of
polit ical unificat ion, a t opic t hat he was t o writ e and lect ure on
ext ensively t hrough t he 20’s and 30’s.
cont inue
Beet hoven & Brahms
t rio cycle, February
1918
Melba and Huberman,
Royal Albert Hall, 29
June 1919
Top Phot o: dat e unknown, V Angerer - Vienna
Konzert haus programmes used court esy of:
Archiv der Wiener Konzert hausgesellschaft , Programmarchiv

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America 1921
Huberman arrived in New York on t he Whit e St ar liner Olympic for
his second American t our on 11 Oct ober 1921 – it had been 25
years since his last visit . His US t our under t he agent s
I nt ernat ional Concert Division included five concert s wit h Richard
St rauss. The day aft er his 17 Oct ober debut recit al wit h pianist
Paul Frenkel, Richard Aldrich was not impressed:
“ A large audience full of zealous friendliness, some of
it no doubt pat riot ic in origin … heard t he first recit al
in Carnegie Hall last evening of Mr. Bronislaw
Huberman … Mr Huberman is now a serious person
… but it must st ill be said t hat his t alent is
manifest ed wit h a cert ain crudeness … he frequent ly
seems t o find it a severe st rain t o produce his
effect s, a laborious operat ion, back - bending; and
t he result is labored. Mr. Huberman’s t one is
powerful, but it is not not able for warmt h or
appealing qualit y. ”
The same day saw Huberman begin a recording cont ract for 7
short pieces wit h Brunswick records. His last recordings had been
of Schubert and Chopin in 1900 for Emil Berliner. The new
Brunswick recordings commenced nost algically wit h a recording
of t he same Chopin/ Sarasat e t ranscript ion, Noct urne in E flat .
You can list en t o many of t hese Brunswicks in t he Brunswick
recordings sect ion.
I n November t here was a chamber music concert wit h Richard
St rauss at t he piano, and an Aeolian Hall appearance “ sold out
even t o st anding room” wit h t he pianist Harold Bauer and cellist
Hans Kindler, playing Brahms D minor t rio op. 108, and
Beet hoven t rio op. 97 in B flat . Ot her concert s included a series
of Town Hall and Aeolian Hall recit als, as well as a series of
Sunday aft ernoon concert s for t he ‘Friends of music’ under Art ur
Bodanzky.
St rauss ended his second US t our and series of fort y concert s at
t he Hippodrome on 1 January 1922, wit h Huberman playing t he
Beet hoven concert o. I t was report ed t hat before St rauss left
America he faced an income t ax bill of $8000 on est imat ed
earnings of $50 000.
Huberman left for Europe on 2 May ret urning on 31 Oct ober for
anot her US wint er season. He arrived again on t he Olympic wit h
Frieda Hempel, Hoffman and Chaliapine. The Sat urday before
disembarking t he quart et gave a concert in t he lounge of t he
Olympic for t he benefit of a seamen’s charit y. Each art ist gave
t hree numbers, and it was est imat ed t he concert would normally
Musical Courier, Feb
1921
3 Nov 1921
27 Dec 1921
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
America 1921: huberman.info
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have cost $60 000 t o st age. Ticket s cost $10, and t he audience
included t hree members of t he Flonzaley quart et .
More Brunswick recordings were scheduled t hrough t he wint er
season, and perhaps Richard Aldrich was warming a lit t le t o
Huberman’s playing, as his reviews were more posit ive t han t he
previous year – he was concerned about roughness and forcing of
t one in a Brahms concert o, but not ed admirable musicianship and
great power and convict ion in a Taneiev suit e. A few mont hs aft er
writ ing t his review, Mr. Aldrich gave up his posit ion of musical
crit ic at t he New York Times claiming he “ could no longer endure
t he t ort ure of list ening t o t he prepost erous cacophonies of t he so-
called fut urist s or modernist s in music and because of t he
boredom of writ ing about t hem. ” I t ' s unfort unat e t hat more t han
eight y years lat er t hings haven’t changed.
List en t o t he Wieniawski Mazurka in D [ wma 486k] , recorded
in January 1922.
Huberman left America for France in March 1923, and when back
in Vienna he spoke t o t he Neue Freie Presse about his American
experiences. Musical cult ure he felt , part icularly out side t he cit ies,
was based on t he gramophone, which even t he poorest families
owned. Alt hough t he American public did not have old t radit ions
and t here were comparat ively few amat eur musicians he said,
t hey were nevert heless ext remely musical, and a great European
reput at ion and advert ising were not enough alone t o bring
success in America. Huberman’s int erest in America went beyond
j ust music however, as he was heavily involved in t he Pan-
European movement which had been founded t hat year by Count
Coudenhove- Kalergi. The Unit ed St at es of America provided a
role model, showing how economic and polit ical int egrat ion could
bring peace and prosperit y. Huberman wrot e a book Mein Weg zu
Paneuropa ( My road t o Pan- Europa) on t his t opic which was
published in Vienna early t he following year.
Aft er a Sout h American t our wit h Richard St rauss, Oct ober saw
Huberman back in America for a new season wit h a new pianist ,
Siegfried Schult ze. Unusual works premiered were a sonat a in D
by t he young Polish composer Alexander Tansman and Goet z’s
violin concert o op. 22, while chamber music included t rio
concert s for t he Beet hoven Associat ion wit h Salmond and
Hut cheson. At a 30t h November Carnegie Hall recit al t he crit ic
Colles not ed decisive rhyt hm and purit y of t one in Huberman’s
playing, but crit icised t he fet ish of speed.
Huberman’s concert s were “ filled t o t he last bit of st anding room”
in New York, and t his was perhaps no mean feat when affluence
and t he power of t he dollar had brought so many great musicians
t o New York. On a single day at t he beginning of December 1923,
t he New York Times feat ured advert isement s for Paderewski,
Rachmaninoff, Friedman, Rosent hal, Silot t ie, Lamond, Grainger,
Gabrilowit sch, Levit ski, Ney, Hansen, Enesco, Huberman,
Zimbalist , Salmond, Chaliapin, McCormack, and Clara But t . As
Huberman wrot e in Mein Weg zu Paneuropa, “ Already t oday t he
European Nat ions have become t he t ribut aries of America. ”
America had a t radit ion of wealt hy individuals pat ronising
educat ional and musical inst it ut ions and Huberman lament ed t he
fact t hat t his convent ion did not exist in cont emporary Europe. He
was also impressed at t he general prosperit y of t he people. On
12 February Huberman was paid $1000 t o play t o 3000
employees of a j am and preserves packing company, at t he
plant ’s new recreat ion hall built as part of a welfare program. Mr
Bart let t Arkell, Honorary Vice President of t he Philharmonic
Societ y of New York and President of t he Beechnut Company had
April 1922
Claire Dux and
Huberman,
14 April 1922, Ann
Arbor
Nov 1922
Musical Courier, Mar
1923
America 1921: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/america_1921/[02/11/12 06:30:35]
arranged t he concert , and request ed as many popular numbers
as possible. Huberman not iced t hat t he working men and women
of t he plant arrived at t he concert in t heir own cars, dressed
fashionably – t his prosperit y of t he working classes did not exist
in Europe.
I n March Huberman left for Europe, playing in France and Holland
( he had been invit ed t o do broadcast ing by t he Dut ch
Government ) , and was also invit ed by t he Russians t o make a
t our of t hat count ry, which he had not visit ed since t he
revolut ion. I n June he gave six concert s in Vienna, one wit h t he
Philharmonic Orchest ra. The Neue Freie Presse described it “ a
t riumph wit hout equal, an unparalleled vict ory” and t he Wiener
Zeit ung wrot e “ The brilliant t one, t he nobilit y of t he cant ilena,
t he aspirat ion and flight t oward God are unique. ”
Huberman t ravelled from France on t he Maj est ic for his final
American season of t he decade. Arriving in New York on 4
November, he declared his race for t he ships manifest as
Hebrew; previous years he had writ t en Polish. Carnegie Hall
concert s were warmly received, wit h Owin Downes who had
described Enesco earlier t hat year as “ a man from an earlier age
or at least more unsophist icat ed communit y” writ ing:
“ Mr. Huberman at t imes sacrificed sensuous beaut y
of t one t o dramat ic accent . The list ener felt
sympat het ic when he did t his – felt , in fact t hat he
would hardly have been a man and art ist had he
done ot herwise … he never imposed himself upon
t he list ener … he gave voice t o t he composer. ”
At t he end of December Huberman played in a quart et wit h Lionel
Tert is, Felix Salmond and Harold Bauer, and t he group t oured
from January 5 t o February 2.
I t was during t his period t hat Huberman complet ed his last
recordings for t he American Brunswick record company. List en t o
Jot a Navarra [ wma 680k] . Some people find t his recording
rough, scrat chy and aggressive; t he first t ime I heard it I t hought
it was wonderful!
cont inue
Newspaper advert : New York Times, 31 Dec 1921
1921 concert program court esy of I an Derret t
Top phot o: 1922
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On ret urning back t o Europe engagement s included t he
Concert gebouw in Amst erdam under Moneaux in Sept ember.
Huberman cont inued his polit ical act ivit ies, meet ing President
Masaryk in Prague and Ramsay MacDonald in Vienna and
exchanged views wit h t hem. I n December he once more gave his
impressions of America in a series of art icles t o t he Die Neue
Freie Presse, concluding t hat only a Unit ed St at es of Europe
could avert anot her war and allay t he danger of bolshevism.
Beet hoven’s cent enary celebrat ions in Vienna t ook place bet ween
26 and 31 March 1927 wit h t he conduct ors Schalk and
Weingart ner presiding. Huberman and Casals feat ured as soloist s
and also played as a t rio wit h t he pianist I gnaz Friedman. For t he
celebrat ions in Hamburg and Berlin, a cycle of chamber music
was given by Huberman, Schnabel and Piat igorsky. Piat igorsky in
chapt er 18 of his aut obiography Cellist wrot e:
“ We agreed smoot hly upon t he programs and dat es,
and even t he quest ion as t o how t o divide t he fees
seemed simple, at first . There was no doubt in my
mind t hat it would be in equal part s, but Hubermann
and Schnabel were silent . Finally Hubermann
suggest ed t hat t he mat t er of money should be left
t o t he managers. ( Undoubt edly he was cert ain t hat
if t his procedure were adopt ed he would come out
best . ) I rrit at ed, Schnabel came wit h a winning
t rump.
‘Gent lemen, we wast e our t ime. The fee should be
divided int o t hirt y- five equal part s. ’
‘Why t hirt y- five! ’ exclaimed Hubermann.
‘I t ' s simple, ’said Schnabel. ‘We will pay t hirt een
works for t he piano and st rings: t hree t rios, t hree
quart et s, t hree violin sonat as, t wo viola sonat as, and
t wo cello sonat as- t hirt y- five part s in all. As all
t hirt een works are wit h piano, I should receive
t hirt een t hirt y- fift hs of t he fee. The violin will be
minus t wo cello and t wo viola sonat as, and will t hus
get nine t hirt y- fift hs. The cello will get eight t hirt y-
fift hs, and t he viola five t hirt y- fift hs. ” Wit h mout hs
agape we all ext end t o count ing t he not es, in which
case I would have come out much worse. ’
Wit hin 12 mont hs t he st ock market crash caused rat her more
serious financial problems, leading t o t he polit ical inst abilit y t hat
dominant ed t he next decade.
Vienna, June 1924
Vienna, June 1924
c. 1926
Mein Weg zu
Paneuropa, Vienna,
1925
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Europe 1925: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/europe_1925/[02/11/12 06:30:56]
I n December 1928 Huberman began a cont ract wit h t he Columbia
Record Company, making t he first ever recording of t he
Tchaikovsky concert o. His part icular affinit y wit h t he slavic
t emperament of t his work can be explained by his experiences
while t ouring Russia as a young man. Huberman felt t hat folk
music and folk dance were t he basis of musical expression. While
in Russia he at t ended t he opera only once, but went t o cafes
dozens of t imes where he could “ hear peasant musicians and
enj oy t he aut hent ic nat ional rhyt hms. ”
His int erpret at ion is t herefore not t he result of “ unbridled
individualism” or “ ext ravagent egoism. ” I t is in fact carefully
t hought out , and Huberman was capable of j ust ifying his
int erprat ive decisions. He lat er wrot e:
“ I n New York some years ago, a young violinist t old
me he t hought I played t he last movement of t he
Tchaikowsky concert o t oo fast . I had a bet wit h him.
‘Come wit h me t o a Russian rest aurant which has an
orchest ra, ’ I said. ‘I f wit hin t wo hours we do not
hear t he principal phrase of t hat last movement , or
somet hing very like it , I will pay you t en dollars. ’
He agreed. And it was I who received t he t en
dollars. For I was able t o point out t hat t he nat ive
players enunciat ed t he t heme at exact ly t he same
speed as I had done, t hough it occurred in music of
a complet ely different sort . The point is t hat
Tchaikowsky had not borrowed t he mot ive direct ly
from folk music. I t occurred in his concert o simply
because he had st eeped himself in t he charact erist ic
Russian nat ional melodies. Because I , t oo, had
acquired t hat melodic scheme as a background, I
was able t o give his musical t hought exact ly t he
shape and expression it required. ”
List en t o Huberman play t he beginning of t hird movement of t he
Tchaikovsky concert o [ wma 98k] from t his 1928 recording,
and j udge his t empo for yourself!
Columbia recordings cont inued wit h several short pieces, and
t hen a in 1930 a complet e recording of t he Beet hoven Kreut zer
sonat a wit h pianist and Polish compat riot I gnaz Friedman. Again,
list en t o t his excerpt from t he first movement , and j udge t he
recording for yourself. Kreut zer sonat a [ wma 171k] .
cont inue
c. 1928
Europe 1925: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/europe_1925/[02/11/12 06:30:56]
Top phot o: St udio d´ Ora, Vienna, c. 1925
Huberman phot os 12 June 1924 by st udio d´ Ora, Art hur Benda ( 1885-
1969) , Vienna

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Political tension
Huberman first visit ed Palest ine in 1929 feeling an
int ernat ionalist , more European t han Jewish and rat her ant i -
Zionist ic, but t he myst ical at mosphere he felt permeat ed t he
place changed his t hinking. He received a t remendous recept ion
– at sold out concert s he saw people climbing wat erpipies and
barbed wire on t o roofs in order t o list en, and by t he t ime of his
second visit in January 1931 he had formed a vision of creat ing a
Palest ine Symphony Orchest ra. The rise of Hit ler would soon give
t his proj ect a real focus.
The depression was causing economic inst abilit y t hroughout
Europe. Hungary int roduced severe rest rict ions on foreign
exchange t ransact ions t o keep t he value of t he pengoë st able,
and in November ’31 Budapest musical circles worried what effect
t his would have upon t he scheduled visit s of foreign arist s.
Huberman’s concert manager assured t hem t hat he was willing
as were ot her musicians, t o accept payment part ly in pengoes &
part ly in t he form of t ime draft s.
Even more serious of course, were t he polit ical problems. I n May
’32 Huberman addressed a Viennese audience on t he subj ect of
Pan- Europa. The lect ure was at t ended by t he French, Polish and
Bulgarian Ambassadors, as well as prominent Aust rian polit icians.
While admit t ing t hat all aut hent ic art in t he end had it s root s in
nat ional soil, he said a Pan- Europe need not signify a leveling of
nat ional charact erist ics, but rat her “ a freeing of t heir
inexhaust ible wellsprings of creat ive power. ”
Huberman did not see his growing Zionism as conflict ing wit h t he
Pan- Europa movement , as he felt t he Jews had given t he world
monot heism, and in his opinion t his was j ust a st ep away from
t he idea of “ one humanit y of bret hren. ” Lat er t hat year he
published Vat erland Europa ( Fat herland Europe) , in which he
wrot e prophet ically “ Those who help us, do not only alt ruist ically
… but t hey prot ect t hemselves and t heir dear ones from t he
dest ruct ion of propert y, from povert y, from collect ive murder,
and from t heir own ruin. ”
Huberman had played wit h Schnabel and Piat igorsky for t he
Beet hoven celebrat ions in 1927, and t he same group wit h t he
addit ion of Hindemit h now planned t o give a Brahms cycle for t he
next years Brahms cent enary. When t he violinist and pedagogue
Carl Flesch heard t hat his friend Schnabel was playing again wit h
Huberman, he was so furious t hat in December he severed
relat ions wit h him. Schnabel’s musical collaborat ion wit h Flesch
had virt ually ceased since he had left t heir t rio in 1920, but 12
years on, Flesch st ill felt bet rayed by Schnabel’s associat ion wit h
Huberman, a violinist he violent ly disliked. Flesch wrot e
c. 1930
Furt wängler
Phot o by Lipnit zki,
Paris, 1932
Beet hoven concert ,
Jan 1933
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Political tension: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/political_tension/[02/11/12 06:31:29]
accusingly t o Schnabel:
“ When in 1921 you det ached yourself from t he Trio,
freedom of act ion on bot h sides was t he logical
consequence. Equally, your choice of part ner is
ent irely your own affair, part icularly since my innat e
ant ipat hy t owards Huberman might make me appear
prej udiced. Nevert heless, I have t o say t hat during
t he past few years I became more and more puzzled
about your sudden sympat hy for him … it is not
unknown t o me t hat you have been cont emplat ing
art ist ic collaborat ion wit h Huberman for some t ime
as well as t he fact t hat you had t ried as long as 2
years ago t o int erest Piat y in t his proj ect … what I
want is not hing but t he t erminat ion of our personal
relat ionship. ”
Schnabel wrot e back “ I f you don’t want t o see me again, I won’t
force myself on you. I f you do want t o see me – I am here, and
you will meet a friend. ” Carl Flesch discussed Huberman in his
Memoirs.
I n Sept ember Huberman played wit h t he BBC, and in November
his assist ance at t he Brahms cent enary in Paris under
Weingart ner who had come from Vienna t o direct , proceeded
smoot hly enough. The sit uat ion in Germany had began t o
det eriorat e t hough, as more and more Jewish figures were forced
t o leave t heir post s. Furt wängler t old Yehudi Menuhin t hat
musical life in Germany was “ going t o t he dogs. ”
I n April 1933 Adolf Busch quit t he Brahms celebrat ions in
Hamburg ( Brahms’ birt hplace) as his Jewish pianist , Rudolf
Serkin, was refused permission t o part icipat e. I n Berlin t he
Prussian Minist er of Cult ure prohibit ed a series of Brahms
chamber music concert s t hat were t o have been given in May at
t he Singakademie by Schnabel, Huberman, Piat igorsky and
Hindemit h. The quart et , wit h Casals subst it ut ing for Piat igorsky,
were able t o play at t he May Vienna celebrat ions under
Furt wängler however. The group gave several t rio and quart et
performances, and Huberman and Casals played t he Brahms
double concert o. Bot h Schnabel and Huberman had played under
Furt wängler t he previous year, and he was anxious t o get t hem
back for fut ure performances in Germany. I n April Furt wängler
had personally persuaded Goebbels t o grant exempt ions for
cert ain Jewish figures, and so he t ook t he opport unit y at t he
Vienna Brahms celebrat ions t o ask t hem t o ret urn t o Germany
for engagement s t he next season. Schnabel lat er wrot e of t hese
concert s:
“ Performances went very well and we had great fun
and pleasure at our rehearsals, wit h plent y of t ime.
Aft er one of our concert s we went t o a very popular
rest aurant in t he basement of a hot el. There were
about fift y people t here besides us. Around
midnight , Furt wängler came, wit h t wo friends, and
his behaviour seemed planned and prepared. I n t he
presence of t hese fift y or more people, he addressed
Huberman and me, asking us once more if we would
not change our minds and come back t he following
wint er t o play in Berlin wit h him. We had been
asked before and refused, of course, t o do so, for
reasons you can easily guess. Huberman asked me
t o answer first . I made it very simple and said t hat
if all t he musicians were called back and reinst at ed
in t heir former posit ions, t hen I would agree t o
come back. But if t hey were not called back, I would
have t o st ick t o my refusal. To my great amazement
Furt wängler replied – and t his was obviously not
prepared – t hat I was mixing art and polit ics. And
t hat was t hat . ”
Huberman, Casals,
Schnabel and
Hindemit h, rehearsing
for t he Brahms
cent enial fest ival,
Vienna, May 1933
Schnabel, Huberman,
Casals and Hindemit h,
May 1933
c. 1933
c. 1933
Political tension: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/political_tension/[02/11/12 06:31:29]
Huberman explained why he couldn’t ret urn t o Germany, and
t hen discussed wit h Furt wängler t he possibilit y of publishing a
public reply declining t he invit at ion. On 30 June Furt wängler
wrot e t o Huberman asking him t o ret urn t o Germany t o play wit h
t he Berlin Philharmonic and be t he first “ t o break down t he
barrier. ” Huberman replied on 10 July from his summer - home in
I t aly, giving in writ ing t he reasons he had already given verbally
during t he Vienna Brahms fest ival. Aft er compliment ing
Furt wängler on t he st and he had t aken, he wrot e:
“ … no case has come t o my at t ent ion of t he int ended
reinst at ement of t hose museum direct ors, orchest ra
conduct ors and music t eachers who were dismissed
on account of t heir Jewish origin, t heir differing
polit ical views or even t heir lack of int erest in polit ics
… I n realit y it is not a quest ion of violin concert os
nor even merely of t he Jews; t he issue is t he
ret ent ion of t hose t hings t hat our fat hers achieved
by blood and sacrifice, of t he element ary
precondit ions of our European cult ure, t he freedom
of personalit y and it s uncondit ional self-
responsibilit y unhampered by fet t ers of cast e or
race. ”
Aft er furt her negoit at ions t hrough t he summer mont hs and wit h
t he sit uat ion in Germany declining, Huberman event ually decided
t o publish his 10 July let t er , and in Sept ember it appeared in
French, German, and American Newspapers.
Huberman lat er referred t o Furt wängler as “ t hat t ypical ‘non- Nazi
German’, who wit h millions of ot her ‘non- Nazis’ made Nazism
possible! ”
Huberman now had a clearer idea of t he orchest ra he want ed t o
form, realising t hat it s creat ion could help many Cent ral European
Jewish orchest ral musicians who had been left j obless. What had
originally been j ust a cult ural inst it ut ion for Palest ine now also
became an emergency rescue for vict ims of Nazi policy. I n
January 1934 he visit ed Palest ine for t he t hird t ime, and
discussed his ideas wit h local represent at ives. Aft er encount ering
init ial resist ance from t he governing body of t he exist ing
Philharmonic Societ y, he event ually overcame pet t y int erest s and
j ealousies, and gained accept ance for his proposal. Three local
commit t ees were set up in Tel- Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa t o
collect donat ions, t o organize subscript ions, and act as an
advisory group.
cont inue
Top phot o: Vienna, 1932
Konzert haus programme used court esy of:
Archiv der Wiener Konzert hausgesellschaft , Programmarchiv

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Riots in Vienna
On Monday 12 February 1934 in Zagreb, while t ouring
Yugoslavia, Huberman heard about t he violent riot s in Vienna,
and his concert scheduled t hat Friday in Vienna was cancelled.
Under mart ial law most public places were closed at 8pm,
including t he opera house and concert halls. Musical act ivit y had
virt ually ceased, but as condit ions calmed, Huberman planned a
concert for t he aid of t he vict ims of t he riot s, on t he condit ion
t hat t he government agreed t hat proceeds be divided evenly
bet ween t he government soldiers and t he workers. On Sunday
18t h a dayt ime concert at t he Grosse Musikvereins- Saal was
announced, but advert isement s and handbills described it as a
benefit concert for t he families of t he dead government soldiers.
At t he concert Huberman played a first it em, and t hen left t he
st age so lat e- comers could t ake t heir seat s. On ret urning he
announced t o t he audience t hat he had no int ent ion of playing for
t he benefit of t he government t roops, and t hat t he concert was
for t he aid of all vict ims, irrespect ive of part y or polit ics. “ I am
playing t oday wit hout fee but for t he vict ims among t he
populat ion of Vienna” he said. The st orm of applause from t he
audience, most of whom would not have been from t he working
class, last ed for eight minut es.
Alt hough Huberman’s reput at ion in Vienna had always been huge
( a concert announced six mont hs in advance would invariably
immediat ely sell out ) , his courageous polit ical st ance was gaining
him even more not oriet y. For his Beet hoven and Mendelssohn
concert o performance wit h t he Philharmonic on 27 March,
“ st rongarm t act ics were scarcely st rong enough t o propel t icket
holders t hrough t he j am of humanit y in t he large audit orium of
t he Konzert haus. ” Bruno Walt er was creat ing similar
pandemonium – alt hough he could rarely sell out t he New York
Philharmonic, his St aat soper concert s were packed t o “ gasping
suffocat ion, ” and t he light s had t o be ext inguished before t he last
screaming ent husiast s would leave.
I n June Huberman recorded concert os by Bach, Beet hoven,
Mozart and Lalo, wit h t he Vienna Philharmonic. The proj ect had
t o overcome several difficult ies, including t ransport ing George
Szell who was conduct ing t he Beet hoven and Mozart , bet ween
Vienna and Prague each day. From t he end of August 1934 t o
mid- May 1935 Huberman embarked upon an ext ensive concert
t our of Europe, t he Unit ed St at es, and Canada.
cont inue
Grosser Konzert haus-
Saal, 8 Oct 1934
Grosser Musikvereins-
Saal, 15 Nov 1935
Walt er and Huberman,
Vienna 1935
London, c. 1935
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Riots in Vienna: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/riots_in_vienna/[02/11/12 06:31:52]
London, c. 1935
Top phot o: 1935
Walt er and Huberman phot o by Fenichel, Vienna, 1935

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Stolen Strad
Raising his hat as he st epped off t he Berengaria, Huberman
ret urned t o America on 24 Oct 1934 aft er an absence of eight
years. Fort y - t wo concert engagement s over sixt y days were
organised by his agent S. Hurok, st art ing t he very next day in
Balt imore, wit h several new composit ions t o be given American
premieres. Concert s included t wo appearances wit h t he New York
Philharmonic under Bruno Walt er, chamber music wit h Schnabel,
and a Symphony concert broadcast series sponsored by General
Mot ors, who had also hired Toscanini, Milst ein, Gershwin,
Kubelik, Challiapin, Schnabel, and Schipa. Through December
Huberman was also lect uring, addressing t he Mailamm
Associat ion of New York on Zionism, and t he Polish I nst it ut e of
Art s and Let t ers on his vision of a fut ure Pan- Europe. The
Mailamm Associat ion ( American Palest ine Music) speech must
have gone down well, as t hey elect ed him honorary vice
president a few days lat er.
Because of January engagement s in England, some concert s were
cancelled at short not ice. At his single Carnegie Hall recit al on t he
30t h wit h his pianist Siegfried Schult ze, Huberman played Bach’s
A minor concert o accompanied by a st ring orchest ra, t he G minor
solo sonat a, and t hen Beet hoven’s “ Kreut zer” sonat a,
Szymanowski’s “ Narcisse” , and his own arrangement s of t he
Chopin Walt z in E minor and Walt z Opus 70. Olin Downes not ed a
st rident t one qualit y and inaccurat e int onat ion, but wrot e:
“ … it was in t he unaccompanied sonat a t hat Mr.
Huberman reached his full height . The polyphonic
music was performed wit h a fine clarit y and a
t echnical cert aint y t hat enabled t he player t o devot e
himself ent irely t o int erpret ive problems. An
eloquence t hat went deeper t han t hat of musical
pat t ern weaving also was given it . ”
On 12t h January 1935 Huberman sailed for England on t he
French liner Champlain, ret urning t he next mont h, and on t he 19
February he played Brahms at Carnegie Hall wit h t he Philadelphia
under Ot t o Klemperer. This t ime, Olin Downes complained about
a st rident t one and feverish st yle . . .
“ The t endency t o play sharp is in all probabilit y a
deliberat e one. The violinist of Mr. Huberman’s
t emperament doubt less desires t he maximum of
brilliancy when his t one is t o mat ch t hat of t he
orchest ra. This brilliancy, however, is wit h him
achieved at cost of pure int onat ion and t one qualit y.
Tone in fact was forced, and t he inherent repose
which is obviously a qualit y of t he great symphonic
Publicit y phot o, Nov
1934
NYT ad, 23 Dec 1934
Musical Courier, 26
Jan 1935
On st age, 1935
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Stolen Strad: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/stolen_strad/[02/11/12 06:32:18]
composit ion was conspicuous by absence. ”
I f you want “ inherent repose” t hen Huberman isn’t t he art ist for
you, as his searching st yle of int erpret at ion demands more t han
a smoot h, so called beaut iful sound wit h a const ant vibrat o.
Neville Cardus described it well when he wrot e “ Huberman played
in his own revelat ory way. His t one was not of t he rich, yielding
kind which goes wit h t he superficial cont emporary view of
Brahms, as a composer of a middle- aged, uncle- ish soft ness of
disposit ion. ” However, Downes was correct I t hink, in supposing
t hat t he t endency t o play sharp was deliberat e. Huberman had
used t his creat ive int onat ion t o highlight cert ain not es in a phrase
since he was a child, and his recordings show t hat he was
consist ent in t he way he chose t o apply it ( t he t wo Tchaikovsky
concert o recordings of 1928 and 1946 are a good example of
t his) .
A sonat a recit al wit h Schnabel on 23 February received a more
favourable review by O. T. , who also complained of sharpness, but
described t he beginning of t he Schubert Fant asy as “ a vision as of
anot her world” . On 1 March Huberman left for Europe on t he
Cunard Whie St ar liner, and on arriving back t hat summer he
found t he Nazi government had named him “ t he great est enemy
of t he Nazi regime among world musicians, ” and officially ordered
his German pianist of 12 years, Siegfried Schulze, t o severe
relat ions wit h him. Schulze agreed t o t his, and Huberman had t o
find a new accompanist , Jakob Gimpel.
I n December Huberman t oured t he Middle East , playing t o full
houses in Egypt , and giving 15 concert s in 20 days in Palest ine t o
audiences of bet ween 1500 and 3500 people.
He ret urned t o New York on 28 January 1936 on t he I le de
France. Sonat a recit als wit h Schnabel where planned t hrough
February and March, and chamber music wit h Emmanuel
Feuermann on cello forming a t rio. The Town Hall Endowment
Series present ed Schnabel, Huberman and Feuermann in a
sonat a recit al on 7 February, playing Brahms sonat a in B, Op. 8,
Beet hoven Sonat a in D, Op. 70/ 1, and Schubert sonat a in B flat ,
Op. 99. N. S. wrot e
“ I t happens t hat alt hough Mr. Schnabel and Mr.
Huberman had j oined forces in t he past , t his was
t he first t ime anywhere t hat t hey appeared wit h Mr.
Feuermann in an evening of t rio playing. I t was not
st range, under t he circumst ances, t hat t he Brahms
t rio, which opened t he list , was not up t o t he
st andard of excellence expect ed of musicians of t his
high caliber. Each of t heir t emperament s was in
conflict t hroughout a large part of t he int erpret at ion
of t his work, wit h t he result t hat if cert ain sect ions
were sat isfact orily played, as a whole t he rendit ion
was uneven and none t oo convincing. ”
Huberman lunched at t he Waldorf ( where he had performed as a
boy in 1897) wit h Mr John Royal from NBC, and while t alking
about his dream child t he Palest ine Orchest ra, was discussing
who should conduct t he opening concert . “ Why not ask Toscanini
t o conduct for you, ” suggest ed Royal. Huberman did so, and
admit t ed aft erwards experiencing somet hing akin t o shock when
t he great conduct or immediat ely agreed. Toscanini was a well -
known ant i - fascist , having refused t o conduct at t he Wagner
fest ival in Bayreut h in June 1933, and he saw t he format ion of
t he “ orchest ra of emigrés” as a powerful ant i - Nazi st at ement . I n
February t he news t hat he was conduct ing t he inaugural opening
concert s of t he PS in December creat ed a st ir t hroughout t he
Unit ed St at es.
Huberman had founded an “ Associat ion of Friends of t he Palest ine
Orchest ra, ” in t he U. S. wit h his good friend Albert Einst ein as a
NYT Ad, 29 Jan 1936
Einst ein and
Huberman discuss t he
PSO at Einst ein' s home
in Princet on, Feb 1936
Advert isement for t he
recit al where
Huberman’s violin was
st olen, NYT, Feb 1936
The double violin case
cont aining t he
“ Gibson” St rad and
Guarnerius
Huberman and
Schnabel, 24 March
1936
Schnabel, Walt er and
Bodanzky at St .
Morit z, 1937
Stolen Strad: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/stolen_strad/[02/11/12 06:32:18]
Chairman. The Professor’s involvement in t he organizat ion,
writ ing let t ers and host ing funct ions, generat ed a lot of publicit y,
and when Huberman visit ed him at his home in Princet on t o
discuss news of Toscanini’s involvement in t he orchest ra, t he New
York Times published a phot ograph of t he pair. Einst ein, himself a
German exile, suggest ed a concert t o raise money and eagerly
offered t o bring his fiddle!
Disast er st ruck on 28 February at Huberman’s only Carnegie Hall
recit al of t he season, when his 1713 “ Gibson” St radivarius was
st olen from his dressing room during t he performance. Huberman
had played t he St radivarius before t he concert , and t hen placed it
back in his double case, using t he Guarnerius for t he recit al. Like
t he previous season, t he performance st art ed wit h a Bach
concert o wit h chamber orchest ra. Aft er t he int ermission, while
Huberman was playing t he Franck sonat a, his secret ary Miss
I bbiken, not iced t hat t he St radivarius was missing, and t old
Huberman during t he applause at t he end of t he piece. The police
were immediat ely called, but Huberman carried on wit h t he
concert , and t he audience remained unaware of t he t heft .
Next days review did not ment ion t he robbery, alt hough a
headline art icle “ Huberman Violin St olen At Carnegie” described
how t he t hief had left 6 six bows valued at $1500 each
unt ouched. Despit e a large invest igat ion ( Milst ein was apparent ly
removed from a t rain t he next day aft er he admit t ed he had a
St radivarius) t he 20 year old t hief Julian Alt man was never
caught , and Huberman event ually claimed his £8000 ( $30 000)
insurance from Lloyds of London.
Nearly 50 years lat er, Alt man confessed on his deat h bed t o his
wife Marcelle Hall. She negot iat ed a finder’s fee wit h Lloyds
pret ending t hat Alt man had bought it from t he t hief, and
ret urned t he violin in 1987 receiving $263 000 for her t rouble.
The St rad ran an art icle on t he incident called “ Lost and Found”
report ing t hat Marcelle was “ overj oyed at it s ret urn t o
legit imacy. ” Alt man’s daught er ( and only surviving descendant )
t wice won a lower court ruling against her st ep- mot her Marcelle
for a share of t he money, but by t his t ime it was all apparent ly
spent , and Marcelle was living in a caravan park.
Back t o April 1936, and aft er recovering from t he t rauma of t he
t heft Huberman’s it inerary cont inued wit h concert s, broadcast s, a
lect ure at t he St einway Hall on “ Mat t ers of Polit ical and Art ist ic
Concern, ” and a recept ion at t he American Palest ine Music
Associat ion. On 5 April Huberman and Schnabel gave a Sonat a
recit al, playing Beet hoven Sonat a in C minor Op. 30/ 2, Sonat a in
F Op. 24, and Mozart Sonat a in E flat . Their collaborat ion t he
previous year had been described as having “ t he excit ement of a
virt uoso recit al. ” Not so t his year, wit h N. S. comment ing on t he
moderat e ent husiasm of t he small audience, and writ ing:
“ There was no at t empt at display or even t o achieve
brilliance in any of t his playing. I t was deadly serious
– singularly lacking in charm, in power t o awaken a
keen response in t he list ener, or t o grasp at t ent ion
firmly – somet imes in t he Beet hoven sonat a in
quest ion, st ret ches of much suavit y of t one would
issue from t he inst rument s. But oft en Mr. Schnabel’s
fort issimo out burst s gave t he impression of anger
and irrit at ion in t heir curt abrupt ness, where t hese
qualit ies were int ruders in t he scheme of t hings, and
st ill more oft en, Mr. Huberman’s violin emit t ed
sounds not any t oo sharply defined in pit ch and of
scrat chy charact er … There was somet hing rat her
cut and dried and academic about it all. ”
When Huberman left America on 23 April, he could t ake some
pride in t he success of his effort s for his orchest ra. Sixt y first
class players had been chosen from hundreds he had
Stolen Strad: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/stolen_strad/[02/11/12 06:32:18]
corresponded wit h and t he t wo hundred he audit ioned. These
included former first - desk members of t he Berlin Philharmonic,
Frankfort Museumgesellschaft , Munich Orchest ra, Hamburg
Philharmonic, Dresden Symphony, and ot her import ant orchest ras
in Germany and Cent ral Europe. The services of one of t he most
famous conduct ors in t he world had been secured. Finally, t he
recent American fund- raising drive had been very successful, and
t he orchest ra was economically secure. While t raveling t o Europe
on t he I le de France, Huberman wrot e t o Colonel Kisch in Haifa
asking t hat t he st rong financial posit ion be kept secret , so as not
t o discourage furt her cont ribut ions. St rong reserves for t he
following years t hat might cont ain “ financial or polit ical
dist urbance” would be crucial.
cont inue
Top phot o: 24 Oct 1934

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Palestine Symphony
I n August Huberman announced t hat he was resigning from t he
t eaching st aff of t he Vienna St at e Academy in order t o devot e
himself t o t he Palest ine Orchest ra. The New York Times report ed
t hat t he news “ was received wit h dismay by t he musical public of
Vienna, where t he violinist has been a popular idol for years, ” but
t he pro- Nazi Wiener Neuest e Nachricht en t hought t hat t he
Viennese would accept it wit hout regret , writ ing:
“ I n t he last few years he has exchanged his bow for
t he pen of t he polit ical agit at or and has not alone
endeavoured at all cost s t o place himself among
front line fight ers for t he Pan- European idea, but ,
besides being an act ive propagandist for t he aims
and int erest s of int ernat ional Jewry, openly at t acked
German art ist s and art ist ic life and regarded himself
as t he mout hpiece of t hose large groups and cliques
which despise t he words ‘nat ion, ’ ‘nat ionalism, ’
‘folk, ’ ‘loyalt y. ’”
Orchest ral fundraising cont inued t hrough t he year. Huberman
gave a recit al in Amst erdam in Oct ober for t he benefit of “ Comit é
voor Bezondere Joodsche Belangen” on condit ion t hat 30% of net
receipt s were devot ed t o t he Orchest ra fund, and a drive was
organised amongst t he wealt hier Jews of Vienna and
Czechoslovakia. As t he first concert of t he Palest ine Symphony
drew closer, he involved himself in every det ail of organisat ion,
insuring t he musicians and t heir inst rument s, and t rying t o find
Maest ro and Madame Toscanini comfort able and privat e
accommodat ion for t heir st ay. He had modest ly declined t he
Maest ro’s invit at ion t o be soloist at t he opening concert , as didn’t
want t o dist ract at t ent ion from t he art ist ic solidarit y creat ed by
t he conduct or.
Huberman had always been impresssed by t he ent husiasm for
music in Palest ine, and not ed t hat out of a Jewish populat ion of
280, 000 in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel- Aviv, 8000 regularly
at t ended concert s. “ I f in New York a simlar proport ion of t he
populat ion went t o concert s, ” he said, “ every symphony concert
would be at t ended by 300, 000 persons. ” Since it was t hese
people of Palest ine t hat had inspired t he creat ion of t he
orchest ra, Huberman was det ermined t hey should benefit by it ,
and boast ed t hat “ For t he first t ime in musical hist ory, t he
principle will be adopt ed t hat only t he best is good enough for
working- class audiences. ” Wit h t he help of t he Workers’ Branch
of t he Palest ine Orchest ra Associat ion, t wo subscript ion concert s
were planned in each cit y; t he second ident ical in art ist s and
programme, but designed for workmen wit h t icket s at a quart er
t o a fift h of t he price of t he series for ordinary concert - goers.
Toscanini and
Huberman, first
Palest ine Symphony
concert , 26 Dec 1936.
Vienna, 1937
Meet ing Rubinst ein by
accident in t he
Aust ralian desert , 22
Aug 1937.
Bali, Sep 1937
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Palestine: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/palestine/[02/11/12 06:32:39]
Finally on 26 December 1936 Huberman’s vision became a realit y
when Toscanini conduct ed t he first performance of t he Palest ine
Symphony Orchest ra in Tel- Aviv, playing Beet hoven, Schubert ,
Mendelssohn and Brahms. Toscanini described it as t he happiest
moment of his life, and one of t he highest point s of his career.
Aft er conduct ing 4 concert s in Palest ine and 4 in Egypt , he
refused any payment , or even reimbursement of his t ravelling
expenses, and was so impressed wit h t he orchest ra and “ unique
audiences” t hat he decided t o ret urn t he next year.
I n January 1937 Huberman t oured England wit h Schnabel, and
on 17 February received a five- minut e ovat ion at t he
Concert gebouw, Amst erdam, when he appeared on st age for a
concert t hat had been sold out for a week. Aft er t he concert he
was given a deed t o a garden near Tel Aviv purchased from t he
Jewish Nat ional Fund, as an expression of Dut ch Jewry for his
effort s on behalf of German emigré musicians and musical cult ure
in Palest ine.
During an American t our in May which included benefit concert s
for t he PSO and chamber music wit h Schnabel [ review] ,
Huberman had a breakdown, and some concert s had t o be
cancelled. The enormous j ob of organising t he PSO was finally
t aking it s t oll on him and his secret ary Miss I bbeken. He left
California on 25 May for his first Aust ralian t our t raveling on t he
S/ S Mont erey via Honolulu, having t ime during t he boat t rip t o
recover his healt h. ABC manager for west ern Aust ralia Conrad
Charlt on described Huberman’s concret izing in Pert h:
“ On t he opening night of his season here, j ust aft er
he had commenced t he Kreut zer Sonat a, a mot or
horn t oot ed in King st reet . Mr Huberman st opped
playing and appealed t o someone in t he audience t o
close t he doors. All t he doors were closed, but I
immediat ely left t he t heat re and spent t he rest of
t he night in t he st reet cont rolling t raffic t hat came
along King St reet , and beseeching mot orist s not t o
sound t heir horns. The rest of t he night passed off
quiet ly. For t he remaining concert s I had t he
assist ance of t he Commissioner of Police and t hree
const ables parading King and Hay St reet s t o see
t hat t he noise of t he t raffic was kept down t o a
minimum. We could not of course hold up t he
t rams. ”
At t he end of his Aust ralian t our in August , Huberman was t o
have sailed from Fremant le t o Java, but at t he last minut e
decided t o fly via Darwin inst ead, t hus making t he j ourney in four
days inst ead of t wo weeks. On t he way t o Darwin, t he pilot
landed for fuel at a remot e airst rip in t he middle of t he desert ,
and was very surprised t o see anot her small plane on t he
runway. Huberman got out t o st ret ch his legs, and was greet ed
on t he runway by his Polish compat riot Art ur Rubinst ein wit h t he
words “ Dr Huberman, I presume?” Bot h had t hought neit her was
coming t o Aust ralia, as bot h had accept ed lat e offers, and so
t hey were amazed t o have met in such an isolat ed spot .
On 6 Oct ober during his t our of I ndonesia, t he Royal Dut ch
airliner Huberman and his secret ary were t raveling in crashed
near Palembang, Sumat ra, killing four of t he nine passengers.
Huberman had sat at t he back of t he plane as a precaut ion,
which was j ust as well, since 3 of t he 4 crew who had been at t he
front of t he plane were among t he dead. Radioscopes revealed
Huberman’s left radius was broken close t o t he wrist but had not
moved from place, while t wo met acarpal bones of t he right hand
were broken. Bot h hands were painful and swollen, and
Royal Dut ch Airline
crash, Palembang, 6
Oct 1937
Toscanini and
Huberman on Nat anya
beach, Tel Aviv, April
1938.
Newsreel of Huberman
in Ein Harod, 1938
Tel Aviv, 1938
Tel Aviv, 1938
Palestine: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/palestine/[02/11/12 06:32:39]
Huberman is report ed t o have cried aft er t he crash, “ I shall never
be able t o play again, but t hank God not hing worse happened t o
me. ” A few days lat er he cont ract ed Pneumonia from a broken rib
t hat had punct ured his lung, and t reat ment for his hands was
post poned. He and his secret ary were hospit alized at Pladj oe, a
st at ion of t he Shell Pet roleum Company, for 5 weeks, and t hen
t ransferred t o Bat avia and Bandoeng on Java for anot her t wo
weeks before sailing for Europe at t he end of November.
The second season of t he Palest ine Symphony Orchest ra began
on 24 Oct ober in Tel- Aviv under t he direct ion of St einberg, and
cont inued under Toscanini in Tel- Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa in
April. Toscanini again refused t o accept any fee or t ravelling
expenses, however, on ret urning back t o America t o fulfill his
cont ract wit h N. B. C. , he was receiving a weekly personaly salary
of $10 000! Huberman had been scheduled as soloist at t he first
concert of t his second season, but had t o post pone it t ill next
season because of his inj uries. Aft er leaving Palest ine he had a
very difficult and painful t ime caused by st renuous t reat ment for
his hands in Mont ecat ini, and he wrot e t o Szell in March t hat his
violin pract ice was “ ort hopedic rat her t han musical. ” By July 1938
t hings were improving, and during rehearsals wit h Feuermann in
Brahms and Beet hoven t rios he felt he was playing well, and was
cert ain t hat his hands would be fully up t o t heir t ask by t he t ime
of his concert s in Palest ine. At last in Egypt on 19 November,
Huberman performed for t he first t ime since his accident , and for
t he first t ime as soloist wit h his orchest ra. At concert s in
Jerusalem and Tel- Aviv in December, where t he audience
charact erist ically cont ained “ all element s of t he music- loving
populat ion” from t he most dist inguished t o laborers in short s,
Huberman received ecst at ic recept ions, and felt t hat his playing
was bet t er t hen it had ever been. A newsreel survives of
Huberman farewelling resident s of Ein Harod before ent ering an
armored car at t he end of a visit during t his t rip.
I n February 1939 he wrot e t hat his last six concert s “ not only
aroused amongst musicians and audiences great er ent husiasm
t han my best concert s before t he accident , but t hat even my
most severe crit ic could not help being sat isfied: myself. ” By t his
t ime t he Palest ine Symphony had performed under t he bat on of
Toscanini, Sargent , St einberg, Dobrowen, Szenkar, Taube and
Horenst ein, and in April Huberman t ried t o negot iat e a deal wit h
t he Broadcast ing aut horit ies. He felt t hat Radio might be in t he
best posit ion t o t ake over t he orchest ra, as it “ could safeguard it s
economic and spirit ual int erest s” wit h more st abilit y t han a
privat e associat ion, provided t hat t hey be obliged t o cont inue t he
workers’ subscript ion series.
Aft er a busy European concert season in t he non- nazi count ries,
Huberman was rest ing at his count ry home in Swit zerland when
war was declared on 1st Sept ember. He volunt eered his services
in concert s for t he benefit of t he Red Cross and ot her charit ies,
and aft er playing in Holland and Belgium, t ook part in a great
Charit y Concert at t he Opera in Paris in January 1940. From Paris
he went again t o Palest ine and Egypt , playing wit h t he PSO in
Cairo in t he presence of t he King of Egypt for t he aid of Anat olian
eart hquake vict ims, demonst rat ing “ t he mission of music as an
inst rument of int ernat ional goodwill. ” He had been int ending t o
t ravel back t o Europe via Ankara and I st anbul, but a sudden and
generous offer from Johannesburg saw him sailing t o Sout h Africa
at t he end of March. Audiences and crit ics were very recept ive
[ read review] , and Huberman t hought of ext ending his st ay, but
t he st rong ant i - Brit ish and ant i - Jewish resent ment from t he
minorit y Boer populat ion, combined wit h t he uncert aint y of fut ure
t ransport out of t he count ry, made him suddenly change his
mind. Plans t o t ravel back t o Europe via Palest ine were scrapped
as I t aly’s ent ry int o t he war barred t he way nort hward, and in
August by chance he managed t o get passage t o America.
cont inue
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Top phot o: c. 1935

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I n February 1941, Huberman played a program of t rios in t ribut e
t o Paderewski wit h Schnabel and Feuermann, and in May he
received his first American cit izenship papers. The next mont h
Johanna Brinska ( t he daught er of t he Count and Count ess
Brinska) arrived on t he Serpa Pint o and delivered Huberman a
St radivarius he owned. On 21 December he made his first
appearance at Carnegie Hall since his Gibson had been st olen
t here five years before, playing t he Beet hoven concert o “ in
superb form” under Bruno Walt er. Bot h he and Walt er donat ed
t heir services for t he concert , for t he benefit of t he Brit ish-
American Ambulance Corps.
On 17 January 1942 he performed his first solo recit al of t he
decade at Carnegie Hall; he led a small chamber orchest ra t hat
accompanied him in a Bach and Mozart concert o, and aft er t he
int ermission he was j oined by his pianist Boris Roubakine, and
played Medt ner’s Sonat a Epica ( which last ed for 45 minut es) ,
Szymanowski’s “ La Font aine d’Aret huse, ” and t he violinist ’s own
t ranscript ions of a mazurka and a walt z by Chopin.
I n July he had his first performance at t he Lewisohn St adium
where he played t he Mendelssohn wit h t he New York Philharmonic
before an audience of 7000. His performance was “ set up on
proport ions t hat would have been suit able for a more int imat e
audit orium and t he public address syst em did t he rest . Mr
Huberman’s t one is delicat e and refined, wit hout crudit y or
coarseness and amplificat ion did not harm it . ”
Through t he 1942/ 43 wint er season t wo more sell- out Carnegie
Hall concert s and an all Bach Town Hall recit al t ook place
receiving excellent reviews. I n February 1943 he spoke and
played at a special Unit ed Nat ions Day on Poland t hat was
broadcast by WMCA, and in July played in a broadcast t ribut e t o
t he Polish Prime Minist er General Sikorski who had died in a plane
crash. The radio t ranscript ion disc of t his performance st ill
survives, and can be downloaded as an mp3 file in t he radio
broadcast sect ion.
A performance of t he Tchaikovsky wit h t he NYPSO in t he
Lewisohn St adium repeat ed t he success of t he previous year,
wit h an audience of 10 000. The New York Times wrot e “ I t is
probably safe t o say t hat t he Tchaikovsky concert o has never had
a finer or great er performance in t his cit y. The opening
movement , Allegro moderat o, displayed a dazzling exhibit ion of
pyrot echnics, wit h a virt uosit y unexcelled in t he world t oday. ”
Boris Roubakine t hen accompanied on piano for several encores.
Huberman’s fourt h Carnegie Hall appearance of t he 1943/ 44
c. 1940
c. 1941
Musical America, Feb
1942
Musical America, Feb
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
World War Two: huberman.info
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season was on Sunday 23 January, when in a repeat performance
of 20t h, he played t he Brahms concert o wit h t he NYPSO under
Rodzinski. This performance was broadcast , and luckily recorded
for post erit y. Huberman as a child, had of course performed t his
concert o t o t he composer himself in Vienna, and one lady wrot e
t o him:
“ New York, January 23rd, 1944
Hearing you t oday, brought back memories of t he
first performance of t he Brahms Violin Concert o in
Vienna - I was t here - and can even now see
Brahms sit t ing in t he Balcony! I t was a memorable
occasion. - I was 14 - and a scholarship pupil at t he
Conservat orium.
The years have not dimmed your exquisit e playing.
Again t hanking you
Alexia Bassian ( Hollywood, California) ”
Anot her let t er writ t en t he next day is part icularly int erest ing.
“ January 24t h, 1944
I j ust can’t help writ ing you aft er your playing of t he
Brahms Concert o yest erday wit h t he Philharmonic.
Unable t o at t end t he concert in Carnegie Hall I
list ened over t he radio and I want t o t ell you t hat it
was one of t he great moment s in my musical
experience - and t hat is plent y! I was deeply
impressed, because you conveyed t he musical
message and not only t he not es as, alas, is so oft en
t he case! I t was music at it s very best and highest .
For t his I want t o t hank you from all my heart . - - -
Yes, t he violin is a marvellous inst rument and many
play it well, in fact t echnically perhaps t o perfect ion,
but beyond t he not es t here is somet hing which t hey
somehow do not convey. You do it - and t he not es
are st ill t here. Perhaps I am a lit t le sent iment al
because my childhood ( we are of about t he same
age) is so closely connect ed wit h t he first
impressions in music I received.
The great er, I believe, t he compliment t hat is due t o
you. Aft er so many years I st ill t hink now t hat you
are one of t he t ruly elect in MUSI C conveying t he
message by means of t he fiddle!
Many t hanks again, and my most cordial greet ings
A. W. Greiner ( St einway + Sons, New York) ”
Huberman was never fond of recording as he disliked t he
repet it ion required t o achieve a “ perfect t ake” and he also
disliked t he process of broadcast ing in a small st udio for radio, as
he felt it relied t oo much upon merely t echnical mat t ers. I n a
concert hall filled wit h an audience, it was easier for him t o
overcome t his const raint , but he st ill believed t he end result was
“ canned music, ” however aft er receiving t he previous let t er, he
reconsidered his opinion.
He replied t o Mr. A. W. Greiner, t he Manager of t he Concert &
Art ist s Dept t hanking him for t he let t er of January 24.
“ RI VERDALE, New York
February 12, 1944
Dear Mr. Greiner:
1944
February 1943
Advert for t he
Rodzinski Brahms t hat
was broadcast and
recorded, 23 Jan 1944
World War Two: huberman.info
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Your let t er filled me wit h great j oy. And now, I must
say, I am might y glad t hat you could not at t end t he
concert and list ened in t o t he radio. Thus, at last , I
have an aut horit at ive account of t he range of violin
expression t ransmit t able over t he radio. And what
made me most happy in addit ion t o t he personal
sat isfact ion caused by your let t er is t he fact t hat t his
radio t est of my playing has by far surpassed my
expect at ions.
Wit h t he knowledge t hat such emot ions as described
in your let t er can be caused over t he radio, my
whole at t it ude t o it , unt il now somewhat reserved,
undergoes a fundament al change.
I am grat eful t o you for causing me t his more
posit ive st and.
Wit h warm greet ings
Cordially yours
Bronislaw Huberman
P. S. Please, excuse my delayed react ion t o your
let t er … I was out of t own on a t our. ”
List en t o a sect ion of t he first movement of t he Brahms
concert o [ wma 174k] . Det ails of t he Brahms recording can be
found in t he recordings sect ion.
cont inue
Top phot o: c. 1935

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Aft er t he war he again t oured Europe, and t hen ret urned t o his
home near Lake Geneva, where he became ill. Aft er spending six
mont hs in a healt h resort in I t aly, he ret urned t o Swit zerland
where he died on 16 June 1947.
NOTE: This page is not yet finished. The f ol l ow i ng t ex t i s
w r i t t en by Huber man' s secr et ar y , I da I bbek en.
Swit zerland
The day aft er t he concert in Zurich on April 24t h, 1946,
Huberman ret urned home t o his beaut iful, wooded count ry- seat
“ Nant ” above t he Lake of Geneva. Here he hoped t o rest aft er
many mont hs of st renuous concert - t ours and ot her act ivit ies in
America, England and ot her European count ries, t o enj oy t he
exquisit e beaut y of his propert y and t o prepare for new act ion.
I n America, it had been arranged wit h friends t hat he should t ake
over a car which t hey had left in a garage near Geneva, when t he
war broke out in 1939, and t hat he should use it unt il t he friends
would come t o Swit zerland and t ake t heir car. – A few days aft er
arrival at “ Nant ” , Huberman t ravelled t oget her wit h a compet ent
mechanic- driver t o t hat village t o fet ch t he car. I n spit e of t he
writ t en inst ruct ion, t he owner of t he garage refused t o comply,
pret ending t hat , in accordance wit h previous orders, t he car had
already been sold. Huberman knew t hat t his was not t rue, t hat
t he man want ed t o keep t he fine car which, at t hat t ime had a
great value. But , wit h ext reme rest raint of his anger, Huberman
succeeded t o have t he garage- owner deliver him t he car.
Huberman felt ut most indignat ion; it was not only t he personal
experience but st ill more t he fact t hat t his had happened in
Swit zerland. He felt t erribly disappoint ed. He looked very pale,
but remarked: “ I cont rolled myself well, didn’t I ?” - I n t his st at e
of repressed feelings he at e in a lit t le village- inn a hurriedly and
insufficient ly prepared meal. Then he had t he driver t ake him
back in t he car t o “ Nant ” . –
Overworked and overt ired as he st ill was, t he suppressed
excit ement led t o cat ast rophic consequences: what Huberman
had expressed as a yout h and what he had felt in one form or
anot her during his life: “ t he effort t o suppress my emot ion react s
on my st omach and ruins it . All suffering is rest rained passion” –
t his became now full realit y. The whole body seemed t o be
gripped by an int oxicat ion leading t o a grave at t ack of
convulsion. This was so st rong t hat it caused t he fract ure of t he
neck of t he t high- bone, which was recognised as such only aft er
a mont h, but which, successfully set , healed complet ely. –
Unexplained remained t he illness as such, remained t he t errific
pains in t he left shoulder and a cert ain immobilit y of t he left arm.
4 Nov 1945, Albert
Hall
7 Nov 1945, leaving
Concert gebouw
followed by secret ary
Planned world t our
April 1946 - May 1947
Biography
Early years / Patti’s farewell / Viennese triumph / Brahms listens / America 1896 / Paganini’s violin / Marriage / World War I
/ America 1921 / Europe 1925 / Political tension / Riots in Vienna / Stolen Strad / Palestine / World War II / Liberation
Liberation: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/liberation/[02/11/12 06:33:20]
During several mont hs t he surgeon himself t reat ed wit h
exercises, causing excruciat ing pain, which Huberman could bear
only in t he willingness t o suffer anyt hing which would enable him
t o play his violin again. – Aft er more t han six mont hs, in a healt h
resort in I t aly, t he physicians found out t hat t here had been a
slight fract ure in t he shoulder which now, aft er such a long t ime
could be correct ed only by a surgical int ervent ion. – The
operat ion was successful and again – as t en years ago aft er t he
airplane crash – Huberman had t o work from morning t o night t o
regain t he mast ery of his violin. – At t hat t ime he wrot e t o a
friend: “ Was wirst Du wohl von mir denken nach den fast 9
Monat en meines Schweigens auf Dein liebes Schreiben! Was
immer Du auch denken magst , es ist auf j eden Fall gefehlt .
Heut e, wo eine fast t ragische Ungewissheit sich zum Bessern
wendet , kann ich es Dir sagen: ich habe durch diese 9 Monat e
zum Teil um mein Leben gekämpft , zum Teil um die Mission in
meinem Leben: die Geige … und das Wunder ist geschehen: ich
spiele wieder Geige. ”
St ill in I t aly, during one of his exercises, he played in t he
presence of his music- loving doct or t he Concert o in E of Bach in
such a way, t hat he himself was deeply moved by a newly
discovered essence and meaning of t hat concert o. – He played
t he opening bars of t he Brahms Concert o so, t hat t he Professor,
overwhelmed, exclaimed: “ Quel géant ! – What a giant ! ” –
Aft er ret urn t o his home in Swit zerland he cont inued wit h t he
incessant exercises. I mpossible t o describe t he ups and downs of
hope and despair, t he spirit ual t orment s. – Relaxat ion and
recreat ion he found in walks in t he park and woods of his beloved
“ Nant ” , in t he song of t he birds, t he magnificent landscape wit h
t he Lake of Geneva, t he snow- covered mount ains, t he green
fields and blossoming fruit - t rees in t he valley and his orchard.
But here in Swit zerland, anot her mat t er caused him great
dist ress. A young violinist who, before America had ent ered t he
war, had st udied wit h Huberman for a short t ime in summer 1941
in America, and who had now finished his milit ary service, came
over t o Europe in order t o cont inue his violin st udies. Already in
I t aly he had been wit h Huberman for a few weeks, and now he
came t o Swit zerland. There, t he aut horit ies of t he Cant on issued
an order, forbidding Huberman as a foreigner, not wit hst anding
his large propert y, t o give violin- lessons! – Was t here, at all, a
Swiss violin- playing yout h in t he count ry, in whom Huberman
might have been int erest ed t o give him lessons?! – Huberman
felt aggrieved, indignant . He did not even permit t he young man
t o come up t o his house unt il, aft er some discussions, t he
aut horit ies consent ed t hat “ foreigners” were permit t ed t o st udy
wit h him. – He received t he not ice on a Sat urday. – On t his
Sat urday Huberman felt for t he fist t ime t hat he had regained
complet e mast ery over his violin, he knew t hat he would be able
t o play t he concert s which he had planned for t he fort hcoming
wint er. He scarcely dared t o believe it . How oft en had he
exclaimed: I cannot live wit hout my violin! ” – And now he had
reconquered it , for his convict ion, his art ist ic crit erion, fully! – On
Sunday morning t his believe in t he ret urn t o his art was st ill
st rengt hened. –
I n t he aft ernoon he had t he young violinist come up t o his
house. First t hey t ook a walk t hrough t he park, Huberman t alked
about t he necessit y t o t ake care of t he preservat ion of t he old
magnificent t rees, he was cheerful, in good spirit s. Then he gave
t he violin- lesson, explaining; being himself in a st at e of
inspirat ion, he lift ed his hands, imploring: “ Think of a vision, a
vision from far, far away! ” – His face was pale, but t he eyes
shone. Soon he ended t he lesson, t ired from excit ement . The rest
of t he day he spent calmly chat t ing. – I n t he evening a grave
at t ack set in, a doct or was called; aft er his condit ion had calmed
down, t he doct or left in t he believe t hat no specific change would
happen. Huberman did not awake from unconsciousness. – I n t he
early morning of t he 16t h of June 1947 his passionat e heart
Liberation: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/biography/liberation/[02/11/12 06:33:20]
ceased t o beat , almost impercept ibly. Wit hout a st ruggle like a
soft breeze ended t his st ruggle- filled life. –
Leaving Concert gebouw followed by secret ary, aft er rehearsal
prior t o performance lat er t hat day, marking his first since Dut ch
liberat ion.
Top Phot o: 1945

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An interview with Bronislaw Huberman: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/interview/[02/11/12 06:33:37]
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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
St r i ng Mast er y
Huberman discusses
t echnique, pract ice, and
t he key t o violin
virt uosit y.
Read t he complet e
int erview >
The t eachi ng of musi c
The import ance of
amat eur music
educat ion and t he
dangers of mechanized
or recorded music.
Read t he complet e
int erview >
I nt er est i ng pr obl ems i n
musi c mak i ng
“ Every count ry has t he
government it
deserves; every man
has t he friends he
deserves; every art ist
has t he t echnic he
deserves - no bet t er,
no worse”
Read t he complet e
int erview >
Mr. Huberman; to which school would you say you
belong?
“ I wish I knew myself. As a boy of t en I spent eight
mont hs wit h Joachim; but as he was absent from Berlin
most of t he t ime . . . I might t rut hfully say t hat I am as
much a pupil, or more, of Jean de Reszké or Caruso as I
am of Joachim. Take Caruso, for inst ance. He point ed one
great lesson which every violinist might follow. I n spit e of
being none t oo economical in using his voice, in producing
his t one, he had developed a great reserve of st rengt h, a
nat ural reservoir of power and expression, and showed
wonderful abilit y in building up an aria t o it s nat ural
climax. This abilit y I have made it my business t o develop
wit h regard t o my own inst rument . ”
What do you consider the basis of musical expression?
“ Rhyt hm – t here you have it . Rhyt hm is t he soul of music,
and t he charact erist ic rhyt hms of each count ry are built
on t he physical movement s of it s dancers . . . You should
hear a German orchest ra t rying t o play a St rauss walt z.
The beat s are square and unvaried; t he whole t hing
complet ely dead. I t is not a walt z at all. But t he humblest
Viennese, who has grown up wit h t he real walt z rhyt hm
surrounding him on every side, reproduces it by inst inct .
So, wherever I go, I dip int o t he folk- lore of t hat place.
That is why I claim t o underst and t he English composers
– and few Cont inent als can say as much. Elgar, Delius,
Vaughan Williams – all of t hem have t he English folk
idiom in t heir blood. Unless one has st udied t hat idiom at
it s source, how is one t o int erpret t heir music wit h
insight ?”
But how does folk music relate to classical music?
“ The st udy of folk rhyt hms carries it self over int o t he
region of classical music. An inst ance will show you what I
mean. I n New York some years ago, a young violinist t old
me he t hought I played t he last movement of t he
Tchaikowsky concert o t oo fast . I had a bet wit h him.
‘Come wit h me t o a Russian rest aurant which has an
orchest ra, ’ I said. ‘I f wit hin t wo hours we do not hear t he
principal phrase of t hat last movement , or somet hing very
like it , I will pay you t en dollars. ’ “ He agreed. And it was I
who received t he t en dollars. For I was able t o point out
t hat t he nat ive players enunciat ed t he t heme at exact ly
t he same speed as I had done, t hough it occurred in
music of a complet ely different sort . The point is t hat
Tchaikowsky had not borrowed t he mot ive direct ly from
folk music. I t occurred in his concert o simply because he
had st eeped himself in t he charact erist ic Russian nat ional
melodies. Because I , t oo, had acquired t hat melodic
scheme as a background, I was able t o give his musical
An interview with Bronislaw Huberman
The mat erial on t his page is derived from several int erviews
t hat can be read in full in t he Art icles sect ion.
An interview with Bronislaw Huberman: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/interview/[02/11/12 06:33:37]
t hought exact ly t he shape and expression it required. ”
How much practice a day is necessary?
“ Well, for a violinist st udying wit h a mast er, or a
professional violinist , at least four hours a day, and not
more t han six are necessary. I should not want an art ist
pupil st udying wit h me t o pract ice more t han five hours a
day. As t o t he virt uoso, he should never look at a wat ch
. . . On t our I pract ice regularly on t he t rain in my
st at eroom. I know t hat some violinist s do not believe in
daily work while on t our. But list en t o t heir playing,
especially t oward t he end of t heir season! ”
What exercises can you recommend for students?
“ I hesit at e t o prescribe exercises, because what one
pract ices is less import ant t hat how one pract ices it .
However, I can recommend playing scales in double st ops
in t hirds . . . Nor do I hold great ly by et udes. They are
good t o lay a foundat ion, t o supply t he element ary
ground for t he higher virt uoso t echnique. But from t he
st andpoint of virt uoso playing t he spiccat o, t he vibrat o,
et c. , can never be acquired by t he st udy of et udes. I t is
possible on t he piano, perhaps, in such et udes as t hose
by Chopin and ot hers, t o develop finish, but not on t he
violin. ”
What is the most difficult bowing?
“ To j udge by t he number of t imes I have seen it missing in
ot her violinist s I should say t he spiccat o. Ninet y- five out
of a hundred violinist s – and I do not exclude t he great est
– inst ead of a rounded, springing spiccat o, use a species
of nebulous dét aché. ”
And turning to the left hand, what are your thoughts on
vibrato?
“ The vibrat o, t o begin wit h, is one of t he great est of
violinist ic effect s; but most violinist s use it as Rembrandt
does his dark yellow backgrounds. I look on it as an
accessory of expression, which has t o be carefully
graduat ed in it s use, like t he crescendo, fort e or
accelerando . . . I t is best t o t hink of t he vibrat o as a
graduat ing means of expression. Then it s occasional use
for cont rast is very effect ive, and much t o be preferred t o
t he t errible cont inuous vibrat o which irrit at es t he nerves. ”
Finally Mr. Huberman, what does all this hard work and
practice let you achieve?
“ Trut h, rat her t han mere beaut y, and it s perfect ed
expression in playing is my idea of violin mast ery. And t he
t rut h cannot be expressed wit hout a perfect ed t echnical
base. ”
An interview with Bronislaw Huberman: huberman.info
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Top phot o: 12 June 1924, st udio d´ Ora, Art hur Benda

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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
BRONI SLAV HUBERMAN
ENDURANCE STUDY THE KEY TO VI OLI N
VI RTUOSI TY
Bronislav Huberman, who played Spohr’s Second Violin Concert o
at t he age of seven, is one of t he rare examples of an infant
prodigy whose art ist ic mat urit y has kept every earlier promise.
He is essent ially one of t he great er violinist s of our t ime, and not
alone because of his ext raordinary t echnique and t he breadt h and
richness of his t one, but because of a sureness of mast ery which
lends perfect ion t o every det ail of his int erpret at ion. Bronislav
Huberman is no more given t o commonplaces in his t hought s
anent his art t han in his art it self; and t he ideas which he
developed in conversat ion wit h t he writ er, in an upper chamber of
his manager’s offices in New York, should prove highly
st imulat ing and suggest ive t o every serious and ambit ious
violinist .
“ To which school do I belong?” said Mr. Huberman, echoing a
quest ion. “ I wish I knew myself. As a boy of t en I spent eight
mont hs wit h Joachim; but as he was absent from Berlin most of
t he t ime, and I was not quit e sat isfied wit h t he assist ant t eacher
who represent ed him, I st udied secret ly wit h Charles
Gregorovit ch, Wieniawski’s best pupil, a gift ed t eacher and
virt uoso, but t oo nervous t o play in public. Leaving Gregorovit ch,
I played new repert oire works for six weeks wit h Hugo Heerman
and, at t he age of eleven, had t hree weeks’ hearings wit h
Marsick. Aft er t hat I became my own t eacher, working, st udying
and developing my playing along individual lines and also by
hearing ot her art ist s, especially singers.
CARUSO AS A VI OLI N TEACHER
“ I might t rut hfully say t hat I am as much a pupil, or more, of
Jean de Reszké or Caruso as I am of Joachim. Take Caruso, for
inst ance. He point ed one great lesson which every violinist might
follow. I n spit e of being none t oo economical in using his voice, in
producing his t one, he had developed a great reserve of
st rengt h, a nat ural reservoir of power and expression, and
showed wonderful abilit y in building up an aria t o it s nat ural
climax. This abilit y I have made it my business t o develop wit h
regard t o my own inst rument . Violinist s in general, even t hose
who play most expressively, are oft en at a loss when a great ,
vibrat ing crescendo is demanded of t hem in t he culminat ing
passages of a composit ion, when t he lat t er are not on t he G
st ring or wit hin t he fift h posit ion, but somewhere on t he E st ring
and bet ween t he sevent h and t welft h posit ions. Then t hey make
t he best of a bad bargain and play piano, as t hough t his had
Bronislav Huberman
String Mastery
Huberman was int erviewed in New York on 27 November
1922 by Frederick H. Mart ens for his book St ring Mast ery
published by Frederick A. St okes Co. , New York, 1923.
Aft er discussing various t echnical problems relat ing t o
violin playing, Huberman describes his idea of violin
mast ery as t he perfect ed expression of t rut h, rat her t han
mere beaut y. Shouldn' t t his be t he goal of all musicians?
I cert ainly wish it was.
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been t he composer’s int ent ion, even when a fort e is indicat ed. As
far as t his t echnical abilit y t o maint ain t he power of t he dynamics
and phrasing in t he high posit ions on t he E st ring is concerned, it
cannot be acquired wit hout years of work. Most violinist s are
quit e ready t o spend hours in polishing some purely bravura
passage, but shrink from giving t ime t o cult ivat ing a larger t one
in high E st ring posit ions where it is required.
ENDURANCE STUDY THE KEY TO VI OLI N VI RTUOSI TY
“ As regards virt uoso violin playing, t wo great t echnical fact ors are
required: a colossal reserve of t onal and t echnical power and
st rengt h, built up by endurance st udy; and absolut e purit y of
int onat ion. I expect t o develop my ideas and discoveries
respect ing int onat ion at lengt h in a new book on which I am
working, but will t ake t his opport unit y of giving you some of my
ideas regarding endurance st udy, which, in my opinion, is t oo
much neglect ed.
“ The violinist should have, in realit y, t wice as much t echnical
power and st rengt h at his disposal in order t o play a given
composit ion as he t hinks necessary. And t his he can only get by
endurance st udy, t he t rue key t o violin virt uosit y. Before Nansen
undert ook his Polar expedit ions he t rained himself t o sleep in t he
open under condit ions as nearly as possible approaching t hose he
was t o encount er. The violinist should t rain for t he condit ions of
t he concert plat form, and t oo many are not willing t o do t his. For
inst ance, most violinist s cannot play, clearly and dist inct ly, t he
st ret t o of t he first movement of t he Tschaikovsky Concert o wince,
owing t o t he amount of passage- work preceding it , t heir hand is
exhaust ed when t he st ret t o is reached. The only way t o insure
t heir doing j ust ice t o t he st ret t o when t hey reach it is t o pract ice
it t oget her wit h t he preceding passages, again and again and
again, building up a colossal reserve of finger - power. A violinist ’s
t echnique may be said t o have reached t he virt uoso point when
he is able t o play every difficult passage of a difficult work, not
only separat ely, but t oget her wit h all t hat precedes and succeeds
it , in t empo, wit h proper observance of all det ails of shading,
phrasing and int erpret at ion. Some of t he passages in Paganini’s
“ Les Clochet t es, ” for example, are so supremely difficult for every
violinist , t hat when he comes t o t hem in t he middle of t he
composit ion, his hand is already so fat igued t hat he cannot do
j ust ice t o t hem.
“ Now, in order t o bring his t echnique t o t he point t hat he is able
t o play ‘Les Clochet t es’ j ust once on t he concert plat form, t he
violinist must be able t o play it t hrough t went y t imes wit hout
int errupt ion at home! Of course, t he maj or difficult ies vary wit h
individual composit ions; somet imes it may be a double t rill, a
series of fingered oct aves or t ent hs – t here are so many t echnical
forms – but t he endurance st udy which builds up t he t echnical
reserve, it right ly carried out , will t ake care of t hem all.
DAI LY MECHANI CAL EXERCI SES
“ As t o daily mechanical exercises, I do not believe very much in
t hem. For what might be called daily ‘t echnical bat hs’ I t hink t he
scales in t hirds are excellent , especially for endurance. But t he
best t hing t o do is t o pick out ent ire difficult sect ions and pract ice
t hem, whet her you t hink you need t hem or not . I do t his myself
because endurance t raining in t he highest sense can only be
developed by innumerable repet it ions of difficult passages at a
rapid t empo. Such mat erial may be found, for inst ance, before
t he very end of t he fiorit ure passages in Sarasat e’s ‘Carmen’
Fant asy, where t here are broken chords, for eit her dét aché or
legat o bowing. There is a general idea t hat t he purely mechanical
exercise prepares and makes less difficult any part icular passage
or passages. I do not believe t his, since every advanced violinist
discovers, sooner or lat er, t hat t he t echnical passages in a new
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work have new difficult ies of t heir own. The violin is a subt le
inst rument , and t he great er works writ t en for it do not offer a
mere repet it ion of t echnical formulas. The change of a t one, or of
t he vibrat o in even a familiar passage, int roduces a new difficult y.
Therefore I do not t hink it advisable for t he mat ure art ist or
advanced st udent t o give much t ime t o t he purely mechanical
exercise. Nor do I hold great ly by et udes. They are good t o lay a
foundat ion, t o supply t he element ary ground for t he higher
virt uoso t echnique. But from t he st andpoint of virt uoso playing
t he spiccat o, t he vibrat o, et c. , can never be acquired by t he
st udy of et udes.
“ I t is possible on t he piano, perhaps, in such et udes as t hose by
Chopin and ot hers, t o develop finish, but not on t he violin. To get
t he final polish of brilliancy on t he st rings, t he player must rely
on his imaginat ion, his art ist ic vision. The purely t heoret ical way
in which t he ét ude deals wit h t hese mat t ers cannot arouse t he
imaginat ion of t he art ist .
NEED OF ENDURANCE WORK FOR THE HI GHER
POSI TI ONS
“ I have developed a special t echnique of power and endurance in
t he high regist ers on long not es. Why? Because, as I have
already ment ioned, violinist s usually fall short of t he fullness of
t one and power needed when a climaxing phrase or a climaxing
melody occurs in a high posit ion. I admit t hat it is difficult t o gain
lyric breadt h and fullness of t one high up on t he E st ring, but it
can be done. Caruso made his high climaxing not es gloriously
powerful: t he violinist can do t he same. I n t he case of some
singers, some sopranos, let us say, t here is more excuse if t heir
voice does not obey t hem; t hey act ually may not have t he t ones
t hey need in t heir regist ers. But t he t ones are t here in t he violin;
it is only a mat t er of bringing t hem out , of cult ivat ing t hem from
t he st andpoint of endurance st udy. There are cert ain climaxing
t ones in famous composit ions where, if it were not so difficult ,
ninet y- five per cent of t he violinist s would make t he vibrat o t hey
ought t o make. As it is, t hey do not observe t he vibrat o. And in
general, if t he t one calling for t he vibrat o happens t o be in a high
posit ion on t he E st ring, it is ignored. From t he st andpoint of t rue
art and t rue art ist ic effect it is wort hy while giving hours, days,
mont hs of work, if necessary, t o developing a genuine crescendo
under t hese condit ions, or a genuine vibrat o, or making a fort e a
t rue fort e. But , unfort unat ely, no one is willing, as a rule, t o
spend t he t ime necessary t o give t wo individual t ones a more
brilliant and beaut iful fort e qualit y. I work more on t his t han I do
on Paganini oct aves. Take, in t he Brahms Concert o, t he first
movement , t he melodic passages, it would be impossible t o play
t hem as writ t en, wit h a beaut iful, rounded vibrat o t enut o, wit hout
t hree t o four years’ hard work. Any number of professional
players, however, t hink not hing of giving up t en years t o
acquiring Ernst or Paganini brilliancies; but when it comes t o
working at high speed on t he E st ring, bet ween t he fift h and
sevent h posit ion, for t he sake of art ist ic complet eness, t hey are
not willing t o make t he sacrifice.
THE VI BRATO AND SPI CCATO
“ The vibrat o, t o begin wit h, is one of t he great est of violinist ic
effect s; but most violinist s use it as Rembrandt does his dark
yellow backgrounds. I look on it as an accessory of expression,
which has t o be carefully graduat ed in it s use, like t he crescendo,
fort e or accelerando. There is a dramat ic and lyric vibrat o, each
differing in it s amount of speed and varying in degree of
amplit ude and t he lengt h of it s st roke, like t he pendulum of a
clock. At t imes a very rapid vibrat o gives j ust t he right t ouch t o
human and dramat ic expression, as in Lalo’s ‘Symphonie
Espagnole’; at ot hers t he slower lyric vibrat or , as in t he
Beet hoven Concert o, is most expressive. I t is best t o t hink of t he
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vibrat o as a graduat ing means of expression. Then it s occasional
use for cont rast is very effect ive, and much t o be preferred t o t he
t errible cont inuous vibrat o which irrit at es t he nerves.
BOWI NG AND PRACTI CE HOURS
“ Which is t he most difficult bowing? To j udge by t he number of
t imes I have seen it missing in ot her violinist s I should say t he
spiccat o. Ninet y- five out of a hundred violinist s – and I do not
exclude t he great est – inst ead of a rounded, springing spiccat o,
use a species of nebulous dét aché. The spiccat o is anot her
variet y of bowing which must be developed by endurance st udy.
“ As t o t he hours of pract ice? Well, for a violinist st udying wit h a
mast er, or a professional violinist , at least four hours a day, and
not more t han six are necessary. I should not want an art ist pupil
st udying wit h me t o pract ice more t han five hours a day. As t o
t he virt uoso, he should never look at a wat ch. One or t wo hours a
day, according t o t he amount of reserve t echnique he has
acquired by working during his yout h, should suffice. On an
average, before st art ing on a season’s t our, I work from four t o
six hours a day for four or six weeks, more or less. I t all depends
on my repert oire. I may work night and day on a new concert o
and get it in shape in t hree weeks. On t our I pract ice regularly on
t he t rain in my st at eroom. I know t hat some violinist s do not
believe in daily work while on t our. But list en t o t heir playing,
especially t oward t he end of t heir season! I feel t hat t his daily
promenade on t he fingerboard is necessary and so I do not
neglect it .
VI OLI N MASTERY
“ Trut h, rat her t han mere beaut y, and it s perfect ed expression in
playing is my idea of violin mast ery. And t he t rut h cannot be
expressed wit hout a perfect ed t echnical base. The dynamics must
be worked out ; even t he det ails of lyric expression must be
worked out t echnically, while t he art ist ic vision is developed out
of t he art ist ’s own inspirat ion, and his reflex of t he analysis of t he
composer’s t hought and mood. And, above all, t o do j ust ice t o
violin playing in it s highest and noblest aspect s, t he art ist ic sense
of t rut h must not concede anyt hing t o t he difficult ies of t he
higher posit ions, which can be overcome by t he proper t raining in
endurance.
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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
The Teachi ng Of Musi c
War ni ng t o Par ent s
By Br oni sl aw Huber man,
The emi nent Pol i sh v i ol i ni st ,
At pr esent i n Sy dney
Musical educat ion generally and t he choice of a musical career
have suffered great ly from complet ely false supposit ions and
erroneous ideas. Probably t he great est mist ake of all is t he
assumpt ion by parent s t hat a child’s reluct ance t o pract ise is sure
evidence of a lack of t alent .
I must confess myself t hat t o me pract ising can be a t errible
mart yrdom, and I remember t hat even Beet hoven and Weber
hat ed pract ising, and had t o be whipped t o t he piano. I st ill hat e
pract ising, as I have hat ed it all my life, but now, being an
advanced musician in age and in musical mat urit y, I have t he
ment al capacit y t o visualize t he link bet ween t his mart yrdom and
t he high aim of performing a composit ion as it should be
performed. Every hour’s pract ise brings me nearer t o my aim.
But one cannot expect t o find t his logic, and t he sat isfact ion t hat
comes from it , in a child.
I nf l ux Of Medi ocr i t y
What t hen is left of t he willingness t o pract ise, t he usual main
crit erion for musical t alent ? At t he best , diligence, a sense of dut y
and obedience t o t he parent s – pract ically t he opposit e of t alent .
The linking of pract ice is, t herefore, not a quest ion of gift , but of
charact er. Perhaps t his wrong concept ion explains t he abundant
influx of mediocrit y int o music. Alt hough it may sound
paradoxical, it can be said wit h some cert aint y, t hat many of t he
mast ers’ choice of a profession was more decidedly influenced by
t heir fat hers’ pedagogic j udgment , or by t heir professional
musical act ivit ies ( t his giving a clearer percept ion of t he real
musical values) t han by t heir own creat ive genius. As examples, I
may ment ion Bach, Mozart , Beet hoven, Schubert , Chopin, Weber,
Rossini, Bizet , Brahms, Reger, Puccini, Johann St rauss, Busoni,
d’Albert Lowe, Elgar, Pfit zner, and Korngold, whose fat hers were
all musicians, school t eachers, and music t eachers.
Sav e The Amat eur s
Such were t he condit ions before t he coming of mechanizat ion.
Through t he ignorance of t heir parent s, born musicians were kept
away from, and unt alent ed ones were forced int o t aking up
music. But music was made in many homes wit h fingers of flesh
and blood, but oft en also wit h t he heart and mind. Today, you
only press a but t on t o sat isfy your desire for home music. I n
consequence, many parent s st op t heir children’s music lessons.
The Teaching of music
This art icle was writ t en for t he Sydney Morning Herald,
and published on 2 July 1937. Huberman discusses t he
import ance of amat eur music educat ion and t he dangers
of mechanized or recorded music.
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Apart from t he financial sacrifices, t hey realize t he unnecessary
drudgery for a child who, besides having ordinary home work, is
urged t o miserable pract ising for years, wit h a result , which even
in t he best case cannot compare wit h t he ever - ready and easily
obt ained performance of a gramophone record or of a broadcast
concert .
And t here t he parent s are mist aken, as t hey have been since t he
creat ion of t his world. The enj oyment of list ening and t hat of
recit ing is about as different as t hat of seeing t he fruit and eat ing
it . Equally different is, of course, also t he relat ionship bet ween
man and music, it s influence on t he format ion of his soul and
charact er. But only t he few chosen art ist s, who have experienced
t he rapt ures and delight s of a self- performed Beet hoven quart et
or a Bach fugue, know of t he t rue revelat ion of music. Therefore,
t o t hese we address t he urgent call t o inculcat e in t heir children
an underst anding of music by t uit ion at an early age, and not t o
be dismayed by t he disinclinat ion of t he children or by t he
compet it ion of mechanized subst it ut es.
Cent r es Of Musi c
Why has Vienna ( and lat er on also Pet rograd) always been t he
principal cent er of music. Because in t hese t wo t owns, more t han
anywhere else, serious music was cult ivat ed in t he home, which
is t he only nat ural soil for art . This result ed in a subt le react ive
abilit y of t he music- loving public and in a st riking number of
geniuses given t o music since childhood.
The conservat ion of amat eurism on a high level is of t he ut most
import ance for t he propagat ion of t he professional musician. I n
pearl fishing one pearl will be found out of a t housand shells, and
likewise t here is only one genius among a t housand st udent s of
music. To increase t hem is t herefore in t he int erest of t he
“ breeding” of musical geniuses. And “ pearl fishing” among
amat eurs produces a surprising number of genuine pearls. This is
part icularly illust rat ed by t he hist ory of Russian music in t he 19t h
cent ury. Moussorgsky, Borodin, and Cesar Cui were musicians in
t heir calling, but Government officials or officers by profession.
Tschaikowsky, Rimsky- Korsakov, Glinka, Skiabin, and Balakirew
only in advanced years gave up t heir professions for music, which
so far t hey had only pract ised as a subordinat e occupat ion or as
amat eurs.
Compul sor y I n School s
Music should be made compulsory in schools and a cert ain
amount of musical knowledge and abilit y t o play should be
acquired by everybody. Just as languages are acquired for t he
expression of t he mind, so music should be st udied as a language
for t he expression of t he soul. But we must have clear ideas why
we wish children t o st udy music and what we hope t o achieve by
t hat st udy.
Languages, for inst ance, are generally only t aught from a broad
educat ional point of view, as a medium for bet t er underst anding
or appreciat ion of foreign lit erat ure, apart , perhaps, from t he
desire for easier communicat ion abroad. Too oft en, however,
t hose int ent on music ( or t heir parent s) , do not st rive aft er
deeper familiarit y wit h t he works of musical lit erat ure, or a
deepening of t heir underst anding for t he great creat ions, and for
t he int erpret ers of t his language of t he soul. Most of t hem have
only one aim – t o recit e. Ot herwise t hey consider t ime spent on
music wast ed.
Nat urally, t his is quit e as absurd as if all former pupils of primary,
secondary, and public schools st art ed at t acking t he communit y
wit h lect ures in and on foreign languages, geography, et c. , or
else gave up educat ion alt oget her. The first aim in st udying
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music must be an underst anding of t he vast lit erat ure of music
and t he full expression of one’s deepest feelings. All cannot hope
t o be among t he great est , j ust as all school children cannot hope
t o be out st anding aut horit ies on t he subj ect s t hey learn at school.
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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
I nt er est i ng Pr obl ems i n Musi c Mak i ng
A Conf er ence w i t h Br oni sl aw Huber man
I nt er nat i onal l y Renow ned Vi ol i ni st
Secur ed ex pr essl y f or t he Et ude by My l es
Fel l ow es
Bronislaw Huberman holds a unique place among t he world’s
great musicians. Beyond development of his own dist inguished
career - in which crit ics and public alike depend upon him bot h
for art ist ic performances of t he highest qualit y and penet rat ing
analyses of t he meaning of music - he has found t ime t o serve
humanit arian causes. Wit h t he cooperat ion of Albert Einst ein and
Toscanini, Huberman organized t he Palest ine Symphony
Orchest ra of refugee musicians. I n t he realm of int ernat ional
polit ics, he was one of t he guiding spirit s of t he movement for a
Pan- European federat ion of st at es, t he realizat ion of which would
undoubt edly have served t o prevent t he present cat ast rophic
war. A nat ive of Poland, Huberman began his art ist ic career as a
child prodigy. At t he age of nine, he played at t he Vienna
I nt ernat ional Exhibit of Music wit h such success t hat he was
immediat ely summoned for a command performance before
Emperor Franz Josef. I n recognit ion of t he child’s gift s, t he
Emperor present ed him wit h a violin. From Vienna, young
Huberman went t o Berlin and was accept ed as pupil by Joachim.
A year lat er, at t he age of t en, he launched upon his first
European t our. At t hirt een, he played Brahms “ Violin Concert o”
for it s composer. Brahms, not oriously skept ical of “ infant
prodigies, ” ent ered t he hall in a bad mood. The child appeared;
as t he audience hailed him, Brahms scowled. At last t he Concert o
began. As t he pat t ern of t he work t ook shape under t he child’s
fingers, Brahms’ face relaxed, soft ened. A look of incredulit y crept
int o it . Then, wit hout at t empt ing t o conceal his emot ion from t he
observant crowd, Brahms wiped t he t ears from his eyes. Among
t he many signal honors t hat have come t o Huberman was t he
decision of t he Cit y of Genoa t o place at his disposal Paganini’s
violin.
Mr. Huberman’s chief ent husiasm is t he cause of music it self; he
regards t he violin as but one of many means of serving t hat
cause. I n t he following conference, he makes an earnest plea for
t he special kind of music making which must inevit ably precede
any t rue florescence of art .
- Edit orial Not e.
“ America’s chief musical need, ” says Mr. Huberman, “ is a revival
of dilet t ant ism in t he best sense of t he word; t hat is, delight in
some personal expression of art . A review of t he import ant
epochs of musical hist ory - indeed, of t he hist ory of all t he art s -
shows us t he recurrence of a singular fact : each period of great
creat ive abilit y was bot h preceded and accompanied by a period
of marked amat eur act ivit y. There is a sound reason for t his. Art ,
unlike science, can never exist alone. I f t he laws of science are
discovered, it mat t er lit t le whet her or not t he general public
knows about t hem. Art , on t he ot her hand, needs more t han it s
creat ors; it needs an aware and sympat het ic group of plain
people t o receive it and, by t heir recept ion, t o st imulat e and echo
Bronislaw Huberman
Etude 1942
The American publicat ion Et ude, 1942.
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t he creat ive art ist s. Art , essent ially a reflect ion of human dreams
and aspirat ions, is meant for people. And t he amat eurs who
approach it closely, not merely as passive audience but as act ive
part icipant s, are vit ally necessary t o art and art ist s alike.
“ I t is significant t hat most of t he great Russian composers began
t heir careers as amat eurs. I ndeed, it was precisely t his vivid
int erest in amat eur music making t hat enabled t he creat ive
spirit s t o assert t hemselves. I n my early t ours of Russia, I was
oft en amazed t o find bet t er performance st andards among some
amat eurs t han among many professionals of ot her count ries. I f
we wish t o hast en t he arrival of t ruly great American creat ion, we
must fost er t his same vivid int erest in personal music making
among persons who have no advant age t o gain from music
except t hat of pouring one’s heart int o a beloved cause. I t is not
enough merely t o hear good music. Cert ainly, t he passive t aking
in of music is excellent ; it st imulat es t ast e and helps t o build
st andards. But it lacks t he values of act ive personal part icipat ion.
I n t he old days in Vienna, five hundred persons would fill t he
Boesendorfer Hall t o hear a concert . Of t hese, at least a hundred
could have played t he program t hemselves. That is a sound
proport ion t o maint ain bet ween passive and act ive music lovers.
Translat ing it int o our own t erms, it would mean t hat , of t he
hypot het ical ‘million list eners’ who hear some not able broadcast ,
t wo hundred t housand should be able t o repeat t he program
t hemselves!
Personal Part icipat ion Above All
“ I have only admirat ion for t he many fine performances brought
by mechanical means t o audiences t hat might ot herwise hear no
music at all. But t he funct ion of mechanical music must be clearly
est ablished. I t should supplement personal music making - never
supplant it . I t will undoubt edly sound bet t er t o play t he
Mendelssohn Concert o in t he recording of a reliable art ist ; it is
bet t er for you t o play it yourself! I mperfect as t he performance
may be, it will nonet heless express act ive, living musical int erest .
Oddly enough, t his pot ent ially imperfect performance will also do
great er service t o t he larger development of music. At mosphere
and t radit ion are built only t hrough personal part icipat ion,
personal living wit h music. I well remember, in my own st udent
days, hearing musical amat eurs who were doct ors, lawyers,
business men, t ell of some point of int erpret at ion t hat an older
friend or relat ive had absorbed direct ly from Brahms. None of
t hese was a professional musician; yet all gave life t o t heir love of
music by personal part icipat ion - and so t he great t radit ion lived
on.
“ One of t he chief causes for t he decline of amat eur part icipat ion
lies in t he mist aken at t it ude of parent s t hat only gift ed children
should st udy music. Then t hey proceed t o j udge of t he child’s
t alent by his fondness for pract icing. Love of pract ice has not hing
t o do wit h musical apt it ude! Somet imes even t he reverse - by
very reason of his gift s, a highly musical child is oft en less
inclined t o t he orderly, met hodical habit s demanded by pract ice.
Beet hoven and Weber had t o be forced t o pract ice, oft en at t he
end of a cane! And no wonder. Pract ice is drudgery, part icularly
in it s early st ages when music as such has not yet ent ered t he
process and t he necessary drills are all purely mechanical. A
young art ist can say, ‘I f I pract ice t his exercise now, it will help
me give a fluent rendit ion of t he Beet hoven Concert o in six
mont hs’ t ime. ’ He will weigh values and decide for himself. But
we can hardly expect such logical t hinking in cause and effect
from a child of t en! He will see only t he drudgery of pract ice.
And, unless his parent s are very wise, t hey will misint erpret his
dist ast e for drudgery as a lack of musical abilit y. That is t he
danger.
Underst anding Fat hers
And yet t hey will not make t his mist ake in ot her fields - t hey will
t each t he child t o read and writ e regardless of his pot ent ial
Interesting problems in music making: huberman.info
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apt it udes as a poet ! I t is significant t hat a large proport ion of
great art ist s had musical fat hers, who underst ood t hese init ial
difficult ies of pract ice and kept t heir sons at music st udy despit e
t hem. We may hear t hat such children inherit ed t he gift s of t he
fat hers. Nonsense! I n t he cases of Weber, Liszt , even Beet hoven,
t he gift s of t he fat hers were negligible. The root of t he mat t er is
t hat t hese fat hers underst ood t he many conflict s inherent in t he
met hodical preparat ion of a child for music, and dealt wit h t hem
int elligent ly.
Compulsory Early St udy
“ How, t hen, may one j udge of a child’s inherent musical abilit y?
By t he pleasure he t akes in hearing good music; by his
spont aneous desire, not t o pract ice scales, but t o reproduce
melodies; by his pleasurable react ion t o playing ( again, not
necessarily pract icing! ) ; by t he relat ive degree of progress he
makes. Element ary music st udy should be as compulsory as
element ary t raining in reading and writ ing. Then, when t he first
st age has passed and individual apt it udes have had a chance t o
assert t hemselves, advanced st udy may safely be reserved for
t hose who deserve it . Unt il t hen, music st udy should have
not hing t o do wit h possible careers; as much at t ent ion, if not
more, should be given t o developing a reservoir of purely
amat eur part icipat ion, wit hout which t he best florescence of
art ist ic abilit y can never arrive. ”
Turning t o t he violin it self, Mr. Huberman believes t hat endurance
and int onat ion are among it s most int erest ing and import ant
problems.
“ I t oft en happens, ” he cont inued, “ t hat a difficult run goes quit e
well when pract iced out of it s cont ext , in t he quiet of t he st udy -
room - and t hen comes t hrough badly when t he piece is played in
it s ent iret y. This is especially t rue on t he concert plat form, wit h
it s at t endant circumst ances of increased emot ional st rain. The
reason for t his is accumulat ed fat igue. When t he difficult passage
is approached by it self, t he player comes freshly t o it and
concent rat es upon it ; when it occurs in it s cont ext , t he preceding
passages have already used up some of t he player’s reserve of
mechanical resist ance, and t his muscular exhaust ion of hand
makes t he passage seem doubly difficult . The solut ion is t o
pract ice for endurance as such, quit e as t he mount ain- climber
does before at t empt ing Mont Blanc. Train yourself for fat igue by
working at t he very passages which are muscularly t iring; by
playing t hem wit hin t heir cont ext ; by playing up t o t he fat igue
point . Then st op and begin t he process again, and so fort h. This
is part icularly valuable for passages t hat have already begun t o
go smoot hly. A common mist ake among st udent s is t o pract ice a
passage for it s difficult ies, and t hen t o leave it as soon as t hey
seem solved. The point at which t he difficult ies seem conquered
is exact ly where addit ional pract ice is necessary, in order t o build
up t hat import ant reserve fund of endurance, under all
circumst ances, wit hout which virt uoso t echnic is impossible.
“ Every count ry has t he government it deserves; every man has
t he friends he deserves; every art ist has t he t echnic he deserves
- no bet t er, no worse. I n ot her words, a mediocre t echnic means
t hat it s owner has not been driven by a sufficient ly st rong
spirit ual vision. I f he had been he would have been spurred on t o
acquire bet t er t echnic in order t o realize it ! This applies also t o
t one, since t one is simply one of t he t echnical means of
expressing music. I t is eminent ly personal because individual
charact erist ics of t one ( aft er t he normal groundwork has been
mast ered) depend first upon t he individual art ist ic vision of t he
performer and, in t he second place, upon his individual t echnical
abilit y t o bring t his vision t o life. A st rong enough inner vision of
how a composit ion should sound compels t he violinst t o st rive for
t he sort of t echnical means, including t one, t hat it s realizat ion
requires. Thus, t he highly individual charact er of t he demands a
player makes upon his t one, whet her consciously or
subconsciously, renders it difficult t o analyze t he t one in any
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general way.
“ Some t eachers, for example, advice t he const ant use of t he
vibrat o, while ot hers regard it as a special means of varying t one
and advise t hat it be used, graduat ed, or omit t ed, as individual
passages demand. Again, some aut horit ies advocat e a long bow
for fort e passages and a short bow for piano effect s. On t he ot her
hand, ent irely different t onal qualit ies and carrying powers are
creat ed by varying t he bow; t aking a pianissimo in an allegret t o,
for inst ance, wit h a quick whole bow, and a subit o fort e wit h only
part of t he bow. Tone depends upon t hese and so many more
int ricat e det ails t hat t here is no one way t o det ermine it s
mechanical fundament als.
“ Right and left hands are equally import ant , alt hough t heir
funct ions are so different . One needs t o work longer - all one’s
life! - at t he t echnical demands of left - finger fluency, while t he
powers of t he right hand depend more, perhaps, upon a good
foundat ion and sound met hodical t raining. Wit h pract ice and
experience, t he left hand might oft en find it s own way of solving
difficult ies; but if t he t raining of t he right hand is basically wrong,
even t he most gift ed violinist is handicapped in reaching his
musical goal.
“ I hesit at e t o prescribe exercises, because what one pract ices is
less import ant t hat how one pract ices it . However, I can
recommend playing scales in double st ops in t hirds. Such drill is
invaluable because it st rengt hens endurance and develops t hat
special sense of relat ivit y of t he fingers in t heir approach t o t he
fingerboard which I consider as indispensable t o t he solut ion of
t he most complex of all violinist ic problems: int onat ion.
“ I n t he last analysis, t hough, t he highly individual mat t er of how
t o pract ice can be det ermined only by t he t eacher. Which, by way
of conclusion, reminds me of t he t hree cat egories of t eachers!
First , t here are t hose who call at t ent ion t o fault s wit hout being
able t o correct t hem. I n second place are t hose who can point
out defect s and correct t hem by explanat ion and demonst rat ion
of t he right way - wit hout being able t o show t he pupil how t o
t ravel t hat right way. I n t he t hird place, t hen, come t he best
t eachers - t hose who can not only point out mist akes and
demonst rat e t heir correct ion, but who can t ake t he pupil by t he
hand and lead him along t he road of improvement . ”
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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
Ar t i cl es
The St rad, 1904
Briefly recount s t he life of Huberman, including
his t ours of Europe and America.
A Biographical Sket ch, 1904
Small biography wit h quot es from Brahms,
Dvorak, et c.
Moderne Geiger 1912
Eugen Honold writ es on t he early life of
Huberman, and ment ions t he Guarneri bought
from Hill in London for 63 000 Marks.
St rad Magazine 1932
Percept ive int erview by Art hur
Herman. How does t he
int erpret at ive art ist creat ively
part icipat e in reproducing a musical work?
Huberman, and Nazi Germany
Huberman’s correspondence wit h Furt wängler
culminat ed in his famous accusat ion of non- Nazi
German int ellect uals as being t hose who were
t ruly guilt y of Nazi crimes.
Newsweek 1934
Always int erest ed in innovat ion, for a while,
Huberman favoured a st eel st rung bow over t he
t radit ional horse hair.
Brahms fest ival 1934
Two phot ographs of Schnabel,
Huberman, Casals, and Hindemit h
rehearsing for t he Brahms fest ival
at Huberman’s residence in
Vienna.
Violin st olen 1936
Huberman’s St radivarius violin was st olen while
he was playing his Guarnerius onst age at
Carngie Hall.
Pict ure Post 1939
Sixt y phot ographs were originally
t aken for t his feat ure in Pict ure
Post , but only seven of t hem
finally ended up in print . The
art icle was writ t en before
I nt er v i ew s
De Amicis int erview, 1902
The famous I t alian writ er
Edmondo De Amicis t alks wit h t he
21 year old Huberman about his
early life and upbringing. Would
t wo years wit h Joachim have
dest royed his individualit y?
Et ude, 1912
The American magazine Et ude report s a lect ure
Huberman had given in Vienna on his t heories
of nat ural t alent and violin playing. ‘The great er
t he t alent t he great er t he need for work’!
Musical Observer 1921
Playing t o t he nouveaux riches, admirat ion for
Sergei Tanaïeff, and disappoint ment in
Paganini’s violin.
St ring Mast ery 1922
This int erview discusses in det ail
Huberman’s ideas on t echnique,
pract ice, and t he key t o violin
virt uosit y. He finishes by st at ing –
‘Trut h, rat her t han mere beaut y,
and it s perfect ed expression in
playing is my idea of violin mast ery. ’
Huberman on America, 1923
Huberman discusses America in t his art icle
published in The New York Times on 27 May
1923.
Rhyt hm and Folk music 1937
Rhyt hm as t he basis of musical expression, and
j ust ificat ion of a chosen t empo t hrough it s basis
in dance and folk music.
The Teaching of Music 1937
The import ance of amat eur music making and
it s relat ion t o t he professional musician. The
dangers of mechanized or recorded music.
Music for children 1937
Aft er describing t he ‘mart yrdom’ of pract ise,
Huberman deplores t he fact t hat many children
no longer recieve any t uit ion in music.
Literature
Here you can read some of Huberman’s t heories on art
and cult ure. His t echnical ideas are succinct ly summed up
in t he St ring Mast ery int erview, where he reveals t hat a
const ant vibrat o irrat at es t he nerves, admonishes t he
lack of spiccat o in his colleagues, and describes his ideal
of violin mast ery as t rut h, rat her t han mere beaut y .
Learn how he j ust ifies t hat a great musician does not
need any special t alent or gift !
Huberman began writ ing on t he Pan- European movement
in t he 1920s. I f you find t his boring, you are not t he only
one - as Huberman’s secret ary wrot e, “ Even from Holland
it could happen t hat a reply on his int ent ion t o publish an
art icle about Pan- Europe was : t hey do not know what it
is and are not int erest ed t o learn about it . ”
Literature: huberman.info
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Huberman' s st rad was st olen in
1936.
Time 1942
Huberman played in Carnegie Hall for t he first
t ime since his violin was st olen.
Obit uaries 1947
Obit uaries from The New York Times, Time
Magazine, Et ude, and Current Biography.
Rosenbaum 1947
Rosenbaum.
Et ude magazine int erview 1942
Rhyt hm as t he basis of musical expression, and
j ust ificat ion of a chosen t empo t hrough it s basis
in dance and folk music.
Pan - Eur opa
Why I became a Pan- European
This art icle was published in t he American
publicat ion The Living Age, November 1925.
Huberman briefly discusses t he ideas t hat were
expanded in book form t hat same year.
Mein Weg zu Paneuropa
Published in Vienna, 1925.
Heavily influenced by his four
consect uive years of t ouring
America, Huberman came t o t he
conclusion t hat only t he
unificat ion of Europe could bring
t he cont inent t he “ minimum of
wealt h essent ial t o civilised life, ” and yet avoid
anot her “ inevit able war and bolshevism. ”
Vat erland Europa
Published in Berlin, 1932.
“ Whoever t hinks t hat t he polit ical
unificat ion of Europe will eliminat e
t he individual charact erist ics of
t he nat ions is in error . . . I would
be t he last t o preach a levelling
down of nat ional cult ures. Since
every aut hent ic art , when all is said and done,
has it s root s in t he nat ional soil. ”
The Pan- Europe problem
Lecut re of December 1937.
Where t here are borders t here are wars, and
t he necessit y for mass- product ion.
Bronislaw Huberman and t he Unit y of Europe by
Helmut Goet z
This essay by Helmut Goet z gives a good precis
of Huberman' s ideas on European polit ical
union. I t was first published in I t alian, in Rome,
1967.
Book s
Aus der Werkst at t des Virt uosen,
1912
Huberman’s first book I n t he
workshop of t he Virt uoso cont ains
many annecdot es, and a
discussion of t opics as varied as
t he role of t echnique in music,
and t he commonplace of st upidit y.
His t eacher Joachim receives
part icular praise.
Elza Galafres - Lives, Loves, Loses
Elza married Huberman in 1911,
and her aut obiography gives an
int imat e account of t he privat e life
of t he great violinist .


Pal est i ne Sy m phony
Or chest r a
Palest ine Music Associat ion address
Speech of December 1934.
Not ret icent in his support of Zionism,
Huberman t hinks t hat West ern Civilizat ion is
based upon only t wo races - t he Jews and t he
Greeks. He also argues t hat t he Jews are
primarily responsible for t he European I ndust rial
Revolut ion, and t hat for cent uries t hey have
been t he deciding fact or in musical affairs.
Et ching c. 1910 by Emil Orlik

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Br oni sl aw Huber mann
I t would be a very difficult mat t er t o show t hat London is not
what used t o be claimed for Bost on – t he hub of t he ( musical)
universe; and he would be a bold man who at t empt ed t he t ask.
How many professional musicians act ually dwell in London I have
no idea. But it is pret t y safe t o say t hat every musician of any
real not e comes t o London sooner or lat er in his career –
generally sooner, for t he idea st ill seems t o prevail t hat t he
met ropolit an st reet s are paved wit h gold which one has only t o
st oop t o pick up. This surely is t he reason why musicians, all and
sundry, flock over here in course of t ime. I t would be idle flat t ery
of ourselves t o imagine t he reason t o be t hat we, being t he most
musical of nat ions, make t he best audiences, and t hat t herefore
t he crowd of musicians aforesaid flock here for t he sheer
pleasure of playing t o us, and for not hing more! I f t hat were t rue
what an Arcadia t his London of ours would be. I fear it is t he
prospect of gold, not t he complacence of audiences t hat at t ract .
Be t his, however, how it may, it is t olerably cert ain t hat , as I
said, in due course of t ime every musician who is “ anybody” as
t he phrase goes, comes t o London, and one who want s t o be
t horoughly au fait of what is going on in t he great er world of
pract ical musicians has only t o sit down quiet ly in London and
wait , and t he musicians will come t o him.
The wave of young violinist s which began t o roll over t he musical
world a few years ago leaving behind it Marie Hall, Kubelik,
Hegedüs, Leonora Jackson, Francis Macmillen, Kocian, even lit t le
Franz von Vecsey and Florizel von Reut er, and t he rest of t he
crowd of geniuses, is st ill evident ly rolling along, sweeping up any
st ray geniuses t here may be in it s pat h and washing t hem up on
t he shores of t he Thames, ot herwise London concert rooms. Here
is our aut umn season hardly underweigh[ sic] ere t he
announcement is made of t he arrival among us of yet anot her
genius from t he apparent ly inexhaust ible st ore which modern
t imes have produced. The new genius is BRONI SLAW
HUBERMANN. His st ory is a simple one. On January 12t h, 1895, a
large audience was brought t oget her in Vienna t o hear “ t he
Queen of Song” – Adelina Pat t i, who on t he occasion was bidding
professional farewell t o t he Aust rian Capit al. At t he same concert
t here was announced t o appear a child violinist , aged t welve
years, of whom report had already spoken highly. Yet pract ically
not hing was known of t he lad. One who was present on t he
occasion said in print aft er t he concert t hat when lit t le
Hubermann had played his first solo “ a verit able delirium seized
t he audience. ” The lat e ( and very lament ed) Dr. Hanslick himself
said “ we had come t o salut e a st ar t hat was about t o disappear,
and we experienced t he agreeable surprise of seeing a new st ar
arise on t he horizon. ”
Bronislaw Hubermann was born in Warsaw on Sept ember 19t h,
1882. He was at first a pupil of I sidor Lot t o, likewise a nat ive of
Warsaw who had st udied in Paris under Massart , and at one t ime
had been Concert - meist er at Weimar. So rapidly did Hubermann
Bronislaw Hubermann
The Strad 1904
Briefly recount s t he life of Huberman, including his t ours
of Europe and America. The aut hor does not seem
part icularly int erest ed in violin playing.
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progress in his st udies, t hat at t he age of t en he played one of
Spohr’s numerous concert os in a public concert in his nat ive cit y,
and his success was so emphat ic t hat his parent s, act ing on t he
st rongest advice of t he cognoscent i , t ook him t o Berlin t hat
Joachim might hear him. Joachim’s verdict , t oo, was emphat ic;
he is report ed t o have declared t hat in t he whole cause of his life
he had never met wit h so precociously developed a t alent in a
mere child. I n Berlin Hubermann’s st udies were super - int ended
by Joachim himself. From Berlin Hubermann went next t o Paris,
where he appeared at one of t he “ t eas” given in t he Figaro
offices. This was in February, 1894, t he year in which he first
visit ed England as a prodigy. There again his success was
enormous, and led ult imat ely t o a great t our, or series of t ours
t hrough Aust ria and Germany and Russia, even t o and t hrough
t he Unit ed St at es of America. “ Carmen Sylva, ” Queen of
Roumania, most ent husiast ic of art ist ically inclined sovereigns,
ext ended her generous hand t o him, and t he Aust rian Emperor,
Franz Josef, present ed him wit h a violin. I n Vienna he gave a
series of a dozen concert s, and in t he New York Opera House no
less t han fourt een. On ret urning t o Europe Hubermann
disappeared t emporarily for t hree years, working hard all t he
while. On his reappearance in 1903 he gave t en successive
concert s in Vienna, six in Milan, seven in Turin, in Genoa four. I n
Genoa t he Municipal fat hers organized a fest ival in his honour
whose crowning point was t he performance by Hubermann on
Paganini’s violin, which, as all t he world knows, is most carefully
guarded in a glass case in t he cit y museum t here. The invit at ion
t o t his fest ival ran t hus: – On Sat urday t he 16t h ( May, 1903) , in
one of t he chambers of t he Town Hall, t he famous violinist ,
Hubermann, will make Paganini’s violin resound. The undersigned
begs t he honour of your at t endance on t his occasion. The Mayor
( signed) G. B. Boraggini. ” This was all very well. When t he violin
had been removed from it s case, when t he seals had been
broken in presence of wit nesses, it was found t hat t he new
st rings were required and t hat t he bridge and t he pegs all needed
readj ust ment . The sounds produced were at first dull, but life
came at last and for an hour Hubermann played Bach, Schubert ,
Chopin and Paganini, and t hereby rendered his audience ecst at ic.
I n t he Archives of Genoa t he st ory is recount ed.
As an account of Hubermann’s first concert t his season in London
will be found elsewhere I need say no more now t han merely
ment ion t hat it has rarely been my lot t o read so many fine
t est imonials and credent ials of any art ist as I have had placed at
my disposal in regard t o Bronislaw Hubermann, who from all
account s is a very fine art ist and a brilliant t echnician.
GAMBA.
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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
A Bi ogr aphi cal Sk et ch
and some
Cont i nent al Pr ess Not i ces
on
Br oni sl aw Huber mann
HI S first appearance in public, when yet a child, only t welve
years of age, t ook place at Mme. Adelina Pat t i’s farewell concert
in Vienna on t he 12t h of January, 1895. Not hing was known
about him, no reput at ion preceded him t o Vienna. But t he
moment he appeared on t he plat form, and laid his bow on t he
st rings, t here arose from t he inst rument an exquisit e melody,
and t his virt uoso of t welve years at t acked t he most t rying
difficult ies of t echnique, which seemed as child’s play under his
fingers. “ We had come, ” wrot e M. Hanslick ( t he famous musical
crit ic and professor of aest het ics in t he Universit y) , on t he
following day, “ t o salut e a st ar t hat was about t o disappear, and
we experienced t he agreeable surprise of seeing a new st ar arise
on t he horizon. ”
This young violinist , who had j ust made so sensat ional a debut , is
no ot her t han Bronislaw Hubermann. Born in Warsaw on 19t h of
Sept ember, 1882, Hubermann st udied at first wit h I sidore Lot t o,
an excellent mast er, formerly a pupil at t he Paris Conservat oire,
where he carried away in Massart ’s class t he first prize for violin
playing.
At t he age of t en Hubermann played in public, at Warsaw, a
Concert o by Spohr, wit h such success t hat his parent s were
advised t o t ake t he child t o Berlin in order t hat Joachim might
hear him. As soon as he heard him, Joachim declared t hat he had
never in his whole life met wit h such precocious and developed
t alent , and, as a proof of his admirat ion, t he great mast er agreed
t o superint end t he st udies of t his very yout hful pupil.
Aft er having st udied for some t ime in Berlin, Hubermann came t o
Paris, and it was under t he auspices of t he Figaro t hat he first
appeared in t he course of t he mont h of February 1894. We had
arranged a recept ion in honour of t his child prodigy, and many of
our friends can st ill recall t he impression of high art ist ic pleasure
which he creat ed. Next day we could wit hout fear predict for him
t he most brilliant career. I nfact , since t he famous concert at
Vienna, he at t ained success aft er success, proceeding t hrough
Aust ria, Germany, Russia and America – everywhere fet ed and
everywhere acclaimed. He count s amongst his great est admirers
t he Queen of Romania ( Carmen Sylva) and t he Emperor Francis
Joseph, who present ed him wit h an exceedingly fine violin. I n
Vienna he had t o give a series of t welve concert s aft er his
sensat ional debut , and at t he New York Opera House he gave
fourt een. These det ails and figures are st rict ly accurat e, and for
t hose who know t he perils which virt uosi run, t hey speak more
Bronislaw Hubermann
A Biographical Sketch
This small biography wit h some int erest ing “ Cont inent al
quot es” was published in England as a small booklet , as
well as in The Violin Times, November 1904.
The Neue Freie Presse int erest ingly compares Huberman
t o Joachim, a violinist who had similarit ies in st yle t o
Huberman.
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eloquent ly t han mere words of praise.
Ret urning t o Europe, Hubermann was wise enough t o discont inue
his t ours. For t hree years not hing was heard of him. He was
working hard in ret irement , living in t he at mosphere of t he great
mast ers, so t hat when he re- appeared in t he course of last year
wit h ripened t alent s he made a st ill great er sensat ion t han he
evoked at t he t ime of his debut . I n Vienna he was obliged t o give
t en concert s in succession, in Milan he gave six, in Turin seven,
and t he I t alian newspapers inform us t hat in t he last - named cit y
t he public wait ed for t he young virt uoso at t he door in order t o
carry him t o his hot el. I n Genoa, aft er giving four concert s, t he
Municipalit y issued invit at ions t o a fet e, and did him t he high
honour of asking him t o play on Paganini’s celebrat ed violin,
which is carefully preserved in t he t own museum, and which had
not been t aken out of it s glass case since t he day when Sivori
played it at t he solemn fest ivals in commemorat ion of t he Union
of t he I t alian St at es.
Such is t he career of t his very young violinist .
“ Only a genius plays like t hat , ” wrot e Ant on Rubinst ein in
Hubermann’s aut ograph album aft er his concert in Oct ober, 1892.
“ Young Hubermann is a real born musician, ” said Ambroise
Thomas aft er t he concert at t he Paris Conservat oire in January,
1893.
Brahms dedicat ed t he manuscript of his Violin Concert o as follows
: - “ To t he genial art ist , Bronislaw Hubermann, in friendly
remembrance of your highly pleased and grat eful list ener. ”
JOHANN BRAHMS
A dedicat ion by Ant on Dvorak on t he Symphony of t he “ New
World” - “ I n friendly remembrance of t he lit t le, t hough great
art ist , B. Hubermann. ”
DVORAK.
The art of M. Hubermann makes a varied impression: it does not
merely charm, it surprises, it st irs one deeply. . . . Here is a
supreme t our de force. How can t he human fingers accomplish on
violin st rings t his miracle of dext erit y in t he expression of a
musical idea? How is such fingering possible, and by what
ext raordinary skill are t hese feat s made possible for t he ear of
t he list ener ? That is what I cannot underst and. ( Le Figaro) .
. . . The impression, which t he art ist produced, was deep. I n t he
execut ion of classical music t his genius reminds one of Joachim in
his freshest and most brilliant days. ( Neue Freie Presse) .
. . . Since t he days of Joachim and Wilhelmj , one has seldom or
never heard t he first movement of Beet hoven’s Concert o played
so maj est ically. ( Die Zeit ) .
…How exquisit ely did Huberman bring out on t he G st ring t he
t ones of t he adagio of Brahms’ Sonat a. A sweet feminine voice
seemed t o arise from t he inst rument . ( Neues Wiener Tagbt at t ) .
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Moder ne Gei ger
Br oni sl aw Huber mann
Die Vögel, die so früh singen, frißt am Abend die Kat ze", sagt das
Sprichwort . - Nun, Sprichwört er sind eine schöne Sache, aber sie
haben doch ihre zwei Seit en. Meist t reffen sie zu, manchmal aber
auch daneben. Aber an das oben angeführt e Sprichwort muß ich
doch st et s denken, wenn ich von Wunderkindern höre. I n den
überwiegenden Fällen ist diesen musikalischen Treibhauspflanzen
nur ein kurzes Dasein in ihrer Kunst beschieden. Es gibt aber
Ausnahmen von der Regel des Sprichwort s bei produzierenden
und reproduzierenden Künst lern. Man braucht nur Namen wie
Mozart , Liszt , Joachim zu nennen. Es gibt doch musikalische
Begabungen, die von Anfang an so wurzel - und t riebkräft ig sind,
daß sie die großen Gefahren des Wunderkindt ums überst ehen,
ohne Schaden zu nehmen.
Zu den Wunderkindern, bei denen die frühe Blüt e auch wirkliche
Frücht e get ragen hat , gehört Bronislaw Hubermann.
Er ist geboren am 19. Dezember 1882 in Czenst ochau bei
Warschau und von Nat ionalit ät ein Vollblut pole. Sein Vat er war
Advokat , der dem Sohn Schulunt erricht durch Privat lehrer
ert eilen ließ. Schon mit 6 Jahren bekam der Junge
Geigenunt erricht , und zwar zunächst durch zwei Schüler des
Warschauer Konservat oriums, zuerst durch einen Namens
Michelowit z, der auch im Zirkus spielt e, dann durch den weit er
vorgeschrit t enen Rosen. Einige Monat e genoß er darauf auch die
Unt erweisung I sidor Lot t os, des weit hin bekannt en in Warschau
ansässigen Künst lers, der aber nicht der recht e für ihn war, da er
ihn mit Paganini überhäuft e. I m Mai 1892 kam der noch nicht
Zehnj ährige nach Berlin und in die At mosphäre Joachims, dem er
oft vorspielt e, ohne j edoch sein Schüler zu sein. Doch nach 6
Monat en schon verließ er die Reichshaupt st adt flucht art ig. Er floh,
nicht et wa aus Uebermut oder weil er keiner Lehrer mehr bedurft
hät t e, sondern weil er sich zu dem Kreis um Joachim nicht st ellen
konnt e. Jet zt übernahm der ausgezeichnet e russische Geiger
Gregorowit sch eine Zeit lang den Unt erricht . Auf spät eren
Konzert reisen genoß er dann noch vorübergehend
Unt erweisungen von Hugo Heermann und Marsick in Paris.
Man sieht , daß Hubermann einen eigent lichen Lehrer, der ihm
eine vollkommene Ausbildung gegeben hät t e, gar nicht gehabt
hat . Er hat sich vielmehr zum großen Teil aut odidakt isch
ausgebildet .
Man sieht daß Hubermann einen eigent lichen Lehrer, der ihm
eine vollkommene Ausbildung gegeben hät t e, gar nicht gehabt
hat . Er hat sich vielmehr zum großen Teil aut odidakt isch
ausgebildet .
I m Alt er von 7 Jahren t rat er zum erst en Male in Warschau mit
einem Spohrschen Konzert vor die Oeffent lichkeit . So weit hat t e
er es nach einj ährigem St udieren gebracht , gewiß ein Beweis
einer nicht gewöhnlichen Begabung für die Geige. I m Herbst 1893
begab er sich auf Konzert reisen, die ihn nach Holland, Belgien,
Hofphot . E. Bieber,
Berlin
Moderne Geiger
Moderne Geiger published 1912, by Eugen Honold.
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Frankreich und England führt en. Dann kam das Konzert , das ihn
über Nacht zur Berühmt heit macht e. Am Abend war er noch ein
immerhin wenig bekannt es j unges Geigerlein, am andern Morgen
ein St ern am Geigerhimmel. Es war das Konzert am 22. Januar
1895 das er in Wien mit Adelina Pat t i gab und in dem er die Rolle
des Lückenbüßers zu spielen hat t e. Er erregt e solchen
Ent husiasmus, daß er nacheinander 12 Konzert e in Wien geben
konnt e. Die Weihen für seine Künst lerschaft , um seinen eigenen
Ausdruck zu benut zen, bracht e ihm die I nt erpret at ion des
Brahms- Konzert s, das er ihm Jahr darauf, im Frühling 1896 in
Wien auf seinem Konzert programm hat t e. Brahms war selbst im
Konzert , hört e zu und schaut e recht bärbeißig drein. Nach der
Kadenz im erst en Sat z sah der Geiger sich um und erblickt e
Brahms, der sich im Angesicht der zweit ausendköpfigen Menge
die Tränen abwischt e. Nach dem Konzert kam Brahms ins
Künst lerzimmer und umarmt e den j ungen Künst ler mit den
Wort en: "Wie haben Sie mein Konzert gespielt ! " Hubermann
st ammelt e einige Wort e des Dankes dafür, daß der Meist er sein
Konzert beelirt habe. "Ach was! " sagt e Brahms, der sehr
aufgeräumt war. "Sie haben mein Konzert beehrt . " Hubermann
bat ihn um die Erlaubnis, ihn aufsuchen und sich ein Aut ogramm
holen zu dürfen und erhielt sie auch mit der launigen Bemerkung:
"Das Aut ogramm kriegen Sie aber nur nicht unt er einen
Wechsel. " Der Geiger macht e seinen Besuch und erhielt von
Brahms sein Bild mit der Widmung: "Dem genialen Bronislaw
Hubermann zur freundlichen Erinnerung an I hren höchst
vergnügt en und dankbaren Zuhörer Johannes Brahms. " I m
Verlauf der Unt erhalt ung bat Hubermann den Meist er, er möcht e
eine Fant asie für Geige schreiben. Brahms ging bereit willig darauf
ein mit den Wort en: "Ja, ich schreibe I hnen eine Fant asie, wenn
sie mir nur nicht ausgegangen ist . " Ein paar Monat e darauf war
er t ot .
Ausgedehnt e Konzert reisen führt en den Künst ler kreuz und quer
durch den Kont ingent . Heut e ist er eine europäische Größe. I m
Jahr 1910 verheirat et e sich Hubermann mit der bekannt en
Schauspielerin Elsa Galafres. Der Ehe ist ein reizendes Söhnehen
ent sprossen.
Wer das Geigenkonzert von Brahms so spielen kann, daß der
Schöpfer selbst seine Herzensfreude daran hat , der muß ein
begnadet er Musiker sein. Und das ist Hubermann. Es ist nicht zu
verwundern, daß er nach dem für ihn gewalt igen Eindruck der
Begegnung mit den großen Johannes sich mit besonderer
Vorliebe und glühender Hingabe dem St udium der Brahmssehen
Musik, speziell auch der Geigensonat en, dieser drei Gipfelwerke
ihrer Gat t ung, zuwandt e. Er t at alles äußerlich Virt uose von sich
ab und warf sich auf die I nt erpret at ion der klassischen
Violinmusik. Brahms, Beet hoven, Mozart , Schubert und
Schumann st ellen ihm Auf gaben, in denen er sich am liebst en
und erfolgreichst en bet ät igt . Sein feines, sicheres St ilempfinden
bemeist ert die Geigenkonzert e mit derselben wohlt uenden
inneren Wärme wie die Sonat enwerke. Das Tschaikowsky- Konzert
läßt er ebenfalls gerne ab und zu hören und weiß ihm nament lich
in den Kant ilenenst ellen echt nat ionales Gepräge aufzudrücken.
Modernem Schaffen gegenüber verhält er sich bis j et zt noch
ziemlich ablehnend. Das ist schade, denn er würde sich für
manche modernen Sachen ganz besonders eignen. So wüßt e ich
kaum einen geeignet eren Ausdeut er der ganz wundervollen,
melodisch wie harmonisch höchst bedeut enden und eigenart igen
Violin- Klaviersonat e in e moll op. 24 von Silvio Lazzari oder der
sehr reizvollen Sonat e vom dem früh verst orbenen und so
hoffnungsvollen Guillaume Lëken. Es wäre sehr zu wünschen, daß
Hubermann derart ige neue Werke in seine Violin- Klavierabende
aufnehmen möcht e, in denen er den best rickenden Zauber seiner
reichen Musiker - und Geigernat ur am eindrucksvollst en ent falt et .
Abkehr und Abwehr zeit genössischem Schaffen gegenüber hat
sich noch bei j edem reproduzierenden Künst ler in irgend einer
Weise gerächt .
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Seine Zugehörigkeit zur Ext raklasse der Geiger zeigt auch er in
einem höchst individuellen Ton der sich von dem der anderen
wirklichen Geigengrößen sinnfällig unt erscheidet . Sein
Charakt erist ikum ist das Sensit ive, das sich doch von j eder
Weichlichkeit fernhält . Er ist darum vorzugsweise ein Held der
Kant ilene und dabei wieder vorzugsweise Mollheld. Eine
besondere Eigenart seines Spieles ist , daß es at met , fühlbar
at met . Man spürt das belebende At men des Künst lers so deut lich,
daß man den Eindruck wie vom Sänger bekommt . Und in der Tat
hat Hubermann, wie er selbst zugibt , viel von großen Sängern
und Sängerinnen wie et wa Jean de Rezke, Plançon, Melba, gelernt
und läßt heut e noch keine Gelegenheit , einen bedeut enden
Sanges künst ler zu hören und an ihm zu st udieren, vorbei. Um
gekehrt haben auch ihm wie mir erst e St erne des Gesanges
gesagt , daß sie mit Vorliebe auch von großen Geigern lernen. I ch
schnit t im Gespräch mit Hubermann diese belebende und
segensvolle Wechselwirkung einmal an und er bet ont e daß darin
ein noch lange nicht genügend ausgenüt zt es St udienelement für
beide Teile liege, dem er persönlich besonders viel verdanke. So
merkt , man denn auch seinem Ton an, daß er vom Sänger
herkommt , diesem zwar nicht robust großen, aber schlank und
edel gewachsenen, höchst kult iviert en und feinnervigen Ton so
voller Seele. Sein Legat o ist von wahrst em Adel und schönst er
Wölbung. I n seinem Ton liegt die ganze innige Hingabe an seine
Kunst . Er spielt , was er spielt , grundmusikalisch und höchst
t emperament voll. Die persönliche Färbung seines Spiels ist st et s
künst lerisch sicher gegründet und art et nie in Eigen willigkeit aus.
Ueberflüssig, zu sagen, daß der Feinschliff seiner Technik
höchst en Anforderungen st andhält . Den Bogen beherrscht er in
selt enem Grade und mit überlegener Ruhe, so daß er t iefes
musikalisches Erfassen mit schwungvoller Eleganz vereinen kann.
Er nennt eine der schönst en St radivarigeigen sein eigen die schon
in ihrem Aeußeren eine Rarit ät ist . Es ist eine rot lackiert e aus
dem Jahr 1713 von selt en schöner Erhalt ung Sie besit zt
ausgesprochen dunkeln. warmen. glanzvollen Ton und wurde von
ihm im Jahre 1911 in London um den hohen Preis von 63 000 M.
Von Hill erst anden. Als Reserve geige hat er eine hübsche Josef
Guarneri del Gesù der mit t leren Periode ( 1733) .
Wenn auch die kleine, schmächt ige Gest alt des Künst lers mit dem
et was gekrümmt en Rücken nicht gerade ansehnlich genannt
werden kann. so weisen doch der umfangreiche Schädel, der
ganze, gut ausgearbeit et e Kopf mit der ziemlich großen Nase auf
et was Besonderes hin: der int elligent e Ausdruck des Gesicht s, das
liebenswürdig einfache Wesen nehmen sofort ein und in dem
Vermögen höchst anregenden Gesprächs offenbart sich derselbe
Zauber der Persönlichkeit wie in seinem Musizieren. wie in
seinem Musizieren.
Noch sei angemerkt , daß er einer der Bevorzugt en war die die
auf dem Rat haus in Genua zusammen mit der Sivori sehen
St radivari in einem Glasschrank schlummernde Guarnerigeige
Paganinis für eine St unde zu klingender Leben erwecken durft e.
Er fand sie t onlich noch recht gut wenn auch lange nicht so
bedeut end wie er erwart et hat t e.
Das Charakt erbild des geist ig ungemein regsamen Künst lers wäre
nicht ganz vollendet , wenn ich übergehen würde, daß er sich
auch hin und wieder zu anderer als musikalische Bet ät igung
gedrungen fühlt . So hat er vor einiger Zeit in Wien einen viel
bemerkt en Vort rag gehalt en, der inzwischen in Form einer
Broschüre erschienen ist , worin er anregend. Wort e über das
Wesen des Geigenspiels und vornehmlich über die Psychologie
des reproduzierenden Talent s fand. Er st ellt e dabei die sehr
beacht enswert e Theorie von der "allgemeinen Begabung" des
wirklichen Talent s auf und verneint die Exist enz einer speziellen
Begabung. Die Se nach der das Talent zur Bet ät igung
durchbreche, sie oft genug Zufallssache. So ist j a Hubermann
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selbst nur per Zufall Geiger geworden. Er wurde, als von Anfang
an höchst musikalisch zum Musiker und zwar zum Pianist en
best immt . Da aber seine Elt ern ein Klavier nicht erschwingen
konnt en gaben sie ihm eine Geige in die Hand und so wurde er
Geiger. Die Ansicht Hubermanns, daß j emand, der auf einem
Spezial gebiet Bedeut endes leist e vermöge seiner
Gehirnbeschaft en lieit unt er der Vorausset zung des
Vorhandenseins einer gewissen seelischen und körperlichen
Eignung auch auf vielen anderen Gebiet en sich erfolgreich
bet ät igen könne, hat j edenfalls viel für sich. Ganz besonders
dann, wenn es sich um wesensverwandt e oder naheliegende
Gebiet e handelt .
Eugen Honold ( Düsseldorf) .
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Br oni sl av Huber man.
By Ar t hur Her man.
Bronislav Huberman, one of t he t owering musical personalit ies of
our t ime, was born in t he lit t le Polish t own of Czenst ochaus, on
December 19t h, 1882. He began t o st udy t he violin at t he age of
six, his early inst ruct ors begin Milhalowicz, Rosen and Lot t o. His
fat her was a barrist er of moderat e means who left no sacrifice
unt ried in order t o give t he boy’s t alent free room for unfoldment .
The glamorous t eacher of t hat period was Joseph Joachim in
Berlin, and so Bronislav, at t he age of nine, was brought t o t he
mast er for inst ruct ion.
Dismayed t o find himself more oft en t aught by Joachim’s pupil,
Markees, t han by Joachim himself, t he young Huberman st udied
at t he same t ime in secret wit h Grigorovit ch. I t is t o Grigorovit ch
t hat he at t ribut es what ever he may have learned from t eachers
generally. Before eight mont hs had passed, Bronislav had fled
from Berlin, first t o Heermann in Frankfort , t hen t o Marsick in
Paris. Flight from t he Olympian Joachim? None could underst and.
I t is only now t hat Huberman reveals how st ifling t o him was t he
at mosphere of pedant ic academicism t hen infest ing Berlin, how
galling were t he chains of dust y scholast icism t o a nat ure longing
for individualist ic expression. For Joachim, t he unparalleled
int erpret er of t he classics, Huberman has only t he most
affect ionat e reverence; his st rict ures are direct ed solely against
t he blight of pedant ry under which t he musical Berlin of t hat era
appeared t o live.
Aft er a brief int erlude wit h Heermann and Marsick, t here followed
t he beginning of t hat concert ising career t hat has carried
Huberman t o t he pinnacle upon which he st ands t o- day. He
played in Holland and Belgium, in Paris, London and Berlin.
Finally, in Vienna, came t he moment t hat sealed his renown for
ever. I n January, 1895, he appeared in concert wit h Adelina Pat t i.
The Viennese t hereaft er could not have enough of him; he was
forced t o give t welve successive recit als t o sold- out houses.
Recent ly ( November 14t h, 1931) , nearly t hirt y- seven years
aft erwards, t he Viennese proved t hat t ime had only fort ified t heir
loyalt y; t hey filled t he concert - house t o overflowing and
acclaimed him for t he t rut h, t he beaut y and t he purit y of his art .
Among ot her composit ions, he performed t he Brahms Concert o,
t hat concert o which, at t he age of t hirt een, he had played before
Brahms himself wit h such ast ounding virt uosit y and mat urit y as
t o bring t ears t o t he eyes of t he great composer.
These, in brief, are t he fact s which form t he hist ory of t he out er
man. What of t he inner Huberman, his art ist ic ideals, his vision of
life? Much is revealed by his adorat ion of Beet hoven, whose
works he performs wit h t ender love and profound underst anding.
He hears in Beet hoven’s music t he accent s of humanit y it self
speaking; it is music t hat goes t hrough and beyond mere art ifice,
t hrough and beyond art it self, so as t o become a sublimat ed
embodiment of mankind and of t he relat ions bet ween man and
Bronislaw Huberman
phot o Lipnit zki, Paris
Strad Magazine 1932
Huberman was int erviewed by Art hur Herman for t he
February 1932 issue of St rad magazine. He lat er said
t hat he very much appreciat ed t his biographical art icle. .
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man. These are t he values t hat Huberman himself demands
impat ient ly of all art . Aft er Beet hoven, Brahms speaks t o him
next int imat ely; for he sees in Brahms a synt hesis of t he human
and t he t ransfigured sensual, followed oft en by a conscious
renunciat ion of impulsive longings, t hough not as disavowal but
as resignat ion, expiat ion and forgiveness. Bach’s music is t o
Huberman loft y but dist ant , symbolizing t he relat ionship of man
wit h God.
Huberman will not admit t hat t he int erpret at ive art ist plays only a
passive mediat ory role. On t he cont rary, t here are t wo aspect s in
which he part icipat es in a creat ive process. First , in his
reproduct ion of a musical work, he must make t he list ener feel
t he art ist ’s experience of t he moment . Secondly, he must make
t he list ener aware of t he inner st orms and birt h- pangs which
buffet ed t he composer in t he act of creat ion. The reproducing
art ist , however, is obligat ed t o a sacred respect for t he int ent ions
of t he composer, which he may deduce from a t housand indicia,
large and small, out er and inner, such as t he t empo marks, t he
harmonizat ion and t he orchest rat ion. Huberman perceives in
every t iny change of modulat ion t he search of t he composer aft er
new dict ion and new art iculat ion. He wit hdraws t he whole
problem of rubat o playing from t he sphere of caprice or mood
and makes it dependent solely upon t he charact er of a
composit ion in respect of t he individual t urns of expression.
Huberman maint ains t hat one must always accent uat e t he
composer’s int ent ions and not weaken or level t hem as do many
musicians who are eit her t imid or emot ionally povert y- st ricken.
He seeks t he balance bet ween a st yleless virt uosit y and a
meaningless aust erit y. The t rue t ouchst one is emot ion; reason,
int elligence, display and analysis must assume secondary roles.
Not hing is more int erest ing and charact erist ic t han t he manner in
which Huberman approaches a new work for his repert oire. He
st udies it for a comparat ively long t ime, less by consciously
busying himself wit h it t han by permit t ing it t o seep int o and
mat ure wit hin his subconsciousness. No mat t er how t horough his
t heoret ical underst anding of t he new composit ion may be, he will
never invest it wit h art ificial at t ribut es of emot ion but will wait
unt il t he day when t he emot ion becomes st ronger t han himself
and t akes cont rol. “ I must live t he piece before I can play it
beaut ifully, ” he said. “ That moment may come when I am playing
it upon t he st age for t he first , t he fift h or t he t ent h t ime; but if it
does not come, I discard t he composit ion, no mat t er what pains
it s mast ery may have cost me. ” I n t his, as in every phase of his
art , Huberman discloses his aust ere, uncompromising int egrit y.
A new aspect of t he man has come t o light during t he last few
years, t hough we are j ust ified by t he consist ent idealism of his
personalit y in calling it a new- old aspect . This is his almost
myst ic absorpt ion in t he movement for a Pan- Europa. The
following incident will illust rat e t he measure of his devot ion t o it .
Recent ly, in Budapest , Huberman had occasion t o feat ure t he
Suit e for violin and piano by t he Russian, Sergei Taneiev ( 1856-
1915) . He prefaced his playing by t he following remarks t o a
crowded concert - hall: “ The composit ion of Taneiev t hat you are
now about t o hear is, in my opinion, t ruly significant music –
powerful, original, romant ic. I t is quit e a different sort of
romant icism from t hat of Tchaikovsky, t hough a cert ain Russian
romant icism is present bot h here and in t he Tchaikovsky Violin
Concert o. The Taneiev Suit e is built upon t he might y up- beat
chord wit h which t he work begins. The marvelous t hing is t hat
each movement if emot ionally an independent composit ion and
yet fit s int o t he whole wit h wondrous consonance. I t is as if t he
powerful, reconciling, t ranscendent al spirit of music, in t his case
t he spirit of Taneiev, hovered over t he emot ional connect ion of
t he individual part s. ” Then Huberman smiled and made a broad,
unifying gest ure. “ I t is, ” he cont inued, “ as if a loft y, reconciling
spirit were seeking t o unit e all t he list eners; t he work you are
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about t o hear is t herefore like Pan- Europa. ”
There followed applause, t hunderous, incessant . Huberman was
surprised. Hungary was never before known t o be favourable t o
t he Pan- European idea. Was t his merely a t ribut e t o a great
art ist , a smiling indulgence of his “ hobby” in devot ing himself
heart and soul t o t he ideal of Pan- Europa? Or were t he
Hungarians becoming recept ive t o t he t hought it self? Huberman
did not seem t o know, t hough he said he would be happy if only
a part of t he applause was int ended for t he movement for a
European Union, because t his Union meant “ t he salvat ion of our
cult ure, of our souls, of all t he t hings t hat really mat t er. ”
I t is impossible t o doubt t he sincerit y of Huberman’s consecrat ion
t o t he concept of Pan- Europa. I n recent years, he has given
generously of his t ime, his means and his spirit t o a furt herance
of t he movement . What has he t o gain by a pret ence of
devot ion? His place as an art ist and his firm hold upon t he
masses have been assured for decades; no more glamour is t o
be won by a false assumpt ion of idealism. I t would be unwort hy
t o look for frivolous or quest ionable mot ives in conduct so deeply
t hought out and felt , conduct so ut t erly consist ent wit h what ever
we know of his int ellect ual and spirit ual life in t he past . I t should
be clear now why Beet hoven is t he sublime obj ect of his
venerat ion, t hat Beet hoven whose music rarely left off
proclaiming wit h poignant ecst asy: “ Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt ! ” . . . I f Huberman has given t o
Pan- Europa, he has also received from it . No man can offer
himself selflessly t o a humanit arian ideal wit hout drawing from it
a more grandiose vision of life, a height ening of his spirit ual
processes.
I n a let t er t o Madame Von Meck, Tchaikovsky once had t his t o
say about t he meaning of music: “ Music is indeed t he most
beaut iful of all Heaven’s gift s t o humanit y wandering in t he
darkness. Alone it calms, enlight ens, and st ills our souls. I t is not
t he st raw t o which t he drowning man clings; but a t rue friend,
refuge and comfort er, for whose sake life is wort h living. ”
Bronislav Huberman, whose violin sings t he lonely and t orment ed
accent s of t he Russian mast er as few in our t ime, would find in
t hese words his own approach t o his art . Humanit y wandering in
t he darkness. He, like Tchaikovsky, views in such t erms t he
drama of mankind. “ There is, ” he has said, “ not hing higher, more
conclusive, more int erest ing, more gripping and more profound
t han man wit h his t ragic dest iny. ” I t is because his playing is
charged wit h t his awareness t hat Huberman has been able t o
make so universal an appeal.
The readers of THE STRAD will be int erest ed t o know t hat
Huberman possesses an out st anding St radivari ( 1713) , an
arrest ing Joseph ( 1734) , and five Tourt e bows. He purchased t he
Joseph a year ago and now plays upon it exclusively. That violins,
t oo, have t heir dest inies is shown by t he fact t hat Huberman’s
t wo inst rument s belonged, years ago, t o t he same possessor and
lay in t he same case. Aft er differing vicissit udes, t hey are now
reunit ed and rest once more side by side.
Unlike most violinist s who look upon t heir violins as mere
“ inst rument s” for self- expression, Huberman is searchingly and
humbly int erest ed in t he art of t he great I t alian violin creat ors.
“ I n my marriage of over fort y years t o t he violin, ” he said, “ I am
st ill t he lover, st ill capable of uncovering t he new and t he
unexpect ed in my beloved. ” These are wise, modest words. He
knows he will never probe t he ult imat e “ secret s” of his St radivari
and his Joseph.
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I n April 1933, knowing t hat a general cancellat ion of t he decrees
banning Jews from public act ivit y could no longer be expect ed,
Furt wängler int erceded personally wit h propoganda minist er
Goebbels t o obt ain exempt ions for cert ain figures. Hence, on June
29t h 1933 t he following decree was issued:
“ I n t he cent re of our musical life, must be t he
cult ivat ion of great German music. But t hat does not
mean t hat t he music of t he world out side Germany
is not t o cont inue t o be represent ed and enabled t o
exercise t he product ive value of it s suggest iveness
for us, Germans … The same principle is t o apply t o
art ist s. First , must come German art ist s, but , in
music as in every art , t he achievement must always
remain t he deciding fact or. Every t rue art ist must
perform in Germany and must be able t o be j udged
by t he measure of his capacit y. The commission set
up by t his Decree is t he only aut horit y ent rust ed
wit h t he decision in quest ions of programmes in t he
musical life of Prussia”
The day aft er, Furt wängler wrot e t o Huberman.
“ Dear Friend, – t he enclosed Memorandum was
issued yest erday by t he Government and, as you
must admit , it is now plainly laid down t hat every
art ist , no mat t er what his race or nat ion, may
perform and has got t o perform in Germany. The
moment t his was published I t old t he Depart ment
t hat I was going t o negot iat e wit h you. I n deciding,
please bear in mind all t he point s t hat we have
discussed. Someone must make t he first move t o
break down t he barrier. Let me have a word from
you soon.
Yours, et c. ,
Wilhelm Furt wängler”
Huberman replied in a let t er of 10 July t hat was event ually
published in several nat ional papers in Sept ember 1933:
“ Dear Friend,
Permit me first of all t o express my admirat ion for
t he fearlessness, det erminat ion, t enacit y and sense
of responsibilit y wit h which you have conduct ed your
campaign begun in April for rescuing t he concert
st age from t hreat ening dest ruct ion by racial
“ purifiers. ” When I place your act ion – t he only one,
by t he way, t hat has led t o a posit ive result in t he
Germany of t oday – alongside t hat of Toscanini,
Paderewski and t he Busch brot hers, all of which
sprang from t he same feeling of solidarit y and
concern for t he cont inuat ion of our cult ure, I am
seized wit h a feeling of pride t hat I , t oo, may call
myself a musician. Precisely t hese models of a high
sense of dut y, however, must prevent all our
colleagues from accept ing any compromise t hat
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might endanger t he final goal. Alt hough t he
government ’s declarat ions, which owe t heir origin t o
you, may represent t he maximum of what may
present ly be at t ained, yet , unfort unat ely, I cannot
accept t hem as sufficient for my repart icipat ion in
German concert life. My at t it ude is based on t he
following fundament al obj ect ive human and et hical
considerat ions.
The government deems it necessary t o emphasize
t he select ive principle of highest achievement as t he
decisive one for music, as for every ot her form of
art . This underscoring of somet hing t hat ought t o be
self- evident would be meaningless if it did not imply
a det erminat ion t o apply t he principle of select ion on
a racial basis – a principle t hat it is impossible t o
underst and – t o all ot her realms of cult ure.
Moreover, t here is a wide gap bet ween t he
announcement of t he principle of achievement
arbit rarily limit ed t o art and it s pract ical applicat ion
– a gap t hat simply cannot be bridged. For included
in t he general concept of t he advancement of art
are, first and foremost , t he inst it ut ions of learning
and art collect ions. As far as t he special realm of t he
furt herance of t he art of music is concerned,
municipal and St at e opera houses are an essent ial
fact or; yet no case has come t o my at t ent ion of t he
int ended reinst at ement of t hose museum direct ors,
orchest ra conduct ors and music t eachers who were
dismissed on account of t heir Jewish origin, t heir
differing polit ical views or even t heir lack of int erest
in polit ics. I n ot her words, t he int ent ion of t he
relat ively narrow and special field of t he concert or
recit al is t o be rest ored t o t he free compet it ion of
t hose “ real art ist s” who are t o fill t he concert hall.
And as every concert of import ance is connect ed
wit h ext ensive int ernat ional publicit y, while t he
research specialist or t eacher can only on rare
occasions appear before t he public wit h t he result s
of his work, it is quit e conceivable t hat t he few
foreign or Jewish art ist s who have been asked t o
assist at such concert s might be used as argument s
t hat everyt hing is well cult urally in Germany. I n
realit y, German t horoughness would cont inue t o find
ever - new definit ions for racial purit y and apply t hem
t o t he st ill immat ure st udent of art in t he schools,
laborat ories, and so fort h.
I am confident , of course, t hat you, honored friend,
would regret such a result quit e as much as would
t he maj orit y of German concert goers.
There is, however, also a human- et hical side t o t he
problem. I should like a definit e rendering of music
as a sort of art ist ic proj ect ion of t he best and most
valuable in man. Can you expect t his process of
sublimat ion, which presupposes complet e
abandonment of one’s self t o one’s art , of t he
musician who feels his human dignit y t rodden upon
and who is officially degraded t o t he rank of a
pariah? Can you expect it of t he musician t o whom
t he guardians of German cult ure deny, because of
his race, t he abilit y t o underst and “ pure German
music?” At t he same t ime t hey deliberat ely keep
silent , on t he one hand, concerning t he half - Jewish
origin of Richard Wagner, which has now been
proved beyond peradvent ure of doubt , and, on t he
ot her hand, concerning t he hist oric role played by
Mendelssohn, Ant on Rubinst ein, Hermann Levi,
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Joseph Joachim, and so fort h.
You t ry t o convince me by writ ing, “ Some one must
make a beginning t o break down t he wall t hat keeps
us apart . ” Yes, if it were only a wall in t he concert
hall! But t he quest ion of a more or less t han
aut horit at ive int erpret at ion of a violin concert o is but
one of numerous aspect s – and, God knows, not t he
most import ant one – behind which t he real problem
is hidden. I n realit y it is not a quest ion of violin
concert os nor even merely of t he Jews; t he issue is
t he ret ent ion of t hose t hings t hat our fat hers
achieved by blood and sacrifice, of t he element ary
precondit ions of our European cult ure, t he freedom
of personalit y and it s uncondit ional self-
responsibilit y unhampered by fet t ers of cast e or
race. Whet her t hese achievement s shall again be
recognized depends not upon t he readiness of t he
individual who is “ t he first t o break t hrough t he wall
t hat separat es, ” but , as in t he past , upon t he urge
of t he conscience of art ist s collect ively, which, once
aroused, will crash t hrough sources of resist ance
wit h t he impulse of a force of nat ure, breaking t hem
as it would a paper wall.
I cannot close t his let t er wit hout expressing t o you
my deep regret at t he condit ions t hat have result ed
in my being separat ed for t he moment from
Germany. I am especially grieved and pained in my
relat ionship of a friend of my German friends and as
an int erpret er of German music who very much
misses t he echo awakened in his German hearers.
And not hing could make me happier t han t o observe
a change also out side t he realm of concert life which
would liberat e me from t he compulsion of
conscience, st riking at my very heart st rings, t o
renounce Germany.
Wit h warm greet ings,
Sincerely yours,
BRONI SLAW HUBERMAN”

Two and a half years lat er, Huberman became frust rat ed at t he
worsening condit ions in Germany. Furt wängler had said t hat all
“ real Germans” deplored t he sit uat ion, but Huberman felt t hat
t hose who had a conscience were dut y bound t o fight against
inj ust ice ( admit t edly a lot t o ask of people at any t ime, even
t hose in a relat ively free democrat ic st at e, let alone Nazi
Germany! ) . He accused t hese people, t he German int ellect uals,
as t hose t ruly guilt y of Nazi crimes.
[ “ Open Let t er ” f r om Huber man t o t he
Manchest er Guar di an]
THE MANCHESTER GUARDI AN, SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 1936
HUBERMAN AND THE PERSECUTI ON I N GERMANY
To t he Edit or of t he Manchest er Guardian
Sir, – I shall be glad if you will print t he following “ open let t er”
which I have addressed t o t he German int ellect uals: –
Since t he publicat ion of t he ordinances regulat ing t he applicat ion
of t he Nuremberg legislat ion – t his document of barbarism – I
have been wait ing t o hear from you one word of const ernat ion or
t o observe one act of liberat ion. Some few of you at least
cert ainly must have some comment t o make upon what has
happened if your avowals of t he past are t o endure. But I have
been wait ing in vain. I n t he face of t his silence I must no longer
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st and mut e. I t is t wo and a half years since my exchange of
correspondence wit h Dr. Wilhelm Furt wängler, one of t he most
represent at ive leaders of spirit ual Germany. I t will be recalled
t hat Dr. Furt wängler endeavoured t o prevent me from publishing
my refusal of his invit at ion t o play wit h his orchest ra in Germany.
His ast onishing argument was t hat such a publicat ion would close
Germany for me for many years, and perhaps for ever. My
answer on August 31, 1933, st at ed among ot her t hings:
. . . I n spit e of t his I would perhaps have hesit at ed wit h t his
publicat ion if t he chasm bet ween Germany and t he cult ural world
had not been rendered even more impassable by recent event s.
Not hing discloses more dreadfully t he brut alisat ion of large
sect ions of t he German populat ion t han t he t hreat s which have
been published for weeks in t he news- papers t hat German girls
will be placed in t he pillory if found in t he company of Jews at
coffee- houses or excursions, or if t hey carry on love affairs wit h
t hem. This kind of bait ing could not fail t o result in such
best ialit ies of t he darkest Middle Ages as described in t he
“ Times. ”
The descript ion referred t o was in t he London “ Times” of August
23, 1933, and t old t he st ory of a gent le Aryan girl who in
punishment of her alleged commerce wit h a Jew was dragged in
a pillory t hrough t he principal st reet s of Nuremberg amid t he
howls of t he mob. As a consequence she suffered a st roke of
insanit y and was put in t he asylum of Erlangen.
Dr. Furt wängler was profoundly revolt ed not only at t he
Nuremberg incident s, which he assured me he and all “ real
Germans” condemned as indignant ly as I , but also against me
because of my reference t o t he brut alisat ion of large sect ions of
t he German populat ion. He felt himself compelled t o regard t his
as a “ monst rous generalisat ion which had not hing t o do wit h
realit y. ”
I n t he meant ime t wo and a half years have passed. Count less
people have been t hrown int o gaols and concent rat ion camps,
exiled, killed, and driven t o suicide. Cat holic and Prot est ant
minist ers, Jews, Democrat s, Socialist s, Communist s, army
generals became t he vict ims of a like fat e. I am not familiar wit h
Dr. Furt wängler’s at t it ude t o t hese happenings, but he expressed
clearly enough his own opinion and t he opinion of all “ real
Germans” concerning t he shamefulness of t he so- called race-
ravishing pillories; and I have not t he slight est doubt of t he
genuineness of his const ernat ion, and believe firmly t hat many,
perhaps t he maj orit y of Germans, share his feelings.
Well t hen, what have you, t he “ real Germans, ” done t o rid your
conscience and Germany and humanit y of t his ignominy since
t hese make- believe Germans, born in t he Argent ine, in Bohemia,
in Egypt , and in Lat via, have changed my alleged “ monst rous
generalisat ion” t o legal realit y? Where are t he German Zolas,
Clemenceaus, Painleves, Picquart s in t his monst er Dreyfus case
against an ent ire defenceless minorit y; where are t he Masaryks in
t his superdimensional Polna case? Where has t he voice of blood,
if not t he voice of j ust ice and common sense, been raised against
t he even more inhuman persecut ion of t hose born of mixed
marriages bet ween Aryans and Jews, and of pure Aryans who
have t he misfort une t o be t he spouses of Jews?
Before t he whole world I accuse you, German int ellect uals, you
non- Nazis, as t hose t ruly guilt y of all t hese Nazi crimes, all t his
lament able breakdown of a great people – a dest ruct ion which
shames t he whole whit e race. I t is not t he first t ime in hist ory
t hat t he gut t er has reached out for power, but it remained for t he
German int ellect uals t o assist t he gut t er t o achieve success. I t is
a horrifying drama which an ast onished world is invit ed t o
wit ness: German spirit ual leaders wit h world cit izenship who unt il
but yest erday represent ed German conscience and German
genius, men called t o lead t heir nat ion by t heir precept and
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example, seemed incapable from t he beginning of any ot her
react ion t o t his assault upon t he most sacred possessions of
mankind t han t o coquet , co- operat e, and condone. And when, t o
cap it all, demagogical usurpat ion and ignorance rob t hem of
t heir innermost concept ions from t heir own spirit ual workshop, in
order t hereby t o disguise t he embodiment of t error, cowardice,
immoralit y, falsificat ion of hist ory in a mant le of freedom,
heroism, et hics, science, and myst icism, t he German int ellect uals
reach t he pinnacle of t heir t reachery: t hey bow down and remain
silent .
Must , t hen, t he Cat holic Church and t he Prot est ant Church in
Germany bat t le alone in t heir t ruly heroic st ruggle for Germany’s
honour, t radit ion, and fut ure?
Germany, you people of poet s and t hinkers, t he whole world, not
only t he world of your enemies, but t he world of your friends,
wait s in amazed anxiet y for your word of liberat ion.
– Yours, et c,
Bronislaw Huberman
New York, February 25 [ 1936]
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HUBERMAN: Pol i sh Vi ol i ni st Pl ay s Wi t h
St eel - St r i nged Bow i n Bal t i mor e
I n an upt own sect ion of Balt imore, Md. , last Friday, more t han
1, 000 music lovers heard and wat ched a small man wit h t hinning
hair perform miracles of virt uosit y on a violin. The set t ing was
Peabody Hall. The occasion was t he opening of t he Peabody
Conservat ory’s sixt y- nint h season. The violinist was Bronislaw
Huberman, appearing in America aft er an absence of t en years.
Aft er t he performance, which included Mr. Huberman’s own
arrangement of a Chopin walt z, t he audience shout ed approval.
Unlike most violinist s, who seldom give more t han one or t wo
encores, Huberman responded wit h six.
Mr. Huberman left his Gibson St radivarius in London. He played a
rare Guarnerius which he valued at t he Unit ed St at es Cust oms for
$35, 000. Few of his list eners realized t he bow was st rung wit h
met al inst ead of t he usual horsehair. According t o t he musician,
he is alone among foremost violinist s, t o use met al st rings in his
bow. He believes st eel adds volume and flexibilit y t o t he t one.
Now 52, t he musician was a child prodigy at t he age of 8. One of
his first concert s ( 1896) included t he Brahms Concert o, Op. 77.
Brahms, annoyed at t he idea of a child “ but chering” his music,
went t o t he concert fully prepared t o rebuke t he upst art . But as
t he concert progressed, t he great composer’s frown vanished.
Aft er t he performance, Brahms hugged t he child in grat it ude for
t he exquisit e rendering. This led t o a fast friendship. Many years
lat er, Huberman named his only son Johannes in memory of t he
famous composer.
Huberman is now one of Europe’s great musical heroes. I n
Vienna, where t he Polish violinist lives, t he Aust rian government
has put at his disposal t he former imperial residence of emperor
Charles. Once when he visit ed Genoa he was allowed t o play on
Paganini’s violin which is kept in t he Town Hall. His favorit e sport
is deer hunt ing. I n his Viennese palace he divides his life bet ween
playing t he violin, collect ing Chinese ant iques, lect uring, and
writ ing on Pan- Europe.
Mr. Huberman will remain in t he Unit ed St at es unt il Jan. 17,
appearing in concert and wit h leading symphony orchest ras of t he
East and Midwest .
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Newsweek 1934
Newsweek published 3 November, 1934.
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Playing Brahms
in Vienna

These now historic photographs were taken in Vienna when
Austria was still a free and independent State, and Vienna one of
Europe’s noblest centres of art and science. This wonderful
quartet playing Brahms together are Artur Schnabel, the Austrian
pianist, whose home is now in Italy ; Bronislaw Huberman, the
Polish violinist, who was appointed director of Vienna’s Violin
Master School in 1934, and in whose rooms this quartet met to
play ; Paul Hindemith, the German viola-player and composer ;
and Pablo Casals the Spanish ‘cellist, conductor and composer

Photographs by Dora Horowitz, Vienna
Brahms festival
This 1934 English magazine art icle was e- mailed t o me
by Chenist on K Roland from his “ Chenist on K Roland
( Violin Hist orian) Violin Archives. ” These t wo fabulous
phot ographs show Huberman in t he company of
Schnabel, Casals, and Hindemit h.
Alt hough Huberman’s collaborat ion wit h Art ur Schnabel
was brief, Carl Flesch never forgave his friend Schnabel
for playing wit h a violinist he considered so
cont roversial.
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Artur Schnabel, Bronislaw Huberman, Paul Hindemith, Pablo Casals
[ N. B. Hindemit h is st anding on t he right ]

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Huber man Vi ol i n St ol en At Car negi e
$30,000 St r adi var i us I s Tak en Fr om Dr essi ng Room
Whi l e Musi ci an I s on St age.
No Cl ue t o Thi ef Found
9 Bow s Val ued at $1,500 Each and Easy t o Di spose of
Passed Ov er by Cr i mi nal .
A St radivarius violin, insured for $30, 000, was st olen last night
from t he st ar’s dressing room at Carnegie Hall while it s owner,
Bronislaw Huberman, t he Polish violinist , was giving a recit al on
t he st age one flight below.
How t he t heft was effect ed remained a myst ery. Mr Huberman
had played t he valuable inst rument bet ween 8 and 8: 15 o’clock
in t he presence of his secret ary, Miss I da I bbiken. At 8: 15 he
wrapped it in it s silk scarf and ret urned it t o a double violin case,
from which he removed a Guarnerius violin, t he inst rument he
has used for recit als for a year or more.
Taking t he Guarnerius wit h him, he, t oget her, wit h Miss I bbiken,
descended t he short flight of st airs leading t o t he st age. They left
t he door, opening on t he landing of t he st airway, unlocked.
Anot her door, opening on a flight of st airs leading t o t he back of
t he st age, was bolt ed from wit hin.
When t hey reached t he st age t hey passed a wat chman who is
always st at ioned at t he foot of t he st airs, which is j ust off a
hallway reached from t he upper left exit from t he st age. The
wat chman has in view a passage t o a larger hallway, leading t o
t he execut ive offices of t he hall and ot her dressing rooms.
Two Doormen on Dut y.
Out side t he st age door t here were t wo doormen on dut y. No one
aroused t heir suspicions.
During t he first half of t he program Mr. Huberman was support ed
by a chamber orchest ra of fort y- one pieces. At t he int ermission
t he support ing musicians left , some t o go home and ot hers t o loll
about in t he clubrooms upst airs. Miss I bbiken remained wit h Mr.
Huberman unt il he had st art ed t he second half of t he program.
While t he violinist was playing Cesar Franck’s “ Sonat a, A Maj or, ”
Miss I bbiken went upst airs and ent ered t he dressing room. She
not iced t hat t he St radivarius was missing from t he case.
Dist urbed, she ret urned t o t he st age, wait ed for Mr. Huberman t o
finish t aking his bows, and t hen t old him:
“ The St radivarius has been st olen. ”
“ I t is insured, do not worry, ” he t old her. “ Tell me about it when I
have finished t he program. But go now and call t he police t he
Violin stolen
On 28 February 1936 Huberman’s St radivarius violin was
st olen while he was playing his Guarnerius onst age at
Carnegie Hall. The next day The New York Times print ed
t he following art icle.
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first t hing you do. ”
Audience Unaware of Theft .
The huge audience at t ending t he recit al did not become aware,
eit her t hrough Mr. Huberman or t he subsequent police act ivit ies,
t hat behind t he wood- paneled backdrop a myst erious t heft had
t aken place and t hat a squad of det ect ives from t he West Fort y -
sevent h St reet st at ion were quest ioning all t he musicians and
at t endant s.
When t he violinist had finished t he recit al, he ret urned at once t o
t he dressing room, now crowded wit h invest igat ors, musicians
and members of t he hall’s st aff. He not iced at once t hat t he t hief
had not t aken six bows, valued at $1, 500 each, or a t ot al of
$9, 000, and had also passed over t he heavy, deep- red leat her
velour - lined double violin case, and t he scarves wit h which t he
inst rument s were prot ect ed in t he case.
This indicat ed, he said, t hat t he t hief was not a musician, for one
familiar wit h violins would have recognized t he bows as not only
valuable but easy t o sell wit hout danger of arousing suspicion.
The most dist inguishing mark on t he violin, he t old police, was a
spot on t he arm which his t humb, during fift een years of use, had
worn t hrough t he wood. A repairman had put a heavy piece of
red parchment t here. Color phot ographs had been t aken only last
week and will be available t oday, he said.
Miss I bbiken, who has been Mr. Huberman’s secret ary for many
years, said t he violin had been st olen, once before, in Vienna in
1919. I t was recovered by t he Vienna police and t he t hief served
a t hree- year t erm, she said.
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Picture Post
Alt hough t his art icle from t he English Pict ure Post
magazine was published in March 1939, it appears t o
have been writ t en several years earlier, as it refers t o
Huberman' s 1713 St radivari which was st olen in 1936.
I n convert ing t his art icle t o ht ml, I have t ried t o keep as
close as possible t o t he original layout . . . I ’m not sure
why, as it doesn' t t ranslat e t hat well t o a comput er
screen.
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Preparing t o Play: He Tunes His
I nst rument
He Makes Ready His Bow


Even before fine t echnique, a violinist
must have a fine ear. The violin can
produce every pit ch possible t o human
hearing. Pit ch must be t rue, t one clear
before t he violinist begins t o play.
Huberman t unes his st rings wit h
infinit e care. List ens, adj ust s a st ring,
list ens again.

A light smear of resin t o his bow.
Bowing is as import ant t o t he violinist
as fingering. I t affect s t he t one as
much as t he const ruct ion of t he violin
it self. Huberman carries a collect ion
of bows wit h him on his t ours. As one
loses it s surface, he changes it for
anot her.



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This Is How Huberman Spends Hours of Every Day
On the platform his expression is dark and gloomy. His manner is restless. He is put
off by a draught, or a rustle among the audience. Sometimes a small noise will make
him stop playing altogether.


HUBERMAN AT PRACTICE
A short time ago, Bronislaw Huberman, the famous violinist, was involved in an air crash. His left hand
was injured. It was feared he would never play again. But to-day his talent is greater than ever.

When a plane crashed in Sumatra
less than 18 months ago, music-
lovers all over the world were
appalled to hear that Bronislaw
Huberman had been one of the
passengers.
Four people lost their lives.
Huberman escaped, but his left
hand was badly hurt. It was
feared that he might never play
again. Yet his recent recitals in
Britain were some of the greatest
in his brilliant career. His
experience seemed even to have
added new depth to his
interpretation and austerity to his
technique.
Huberman was born 57 years
ago in Poland, and made his first
appearance on a concert platform
when he was seven years old.
That was in Vienna, and critics
acclaimed him as a child
prodigy. But his father, a poor
saved him from the fate of many
child prodigies, withdrew him
from concerts, and sent him to
study under Joseph Joachim in
Berlin, and later under Heerman
in Frankfort and Marsuk in Paris.
When he was only 13 years old,
Huberman played the Brahms
Concerto before Brahms himself,
and it is said that the composer
was moved to tears by the boy’s
virtuosity.
At 14, Huberman had the first
sensational success of his life,
when he played at Adelina Patti’s
farewell concert in Vienna. Since
then, a series of successes, in
England, in the United States, in
every capital of Europe. But
there has, too, been another side.
Huberman is a great violinist, but
he is also a great European.
Famous Fingers

The muscles of the left arm become strong and supple with
constant playing, the finger-tips square and hard as horn.
Huberman is famed for his virtuosity. He revels in brilliant,
rapid finger work.

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barrister,

For years, he took a fervent part, by speaking and writing, in
the Pan-Europe organization founded by Count
Coudenhove-Kalergi, and sponsored in his lifetime by
Briand. When rampant nationalism wrecked the hopes of
the Pan-Europeans, Huberman turned to the relief of
refugees. From Zionist and refugee musicians in Palestine,
he built up the Jewish orchestra which is now world-
famous, which Arturo Toscanini has conducted, and which
Huberman, with a hundred concert triumphs to his credit,
regards as his own greatest achievement.
As a concert artiste, Huberman is a nervous, highly strung
man. He steps on to the platform, bent and austere, with an
expression of gloom and suffering. He darts a glance
around his audience and waits for late arrivals to settle. He
tunes his violin and goes on waiting. Sometimes he begins
to sniff like a puppy. That is if he feels a draught on the
platform – a draught means numb fingers. At last, when he
has absolute silence and stillness, he begins.
By degrees, the gloom fades from his face, and he
becomes engrossed in his music. But not so engrossed that
the slightest movement escapes unnoticed. He has been
known to stop playing in the middle of an item and start all
over again when interrupted by a rustle. On one occasion,
when playing to a crowded and fashionable audience
abroad, his eye caught sight of one woman nursing a small
lap-dog. He stopped playing at once, and demanded,
“Madame, has your little dog paid for his ticket?” Woman
and dog were forthwith escorted from the hall.
Huberman’s favourite composers, and those whose works he
plays with outstanding brilliance, are Beethoven and
Brahms. Like all truly great violinists, he is intensely
interested in the art of the great violin-makers, and himself
possesses an outstanding Stradivari (1713) and a Guarnari
whose value is estimated at £10,000.
These Are His Const ant Companions


He possesses a St radivari and a Guarnari, dat ing from
t he sevent eent h and eight eent h cent uries, and valued at
£10, 000. Wit h t hem he t akes a set of six bows.





A Great Violinist Pract ises: I n t he Bedroom of his London Hot el
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You see in this picture the life of a world-famous violinist. It is a life of hotel bedrooms
and railway trains. Plenty of renown and very little comfort. In the case of Huberman
he has another inspiration besides his music. He is a humanist as well as a violinist.
He works for refugees as well as for his art.



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Ret ur n of Huber mann
The last t ime Bronislaw Hubermann appeared in Manhat t an’s
Carnegie Hall, someone st ole his St radivarius. I t was never
recovered. Finally Lloyd’s of London, who had insured t he fiddle,
bought Huberman anot her St radivarius. Wit h his Lloyded fiddle he
appeared again last week at Carnegie Hall. Nobody st ole
anyt hing.
Violinist Hubermann, 59- year - old Polish Jew, has oft en been
rat ed on of Europe’s great est , but in t he U. S. and London he has
never been such big box office as mellow Frit z Kreisler, brilliant
Jascha Heifet z, musicianly Joseph Sziget i. Hubermann is finicky,
fussy on t he plat form. Once he not iced t hat his audience included
a dog, on a woman’s lap. He st opped playing, demanded:
“ Madam, has your lit t le dog paid for his t icket ?” , wait ed while
woman and dog were hust led out .
Violinist Hubermann was t he first musician of renown t o refuse t o
play in Hit ler’s Germany. He has writ t en t wo books on plans for a
Unit ed St at es of Europe. A onet ime resident of Vienna, he
believes t hat Germany and Aust ria should be separat ed. I n an
int erview aft er his recent arrival in Manhat t an, he danced a
Viennese walt z t o demonst rat e his convict ion t hat Poles and
Russians play Viennese music wit hout t he “ beery heaviness” of
t he Germans.
Since he last was in t he U. S. , Bronislaw Hubermann’s chief
int erest has not been fiddling but building a Jewish orchest ra –
t he Palest ine Symphony of Tel Aviv, whose players were exiled
from some of Europe’s finest orchest ras. Close as t he war has
been t o it , t he Palest ine Symphony has been less affect ed t han
any in t he old world. Hubermann got Art uro Toscanini t o conduct
t he symphony in 1937, at considerable personal risk and
expense.
Fort night ago t he symphony invit ed swart - t empered Spaniard
José I t urbi t o conduct next spring, offered him passage in an
R. A. F. bomber and an acoust ically perfect air - raid shelt er. Last
week I t urbi was st ill t hinking it over.
* at Tel Aviv.
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Time magazine
TI ME, 5 January 1942.
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New Yor k Ti mes, 17 June, 1947
B. HUBERMAN DEAD
NOTED VI OLI NI ST, 64
Pal est i ne Sy mphony Founder Made Debut
Her e i n 1896 –
Pr ai sed by Br ahms at 14
GENEVA, Swit zerland, June 16 ( AP) – Bronislaw Huberman,
int ernat ionally known mast er and t eacher of t he violin, died
t oday in his home at Nant sur Corsier, Swit zerland. His age was
64. He recent ly ret urned from a concert t our of I t aly.
The loss of his right t humb, cut off in a shaving accident fort y-
t wo years ago, proved only a t emporary handicap t o t he violinist .
Bronislaw Huberman, t o whom t he Times of London once referred
as t he man “ who plays Bach so well t hat for t he moment he ‘is’
Bach, ” first appeared here in t he season of 1896- 97 as a child
phenomenon. Heralded t hen by his manager “ at t he age of
t welve as t he great est living violinist , ” he was in realit y 14 years
old, having been born on Dec. 19, 1882.
However, t he boy’s playing excit ed admirat ion and wonder, and
hope was expressed t hat he would subdue cert ain mannerisms.
Twent y- five years lat er t he violinist ret urned t o New York and
manifest ed in Carnegie Hall before a large and dist inguished
audience t hat he had become a serious person.
To Mr. Huberman, American audiences were t he best list eners
t hat an art ist could find anywhere except in t he Net herlands. He
creat ed his reput at ion in Europe and gained fame by playing all
over t he world, but he preferred coming t o t his count ry, where,
he said, he received his finest inspirat ions.
For more t han a decade, Mr. Huberman had played year aft er
year in concert s of t he Berlin Philharmonic Orchest ra. But he was
a Jew, and when t he Hit ler régime came int o power, in 1933, he
rej ect ed an offer by Dr. Wilhelm Furt waengler, t he German
conduct or, t o appear in Berlin.
I t was his plan t o organize in Palest ine one of t he world’s
great est symphony orchest ras. As a result of t he ant i - Jewish
measures in Germany, t he plan soon was under way, and many
prominent German musicians, forbidden t o perform under Nazi
rule, went t o Palest ine and j oined t he organizat ion. I t was Mr
Huberman’s idea t o make of Palest ine “ a second and great er
Salzburg. ”
The plan was complet ed in December, 1936, when Art uro
Toscanini conduct ed t he first concert of t he new Palest ine
Symphony Orchest ra. The famous conduct or said aft erward t hat
t he orchest ra had “ lived up t o it s reput at ion. ” I t was because of
Mr. Huberman’s invit at ion t hat Toscanini had agreed t o conduct
at Tel- Aviv.
Mr. Huberman resigned from t he t eaching st aff of t he Vienna
Obituaries
Obit uaries from t he New York Times, Time Magazine,
Et ude, and Current Biography.
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St at e Academy in August , 1936, t o devot e himself more fully t o
t he new orchest ra in Palest ine. News of his leaving t he mast er
class at t he academy was received wit h dismay by t he musical
public of Vienna, where t he violinist had been an idol for years.
Mr. Huberman’s St radivarius violin, insured for $30, 000, was
st olen in 1936 from t he st ar’s dressing room at Carnegie Hall
while it s owner was giving a recit al t here. I t had been st olen
before in Vienna in 1919 and was recovered by t he Vienna police.
The t hief on t hat occasion served a t hree- year t erm.
The violinist , narrowly missed deat h on Oct . 6, 1937, in a plane
crash near Palembang, Sumat ra. Four ot hers in t he plane were
killed, but Mr. Huberman escaped wit h a fract ure of t he left wrist
and one of t he right hand. The muscles were not damaged,
however, and a year lat er he was able t o resume his concert
career.
Aft er t he fall of France he found himself cut off from Palest ine, so
he ret urned t o t he Unit ed St at es, arriving on Sept . 5, 1940, aft er
a t went y - t wo- day voyage from Africa.
The next May he received his first papers for American
cit izenship, and he resumed his American concert career in t he
1941- 42 season. His appearance wit h t he New York
Philharmonic- Symphony under Bruno Walt er, on Dec. 21, 1941,
was his first in New York in five years.
His last appearance in New York was wit h t he New York
Philharmonic in December, 1945. At t he end of t hat season he
left on a t en- mont h t our in Europe, Egypt and Palest ine.
Mr. Huberman was born in Czest ochowa, Poland. His fat her, a
barrist er, placed t he t alent ed son wit h Michalowisz at t he Warsaw
Conservat ory. The yout h lat er st udied wit h I sadore Lot t o, and at
t he age of 7 played Spohr’s second violin concert o. I n 1892 he
st udied under Joachim in Berlin, and t he next year made his
debut in Amst erdam, Brussels and Paris. Playing in London, he
at t ract ed t he not ice of Adelina Pat t i, who engaged him t o appear
at her farewell concert in Vienna in 1895.
I n 1896 t he Polish prodigy announced t hat he would perform a
concert o by Brahms, and t he composer, so t he st ory goes, was
det ermined t o administ er a st ern rebuke for such presumpt ion.
But t he boy, who learned t hat t he composer was in t he audience,
was undismayed and, wit hout showing nervousness, played his
best . Brahms, deeply moved, wiped his eyes and lat er went t o
t he art ist ’s room and embraced t he boy.
TI ME, 23 June 1947
Died. Bronislaw Hubermann, 64. Polish- born violinist , rat ed
among Europe’s best ; at Nant sur Corsier, Swit zerland. Not ed for
his virt uosit y ( at 13, Hubermann played Brahms for Brahms
himself, moved him t o t ears) , Hubermann was one of t he first
art ist s t o leave Hit ler’s Germany, spent much of his t ime
t hereaft er organizing t he Palest ine Symphony of Tel Aviv and
scribbling books in support of a Unit ed St at es of Europe.
Et ude Magazi ne, August 1947
Bronislaw Huberman, int ernat ionally known violin virt uoso and
t eacher, died June 16 at Nant - sur- Corsier, Swit zerland, at t he
age of sixt y- four. Appearing first in t he Unit ed St at es as a child
prodigy at t he age of t welve, he lat er est ablished himself as a
serious musician, and for many years t oured t he Unit ed St at es
and Europe wit h great success. I n 1936 he organized t he
Palest ine Symphony Orchest ra which, under his direct ion,
at t ained world fame.
Cur r ent Bi ogr aphy , Jul y 1947
Huberman, Bronislaw Dec. 19, 1882 – June 16, 1947 Violinist ;
gave his first recit al in 1892 at t he I nt ernat ional Exhibit ion of
Music in Vienna; aft erward played at command performances
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before Emperor Franz Joseph, was appoint ed Court Violinist t o
t he Queen of Rumania ( 1896) ; est ablished in 1936 t he Palest ine
Symphony Orchest ra, many members of which were exiles from
Nazi oppression; t aught for a long t ime at t he Vienna St at e
Academy; t oured Europe, t he Unit ed St at es, and ot her count ries.
See Current biography 1941 Yearbook.
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Music lovers all over t he world have lost a great art ist in t he
recent deat h of Bronislaw Huberman at Vevey on Lake Geneva.
They would perhaps like t o know somet hing of t his eminent
violinist ’s early life. I am able t o t ell t hem about it , as he spent
t he great er part of his childhood and yout h at my grandparent ’s
house in Berlin.
My uncle, t he lat e Ludwig Ginsberg, banker, art collect or and
musician, frequent ly t ravelled t o Poland in order t o inspect his
fat her’s t ext ile fact ories. One day as he was walking down a
ghet t o st reet in Lodz he heard t he st rains of a violin, so moving,
t hat he could not pass by. Aft er following t he sound for some
dist ance he ent ered a house where, t o his amazement , he found
a grubby, squint ing lit t le boy of about five, playing passionat ely
on a violin.
My uncle Ludwig t ook t he boy, Bronislaw Huberman, back t o
Berlin wit h him. There at my grandparent ’s villa he was brought
up and educat ed wit h t heir youngest son. At t he t ime Bronislaw
came t o live in our home it was an art ist ic cent re. Many pict ures
and drawings adorned t he rooms t oget her wit h a fine collect ion
of sculpt ures. A st ring quart et played t here every Thursday; my
uncle was t he ‘cellist , t he ot her players being members of t he
Royal Opera Orchest ra.
Soon my uncle int roduced his young prot égé t o t he famous
Joseph Joachim, at t he t ime professor at t he Royal Music
Academy in Berlin, who immediat ely recognized t he boy’s genius
and offered t o inst ruct him.
Uncle Ludwig had a hard st ruggle wit h Huberman’s parent s, who
want ed t he boy t o appear immediat ely as a child prodigy; t hey
did not mind where he played, a café was good enough so long
as t he boy earned money, but his t eacher and pat ron bot h
delayed t his unt il t he boy had achieved a definit e mat urit y in his
art . Then, almost overnight , t he shy lit t le boy wit h t he bobbed
hair was acclaimed universally as a great and accomplished
violinist . The lat e Queen of Romania, Carmen Sylva, herself a
poet ess and paint er, oft en invit ed him t o her palace, and made a
drawing of him which he present ed t o my grandmot her.
Aft er having st ayed wit h us for a long t ime he went t o Vienna
and Paris t o complet e his general and art ist ic educat ion, but very
oft en “ Bronis, ” as we called him, came back and always st ayed
wit h his “ Vice- mama” ( fost er - mot her) as he called her. Whenever
we visit ed our grandmot her we used t o see lit t le of Bronis, he
bet rayed his presence only by t he sound of his incessant
pract ising which float ed down from t he t op floor. He unwillingly
int errupt ed his playing t o come downst airs for meals. But once at
t he t able t he shy, reserved boy became a gay and j ovial
companion who j oked wit h us youngst ers and loved t o t ell
humorous st ories.
My grandmot her oft en gave children’s part ies. My lit t le friends
used t o giggle when t hey first saw t he not - so- at t ract ive Bronis,
but when he played his violin, t he complet e abandon and
Rosenbaum
Rosenbaum.
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devot ion reflect ed on his face, changed t heir t it t ers t o admirat ion,
so much so t hat in lat er years t hey were proud of t heir childhood
acquaint ance.
The years rolled by and when t he first world- war broke out ,
Bronis was again in Berlin. Being of Russian- Polish origin he was
int erned by t he Germans. His imprisonment , however, was only
short , because t he German Crown Princess arrived at t he prison
and secured his immediat e release, t aking him back t o Berlin in
her car. She was a great admirer of his art , never missing one of
his concert s and frequent ly invit ed him t o her palace in Pot sdam.
Huberman was in his early t hirt ies at t hat t ime and had achieved
a world wide reput at ion. One of t he most highly paid art ist s, he
was able t o end his family’s povert y many years before. He had
married a beaut iful act ress who left him aft er a short t ime for a
well - known Hungarian conduct or. A son was born of t his short
marriage. Nat urally he had many female admirers, but his only
real love was his violin. His most t reasured inst rument was one of
Paganini’s St radivari violins, which he had won in a compet it ion.
One day t he whole musical world was shocked when it was
report ed t hat t his famous violin had been st olen. Aft er all hope of
recovery had been given up t he violin was found. This must have
been one of t he art ist ’s happiest days.
I n spit e of his success he never relaxed. The violinist , Alfred
Wit t enberg, once t old me t hat t hey had once spent a holiday
t oget her at Norderney, a seaside resort , and t hat he had enj oyed
himself on t he beach; I asked him how Bronis liked t he sea. He
answered laughingly t hat t he nearest Bronis had been t o it had
been his hot el room where he spent t he whole day pract ising.
When t he Nazis came t o power Huberman was abroad, but he
immediat ely cancelled all his concert s in Germany. On hearing of
t his Furt wangler wrot e t o him in an at t empt t o persuade him t o
ret urn, explaining t hat t he new racial edict s did not refer t o great
art ist s. Huberman’s reply was a blunt refusal. Huberman never
ret urned t o Germany, but offered t o assist his old friend and
pat ron Ludwig Ginsberg t o emigrat e. Ginsberg being a sick man
and feeling t hat he had not long t o live accept ed for his daught er
alone.
The last of us t o see Bronis was my youngest brot her, now a
lect urer at t he Universit y of Jerusalem. Huberman lived in his
house during his st ay in t he Holy Cit y. I n Palest ine he did not
only play at concert s but also founded t he Palest ine Philharmonic
Orchest ra which lat er was honoured t o have Toscanini as a guest
conduct or.
The t remendous ovat ion Huberman received at t he Albert Hall
recent ly where he gave his first post - war concert showed t hat he
had st ill a mult it ude of admirers in t his count ry and I hope t hat
some of t hem will derive some small pleasure from t his brief
int imat e st ory of t his great violinist ’s life.
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The vi ol i ni st Br oni sl aw Huber man
Aft er not having been t o t he t heat re for many years, I went one
evening t o t he Carignano t o hear t he celebrat ed Polish violinist ,
Bronislaw Huberman, 22 years old, who delight ed for t he t ent h
t ime t he Torino public, enamoured of him. And I was profoundly
moved by his music, which t old me of a t housand sweet t hings in
which I do not believe any more, but which I st ill cherish, which
remembered me of hopes and lost values, of dear voices of
depart ed ones, and let me see on a far - away horizon a row of
beaut iful and painful images sending me a last farewell. And at
night I st ill felt confusedly t hose harmonies in one of t hese sweet
and sad dreams from which one awakens wit h t he mind full of
sorrow and pit y for ourselves.
The next morning I was given a visit ing card on which was
writ t en: Bronislaw Huberman
I went t o meet t he unexpect ed visit or, and t he surprise kept me
for a moment speechless and in an int errogat ive at t it ude before
t his beardless yout h, wit h full hair and a pale face, whom I did
not immediat ely recognise; so much seemed he changed by t he
kindly smile which beamed in his bright eyes; because t he night
before I had never seen him smiling, even not when he t hanked
t he audience for t he st orm of applause which followed each of his
pieces. He ant icipat ed my quest ion. A remembrance of childhood
led him t o me, t he t ranslat ion int o Polish of one of my books for
t he young ‘I l Cuore’. I t had been one of his first readings as a
child and for t his he came t o express his grat it ude.
I t hanked him and said t hat t his impression could have been
small in comparison wit h t he sweet est emot ion which he had
given me t he night before. And I added t hat – since he had been
so kind t o come t o my house – I would love t o know him well,
t hat he should t ell me about himself, about his family and about
his art , from what beginnings and by what ways he, st ill so
young, could arrive at t hat wonderful height , where only t he
fewest could st and near him.
And, suddenly, he st art ed t o t alk, in a somewhat broken st range
French, in which he t ried t o express exact ly t he not ions and
forms of his own nat ive language; and t hus, even halt ingly and
oft en int errupt ed, his way of speaking revealed clearly t he
yout hful simplicit y of his mind, and poured fort h all t he warmt h
of his feeling.
“ I am t went y - one years old. My fat her was in Warsaw a modest
advocat e who earned scarcely enough t o support his family. He
had a passion for music. For some t ime he had played t he violin,
t hen he gave it up because he did not advance. But he comfort ed
himself by one hope which became a fixed idea: t hat one of his
The violinist Bronislaw
Huberman
Edmondo De Amicis
Huberman was int erviewed by t he I t alian writ er
Edmondo De Amicis in Torino, who wrot e about
Huberman' s visit in an art icle, t hat appeared on 28
August 1904 in ' I llust razione I t aliana' and was lat er
included and published in ' Ult ime Pagine' , a collect ion of
biographical writ ings of de Amicis.
You can read it in eit her t he original I t alian or an English
t ranslat ion.
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sons would succeed in becoming a musician. I t seems t hat fat e
has select ed me, t he eldest of t hree brot hers. Already as a small
child I showed a cert ain facilit y t o remember music, and t he first
gift I wished for my birt hday was an accordion. One evening, in a
house- concert in t he family, a violinist wat ched my hand and
exclaimed: ‘This boy’s hand is made for t he violin! ’ – My hand,
indeed, had an ext raordinary st ret ch for a kid of my age. – So, a
violin was bought and I was given a t eacher. – I was six years
old. At seven I played for t he first t ime in a concert for t he
benefit of t he poor. I n one year I had made a long way; but I
could not have cont inued in t he same pace because t here were
no great t eachers in Warsaw. So friends advised my fat her t o
send me t o Berlin, t o t he great violinist Joachim. Alright ! But how
t o make it ?! There were no means. My fat her hesit at ed. I t was
my mot her, by nat ure filled wit h ent husiasm, not playing music
herself, but endowed wit h a very lively musical feeling, who gave
my fat her t he st imulus. For one year t hey made in t he household
all possible savings, we lived on short commons, and t hen part of
t he furnit ure was sold. I remember t hat t he sale yielded four
hundred rubles; I oft en feel t he memory of t hose four hundred
rubles on our poor t able. Finally we left for Berlin. I t was a bold
st ep, for, if we st ayed longer t han a year from t he homeland, my
fat her would have lost his posit ion as an advocat e; and if I would
not succeed, we all would be in t he st reet . The fut ure of t he
family depended upon my poor violin. ” –
- Did you underst and it ? – I asked.
“ No, fort unat ely I was not conscious of it . For me it was like
t ravelling int o t he world of dreams. Also my fat her and my
mot her were full of t he bright est hopes. But , scarcely arrived in
Berlin, we encount ered a grave difficult y. Joachim should hear
me. But Joachim, sick of ‘enfant s prodiges’, of whom it abounded
at t hat t ime, refused t o hear any more of t hem. To be received
by him, my fat her resort ed t o a t rick: he asked for an int erview
in his capacit y as advocat e wit hout ment ioning t he purpose for
his visit . The Maest ro, believing t hat he want ed t o t alk t o him
about some j udicial mat t er, received him …”
– Here he st opped for a moment , nodding his head wit h one of
t hose smiles which express a remembrance comical and moving
at t he same t ime.
“ My fat her ent ered, and I behind him, making myself as small as
possible. The maest ro welcomed him polit ely, but as soon as he
saw me, wit h t he violin under t he arm, as if sprung up out of t he
floor, he j umped up, furious: – Anot her ‘enfant prodige’, ah non,
ah non! ! I had more t han enough from t hem, I do not want t o
know any more about it . Go away, go away! – I t was a t errible
moment . My fat her insist ed, implored: he had come all t he way
from Warsaw, wit h t he whole family, making a great sacrifice; on
t he j udgement of t he maest ro depended t he fat e of all; t he
refusal of him would be his ruin; and many ot her t hings,
expressed wit h t he warmt h and accent one can imagine. – The
maest ro gave in, unwillingly, and he t old me, harshly: Play! – I
began t o play: a Noct urne by Chopin. Wit h t he first st rokes of t he
bow, t he wrinkles of his forehead got a bit smoot her, t hen he
became more at t ent ive, and t hen, by and by, he looked
benevolent and showed signs of emot ion. When I had finished,
he ran t owards me, embraced me, kissed me on t he forehead
and said t o my fat her – I ’ll have t o repeat his words – : I have
never heard a more promising boy. He will be one of my dearest
pupils. I t hank you t hat you have brought him t o me. – To my
fat her it sounded like t o words of a God. ”
The maest ro immediat ely wrot e an at t est at ion, t hanks t o which
t he lit t le Huberman could give a series of concert s in healt h-
resort s in Germany and Aust ria and t hus earn t he living for his
family during t he summer before ret urning t o Berlin t o begin wit h
his st udies. –
I n one of t hese resort s he was heard by t he celebrat ed Aust rian
port rait - paint er Angeli, who t ook int erest in him, and who
induced his fat her t o bring him t o Vienna. Here, t hanks t o him,
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t he lit t le Huberman was int roduced t o t he Emperor, who
best owed great praise on him and present ed him wit h a violin.
That was in 1892.
Then he ret urned t o Berlin, and in Joachim’s school began his
t rue and proper musical educat ion of classical charact er. But he
remained t here only six mont hs; which, in his opinion, was good
for him, because t hat t ime was sufficient t o “ t ame t he
exuberance of his Slavic t emperament ” wit hout making him lose
his nat ural originalit y, which he might have lost as ot hers who
complet ed in t hat school t he regular t wo years’ course of st udies.
And again he t ook up t he course of his concert s “ because you
had t o eat every day. ” –
“ I made a t our in Holland and in Belgium which was very
successful. The public was my best t eacher. But , nevert heless,
wherever I went , I t ook lessons wit h t he most dist inguished
t eachers; and t o t his t wofold school, t he permanent change, of
t eachers and of t he public, I believe t o owe my best proficiencies.
My fat her and my mot her were t ravelling wit h me. We went t o
Paris. I n Paris, besides t he fine success of t he concert s, I met
wit h a great fort une. A Polish nobleman, t he Count Zamoyski,
rich, alone, music- loving, and grieved wit h a deep melancholy
aft er t he loss of his only daught er, t ook a fancy t o me, because
of t he consolat ion which he said t o feel when he heard my
playing; and he became my maecenas, my guide, a second fat her
t o me, t o whom I shall feel bound by t he most affect ionat e
grat it ude as long as I live. He persuaded my parent s t o bring me
t o London. We went t here. But it was a disappoint ment . I t is so
difficult t o at t ract public at t ent ion in t hat immense cit y! I gave
four concert s, but wit h lit t le profit . We all lost courage. The count
had a good idea. He knew Adelina Pat t i who, at t hat t ime, was in
London; he t old her about me; she want ed t o hear me. We went
t o her house. I shall never forget t hat visit . She received us like a
queen, surrounded by a large suit e of gent lemen and ladies,
who, really, gave a royal aspect t o t he splendid hall, where
not hing but a t hrone was missing. I n t he beginning, I played a
lit t le t rembling; t hen, it seems, somewhat bet t er t han usually.
The signora Adelina seemed as t hough she was beside herself
wit h emot ion, she embraced me, she almost t ook me on her
knees, called me: - Angel, - and wit h t ears in her eyes, I
remember it well, she promised my fat her t hat she would call for
me for her fort hcoming concert - t our which she was t o make in
Aust ria and in Germany. This would be a great fort une; in t he
meant ime it was a great j oy. But it meant wait ing several
mont hs. An we ret urned t o Berlin. ” –
At t his point a shadow of sadness passed over t he face of t he
yout h. –
“ I n Berlin – he resumed – it was worse t han in London. The
public was surfeit ed wit h violinist s. I had a good success of
applause, but no money; and money was badly needed, because
t he t ravellings were ext remely expensive, also t he piano-
accompanist , t he living in hot els. Moreover, my healt h began t o
suffer from t he fat igues, which became more and more serious
for me, not being so st rong by nat ure, and it influenced my mind
so t hat I put a maj or effort int o t he execut ions of art . I myself
was not aware of it , because at t hat age, in t hat cont inued
change of places and t hings, and a succession of new people and
emot ions, I lived almost like a somnambulist . But my poor
mot her not iced it , so t hat aft er every concert when she saw me
so pale and exhaust ed, she spent t he night sleepless, cried in
despair, and repeat ed every moment t hat she would ‘casser le
violon’ and t ake me back t o Warsaw. To remove t he danger t hat
she might shat t er t he violin t o pieces, Count Zamoyski present ed
me in t hose days wit h a St radivarius, in t he value of t went y
t housand Lire; t hat is t he one which I am st ill playing. – But t hat
did not change our condit ions. – The uncert aint ies and t he
sorrows ruined also t he healt h of my fat her, who in t hose days
cont ract ed a slow illness which caused his deat h a few years
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lat er. – I t was t he most dismal period of my art ist ic life. ” –
“ At t hat t ime we t hought of applying t o Adelina Pat t i and t o
remind her of t he promise she gave us in London, t hat she would
let me appear in her concert s in Aust ria and Germany. But she
answered t hat she had already engaged ot her art ist s. Then we
appealed direct ly t o t he organiser of her concert t ours, who was
in Vienna, where t he great singer was due t o sing. And he first ly
accept ed my part icipat ion, but lat er wit hdrew his accept ance,
repeat ing t he cust omary refrain t hat one did not want t o see and
hear any more of prodigees. I n despair, we went t o Vienna, in
spit e of t he refusal. The applicat ions were repeat ed, one t urned
t o recommendat ion, one said and did many t hings, and finally, I
was accept ed. And now, really, began my fort une. ” –
He was t hen t welve years old. As t he first number for him t o play
in t he concert , a very well - known piece had been chosen: t hen
first part of t he Concert o of Mendelssohn. The choice of t his
simple music, which everybody knew by heart , seemed t o be an
act of audacit y. The public, not remembering t o have applauded
him only t wo years ago, was ill- disposed. When he appeared on
t he podium, in short t rousers, so small and so slim, wit h his lit t le
sickly face, he almost st irred up a feeling of compassion, which
manifest ed it self in a long murmur, t he meaning of which he did
not underst and. But t he success ( x) was great , clamorous, by far
superior t o anyt hing he himself or his parent s could have hoped
for. And it went on, increasing in t he consecut ive t welve concert s
which he t hen gave alone. He became t he vogue, it was t he
fort une, it was t he secure fut ure. His mot her seemed t o become
mad wit h j oy. – Well – said Count Zamoyski t o her – do you st ill
want t o ‘casser le violion’, t o shat t er t he violin t o pieces? – The
not ed music crit ic Hanslick wrot e: - We bade farewell t o a
descending st ar ( Pat t i) and we greet ed a rising st ar. – From all
part s of Europe it rained offers of concert s on t he lit t le
Huberman. And t he poor fat her repeat ed again and again: - Now
I can die wit h my soul in peace. Here he int errupt ed his account
t o say me in all simplicit y: “ You want ed me t o t ell you about my
life. So I had t o boast a lit t le. Will you pardon me? What do you
want ! The fine successes which I had as a boy, are st ill for me
t he most cherished, because I t hink t hey were more merit ed
t han t he present ones. And t hey seem t o me so far back! I
t ravelled t he world so much, have seen so many people, have
experienced so many emot ions, t hat somet imes, t urning my
t hought s back t o t he past , I have t he illusion t o live already since
fift y years! ” –
He resumed t he account . Aft er t he success in Vienna, he made a
t our in Aust ria and in Roumania. The Queen of Roumania gave
him a grand recept ion, dedicat ed him a poem; and several t imes
she had him st and as model in t he at t it ude of an ‘Angel playing
t he Violin’, which she paint ed in miniat ure in a Bible. “ I can boast
– said he smiling – t o have a port rait wit h wings. ” –
Then he went t o t he Unit ed St at es of America … where he played
before enormous audiences … And a st ill great er luck had he wit h
his t ouring in Russia and especially in Riga, inhabit ed by a
numerous and cult ure German colony, great expert s in mat t ers of
art . Here, he would say t o have reached t he summit of success in
his childhood.
– You have t he glory – I said t o him – dear Huberman – but what
about your healt h? – Good Lord – he answered wit h a smile – my
healt h leaves t o desire as t he glory. But it is all t he fault of t he
violin, I assure you. Unlike many ot hers, who are excit ed before
appearing before t he public and quiet down as soon as t hey are
t here, I myself am quiet up t o t he last moment , and I become
agit at ed when I begin t o play. One would not believe it , don’t you
t hink so? I t seems t o everybody t hat I am impassive, because I
do not move when I am playing, except when necessary. But t his
relat ive immobilit y is t he effect of a great effort , and t he effort I
am making t o suppress my emot ion react s on my st omach and
ruins it . All my suffering is rest rained passion. But it is only j ust
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t hat I pay in some way for t he inexpressible j oy which my art
gives me. ” – Well – I said t o him – I have guessed it .
Your quiet at t it ude could not mislead me. I wat ched you int ensely
when you played. I saw when your eyes sparkled and when t hey
grew moist , and I saw t he shiver running t hrough t he muscles of
your pale face. Somet imes, when you pressed t he violin, you
seemed t o press a living and adored t hing, which inebriat ed and
t orment ed you; and when you t ook it from t he shoulder, you
made a movement as if you were t earing off a vampire sucking
your blood; and t hen you put it back t o your breast and
reembraced it wit h even more passionat e love and pressed it
under your chin wit h t he t enderness of a mot her who presses her
face against t he face of her creat ure. Oh, I was not misled. I
underst ood, I felt when from t he dept hs of t he soul welled up t he
lament at ions, t he sighs of love, of j oy and sorrow, t he sound of
t he night ingale and t he voices of angels, which you poured fort h
int o t he t heat re; and which out of your t wo t housand list eners
made one single soul; a soul which palpit at ed, t hrobbed wit h you
and which loved you.
To t hese words he responded wit h a kindly smile, a bit
ast ounded, which flashed t hrough my mind t he face of t he boy
Huberman, when – in his first concert s – he wondered about t he
t hunderous applause of t he public and felt happy wit h t he
t hought of t he j oy his mot her would feel.
He t ook leave from me and promised t o ret urn soon t o Turin;
and wit h a vivid gest ure he gave me his long, t ender, whit e
hands … and for a few moment s I was holding in mine t hose
wonderful hands which out of t he violin drew fort h st reams of
enchant ing harmonies and made and will go on t o make millions
of heart s in t he whole world t hrobbing and weeping.
“ Remember me” - he said kindly and left me.
An unnecessary request , as his pict ure will remain wit h me in
remembrance of one of t he profoundest emot ions which my heart
received by t hat inst rument which speaks most humanly about
t he most divine art .
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HUBERMAN’ S THEORI ES.
The t heories of a great violinist concerning his art are always of
int erest , since every real art ist sees t he element s of t he musical
art as int erpret ed by violin playing from a different angle. For t his
reason a number of t heories advanced by Bronislaw Huberman,
who must be classed among t he most not ed violinist s of Europe,
in a lect ure on violin playing recent ly in Vienna, have at t ract ed
wide at t ent ion.
Mr. Huberman first denies t hat one must be possessed by any
special ment al gift in order t o become an eminent musician. He
said, “ I should like t o put forward an argument in favor of t he
t heory t hat only out ward circumst ances, and by no means a
special endowment , are responsible for t he choice of a career. I
deny any special gift . There are only different grades of t alent ,
which I would define as a great er or lesser capacit y of t he brain
t o absorb impressions from wit hout , and give t hem out again in
an ent irely new form. I even go furt her and say t hat any one who
has achieved eminence in any walk of life would have gained
equal dist inct ion in anot her if t he same assist ance had been given
him in t hat case. Out side influences which play a part are family
t radit ion, t he quest ion of means, educat ion, environment ,
impressions of nat ure, influence of parent s, and, last ly, purely
psychological condit ions. Every human being is subj ect in his
inclinat ions t o t he influence and habit s of his age, his nat ionalit y,
and surroundings. ”
HI S OWN CAREER.
Mr. Huberman t hen gave an int erest ing account of his own
career, showing how much chance had ent ered int o his choice of
a calling. His fat her had an int ense love for music and always
regret t ed he had not made it his life st udy. Lit t le Bronislaw, at
t he age of four, was able t o sing correct ly any melody he heard,
and his fat her had hopes t hat he might become a musician. A
child musician of Warsaw ( Huberman’s birt hplace) at t ract ed t he
favorable not ice of t he Shah of Persia, and fort hwit h every parent
became desirous of at t aining t he same fame for his child. This
incident decided Huberman’s fat her in devot ing t he boy t o t he
musical profession, and, as a piano was t oo expensive, a violin
was purchased for t hree roubles, from a musician of no special
not e, who t hereupon gave t he boy lessons.
Speaking of his progress, t he violinist said: “ My mast er saw
much promise in his new pupil, as he discovered t hat my hands
were specially made for violin playing. I did, indeed, make
ext raordinary progress in a short t ime. I played frequent ly in
public, and combined st udy wit h t hese public appearances; and
t his was a good t hing, for a concert is of great wort h as a means
of educat ion. The art ist get s an immense advant age from t he
inspirat ion which more oft en st irs him in t he concert hall, t han in
Bronislaw Huberman
Etude 1912
I n Sept ember 1911 t he American publicat ion Et ude
report ed on a lect ure Huberman had given in Vienna on
violin playing.
The ideas he discusses were expounded upon t hree years
lat er in his book Aus der Werkst at t des Virt uosen.
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t he t roubled at mosphere of his st udy.
LARGELY SELF- TAUGHT.
“ I was for t he most part self- t aught , for at t welve years old I had
my last lesson. As I was not conceit ed enough t o imagine myself
a finished art ist , I do not feel t hat I am repudiat ing a debt of
grat it ude t o my t eachers when I say t his. I n t eaching myself I
early learned t he curse which is best owed upon us
inst rument alist s, ‘I n t he sweat of t hy brow shalt t hou gain t hy–
t echnic. ’ Truly, t here is no great er t orment for an art ist who feels
and t hinks t han t o be const ant ly repeat ing t echnical passages
from works which have been previously mast ered and laid aside.
People oft en express wonder t hat an art ist always needs t o
pract ice. Not hing is more st range t han such an expression, for
even t hough t he accomplishment of a musician is an int ellect ual
one, it is nevert heless carried out by t he arms and fingers, and
t hese need drill and t raining. No man would t rust his legs t o
carry him up Mont Blanc aft er he had spent several weeks in bed,
and t he fingerboard is t o a violinist what Mont Blanc is t o a
t ourist .
“ Now, wit h regard t o a met hodical acquisit ion of t echnic. My
t heories are –( 1) Work at st udies which deal wit h t he most
frequent ly recurring st ret ches, runs, and variet ies of bowing. ( 2)
Make use of t he t echnical knowledge previously gained when
st udying a new composit ion. ( 3) Training–here t he most
depressing fact is t hat really successful passages oft en fail when
connect ed wit h t he whole. Eit her one’s st rengt h does not carry
one t hrough t he ent ire work, or t he ‘memory of t he fingers’ is at
fault . What we underst and by memory has really only a small
share in playing from memory. There is no absolut ely cert ain
‘memory. ’ What gives us t he power t o play a whole repert oire by
heart is a specific musical ear, which enables us t o put t he work
t oget her like t he links of a chain. To t his is added somet hing
much more import ant : t he ‘Memory of t he Fingers. ’
“ This has oft en saved me unconsciously in many sit uat ions in
which I have found myself, eit her t hrough passing carelessness
or moment ary weakness. The fingers have so impressed
t hemselves wit h t he many t housand not es in a piece t hat t hey
accomplish t hese successive not es wit h a cert ain unconscious
movement , like t he performance of many of our life’s funct ions.
Not hing vies a great er idea of t he immense value of work and
t raining t han t his. A real danger t o violinist s–t hat of acquiring
mannerisms–I overcome by refraining from playing for a period
of several weeks when I ret urn from a concert t our of several
mont hs’ durat ion. I n t raining, t he psychological aspect must not
be forgot t en. For inst ance, I might st umble over a run or a
part icularly difficult not e. I have oft en succeeded in overcoming
t he difficult y by means of aut osuggest ion, because I eit her, as it
were, challenge t he not e by st rongly accent uat ing it , or remain
on it for a long t ime; but t his, be it underst ood, only in my mind
and not in realit y.
THE ARTI ST’ S TECHNI C
“ The t echnic of t he t rue art ist must be more solid and reliable
t han t hat of t he mere virt uoso. The public has a fine inst inct , and
does not carelessly pass by t he divine signs of t alent , but ,
t hrough not using t he sense of logic and percept ion, fails t o
dist inguish bet ween what is accomplished by work and what by
t alent . For inst ance, t hings oft en erroneously reckoned as difficult
are pizzicat o and harmonics, which are quit e easy in t hemselves.
I f t he public, on t he cont rary, does not not ice t he difficult
passages, it is a good sign for t he art ist .
“ Wit h t alent t here rises simult aneously in man t he irresist ible
desire t o use it . Gift s bring as many delight s as dut ies, and t he
least of us should find himself prepared t o carry out t he
obligat ions result ing t herefrom. Therefore I would say, t he
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great er t he t alent t he great er t he need for work. ”
The t wo st at ement s of Mr. Huberman t o which t he great est
except ions have been t aken by musical reviews and crit ics are
t hose denying t hat a man must have a supreme nat ural special
gift in order t o become a great musician, and t he one expressing
such int ense disgust for pract ice. I t has heret ofore been almost
universally conceded t hat a great musician must be born and not
made, and it has also been t he world’s opinion t hat an art ist
should work cheerfully at his t echnic in order t o creat e t he wings
wit h which he is t o fly.
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Br oni sl aw Huber mann Tal k s of Audi ences
Ver sus Ex change Rat es, New Vi ol i n
Mast er w or k s and Pagani ni ’ s Vi ol i n
I n an I nt er vi ew by Fr eder i ck H. Mar t ens
Bronislaw Hubermann, born December 19, 1882, at
Czeust ochowa, near Warsaw, is one of t he small but select band
of t he great er violin virt uosos. As an art ist he is an eclect ic and
independent , wit h int erpret at ive gift s of a rare order, and a dept h
of emot ional expression which is illuminat ing in t he performance
of t he great concert os and solos of t he violin repert ory. His first
public appearance was at t he age of seven, when he played
Spohr’s Second Violin Concert o in Warsaw.
Nat urally, no one likes t o wait . The want ing of what we want
when we want is one of t he fundament al t rait s of human nat ure.
Yet Bronislaw Hubermann is wort h wait ing for t o t alk t o, even
when his t rain is half an hour lat e. I f one has t o wait for him t he
fact is forgot t en once he begins t o t alk—or play. For Hubermann
is one of t hose violinist s who have scaled t he height s wit hout
at t aching t hemselves t o any part icular school or group. He has
been t he archit ect of his own musical salvat ion. And t his no art ist
can be unless he is a t hinker and observer. Take t he mat t er of
audiences.
AUDI ENCES AND EXCHANGE RATES
“ Of course I am only j ust beginning my present t our, ” declared
Mr. Hubermann, “ and my react ions t o t his count ry, given t he fact
t hat I am older, cannot be t he same as t hose I felt when I played
here in 1904. Yet I can see t hat your audiences of concert goers
here are larger t han t hose in t he European capit als—and I have
been playing in Berlin, Vienna, Amst erdam, London, and, most
recent ly, in Paris, before coming here. I n Paris, where t he franc
has sunk t o only one- half it s former value, t he audiences are of a
good size. But t he exchange rat e in t he Cent ral European
count ries generally is t he sign in which t he art ist must conquer.
And t he exchange rat e affect s t he size and charact er of his
audiences. I t hink t hat in pract ically any count ry t he music- loving
are, as a rule, most largely represent ed among t he well - t o- do
bourgeoisie, t he professional, official and art ist classes. I t is t hese
classes whose incomes have suffered most —in proport ion—in t he
Cent ral European count ries, not t he working classes. I t seems t o
be t he level of exchange which est ablishes t he level of t he public.
The Cent ral European audiences of t oday are new, and t he art ist
is conscious of t he fact when playing for t hem. I oft en feel in
Vienna, or in Berlin, t hat I am playing for an audience for whom
concert - going was t he acquired habit of a year or so past , while
here in America I feel t hat my audience has been going t o
concert s for decades. I n Vienna, which I regard in many ways as
Musical Observer 1921
This short int erview was published in t he American
magazine The Musical Observer , November 1921.
Huberman played on Paganini’s violin t wice; once in
1903, and t hen in 1909 ( aft er t he Messina eart hquake of
28 December 1908) . His first visit t o America was in
1896 and not 1904 as st at ed in t his art icle.
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t he most musical cit y in Europe, t he ‘new’ audiences
predominat e. At t he same t ime, if it be a quest ion of playing for
an audience of nouveaux riches, I would rat her play for t he
nouveaux riches of Vienna in preference t o t hose of any ot her
cit y.
HUBERMANN WI LL PLAY I MPORTANT VI OLI N
NOVELTI ES
“ New works? Yes, I t ry t o keep in t ouch wit h t hem. Every
summer I spend at least six weeks in going over all t he new
t hings, oft en a hundred or more, which are sent t o me by t he
publishers. And I like t o give t ime t o t his, for oft en I discover
works which are of t he great est beaut y and value.
“ For one t hing, I hope t o play t he English composer, John
I reland’s ‘Sonat a for Violin in A Minor. ’ I t is one of t he best works,
one of t he most violinist ic, which can be imagined, modern in
t hought and in idiom. Then t here is a Sonat a in A, by t he I t alian
Ot t orino Resphigi, quit e a wonderful work. I have t he advant age
of knowing t he int erpret at ive ideas of t he composers of bot h
works, since I met t hem bot h—during a t our of t hirt y concert s in
I t aly and England—and, privat ely, of course, played t heir sonat as
wit h t hem.
ONE OF THE GREATEST WORKS AFTER BEETHOVEN
AND BRAHMS CONCERTOS
“ Wit h Bodanzky, perhaps, I hope t o play what I regard as one of
t he great est works, aft er t he Beet hoven and Brahms violin
concert os, ever writ t en for violin and orchest ra. I t is t he ‘Suit e de
Concert , ’ by Sergei I vanovit ch Tanaïeff. I t is in five movement s,
modern in t he best sense, t hough it s musical beaut ies are st rict ly
of t he permanent kind, and writ t en on a cont rapunt al foundat ion.
But it is a most inspiring work for t he art ist t o play. I t is so
Russian in color and feeling t hat I am convinced t hat no violinist
who is not a Russian himself, or a Russian Pole, as I am, can do
j ust ice t o it in int erpret at ion. I maginat ion, fancy, invent ion—
Tanaïeff has given of his best in t he writ ing of t his ‘Suit e de
Concert , ’ and t he development of it s rich folk- wise color. I may
also play t he Sonat a for violin by Vincent d’I ndy, which, I believe,
is not known here, t hough I am not alt oget her sure.
“ I t seems t o me, speaking of Sergei Tanaïeff, t hat his ‘Suit e de
Concert ’ is ent it led t o a lit t le ext ra considerat ion, perhaps, aside
from it s own great beaut y and int erest , because of t he
composer’s misfort une in being const ant ly confused wit h anot her,
cont emporary Tanaïeff, an amat eur musician. This lesser Tanaïeff
was a high dignit ary of st at e in t he Russian empire—at t he t ime
t here was an empire, of course—t he chief of t he Depart ment of
Decorat ions. As an amat eur he was not wit hout merit , but any
furt her comparison bet ween himself and Sergei Tanaïeff would
have been ridiculous. His social and official influence made it
possible for him t o have his music played and produced
everywhere, and t he const ant confusion result ing from mist akes
in t he ident it y of t he t wo men, and his int erference wit h Sergei
Tanaïeff’s own great er and more deserved musical recognit ion
was one of t he lat t er’s great est crosses in life.
PLAYI NG ON PAGANI NI ’ S VI OLI N
“ Oh, t hat was long ago, in 1909! The cit y of Genoa had invit ed
me t o play for t he benefit of t he sufferers from t he great
eart hquake t here, and I played on Paganini’s violin t wice; t he
first t ime in t he Municipal Building, and t he second t ime in t he
Teat ro Carlo Felice. The Genoese look on Paganini’s Guanerius
almost in t he light of a holy relic, and in order for me t o be able
t o play it at t he Carlo Felice, t he Municipal Council was obliged t o
meet and pass a special ordinance allowing it t o be removed from
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t he Museum, where it is preserved.
“ Theoret ically I was t he second violinist t o play t he inst rument in
public since Paganini’s deat h, act ually I was t he first . I t was t o
have been played for t he first t ime by Sivori, Paganini’s pupil, on
t he occasion of a great celebrat ion of t he est ablishment of t he
independence of t he Kingdom of I t aly, at which t he old King
Vict or Emmanuel, t he grandfat her of t he present ruler, was
present . Sivori was given a magnificent recept ion when he
arrived in Genoa, and everyone was full of ent husiasm and, t hen
it t urned out , unfort unat ely, t hat t he violin was not suit ed t o his
hands, he act ually could not play it —for Sivori had t he smallest
hands of any violinist and Paganini t he largest .
“ I n order t hat no false not e might mar t he occasion, Sivori simply
played on anot her inst rument ; while everyone was under t he
impression t hat he was playing Paganini’s famous Guarnerius.
“ So I was really t he first t o play t he inst rument in public since
t he deat h of it s owner, Paganini. Yet , I must confess, t he
inst rument it self was a disappoint ment . A great violin should not
be kept in a museum. I f it is not played upon it loses it s soul, it s
beaut y of t one, and t he great est mast er cannot make it speak as
it should. When I played it , I played on it only t he Paganini
numbers of my program, and used my own St radivarius for t he
ot hers. ”
Mr. Hubermann at t his point was obliged t o t ake his depart ure in
order t o perpet uat e some mast erpieces of violin lit erat ure in
record form.
I t seemed a pit y, for t here were st ill many quest ions t hat might
have been asked him; regarding his st udies wit h Joachim, his
playing t oget her wit h Adelina Pat t i in Vienna; his reminiscences
of t hat int erest ing Parisian violinist and t eacher, I sidor Lot t o; t he
ideas in his own book “ Aus der Werkst at t des Virt uosen” ( “ From a
Virt uoso’s Workshop” ) ; but t hen, Mr. Hubermann is amiable and
accessible, as well as an art ist who can t alk int erest ingly and t o
t he point , and a pleasure deferred is not necessarily one lost .
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Huber man on Amer i ca
Bronislaw Huberman spoke wit h a represent at ive of t he Neue
Freie Presse of Vienna about his experiences in America. He
reached conclusions quit e different from many t hat have been
t aken back t o Europe, says t hat j ournal. For inst ance, people
always say t hat a great European reput at ion and advert ising are
enough t o bring success in America. “ This incorrect not ion, ” Mr.
Huberman declared, “ has already brought bit t er disappoint ment
t o many, many European art ist s. The American public, especially
t hat in t he larger cit ies, must not be underest imat ed. I t has an
independent j udgment of it s own and, especially now, is
accust omed t o hear t he best from everybody. Thus it has gained
fine feeling and is exact ing. The power of t he dollar, especially,
has an effect on cult ure. I t is like t he vict orious sword of ancient
Rome and t he cult ure of Greece. This vict orious sword is now t he
dollar and t he Greeks are t he Europeans, t heir art and cult ure,
which America is making it s slaves. I t is erect ing, so t o speak, it s
own cult ure on t he remains of Europe. For t his reason celebrit y is
not enough. I t makes t he first engagement easier; but t hen
comes t he inexorable sift ing. The first appearance in New York is
before most exact ing, highly t rained audiences, before
independent crit ics, conscious of t heir responsibilit y. He who
st ands t his t est has passed his great examinat ion, not only for
America but for t he whole world.
“ The American concert public nat urally has not t he old t radit ions
of t he Viennese public. But t he concert goer of New York is very
musical, t hough in a different way. I t must be remembered t hat
t he American musical cult ure has been nourished from ent irely
different sources from t he European. There t here are
comparat ively few amat eurs who make music t hemselves; t here
is lit t le ‘house music. ’ You will perhaps be surprised when I t ell
you upon what basis t he American musical cult ure, especially in
t he count ry, rest s; it is on t he gramophone. There is a
gramophone in t he poorest houses, in every farmhouse. The
records are bet t er; t here are many of serious music. And t his
‘canned music, ’ as t hey call it t here, has aroused t he first musical
hunger in many a man. They wish t o hear t he art ist s whom t hey
have heard on t he gramophone; and so t hey become zealous
concert goers. But only t he t rue art ist ic personalit y is valued t here
and has success, plainly because t he average American feels a
st rong need of st rong personalit ies. But t he American is a
working man whose evening’s art ist ic pleasure must be served
up, in a cert ain manner, ready made. He likes t o hear classical
pieces which he already knows, list ening t o which is no effort t o
him. This is t rue especially of t he smaller cit ies. Nevert heless, I
have made it a rule t o begin every program wit h a sonat a. To
play t wo or t hree sonat as in an evening, however, as Art ur
Schnabel does, is not advisable. But in t hese last years t he
underst anding for t he deeper, more complicat ed and modern
music has increased wit h a rapidit y conceivable only in America.
But in general t he American comes t o a concert unprepared, not
ready for co- operat ion wit h t he art ist , as in Vienna, but only for
Huberman on America, 1923
Huberman discusses America in t his art icle published in
t he New York Times on 27 May 1923.
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enj oyment . ”
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A Gr eat Vi ol i ni st
Bronislaw Huberman has est ablished himself in Sydney as an
art ist of commanding force and st at ure. At each of his t hree
Town Hall appearances, t he audience has responded elect rically
t o his surging int erpret at ions of t he classics. I t is doubt ful
whet her any earlier visit ing violinist , even among t he great ones,
has at t acked t his music in such uncompromising and shat t ering
fashion. Only t he most superb mast ery of t one, of rhyt hmic
effect s, and of swift t ransit ions could have held Tuesday night ’s
reading of t he Bach Chaconne wit hin t he bounds of a unified and
organized int ellect ual scheme. Had a player of lesser at t ainment s
assailed t he work wit h anyt hing approaching t his vehemence, it
would have fallen apart int o a st ruggling chaos.
I n order t o penet rat e t o t he spring of t his t orrent ial energy, one
has nat urally t o t ake int o account t he nat ive t emperament of t he
player. I n t he long run, Huberman enunciat es Bach and Brahms
wit h such colossal energy simply because he must . But great
concept ions and great driving force are not sufficient in
t hemselves. I n t he course of a lifet ime’s st udy, every art ist
evolves for himself cert ain principles, according t o which he
regulat es his work. These principles are generalizat ions from a
mass of det ail – discoveries which he has made in pract ice, or
ideas which he has acquired from ot hers, and found t o apply well
t o his own case.
I t is part icularly int erest ing, t herefore, when a player like
Huberman t alks frankly and freely about t he ideas which guide
and illumine his art ist ic progress. This t he violinist did on
Thursday morning before he began his rehearsal wit h t he
orchest ra. On t he plat form at t he Town Hall, Dr. Baint on was
t aking t he players t hrough t he Sevent h Symphony of Beet hoven.
I n t he art ist ’s room, wit h t his maj est ic score as a background,
Huberman revealed what he considers as t he foundat ion of all his
varied achievement .
HUBERMAN’ S SECRET
He at t ribut es his rhyt hmic vit alit y, his far - flung grasp of musical
form and st yle, t o an int ensive st udy of folk song and folk dance.
“ Music began wit h t he dance, ” he said, “ and no art ist can really
underst and musical expression unless he invest igat es in det ail
t he t radit ional dances which spring from t he heart of a people.
When I went t o Russia as a young man, I at t ended t he opera
only once. But I went dozens of t imes t o cafes where I could
hear peasant musicians and enj oy t he aut hent ic nat ional
rhyt hms.
“ Rhyt hm – t here you have it . Rhyt hm is t he soul of music, and
t he charact erist ic rhyt hms of each count ry are built on t he
physical movement s of it s dancers. The walt z and t he mazurka –
each has a t hree- beat measure. But how different t hey are! I n
t he one- t wo- t hree of t he walt z, t he beat s are not really equal,
Rhythm and folk music
I n t his art icle from t he Sydney Morning Herald on 26
June 1937, Huberman discusses t he basis of musical
expression.
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t hough t hey are marked so on t he print ed page. You see, t he
dancer has t o t ake one long st ep, and t hen t wo short ones. ” Mr.
Huberman j umped t o his feet , and began energet ically
demonst rat ing.
“ You should hear a German orchest ra t rying t o play a St rauss
walt z, ” he went on. “ The beat s are square and unvaried; t he
whole t hing complet ely dead. I t is not a walt z at all. But t he
humblest Viennese, who has grown up wit h t he real walt z rhyt hm
surrounding him on every side, reproduces it by inst inct .
I mpor t ance Of Fol k Mel ody
“ So, wherever I go, ” Mr. Huberman went on, “ I dip int o t he folk-
lore of t hat place. That is why I claim t o underst and t he English
composers – and few Cont inent als can say as much. Elgar,
Delius, Vaughan Williams – all of t hem have t he English folk
idiom in t heir blood. Unless one has st udied t hat idiom at it s
source, how is one t o int erpret t heir music wit h insight ?
“ The st udy of folk rhyt hms carries it self over int o t he region of
classical music. An inst ance will show you what I mean. I n New
York some years ago, a young violinist t old me he t hought I
played t he last movement of t he Tchaikowsky concert o t oo fast . I
had a bet wit h him. ‘Come wit h me t o a Russian rest aurant which
has an orchest ra, ’ I said. ‘I f wit hin t wo hours we do not hear t he
principal phrase of t hat last movement , or somet hing very like it ,
I will pay you t en dollars. ’
“ He agreed. And it was I who received t he t en dollars. For I was
able t o point out t hat t he nat ive players enunciat ed t he t heme at
exact ly t he same speed as I had done, t hough it occurred in
music of a complet ely different sort . The point is t hat
Tchaikowsky had not borrowed t he mot ive direct ly from folk
music. I t occurred in his concert o simply because he had st eeped
himself in t he charact erist ic Russian nat ional melodies. Because I ,
t oo, had acquired t hat melodic scheme as a background, I was
able t o give his musical t hought exact ly t he shape and expression
it required. ”
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Musi c f or Chi l dr en
Hel pf ul Hi nt s For Par ent s
By Br oni sl aw Huber man
I n t his art icle, writ t en specially for “ The Argus, ” Mr. Huberman,
t he famous Polish violinist who is giving a series of concert s in
Melbourne, confesses t hat when he was a boy pract ising was
“ oft en an absolut e mart yrdom” t o him. Parent s should remember,
he says, t hat few children, even children who may have a
capacit y for musical genius, are fond of pract ising.
Erroneous ideas and false supposit ions, especially on t he part of
parent s, have wrought t remendous havoc t o musical educat ion in
general, and t o t he choice of a musical career in many cases.
Probably t he great est error of all is t he parent al belief t hat a
child’s aversion t o pract ise is a convincing proof of a lack of
t alent .
The willingness t o pract ise is a quest ion of charact er rat her t han
of genius. I t is direct ly due t o diligence, obedience, or, possibly, a
sense of dut y; but est imable as t hose qualit ies undoubt edly are
none of t hem is synonymous wit h genius.
When t hey were children, Beet hoven and Weber had such a
hat red of pract ising t hat t hey had t o be dragged t o t he piano. To
come nearer home, I candidly admit t hat when I was young
pract ising was very oft en an absolut e mart yrdom t o me. I cannot
say even now t hat I honest ly love pract ising. There is t his
difference, however: ment al mat urit y makes me realize t hat
every hour’s pract ise brings me nearer t he goal of performing
great works in t he way t hat t heir composers meant t hem t o be
played. Such logic, of course, is beyond t he ment al capacit y of a
child, and t hat is why we should not expect children t o display
keen delight , or even sat isfact ion, in pract ising.
Fost er i ng Medi ocr i t y
I n t he same way t hat many parent s believe t hat disinclinat ion t o
pract ise st amps a child as non- musical so many ot her parent s
fondly imagine t hat docilit y regarding pract ising indicat es great
musical t alent . This assumpt ion account s for t he fact t hat many
mediocrit ies have been pushed int o t he musical profession by
overzealous parent s who have influenced t heir children’s careers.
As a result of his ignorance born musicians were kept out of t he
musical profession and unt alent ed ones were forced int o it .
These were t he condit ions t hat exist ed in t he days when t he
music in t he home had t o be provided by t he home fingers, in t he
days before t he gramophone and t he radio had usurped t he
funct ion of t he music- maker in t he house. Nowadays, when by
t he t wist ing of a dial, music can be provided ad libit um for t he
home and it s people, parent s do not expect t heir children t o
Music for children
While t ouring Melbourne, Aust ralia, Huberman wrot e an
art icle published in t he The Argus on Sat urday 17 July
1937. He discusses music educat ion and pract ise.
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supply t he musical fare for t he household. As a result , in many
homes children are no longer receiving any t uit ion in music. And
t hat is j ust where t he great mist ake is being made. The
enj oyment of list ening and t hat of self- performing is about as
different as t hat of seeing t he fruit and eat ing it .
Ent i r el y Wr ong At t i t ude
The ent ire at t it ude t oward musical t uit ion has been wrong ever
since t he first music lesson in t he world was given. Because a
child “ learnt music” t he parent s expect ed t hat t he child should be
ready t o give a display of his t alent ( or lack of t alent ) whenever
he was called upon t o do so. I n t he eyes of t he parent s t he only
reason for st udying music was t o become a performer. This
at t it ude is, of course, ut t erly wrong.
A child does not st udy hist ory or geography for t he specific
purpose of ent ert aining his relat ives and friends wit h recit at ions
of hist orical or geographical dat a; nor does he st udy mat hemat ics
for t he express purpose of dazzling his friends wit h his feat s as a
ready - reckoner. Hist ory, geography, mat hemat ics, languages –
all t hese are t aught from a broad educat ional point of view. Music
should be t aught in precisely t he same way – t o give pupils an
underst anding of t he vast lit erat ure of music, t o help t hem t o
become appreciat ive list eners of beaut iful music, and t o
experience for t hemselves t he beaut ies of a self- performed work.
A Compul sor y Subj ect
Music should be made a compulsory subj ect in schools, and
children should be inst ruct ed in such a way t hat t hey learn t o
regard music as t he expression of t he soul. I f t he subj ect is
t aught int elligent ly t hen by degrees t he love of serious music will
become more widespread and many cit ies and t owns will become
cent ers of music.
The conservat ion of amat eurism on a high level is of paramount
import ance for t he propagat ion of t he professional musician. Just
as t he rat io of pearls t o oyst er shells is one t o a t housand – so
also is t here only one genius t o each t housand music st udent s.
Therefore, it is t o t he int erest of t he musical profession t o
increase t he number of st udent s so t hat a larger number of
“ pearls” may be procured. The ranks of amat eur musicians in t he
world have already supplied a surprisingly large number of
“ pearls” – Moussorgsky, Borodin, and Cesar Cui are a few
examples, for all t hree were Government officers by profession.
Rimsky- Korsakov, Tschaikowsky, Glinka, and Balakirew were
amat eur musicians for t he great er part of t heir lives, and it was
only when t hey were comparat ively advanced in years t hat t hey
gave up t heir ot her professions in favour of music.
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WHY I BECAME A PAN- EUROPEAN
BY BRONI SLAW HUBERMAN
I HAVE spent t he last four wint ers in t he Unit ed St at es, and I
shall first relat e my experiences t here, for t hey explain how I was
convert ed t o t he idea of a Unit ed St at es of Europe. I am not one
of t hose prej udiced Europeans who look down upon America. On
t he cont rary, many of it s polit ical and social inst it ut ions impress
me as models and excit e my envy. I wish my fellow Europeans,
especially t he wealt hier among t hem, would t ake a lesson from
t he liberal public spirit and t he sense of civic dut y t hat inspires
many Americans of t heir class.
Since t he days of t he Medici t he world has not seen such
generous givers as every import ant t own in t he Unit ed St at es t o-
day possesses. Universit ies, research inst it ut ions, museums,
libraries, conservat ories, symphony orchest ras wit h adequat e
concert - halls, t est ify t o t he munificence of public- spirit ed privat e
cit izens. Nor do t hese men confine t heir bount y t o signing checks.
They oft en devot e a subst ant ial part of t heir t ime and energy t o
t he welfare of t hese inst it ut ions.
I can hear t he prej udiced European obj ect ing: ' Yes, but wit h all
t heir wealt h it ' s no real sacrifice t o give a lit t le. ' But I look around
our circle of European Crœsuses in vain for a Carnegie or a
Rockefeller who devot es t wo t hirds of his wealt h t o public
obj ect s.
What made t he st rongest impression upon me, however, was not
t he wealt h of individuals in America, of which we hear many
misleading st ories, but t he general st andard of well - being among
t he masses. I t was t o see so many people wearing silk st ockings
and fur collars, and riding around in aut omobiles. These t hings
were much more impressive t o me t han t he glit t er of diamonds in
t he boxes at t he Met ropolit an Opera.
Let me relat e some personal experiences. When I reached a cit y
of t he Middle West , on one of my first engagement s in America, I
found a musical acquaint ance wait ing for me at t he st at ion. I
remembered him well as occupying t he last seat among t he
second violins in t he Warsaw Philharmonic. Aft er t he usual
greet ings t his fellow count ryman of mine said t hat he would t ake
me t o t he hot el in his machine and t hen accompany me t o t he
rehearsal. I t hought I must have misunderst ood him, and said it
was very kind of t he people in charge of my recit al t o place an
aut omobile at my disposal. Whereupon my friend informed me
t hat it was his own machine. I smiled, but felt an inner shock.
Can it be, I t hought , t hat t his fellow, who was hardly up t o
playing t he last of t he second violins in Warsaw, has a posit ion
here t hat enables him t o keep his own aut omobile? He must be
t he direct or at least . How much bet t er off an American direct or
must be t han any direct or, or even impresario, I know in Europe.
Why I became a Pan-European
This art icle was published in t he American publicat ion
The Living Age, November 1925.
Huberman briefly discusses t he ideas t hat were
expanded upon lat er t hat year in his book Mein weg zu
Paneuropa.
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Filled wit h forebodings as t o t he qualit y of such an orchest ra, I
went t o t he rehearsal. But what did I see t here? My fellow
count ryman who owns his aut omobile, wit h a modest y
inconceivable in a European t hus blessed, t ook t he same place at
t he end of t he row of second violins t hat he had held in Warsaw.
The only difference was t hat in Europe he had looked half -
st arved and impecunious, while here he looked like a prosperous
businessman.
Anot her example. I set up housekeeping in America and engaged
a servant . His mont hly wage was a hundred and t en dollars. A
European who convert s t his sum int o t he money of his own
count ry may half - incredulously pit y me. But he would be wast ing
his pit y, for a hundred and t en dollars was no larger a percent age
of my American income t han t he wages of a similar servant in
Europe would have been of my income at home. But t he
significant fact was t he relat ion of t hat man' s salary t o his
expenses. He had t o pay not hing for room and board. Suppose
he want ed a pair of shoes. He could buy t hem for five dollars, or
about four per cent of his mont hly wages. But let us assume t hat
he was a lit t le more ambit ious and want ed a Ford aut omobile.
The price of t hat was t wo hundred and sixt y- five dollars, or less
t han t wo and one- half mont hs' salary. Now point out t o me any
count ry in Europe, even before t he war, where a servant could
buy a pair of subst ant ial shoes for a day and a quart er' s wages,
or an aut omobile for sevent y days' wages! Such condit ions are
not unusual in America. They are universal. I knew a lady who
had t o give up a woman cook whom she had engaged because
she did not have room in her garage for t he cook' s aut omobile.
St ill anot her example from a different occupat ion. I n get t ing
aboard a sleeping- car I hung on t o my precious violin- case. That
aroused t he int erest of t he colored port er, who was a music-
lover. Let me say parent het ically t hat I t hink t he American
Negroes, wit h t heir inborn gift for rhyt hm and melody, are about
t he most promising musical mat erial in t he count ry. When I
began t o pract ise, as is my cust om when t raveling, I could not
keep t hat port er out of my compart ment . I t t urned out t hat he
owned a hundred Vict rola records of Kreisler, Elman, Heifet z, and
my modest self, which he crit icized in his charact erist ic dialect , t o
my int ense but suppressed amusement . Now I never met , even
in t he most musical count ries of Europe, a railway port er who
could t alk wit h me appreciat ively and int elligent ly about t he
qualit y of my playing as reproduced on Vict rola records. A
Cont inent al port er might possibly be a member of a men' s
chorus, for our European railway men are somet imes musical, but
I can hardly conceive of his having a more ext ensive knowledge
of t he musical world t han t hat connect ion might give him.
Conceive also my surprise when, upon offering my room- servant
at a hot el a free t icket t o one of my symphony concert s, he
refused it wit h t hanks, explaining t hat he had a season t icket for
t he whole series. Yet t hat was not so surprising as it might
appear, for a season t icket for a fairly good seat at t he t en
concert s cost $7. 50, or no more t han it would in Europe; and in
proport ion t o t he man' s wages, which were several t imes as high
as t hey would be here, it was a mere bagat elle.
I received st ill anot her memorable surprise at a concert I gave t o
t he employees of t he Beechnut plant , one of America' s finest
food- preserving est ablishment s. This concert was not got up as a
similar ent ert ainment would have been in Europe - t hrough an
invit at ion from a Social - Democrat labor delegat ion t o play for t he
workers grat uit ously. I t was a regular business- engagement , at
my usual fee, arranged bet ween my agent and t he propriet ors. I
should have been well repaid by t he experience it self, however,
had I given t he concert free. I do not know whet her my playing
came up t o t he expect at ions of my audience of employees, but
my own expect at ions regarding t hemselves, t hough high, were
far exceeded. The people came in t heir own aut omobiles,
including not only Fords but also more expensive cars. The ladies
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were dressed much bet t er t han t hose in a middle- class European
audience - elegant shoes, silk st ockings, fur collars, and, last but
not least , a cert ain self- possession and poise t hat I admire
immensely in t he American fair sex; and t he men were quit e
wort hy of t heir part ners in dress and manners. I could not help
drawing ment al comparisons bet ween t heir appearance and t hat
of a similar audience in Europe, and I felt a heart - pang as I
recalled t he pale careworn faces and shabby clot hing I should
have seen on such an occasion in my own count ry.
I could fill volumes wit h similar incident s. But t hey would add
not hing t o what I have already said. Universal prosperit y, general
cont ent , and a cert ain pride in belonging t o a great , unit ed
nat ion, t ake t he place of our irrit at ing class- dist inct ions, of t he
mut ual hat red bet ween bourgeoisie and prolet ariat , and of our
nat ional animosit ies. This difference even produces a clearly
discernible physical resilience in t he American people. Nowhere
else can you hear t he grass of progress grow t he way t hat you
can t here.
Such impressions were reënforced, [ sic] moreover, by economic
phenomena t hat seem t o a European like t he effect of wit chcraft .
For inst ance, t ake t he relat ion bet ween wages and prices. The
average wage of an American worker must be at least t hree and
one- half t imes t hat of a European. Nevert heless, t he product of
his labor is by no means t hree and one- half t imes dearer t han in
Europe. I t is not t wo and one- half t imes dearer. Many t hings may
cost t wice as much, but ot her t hings cost no more, and some
t hings are even cheaper t han in Europe. Any man can see t hat if
an operat ive earns t hree and one- half t imes t he European wage
for making a hat , for example, but t hat hat can be sold for t he
European price, he can buy t hree and one- half t imes as many
hat s as his European comrade. I f, however, - as, for example, in
t he aut omobile indust ry and in t he building- t rades, - he earns
from four t o t en t imes t he European wage, but can produce
t hings t o sell at one fourt h of t he European price, t hen t here is a
relat ion bet ween wages and purchasing power t hat simply
bewilders a European. I n such cases t he American worker is
sixt een t o fort y t imes bet t er off t han our workers. The most
remarkable, but by no means unique, inst ance of t his kind is at
t he Ford works. They keep on raising t he wages of t heir
employees, reducing t he prices of t heir cars, and yet adding t o
t heir profit s!
Now such t hings make a man t hink. They must have a cause. I
made an exhaust ive inspect ion of t he Ford plant in Det roit j ust t o
discover, if possible, t his cause. The impression t hat t he place
made on me was as overwhelming as t hat produced by a Part it ur
by St ravinski - bot h alike were emanat ions of genius and t he
cont emporary spirit .
The short est explanat ion of t he magic formula of America' s
prosperit y, whose most perfect exponent perhaps is t he Ford
syst em, is t he Unit ed St at es. The Unit ed St at es connot es t wo all -
import ant fact ors - mass out put and quant it y market s; in ot her
words, t he lowest possible cost s of product ion and t he largest
possible sales. These t wo fact ors combine t o cheapen goods
aut omat ically. They make it possible, not only t o lower cost s of
product ion t o t he minimum, but also t o place product s in t he
hands of consumers at t hese low cost s of product ion plus profit s,
wit h no deduct ion for cust oms dut ies and war t axes, which are as
inevit able on a cont inent divided up int o a mult it ude of pet t y
St at es as is war it self.
I ret urned t o Europe filled wit h t hese ideas, and resolved t o st art
a campaign for a Unit ed St at es of Europe. But t he first t ime I
opened my mout h t o proclaim t his new gospel a friend slapped
me smilingly on t he shoulder and said: ' Yes, yes, I know where
you get t hat idea. Pan- Europa. '
I asked him what he meant , and learned t hat a movement t o
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at t ain t his obj ect already exist ed - t he Pan- Europa organizat ion
of Count Coudenhove- Kalergi. I bought his book, and was
delight ed t o find many of my ideas already in it , and above all t o
discover t hat his obj ect was ident ical wit h my own.
I do not pique myself upon t he originalit y of my ideas. They are
everywhere in t he air. We j udge t he man of vision, whet her he be
poet , leader, or prophet , not by t he novelt y of his revelat ions,
but by his abilit y t o give form and subst ance t o what already lies
in t he heart s and minds of men. Coudenhove has done t hat . He
has st udied t he problem under all it s aspect s and has always
come back t o t he same conclusion. All roads may not lead t o
Rome, but all roads do lead t o a Unit ed St at es of Europe - t he
road of reason, t he road of mat erial prosperit y, and t he roads of
et hics, of religion, of pacifism, of Christ ian love for our neighbor,
and of t he inst inct of self- preservat ion.
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MEI N WEG ZU PANEUROPA
v on Br oni sl aw Huber man
Wir begrüßen BRONI SLAW HUBERMAN, den
welt berühmt en Geiger, als Mit arbeit er.
Die Redakt ion.
I . AMERI KANI SCHE EI NDRÜCKE
I ch verbracht e die let zt en vier Wint er in den Vereinigt en St aat en
von Nordamerika. Von den dort gewonnenen Eindrücken will ich
zuerst erzählen, denn sie waren der Boden, auf dem in mir der
Gedanke von den "Vereinigt en St aat en von Europa" als der
einzigen Möglichkeit und Not wendigkeit ent st and, unserem armen
Welt t eil dass zum Leben erforderliche, bisher vermißt e
Mindest maß von Wohlst and zu geben und es zugleich von der
Gefahr zu befreien, die ihm von der zweiköpfigen Hydra eines
neuen unvermeidlichen Krieges und des Bolschewismus droht .
Um es vorwegzunehmen: I ch gehöre nicht zu den eingebildet en
Europäern, die auf Amerika mit kaum verhüllt er Geringschät zung
herabsehen. I m Gegent eil: Viele seiner st aat lichen und
gesellschaft lichen Einricht ungen erscheinen mir vorbildlich und
erfüllen mich Europäer geradezu mit Neid, wie ich denn auch von
manchen meiner europäischen Mit bürger, besonders von denen
der Millionärsgilde, wünschen würde, daß sie sich die
Opferfreudigkeit , den Gemeinsinn, das Pflicht bewußt sein mancher
ihrer amerikanischen Klassengenossen zum nachahmenswert en
Beispiel nehmen möcht en.
Seit den Tagen der Medici hat die Welt solche Tat en
großzügigst en Mäzenat ent ums noch nicht gesehen, wie sie in
j eder größeren St adt Amerikas an der Tagesordnung sind.
Universit ät en, Forschungsinst it ut e, Museen, Bibliot heken,
Konservat orien, Symphonieorchest er mit den dazu gehörenden
Konzert sälen verdanken ihr Best ehen fast ausschließlich der
Munifizenz einzelner Bürger. Dabei erschöpft sich ihr I nt eresse
keineswegs mit der Zeichnung des Schecks. Sie verwenden oft
außer ihren Geldmit t eln ihren ganzen Einfluß, ihre freie Zeit für
das Gedeihen ihrer St ift ungen. Wenn man an die erreicht en, in
der Welt wohl einzig dast ehenden Result at e, wie zum Beispiel die
Morgan- Bibliot hek, das Carnegie- I nst it ut , das Philadelphia-
Orchest er usw. denkt , so muß man wohl sagen: "Die Werke loben
ihren Meist er. " I ch höre schon die Einwendungen des
voreingenommenen Europäers: "Ja, bei diesem Reicht um ist es
Welt kart e
Mein Weg zu Paneuropa
“ To fire a gun out side t he boundary of our count ry is
lawful – it is called pat riot ism . . . when t he shot is
specially well fired it is recompensed wit h medals,
pensions, promot ion. To fire a gun inside t he boundary
on t he cont rary is called assassinat ion, homicide, and it
is prohibit ed by law and punished wit h imprisonment for
life or hanging . . . it does not mat t er whet her t he bullet is
fired at a friend or an enemy, a fellow cit izen or a
foreigner. The only crit erion which decides whet her t he
act is one of heroism or of crime is t he nat ional front ier. ”
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wahrlich nicht schwer, munifizent zu sein. " I ch könnt e darauf
erwidern, daß ich unt er den europäischen Krösussen vergebens
nach einem Ausschau gehalt en habe, der wie Carnegie oder
Rockefeller zwei Drit t el seines wenn auch geringeren Reicht ums
für öffent liche Zwecke gespendet hät t e. Recht bezeichnend für die
amerikanische Art , das Prinzip "Noblesse oblige" anzuwenden, ist
die schöne Gest e einer mir befreundet en Musikent husiast in: Seit
Jahren war sie die Seele einer Musikgesellschaft , die sich zum
Ziele geset zt hat , selt en gehört e ält ere Werke und ganz moderne
Komposit ionen in vorbildlicher Weise zur Aufführung zu bringen.
Kein Wunder, daß bei einer solchen Exklusivit ät der Programme
das Defizit immer größer wurde. Als es schließlich ihr Budget
derart überst ieg, daß sie vor der Alt ernat ive st and, ihre geliebt en
Konzert e einst ellen zu müssen, verkauft e sie schnell ent schlossen
ihr wert vollst es Perlenhalsband! I ch fühle, meine
voreingenommenen Europäer verst ummen auch nicht vor dieser
Wucht der Tat sachen. Sie bezweifeln die Aufricht igkeit der
Mot ive, denken an Snobbismus, Eit elkeit . Als wenn es bei uns in
Europa keine gäbe . . . Nur t oben sie sich bei uns, j e nach der
Mode, in Parforce- Jagden und Kieler Regat t en aus.
Was auf mich drüben den st ärkst en Eindruck macht e, war j edoch
nicht so sehr der Reicht um des Einzelnen, von dem bei uns so
viele irreführende Fabeln erzählt werden, als vielmehr der
allgemeine Volkswohlst and, der in den Seidenst rümpfen,
Pelzkragen und Aut omobilen der arbeit enden Klassen vielleicht
noch sinnfälliger zum Ausdruck kommt als in den Diademen
einzelner Logeninhaberinnen der Met ropolit an Opera.
Einige Beispiele aus meinen eigenen Erfahrungen illust rieren es
besser, als noch so begeist ert e allgemeine Schilderungen es
vermöcht en. Bei meiner Ankunft in einer Musikst adt des
Mit t elwest im Anfang meiner amerikanischen Laufbahn werde ich
von einem Orchest ermit glied erwart et , das ich als einen gut en
Bekannt en schlecht en Angedenkens, nämlich vom let zt en Pult der
zweit en Geiger der Warschauer Philharmonie, begrüßt e.
( Schlecht en Angedenkens, weil auch noch dieser Plat z zu gut für
sein Falschspiel schien. ) Nach der Bewillkommnung sagt mir mein
Landsmann, daß er mich in seinem Aut o nach dem Hot el und
dann zur Probe begleit en werde. I ch glaubt e schlecht gehört zu
haben und sage, es sei sehr freundlich vom Musikverein, mir ein
Aut o zur Verfügung zu st ellen, worauf j edoch mein Bekannt er
mich verbessert und auf das Aut o als auf sein Eigent um hinweist .
Äußerlich lächelnd, erlit t ich innerlich einen Choc. Wie, dacht e ich
im St illen, dieser Mann, der in Warschau zu schlecht für das let zt e
Pult war, bekleidet hier eine St elle, die ihm gest at t et , ein eigenes
Aut o zu halt en? Er muß also mindest ens einen
Konzert meist erpost en inne haben. Damit glaubt e ich schon die
viel günst igere Lage eines amerikanischen Orchest ermusikers
eskompt iert zu haben, denn welcher Dirigent , geschweige denn
Konzert meist er in Europa könnt e sich ein Aut o leist en? Voll
bösest er Ahnungen über die Qualit ät eines solchen Orchest ers
fuhr ich denn zur Probe. Was aber sah ich dort ? Mein Aut o-
Landsmann set zt sich mit einer Bescheidenheit , die für einen
europäischen Aut obesit zer schier undenkbar wäre, an dasselbe
let zt e Pult , das er in Warschau inne hat t e, nur mit dem
Unt erschied, daß er in Europa dabei am Hungert uch nagt e,
während er drüben an allen Lebensgenüssen und
Bequemlichkeit en t eil hat t e, die in Europa allein der sehr dünnen
Gesellschaft sschicht der Wohlhabenden vorbehalt en sind.
Ein weit eres Beispiel: I ch führt e einen eigenen Hausst and in
Amerika und st ellt e einen Diener an. Sein Monat slohn bet rug 110
Dollar. Die Europäer werden bei Umrechnung dieser Summe in
ihre einheimische Währung die Hände über dem Kopfe
zusammenschlagen und mich bemit leiden. Das ist aber erst ens
überflüssig, weil 110 Dollar einen kleineren Prozent sat z meines
amerikanischen Einkommens ausmachen, als der ent sprechende
europäische Dienerlohn von meinen europäischen Einnahmen
bedeut en würde. Zweit ens ist mein Ausgaben- Budget im Sinne
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der vorliegenden Bet racht ungen weniger int eressant als das
Einnahme- Budget meines Dieners, aus dem einfachen Grunde,
weil es mehr Diener als Geiger gibt . Also er erhielt 110 Dollar.
Wie verhielt sich nun sein Lohn ( von der er nicht s mehr für
Quart ier und Verpflegung abzugeben hat t e) zu seinen Ausgaben?
Nehmen wir an, er braucht e ein Paar Schuhe: 5 Dollars gleich 4
Prozent seines Monat slohnes. Ein Ford- Aut o: 265 Dollars oder
nicht ganz zweieinhalbfacher Monat slohn! Man zeige mir ein Land
in Europa, auch aus der gesünderen Vorkriegszeit , wo ein Diener
sich in eineinviert el Tag Arbeit ein Paar t adellose Schuhe, in
siebzig Arbeit st agen ein Aut o verdient hät t e! I n Wien würde ein
Diener zirka sechs Jahre für das gleiche Aut o arbeit en müssen!
Daher ist es keine Fabel, sondern eine wirkliche Begebenheit , daß
eine mir befreundet e Dame die bereit s aufgenommene Köchin
doch wieder ent lassen mußt e, weil in ihrer Garage kein Raum für
das Aut o der Köchin vorhanden war!
Ein Beispiel aus einer andern Arbeit erschicht : I ch best eige einen
Schlafwagen. Meinen Geigenkast en lasse ich dabei nicht aus der
Hand. Dies erweckt das I nt eresse des augenscheinlich
musikliebenden farbigen Schlafwagen- Schaffners. ( Nebenbei
bemerkt , bildet meiner Ansicht nach die amerikanische
Negerrasse mit ihrem angeborenen Sinn für Rhyt hmus und
Melodie das wert vollst e Musik- Rohst off- Reservoir Amerikas. ) Als
ich dann meiner Gewohnheit gemäß unt erwegs zu üben beginne,
ist der Neger nicht mehr von meinem Coupé wegzubringen. Und
es st ellt sich heraus, daß er an die hundert Grammophonplat t en
von Kreisler, Elman, Heifet z und - meiner Wenigkeit besit zt ,
deren für ihn charakt erist ische Unt erschiede er mir zu meiner
innerst en Belust igung auseinanderset zt . Auch in den
musikalischest en Ländern Europas bin ich noch auf keinen
Schaffner gest oßen, der mir Vort räge über die Qualit ät meiner
Grammophonplat t en oder - ins Europäische überset zt - meiner
Konzert - Vort räge gehalt en hät t e. Er mag einem
Männergesangsverein angehören, denn musikalisch ist er j a
zuweilen, aber eine weit ere Teilnahme am Musikleben kann er
sich einfach nicht leist en. - Man denke sich meine Überraschung,
als ein mich bedienender Zimmerkellner eine Freikart e zum
Symphoniekonzert , in dem ich mit wirken sollt e, danken
ausschlug, mit dem Hinweis, daß er im Besit z eines Saison-
Abonnement s für alle Symphonie- Konzert e sei. Was Wunder
auch, da Abonnement für einen mit t elgut en Sit z zu den 10
Konzert en kost et 7½ Dollar, also nicht mehr als in Europa, im
Verhält nis zu dem um Vielfaches höheren amerikanischen
Kellnerverdienst j edoch nur einen Brucht eil der europäischen
Eint rit t spreise.
Überwält igend wirkt e auf mich ein Konzert , das ich vor der
Arbeit erschaft der Beech Nut Plant , Amerikas vornehmst er
Konservenfabrik, gab. Dieses Konzert kam nicht et wa auf dem in
Europa für solche Veranst alt ungen üblichen Wege zust ande, das
heißt durch Unt erbreit ung der Einladung seit ens einer
sozialdemokrat ischen Arbeit ervert ret ung und deren Annahme
durch den Künst ler unt er Verzicht auf sein Honorar. Nein, hier
wurde ich durch die übliche Vermit t lung meines Agent en seit ens
des Fabrikbesit zers gegen mein volles Honorar regelrecht
engagiert . Und gerade in diesem Falle hät t e ich gern auch
unent gelt lich zugesagt , nur aus I nt eresse an dem Anblick einer
solchen Veranst alt ung. I ch weiß nicht , ob ich mit meinem Spiel
die Erwart ungen des Arbeit er - Publikums recht fert igt e, aber
sicherlich wurden die meinigen, so hochgespannt sie auch waren,
noch weit übert roffen. Diese meine Erwart ungen konnt en sich
nat urgemäß nur auf das äußere Bild und Benehmen meines
Audit oriums beziehen. Da blieb aber auch kein Wunsch unerfüllt .
Es begann mit der Auffahrt in eigenen Aut os, übrigens nicht nur
Ford- Wagen, dann folgt e die Überraschung durch das
best rickende Äußere der j ungen Damen, die keinen Vergleich mit
einem rein bürgerlichen europäischen Audit orium zu scheuen
gehabt hät t en. Elegant es Schuhwerk, Seidenst rümpfe, Pelzkragen
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und last not least j ene gewisse st olze Kopfhalt ung, die ich bei
Amerikanerinnen so liebe. Die Männer in Anzug und Benehmen
würdig ihrer schöneren Hälft en. I ch konnt e nicht umhin, im Geist e
einen Vergleich mit ähnlichen europäischen Veranst alt ungen zu
ziehen, und mein Herz krampft e sich mir zusammen im Gedanken
an die abgehärmt en Gesicht er und die dürft ige Kleidung, die von
der Vorst ellung gleichart iger Volksschicht en in Europa nun einmal
nicht zu t rennen sind.
I ch könnt e noch Bände mit derart igen Beispielen füllen, aber es
würde alles auf dasselbe hinauslaufen: Allgemeiner Wohlst and,
innere Zufriedenheit , ein alle verbindendes st olzes Gefühl der
Zugehörigkeit zu einer einzigen großen Volksgemeinschaft und
nicht wie bei uns in Europa die peinvolle Scheidung in Bourgeois
und Prolet arier, die durch einen Abgrund von Neid, Haß und
Rachegefühl voneinander get rennt sind. - Von der ähnlich
geart et en Absonderung der einzelnen europäischen Nat ionen
schon ganz zu schweigen. Daher auch drüben der geradezu
körperlich wahrnehmbare Zug nach vorwärt s, nach
Vervollkommnung. Nirgends kann man das Gras der Ent wicklung
und des Fort schrit t es förmlich so wachsen hören wie drüben. All
diese Eindrücke wurden noch vervollst ändigt durch manche
ökonomische Phänomene, die auf den europäischen Beobacht er
wirken müssen wie Zaubereien eines Schwarzkünst lers.
Da ist das Verhält nis zwischen Arbeit slohn und Warenpreis. Der
durchschnit t liche Lohn eines amerikanischen Arbeit ers dürft e
3½mal höher sein als der des europäischen. Trot zdem ist das
Produkt dieser 3½mal höher bezahlt en Arbeit keineswegs 3½mal
t eurer als in Europa, es ist nicht einmal 2½mal t eurer; manches
ist 2 oder 1½ mal t eurer, einiges ist überhaupt nicht t eurer und
vieles sogar direkt billiger als in Europa. Es ist j edem klar, daß,
wenn ein Arbeit er das 3½fache des europäischen Lohnes für die
Herst ellung, sagen wir eines Hut es, bekommt , aber diesen Hut
selbst um den europäischen Preis sich kaufen kann, er 3½mal so
viel Hüt e kaufen kann als sein europäischer Kollege. Wenn er
aber, wie zum Beispiel in der Aut omobil- I ndust rie, im
Baugewerbe und Bergbau, das Vier - bis Zehnfachedes
europäischen Lohnes erhält , den Art ikel selbst aber um ein Viert el
des europäischen Preises kaufen kann, dann ent st eht ein
Verhält nis von Arbeit slohn zur Kaufkraft , welches auf den
Europäer so aufreizend wirken muß, daß ich mich hüt en würde,
es zu nennen, wenn ich nicht die eingest andene Absicht hät t e, die
Europäer aufzurüt t eln: Der Amerikaner st eht sich dann 16 bis
40mal besser als der Europäer gleicher Kat egorie! Das
verwirrendst e, aber keineswegs vereinzelt dast ehende Phänomen
ist Ford. Er bringt es fert ig, den Lohn seiner Arbeit er allj ährlich zu
erhöhen, den Preis seiner Aut omobile zu ermäßigen und dennoch
seinen Net t ogewinn st et ig zu st eigern!
Diese Eindrücke und Beobacht ungen müssen einen denkenden
Menschen zum Überlegen zwingen. Denn solche Phänomene
müssen auf best immt en Ursachen beruhen. Diese zu erkennen
war der Zweck meiner eingehenden Besicht igung der Fordschen
Fabrik in Det roit . Der Eindruck war überwält igend, seine Wirkung
nicht weniger at emraubend als et wa eine Part it ur von St ravinsky
- beides Emanat ionen von Genie und Zeit geist .
Die kürzest e Erklärung der Zauberformel für die Blüt e Amerikas,
deren vollkommenst er Exponent Ford sein dürft e, heißt :
Vereinigt e St aat en. Diese bedeut en die Vorausset zung für deren
zwei wicht ige Fakt oren: Massenprodukt ion und
Massenabsat zgebiet , das heißt billigst e Produkt ion und größt en
Absat z. Sie schließen aber auch die aut omat ische Folgewirkung
einer weit eren Verbilligung ein: Nämlich außer derj enigen durch
verbilligt e Massenherst ellungsweise auch noch die Möglichkeit des
Verkaufes dieser wohlfeileren Produkt e zu den reinen
Herst ellungspreisen plus Verdienst , aber unbelast et durch
Grenzzölle und Kriegsst euern, die ebenso unvermeidlich
Begleit erscheinungen der Vielst aat erei sind wie die Kriege selbst .
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I I . DI E TAT COUDENHOVES
Erfüllt von diesen I deen, kam ich nach Europa zurück, mit dem
fest en Vorsat z, eine Bewegung ins Leben zu rufen, die kein
geringeres Ziel hät t e als die Schaffung der Vereinigt en St aat en
von Europa. Doch schon beim erst en Versuch wurde mir lächelnd
auf die Schult er geklopft , et wa mit den Wort en: "Ja, j a, wir
wissen schon, wo du das her hast : Paneuropa". I ch fragt e, was
dies bedeut e und erfuhr auf diese Weise, daß bereit s ein
Krist allisat ionspunkt für eine solche Bewegung exist iert e:
"Paneuropa" von Graf Coudenhove Kalergi. I ch verschafft e mir
das Buch und war sehr beglückt , viele meiner I deen darin
vorzufinden und vor allem dasselbe Ziel.
I ch bilde mir auf diese I deen nicht s ein, denn sie liegen j et zt
geradezu in der Luft , ebenso wie andererseit s dieses I n- der -
Luft liegen die Tat Coudenhoves nicht im Geringst en schmälert .
Denn das Krit erium für den Begnadet en, sei er Dicht er, Führer
oder Prophet , best eht nicht darin, daß er unerhört Neues, noch
nie Dagewesenes dem erst aunt en Volke zeigt , sondern ganz im
Gegent eil in der Fähigkeit , das, was vieler Menschen Herz oder
Geist bewegt , in die ent sprechende Form zu kleiden und dadurch
erst sein Verkünder zu werden. Und das hat Coudenhove get an.
Er hat das Problem von allen Seit en beleucht et und kommt immer
wieder zum gleichen Ergebnis. Wenn auch nicht alle Wege nach
Rom führen, so führen sie doch alle nach Paneuropa, gleichviel,
ob es der Weg der Vernunft , des Mat erialismus, der Et hik, der
Religion, des Pazifismus, der christ lichen Nächst enliebe oder der
St elbst erhalt ung ist . Es fragt sich nur, ob Coudenhove nicht , t reu
seinem angeborenen Hange nach philosophischer Erkennt nis und
et hischer Reinheit , die idealist ische Seit e des Problems zu sehr
unt erst richen, die prakt ische, mat erielle hingegen, t rot z aller
sachlichen Logik, zu sehr in den Hint ergrund geschoben hat .
I I I . PANEUROPA ALS ÖKONOMI SCHES PROBLEM
Für mich st ellt sich das Problem als ein vorwiegend ökonomisches
dar oder, um ganz ehrlich zu sein, meine Überzeugung von dem
Herdent riebe und der Raubt iernat ur vieler Menschen - um nicht
zu sagen des Menschen an sich - drängt mich zu der Takt ik, die
Wahrheit en über die durch nicht s zu überbiet enden mat eriellen
Vort eile unserer Bewegung so st ark als möglich
herauszust reichen, dagegen aber mit dem meinem Herzen noch
näher liegenden gleichzeit igen Ziel allgemeiner Verbrüderung und
Abschaffung des gegenseit igen Menschenschlacht ens ein wenig
hint er dem Berge zu halt en. Wozu auch darüber reden? Von Plat o
an über Christ us und Kant bis in unsere Zeit wurden
Nächst enliebe und Pazifismus von den edelst en Geist ern immer
wider gepredigt - st et s mit demselben negat iven Ergebnis. Also
will ich der Menschheit mit dieser abgegriffenen Münze lieber
nicht kommen. I ch begnüge mich mit dem Bewußt sein, daß die
Erreichung auch dieses Zieles ohnehin aut omat isch und unlösbar
mit der Gesamt heit des Problems Paneuropa verknüpft ist . Daher
möcht e ich mich nicht wie die bisherigen Pazifist en nur an die
I nt ellekt uellen und I dealist en, sondern vor allem an diej enigen
wenden, die den Haupt vort eil aus dieser Bewegung zu ziehen
best immt sind: an die große Masse. Denn für die Prolet arier
bedeut et Paneuropa nicht mehr und nicht weniger als die
Befreiung von j ahrt ausendalt er, auf keine andere Weise
abzuschaffender Sklaverei.
Bedarf es für die Richt igkeit dieser Behaupt ung noch eines
Beleges unt er Hinweis auf das amerikanische Beispiel ? I ch könnt e
höchst ens mit einer Probe aufs Exempel dienen: Amerika, das
Land mit der zahlreichst en Arbeit erbevölkerung, ist das einzige
I ndust rieland der Welt , in dem es keine polit ische Arbeit erpart ei
gibt . Die meist en Arbeit er - darunt er auch geist ige, wie zum
Beispiel die Musiker - sind in den Trade- Unions auf das
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mächt igst e organisiert und erringen und erhalt en sich mit deren
Hilfe ihren hohen Lebensst andard. Aber auch die wüt endst en
Lohnkämpfe vermögen sie nicht polit isch von dem Rest der
bürgerlichen Gesellschaft zu t rennen, als deren vollwert ige
Mit glieder sie sich mit Recht fühlen. Mit dieser Fest st ellung habe
ich ein wicht iges Blat t des paneuropäischen Problems
aufgeschlagen: Die europäische Union in ihrer negat iven Wirkung
auf den Bolschewismus. Wenn es uns auch hier in Europa gelingt ,
Zust ände zu schaffen, die eine polit ische Absonderung der
Arbeit ermasse vom Rest der Bevölkerung unnöt ig machen, dann
verhindern wir eo ipso das Umsichgreifen des Bolschewismus.
Daß aber andererseit s der Bolschewismus für weit e Kreise einen
großen Gedanken darst ellt , werden auch seine Gegner nicht
leugnen können. Einen Gedanken, mag er auch verst iegen
erscheinen, kann man aber nicht mit dem Baj onet t ausrot t en.
Man kann ihn nur mit einem größeren Gedanken besiegen. Dieser
größere Gedanke heißt wiederum Paneuropa. Meiner Ansicht nach
gibt es für die Bourgeoisie Europas nur eine Alt ernat ive:
Ent weder es gelingt ihr, das Niveau der Lebensführung der
arbeit enden Klassen zu heben und allmählich dem ihrigen
anzugleichen, oder aber die Arbeit er werden sie zu ihrem
Lebensst andard hinunt erreißen, wie sie es in Rußland bereit s
get an haben. Wie kann man aber nun ihre Lebensbedingungen
heben? Die scheinbar einfache Met hode, den Überschuß den
Besit zenden wegzunehmen und unt er die Besit zlosen zu vert eilen,
hat sich, gelinde gesagt , nicht bewährt . Kurzweg den Arbeit slohn
erhöhen? Das wäre ein circulus vit iosus: Der Arbeit er, dem heut e
der Lohn gest eigert wurde, muß übermorgen um so viel mehr für
seinen Lebensunt erhalt ausgeben, weil j a der Arbeit geber kein
Zauberer ist und den Preis seiner vert euert en Produkt e im
gleichen Verhält nis erhöhen muß. I ch wundere mich nur, daß
diese fort geset zt e Beschwindelung der Arbeit nehmer, die
allerdings keine von den Arbeit sgebern beabsicht igt e, sondern die
nur eine unvermeidliche Folgeerscheinung der polit ischen
St rukt ur Europas ist , nicht längst von den Arbeit erführern erkannt
und bekämpft worden ist . Ein Kind würde das Problem in die
Wort e fassen: "Den Kuchen essen und doch ganz lassen". Den
Wohlhabenden nicht s wegnehmen und den Armen mehr geben.
Dies geht nur, wenn man dem Arbeit er die Möglichkeit gibt ,
innerhalb derselben Arbeit szeit mehr Güt er zu erzeugen als bisher
und den größt en Teil dieses Plus zu seinem Lohne schlägt . Am
kürzest en würde die Formel laut en: Lohnst eigerung durch
Produkt ionsst eigerung ohne Preisst eigerung, sondern mit
Preissenkung. I m Europa der Vielst aat erei ist das gleichbedeut end
mit der Quadrat ur des Zirkels, im Europa der Vereinigt en St aat en
ist es das Ei des Kolumbus. Für die Skept iker möcht e ich die
ökonomischen Folgen von Paneuropa nochmals mit Schlagwort en
rekapit ulieren: Massenprodukt ion durch alsdann sich lohnende
Einst ellung ent sprechender Maschinen, unbeschränkt er
Massenabsat z durch Abschaffung der Grenzen, fast keine
St euern, keine Zölle, weil Kriege, I nvaliden,
Kriegsent schädigungen, eigene oder fremde Reparat ionen
fort fallen.
I V. KEI NE GRENZEN - KEI NE KRI EGE
Wo es keine Grenzen gibt , da gibt es auch keine Kriege, und
lat ent er Haß mildert sich bis zur Vert räglichkeit . Über die Grenze
schießen ist erlaubt - man nennt es Pat riot ismus, Bürgerpflicht ,
Heldent at , und sit zt der Schuß besonders gut , so wird er mit
Orden, Pensionen, St andeserhöhungen belohnt . I nnerhalb der
Grenzen schießen heißt dagegen Mord und Todschlag, ist
polizeilich verbot en, wird mit Zucht haus oder durch den Galgen
best raft und st at t der St andeserhöhung droht einem Verlust der
bürgerlichen Ehrenrecht e. Dabei ist es gleichgült ig, ob der Schluß
Freund oder Feind, dem St ammesbruder oder Fremden galt . Das
einzige Unt erscheidungsmerkmal für die Frage, ob es sich um
eine Heldent at oder ein gemeines Verbrechen handelt , ist die
Landesgrenze.
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Bei der heut igen hoffnungslosen Ment alit ät Europas bedeut et es
vielleicht nicht offene Türen einrennen, sondern im Gegent eil
hermet isch verschlossene, wenn ich diese Behaupt ung mit
einigen Beispielen aus der neueren Geschicht e zu belegen
versuche. Das naheliegendst e Beispiel ist die Schweiz. Sie ist von
drei grundverschiedenen Volksst ämmen bewohnt , deren j enseit s
der Schweizer Grenzen wohnende Haupt vert ret er seit bald zwei
Jahrt ausenden sich in wechselnder Gruppierung bekämpfen. Noch
bebt die Welt von der Wucht des let zt en Anpralles, t rot zdem
sieben Jahre seit Niederlegung der Waffen verst richen sind. Wie
verhielt en sich nun während des Welt krieges die Deut schen,
Franzosen und I t aliener innerhalb der Schweizer Grenzpfähle? Die
Frage st ellen heißt sie auch schon beant wort en. Die Wogen der
nat ionalen Erregung, der Part einahme für die eine oder andere
Nat ion gingen manchmal sehr hoch, aber niemand hat et was von
einem Waffengange zwischen einem Welschschweizer,
Deut schschweizer oder Tessiner gehört . Das wäre die Lehre von
dem friedlichen Verhalt en dreier scheinbar feindlicher
Volksst ämme innerhalb einer Grenzlinie. Ein in ent gegengeset zt er
Richt ung vielleicht noch überzeugenderes Beispiel von der
t euflischen Wirkung der Grenzen liefert das Verhalt en der
polnischen Nat ion im Welt kriege. Wir Polen rühmen uns mit
Recht , daß wir t rot z unserer schwierigen St ellung in den drei
Lagern niemand im Krieg verrat en haben, so lange man uns nicht
selbst hint ergangen hat t e. Daß dies der vollen Wahrheit
ent spricht , bin ich selbst in der Lage zu bezeugen. Der Vat er
eines Bekannt en von mir - Baron von König - befehligt e eine fast
nur aus Posenschen Polen best ehende preußische Division, die er
nach dem früheren Russisch- Polen führt e. Wie aus seinen Briefen
hervorging, war er voller Begeist erung über das pflicht t reue und
heldenmüt ige Verhalt en seiner Truppe. Dasselbe rühmt e Freiherr
von der Golt z, der Chef eines aus polnisch- rheinischen
Kohlenarbeit ern best ehenden Regiment s. Der Heldenmut der
polnischen unt er Öst erreich dienenden Legionen gehört bereit s
der Geschicht e an. Die Rit t er des Maria Theresien- Ordens -
Öst erreichs höchst er Kriegsauszeichnung, und des Georg- Ordens
- Rußland höchst er milit ärischer Dekorat ion - lassen sich in
polnischen Reihen zahlreicher finden als ihrem zahlenmäßigen
Verhält nis zum Rest der rein öst erreichischen, respekt ive
russischen Bevölkerung ent sprechen würde. I ch kannt e selbst
mehr als eine polnische Familie, deren mehrere Söhne in den
verschiedenen, einander feindlich gegenüberliegenden Lagern
kämpft en, so wie der Zufall es gefügt hat t e. Was bedeut et nun im
Grunde genommen die st olze Behaupt ung von der polnischen
Loyalit ät ? Nicht s anderes, als daß wir dumm genug waren, in
einem St reit e, der uns nicht bet raf, der Suggest ion des
Grenzzwanges zu erliegen und dem Befehl, auf die
Grenzbewohner zu schießen, nachzukommen, selbst auf die
Gefahr hin, unseren Bruder zu t reffen. Die Rechnung st immt : Hier
die grenzumzäunt e Schweiz, die sich mit ihrer drei - einigen
deut sch- französisch- it alienischen Bevölkerung friedlich verhält ,
dort das gemart ert e, zerrissene, aber innerlich einige Polen,
dessen drei Teile gegeneinander kämpfen! Dies sind nur zwei am
ergreifendst en sprechende Beispiele aus einer unermeßlich
langen Reihe. Wie war das Verhalt en der Deut schbalt en
gegenüber Rußland? Wider der St olz auf die Loyalit ät ! Während
sich die Deut schen und Russen von j enseit s der Grenzen die
Köpfe einschlugen, verblieben die Deut schen diesseit s der
russischen Grenzpfähle, t rot z mancher russischen
Verdächt igungen und Verfolgungen, in ihrer hist orischen Mission,
St üt ze des russischen Kaisert hrones zu sein. Namen wie
Rennenkampf, St ackelberg, Kaulbars, Ungern- St ernberg usw. ,
laut er russische Generäle deut scher Abst ammung, best ät igen nur
diese Tat sache. Ebenso waren die Kroat en seit 600 Jahren St üt ze
des Habsburgert hrones, auch dann, wenn es galt , gegen ihre
Brüder, die Serben, zu kämpfen. Diej enigen, die behaupt en
wollt en, daß das Verhalt en der Polen, Deut schrussen und Kroat en
nicht s mit Grenzsuggest ionen zu t un hat t e und ausschließlich
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durch den Zwang des milit ärischen Befehls zu erklären ist ,
verweise ich auf das winzige Finnland, welches als einzige der
unt er russischer Bot mäßigkeit st ehenden Völkerschaft en sich dem
Kriegsdienst sehr wohl zu ent ziehen vermocht e. Dies dank der
Tat sache, daß sie als einzige durch eine Grenze vom übrigen
Rußland get rennt war. Das die Teilnahme am Kriege mit Erfolg
verweigernde I rland, von England durch die Wassergrenze
geschieden, ergänzt dieses Beispiel. Soweit die Geschehnisse der
Jahre 1914/ 18. Wie sah es nun um 1866 aus? Hannoveraner,
Sachsen, Braunschweiger und Öst erreicher kämpft en gegen
Preußen, Bayern usw. Richt et die alt en Grenzen wieder auf, und
sie werden heut e das Gleiche t un, so wie es alle Menschen,
seit dem die Welt best eht , get an haben, und zwar nur nach
Maßgabe der sie t rennenden Grenzen, Mann gegen Mann, Dorf
gegen Dorf, St adt gegen St adt ( siehe die it alienischen
St ädt erepubliken) , St aat gegen St aat , St aat engruppe gegen
St aat engruppe. Mögen Deut sche, I t aliener oder beliebige andere
Europäer ruhig schaudern bei dem Gedanken an solche j et zt als
ket zerisch gelt enden Vorst ellungen; vielleicht wird ihnen dadurch
leicht er der Sinn dafür aufgehen, daß in unserer Zeit die
gegenseit ige Abschlacht ung mehrerer demselben europäischen
Kult urkreise angehörenden Völker keine geringere moralische und
wirt schaft liche Ungeheuerlichkeit bedeut et als es früher die
Abschlacht ung der demselben Sprachgebiet angehörenden St adt -
oder St aat sangehörigen war.
V. DI E EUROPÄI SCHE MENTALI TÄT UND ANDERE
GEGENARGUMENTE
Noch nie ist et was Posit ives so gründlich und - ich wage es zu
behaupt en - so schlecht en Glaubens ins Gegent eil verdreht
worden, als das t at sächliche Best ehen gemeinsamer europäischer
Kult urbande durch chauvinist isches Abst reit en derselben. Sie
best ehen seit undenklichen Zeit en. Die erbit t ert st en europäischen
Feinde verst ehen sich immer noch besser und sind sich, wenn
auch oft unbewußt , doch noch mehr zuget an als die int imst en
überseeischen Freunde. Wie mir j eder vielgereist e Europäer
best ät igen wird, kommt es auf unserem Erdt eil gar nicht selt en
vor, daß der Bewohner eines europäischen Landst riches in der
Darlegung auch der subt ilst en, verklausuliert est en Gedanken von
dem Bewohner eines andern mit t en in seiner Rede unt erbrochen
wird, nicht durch Fragen oder aus Widerspruchsgeist , sondern
vor laut er Ungeduld, seine Zust immung zu dem noch nicht halb
ausgesprochenen und doch schon ganz errat enen Gedanken zu
äußern. Bei all meinem Verst ändnis, meiner Begeist erung und
Liebe für Amerika muß ich doch gest ehen, daß ich diese Art von
Genugt uung drüben selt en erlebt habe. Ein Europäer läuft in
Amerika keine Gefahr unt erbrochen zu werden. Und am Ende wird
er mit t ausend Fragen best ürmt und t rot z aller Erläut erungen
doch nicht immer ganz verst anden werden. Nicht anders dürft e es
wahrscheinlich dem Amerikaner in Europa ergehen. Jenes höchst e
Erdenglück des st illen Einverst ändnisses zweier gleichgest immt er
Seelen kann sich eben nur zwischen Menschen einst ellen, in
deren Seelen wie in dunkler Schat zkammer gleichgeart et e erst e
Eindrücke schlummern, Eindrücke, wie sie in nebelhaft er
Kindheit szeit durch die Amme, die Großmut t er mit ihren
Märchenerzählungen, Schreckgespinst en, Heldenund
Wiegenliedern ins j unge Gemüt gesenkt wurden, und die dann im
spät eren Leben auf best immt e Reakt ionen als best immt e
Associat ionen mit schwingen und das halb ausgesprochene Wort
hellhörig ergänzen. Daß sich solche Harmonien der Seele
zwischen Angehörigen weit voneinander ent legener europäischer
Gebiet e ebenso nat ürlich einst ellen können wie zwischen einem
New Yorker und einem Kalifornier, ist mir ein genügender Beweis
von der Exist enz unserer gemeinsamen paneuropäischen Kult ur
und spricht eindringlicher als das noch so laut e Haßgeschrei
bezahlt er Agit at oren, int eressiert er Krämer, j a mehr sogar, als im
Kriege die Aust rit t serklärungen und St reichungen von Mit gliedern
aus "feindlichen" wissenschaft lichen Vereinigungen durch einige
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irregeleit et e, das eigent liche Wesen ihrer künst lerischen oder
wissenschaft lichen Mission verleugnende Hochschulprofessoren.
Das Paneuropa der Ment alit ät exist iert also. Man hat versucht , es
für die Bedürfnisse des Krieges künst lich in St ücke zu reißen, aber
t rot z der redlichst en Bemühungen unredlichst er Menschen ist
dieser geist ige Meuchelmord nie ganz gelungen. Das deut sche
Theat er unt er Max Reinhardt s Leit ung unt ernahm während des
Krieges st aat lich subvent ioniert e Propagandareisen ins neut rale
Ausland mit St ücken des "feindlichen" St aat sangehörigen Maxim
Gorki, in Wien und Budapest wurde, während die Schlacht en am
I sonzo t obt en, in St aat st heat ern Puccini, in Pariser Konzert en
Wagner und Brahms aufgeführt ; ich, der Pole, führt e t rot z
meines offiziellen St andes als feindlicher St aat sangehöriger in
Berlin im Jahre 1917 das Meist erst ück des Russen Taneieff, die
Konzert suit e, auf, und in Paris im erst en Jahre nach dem
Waffenst illst and spielt e ich die Sonat e des Deut schen Richard
St rauß. Was aber für die Beurt eilung der europäischen Ment alit ät
noch schwerer wiegt als unsere Aufführungen, ist die Tat sache
ihrer Erfolge. Das Publikum, das doch sicherlich nicht aus laut er
Elit emenschen zusammengeset zt sein konnt e, war begeist ert und
reagiert e oft mit demonst rat ivem Beifall. Einige schwarze Schafe,
wie zum Beispiel eine Londoner Zeit ung, die mich wegen meiner
Wahl von Bach und Brahms im Jahre 1919 anpöbelt e, oder eine
Berliner Zeit ung, die wegen Vort rages einer russischen
Komposit ion dasselbe t at , fallen dabei nicht ins Gewicht . Es hat
keine Zeit gegeben, auch nicht während der schlimmst en
deut sch- polnischen Verhet zung, in der man nicht deut sche
Künst ler in Polen und polnische Künst ler in Deut schland mit
Begeist erung aufgenommen hät t e.
Der Hinweis auf die vielen auch dauernden Herzensbande, die
zwischen Angehörigen der okkupierenden Armee und der
eingesessenen feindlichen Bevölkerung angeknüpft wurden, ist in
diesem Zusammenhang vielleicht nicht ganz unangebracht .
Das Paneuropa der Wissenschaft und des Verkehrs best eht erst
recht , und wenn es nicht best ünde, würde man es schaffen
müssen. Darüber noch Wort e zu verlieren, hieße wirklich
unheilbar Blinden von der Sonne oder Brandst ift ern von der
Feuerwehr erzählen wollen.
I ch habe mich absicht lich et was länger bei dem Kapit el
"Europäische Ment alit ät " aufgehalt en, weil ich in meinen
Unt erhalt ungen mit St aat smännern und Wirt schaft spolit ikern die
Beobacht ung macht e, daß, wenn sie schon gar keinen
st ichhalt igen Einwand gegen den Gedanken der Vereinigt en
St aat en von Europa erheben konnt en, sie wenigst ens die
angeblich mangelnde europäische Ment alit ät als Hindernis der
Vereinigung gelt end machen, und zwar t un sie es meist ens in
einer Art und Weise, die einer gewissen Komik nicht ent behrt .
Zunächst bet euert der Einzelne seine eigene begeist ert e
Zust immung zum Prinzip. Dann ent ringt sich ihm ein Seufzer,
dessen t iefen Sinn ich, gewit zigt durch die Erfahrung mit seinem
Nachbarn, im voraus errat e: Das Mißt rauen gegen den bösen
Nachbarn. Ja, wenn der nicht wäre! Daß er selbst Nachbar des
Nachbarn ist und diesem als solcher nicht mehr Vert rauen
einflößt , als er ihm selbst ent gegenbringt , will er nat ürlich nicht
wahr haben. Eine der nächst en Aufgaben der paneuropäischen
Bewegung wird die Zerst reuung des gegenseit igen Mißt rauens
bilden müssen durch Persönlichkeit en, die kraft der höheren
Wert e ihres Berufes, der edlen Menschlichkeit ihrer Gesinnung,
geeignet sind, den verhet zt en Menschen diesseit s der Grenze ins
Gedächt nis zu rufen, daß auch auf die Bewohner, j enseit s der
Grenze noch immer die Kant sche Definit ion des Menschen paßt :
Ein auf zwei Beinen gehendes, sinnlich- vernünft iges Säuget ier.
Ob wir diese Apost el des Vert rauens unt er den heut igen
St aat smännern, die aus der klassischen Schule des Mißt rauens
hervorgegangen sind, finden werden, erscheint mir zumindest
zweifelhaft . Wenn wir auch j eden Bekehrt en in unserer Mit t e
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willkommen heißen, so lege ich doch persönlich kein besonderes
Gewicht darauf. Jeder neue I nhalt muß sich seine neue Form
schaffen, j eder neue Glaube braucht neue Verkünder, j ede neue
Regierungsform bildet sich auch ihre eigenen neuen Organe. So
wie es unsinnig gewesen wäre, die demokrat ischen Maximen der
Revolut ion von 1789 mit Männern des ancien régime in die
Regierungspraxis umset zen zu wollen, oder die sozialist ischen
Maximen der englischen Labour Part y, beziehungsweise die
kommunist ischen Prinzipien der russischen Bolschewiken mit Hilfe
demokrat ischer Führer, ebenso wenig könnt e ich irgendeinen
Vort eil für unsere Bewegung in Versuchen erblicken, die
St aat smänner des heut igen sich zerfleischenden Europa in unser
Lager herüberzuziehen. Es wäre nut zlose Kraft verschwendung.
Nächst dem Einwand von der angeblich mangelnden europäischen
Ment alit ät erscheint von größt er Wicht igkeit die Befürcht ung, daß
mit der Niederreißung der Grenzen auch der not wendige Schut z
für manches nur künst lich am Leben erhalt ene Sorgenkind der
einheimischen I ndust rie wegfallen würde. Die Kurzsicht igkeit und
Naivit ät einer solchen Auffassung liegt für mich so klar auf der
Hand, daß ich mich über ihre Gelt endmachung durch int elligent e
Menschen nicht genug wundern kann. Diese nicht lebensfähigen
I ndust rien, die nur in einem St aat e Exist enzberecht igung haben,
der morgen durch Krieg von den ausländischen Spezialquellen
abgeschlossen werden könnt e, werden zwar zugrunde gehen
müssen, dafür aber den billigeren und besseren Produkt en der
gesünderen Konkurrenz Plat z schaffen. Die dadurch heut e brot los
gewordenen Arbeit er werden morgen Anschluß finden an neue,
den einheimischen nat ürlichen Lebensbedingungen besser
ent sprechende I ndust rien, oder an alt e, die ihrerseit s wieder
durch Fort fall der künst lichen Konkurrenz im Auslande
konkurrenzfähiger werden: - ebenso wie et wa seinerzeit die
ent lassenen Post illone Anschluß an die Bahnen oder an durch
diese ins Leben gerufene I ndust rien gefunden haben. Warum
muß mir in Deut schland, um nur ein Beispiel anzuführen,
minderwert iges deut sches Parfum und ebensolcher Champagner
aufgedrängt werden, wenn die französischen echt en Erzeugnisse
zum gleichen Preise zu haben sein sollt en? Oder in Frankreich
zweifelhaft e Chemikalien st at t der einwandfreien deut schen?
Warum muß ich in Öst erreich für den billigst en Serienwagen 1050
Dollars bezahlen, wenn ein europäischer Ford auch nur 265
Dollars kost en sollt e? Dasselbe kann man von fast allen Art ikeln
und allen Ländern behaupt en. Es gibt kaum ein Land, welches die
Nat ur ganz st iefmüt t erlich behandelt und kaum einen
Menschenschlag, der nicht eine besondere Handfert igkeit erlangt
hät t e.
VI . PAN- HUMOR
I n Paneuropa würden zum Beispiel Operet t en, Walzer,
Männergesangsvereine und alle goldenen Herzen aus Wien
bezogen werden, Anilin- Farben, besonders die graue ( für alle
Theorien) , Nibelungent reue, Ersat z von Surrogat en, besonders
von Kaffee- Surrogat en und das Wesen, an dem die Welt genesen
soll, aus Deut schland, Aut omobile und alle sonst igen
Annäherungsversuche aus Deut schland und Frankreich
gemeinsam, alle Löcher für Käsesort en und für à- j our
Handarbeit en aus der Schweiz, Prager Schinken wirklich aus
Prag, Kognak aus Cognac, Eau de Cologne aus Köln, die Kunst ,
mit den kleinst en Füßchen auf größt em Fuß zu leben, aus Polen,
dagegen die schwerst en Holzpant offel für die mildest e
Frauenherrschaft aus Holland, Klubs, abgenut zt e I solat oren ( aus
der Zeit der Splendid I solat ion) sowie die neuest en Präzisions-
Wagen und Gewicht e ( zur Aufrecht erhalt ung des europäischen
Gleichgewicht es) aus England, alle Mänt elchen, besonders die
kommunist ischen für kapit alist ische Bet riebe, alle Konzessionen
und alle Unt erschiede zwischen Theorie und Praxis aus Rußland
. . .
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Dadurch, daß die j eweils zu dieser oder j ener Produkt ion speziell
befähigt en Länder den gesamt en Konsum des ganzen Europa in
den bet reffenden Art ikeln zu decken hät t en, würde eine
Serienfabrikat ion ermöglicht , die den Preis, sagen wir eines
Wiener Art ikels in Paris niedriger halt en könnt e als dies zurzeit in
Wien selbst möglich wäre. Auch der Export von Menschen, die
Emigrat ion, würde in geregelt e, spezialisiert e Bahnen geleit et . I ch
sehe eine Zeit kommen, in der sämt liche europäischen Armeen -
eine cont radict io in adj ect o, da bekannt lich Paneuropa keine
Armeen, sondern nur eine gemeinsame Miliz haben wird -
ausschließlich preußische Vizefeldwebel, sämt liche Volksschulen
nur deut sche Schulmeist er anst ellen, wo der gesamt e
Kunst himmel Paneuropas voller polnisch- j üdischer Geiger hängen
wird, wo alle Verschwörer, sowohl revolut ionäre als auch
gegenrevolut ionäre, aus Rußland, alle Fascist en aus I t alien, alle
Dauerläufer aus Finnland, alle Vorkämpfer für Gerecht igkeit und
die Freiheit en der Welt nebst allen Verfolgern von Spionen und
Landesverrät ern wie auch deren Vert eidigern aus Frankreich, die
Ent decker des bisher unbekannt en Ost - und West - Pols aus
Skandinavien, die Zigeuner für alle Rest aurat ions- Kapellen, die
Royalist en für alle republikanisch regiert en Länder aus Ungarn
bezogen würden . . .
VI I . NATI ONALES BEKENNTNI S
Dieser vielleicht vorzeit ige Ausflug in die Provinz des Humors von
Paneuropa hat einen ernst en Kern: Meine unerschüt t erliche
Überzeugung, daß die Niederreißung der Zollgrenzen Europas
keinen oder nur geringen Einfluß auf die individuellen
Eigent ümlichkeit en der einzelnen europäischen Nat ionen haben
wird. Als Künst ler wäre ich auch der let zt e, eine Nivellierung der
nat ionalen Kult uren zu predigen. Denn alle echt e Kunst wurzelt
let zt en Endes im nat ionalen Boden. Das Schlagwort : "Die Kunst
ist int ernat ional" muß in seiner oft mißbräuchlichen Gelt ung
eingeschränkt werden. I nt ernat ional ist die Kunst nur in dem
Sinne, daß sie für den int ernat ionalen geist igen Konsum, für
wechselseit ige Anregung, best immt ist . Ebenso j edoch wie das
Vorkommen des Kaviars auf einem New Yorker Menu noch nicht
bedeut et , daß der St ör in der Hudson- Mündung gerade so gut
veget ieren kann wie in der Wolga- und Donau- Mündung, ebenso
wenig kann das noch so häufige Erscheinen der Meist ersinger auf
dem Repert oire der Pariser Oper darüber hinwegt äuschen, daß
ein Richard Wagner allein aus deut schem Wesen hervorgehen
konnt e. Wenn der Künst ler die Fähigkeit zu seinem Schaffen
seiner persönlichen Begabung verdankt , die nat ürlich nat ional
unbegrenzt ist , so dankt er den Weg, den diese Begabung
nimmt , den t ausendfält igst en Einflüssen seiner Umgebung. Das
gilt für die Künst e im allgemeinen. Für die Musik im besonderen
kommen noch drei wicht ige, nat ional st ark unt erschiedliche
Fakt oren hinzu: Volkslieder, Tanzrhyt hmen und lit urgische
Einflüsse.
Nach alledem könnt e man versucht sein anzunehmen, daß die
Forderungen der Geist eskult ur mit den Forderungen der
Wirt schaft skult ur in einem I nt eressenkonflikt st ehen: Hier
nat ionale Absonderung als Mat erialbereicherung für das Mosaik
der europäischen Künst e, dort das St reben nach Nivellierung,
St andardisierung, Kart ellen, Trust s über die Landesgrenzen
hinaus, mit einem Wort der Drang nach rest loser Vereinigung
zwecks I nt ensivierung und Verbilligung der Produkt ion und ihrer
Erschließung für breit est e Volksschicht en. Bei näherer
Bet racht ung st ellt sich j edoch dieser Gegensat z nur als ein
scheinbarer heraus. Die kult urellen Grenzen sind nicht ident isch
mit ökonomischen, und durch die Aufhebung let zt erer werden die
kult urellen Unt erschiede keineswegs verwischt . Meinem
bisherigen Verfahren get reu, will ich auch für diese, von manchen
zunächst bezweifelt e Behaupt ung Tat sachen - Beispiele anführen:
Gibt es et was deut scheres als die Schweizer Got t fried Keller,
Konrad Ferdinand Meyer, Böcklin, St auffer - Bern, Hodler, et was
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französischeres als die gleichfalls schweizerischen Jean Jacques
Rousseau, Benj amin Const ant , Jacques Dalcroze, Honegger ? Gibt
es et was im best en Sinne deut scheres als den Geist der
Deut schbalt en, so wie er sich in allgemeiner Bildung, in
Archit ekt ur, Wissenschaft und Kunst in den früheren balt ischen
Provinzen Rußlands äußert e? Wenn man nach einer längeren
Reise durch Großrußland nach Riga oder Reval kam, glaubt e man
sich unwillkürlich in eine alt e deut sche Hansast adt verset zt , so
sehr st ach der ganze Geist dieser St ädt e vom übrigen Rußland
ab. Das kult urell ganz zu Skandinavien gehörige Finnland kann
ich für meine Argument e allerdings kaum in Anspruch nehmen,
weil es t rot z der Oberherrschaft Rußlands durch eine offizielle
Grenze von demselben get rennt war. Mit um so größerem Recht e
kann ich aber hier auf Polen hinweisen: Zwei von den drei Teilen
wurden nicht nur polit isch, sondern auch - und vor allem -
kult urell auf Schrit t und Trit t , in der Schule, auf dem Markt plat ze,
in ihrer Ent wicklung gehemmt und verfolgt , j a sogar im freien
Gebrauch ihrer Mut t ersprache und in der Ausübung ihrer Religion
behindert . Und was war nach hundert fünfzig Jahren das Result at ?
Eine gerade kult urell ganz ungebrochene, homogene Nat ion, die
auf der Geist espalet t e der europäischen Völker sich ihre eigene
st arke Farbe unvermischt erhalt en hat t e. - Nicht einmal die Juden
sind ihrer kult urellen Eigenart ganz verlust ig gegangen, t rot zdem
sie seit bald 2000 Jahren der element arst en Vorausset zungen zur
Pflege einer nat ionalen Kult ur, der eigenen Scholle, Sprache und
t errit orialen Volksgemeinschaft , beraubt sind.
Wenn man bedenkt , daß es sich bei den angegebenen Beispielen,
mit Ausnahme der Schweiz, um unt erj ocht e und in ihrer
kult urellen Ent wicklung künst lich gehemmt e Nat ionalit ät en
handelt , so kann kein Zweifel darüber best ehen, daß bei einer
freiwilligen Vereinigung der Völker ihre kult urelle I nt egrit ät erst
recht gewahrt bliebe. Überdies st ünde der Aufnahme von
besonderen Kult urkaut elen in die Verfassungen der einzelnen
Länder nicht s im Wege. Daß dieselben, j edes geheimen
imperialist ischen Vor - oder Nacht eils beraubt , ehrlicher
beobacht et würden als die Minorit ät sgeset ze des Versailler
Vert rages, liegt auf der Hand.
VI I I . AMERI KAS REI CHTUM. EI N GRUND MEHR FÜR
PANEUROPA
Nun bleibt mir noch die Auseinanderset zung mit einem
Gegenargument übrig, das auf den erst en Anhieb schwerer zu
wiegen scheint als die übrigen, aber bei näherer Bet racht ung noch
weniger st andhält : Der Hinweis auf den angeblich größeren
Reicht um Amerikas an Bodenschät zen und auf seine dünnere
Besiedlung, welche einem größeren nat ionalen Besit zant eil pro
Kopf der Bevölkerung gleichkäme. Zunächst erscheint mir der
größere nat ürliche Reicht um Amerikas gegenüber Europa noch
nicht erwiesen; wenn man aber Rußland zu Europa hinzurechnet ,
was man bei einer hoffent lich fort schreit enden Häut ung der
Bolschewiken in absehbarer Zeit zu t un berecht igt sein dürft e, so
wage ich, das Übergewicht Amerikas in Nat urschät zen geradezu in
Zweifel zu ziehen. Und dies erst recht , wenn man die den
europäischen Mächt en gehörenden Kolonien hinzurechnet . Aber
selbst angenommen, daß Europa an Bodenschät zen wirklich
ärmer sie als Amerika - das wäre höchst ens ein Grund mehr für
die schleunigst e Durchführung der Rat ionalisierung unserer
Wirt schaft , das heißt der Paneuropäisierung. Seit wann hät t e man
gehört , daß der Arme mehr verschwenden darf als der Reiche!
Diej enigen also, welche die angebliche Armut Europas als
Einwand gegen die Zweckmäßigkeit einer ökonomischen
Nachahmung Amerikas anführen, denken nicht s weniger als
logisch. Sie könnt en best enfalls die Frage aufwerfen, ob uns die
Ersparungswirt schaft , als welche sich Paneuropa darst ellt , solche
Schät ze einbringen kann als sie Amerika abgeworfen hat . I ch
würde mit einem "Ja" ant wort en. Aber auch im
ent gegengeset zt en Falle, das heißt ohne Rücksicht auf die Höhe
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der erspart en Summe, wäre schon geradezu Unausrechenbares
gewonnen, wenn durch Abschaffung von Grenzen, Armeen und
Kriegen einerseit s zwei Drit t el unserer gegenwärt igen
europäischen Budget s gespart würden ( soviel machen die
Ausgaben für die Armeen und den Zinsendienst der
Kriegsanleihen aus! ) , anderseit s aber die Güt ererzeugung durch
Massenprodukt ion auf das Vielfache der heut igen Menge
gest eigert und auf Brucht eile ihrer heut igen Preise ermäßigt
würde.
Der paneuropäische Gedanke als solcher hat keine offenen
Gegner. Meist ens verschanzen sie sich hint er Gegenargument e,
die sie von der hist orischen, t errit orialen, mat eriellen, ment alen
und sprachlichen Verschiedenheit zwischen Europa und Amerika
herleit en. Daher habe ich mich hier bei der Auseinanderset zung
mit diesen Gegenargument en länger aufgehalt en als bei der
posit iven Seit e des Gedankens, der als solcher j a ohnehin j edem
einleucht en muß. Wenn ich dabei durch Eingehen auf einen
Einwand, den er vielleicht gar nicht erhoben hät t e, die Geduld
manchen Lesers auf die Probe gest ellt habe, so wolle er mir
zugut e halt en, daß ich aus Paneuropa auch den andern Leser
nicht ausschließen möcht e, der vielleicht gerade dieses Argument
für das st ichhalt igst e ansieht . I ch würde den event uellen Vorwurf
übert riebener Gegenargument anfecht erei gern auf mich nehmen,
wenn es mir nur gelänge, den Leser in dem Teil der angeführt en
Einwendungen, den er als t rift ig ansieht , zu ent waffnen und von
der Richt igkeit der folgenden paneuropäischen Glaubenssät ze zu
überzeugen:
I X. RESUMEE
Die Vereinigt en St aat en von Europa bedeut en:
Höhere Löhne,
Billigere Preise,
Freie Konkurrenz, das heißt bessere Qualit ät ,
Größeren Reicht um,
Höheren Lebensst andard der gesamt en Bevölkerung,
Wandlung des Lohnkampfes aus einem dest rukt iv- polit ischen in
einen aufbauend ökonomischen,
Aut omat ischen Abbau des Bolschewismus,
Pazifismus.
Die erst e Vorausset zung hiezu, die europäische Ment alit ät , ist
lat ent im Unt erbewußt sein eines j eden Europäers vorhanden.
Gegent eilige Erscheinungen sind t rügerische Ausflüsse künst licher
Aufhet zung.
Die Amerikanisierung, das heißt Vereinheit lichung unserer
Wirt schaft , bedeut et keineswegs die Gefahr der Amerikanisierung
unserer Kult uren. Umgekehrt aber ist die Vielfält igkeit der
europäischen Kult uren kein Hindernis für Vereinheit lichung
unserer Wirt schaft ssyst eme.
Der Schaden, der bei Öffnung der Grenzen durch Eingehen
konkurrenzunfähiger I ndust rie ent st ehen würde, ist nur ein
scheinbarer und selbst dieser nur vorübergehend.
X. AMERI KAS I NTERESSE AN PANEUROPA
"Also hät t e die Schöpfung Paneuropas nur Vort eile und gar keine
Nacht eile?" werden Ungläubige zweifelnd ausrufen.
"Mit Bezeichnung wie Vort eile", wage ich zu erwidern, "wäre das
Unt ernehmen nicht im Ent fernt est en eingeschät zt . " Hier handelt
es sich um Sein oder Nicht - Sein, um Freiheit oder Sklaverei.
Sollt e uns das Wunder gelingen, das Schicksalsschiff Europas
durch die Skylla des nächst en Krieges und die Charybdis des
lauernden Bolschewismus glücklich hindurchzust euern, so harrt
unser die Versklavung durch Amerika. Schon heut e sind die
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europäischen Nat ionen zu Tribut pflicht igen Amerikas geworden.
Daß sich die Europäer freiwillig, durch immer laut ere Kredit -
Bet t eleien, in diesen Zust and hineinbegaben, ändert nicht s an der
Sache. Dabei werden die wachsende Kredit not und die
Unmöglichkeit indust rieller Konkurrenz mit Amerika unret t bar
einen circulus vit iosus verursachen. Europa könnt e die horrenden
Zinsen von 8 bis 14 Prozent , mit denen die europäischen St aat en
und die I ndust rie die amerikanischen Schulden und Kredit e
verzinsen müssen, wenn überhaupt , dann nur durch vergrößert en
Absat z auf den Welt märkt en hereinbringen. Auf diesen
Welt märkt en aber begegnet es seinem amerikanischen
Geldgeber, gegen dessen Konkurrenz aufzukommen es Europa
mit seiner unrat ionellen Produkt ionsmet hode immer schwerer
fallen wird. Der Augenblick ist nicht mehr fern, wo in Amerika die
Erkennt nis aufdämmern wird, daß es von Europa in seiner
heut igen ökonomisch- polit ischen St rukt ur niemals auch nur einen
angemessenen Brucht eil seiner Schulden wird eint reiben können.
Von diesem Zeit punkt an werden die I nt eressen Amerikas mit
denen der paneuropäischen Bewegung ident isch sein. Denn so
schwer den einzelnen europäischen St aat en die Verzinsung und
Tilgung der amerikanischen Schulden wird, so leicht würde es
dem in kurzer Zeit reich gewordenen Paneuropa fallen. Wir
Paneuropäer müssen dafür sorgen, daß diese Erkennt nis sich so
schnell wie möglich in Amerika Bahn bricht . I ch bin gewiß, daß
Amerika alsdann ebenso energisch und erfolgreich die I nit iat ive in
der Richt ung der Vereinigt en St aat en von Europa ergreifen würde,
wie es den Dawesplan ins Leben rief. Ein florierendes Paneuropa
liegt auch sonst nur im I nt eresse Amerikas. Die gelegent liche
Einbuße der amerikanischen Monopolst ellung auf einigen wenigen
Gebiet en der I ndust rie würde durch vergrößert e Konsumfähigkeit
Europas für andere amerikanische Produkt e reichlich wet t
gemacht werden. Dies lehrt am best en das Beispiel Englands,
welches sein Arbeit slosenproblem nicht mehr bewält igen kann,
seit dem Deut schland, sein größt er Konkurrent , aber auch sein
best er Abnehmer, darniederliegt . Amerikas Vort eile von
Paneuropa würden die mannigfalt igst en sein:
Sicherst ellung der Verzinsung und Tilgung seiner Schulden,
Die Möglichkeit der Erricht ung von Tocht erfabriken in Europa.
Bekannt lich mußt en diesbezügliche mehrfache Versuche Fords an
der gegenseit igen Abwehrzoll - Polit ik der europäischen St aat en
scheit ern.
XI . PANEUROPA KEI NE UTOPI E MEHR
Amerika, das uns das glorreiche Vorbild seiner Vereinigt en
St aat en gab, muß und wird uns auch die Kraft verleihen, seinem
Beispiel nachzueifern, wenn es gewahr wird, daß wir uns selbst
helfen wollen. Der j et zige Augenblick scheint mir hiezu besonders
günst ig. I n der Tat , es t reffen j et zt so viele glückliche Fakt oren
zusammen, daß man heut e vielleicht zum erst en Mal in der
Geschicht e unseres Welt t eils die Gründung der Vereinigt en
St aat en Europas erört ern kann, ohne sich den Vorwurf eines
Ut opist en zuzuziehen. Übrigens würde mich die Gefahr eines
solchen Vorwurfs nicht im geringst en abschrecken. Wie
Coudenhove mit Recht sagt , haben alle bedeut enden I deen in der
Geschicht e der Menschheit als Ut opien begonnen, um als Realit ät
zu endigen. Aber - ich möcht e fast sagen leider - hört j et zt
Paneuropa auf, eine Ut opie zu sein. Die Gründe hiefür sind
folgende:
1. Der Welt krieg mit seinen Greueln ist noch in aller Erinnerung.
An seinen Verwüst ungen kranken wir noch alle. Seine
Zwecklosigkeit , nein, seine Schädlichkeit auch für den Sieger,
beginnt sogar in den dümmst en Gehirnen aufzudämmern. Bisher
versprach der Krieg für den Sieger ein gut es Geschäft zu werden.
Da die eigene geist ige und physische Überhebung zu den
wicht igst en Gebot en des Pat riot ismus eines j eden St aat es
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gehört e, so darf man sich nicht wundern, daß beide Part eien bei
Kriegsgefahr sich des gut en Geschäft es eines Sieges sicher
fühlt en. Daher war der auf Menschlichkeit basiert e Pazifismus
zum Scheit ern verurt eilt . Lieber Mord und Tot schlag als Verzicht
auf die winkende Beut e. Und die Beut e des Siegers schien
meist ens des Schweißes der Edlen wert . Seit Ausgang des
Welt krieges hat sich das durchaus geändert . Nicht , daß ich die
Großmächt e des Nachlassens in ihrer Habgier verdächt igen
würde. Das sei ferne von mir! Aber sie beginnen einzusehen, daß
die Zeit des großen Fischzuges mit Hilfe eines "frischen,
fröhlichen Krieges" vorüber ist . Noch so schlau geprägt e, auf
Volksbet rug und Aufpeit schung abzielende Schlagwort e, wie die
von der großen Zeit , die uns erniedrigen, pardon, vert iefen soll,
von dem uns abhärt enden St ahlbad, von der Minderwert igkeit
und Perfidie des Gegners, werden daran auch nicht s ändern. Der
Krieg hat sich, zum erst enmal in der Geschicht e der Menschheit ,
selbst ad absurdum geführt . Der einzige Unt erschied zwischen
Sieger und Besiegt em, wenn es überhaupt noch einen solchen
gibt , ist , daß der eine mehr verliert als der andere, , aber verlieren
t un sie alle beide. Das war 1914 bis 1918. Beim nächst en Krieg
wird auch noch dieser geringe Unt erschied verschwinden, weil
überhaupt von keinem der Beiden eine Spur übrig bleiben wird . . .
Von nun an gibt es nur noch einen Sieger, den t ert ius gaudens,
den neut ralen Heereslieferant en, vorausgeset zt , daß er selbst
weit genug vom Schuß sit zt . Auch Amerikas Kriegsgewinst e
rühren nicht von seiner Teilnahme am Kriege her, sondern von
seiner Rolle als neut raler Heereslieferant .
Erst seit dem der Krieg aufgehört hat , ein rent ables Geschäft zu
sein, kann man mit einiger Aussicht auf Erfolg darauf ausgehen,
die Wirt schaft der europäischen St aat en von der Kriegsauf die
Friedensbasis umzust ellen. Also auf Paneuropa.
2. Einen weit eren günst igen Umst and für die Wahl des j et zigen
Zeit punkt es zur I nangriffnahme der Gründung Paneuropas
erblicke ich in der Demokrat isierung und Replubikanisierung des
größt en Teils unseres Kont inent s. So lange Europa von den auf
ihr Got t esgnadent um in allem Ernst pochenden Dynast ien der
Romanows, Habsburger und Hohenzollern regiert wurde, wäre
j eder derart ige Versuch eine an Maj est ät sbeleidigung grenzende
Zumut ung gewesen: Die Dynast ien, welche die Souveränit ät ihrer
St aat en als ihr eigenes persönliches At t ribut bet racht et en, hät t en
niemals die geringst e Einschränkung derselben zugegeben. Die
schweren, über ein Jahrhundert dauernden Kämpfe, welche
sowohl die deut schen als auch die it alienischen Fürst en
gegeneinander führt en, nur um die Einheit sbest rebungen ihrer
Völker zu hint ert reiben, geben uns einen kleinen Vorgeschmack
von den Hindernissen, welche die europäischen Großmacht -
Dynast ien den paneuropäischen Best rebungen in den Weg gelegt
hät t en. Nicht so sehr als überzeugt er Republikaner denn als
Paneuropäer rufe ich aus: Got t sei Dank, daß uns diese Gefahr
nicht mehr droht !
3. Von größt er Wicht igkeit für Paneuropa ist ferner der Umst and,
daß der sonst verabscheuungswürdige Welt krieg durch die
Befreiung Finnlands und der t schechischen Nat ion sowie die
Wiederaufricht ung Polens wenigst ens die schreiendst en
Verbrechen aus der Blüt ezeit europäischer Raub- und
Diebst ahlspolit ik wieder gut gemacht hat . Sonst würde Paneuropa
für die bei lebendigem Leibe begrabenen St aat en eine Gefahr, für
die Nut znießer dieser Verbrechen ein Hilfsmit t el zur Verewigung
dieses schmachvollen Zust andes bedeut et haben. Dem
gegenüber st ellen manche grausamen Härt en der
Friedensvert räge von Versailles und St . Germain kult urelle
Übergriffe dar, die, wenn auch t ief schmerzlich für die
Bet roffenen, im Vergleich zu den St aat smorden von früher ( siehe
Schlacht am Weißen Berge und rest lose Auft eilung Polens) sich
als bloße Verst ümmelungen ausnehmen. Und gerade diese
Wunden lassen sich mit Hilfe des paneuropäischen Verbandes am
leicht est en und nat ürlichst en heilen . . .
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4. Die ökonomischen Sünden von Versailles und St . Germain
( ebenso wie früher von Brest - Lit owsk und Bukarest ) sind noch
schwerwiegenderer Nat ur. Für j eden, der zu sehen verst eht ,
müssen die durch die angeführt en Friedensvert räge in den
öst erreichisch- ungarischen Nachfolgest aat en wie auch in den
russischen Randst aat en angericht et en wirt schaft lichen
Verwüst ungen einem akut en Anreiz für die Verbreit erung von
Wirt schaft sgebiet en bilden, also let zt en Endes für Paneuropa. Der
am grünen Tisch durch blinden Chauvinismus, falsche Theorien
und ökonomische I gnoranz angericht et e Schaden ist
unvergleichlich größer gewesen als der durch unmit t elbare
Kriegszerst örungen verursacht e. Ganze blühende einheit liche
Wirt schaft sgebilde, die in ihrer damaligen Gest alt fast durchwegs
ein nat ürliches Parallelogramm der auf sie einwirkenden
geographischen und wirt schaft lichen Kräft e bildet en, wurden mit
einem Federst rich auseinander gerissen. Die von j edem simplen
Unt ert anenverst and, nur nicht von demj enigen der ahnungslosen
Regierungs- Weisen von 1918 sofort befürcht et en Folgen sind
auch nicht ausgeblieben: Finanzieller Bankrot t , Arbeit slosigkeit
und Elend, Hungersnot und Warenhunger ungezählt er Familien.
Das Verfahren j ener Herren, wirt schaft liche Probleme nach
sprachlich- kult urellen oder nat ional - st rat egischen
Gesicht spunkt en gewalt sam lösen zu wollen, hät t e nur dann eine
Exist enzberecht igung gehabt , wenn der liebe Herrgot t sie bei der
Best immung der Flußläufe der Donau, der Weichsel, des Nj emen
usw. , ferner bei der Vert eilung der Erz- , Kohlen- und sonst igen
Schät ze dieser Welt zu Rat e gezogen hät t e. Nachdem aber Got t ,
ihm sei es gedankt , die Unt erlassungssünde begangen hat ,
augenscheinlich nur nach seinem eigenen unerforschlichen
Rat schluß zu handeln, so müßt en nun diese falschen Prophet en
wohl oder übel wiederholen, was schon der Prophet Mahomet vor
ihnen get an hat : sich nach den Flüssen und Bergen zu richt en, da
diese sich nicht nach ihnen richt en wollen . . .
Für denj enigen, der zwischen den Zeilen zu lesen verst eht ,
bedeut et auch das Resumee der öst erreichischen Expert ise des
Völkerbundes nicht s anderes als die Verurt eilung der aus der
Zerst ückelung des öst erreich- ungarischen Wirt schaft skörpers sich
ergebenden, einander befehdenden Zwergwirt schaft en und den
löblichen Versuch, ihre schlimmst en Auswüchse durch
Palliat ivmit t el zu lindern. Was von Öst erreich gesagt wird, t rifft
auch auf die meist en andern neuen St aat en Ost europas, auf
manche sogar noch in höherem Maße zu. Eine dauernde
Gesundung kann ihnen nur das Radikalmit t el Paneuropa bringen.
Wenn man die Schlußfolgerung aus dem j et zigen Elend dieser
früher blühenden Gegenden zieht und sie auf das übrige Europa
anwendet , so ergibt sich mit zwingender Gewalt von neuem die
Tat sache: Zwergwirt schaft bedeut et Armut ; Großbet rieb dagegen
Wohlst and. Der frühere relat ive Wohlst and Ost europas im
Verhält nis zu seinem heut igen Elend ist nicht geringer als der
künft ige Reicht um Paneuropas im Verhält nis zu der heut igen
Armut seiner einzelnen, auch der größeren west europäischen
Teile sein würde. Die Armut der ost europäischen Kleinst aat en
verhält sich zum Zust and der west europäischen Mit t elst aat en wie
dieser sich zum Reicht um des Großst aat es Nordamerika verhält .
XI I . SOFORTI GES HANDELN - GEBOT DER STUNDE
So laßt uns denn den günst igen Augenblick nicht ungenut zt
verst reichen und ohne Säumen ans große Werk gehen.
Wie j eder Mensch, der sich an die Öffent lichkeit wendet , hege ich
die Hoffnung, daß meine Ausführungen die Zust immung der Leser
finden.
I m Gegensat z zu meiner künst lerischen Tät igkeit könnt e ich mich
aber mit Beifall allein nicht begnügen. Er wäre mir keinen
Groschen wert , wenn ich nicht zugleich auch - den Groschen dazu
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bekäme. Wir brauchen eure Zust immung, aber auch eure
Mit arbeit , eure Werbekraft und eure Unt erst üt zung in j eder Form.
Wir müssen mächt ig und reich werden, wenn wir siegen wollen.
Die Geschicht e lehrt uns, daß Vernunft und Gerecht igkeit zu
ihrem Siege st ärkerer Waffen und längerer Kämpfe bedürfen als
Beschränkt heit und Eigennut z, vielleicht aus dem Grunde, weil es
schließlich weit aus mehr beschränkt e als aufgeklärt e Menschen
auf der Welt gibt .
Wenn wir uns das große, über fast unbeschränkt e Geldmit t el
verfügende Heer von Organisat ionen vergegenwärt igen, die an
Zollschranken, Völkerzwist und Kriegführung unmit t elbar wie an
einem eigenen Geschäft mat eriell int eressiert sind, so werden wir
einen Begriff davon bekommen, welcher Mit t el wir bedürfen, um
ihre oft schlaue, meist ens auf die Köderung der Dummen
angelegt e Propaganda zu paralysieren. Wer uns hilft , fördert
nicht nur alt ruist isch eine gut e Sache, er schüt zt sich und die
Seinen vor Vermögenszerst örung, Elend, Massenmord und
eigenem Unt ergang.
Wer sich über unsere nächst en Bedürfnisse und weit eren Pläne
sowie über die Art , wie er sie am t at kräft igst en fördern könnt e,
orient ieren will, wende sich an die "Paneuropäische Union" seines
Landes, und wo eine solche noch nicht best eht , an die
Zent ralleit ung der Paneuropäischen Union, Wien, Hofburg.
I n großen Zügen möcht e ich die Wege, die uns zu Paneuropa
führen sollen, folgendermaßen skizzieren: Erweckung des
paneuropäischen Bewußt seins und Gewissens; Organisierung der
unserem Gedanken gewonnenen Werber und St reit er. Als weit ere
Ent wicklungsst ufe: Gründung von paneuropäischen
parlament arischen Part eien in allen Ländern Europas. Und dann
eines schönen Tages Übergang vom Reden und Schreiben zur
Tat . Was diese alles in sich begreifen wird, st eht noch dahin. Es
wird wohl auch zum Teil von der Beschaffenheit des uns
ent gegengeset zt en Widerst andes abhängen. Wenn nöt ig, werden
wir auch einen uns et wa aufgedrängt en Kampf für die Erricht ung
der Vereinigt en St aat en von Europa nicht scheuen, ebenso wenig
wie Lincoln vor dem Einsat z von Gut und Leben für das
Weit erbest ehen der amerikanischen Union zurückgeschreckt ist .
back t o lit erat ure >
2. Jahrgang, Heft 5 Zeit schrift PANEUROPA Herausgeber R. N. Coudenhove- Kalergi
Copyright 1925 by Paneuropa- Verlag Wien, Hofburg Leipzig, Kohlgart enst raße 20.

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I NHALT
Europa im Kampf der Zölle, Klassen und Völker
Der Weg zum europäischen Bundesst aat
Merkwort für das Programm des „ Europa-
Kongresses“ in Basel 1932
EUROPA
I N KAMPF DER ZÖLLE,
KLASSEN UND VÖLKER
Eine Gedrängt e Auseinanderset zung mit den Problemen, die
durch die Frage eines europäischen Zusammenschlusses
aufgeworfen werden, gehört zu den schwierigst en Aufgaben. Die
Schwierigkeit best eht weniger in dem, was darüber zu sagen ist ,
als vielmehr in der Fülle dessen, was angesicht s der mir selbst
auferlegt en Beschränkung durch den Rahmen einer Broschüre
ungesagt bleiben muß. Es gibt kaum ein Gebiet des polit ischen,
sozialen, kult urellen Lebens, das nicht von Paneuropa berührt und
von Grund aus eine Umwandlung erfahren würde. Es ist j edoch
hier unmöglich, die gesamt en durch Paneuropa berührt en oder
neuaufgeworfenen Probleme zu erschöpfen oder auch nur
oberflächlich zu erört ern. Es ist nicht einmal möglich, hier auf die
gesamt en Argument e für oder gegen Paneuropa selbst
einzugehen. Aber sogar im Falle der Möglichkeit wäre die
Zweckmäßigkeit zweifelhaft . Diese würde von der
Zusammenset zung meines Leserkreises abhängen. Spreche ich zu
schon überzeugt en Paneuropäern oder nur zu überzeugt en –
Musikfreunden? Fast wünscht e ich das Let zt ere; nicht et wa in der
Annahme, daß ich sie alle in überzeugt e Paneuropäer verwandeln
würde, sondern aus dem peinlichen Bewußt sein heraus, daß ich
auch bei Beobacht ung aller gebot enen Knappheit es nicht
vermeiden kann, hier Tat sachen und Argument e vorzubringen,
die auf Paneuropäer wie das Einrennen offener Türen wirken
müssen. Paneuropäer, verzeiht es mir – um derj enigen willen, die
es noch nicht sind. Und die Skept iker bit t e ich, nicht zu glauben,
daß j eder ihrer et waigen Einwände gegen die hier niedergelegt en
Gedankengänge übersehen wurde oder nicht ent kräft et werden
könnt e, auch dann, wenn es t echnisch unmöglich ist , j edesmal
mit dem vollzähligen Rüst zeug kont radikt orischer Beweisführung
zu kommen.
Wie immer in meinem Leben, wenn es sich um mein ganzes I ch,
meine ganze Überzeugung, um das Einst ehen mit meiner Person
handelt e, so ist es mir auch mit dem Problem Europa ergangen:
I ch mußt e es mit meinem Gefühl zuerst erleben, und dann kam
Bronislaw Huberman
Vaterland Europa
“ Perhaps it is not superfluous t o remember t hat we
Europeans, alt hough we speak different languages, draw
our t hought s and feelings from a common spirit , we are
one in our fait h, in our unreligion and even in our
superst it ion, in our epic legends, in our fables and even
in our children’s fairy t ales; t hat a spirit ual spark has
never been lit in any part of Europe wit hout t he whole
cont inent becoming immediat ely inflamed – or even set
on fire. ”
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die erklärende und kont rollierende Vernunft nach. Mein Erlebnis
begann gleichsam mit einem Paradox: I ch wurde Paneuropäer in
Amerika! I m Jahre 1920, im Moment des t iefst en europäischen
Zusammenbruchs, des wirt schaft lichen Chaos und nat ionalen
Mißt rauens, der Verzweiflung, Hoffnungslosigkeit und des
Egoismus kam ich zum erst enmal nach den Vereinigt en St aat en.
Was ich dort erblickt e, mußt e gerade in j ener Zeit auf einen
denkenden und fühlenden Europäer wie die Rückkehr zum Eden
wirken und zu einem Versuche reizen, auch in Europa die
Vorausset zungen zur Erricht ung eines solchen „ Paradieses auf
Erden“ zu schaffen: Gegenseit iges Vert rauen, Opt imismus,
Wohlhabenheit auch der unt erst en Volksschicht en, Zufriedenheit ,
Hilfsbereit schaft ! Hier nur einige St reiflicht er über die damalige
amerikanische Lage, die ich in meiner seinerzeit igen Broschüre[ 1]
mit ausführlichen Prosperit ät sbeispielen illust riert habe: Die
Köchin, die ihre neue St elle wieder aufgibt , weil in der Garage der
Herrschaft kein Plat z zum Einst ellen – ihres Aut os ist ; der
schwarze Schlafwagenschaffner, der, ohne mich zu erkennen,
meine Grammophonplat t en mit denj enigen meiner Kollegen
sachgemäß vergleicht ; der Chicagoer Zimmerkellner, der die
Freikart e zum Symphoniekonzert dankend ablehnt , weil er ein
Abonnement für die ganze Serie Symphoniekonzert e besit zt , usw
. . . . Damit soll keineswegs angedeut et werden, daß der
amerikanische Kellner oder Schaffner musikalischer als sein
europäischer Kollege sei, sondern nur die Tat sache, daß er sich
diese Dinge leicht er leist en kann, weil sein Lohn im Verhält nis
zum Preis der Konzert kart e oder der Schallplat t e um das
Vielfache höher ist als der Lohn seines europäischen Kollegen im
Verhält nis zu europäischen Konzert kart en und Plat t en. Dieses
Phänomen der hohen Arbeit slöhne und niedrigen Warenpreise
findet seine Erklärung in den amerikanischen Met hoden der
Güt ererzeugung und –vert eilung. Sie beruhen auf der
sogenannt en Massenprodukt ion und haben Massenabsat zmärkt e
zur Vorausset zung, also polit ische Vorausset zungen. Diese
Massenprodukt ion ist nicht s anderes als die zulet zt erreicht e
Phase in der Ent wicklung menschlicher Arbeit st eilung, und
Arbeit st eilung war schon immer der wicht igst e Fakt or in der
Ent wicklung des Menschen vom Höhlenbewohner zum
Kult urmenschen. Die amüsant est e I llust rat ion von der Bedeut ung
der fort schreit enden Arbeit st eilung gibt uns Adam Smit h ( Wealt h
of Nat ions) mit dem berühmt en Beispiel der
St ecknadelfabrikat ion. Während die Herst ellung einer St ecknadel
durch einen einzelnen Menschen ohne Arbeit st eilung gerade einen
Tag beansprucht hät t e, würden innerhalb derselben Zeit mit Hilfe
der Arbeit st eilung durch 10 Arbeit er und ent sprechender
Werkzeuge 45 000 St ecknadeln hergest ellt werden. Das war nach
dem St ande der Technik vom Jahre 1720. Heut e würde das
Verhält nis wahrscheinlich 1: 1 000 000 sein. Dies kennzeichnet am
best en den Weg von der Armut der Nat urvölker zum Wohlst and
der Kult urvölker. Es beleucht et aber zugleich auch eine der
wicht igst en Ursachen des relat iv hohen Lebensst andards in
Amerika.
Für den amerikanischen Beit rag zum Kapit el „ Arbeit st eilung“
möcht e ich nun ein Beispiel für Viele erört ern: das Fordsche Aut o,
– auch wenn es manchem ( meiner Ansicht nach zu Unrecht ) als
durch die Welt krise überholt erscheinen sollt e.
Ford hat mit einer geradezu genialen Kühnheit und Konsequenz
das Prinzip der Arbeit st eilung mit Hilfe von raffiniert est en
Maschinen und des berühmt en laufenden Bandes so weit
get rieben, daß sich die Arbeit eines einzelnen Arbeit ers auf ein –
zwei Griffe reduziert . Die Folge ist , daß bei Ford et wa 10 mal
soviel Aut omobile auf den Kopf des Arbeit ers ent fallen als in
europäischen Fabriken. Das besagt vielleicht weniger als die
folgenden, geradezu überwält igenden Wirkungen auf die Löhne
und Preise dieses Art ikels: Als Fords Jahresprodukt ion bei et wa
200 000 Aut omobilen hielt , da kost et e ein Wagen 1250 Dollar,
und der Lohn des ungelernt en Arbeit ers bet rug et wa 4 Dollar pro
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Tag. Als sich seine Produkt ion im Laufe einiger Jahre mit
fort schreit ender Arbeit st eilung verzehnfacht e auf über 2 Millionen
pro Jahr, da konnt e er den Preis des Wagens ( Roadst er 1924–28)
von 1250 Dollar auf 260 Dollar ermäßigen, den Tageslohn des
ungelernt en Arbeit ers dagegen von 4 auf 6 Dollar erhöhen und
seinen eigenen Profit dabei um ich weiß nicht wieviel st eigern!
Dies weist auf eines der wicht igst en ökonomischen Geset ze hin,
dessen bewußt e Anwendung durch die berufenen Fakt oren das
ganze innere und äußere Bild unseres Erdt eils von Grund aus
verändern würde: Das Geset z von der Relat ion der Preise zur
Quant it ät der Erzeugung, zum Umfang und zur St eigerung des
Bedarfes. Wenn wir uns vorst ellen, der 4- Dollar - Arbeit er selbst
hät t e zur Zeit der kleineren Produkt ion ein Aut o erwerben wollen,
dann hät t e er bei einem Anschaffungspreis von 1250 Dollar
ungefähr seinen Jahreslohn ausgeben müssen. Ut opie! Denken
wir uns aber, der 6- Dollar - Arbeit er wollt e sich ein paar Jahre
spät er den verbilligt en ( und zugleich noch verbessert en)
Fordwagen kaufen, dann würde der Preis von 260 Dollar einem
Arbeit slohn von bloß dreieinhalb Monat en gleichkommen. Das
kann er sich leist en, mit andern Wort en: er ist aus einem
Prolet arier zu einem Aut obesit zer geworden! Dieses Prinzip kann
man in Amerika auf die meist en I ndust rieerzeugnisse angewendet
sehen und mit demselben Result at . I ch habe das Aut o als Beispiel
gewählt , weil es nicht s eindrucksvolleres für die Richt igkeit
wirt schaft licher Maßnahmen gibt , als zu sehen, wie durch sie ein
Luxusart ikel privilegiert er St ände zum t äglichen Gebrauchsart ikel
des ganzen Volkes wurde. Aber erst recht kann man die Wirkung
der Massenprodukt ion in einem zollfreien gesamt kont inent alen
Wirt schaft sgebiet an j enen t ausenden Gebrauchsgegenst änden
beobacht en, die die Tagessorgen der Europäer bilden:
Bekleidung, Nahrungsmit t el, Verkehr, Theat er, alles ist im
Verhält nis zum amerikanischen Lohn 3 bis 8 mal billiger als diese
Gegenst ände in Europa im Verhält nis zum europäischen Lohn.
Die Erzählungen europäischer Reisender von den hohen
amerikanischen Preisen, welche die hohen Löhne ziemlich
wet t machen, beruhen auf einem gedankenlosen Fehlurt eil.
Nat ürlich müssen dem europäischen Amerika besucher seine
Ausgaben hoch erscheinen. Handelt es sich doch meist ens
ent weder um Europäer mit bescheidenen, aus niedrigen
Europalöhnen erspart en Mit t eln, denen gegenüber alle für
Amerikalöhne noch so billigen Preise hoch erscheinen müssen,
oder aber um reich bemit t elt e, die gewohnt sind, ihre St iefel und
Kleider nach Maß arbeit en zu lassen, 3–4 Dienst bot en zu halt en
und sonst ige menschliche Dienst e unmit t elbar
ent gegenzunehmen. Das kann man allerdings in Amerika nicht .
Oder man muß schon als sehr reicher Mann die Konkurrenz mit
den hohen Arbeit erlöhnen der amerikanischen Fabriken
gegenüber seinen Dienst bot en, Maßschuhmachern usw.
aufnehmen. Aber darin best eht doch gerade die kürzest e
Definit ion des Begriffes „ Volkswohlst and“ : höchst e Bewert ung der
menschlichen Arbeit , niedrigst e Preise der I ndust rieart ikel. Und
von den 120 Millionen Amerikanern werden sich mindest ens 119
Millionen mit Kleidern, Schuhen, Aut os, Bädern usw. usw. aus der
Massenfabrikat ion begnügen; aber die können sie sich auch alle
leist en, und nicht wie in Europa bloß j eder Zehnt e oder
Hundert st e et wa . . . Die üblichen Hinweise auf den Bodenreicht um
und die dünne Bevölkerungsschicht Amerikas, mit denen man
seine bisherige Blüt e erklären wollt e, muß ich als t rugschlüssig
zurückweisen. Bleiben wir einmal bei den angeblich so billigen
Rohst offen: Das Aut o best eht aus folgenden Rohst offen: St ahl –
er ist in Amerika et was t eurer als in Europa; Gummi – wächst
dort ebensowenig wie hier; – der St off „ Menschenkraft “ ist dort 3
bis 4mal t eurer; und das Gesamt ergebnis kost et doch nur et wa
die Hälft e bis ein Drit t el des europäischen Preises! Die
amerikanische Prosperit ät ( so wie sie damals herrscht e, und wie
sie meiner bescheidenen Ansicht nach zuerst dort wieder
einkehren wird) , Prosperit ät , das heißt im Verhält nis zu Europa
die dreifach erhöht en Löhne und auf ein Brucht eil reduziert en
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Warenpreise, – sie beruht auf ganz andern Fakt oren als
Bodenschät zen und dünner Bevölkerungsschicht . Bodenschät ze
gibt es vielleicht noch mehr in Rußland, in Afrika, und dazu alle
Grade von Bevölkerungsdicht en. Der Grund für die Prosperit ät der
Vereinigt en St aat en liegt in der Organisat ion der Arbeit , und diese
wurde in Amerika erst ermöglicht durch die – Vereinigung der
St aat en.
Zur Massenprodukt ion gehören nämlich auch
Massenabsat zgebiet e. Mit der billigen Produkt ion durch die
Arbeit st eilung allein ist es j a noch nicht get an, man muß den
Gegenst and auch billig an den Konsument en verkaufen können.
Durch die Vereinigung von 48 St aat en hat der amerikanische
Fabrikant die Gewähr, daß seine Bemühung um weit ere
Rat ionalisierung mit Hilfe kost spieliger Spezialmaschinen im
ganzen Bereiche der 48 St aat en sich auch voll auswirkt und
bezahlt macht . I nnerhalb dieser 48 St aat en gibt es keine
Grenzen, keine Einfuhrverbot e, keinen unlaut ern Wet t bewerb mit
Hilfe von Ausfuhrprämien und Einfuhrzöllen, keine Grenzwachen,
keine Fest ungen, keine Kriege, keine Kriegsst euern; und das um
260 Dollar hergest ellt e Aut omobil kann um diesen Preis in allen
48 St aat en auch wirklich verkauft werden.
I n Europa lagen die Vorausset zungen für die Rat ionalisierung
wesent lich anders. Die europäischen I ndust riest aat en konnt en
nat ürlich mit ihren alt en Fabriksausrüst ungen der amerikanischen
Konkurrenz auf dem Welt markt e nicht st andhalt en und haben
nach dem Kriege angefangen, um die Wet t e zu rat ionalisieren.
Das bedeut et Milliardenausgaben. Das ist ein großer Teil j ener
kurzund langfrist igen Kredit e, von denen wir in den let zt en Jahren
so viel gelesen haben, und an denen Europa bankrot t gegangen
ist . Daran ist aber nicht das Prinzip der Rat ionalisierung schuld,
sondern nur die enge europäische Ment alit ät , der polit ische Hader
und Neid, der Mißbrauch des Begriffes „ Pat riot ismus“ , welcher
das ganze europäische wirt schaft liche und polit ische Chaos
verursacht . Religion und Pat riot ismus gehören zu den heiligst en
Gefühlskat egorien, und es ist ebenso widerlich wie unsinnig,
wenn man sieht , wie der I m- oder Export von Schweinespeck
oder Mülleimern mit dem Begriff von Vat erlandsliebe
durcheinandergebracht wird. Diese Dinge haben ebensowenig mit
Pat riot ismus zu t un wie et wa die I nquisit ion und die
Religionskriege mit wahrer Religion et was zu t un hat t en. Für uns
Deut sche, Franzosen, Polen und wie wir alle heißen, gibt es j a
gegenwärt ig nicht s Niedert rächt igeres, Gemeineres, als wenn ein
Nachbar zum andern kommt , um ihm et was billiger zu verkaufen
als es der Andere selbst herst ellen kann. Das kommt als
Charakt erzug ungefähr gleich nach St ehlen und Morden in
Europa. Und die Verfolgung solcher gemeingefährlichen
Verbrechen wie das Angebot billiger Waren wird j a auch mit noch
wirkungsvolleren Mit t eln bet rieben. Ein Verbrecher mag noch
durch Gefängnismauern leicht er durchschlüpfen als billige Ware
durch europäische Zollmauern. Und das nennt man dann
I ndust rieschut z und t ut überrascht und j ammert , wenn der
Nachbar sich durch höheren Agrarschut z rächt . Das Result at ist ,
daß man in Agrarländern an seinen Landesprodukt en erst ickt und
dafür schlecht ere und t eurere I ndust rieart ikel hat , und in
I ndust rieländern herrscht das gleiche Verhält nis umgekehrt zu
Agrarprodukt en, also man könnt e sagen wissent lich bet riebene
gegenseit ige Zerst örung der Landesprodukt ion, die man zu
schüt zen vorgibt . Es drängt sich einem die Frage auf, ob die
hierfür verant wort lichen Part eipolit iker sich j e über die
element arst e Tat sache klar geworden sind, daß der Besit z auch
des kost barst en Obj ekt es, z. B. des gesamt en Weizenbodens der
Welt , noch keinen Reicht um darst ellt und vollkommen wert los
wäre, wenn man die Welt ernt e nicht z. B. gegen ein Paar Schuhe
vert auschen dürft e, daß somit Vert auschbarkeit , d. H.
Verkäuflichkeit von Besit z erst den Reicht um darst ellt ? Über diese
Binsenwahrheit können noch so hocht önende Phrasen über
St ärkung des Binnenmarkt es nicht hinweghelfen.
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So mußt en denn nun die Wirkungen der europäischen
Rat ionalisierung denen der damaligen amerikanischen völlig
ent gegengeset zt sein. Die Vereinigt en St aat en sind ( 1928) mit 83
Prozent an der Welt - Aut o- Produkt ion bet eiligt , Europa nur mit 12
Prozent . Trot zdem besit zt Amerika nur 152 Aut omobilfabriken,
Europa dagegen 333. Dafür erzeugt Amerika im Durchschnit t 28
675 Wagen pro Jahr und Fabrik, Europa nur 1792! Amerika hat
bloß 3 Volkswagen: Ford, Chevrolet und Overland. Europa mit nur
12 Prozent der gesamt en Aut oprodukt ion hat dagegen über ein
Dut zend Volksaut ofabriken, also 11 überflüssige, mit all der
dadurch hervorgerufenen Produkt ionst euerung und
Kapit alverschwendung. Dadurch ist schon der Preis im
europäischen Erzeugungslande bedeut end höher, im
Nachbarlande mit Zollaufschlag meist ens 1½ bis 3 mal so hoch
wie der gleiche Wagen in Amerika. Aber diese Lohn- und
Preisberechnung in Gold ist eigent lich eine irreführende. Die
richt ige Rechnung ergibt sich erst aus dem Verhält nis des Preises
zum Lohne. Wenn z. B. ein europäischer Arbeit er mit seinem
durchschnit t lichen Tageslohn sich ein Fordaut o oder einen Cit roen
oder Fiat kaufen wollt e, so müßt e er über 2 Jahre Arbeit slohn
dafür hergeben, der Amerikaner aber nur 3½ Monat e. Demnach
ist der amerikanische Arbeit er, haupt sächlich dank der
Rat ionalisierung, fast 8 mal reicher geworden als der
europäische. Dazu kommen in Europa et wa 100–150 Dollar
Aut ost euer und hohe Benzinverbrauchsst euern, in Amerika nur 10
bis 15 Dollar Aut ost euer und fast völlige Benzinst euerfreiheit ,
also ist er eigent lich 10–12 mal kaufkräft iger.
I n Europa dagegen wurde die Gefahr, daß der böse Nachbar j et zt
dank der Rat ionalisierung billiger liefern könnt e, durch noch
höhere Zollmauern wet t gemacht , und auch im I nnern der
europäischen Länder wurde die verbilligt e Produkt ionsmet hode
durch um so höhere St euern ausgeglichen. Eine Rat ionalisierung
j edoch, die ihr Ziel, nämlich höhere Produkt ion bei niedrigeren
Preisen, aber gleichen oder sogar vermehrt en Arbeit skräft en,
nicht erreicht , sondern nur die gleiche Produkt ion bei gleichen
Preisen mit weniger Arbeit skräft en, mußt e zur
Arbeit slosigkeit führen, und diese hat t e Schrumpfung der
Kaufkraft , Bet riebseinst ellungen, Bankrot t erklärungen der
Arbeit slosenfürsorge und im weit eren Verlauf die St aat sbankrot t e
der let zt en Zeit zur Folge.
So hat nat ionalist ische Verblendung und part eipolit ische
Verbohrt heit in Europa die sozialen Wohlt at en der
Rat ionalisierung in einen Fluch verwandelt , der sich in einem
völligen Zusammenbruch auswirkt e. Auf den naheliegenden
Einwand, daß auch Amerika von der Krise nicht verschont wurde,
möcht e ich folgendes erwidern: Mit der Gegenüberst ellung
Amerika–Europa sollt e nur die durch fast ein Jahrhundert
bewährt e Überlegenheit eines Syst ems äußerst er Arbeit st eilung in
einem Großwirt schaft sraum über Zwergwirt schaft ssyst eme in
Zeit en relat iv gleicher Prosperit ät beider Syst eme bewiesen und
die ent gegengeset zt en Wirkungen der Rat ionalisierung auf beide
Syst eme beleucht et werden. Und diese Tat sache wird durch die
Anst eckung Amerikas mit dem Krisenbazillus nicht erschüt t ert . I m
Gegent eil, sie beweist nur, daß die Geset ze nat ionaler
Reziprozit ät , die die europäischen Regierungen durch
nat ionalist ische Repressalien glaubt en erset zen zu können, auch
im Verkehr zwischen Kont inent en nicht ungest raft verlet zt
werden dürfen. Und in dieser Hinsicht ist Amerika hint er Europa
nicht sehr weit zurückgeblieben, als es auf der Rückzahlung der
europäischen Schulden best and, zugleich aber durch eine
maßlose Erhöhung seiner Zollschranken deren Tilgung durch
europäische Warenlieferung unmöglich macht e; als es seine
Massenprodukt ion auf et wa 10–15 Prozent über den Eigenbedarf
einricht et e, den Export dieses Überschusses aber durch
Drosselung des europäischen I mport es selbst hindert e. Der
augenblickliche t rost lose Zust and Amerikas liefert den Beweis,
daß sogar die Wirt schaft eines Erdt eils wie Nordamerika t rot z
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seiner schier unerschöpflichen Hilfsquellen an Rohst offen und
geschult em Menschenmat erial keine Absonderung von der Welt
ert ragen kann.
Wie man angesicht s einer solchen Lage, wo durch künst liche
Vert euerung aller Preise und Verhinderung des gesamt en Handels
und Verkehrs 20 Millionen Europäer arbeit s- , brot - und
obdachlos, die übrigen 380 Millionen not leidend geworden sind,
von Überprodukt ion reden kann, ist mir unerfindlich. Das ist
ungefähr so, als wenn ich durch falsche Regierungsmaßnahmen
gezwungen wäre, 30 Mark pro Kart e für meine Konzert e zu
nehmen, und mich dann bei einem nat ürlich unausbleiblich leeren
Saal über die Unmusikalit ät des Publikums oder über musikalische
Überprodukt ion beklagen würde. Es gibt keine Überprodukt ion, es
gibt nur Unt erkonsum! Und dieser beruht , wie wir gesehen
haben, in seinen erst en Ursachen auf nat ionalpolit ischen Mot iven,
die erst zu den eben hier erört ert en nat ionalökonomischen
Konsequenzen geführt haben.
Damit wären wir also bei der Polit ik angelangt . Das europäische
Konzert hat sich zu einer Kakophonie ent wickelt . Es ist ein
Lügengewebe, wie es die Welt in solcher Vollkommenheit kaum
vorher gesehen hat . I ch weiß nicht , wo mit den Widersprüchen,
Hypokrisien anfangen. Pat riot ismus Pazifismus, europäisches
Solidarit ät sgefühl, Kult urgemeinschaft , Christ ent um, konservat ive
oder liberale Welt anschauung, Freiheit , alle diese echt en Gefühle
gut gläubiger Massen werden heut e von den St aat en Europas zur
Heuchelei verzerrt , um der Verschleierung ganz anderer Ziele zu
dienen. Mit besonderer Vorliebe wird z. B. von der Erbfeindschaft
mancher Völker gegeneinander als Kriegsgrund gesprochen. Noch
nie wurde eine infamere Lüge aufgest ellt . Ein Wort macht sie
zunicht e: die Umgruppierung der Kriegsgegner und Verbündet en
bei fast j edem neuen Kriege. Unent wegt wechseln die Allianzen,
die Verbündet en von heut e sind die Gegner von morgen, j e
nachdem es ihnen ihre wirklichen oder vermeint lichen I nt eressen
dikt ieren. Es mag Völkerant ipat hien oder –sympat hien geben,
aber noch nie haben solche allein zu Kriegen oder zu Alliancen
geführt . Nicht der Erbhaß führt zu Kriegen, sondern der Krieg
führt nat urgemäß zum Haß, der aber den Generalst äben und
Außenminist erien als St imulanz zu Heldent at en so wenig
verläßlich erscheint , daß sie erst richt ige Vergift ungs- und
Verleumdungsfabriken glauben schaffen zu müssen, die sie
Propagandazent ralen benennen, um mit ihrer Hilfe die Völker
leicht er als Kanonenfut t er gebrauchen zu können. Aber selbst
dann hat der Haß noch so kurze Beine, daß er menschliche
Beziehungen zwischen den feindlichen Schüt zengräben, enge
Herzensbande zwischen der Okkupat ionsarmee und der
feindlichen Bevölkerung nicht hindern kann. . .
Es handelt sich also um I nt eressen und nicht um Gefühle bei der
Ent scheidung über Krieg und Frieden. Und die I nt eressen werden
nicht von Volksoder Rassefragen dikt iert , sondern durch
Macht fragen, die nat ürlich erst durch Grenzziehung zwischen den
St aat en ent st ehen. Zum Beispiel haben sich die Deut schen und
Franzosen – durch St aat sgrenzen get rennt – im Laufe der
Jahrhundert e in wechselnder Gruppierung bekämpft . Dieselben
Völkerschaft en – im Schweizer St aat innerhalb einer Grenze
vereinigt – vert ragen sich seit ebensovielen Jahrhundert en
friedlich. Und die durch St aat sgrenzen get rennt en Bayern,
Hannoveraner, Öst erreicher, Preußen usw. ebenso wie der
Neapolit aner, Savoyarden usw. , sie alle fanden es bis in die Mit t e
des 19. Jahrhundert s hinein genau so nat ürlich, t rot z
St ammesbruderschaft gegeneinander zu kämpfen, wie sie seit
Erricht ung des gemeinsamen deut schen Reiches bzw.
it alienischen Königst eiches die Zumut ung zu einem Krieg
unt ereinander als Landesverrat brandmarken würden. Man sage
mir nicht , daß ich hier mit dialekt ischer Spit zfindigkeit die
Ursache mit der Wirkung verwechsle. Es sind die Grenzen
gewesen. I m Welt krieg haben wieder Deut sche gegen Deut sche
gekämpft , durch nicht s anderes get rennt als durch
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St aat sgrenzen. I ch meine damit die Deut schbalt en innerhalb des
Russischen Reiches. Ebenso kann ich auch das kriegerische
Verhalt en der Polen gegeneinander in den drei Kaiserreichen
während des Welt krieges zum Beweise meiner These anführen,
oder das der Kroat en gegen die Serben. Man versuche die
Grenzen zwischen allen diesen St ammesbrüdern wieder
aufzuricht en, und sie werden bei gegebener Gelegenheit
skrupellos wieder übereinander herfallen, so wie es alle
Menschen, seit dem die Welt best eht , get an haben, und zwar nur
nach Maßgabe der sie t rennenden Grenzen Mann gegen Mann,
Dorf gegen Dorf, St adt gegen St adt ( beispielsweise die
it alienischen St ädt erepubliken) , St aat gegen St aat ,
St aat engruppe gegen St aat engruppe. Und so sage ich: Schaffet
die polit ischen Grenzen zwischen Deut schland, Polen, Frankreich,
I t alien usw. ab, und es wird sich auch zwischen ihnen der
psychologische Prozeß der Suggest ivwirkung ent wickeln, die von
einer gemeinsamen St aat lichkeit ausgeht . Und manches
europäische Problem, das heut e ohne Krieg unlösbar erscheint ,
dessen kriegerische Lösung aber auch nur ein Unrecht durch ein
anderes erset zen könnt e, wird sich von selbst auflösen, wenn die
heut igen polit ischen Grenzen zu der Bedeut ungslosigkeit lokaler
Verwalt ungsbezirksgrenzen herabsinken, ebenso wie die heut e
noch vorhandenen deut schen Enklaven und Korridore, einst mals
Ursache und Obj ekt schwerst er Konflikt e, mit der gemeinsamen
Reichsgrenze von 1870 macht polit isch gegenst andslos geworden
sind.
Wenn es schon seit j eher die Grenzen waren, in deren Nat ur es
lag, Reibungen zwischen den Nachbarn hervorzurufen, so mußt e
sich die friedenst örende Wirkung der Grenzen im 19. Jahrhundert
kat ast rophal st eigern: Es gibt kein obj ekt ives Krit erium für die
Gerecht igkeit der Grenzziehung. Die zur Haupt sache auf Grund
des dynast ischen Hausmacht sprinzips zust ande gekommenen
St aat sgrenzen mußt en die erwachenden Nat ionen und Rassen in
einer polit isch, sozial und ökonomische verändert en Welt mit
Unzufriedenheit erfüllen, und sie versucht en ihren Forderungen
nach Grenzregulierung et hnographische, geographische,
wirt schaft liche, st rat egische oder hist orische Recht e zugrunde zu
legen. Und da der liebe Herrgot t die Völkerwanderung anders
leit et e als die Berg- und Flußbildungen, die Eheschließungen der
früheren Herrscher, aus denen St aat enbildungen hervorgingen,
durchaus unabhängig et wa von dem Vorkommen von Erz- und
Kohlengruben gest alt et e, so kann es gar keine wirklich gerecht en
Grenzen in Europa geben, es wird immer das eine oder andere
Prinzip vergewalt igt werden.
Es war durchaus logisch und nat ürlich, daß die St aat en ihre
St reit igkeit en mit der Waffe in der Hand auszut ragen versucht en,
solange die Kriege noch Aussicht auf einen Sieg hat t en; solange
der Sieg wenigst ens für die paar hundert oder t ausend Familien,
die die regierende Kast e eines Landes ausmacht en, Reicht um,
Glanz und Ehre bedeut et e; solange gerade diese Familien, die
also aus dem Krieg im Siegesfalle best immt , bei einer Niederlage
manchmal auch noch Vort eil zogen, auch über Krieg und Frieden
zu ent scheiden hat t en; solange ein Reich um so mächt iger und
reicher sein konnt e, j e ärmer sein Nachbar war; solange die
Völker ungebildet und recht los waren und keinen Einblick in ihre
wahren I nt eressen hat t en. I n den let zt en Jahrzehnt en, aber
insbesondere seit dem Schluß des Welt krieges und den Lehren,
die er uns gebracht hat , ist j ede einzelne der von mir eben
aufgezählt en Vorausset zungen für Recht fert igung europäischer
Kriege verschwunden: Die Kriegst echnik hat sich selbst ad
absurdum geführt , es gibt heut e keine Sieger mehr sonder nur
Besiegt e verschiedener Grade, und beim nächst en Krieg wird es
nicht einmal mehr Besiegt e geben sondern nur Leichenfelder und
Schut t haufen; der reine Macht nimbus, so unent behrlich als
Gloriole und Begründung des monarchischen erblichen
Got t esgnadent ums, verliert seine Logik, wenn angewendet auf
republikanische Demokrat ien; die Wohlfahrt eines Landes beruht
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heut e nicht auf nat ionaler Wirt schaft sführung, die sich um andere
Länder nicht zu kümmern braucht e, sondern sie hat zur
Vorausset zung zwischenst aat liche Arbeit st eilung und auch
überst aat lichen Absat z der so erzeugt en Massengüt er; mit der
Vernicht ung des milit ärischen Gegners würde man zugleich den
best en Kunden und den im zwischenst aat lichen
Güt ererzeugungsprozeß unent behrlichen Arbeit st eilungspart ner
vernicht en; die Völker haben ihren polit ischen Schlaf
abgeschüt t elt und halt en die Ent scheidung über Krieg und Frieden
durch ihr St immrecht selbst in der Hand. Trot zdem lassen es ihre
Vert ret er in den europäischen Parlament en zu, daß die
Regierungen mit einander nach den alt en diplomat ischen
Met hoden verkehren, welche die Völker um die let zt en Ziele ihrer
polit ischen Kämpfe bet rügen. Die europäischen Völker haben
endlich zwar ihre polit ische Freiheit erlangt , aber das was diese
Freiheit erst zum Bewußt sein ihres wahren Wert es bringt ,
nämlich die Teilnahme an den Kult urgüt ern durch Befreiung von
den ökonomischen Sklavenket t en, das wird ihnen noch immer
vorent halt en. Mit den ökonomischen Sklavenket t en meine ich die
Armut , das Elend unserer Fabrikarbeit er, Bauern, kleineren und
mit t leren Angest ellt en usw. , ihre nackt e Lebensfrist ung, für die
einzig und allein unsere Regierungen Schuld t ragen, und zwar
dadurch, daß sie das heut e sinnlos gewordene europäische
Kleinst aat ensyst em eigensinnig aufrecht erhalt en. I n Auswirkung
dieser Polit ik machen sie unsere Kult urgüt er dem weit aus größt en
Teil der Europäer unzugänglich. – Bevor ich auf das europäische
Kult urproblem als solches zurückkomme, möcht e ich noch ein
Problem unserer Armut st reifen, nämlich den Klassenkampf. Man
muß es offen aussprechen, sein geist iger Nährboden, der
Kommunismus, ist eine I dee, die vielen als eine große erscheint ,
besonders denj enigen, die nicht s zu verlieren haben; und unsere
europäische Polit ik hat es so weit gebracht , daß immer
zahlreicher die Menschen werden, die nicht s mehr zu verlieren
haben. Die I dee des Kommunismus kann man ebensowenig wie
irgendeine andere I dee mit Gefängnis ausrot t en, man kann sie
nur mit einer noch größeren I dee bekämpfen. Diese größere I dee
heißt : Paneuropa! Die soziale Auswirkung Paneuropas, so wie sie
sich aus den früher erört ert en Möglichkeit en der
Massenprodukt ion, d. h. der höheren Löhne und niedrigeren
Preise ergibt , wird aut omat isch zugleich das Problem des
Klassenkampfes lösen. Bevor wir eine gerecht ere Güt ervert eilung
fordern, müssen wir für eine genügende Güt erprodukt ion sorgen.
Dieses Ziel kann Europa nur auf dem Wege der föderat iven
Einricht ung seiner Polit ik und der kapit alist ischen Ent wicklung
seiner Wirt schaft erreichen. Ja, ich habe mich hier nicht
versprochen: Ent wicklung der kapit alist ischen Wirt schaft sform!
Bisher haben wir nämlich in Europa noch keinen reinen
Kapit alismus gehabt . Diej enigen, die heut e behaupt en, daß sich
das kapit alist ische Wirt schaft ssyst em überlebt hat , das sind
polit ische oder ökonomische Diagnost iker, die das St erben eines
Greises von der vielleicht uns winkenden Geburt eines Babys
nicht unt erscheiden können. Vielleicht aber droht uns eine
Tot geburt , wenn man noch lange die bisherigen Hebammen am
Krankenbet t der Europa herumdokt ern läßt . Vorläufig ist aber das
von vielen Prophet en bereit s t ot gesagt e, von anderen mit
Gefühlen des Heils begrüßt e Baby Kapit alismus noch nicht einmal
ausget ragen.
I ch best reit e, daß zum Wesen des modernen Kapit alismus ein
ewiger Turnus von et wa 40 Jahren Kriegsvorbereit ung, die man
fälschlich Frieden nennt , und 30 Jahren Kriegszust and gehört .
( Der Welt krieg war nämlich ein 30j ähriger Krieg, in 4 Jahren
ausgefocht en! ) – Zum Kapit alismus gehört doch wohl in erst er
Linie – Kapit al, und daherist es der größt e Widersinn, wenn man
ein Syst em als kapit alist isch bezeichnet , welches nur ein Ziel
kennt : Krieg und Kriegsvorbereit ung, d. h. Kapit alzerst örung und
Verhinderung neuer Kapit albildung. Was wir erleben, das sind
Nachwehen des europäischen Dynast inismus und Ausgeburt en
des kleinbürgerlichen nat ionalen Chauvinismus, vermischt mit
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einem Vorgeschmack des Sozialismus. Und die erst e Heldent at ,
die ich mir von dem reinkapit alist ischen Baby Herkules erwart e,
ist , daß es gleich nach seiner Geburt der chauvinist ischen
europäischen Hydra alle Köpfe abschlägt .
Von der Sprache des Bildes in die Sprache des Wort es überset zt ,
bedeut et es, daß ich die von nat ionalist ischen I rrlehren befreit e
Wirt schaft Europas als Basis für Paneuropa ansehe, und daß ich
von dem wirt schaft lichen Riesenraum „ Paneuropa“ die
Befriedigung der gerecht en Ansprüche der geist igen und
Handarbeit er auf ein Mindest maß von Hygiene, Bildung, Kult ur,
Komfort , aber auch Kunst und Vergnügen erwart e. Nur damit
wäre die t odfeindliche Spalt ung Europas in zwei Lager: die der
Bürger und der Prolet arier, vermeiden. Wenn man also
konsequent sein will, so muß man zugeben, daß der Versöhnung
der Klassen die Verbrüderung und Föderat ion der Völker in
Europa vorangehen muß, weil erst diese die polit ischen und
wirt schaft lichen Vorausset zungen schaffen kann, die zur
Erhöhung des Lebensst andards der mit Recht verbit t ert en
Volksmassen in Europa führen sollen.
Diese Warnung möcht e ich in vollem Bewußt sein meiner
Verant wort lichkeit hier wie bei j eder gegebenen Gelegenheit in
Europa ausrufen: Ent weder es gelingt , die Prolet arier zum
bürgerlichen Lebensst andard emporzuheben, oder man muß
gewärt ig sein, daß sie die Bürger zu dem ihrigen herunt erzerren
werden wie in Rußland. I ch spreche hier nicht Hoffnungen,
Theorien oder dokt rinäre Dedukt ionen aus. Hier spreche ich
gerade von unerschüt t erlichen Tat sachen: Amerika, das Land mit
der zahlreichst en Arbeit erbevölkerung, war bis zum Ausbruch der
Welt krise das einzige I ndust rieland der Welt , in dem es keine
polit ische Arbeit erpart ei gab. Die meist en Arbeit er – darunt er
auch geist ige wie z. B. Musiker – sind in t rade unions auf das
mächt igst e organisiert und errangen sich mit deren Hilfe ihren
hohen Lebensst andard. Aber auch die wüt endst en Lohnkämpfe
vermocht en sie nicht polit isch von dem Rest der bürgerlichen
Gesellschaft zu t rennen, als deren vollwert ige Mit glieder sie sich
mit Recht fühlen. Ob freilich die kat ast rophale St örung des
int ernat ionalen Güt eraust ausches und das damit auch für Amerika
verbundene allgemeine Elend nicht doch zur Bildung einer
kommunist ischen Part ei durch die Arbeit slosen in U. S. A. führen
wird, das ist nicht vorauszusehen, würde aber auch
zut reffendenfalls nicht die Gelt ung der These erschüt t ern, daß nur
Prosperit ät den Kommunismus besiegen kann.
Hier glaube ich Widerst ände mancher Leser zu spüren: Man solle
nicht Amerika hierher verpflanzen und Prosperit ät mit
Oberflächlichkeit , Frieden mit Heldenlosigkeit , Zivilisat ion mit
Kult urlosigkeit erkaufen. Alle diese Dinge vermut et man in
Amerika. So denken wenigst ens 99 von 100 Europäern, die 99,
die in Amerika nicht waren, gegen den Einen, der in Amerika war
und gewöhnlich als ein geläut ert er, einsicht igerer Mensch
zurückgekommen ist . I ch z. B. best rebe mich seit meiner
Rückkehr aus Amerika, dem Gebot der uramerikanischen Et hik zu
folgen: „ Give everybody a chance! “ Daher bin ich ein
abgeschworener Feind unserer europäischen Usancen, die man
formulieren kann mit : „ Take everybody’s chance“ . Aber ich kann
meinen europäischen Landsleut en t rot zdem im Vert rauen
verrat en: bei all meiner obj ekt iven Einschät zung Amerikas
möcht e ich doch durchaus nicht Amerika nach Europa
verpflanzen. Eine solche Gefahr best eht j edoch für Paneuropa
keineswegs. Das was von der Krit ik an den amerikanischen
Zust änden nach Abzug der t emporären Erscheinungen durch die
Welt krise und der Ausbreit ung des Verbrechert errors durch die
hoffent lich bald verschwindende Prohibit ion zu Recht best ehen
bleibt , das kommt j a weder von der Föderat ion noch von der
Massenprodukt ion, noch von dem bisherigen Wohlst and der
Massen, es erklärt sich einfach aus der Jugend der Nat ion, aus
dem Mangel an Tradit ion, aus dem Zwang zur Pionierarbeit auf
allen Gebiet en. Es werden sich auch in Südafrika, in Aust ralien
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oder Südamerika keine Raphaels, Beet hovens oder Goet hes
finden. Und da lobe ich mir wenigst ens den Genius eines Landes
wie Nordamerika, der es in 100 Jahren ( die erst en 300 zählen
kaum) zuwege gebracht hat , daß dieses Land sich die
Kult urerzeugnisse ält erer Nat ionen in einer Weise anzueignen
vermag, für die man höchst ens ein Beispiel in der Geschicht e
findet : Rom im Verhält nis zu Griechenland. Wie das römische
Schwert griechische Philosophen versklavt e, so ent führt
allmählich der amerikanische Dollar unsere best en Lehrer,
Musiker, Archit ekt en usw. , und mit ihrer Hilfe ent st eht eine neue,
aut ocht one amerikanische Kult ur.
Paneuropa will nicht amerikanische Zust ände in Europa einführen.
Es will im Gegent eil durch Übernahme des Best en aus Amerika,
nämlich der Bundesverfassung, der Massenprodukt ion mit dem
Massenmarket , den hohen Löhnen und niedrigen Warenpreisen
unsere Kult urt räger und Kunst schät ze vor den Lockungen des
Dollars bewahren. Aber durch Hebung unseres Lebensst andards
wird noch immer unsere vielt ausendj ährige Geschicht e nicht zu
einer vierhundert j ährigen, unsere Volks- und Heldenlieder werden
nicht durch Jazz und Negro- songs erset zt ( wenigst ens nicht mehr
als sie es j et zt schon sind) , und unsere Persönlichkeit , wie sie
sich aus der Vielfält igkeit der Nat ionen ergibt , wird keineswegs in
dem Mischmasch eines europäischen Schmelzt iegels unt ergehen.
Die europäischen Nat ionen werden uns auch in Paneuropa
erhalt en bleiben; nein, sie werden sich dann erst frei ent falt en
können, wenn sie erst einmal von der Gefahr befreist sind, daß
die Vert eidigung ihrer I nt eressen als Vorwände für ganz andere
als wirklich nat ionale Zwecke mißbraucht wird. – Als Künst ler
wäre ich auch der let zt e, eine Nivellierung der nat ionalen
Kult uren zu predigen. Den alle echt e Kunst wurzelt let zt en Endes
im nat ionalen Boden.
Das Schlagwort „ Die Kunst ist int ernat ional“ muß in seiner oft
mißbräuchlichen Gelt ung eingeschränkt werden. I nt ernat ional ist
die Kunst nur in dem Sinne, daß sie für den int ernat ionalen
geist igen Konsum, für wechselseit ige Anregung best immt ist .
Ebenso j edoch wie das Vorkommen des Kaviars auf einem
Neuyorker Menü noch nicht bedeut et , daß der St ör in der
Hudsonmündung geradeso gut gedeihen kann wie in der Wolga-
und Donaumündung, ebensowenig kann z. B. das noch so häufige
Erscheinen der „ Meist ersinger“ auf dem Repert oire der Pariser
Oper oder Chopins auf deut schen Konzert programmen darüber
hinwegt äuschen, daß ein Richard Wagner allein aus deut schem
Wesen, Chopin nur aus polnischem Wesen hervorgehen konnt e,
wenn auch dieses nat ionale Wesen seinerseit s ebenso wie dessen
Vert ret er das Ergebnis mancher rassischer Okulierung und
gegenseit iger Befrucht ungen darst ellen.
Wenn der Künst ler die Fähigkeit zu seinem Schaffen seiner
persönlichen Begabung verdankt , die nat ürlich nat ional
unbegrenzt ist , so dankt er den Weg, den diese Begabung
nimmt , den t ausendfält igen Einflüssen seiner Umgebung. Das gilt
für die Künst e im allgemeinen. Für die Musik im besonderen
kommen noch drei wicht ige, geographisch und nat ional st ark
unt erschiedliche Fakt oren hinzu: Volkslieder, Tanzrhyt hmen und
lit urgische Einflüsse. Damit soll keineswegs et wa den
Rassenschüt zlern für die Domäne der Kult ur das Wort geredet ,
und z. B. der unermeßliche musikalische Schat z, der für die
Menschheit gerade aus der Rassenmischung der Öst erreicher und
Russen ent st anden ist , in seinem unvergleichlichen Wert
herabgeset zt werden. Es st ellt nur das Liebesbekennt nis eines
Europäers zur Heimat dar, das Gelöbnis zur Wahrung der
regionalen Physiognomien in Europa und gegen die gerade von
den Nat ionalist en so beliebt e Verfälschung des kult urellen genius
loci.
Nach alledem könnt e man versucht sein anzunehmen, daß die
Forderungen der Geist eskult ur mit den Forderungen der
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Wirt schaft in einem I nt eressenkonlfikt st ehen: hier nat ionale
Gliederung als Mat erial bereicherung für das Mosaik der
europäischen Künst e, dort das St reben nach Nivellierung,
St andardisierung über die Landesgrenzen hinaus. Bei näherer
Bet racht ung st ellt sich j edoch dieser Gegensat z nur als ein
scheinbarer heraus. Die kult urellen Grenzen waren schon bisher
nicht ident isch mit ökonomischen, und durch die Aufhebung
let zt erer werden die kult urellen Unt erschiede keineswegs
verwischt . Zum Beweise genügt es, einige wenige Beispiele aus
der Kult urgeschicht e anzuführen: Gibt es et was deut scheres als
die Schweizer Got t fried Keller, Konrad Ferdinand Meyer, Böcklin,
St auffer - Bern, et was französischeres als die gleichfalls
schweizerischen Jean Jacques Rosseau, Benj amin Const ant ,
Madame St aël, Jacques Dalcroze, Honegger ? Gibt es et was im
best en Sinne deut scheres als den Geist der Deut schbalt en, so wie
er sich in allgemeiner Bildung, in Archit ekt ur, Wissenschaft und
Kunst in den früheren balt ischen Provinzen Rußlands äußert e?
Wenn ich auch das kult urell ganz zu Skandinavien gehörige
Finnland für meine Argument e kaum in Anspruch nehmen kann,
weil es t rot z der Oberherrschaft Rußlands durch eine offizielle
Grenze von demselben get rennt war, so kann ich hier mit um so
größerem Recht auf Polen hinweisen: Zwei von den drei Teilen
wurden nicht nur polit isch, sondern auch und vor allem kult urell
auf Schrit t und Trit t in ihrer Ent wicklung gehemmt und verfolgt ,
j a sogar im freien Gebrauch ihrer Mut t ersprache und in der
Ausübung ihrer Religion gehindert . Und was war nach 150 Jahren
das Result at ? Eine gerade kult urell ganz ungebrochene,
homogene Nat ion, die auf der Geist espalet t e der europäischen
Völker sich ihre eigene Farbe unvermischt erhalt en hat .
Wenn man bedenkt , daß es sich bei den angegebenen Beispielen,
mit Ausnahme der Schweiz, um unt erj ocht e und in ihrer
kult urellen Ent wicklung künst lich gehemmt e Nat ionalit ät en
handelt , so kann kein Zweifel darüber best ehen, daß bei einer
freiwilligen Vereinigung der Völker ihre kult urelle I nt egrit ät erst
recht gewahrt bliebe. Überdies st ünde der Aufnahme von
besonderen kult urellen Sicherheit skaut elen in die Verfassungen
der einzelnen Bundesst aat en – nach dem Vorbild der Schweizer
Verfassung – nicht s im Wege. Daß dieselben, j edes geheimen
imperialist ischen Vor - resp. Nacht eils beraubt , ehrlicher
beobacht et würden als die Minorit ät sgeset ze des Versailler
Vert rages, liegt auf der Hand.
Von der produkt iven Seit e bet racht et , wären demnach unsere
nat ionalen Kult uren durch die Föderat ion Europas nicht nur nicht
gefährdet , sie würden in ihrer freien Ent falt ung geradezu
gefördert werden. Soweit die Kult ur als Schöpfungsakt . –
Das nicht minder lebenswicht ige Problem der Kult urvermit t lung
an die Volksgemeinschaft würde überhaupt erst im Bundesst aat
Europa einer Vollwert igen Lösung zugeführt werden können. I n
dieser Hinsicht hat die europäische Kult ur seit j eher unt er einem
t ragischen Paradoxon gelit t en: I hre Quellen ent springen der
Vielfält igkeit der europäischen Nat ionen. Dieser Vielfält igkeit
verdanken wir die Neunt e Symphonie, den Faust , die Sixt inische
Madonna, die Chopinschen Balladen, usw. Diese aus der Tiefe des
Menschenherzens heraus geschaffenen Meist erwerke, von denen
j edes einen Niederschlag des Edelst en der Nat ion und nur der
einen Nat ion darst ellt , sie sind für die ganze Menschheit
best immt . Es gibt auf dieser Erde keine Wert e an sich, sie
ent st ehen erst in Verbindung mit der Zweckbest immung: Mensch.
Auch die heiligst en Begriffe Got t , Religion, Vat erland, Kult ur
erhalt en erst ihren Sinn in dem Maße, als sie zur Erlösung des
Menschen beit ragen und verwandeln sich in einen Fluch, sobald
sie in Gegensat z zum Menschen t ret en. So war die Bot schaft von
dem Got t essohn, der sich für die Menschheit kreuzigen ließ, das
Erschüt t erndst e und Hehrst e, was das Menschenherz in seiner Not
erschuf, – das Got t esopfer zur Erlösung des Menschen; dagegen
eine t euflische Läst erung die Menschenopfer, die zur Ehre Got t es
dargebracht wurden.
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Nicht anders verhält es sich mit unserer Kult ur. Nach dem Et hos
ihrer Schöpfer soll sie der Menschheit dienen; aber bei der
bisherigen polit ischen St rukt ur Europas war die Quelle ihres
Reicht ums – die Vielheit der Nat ionen – zugleich die Ursache, daß
nur ein Brucht eil aller Europäer unserer Kult ur t eilhaft ig werden
konnt e. I mmer wieder er lebt man es in Europa: Dieser Hamlet ,
diese Neunt e Symphonie versammelt um sich nicht alle ihrer
würdigen und bedürft igen Zuhörer, sondern nur j enes kleine
Häuflein, das bei dem periodisch wiederkehrenden
Zusammenprall der europäischen Völker dank einem glücklichen
Zufall dem wirt schaft lichen Ruin ent gangen ist . Eine Kult ur, die zu
ihrer Vorausset zung sich gegenseit ig zerfleischende Nat ionen hat ,
infolgedessen 99 von 100 Europäern unzugänglich ist und daher
eine reine Klassenkult ur bleibt , eine solche Kult ur ist ein blut iger
Hohn und mag get rost zugrundegehen. Dieses Urt eil wäre
irrevokabel, wenn diej enigen recht behielt en, die an die
Friedlichkeit von Nat ionen ebensowenig glauben wie an die
Zähmung wilder Best ien. „ Kampf ist ein ewiges Nat urgeset z! “
sagen sie. Ja, gewiß, Kampf ist ein Nat urgeset z, sagen wir
Paneuropäer auch, aber seine primit ivst e Form, die Vernicht ung,
das ist kein Nat urgeset z. Der nackt e Sexualt rieb z. B. ist auch ein
Nat urgeset z, und doch haben ihn die Menschen im Laufe von
Jahrt ausenden zum Gefühl der Liebe sublimiert . Und so ist es den
Menschen mit allen Nat urt rieben ergangen, den Kampf von
Mensch zu Mensch schließlich inbegriffen.
I ch muß dabei an eine Episode aus dem Musikleben denken: 2
berühmt e Geiger, befreundet e Kollegen, t reffen sich in einer
Haupt st adt Europas und ent decken zu ihrem Ärger, daß ihre
Konzert e an gleichen Abenden st at t finden und von ihren sich
befehdenden I mpresarii als schärfst e Konkurrenzunt ernehmungen
gegeneinander ausgespielt werden. I m Gegensat z zu Apollo, der
im Sinne der Lehre vom Kampf als Nat urt rieb den Flöt enspieler
Marsyas aus Neid über seine Kunst erschlug, spielt e dieser
moderne Wet t kampf im Geigen sich – spielend ab. Am liebst en
hät t en sie ihre Konzert e zu gemeinsamen Duet t abenden
vereinigt , aber ihre I mpresarii wollt en nicht .
Das ist gar kein schlecht es Gleichnis für die heut ige Lage der
europäischen Völker. Die Mehrzahl unt er ihnen möcht e in Frieden
gelassen werden und sich zur gemeinsamen Arbeit auf allen
Gebiet en menschlicher Bet ät igung vereinigen. Da würden sie dem
„ Nat urgeset z vom Kampf“ im friedlichen Wet t bewerb folgen. Aber
auch ihre I mpresarii wollen nicht ! Warum? Das dynast isch-
feudalist ische Prinzip wurde in Europa durch den Mechanismus
der Part eiherrschaft erset zt . Die Part eien sind in vielen Ländern
t rot z des gleichen Wahlrecht es keine Vert ret er des Volkes,
sondern oft nur Exponent en best immt er, aus dem j et zigen
polit ischen Zust and hervorgegangener I nt eressen. Dieser
polit ische Zust and wurde durch die seit Anfang des 19.
Jahrhundert s in Europa allmählich zur Herrschaft , mindest ens zur
Mit herrschaft gelangt e Bourgeoisie verursacht . Nach dem Vorbild
aller früheren Herrschaft skast en in der Menschheit sgeschicht e ( z.
B. der t heokrat ischen, monarchischen, feudalen) hät t e auch der
nunmehr regierende Bürgerst and zunächst seine eigenen
mat eriellen Klassenint eressen klar erkennen müssen, um sie
alsdann, verbrämt mit mehr oder weniger ehrlich gemeint en
alt ruist ischen I dealismen, rücksicht slos zur Maxime seiner
St aat spolit ik zu erheben. Die Bourgeoisie war der I nhaber des
gesamt en Produkt ions- und Handelsapparat es, der Führer in
Kunst und Wissenschaft . I hr St andesint eresse hät t e folglich eine
Polit ik des rüst ungslosen Friedens und ungehemmt en mat eriellen
und geist igen Güt eraust ausches zwischen den Nat ionen ebenso
gefordert , wie z. B. das persönliche I nt eresse der in ihrer
Souveränit ät , Finanzgebahrung oder Legit imit ät durch Habsburg
oder Papst bedroht en deut schen und englischen Fürst en die
Unt erst üt zung der Reformat ion, d. h. die Sprengung der
Reichsresp. Religionseinheit gefordert hat . So wie damals das
Losungswort vom Kampf um die Reinheit der Religion dem
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gut gläubigen Volk als Regierungset hik vorgehalt en wurde, so
hät t e j et zt – mit mindest ens demselben Anspruch auf
Berecht igung – die Parole „ Prosperit ät der Massen“ oder „ Kult ur
dem Volke“ oder „ Europäische Solidarit ät “ als äußere et hische
Grundlage der bürgerlichen Regierungsmaximen ausgegeben
werden müssen. St at t dessen hat die bürgerliche Gesellschaft ,
wohl aus Tradit ionsmangel und dem ihn erset zenden
Moralsnobismus heraus, einen ent art et en Begriff von sich
not gedrungen gegenseit ig auffressenden Pat riot ismen zum
et hischen Leit mot ive ihres Handelns erhoben. Damit hat sie
zuerst St andesverrat , in der Auswirkung aber Landesverrat
begangen: Pat riot ismus cont ra pat riam! I n dem Chaos, welches
durch diese selbst mörderische Polit ik in Europa ent st anden ist ,
wurde die Bourgeoisie zum großen Teil selbst prolet arisiert , ohne
daß sie aber die Zusammenhänge zwischen ihrem Niedergang
und ihrem hypokrit ischen polit ischen Verhalt en erkannt hät t e. Die
Geschicht e lehrt j edoch, daß j eder polit ische Zust and, auch der
unnat ürlichst e, unheilvollst e, I nt eressen schafft , die sich gegen
j ede Veränderung, auch zum Besseren, aus Selbst erhalt ungst rieb
st emmen müssen. So ist es auch heut e. Mit diesen, am heut igen
polit ischen und wirt schaft lichen Zust and klebenden Fakt oren den
Zusammenschluß Europas durchführen zu wollen, das ist so, als
wenn man den Ersat z der Post kut sche durch die Eisenbahn von
der Erlaubnis der Post illone abhängig gemacht hät t e. Daß der
Führer der Paneuropabewegung, Graf Coudenhove, diesen
Versuch mit den heut igen Post illonen unt ernommen hat , erschien
mir persönlich von vornherein ziemlich aussicht slos. Dennoch
müssen wir uns glücklich preisen, daß uns die Vorsehung in der
St unde der Not diesen reinen Prophet en, diesen dicht erischen und
zugleich klarst en Geist geschenkt hat . Er hat Europa wider zum
Bewußt sein seiner selbst gebracht , er hat das europäische
Gewissen und Solidarit ät sgefühl aufgeweckt . Darüber hinaus hat
er aber eine heroische Tat vollbracht , die mehr Vorgänger, von
Abbé St . Pierre über Henri I V. und Vict or Hugo bis Niet zsche.
Coudenhove hat den Mut gehabt , eines schönen Tages auf der
Außenseit e seiner Eingangst ür ein Schild anzuschlagen, welches
die Aufschrift t rug: Paneuropäische Union! So wie Mohamed im
Anfang nur 2 Anhänger besaß: sich und seine Schwest er, so
best and die paneuropäische Union zunächst nur aus 2
Mit gliedern: dem Gründer und seiner Gat t in. Und im Laufe von 8
Jahren hat diese Bewegung, wenn auch zunächst nur als I dee,
relat iv reißendere Fort schrit t e gemacht als irgendeine
sozialpolit ische Umwälzung in der Geschicht e Europas. Aber es
bedeut et eben eine Umwälzung des ganzen polit ischen Denkens
und auch vieler Maximen des Regierens. Und meine Zweifel an
der Richt igkeit des Coudenhoveschen modus procedendi möcht e
ich in die Wort e kleiden, daß Coudenhove gewissermaßen selbst
das Epochale und Umwälzende seiner idealist ischen Vision und
ihrer prakt ischen Formulierung unt erschät zt hat , wenn er
glaubt e, diese Akt ion mit Hilfe der best ehenden Regierungen so
durchführen zu können wie irgendein neues Wahlgeset z oder
dergleichen. Paneuropa st rebt in seinen let zt en Konsequenzen
eine neue Ära in der Geschicht e der europäischen Völker an, und
es wäre unhist orisch, anzunehmen, daß man ein neues Regime
mit Hilfe des zu st ürzenden „ ancien régime“ einführen könnt e. I ch
glaube, man kann den europäischen Regierungen gerecht erweise
nicht einmal einen Vorwurf aus ihrem schlecht verhehlt en
Widerst and gegen den Zusammenschluß machen. I ch wage zu
behaupt en, daß ein ehrliches Eint ret en der heut igen Regierungen
für Paneuropa fast inkompat ibel wäre mit ihrem Eid und ihren
Pflicht en als Diener und Hüt er der heut igen Ordnung oder
vielmehr Unordnung, mit all ihrem sich nat urgemäß ergebenden
Zwang zur Prest igepolit ik. Es genügt daher, daß ein noch so
ehrlich vat erländisch, aber zugleich europäisch gesinnt er Minist er
sich zu Paneuropa bekennt , um die I dee im Nachbarlande zu
kompromit t ieren. Man st ellt sich dumm und verdächt igt eine
solche I nit iat ive des heimlichen Pat riot ismus. Damit beweist man
aber, daß man noch dümmer ist als man sich st ellt . Jawohl, es ist
Pat riot ismus, wenn man unt er Pat riot ismus nicht das Nachj agen
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hint er einem abst rakt en, ent menscht en geographiphisch-
hist orischen Macht phant om verst eht , sondern die Liebe zu seinen
Kompat riot en, die Herzensangst um sie und ihre Kinder. Ein
solcher wahrer Pat riot ismus, dem die Heimat Vat erland, aber
auch das Land der Söhne und Enkel bedeut et , muß heut e zu einer
europäischen Kooperat ion drängen. Den nur diese gibt dem
Pat riot en die Gewähr, daß seine Kompat riot en vor elend und
Vernicht ung geschüt zt werden. Wobei ich hier das reine
Friedensproblem als Ausfluß der Et hik, als göt t liches Gebot der
allmenschlichen, durch keinen falschen Pat riot ismus beschränkt en
Nächst enliebe absicht lich unerört ert ließ. Wozu auch darüber
reden? Von Plat o an über Christ us und Kant bis in unsere Zeit
wurden Nächst enliebe und Pazifismus von den edelst en Geist ern
immer wieder gepredigt – st et s mit demselben negat iven
Ergebnis. Also will ich mich mit dem st illen Bewußt sein begnügen,
daß auch dieses meinem Herzen am nächst en liegende Ziel
ohnehin aut omat isch und unlösbar mit der Gesamt heit des
Problems Paneuropa verknüpft ist , und mit dem Siege der
Vernunft auch die Sit t lichkeit t riumphieren wird.
Man darf nicht erwart en, daß die auf Grund ganz anderer
Vorausset zungen inst alliert en heut igen Regierungen in der Lage
sind, die Konsequenzen aus der Wandlung der Zeit zu ziehen. I n
dieser Beziehung ist es sehr lehrreich, zu beobacht en, wie sie
sich winden und wenden, um sich dem mit schicksalhaft er Gewalt
an sie herant ret enden Forderungen zu ent ziehen. Es werden
Konferenzen nach Konferenzen einberufen, Expert isen nach
Expert isen unt ernommen, alle mit dem gleichen Resumee, mit
dem gleichen Not ruf: Nieder mit den Zöllen, nieder mit den
Rüst ungen, nieder mit den Handelshindernissen! , was als
Synt hese gleichbedeut end mit Paneuropa ist . Und t rot zdem – als
wenn die Expert en Dilet t ant en und die Herren Dilet t ant en
Expert en wären – set zen die Regierungen die ent gegengeset zt en
Maßnahmen, und zwar in immer st eigendem Maße fort . Genf ist
j et zt wie eine Kirche des Mit t elalt ers, wo man paneuropäische
Ablässe sucht , um dann zu Hause um so mehr ant ieuropäisch
sündigen zu können!
Es muß einen t iefst e Verzweiflung und Hoffnungslosigkeit
erfassen, wenn man es j et zt erlebt , wie immer wieder versucht
wird, die lebensgefährlichen Krankheit serscheinungen Europas
mit Palliat ivmit t eln abzuschwächen, nur um einer
gesamt europäischen Radikalkur aus dem Wege zu gehen:
Arbeit slosigkeit , Export rückgang, kommunist ische Gefahr,
drängende Agrarkrise, alles wird wie voneinander unabhängige
Erscheinungen behandelt . Jet zt sind wir richt ig beim finanziellen
Bankrot t angelangt , und auch er wird nur gar zu gern unt er dem
Gesicht swinkel einer selbst ändigen Finanzkrise beurt eilt . Die
moralische Falschmünzerei ist dabei noch schlimmer als die
met allische, mit der man j et zt das europäische Problem lösen
will. Das ist ähnlich so, als wenn ein Musiker durch miserables
Spiel Defizit e in seinen Konzert en erleiden würde und dann
Scheckfälschungen zur Deckung der Schulden beginge, anst at t
durch emsige Arbeit sein Spiel zu vervollkommnen und seine
Anziehungskraft auf das Publikum zu st eigern.
Es kommt auf umfassende Maßnahmen an. I n die Sprache der
Polit ik überset zt würde es heißen: Abrüst ung der Nat ionalarmeen,
Erricht ung einer übernat ionalen europäischen Armee, allmählicher
Abbau der Zollgrenzen, dadurch Ankurbelung von Handel und
I ndust rie und Wiedereinst ellung der Arbeit slosen, Verankerung
des darauf wiedererwachenden Vert rauens in einem fest en
europäischen Bundessyst em, das sich unt er der Sankt ionsmacht
der europäischen Bundesarmee als ein genügend st arker
Schut zwall gegen Auswüchse des Ehrgeizes von polit ischen Va-
banque- Spielern erweisen müßt e. I ch hoffe, daß die St reiflicht er,
mit denen ich die unendlichen Verflecht ungen der
paneuropäischen Probleme zu beleucht en mich bemüht habe,
genügen werden, um mich vor dem naheliegenden Vorwurf zu
schüt zen, daß ich ausgerechnet an den an der Oberfläche
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liegenden Schwierigkeit en et wa gedankenlos vorübergegangen
bin.
Als eines der unüberwindlichen Hindernisse dieser Art gegen den
europäischen Zusammenschluß gilt die Unant ast barkeit der
Souveränit ät der europäischen St aat en. Diese Ansicht hält j edoch
einer hist orischen Analyse nicht st and. Aus der Lehre der
Geschicht e ergibt sich im Gegent eil, daß nicht einmal die den
Souveränit ät sbegriff persönlich repräsent ierenden deut schen und
it alienischen Dynast ien sich dem hist orischen Drang nach immer
größeren St aat sverbänden auf die Dauer ent gegenzust emmen
vermocht en. – Schwerer wiegt schon die Belast ung Europas
durch die Verschiedenheit der Sprache, Rasse und Tradit ion.
Doch, wahrlich, das sind keine ernst en Schwierigkeit en. Wir
haben auch schon massenhaft Beispiele für deren Überwindung.
Da ist z. B. die Schweiz mit ihren drei Haupt nat ionen und
mehreren Volkssplit t ern. Die Geschicht e der Schweiz war eine
bewegt e Geschicht e mit vielen äußeren Kriegen und innern
Kämpfen. Aber in ihrer ganzen acht hundert j ährigen Geschicht e
hat es in der Schweiz keinen einzigen Fall gegeben, wo die
Verschiedenheit der Sprachen zu nat ionalist ischen Zwist igkeit en
geführt hät t e.
I m übrigen haben wir 6 mehrsprachige Länder neueren Dat ums:
Finnland, Belgien, Tschechoslowakei, Jugoslawien, Est land,
Let t land und Sowj et rußland. – Wir haben zwar noch kein
offizielles Paneuropa, aber wir haben seit langem schon
unzählige, auf paneuropäische Kooperat ion angewiesene
I nst it ut ionen wie Eisenbahn, Schiffahrt , Telegraph und Post ,
Flugverkehr, das ganze Banksyst em und vor allem Kunst und
Wissenschaft . Nun, diese I nst it ut ionen haben sich alle auf et wa
drei Welt sprachen nebst der Landessprache eingericht et , und es
liegt gar kein Grund vor, in Paneuropa eine andere Lösung zu
suchen. Lieber j ährlich ein paar Millionen mehr Ausgaben für
viersprachige Geset ze und Dekret e aus den erspart en Milliarden
anst at t ungezählt er Milliardenausgaben und Millionen
Menschenopfer. Außerdem darf nicht übersehen werden, daß in
einem europäischen Bundesst aat die Gemeinsamkeit der Wurzeln
der gesamt europäischen Kult ur in Sage, Geschicht e, Religion,
Kunst und Wissenschaft sich ganz anderes auswirken würde als
heut e, wo absicht lich nur das Trennende, nie das Verbindende
zum Bewußt sein der Völker gebracht wird. Es ist vielleicht nicht
überflüssig, daran zu erinnern, daß wir in Europa wohl
verschiedene Sprachen reden, aber aus einem gemeinsamen
Geist denken und fühlen, daß wir eins sind im Glauben,
Unglauben und sogar Aberglauben, in Heldensagen, Märchen und
sogar Ammenmärchen, daß nie ein geist iger Funke irgendwo in
Europa sich ent zündet hat , ohne zugleich den ganzen Kont inent
zu ent flammen oder – in Brand zu st ecken.
Nur so ist die Tat sache zu erklären, daß sich oft die erbit t ert st en
europäischen Feinde – sowohl individuell als auch als Völker –
noch immer besser verst ehen als Europäer mit ihren
überseeischen Freunden. Wie oft kommt es auf unserm Erdt eil
vor, daß der Bewohner eines europäsichen Landst richs in der
Darlegung auch der subt ilst en, verklausuliert est en Gedanken von
dem Bewohner eines andern mit t en in seiner Rede unt erbrochen
wird, nicht durch Fragen oder aus Widerspruchsgeist , sondern
vor laut er Ungeduld, seine Zust immung zu dem noch nicht halb
ausgesprochenen und doch schon ganz errat enen Gedanken zu
äußern. Bei all meinem Verst ändnis, meiner Begeist erung für
Amerika muß ich doch gest ehen, daß ich diese Art von
Genugt uung drüben selt en erlebt habe. Ein Europäer läuft in
Amerika keine Gefahr, unt erbrochen zu werden. Und am Ende
wird er mit t ausend Fragen best ürmt und t rot z aller
Erläut erungen doch nicht immer ganz verst anden werden. Nicht
anders dürft e es wahrscheinlich dem Amerikaner in Europa
ergehen. Jenes höchst e Glück des st illen Einverst ändnisses zweier
gleichgest immt er Wesen kann sich eben nur zwischen Menschen
einst ellen, in deren Seelen wie in dunkler Schat zkammer
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gleichgeart et e erst e Eindrücke schlummern, Eindrücke, wie sie in
nebelhaft er Kindheit szeit durch die Amme, die Großmut t er mit
ihren Märchenerzählungen, Schreckgespinst en, Helden- und
Wiegenliedern in die Seele des Kindes gesenkt wurden, und die
dann im spät eren Leben auf best immt e Reakt ionen als best immt e
Associat ionen mit schwingen und das halb ausgesprochene Wort
hellhörig ergänzen. Wer aber sein Europäert um als ein bewußt es
nat ionalähnliches Zusammengehörigkeit sgefühl in sich ent decken
will, der gehe nach Übersee und erlebe die Begegnung mit einem
andern Europäer; da wird nicht viel nach Sprache oder engerer
Heimat gefragt , Europa wirkt als das Zauberwort , das zugleich
Vat erland, Verst ändnis, Solidarit ät bedeut et . –
Die europäische Geschicht e ist Jahrt ausende alt . Es war ein
ewiger Kampf um irgendein Recht , um irgendeine Freiheit . Aber
erst seit et wa Mit t e des vorigen Jahrhundert s beginnt die
Beunruhigung unseres Kont inent s durch nat ionale Unduldsamkeit .
Und nun soll eine Jahrt ausende alt e Kult ur zugrundegehen, weil
man sich eines seit ein paar Jahrzehnt en aufgekommenen
Wahnsinns nicht erwehren kann?! Nein, da bin ich t rot z meiner
Verzweiflung über den j et zigen Zust and opt imist ischer als alle
Opt imist en. Es müssen nur die Menschen gut en Willens und klarer
Einsicht sich Rechenschaft darüber ablegen, daß es bei diesem
Kampf um Europa um das Schicksal eines j eden Einzelnen geht .
Wir müssen zusammenhalt en, und j eder muß innerhalb seines
geist igen und sonst igen Vermögens dazu beit ragen, daß dieser
Gedanke in die breit est en Volkskreise eindringt , insbesondere sich
der heranwachsenden Jugend bemächt igt . Dann wird es möglich
sein, eines schönen Tages, vielleicht in naher Zukunft , aus
unserer eigenen Mit t e heraus neue Führer zu erziehen, um mit
ihrer Hilfe die große Reform ehrlich durchzuführen. Ob das nun in
der bisherigen Form eines geist igen Kampfes mit dem Ziele der
Einwirkung auf die heut igen Regierungen geschehen wird oder im
Gegensat z zu diesen Regierungen oder durch Gründung
paneuropäischer Part eien zwecks direkt er Einflußnahme auf
europäische Parlament e und Regierungsbildungen, ob Paneuropa
als Reakt ion gegen den Zoll - und Rüst ungswahnsinn der heut igen
St aat en ent st eht ( so wie z. B. der Marxismus in machen Ländern
nur als Reakt ion gegen das Verbrechen des Welt krieges, der
Faschismus nur als Reakt ion gegen den Marxismus zu begreifen
ist ) , ob die europäischen Regierungen aus Angst vor drohendem
Zusammenbruch und Revolut ionsgefahr, besonders in Zent ral -
und Ost europa, doch noch im let zt en Moment Vernunft annehmen
und mit regionalen Zusammenschlüssen beginnen, – das vermag
heut e keiner vorauszusagen. Es ist aber auch vollkommen
überflüssig! Das Gebot der St unde ist Propaganda für unser
Vat erland Europa! Und die best e aller Propaganden erleben wir
j et zt durch die prakt ische Lekt ion von der europäischen
Gemeinsamkeit in Form von gemeinsamer Not . Ein Beispiel: Es
plat zt die Bombe des deut schöst erreichischen Zollunionplanes.
Die Folge ist ein Run der anglosächsischen Kredit geber auf die
öst erreichische Kredit anst alt und ihre Bankrot t erklärung. Darauf
beginnt durch die ängst liche Abziehung ausländischer Kredit e
auch das deut sche Bankengebäude zu wanken. Unmöglichkeit der
Zurückziehung englischer Gelder aus Deut schland, darauf
Kündigung des Goldst andards des Pfundes und als weit ere Folge
I nflat ion auch der skandinavischen Valut en. Hier ist die
gesamt europäische Kausalit ät sreihe geschlossen: I n Deut schland-
Öst erreich wird eine nat ionale Unbedacht samkeit begangen, und
auf dem Umwege über Verheerungen in Zent raleuropa und
England verlieren beispielsweise in Skandinavien konzert ierende
Künst ler durch Valut enst urz ein Drit t el ihrer Honorare. Die
einfache Dedukt ion sagt uns, daß umgekehrt auch eine Tat der
Vernunft in logischer Kausalit ät sfolge sich wohlt ät ig durch alle
St aat en auswirken müßt e, und daß daher das eigenst e
Lebensint eresse der St aat en sie zu Konzessionen in ihren
vermeint lichen I nt eressen, zur Kooperat ion in ihren wirklichen
I nt eressen drängen müßt e. – Das verst ehen sogar einfache
Musikant en, deren Honorare in Nordeuropa durch falsche
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Regierungsmaßnahmen in Zent raleuropa gekürzt werden.
Vielleicht würden es die Herren Minist er in ganz Europa auch
besser verst ehen, wenn ihre eigenen Honorare unt er den
Fehlgriffen der schlecht en Musikant en im „ europäischen Konzert “
ebenso in Mit leidenschaft gezogen würden . . .
Da ich nicht schließen kann in der Hoffnung auf eine plöt zliche
Einkehr der europäischen Regierungen, so bleibt mir nicht s
anderes übrig, als es in der Erwart ung einer ungehemmt en
Ent wicklung ihres Absperrungswahns zu t un. Die großen
Ereignisse der Welt geschicht e sind fast nie als Folge posit iver
Best rebungen einget ret en, sondern vielmehr als Reakt ion gegen
Unt erlassungen und Verbrechen. Und in diesem Sinne gibt es
unbegrenzt e Möglichkeit en für Paneuropa!

DER WEG ZUM EUROPÄI SCHEN BUNDESSTAAT [ 2]
Ein eigent ümliches Gefühl erfaßt mich in dem Augenblick, in dem
ich von diesem mir so lieben, wohlvert raut en Plat ze meiner
langj ährigen künst lerischen Wirksamkeit aus zu I hnen sprechen
soll. Es ist ein Gefühl innerer Bewegung und äußeren
Unbehagens. Das erst e werden Sie alle wohl verst ehen. Es ist aus
dem Glücksgefühl geboren, bei der Grundst einlegung eines
großen Menschheit swerkes dabei sein und mit wirken zu dürfen.
Das Unbehagen dagegen werden nur diej enigen unt er I hnen mit
mir fühlen, die ebenso wie ich dem Geset z der Assoziat ion
unt erworfen sind, also vor allem meine Wiener Konzert besucher.
Dieses mir fast zum eigenen heim gewordene Podium, die fest lich
geschmückt e Versammlung, der öffent liche Charakt er meiner
heut igen Aufgabe, alles dies gibt mir die Zwangsvorst ellung
meiner Konzert e. Und doch ist alles Wesent liche verändert und
wirkt gerade in dieser Umgebung doppelt fremd. Meine geliebt e
Geige fehlt . Der Ton ist durch das Wort erset zt , die Gefühle sollen
Gedanken weichen, das Argument der Logik soll an St elle der
Spont aneit ät , der Beweis der Tat sachen an St elle des
Symbolismus t ret en. Das infolgedessen sich einst ellende
Unbehagen st eigert sich fast bis zur Peinlich keit , wenn ich als
Folge der auch für Sie gest ört en Assoziat ion in I hren Augen die
st ille Frage zu lesen vermeine: „ Ja, warum t un Sie das? Wie
kommt überhaupt ein Mensch, der Jahrzehnt e lang Kunst geübt
hat , dazu, sich plöt zlich mit Dingen der Polit ik zu befassen?“ I ch
fühle, ich darf I hnen die Ant wort darauf nicht schuldig bleiben,
sonst würde ich Gefahr laufen, daß mir ent weder die Kunst oder
die Polit ik nicht geglaubt würde.
Ja, Kunst und Polit ik, es sind so disparat e Begriffe, daß ich,
plöt zlich mich dessen bewußt werdend, mit t en auf meinem Wege
zu Paneuropa st ockt e und mir selber die gleiche Frage vorlegt e.
Obwohl ich in meinem Unt erbewußt sein fühlt e, daß zwischen
meinem Drang zur Kunst und dem Drang zu dieser sogenannt en
Polit ik, die nebenbei bemerkt für mich et was ganz anderes
bedeut et , eine innere Verbindung best ehen muß, wußt e ich mir
zuerst keine Ant wort . I ch mußt e in das unt erst e Sout errain
meiner Seele hinabst eigen, um nach einem verborgenen
Verbindungsgang zu suchen. Und da macht e ich folgende
verblüffende Ent deckung: I ch hat t e bis dahin angenommen, daß
wir Künst ler nur um der Kunst willen Kunst t reiben. Das aber
st ellt e sich als ein I rrt um heraus. Denn, wenn wir nur um der
Kunst willen Kunst t rieben, so wäre es z. B. im Falle des
ausübenden Künst lers gar nicht nöt ig, das Mart yrium dieser
nervenzerst örenden Lebensweise auf sich zu nehmen, einer
Lebensweise, die durch ihre Hast , durch das ewige
Ausdemkofferleben verhindert , daß man zur Besinnung seiner
selbst kommt . Die Meilenst eine des Lebens werden verwischt und
Nervenzerrüt t ung ist oft die Folge. Das Losungswort „ Kunst für
Kunst “ würde uns alle diese Opfer ersparen. Die wohlhabenden
unt er uns Künst lern könnt en die vier nackt en Hot elwände gegen
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ein gemüt liches Heim vert auschen, in dem vor allem ein großer
akkust ischer Saal nicht fehlen dürft e, und in diesem könnt en sie
dann nach Herzenslust ihre Lieblingsst ücke herunt erleiern. Das
wäre Kunst um der Kunst willen. So wird sie von den Dilet t ant en
geübt , die sich eben oft mehr durch diese egoist ische
Genügsamkeit – also durch Charakt er und Welt anschauung – als
durch ein Mindermaß an Begabung vom Künst ler unt erscheiden.
Der wahre Künst ler j edoch schafft nicht Kunst für Kunst als
Selbst zweck, was gleichbedeut end wäre mit Kunst für sich selbst ,
nein, ihm ist der Endzweck der Mensch, er schafft Kunst für die
Menschen, um ihnen Freude, Erhebung, Vergessen ihrer Sorgen
zu bringen. Und glauben Sie mir, es ist auch dieses Bewußt sein
der Erfüllung einer höheren, beneidenswert en Mission gegenüber
seinen Mit menschen nöt ig, um den Künst ler für sein Leben voller
Ent sagungen und Mühsal zu ent schädigen. Mit dem Begriff Kunst
ist also auch eine soziale Funkt ion verknüpft . Nun, meine
hochverehrt en Anwesenden, ist denn dieser Sprung so groß von
meiner bisherigen sozialen Funkt ion, die darin best eht ,
Tausenden für zwei St unden eine geist ige Erhebung zu bringen,
zu dieser neuen Funkt ion, mit deren Hilfe ich nun mit Recht oder
Unrecht , aber j edenfalls mit fanat ischem Glauben zu der
dauernden geist igen und mat eriellen Erhebung von 400 Millionen
Menschen beizut ragen hoffe?
Eine geist ige und körperliche Befreiung der Bewohner unseres
Erdt eils, dies und nicht weniger bezweckt Paneuropa. Es bedeut et
ein Heraust ret en aus dem circulus vit iosus von nat ionaler
Verhet zung, Krieg, Verwüst ung, Kriegsschulden, Zöllen,
St euerdruck, Teuerung, Lohnelend, Arbeit slosigkeit und das
Hineint ret en in einen, wenn ich so sagen darf, circulus virt uosus
von St euersenkung, Zollfreiheit , Massenprodukt ion,
Riesenabsat zgebiet , hohen Löhnen, niedrigen Preisen, nat ionaler
Eint racht , Völkerfrieden, Kult urfort schrit t . Das bedeut et aber
ebensoviele Probleme und zwar Europäische Zollunion,
Währungsunion und Recht sangleichung, Abrüst ung der nat ionalen
Armeen, Aufst ellung einer übernat ionalen Armee, wirklichen
Minderheit enschut z, Unsicht barmachung der Grenzen und als
Krönung des Ganzen polit ische Union. Nun ist es auch dem
größt en paneuropäiischen Opt imist en klar, daß dieses gewalt ige
Gebäude nicht auf einmal völlig gerüst et aus dem Fußboden
gest ampft werden kann, wie Pallas At hene aus dem Haupt e des
Zeus ent sprang. Man wird also schrit t weise vorgehen müssen.
Wenn ich mir die einzelnen Probleme gleichsam über einander
geschicht et denke, und zwar zu oberst das scheinbar leicht est e
und brennendst e, nämlich die Zollunion, zu unt erst das
schwerst e, nämlich die milit ärische und polit ische Union, so würde
ich die Frage st ellen: Wie sollen wir vorgehen, vert ikal, d. h.
gleichzeit ig ein St ück von j edem Problem in Angriff nehmen, oder
aber horizont al, d. h. an die get rennt e, dafür aber gänzlich
Lösung des zu oberst liegenden Problems, also Zollunion
herangehen, und erst nach ihrer Vollendung das nächst e Problem
herannehmen usw. , bis zum Schluß das unt erst e, die polit ische
Union drankäme? Es ist von größt er Wicht igkeit , daß der
Paneuropäische Kongreß seine Meinung über den zu wählenden
modus procedendi ausspricht . Der Schrei nach der europäischen
Zollunion wurde nämlich in der let zt en Zeit nicht nur von
Paneuropäern erhoben, sondern sowohl von manchen harmlossen
und polit ischen Schwärmern als auch von verschiedenen seriösen
wirt schaft lichen Körperschaft en, insbesondere in Deut schland und
Frankreich. Es best eht daher die Gefahr, daß durch eine
einseit ige, vom gesamt europäischen Fragenkomplex get rennt e
Behandlung dieses Problems dem paneuropäischen Gedanken der
größt e, vielleicht nicht wieder gut zumachende Schaden zugefügt
wird.
Zur Sache selbst möcht e ich mir erlauben, folgende Erwägungen
zu unt erbreit en:
Man kann vielleicht verschiedener Meinung sein über das Prinzip
Freihandel oder Schut zzoll für ein gegebenes Wirt schaft sgebiet .
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Sobald aber die Frage des Freihandels verknüpft wird mit einer
Erweit erung dieses Wirt schaft sgebiet es um eben j ene Länder,
denen gegenüber die Zollschranken fallen sollen, dann verändern
die Schut zzölle ihren Charakt er, sie verwandeln sich in
Binnenzölle, über deren Widersinnigkeit hier ein Wort zu verlieren
selbst widersinnig wäre. Die Fragest ellung laut et daher nicht :
„ Schut zzoll oder Freihandel ?“ , sondern: „ Nat ionale Verengung
oder Kont inent ale Erweit erung des Wirt schaft sraumes?“ Und was
die Erweit erung des Wirt schaft skörpers im Zeit alt er der
fort schreit enden übernat ionalen t echnischen Arbeit st eilung für die
Wohlfahrt des Landes bedeut et , das zeigt nicht nur der
märchenhaft e Aufschwung der Vereinigt en St aat en, sondern
relat ive ebenso überzeugend die blühende Ent wicklung
Deut schlands nach Erricht ung des deut schen Zollvereins. Somit
wäre allein vom wirt schaft lichen St andpunkt aus der Gedanke
einer europäischen Zollunion als erst em Schrit t zu Paneuropa zu
begrüßen. Aber die Zollfrage hat nicht nur eine wirt schaft liche,
sie hat auch eine polit ische Seit e von vit aler Bedeut ung. Sie
berührt nämlich unmit t elbar den Lebensnerv der
Landesvert eidigung. Seit dem die Kriege nicht mehr von Armeen,
sondern von Völkern gegen Völker geführt werden, ist nicht mehr
allein die Tragweit e und Durchschlagskraft der Geschosse für den
Ausgang eines Krieges ent scheidend, sondern oft die Verfügung
über irgendwelche Gebrauchsart ikel, wie sie eben von
Millionenarmeen und für das Hint erland nöt ig sind, nicht nur für
milit ärische Akt ionen, sondern einfach zum Leben, zum
Durchhalt en. Die ideale Milit ärnat ion wäre also diej enige, welche
vollkommene Wirt schaft saut arkie hät t e. Auf nat ürliche Weise ist
eine derart ige wirt schaft liche Unabhängigkeit vom Auslande
keinem Lande erreichbar, denn die Nat ur hat die Länder und
Völker sehr ungleichmäßig mit ihren Gaben bedacht . Daher
greifen die St aat en zu künst lichen Mit t eln, um dem Zust and einer
wirt schaft lichmilit ärischen Aut arkie möglichst nahezukommen.
Viele I ndust rien, die in den bet reffenden Ländern nicht die
geringst en Vorausset zungen an Rohst offen oder
Menschenmat erial haben und daher t eurer und schlecht er
produzieren als die Konkurrenz in den hierfür geeignet en
Ländern, werden nur mit Hilfe von Schut zzöllen,
St euererleicht erungen, Subvent ionen oder Ausfuhrprämien am
Leben erhalt en. Diese I ndust rien würden in der europäischen
Zollunion nat ürlich sofort eingehen. Sicherlich zum Nut zen aller
Bet eiligt en, denn an deren St elle würde dafür manche andere
nat ürlich gewachsene I ndust rien, befreit von den Zollhemmungen
des bisherigen Auslandes, nunmehrigen I nlandes, einen
Aufschwung nehmen, der zur Absorbierung der durch die
eingegangene I ndust rie ent lassenen Arbeit er führen würde. Aber
gerade diese gefährdet en I ndust rien braucht der St aat im Kriege,
sonst würde er sie j a im Frieden nicht mit schweren Opfern
künst lich zücht en. Nun frage ich Sie, wie könnt e man einem
verant wort lichen St aat smann zumut en, daß er um eines
wirt schaft lichen Vort eils willen sein Land von der Verfügung über
einen I ndust rieart ikel ent blöße, den es vielleicht morgen für die
Kriegführung benöt igen würde? Doch nur dann, wenn man ihm
zugleich die Gewähr biet en würde, daß ein Krieg künft ig
ausgeschlossen sei. Diese absolut e Gewähr kann nicht nur auf
irgendeinem Fet zen Papier und auch nicht einmal im Geist von
Locarno begründet werden, so begrüßenswert , j a beglückend
diese erst en Ansät ze polit ischer Vernunft auch sind. Die
Friedenssicherung ist nur durch Abbau, bzw. Unsicht barmachung
der Grenzen zu erreichen, also durch polit ische Union.
Wo es keine Grenzen gibt , da gibt es auch keine Kriege. Über die
Grenze schießen, auch auf seine St ammesbrüder, ist erlaubt –
man nennt es Pat riot ismus, Bürgerpflicht , Heldent at –, innerhalb
der Grenzen schießen, auch auf den St ammesgegner, heißt
dagegen Mord und Tot schlag und ist polizeilich verbot en. Das
naheliegendst e Beispiel dafür ist die Schweiz. Sie ist von drei
grundverschiedenen Volksst ämmen bewohnt , deren j enseit s der
Grenzen wohnende Haupt vert ret er seit über einem Jahrt ausend
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sich in wechselnder Gruppierung bekämpfen. Wie verhielt en sich
nun während des Welt krieges die Deut schen Franzosen und
I t aliener innerhalb der Schweizer Grenzpfähle? Die Frage st ellen
heißt sie auch schon beant wort en. Ein überzeugendes Beispiel in
ent gegengeset zt er Richt ung: Die Polen rühmen sich mit Recht ,
daß sie im Kriege t rot z ihrer schwierigen St ellung in den drei
Lagern niemand verrat en haben. Dies bedeut et nicht s anderes,
als daß sie in einem St reit e, der sie nicht bet raf, der Suggest ion
des Grenzzwanges unt erlagen und dem Befehl, auf die
Grenzbewohner zu schießen, nachkamen, selbst auf die Gefahr
hin, ihren Bruder zu t reffen. Hier also die Schweiz, die sich mit
ihrer dreieinigen deut sch- französisch- it alienischen Bevölkerung
innerhalb einer Grenze friedlich verhielt , dort das zerrissene aber
innerlich einige Polen, dessen drei Teile t rot zdem gegeneinander
kämpfen! Und wie war das Verhalt en der Deut schbalt en und der
nach Millionen zählenden deut schen Kolonist en gegenüber
Rußland? Während sich die Deut schen und Russen von j enseit s
der Grenze die Köpfe einschlugen, verblieben die Deut schen
diesseit s der russischen Grenzpfähle in ihrer hist orischen Mission,
St üt ze des russischen Kaisert hrones zu sein. Namen wie
Rennenkampf, St ackelberg, Kaulbars, Ungern- St ernberg,
Lambsdorff, Benkendorff, Plehwe usw. , laut er russische Generäle
und St aat smänner deut scher Abst ammung, best ät igen nur diese
Tat sache.
Das Gefühl von der europäischen Kult ur - und
I nt eressengemeinschaft und von der Not wendigkeit ihrer
gemeinsamen Vert eidigung gegen gemeinsame Gefahren set zt
sich zwar in dem Bewußt sein der europäischen St aat slenker t rot z
des in ihnen walt enden Beharrungsgeset zes mit j edem Tage
unabweisbarer durch; solange j edoch diese Gemeinschaft nicht
ihren nat ürlichen Ausdruck in einer gemeinsamen milit ärisch-
polit ischen Union findet , sondern im Gegent eil äußerlich verfälscht
wird durch Aufrecht erhalt ung anachronist ischer Grenzen aus der
Zeit dynast ischer Raubzüge und nat ionalist ischem I mperialismus,
solange wird die Gefahr kriegerischer Verwicklungen mit dem Ziel
der Erweit erung resp. Vert eidigung dieser Grenzen best ehen
bleiben. Jeder St aat smann muß dieser Tat sache Rechnung t ragen
und wird sich daher in eine Gefährdung der indust riellen Rüst ung
durch Öffnung der Zollgrenzen nicht einlassen. Wir erleben es
seit der erst en Haager Friedenskonferenz immer wieder, auf
welche Schwierigkeit en schon die rein milit ärische Abrüst ung
st ößt , t rot zdem dieselbe bei loyaler proport ioneller Durchführung
und gegenseit iger Kont rolle das rein milit ärische St ärkeverhält nis
der Mächt e nicht im geringst en verändern würde. Die
wirt schaft liche Abrüst ung j edoch würde das Kräft everhält nis st ark
verschieben, da sie proport ionell gleichmäßig gar nicht
durchführbar ist : Fort geschrit t ene St aat en mit gleichmäßig
ent wickelt er nat ürlicher Wirt schaft würden weniger schwer
get roffen als St aat en, die z. B. nur einseit ig agrarisch ent wickelt
sind. Dies könnt e unt er Umst änden sogar eine Aneiferung für den
relat iv st ark gebliebenen St aat bilden, über den geschwächt en
st raflos herzufallen. Die einzige halbwegs wirksame
Kriegshemmung, die wir heut e in Europa haben, nämlich die
Gewißheit der gegenseit igen Vernicht ung, würde auf diese Weise
ent fallen. Somit wäre der Versuch einer europäischen Zollunion
ohne gleichzeit ige polit ische Union von vornherein zum Scheit ern
verurt eilt . Selbst Adam Smit h, dieser scharfsinnige und
erbarmungslose Bekämpfer j eder Form von obrigkeit licher
Reglement ierung des Handels, läßt eine Ausnahme gelt en:
Schut zzoll für j ene Zweige von I ndust rie und Landwirt schaft , die
der Kriegführung dienen sollen. Zu seiner Zeit , vor 200 Jahren,
konnt e man eine solche Auswahl t reffen. Heut e, wo die gesamt e
Landesprodukt ion zur Kriegsführung gebraucht wird, ist dies
unmöglich. Die Völker sind sich dieser Aut arkiebedürfnisse des
Krieges erst im Welt kriege so recht bewußt geworden. Der
Merkant ilismus unserer Zeit , über den alle klagen, ist daher kein
Zufall und auch nicht bloß et wa ein Ausfluß des Ressent iment s
gegenüber früheren Kriegsgegnern, er ist eine unmit t elbare
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Konsequenz aus den Erfahrungen des Welt krieges. I n dieser
Beziehung bildet England ein lehrreiches Beispiel. Bis zum Jahre
1914 eine Hochburg des Freihandels, macht e England während
des Krieges die unangenehme Ent deckung, daß es für die
Erzeugung einiger zur Kriegführung unent behrlicher Art ikel nicht
gerüst et sei. I n der Tat hat es von den 20000 Tonnen j ährlichen
Friedensbedarfs in synt het ischen Farbst offen 18 000 aus
Deut schland bezogen. Der Rest von 2000 Tonnen wurde zur
Hälft e aus deut schem Rohmat erial bereit et und in zwei in England
befindlichen deut schen Fabriken fert iggest ellt . Ein ähnliches
Verhält nis best and in vielen anderen I ndust rien, z. B. in der
Raffinierung von Met allen und in opt ischen I nst rument en. Nicht s
kennzeichnet besser die psychologische Wirkung dieser
Ent deckung als die Tat sache, daß für die fehlenden I ndust rien der
Begriff von „ Key - I ndust ries“ geschaffen wurde, d. h. von
I ndust rien, die den Torschlüssel zu Großbrit annien, zu seiner
Macht bedeut et en. Als Ergebnis dieser Sachlage kam im Jahre
1921 das Geset z „ Safeguarding of I ndust ry Act “ zust ande,
welches ursprünglich auf 5 Jahre alle ausländischen Produkt e der
„ Key - I ndust ries“ mit einem Wert zoll von 33 1/ 3 Prozent belegt e.
Als zu „ Key - I ndust ries“ gehörig wurden im Geset z zunächst
folgende angeführt : opt ische I ndust rie, t echnische Gläser,
Präzisionsinst rument e, chemische I ndust rie, Elekt rizit ät sapparat e,
Wolframbereit ung, Radio. Zugleich wurde das Board of Trade
ermächt igt , andere I ndust rien auf deren Ant rag als „ Key -
I ndust ry“ zu erklären und den Zoll unt er Umst änden auf 66 2/ 3
Prozent zu erhöhen. Dieses Geset z wurde vor kurzem bis zum
Jahre 1936 verlängert . Bedenken Sie wohl, dieses Geset z ist
eingest andenermaßen ein reines Kriegsindust rie- Schut zzollgeset z
und liegt eigent lich j enseit s den prinzipiellen hist orischen
Wirt schaft skampfes zwischen Freihandel und Schut zzoll. Nicht
einmal die freihändlerische Labor - Regierung hat es gewagt ,
dasselbe anzut ast en. Die Verhält nisse in den anderen
europäischen St aat en liegen ähnlich, wenn auch die
Einfuhrverbot e und Schut zzölle nicht überall so offen als
milit ärische Schut zzölle zugegeben werden. Nun versuche man
einmal in Frankreich Zollfreiheit für Farbst offe, in England für
Erzeugnisse der Key- I ndust ries, in der Tschechoslowakei für
Aut omobile, in Deut schland für Nahrungsmit t el bei der heut igen
polit ischen St rukt ur Europas vorzuschlagen! I ch sehe schon im
Geist e, wie die verschiedenen Minist er, am grünen Tisch um
einzelne Posit ionen ihrer Landesprodukt e feilschend, sich in den
Haaren liegen, um wenigst ens den not dürft igst en Schut z zu
ret t en, und schließlich unverricht et er Dinge auseinandergehen.
Was wäre die Folge? Man würde von dem Scheit ern einer
Zollunion als eines der paneuropäischen Probleme erst recht auf
die Unmöglichkeit der Realisierung des Gesamt problems
schließen, während t at sächlich umgekehrt nur die get rennt e
Behandlung der Zollunion vom übrigen paneuropäischen
Fragenkomplex die Sprengung Paneuropas verursacht haben
würde.
Man wird mir verschiedene Einwände ent gegenhalt en, z. B. die
scheinbare Analogie der europäischen Zollunion mit dem
Deut schen Zollverein, oder dem Zollbund zwischen Piemont e,
Rom und Toscana, die beide auch unabhängig von milit ärisch-
polit ischer Bindung ent st anden waren. Das war im Jahre 1834
bzw. 1847 möglich. Damals wurden die Kriege nur von kleinen
Armeen und nicht von ganzen Völkern geführt , und die
Ausrüst ung best and haupt sächlich aus Waffen und nicht zugleich
aus der gesamt en nat ionalen Produkt ion. Daher wurde die
Kriegsbereit schaft der Mit glieder des Deut schen Zollvereins resp.
I t alienischen Zollbundes gegeneinander durch den Zollverein
kaum berührt . I n diesem Zusammenhang eröffnen sich für die
Paneuropäer geradezu ungeheuerliche Perspekt iven, wenn ich Sie
zum Beweise meiner These an die Tat sache erinnere, daß der
Zollverein, den Sachsen, Hannover, Würt t emberg, Bayern usw.
mit Preußen usw. 1834 und in den nachfolgenden Jahren
geschlossen haben, ihre Mit glieder nicht im geringst en gehindert
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hat , im Jahre 1866 gegeneinander Krieg zu führen! Auch der
it alienische Dreist aat en- Zollverein hat spät ere Feindseligkeit en
unt en seinen Mit gliedern nicht verhindert !
Übrigens mut et es uns Zeugen der Beschlagnahme des
Privat eigent ums im Welt kriege wie ein Märchen an, daß t rot z des
Krieges 1866 der Zollverein zwischen den Kriegführenden
ungest ört weit er funkt ioniert e. Aus dieser Analogie geht hervor,
daß, selbst wenn die Zollunion ohne milit ärisch- polit ische Union
möglich wäre, sie uns vor einem neuen europäischen Kriege doch
nicht schüt zen würde. Damit hört aber die Analogie auch auf.
Denn während der Krieg 1866 zur Einigung Deut schlands führt e,
würde der nächst e europäische Krieg das Ende Europas bedeut en,
also auch Paneuropas. Bei den übrigen paneuropäischen
Problemen würde die Absurdit ät ihrer zeit lich get rennt en
I nangriffnahme noch offener zut age t ret en. Die Lösung der
meist en anderen zwischenst aat lichen Aufgaben, wenn auch nicht
mit dem Ziel Paneuropa, war nämlich schon vor dem Krieg in die
Wege geleit et worden. I n Frieds Handbuch der Friedensbewegung
aus dem Jahre 1911 werden 186 int ernat ionale
Regierungskonferenzen und 86 zwischenst aat liche I nst it ut ionen
aufgezählt , aus denen ich als die wicht igst en nur das Haager
Schiedsgericht , die lat einische Münzkonvent ion, die
I nt erparlament arische Union, den Welt post verein und die Genfer
Konvent ion hervorhebe. Wenn man diese List e int ernat ionaler
I nst it ut ionen liest , so ist man versucht zu glauben, daß
Paneuropa, wenn nicht gar die Welt union, eigent lich schon vor
dem Kriege fix und fert ig dast and und nur noch der Name fehlt e.
Aber es fehlt e eben das Wesent liche: Die Haager
Abrüst ungskonferenz war gescheit ert , von einer polit ischen Union
konnt e keine Rede sein, und so konnt en uns all die schönen 86
zwischenst aat lichen I nst it ut ionen nicht s helfen, der Welt krieg
mußt e ausbrechen.
Vor meiner Schlußfolgerung muß ich noch einen kleinen
Abst echer in ein mit meinem Referat scheinbar in keinem
Zusammenhang st ehendes Gebiet machen, welches j edoch
t at sächlich aufs engst e damit verknüpft ist : Die wirt schaft liche
Basis von Paneuropa ist bekannt lich die erst durch den
Zusammenschluß zu ermöglichende Umst ellung der Wirt schaft
von der einzel - st aat lichen auf die gesamt europäische
Arbeit st eilung, also auf Massenprodukt ion nach amerikanischem
Must er, ohne welche wir nicht nur auf den Welt märkt en, sondern
auch zu Hause der amerikanischen Konkurrenz nicht st andhalt en
können. Die Hyperklugen, die prinzipiell alles noch nicht
Best ehende als unmöglich ablehnen, verweisen darauf, daß
Amerika im Augenblick der Gründung der Union in der I ndust rie
ebensowenig durch einzelst aat liche Zwergwirt schaft en belast et
war wie in Geschicht e und Kult ur durch Tradit ion. Die Amerikaner
braucht en angeblich nur vorwärt s zu schauen, während wir
zugleich auch nach rückwärt s sehen müßt en. Für j ede
Massenprodukt ionsmaschine müßt en wir nach dieser Ansicht
mehrere alt e Typen niederlegen. Dies in Verbindung mit
unvermeidlichen Produkt ionsst örungen und Arbeit erent lassungen
würde unübersehbares und gefährliches Chaos hervorrufen. Diese
Skept iker vergessen nur eines: Die Wirt schaft st agniert
ebensowenig wie das übrige Leben und ist wie dieses in einem
ewigen St offwechselprozeß begriffen. Wenn wir uns die großen
Produkt ionszent ren näher ansehen, so werden wir finden, daß
auch im heut igen Europa in den konkurrenzfähigen Bet rieben kein
Schornst ein, keine Lokomot ive, keine Dynamomaschine mehr als
10, 15 Jahre zählt . Diese Spanne Zeit ist für die europäische
Wirt schaft ausreichend, um sich organisch, ohne j ede künst liche
Erschüt t erung, auf die paneuropäische Massenprodukt ion
umzust ellen. Der nat ürliche Ansporn hierzu müßt e von der
Zollpolit ik der paneuropäisch gesinnt en St aat en ausgehen. Hand
in Hand mit dem Ausbau der polit ischen und kult urellen
paneuropäischen I nst it ut ionen müßt e der Abbau der Zölle vor sich
gehen, also keineswegs allein für sich und nicht ohne Übergang.
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Auf Grundlage der best ehenden Handelsvert räge und der
aut onomen Zollsät ze, welche das klarst e Spiegelbild der noch
best ehenden wirt schaft lichen Schut zbedürft igkeit der
Einzelst aat en abgibt , sollt e ein Zollplan auf so viele Jahre
aufgest ellt werden, als für den polit ischen Aufbau Europas und
die Rat ionalisierung seiner Wirt schaft nöt ig sind, et wa 10 bis 15
Jahre. Während dieser Zeit sollt en die Zollsät ze aut omat isch um
ein Zehnt el bis Fünfzehnt el, d. h. 6 bis 10 Prozent pro Jahr fallen.
Auf diese Weise wäre das polit ische und soziale Risiko einer
vorzeit igen wirt schaft lichen Abrüst ung und Erschüt t erung
vermieden und andererseit s der Umbau Europas gleichzeit ig auf
polit ischem und wirt schaft lichem Gebiet vollzogen.
Auf den Ausgangspunkt meines Referat es, die Frage nach dem
modus procedendi zurückkommend, gelange ich zu folgendem
Resumee:
Wir müssen Paneuropa organisch aufbauen. Die einzelnen
Probleme dürfen vom gesamt en paneuropäischen Fragenkomplex
nicht zeit lich gesondert behandelt werden. I nsbesondere ist die
Zollunion ohne gleichzeit ige polit ische Union undurchführbar. Aber
auch im Falle der Durchführbarkeit würde sie die über Europa
hängenden Gefahren nicht bannen.
I n Verbindung mit polit ischer Union bedeut et Zollunion keine
St ellungnahme für oder gegen Freihandel, sondern ist ein
Bekennt nis gegen europäische Binnenzölle.
Die einzelst aat liche europäische Abrüst ung bedeut et keine
St ellungnahme für oder gegen den Welt pazifismus, sie ist eine
Konsequenz aus der Erkennt nis, daß innereuropäische
Conflagrat ionen keine Kriege mehr, sondern Bürgerkriege sind.
So wie unsere ganze Konzept ion des Gedankens Paneuropa nicht
die Konst rukt ion eines ut opischen Welt verbesserers ist , sondern
bloß aus der Erkennt nis ent springt , daß Europa in seinen
gesamt en Lebensäußerungen reif, überreif zum Zusammenschluß
ist , so müssen wir auch in unserem Kampfe um die
Verwirklichung unseres I deales alles vermeiden, was ut opisch
und künst lich konst ruiert ist und nicht gleichzeit ig auf die
gesamt en Lebensint eressen Paneuropas genügend Rücksicht
nimmt .

MERKWORT FÜR DAS
PROGRAMM DES „ EUROPA- KONGRESSES“
I N BASEL 1932
Der europäische Zusammenschluß ist ein schwieriges Ziel, aber
es gibt et was, das noch viel schwieriger wäre: Die Erhalt ung
Europas im heut igen Zust and.
Daher laut et nicht die Alt ernat ive: Europäische Föderat ion oder
Nat ionalst aat en,
sondern ent weder
Föderat ion, d. h. unermeßliche gegenseit ige Erweit erung des
Produkt ions- und Absat zgebiet es, Massenprodukt ion,
Lohnerhöhung und Preissenkung, Hebung des Lebensst andards
der Völker, Ende des Klassenkampfes, Beginn des fakt ischen
Völkerfriedens, Aufblühen der Nat ionalkult ur;
oder aber
Das Labyrint h von int ernat ionalem Mißt rauen, Rüst ungswahn,
St euerüberlast ung, finanziellem, budget ärem und valut arischem
Zusammenbruch, Schrumpfung der Kaufkraft , Versagen des
Welt markt es, Erst icken im gegenseit igen Schut zzoll des
I nnenmarkt es, Produkt ionsverfall, Arbeit slosigkeit , Klassenhaß,
Bürgerkrieg, Völkerkrieg, Chaos.
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Daher ist der europäische Anschluß keine Forderung der
I dealist en, sondern eine condit io sine qua non des Weit erlebens
der europäischen Völker.
back t o lit erat ure >
[ 1] „ Mein Weg zu Paneuropa“ Paneuropa- Verlag, Wien 1925.
[ 2] Vort rag, gehalt en auf dem I . Paneurop. Kongreß, Wien, Großer Konzert haussaal, 3. Okt ober 1926.
BERLI N MCMXXXI I VERLAG FÜR KULTURPOLI TI K G. M. B. H. Alle Recht e, auch die der Überset zung,
vorbehalt en Copyright 1932 by Verlag für Kult urpolit ik, Berlin. Print ed in Germany Druck der Offizin Haag-
Drugulin A. G. in Leipzig

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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
There was once an Englishman or an American who was asked
whet her he plays t he violin. He answered “ I don’t know, I have
not t ried it yet . ” Now, t here you see a violinist before you, who is
exact ly in a reverse posit ion. When t he great honour of t his
luncheon was ext ended t o me and t he possibilit y of a speech of
mine in t he English language discussed, t hen I t oo had t o give
t he same answer as t he presumpt ive violinist amat eur: “ I don’t
know I have not t ried yet t o make a speech in English” .
You expect me t o give you an idea of my Paneuropean vision. To
begin wit h, allow me t o live up t o one aspect of t he Paneuropean
problem, t he linguist ic, and t o say a few words in anot her
European language, t he French. Tout d’abord, j e t iens à vous
dire, combine j e suis heureux d’êt re parmi vous, combine j e vous
suis reconnaissant pour le grand honneur que vous m’avez fait ,
en m’invit ant à vous parler de mes ideals d’une Europe
reconciliée et réunie. Ma grat it ude est d’aut ant plus profonde que
j e me rends bien compt e qu’en principe un violinist e qui se met a
parler des suj et s polit iques devrait êt re mis au violon.
Art and polit ics seem indeed such disparat e ideas t hat when I
had progressed half - way t o my Paneuropean convict ions I
falt ered and had t o ask myself what is it which pushes me along
t his new pat h?
Alt hough I felt in my sub- conscious mind t hat t here must be
some inward connect ion bet ween my impulse t owards art and my
impulse t owards so- called polit ics ( which incident ally mean
somet hing quit e special for me) , I could at first find no answer. I
had t o descend int o t he furt herest dept hs of my soul t o find t he
hidden link bet ween t hem. And t hen I made a st upefying
discovery; I had assumed hit hert o t hat we art ist s pract ice our art
for art ’s sake only. I now say t hat t his was a mist ake. For if we
pract iced art only for art ’s sake it would, for example, not be
necessary for t he pract icing art ist t o assume t he mart yrdom of
t his nerve- shat t ering way of life, which wit h it s hast e and endless
movement prevent s a man ever coming t o his senses. The
milest ones of Life are oblit erat ed and t he end is oft en nervous
collapse. The magic word “ art for art ’s sake” would save us all
from t his sacrifice. The more prosperous among us could
exchange t he four bare walls of an hot el for a comfort able home
in which t here would have t o be a large music- room, where we
could st rum our favourit e pieces t o our heart s’ cont ent . That
would be art for art ’s sake. So it is pract ised by dilet t ant i who
oft en dist inguish t hemselves from t he art ist s more by t heir
egot ist ical self- sufficiency t han by t heir inferior t alent . The t rue
art ist does not creat e art as an end in it self; for him humanit y is
t he end, he creat es art for human beings, t o give t hem j oy,
The Pan-Europe Problem
This int erest ing lect ure was delivered by Huberman at
t he Polish I nst it ut e of Art s and Let t ers of t he Roerich
Museum, New York, on 16t h December 1934. He gives
persuasive argument s for t he benefit s a Unified Europe
would bring it s cit izens.
Thanks very much t o Joseph Hert er for post ing me t his
art icle from New York.
back t o lit erat ure >
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exalt at ion and forget fulness of t heir sorrows. And believe me, t his
consciousness of fulfilling a higher and enviable mission t owards
his fellow- men is necessary if t he art ist is t o compensat e himself
for a life full of privat ions and care. Bound up t herefore wit h t he
concept ion of art is it s social funct ion.
I s it t hen so I asked myself, so great a j ump from t he funct ion a
real art ist is performing, in giving spirit ual exalt at ion t o
t housands for an hour or t wo, over t o t his new act ivit y wit h which
I now hoped, right ly or wrongly, but wit h fanat ical fait h t o
cont ribut e t o t he last ing spirit ual and mat erial welfare of 400
millions of Europeans?
Since t hose days of my earliest concept ion of a Unit ed St at es of
Europe many a change has occurred in t he polit ical aspirat ion
and const ellat ion of Europe. They do not seem t o encourage t he
effort s of t he Pan- European adherent s. On t he cont rary, t he
t rend goes in t he opposit e direct ion. Mut ual dist rust , j ingoism,
economic wars prevail in Europe. And yet , my firm convict ion t hat
t he movement aiming at t he format ion of t he federat ion of t he
European St at es is t he ult imat e goal of Europe and it s only
salvat ion from self- dest ruct ion and definit e chaos, is unshaken. I
do not hesit at e t o go furt her and confess: t he more nat ionalism
is get t ing hold of all domains of t he polit ical, cult ural and
economic life in Europe, t he firmer is my fait h in t he unavoidable
realisat ion of Paneuropa. When we analyse t he forces which in
t he hist ory of mankind lead t o any progress, revolut ion or reform,
we discover t hat originally t hey never were of a posit ive nat ure.
Never a new idea, no mat t er how elevat ed or useful, was st rong
enough t o at t ract t he masses. The crowds are far t oo much
subj ect t o t he law of inert ia t o get excit ed over t he beaut y of a
new idea. The forces of nearly all t he polit ical, social or religious
movement s in hist ory emanat ed from some feeling of indignat ion
against exist ing condit ions, rebellion against some out rage, abuse
or incapacit y of t he government in power, revolt against some
special sources of misery. This fact applies j ust t he same t o
Christ ianit y and t he Reformat ion as t o t he American War of
I ndependence or t he French or t he Bolshevik revolut ions.
They all had t o begin wit h a form of a prot est , a st ruggle against
somet hing in exist ence. Only in such cases did a new st ruct ure
evolve from t he Chaos which invariably t hreat ens all mass
upheavals, when t he gospel of a new idea happened t o be ready
for act ual embodiment . Well, if one looks from t his point of view
at t he prospect s of Pan- Europe, one need not be pessimist ic at
all. The condit ions of folly and cont radict ions now prevailing in
t he relat ions bet ween t he St at es of Europe are doomed t o lead t o
absurdit y and t he react ion cannot fail t o appear. This will be t he
psychological moment for t he Pan- Europeans t o lay down t he
pract ical basis of a federal European government , provided we
have succeeded in sowing meanwhile in t he European public
opinion t he germ of our polit ical, social, nat ional, economical
creed, as formulat ed in t he concept ion of Paneuropa.
When asked t o give a short definit ion of t his concept ion, one
might feel t empt ed t o st at e simply: Paneuropa is t he cont rary of
t he Europe of t o- day. Yet t his would not only be a superficial and
incomplet e but a misleading st at ement , because even t he
principles of self- dest ruct ion on which Europe is mainly ruled t o-
day, is, quit e nat urally, lacking in consist ency and sincerit y. I can
visualise a European government building, divided int o several
depart ment s; one minist er is engaged in improving t raffic, and
increasing t he speed of locomot ives, aeroplanes and ships in
order t o at t ract foreign t ourist s; next door t o him t here sit s
anot her member of t he same government using all his
shrewdness t o add t o t he exist ing cust om barriers new hidden
blows against t he t raffic of goods and men by means of currency
rest rict ions, passport penalt ies and so on, t hus frust rat ing his
colleagues effort s and t he nat ional expendit ure on ships,
airplanes and railways.
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The same applies t o all t he ot her ranges of nat ional and
int ernat ional life: t he race for export s paralysed by t he rage for
aut arkie; t he much emphasised prot ect ion of nat ional cult ure is
being ricialed[ sic] by t he persecut ion of persons belonging t o
anot her cult ure, race or creed. I t is a st at e of perversion and
hypocrisy of which Paneuropa would refuse t o become even t he
ant it hesis.
Paneurope implies a complet e revolut ion in t he polit ical,
economical, social and cult ural ment alit y and leads consequent ly
t o a general change of t he maxims of government . Let me give
you a few flashlight s on each of t he four aspect s j ust ment ioned.
Economically Paneuropa carries wit h her all t he blessings which
t he possibilit ies of an open market of 400 million peoples
represent for t he man in t he st reet – as compared wit h t he
narrowness and handicaps of some 28 dwarf market s separat ed
by insurmount able cust om barriers. I n nevcent hesis[ sic] t he
effect s of Paneuropa must not be confused wit h free t rade,
because free t rade means only one- sided abolit ion of t he
cust oms of one given count ry, while Paneuropa means t he
ext ension of t he economic area of an average of 14 millions. This
would enable Europe t o use t he mass- product ion met hods
result ing in lower prices and higher wages. The final difference
bet ween t he purchasing power of a salaried man in t he average
European count ry and t hat of a count ry wit h mass product ion is
simply amazing. Take t he mot or - car as one of many examples:
when t he Ford Fact ory was put t ing out 200. 000 cars a year, t he
price of t he car was 1250 dollars and t he wages of t he unskilled
worker were about 4 dollars a day. When t he yearly out put
reached 2 millions, t he price fell t o 260 dollars and wages rose t o
6 dollars. Thus, t he worker grew seven t imes richer in relat ion t o
t he aut omobile – and t o most of t he ot her commodit ies
manufact ured on a mass product ion basis. But in Europe no
fact ory has ever reached a product ion of even 200. 000 cars a
year. A few figures illust rat e t his fact and explain t he differences
in t he purchasing power. I n 1928 t he Unit ed St at es account ed for
83% of t he world product ion of mot or cars, Europe only 12%, yet
in t he St at es t here were only 152 aut omobile fact ories against
333 in Europe.
The average annual out put per fact ory in t he St at es was 28, 675
cars, in Europe only 1792 cars. I n America t here were only t hree
t ypes of popular cars: Ford, Chevrolet and Overland; Europe,
wit h it s t welve per cent share in t he world’s product ion, had over
a dozen popular t ypes, or 11 t oo many, wit h all t he result ant
increase in t he cost of product ion and wast e of capit al.
I t may be obj ect ed t hat America is t he ideal count ry for mass
product ion met hods and yet has fared no bet t er as far as t he
crisis is concerned. This fact , far from weakening my t hesis about
huge economic areas and mass product ion, merely shows t hat it
is impossible for t he laws of nat ional reciprocit y, which t he
European government s imagine t hey could replace by a syst em
of nat ionalist grabbing and reprisals, t o be infringed wit h
impunit y even in t he t rade bet ween cont inent s. I n t he mat t er of
cont empt for nat ural laws t he U. S. were lagging only a lit t le
behind Europe when t hey insist ed on t he repayment of t he
European debt s t o t hem, but at t he same t ime made t he
payment of debt s by means of supplies of European goods
impossible t hrough enormous increase in t heir t ariffs; or when
t hey carried t heir nat ional product ion t o some 15% beyond t he
American capacit y of consumpt ion, but t he same t ime hampering
t he export of t he surplus by t hrot t ling European import s int o
America. The present sit uat ion in t he U. S. proves t hat agricult ure
and indust ry even of t his blessed cont inent , wit h all it s
inexhaust ible st ores of mat erial wealt hs and indust rial skill are
unable t o prosper in isolat ion from t he world.
When we assume t hat t he abolit ion of t he int er - European
cust oms wit h t he ensuing lower prices and higher wages would
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increase t he purchasing power of t he workers and t he lower
middle- classes from about 4 t o 8 t imes, t hen we can safely t ake
it for grant ed t hat an economically unit ed Europe would lead
unavoidably t o a socially unit ed or reconciled Europe.
There is no bet t er ground for class warfare, for communism and
fascism t han misery, no great er enemy t han prosperit y.
The advant age which t he numerous nat ional cult ures would draw
from t he Pan- European st ruct ure are not less revolut ionary t han
t hose on economic and social lines. First of all t hese nat ional
cult ures would once and for ever be prot ect ed by mut ual respect
against t he danger of annihilat ion and abuse wit h which
imperialism t hreat ened t hem unint errupt edly since t he dawn of
modern t imes. Think of t he riches humanit y has lost t hrough t he
wilful ext erminat ion of such highly developed nat ional cult ures as
t he Georgian or t he Celt ic ( t he lat t er incident ally having been
recognized in t he 12 t h and 13 t h cent ury as t he foremost
musical count ry in t he world – t he original home of t he
polyphonic song) ! Those who fear t hat Paneurope may endanger
t he variet y and independence of t he European cult ures may be
assured: Paneurope, far from being a melt ing- pot for her nat ions,
will mark t he beginning of a new era of real freedom and
flourishing for t heir cult ural subdivisions.
As an art ist I should be t he last t o advocat e t he reduct ion of
nat ional cult ures t o a dull uniformit y. For all t rue art is root ed in
nat ional soil. The phrase: “ Art is int ernat ional” is oft en misapplied
in senses which it cannot legit imat ely bear. Art is int ernat ional
only in t he sense t hat it is int ended for int ernat ional int ellect ual
consumpt ion for reciprocal st imulat ion. But j ust as t he inclusion
of caviar in a New York menu does not imply t hat t he st urgeon
can t hrive as well in t he est uary of t he Hudson river as in t he
mout hs of t he Volga and t he Danube, so t he performance of
“ Meist ersinger, ” no mat t er how frequent ly in t he Met ropolit an
Opera House or t he product ion of Shakespeare on t he German
st age cannot dispose of t he fact t hat a Richard Wagner could only
have come from a German environment and a Shakespeare only
from an English one, even t hough t hat environment in t urn,
t oget her wit h t hose born and bred in it , is t he result of manifold
racial admixt ures.
I f t he art ist owes his creat ive capacit y t o his personal
endowment , which, nat urally, is not confined t o nat ional sources,
he is indebt ed for t he course pursued by t hat endowment t o t he
t housand influences of his environment . That applies t o art in
general. For music in part icular t here are t hree furt her import ant
fact ors, st rongly different iat ed geographically and nat ionally: folk
songs, dance rhyt hms and lit urgical influences.
One might , t herefore, be t empt ed t o suppose t hat t he demands
of cult ure and t he int ellect are in conflict wit h t hose of economic
life, and t hat it is not easy t o reconcile t he nat ional subdivision
t hat enriches t he mat erial for t he mosaic of t he European art s
wit h t he universal t rend t owards a levelling and st andardizat ion
across all front iers. But on a closer view t his ant imony proves t o
be only apparent . Cult ural and economic boundaries have not
coincided in t he past , and t he removal of t he lat t er will do
not hing t o efface t he differences of cult ure. A few examples from
t he past will amply demonst rat e t his. I s t here anyt hing more
t horoughly German t han t hose Swiss cit izens t he writ ers Carl
Spit t eler, Got t fried Keller, Konrad Ferdinand Meyer, t he paint ers
Holbein and Arnold Bocklin, or St auffer - Bern, or more t horoughly
French t han t hose ot her famous Swiss cit izens Jean Jacques
Rousseau, Benj amin Const ant , Madame de St ael, Jacques
Dalcroze, Honegger ? I s t here anyt hing more t horoughly German
in t he best sense t han t he cult ural achievement s of t he Germans
of t he former Balt ic provinces of Russia, in t heir art and
archit ect ure, t heir scient ific and educat ional work? I t is , perhaps,
scarcely fair t o quot e t he case of Finland, wit h it s wholly
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Scandinavian cult ure, since in spit e of Russia’s overlordship t he
count ry was separat e from t he Empire by an officially recognized
front ier line. But t here can be no possible cavil in regard t o my
own count ry, Poland.
Two of t he t hree t errit ories int o which she had been part it ioned
suffered from cont inual official obst ruct ion, st eady and rut hless,
of t heir polit ical and especially t heir cult ural development ; t hey
were not even allowed t he free use of t heir mot her t ongue or t he
free exercise of t heir religion. And what , aft er a cent ury and a
half of oppression, was t he result ? A nat ion ent irely unbroken
and homogeneous, above all in regard t o it s cult ure, a nat ion
t hat has maint ained t he full purit y of it s colour on t he int ellect ual
palet t e of t he European peoples.
Bearing in mind t hat , wit h t he except ion of Swit zerland, t hese are
cases of subj ect nat ionalit ies, art ificially hampered in t heir
cult ural development , it is quit e evident t hat a volunt ary union of
t he peoples would enhance rat her t han diminish t he guarant ee of
t heir cult ural int egrit y. I n any case, t here would be not hing t o
prevent t he adopt ion of special cult ural guarant ee clauses in t he
Const it ut ions of t he various federat ed St at es, on t he model of t he
Swiss Const it ut ion. So much for cult ure as a creat ive act ivit y.
The problem, no less vit al, of t he spreading of t he exist ing
cult ures among t he mass of t he people would find in t he enriched
and pacified Federat ed St at es of Europe it s first opport unit y of a
full and wort hy solut ion. I n t his respect European cult ure has
always suffered from a t ragic paradox. I t s sources spring from
t he mult iplicit y of t he European nat ions. I t is t o t hat mult iplicit y
t hat we are indebt ed for t he Nint h Symphony, for “ Faust ” , for t he
Sist ine Madonna, t he Ballades of Chopin, and so on. These
mast erpieces, wrung from t he dept hs of t he human heart ,
mast erpieces of which each one is a sublimat ion of t he noblest
t hat a nat ion … and t hat nat ion alone … can give, are dest ined for
all humanit y. On t his eart h not hing is a value in it self; value is
creat ed only in associat ion wit h t he purpose served ……. t he
service of man. The most sacred concept ions, God, religion,
mot her count ry, cult ure, are j ust ified only by t heir works in
cont ribut ing t o t he salvat ion of man, and become a curse as soon
as t hey t urn against him. Thus t he evangel of t he Son of God,
who was crucified for humanit y, was t he most affect ing and
exalt ed concept ion of t he human heart in it s need … t he sacrifice
of God for t he salvat ion of man; while t he sacrifices of human
beings t hat were made for t he honour of God became a fiendish
blasphemy.
So it is wit h our cult ure. I t s creat ors int ended it for t he service of
humanit y; but in t he present polit ical st ruct ure of Europe t he
source of it s lavishness … t he mult iplicit y of nat ions … was at t he
same t ime t he cause of all but a fract ion of t he people of Europe
being shut out from it s blessings. Again and again t he spect acle
is repeat ed in Europe! There come t o hear t hese mast erpieces,
t his Hamlet or Nint h Symphony, not all who deserve and who
would desire t o hear t hem, but only t he t iny group of t hose who,
amid t he periodically recurring collisions of t he European nat ions,
have had t he good fort une t o escape economic ruin. A cult ure
t hat depends for it s exist ence on a group of mut ually predat ory
nat ions, and is in consequence inaccessible t o 99 out of every
hundred Europeans and so merely t he cult ure of a class such as
cult ure is a mockery and does not deserve t o endure.
There would be no escape for it if t hose were right who have no
more fait h in t he capacit y of nat ions t o live at peace wit h one
anot her t han in t he capacit y of wild beast s for subj ugat ion.
“ St ruggle” , t hey declare, “ is an inescapable law of nat ure. ”
St ruggle is indeed a law of nat ure, and we Paneuropean do not
deny it ; but it s crudest form, annihilat ion, is not always valid for
mankind. Naked sexual lust is t oo a law of nat ure, and yet in t he
course of t he ages men have sublimat ed it in t he emot ion of
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love. And so it has been wit h every human inst inct , including t hat
of st ruggle bet ween man and man. Should t hen only t he st ruggle
bet ween nat ions remain et ernally in t he primit ive form of
annihilat ion which in our t imes leads t o absurd self- dest ruct ion?
Such an out look, apart from being inhuman, simply ignores t he
unmist akable voice of t he spirit of our t imes and t he lessons from
hist ory. Hist ory point s t o front iers as t he bearers of t he germ of
war. Germans and French, for inst ance, wit h t he nat ional front ier
dividing t hem, have fought one anot her, from t ime t o t ime
t hrough hundreds of year.
These same peoples, unit ed wit hin a front ier in t he Swiss St at e,
have got on peacefully t oget her for j ust as many cent uries.
Bavarians, Hanoverians, Prussians ( and similarly Neapolit ans,
Savoyards and t he rest ) , divided by St at e front iers, found it
perfect ly nat ural t o fight one anot her in spit e of t heir nat ional
ident it y, but once t he German Empire or t he Kingdom of I t aly
were creat ed, all t hat changed, t he idea of war bet ween t hem
would have been considered as high t reason.
Let me not be charged wit h casuist ry, wit h confusing t he issue by
mixing up cause and effect . I t was t he front iers t hat made t he
difference. The world war once more proved it : in t his war
Germans fought Germans, for no ot her reason t han t he front ier
t hat divided t hem. I am referring t o t he Germans in t he Balt ic
provinces of t he Russian Empire; similarly t he Poles of t he t hree
Empires, or t he Croat s and Serbs fought each ot her. Try t he
experiment of rest oring t he front iers bet ween all t hese nat ionally
kindred unit s; if t he occasion comes, t hey will have no more
compunct ion about falling again upon one anot her t han men
have since t he world began, according t o t he scale of t he front ier
division – man against man, village against village, cit y against
cit y, St at e against St at e, grouped St at es against grouped St at es.
Consequent ly – pull down t he polit ical front ier divisions bet ween
t he European St at es, and once more t he same psychological
process will operat e, t he force of suggest ion proceeding from a
common st at e cit izenship.
The sacred spirit of our t imes works in t he same direct ion. This
spirit , one may call it t he cont roller of all et hics and morals as t o
t heir conformit y wit h t he requirement s of every new phase in
human evolut ion. There never have been ot her morals ruling
t han t hose imposed by t hese requirement s, no mat t er whet her it
concerned slavery or abolit ion, monogamy or polygamy, waging
wars or organizing peace. There is no bigger crime t han t he sin
against t he sacredness of t his spirit . I n our days it s
commandment s read:
As long as t he dist ance bet ween say Berlin and Dresden was 2
days j ourney, t here was no et hic t o prevent war bet ween t hem.
Since t he dist ance shrunk t o 3 hours, t hey had t o accommodat e
t heir morals and give up wars considering t hem as high t reason.
I t t ook t hem some 40 years t o realize t hat fact and t o form
accordingly t he federat ed German Empire. Now t he radio, t he
aeroplane brought Paris, London many t imes nearer t o Warsaw
and Belgrade t han Berlin was dist anced from Dresden a hundred
years ago. The int erdependence, moral and social, correspond
nat urally wit h t his shrinkage of dist ance bet ween t he European
count ries. The idea of war bet ween t hem must soon, surely in
less t han 40 years, appear j ust as out rageous as it would have
been 10 years ago bet ween Berlin and Dresden or 300 years ago
bet ween Paris and Versailles.
Anot her perhaps st ill more convincing aspect is t he following:
suppose t hat t he aeroplane is making such a headway as did t he
mot orcar. Then in 10 years t ime every European owning a car
t oday will possess his own aeroplane. Every house roof would
represent a hangar. This would make t ariff barriers impossible,
because it would t ake millions of front ier guards in t he air t o
chase 10 millions of aviat ion smugglers. And wit hout t he
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prot ect ion of t ariff barriers t here is no possibilit y for t he
preparat ion of a modern war – anyway not amongst t he
European nat ions. This mat erial impossibilit y of a European war
will inevit ably out law once for ever an int er - European war. And
t hen t he way would be paved for t he unrest rict ed working of t he
laws of economics. These laws will impose a polit ical federat ion in
Europe as surely as t hey have done in America.
Out of t he consciousness of t hese only real energies wit hin t he
cross- current s in European polit ics, Count Coudenhove st art ed
some 10 years ago t he Paneuropean movement in order t o
prepare t he European public opinion for t he inevit able
development . I j oined him 9 years ago. We have many t housand
members, and t he idea as such is spreading rapidly all over
Europe. Our pract ical success seemed assured when we
succeeded in inducing M. Briand t o make his famous move
t owards a Paneuropean organizat ion before t he League of
Nat ions. But public opinion was not yet mat ure t o see t he fact s as
t hey are. Yet it is moving – “ eppur si muove” . Look at t he lat est
development : all Paneuropeans, Pacifist s, all sincere League of
Nat ions’ support ers have been fight ing for many years for t he
creat ion of an int er - European armed force at t he disposal of t he
League of Nat ions. The powers flat ly refused t o discuss t he
mat t ers. Now t he acut e danger of a European war imposed
simply t he creat ion of a League of Nat ions’ army t o safeguard
peace in t he Saar Basin. I consider t his perhaps t he most
import ant and revolut ionary polit ical event since t he world war.
Think of it , t he first army of a sovereign int ernat ional body! This
must not at all be confounded wit h previous int ernat ional milit ary
act ivit ies such as t he allied powers in t he world- war or t he
int ervent ion of t he world powers against t he boxer upheaval in
China. The next st ep might be t he League of Nat ions’ assuming
it s permanent t errit orial sovereignt y over t he Saar Basin. This
out look, we owe it t o Herr Hit ler, of course, against his int ent ion.
- - - - - Let me finish – as I began – wit h an apology of t he evil as
creat ive power in t he sense of Mephist opheles in Goet he’s Faust :
“ Ein Teil von j ener Kraft , die st et s das Böse will und st et s das
Gut e schafft ” - - - ( A part of t hat power which always int ends t he
evil, yet always creat es t he Good) .
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BRONI SLAW HUBERMAN AND THE UNI TY OF
EUROPE
by Hel mut Goet z
( Bronislaw Huberman e l' unificazione europea, t ranslat ed by
Eleonor Nicolson, 1967)
CONTENTS
Preface
The man
Art and polit ics
The problem of peace
The economic fact or
The great model
Our common civilizat ion
The st ruggle for Europe
Conclusions
Bibliography
PREFACE
This essay was writ t en in I t alian on t he occasion of t he t went iet h
anniversary of Bronislaw Huberman' s deat h and published in t he
paper Lot t a Federalist a per gli St at i Unt i d' Europa ( Rome, Largo
San Godenzo, 3) . Maest ro Ant onio Janigro, violoncellist and
orchest ra conduct or, was t he first who suggest ed an English
t ranslat ion. I agreed at once wit h him, because I am convinced
t hat Huberman' s life and work must be recalled t o as large a
number of people as possible. I ndeed, Huberman deserves not
only such a short essay but a complet e biography.
Everybody who is anxious for Europe' s fut ure and impat ient
because of t he dangerous slowness in bringing about it s polit ical
unificat ion, will find great hope and real encouragement , reading
Hubermans' polit ical publicat ions and becoming acquaint ed wit h
his feelings and int ent ions.
I am very grat eful t o all who helped me t o elaborat e t he I t alian
t ext and t o diffuse t his pamphlet . I t hink in part icular of Mr. Tzvi
Avni, Direct or of t he Cent ral Music Library in I srael ( Tel - Aviv) ,
Miss I da I bbeken, Huberman' s former secret ary ( Tel - Aviv) , Mrs.
Sofia Amman ( Milan) , my friends count ess Elsa Triangi, pianist
( Trent o) , Marghit Spirk, violinist ( Trent o) , Dr. Lilana Piu ( Rome) ,
Joseph and Edda Krane ( Rome) , Mrs. Pauline Pisano- Webber
( Rome) and last but not least my aunt Mary Pfist er ( Zurich) , who
was lucky enough t o hear several t imes in her life t he concert s of
Bronislaw Huberman.
Rome, November 1967.
H. G.

THE MAN
Helmut Goetz
This essay by Helmut Goet z gives a good precis of
Huberman’s ideas on European polit ical union.
back t o lit erat ure >
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Johannes Brahms did not love infant prodigies and t herefore it
was wit h great diffidence t hat , in January 1896, he t ook his seat
in t he great Musikverein Hall in Vienna, t o list en t o t he t hirt een
year old violinist appearing t o perform Brahms’ own Concert o for
violin and orchest ra. But t hat day somet hing absolut ely unheard
of happened: already aft er t he first movement t he audience
broke out int o loud applause while Brahms dried t ears of emot ion
from his eyes. At t he end, in t he midst of t he ent husiasm of
t hose present , t he composer embraced t he young violinist
saying: « Good Gracious! How you played my Concert o! » The
violinist was Bronislaw Huberman.
He was born at Czest ochowa on t he 19t h December 1882 and
was t he son of a Pole of Jewish origin, a simple clerk in a
lawyer’s office. He was a pupil of Michalowicz and Lot t o in
Warsaw and of t he great Joachim in Berlin. Aft er t he Vienna
concert , of course, concert halls all t he world over were open t o
t he young musician. Wit h his 1733 St radivarius ( and once at
Genoa wit h Paganini’s inst rument ) he played Bach and
Beet hoven, Brahms and Chopin, Mendelssohn and Szymanowski
and many ot her composers. I n 1912 he published a book ent it led
Aus der Werkst at t des Virt uosen, t he fruit of his violin
int erpret at ions.
The music crit ic of Turin, Andrea Della Cort e, list ed Huberman
among t he great est violinist s aft er Joachim for his « format ion,
aspirat ions, and experience, frame of mind and cult ure »; and in
fact t ill t he t ime of his deat h which happened at Corsier in
Swit zerland on 14t h June 1947, he was given undisput ed
recognit ion.
We must ment ion anot her charact erist ic which made people
ent husiast ic about him: Huberman was homme de coeur. He
performed for t he poor free of charge. I n 1909 he gave a concert
in aid of t he homeless and inj ured aft er t he eart hquake at
Messina, and in 1935, he launched t he idea of creat ing a new
orchest ra t o give work and sust enance t o German Jews suffering
from Nazi persecut ion. On 26t h December 1936 Art uro Toscanini,
following t he init iat ive of t he violinist , conduct ed t he first concert
of t he Palest ine Symphonic Orchest ra at Tel- Aviv, and t o express
it s grat it ude, t he cit y named t he st reet in front of t he concert hall
aft er Bronislaw Huberman in perpet ual memory of t he event . The
act of t he musician was not limit ed only t o Jews, but included all
who suffered under t he Nazi regime, which was shown in an open
let t er, in t he same year, addressed t o German int ellect uals,
whom he invit ed t o unit e wit h t he Roman Cat holic and Prot est ant
churches in t heir courageous st ruggle against t he regime.
The violinist ’s sensit ivit y was deeply hurt by t he slaught er of t he
First World War and by t he dist ress which followed, and t he
convict ions which he formed because of t his dist ress are
somewhat singular in t he hist ory of European musicians. He
dedicat ed part of his life t o polit ics, j oining t he Paneuropean
Union founded in 1924 by t he philosopher Count Richard
Coudenhove- Kalergi who is st ill alive. I n his aut obiography t he
Count st at es t hat many art ist s were ent husiast ic about t he aims
of t he movement : « I n t he front line among t hem was t he genial
violinst Bronislaw Huberman who, in his t ournées spread
informat ion about Paneurope bot h by spoken word and by writ ing
and was one of t he most act ive support ers of t he movement . »
ART AND POLI TI CS
That a man who had been for many years devot ed t o Art should
suddenly become concerned wit h polit ics was for Huberman no
cont radict ion: Art and polit ics were cert ainly for him t wo different
concept s, but at t he same t ime he felt subconsciously t hat
bet ween his predilect ions for Art and for polit ics t here must exist
some close connect ion. He revealed t hese ideas at t he beginning
of a lect ure which he gave in Vienna in Oct ober 1926 in t he
Grosser Konzert saal. On t his occasion he recognised as erroneous
his former convict ion t hat art ist s exercise t heir art only for art ’s
sake. « The real art ist , » he said, « does not however creat e art
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for art ’s sake as an end in it self, … he creat es art for men, t o
bring t hem j oy, t o ennoble t hem, t o make t hem forget t heir
worries. … Hence t he concept ‘Art ’ is bound t o a social funct ion. …
I s t here t herefore such a great dividing line bet ween t he social
funct ion which I have exercise t ill now … and t his new one wit h
which I hope, right ly or wrongly, t o cont ribut e t o t he last ing
spirit ual and mat erial ennobling of 400 million men? » While
pronouncing t hese words – it was during t he First Congress of t he
Paneuropean Union – Huberman felt happy and excit ed « t o be
present and t o collaborat e in laying t he foundat ion st one of a
great work for mankind. »
THE PROBLEM OF PEACE
The age- old hist ory of Europe, Huberman wrot e, « has been a
cont inuous st ruggle for cert ain right s, for cert ain libert ies. But
t here began, only t owards t he end of t he last cent ury, t he
agit at ion caused by nat ional int olerance in our cont inent . »
I nfluenced by t he evident impression left by t he enormous
cat ast rophe of t he First World War, he considered t he reciprocal
slaught er of peoples belonging t o t he same civilizat ion « a moral
and economic monst rosit y. » He saw clearly t he human
cont radict ion and t he double moralit y of our societ y: « To fire a
gun out side t he boundary of our count ry is lawful – it is called
pat riot ism, t he cit izen’s dut y, an act of heroism; and when t he
shot is specially well fired it is recompensed wit h medals,
pensions, promot ion. To fire a gun inside t he boundary on t he
cont rary is called assassinat ion, homicide, and it is prohibit ed by
law and punished wit h imprisonment for life or hanging; inst ead
of being rewarded we risk being condemned t o t he loss of civil
right s. I t does not mat t er whet her t he bullet is fired at a friend or
an enemy, a fellow cit izen or a foreigner. The only crit erion which
decides whet her t he act is one of heroism or of crime is t he
nat ional front ier. » One example in t he Great War of 1914- 18
demonst rat es « t he diabolical consequences of t he front iers »:
The Poles, divided among t he t hree great powers of Aust ria,
Germany and Russia found t hemselves in t he t errible sit uat ion of
having t o kill t heir own brot hers ( and t his in t he lit eral sense of
t he word) ; t he same applies t o t he Germans in t he Balt ic St at es
who were fight ing in t he army of t he Tsar against t he German
Empire. To t hose who do not believe in t he pacific co- habit at ion
of nat ions, as t hey do not believe in t he possibilit y of t aming wild
animals and consider st ruggle a nat ural law, Huberman says
wit hout hesit at ion: « I t is wit hout doubt t rue t hat st ruggle is a
nat ural law …, but it s most primit ive form, annihilat ion, t his is not
a law of Nat ure. » What t herefore must be done t o save « an
age- long civilizat ion » and « a madness begun a few decades
ago? » Launch appeals for peace and good sense perhaps? Or
organise int ernat ional conferences for milit ary disarmament ?
Huberman reminds us t hat in 1911, 186 conferences t ook place
bet ween t he government s of numerous count ries and 86
int ernat ional inst it ut ions exist ed. All t his was of no use, t he world
war broke out j ust t he same. Must we dest roy modern capit alism
which has been accused of preparing wars « in et ernal cycles of
about fort y years »? « The primary element of capit alism is
capit al, and t herefore it is t he great est cont radict ion t o call
‘capit alist ic’ a syst em whose only aim is war and t he preparat ion
of war, t hat is t o say, dest roy capit al and prevent t he format ion
of new capit al. » And Huberman cont inues: « What we are now
experiencing, are t he post humous birt h pains of t he European
dynast ic syst em and t he fruit of lower middle class nat ional
chauvinism, mixed wit h a t ouch of socialism. And t he first heroic
act which I expect of Hercules, t he offspring of pure capit alism, is
t hat as soon as he is born he should cut off all t he heads of t he
European chauvinist ic hydra. »
Huberman shows t hat he has underst ood very well t he problem
of peace when he writ es t hat no agreement signed on paper even
t hough based on t he spirit of Locarno ( Kellogg Pact of 1925) ,
could ever be an absolut e guarant ee of peace. The problem is
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quit e a different one: « Where t here are no boundaries t here are
also no wars. The cert aint y of peace will be reached only wit h t he
abolit ion of t he front iers, and t herefore wit h polit ical union. » To
confirm his st at ement Huberman cert ainly is not lacking in
hist orical examples: « Unt il t he middle of t he ninet eent h cent ury
t he Bavarians, Hanoverians, Aust rians and Prussians, j ust like t he
Neapolit ans, t he Savoyards et c. , so long as t hey were divided by
nat ional front iers, all found it nat ural t o fight against each ot her,
j ust as aft er t he unificat ion of t he German Empire and t he
Kingdom of I t aly, t hey condemned every at t empt at int ernal war
as high t reason. » I n t his connect ion Huberman cit es t he example
of Swit zerland – j ust as Salvemini, Omodeo, Coudenhove- Kalergi
or Denis de Rougemont were t o do lat er on – an example which
remains always t he most evident – cit izens belonging t o t he same
et hnic groups above ment ioned – Germans and I t alians, t he
French and Rhaet o- Romanic peoples live t oget her peacefully
wit hin t he Swiss Federal St at e front iers.
The abolit ion of t he nat ional front iers as t he only efficacious
remedy against war however meet s wit h an obst acle in t he
sovereignt y of t he individual European st at es. But Huberman’s
capacit y for analysing bot h t he fact s and t he hist orical evolut ion
was t oo deeply root ed in his mind t o discourage him when faced
wit h an idea of t his t ype: « Such an opinion cannot st and up t o
hist orical analysis. On t he cont rary hist ory t eaches us t hat in t he
long run not even t he dynast ies of t he various st at es in Germany
and I t aly t hough t hey had represent ed and personified t he
concept of sovereignt y, were able t o st op t he urge of hist ory
t owards ever vast er and vast er unions of st at es. »
For Huberman t he problem of peace derived st raight from et hical
principles, underst ood as a divine command for universal love t o
all men and not limit ed by any false pat riot ism. Alt hough
universal frat ernit y and t he abolit ion of human slaught er were
dearer t o him t han any ot her t hing, he preferred t o speak about
t hem as lit t le as possible in public conferences: « From Plat o and
Christ t o Kant and down t o our own day t he most chosen spirit s
have always preached neighbourly love and pacifism – but always
wit h t he same negat ive result . »
Huberman was convinced t hat t he problem of peace was
inseparable from t he more complicat ed one of polit ical
unificat ion, and t hat , « wit h t he vict ory of reason » « also moral
law » would t riumph. He t herefore insist ed in his published works
and speeches in t he years 1920- 30 on t he economic quest ion.
THE ECONOMI C FACTOR
I n order t o find an indisput able argument Huberman t ried t o
bring int o t he limelight t he mat erial advant ages of European
unificat ion. He did not want t o appeal only t o int ellect uals and
idealist s, but t o all t hose who were dest ined t o reap t he great est
advant ages from European unificat ion, t hat is t o t he great
masses of ordinary people. « A unit ed Europe means, for t he
prolet ariat no more nor less t han liberat ion from an age- long
servit ude which cannot be eliminat ed in any ot her way. » I n fact
t he economic sit uat ion aft er t he First World War was chaot ic. I t
was t herefore necessary in t he first place t o set free « t he
workmen in fact ories, farm labourers, office clerks and employees
from povert y and privat ion, from t he fundament al st ruggle for
t heir daily bread. » But Huberman st at ed t hat indust rialized
nat ions wit h t heir old- fashioned fact ory machinery, found
t hemselves in a st at e of inferiorit y in comparison wit h American
compet it ion and t his prevent ed t hem from facing wit h efficiency
t he problems connect ed wit h t he t errible st at e of privat ion among
t he people. There began t herefore a race for t he rat ionalizat ion of
t he indust ries cost ing millions which were largely obt ained by
means of long or short t erm credit . At t he same t ime, in order t o
prevent « t he wicked neighbour » – t hanks t o rat ionalizat ion –
from offering his goods at a lower price, import dut ies were
increased, while at t he same t ime t o compensat e for t he syst em
of product ion at reduced prices, int ernal excise dut ies were
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increased in all European count ries. However a rat ionalizat ion
which was unable t o reach it s aim, t hat is great er product ion wit h
a reduct ion in cost s employing t he same or even a reduced
number of hands; but able t o deliver only t he same amount of
product ion at t he same cost wit h a smaller number of workmen,
could lead only t o unemployment , wit h all it s consequences. I f
rat ionalizat ion has not brought about social benefit s t he blame is
not t o be looked for in t he principle applied, but rat her in t he «
narrow mindedness of Europeans, t heir polit ical rivalries and
envy, t he abuse of t he concept ‘pat riot ism’, and t he nat ional
blindness which has brought about economic- polit ical chaos in
Europe. » I n ot her words: t he fault lies « only wit h our
government s who insist on preserving t hey syst em of small
European st at es, which have become t oday an absurdit y. »
I t was nat ural t hat t his rapid, progressive pauperizat ion
sharpened t he class st ruggle. I t found spirit ual nourishment in
communism, « an idea which t o many people appears great
especially t o t hose who have not hing t o lose. And European
polit ics has in realit y cont ribut ed efficaciously t o t he increase of
t hose men who had not hing t o lose. » Wit h regard t o t his
Huberman right ly observes: « The communist idea – like any
ot her idea moreover – cannot be uproot ed by imprisonment ; it
can be fought only wit h anot her idea which is great er. This
great er idea is Paneurope! » The problem of t he class st ruggle
could be aut omat ically resolved by mass product ion which means
« higher pay and lower prices. » I n order t o realise all t his
however, polit ical inst it ut ions on a federal basis and an economic
evolut ion put t ing int o act ion pure capit alism are indispensable.
Huberman expressly repeat s t his post ulat e in order not t o be
misunderst ood: « Up t o now we have not yet had in Europe pure
capit alism », t hat is, according t o Huberman, accumulat ion of
capit al and prot ect ion of t he same. From t his he deduces t hat real
capit alism is against war ( t he dest royer of capit al) and against
nat ionalism ( which is t he cause of war) .
THE GREAT MODEL
Bronislaw Huberman became a European federalist in t he Unit ed
St at es of America, where he arrived for t he first t ime in 1920,
while in Europe, aft er t he collapse, « economic chaos, diffidence,
nat ional egot ism and despair » were ruling. His encount er wit h
t he New World was a revelat ion for him: « What I saw t here, of
necessit y appeared at t hat precise moment t o a European
capable of sensit ivit y and t hought , as a ret urn t o Eden, and
urged him t o at t empt t o est ablish in Europe t he grounds for t he
creat ion of a similar ‘t errest rial paradise’: mut ual confidence,
opt imism, well - being even in t he most humble classes, serenit y,
readiness t o give mut ual help. » Huberman was not one of t hose
Europeans who, proud of t hemselves, j udged America « wit h only
slight ly veiled scorn. » On t he cont rary, many st at e and social
inst it ut ions seemed exemplary and filled him even wit h envy. «
Since t he days of t he Medici t he world has not seen t ill now such
act s of generous pat ronage … »: Universit ies, research inst it ut es,
museums, libraries, music conservat ories, symphonic orchest ras,
concert halls in all t he larger American t owns, and almost all
exclusively t hanks t o t he generosit y of single cit izens! « I have
searched in vain among t he Croesuses of Europe for at least one
who has donat ed t wo t hirds of his wealt h for t he aims of public
benefit s as Carnegie and Rockefeller did. » I n America, Huberman
st at ed, one could feel t he grass of evolut ion and progress
growing in every field as nowhere else.
But what impressed t he violinist above everyt hing else was t he
general prosperit y of t he people and of t he working classes in
part icular: t he cook who must refuse a new post because t here is
not room in t he mast er’s garage for his car; t he Chicago hot el
wait er who has a season t icket for all t he symphony concert s;
t he negro sleeping- car at t endant who possesses a collect ion of
about a hundred gramophone records of t he best violinist s of t he
moment among whom are Kreisler, Elman, Heifet z and Huberman
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himself, and who discusses as a connoisseur t he differences in
t heir int erpret at ions; t he domest ic man- servant who earns 110
dollars a mont h ( wit h no board and lodging expenses) and last ly
working men and women in t he Beech Nut Plant ( a j am and
preserves fact ory) who come t o a concert of Huberman’s,
arranged for t hem by t he owner of t he firm, in t heir own cars
wit h fashionable shoes and silk st ockings and fur collars, all t he
t hings which would make many ‘well - t o- do’ people in Europe
envious.
Huberman st at es t hat America is t he count ry where t he working
class is t he most numerous in t he world, t he only indust rialized
count ry in t he whole world where t here is no workers polit ical
part y. There are t rade- unions which defend t he int erest s of t he
working class efficient ly wit hout however separat ing it from t he
rest of middle class societ y.
Huberman’s charact er was t oo ‘scient ific’ not t o invest igat e « t he
det erminat ive causes » of t he phenominal well - being and for t his
reason he visit ed at t ent ively t he Ford fact ories at Det roit : « t he
impression was amazing, t he effect as breat h- t aking as t he
reading of a musical score of St ravinsky’s – bot h are t he
emanat ions of t he genius and spirit of t he epoch. » The violinist
discovered t hat Ford’s secret was t he coherent applicat ion of t he
principle of division of labour using t he most refined machinery
including conveyor belt s. The increase in product ion permit t ed an
increase in wages and a reduct ion in t he price of cars up t o t he
equivalent of t hree and a half mont hs’ pay: « t he prolet ariat have
become propriet ors of cars. » Huberman had chosen t he Ford
fact ory t o show t hat « a luxury art icle for t he privileged classes
had become an art icle of every day use for a whole people; » and
also because t he Ford syst em was more or less t ypical of
American indust ry.
But a syst em based on mass- product ion at low cost and on mass
sales at low prices was possible because t here exist ed a pre-
supposit ion of a polit ical charact er, t hat is t he Unit ed St at es. «
Wit hin t he 48 St at es t here are no boundaries nor import
prohibit ions, t here is no disloyal compet it ion wit h export rewards
and import dut ies, nor are t here front ier cust oms officers,
fort ificat ions, wars, t axes for armament s; and t he car
manufact ured at a cost of 260 dollars can really be sold at t hat
price in all t he 48 St at es. »
Of course Huberman was t oo obj ect ive not t o see t he negat ive
side of t he American way of life, however he could not share t he
prej udices of « at least 99 out of 100 Europeans » about t he
Unit ed St at es, where, generally, t hey had never st ayed. To
t ranquillize his « European fellow- count rymen » however, he said
t hat t o make t he Unit ed St at es of Europe did not mean t o
t ransplant America int o our cont inent , but t o int roduce t he best
t hings of t he New World: t he Federal Const it ut ion, mass
product ion and mass market s, high wages and low prices; t his
would also have t he effect of prot ect ing t he t rust ees of our
civilizat ion and our t reasures of art from t he seduct ion of t he
dollar. On t he ot her hand a higher st andard of life would not
cancel an age- long civilizat ion, nor would it make popular songs
and epics disappear subst it ut ing for t hem j azz and negro songs
( at least not more t han has happened) , and our personalit y, born
of t he mult iplicit y of nat ions, would not be dissolved in t he
European crucible.
OUR COMMON CI VI LI ZATI ON
The principal premise for t he polit ical unificat ion of Europe
already exist s: it is t he cult ural unit y of Europe which Huberman
had known and felt so deeply. He was not ignorant of « t he
common root s of t he complicat ed European civilizat ion in fables,
hist ory, religion, art and t he sciences ». The Federal European
St at e should put t hese int o t he right relief, whereas t oday we do
not t each t he peoples what binds us t oget her, but we
int ent ionally t each what separat es us. Huberman cont inues: «
Perhaps it is not superfluous t o remember t hat we Europeans,
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alt hough we speak different languages, draw our t hought s and
feelings from a common spirit , we are one in our fait h, in our
unreligion and even in our superst it ion, in our epic legends, in our
fables and even in our children’s fairy t ales; t hat a spirit ual spark
has never been lit in any part of Europe wit hout t he whole
cont inent becoming immediat ely inflamed – or even set on fire. »
I n any case t he nat ionalist ic t eaching in schools and t he
campaign of hat red which we had during t he first great
conflagrat ion, did not succeed in cancelling t he hist orical fact of
our common civilizat ion from t he memory of men, chauvinism did
not succeed on t he ot her hand in penet rat ing int o t he
subconscious of Europeans. Here are some proofs: « During t he
First World War, » Huberman st at es, « t he German t heat rical
t roupe under t he direct ion of Max Reinhardt embarked on
propaganda t ours, St at e aided, in neut ral count ries giving
performances of t he ‘enemy’ cit izen, Maxim Gorki; in t he St at e
Opera Houses of Vienna and Budapest , while t he bat t le of t he
I sonzo was raging, Puccini was performed; in Paris t hey list ened
t o Wagner and Brahms; and I , a Pole, in spit e of my official st at e
as an enemy cit izen, played in Paris [ Berlin?] in 1917 t he
Russian, Taneieff’s mast erpiece, t he concert suit e, and in t he first
year aft er t he armist ice, I played a sonat a of t he German Richard
St rauss in Paris. … The public which cert ainly could not have been
composed only of t he élit e, proved ent husiast ic and oft en react ed
by breaking out int o applause. » And Huberman concludes wit h
an observat ion which gives us great hope for t he fut ure: « There
has never been a period, not even when t he German- Polish
campaign of hat red was at it s height , when German art ist s would
not have been ent husiast ically welcomed in Poland and Polish
art ist s in Germany. » Those who have not yet discovered t his
Zusammengehörigkeit sgefühl, t hat is t he feeling of belonging t o
t he same communit y, Huberman advises t o go overseas: « t here,
language differences are not import ant or our nat ive count ry does
not mat t er; t here, Europe has t he effect of a magic word
meaning at t he same t ime – nat ive land, mut ual underst anding,
solidarit y. »
But t he cult ural unit y of Europe whose source is in t he Greek-
Roman civilizat ion and in Christ ianit y, does not mean uniformit y,
because t he hist ory of European civilizat ion is t he best
demonst rat ion of it s diversit y and mult iplicit y. This is t he real
wealt h of Europe, t o which t he format ion of t he single nat ions
has given moment um. Whoever t hinks t hat t he polit ical
unificat ion of Europe will eliminat e t he individual charact erist ics of
t he nat ions is in error. « As an art ist , » Huberman st at es, « I
would be t he last t o preach a levelling down of nat ional cult ures.
Since every aut hent ic art , when all is said and done, has it s root s
in t he nat ional soil. … Wagner and Chopin would have been
inconceivable det ached from t he spirit of t he count ries where
t hey were born. » But at t his point Huberman admit s t hat t his
genius loci and his t rust ees are not hing ot her t han t he fruit of
many graft ings of different races and fert ile exchanges of ideas.
Neit her t he Germans of t he Balt ic count ries, t hen provinces of
Russia, nor t he Poles who were for 150 years hindered in t heir
cult ural evolut ion, nor even t he Jews have lost t heir
charact erist ics, t heir essence.
Huberman is convinced t hat a volunt ary union of peoples would
preserve t heir cult ural int egrit y and would favour it s expansion.
Besides, following on t he example of Swit zerland, regulat ions for
t he safeguarding of local cult ures could be int roduced int o t he
const it ut ions of t he single federal st at es.
THE STRUGGLE FOR EUROPE
What inst it ut ions are t o be creat ed, and what measures must be
t aken t o reach t he absolut ely indispensable obj ect ives of libert y,
peace, well - being and j ust ice in Europe? Huberman gives a list , in
t he order of t he degree of difficult y of t heir realisat ion: Cust oms
union, monet ary union, assimilat ion in t he j udicial field, armed
forces above t he nat ional level and a Federal European St at e. At
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t he same t ime t he violinist admit s t hat even t he great est opt imist
in t he Paneuropean field must underst and t hat a const ruct ion of
t his t ype cannot be built up all in a moment , j ust as « Pallas
At hene came out of t he head of Zeus. » We must proceed st ep
by st ep, but in what way ? Huberman right ly sees several ways –
t he cust oms, financial, j udicial, milit ary and polit ical – all
connect ed one wit h t he ot her. For example, can we seriously
expect a responsible st at esman t o give up indust rial ent erprises
which are necessary for t he defence of his count ry, for t he sake
of economic advant ages t o be derived from a cust oms union, if
t here is no guarant ee of peace? And Huberman remembers t hat
t he Zollverein, signed in 1833 and in t he following years by t he
great er part of t he German st at es, did not prevent t he 1866 war
of Prussia and some of t he minor German st at es against Bavaria,
Würt t emberg, Saxony, Hannover, Baden, et c. , because t his union
had no check in t he milit ary or polit ical fields. We must also keep
in mind t he fact t hat t he failure of a cust oms union might lead us
t o t he conclusion t hat it is impossible t o have a unified Europe,
while – on t he cont rary – it would be only t hat t he separat e
t reat ment of t he cust oms quest ion – t hat is det ached from t he
ot her aspect s of t he European life of which it is a part – would
have caused t he failure. Therefore t here remains only one single
way: « To const ruct Europe organically. The single problems
cannot be t reat ed separat ely in t ime from t he whole complex of
European problems. The cust oms union in part icular cannot be
realised wit hout a cont emporary polit ical union. But , even if t his
is realised, it does not avert t he dangers which menace Europe. »
I s not t his precisely our present day sit uat ion?
There remains t he last quest ion which cert ainly at t ract s above all
t he int erest of t he federalist s, t he t echnique of t he st ruggle for
t he Federat ion.
To whom must t he const ruct ion of t he Federal St at e of Europe be
ent rust ed? « Hist ory t eaches, » Huberman reminds us, « t hat
every polit ical sit uat ion, even t he most unnat ural, t he most ill-
omened, creat es vest ed int erest s and t hose who benefit by t hese,
because of t he inst inct of self- preservat ion, must be opposed t o
any change, even if it is for t he bet t er. » Would it have been
conceivable perhaps t o make t he int roduct ion of t he railway
syst em depend on t he post illions? Or t hat t he French Revolut ion
could have been made by represent at ives of t he ancien régime or
t he Bolshevik Revolut ion by t he democrat s? I t is t herefore
against t he t eachings of hist ory t o expect help from nat ionally
const it ut ed government s which follow a policy of prest ige of t heir
own « based on t heir sworn allegiance and on t heir dut ies as
servant s and cust odians of t he order or rat her of t he disorder of
t oday. » To t ry t o win t hem over t o our side would be « a useless
consumpt ion of energy, » because: « Every new mat erial must
creat e it s own new form, every new fait h needs it s own new
apost les … » There is no ot her way out except an appeal t o t he
cit izens. « Men of good will and of lively int elligence must
underst and t hat in t he st ruggle for Europe, t he dest iny of each
individual cit izen is at st ake. We must remain unit ed, and
everyone must cont ribut e according t o his int ellect ual and
financial means unt il t his idea penet rat es int o ever wider st rat a of
t he populat ion and t akes possession of yout h in part icular. … The
imperat ive of t he moment is: propaganda for our European
nat ive land. » Huberman proposes t o cit izens of good will, a fairly
clear and precise programme t o be carried out in different
phases: t he organizat ion of all propagandist s and workers
recent ly convert ed t o t he federalist idea; t he rousing of a
European conscience and awareness; t he eliminat ion of
diffidences on bot h sides of t he front iers ( keeping in mind Kant ’s
definit ion, according t o which « aft er all, on bot h sides of t he
front ier t here are mammalian animals walking on t wo legs ») ,
and – at a lat er dat e – t he foundat ion of Paneuropean polit ical
part ies wit h parliament ary represent at ion in all t he count ries of
Europe. Turning once more t o t he t eachings of hist ory, Huberman
warns us however « t hat great er weapons and longer st ruggles
are more necessary t o affirm reason and j ust ice t han would be
Bronislaw Huberman and the Unity of Europe: huberman.info
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needed t o affirm narrow mindedness and egoism … » And
t herefore one day we must st op speaking and writ ing and t urn t o
act ion. And again he says, we do not know what t he act ion may
be, because it will depend upon t he t ype of resist ence which our
adversaries will set up. But , « if it is necessary, in order t o found
t he Unit ed St at es of Europe, we shall not draw back, not even in
facing a st ruggle, if t his should come, j ust as Lincoln was not
afraid and did not hesit at e at t he necessit y of pledging his own
life and propert y t o save t he exist ence of t he American union. »
CONCLUSI ONS
Except for cert ain observat ions condit ioned by t he period in which
he lived, Bronislaw Huberman’s polit ical t hought is st ill valid, and
t he federalist s of 1967 cannot but learn from t he lesson of t his
except ional man: not only his ideas are exemplary but also his
behaviour as a man and as a cit izen. He had no personal
ambit ions ( as a world- famous art ist he had no need t o be in
search of glory) ; his democrat ic and republican public spirit was
unquest ionable; he was no Ut opian or polit ical dreamer ( he was
well aware of t he savageness of human nat ure) , but he was a
realist ( he had also foreseen t he Second World War if t he polit ical
unit y of Europe were not realised in t ime) ; he had clear long-
dist ance ideas and was not wit hout a sense of humour, and last ly
during his whole life he gave many proofs of human feelings. He
was a man wit h a st rong charact er and wit h his fight ing spirit he
want ed t o convince ot hers. The words which he wrot e so long ago
as 1925 seem pronounced wit h his living voice and t hey ring in
our ears wit h all t heir ardour as if t hey were spoken only
yest erday: « Like every man who addresses t he public, I nourish
t he hope t hat what I am unfolding will meet wit h t he reader’s
approval. However, cont rary t o what happens in my art ist ic
act ivit y, mere approval does not sat isfy me. … We need your
approval, but also we need your collaborat ion, your
propagandist ic act ivit y and your help in every way. … Those who
help us, do not only alt ruist ically favour a good cause, but t hey
prot ect t hemselves and t heir dear ones from t he dest ruct ion of
propert y, from povert y, from collect ive murder, and from t heir
own ruin. » Those who read t his insist ant appeal, will feel t he
great fervour, t he great seriousness and t he sincere anxiet y of
Huberman for t he human race. Many musicians, for example his
friend Frit z Busch and Bruno Walt er, bot h orchest ra conduct ors,
and many writ ers, like Paul Claudel and Thomas Mann had given
t heir support t o European federalism but no ot her was involved
wit h such fait h and perseverance in t he st ruggle for t he libert y
and peace of Europe.
According t o t he t est imony of Andrea Della Cort e, Bronislaw
Huberman explained t o whoever asked him about musical
quest ions, his t heory about Paneurope. « I s it a Ut opia? Many
ideas are born so … and aft er t hey become a realit y.

BI BLI OGRAPHY
Huberman, B. , Mein Weg zu Paneuropa, in Paneuropa ( Wien) , 2,
1924, Heft 5, p. 1- 34.
Huberman, B. , Vat erland Europa. Berlin 1932.
Huberman, B. , « Open let t er » t o t he German int ellect uals, in The
Manchest er Guardian 7 Mar 1936
Busch, Frit z, Aus dem Leben eines Musikers. Zürich 1949.
Coudenhove- Kalergi, Richard, Ein Leben für Europa. Meine
Lebenserinnerungen. Köln- Berlin 1966.
Della Cort e, Andrea, L' int erpret azione musicale e gli int erpret i.
Torino 1951.
Gradenwit z, Pet er, Huberman, B. , in Die Musik in Geschicht e und
Gegenwart vol. 6, 1957, p. 815- 816
Hordynski, Wladyslaw, Huberman, B. , in Polski Slownik
Biograficzny vol. 10, 1962- 1964, p. 77- 78
Bronislaw Huberman and the Unity of Europe: huberman.info
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Kalbeck, Max, Johannes Brahms, vol. 4. Berlin 1914.
Magidoff, Robert , Yehudi Menuhin. Zürich 1958.
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Aus der Wer k st at t des Vi r t uosen
I ch weiß nicht , wie es mit der Werkst at t anderer Berufe ist . Bei
dem meinen wäre es j edenfalls verfehlt , von einer Werkst at t zu
reden; es sind deren mehrere, die mir, j ede für sich, das
Handwerkszeug — meist ens im übert ragenen Sinne — für meinen
Beruf liefern, ebenso wie mein Beruf selbst aus mehreren
Berufen zusammengeset zt ist .
I ch spiele so viel Geige, daß ich schon „ quant it at iv“ den Tit el
Geiger für mich in Anspruch nehmen kann.
Aber auch die Dauer und Ausdehnung meiner Reisen würden mich
zu einem weit eren Berufst it el berecht igen, dem eines Reisenden,
sagen wir commis voyageur in Geigenspiel, wie andere ehrsame
Bürger et wa in Mehl, Leder u. dgl. reisen. Dazu kommt noch
meine Tät igkeit als Bureauchef. Und die ist bei meinen vielen
Reisen nicht die einfachst e, wenn man bedenkt , wie wenig sich
ein geschäft licher Bet rieb für ambulat orische Erledigung eignet .
Dazu kommen verschiedene Nebent ät igkeit en und Erfordernisse,
wie: Eisenbahngeographie, Volkspsychologie, Reklamewesen
usw. , und die Zusammenfassung aller dieser Tät igkeit en, von
denen j ede einzelne genügt , einen Menschen auszufüllen, ergibt
erst den modernen konzert ierenden Künst ler.
Um daher eine möglichst übersicht liche Darst ellung von den
verschiedenen Werkst ät t en zu geben, aus denen Teile meines
Berufes, sei es Handwerkzeug, sei es Übung, hervorgehen, müßt e
ich die einzelnen Tät igkeit en voneinander scheiden und
nacheinander besonders behandeln.
Dies würde j edoch weit über den Rahmen des heut igen Vort rages
hinausgehen und dürst e wohl kaum I hr I nt eresse erwecken. I ch
will mich daher auf das Wicht igst e beschränken, auf den Kern,
um den sich alles Übrige gruppiert , auf das Rein- Musikalische.
Zunächst will ich die äußeren Umst ände beleucht en, die dazu
führt en, daß ich Musiker und speziell Geiger wurde. Hand in Hand
damit wird der Versuch gehen, den Nachweis von der Richt igkeit
einer von mir aufgest ellt en Theorie zu liefern, daß nämlich bei der
Ergreifung eines Berufes nur äußere Umst ände maßgebend sein
können und keineswegs eine spezielle einseit ige Begabung, aus
dem einfachen Grunde, weil ich die Exist enz einer solchen
speziellen Begabung verneine, selbst in j enen Fällen verneine, wo
hervorragende Berufsleist ungen nacht räglich den Beweis einer
Bronislaw Huberman
Bronislaw Huberman
als Knabe
Aus der Werkstatt des Virtuosen
Huberman’s first book I n t he workshop of t he Virt uoso
was published by Hugo Heller in Vienna, 1912. The book
cont ains many annecdot es, and a discussion of t opics as
varied as t he role of t he musician, and t he commonplace
of st upidit y. Aus der Werkst at t was a series of books,
and Huberman’s wife Elza Galafres wrot e one ent it led
Aus der Werkst at t der Schauspielerin ( I n t he workshop of
t he Act ress) .
Thank you very much t o Dr. Hans- Hermann Zahn from
Hamburg who e- mailed me t his book as a pdf file.
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speziellen Prädest inat ion zu erbringen scheinen. Mit anderen
Wort en, ich glaube, daß es eine spezielle Begabung nicht gibt ,
nicht geben kann, sondern nur verschiedene Grade all gemeiner
Begabung, die ich definieren möcht e mit einer kleineren oder
größeren Fähigkeit des Gehirns, Eindrücke von außen in sich
aufzunehmen, zu verarbeit en und dann in einer völlig neuen Form
wieder von sich zu geben. I ch ziehe die Konsequenz dieser
Annahme und gehe weit er zu der Behaupt ung, daß j emand, der
auf dem einen Gebiet e Hervorragendes leist et , auf sehr vielen
anderen Gebiet en ebenso Hervorragendes geleist et hät t e, wobei
ich die gleiche Hilfe durch I mponderabilien, wie sie ihm in dem
einen Berufe zut eil wurde, vorausset ze. I ch denke dabei an rein
äußere Umst ände, als da sind: Familient radit ion,
Vermögensverhält nisse, Erziehung, Umgebung, besondere
Eindrücke in der lugend, Einfluß der Elt ern, Spezialst udium, dann
auch rein anat omisch- physiologische Vorausset zungen. Ein Maler
darf nicht farbenblind sein, ein Musiker braucht nat ürlich gut es
Gehör, ein Geiger muß dazu noch besonders geeignet e Hände
haben usw. Dazu kommen noch ungezählt e Zufälligkeit en, wie
robust e Gesundheit , Fleiß, Armut oder Reicht um, die dem einen
Berufe förderlich, dem andern ent behrlich oder auch schädlich
sein können. Aber das Vorhandensein dieser At t ribut e, selbst in
vollkommenst er Form, kann man doch noch nicht als spezifisches
Talent bezeichnen.
Das sind alles nur, ich möcht e sagen, mechanische Hilfsmit t el,
die allein noch gar nicht s zuwege bringen. Die eigent liche
Leist ung kommt erst durch die Art und Weise zust ande, wie das
Gehirn alle diese Mit t el verwendet . I ch sehe kein Hindernis für die
logische Folgerung, daß ein Gehirn, welches die günst igst en
I mponderabilien für den Beruf X genial zu verwenden wußt e, das
Gleiche auch für den Beruf Z zu t un imst ande wäre.
Gewiß kann auch einem allgemein begabt en Menschen das eine
oder das andere Gebiet verschlossen sein, aber das ist noch kein
Beweis für die Einseit igkeit seiner Begabung, sondern vielleicht
nur ein spezielles Manko, hervorgerufen sei es durch die
Verkümmerung eines Sinnes, sei es durch die übermäßige
Absorpt ion seines Gehirns für den Spezialberuf.
I ch kann daher das Wesen eines speziellen Talent es oder Genies
best enfalls gelt en lassen in der Verbindung ent sprechender
Universalbegabung mit rein äußeren, von der geist igen Tät igkeit
vollkommen geschiedenen Fakt oren. Phrenologen werden
vielleicht einwenden, daß die Gehirnbildung großer Männer häufig
deut liche Spuren ganz spezieller Begabung t rägt . Damit ist aber
noch gar nicht s bewiesen, denn wer sagt uns, daß diese
besonderen Tät igkeit smerkmale im Gehirn, falls sie wirklich
exist ieren, nicht erst im Laufe der fachmäsigen Ausübung
besagt er Tät igkeit en aufget ret en sind? Man käme sonst zu
Ergebnissen, die man nicht anders als absurd bezeichnen könnt e.
Denken wir uns irgend ein Gebiet geist iger Tät igkeit , dessen
Erschließung unserer Zeit erst vorbehalt en war; denken wir uns
irgend ein Gebiet geist iger Tät igkeit , dessen Erschließung unserer
Zeit erst vorbehalt en war; denken wir uns ferner, es wäre das
Gehirn der genialen Pfadfinder dieser Gebiet e auf das
Vorhandensein dieser Begabungsmerkmale unt ersucht worden, u.
zw. mit posit ivem Ergebnis. Wenn wir uns nun den Erdengang
derart iger Gehirnbesit zer in eine frühere Zeit zurückverset zt
denken, in eine Epoche nicht minderer geist iger Regsamkeit , aber
doch wohl anderer geist iger I nt eressen, dann bekommen wir
geradezu schauerliche Bilder. I ch greife nach irgend einem
beliebigen Beispiel: Billrot h vor Ent deckung der Asepsis, Madame
Curie vor Ent deckung der X- St rahlen, Joachim vor Ent wicklung
des I nst rument enbaues bis zur Geige, oder gar Bach oder
Beet hoven et wa im griechischen Alt ert um. Das Dasein aller dieser
Männer wäre nach der Theorie der Spezialbegabung zwecklos
gewesen, sie hät t en mit ihrem unverwendbaren Genie
ebensowenig anzufangen gewußt , wie et wa j ener Millionär mit
seinem Gelde, der während des russisch- j apanischen Krieges bald
Aus der Werkstatt der Virtuosen: huberman.info
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Hungers gest orben wäre, weil er bei sich laut er Tausend- Rubel-
Not en hat t e, die in der Mandschurei noch niemals gesehen
worden waren und daher nicht eingewechselt werden konnt en.
Nein, nein, nein, Menschen mögen vielleicht derart ige Schrullen
vollführen, die Nat ur nicht . Billrot h wäre auch ohne das die
Chirurgie erst ermöglichende Chloroform kein Selchermeist er
geworden, Mozart würde auch in einer musiklosen Zeit kaum als
Diener des Erzbischofs von Salzburg gest orben sein und wer
weiß, ob aus der Sappho in unseren Tagen nicht eine Curie, aus
Homer ein Beet hoven geworden wäre. Ein j edes Wesen ist eben
in seinen Neigungen, Leist ungen und Gewohnheit en den
Einflüssen seiner Zeit , Nat ionalit ät und Umgebung unt erworfen,
der begabt e Mensch wird unwillkürlich von den
Bet ät igungsgebiet en am st ärkst en angezogen, die augenblicklich
in der Blüt e st ehen; daher das auffallende gruppenweise
Auft ret en bedeut ender Geist er in den einzelnen Zweigen und
Zeit en der Kult urgeschicht e.
Wenn wir uns die lit erarischen Arbeit en des Musikers Schumann
vergegenwärt igen, oder die physikalischen oder biologischen
Arbeit en des Dicht ers Goet he, auf die ein Darwin in seiner
Einleit ung zur Zucht wahl hinweist , wenn wir der reizenden
Skizzen Mendelsohns gedenken, oder des Buches Billrot hs: „ Wer
ist musikalisch?“ , oder der Überset zungen von t schechischen
Dicht ungen Vrchlickys durch den Chirurgen Albert oder der
Geset zbücher Napoleons, die, wenn auch von anderen
ausgeführt , im Geist e und in der raschen Bewält igung — sie
wurden in vier Monat en ausgeführt — den St empel von Napoleons
Genie t ragen; wenn ich hinzufüge, daß ich selbst in Breslau
Gelegenheit hat t e, den Chirurgen Mikulicz bei einem
gemeinsamen Vort rag der D- moll - Sonat e von Brahms als einen
ausgezeichnet en Musiker kennen zu lernen, in einer anderen
deut schen St adt — Königsberg — einen Pianist en in meiner erst en
Begeist erung vom Fleck weg als Part ner für meine Tourneen
engagieren wollt e, der sich leider als ein ebenso gut er Kinderarzt
ent puppt e, wenn wir an alle diese und ungezählt e andere
Leist ungen denken, die nicht bloß von Genies, sondern auch von
Talent en aller Schat t ierungen vollbracht werden und wenn wir
dabei nicht aus dem Auge verlieren, daß all dies für die
bet reffenden nur ihr „ hobby“ , ihre Erholungsbeschäft igung war
und ohne die Konzent rat ion und die Vorst udien eines Berufes
vollbracht wurde, dann können wir nicht anders als annehmen,
daß diese Männer unt er den gleichen Auspizien zu den gleichen
Result at en gelangt wären, auch in anderen als den einmal
gewählt en Berufen.
Bei dieser Gelegenheit will ich — zur St üt zung meiner
Ausführungen — eine kleine Episode erzählen, die, wenn sie auch
vielleicht noch nicht überzeugt , immerhin eine int eressant
Charakt erist ik eines der bedeut endst en Heerführers aller Zeit en
bildet . I ch habe den Vorzug, mit einem Neffen des Feldmarschalls
Molt ke befreundet zu sein; dieser Herr pflegt mit Vorliebe den
Umgang mit Künst lern und Gelehrt en. Eines abends saßen wir —
ein kleiner Kreis — bei einem Glase Bier und debat t iert en. I ch
weiß nicht wie, ich kam zu meiner Begabungst heorie. Mein
Gegner war der bekannt e Berliner Maler Professor Hugo Klein. Er
wollt e von meinen Wort en nicht eines gelt en lassen und geriet
förmlich in Harnisch; da fiel ihm Herr von Molt ke beschwicht igend
ins Wort und st ellt e sich durch folgende Erzählung auf meine
Seit e. Er gedacht e seines großen Onkels, gedacht e der Abende,
an denen sich die Mit glieder der Familie um ihr allverehrt es
Oberhaupt gruppiert en, die Neffen und Großneffen zu seinen
Füßen, die Kleinst en ihm am nächst en, alle mit Andacht seinen
Wort en lauschend. Denn im Kreise seiner Familie konnt e der
Feldmarschall in St immungen kommen, die aus dem großen
Schweiger einen gemüt reichen, zu Herzen gehenden Erzähler
macht en. Eines abends, in einer besonders mit t eilsamen
St immung, ließ der greise Held ganze Bilder aus seiner Jugend an
dem geist igen Auge seiner Zuhörer vorüberziehen, erzählt e von
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seinem St reben und Hoffen, von seinen Kämpfen und Siegen,
führt e die Anwesenden auf den Höhepunkt seines Lebens —
Sedan! Dann folgt e eine lange, lange Pause. Bis sich ihm endlich
mit einem t iefen Seufzer das Gest ändnis ent wand: „ Und doch“ ,
rief er aus, „ würde ich heut e ein neues Leben beginnen, hät t e ich
mir wieder ein Lebensziel zu set zen, dann zu set zen, dann würde
ich einen ganz anderen Beruf wählen, einen Beruf, in dem ich es
nach meiner Überzeugung, nach meiner Neigung, nach meiner
Begabung sicher noch weit er gebracht hät t e, in dem ich vor allem
eine größere innere Befriedigung gefunden hät t e: Archit ekt ur! “
Das waren die Wort e eines Menschen, von dem man meinen
sollt e, daß er vermöge seiner beispiellosen Leist ungen als ein
Must er einer speziellen Begabung gelt en könnt e. Nun werden so
manche von I hnen, meine verehrt en Anwesenden, in diesem
Gest ändnis vielleicht nur Wort e und Neigungen sehen, aber
keineswegs den Beweis, daß Molt ke in der Archit ekt ur auch
wirklich Hervorragendes geleist et hät t e und es wird I hnen
vielleicht auch wie mir Heines Vorrede zur zweit en Auflage seines
Buches der Lieder einfallen, dieses Meist erst ückchen deut scher
Prosa, worin der Dicht er an seinem Lebensabend mit Wehmut die
vielen falschen Pfade erkennt , die er gegangen, die Mühe und
Arbeit bedauert , die er an Dinge, welche seiner Nat ur
widersprachen, vergeudet und sich nun mit der Erkennt nis t röst en
zu müssen glaubt , daß die Menschen die Geschenke, die ihnen die
Nat ur am bequemst en ent gegent rägt , kindisch verkennen,
dagegen die Güt er, die ihnen am schwerst en zugänglich sind, für
die kost barst en ansehen. Zur Charakt erist ik dieses angeblich
allgemein menschlichen Hanges erzählt er, wie er einst nach
einem Konzert e von Paganini diesem Meist er mit
leidenschaft lichen Lobsprüchen ent gegent rat , von dem
Hexenmeist er j edoch mit den Wort en unt erbrochen wurde: „ Aber
wie gefielen I hnen meine Kompliment e, meine Verbeugungen?“
I ch für meinen Teil möcht e den Spieß umdrehen. I ch st elle mir
vor, daß z. B. ein Leonardo da Vinci die Ekst ase über sein
Abendmahl unt erbrochen hät t e, et wa mit der Frage nach dem
Wert e seiner opt ischen Arbeit en. Dem Grade der allgemeinen
Begabung mag eben bei Paganini die auf Effekt abzielende
Verbeugung so ent sprochen haben, wie et wa einem Leonardo die
Camera opt ica . . .
I ch möcht e ausdrücklich hervorheben, daß ich die Unt erschiede
zwischen der sich bloß über dem Durchschnit t bewegenden
Begabung, dem großen Talent und dem Genie absicht lich
unberührt gelassen habe, weil sie für meine Ausführungen ganz
irrelevant sind. Es ist selbst verst ändlich, daß diese Unt erschiede
in den Allgemeinfähigkeit en genau so zum Ausdruck kommen
werden, wie in den Spezialleist ungen, ich meine: ein
bescheidenes, kleines Talent wird bescheidene
Allgemeinfähigkeit en besit zen, ein großes Talent große
Universalfähigkeit en usw. bis zum Universalgenie. Daher wird es
mir hoffent lich nicht als Überhebung ausgelegt werden, wenn ich
auch meinen bescheidenen Werdegang als Beweis für die
Richt igkeit meiner Theorie anführe, insbesondere die Anfänge
meiner Laufbahn.
Daß ich überhaupt von mir spreche, ist mir j a unsympat hisch
genug, aber ein Vort rag über die eigene Werkst at t ist von der
persönlichen Not e doch wohl nicht ganz freizuhalt en.
Wie wurde ich Musiker, Geiger ?
Durch folgende Umst ände: Mein Vat er, ein leidenschaft licher
Musikfreund, aber nur Aut odidakt , konnt e es nicht verwinden,
daß es ihm die Verhält nisse in seiner Jugend unmöglich gemacht
hat t en, Musiker zu werden. Er hofft e, seine Sehnsucht in seinem
Sohne erfüllt zu sehen. Andererseit s kann auch ich auf einen
ganzen Schat z j ener frühest en, st ereot ypen Äußerungen eines
musikalischen Talent es hinweisen; was ich hört e, sang ich
ziemlich rein nach, als Vier - , Fünfj ähriger wünscht e ich mir zum
Geburt st age sehnlichst eine Harmonika als Spielzeug. Jet zt , wo
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ich auf diesem Gebiet e et was geworden bin, legt man all dies als
zwingende Sympt ome eines musikalischen Talent es aus; aber,
mein Got t , wenn alle diese Kinder, die melodisch lallen und st at t
St einbaukast en oder Eisenbahnen Musikinst rument e zerbrechen,
wenn all diese Kinder so musikalische veranlagt wären, wie es
nahezu alle Elt ern vermeinen, dann würde die Welt fast
ausschließlich von großen Musikern bevölkert sein. Vielleicht
hät t e die Musiksehnsucht meiner Elt ern und auch mein gut es
Gehör noch zu keinem posit iven Ergebnis geführt und meine
Spielerei mit dem Mal - oder Baukast en würde in spät eren Tagen
biographisch dieselbe nacht rägliche prophet ische Bedeut ung
erlangt haben, wie sie nun einmal, wie die Dinge liegen, meiner
Beschäft igung mit Ziehharmonika beigemessen wird, vielleicht ,
sage ich — wenn nicht ein ganz äußerliches Ereignis
hinzugekommen wäre: die Europareise des damaligen Schah von
Persien. Ja, so komisch es auch klingt , meine Laufbahn und der
Schah von Persien st ehen in einem, wenn auch mit t elbaren
Kausal- Nexus mit einander. Das kam so: bei seiner Durchfahrt
durch Warschau wurde dem Schah ein klavierspielendes
Wunderkind vorgeführt , über dessen Leist ungen er so ent zückt
war, daß er ihm eine Lebensrent e, einen Hoft it el und den Löwen-
und Sonnenorden verlieh. Wenigst ens bericht et en es so die
Zeit ungen und das war die Haupt sache. Und keine Sonne hat
j emals die Köpfe der Elt ern so erhit zt wie diese Ordenssonne die
Köpfe der bet eiligt en und auch der unbet eiligt en Elt ern, denn alle,
alle hofft en sie, demnächst auch bet eiligt zu werden. Dieses
Ereignis liefert e auch meinen Elt ern neuen Zündst off für ihre
ohnehin leicht zu ent flammende Phant asie. I ch sollt e also auch
Musik st udieren und zwar ebenfalls Klavier wie j enes von der
Sonne der persischen Gunst beschienene Wunderkind. Aber dem
st ellt e sich eine unüberwindliche Schwierigkeit ent gegen: Die
Geldfrage. Man fand, daß selbst ein abgespielt es Pianino den
viert elj ährigen Gehalt meines Vat ers verschlingen würde und
selbst die dauernde Belast ung einer Leihgebühr ging über die
Verhält nisse meines Vat ers, der als Advokat in einem
Recht sbureau ein sehr kärgliches Brot verdient e. Man überlegt e,
schob die Ent scheidung hinaus. Jet zt t rit t wieder ein äußerlicher
Fakt or ein: übt e der erst e durch Macht und Reicht um seinen
mit t elbaren Einfluß aus, so kam die unmit t elbare Wirkung des
zweit en Fakt ors von der ent gegengeset zt en Seit e, es war ein
armer Geiger, ein Konservat oriumsschüler, den wir auf einer
kleinen Abendgesellschaft bei einer befreundet en Familie t rafen.
Er t rug einige Piecen vor, seine Weisen und seine Geige zogen
mich an, ich macht e mir, ein kleiner Knirps von noch nicht sechs
Jahren, um ihn zu schaffen und t rällert e, wie es meine
Gewohnheit war, einige Brocken von dem Gehört en nach. War es
die Reinheit dieser Kinderst imme, oder die Hoffnung auf einen
neuen Schüler, was ihn bewegt e, ich will das nicht näher
unt ersuchen. Jedenfalls wurde der j unge Mann auf mich
aufmerksam und, da t rit t der äußere Fakt or hinzu, er rief aus:
„ Mein Got t , das wären Finger, für die Geige wie geschaffen. “ Es
st immt allerdings, daß meine Hand vermöge ihrer besonderen
Biegsamkeit und der gegen das Ende schmal verlaufenden Finger
sich für die Geige als besonders geeignet erwies. Er best ürmt e
meine Elt ern, mich Geige lernen zu lassen. Meine Elt ern
zaudert en, lieber wäre ihnen das Klavier gewesen, aber
schließlich siegt e der Einwand, daß der Kaufpreis einer Geige nur
so viel ausmache, wie die Monat sleihgebühr eines Klaviers.
I ch bekam also Geigenunt erricht und damit war der erst e St ein
zu meiner Laufbahn gelegt . I ch rekapit uliere kurz. Erst er Fakt or:
Armut meines Vat ers in seiner Jugendzeit , zweit er Fakt or: seine
ungest illt e Musiksehnsucht , drit t er, hier noch nicht erwähnt er
Fakt or: die leicht beschwingliche, t raumhaft e Phant asie meiner
Mut t er, welche unbewußt erkannt e, daß die Musik an und für sich
ein schneller zu bebauendes Feld ist , viert er Fakt or: Schah von
Persien, fünft er ( negat iver) Fakt or: der t eure Preis des Klaviers,
sechst er Fakt or: Begegnung mit dem Konservat orist en, welcher
durch seine Armut auf Schülerfang angewiesen war, siebent er
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Fakt or: die günst ige Form meiner Hände.
Nun ist es j a wahr, daß ich erst aunliche Fort schrit t e macht e, aber
nicht minder wahr, daß die allgemeine Ausbildung, die
gleichzeit ig einset zt e, verhält nismäßig gleichen Schrit t hielt . I ch
sage verhält nismäßig, denn es liegt in der Nat ur der Sache, daß
eine gleichmäßige Begabung auf musikalischem Gebiet e viel
schneller und üppiger ihre Frücht e t rägt als auf humanist ischem
Gebiet e, weil in der Musik, besonders in der ausübenden, die
Anhäufung von posit ivem Wissen eine weit geringere Rolle spielt
als auf allen anderen Gebiet en geist iger Arbeit , wogegen das
posit ive Können, worunt er ich auch j ede Art I nspirat ionsfähigkeit
verst ehen möcht e, in der Musik in den Vordergrund t rit t ; und das
posit ive Können ist ungleich leicht er zu erreichen, als das Wissen,
denn bei Erwerbung des Könnens kann Begabung manche Arbeit
direkt erset zen, bei Erwerbung des Wissens höchst ens erleicht ern.
Dies, in Verbindung mit dem unserer Kunst unent behrlichen
Unbewußt sein, ist die Erklärung für das häufige Vorkommen von
sogenannt en musikalischen Wunderkindern; die psychologische
Erläut erung dieses vermeint lichen Phänomens, das für mich nur
eine ganz nat ürliche Erscheinung darst ellt , muß ich mir, als über
den Rahmen dieses Vort rages hinausgehend, leider versagen.
Wenn ich also, wie gesagt , den Element arst off spielend leicht
bewält igt e, so t rat en nat urgemäß die musikalischen Fort schrit t e
noch viel greifbarer in Erscheinung. Das wiederum zog immer
größere Konzent rierung auf das Musikst udium nach sich und nach
knapp zweij ährigem Unt erricht e konnt e ich mit großem Erfolge
zum erst enmal öffent lich auft ret en. I m weit eren Verlaufe
wechselt en St udium und öffent liches Auft ret en mit einander ab,
wobei sich das gegenseit ige Verhält nis allmählich umkehrt e.
Zuerst t rat en die Konzert e sporadisch auf, dann vermehrt en sie
sich zu immer ausgedehnt eren Tourneen und die Zeit en des
eigent lichen St udiums wurden immer kürzer. Und diese
Abwechslung war gut . Denn auch das öffent liche Auft ret en
bet racht e ich als einen nicht zu unt erschät zenden Lehrbehelf,
vielleicht als den wicht igst en. Der pädagogische Wert eines
Konzert es ist mannigfalt ig. I ch möcht e das Vorspielen des
angehenden Musikers den Manöverübungen des Milit ärs
vergleichen und auch wir Künst ler vermögen erst im Angesicht e
des Feindes — ich meine das Publikum, aber Feind nat ürlich nur
im übert ragenen Sinne — zu erkennen, was von den
einexerziert en Griffen wirklich sit zt . Einen unermeßlichen,
dauernden Vort eil zieht der Künst ler auch aus der I nspirat ion, die
sich in der t eils weihevollen, t eils j ubelnd begeist ert en St immung
eines Konzert es viel häufiger einst ellt als in der oft von Sorgen
und Prosa erfüllt en At mosphäre der St udierst ube. I ch für meinen
Teil habe auf diese Weise oft im Konzert den let zt en Griffel an ein
Werk gelegt . Manchmal glaubt e ich, zu fühlen, wie gleichsam ein
elekt rischer St rom von mir zum Publikum lief, um wieder
verst ärkt zu mir zurückzukehren. Von diesem Blüt enst aub der
Eingebung bleiben auch für die Zukunft in der Phrasierung einige,
wenn auch noch geringe Spuren zurück. Einen sicheren Gewinn
bedeut et ferner für den Künst ler die Geschmacksläut erung, die
sich bei ihm im Verkehre mit dem Publikum vollzieht . Er lernt die
Wirkungen ermessen, sieht , was auf die große Menge wirkt , was
zu dem Kopfe der Elit e spricht und was zum Herzen aller Hörer.
Das let zt e ist das Wicht igst e. Die Kunst ist nicht für Zünft ler da.
Eine wahre Kunst muß auf j edes äst het isch empfängliche Gemüt
erhebend wirken und wenn sie das nicht vermag, so ist sie alles
eher als Kunst . I ch muß es hier aussprechen, daß ich auf Grund
meiner zahllosen Erfahrungen und Beobacht ungen den größt en
Respekt von der vox populi habe. Das Publikum ist ein eigenart ig
Ding. I n seine Best andt eile zerset zt , sieht man erschreckend viel
Snobismus, Urt eilslosigkeit , Unverst and, Gleichgült igkeit , j a
I gnoranz und die Zahl der verst ändnisvollen I ndividuen dürft e
einen erst aunlich kleinen Prozent sat z des Publikums in einem
Konzert ausmachen. Aber als Ganzes genommen, ist es der
wunderbarst e Organismus, den man sich denken kann. Voll
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reinst en I nst inkt es, voll von Herz, von Begeist erungsfähigkeit . Es
fehlt diesem Organismus allerdings Bewußt sein und Logik, aber
die muß der Künst ler mit bringen, der vom Publikum et was lernen
will. Das Publikum wird sich nat ürlich niemals darüber
Rechenschaft geben, warum ein Künst ler z. B. an dem einen
Abend weniger gewirkt hat als an einem andern, es wird sogar in
vielen Fällen nicht einmal der Tat sache der geringeren Wirkung
sich bewußt werden, aber der Künst ler merkt sofort die
schwächere St immung, und wenn er nicht eingebildet ist , wird er
nun die Urlache zu ergründen haben. Selbst verst ändlich muß er
ein richt iges Maß bei der Einschät zung der Wirkung walt en
lassen, j e nachdem, was, vor wem und für wen er spielt .
Als einen meiner größt en Erfolge möcht e ich den Vort rag einer
Sonat e von Brahms in Zürich bezeichnen, wo eine derart ig
weihevolle St immung sich der Zuhörer bemächt igt e, daß ich das
Werk zu Ende spielen konnt e, ohne bei den einzelnen Sät zen
durch Applaus unt erbrochen zu werden. Dieses Result at würde
ich bei vielen anderen Werken als Fiasko empfunden haben. I ch
kann mit Fug und Recht behaupt en, daß das Podium meine
eigent liche Schule war. Nebenbei bemerkt , habe ich eine richt ige
Schule niemals besucht , weder für Musik, noch für die allgemeine
Bildung. Einen geregelt en Privat unt erricht habe ich im ganzen
durch drei Jahre genossen — et was über zwei Jahre in meiner
Vat erst adt Warschau und et wa neun Monat e in Berlin. Dann, als
Zehnj ähriger, ging ich auf Konzert reisen, nippt e gelegent lich bei
den verschiedenen Meist ern und sucht e j edem das Best e
abzulauschen. Mit 12 Jahren hat t e ich die let zt e derart ige
Unt erricht sst unde. Da man unmöglich annehmen kann, daß ein
elf - oder zwölfj ähriges Kind, bei aller Anerkennung seiner
Leist ungen, schon in seiner Ent wicklung fert ig sei, so wird man es
mir nicht als Undankbarkeit gegen meine früheren Lehrer
auslegen, wenn ich mich selbst als meinen eigent lichen Lehrer
bezeichne. Als solcher habe ich frühzeit ig den Fluch erkannt , der
auf uns I nst rument alist en last et und mich mit ihm nolens volens
abzufinden versucht . Dieser Fluch laut et : „ I m Schweiße Deines
Angesicht es sollst Du Dir Deine Technik erwerben. “ Ein Fluch ist ,
diese ewige Not wendigkeit zu üben, die geist t öt end wirkt und uns
den ganzen Beruf geradezu verekeln kann. Wer behaupt et , gern
zu üben, der lügt . Kann es denn für einen denkenden und
fühlenden Menschen eine größere Qual geben, als immer wieder
einzelne Passagen wiederholen zu müssen, t echnische St ellen aus
Werken, deren geist igen I nhalt man längst erschöpft hat , j a, die
man auch t echnisch vor längerer oder kürzerer Zeit bereit s
beherrscht hat t e! Und doch ist über diesen Übungszwang nicht
hinwegzukommen. Oft hört man von Laien Rufe des Erst aunens
darüber, daß Künst ler, die seit langem den Gipfel der
Meist erschaft erreicht haben, noch immer üben müssen. I ch
finde, nicht s ist mehr erst aunlich, als dieses St aunen selbst .
Gewiß ist die Tät igkeit eines I nst rument alist en als eine geist ige zu
bezeichnen, aber sie bedarf doch der Vermit t lung von Arm und
Finger und diese müssen für die Geige nat ürlich genau so oder
vielleicht noch mehr gedrillt und im Training erhalt en werden, wie
bei irgend einem Sport oder wie die Füße der Ballerina beim
Ballet t .
Kein Mensch würde nach einem mehrwöchigen Zubet t eliegen
seinen Beinen zumut en, ihn schnurst racks auf dem Mont blanc zu
t ragen und was Tourist enbeinen der Mont blanc, das bedeut et
Geigerhänden das Griffbret t , mit dem Unt erschied, daß des
Griffbret t s Wege nur noch viel enger und halsbrecherischer sind.
Der Zweck des Übens, ich meine: des reinen Fingerdrills unt er
Ausschalt ung geist iger Mit arbeit , muß dreierlei erfüllen:
Erwerbung der Technik, ihre Anwendung und st et e
Vervollkommnung, zulet zt ihre Prüfung im Training. Jeder dieser
drei Zwecke erfordert eine verschiedenart ige Behandlung. Eine
Technik erwerben heißt , sich die in der Violinlit erat ur am
häufigst en vorkommenden Griffe, Läufe und St richart en
aneignen. Zu diesem Ziele führt am schnellst en das St udium von
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Et uden, die met hodisch diese t echnischen Gemeinplät ze
vornehmen. Die Technik anwenden heißt , sie ihrem Selbst zweck
ent ziehen, sie in den Dienst eines Vort ragsst ückes zu st ellen.
Dazu genügt , auch rein t echnisch, das in den Et uden Gewonnene
nicht mehr. Wie alle Theorien ist auch die Theorie der Et uden
grau und kann alle die Vorkommnisse des Lebens, des
musikalischen Lebens, nicht vorausahnen. So muß denn auch der
größt e Teil der in einem Tonst ücke vorkommenden Läufe einzeln
geübt , „ gest uckt “ werden. Das wäre die Lehre von der
angewandt en Technik. Das Schwierigst e ist der drit t e Teil, das
Training oder die Erzielung der größt en Ausdauer der Technik. Auf
diesem Gebiet e erlebt man seine lieben Wunder. Da hat man
einen Lauf st unden- und t agelang geübt , endlich scheint er zu
gehen, man at met erleicht ert auf und will sich für diese
Frohnarbeit ent schädigen, indem man nun zum eigenen Genusse
das Werk oder den Sat z, in welchem j ener Lauf vorkommt , in
seiner Gänze durchspielt . Aber schon bei den erst en Tönen des
Laufes st olpert man, als wenn nicht s gewesen wäre. Aus dem
Ganzen herausgerissen, geht der Lauf, im Zusammenhange nicht .
Es fehlt eben das Training. I m Zusammenhang haben die Finger
nicht mehr die Ausdauer für den schwierigen Lauf, oder ihr
Gedächt nis, auf das ich noch zurückkommen werde, verwirrt sich.
Das Hindernis muß nunmehr sozusagen im Anlauf genommen
werden. Wenn auch das üben bei diesen Prozessen die wicht igst e
Arbeit verricht et , so ist doch die psychische Teilnahme daran
unleugbar. Das verrät sich durch zahllose kleine Phänomene.
Znm Beispiel: will ein Lauf t rot z Übens nicht gelingen, et wa durch
die Hart näckigkeit eines besonders schweren Tones; da ist es
häufig vorgekommen, daß ich durch Aut osuggest ion der
Schwierigkeit Herr wurde, indem ich den schweren Ton in meiner
Vorst ellung durch eine Bet onung quasi herausfordert e oder durch
ein Verweilen erleicht ert e, wohlverst anden, in meiner Vorst ellung,
nicht in Wirklichkeit ; und der Lauf gelang. Ein anderes Sympt om
psychischer Mit arbeit bei der Technik ist die Tat sache, daß oft die
schwierigst en Passagen nach wochenlangem, j a, j ahrelangem
Üben nicht gehen, dann aber, nach einer langen Pause wieder
vorgenommen, mit der größt en Leicht igkeit gelingen. Man hat
dann das Gefühl der vollzogenen inneren Gärung. Und daß die
Gärung nicht in den Fingern, sondern im Kopfe vor sich geht , ist
wohl klar.
I n dasselbe Gebiet fällt die Beobacht ung, daß die Finger sich
manchmal gegen die leicht est en Passagen st räuben und ihren
Dienst versagen. Die Ursache mag Nervosit ät sein, oder
Überarbeit ung; sie mag, ganz wie bei anderen pat hologischen
Erscheinungen des Nervensyst ems, von einem Schreck herrühren,
et wa in der Weise, daß einmal beim Vort rag der bet reffenden
St elle durch irgend eine I rrit at ion vom Publikum oder der
Begleit ung her die Passage mißlang und nun, in der Erinnerung an
diesen Vorfall und in der Furcht vor dessen Wiederholung,
t at sächlich immer wieder mißlingt . Wenn ich früher das Griffbret t
als unseren Mont blanc bezeichnet habe, so kann ich diese oft
plöt zliche I diosynkrasie der Finger am t reffendst en dem allgemein
bekannt en Gefühl der Plat zangst vergleichen und die Mit t el, die
zu ihrer Heilung führen, sind sich bei beiden gleich: allgemeine
Kräft igung der Nerven, eine eiserne Energie, Aut osuggest ion,
vielleicht auch Hypnose. Scheut man sich nicht vor Konzessionen,
so kneift man aus, genau so, wie bei der Plat zangst der Beine,
man macht Umwege, d. h. ins Geigerische überset zt , man nimmt
st at t der bisher gewohnt en nat ürlichen Fingersät ze neue, oft ganz
verrückt schwere, und die Plat zangst ist überwunden. Komisch
berührt es einen, wenn es der Zufall fügt , daß nach einiger Zeit
auch der Weg des neuen Fingersat zes der Plat zangst verfällt , und
man auf den alt en Fingersat z wie auf einen ganz neuen wieder
zurückgreifen muß; und das Mit t el versagt auch da nicht . Oft ,
wenn mir et was Künst lerisch besonders gut gelang, empört e sich
bei mir das soziale Gerecht igkeit sgefühl gegen meine eigene
Leist ung; ent set zt frug ich mich, wieso ich dazu komme, ohne
besonderes Verdienst von der Nat ur mit Gaben bedacht zu sein,
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die mir von der Wiege an einen großen Vorsprung gegenüber
vielen meiner Mit menschen geben; j edes soziale Bemühen, die
ökonomischen Ungerecht igkeit en der Menschen auszugleichen,
schien mir aussicht slos und anmaßend, denn wie sollt e es den
schwachen Menschen gelingen, ein Unrecht gut zumachen, das
nicht sie, sondern die Nat ur begeht durch die ungerecht e
Vert eilung ihrer Gaben? Und dann, wenn ich der unermeßlichen
Mühsale und Ent behrungen aller Art gedacht e, die zum
Vollbringen einer vollkommenen Leist ung, auf welchem Gebiet e
immer, gehören, dann leist et e ich der eben gescholt enen Nat ur
Abbit t e. Es st ieg in mir eine Ahnung auf, daß es hieße, Perlen vor
die Säue werfen, würde die Nat ur alle Menschen gleichmäßig mit
Fähigkeit en ausst at t en, denn mit den besonderen Fähigkeit en
kommt in dem Menschen zugleich auch der Trieb, sie zu
bet ät igen. Auch fürs Geist ige gilt das Noblesse oblige. Es sind
gleichsam so viel Recht e als Pflicht en und die wenigst en
Menschen würden sich bereit finden lassen, die schweren
Pflicht en einer Begabung auf sich zu nehmen. Je größer also eine
Begabung, dest o größer und nicht dest o kleiner die Arbeit , d. h. ,
mit der Größe der Begabung st eigert sich die seelische
Konzept ion, deren prakt ische Ausführung dem Körper auch
ent sprechend größere Arbeit verursacht und der mit einer
höheren Begabung begnadet e Mensch kann nicht eher ruhen, bis
er diese Leist ung seinem Körper abgerungen.
Und diese opfer - und ent behrungsfreudige Pflicht erfüllung
gegenüber seiner Begabung ist es, die ihm nacht räglich einen
Anspruch auf die Bevorzugung durch die Nat ur und im weit eren
Verlaufe auf die Belohnung durch die Menschen Anspruch
verleiht . Die Nat ur vergreift sich j a selt en in der Wahl ihrer
Lieblinge; geschieht es einmal, dann ent st eht daraus ein
merkwürdig halt loser Träumer, der durch sein reicheres
I nnenleben für die Erfordernisse des gewöhnlichen Tagewerkes
verdorben ist und doch die Kraft nicht aufbringen kann, ein
großes Werk zu schaffen; es ist im Gegensat ze zum
Übermenschen der Unt ermensch, wie er von Schnit zler in der
Gest alt des j ungen Medardus so wundervoll verkörpert wurde.
Meiner früher geäußert en hohen Meinung vom richt igen I nst inkt
des Publikums ent spricht der Glaube, daß wiederum das Publikum
den von der Nat ur Begnadet en richt ig herausfühlen wird, sobald
dem Publikum dazu Gelegenheit gebot en ist . Diese Gelegenheit
biet et sich dem Publikum in der Hast des modernen Lebens einzig
und allein durch die Reklame. Nat ürlich meine ich damit nur die
in den Grenzen des Geschmackes sich bewegende
Gelt endmachung einer Persönlichkeit und nicht die
markt schreierische Ausart ung der Reklame. I st Volkesst imme
Got t esst imme, so ist die Presse der Pet rus dieses Got t es. I ch
kann den Schmerzensschrei nicht unt erdrücken: hät t en wir doch
schon vor hundert fünfzig Jahren eine Demokrat ie besessen, mit
ihrem Haupt organ, der Presse, nie wäre die Schmach über das
Menschengeschlecht gekommen, daß es einen Mozart verhungern
ließ! Dieses Verbrechen konnt e nur geschehen in einer Zeit der
Herrschaft des I ndividuums, des unberufenen, eingebildet en
I ndividuums mit all seinen früher skizziert en zweifelhaft en oder
vielmehr unzweifelhaft en Eigenschaft en. Tausendfach gepriesen
sei die Zeit , wo diese Herdenmenschen, aber doch nur diese, in
der großen, schönen Seele des Ganzen unt ergehen müssen. Geht
also das Publikum im ganzen und großen an dem Got t eszeichen
der Begabung selt en acht los vorbei, so fehlt ihm doch oft das
Verst ändnis dafür, zu ermessen, wie groß an einer schönen
Leist ung der Ant eil der Begabung war, was nur durch rast lose
Arbeit erreicht werden konnt e und was nur so nebenher läuft . I ch
für meinen Teil bin j a nur froh, wenn oft die
t echnischschwierigst en St ellen beim Publikum unbemerkt
vorübergehen, denn das ist mir der sicherst e Beweis, daß sie so
gelungen sind, als wenn sie kinderleicht wären. Dem Publikum
die überwundene Schwierigkeit vor die Nase zu reiben, hieße,
einen künst lerischen oder vielmehr unkünst lerischen Parvenü
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abzugeben. Aber eines inneren Lächelns kann ich mich beim
umgekehrt en Vorgang nicht erwehren, wenn ich sehe, wie das
Publikum manchmal auf die einfachst en Effekt fallen hereinfällt ,
wie ihm mit Erfolg, wenn auch meist ens mit ephemeren Erfolg
Sand in die Augen gest reut wird. Zu den mit Unrecht als schwer
gehalt enen Effekt en gehören z. B. die Manipulat ionen mit
Pizzicat t i und flageolet t s. Gewiß kann auch aus ihnen durch
Grazie, Rhyt hmus, dämonisches Temperament eine
Künst lerschaft sprechen, aber Pizzicat t i und Flageolet t s als solche
sind leicht . Einmal erlernt , brauchen sie kaum wieder geübt zu
werden, während z. B. die effekt losen Läufe aus dem
Violinkonzert Beet hovens infolge ihrer Heiklichkeit und
Abhängigkeit vom Ausdruck vor j eder Aufführung aufgefrischt
werden müssen. Für die Beurt eilung, ob ein Lauf schwer oder
leicht sei, ist seine Best immung maßgebend. Ein Lauf, der nur als
Mit t el zum Zweck, nämlich zum höheren Zwecke des
musikalischen Ausdrucks dient , erfordert ungleich subt ilere
Beherrschung, als derselbe Lauf zum virt uosen Selbst zweck
erfordern würde, denn bei seiner Verwendung als Mit t el zum
Zweck muß der Geist des Spielers auch in der größt en
Geschwindigkeit sich noch immer die freie Verfügung über j edes
Tönchen des Laufes vorbehalt en, z. B. kaum wahrnehmbare
Bet onung der t hemat ischen Not en, wenn es sich um Variat ionen
oder Fiorit uren handelt , oder einzelne Akzent e, Crescendi usw. ,
j e nach den Gebot en des melodischen oder harmonischen
Ausdrucks. Da ein Musiker von Herz und Geist mit Vorliebe nach
Werken dieser Kat egorie greifen wird, so ergibt sich die
Folgerung, daß ein wahrer Künst ler eine ungleich gründlichere
und verläßlichere Technik besit zen muß als ein reiner Virt uose.
Das ist eine Tat sache, die durch keinerlei noch so glit zernde
Hokus- Pokus- Kunst st ückchen aus der Welt geschafft wird. Sie
ist , wie ich schon sagt e, der Fluch, die Tragik unseres Berufes.
I ch weiß, auch Dicht er, Maler und Bildhauer müssen ewig nach
Ausdruck ringen, aber wir, denen dieses Ringen auch nicht
erspart bleibt , müssen außerdem unsere best e Zeit sozusagen an
das Reinigen der Palet t e, das Schneiden des Federkiels, oder das
Spit zen des Meißels vergeuden. Und zwar am meist en die Best en
unt er uns, solche die es am bit t erst en empfinden.
I n das Kapit el der vom Publikum überschät zt en oder vielmehr
nicht richt ig eingeschät zt en Leist ungen gehört auch das
Auswendigspielen. Wenn schon ein Zuhörer gar nicht s verst eht ,
so bewundert er zumindest das Gedächt nis. Dieses ist j edoch
beim Auswendigspielen sehr wenig bet eiligt . Unt er Gedächt nis
verst ehe ich die akt ive, bewußt e Merkfähigkeit , j enes
Erinnerungsvermögen, wie es beim „ Einst ucken“ disparat er
Begriffe, unzusammenhängender Namen und Zahlen, z. B. der
Härt egrade der Mineralien oder der Jahreszahlen der Geschicht e
in Akt ion t rit t . Nun, auf diesen Behelf allein können wir uns nicht
verlassen, weil er uns zu unsicher wäre. I n der Musik gibt es kein
Zaudern, kein künst liches Verweilen auf einem Ton, bis das
gnädige Gedächt nis geruht , das so flehent lich Erbet ene
einzuflüst ern. Auf dem Podium gibt der Rhyt hmus seine
unbarmherzige Ordre und da muß einfach pariert werden. Wir
haben zu diesem Behufe zwei Behelfe, die viel sicherer sind als
das Gedächt nis des Gehirns. Wir haben erst ens das spezifisch-
musikalische Gedächt nis, das ist eine besondere Gabe, die uns in
St and set zt , uns an das ein- oder mehrmals gehört e Musikgebilde
am Faden seiner Melodie zu erinnern, d. h. es nicht ganz rein
gedächt nismäßig zu übersehen, sondern es uns nach einander,
wie die Glieder einer Ket t e zusammenzuset zen. Recht
bezeichnend, wenn auch doch nicht richt ig definierend, nennt
man diese Fähigkeit ein gut es musikalisches Gehör. Aber auch
diese Art von Gedächt nis kann uns gegebenenfalls im St iche
lassen. Nicht ein Mal ist es mir passiert , daß ich mich auf dem
Podium ent set zt frug: „ Mein Got t , wie geht nur nach dem X-
nächst en Ton die Sache weit er ?“ Und schneller als ich mir die
Frage beant wort en konnt e, waren die Finger darüber
hinweggeglit t en. Das Phänomen, das mich erret t et e, war das
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Gedächt nis der Finger. Mit Umgehung des Gehirns verricht et en
die Finger ihre Arbeit nach Art der Reflexbewegung. Eine j ede der
vielen t ausend in einem Musikst ück ent halt enen Not en hat sich
den Fingern derart eingeprägt , daß sie einen best immt en Reiz,
eine Reflexbewegung zur Erzeugung der nächst folgenden Not e
auslöst und zwar unbewußt , ähnlich der Verricht ung irgend einer
unserer Lebensfunkt ionen. Es ist daher keine Phrase, sondern fast
buchst äbliche Wahrheit , wenn von einem Künst ler behaupt et
wird, daß ihm ein Werk in Fleisch und Blut übergegangen, daß es
zu seinem innerst en Eigent um geworden ist . Aber auch nur dann
kann der ausübende Künst ler seiner Million gerecht werden.
I ch möcht e das, was ich unt er der Million eines ausübenden
Künst lers verst ehe durch ein Gleichnis erläut ern. Ein Gegenst and,
durch den ein elekt rischer St rom fließt , bleibt äußerlich
unverändert , aber in seinem I nnern gerat en die Moleküle in
Vibrat ion und j emand, der den Gegenst and berührt , erhält einen
elekt rischen Schlag. So muß auch in unserer Kunst der
Gegenst and, also in diesem Falle die Komposit ion st et s
unverändert bleiben. Vom reproduzierenden Künst ler aber muß
ein St rom ausgehen, der das I nnere des Werkes durchfließt ,
j edes Wort , j ede Not e belebt und der das Publikum elekt risiert .
Obgleich also der Gegenst and, die Komposit ion unverändert
bleibt , muß doch der I ndividualit ät des Ausübenden freier
Spielraum gewährt werden. Einmal ist es eben ein galvanischer
St rom, ein anderesmal ein faradischer! Bei dieser Belebung des
Werkes darf die Technik nur eine unt ergeordnet e Rolle spielen.
Die Technik muß freilich bis zur höchst en Vollendung ent wickelt
werden, aber es gibt für sie im Reiche der Kunst keine Freiheit .
Die Technik muß immer gehorsamst der Sklave bleiben. Sie muß
dem Herrn dienen, dem Geist und der Herrin, der Seele. Wehe,
wenn dieser Sklave seine Fessel löst .
Daher bin ich ein Gegner der Exzesse von Repert oire- Theat ern.
Ein Theat erst ück, das in wenigen Wochen einst udiert worden ist ,
last et auf den Schult ern des Souffleurs und kann den Künst lern
unmöglich zum innerst en Eigent um geworden sein; es ist einfach
ausgeschlossen, daß sie sich in einer derart ig oberflächlich
st udiert en Rolle so frei ent falt en können, wie in der Rolle ihres
Privat lebens. Und das müßt en sie, wollen sie nicht auf die
St ellung eines im Nachschaffen schaffenden Künst lers verzicht en
und zu gewerbsmäßigen Komödiant en herabsinken. Daher mag
es kommen, daß wir die Darbiet ungen it alienischer Künst ler als
so lebenswahr und warm empfinden, denn in I t alien gibt es
bekannt ich keine Repert oire- Theat er, sondern nur St agioni, die in
j eder Saison nur einige wenige St ücke herausbringen und damit
das ganze Land bereisen. Dafür können sie aber die St ücke so
virt uos herausfeilen, daß sie auf den Souffleur Verzicht leist en.
Nat ürlich muß man auch da die goldene Mit t e beobacht en, sonst
kommt man vom Regen in die Traufe. Durch zu große
Einschränkung des Repert oires, d. h. durch zu häufiges
Wiederholen einzelner St ücke begibt sich der Künst ler in die
Gefahr, sein köst lichst es Gut zu verlieren: das Unbewußt sein der
Empfindung. Dieses Unbewußt sein ist die Seele der Kunst , was
die Kunst von der Wissenschaft unt erscheidet . Auch hiefür ein
Beispiel: Vor einigen Jahren, als noch die Blinddarmoperat ion in
Mode war — j et zt t rägt man j a wieder Blinddarm — da war de
der Berliner Professor Sonnenberg der meist gesucht e Appendix-
Schneider. Warum? Weil er eine St at ist ik über 1000
Blinddarmoperat ionen veröffent licht hat t e. Man nahm mit Recht
an, daß — Tücht igkeit vorausgeset zt — ein Arzt , der t ausend
derart ige Operat ionen vollführt hat , sie besser machen wird, als
ein Arzt , der von der Sort e vielleicht nur hundert gemacht hät t e.
Sehen Sie, bei uns ist das umgekehrt . Ein Künst ler würde ein
Werk, das er nacheinander t ausendmal gespielt hät t e, unt er allen
Umst änden im Durchschnit t schlecht er spielen, als nach der
hundert st en Aufführung. Alle die Akzent e der Leidenschaft , die
Seufzer der Wehmut , die zart en Schwingungen der Poesie
verlieren bei zu häufigen Wiederholungen ihre frische
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Unmit t elbarkeit , ihr Unbewußt sein. Der Künst ler wird gegen die
Schönheit en des Werkes abgest umpft . Die St immung st ellt sich
von selbst nicht mehr ein, dafür will er sie forcieren, indem er die
Emanat ionen dieser St immungen, das sind die einst unbewußt
sich ergebenden Seufzer und Akzent e, die Crescendi und
St ringendi künst lich aus dem Gedächt nis nachmacht , nat ürlich
ohne inneren Beweggrund. Die Folge davon ist Maniriert heit und
innere Erst arrung. Das ist die Erklärung, warum so mancher
Künst ler noch in der Blüt e seiner Jahre wie ein ausgebrannt er
Vulkan dast eht . Die Angst , auch mir könnt e einst das heilige
Vest alinnen- Feuer ausgehen, bildet die größt e Sorge meines
Lebens. Und ich habe mir eine best immt e Met hode zurecht
gelegt , um diesem Schicksal zu ent gehen. Vor allem scheide ich
aus meinen Übungen, wenn es sich um alt e Werke meines
Repert oires handelt , den musikalischen Teil ganz aus und
beschränke mich auf die t echnischen St ellen. Dann erneuere ich
auch regelmäßig mein Repert oire durch Novit ät en, so daß der
Wiederholungst urnus ein sehr weit er ist . Das wicht igst e ist aber,
daß ich nach Absolvierung einer großen Tournée, in die sich st et s
et was Schablone oder zumindest ens eine gewisse
Spielüberdrüssigkeit einschleicht , mit dem Spielen für viele
Wochen ganz ausset ze. Das ist ein radikales, aber äußerst
wirksames Mit t el. I ch vergesse dann alles, das Gut e wie das
Schlecht e. Nach einer solchen vier - bis sechswöchent lichen Pause
wäre ich außer St ande, ein Konzert zu geben. Um wieder auf die
Höhe zu kommen, muß ich im Kleinen meinen gesamt en
Ent wicklungsgang wieder durchmachen, wie das Embryo die
Phyt ogenese in der Ont ogenese. Das gibt mir viel Arbeit , aber
auch neue Kraft und Aufnahmsfähigkeit .
Und nun danke ich I hnen herzlich für die Aufmerksamkeit , die Sie
mir gewidmet haben, und bit t e Sie, nicht meine eigene Waffe
gegen meine Theorie ins Feld zu führen, indem Sie sagen, daß ich
doch noch ein viel besserer Geiger als Redner bin. Das weiß ich
selbst . Als mir der ehrende Ant rag zut eil wurde, diesen Vort rag
zu halt en und die Frage an mich herant rat , ab ich denn diese
Aufgabe auch werde lösen können, da konnt e ich immerhin mit
unverfälscht er Naivit ät die berühmt e Ant wort wiederholen, die der
Engländer gab, als man ihn frug, ab er Geige spiele. Er erwidert e:
„ I ch weiß es nicht , ich habe es noch nicht versucht . “ Nun, ich
habe es zum erst enmal mit einem Vort rag versucht . I ch bin mir
seiner Schwächen vollkommen bewußt , aber glauben Sie et wa,
daß mein erst er Geigenversuch besser ausgefallen ist ?
Über Reklame und Kunst
Einer vernünft igen Reklame kann unsere Kunst ebenso wenig
ent behren wie die Kriegskunst der St rat egie; ungeacht et des
Wert es aller persönlichen Eigenschaft en, denen j a schließlich die
Ent scheidung — Got t sei Dank! — im Kampfe vorbehalt en bleibt .
Und kämpfen müssen wir, nicht nur gegen Unverst and und Neid
kämpfen, sondern, wenn es sich um Neues in der Kunst handelt ,
vor allem gegen das Geset z der Trägheit , dem die Massen mehr
noch als das I ndividuum unt erworfen sind. Und es sind gerade die
Massen, die heut zut age im Konzert leben den Ausschlag geben.
Die st et ig fort schreit ende Demokrat isierung des Konzert wesens,
die auf der einem Seit e Künst lern und Publikum unschät zbare
Vort eile bringt , drängt auf der andern Seit e den
Konzert veranst alt ern nat urgemäß einen ganz andern
Ankündigungsapparat auf als in der gut en alt en Zeit , da sich
„ Herr Kapellmeist er Mozart “ noch begnügen konnt e, „ mit
gnädigst er Erlaubnis ein großes musikalisches Konzert zu seinem
Vort eil“ auf handgroßen Zet t eln anzukündigen, wobei er auch
noch selbst die Billet t e verkauft e!
Auch in allen übrigen Zweigen des öffent lichen Lebens ist die
größere Ellenbogenbet ät igung, die die Masse erfordert , sehr,
vielleicht noch unangenehmer zu spüren als auf unserem Gebiet e.
I n der Religion, in der Polit ik nennt man das Propaganda, bei uns
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heißt ’s „ Reklame“ .
Es handelt sich also nur darum, wie diese Reklame beschaffen
ist . Es wäre ganz int eressant und dem St ande sehr bekömmlich,
wenn alle j ene erst en Vert ret er unserer Kunst , denen die
Ausübung ihres Berufes noch ein Rest chen Kunst geschmack für
die außerprofessionalen Bedürfnisse ihres Lebens gelassen hat ,
sich zu einer Art Musikerkammer — ( nicht zu verwechseln mit
Künst lerzimmer oder Kammermusik) — zusamment un würden,
der es unt er andrem obliegen würde, einen Reklame- Ehrenkodex
herauszugeben. Darin müßt en vor allem verpönt sein: Selbst lob,
Lüge, Byzant inismus, Ausbeut ung von Familien- und sonst igen
Verhält nissen und des Privat lebens überhaupt . Daneben müßt e
die Reklame an posit iven Eigenschaft en besit zen: Originalit ät ,
I nt eresse ( nicht nur für den Künsler, sondern auch für das
Publikum) , ferner irgend eine direkt e Beziehung zur Kunst des
„ Reklamiert en“ und vor allem Geschmack. Gegen eine derart
geläut ert e und redigiert e Reklame wird wohl kein vernünft iger
Mensch et was einzuwenden haben. Schließlich bleibt doch zu
bedenken, daß der Künsler kein bloß von leinen Lorbeeren sich
nährender Veget arier ist .
Wir leben nicht nur in, sondern von der Öffent lichkeit ; das
Publikum hat ein I nt eresse am Künst ler, und ich möcht e mich
sogar zur Äußerung verst eigen, daß wir in gewisser Hinsicht dem
Publikum gegenüber zu j enen Mit t eilungen verpflicht et sind, die
man gemeinhin schon als Reklame bezeichnet .
I m engeren Sinne des Wort es bedeut et Reklame allerdings nicht
j ene Mit t eilungen, die aus dem Grund in die Öffent lichkeit
dringen, weil sie einen bereit s berühmt en Mann bet reffen — dem
j edoch diese oft ungewollt e Reklame nicht weniger Nut zen bringt
— sondern häufiger die wicht igt uerischen Übert reibungen der
neuen Ankömmlinge. Kann man es j edoch j enen verübeln, daß
sie — oft mit großer Berecht igung — Not oriet ät erlangen wollen
und sich dabei, wenn auch nicht unwahrer, so doch ob und zu
erst konst ruiert er Reklamemit t eln bedienen, wie sie den bereit s
Berühmt en in nat ürlichst er Form, und zwar nur weil sie berühmt
sind, in den Schoß fallen. Eine Port ion Selbst bewußt sein,
Selbst vert rauen in solchen Versuchen ist sehr verzeihlich. ( War
doch Mohammed selbst der erst e und eifrigst e Anhänger seiner
Lehre. ) Ohne Selbst bewußt sein keine I ndividualit ät , ohne
I ndividualit ät keine Kunst .
Oft ent st eht in diesem Reklamekampf, wenn auch ohne j emandes
eigent lichen Verschuldens, ein unlaut erer Wet t bewerb, der nicht
eines komischen Beigeschmacks ent behrt . Man denke sich z. B.
eine Künst lerin, die infolge ihrer erot ischen Veranlagung in
int eressant e galant e Abent euer verst rickt wird. I st sie unbekannt ,
so kräht kein Hahn darnach; st eht sie j edoch bereit s im
Mit t elpunkt des künst lerichen I nt eresses, so spricht alle Welt
davon, sie hat , abgesehen von der Annehmlichkeit oder
Unannehmlichkeit des Erlebnisses, die Reklame davon.
Was t ut nun ihre Kollegin, der die Nat ur die psychischen oder
körperlichen Vorbedingungen zu einer solchen Rolle vorent halt en
hat ? . . .
Oder man denke sich einen Geiger, der sich die Hand gebrochen
hat . I st die Hand eine Meist erhand, so wird daraus ein
Gesprächst hema, die Reklame ist da. Dem
gesundheit sst rot zenden, reklamebedürft igen Rivalen, dem das
Glück zu verunglücken versagt war, bleibt in diesem Falle nicht s
anders übrig als — den Hals zu brechen.
Solange die Kunst im öffent lichen I nt eresse st eht , solange wird es
auch Reklame geben, aus dem einfachen, eben illust riert en
Grunde, daß Reklame nicht nur Ursache der Berühmt heit ,
sondern auch umgekehrt deren oft unvermeidliche Wirkung sein
kann. Wir schreiben für und wider die Reklame; die Obj ekt ivit ät
hiezu werden viele von uns nur in dem Gefühle finden, daß dabei
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für sie auf j eden Fall — Reklame herauskommt . Wie et wa
Elekt rizit ät wieder Elekt rizit ät erzeugt , Geld sich gern zu Geld
gesellt , so gebiert Berühmt heit wieder Berühmt heit . Nur dürfen,
um beim Beispiel zu bleiben, die Zinsen im Verhält nis zum Kapit al
— Reklame zur Berühmt heit — nicht zu Wucherzinsen ausart en.
Dies zu verhindern wäre meines Eracht ens das Publikum
mindest ens in demselben Maße berufen wie der Künst ler. Das
gut e Publikum mit den soliden Prinzipien verhält sich aber zur
Reklame des Künst lers wie der st renge Ehegat t e zum
Toilet t enaufwand seiner Frau. Er hört nicht auf, über die
Rechnungen zu schimpfen, sich über den Widersinn mancher
Mode aufzuhalt en, behaupt et hin und wieder, die Schönheit
seiner Frau bedürfe auch gar nicht dieser künst lichen
Anziehungsmit t el, die sie ent würdigen — und geht doch der
erst en best en Koket t e, die diese Talmikünst e besser verst eht , ins
Garn. . . . Und so manche Frau, der die Liebe und Treue ihres
Mannes über alles ging, mußt e in den Kampf der Schminke und
der falschen Locken — um des Lockens willen — ziehen.
I ch möcht e daher meine Meinung über diese St reit fragen in den
Ruf ausklingen lassen, der sich vor allem an Krit ik und Publikum
richt et : Lasset das Schimpfen, lasset das Krit t eln. Bedenket die
Arbeit und Mühsal, die nervenverzehrende, körperaufreibende
Hast einer Künslerlaufbahn. Lasset ihn gewähren, diesen
modernen Ahasver in seinem Kampf um Ruhm und Anerkennung,
um Ruhe und Sicherheit seines Alt ers, um den schönst en, ihm
von allem Anfang an winkenden Lorbeer, um dereinst unabhängig
von den Gebot en des Mammons, ganz seinen künst lerischen
I dealen leben zu können.
Glaubt I hr j edoch einmal wirkliche Ursache zur Klage zu haben,
hat sich ein Künst ler ernst lich gegen Geschmack oder gut e Sit t e
vergangen, dann bleibt st andhaft und unnachsicht ig, verschließet
Euer Ohr mit Wachs gegen die Lockungen der Reklamekyrke. Auf
diese Weise st raft I hr nicht nur den Fehlenden, I hr schüt zt auch
gleichzeit ig am best en den ehrlich gebliebenen Künst ler vor dem
Zwange der Nachahmung.
Gemeinplät ze der Dummheit .
„ Jedes Leben ist ein Roman, doch nicht j eder Roman ein Leben“ ,
sagt der Dicht er. Nun biet et das Leben auch Tragödien und
Possen, und am Ende kommt es darauf an, welche Rolle man sich
selbst darin zuweist . I n der Tragödie spiele ich am liebst en mit , in
der Posse bin ich Zuschauer. I ch habe viele Possen gesehen und
von manchen gehört . Das macht : I ch komme weit herum, die
Dummheit aber ist überall zu Hause und — kennt keine Grenzen.
Das Charakt erist ische an ihr ist , daß man sie überall in derselben
Quant it ät und in denselben Kleidern findet , während die Klugheit
st et s neue Wege sucht . So erwart et mich bei meiner Ankunft in
irgend einer St adt , mag sie im Süden oder Norden, in Amerika
oder Europa liegen, st et s derselbe Ärger: Wenn ich auch noch so
viel Handgepäck mit mir führe, die Träger st ürzen sich immer nur
auf den einen Gegenst and, den ich beim Ausst eigen aus dem
Waggon in der Hand halt e und nie aus der Hand gebe: Meinen
Geigenkast en. Verlange ich im Hot el ein ruhiges Zimmer, so
laut et die st ereot ype Ant wort : „ So ruhig wie bei uns ist es
nirgends. “ Mein Koffer wird von den diversen Lohndienern st et s
hart an die Wand gest ellt , so daß ich ihn erst drei Schrit t e weit
zerren muß, damit der Deckel beim Öffnen nicht sofort wieder
zuklappt . Ent schließe ich mich da oder dort , bezüglich des
Programms, der Sit zpreise oder im Konzert arrangement eine
Neuerung zu versuchen, so bekomme ich überall zu hören: „ Ja,
unsere St adt läßt sich mit anderen nicht vergleichen. Da muß
man erst die besonderen Verhält nisse kennen lernen. “
Daß zum Beispiel die Kreut zersonat e in Rußland und Amerika als
eine musikalische Erläut erung zum Roman des Grafen Tolst oi
aufgefaßt wird, will ich nicht weit er erwähnen. I nt eressant er ist ,
wenn der Referent einer Pilsener Zeit ung mir vor drei Jahren den
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Vorwurf macht e, ich behandelt e denn doch die Kleinst ädt er mit zu
großer Geringschät zung, indem ich die Sonat e eines längst
vergessenen und überdies nie bedeut enden Geigers namens
Kreut zer aufs Programm set zt e. Eine Ehrenst elle in meinen
Gemeinplät zen der Dummheit gebührt einer Begebenheit , die mir
vor zwei Jahren in Meran widerfuhr. Daß die lange Haart racht für
die Menge das Sinnbild der Künst lerschaft bedeut et , ist bekannt .
I ch habe mir auch aus diesem Grunde die Haare recht kurz
scheren lassen, weil ich finde, daß es doch nicht angeht , sich
selbst als Genie oder Talent zu st igmat isieren. I n Meran nun gab
diese meine Vorsicht Anlaß zu einer art igen Verwechslung. I ch
hat t e dort vier Konzert e absolviert und war eben im Begriff
abzureisen, als zwei Amerikaner eint rafen, die das „ Wundert ier“
wenigst ens sehen wollt en, nachdem sie zum Hören schon zu spät
gekommen waren. I ch ging mit meinem früheren Pianist en Willy
Klasen durch das Foyer des Hot els „ Meranerhof“ nach dem
Bureau, um meine Rechnung zu begleichen. Während Klasen auf
mich wart et e, t rat einer der neuangekommenen Yankees auf ihn
zu und fragt e ihn verlegen: „ Verzeihen Sie, sind Sie der berühmt e
Geiger ?“ Klasen: „ Sie meinen Herrn Huberman? Nein, der zahlt
eben dort seine Rechnung. “ Worauf der andere zweifelnd: „ Sie
sind also nicht Herr Huberman?“ „ Nein, wie ich ihnen sage, bin
ich sein Begleit er und heiße Klasen. “ „ Das ist aber merkwürdig.
Sie sind bloß sein Begleit er und t ragen doch längere Haare als er ?
! “ — — —
Et was Komisches erlebt e mein I mpresario Höfer mit einem
Angehörigen des Offiziersst andes, einem sicherlich sonst sehr
acht baren Manne, dem der Dienst nicht Zeit gelassen hat t e, mit
der Musik ein Verhält nis anzufangen. Höfer fiel es auf, daß der
wackere Krieger, der sich im Verlauf meines Konzert s weidlich zu
langweilen schien, bei einer am Schlusse zugegebenen Bach-
Nummer für Violino Solo in Ekst ase geriet , und er konnt e nicht
umhin, den Herrn nach der Ursache dieser plöt zlichen Wandlung
zu fragen. „ Ja wissen Sie, “ laut et e die Ant wort , „ ich habe schon
viele Geiger gehört ; da war Sarasat e, der sich im Wiener
Musikvereinssaal von sechzig Musikern begleit en ließ. Dann kam
Joachim, der nur drei Genossen zur Begleit ung braucht e. Noch
besser gefiel mir allerdings Kubelik, der sich mit einem Pianist en
zu helfen wußt e. Die Krane gebührt aber Huberman, der mit
seiner Wiedergabe Bachs bewies, daß er auch ohne Begleit er
nicht in Verlegenheit gerät ! ! “ Ähnliches passiert e mir sogar in
Riga. I ch sage: Sogar. Denn ich halt e Riga für eine der
int elligent est en und daher auch musikalischest en St ädt e Europas.
Schon als Kind dort sehr beliebt , kam ich nach mehr als
sechsj ähriger Abwesenheit vor vier Jahren zum zweit enmal dahin.
I ch hat t e das Malheur, unmit t elbar vor meiner Abreise nach
Rußland den Pianist en wechseln zu müssen, da meinem st ändigen
Begleit er von seit en der öst erreichischen Behörden der Paß bis
zur Erledigung seiner Milit ärpflicht verweigert wurde. I ch konnt e
rasch Ersat z schaffen, doch war es schließlich nicht Schuld des
Mannes, wenn beim erst en Rigaer Konzert das Zusammenspiel
viel zu wünschen übrig ließ. I ch in meinem überschäumenden
Temperament half dem mangelnden Rhyt hmus durch einen —
kräft igen Fußt rit t nach. Und das Publikum, dieser größt e Freund
von Äußerlichkeit en, acht et e nicht weit er auf die sonst igen
Vorzüge des Pianist en, sondern brach den St arb über ihn. Daß
der Mann unschuldig war, bewies er beim zweit en Konzert . Wir
hat t en genügend Zeit zum Proben, und das Konzert nahm einen
glat t en Versauf. I ch spielt e das Konzert von Tschaikowsky, die
Ciaconna von Bach für Violino Solo und mehrere kleinere St ücke
mit Klavierbegleit ung. Das Tschaikowsky- Konzert ging
vort refflich, doch der Beifall klang flau, das Publikum lehnt e sich
gegen den Pianist en auf, der Hand in Hand mit mir auf dem
Podium erschien. Erst nach der Ciaconna von Bach brach ein
wahrer Applausorkan aus. I ch muß gest ehen, daß mir bei aller
Wert schät zung des Rigaer Publikums dieser Beifall nach einem so
schwer verst ändlichen St ücke nicht begreiflich war. Am nächst en
Morgen erfuhr ich die ganze konkret e Ursache Es hieß: „ Die
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Geist esgegenwart Hubermans ist doch erst aunlich. Als er sah,
daß ihm der Pianist mit der Begleit ung des Tschaikowsky-
Konzert s wieder einen St rich durch die Rechnung macht e, verfiel
er auf die I dee, die Ciaconna ohne Klavierbegleit ung zu spielen. “
— — Ein weit eres Komment ar ist überflüssig.
Das unglaublichst e St ückchen menschlicher Einfalt hat ein Freund
von mir, der berühmt e Pianist Alfred Reisenauer, in Rußland
erlebt . I ch muß zur Erläut erung vorausschicken, daß dieser
Künst ler, der zu den wahrhaft Begnadet en gehört , nach Ant on
Rubinst ein in Rußland den größt en Erfolg hat t e, so daß sein Ruhm
bis in die kleinst en Winkel des unermeßlich großen Reiches
drang, wo ein Flügel ein unbekannt es Ding ist . Eines Tages sollt e
er in Kut ais im Kaukasus konzert ieren, wohin ihm die erst e
Klavierfirma Rußlands, Becker, das Klavier per Wagen
nachschickt e, da die St adt damals noch keine Bahnverbindung
hat t e. Doch die Achse des Wagens, worauf sich der Flügel befand,
brach unt erwegs und Reisenauer langt e ohne Flügel und voll
düst erer Erwart ungen in Kut ais an. Dort erfuhr er, daß das
einzige Klavier, das im Ort anzut reffen sei, dem Großherzog von
Oldenburg gehöre, der dort in Verbannung lebt e. Reisenauer eilt e
in das Palais und erhielt vom Adj ut ant en die Zusage, daß er, doch
erst nach 9 Uhr, auf den Flügel rechnen könne. Beruhigt begab er
sich zu dem dort igen Konzert arrangeur, einem ehrsamen
Händler, der vielleicht wußt e, wie viel St ück ein Schock Eier
habe, doch von dem Wesen eines Konzert s offenbar keine
Ahnung hat t e. Alle Bemühungen Reisenauers, dem Manne
begreiflich zu machen, daß das Konzert erst um 9 Uhr beginnen
könne, blieben frucht los. Der best and vielmehr auf seinem Schein
und verlangt e, daß der Beginn für 8 Uhr eingehalt en werde, da er
gewohnt sei, seine Best ellungen prompt zu liefern. Die Szene
droht e ungemüt lich zu werden, als der Wackere plöt zlich ein
Schreiben aus seiner Brieft asche nahm und zu dem Virt uosen
sagt e: „ I st das I hre Handschrift ?“ „ Ja, aber . . . “ „ Nun, dann
können Sie mir nicht ent gehen. Hier heißt es ausdrücklich im
Programm: Adagio und Fugue, dann Schuman, Karneval, St ücke
von Chopin, Rhapsodie Nr. 13 von Liszt und erst am Schlusse,
Flügel von Becker. Sie brauchen also den Flügel erst am Schlusse
des Konzert s und nicht zu Beginn. “ — Tableau!
Erinnerung an Josef Joachim
Josef Joachim! Noch zit t ert in meiner Erinnerung der Widerhall
nach, den einst die erst e Kunde von diesem Apost el der Musik in
meinem kindlichen Gemüt erweckt e; es war ein Gefühl
andächt iger, verst ummender Scheu, wie es eben nur die
legendäre Vorst ellung von unermeßlicher Größe, grenzenloser
Aut orit ät , noch unfaßbarer durch die schier unerreichbare
Ent fernung dieses Wesens — Warschau — Berlin — in der
Phant asie eines Kindes zu erwecken vermag! Und nun kommt die
let zt e Kunde von ihm, den ich inzwischen durch eigenes
Erkennen und Erfassen zu lieben und zu verehren gelernt habe,
seine Erscheinung verflücht igt sich zu einer sagenhaft en Vision
und es erfaßt mich wieder j ener heilige Schauer meiner Kindheit ,
der fort an die Vorst ellung des Meist ers in meinem I nnern
begleit en wird. Wenn ein Mensch nach fast acht zigj ährigem
Erdenwallen noch solche Gefühle wachzurufen vermag, dann
t rägt er das Got t eszeichen des Genies in sich. Die hehre Art
allein, wie Joachim diese Gabe bet ät igt e, würden ihm wie im
Gedächt nis aller Zeit genossen, so auch in dem meinigen ein
Denkmal schwärmerischer Verehrung sichern. Doch bei mir
gesellt sich noch ein persönliches Gefühl hinzu, das der
Dankbarkeit . Die Begebenheit en, die mich dem Meist er auf ewig
verpflicht et en, will ich hier erzählen.
Es sind zwar leider nur spärliche Erinnerungen, sie beleucht en
j edoch Ereignisse, die für meine Ent wicklung von der größt en
Bedeut ung wurden.
Es war im Jahre 1892, ich zählt e erst neun Jahre, sprach nur
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polnisch; es ist also selbst verst ändlich, daß ich zu j ener Zeit nicht
fähig war, Reflexionen anzust ellen über das, was ich sah und
hört e, und wenn daher die nachst ehende Schilderung et was
reichlich vom St andpunkt e des eigenen I ch ausgeht , so mag das
dem kleinen Jungen verziehen werden, aus dessen Erinnerungen
ich schöpfe.
I ch war, wie gesagt , neun Jahre alt , als ich zu Joachim kam. Drei
Jahre lang hat t e ich bereit s in meiner Vat erst adt Violinunt erricht
genossen. Mehrere erfolgreiche Konzert e in Warschau und den
umliegenden St ädt en waren der Lohn meiner emsigen Arbeit . Alle
Welt war des Lobes voll über meine Begabung und man sagt e mir
die glänzendst e Zukunst voraus. Doch war man sich darüber
einig, daß erst der Berliner Meist er mich gehört und sein Verdikt
ausgesprochen haben müsse, bevor ich mich ganz der
Künst lerlaufbahn widme. Auch meinen Elt ern drängt e sich diese
Überzeugung auf, doch wurde es ihnen schwer, sie in die Tat
umzuset zen. Wir lebt en von der Hand in den Mund und eben erst
hat t e mein armer, frühzeit ig verst orbener Vat er, der von Beruf
Advokat war, nach vieler Mühe eine fest e Anst ellung in einem
Recht sbureau erhalt en. Doch das Glück ihres Kindes — und
dieses hing j a von dem Beifall des ruhmreichst en Geigers ab —
lag ihnen derart am Herzen, daß sie mit Überwindung aller
Hindernisse nach Berlin zu gehen beschlossen. Um die Mit t el
hiezu beschaffen zu können, mußt e unser gesamt es Hab und Gut
verkauft werden. Mit dem Erlös — 400 Rubel — st ürzt en wir uns
in das von unbekannt en St römungen durchzogene Meer des
Lebens, als dessen einziger Ret t ungsanker uns der große Mann in
Berlin erschien. Der geradezu schwindlige Wagemut meiner Elt ern
sollt e belohnt werden. Bei unserer Ankunft in Berlin wurde uns
recht bange ums Herz, als wir hört en, daß der Meist er
Wunderkindern nicht sehr gewogen war. Mein Vat er gebraucht e
eine List , um nur bis in das Heiligt um zugelassen zu werden. Er
ließ dem Meist er seine Visit enkart e des I nhalt s: „ Jakob
Huberman, Advokat aus Warschau“ überreichen, und ich mußt e
mich noch kleiner machen, als ich war, um vorläufig gar nicht
bemerkt zu werden. Die List gelang, und mit der Frage, welche
j uridische Angelegenheit ihm wohl das Vergnügen verschaffe,
wurden wir von Joachim empfangen: Wie ent set zt prallt e er
zurück, als er mich hint er dem Rockzipfel meiner Mut t er erblickt e.
„ Was, schon wieder ein Wunderkind, ich will nicht s davon wissen,
lassen Sie mich in Ruhe damit ! “ Das oder ähnliches waren seine
Wort e, wie ich aus den Gest en und nacht räglichen Überset zungen
ent nehmen konnt e. Meine Elt ern, die in ihrer waghalsigen
Zuversicht alle Brücken hint er sich abgebrochen hat t en, ließen
sich nicht so bald einschücht ern. Nachdem ihm mein Vat er die
Opfer aufgezählt , die er für diese Pilgerfahrt gebracht hat t e,
erbarmt e sich Joachim endlich und best immt e eine St unde für die
Prüfung. Diese St unde wird mir unvergeßlich bleiben. I ch sehe
noch den großen alt en Herrn mit dem grauen Bart und dem
güt igen, abes doch st reng ernst en Ausdruck, der mir zuerst nicht
wenig Angst einflößt e, sehe, wie er sich halb ungeduldig ans
Klavier set zt , mich zu begleit en, wie sein I nt eresse für mein Spiel
mehr und mehr wächst , wie er schließlich, alle anfängliche
Zurückhalt ung beiseit e lassend, auf mich zueilt und mich
t ränenden Auges in seine Arme schließt . — Man wird es
verst ehen, wenn in diesem schmerzlichen Augenblick auch mein
Auge nicht t rocken bleibt , da ich an des t ot en Meist ers Träne
denke, welche mir die künst lerische Weihe verlieh. — I ch spielt e
ein Konzert von Spohr, die Ballade und Polonaise von Vieuxt emps
und eine Noct urne von Chopin. Der Meist er war wie verwandelt .
Er bekundet e die größt e Teilnahme für unsere Lage und erbot
spont an seine Hilfe. Am glücklichst en macht e mich seine
Erklärung, daß er mich als Schüler aufnehmen wolle. Beim
Fort gehen übergab er uns zwei Briefe, den einen an Herrn
Dreßler gericht et , einen in Berlin wohnhaft en polnischen Musiker,
wohl mit Rücksicht auf unsere Unbeholfenheit im Deut schen.
Leider ist es mir nicht gelungen, diesen bedeut samen Brief
recht zeit ig zur St elle zu schaffen. Das andere Schreiben war für
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die Öffent lichkeit best immt und laut et e:
„ Mit Vergnügen spreche ich es aus, daß der neunj ährige
Huberman ein ganz hervorragendes musikalisches Talent besit zt .
Mir ist kaum im Leben eine so viel versprechende frühzeit ige
Ent wicklung auf der Geige vorgekommen. “
Denn es wurde ausgemacht , daß ich — es war im Monat Mai —
den Sommer über mit einer Tournee in den Kurort en ( Karlsbad,
Marienbad, I schl usw. ) mir einiges Geld verdienen sollt e, und da
konnt e dem Unbekannt en das Zeugnis Joachims als Geleit brief
dienen. I nzwischen wollt e Joachim das Terrain vorbereit en, um
die mat erielle Möglichkeit für mein Verbleiben in Berlin zu
schaffen. I m Sept ember sollt e ich zurückkommen. So geschah es
auch. Joachim hat t e Wort gehalt en. I m Verein mit der durch ihren
Kunst - und Gemeinsinn bekannt en Familie Ginsberg, deren Sohn
Ludwig mich schon ein Jahr vorher in Polen sozusagen „ ent deckt “
hat t e, war es ihm gelungen, ein ungewöhnlich hohes St ipendium
( 4000 Mark j ährlich) für mich zu erwirken, und nun begann für
mich die arbeit sreichst e Zeit meines Lebens. Der Lehrplan wurde
nach den Anordnungen Joachims fest geset zt , welcher ein Feind
aller spezialist ischen Einseit igkeit war. Er t raf selbst die Wahl der
Professoren für Harmonielehre und Klavier, und best ellt e auch
noch einen Geigenlehrer, der mein st eifes Handgelenk für den
Kursus bei Joachim vorbereit en sollt e. Er sorgt e auch für
gründlichen Unt erricht in den humanist ischen Fächern. Dieses
St reben, den Horizont seiner Schüler nach allen Seit en hin
möglichst zu erweit ern, kennzeichnet am best en das Weisen von
Joachims Persönlichkeit und weist auf den Weg hin, den er selbst
gegangen. Ein wicht iger Fakt or war in seinen Augen das Anhören
hervorragender Meist er, und zwar nicht nur Geiger. So erinnere
ich mich noch dankbarst eines Rubinst einkonzert es, das ich auf
Joachims Veranlassung hin besucht e; auch mußt e ich Rubinst ein
vorspielen und darüber Bericht erst at t en. Nach neunmonat lichem
Aufent halt e, der den Grund zu meiner allgemeinen Bildung legt e
und mir meine spät ere Kunst richt ung vorzeichnet e, verließ ich
Berlin infolge besonderer Umst ände, welche ich heut e unberührt
lassen möcht e. I ch ging in die weit e Welt und hört e nicht auf,
ungeacht et meiner nun beginnenden Konzert reisen an mir immer
weit er zu arbeit en und mich zu vervollkommnen. I ch ließ keine
Gelegenheit vorübergehen, mich an der Joachimschen Kunst zu
erheben und sog bis in die allerlet zt e Zeit mit t iefen, gierigen
Zügen die, ich möcht e sagen, gereinigt e At mosphäre ein, welche
vom Konzert podium aus st et s von Joachim ausging.
Mein ganzes Leben lang werde ich an den rührenden
überwält igenden Eindrücken der let zt en Joachimquart et t e zehren.
Es war höchst e Abgeklärt heit , dabei doch die frischest e
Gest alt ungskraft und die innigst e I nbrunst , die aus seinen Tönen
sprach. Nicht s I rdisches haft et e mehr diesem Evangelist en an,
außer den Mit t eln, über die er zu seinen Offenbarungen verfügt e.
Und auch diese erschienen mir manchmal wie ein Wunder. Wenn
ich, von meiner Andacht erwachend, zum Podium aufschaut e und
dieses ehrwürdige, ergraut e Haupt erblickt e, mußt e ich mich
unwillkürlich fragen, wie ist es möglich, daß sich dieser Greis
einen solchen Grad auch rein t echnischer Frische bewahrt hat . Ein
geradezu anat omisches Rät sel blieb mir bis an sein Lebensende
seine Bogenführung, um die ihn alle j üngeren, in der Fülle ihrer
Kraft st ehenden Geiger beneiden konnt en. Am liebst en folgt e ich
ihm in j ene höchst en Regionen der Musik, in deren Erschließung
eines seiner unvergänglichen Verdienst e liegt . Wo man bis dahin
nur Eis und felsiges Gest ein vermut et e, da pflückt e er die
schönst en Alpenrosen und Edelweiß, und eröffnet e den
herrlichst en Fernblick auf blaue, von linden Lüft en sanft bewegt e
Seen, umrahmt von blumengeschmückt en, im Sonnenschein
erst rahlenden Fluren.
I ch preise das güt ige Geschick, welches mich im Wint er 1906
nach einem Zeit raum von dreizehn Jahren wieder mit Joachim
zusammenführt e. Die güt igen Wort e, die der Meist er an mich
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richt et e, seine Freude über meine Wirksamkeit , von der er durch
Freunde verschiedent lich gehört , und vor allem die Befriedigung,
die er darüber äußert e, daß ich der klassischen Musik t reu
geblieben bin, werden mir ein Ansporn sein, auch weit erhin dem
mir vorschwebenden I deal nachzust reben, in nie erlöschender
dankbarer Erinnerung an den Meist er, dessen Heimgang nicht nur
für uns Geiger und Musiker, sondern für die gesamt e Kult urwelt
einen unerset zlichen Verlust bedeut et .
back t o lit erat ure >

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Elza Galafres: huberman.info
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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
p. 33 - 34
Spring brought wit h it an excit ing concert season, t he climax
being t he piano recit al by Josef Hofmann and t he appearance of a
young violinist , Bronislaw Huberman, whose name I heard for t he
first t ime. He apparent ly began his career as a child prodigy and
had been t raveling over t he world. His concert s were sensat ional.
Audiences raved. I n Riga, crowds gat hered in front of t he Concert
Direct or’s office t o get a glimpse of t he display of gift s t o t his
wonder child … gorgeous j eweled wreat hs, lit t le silver and gold
violins, diamond wat ches and ot her fabulous obj ect s.
Unfort unat ely I couldn’t at t end his concert s as t hey t ook place at
t he same t ime as my own appearances. How lit t le I guessed t hat
dest iny had already begun t o lay plans which would culminat e in
t his same cit y a decade and a half lat er.

p. 59 - 62
Simply a t elephone call, but it changed my life, t hough at t he
t ime who could have guessed t he out come? Mrs. Keller, wife of
t he Direct or of Concert s, invit ed me t o share her box one evening
t o hear t he Brahms Violin Concert o wit h Bronislaw Huberman as
soloist .
I t was a long t ime since I had first heard t hat name, and t he
waves of t urbulent success t hat followed it . I knew t he gossip
about t he over - zealous and greedy fat her who had forced t he
boy t o give concert s t o t he point of exhaust ion. Playing, playing,
night aft er weary night t o earn t he money t o support a whole
family. Not t oo unusual a st ory; almost a commonplace in t he
musical world.
Our box was close t o t he st age, and I sat forward, int ense and
impat ient for t he appearance of t his famous figure. Good God!
Was t his a night mare? Could t his languid yout h who came slowly
on t o t he st age wit h st ooped shoulders and dragging st eps be t he
great Huberman? I was close enough t o see his pale, almost
ashen face and heavy red eyelids. What a price t o pay for
success. My heart was flooded wit h pit y. He was st ill very young,
but surely he had been great ly wronged t o look like t his. Who
had t reat ed him so?
His left hand lift ed t he violin and pressed it t ight ly t o his shoulder
and chin, while his right hand lift ed t he bow, and t here emerged
a t one sweet er, more powerful, more sublime t han I had ever
heard. I t was like a voice t hat sobbed and rej oiced alt ernat ely,
but always wit h pain, somet imes a cry of anguish, somet imes
silent mourning. Cadences of heavenly sound poured fort h as t he
left hand commanded, forced, mast ered. And t he supreme
assuredness of t he right hand, full of energy wit h a long, st eady
Bronis & Elza at
Sanat orium Lahmann,
Dresden
At t he summer home,
“ Rekawinkel” , Aust ria
Elza and Johannes,
1911
Elza Galafrés
Elza Galafrés, a well known singer and act ress, married
Huberman in 1910. They had one child, but t he marriage
did not last long, and she lat er married t he composer
Dohnanyi. She moved t o Canada, and published an
aut obiography Lives . . . Loves . . . Losses from which t hese
ext ended ext ract s are t aken. Alt hough t he book is out of
print , second- hand copies are st ill regularly obt ainable.
back t o lit erat ure >
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bow. Here was t he ult imat e of genius, as he t ransport ed his great
audience t o height s of happiness wit h his art . But he, himself ?
The moment he dropped t he violin by his side t he magic
depart ed, and t he old, t ired, dull expression came over his face.
A weak smile moment arily t ouched his lips as he bowed st iffly
and almost wit h embarrassment . Deafening applause engulfed
him as a hurricane, and he t ook call aft er call. Laboriously t he
t hin body st raight ened – t he last down bow – t hen he left t he
plat form wit h t he same heavy, languid st eps.
I was st ill looking at t he exit t hrough which he had left t he st age,
st unned, and wit h my hands cramped and whit e from having
been clenched so t ight ly. A voice brought me back t o realit y.
“ Well, what do you have t o say? A t remendous success alright ,
but poor Bron! He’s in a bad way at t he moment , as you could
see. You must have been disappoint ed at his appearance, weren’t
you?”
Before I could mumble a reply, my companion looked at me
shyly.
“ You’ve no idea t he number of beaut iful, elegant women who are
aft er him. But right now he’s had a lit t le misfort une, poor fellow.
His lit t le love nest in San Remo is no more. ”
Before I had t o list en t o any more gossip Mrs. Keller t ook my
arm:
“ Let ’s go. A few of us are having a lit t le privat e dinner.
Huberman will be t here. ”
He was sit t ing at a t able discussing his order wit h a wait er when
we arrived at t he hot el I mperial. Half a bot t le of champagne
st ood in front of him. As I was int roduced he gave me only a
quick glance:
“ Excuse me if I don’t get up. I ’m t erribly t ired. These awful night s
on t he t rain, and t he noise in t he hot els. I f only I didn’t have t his
rankling insomnia, and t his season were at an end! ”
He filled his glass and drank it at a gulp.
“ I ’m no part icular friend t o alcohol but it helps me over t he init ial
fat igue. ”
He didn’t at t empt t o fill my glass and as I sat down a wait er
brought his order which he immediat ely began t o eat , complet ely
ignoring me. A glass crashed t o t he floor, he j umped, looking at
me wit h a st art led glare. I felt helpless but having t o say
somet hing I blurt ed out :
“ Broken glass brings good luck! ”
“ Luck ?” His eyes focused on me, and I not iced for t he first t ime
t hey were slight ly crossed. A heavy vein bulged on his forehead.
The sensit ive nerves frayed by irrit abilit y were mirrored painfully
on his face. I pit ied him wit h all my heart and would have given
much t o find words t o lift his t ired spirit s even for a moment – t o
t ake him out of t he t roubles which seemed t o overwhelm him. I
did t alk and his look was not discouraging, as t hough my
rambling did not displease him. I t alked about t he sublimit y of art
and t he role of t he art ist , and t he wonder of finding t he human
being in t he producer behind t he product ion. He int errupt ed me
here.
“ I t hink you’re an art ist yourself. You surely know t hat t he art ist
and t he human being are not divisible. ”
“ Oh t hey are. We bot h know art ist s whose work is sublime. Yet
as human beings t hey are small, pet t y, filled wit h vanit ies and
weaknesses t hat make a very poor comparison wit h t heir art . ”
“ Perhaps you put t oo much weight on ext ernal percept ive t hings.
Rekawinkel, 1911-
1912
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An art ist cannot be import ant if he fails as a human being. ”
I was silenced, and I t hink he saw my discomfit ure, for he
smiled. “ Life can be so complicat ed t hat t he complicat ions
prevent you from living. ”
He t hen t ook leave of t he company, saying “ My t rain leaves at
seven in t he morning. ”
I ’d have liked so much t o t hank him for what he had given us
t hat evening wit h his art , t o say somet hing t hat might have
pleased him and lift ed him from his let hargy. I felt t hat t he poor
young man had never in his life enj oyed t he peace of simple
happiness. And t hat I couldn’t pass on t o him some of my own
j oy in living was a pain t o me. I lay awake for a long t ime. Near
me on a t able was a big bunch of Parma violet s. They gave me
an inspirat ion, and event ually I fell asleep. I wakened early, and
once again t he violet s seemed t o urge me. I dressed, t ook t he
flowers and hast ened t o t he West St at ion. The t rain was already
in. There was no sign of Huberman. Three minut es before
depart ure he came on t o t he plat form wit h his secret ary. I
hurried up t o him and held out t he violet s. Surprised but
seemingly delight ed he t ook t he flowers and grasped my hand.
“ I f I ’d known you were t o be here I ’d have come much earlier. ”
“ How was your night ? Could you sleep a lit t le?”
“ Hardly an hour. And it goes on and on. So many weeks, mont hs,
unt il t he end of t he season. ”
“ Do t ake care of yourself. That ’s no life. ”
He laughed bit t erly.
“ Life?”
All aboard, a shake of t he hand, a wave from t he window, and he
slowly passed from view.
But not from my life. When I ret urned from a guest t our a few
weeks lat er, my mot her handed me a t elegram, which said
“ Passing t hrough Vienna on Friday. Delight ed t o have dinner wit h
you at I mperial. Greet ings. ”
I t was signed Suderman, but we couldn’t underst and why
Suderman, t he well - known aut hor, whom I had never met ,
should have invit ed me t o dinner. The t elegram remained
unanswered. I t had been from Huberman!

pp. 66 - 90
At t he end of a busy season in Vienna I went t o “ Weisser Hirsch”
in Dresden t o recuperat e at t he Sanat orium run by Dr. Lahman
where he cured some people and t aught ot hers how t o live a
healt hy life.
I t was healt hy indeed. A cold shower, breakfast , a brisk walk clad
only in a bat hing suit , despit e t he weat her. A hot spring bat h, a
sun bat h, a silent rest in a quiet forest glade before every meal,
which consist ed t o a great ext ent of salads and fruit . Much
walking, early ret iring, and a det erminat ion not t o t hink about
problems. This was my prescript ion, and I t ried t o follow it
explicit ly unt il one morning during sunbat hing I caught a snat ch
of conversat ion bet ween t wo client s.
“ But he’s ugly. ”
“ I don’t t hink so. He’s int erest ing. ”
“ What about t hat love affair ?”
“ There he is different from t he average art ist . I hear he t ook it
very seriously and really suffered. ”
“ Oh, I ’m not sure. I t hink he’s only exhaust ed aft er overworking.
The t hing is he’s only aft er money. ”
“ Do you wonder, aft er t he kind of childhood he had. Poor
Huberman. When did he arrive? I s he st aying in t he San. or in
one of t he privat e villas?”
Before my eyes t he landscape was whirling. I had t o get up. I
t ook a shower and went int o t he garden, seeking a quiet place in
which t o calm myself. But it was useless. Baron Rosen, a
pleasant acquaint ance from Vienna swooped down on me, wit h
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reproaches t hat I had been hiding myself from people! When I
didn’t answer he looked at me closely.
“ My dear your nerves must be badly on edge. Must you always
play your part s wit h your whole soul ? You’ll burn yourself out .
Take t hings more easily. Why don’t you let me come t o see you
one aft ernoon? To such an old man you can surely t alk, and
unburden yourself. ” I was nearly in t ears when he left , and t hat
night at dinner my neighbour, t he famous singer, Hans Erwin,
looked at me sympat het ically and said seriously:
“ Have you an upset st omach? You look t roubled?”
I was furious wit h myself for having such a t ransparent face.
St rangers even could see when I was dist urbed. But was I
dist urbed? Where was my wonderful peace of mind now, t hat
simply t he name of t his man had such an effect on me. And on
t he ot her hand, t here was my great , et ernal longing for t he
perfect emot ional experience, t he except ional fat e. Was t his t o be
it ? Didn’t I crave t o make t his man happy? To make him happy –
t o do him good? Damn, was t hat it ? Always resolving it self int o
“ This poor man! ”
I did not see him for some days, and t hen one aft ernoon as I
was sit t ing wit h friends I perceived at a dist ance a t hin figure,
walking slowly, but not dragging. He had on a cream silk summer
suit , and was an elegant figure. He spoke t o me: “ Do I int errupt ?
I learned only t oday t hat you are here. ” He remained when my
friends left . What a change! As closed as he had been t he
evening I met him, so now was he open and t alkat ive. He spoke
about his violin, about his music desk which t urned pages
aut omat ically, t he special pneumat ic cover for his violin t o
prevent inj ury t o it on voyages. An invent ion on which he want ed
t o procure a pat ent and of which he appeared t o be prouder t han
of his great art ist ry. Was t his t he same man, so warm, almost
childlike? I t was. From t ime t o t ime a shadow passed quickly over
his face, and he’d make a caust ic remark, or sarcast ically dist ort
a word in a wry j oke, but always skillfully, even brilliant ly. I
began t o realize more fully t he dept h and complexit y of t his great
art ist , and not for t he first t ime I felt pit ifully ignorant . He
dazzled me wit h his logic, and t eased me on any subj ect . Finally
he began t o t alk about his early yout h, and here, alt hough he
picked his words wit h care, he showed bit t erness and regret .
“ We were poor all right , but t hat needn’t have prevent ed a lit t le
j oy in our lives. My fat her had an ungovernable t emper – it cost
him his first j ob as a t eacher, so he had t o become a clerk in a
lawyer’s office. As soon as it was recognized t hat I had t alent he
gave up working in order t o build up my career. I was only t en
years old at t he t ime, and t here were t wo younger brot hers, but
t he whole financial support of t he family fell on me. ”
I was shaken t o t he dept hs by his quiet words. What a t ragic
yout h he had.
“ My fat her died as a paralyt ic when I was t went y. My mot her of
course was full of fears and anxiet ies, and fant asies as well. But
she loved me t enderly. We were t he best of friends, unt il …” He
st opped short . And in fut ure conversat ions he always st opped at
t his point and refused t o cont inue. Once one lat e aft ernoon part
of t he secret unveiled.
“ People are always t alking about my eagerness for money. That
I ’m not generous enough, even for my own needs. But can you
imagine how much I want t he quiet ness and peace t han can only
be guarant eed by having enough money? To get t his I have t o
give up, for t he t ime being at least , all t hought s of a personal life.
When my fat her died t he fort une I had made was in his name. I
wasn’t of age, and t he law said t hat everyt hing had t o be shared
wit h my mot her and brot hers. My only expedient was t o t ake t he
capit al under an obligat ion t o support my mot her and educat e my
brot hers. These are my first dut ies, and t o fulfill t hem I have t o
look aft er my healt h, and career, and sacrifice everyt hing else for
t hat . ”
“ But why didn’t your mot her make a lit t le home which would
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ensure you peace and quiet during your free t ime?”
“ We t ried t hat . She’s an excellent host ess … but . . ”
Again t hat “ but ” . He cont inued.
“ A suit e in an apart ment house full of noise, giving me no sleep,
is out of t he quest ion t oo. A privat e home wit h my endless
t raveling would be t oo expensive, but t hat is my dream! Now I
live in a sanat oria, and my mot her on t he French Riviera. ”
“ The Riviera?”
“ She lives fairly modest ly t here. Her passion for t he place in
unconquerable. ” He sighed deeply. “ She suffers from an illusion,
delusion I suppose it is, t hat some Duke is going t o marry her.
She’s made a hell of bot h her own life and mine wit h t his
hallucinat ion, and we are no longer as close as we used t o be. ”
While he was speaking his face seemed t o change, I saw again
t he t ired yout h I had first met , t he ashen face and heavy eyes.
“ You can see how I am burdened wit h all t he cares and sorrows
of a family wit hout any of t he j oys, or even t he blessing of a lit t le
comfort . ”
What grief t hese confessions gave me. This man who had given
so many hours of happiness t o millions of people, had no shred of
happiness himself. Loneliness! I shuddered at t he t hought of his
bleak lonesome life, and what ever I had in me of sympat hy, pit y,
admirat ion and love flowed out t o him. I t hought at t hat moment
t hat t here could be no more beaut iful aim in life t han t o bring him
happiness, and wit h happiness would come peace and healt h.
“ I ’ve been t oo egot ist ical” he smiled at my earnest face. “ I ’ve
t alked only about myself. Tell me somet hing of your life. ”
“ As briefly and concisely as possible I gave him a pict ure of my
life, and obviously I t old more t han I realized, for he t ook my
hand and said,
“ Then you t oo are lonesome. You t oo are in search …”
“ Yes. ”
We became lovers, and in our love we found profound
complet ion. Oh t he perfect serenit y and boundless happiness of
t hat wonderful summer! But t hough for us it was “ t he world
forget t ing” , it was not in t he least “ by t he world forgot ” . The lit t le
shadow of t he first cloud had always been in t he sky, but in t he
beginning I ignored it . My mot her! Her life since t he deat h of my
fat her had been irrevocably bound up in mine. Not t hat she ever
let me t hink it was a sacrifice, but she had no ot her life t han
mine. And I knew her ideas – t hey were my own. She had given
t hem t o me. She would not for a moment condone my
associat ion wit h Bronislaw. But Bronislaw did not share t hese
views.
“ You’re an art ist , an independent woman, and your love is a
privat e affair. ”
His lack of sympat hy for my mot her’s point of view hurt me. I
felt a lit t le humiliat ed, and wondered, unfairly perhaps, if he
didn’t have t he respect I believed was due t o a woman,
part icularly t o t he woman he loved, and who loved him. But I
was t orn. I sympat hized wit h him t oo. He knew at first hand t he
t reachery of love, and his belief in fait hfulness was shaky indeed.
Hour aft er hour we t alked, but could resolve not hing. I wired my
mot her t o come immediat ely.
She was almost beyond shock. All t alk seemed in vain. She was
at first complet ely adamant . But gradually Bronislaw won her t o
some kind of a t ruce. During our long separat ion in t he wint er
season we should be looked upon as engaged, t hough secret ly.
Wit h t his small sop t o her conscience she became calmer. Her
quiet , kind manner impressed Bronislaw, and on her part she
came t o est eem him, t o pit y him for his t ragic life, and
event ually t o love him.
Not t hat she underst ood him. Everyt hing t hat was so complicat ed
in his t hinking was t o her simple and st raight forward. She did not
separat e head and heart . Once Bronislaw said t o me “ I am t he
head, and you are t he heart . ”
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I t would have been more accurat e if he had placed t oo lit t le
words before head and heart . “ Too much head” and “ t oo much
heart ” described us at t his t ime.
Gossip of course surrounded us. Bronislaw wouldn’t dance wit h
anyone but me, and we became conspicuous. Kind Baron Rosen
t ried t o warn me t hat I might be behaving recklessly. “ Clever
lit t le one, don’t do st upid t hings. I t ’s easy t o j ump int o
somet hing, not so easy t o get out again. ” But I was in love, in
love! And not hing else mat t ered.
Back in Vienna we rent ed a t wo- st oried villa on t he out skirt s,
peacefully lonesome behind a forest cemet ery. Bronislaw’s
secret ary and pianist were wit h him, and t he house reverberat ed
wit h music from morning unt il lat e evening. At int ervals maps
were spread out on t he t able as if in t he bat t le st rat egy of a
general st aff. I had never t hought t hat concert t ours needed such
a complicat ed organizat ion. My life was fairly regular. Every day I
commut ed by t rain t o Vienna for rehearsals and performances,
and quit e oft en it was aft er midnight when I ret urned t o wind my
darkened, eerie way t hrough t he forest along t he cemet ery.
We had t hought lessly assumed t hat we would be quit e unknown
in our secluded ret reat , but one day on t hat st at ion plat form I
met a well - known aut hor and j ournalist , who smiled and asked if
I was living out t here.
“ Perhaps incognit o?”
I clut ched at t he st raw, but of course it was useless. Lit t le not ices
began appearing in t he papers concerning our relat ionship, and
one day a friend in Berlin who had seen one of t he it ems sent
Bronislaw a t elegram warning him t o avoid t ying himself up in
obligat ions t o anyone. The whole mat t er had t o be brought up
again. Bronislaw st ill did not want t he obligat ion of marriage, but
in order t o prot ect my mot her from dist ress and t orment , and us
from unwelcome advisors, we decided t o announce our
engagement publicly. The flood of congrat ulat ory messages from
all over t he world was indescribable. I was blissfully happy in t he
fulfillment of t he great love I had always longed for.
I n t he beginning t he separat ions were only short ones and on
some of his t rips I was able t o accompany him. Each t ime I was
overwhelmed wit h emot ion as he ent ered t he st age and I saw his
eyes searching t he vast audience for t he place he expect ed I
would be. Wit h a fleet ing smile he t ook up his violin, and
everyt hing t hat could not be expressed in words he gave wit h his
glorious music.
The more knowledge I acquired of t he worries, irrit at ions and
dangers of a violinist ’s life, t he less t hese hours were unalloyed
happiness. I t was somet imes even pain t o be one of t he
audience. To t remble if t he night were warm and humid,
expect ing t he st rings t o go out of t une, or fearing t he hazards a
new st ring present s. Especially t he anguish of indisposit ion
caused by sleeplessness which menaces t he power of an art ist . I
sat like a chained prisoner. I had never had st age fright myself,
and could not help but only remain passive and simply wat ch!
Only an art ist who bat t les for expression, who has complet e
responsibilit y before an audience can underst and. Now I could
realize how much my mot her must have suffered. When applause
for a good performance made me happy, I knew t hat what she
felt was relief, a silent t hanksgiving t hat once again all had gone
well.
One day I was called t o t he Direct or’s office where he handed me
t he part of Marguerit e in “ Dame au Camalia” ! Was I chosen t o
t ake t his part which had been t he world success of Sarah
Bernhardt and Eleonre Duse?! Direct or Weisse insist ed, and more
t han t hat , gave me only a short t ime t o st udy it . This was t he
great est success of my whole act ing career!
The most t ouching newspaper crit iques were in t he Vienna ‘Neue
Freie Presse’ and anot her by Dr. Karl St robel:
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“ Such a delicat e role has many pit falls. Wit h Elza Galafrés,
however, everyt hing remained nat ural and simple. She gave
Marguerit e a German heart ; she gave her more dept h and soul
t han Duse ever imagined. Dumas’ heroine is pompous. Galafrés
does not behave in t hat way. As represent ed by her, t hrough her
love, Marguerit e becomes a very lovable, simple, uncomplicat ed
girl. I ndeed t he great miracle happens – she regains lost
innocence. The past disappears; unbelievable as it may be, a halo
of t he German Gret chen is cast upon t his woman of t he
demimonde. I f she renounces, she feels it is her dut y, and she
does not behave heroically, in t hat she is brave wit hout being
conscious of it , or wit hout being proud of her act ion. One feels
t he beat of a poor and sick heart . Eleonore Duse plays t he
“ Kamaliendame” wit h t emperament and energy, as a prosecut or
of societ y. Sarah Bernhardt plays her as a dame mondaine, but
Elza Galafrés radiat es warmt h in her present at ion. The poor girl is
complet ely at t he mercy of t he brut al forces of dest iny. Her
courage does not serve her t o at t ack or defend, only t o endure.
This is moving, and especially so when she breaks down as she
promises Armand’s fat her t o renounce her love, and again when
she exclaims in deep grief, dying, as she sees her beloved again.
And t he act of dying – indeed t his begins in t he first act , she
plays as if under some oppression, behind a veil maybe. She is
not ever free from t he expect at ion of deat h. She is gay, pleasant
and playful but never wit hout anxiet y in her innermost being. I n
t he act of dying t here is no realist ic pain, only a slow dimming
away, like t he day passing int o night , or like a flower fading. I t is
not illness t hat kills her; it is t he pain of love. ”
And result ing from reviews like t hat I received many invit at ions
for guest appearances in ot her cit ies.
But life wit h Bronislaw was like living in t he midst of a whirlwind,
nor could I see why t his had t o be. Did he have t o t ake such a
part in all t he t remendous business of administ rat ion? The
endless t elegrams, t elephone calls?
“ I must , I must ” , he reit erat ed. “ Do you know how managers and
owners cont rive t o cheat t he art ist ? This is my affair. You must
let me manage it in my own way. ”
I t all seemed so wast eful t o me, such needless expense of healt h
and nerves, and especially now while we were young, t o
squander our passions in t hese endless discussions and
argument s. That bat t le would go on night aft er night , in hot el
rooms, wit h t he secret ary and accompanist in rooms on eit her
side of his t o prevent dist urbance from inconsiderat e neighbours.
I could have saved myself from much worried soul - searching had
I had more experience or worldly knowledge. But somehow I was
st ill full of t he absurd belief t hat my love for him had power t o
overcome all difficult ies.
Somet imes I lost courage. Somet imes he did, and somet imes we
bot h did. Spring st orms roared over our new love. No mild,
t ender, whit e- budded blossoms – no blue unclouded sky
spreading st reams of golden sunshine. Bronislaw would suddenly
decide t hat he couldn’t go on, and as quickly decide t hat he
couldn’t give me up. Even at t he point of collapse I never
wavered. I would not let him down. And in bet ween would be
hours of violent ly passionat e love- making which would leave us
bot h shaken.
I was t o become a mot her!
As a t ree can be shaken t o it s root s by a t hunderst orm, so t he
knowledge brought t o my consciousness t he scandal . . ! But only
for a flash, t hen a feeling of inexpressible j oy. Not any more
could we decide our own lives – here was t he st rengt h of a
Higher Power. Not t rembling – not fearing – but happily I t old
him. Now, I t hought , he also would be above all doubt s and
fears. A kind fat e wished t o redeem him.
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I was right .
“ We must marry immediat ely” he said, “ We are going t o London.
Let us do it t here. ”
So easily was t he mat t er decided.
Just before we left Vienna t he papers were full of an excit ing new
pant omime which had j ust had it s premiere in Dresden wit h
sensat ional success. The libret t o was by Art ur Schnit zler, and t he
music by a composer unknown t o me, Erno Dohnanyi. The piano
score was being print ed and should appear any day. I put in an
order for it , and luckily it arrived j ust before we left . I n t he hast e
of depart ure t here was no t ime t o st udy it but I t ook it wit h me.
What a j oy it proved t o be. I t became my const ant companion
during Bronislaw’s absences. The more I became accust omed t o
t he music t he more it t hrilled me. This pant omime, I t hought , I
must play, and many of my waking hours were spent in pleasant
ant icipat ion of what t he fut ure held. Our child, and now t his new
role! I hardly realized how lonely I was in t he lit t le boarding
house in London t o which we had gone t o prove residence.
Bronislaw had gone t o a healt h resort at Cromer for his nerves.
Just before he left a t elegram had come from his lawyer in St .
Pet ersburg, in reply t o one which I had not known he had sent .
He read it wit hout speaking and laid it aside. Lat er I picked it up.
“ Marriage bet ween Russian cit izen of your religion and German
Prot est ant legal only if performed in Prot est ant Church. ” What
had he asked t he lawyer ? I never did know. I knew t hat t he
bit t er st ruggle which had always been his had made him very
wary of following spont aneously t he desires of his heart . My
sensit ive pride rose up, t hat he should not want t his marriage as
much as I did, but as always my profound pit y overcame my
pride, and I went over t o kiss his downcast face.
“ Do not worry so much darling. We’ll live in a kind of financial
separat ion, I don’t expect any assist ance for my household, and
as we’re foreigners in Vienna and not Cat holics, a civil ceremony
will prot ect t he child. ”
At my words t he burden seemed t o be lift ed. He was t ouched and
want ed t o reciprocat e, so t hat when our lawyer asked what
provision he want ed t o make for me, he replied, “ I give my
fut ure wife t he right t o choose her home wherever her profession
demands. ”
Our Civil marriage was performed on July 21, 1910, by a Clerk of
t he Dist rict Court , who handed us t he cert ificat e and wished us
“ Good luck! ” We left immediat ely for t he Nort h Sea Resort ,
Cromer, full of gay abandon. Now inst ead of asking for t wo
bedrooms in hot els we would have one. The marriage license we
pinned, a lit t le cynically, above our bed. I t hought , now we can
bot h sleep quiet ly.
How vain t hat t hought was I soon found out . I n celebrat ion we
had gone t o see a t raveling circus in a t ent lit wit h primit ive oil
lamps, so light - heart ed did we feel. But as soon as we got t o our
room it was evident t hat a violent migraine had at t acked
Bronislaw. Pat ient ly I massaged his head as I had learned t o do,
and he appeared t o relax in rest . I lay down beside him very
quiet ly.
“ Elza dear, a window is rat t ling somewhere. Please look at it . ” I
found t he window and fast ened it . I t was a dark night and t he
waves were high on t he shore. I shivered involunt arily at t he
bleakness of t he bare place. Then lay down again. But short ly,
“ Elza dear, a fly is buzzing … do you mind?”
A fly hunt in t he dark. But I found it .
“ Darling do you t hink you could open t he window a lit t le? I t ’s so
st uffy in here. ” Anot her half hour of rest – “ That window you
opened is making a noise. Maybe you’d bet t er close it again. ”
I massaged his poor aching head and neck again, despit e my
own weariness. And t hen a short blessed int erlude of sleep. But
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so short !
“ Darling you forgot t o darken t he window. A light is shining
direct ly in. ” I pulled down t he shade and carefully covered t he
chinks wit h a plaid t raveling rug. Surely now … but a hand on my
face wakened me inst ant ly.
“ My dear, please don’t be cross, but you breat he so loudly. ”
I felt awful t hrough all t his, and full of sympat hy for my suffering
husband, so I lay as st ill and rigidly as I could. But t he body
grows t ired in one posit ion and gent le and caut ious as I was
about t urning, he woke again and sighed, “ Please don’t be angry,
but it would be bet t er for bot h of us if you went int o t he ot her
room. Every movement wakens me. ”
The ot her room was our sit t ing room, but it had a day bed in it . I
t ook my pillow and a blanket . The room seemed damp and cold,
and out side t he sea roared as if t o inundat e t he world. Already it
was dawn, a gray forbidding dawn. I sat on t he edge of t he bed,
while unhindered t ears ran down my cheeks. But t hey were not
of self pit y. They were for Bronislaw, my poor, poor darling. Only
now did I begin t o underst and t he ext ent of his suffering. I was
ent irely exhaust ed wit h t his one night , but he had it night aft er
night . And in t hat condit ion he had t o t ravel, pract ise, look aft er
everyt hing, and on t he plat form summon all t he power of his
being t o burn wit h t he brilliance and radiance of genius.
Aft er t wo mont hs we ret urned t o Vienna and ent ered a
sanat orium before t he heavy wint er t heat rical and concert
season. I was invit ed t o make a guest appearance in Salzburg for
December 22nd and 23rd. Sensible people would no doubt have
spent t his first Christ mas quiet ly at home, but I had been so
condit ioned not t o give up a fee, plus t he fact t hat I want ed t he
money for surprises I had arranged for t he holiday season, t hat I
accept ed. Bronislaw sacrificed part of a concert t our and
accompanied me.
Unfort unat ely I caught a cold on t he way and it t urned int o a
racking cough, which grew rapidly worse despit e t he minist rat ions
of a good doct or. He paint ed my t hroat so severely t hat I was
pract ically speechless for a t ime, and was t errified t hat I wouldn’t
be able t o appear. But I did, despit e t he laryngit is. The doct or
was behind t he wings ready wit h a spoonful of glycerine at my
every exit . The whole t hing was t ort ure t o me, and even worse,
perhaps t o t he audience. Before we left for Vienna, t he doct or
had a word of advice for me.
“ Courage is a fine at t ribut e, but bravado when your child’s life
may be at st ake is a crime! ”
I want ed t o heed his advice, but at home t here was a t elegram
invit ing me t o give a complet e evening of solo recit at ion at
Pozsony in Hungary, which I accept ed. My mot her was
desperat e, but Bronislaw’s eyes expressed his admirat ion. How
oft en was he forced t o t ravel and play aft er worse at t acks t han
mine? I was st rong and healt hy. I began a violent cure, which
consist ed of keeping complet ely mut e unt il I appeared on t he
st age. Well, our Christ mas was lost , but t he evening was saved.
Not for one moment did my voice falt er, and Bronislaw’s
admirat ion and pride made me feel I could even have gone
t hrough t he whole hellish ordeal all over again. I had given him
proof t hat I t oo underst ood suffering, and t hat I t oo knew t hat
“ t he performance must go on. ”
My gynecologist insist ed t hat in my eight h mont h of pregnancy I
must quit e t he st age. I was unwilling even t hen t o give up,
despit e his warning t hat a fall might be fat al. He even suggest ed
t hat I might give birt h on t he st age. But one night I did st umble
over my dress and fall. That did it . I gave up and st ayed home
during t he day, t hough I haunt ed t he t heat re as a spect at or at
night . I t was painful t o wat ch ot her act resses t aking my part s,
and receiving well - deserved applause, t hough it was all perfect ly
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nat ural. I soon had anot her cause for dej ect ion. I was t old t hat it
would be quit e impossible for me t o nurse my child.
“ I n your profession? Absolut ely no. ”
So a nurse was engaged.
The last days of Carnival Time were whirling madly t o t heir close
when I had t he first warning birt h pains. Then followed t wo
night s and a day of unint errupt ed pain. When I finally wakened t o
consciousness t he operat ing room, t he chloroform, forceps, were
not hing more t han a bad dream, but t hey had denied me t he
great happiness of hearing t he first cry, t he sign of life, in my
child.
Rose- Monday dawned in radiant sunshine, and t here beside me
lay Johannes, t his miracle which was our son. My happiness was
only equaled by Bronislaw’s rapt urous delight . He kissed t he lit t le
hands and feet of his beaut iful blonde baby, and t hen t aking out
his violin, bot h out of necessit y t o pract ise and out of a desire t o
share my happiness, began t o play. At first t he baby slept , but he
wakened and added t o t he concert . I t was wit h pain t hat I saw
anot her woman give her breast t o my son, while my own breast s
were bound t ight ly t o prevent physical pain from t he unwant ed
milk.
Someone else was also freed from pain. My mot her now became
“ Oma” , grandmot her. A new life beckoned t o her in it s need. Her
selfless love, which sacrificed all personal desires and asked
not hing in ret urn, would be poured out on her grandchild.
The Doct or, Professor Schaut a, came int o my room in t he
Sanat orium while Bronislaw was playing.
“ What is t his? The Holy family or a gypsy camp? This will never
do. Be careful my dear children, t omorrow is also a day! ”
Everyone was chased out , even Johannes.
Silence soft ly spread her wings. Sleep is invit ing …
The dream is fulfilled … !
The next day a lit t le alt ar was erect ed in my room and a huge,
French Prot est ant Past or spoke heart - warming words as he
christ ened “ Johannes” .
Twelve days lat er we were home. Johannes and t he nurse were
t aken int o Oma’s suit e and t here I had t o go when I wished t o
see my son. I f I dared lift him from his cradle, I was besieged:
“ Do be careful, don’t let t he child fall! ”
I f I wished t o kiss his sweet , blond head:
“ The Doct or st rict ly forbids t hat ! I t ’s not hygienic. ”
Of course I eluded t hem occasionally and could t ake t he baby on
my lap. I t was great happiness.
There wasn’t much t ime for reflect ions. Fift een days lat er I was
back at t he t heat re. And here I had anot her “ first ” . I prepared
and gave a lect ure on t he t heat rical profession which lat er
became my first published work Aus Der Eigenen Werkst at t ,
Verlag Hugo Heller, Vienna.
For t he summer we rent ed a villa near Vienna, which would give
securit y of peace t o Bronislaw, sunshine t o Johannes, and t o me
proximit y t o t he cit y t o which I had t o commut e daily unt il mid-
July. The house was ideally sit uat ed in a fine old park, and
became a paradise which was t he background for all t he
happiness t hat now was ours. On Sundays t he driveway used t o
be filled wit h t he cars of our friends. During t he week t here was
silence as Bronislaw planned t he st rat egy of his fort hcoming
Russian t our, which was t o consist of some 150 concert s. He
suffered also t he hell of const ant pract ice for a virt uoso who
would rat her have been increasing his already powerful
int ellect ual capabilit ies. Nevert heless we grew t oget her in
harmony and in t he happy consciousness t hat we were each
endeavouring t o do everyt hing possible for t he ot her t hat our
nat ures and disposit ions would allow. This does not mean t hat we
didn’t have real collisions in our opinions. I n spit e of my newly
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awakened mania of fear in financial affairs, I couldn’t share
Bronislaw’s economic viewpoint , especially if it t ouched t he j oy of
giving t o ot hers, or t he st ringent t reat ment of our domest ic st aff.
Bronislaw would say, “ Elzelein, t hink of t he sleepless night s, t he
exhaust ing t rips which all serve t he purpose of making us free
and independent t o enj oy life in our best years. ”
“ And unt il t hen? Surely it ’s t he daily lit t le j oys which keep t he
elast icit y of life?”
He was as unable t o convert on t his point as I .
How we loved t he place! One of Bronislaw’s best friends was
Baron Albert Profumo. He had never been t o London wit hout
visit ing t he Profumo’s, and t his summer Baron Profumo was our
guest . As he saw Bronislaw’s j oy and relaxat ion in t he beaut iful
lit t le est at e, he asked one day, “ Why don’t you buy it and make
it your permanent home?”
Bronislaw sighed deeply, and t ook a moment t o frame his reply.
“ I would love t o own it , but … as long as I have t o work for it … I
don’t want t o
burden my nerves wit h any more obligat ions. ”
“ Well” said baron Profumo, “ Let me buy it for you. ”
“ No, no. By no means. I t hank you from t he bot t om of my heart ,
but no. ”
“ You can reimburse me some day, if you wish. ”
Bronislaw was deeply t ouched, but he was adamant , and refused.
Young Aust rian poet s and musicians were our frequent guest s.
On mild st arlit evenings or in moonlight we’d all wander down t o
t he huge fir t rees, and t here we’d lie on t he grass and list en t o a
young writ er improvise on t he beaut y of t he night in t he soft
summer air. From t he music room of t he villa would come
Brahms, Beet hoven, t rios, sonat as. And upst airs would be Oma
and Johannes, sleeping securely and wit h surely peaceful visions.
I t was our most blissful t ime.
I n t he Fall st renuous work in t he t heat re, and t he added shock of
an aut omobile accident brought me t o t he point of exhaust ion. I
became irrit able. All my life my mot her had been my confidant e.
To her I had poured out all my griefs and irrit at ions, and even if
t hese somet imes hurt her she never showed it for a moment . I
was immediat ely pardoned. But life was different now. I became
irrit at ed when Bronislaw’s let t ers did not arrive when I expect ed
t hem, or when t hey did not let me know where he would be next
so t hat I could reply. I let him know I was irrit at ed and angry –
but he was not like my mot her. I know I wounded him deeply
many t imes wit h my impet uous out burst s.
His Russian t our was t o begin in November, and in order t o
short en our separat ion as much as possible, we were t o meet at
t hen end of t he year in Riga t o combine t he agreeable wit h t he
profit able by making a guest appearance t here t o cover my
expenses of t he t rip. Russian rules required a passport . Before
issuing t his document t he Russian Consul in Vienna asked for a
marriage cert ificat e. We had only t he Civil ceremony one. What
t o do? Bronislaw remained silent , and t his roused me violent ly.
Time was passing. I went t o my lawyer who said “ I t ’s very
simple. Have t he church service immediat ely, t hen everyt hing will
be all right . ”
But Bronislaw did not react t o t his simple solut ion, nor did he
offer an explanat ion. He simply remained mut e when quest ioned.
But he went t o t he Russian Consulat e himself, and found t hey
would grant me a passport under my maiden name. I was
appalled. This was of course t he consequence of my hast y
accept ance of t he arrangement in London, but I never dreamt
t hat I would have t o pay t his price. The gap bet ween our views
seemed t o be unbridgeable. My lawyer was t oo good a friend t o
bot h of us and t oo clever not t o see in advance t his act ion could
become a rift , so he t ook mat t ers int o his own hands, and got a
passport . How … he refused t o explain! I suppressed my
bit t erness. Once again t here was a t ender reconciliat ion.
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Aft er a mad exchange of t elegrams, j uggling wit h dat es, we
finally fixed our meet ing place, in a lit t le Russian t own, a few
days before t he New Year, from which we could t ravel t oget her t o
Riga.
I n Warsaw I had a wait bet ween t rains. I had been advised, in
case of difficult ies t hat I should t urn t o a Jew, if I saw one, as
t hey generally knew German. I st ood quit e lost , wit h all my
luggage, in t he rot unda of t he st at ion. I saw a Jew, in rit ual
dress, looking int erest edly at my American t runk so I asked him
where I could find a checkroom, t he rest room and t he Post
Office. He became quit e voluble, but , in quest ioning me! Was I
married, any children, boy or girl, which language t he boy spoke
besides his mot her t ongue. I explained he was st ill a baby.
“ Doesn’t mat t er” he replied good- nat uredly, “ Precaut ion is always
good! A boy must learn … much learn! What is t he price of sugar
and flour where you come from?”
As I laughed and t old him I hadn’t t he slight est idea of any
prices, he shook his head disapprovingly.
“ That is nix good! Prices – one must know! ”
We checked t he t runk, t hen as I looked for t he rest room, he
point ed t o it :
“ Put t he suit cases in t here, give t he woman somet hing, she will
t ake care of t hem and you will come cheaper out as t he
checkroom. ”
When I ret urned I t old him I wished t o send a t elegram.
“ Why ? Did somebody die?”
“ Why do you ask t hat ?”
“ Na! You want t o sent a t elegram . . t hat cost s money! ”
I explained t hat I only wished t o let t hem know at home of my
safe arrival, he shook his head again:
“ A post card does it also, and is much cheaper. ”
He gave t he informat ion t o t he t elegraph clerk, who underst ood
German, but who snubbed my helper in a rude, coarse way:
“ Don’t push ahead like t hat ! This lady was here first ! ”
I felt badly t hat in his friendly goodwill he should suffer shame so
I t urned t o t he clerk:
“ Pardon me … t his gent leman is in my company! ”
Perplexed, he st ared at me, at t ended t o my needs and became
very impat ient as my companion st art ed t o count t he change
very punct iliously. I had t he impression t he lat t er was having
revenge for t he rudeness he had suffered as he spoke in a loud
voice:
“ One cannot know! We are human beings! One can make … a
mist ake! ”
I n t he lit t le Russian t own I met Bronislaw, who had a concert
t hat evening before we left for Riga. I n a t our of t he magnit ude
of 150 concert s, small and out - of - t he- way places must be visit ed
as well as t he large cit ies, an arrangement which was oft en more
t han nerve- wracking t o t he art ist . And . . in t his village t here was
no st age light ing; silver candelabra st ood on eit her side of t he
grand piano. They shivered and shook at all t he fort e passages,
as if t hey would t opple over at t he next moment . Bronislaw’s
accompanist , a lit t le, weak and fright ened looking charact er
glanced up at him helplessly during t hese passages. I was very
angry, as well as appalled at t his t reat ment of a great art ist .
The evening closed as disast rously as it had begun. An open
sleigh st ood before t he door immediat ely aft er t he concert t o
t ake us t o t he st at ion which was a good t wo hours ride away,
and gave us only j ust t ime t o cat ch t he only t rain t hat night for
Riga. Bronislaw rushed from t he st age t o t he so- called art ist ’s
room, an icy- cold dungeon in t he basement . Bat hed in
perspirat ion he packed his St radivarius first , and t hen began t o
change his clot hes. His secret ary was meet ing us only in Riga so
t he work of set t ling up wit h t he local manager was left t o t he
accompanist . There wasn’t even a t able in t he basement so t he
t wo men in t heir heavy coat s and big fur hat s shoved back on
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t heir heads st ood figuring and count ing on a piece of paper
against t he wall. Their voices grew louder and louder as t hey
count ed and quarreled, count ed and quarreled, becoming more
and more excit ed all t he t ime. I began t o t hink t hey would come
t o blows, and shivered uncont rollably, bot h wit h t he ext reme cold
and ut t er dist ast e for t his wrangling. Someone rushed int o t he
room and roared, as everyone else t here seemed t o roar on any
occasion,
“ I f you don’t get int o t he sleigh immediat ely t he driver won’t
guarant ee t o cat ch your t rain. ”
Everyt hing was t hrown int o a suit case. The manager now had a
sly unpleasant smile on his face. Obviously t his hurried and
forced depart ure was of his planning, and caused him no loss.
But who of any audience could ever imagine a world- renowned
art ist in such a back - st age scene? We got away, and wrapped in
t hick fur robes and huddled closely t oget her we sped t hrough t he
bit t er cold wint er night t o t he bleak lit t le st at ion, and arrived as
t he t rain was pulling in. The next morning we arrived in Riga.
The hot el was t he one in which I had my old suit e, opposit e t he
t heat re. For a moment I was filled wit h nost algia as memories
came flooding back. My t hought s wandered t o Paul and his
family. What had become of t hem all ? Dear Paul, so earnest , so
pale and romant ic! I remembered t he carnival scene. But t here
was Bronislaw in t he room wit h me, and I felt disloyal in having
pleasant memories of a t ime which did not belong t o him, almost
as if I had been guilt y of unfait hfulness. I suppose it was
laughable, but I did not t hink so at t he t ime. That night a huge
bouquet was handed t o Bronislaw, bearing a card wit hout a
name, but inst ead a few bars of Schumann’s “ Traumerei” , and
t he word “ Remembrance” . I was furious at his complacent
accept ance of t his t rophy, which t o me, his wife, was in very bad
t ast e indeed. I was absolut ely fanat ical on t he subj ect of
fait hfulness, not only in word and deed, but in t hought also, and
my demand for t ot alit y in love must have appeared unrealist ic.
The secret ary had arrived from St . Pet ersburg wit h a whole
arsenal of newspaper clippings, art icles et c. , which were t o be
t ranslat ed int o German, so t hat our room soon t ook on it s
accust omed look of a chaot ic bat t lefield. As t he newspapers were
being read by Bronislaw and t he secret ary I became aware t hat
t here was somet hing st range or amiss in t he at mosphere. Every
now and again t he secret ary looked at me, as if t o guess how
much I underst ood of Russian. This aroused my int erest and my
dist rust . Somet hing was being concealed from me. Bronislaw was
frowning over one of t he art icles he was correct ing for
t ranslat ing. My worried curiosit y gave me courage t o ask what it
was all about .
“ Not hing special. Just an art icle from one of t he sensat ional St .
Pet ersburg newspapers. ”
I knew Bronislaw disliked int ensely what he called my j ealous
out burst s, but t his t ime I insist ed t hat my quest ion be answered.
Wit hout speaking he handed t he paper t o t he secret ary who, in a
flat unconcerned voice, read out :
“ The palm of vict ory for t he great est success of t he St .
Pet ersburg season must be given t o Bronislaw Huberman. Nine
sold- out t riumphant concert s! Unfort unat ely t he most alluring
offers could not persuade him t o give a t ent h. But what was not
at t ainable by human means is t o be brought about by Cupid. We
hear t hat t he famous art ist is on his way t o Vienna t o divorce t he
great act ress in order t o marry a St . Pet ersburg arist ocrat . This is
a j oyful surprise …”
But I had heard enough. I t urned t o Bronislaw in violent anger.
The secret ary vanished. Bronislaw was desperat e. I n vain were
all his at t empt s t o explain t o me t hat t he whole st ory was j ust a
publicit y st unt .
“ Don’t you underst and? What are crit iques? Writ t en t oday,
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forgot t en t omorrow. But publicit y which has t he t it illat ion of being
personal st ays alive. I t demands a ret ract ion, answers which
don’t cost anyt hing, but which are a real advert isement and help
t o sell t he newspapers t o sensat ion hungry readers. Can’t you
see t his?”
I couldn’t . This was t he cheapest kind of publicit y, and moreover
it was all lies. How could he bear t hese t hings being said about
our marriage? No mat t er how many t imes ret ract ed, somet hing
of t he whole dishonest process would remain like an ugly st ain. I
could not bear t he t hought .
Bronislaw was full of cont rit e despair. He assured me again and
again t hat he had never dreamt I would have been so violent ly
upset . Had he known he would have put a st op t o t his kind of
vicious advert ising. But it was all useless. I hardly heard him.
Were we really as far apart in our t hinking, was my hopeless
t hought . I f so, t hen what had we left ? I was aware, far back in
my conscious mind t hat t he first t iny seeds of mist rust had been
sown long ago – t hat marriage ceremony in London, so different
from what I had imagined. Then t he passport in my maiden
name. What did it all add up t o? That night inst ead of lying in my
husband’s arms I cried myself t o sleep, bit t er t ears t hat brought
no relief. I t was t he last night of t he new year which had begun
so happily.
A desperat e reconciliat ion brought a t ime of renewed passion
mingled wit h t enderness, and like drowning people we clut ched at
t he float ing planks of our desires hoping t hey would bring us
safely t o land. I worked harder t han ever at my profession,
st riving t o reach one aim aft er anot her. Wit h Bronislaw t he
reverse was his desire, and I wat ched wit h pit y his great longing
for quiet st eadiness and peace.
I said “ pit y” . No longer could it be disguised as love, but I knew
t hat pit y and loyalt y were now all I had t o give. The realizat ion
had come slowly and painfully, but wit hout t he heart break which
might have been expect ed. There were many days of weariness,
ennui, when I wondered if all life had t o offer me of passionat e
love was t o be found only behind t he foot light s in t he careful
embrace of a st age lover. Life was almost at a st andst ill. I
seemed t o be only marking t ime unt il somet hing would happen.
My st ory unt il now has been aut obiography. But now it must t urn
int o biography as I t ell t he st ory of Erno von Dohnanyi, t he man
who ent ered my life at t his t ime. I t begins wit h Erno at t he age of
t hree.

pp. 178
When he appeared on t he conduct or’s st and t he applause poured
over him in great waves of sound. Then t he hall darkened. He
wait ed unt il t he excit ed murmurs died down. There was a lit t le
pause, an undercurrent of somet hing, which had not hing t o do
wit h t he performance. But in Vienna what love affair, or hint of
one, can remain uncovered? The evening was all t he more
sensat ional for t he whisper t hat t here was somet hing – not hing
definit e – no one knew anyt hing – but Dohnanyi and Galafrés –
what a combinat ion! And Huberman was on a concert t our in
Russia.

pp. 182 - 183
Fort unat ely hurt pride came t o my rescue and I began t o speak
of Bronislaw alt hough Dohnanyi had not asked about him.
“ He’s had a hundred and fift y concert s t his season in Russia
alone. How I wish I could win a new audience every night wit h
my art . ”
“ Oh come! ” , He lit a cigaret t e. “ You don’t really t hink t hat is any
kind of life for you. I t ’s a wast e of nerves and st rengt h, which
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you could put t o bet t er use. To be a wife and mot her is t he first
goal of any woman. ”
“ But my art ?”
“ Well, you are wast ing t here t oo. I s it really wort h while t o
devot e all t hat energy t o t hese modern experiment al plays and
shallow boulevard t rifles? I f you must play, play t he classics
which st ill have et ernal values. ”

pp.185 - 187
Back in Berlin Dohnanyi found it impossible t o st ay at home. His
house was cont inually filled wit h visit ors, but he could not
complain t oo much. He had welcomed t hem at first as a relief
from being alone wit h his wife, but now t hey bored him. As soon
as he could, he escaped t o Madonna di Campaglio in Tyrol for t he
mount ain climbing he loved. But first he decided t o pay t he
promised visit t o Bronislaw Huberman and me in Rekawinkel.
Even as t he t hought came t o him, a feeling unknown t o him up
t o now, possessed him. He recognized it as j ealousy. He was
j ealous of Huberman! What could he do? I t was a great er t ort ure
t o st ay away t han t o come t o me. He had t o see me.
Rekawinkel was t hree- quart ers of an hour from Vienna. Here we
had rent ed a summer place, “ Quellenhof” , and as he drove up
t he long driveway t hrough t he park- like land, he was st ruck wit h
t he grandeur of t he place. What he had t aken at first glance t o be
a kind of wilderness, or at least wildness, on closer scrut iny
became a minor miracle of garden archit ect ure. Bridges beneat h
hanging willow t rees connect ed pat hs, each more pict uresque
t han t he last . I mposing black first st ood like sent inels before t he
house, t owering above t he open t errace off t he second floor. He
could hear t he melodious t inkle of a fount ain somewhere in t he
background. Poussin, Claude or Salvat ore Rosa, he t hought ,
would have liked t o paint a scene like t his. I t had j ust t he t ouch
of myst ery for t hose art ist s. Then suddenly t he whole place
st ruck him as a bit dismal. The house was huge but not an
inhabit ant was visible, t he only sound was t he faint , monot onous
drip of t he fount ain. He soon learned t hat t he solemn quiet was
an absolut e necessit y t o Huberman who suffered appallingly from
hypersensit ive nerves, and who fought a heroic bat t le every night
against chronic insomnia. Dohnanyi knew not hing of t his as he
put his head t hrough t he open window and called out a cheerful
“ Gruss Got t ! ”
Fort unat ely Bronislaw was not sleeping and t he guest was
greet ed wit h great pleasure. My husband had want ed t o meet
Dohnanyi for many years but t he opport unit y had never been
fort hcoming, since t he lat t er had a habit almost fat al t o
friendship of leaving let t ers and t elegrams unanswered, and,
when anyone complained, of compounding t he offence by saying,
“ My not answering should be t he answer. ”
Diamet rically opposed in general views, t he t wo famous musicians
found a mat chless unit y in t heir love of music. Beet hoven’s
Kreut zer Sonat a! The t wo figures were like phant oms against t he
dark wood walls of t he music room, lit only wit h t he soft light of a
dozen candles. Seldom has such music been heard except by a
rare few.
One aft ernoon when Bronislaw was absent , Dohnanyi played his
lat est composit ion for me. His hands moved soft ly over t he
keyboard as if in improvisat ion, while from his lips came soft ly
t he words of a poem “ Sonnensehnsucht ” [ 1] by Wilhelm C.
Gomoll. He finished and I could not move. Wit hout speaking he
began anot her song, “ Got t ” , by t he same poet . The songs were
full of his longing; t hey were cries from his heart . I t ried t o hide
my t ears. Dohnanyi lit a cigaret t e and gazed out t he window at a
field of waving wheat on t he opposit e hill.
“ This ‘Quellenhof’ is a beaut iful spot . Why doesn’t Bronislaw own
it ? He surely is t he best paid of all art ist s. ”
Elza Galafres: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/literature/books/galafres/[02/11/12 06:52:09]
“ I n one way he would like t o won such a place, but on t he ot her
hand it ’s nearly impossible because in wint er I must be near my
work so I have t o live in Vienna. And for more t han six mont hs in
t he year, Bronislaw is on t our wit h a secret ary and an
accompanist . ”
“ Can you really believe t hat t wo people who have had such
fanat ically opposed aims can ever reach unanimit y ? We have a
proverb in Hungary, homely but t rut hful, ‘Kut yabol nem lesz
szalonna. ’ ‘You can’t get bacon from a dog’. You live in your
emot ions, Huberman in his int ellect . Somet imes you can come
close t o each ot her but never in complet e harmony. Ah, my dear,
t he will alone is not enough t o procure happiness for oneself or
for anot her. ”
“ How easy it is t o give advice. ”
“ Perhaps, but I t ell you t he will is not enough. God knows I
should be aware of t his t oo, but I do no more about it t han you. ”
He put out his hand t o pull me t o my feet . “ Let ’s go t o t he
upst airs t errace and see t he last of t he sunset . Bronislaw must be
up by now and perhaps we can all t ake a walk before dinner. ”
Bronislaw was busy for t he rest of Dohnanyi’s st ay. He was eit her
pract icing or planning wit h his secret ary t he st rat egy for t he
coming concert season. Dohnanyi and I st rolled t hrough t he great
beech forest s. I t was love in t he Vienna woods, but love as yet
unacknowledged, love t hat only t rembled on t he brink of
fulfillment . But as always love made Dohnanyi vocal. New
melodies swam almost unbidden int o his mind. Romant ically his
t hought s fled back t o his first love song made, he remembered,
for a lit t le girl, of whom not a t race remained in his memory but
her name, and t hat he commemorat ed, as he now
commemorat ed t he names of his love and himself. The first not es
of t he new composit ion were E- G- H- and E- G- D … “ Three Piano
Pieces – Valse, Aria, Scherzo. ” [ 2] As a farewell gest ure he
present ed t he new composit ion t o me when he left Rekawinkel.
He did go t o Prague for “ The Veil of Pieret t e” . Had he decided on
t he next st ep, or did t he element s decide for him? He never
knew. But a t hunderst orm of proport ions resembling a t ornado
engulfed t he t own. We rushed t hrough t orrent s of rain from t he
carriage t o t he hot el ent rance, our way lit by flashes of light ning
t hat for a moment t urned night int o day. He found t hat he st ill
held in his hand t he now crumpled wreat h which had been on
Pieret t e’s head. A t errific flash followed inst ant ly by a might crash
sent me headlong int o his arms. He lift ed my head and put t he
bridal veil on my dripping hair, and for t he first t ime kissed me
wit h passion.

p. 191
As soon as Dohnanyi heard t he news he wrot e post hast e
beseeching me t o follow his act ion and ask for a divorce. I t
seemed t o him t hat everyt hing was now in our favour. I n daily
passionat e let t ers he t ried t o show how much bet t er it would be if
I made t he break now. He reminded me of all we had t o gain and
how lit t le t o lose. When I wrot e back I explained about
Bronislaw, how he t rust ed me, how he had now built his life
around me, about Johannes, our adorable lit t le son, and last ,
about my fait hful and devot ed mot her, who had lived for not hing
but me. Could I break all t hese heart s for my own selfish
happiness? I was being romant ic, replied Dohnanyi. Heart s do not
break in t his fashion. Bronislaw was away for at least eight
mont hs a year in any case. My mot her could as easily be part of
our household when I became Madame Dohnanyi as when I was
Madame Huberman, and as for Johannes, of course I would bring
him along, and arrangement s would be made for Bronislaw t o
see him. Aft er all how much did he see of his son at t he present ?
Dohnanyi’s disappoint ment when I arrived in Berlin and t old him
I had not broken t he news t o my family, was very great . He
could not underst and, and t hen brought up a new difficult y
Elza Galafres: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/literature/books/galafres/[02/11/12 06:52:09]
bet ween us: he disliked my new play.

p. 195 - 197
I ret urned t o Vienna. Very lat e on morning in t he following
Spring, aft er ret urning t o Berlin, Dohnanyi was, as usual, st ill in
bed, when t he urgency of my t ugging t he doorbell t o his bachelor
suit e brought him t o his feet . St ruggling int o his dressing gown
he opened t he door. He was ast onished. I had never come t o his
rooms before. True, he expect ed me t o arrive in Berlin t hat day
but our rendezvous was not unt il t he aft ernoon.
“ My darling! What is it ? Are you free, at last ?” and he t ried t o
t ake me in his arms. I pushed him away:
“ Oh no. Not yet , but Erno, somet hing awful has happened. ”
“ Sit down and be calm. ”
He lit a cigaret t e, wait ed for t he t ale I t old wit h gaps bet ween
sent ences. He had known t hat I had accept ed an engagement at
t he Deut sches Schauspielhaus for May, but before coming t o
Berlin Bronislaw had accompanied me t o an engagement in t he
provinces. He had been gloomy, but had demanded expression of
my love, as if he feared his hold on me was no longer fast . I
falt ered as I t old Erno t hat I believed Bronislaw could have held
me had he been willing t o bring t o t he marriage t he same
sacrifice I had cont ribut ed.
“ But you are right Erno. We haven’t very much in common. Our
ideas of marriage and a home are complet ely opposit e. ”
“ Did you t ell him so?”
“ No. I hadn’t t he courage. He seemed so sad and was so grat eful
for t he t enderness I showed him. ”
Dohnanyi compressed his lips but said not hing. I t old him t hat
Bronislaw had left finally, but not in t enderness – in anger,
wit hout even a farewell. He had gone t o London t o fulfill an
engagement and I had left wit h t he night t rain for Berlin.
Then he spoke:
“ Ah, Elza, wouldn’t it have been bet t er t o have followed my way
and t old Bronislaw? I ’m sorry you’ve had t his fright , but
cowardice brings it s own revenge. ”
“ Erno, don’t be cruel! I act ed out of pit y. My heart couldn’t bear
t o t ell him. But why didn’t he come like a good friend t o ask what
was t he mat t er ? I t didn’t seem t o occur t o him t hat I might be
suffering t oo. Well, I must end t his at once! ”
I went t o t he phone very deliberat ely, called Vienna and spoke
wit h my lawyer:
“ I want you t o announce immediat ely, in t he court , t hat our
marriage is illegal. You know all t he det ails and can put it in
proper form. ”
“ But what has happened? I had no idea …”
I t old him concisely, wit h Dohnanyi list ening. I would prove my
st abilit y and st rengt h of mind. My lawyer was speaking, Dohnanyi
heard only my answer:
“ I t ’s t oo lat e now . . yes … I know … but t he Church ceremony
never did t ake place … Very well … All I want t o know is if I can
consider myself free from t his moment … No, I didn’t t ell him I
want ed my freedom … I let him know I wouldn’t be spending t he
summer wit h him … He could have asked about my feelings
couldn’t he? … He must have known I was dist ressed! …
Johannes? My child? … Are you mad? My child belongs t o me! I
wouldn’t let him go for anyt hing in t he world! ”
I replaced t he receiver and t urned t o Dohnanyi:
“ I am free. He says t he rest is only a formalit y. ”
He t ook me in his arms.
“ All we need now is courage t o face our life. ”

Elza Galafres: huberman.info
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p. 228
He was a good psychologist . He had never before asked t hat I
should give up my career for his sake – never hint ed at it . He
knew how st rong a habit of mind was my idea of dut y, and he
knew how much I loved him. There was anot her import ant issue
also occupying our at t ent ion at t he t ime. Bronislaw want ed
cust ody of his son Hally. I was equally passionat e in my desire t o
keep t he child. Jurisdict ion as t o t he fat e of t he boy had not yet
been made final. Dohnanyi realised t hat t his mat t er would come
t o a conclusion more quickly if I made myself free t o devot e all
my t ime and care t o him and t he t wo children. Wit hout a
backward glance I became Elza Dohnanyi, housewife.

p. 389
Then all t oo soon came t he second break in t he family circle.
Grief at t he deat h of Nagymama st ill shadowed t he household
when it began t o be evident t hat Oma had changed. She would
sit for hours in her rocking chair, reading old let t ers, and smile
wit h melancholy eyes when she heard plans being made t hat
included her. One day in t he lat e summer she suffered a st roke.
The end was quick. I n t wo days t his life was also over.
The very next morning as she lay in her room before being t aken
t o Vienna for cremat ion, t echnicians from t he B. B. C. were down
in Erno’s st udy set t ing up equipment for a program t o London of
Erno and one of Budapest ’s great opera singers.
The following day t he sorrowful j ourney t o Vienna where Hally
was t o meet us aft er visit ing his fat her. As Erno and I ent ered
t he lit t le Chapel – t here by t he casket was a beaut iful wreat h
wit h a t ouching farewell from – Bronislaw Huberman! Oma’s
ashes were t aken t o t he French Cemet ery in Berlin t o be beside
her husband.

p. 413
I f t his were t he st ory only of my life wit h t wo of t he world’s
great est art ist s it would have finished wit h my separat ion from
Dohnanyi. Huberman had died in 1947. When I heard t he news
over t he radio, like count less ot hers who had been enriched by
his music, I mourned for t he deat h of t his great musician. I
mourned also wit h a personal sorrow as I t hought of t he et ernally
st ruggling soul, cut off now wit hout ever having enj oyed t he
peace and independence for which he had bat t led since
childhood. Longing for peace himself, he had fought wit h an even
great er fervour for peace among nat ions. Bot h aims had failed,
t hough he had t hrown all his energies, ment al, spirit ual and
financial int o t he hope of a Unit ed St at es of Europe. Fat e had
anot her mission for him. Giving up finally his life’s heroic fight t o
aid musicians who had been able t o escape from count ries where
t hey had been persecut ed. He and Toscanini were t he founders of
t he Philharmonic Orchest ra of Tel Aviv.
Bronislaw had always loved nat ure, and t rees which in his early
days had been enemies because t hey harboured noisy birds, had
become his friends, in part icular a maj est ic fir in t he garden of
his home in Swit zerland. I t was t o him a symbol of loneliness,
but also of st rengt h and peace. His ashes now rest at it s root s.
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I am very happy t o have t his opport unit y of speaking about a
subj ect which fills me wit h great ent husiasm, t hat is, about
Palest ine and music.
Somebody made an allusion t o my professed polit ical ideas on
Pan- Europe, a Unit ed St at es of Europe. An ardent Jewish
polit ician in Poland asked me, “ But where does t he Jew come in,
in Pan- Europe?” – I t old him: “ I n many respect s. He would be
one of t he passport s t o Pan- Europe and also one of t he
beneficiaries. ” He asked me: “ Why a ‘beneficiary’ ?” – Because, I
said, one of t he most dangerous element s of ant i - semit ism is
envy, j ealousy. When t here is bread for bot h ant i - Semit e and
Jew t he ant isemit es will lose much of t heir resent ment against
Jews even in Germany.
I have also looked int o t he relat ions of Zionism and t he part
which it would play in Pan- Europe. When t he impression first
st art ed t o work on me, I must confess I was not at all a Zionist .
There were many reasons which prevent ed me from becoming a
Zionist in earlier t imes. To begin wit h, I was always of t he opinion
t hat t here is not hing more European t han t he Jews. As a mat t er
of fact , t he whole st ruct ure of what we call our west ern
civilizat ion is built on t wo main columns; t hey were built by t he
t wo smallest of all t he European nat ions or t ribes: t he Greeks and
t he Jews. No mat t er how great t he share of t he ot her nat ions in
t he upbuilding of European civilizat ion was, t hey had t o build
upon t he basis laid down by t hose t wo peoples. We got our sense
of beaut y, of philosophy from t he Greeks, our concept ion of t he
one and only God from t he Jews. Now, t he Greeks have
vanished; t he Jews st ill exist and t hey are going on wit h t heir
mission wit hin t he west ern, t he European civilizat ion.
As I said before, and as I hardly need say t o anybody, Jew or
Gent ile, we got our monot heism from t he Jews. I t is only one
st ep from t he idea of t he Almight y, t he one and unique and
everpresent God t o t hat ot her idea of t he one one humani t y of
br et hr en. Therefore, it is not a mere chance, it is j ust , I
daresay, a mat hemat ical consequence t hat t he nat ion which
developed t he concept ion of t he one God, has become a leader in
social development , leading in t he st ruggle for social j ust ice
among humanit y. Where t here is only one God, t here can be only
one humanit y; where t here is t he concept ion of one humanit y, in
t he long run social inj ust ice cannot be t olerat ed.
But t his was not t he Jews’ only mission in former t imes, j ust as it
is not at t he present t ime in Europe. I should like t o hint at an
et hnological proof t hat t he Jews have been most ly responsible for
Palestine Music Association address
Huberman gave t his lect ure t o t he American Palest ine
Music Associat ion in New York on 9t h December 1934,
and published in Hadassah News Let t er , January 1935.
Not ret icent in his support of Zionism, Huberman t hinks
t hat West ern Civilizat ion is based upon only t wo races -
t he Jews and t he Greeks. He also argues t hat t he Jews
are primarily responsible for t he European I ndust rial
Revolut ion, and t hat for cent uries t hey have been t he
deciding fact or in musical affairs.
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t he t ransformat ion of t he indust rial and financial st ruct ure of
feudal t imes t o what it is at t he present t ime. Europe and
America owe t his t ransformat ion t o t he discovery of new energies
like st eam and elect ricit y, and t heir applicat ion t o everyday life.
These applicat ions meant expendit ure of such huge amount s t hat
no individual nor even Government would be able t o afford it . For
t hese some sort of a mut ual basin was necessary int o which t he
privat e savings of a nat ion could be poured. Well, I asked myself
one day, what has such an accumulat ing inst rument of money t o
do wit h seat ing accommodat ion? You know, t his accumulat ing
money- pot is called a Bank. Bank, deriving from t he very sense
of seat ing accommodat ion such as a seat or chair, what has t his
t o do wit h money? Well, it has t he following: When t he medieval
t owns of I t aly were growing rich and richer and t heir commerce
becoming more and more int ernat ional, t he foreign money
pouring int o t hese t owns had t o be exchanged. The lit t le poor
Jews did t hat j ob on t he corners of, say, Main St reet , on t heir
lit t le wooden benches, and when t here was somet hing wrong
wit h t he exchange, t hen t his wooden bench was cut t o pieces, in
I t alian ‘La Banca Rot t a’. Thus we got t he Bank and t he
Bankrupt cy from t he Jews. – I do not pret end t hat t here had not
been bankers before. We know t here had been bankers even in
Roman t imes. But when we see t hat t he great financial
inst it ut ions of t he 19 t h and 20 t h cent ury are called ‘Banks’ and
not credit or or money exchange, but j ust bank, t hen we cannot
help assuming t hat all t hese financial inst it ut ions of t oday,
managed by Jews or by Gent iles, have developed direct ly from
j ust t hese lit t le Jewish ent erprises.
Now I am not going t o give you here a list of all t he branches of
Finance, Cult ure and Science and so on where Jews have played
and are going t o play prominent roles, because you know it j ust
as well as I do. So, agreeing as we do on t his point of t heir
mission also in t he fut ure, I kept asking myself when t he problem
of Zionism approached me, whet her such a t hing would hamper
or help t he fulfilling of t his mission of t he Jews in t he world. This
Mission, so I argued wit h myself, t hey can fulfil only if, really and
100 percent bona fide, t hey are allowed, while remaining loyal
Jews, t o act in Poland as Polish Jews, in Germany as German
Jews, in America as American Jews and so on. Would not a
successful lit t le Jewish St at e in Palest ine, comprising at t he
ut most only 1/ 10 t h part of World Jewry, help t he ant isemit es t o
st rengt hen t heir argument t hat aft er all t he Jews are st riving,
wit h t heir ancient hope, t o go back t o t heir real old fat herland
and wit h all t heir money and sympat hies already direct ed t owards
Palest ine? These were t he quest ions. I do not pret end t hat I
answered t hem right away in a negat ive sense. But t he mere
exist ence of t hese quest ions in my heart imposed on me a great
reserve t owards Zionism. And t hen I don’t want t o conceal t he
fact t hat , while I have been a loyal Jew whenever t he moment of
displaying t his loyalt y arose, I felt also very Polish and, in
addit ion t o t hat , very European. As a mat t er of fact , I was always
a nat ionalist , I mean nat ionalist as a European. This feeling was
so st rong, so imperat ive t hat I could not even help embarking
act ively in what is called t he Pan- European Movement , a polit ical
movement aiming at t he format ion of t he Unit ed St at es of
Europe. I have been writ ing and lect uring about t his subj ect and
devot ing all my spare t ime t o t his ideal of mine. – Now you can
t hink for yourselves what must be t he feelings of a man wit h
t hese t hought s and longings when he is for t he first t ime coming
t o Palest ine. I frankly admit , I had t o fight many prej udices
preconceived out of my feelings as a European. But already on
my first visit I was so impressed by t he monument s of idealism,
of t he creat ive energy of t he people t here, t hat I made a vow
never t o say anot her ant agonist ic word about Zionism, because I
felt , in view of t hese wonderful achievement s, t hat it would have
been what t he German calls: Dolchst oss in den Rücken – a knife
in t he back. There followed 2 years lat er, in 1931, a second visit ,
and in 1934 a t hird one. This longest soj ourn provoked a
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fundament al change in my at t it ude and int erest in Palest ine. All
argument s or t heories are quit e useful t hings as long as t hey are
in accordance wit h life. But as soon as t here is a discrepancy
bet ween life and t heory, t hen I am t oo much of an art ist as not
t o bow first of all t o life. And you have never seen life wit h all it s
impulses, longings, hopes and creat ive energies flow in such an
overwhelming way as you can see in everyday life in Palest ine.
There is such an abundance of miracles t hat it is not easy t o
select a few examples, be it t he Library, or Agricult ure, or a
social problem handled on a collect ive basis by t he t axi - drivers,
and so on.
But t he main source of inspirat ion in t he Holy Land emanat es
from t he at mosphere of myst icism of which everybody t here, Jew
or Gent ile, feels t he breat h. I t is, of course, much more difficult
t o speak of t his j e- ne- sais- quoi of Palest ine myst icism t han t o
speak about a t axi - drivers’ corporat ion. When I spoke about it t o
t he High Commissioner, who aft er all is an Englishman and a
milit ary man, and t herefore j ust not made for myst icism, he
agreed t hat he t oo was alive t o t his unique myst ic at mosphere
which cast s it s reflect ion upon his whole at t it ude t owards his
official mission. – This myst icism is born of t he landscape, of t he
hist ory, of t he ideals in everybody’s breast , of t he miracles of t he
t hree religions represent ed t here, of t he hopes nourished and
part ly already realized by t he Jews.
I must t hink of a conversat ion wit h a schoolmast er in En Harod
which perhaps cast s a light upon t he sources and t he effect s of
t his at mosphere of myst icism. – I gave a concert in En Harod,
one of t he agricult ural colonies in Erez I srael, and was, t he next
morning, shown all t hat was int erest ing, such as t he school, t he
Kindergart en, t he babies’ home for different ages and so on. I
saw t here was everyt hing, a piano, a library, sport s- grounds,
bot anical and zoological collect ions, but I missed one t hing:
where is t he Synagogue? I asked. “ There is no Synagogue! ” “ You
carry your children t o anot her one?” “ No, t here is no ot her. ” “ But
how do you bring up your children in et hics and morals?” “ Well,
we devot e our special at t ent ion t o t he Bible, in special courses,
much more elaborat e t han in t he usual educat ional scheme. ”
Then I went on asking, “ I see t wo ways of t eaching t he Bible,
t eaching it as a sort of hist ory, but t hat would not answer my
quest ion about t he t eaching of morals; or t aking t he Bible as a
collect ion of miracles and divine commandment s and inspirat ions;
but t hen I see again a need for lit urgical forms wit h a Rabbi and
a Synagogue or so. ” – The schoolmast er gave me an answer of
such a high level, t hat I feel I won’t be capable of quot ing it in
t he proper way. He said t hat apparent ly I did not know t he Bible
as I ought t o know it , which I confirmed, because ot herwise I
would not have overlooked t hat t here was a t hird possibilit y and
t o him t he most import ant in t eaching it t o children: This t hird
possibilit y, represent ing t he Bible as t he spirit ual t reasury where
are deposit ed t he wisdom, t he goodness of t he most elect men in
our nat ion’s hist ory, t eaching morals and et hics and human
behaviour up t o t he highest level of t hese highest minds of t he
Jewish people, and such t eaching of morals does not need t he
vest ment s of lit urgy and church, on t he cont rary, eh said, “ When
I succeed in making t he children underst and et hics and morals as
such and make t hem live up t o it wit hout any allusion t o
miracles, t o obligat ions, t o recompense and t o punishment , t hen
t he highest imaginable aim of educat ion will be fulfilled” – I had
t o agree wit h t hat man. I have somet imes dreamed of a phrase
of humanit y’s evolut ion where t he good would be done and
t aught j ust for t he sake of t he good. And here I met for t he first
t ime a st riving for it . I cannot t ell how deeply I was t ouched by
t hat conversat ion.
Anot her feat ure of Palest ine life is t he cont inuous st at e of alarm
in which everybody is more or less living here. Most people in
Europe and perhaps America, who hear about t he st at e of
permanent emergency, deplore it . I am now alluding t o all t he
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provisions made for defence in t he t owns and in t he loneliest
agricult ural colonies. I , for my part , am happy about it . I t hink,
t hese menaces God or Providence has reserved for t he preset
st at e of t he Jews in order t o prevent t hem from becoming t oo
mat erialist ic or even again t oo int ellect ual. The prosperit y in
Palest ine and t he sympat hy of t he whole world which t hey enj oy
and t he inclinat ion t owards int ellect ual life and cult ure would
unavoidably have in t he long run a weakening effect on morals
and physique. But now, on t he cont rary, one can say t hat every
Jew in Palest ine is leading t he life of a hero and t raining for such
a life. That has in a most wonderful way added t o t hat rare sort
of psychological balance which you find amongst t he Jews here, a
balance bet ween et hics and physique, bet ween hard physical
labour and spirit ual recreat ion.
Now let us t urn t o music. I st art wit h my own experiences: One
might advance t he argument t hat t here may have been some
special reasons for t hese huge at t endances, such as perhaps my
special popularit y wit h t he Jews here or t he scarcit y of first - class
concert s; but I can easily refut e such argument s. To begin wit h:
t hey had plent y of first - class concert s in t he last few years, and
secondly, t he following fact t ells t he whole st ory: There is an
orchest ra of a very modest qualit y. When t he Choir leader, Mr.
Jacobsohn, gave a performance of Haendel’s “ Judas Maccabaeus”
wit h t hat orchest ra, t he work had t o be repeat ed t en t imes in
one season. – I n a spell of obj ect ivit y I t ried t o calm down my
ent husiasm about t he love of music in t his count ry, and I said t o
myself: aft er all, t here is no reason for amazement when we
t hink t hat t hese are t he same Jews who have for cent uries been
t he deciding fact ors in musical affairs. So it is not surprising t hat
t hey have now brought wit h t hem t o Palest ine t heir musical
educat ion and knowledge. But t hen I said, No, t hat is Nonsense.
America was for 350 years, in mat t ers of music, cult urally a
desert . And yet t he ancest ors of t he Americans were of I rish,
Scot ch, Brit ish, Dut ch, French origin. They were t he
represent at ives of highly cult ured nat ions, and yet t hey
surrendered t heir cult ural needs and habit s in t he first st ages of
t heir pioneering. The Jews also had hard fight s in t heir
pioneering, but yet t hey could simply not abandon t he cult ural
st andard of life of t heir nat ive count ry. One has t he feeling as if
wit h every new orange t ree plant ed in t he ground a parallel t ree
of spirit ual cult ure was plant ed t oo. One t ime it is a music school,
t hen a t heat re, t hen a museum, or a collect ion, a library or a
hospit al and so on; and all t his in 10 years. I f I had not seen it
wit h my own eyes, I would have never believed it . I t hink it is
really unique in t he whole hist ory of colonizat ion of t he whit e
race. I believe firmly t hat Palest ine will in a very short t ime be
t he first count ry where t he human humiliat ion of a cult ure limit ed
only t o one class or sect ion will disappear, t he first count ry where
we shall wit ness t he miracle of an ent ire communit y cult ure.
Under t he spell of t his new evolut ion one cannot help imagining
t hat t his may be t he proper at mosphere for t he creat ion of a new,
a definit e gospel for t he salvat ion of humanit y. – I t is mainly t his
out look of a growing general communit y cult ure which pushes me
t o add my modest share in t he field of music.
So far, I have been t alking only in an ent husiast ic affirmat ive
way. I don’t want t o close t his speech under t he impression t hat
t here was not hing t o find fault wit h. There are even a great many
obj ect ionable development s and dangers. There will be bot h
malignant and loyal crit ics for what t he Jews are doing in
Palest ine. All we can do here is develop t hat medium which
carries wit h it self harmony not only in an abst ract way, but very
oft en performs more t han polit ics and ot her human undert akings
for t he miracle of creat ing out of t housands of individual heart s
wit h a t housand opinions and aspirat ions and out looks One Great
Spirit ual Unit y. Let ’s work for Music in Palest ine.
back t o lit erat ure >
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Bibliography Criticism Reviews Literature Interview Biography
Reviews
Vienna 1895 / America 1896 / 1900s / 1920s / 1930s / Australia 1937 / 1940s / Neville Cardus / Alexander Ruppa
While most reviews are fairly posit ive, Huberman was undoubt edly more popular in cent ral Europe
t han America or England. The Viennese 1895 reviews are wildly ecst at ic, while t he London crit ics at
t he t urn of t he cent ury are definit ely more rest rained.
Newspaper: New York Times, 27 Nov 1896

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15 ( ?) March 1895 Wiener Allgemeine Zeit ung
To honour t he remembrance of great composers, reverence alone
is not sufficient . “ Die Gesellschuft der Musikfreunde” was capable
of st aging t his event in a dignified and appropriat e manner.
However, t he performance was delayed t oo long due t o many
members of t he Musikfreunde choir being st ricken wit h influenza
and unable t o at t end rehearsals of t he diffiult a' cappela choirs,
hindering t he learning of t hese works.
So a red leaflet was handed on Sunday t o t he concert - goers,
st at ing t he above problem. The ot her part s of t he programme
were not affect ed. The programme was t he first part of Brahms'
“ Triumphlied” , an organ recit al by Josef Labor, a Haydn cello
concert o in a dignified int erpret at ion by Hugo Becker, also a new
composit ion – Humperdinck' s “ Die Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar” for
soloist s, choir and orchest ra. We don' t believe t hat t his work is
able t o add t o t he reput at ion which t he composer of “ Hansel and
Gret el” so quickly achieved. The ideas of t he work are quit e
shallow, t he cont ent s rat her convent ional, and t he whole work
rat her a compromise bet ween Schumann' s romant ic sound and
Wagner' s musical - religious myst icism. The soloist s Miss v. St at zer
and Mr Dippel performed wit h great zeal and t o t he best of t heir
abilit y.
The impact of t he recent philharmonic concert had no
comparison. Tschaikovsky' s Symphony “ pat het ic” , a great ,
impressive and original work, showed a mast er in composit ion.
The funeral choir, which concludes t he last movement , could
have been writ t en for t he composer himself. Short ly aft er
finishing t he symphony, Tschaikowsky cont ract ed cholera and
died in Pet ersburg . His name will in musical hist ory be not ed as
one of t he great glit t ering st ars. We are st ill t oo close t o his
composit ions t o fully appreciat e and enj oy t hem. We know t wo of
his operas, “ Eugene Onegin” and “ Pique- Dame” , which are st ill
not given much at t ent ion on t he operat ic st age.
I t is a coincidence t hat j ust now in t he world of “ Virut osent hums”
t hree st ill very young art ist s appear on t he scene: Bronislaw
Huberman, Joseph Hofmann and Mark Hamburg. All t hree are of
Jewish/ Polish descent , which should give t he philosophers of
racial t heories somet hing t o t hink about . Depending on t heir
point of view, t his is eit her a “ manifest at ion” of a divine gift in
favour of t he “ Chosen People” , or, t he accumulat ion of genius and
early development as an impending sign of degenerat ion of t he
On this page:
15 Mar 1895 Wiener
Allgemeine Zeit ung
[ English : German]
16 Mar 1895 Reichspost
[ English : German]
17 Mar 1895 Unknown
paper
[ English : German]
Reviews
Vienna 1895 / America 1896 / 1900s / 1920s / 1930s / Australia 1937 / 1940s / Neville Cardus / Alexander Ruppa
Vi enna 1895
The young Huberman creat ed a sensat ion amongst t he
musical Viennese public of t he lat e 19t h Cent ury. Here are
t hree different reviews of Huberman' s fift h concert in t he
Grosser Musikverins- Saal, conduct ed by Albert von Hermann
on 12 March. They are by t he Wiener Allgemeine Zeit ung,
t he Reichspost and an unknown newspaper.
I am indebt ed t o Dr. Erich Hermann of Vienna, grandson of
t he conduct or, for sending me t hese fascinat ing reviews. The
original German is below t he English t ranslat ion.
Reviews Vienna 1895: huberman.info
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Jewish race. We, however, can greet wit h great pleasure t he
sunrise on t he horizon of musical art ist ry. The “ t ree of art ” does
not change nor dry up, and j ust now as Bulow and Rubinst ein,
who were t he most prest igious branches, are declining, t he t ree
breaks out again in new and vigorous growt h wit h t hese t hree
young people. Mark Hamburg gave in t his concert a most
accomplished rendering of t he Chopin F Minor Concert o, which
was ent husiast ically acclaimed by t he audience. Joseph Hofmann
had also been acclaimed performing t he Rubinst ien D Minor
Concert o. Hans Richt er must be given credit for int roducing t hese
t wo young musicians int o t he Vienna concert scene – t hey are a
great honour t o t heir illust rious ment or.
Bronislaw Huberman' s success however has overshadowed all
previous performances in t he living memory of t he music- loving
Viennese public. On Wednesday he gave his farewell concert in
t he capacit y filled Musicvereinssaale. We don' t have t o t ake his
“ farewell” t oo t ragically, as t hree furt her concert s of t he lit t le
“ Wunderman” are not only programmed but already sold out . He
could give farewell concert s int o t he summer, such is t he
enormous demand from t he public. Easily underst andable. We
hear a great art ist and see a divine wonder, which cannot be
explained by physiological or psychological wisdom.
An 11- year - old boy wit h t he abilit y t o perform Beet hoven and
Mendelssohn concert i wit h complet e t echnical mast ery, sufficient
st rengt h, wit h full underst anding of t he spirit ual cont ent , wit h
absorpt ion, humour, and esprit – everyt hing in t he right place –
wit h a never flagging memory – wit h at t ent ion t o det ails and an
ext raordinary variat ion of bowing, t his is a phenomenon where
t he voice of t he divinit y speaks t o us. Only a human who cannot
appreciat e beaut y and noble expression could t ake a pat hological
int erest in such a manifest at ion. The “ lit t le Huberman” will
convince t he worst skept ics. Such miracles as t old in t he Bible
may now readily be accept ed, if in our over - enlight ened t ime,
such an art ist ic miracle can become realit y.
Wiener Allgemeine Zeit ung, Vienna, 15? March 1895
Das let zt e Gesellschaft sconcert hät t e sich programmgem äß zu
einer Gedenkfeier für Palest rina und Orlando di Lasso gest alt en
sollen. Vor dreihundert Jahren ( 1594) haben nämlich diese
größt en Meist er der Kirchenmusik das Zeit liche gesegnet . Von
anderer Seit e war bereit s ( noch vor Beginn der Concert = saison)
eine solche musikalische Gedenkseier abgehalt en worden, bei
welcher aber vielfach der Wille für die That genommen werden
mußt e.
Zur Ehrung des Andenkens großer Meist er genügt eben nicht die
Piet ät allein. Die Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde mit ihrem
Singverein wäre nun allerdings berufen gewesen, die Feier in
würdiger und künst lerisch vollendet er Weise zu veranst alt en; daß
sie aber damit so lange gezögert hat , bracht e Unheil. Die
I nfluenza übt e ihre Tücken an Mit gliedern des Singvereins und
wegen mangelhaft en Besuches der Proben konnt e das St udium
der schwierigen à capella- Chöre nicht vollendet werden.
So meldet e wenigst ens ein rot her Zet t el, der Sonnt ag an die
Concert besucher vert heilt wurde. Die übrigen Nummern des
Programms waren aber nicht influenzirt worden. Wir bekamen den
erst en Theil von Brahms' „ Triumphlied“ , einen Orgelvort rag von
Joseph Labor, ein Haydn' sches Violoncell= Concert in der
gediegenen I nt erpret at ion Hugo Becker' s, endlich als Novit ät
Humperdinck' s Ballade „ Die Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar“ für Soli, Chor
und Orchest er zu hören. Wir glauben nicht , daß dieses Werk
geeignet ist , dem Ruhmeskranze, den sich der Componist von
„ Hänsel und Gret el“ so rasch errungen, auch nur das winzigst e
Blät t lein einzuflecht en. Der I deengehalt ist mager, die Mache
ziemlich convent iell, das Ganze seiner Anlage nach ein
Compromiß zwischen Schumann' s Romanzent on und Wagner' s
musikalisch- religiösem Myst izismus. Fräulein v. St at zer und Herr
Reviews Vienna 1895: huberman.info
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Dippel haben sich ihrer Soli mit Eifer und best em Gelingen
angenommen.
Unverhält nißmäßig t iefer wirkt e die Novit ät des let zt en
philharmonischen Concert es: Tschaikowsky' s „ pat het ische“
Symphonie, ein groß, kühn und originell concipirt es Werk, dessen
Durchführung eine vollwicht ige Meist erhand bekundet . Den
Trauerchor, mit welchem der Schlußsat z ausklingt , hat der
Componist unbewußt sich selbst schreiben sollen: kurze Zeit nach
Vollendung des Werkes erlag er in Pet ersburg der Cholera. Seinen
Namen wird die Musikgeschicht e unt er ihren glänzendst en
verzeichnen; die Gegenwart ist noch weit ent fernt , sein Schaffen
richt ig zu würdigen und zu genießen. Wir kennen zwei Opern
Tschaikowsky' s „ Eugen Onegin“ und „ Pique- Dame“ , über welche
die Opernbühnen wohl nicht immer zur Tagesordnung übergehen
können.
Der Zufall will es, daß eben j et zt in der Welt des Virt uosent hums
drei noch sehr j ugendliche Künst ler das Haupt int eresse
absorbiren: Bronislaw Hubermann, Joseph Hofmann und Mark
Hamburg. Alle drei polnisch- j üdischer Abst ammung, was den
Philosophen der Rassen- Theorie allerlei zu denken geben mag. Je
nach ihrem St andpunkt e werden sie ent weder diese Erscheinung
als eine Manifest at ion göt t licher Gnade zu Gunst en des
„ auserwählt en Volkes“ deut en, oder sie werden in solcher
Cumulat ion des Genies und der geist igen Frühreife einen sicheren
Beleg für die Degenerat ion der Rasse erblicken. Wir aber haben
nur alle Ursache, diese verheißungsvolle Morgenröt he auf dem
Horizont e der reproducirenden Tonkunst freudig zu begrüßen. Der
Baum der Kunst alt ert nicht und verdorrt nicht und set zt gerade
zu der Zeit , wo in Bülow und Rubinst ein seine st olzest en Aest e
dahingesunken, neue kräft ige Triebe an. Mark Hamburg hat in
dem vorerwähnt en Philharmonischen Concert e durch den
vollendet en Vort rag von Chopin' s F- moll= Concert e das Publicum
ebenso zur Bewunderung hingerissen, wie Joseph Hofmann in
dem vorhergegangenen Concert e der Philharmoniker durch
Rubinst ein' s D- moll= Concert . Hans Richt er hat sich das große
Verdienst erworben, beide j ungen Künst ler in das Wiener
Concert leben einzuführen; sie macht en der vornehmen
Geleit schaft Ehre.
Bronislaw Hubermann aber verdunkelt mit seinen Erfolgen Alles,
was seit Menschengedenken die Kunst freunde Wien' s
ent husiasmirt hat . Gest ern gab er im gedrängt vollen großen
Musikvereinssaale sein Abschiedsconcert . Der „ Abschied“ ist nicht
t ragisch zu nehmen; denn noch drei weit ere Concert e des kleinen
Wundermannes sind bereit s nicht nur angekündigt , sondern auch
schon - ausverkauft . Er könnt e in solcher Weise sich bis in den
Sommer hinein „ verabschieden“ , und der Zulauf des Publicums zu
seinen Product ionen würde sich nicht erschöpfen. Leicht
erklärlich. Man hört einen großen Künst ler und sieht ein
göt t liches Wunder, dessen Ent rät hselung keiner psychologischen
und physiologischen Weisheit gelingen wird.
Ein elfj ähriger Knabe, der die Violin= Concert e von Beet hoven und
Mendelssohn mit höchst er t echnischer Vollendung, zureichender
physischer Kraft , mit vollst ändiger Erfassung des geist igen
Gehalt s, mit Gemüt hst iefe, Humor und Esprit - Alles an richt iger
St elle - mit nie versagendem Gedächt niß, mit sorgfält igst er
Ausarbeit ung j edes Det ails und mit einer st upenden
Mannigfalt igkeit der St richart en vort rägt : das ist eine
Erscheinung, aus welcher unabweislich die St imme der Got t heit
zu uns spricht . Das ist die einzige Lösung des Rät hsels. Und nur
ein verknöchert es, für das Schöne und Edle abgest umpft es
Gemüt h kann einer solchen Erscheinung ein pat hologisches
I nt eresse ent gegenbringen. Der kleine Hubermann vermag den
schlimmst en Skept iker gläubig zu st immen. Welche Wunder, so in
der Bibel bericht et werden, können noch für unglaublich gelt en,
wenn in unserem überaufgeklärt en Jahrhundert ein solches
Kunst wunder Wahrheit geworden?!
I m gest rigen Hubermann= Concert e hat sich der t reffliche
Musikschrift st eller Albert Rit t er v. Hermann, bereit s bekannt als
musikalischer Leit er der Kralikschen Weihnacht sspiele, erfolgreich
als Orchest er= Dirigent eingeführt . Er besorgt e nicht nur mit
Reviews Vienna 1895: huberman.info
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großer Umsicht und Sorgfalt die Orchest erbegleit ung der
Violin= Concert e, sondern bracht e auch einige symphonische
St ücke ( darunt er den 1. Sat z der Schubert ‘schen H-
moll= Symphonie) in gelungener, geist voller Weise zur
Aufführung. Frau Bert ha Gut mann sang die schwierige Arie der
Agat he aus dem „ Freischüt z“ . Die geschät zt e Sängerin, welche
sich schon bei so vielen Anlässen glücklich bewährt hat , war
leider durch merkliche I ndisposit ion an der vollen Ent falt ung ihrer
Kunst behindert ; aber das Publicum anerkannt e gleichwohl die
vornehmen I nt ent ionen der Vort ragenden durch lebhaft en Beifall.
Von den Virt uosen= Concert en der erst en Märzhälft e sind mit
besonderer Anerkennung die Product ionen des geist vollen
Franchet t i, der ein eigenes Concert und Chopin' s F- moll= Concert
mit feinst em Schliffe vort rug, des berühmt en Cellist en Popper,
der Pianist en Roger= Miclos und Dagmar Valle= Hansen
( Scherwenka' s B- moll= Concert ! ) , endlich des Ehepaares Susanne
und Louis Rée zu erwähnen. Die Damen Pylleman= Bricht und
Albert ine Beer, sowie Mat j a v. Nießen und Lillian Sanderson
bracht en ihre Liedergaben dar und recht fert igt en neuerlich das
Lob, das wir schon wiederholt ihrer vollendet en Gesangskunst
gespendet haben. Auch Baronesse St illfried und ein neuer
Sänger, Herr August Körner, fanden gebührenden Anwert h. I n
einem Hubermann= Concert lernt en wir endlich auch in Fräulein
Tona v. Hermann eine verheißungsvolle Gesangsnovize kennen.
Die Liedersängerin Therese Großmann verleugnet auch auf dem
Concert podium ihre Zugehörigkeit zur Bühne nicht : ihre
Vort ragskunst ist vollendet , beinahe schon raffinirt . Sie könnt e
ein St ern der Operet t enbühne werden.
Reichspost , Vienna, 16 March 1895
Now t his ext raordinary violin art ist playing wit h t he orchest ra has
also conquered t he “ Great Musikvereinssaale” . The ast onishing
effect of t his concert was t he same as at t he previous Pat t i
concert s, where Hubermann first became known t o t he audience.
A packed concert hall, ent husiast ic and spont aneous ovat ions –
well deserved – great admirat ion for t he ext raordinary t alent of
t his young man. I t appeared as if wit hin t he frame of a great
orchest ra, his own st rengt h increased; he played t he violin
concert i of Beet hoven and Mendelssohn wit h a wonderful
expression, t rue musical feelings, ext raordinary clear sound,
confident bowing and great bravura. He also gave an encore wit h
Miss Suppont schit ch’s harp accompanying of Chopin’s Noct urne in
E; he did not give a furt her encore, which was t he correct answer
t o t he rat her unreasonable demands by some of t he audience.
Mrs. Gut mann also part icipat ed in t his concert ; she sang t he
“ Agat ha Aria” from t he Freischut z. The St rauss orchest ra
conduct ed by Mr. Albert von Hermann, which also played t he first
movement of Schubert H- moll symphony. The orchest ra
performed very well, t o a large degree due t o t he eminent
conduct or, whose overall guidance was felt in t his concert .
Reichspost , Vienna, 16 March 1895
Concert Hubermann.
Nun hat dieser selt ene Violinkünst ler in einem Orchest erkonzert e
auch den großen Musikvereinssaal erobert ! Der äußere Effekt
dieses Concert es war gleich dem des Pat t i - Concert es, in welchem
Hubermann zum erst enmale mit uns bekannt geworden. Ein zum
Erdrücken voller Saal, ein t osender, rasender Beifall, - gerecht e –
Bewunderung auf allen Augen und Lippen; die Leist ung des
Knaben eine bedeut ende. Als ob er im Rahmen eines großen
Orchest ers mit seiner eigenen Kraft gewachsen wäre, spielt e er
die beiden Violinconcert e von Beet hoven und Mendelssohn mit
Schönheit des Ausdrucks, echt musikalischer Empfindung,
Reviews Vienna 1895: huberman.info
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t adelloser Reinheit , sicherem St riche und hinreißendem Feuer. Er
gab auch mit Harfenbegleit ung von Frl. Suppant schit sch ( vom
St rauß- Orchest er) Chopin' s Noct urne in Es zu und daß er keine
weit ere Zugabe macht e, war die richt ige Ant wort auf das läst ige
Gebahren einer aufdringlichen Clique. Dem Concert e hat t e auch
Frau Gut mann durch den Vort rag der Agat hen- Arie aus
„ Freischüt z“ ihre künst lerische Mit wirkung geliehen und die
St rauß- Capelle, welche unt er der umsicht igen Leit ung des Herrn
Albert von Hermann die Begleit ung besorgt e und selbst ändig auch
Schubert ' s herrliche H- moll Symphonie, 1. Sat z, spielt e, zeigt e
sich dieser schwierigen Aufgabe künst lerisch vollst ändig
gewachsen- das große Verdienst ihres eminent en Capellmeist ers,
dessen Geist in diesem Concert e unsicht bar walt et e. G. v. B.
?, 17 March 1895
Concert
That in our heavy concert season a young violin player, playing
five concert s in a row, already sold out , hardly anybody would
have believed t o be possible. The fift een- year old Bronislaw
Hubermann, however, performed t his miracle. The success at his
first appearance in a concert of Adelina Pat t i has not changed and
also cont inues for his next t hree concert s. The fift h concert by
t his ext raordinary t alent ed young man was played wit h t he
orchest ra in t he "Great Musikvereinssalle". I t was very impressive
t hat t he young virt uoso played t he Beet hoven and Mendelssohn
violin concert i. He played bot h wit hout a score, wit h great
confidence and bravura, combined wit h a fine and delicat e feeling
for t he music. During t he first movement of t he Beet hoven
concert o he played t he rat her long and very difficult cadenza by
Joachim, which he performed beaut ifully. There seemed t o be no
end t o t he ovat ion following t he concert . The orchest ra was t he
St rauss ensemble, which played very well considering t heir
normal repert oire - dance music, but were not very confident t o
accompany a soloist . That t he concert was very sat isfact ory was
largely due t o t he conduct or, Albert Rit t er v. Hermann who
rehearsed and conduct ed t he concert . We have already
encount ered Mr. Hermann during his performance of t he
"Weihnacht sspiele". At t he Hubermann concert , t he sound of t he
orchest ra seemed t o be not st rong enough for t he size of t he hall,
which may have been a help for t he young musician, who
obviously has not yet t he st rengt h of an adult person. Except for
t he woodwind in t he "Agat ha Aria" from t he "Freischut z", t he
orchest ra was well t uned. Mrs. Gut mann sang t he ext ra difficult
aria very well, earning a well - deserved applause.
?, 17 March 1895
Concert
Daß in unserer concert überflut het en Saison ein j unger
Violinspieler f ü n f Concert e nach einander geben könne und
j edesmal bei ausverkauft em Hause- das hät t e kaum Jemand für
möglich gehalt en. Der fünfzehnj ährige Bronislaw Hubermann hat
dieses Wunder bewerkst elligt . Das Glück, das seinem erst en
Auft ret en ( im Concert e der Adelina Pat t i) gelächelt , es ist ihm
t reu geblieben und dürft e nach aller Wahrscheinlichkeit auch für
seine noch ausst ehenden drei Concert e weit er vorhalt en. Das
fünft e Concert des genialen Knaben hat im großen
Musikvereinssaale mit Orchest erbegleit ung st at t gefunden. Es übt e
einen ganz besonderen Reiz dadurch, daß der kleine Virt uose das
Beet hoven' sche Violin- Concert und das Mendelssohn' sche spielt e.
Er t rug beide auswendig, mit vollkommener Sicherheit und
ebenso t adelloser Bravour wie feiner, unaffect irt er Empfindung
vor. I n den erst en Sat z des Beet hoven' schen Concert es hat t e er
die lange, überaus schwierige Cadenz von Joachim eingelegt und
Reviews Vienna 1895: huberman.info
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bewält igt e sie merkwürdig leicht und correct . Der Beifall wollt e
kein Ende nehmen. Das Orchest er war das der St rauß' schen
Capelle, welche bekannt lich ihr gewöhnliches Repert oire,
insbesondere Tanzmusik, vort refflich spielt , aber nicht geübt ist ,
zu accompagnieren. Daß es diese ungewohnt e Aufgabe
zufriedenst ellend löst e, ist zumeist Herrn Albert Rit t er v. Hermann
zu danken, welcher die St ücke einst udirt hat t e und mit ruhiger
Eleganz dirigirt e. Wir haben Herrn v. Hermann bereit s als
musikalischen Dirigent en der „ Weihnacht sspiele“ schät zen
gelernt . I n dem Concert e Hubermann' s klang das Orchest er et was
zu schwach für den Raum des großen Musikvereinssaales, was
übrigens dem j ungen Virt uosen, der noch nicht die physische
Kraft eines Erwachsenen besit zt , zu st at t en kam. Bis auf eine
St elle der Holzbläser in der Agat hen- Arie aus dem „ Freischüt z“
blieb das Orchest er auch rein gest immt . Die genannt e Arie, für
den Concert vort rag immer ein Wagst ück, wurde von Frau
Gut mann mit vielem Beifall gesungen. –h.

Post er: 12 March 1895, Vienna

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New York Times, 22 November 1896
BRONI SLAW HUBERMAN
The Boy Violinist Proves t o be an
Art ist of t he First Rank
Overt ure, “ Carnival de Boheme” … Dvorak
Orchest ra
Concert o … Mendelssohn
Allegro, Andant e, Finale,
Bronislaw Huberman.
Preludes, “ Die Koenigskinder” . . . Humperdink
( New, first t ime in America. )
Act . I I . May Fest ival and Dance.
( “ Hella Fest und Kinderreigen. ” )
Act I I I . The Minst rel’s Last Lay.
( Spielmann’s let zt er Gesang Verdorben, Gest orben. )
Orchest ra.
Air and Prelude . . . Bach
Bronislaw Huberman.
Symphonic Poeme … Saint - Saens
“ Ronet d’Omphale. ”
Orchest ra.
( a) Romanza … Wagner
( b) Gypsy Airs … Sarasat e
Bronislaw Huberman.
I f a musical hearer, unacquaint ed beforehand wit h t he nat ure of
t he occasion, had t urned his back t o t he st age a few minut es
aft er Seidl’s orchest ra had done playing Dvorak’s overt ure at
Carnegie Hall last evening, he would have been great ly int erest ed
and impressed by what he heard. For it was a performance of t he
first movement of Mendelssohn’s concert o, which not only did
j ust ice t o t he suavit y of t he composit ion, but also impart ed a
willfulness and impet uosit y t o it s rhyt hmic swing such as he could
not oft en have heard before. He could have heard it delivered in
a t one which, if not exquisit e, was full and clear, and wit h a
complet e mast ery of it s difficult ies. His conclusion would have
been t hat some t heret ofore unknown but very individual violinist
was giving his own int erpret at ion, at many point s novel, of t he
familiar classic.
I f he had t hen t urned round and looked, as well as list ened, he
would have been impressed wit h t he not ion of somet hing
uncanny and out of nat ure. I t would have seemed t oo
prepost erous t hat t he slight child of t hirt een, in long hair and a
silken blouse, whom he would have seen, should know and feel
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Ot her reviews
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and do all t hat . The t echnique is not t he remarkable t hing about
Huberman’s playing. I t is what t echnique ought t o be – t he
means t o an end. The point is t hat he has a definit e not ion of his
own of how t he music should be played, and he plays it in t hat
way. Nobody who heard him play a single movement last night
could doubt t hat his int erpret at ion was his own. I t is simply
inconceivable t hat he could have been coached t o play as he
plays.
The most remarkable point about his playing is not at all it s
precocit y, but it s mat urit y, t he magist ral and aut horit at ive way in
which he present s you wit h his int erpret at ions t o t ake or t o leave
– t he t ot al absence of anyt hing t ent at ive or conj ect ural or
dubious about t hem. His confidence t hat t he way he plays t he
t hing, what ever it may be, is t he way it ought t o go, recalls
Kipling’s London clerk, in “ The Finest St ory in t he World, ” flinging
out wit h aut horit y his reminiscences of what has happened t o
him t hree t housand years before in a previous st at e of exist ence.
Really, t hat is as likely a supposit ion as any ot her t o account for
Bronislaw Huberman.
Which is t o say t hat he is not a pupil, but a mast er, an art ist
about whom it would be an impert inence t o make allowances and
t o say “ considering. ” He is ent it led t o be j udged like t he ot her of
t he leading violinist s of whom he is one. Not by any means t hat
he is impeccable. He has dist inct ly more fire t han finish. I n t he
first t wo movement s of t he Mendelssohn concert o, accordingly,
he was dist inct ly inferior t o Sauret , who played t he concert o here
so exquisit ely last year. I n t he last movement , accordingly, where
vigor, dash, and power are more called for t han finish, Huberman
was as dist inct ly superior t o Sauret . But t he whole concert o was
most int erest ingly given.
Upon t he whole, t he last movement of t he concert o was t he best
t hing he did, except ing possibly t he final “ Gypsy Airs” of
Sarasat e, which make great demands upon execut ion, but which
he gave wit h a delight ful spirit and freedom. For an encore t o t he
concert o he played Schumann’s “ Trauemerei” wit h a mut ed violin,
and marred t he performance, as also t hat of t he Bach air, by an
abuse of t he vibrat o which was really out rageous. The Bach air
was furt her inj ured by t he suppression of t he accompaniment ,
which is an int egral part of t he composit ion, almost int o
inaudible- ness. Whet her t his was t he violinist ’s fault or t he
conduct or’s, it was grievous. The “ prelude” from one of t he solo
sonat as, on t he ot her hand was played wit h admirable vigor and
clearness. For a final encore he played an amazingly difficult
rondo by Bazzini wit h a complet e and easy conquest of it s
difficult ies. The young violinst has j ust ified t he European praise
of him and won a genuine and well - deserved success.
New York Times, 27 November 1896
HUBERMAN' S CONCERT
The Young Violinist Pleases a Large
Audience at Carnegie Hall.
Bronislaw Huberman, t he j uvenile violinist , suffers from over -
advert ising and underdressing. There really is no good reason
why Huberman should be advert ised as a mat ure art ist , nor is
t here good ground for dressing him in knee t rousers, loose silk
shirt s, and long hair. He is not a mat ure art ist , and he is not a
j uvenile prodigy. He is simply a boy whom nat ure has blessed
wit h somet hing like a real genius for violin playing, and who has
reached t he age of about sixt een years wit hout mast ering his art .
I t would do Huberman a world of good t o go int o ret irement and
st udy earnest ly under mast ers of opposit e st yles, like Joachim
and Ysaye. He would t hen be a violinist .
Reviews America 1896: huberman.info
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That t he boy has a genuine musical organizat ion was proved by
his playing yest erday aft ernoon at Carnegie Hall, where he gave
his first recit al in t he presence of a large and unduly
demonst rat ive audience. The boy’s most import ant number was
Bruch’s first concert o, wit h which he began his aft ernoon’s work.
He played it not at all like a mat ure art ist , but like a boy wit h
genius in his blood. Huberman has fire, dash, élan at t imes, and
occasionally his cant abile spreads int o t he warm glow of radiant
beaut y. But t hat is not oft en. He pleases most by t he splendid
sonorit y of his t one, a t one rough and impure yet , but very noble
in it s maj est ic breadt h. I t is a grand foundat ion on which t o rear
a bet t er t echnic t han t hat shown in t he last movement of t he
concert o, which was played coldly, deliberat ely, even t ent at ively.
Huberman plays sharp very oft en, and his int onat ion is generally
open t o quest ion. But his bowing, barring an over - fondness for
det ached not es, is admirable, and his phrasing shows a fine
feeling for musical effect s. There is a great amount of
earnest ness in t he young man’s work. There is no quest ion t hat
he loves his art , and t hat he put s all t he emot ional experience he
has, t oget her wit h a great deal of musical inst inct , int o his
playing. He has a fine fut ure before him, if he will cont ent himself
wit h being a violinist and drop his present st yle of dress and
advert ising.
I n addit ion t o t he concert o he played a Chopin noct urne and
Wieniawski’s “ Faust ” fant asia. Adele Lewing, pianist , played some
harmless, unnecessary numbers in a harmless, unnecessary st yle,
and Mr. E Romayne Simmons supplied t he violinist wit h
accompaniment s which were of t he eart h, eart hy.
Ot her American reviews:
The young violinist has j ust ified t he European praise of him and
won a genuine and well - deserved success. – TI MES
Huberman is a genius; his movement s and looks indicat e it , and
his playing more surely yet verifies t his idea. – SUN
I f t his child does not burn wit h t he t rue fires of genius, t hen
genius never exist ed. – PRESS
His performance of t he Mendelssohn Concert o would have been
marvelous had he been t went y years older. – EVE. POST
This body will not only make a furor; he will fill t he aching void
which Paderewski’s absence has left in so many feminine breast s.
– EVE. SUN
His exquisit e t one and puiseant appreciat ion, his buoyant and
delicat e grace of execut ion were all of t he most admirable
descript ion. – MAI L AND EXPRESS
There is not , perhaps, t he force of a full grown man in his t ouch
or t one, but no lack is felt , for everyt hing in his playing is
homogeneous and in proport ion.


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The Times, 20 Oct 1904
CONCERTS.
Herr Huberman, a violinist who came out as a prodigy some
years back, gave t he first of t wo recit als yest erday aft ernoon at
St . James' s- hall. He is undoubt edly an accomplished performer,
and, in spit e of cert ain limit at ions, creat ed a favourable
impression. His t echnique, alt hough of an advanced order, cannot
be said t o be perfect ; t here were occasional lapses of int onat ion;
yet his st accat o playing is admirable, and cert ain passages in
t hirds came out as clearly as could be wished, while his t one is
pure and even, but for one or t wo moment s of roughness, as
t hough qualit y was being sacrificed t o volume. His int erpret at ion
of t he Kreut zer sonat a was a mixt ure of breadt h and
sent iment alit y; t he andant e movement was t aken t oo slowly; but
t he finale, during which he had t he ill- luck t o break his E st ring,
went wit h excellent spirit . He also played Raff' s suit e, op. 180,
t he Schubert - Wilhelmj "Ave Maria, " and a mazurka by Kont ski.
Herr Richard Singer was a sympat het ic accompanist , and, besides
playing t he piano part of t he sonat a, which he did in good st yle,
also gave t he Bach- Busoni "Toccat a and Fugue" in D minor, t his
perhaps wit h an over - amount of force.
The Times, 8 May 1905
Herr Huberman' s orchest ral concert in t he Queen' s- hall was a
great success on Sat urday. He is one of t he few violinist s of t he
younger generat ion who are j ust ified in regarding wit h complet e
and genuine indifference t he t ransit ory successes made by t he
crowd of brilliant players, or t he means t hat many of t hem t ake
t o procure not oriet y. Herr Huberman has at t ained t o t he posit ion
of a real art ist , in whom t echnical skill, int ellect ual grasp, and
emot ional t emperament exist side by side and are held in
precisely t he right relat ion t o each ot her. No one could possibly
call him cold on t he one hand or sent iment al on t he ot her; his
playing of t he Beet hoven concert o was such as t o make t he
hearer forget t he individual in t he beaut y of t he work; it was
lit erally an int erpret at ion, and a remarkbly fine one. Saint -
Säens' s concert o in B minor and Tchaikovsky' s "Souvenir d' un lieu
cher" were t he ot her violin solos, and bot h were admirably
played. The Queen' s- hall Orchest ra, under Mr. Wood' s direct ion,
played t he accompaniment s very well, and opened t he concert
wit h t he overt ure t o Hänsel und Gret el . Herr Richard Singer, a
pianist of very considerable abilit y, played Liszt ' s second concert o
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8 May 1905 The Times
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The Times could be crit ical of violinist s. Three days aft er t he
8 May review of Huberman, Kubelik was crit icized for his
phrasing and int erpret at ion.
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in A wit h due vigour and brilliance.

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New York Times, 18 Oct ober 1921
MUSI C
By Richard Aldrich.
Bronislaw Huberman’s Recit al.
A large audience full of zealous friendliness, some of it no doubt
pat riot ic in origin, as is apt in t hese days t o be t he case in New
York when foreign art ist s are t o be welcomed, heard t he first
recit al in Carnegie Hall last evening of Mr. Bronislaw Huberman,
Polish violinist . I t was not Mr Huberman’s first appearance in New
York, for he played here t went y - five years ago as an “ infant
prodigy, ” wit h long hair, clot hes quit e as yout hful as befit t ed his
years, and not a lit t le t alent , manifest ed wit h a good deal of
crudeness.
I n t he int ervening years he has acquired a considerable European
reput at ion as an art ist . Mr Huberman is now a serious person,
approaching middle age; his hair is not longer in t he way; but it
must st ill be said t hat his t alent is manifest ed wit h a cert ain
crudeness. Mr Huberman is an unpret ending player, and makes
no at t empt at personal display. His mind is apparent ly more upon
t he music he is engaged wit h t han upon himself and t he effect he
is making, and t his predisposes in his favor. He is well equipped
wit h t he t echnical proficiency t hat is expect ed of all violinist s of
reput at ion in t hese days. Yet he frequent ly seems t o find it a
severe st rain t o produce his effect s, a laborious operat ion, back -
bending; and t he result is labored. Mr. Huberman’s t one is
powerful, but it is not not able for warmt h or appealing qualit y.
His progress was not one t hat would show any art ist t o t he best
advant age in Carnegie Hall. Beet hoven’s “ Kreut zer Sonat a, ”
t hough cast in t he largest mold of any of his violin sonat as, is
chamber music, and loses some of it s charact erist ic qualit y in a
large hall. Tschaikovsky’s concert o wit h a piano accompaniment
has t he flavor of cold veal – even t hough t he accompaniment is
so skillfully played as Mr. Paul Frenkel played it , and t he ot hers
on t he program – for t his concert o more t han most needs t he
glowing colors and t he variegat ed st rands of t he orchest ral fabric
enfolding it . Mr. Huberman played t he sonat a wit h t echnical skill
and int elligence, but wit hout a comprehensive underst anding of
it s poet ical beaut y. There were passages t hat seemed labored;
t here were ot hers in which he seemed suddenly smit t en wit h t he
sent iment al possibilit ies of a phrase and lift ed away from t he
t hought of labor. There was much in his playing of t he
“ Chaconne” from Bach’s D minor solo sonat a t o inspire respect ,
and even admirat ion, and, not wit hst anding t he frequent evidence
here, t oo, of t oil, some of t he variat ions were played wit h much
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t echnical efficiency, and even made t o disclose t heir musical
import . As for Tschaikovsky’s concert o, t he effect could hardly be
expect ed t o reach t he highest brilliancy under t he circumst ances
of it s performance, yet Mr. Huberman played it wit h abundant
dext erit y, t hough his t one in cert ain exact ing passages was apt
t o lose somet hing of it s musical qualit y.
His last group included pieces by Mozart , Chopin ( in Wilhelmj ’s
arrangement ) and Paganini, and aft er t he “ Chaconne” in
response t o demonst rat ive applause, Mr. Huberman added,
appropriat ely, a movement from anot her one of Bach’s
unaccompanied sonat as.

New York Times, 8 Dec 1922
Mr St ranky’s philharmonic societ y given in
Carnegie hall last evening. By Richard Aldrich.
Mr Bronislaw Huberman was t he soloist , playing Brahm’s
concert o. Mr Huberman has before now showed t he st erling
qualit y of his art , his high seriousness and his power t o cope wit h
great music. Some of his met hods wit h Brahms’s concert o
puzzled his admirers. I n t he first movement he at t acked t he
opening phrases, and some lat er ones wit h a t empest uous energy
t hat was t ranslat ed int o roughness of t one and a forcing of t he
same; and wit h a cert ain exaggerat ion of t he rhyt hmic impulse,
which is right ly t o be sure, drast ic, but which seemed overdone.
Then in t he cant ilena passage Mr. Huberman sang most
seduct ively, most beaut ifully on his inst rument ; and t here were
large sect ions of t he work of which he t ruly int erpret ed t he poet ry
and reflect ed t he sunset glow of t he music.

New York Times, 1 Feb 1923
Richard Aldrich
The Friends of Music changed it s habit at for it s concert given
yest erday aft ernoon; left t he Town Hall and invit ed it s support ers
t o Carnegie Hall.
Mr Huberman played t he t wo romances by Beet hoven wit h
admirable musicianship, a full - t hroat ed ut t erance of sincere
sent iment . I t hardly seemed as if t he t wo belonged t oget her in
one number, so closely are t hey relat ed in spirit , however
int erest ing it was for t he analyt ically inclined t o compare t hem
t hus.
The most import ant number of t he program was Taneiev’s suit e,
which was announced as played for t he first t ime in America, and
very likely was, for comparat ively lit t le of t his Russian’s music
has penet rat ed t o t his count ry. I t is a long and elaborat e
composit ion, comprising a rhapsodical prelude; a gavot t e in which
a st rong new wine is poured int o t he old- bot t le of t he archaic
dance rhyt hm; a movement called “ Ghost st ory, ” fancifully
suggest ing legends of t he Russian count ryside t old at bedt ime,
and a t heme wit h five variat ions in int erest ing and varied forms.
I t is music st rongly t inct ured wit h imaginat ion, robust and
vigorous, and showing lit t le or not hing of t he influence of t he
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nat ional folk song. Mr Huberman played it wit h great power and
convict ion, and Mr Bodanzky gave it an excellent performance of
t he highly developed orchest ral part .

New York Times, 27 Oct 1923
Huberman gives novelt y
Violinist plays prize- winning sonat a by Alexander
Tansman
Bronislaw Huberman played a young Polish composer’s work by
of a prime novelt y at his reappearance in recit al at Carnegie Hall
last night . Wit h Siegfried Schult ze at t he piano, he gave t he violin
sonat a in D maj or by Alexander Tansman. I t was t old t hat t his
was one of t hree manuscript s in a post - war compet it ion of t he
new Polish Government , all t hree anonymously submit t ed by a
yout h hardly out of his t eens, and all winning prizes for his music
and for himself quick fame.
Tansman’s sonat a is t ransparent ly yout hful in spirit , young in
heart , and none t he less likeable for t hat . I t seemed a free
improvisat ion in four short movement s, ingrat iat ing in t he playful
t ossing of pret t y t unes bet ween piano wires and fiddle st rings,
t he exploring of kaleidoscopic harmonies. A Slavic melody and a
gay “ int ermezzo scherzando” were applauded.
The sonat a is dedicat ed now t o Huberman, who has present ed in
Paris, Amst erdam and London. Last night ’s program comprised
also Bach’s concert o in E, wit h small chamber orchest ra; Lalo’s
“ Symphonie Espagnole” and Debussy’s “ Minuet , ” “ En Bat eau” and
“ Cort ege, ” piano pieces arranged for violin by Huberman.

New York Times, 25 Nov 1923
Assist s Philharmonic
Bronislaw Huberman, Violinist , Plays in
Tchaikovsky Program
Bronislaw Huberman played Tchaikovsky’s concert o for violin in D
maj or wit h t he Philharmonic Orchest ra at Carnegie Hall last
evening. The violinst maint ained a broad, sweeping t one, rich in
colours, wit h delicat ely wrought phrasing and much fluency. Mr
Huberman was ably assist ed by Mr Willem von Hoogst rat en’s
players in giving a highly int elligent present at ion of t he
composit ion.
The orchest ra alone gave Tchaikovsky’s Fourt h Symphony and
t he same composer’s “ Romeo and Juliet . ” As usual, t he hall was
filled t o t he last bit of st anding room, and t here was a long line of
applicant s for admission when t he last had been sold.

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New York Times, 1 Dec 1923
Bronislaw Huberman’s Recit al.
By H. C. Colles
Bronislaw Huberman offered an abundant program of violin music
at Carnegie Hall last night t o an audience which fully appreciat ed
t he abundance of his powers. Beet hoven’s Kreut zer sonat a wit h
Siegfried Schult ze playing t he piano came first , t hen
Mendelssohn’s concert o wit h Siegfried Schult ze represent ing an
orchest ra, t hen some Bach wit hout accompaniment and finally
t hat miscellaneous group which is t he reward of t hose of t he
audience who t olerat e t he classics for t he sake of t he virt uoso.
Those who t ake t he opposit e view, who find t he virt uoso
admirable for t he sake of t he music, had much t o be t hankful for
in t he first part of t he program where Mr. Huberman’s finished
playing was devot ed t o great music. One might differ from him
about cert ain feat ures in t he Beet hoven sonat a, not ably t he
variat ions of t he middle movement made t oo rest less by his
ingenuit ies of bowing, but it was undoubt edly a performance full
of vigorous life. I n t he Mendelssohn he cert ainly laid t oo much
st ress on mere speed and t hough he rarely if ever had t o
sacrifice clearness t o get it , and his t one always ret ained it s pure
and liquid qualit y, he did sacrifice or at any rat e failed t o discover
some of it s beaut y of feeling.
I t was delight ful t o hear him march st eadily t hrough t o t he end
of t he slow movement wit hout ever giving way t o t he sent iment al
relent ando[ sic] , but t he finale can have j ust as much vit alit y and
considerably more of grace by being t aken at a more moderat e
speed. The modern t endency is t o t reat t empo like t he spinning
of a t op – t o set t he t hing going and let it run. The great est
players have always kept it like everyt hing else wit hin t here
cont rol, wit h somet hing t o spare.
Though t he same fet ish of speed rat her limit ed his Bach, which
consist ed of t he Praeludium, Gavot t e and Menuet t from t he
sonat a in E, t his was perhaps t he most enj oyable part of Mr.
Huberman’s program, because of t he decisive rhyt hm, t he purit y
of t one and t he firmness of t he chord passages. I t was alt oget her
a most st imulat ing performance.

New York Times, 20 Jan 1924
Huberman, Violinist , Plays Again.
Bronislaw Huberman, t he violinist , gave his t hird recit al last
evening at Carnegie Hall. His program comprised Franck’s sonat a,
Bach’s chaconne, Bruch’s concert o No. 2, t he Wagner - Wilhelm
“ Prize Song, ” a walt z- caprice of Wieniawski and t wo Spanish
dances by Sarasat e. Siegfried Schult ze assist ed at t he piano and
t here was a large and cordial house. I t was made known t hat Mr.
Huberman, who is booked for an American t our next year, is
leaving soon t o do “ broadcast ing” at t he invit at ion of t he Dut ch
Government . He has been invit ed also by t he present Russian
Government t o make a t our of t hat count ry, which he has not
visit ed since t he revolut ion.
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New York Times, 18 Feb 1924
Huberman is applauded.
Heard Wit h St ransky’s Players at Opera House
Mat inee.
A mat inee audience at t he Met ropolit an yest erday heard t he last
but one of t he St at e Symphony Orchest ra’s series t here. I t will
close March 2, when Mme. Jerit za, now st art ing her own concert
t our, ret urns for a local field day wit h Mr. St ransky’s players. Two
soloist s assist ed yest erday, Bronislaw Huberman in Mendelssohn’s
violin concert o and Ant on Bilot t i in t he “ Dance of Deat h” by Liszt .
The orchest ra gave also Schubert ’s “ Unfinished” symphony,
Smet ana’s “ The Moldau” and t he “ Rakocsy” march of Berlioz.
Mr. Huberman was long applauded aft er t he concert o, which, wit h
t he brief symphony t hat preceded it , might well share honors
among t he most popular of musical classics. Mr. Bilot t i also made
a graceful appearance, if less fort unat e, in t he noisy piano
declamat ion of t he “ Dies I rae. ” I ndeed, Liszt ’s bombast made t he
brass of Berlioz aft er it shine like gold. Mr St ransky’s int erlude
from Smet ana, ant icipat ing t he Czech composer’s cent enary, was
a j oyful celebrat ion of his nat ive river in melodies of Bohemia’s
own.

Neue Freie Presse, June 1924
The fift h concert of Bronislaw Huberman was sold out . That
signified a t riumph wit hout equal, an unparalleled vict ory. Art ist s
are not t oo numerous who can at t ract t he public on a warm June
night . Huberman had t he power t o do t his. His violin playing has
a legendary lust er, his t ones a clear beaut y, an infat uat ing
sensuousness; t he noble breadt h and ardent int erpret at ion
bewit ched all. Art ist s like Huberman are t he elect and favored of
fat e, t hey shine like st ars.

Wiener Zeit ung, June 1924
I heard Huberman in five of his concert s. Ent husiast s filled t he
place t o t he last seat when he played Beet hoven and Brahms.
The brilliant t one, t he nobilit y of t he cant ilena, t he aspirat ion and
flight t oward God are unique. Huberman is t he lat est poet ic
int erpret er on t he violin, t he lat est messenger of t he great
mast ers who t urn everyt hing t hey t ouch int o harmony and soul.
Huberman belongs t o t hem, he appert ains t o t heir immort al
st at e.

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New York Times, 15 Dec 1924
Bronislaw Huberman’s recit al
Four import ant works, each t ypical of a cert ain school and period
and asking of t he performer many qualit ies of t echnic and
int erpret at ion, made t he program of Bronislaw Huberman’s violin
recit al yest erday aft ernoon in Carnegie Hall. These were t he
Beet hoven Kreut zer Sonat a, t he unaccompanied prelude and
fugue in G minor of J. S. Bach, from t he sonat a in t hat key; t he
Mendelssohn concert o and t he Wieniawski “ Faust ” fant asy. Mr.
Huberman was assist ed by Siegfried Schult ze, pianist . The
composit ions were arranged not in chronological order, but wit h a
view t o cont rast and effect ive succession. They were played wit h
a sincerit y, a fire and a ripe knowledge t hat made t he concert
more t han an agreeable one.
I n Beet hoven’s Sonat a Mr. Huberman at t imes sacrificed
sensuous beaut y of t one t o dramat ic accent . The list ener felt
sympat het ic when he did t his – felt , in fact t hat he would hardly
have been a man and art ist had he done ot herwise. Could
Beet hoven have been fully sat isfied wit h his medium in his
composit ion? Must he not have felt rest rict ed, once he had
elect ed t o employ a violin and piano, t o find his t hought
assuming an unconquerable energy and passion which, in t he first
movement at least , would have required an orchest ra t o do it
j ust ice?
I n t he slow movement Mr. Huberman avoided t he pit fall t hat
oft en ent raps less mat ured art ist s, in not at t empt ing t o make t he
t heme and variat ions t oo emot ional. When t he variat ions t ended
t oward t rivialit y t hey were given dignit y and subst ance by t he
musicianship of t he performer.
The incomparable music of Bach was discoursed in an earnest
and loft y spirit . For years t he surpassing genius of his works for
violin alone was misunderst ood by t hose who preferred t he more
brilliant st yle of cert ain of Bach’s I t alian cont emporaries, and who
could only perceive what t hey called t hey unidiomat ic qualit y of
Bach’s composit ions in t his form. That day, however, is well past .
The Bach composit ions for unaccompanied violin, not only in t he
richness of t he t hought but t he manner of t he writ ing, are a
whole t echnic and a whole world of beaut y in t hemselves. Mr.
Huberman brought t o his Bach t he same convict ion and
ent husiasm t hat he had given t o t he impassioned ut t erances of
Beet hoven. Yet he never imposed himself upon t he list ener. He
gave voice t o t he composer, and a large audience signified it s
pleasure.

New York Times, 12 Jan 1925
Bronislaw Huberman Plays Again.
Bronislaw Huberman, t he violinist , seized a day from his mid-
season t our t o play again last night at t he Manhat t an Opera
House, where an audience of admirers showed frankly it s
enj oyment of his playing. I n addit ion t o Bach’s C- maj or adagio
and fugue for violin alone, his program included bot h t he sonat a
of Franck and t he “ Symphonie Espagnole” of Lalo, assist ed by
Siegfried Schult ze at t he piano, and pieces by Brahms, Wagner,
Wieniawski and Paganini.
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The Times, 17 March 1932
B. B. C. Symphony Concert
A Beet hoven Programme
An evening of Beet hoven under t he direct ion of Dr. Felix
Weingart ner is an event not t o be missed, and Queen’s Hall was
crowded last night . I t began wit h t he early “ Promet heus”
overt ure; t he Past oral Symphony and t he Violin Concert o were
t he t wo big symphonic works, and t he overt ure Leonora I I I ,
made an inspiring ending. The salient impression was one of
unfailing right ness; t he right ness which can allow t he long
st ret ches of t he first movement of t he Past oral t o be unevent ful
like t he calm of t he count ryside, which can make t he bird- songs
at t he end of t he slow movement sound relevant inst ead of
quaint , and which, aft er offering resist ance t o all t empt at ions in
t he way of false climaxes, can make t he culminat ing point s of
Leonora I I I , int o t owering mount ain t ops.
Mr. Huberman was t he violinist in t he concert o, and he, t oo,
brought clear j udgment as well as fine musical impulse t o his
int erpret at ion. He is one of t he few violinist s who can give t he G
minor episode in t he first movement it s proper feeling of free
improvisat ion while bearing in mind t he inexorable t read of t he
four crot chet s of t he wind inst rument s; he can decorat e t he
melody of t he slow movement wit h exquisit e fiorit ure wit hout
making t he decorat ion obscure t he out line; he can set a vigorous
rhyt hm for t he rondon t une of t he finale wit hout t earing at his
fourt h st ring.
But t his is t o describe a noble performance by negat ives, and t he
right j udgment in all t hings which cont rolled it was somet hing
very posit ive. These readings of Beet hoven are somet hing wort h
broadcast ing t o t he world; moreover, such a concert as t his gives
t he complet e answer t o t hose who say t hat t he B. B. C. should
confine it self t o st udio work, for only in t he hall and before t he
audience t here present can such delicat e adj ust ment s of musical
values be fully realized.

New York Times, 31 Dec 1934
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1930s
Reviews from t he 1930s.
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Huberman Heard in Violin Recit al
Highest Plane of His Art ist ry Reached in
Concert o and Sonat a by Bach.
Beet hoven on Program
Szymanowski Suit e and His Own Version of
Chopin Pieces Among Offerings
By Olin Downes
An audience which numbered among it s members many
musicians list ened t o t he recit al given by Bronislav Huberman,
violinist , last night in Carnegie Hall. Mr Huberman had provided
generous and subst ant ial fare for his list eners. He had a small
st ring orchest ra t o supplement his solo in t he performance of
Bach’s A minor violin concert o. Aft er t his he played t he same
mast er’s unaccompanied sonat a in G minor and a movement
from t he t hird unaccompanied sonat a in A minor as an encore for
t he first part of t he program. The second part comprised t he
Beet hoven “ Kreut zer” sonat a and short er pieces by Szymanowski
and Chopin- Huberman. For such a program t he audience should
have been a larger one, while, on t he ot her hand, it s ent husiasm
must have warmed t he violinist ’s heart .
Mr. Huberman was at his great est in t he concert o and above all in
t he unaccompanied sonat a of Bach. He played t he concert o wit h
t he square- cut rhyt hm, t he subst ant ial at t ack and t reat ment of
phrase t hat t he music implies. He was not merely a soloist but
t he leader of t he small orchest ra and t he int erpret er of a work
conceived for an ensemble. I n lyrical measures he t ook a
reasonable degree of freedom, but it was Bach form, archit ect ure
and rhyt hm t hat t he performance present ed, and t he audience
was t he gainer by a st ring ensemble t hat seldom is feat ured in a
virt uoso’s recit al.
But it was in t he unaccompanied sonat a t hat Mr. Huberman
reached his full height . The polyphonic music was performed wit h
a fine clarit y and a t echnical cert aint y t hat enabled t he player t o
devot e himself ent irely t o int erpret ive problems. An eloquence
t hat went deeper t han t hat of musical pat t ern weaving also was
given it .
Bach’s unaccompanied composit ions for t he violin will always
profoundly st ir t he init iat ed list ener because of t heir romant ic
spirit and profound meanings. I n t he st rict forms of his day, and
wit h an incredible mast ery, t he mast er packs wit hin t he compass
of four st rings enough t hemat ic mat erial for a symphony. But it is
t he fact of a special and personal expression of his own which
put s t he sonat as apart from everyt hing else in violin lit erat ure.
One looks t o t he Bach chorale- preludes, or t he Chromat ic
Fant asia, for a similar int rospect ion, poignancy of accent , and
concent rat ion of musical means. And so Mr. Huberman played t he
fiery int roduct ion, t he great fugue and t he lesser movement s of
t he G minor sonat a wit h an eloquence t hat revealed t he spirit as
well as t he mind of Bach.
I t would be a pleasure t o say t hat t his level was maint ained
t hroughout t he concert , but t he performance of Beet hoven’s
sonat a was dist inguished neit her by a well - fused and rounded
ensemble t one nor by a spirit wholly j ust t o t he music. That it
had passion was sufficient ly evident , but t he effect was of
nervous t ensit y [ sic] and exaggerat ion. The t one qualit y of t he
violinist was oft en st rident and his int onat ion inaccurat e. The
essent ially classic proport ion and beaut y of Beet hoven’s music of
t his period were impaired; nor does t he fact t hat Beet hoven
marked his sonat a “ in uno st ilo molt o concert ant e” imply such
t reat ment .
Mr. Huberman played t he charmingly exot ic and imaginat ive
pieces of Szymanowski – “ Narcisse” and “ La Font aine d’Aret huse”
– wit h t he sensuousness and color t hey require, and t his t o t he
delight of his audience. Two Chopin walt zes, gracefully
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t ranscribed by him, ended t he print ed program.
I n t hese performances, including t he special t ask of t he
“ Kreut zer” sonat a, Siegfried Schult ze proved himself a musicianly
and accomplished pianist .

New York Times, 20 Feb 1935
Huberman plays Brahms concert o
Violinist appears as soloist wit h Klemperer
Direct ing Philadelphia Orchest ra.
Beet hoven ‘Eroica’ given
Cherubini ‘Anacreon’ Overt ure Rounds out
program offered by visit ing musicians
By Olin Downes
Ot t o Klemperer ret urned t o New York as guest conduct or of t he
Philadelphia Orchest ra when t hat organizat ion performed last
night in Carnegie Hall. The assist ing soloist was Bronislaw
Huberman, who played t he Brahms violin concert o. The concert
was an impressive one in several respect s; in none more so t hat
t he cont agious passion, sincerit y and loft iness of spirit wit h which
Mr. Klemperer present ed classic mast erpieces.
He began t he concert wit h t he Cherubini “ Anacreon” overt ure and
concluded wit h Beet hoven’s “ Eroica” symphony. This was a fine
t hought , for Cherubini, in t he overt ure heard last night , is a
wort hy prelude t o Beet hoven. The t wo works – overt ure and
symphony – were composed almost at t he same t ime, and first
performed wit hin t wo years of each ot her. Cherubini’s score is
t hinner in subst ance and small by t he side of t he t owering
“ Eroica. ” But it is st rong and impet uous music, dist inguished in
it s st yle and it s classic mold, and it st rikes fire t oday, a cent ury
and a quart er aft er it was writ t en. I t is t he music of a composer
for whom Beet hoven had a deep respect , and who had for
Beet hoven t he same kind of est eem – t hat of t wo st rong men
and t rue art ist s for each ot her. The friendship was ungloved but
enduring. Each man spoke his mind, wit hout precaut ion or
ceremony, and each felt indebt edness t o t he ot her. That is a
hist oric fact , but more st rikingly t han by any ext erior fact is t he
t rut h of it borne out by t he nat ure of Cherubini’s music.
Mr. Huberman’s performance of t he Brahms concert o was
dist inguished of course by ample t echnic and by t he qualit ies and
spirit of t he born virt uoso. He is an art ist of t he experience and
aut horit y which equip him t o int erpret a work of t he dimensions
of t he D maj or concert o wit h an aut horit at ive grasp of t he
composit ion as a whole, and t o deliver cert ain passages wit h t he
sweep and breadt h of line of a great ly gift ed art ist . I t would be
pleasant t o say t hat t here were no unt oward feat ures t o balance
t hese fine at t ribut es. But t hat is not so. The t one was oft en
st rident , t he st yle feverish. The int erpret er obt ruded himself
overmuch, and delivered all passages wit h so much emphasis –
overemphasis – elocut ionary emphasis – dot t ing all “ i’s” and
crossing all “ t ’s” so sedulously t hat det ails were exaggerat e,
while a lat ent t heat ricalism suffused t he concept ion. The
t endency t o play sharp is in all probabilit y a deliberat e one. The
violinist of Mr. Huberman’s t emperament doubt less desires t he
maximum of brilliancy when his t one is t o mat ch t hat of t he
orchest ra. This brilliancy, however, is wit h him achieved at cost
of pure int onat ion and t one qualit y. Tone in fact was forced, and
t he inherent repose which is obviously a qualit y of t he great
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symphonic composit ion was conspicuous by absence.
The purely crit ical could find point s on which t o differ wit h Mr.
Klemperer’s t reat ment of t he symphony, but it would be
disproport ionat e t o insist on t hese in t he face of his noble and
dramat ic int erpret at ion. He felt profoundly t he essent ial grandeur
and emot ional int ensit y of t his incommensurable music. He read
it in a fashion which deeply moved his list eners. I t may be said
t hat any adequat e int erpret at ion of t he “ Eroica” would do t hat ,
but what does “ adequat e” mean? An adequat e int erpret at ion of
t he “ Eroica” means in t he first place t he convict ion and t he loft y
comprehension of t he lonely colossus of a symphony which
Klemperer possesses in an except ional degree. He is surcharged
and overwhelmed wit h it . He is ent irely oblivious of t he personal
int erest s of t he bat on- wielder when he conveys it . Part icularly
st irring were t he first and last movement s, grand in line, eloquent
of det ail, profound in meaning. The slow movement should have
had a slower t empo, and one more st eadily maint ained. Even so,
it fell upon t he ears as music of searing int ensit y and grandeur.
The horns in t he t rio of t he scherzo played t heir difficult measures
beaut ifully, but rat her t oo light ly, so t hat t his movement was a
beaut iful sylvan myst ery, but had not all of it s pot ency. But t he
performance of t he finale was one of except ional vividness and
exult ant power.

New York Times, 24 Feb 1935
Sonat a Program St irs Ent husiasm
Schnabel and Huberman Pool Unusual Gift s in
Concert at t he Town Hall
Ensemble a Not able One
Brahms, Beet hoven, Mozart and Schubert
Classics in Weight y List Present ed
That ordinarily sedat e affair, t he sonat a concert , t ook on some of
t he excit ement of a virt uoso recit al when Art ur Schnabel and
Bronislaw Huberman collaborat ed in an aft ernoon of piano and
violin chamber music in t he Town Hall yest erday. Shout s and
st ampings of t he feet were mingled wit h waves of energet ic
hand- clapping in a demonst rat ion at t he close of a long and
arduous program devot ed t o Brahms, Beet hoven, Mozart and
Schubert , wit h t he lat er and weight ier composit ions placed first .
This was an event of progressively eloquent playing, wit h bot h
art ist s at t heir best at t he end of t he list .
Perhaps t he choice of t he Brahms D minor sonat a was not an
alt oget her wise one for t he opening of t his concert . Proj ect ed wit h
much of fire and int ensit y, it was over - dramat ized in a nervous,
feverish manner t hat cost it some of it s breadt h and sweep. The
slow movement part ook of t he sent iment al, and Mr. Huberman’s
t one, while of luscious qualit y, was frequent ly sharp as t o pit ch.
Thereaft er, Beet hoven’s G maj or sonat a, Opus 96, wit h it s
recollect ions of t he Aust rian count ryside, found it s int erpret ers,
t he one a Carint hian by birt h, t he ot her a Viennese by adopt ion,
on hallowed ground. The past oral suggest ions of all save t he final
rondo, which savors of Viennese popular song; t he invocat ion of
nat ure in t he opening allegro, t he happy reverie of t he adagio,
t he peasant j ollit y of t he scherzo, were evoked wit h a mellow and
ret rospect ive charm, as if st ored wit h memories of anot her day.
The ensemble was as not able as t he individual playing.
Mozart ’s B flat maj or sonat a ( K. 378) , writ t en in Salzburg when
t he composer was 23, is among his more dramat ic vent ures in
t his form, t hough cheerful in t one and possessing one of his most
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singing slow movement s. I t was exquisit ely played, wit h Mr.
Schnabel’s piano t one mat ching t hat of t he violinist in color and
sensit iveness. Even more enchant ing were t he delicacy, t he
warmt h, t he t ouch of “ t he pat hos of dist ance, ” t hat enforced
Schubert ’s infrequent ly played C maj or “ Fant asie, ” composed
wit hin a year of his deat h. Mr Huberman communicat ed at t he
opening a vision as of anot her world. On t he purely t echnical
side, Mr. Schnabel’s scale passages and t rills in t he variat ions of
t he andant ino were of consummat e grace and finish. Here was a
performance t o linger wit h t hose who heard it .
O. T.

New York Times, 26 May 1935
Newly recorded music by Compt on Pakenham
I n Mast erworks Set No. 210 is t he Bach concert No. 1, in A
minor, by Huberman and t he Vienna Philharmonic Orchest ra.
As far as memory serves, Bronislaw Huberman has not appeared
on a domest ic list since Mast erworks Set No. 131. I n t his he gave
a spirit ed if rat her uneven performance of t he Tchaikovsky
concert o wit h t he Berlin St at e Orchest ra. Here, again, vigor is t he
essent ial feat ure of his work, and his approach t o Bach st rikes
one as more deferent ial t han t he spirit in which, five years ago,
he at t acked Tchaikovsky. I n t he int erval, recording t echnique has
developed considerably, and probably t o t his may be at t ribut ed
t he most not iceable difference bet ween t he t wo Huberman set s.
I n t he Bach t he balance in t he orchest ra and wit h t he soloist is
well - nigh perfect .

New York Times, 8 Feb 1936
Not ed Musicians Give Trio Recit al
Schnabel, Pianist ; Huberman, Violinist , and
Feuermann, ’Cellist , Are Heard.
First Program Toget her
Concert Opens Wit h Brahms Opus – Beet hoven
and Schubert Works Also Played.
Three musicians of world- wide reput e, Art ur Schnabel, pianist ;
Bronislaw Huberman, violnist , and Emanuel Feuermann, ’cellist ,
combined t heir t alent s in a recit al of t rios at t he Town Hall last
night .
For t his sixt h event in t he t own Hall endowment series, t hese
celebrit ies came forward in a program consist ing of t he t rio in B
maj or, Op. 8, of Brahms, in t he revised version; t he t rio in D
maj or, Op. 70, No. 1, by Beet hoven, and t he t rio in B flat maj or,
Op. 99, by Schubert .
The great est art ist s, no mat t er how experienced t hey may be in
ensemble playing, require long pract ice as a group t o reach t heir
real st ride in t he performance of works of t he nat ure of t hose
at t empt ed on t his occasion. I t happens t hat alt hough Mr.
Schnabel and Mr. Huberman had j oined forces in t he past , t his
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was t he first t ime anywhere t hat t hey appeared wit h Mr.
Feuermann in an evening of t rio playing.
I t was not st range, under t he circumst ances, t hat t he Brahms
t rio, which opened t he list , was not up t o t he st andard of
excellence expect ed of musicians of t his high caliber. Each of
t heir t emperament s was in conflict t hroughout a large part of t he
int erpret at ion of t his work, wit h t he result t hat if cert ain sect ions
were sat isfact orily played, as a whole t he rendit ion was uneven
and none t oo convincing.
Mr. Feuermann proved himself an ensemble art ist of high
at t ainment s from t he st art of t he evening. His rich, warm t one
was eminent ly suit ed t o t he demands of t he Brahms select ion. He
brought t o t he int erpret at ion t he romant ic element .
There was rhyt hmic charm in t he finale of t he Brahms, but t he
adagio, which moved at a snail’s pace, said virt ually not hing.
Perhaps t he most remarkable det ail of t his Brahms reading was
Mr. Schnabel’s miraculous handling of t hat bugbear of all pianist s,
t he swift passage in descending and t hen ascending arpeggio
near t he close of t he scherzo. I n flying pianissimo passages of
t his sort he now and again afforded like t hrills of admirat ion in
t he lat er t rios on t he schedule.
Wit h t he Beet hoven t rio which followed, t he balance of t one
improved, and while t his work has been as ably present ed by
performers of individual gift s of a lower order, it s int erpret at ion
was nearer ant icipat ions t han what had gone before.
This creat ion of Beet hoven’s, which is known as t he “ Ghost ” t rio,
because of t he myst ic nat ure of it s largo movement , found t he
t hree art ist s part icularly at one in t he famous slow division of t he
opus. – Mr. Schnabel’s shadowy t remolos and t he myst erious
phrases arising from Mr. Feuermann’s ’cello produced much of
t he at mosphere of haunt ed melancholy needed here.
But it was t he final offering, by Schubert , which showed off t he
gift s of t he performers as ensemble art ist s t o t he best advant age.
I t was played wit hout any of t he sent iment alit y t hat many of it s
suave melodies easily encourage and was ingrat iat ingly free of
dynamic exaggerat ions.
N. S.

New York Times, 29 Feb 1936
[ This was t he concert where t he St radivarius was st olen. To read
t he New York Times report of t he robbery which was print ed t he
same day as t his review, click here. ]
Huberman Heard in Carnegie Hall
Large Audience Wit nesses t he Violinist in Dual
Role of Soloist and Conduct or.
Bach Concert o Praised
He Present s Number in I nformal St yle,
Relegat ing Display t o t he Background.
The huge audience which packed Carnegie Hall last night t o hear
Bronislaw Huberman, t he Polish violinist , in his first recit al of t he
season, wit nessed t he unusual sight , at such an event , of a
soloist act ing from t ime t o t ime as conduct or of an accompanying
chamber orchest ra. This ensemble, consist ing of some t woscore
musicians from t he Philharmonic- Symphony and t he Nat ional
Orchest ral Associat ion, support ed Mr. Huberman in t he Bach
concert o in E maj or and t wo Mozart numbers.
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Wit h nods of t he head and occasional flourishings of t he bow, by
way of signals t o t he st rings and pianofort e employed in t he Bach
accompaniment , Mr. Huberman went t hrough t he Bach concert o
in informal st yle, put t ing all his at t ent ion on bringing out t he
beaut ies of t he music t o t he best of his abilit ies. Here he
relegat ed display t o t he background, wit h especially laudable
result s in t he adagio movement of t he work, which he sang fort h
wit h t hrobbing lyricism and a sensit ive t one of unadult erat ed
purit y and silken qualit y.
His performances t hrough t he evening were not , it is t rue, of
unblemished qualit y. I n t he opening movement of t he concert o
and in t he final t here were inaccuracies of pit ch and imperfect ions
of t imbre. When driven t oo hard his bow evoked a wiry and
st rident t one. This climbing t o pinnacles and t hen clambering
down from t he height s occurred more t han once during t he
evening.
I t was a pleasure t o list en t o t he seldom at t empt ed Mozart
adagio in F maj or ( Koechel, No. 261) , writ t en probably for t he
Salzburg violinist , Brunet t i, for use in t he composer’s violin
concert o in A maj or. I t is unusually melodious, even for Mozart ,
and Mr. Huberman brought out t he fascinat ing t hemat ic mat erial
wit h much charm of phrasing and delight ful at t ent ion t o det ail.
Even finer was t he playing of t he Mozart rondo in C maj or, in t he
accompaniment of which, as in t he adagio, wind inst rument s
were added t o t he orchest ra. Mr. Huberman best owed upon t he
rondo all t he needed grace and refinement and read it s
ingrat iat ing measures wit h imaginat ion held wit hin t he bounds of
t rue Mozart ean st yle.
As a whole Mr. Huberman’s rendit ion of t he Bach chaconne was
in t he grand manner. I t was given wit h t echnical securit y and was
especially impressive in it s climact ic moment s, which were
unusually powerful in t onal volume and int ensit y. The violinist
int errupt ed his performance of t he composit ion t wice, once t o
t ight en his bow and agin t o at t end t o a slipping st ring, but t hese
moment ary halt s did not hing t o int erfere wit h t he aut horit at ive
effect of t he int erpret at ion as an ent it y.
Mr. Huberman, wit h Jakob Gimpel at t he piano, next performed
t he César Franck sonat a. The soloist also was heard in a group
comprising Szymanowski, Chopin- Huberman and Brahms-
Joachim numbers.

New York Times, 6 Apr 1936
Sonat a Program at t he Town Hall
Schnabel and Huberman Give Joint Recit al of
Works for Piano and Violin.
Beet hoven I t ems Played
Foreign Art ist s Complet e Their Offering Wit h
Composit ions of Brahms and Mozart .
Considering t he packed houses which greet ed Art ur Schnabel
during t he recent series of Beet hoven recit als here, t he small size
of t he audience gat hered at Town Hall yest erday aft ernoon t o
hear t he Aust rian pianist and Bronislaw Huberman in a program
of violin and piano sonat as seemed rat her surprising. As
unant icipat ed was t he moderat e amount of ent husiasm which t he
performances of t he t wain aroused in t heir chast e and rat her
aust ere program.
Mr. Schnabel and Mr. Huberman, each long looked up t o abroad
Reviews: 1930s: huberman.info
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as t he leading Beet hoven exponent of his part icular inst rument ,
combined t heir t alent s yest erday in t wo of t hat composer’s
sonat as, t he import ant example in C minor, Op. 30, No. 2, and
t he sonat a in F maj or, Op. 24, popularly known as t he “ Spring”
sonat a. Bet ween t hese on t he list were placed t he sonat a in G
maj or, Op. 78, by Brahms, and Mozart ’s sonat a in E flat maj or
( Koechel, 481) .
Except for t he G maj or sonat a, Op. 96, all of Beet hoven’s sonat as
for violin and piano were early works writ t en about t he t ime of
t he First and Second symphonies. They do not represent
Beet hoven at his full mat urit y as a composer. But t he one in C
minor chosen t o open yest erday’s program is one of t he most
serious and effect ive of t he lot .
I n it s int erpret at ion, Mr. Schnabel and Mr. Huberman gave a
mannered account of t he work, in which spont aneit y was
annihilat ed by finicking at t ent ion t o det ail. Much of it was highly
finished t echnically, and t here was a good balance of t one
maint ained, except t hat as t he more dominant personalit y and
t he more t emperment ally[ sic] aggressive, Mr. Schnabel t ended t o
draw more at t ent ion t o t he piano t han should have been t he
case.
There was no at t empt at display or even t o achieve brilliance in
any of t his playing. I t was deadly serious – singularly lacking in
charm, in power t o awaken a keen response in t he list ener, or t o
grasp at t ent ion firmly – somet imes in t he Beet hoven sonat a in
quest ion, st ret ches of much suavit y of t one would issue from t he
inst rument s. But oft en Mr. Schnabel’s fort issimo out burst s gave
t he impression of anger and irrit at ion in t heir curt abrupt ness,
where t hese qualit ies were int ruders in t he scheme of t hings, and
st ill more oft en, Mr. Huberman’s violin emit t ed sounds not any
t oo sharply defined in pit ch and of scrat chy charact er.
The Brahms sonat a proved somewhat more successful in
at t aining mood and eloquence t han t he Beet hoven. The adagio
was on t he whole a well - sust ained bit of ensemble work,
especially impressive in t he cooring applied in t he concluding
sect ion. I t would have been st ill more effect ive, however, had t he
oct ave figure marked “ fort e” in t he B minor episode not been
augment ed t o a st renuous fort issimo at it s every appearance wit h
coarsening result .
But best of t he playing heard by t his reviewer was t he Mozart
sonat a. I n t his, bot h performers went more direct ly and
unaffect edly t o work, so t hat it had a more sincere and
wholesome at mosphere about it . But even in t his composit ion
more sensit iveness of nuance and of color would not have been
amiss. There was somet hing rat her cut and dried and academic
about it all, for Mozart , t hough least so in t he well delivered
adagio.
N. S.

New York Times, 19 Jul 1936
by Compt on Pakenham
[ aft er discussing Heifez’s Sibelius recording wit h Sir Thomas
Beecham and t he London Philharmonic … ]
Simult aneously, Columbia t akes us back more t han a cent ury and
a quart er t o Mozart ’s violin concert o No. 3 in G ( K. 216) , played
by Bronislaw Huberman and t he Vienna Philharmonic Orchest ra
under I ssai Dobrowen ( Mast erworks Album No. 258) . As t o t he
number of violin concert os composed by Mozart , and even t he
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aut hent icit y of one or t wo at t ribut ed t o him, t here seems t o be
some quest ion, but in t his part icular case t here can be no
possible doubt what ever.
Wit h four ot hers, it dat es from t he prolific Salzburg year of 177,
and in t he t ale of his development t oward mast ery of t he form it
marks an import ant st ep. For it s st ruct ure, t he freedom wit h
which he handles t he solo inst rument and his orchest ra, t he
Mozart ian flow wit h which t he alt erat ions dovet ail and t he concise
direct ness of t he whole, t his t hird concert o might be in an ent irely
different genre t o t he t wo preceding it .
Of Huberman’s recording and his gramophone work wit h t he
Vienna Philharmonic t here is but lit t le t o add t o t he comment s
made here in connect ion wit h t he t wo Bach concert os of some
mont hs back. Here t he same underst anding bet ween soloist and
orchest ra and a well - nigh perfect relat ionship in t he mat t er of
recording are in evidence. A couple of flaws in t he upper regist er
may be t he fault of our reproducing inst rument , but Huberman’s
lower t ones are st ronger t han ever. I f t here has been a recording
of t his concert o since t hat by Jelly d’Aranyi in, gramophonically,
t he ancient days, it has escaped our not ice – which is peculiar,
for of Mozart ’s violin concert os t his remains our preference.

New York Times, 28 Mar 1937
SCHNABEL HEARD WI TH HUBERMAN; Pianist and
Violinist Offer Their First Sonat a Evening of
Season at Town Hall
Art ur Schnabel, pianist , and Bronislaw Huberman, violinist ,
offered one of t heir occasional sonat a evenings at Town Hall last
night . The t wo celebrat ed art ist s had not been heard here in a
program of t he kind since last season, and in t he int erim t heir
playing had not t aken on any new aspect s.
[ Unfort unat ely t he rest of t he review is missing. The pieces
played were Beet hoven Sonat a in G, Op. 30, No. 3, Schumann
Sonat a in D minor, Op. 121, Mozart Sonat a in B flat , ( K. 454) ,
and Beet hoven Sonat a in A, Op. 47, “ Kreut zer” ]

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The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 June 1937 ( reviewing
Sat urday 19t h)
HUBERMAN
A Great Violinist
First Recit al
Bronislaw Huberman fulfilled all expect at ions at t he Town Hall on
Sat urday night .
He did more. One had been confident of dignit y and force and
int ellect ual grasp. But t his was violin- playing which soared
beyond such qualit ies, and t ouched great ness. For it held wit hin
it t hat aspiring flame of personalit y, which, while it does not eat
int o t he int egrit y of t he composer’s ideas, illumines t hose ideas
wit h a passionat e convict ion. I n a word, Huberman is not a mere
t echnician. He is a brilliant art ist .
The pianist of t he evening, Mr. Jacob Gimpel, must be associat ed
wit h t his ent husiast ic praise. For t he concert did not consist of
violin- playing wit h a piano accompaniment . I t was a collaborat ion
on equal t erms bet ween t wo dist inguished musicians. For sheer
brilliance and colour and for t he weaving of luxuriant det ail int o a
unified impression, Sydney audiences have seldom heard
anyt hing t o approach Mr. Gimpel’s part in t he Mendelssohn
concert o. This music ceased t o seem a makeshift as it oft en
does. I t shone fort h in inspiring complet eness.
The audience responded t o all t his in a part icularly warm- heart ed
way. I t must have been specially grat ifying t o Mr. Huberman t o
hear t he roar of applause which broke out aft er his playing of t he
unaccompanied Bach – t he adagio and fugue in G minor. He
might easily have feared beforehand t hat t his aust ere music
would be caviare t o t he general public. But , wit h such an
int erpret at ion t o t hrow light on t he const ruct ion of t he work, on
it s essent ial maj est y and beaut y, even t he philist ines must have
been convert ed.
Nowhere else in t he programme was Huberman’s t echnical
mast ery more superbly illust rat ed. He brought t o Bach t hat grand
simplicit y, t hat j ust ness and solidit y of archit ect ure, which make
such works seem inevit able and inspired. The voices in t he fugue
were perfect ly separat e; yet t his effect was achieved by t he most
st raight forward of means. The full, st rong t one was in it self a
delight . The great range of dynamics appeared in it s full glory in
one might y double fort issimo near t he end. This vivid climax
surmount ed, t he player passed on t o a flawless decrescendo
which was almost st art ling in it s suddenness and it s dramat ic
int ensit y.
Mr. Huberman’s lovely pianissimo playing was admirably
On this page:
21 June 1937 Sydney
Morning Herald
23 June 1937 SMH
25 June 1937 SMH
28 June 1937 SMH
5 July 1937 SMH
7 July 1937 SMH
9 July 1937 SMH
12 July 1937 The Argus
14 July 1937 Argus
16 July 1937 Argus
19 July 1937 Argus
21 July 1937 Argus
23 July 1937 Argus
26 July 1937 Argus
Reviews
Vienna 1895 / America 1896 / 1900s / 1920s / 1930s / Australia 1937 / 1940s / Neville Cardus / Alexander Ruppa
Aust r al i a 1937
Reviews of t he Aust ralian t our of 1937.
Reviews Australia 1937: huberman.info
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demonst rat ed in Beet hoven’s “ Kreut zer” sonat a. I n t he Variat ions
t here are passages for t he violin – laconic comment s, while t he
piano dispenses t he principal t heme – which seldom really came
t o life in performance. On Sat urday t hey seemed packed wit h
significance. I n t hese and ot her of Huberman’s less emphat ic
passages, one remained conscious of much more t han a mere
absence of loudness, of posit ive emot ion and st ress. Such
moment s had a curious int ensit y, as of communion wit h inward
forces.
Mr. Gimpel, so brilliant in t he Mendelssohn, here subdued his
st yle perfect ly t o Beet hoven’s more int imat e requirement s.
“ Subdued, ” t hough, scarcely seems t he precise word, so much
life and movement did t he piano cont ribut e t o a perfect ly
proport ioned reading of t he work.
The violinist ’s t reat ment of t he Mendelssohn concert o showed up
st ill anot her aspect of his st yle; namely, t he degree of melodic
eloquence he can achieve while remaining wit h a hair’s breadt h of
st rict met ronomic exact ness. The Andant e offers every player a
t empt at ion t o romant icize by giving t he flowing t hemes a more
elast ic t reat ment , and, in t he finale, a slight exaggerat ion of
st ress can impart more more[ sic] out ward bust le and vivacit y.
But Huberman achieved bot h t he romant icism and t he liveliness
by simpler and great er means.
Aft er t he Mendelssohn, t he audience heard t wo pieces by Karol
Szymanowski. “ Narcisse, ” a t one- pict ure wit h a delicat e Debussy -
ish piano part , which Mr. Gimpel played enchant ingly, proved t o
be a t rifle long for t he import ance of it s subj ect - mat t er. Perhaps
t he use of t he mut e in cert ain passages would have saved t he
sit uat ion by giving more variet y of colour. But when Mr.
Huberman put out his hand t o t ake t he lit t le at t achment from
where it lay on t he piano, it fell t o t he floor, and rolled away,
and, aft er a moment or t wo of pause and search, t he players had
t o proceed wit hout it .
Szymanowski’s “ The Fount ain of Aret husa” was int roduced t o
Sydney by Josef Sziget i. That violinist used t o give it a more
miniat ure int erpret at ion t han was t he case on Sat urday, but t here
is room for more t han one view of t he music, and, once again, it
sounded splendid. Mr. Huberman t hen played his own
t ranscript ion of t he Chopin walt z, opus 64, No. 2. Every virt uoso
seems t o have some of t hese lit t le self- made “ arrangement s” t o
offer. I n t his inst ance, it must be said t hat t he walt z st ill sounds
more effect ive as a piano solo. I n t he Brahms Hungarian dance in
G minor, t he violinist let himself go in a highly effect ive st orm of
excit ement .
The encores at t he end were t he “ Romanza Andaluza” of
Sarasat e, and a “ Moment Musical, ” of Schubert . Aft er t he Bach,
Mr. Huberman played t he Andant e from Bach’s sonat a in A minor.
The next concert by Huberman will t ake place t o- morrow night ,
when he will play Handel Sonat a in D Maj or, Bach Chaconne,
Cesar Frank Sonat a, Not t urno e Tarant ella ( Szymanowski) ,
Chopin- Huberman Mazurka, and Chopin- Huberman Walt z in E
Minor. On Thursday night he will be soloist wit h t he Sydney
Symphony Orchest ra.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 June 1937
Huberman
More Brilliant Playing
Second Recit al
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At his second recit al in t he Town Hall, Bronislaw Huberman last
night deepened and enriched t hat impression of great ness which
he had creat ed on t he previous Sat urday.
The audience responded wit h warmt h t o t he t hree maj or works
on t he programme – t he Handel Sonat a in D, t he Bach Chaconne,
and t he Sonat a by Cesar Franck. Aft er t he last of t hese t he
applause reached t he proport ions of an ovat ion. Mr. Huberman
and his pianist , Mr. Jacob Gimpel, had t o ret urn many t imes t o
t he plat form, and an encore seemed inevit able. But t he players
wisely resist ed. By reserving t heir ext ra numbers unt il t he end of
t he programme t hey were able t o leave t he Cesar Franck as an
isolat ed and unspoiled achievement .
I t was an int erpret at ion which will remain memorable. Alt hough
t he sonat a began in a st yle more subdued t han is oft en t he case,
every phrase and every not e held wit hin it a singular nervous
int ensit y. That is one of Huberman’s most remarkable qualit ies –
he can fill his soft er passages wit h j ust as direct and forceful a
t hrust of drama as he does t he most surging fort issimo.
Present ly t he mood became more agit at ed. There were some
glorious flourishes of melody as t he violinist ’s bow, always
ext raordinarily vit al and bit ing in it s at t ack, leapt at t he salient
phrases, rounded t hem out swift ly, and left t hem est ablished as
climaxes in t he general cont our of t he music. The second
movement was enunciat ed wit h grace and t enderness, and wit h a
grave medit at ive serenit y. Then in t he lat t er part of t he Allegret t o
t he pent - up emot ional forces burst fort h in a verit able explosion
of excit ement . Mr. Gimpel played his part wit h fine aut horit y
t hroughout t his highly romant ic yet beaut ifully considered
present at ion.
The Bach Chaconne
I n t he Bach Chaconne, Mr. Huberman achieved a t ranscendent
brilliance of dramat ic colouring. Ot her great readings of t he work
have been heard in Sydney – not ably t hat of Yehudi Menuhin –
and some have differed considerably from t hat of last night . But
Bach’s unaccompanied mast erpiece is a work of such scope and
richness t hat it can be looked at from many angles, and it seems
imposing from all.
I t must be recorded t hat Mr. Huberman’s t one had it s moment s
of roughness. But such t ouches passed for not hing amid t he
imperious ruggedness, t he urgent swirl and flight , of t he whole
concept ion of t he work. I ndeed, t hey were so uncompromisingly
insist ed upon t hat one imagined t he player might have
deliberat ely calculat ed t hem as an element in his gigant ic
scheme. Tit ans can break t he rules which men of lesser gust o
must perforce observe.
The dynamic range in t his Chaconne – t he sudden swoops from
fort issimo t o pianissimo and back again – were somet hing t o
marvel at . The surprising t hing was t hat , in t he midst of all t he
excit ement , Huberman maint ained perfect smoot hness and
proport ion among t he int erweaving voices.
To begin t he programme, t he players had at t acked t he Handel
Sonat a wit h fort hright ness and eloquence. They ended wit h a
Szymanowski Noct urne and t wo of Huberman’s arrangement s of
Chopin.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June 1937
Huberman Appears Wit h Orchest ra
Reviews Australia 1937: huberman.info
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Ext raordinarily Vivid Playing
Bronislaw Huberman gave an ext raordinarily vivid performance of
t he Brahms D Maj or Concert o last night at t he Town Hall.
One had known beforehand t hat his exposit ion of t he music
would be more t han usually aut horit at ive. For, many years ago,
when he was 13 years old, he played t he concert o t o t he ent ire
sat isfact ion of t he composer himself. What reached t he
audience’s ears last night , t hen, was t hat j uvenile int erpret at ion
ripened and enriched by a whole lifet ime of st udy and of keen
int ellect ual and emot ional development .
A crowded audience had gat hered t o hear t he work; and at it s
close t he violinist was greet ed wit h a st orm of applause. Aft er
ret urning t wice t o t he plat form, he responded wit h a brilliant
performance of Bach’s unaccompanied Fugue in G Minor.
Under t he bat on of Dr. Edgar Baint on, t he orchest ral players
launched, wit h st urdily dramat ic effect , int o t he opening subj ect
of Brahms’s first movement . But t he spacious sweep of t he
st rings seemed suddenly dwarfed when Huberman made his
ent rance at t he place Brahms has skillfully prepared for t he
soloist . From t hat point onwards t here was no relaxat ion in t he
powerful lunge and t hrust of t he t hemes. Wit h his singular
breadt h and concent rat ion of st yle; his commanding rhyt hm; and
his radiant , singing t one, t he violinist caused his part posit ively t o
t ower above t he orchest ra st ruct ure. Energised by his example,
t he general body of players gave of t heir best : and t his
movement est ablished an inspiring art ist ic st andard.
Special ment ion must be made of t he cadenza by Heermann. This
displayed not only Mr. Huberman’s rugged st rengt h, but also t he
amazing rapidit y wit h which he can change t he colouring of a
phrase, and t hus weave many gracious det ails int o a rich and
persist ent ly developing pat t ern.
I n t he Adagio, t here was a sincere and delicat e st at ement of t he
mood – warm- heart ed, but always clear in line. I n t hese
passages, which called for quiet yet fervent poet ic feeling, t he
orchest ra players found t heir t ask more difficult t han in t he
opening Allegro. St ill, t hey sust ained t he general impression; and,
wit h Mr. Huberman t o bring act ivit ies t o a focus, t his sect ion of
t he concert o was also ext remely st riking. The Allegro Giocoso
brought t he work t o a brilliant close.
Earlier in t he evening, Dr. Baint on had conduct ed t he Elgar
t ranscript ion of Bach’s Fant asy and Fugue in C Minor, and t he
Beet hoven Symphony N. 7, in A.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 June 1937 ( reviewing
Sat urday 16t h)
Huberman
A Mast er Of St yle
Brahms, Beet hoven, Lalo
At no t ime during his Sydney season has Bronislaw Huberman
illust rat ed more remarkably or more convincingly his superb
mast ery of st yle t han he did on Sat urday night in present ing t he
t hree maj or works in his programme at t he Town Hall.
These t hree works were t he Brahms’ Sonat a in D Minor, t he
Beet hoven in G Maj or, and Vict or Lalo’s brilliant ly coloured
“ Symphonie Espagnole. ” To each of t hese, t he t wo players, Mr.
Huberman and Mr. Jacob Gimpel, made a complet ely different
Reviews Australia 1937: huberman.info
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approach. The Brahms was imbued from end t o end wit h a
singular violence of passion. I n t he Beet hoven, form was t he
principal considerat ion, t hough here, t oo, Mr. Huberman’s
nat urally impet uous t emperament prevent ed any suspicion of
coldness. As for t he Lalo, t hat was a rich and complex st udy in
nat ional rhyt hm.
Not cont ent wit h t he mast erpieces on t he print ed programme, t he
players added t o t he Brahms as an encore t he Adagio from
Mozart ’s Sonat a in E Flat Maj or ( K. 481) . This was in it self an
ent erprise of some magnit ude. I t might have been t hought t hat
t he audience would show a t ouch of rest lessness on being
confront ed wit h so spacious and ambit ious a performance as an
ext ra number, j ust before t he int erval. Not a bit of it . The whole
movement was followed wit h breat hless at t ent ion; and a roar of
applause broke out at it s close.
This Mozart , in fact , was one of t he great est delight s of t he
evening. The opening passages, feat her - light , but wit h every
det ail in surpassingly clear focus, set t he st andard for what was
t o follow. The emphasis was always admirably and exact ly right .
The piano part , gracious, delicat e, and pearly, mat ched t he
melodic st at ement s of t he violin t o a hair’s breadt h. The whole
concept ion danced and sang wit h life, while it remained always
wit hin t he miniat ure frame of Mozart ’s st yle.
The Mozart was a t riumph of fragile grace, but it was t he Brahms
which really dominat ed t he evening’s music. I f anyone else had
dramat ized t his work wit h t he same degree of passionat e
abandon, had t hus oscillat ed from moment t o moment bet ween
t he ext remes of t empest uous declamat ion and wist ful
murmuring, t he whole reading would have seemed hopelessly
exaggerat ed. But Huberman somehow or ot her cont rived t o draw
all t hese disparat e det ails int o a unified set of ideas. However,
perilous t he advent ure may seem in ret rospect , at t he moment of
list ening one had no t hought but for t he emot ional splendour of it
all, t he aut horit at ive ut t erance of every individual t heme. Mr.
Gimpel rose brilliant ly t o t he occasion. His periodic out burst s
made maj est ic point s of emphasis in a noble musical st ruct ure.
I n t he “ Symphonie Espagnole, ” t he pianist made his part seem
part icularly import ant and varied. I f t here was a fault , it was t hat
he somet imes under- emphasised, so t hat one had t o st rain t o
cat ch t he finer det ails. This undue smallness of scale – and it
assert ed it self only occasionally – result ed obviously from a slight
misj udgment of t he acoust ics in t he Town Hall, and not from any
lapse of t ast e.
I n t he Beet hoven, t he Adagio was specially persuasive, wit h it s
amply rounded melodies. I n t he variat ions of t he last movement ,
Mr. Huberman succeeded t riumphant ly in ret aining t he original
cont our, t he original rhyt hmic urgency, of t he genial t heme
t hrough all it s remot e t ransformat ions.
The programme had begun wit h a moving performance of t he
Bach organ prelude, “ Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, ” in Mr.
Huberman’s own t ranscript ion.
The next concert will t ake place on Sat urday night . On Thursday,
July 8, Mr. Gimpel will give a solo recit al at t he Conservat orium.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5t h July 1937 ( reviewing
Sat urday 3rd)
Huberman
Anot her Triumph
Beet hoven’s “ Spring” Sonat a
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Bronislaw Huberman will appear wit h chamber orchest ra t o-
morrow night ; and on Thursday Mr. Jacob Gimpel will give a
piano recit al at t he Conservat orium. But Sat urday evening’s
concert at t he Town Hall was t he final j oint appearance of t hese
t wo musicians during t heir present Sydney season.
I t has been a dist inguished collaborat ion. I n concert aft er concert
Mr. Gimpel has succeeded in mat ching t he singularly st ormy and
dramat ic playing of t he violinist wit h a correspondingly vivid
piano part . Where delicacy has been called for, he has
encompassed t hat , t oo; and wit h enchant ing effect . As an
illust rat ion, one need look no furt her t han Sat urday night ’s
“ Spring” Sonat a of Beet hoven.
Mr. Huberman seemed part icularly in t he vein, and he and t he
pianist made t his F Maj or Sonat a int o a musical fabric of singular
grace and fineness. There was, indeed, t he freshness of spring,
wit h it s t ender aspirat ions, it s mingling of fragrance and sweet
melancholy, in t he whole enunciat ion of t he work. Each phrase
glowed and shimmered beneat h t he bow. Not hing broke t he spell
of delicat e yearning wit h a reference t o t he dust and heat of
everyday t hought .
Even so, by t he most subt le means, t he players obt ained
abundant cont rast of t one. As far as Mr. Huberman was
concerned, one would readily have ascribed t his int erpret at ion t o
an ardent , sensit ive yout h, st anding on t he t hreshold of life and
looking forward int o it s imagined j oys and rewards, rat her t han
t o t he frail, t ired- looking man in his middle fift ies who was
act ually visible on t he plat form. To have preserved t hat freshness
of out look is Huberman’s great est t riumph.
The unaccompanied Bach, t he Sonat a in B Minor, was similarly
filled wit h life and warmt h. No mat t er how fleet t he bowing – and
in places Mr. Huberman provided quit e a dazzling display of
t echnical facilit y – t he t hemes were j ust as richly rounded, t he
t one as even and opulent , as t hough all t his had been t he merest
element ary exercise. Huberman’s is Bach- playing of supreme
accomplishment . Sydney will not hear it s like again; for t hough
lat er visit ors may carry Bach once more t o t he height s, t hey will
do it by different means.
New Work By Hindemit h
The beginning of t he Bach sonat a had sounded almost heavenly
in it s melodic warmt h because t hese phrases followed hard on a
somewhat j oyless work by Paul Hindemit h.
This composer’s Sonat a in D may have been played before in
Sydney; but t here is no immediat e record of it , and it was
complet ely new t o t he great maj orit y of Sat urday’s audience. I t is
an early work, opus 11, No. 2. One accept ed it as t he music of a
young man seeking for a st yle of his own, making t ent at ive
experiment s; yet keeping everyt hing wit hin t he frame of simple.
St raight forward expression. As such, it proved t o be wort h
hearing. Looked at , however, from t he higher ground of
comparison wit h t he great mast ers, it offered no excit ing
prospect . I t may be t hat a fourt h hearing, or even a t ent h, might
reveal beaut ies which were obscure on Sat urday night . I f so, t hey
would be beaut ies of int ellect ual form and proport ion, rat her t han
qualit ies which appeal t o t he emot ions. For Hindemit h’s melodies
are dry and unpersuasive; his musical sent ences dist urbingly
abrupt .
As t he last group on t he programme, Mr. Huberman played
Smet ana’s “ Aus der Heimat , ” a gay conglomerat ion of nat ional
t unes, and a Mazurka by Zarzycki, t o which he impart ed an
impassioned elegance. There was also his own arrangement of
t he Chopin Walt z, opus 70, No. 1. The charact er of t he music was
considerably changed by t ranscript ion t o t he new inst rument , and
not for t he bet t er, but t he audience seemed t o enj oy t he
performance, for it clapped wit h might and main.
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Final Concert Programme
At Bronislaw Huberman’s final concert at t he Town Hall t o-
morrow night , when he will play wit h and conduct t he A. B. C.
Chamber Orchest ra, t he programme will include Bach Violin
Concert o in A minor; Mozart ’s Adagio in E minor; and Rondo in C
maj or; Beet hoven’s Romanze G; Bach’s Adagio and Fugue in C
maj or, from t he 5t h Solo Sonat a; and Mozart ’s Violin Concert o in
D maj or.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 7t h July 1937
Huberman
Plays Wit h Chamber Orchest ra
Eight eent h Cent ury Charm
At his final concert in Sydney, Bronislaw Huberman played
yest erday evening at t he Town Hall wit h chamber orchest ra
inst ead of wit h piano. He himself was t he conduct or.
The last occasion on which local audiences had an opport unit y of
hearing any performances of a similar kind occurred in August ,
1934, when Leff Pouishnoff present ed t hree piano concert os. But
Huberman’s choice of music was much more j udicious t han t hat
of t he earlier soloist - conduct or had been, for t he violinist
confined himself t o works by Bach, Mozart , and Beet hoven,
whose light scoring and whose careful separat ion of t he solo part
from t he orchest ral mass dat ed from t he hist orical period when
t he solo player was also t he direct or. Pouishnoff’s choice was less
j udicious, for his t hree concert os – t he Mendelssohn, t he Liszt E
Flat , and t he Rachmaninoff C Minor – were each decidedly a t ask
for specialized at t ent ion by t he pianist .
Last night ’s int erpret at ions, t hen, afforded a delight ful excursion
int o t he eight eent h cent ury st yle. There is no need t o st ress Mr.
Huberman’s art ist ic accomplishment s, aft er so many admirable
demonst rat ions of t hem at his various recit als. I n each reading he
adapt ed his out look perfect ly t o t he work in hand. Aft er a group,
which comprised an Adagio in E Maj or and a Rondo in C Maj or of
Mozart , and t he Beet hoven Romance in G, Opus 40, t he audience
responded wit h part icularly warm applause. The leader of t he
orchest ra, Mr. Lionel Lawson, leaned over t o Mr. Huberman and
was obviously urging him t o give an encore. So t he violinist
announced t hat , at Mr. Lawson’s suggest ion, t he Rondo would be
repeat ed.
This delight ful short piece gave t he orchest ral players a chance t o
do some of t heir best work during t he evening. They succeeded
here in providing a gaily delicat e melodic out line t o mat ch t he
superb enunciat ion of t he soloist . But in t he Bach A Minor
Concert o ( for st rings and piano alone) and in t he Mozart D Maj or
t hey had also done some gracious work. The cont rast bet ween
t he gladsome, st rongly- accent ed first Allegro in t he Bach and t he
soberly reflect ive Andant e of t he same work was, for inst ance,
complet e and apparent ly easy of accomplishment . Throughout all
t his music Mr. Huberman gave t he beat definit ely and crisply
where necessary, but ent irely wit hout demonst rat ive effect s. I t
was int erest ing t o not ice wit h what an int imat e, quiet air he
t reat ed his own part . This was somet hing complet ely different
from t he cust omary brilliance of t he virt uoso – somet hing more
homely and friendly; and not t he less welcome for t hat .
The evening brought forward also t he Adagio and Fugue from
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Bach’s unaccompanied Sonat a No. 5 in C Maj or. I t was a t hrilling
performance, mesmeric in it s fiery concent rat ion.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 9t h July 1937
Jacob Gimpel
Brilliant Pianist
Conservat orium Recit al
The large audience which assembled at t he Conservat orium last
night , t o hear Mr. Jacob Gimpel, was rewarded by piano playing
of except ional accomplishment . I t was playing which offered
int ellect as well as fire; massiveness as well as elegance. I n fact ,
all t he expect at ions which Mr. Gimpel had raised during his
season wit h Mr. Huberman were fulfilled; and t hat is saying a
good deal.
I n an int erview, t hree or four weeks ago, when he first arrived in
Sydney, t he pianist expressed a hope t hat he might play groups
of pieces by Szymanowsky, and ot her modern composers, who
int erest ed him. But last night ’s programme comprised such
st andard works as t he Bach Toccat a and Fugue in C Maj or;
Beet hoven’s Sonat a, Opus 10, No. 3, in D Maj or, and t he Chopin
Sonat a in B Minor. I t s nearest approach t o an advent urous
excursion was a group which included t wo Scriabine Et udes and
Debussy’s “ L’I sle Joyeuse. ”
St ill, one could not wish a more handsome experience t han t o
hear t he Bach Toccat a and Fugue wort hily int erpret ed; and Mr.
Gimpel’s reading made a noble int roduct ion t o t he concert . Here,
t he list ener could admire in t heir perfect ion t he pianist ’s
enormous range of dynamic effect s; his sparing but art ful use of
t he pedal t o give st rokes of colour, his cryst al- clear separat ion of
t he t hemes; his unfailing vit alit y; and his commanding dramat ic
sense, t empered always by a nat ural feeling for what was suit able
in a work of t his charact er. Once or t wice in t he quiet er moment s
of t he Toccat a, a somewhat dry mode of enunciat ion obt ruded
it self, but t hese were mere t ouches, past almost as soon as
not iced.
They were significant more as port ent s t han as posit ive
blemishes. For, in t he slow movement s of t he next t wo works –
t he Beet hoven and t he Chopin – one perceived t he Achilles’ heel
in Mr. Gimpel’s ot herwise t riumphant equipment . That is, he
showed some difficult y in sust aining effect ively a mood of quiet
and simple lyricism. The Chopin made a t remendous impression
precisely t hrough t he qualit y which so much Chopin- playing
lacks; namely, an emphasis on t he fort hright masculine side of
t he composer’s art . The first and last movement s were a t riumph
of force and excit ement ; and t he t ender passages so flexibly
int erwoven held a singular pot ency by reason of t he
complet eness of t heir cont rast .
The D Maj or Sonat a is not one of Beet hoven’s most inspired
works, t hough it has cert ain lovely embroideries of det ail. Of
t hese, Mr. Gimpel made a very great deal. I t is open t o argument
t hat he over - dramat ised t he first movement ; but t he Menuet t o
and t he Rondo were sheer j oy.
I n t he last group, t he Scriabine Et udes ( D Flat Maj or and D Sharp
Minor, Opus 8) provided a dazzling, almost breat h- t aking display
of t echnical bravura. This was virt uoso playing of t he first order.
Albeniz’s “ Triana” had t he clear vivacit y of sunlit wat er, and
“ L’I sle Joyeuse, ” t hough unexpect edly lust y in expression,
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preserved Debussy’s essent ially prismat ic, fine- spun mode of
t hought .

The Argus, Melbourne, 12 July 1937 ( reviewing Sat urday
10t h)
Huberman Concert
Endowed Musician
Ent husiast ic Recept ion
A violinist of int ernat ional reput at ion, t he founder and organizer
of t he Palest ine Nat ional Symphony Orchest ra, a keen st udent of
European hist ory, and a musical educat ionist whose aims are
bot h farsight ed and liberal, Bronislaw Huberman received an
ovat ion from t he large audience at t he opening concert of his
Melbourne season on Sat urday night .
This fine art ist unit es rare t echnical accomplishment wit h alert
and penet rat ing musical j udgment . His int erpret at ions are t he
product s of well - ordered t hought . Bot h in t he execut ive and in
t he emot ional spheres he bet rays an inst inct ive dislike of loose
t hreads. His st yle is essent ially compact , coherent , and carefully
balanced. Animat ion is supplied by means of a great ly developed
gift of rhyt hmical ant icipat ion and by a profusion of sparkling and
admirably t imed accent s. I n his choice of t empi Mr. Huberman
reveals equal sensibilit y and sense. The t hird movement of
Beet hoven’s “ Kreut zer” sonat a and t he finale t o t he Mendelssohn
concert o provide many a celebrat ed violinist wit h occasion for
riot ous and irrelevant speed. As present ed on Sat urday night ,
t hese sect ions ret ained formalit y and grace. Of legit imat e
brilliance, t here was abundant evidence, but virt uosit y at no st age
out paced reason.
The effect of purposeful vit alit y conveyed by Mr. Huberman is t he
more remarkable as, unlike most great st ring players, he places
lit t le reliance upon resonance and variet y of colour. Defined by
st rict ly aural st andards, his t one lacks aut horit y, and in t he most
dramat ic musical ut t erance remains agreeable, cult ivat ed, and
well bred. Even in t he “ adagio and fugue” in G minor from Bach’s
first sonat a for unaccompanied violin – which produced a superb
demonst rat ion of rhyt hmical int repidit y and premedit at ion – t he
soloist made only occasional recourse t o t he alt o qualit y of t one
which is generally accept ed as inevit able and indispensable. I n
like manner Mr. Huberman piled phrase upon phrase wit h such
incisive t hrust s of met rical accent as, wit hout any corresponding
vivacit y of colour, gave t o t he first movement of t he “ Kreut zer”
an overwhelming at mosphere of nervous t ension and of
emot ional force. I n t he “ andant e” sect ion of t he Mendelssohn
concert o t he violinist ’s essent ially soprano t imbre found ideal
expression. Heart ily recalled aft er t he Bach sonat a, Mr. Huberman
added an equally impressive version of t he unaccompanied
“ andant e” from t he similar work in C maj or.
By t he present at ion of t wo charact erist ic works of t he lat e Karol
Szymanowski, Mr. Huberman paid a fit t ing t ribut e t o a
dist inguished compat riot , whose recent deat h in a Swiss
sanat orium robbed Poland of her most not able composer since
Frederic Chopin. For modernist s in t he audience, t hese it ems,
“ Narcisse” and “ La Font aine d’Aret huse, ” provided t he most
int erest ing experiences of t he evening, and t he inherent charm
and subt let y of t he music were height ened by t he polished and
impeccable craft smanship of Mr. Huberman.
Cleverly played accompaniment s were supplied by Mr. Jacob
Gimpel, who est ablished friendly relat ions wit h Aust ralian music-
lovers during his previous t our wit h Erica Morini.
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13t h Tonight
Handel Sonat a in D maj or, Bach Chaconne, Franck Sonat a,
Szymanowski Noct urne and Tarant elle, Chopin- Huberman
Mazurka Op. 7/ 3, Walt z in E minor.

The Argus, Melbourne, 14 July 1937
14t h – t alking of 10t h –
Sir. – I was amazed at t he ext raordinary habit s displayed by
Melbourne concert goers at t he Town Hall on Sat urday evening.
Not wit hst anding t hat at t he conclusion t he art ist willingly gave
t wo encores in reply t o an ent husiast ic demand, a large sect ion of
t he audience t ook t he first opport unit y of leaving as t he last
chord of t he Hungarian dance st ill hung on t he air. I dislike t he
habit of at t aching labels t o cit ies, but feel t hat Adelaide’s
sobriquet of Cit y of Cult ure is almost deserved, as t here such
beahviour is unknown. Also, Adelaide does not need point ed hint s
t o ensure silence bet ween t he movement s of a sonat a or a
closely knit concert o as had t o be given on Sat urday evening. –
Yours, &c. ,
Adelaide Concert Subsriber
Kew, July 12.

15 July
Bach- Huberman Organ Prelude “ Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland”
Brahms Sonat a in D minor, Op. 108
Beet hoven Sonat a in G Maj or, Op. 96
Lalo Symphonie Espagnole

The Argus, Melbourne, 16 July 1937
Great Sonat a Playing
Bronislaw Huberman
Fine music, int erpret ed wit h a charact erist ic mingling of sobriet y
and ardour, was heard last night at t he Town Hall when
Bronislaw Huberman present ed his t hird recit al programme.
Unlike many famous concert art ist s, Huberman is a great musical
“ all - rounder” who, whet her as soloist or in t he highly specialized
role of ensemble player, reveals irreproachable cont rol and t ast e.
As exhibit ed last night , in conj unct ion wit h his accomplished
pianist , Mr. Joseph Gimpel, t he violinist possesses an impeccable
sense of t eam work. The balance bet ween t he t wo inst rument s
was invariably correct . Bot h t echnically and int ellect ually t he
Sonat a in D minor of Brahms and t he Beet hoven example, Opus
96, provided impressive demonst rat ions of inst rument al give and
t ake. Bot h t hese works and t he Lalo “ Symphonie Espanole” [ sic]
gave Mr. Huberman abundant scope for execut ive display, but in
t he most brilliant sect ions t his high- minded musician exhibit ed a
noble disdain of showmanship. Wholly absorbed in his honourable
t ask of int erpret at ion, he present ed such aust ere and finely
modelled[ sic] readings of t he t wo classical sonat as as demanded
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from his audience a corresponding at t it ude of reverent
concent rat ion. The sincere and aut horit at ive musicianship of
Huberman was furt her displayed in his own t ranscript ion of t he
Bach organ prelude “ Come, Thou Saviour of t he Gent iles, ” which
preserved in every det ail t he grand solemnit y of t he original.
Presumably t o comply wit h broadcast ing arrangement s t he
int ervals bet ween t he it ems were much t oo long, and a sect ion of
t he audience exhibit ed j ust ifiable impat ience.

The Argus, Melbourne, 19 July 1937 ( reviewing Sat urday
17t h)
[ The large audience for t his concert t ook so long t o be seat ed
t hat even t hough t he concert st art ed 15 minut es lat e, many
people list ened t o t he first and second numbers st anding j ust
inside t he doors. Aft er t he int erval, Huberman j oined t he official
part y in t he gallery t o list en t o t he rest of t he concert . ]
Huberman’s Triumph
“ Sold out ” not ices were displayed at t he Town Hall on Sat urday
night , and some ent husiast s st ood t hroughout t he programme
when Bronislaw Huberman present ed t he Beet hoven concert o in
collaborat ion wit h Professor Bernard Heinze and t he Melbourne
Symphony Orchest ra.
For an art ist of Huberman’s caliber concert o playing provides
unrivalled scope for personal brilliance. Figurat ively and act ually
t he soloist occupies t he cent er of t he st age wit h an obedient
orchest ra as background. Virt uosit y can in such circumst ances
achieve an easy t riumph. The st orms of applause by which
audience and orchest ra acclaimed Huberman at t he conclusion of
t he Beet hoven example were excit ed by no such facile display of
t alent . For t his deeply serious Polish musician individual success
is bot h t oo easily accomplished and t oo undignified an obj ect ive.
I n his handling of t he concert o he made no concessions t o
popular t ast e, but followed t he dict at es of a rigorous art ist ic
conscience wit hout hesit at ion, evasion, or subt erfuge. I t was a
great and memorable performance, and bot h conduct or and
orchest ra part icipat ed wort hily.
The purely orchest ral sect ion of t he programme – for which Mr.
Huberman remained as a member of t he audience – included an
int erest ing performance of t he Elgar “ I nt roduct ion and Allegro for
St rings. ” Charact erist ically adroit in it s int erweaving of
inst rument al t imbres, t his well - const ruct ed work made obviously
st rong appeal t o t he Vict orian St ring Quart et ( Hyman Lenzer,
Franz Schleblich, Mischa Kogan, and Don Howley) and t o t heir
collaborat ors, and t he music received sound and pleasurable
int erpret at ion. The lyrical port ions of Beet hoven’s “ Coriolan”
overt ure were efficient ly handled, and t he pianissimo playing in
t he same composer’s Fift h Symphony was of excellent qualit y.
I rregular gradat ions of t one in crescendos and a t oo frequent
hiat us bet ween t he degrees of mezzo- frort e and fort e prevent ed,
however, art ist ic cont inuit y in t he first and fourt h movement s.

20t h
Respighi Sonat a in B minor
Bach Adagio and Fugue in C from 5t h Solo Sonat a
Beet hoven Sonat a in F Maj or, Op. 24
Smet ana “ Aus der Heimat ”
Chopin- Huberman Walt z, Op. 70
Zarzycki Mazurka
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The Argus, Melbourne, 21 July 1937
Huberman Plays Beet hoven
Beet hoven’s “ Spring” sonat a made t he deepest impression at t he
concert given last night at t he Town Hall by Bronislaw Huberman.
The mood in each of t he four movement s was conveyed wit h
enchant ing ease and spont aneit y. Each phrase was illuminat ed by
deft t urns of expression which t hrew fresh and unsuspect ed light
upon familiar det ails wit hout dist urbing t he symmet rical balance
of t he whole. As associat e pianist , Mr. Jacob Gimpel shared t he
honours of a fine performance.
The Sonat a in B Minor by t he lat e Ot t orino Respighi came as a
novelt y t o many music- lovers. As a medium for t he st renuous
int ellect ual act ivit y of Huberman, t his buoyant and colourful work
was inadequat e. The inst rument al effect iveness of t he writ ing
made, however, an immediat e impression, alt hough t he piani[ sic]
port ions were occasionally over - assert ive. Wit h t he Bach
unaccompanied “ Adagio and Fugue” in C maj or Huberman
ret urned t o his t rue art ist ic level. The elucidat ion of t he complex
rhyt hmical design in t he fugal sect ion represent ed an obj ect
lesson in musical draught smanship.

22nd
Hindemit h Sonat a in D Op. 11
Mozart Sonat a in B Flat K 378
Brahms Sonat a in G Op. 78
Schubert Fant asia Op. 159 in C

The Argus, Melbourne, 23 July 1937
Fift h Recit al
Bronislaw Huberman
The programme present ed last night at t he Town Hall by
Bronislaw Huberman was not able for t he inclusion of a sonat a by
Paul Hindemit h, whose ult ra- modern t endencies have received so
lit t le official encouragement in Germany t hat t he composer has
accept ed t he post of resident musical adviser t o t he Government
of Turkey.
An early work, t he sonat a in D reveals no iconoclast ic feat ures.
Frank and unaffect ed romant icism pervades each of t he t hree
movement s. Old- fashioned t unes and healt hy rhyt hms provide
agreeable ent ert ainment . The int erpret at ion supplied by Mr.
Huberman and Mr. Jacob Gimpel was appropriat ely simple, good-
humoured, and direct .
More exalt ed musical virt ues found expression in t he classical
sect ion of t he programme. Vit alit y and repose were combined
wit h superb effect in t he Brahms Sonat a in G, and Huberman’s
finely developed sense of rhyt hmical design was displayed t o full
advant age in t he slow movement of t he Mozart example in B flat .
A beaut ifully poised rendering of t he Schubert “ Fant asia” in C
maj or brought t he programme t o a happy conclusion.
Reviews Australia 1937: huberman.info
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24t h Sat urday
Brahms Op. 40
Delius
Tchaikovsky Op. 32
Wit h t he A. B. C. ( Melb. ) Symphony Orchest ra, conduct ed by Prof.
Bernard Heinze

The Argus, Melbourne, 26 July 1937 ( reviewing Sat urday
24t h)
Huberman Wit h Orchest ra
Season Ends
Laden wit h laurel wreat hs and surrounded by a cheering
orchest ra, Bronislaw Huberman brought his concert season t o a
t riumphant conclusion on Sat urday night . The violinist has given
many fine performances in Melbourne, but on t his occasion he
surpassed his previous achievement s. A programme devot ed
exclusively t o violin concert os ent ailed for t he soloist a heavy
weight of responsibilit y, but t hroughout an onerous t est of
endurance Huberman maint ained unflagging vit alit y of mind and
body. I nt erpret at ions of such int ellect ual mat urit y as represent ed
a lifet ime of art ist ic endeavour and self- discipline were received
wit h great ent husiasm by an audience composed largely of
professional musicians.
To co- operat e wit h so profound and exact ing a musical scholar
was no easy t ask for t he A. B. C. ( Melbourne) Symphony
Orchest ra. An inspired and inspiring t eacher, Huberman spared
no pains t o ensure a well - balanced performance, however. His
encyclopaedic knowledge of orchest ral scores was placed
unreservedly at t he service of his less experienced colleagues.
Each int erpret at ive det ail was subj ect ed t o such det ailed analysis
t hat t he final rehearsal on Sat urday morning last ed for more t han
four hours.
The popular concept ion of Delius as an enfeebled visionary found
no echo in Huberman’s dynamic reading of t he composer’s only
violin concert o. Not alone a great musical performance, but a
psychological st udy of significance and power, t his int erpret at ion
revealed t he aut hent ic Delius, whose proud, secret ive, and
indomit able t emperament rose superior t o paralysis and loss of
sight . I n t he rapid sect ions t he orchest ra experienced some
uncomfort able moment s, but in t he exquisit e slow movement
Huberman displayed such flawless beaut y of t one as inspired his
colleagues t o effect s of genuine eloquence. By a brilliant ly
conceived st roke of programme- building, t he fast idious art of
Delius was cont rast ed wit h t he facile romant icism of t he
Tchaikovsky concert o. No t wo works in similar genre reveal more
dissimilar qualit ies or demand more st rongly opposed met hods of
int erpret at ion. I n his handling of t he good- humoured, garrulous
Russian composit ion Huberman displayed superb versat ilit y. The
careful t iming, which made his performance of t he Delius
concert o an obj ect lesion in musical punct uat ion was exchanged
for such spect acular breadt h of rhyt hm as – wit h few except ions
– swept t he orchest ra from one exhilarat ing climax t o anot her.
The last movement provided Melbourne music- lovers wit h t heir
first glimpse of Huberman, t he care- free virt uoso, who, in
t echnical ent erprise, finds relief from more serious advent ure.
Reviews Australia 1937: huberman.info
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A magnificent ly equipped int erpret er of Brahms, Huberman
invest ed t he D maj or concert o wit h such ardent vit alit y of phrase
as brought new life int o t he most hackneyed sect ions. This
memorable concert ended in a sensat ional out burst of applause,
and t he cheers were redoubled when t he violinist at t empt ed t o
share his laurel wreat hs wit h t he conduct or, Professor Bernard
Heinze.

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New York Times, 2 May 1940
Concert given at Royal Opera House in Cairo by
Palest ine Orchest ra under pat ronage of King
Farouk for benefit of t he Red Crescent Societ y of
Egypt . Proceeds donat ed t o war sufferers of t he
Turkish eart hquake. Huberman played
Mendelssohn. Fourt h annual visit t o Egypt .
Ninet y musicians. I gnaz Neumark conduct .
Jewish Orchest ra in Moslem Benefit
Palest ine Musicians Donat e Services t o Aid
Egypt ’s Red Crescent Societ y
Huberman is t he Soloist
Balance of Ensemble Receives High Praise From
Crit ics –
King Farouk is Sponsor
By Joseph M. Levy
Special Cable t o The New York Times.
CAI RO, Egypt , Feb. 20 – One of t he most significant event s of t he
past t hree and a half years in t he Near East was a concert given
t onight at t he Royal Opera House in Cairo by t he Palest ine
Orchest ra, under t he pat ronage of King Farouk, for t he benefit of
t he Red Cresent Societ y of Egypt , which corresponds t o t he
European Red Cross. The proceeds were donat ed t o war sufferers
and t o vict ims of t he Turkish eart hquake.
An ent husiast ic recept ion was accorded t o t his orchest ra,
composed ent irely of Jewish refugees from Cent ral and East ern
Europe, by t onight ’s dist inguished audience, which included
On this page:
20 Feb 1940 New York
Times
2 May 1940 The Cape
Argus
22 Dec 1941 New York
Times
18 Jan 1942 NYT
14 Jul 1942 NYT
19 Oct 1942 NYT
17 Jan 1943 NYT
11 Jul 1943 NYT
17 Oct 1943 NYT
21 Jan 1944 NYT
14 Mar 1944 NYT
5 May 1944 NYT
4 Jul 1944 NYT
31 Oct 1944 NYT
3 Dec 1945 NYT
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1940s
Reviews from t he 1940s.
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Egypt ian royalt y and almost t he ent ire diplomat ic corps.
This was more t han a mere appreciat ion of t he excellent
performance of t his first - class orchest ra, however. I t was
indicat ive of a change of heart on t he part of Egypt . Less t han six
mont hs ago a concert under t hese circumst ances would have
been t hought impossible, for Egypt t oday is t he leading Moslem
count ry of t he world and played one of t he most import ant roles
in support of t he Palest ine Arabs in t heir nat ionalist rebellion.
Many fact ors cont ribut ed t o t he huge success of t he evening’s
concert . Bronislaw Huberman, eminent violinist and founder of
t he Palest ine Orchest ra, canceled a concert t our in Turkey t o play
wit h t he orchest ra t onight .
From a musical point of view t onight ’s performance left not hing
t o be desired. From his recent concert s here Egypt ian audiences
already knew Mr. Huberman’s playing and were prepared for his
splendid performance of Mendelssohn’s concert o in E minor.
The orchest ra likewise won high praise. On t his, t heir fourt h
annual visit t o Egypt , t hey convinced even t he severest crit ics
t hat t hey had reached t he full mat urit y of perfect ion. The ninet y
musicians are now an impressive unit t hat can t ake a place
among first - rank orchest ras.
Under t he bat on of I gnaz Neumark, celebrat ed Polish conduct or,
t he orchest ra gave t wo concert s in Alexandria and t wo in Cairo
besides t onight ’s performance.
From t he orchest ra’s very incept ion it was generally conceded
t hat t he st ring sect ion was superb, but it was felt t hat t he
brasses and woodwinds were not equally st rong. Each year has
shown improvement , and t onight t he balance of t he orchest ra
was unimpeachable.
Bot h Mr. Huberman and t he orchest ra donat ed t heir services
t onight .

The Cape Argus, 2 May 1940
The Huberman Recit al
A Violinist wit h a sense of Nobilit y and Power
Cape Town audiences have list ened t o many dist inguished
musicians during t he last t en years – most of t he great
cont emporary violinist s, save Kreisler, have been here during
t hat period – and each one has cont ribut ed somet hing of his own
individualit y t o t he st ock of musical memories.
But few, if any, of t hese dist inguished men have left behind t hem
such a vivd sense of nobilit y and power as last night ’s audience
at t he Cit y Hall carried away at t he conclusion of t he Huberman
recit al. I t was as if t hey t hemselves had t aken part in a work of
creat ion, so deep was t he sense of fulfilment left by t he music.
SOMEHI NG NEW
For Huberman is not only a superb int erpret er of ot her men’s
music; he is able t o t ake t hat music and, by t he complet ely non-
dist ort ing imposit ion of his own personalit y, t o creat e somet hing
over it which is int ensely individual t o himself. I nt erpret at ion and
creat ion become fused int o somet hing new and personal t o
Reviews 1940s: huberman.info
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himself.
Take his playing of t he Cesar Franck sonat a, for inst ance, which
followed his broad and spacious performance of t he Handel
sonat a in D maj or. The Cesar Franck is one of t he loveliest t hings
in all music, and few who heard Huberman last night will every
forget t he manner in which he played it .
To begin wih he played it in co- operat ion wit h t he piano, rat her
t han as a work for violin wit h piano accompaniment , and wit h
such a brilliant and sensit ive pianist as Boris Roubakine t he effect
was precisely, one imagines, as Franck wished it t o be. There
was, t oo, a sense of religious awe and wonder in t he music which
was built up, not e by not e, phrase by phrase, int o a cat hedral of
int ellect ual sound.
DEEP UNDERSTANDI NG
Huberman’s profound and creat ive underst anding of t his deeply
religious French composer was one of t he most moving episodes
in t he whole evening.
Aft er t he int erval came a performance of t he Mendelssohn violin
concert o in which all t he Mendelssohn charm and delicacy were
given t heir fullest value. This is one of t he most popular of all t he
concert os and last night ’s audience was grat eful t o hear it again,
played in such a manner.
And here again Mr. Roubakine dist inguished himself by his
sensit ive accompanying, providing at t imes almost t he illusion of
an orchest ral accompaniment .
Finally came a group of t hree short er composit ions, beginning
wit h t he lovely, at mospheric and fiendishly difficult “ La Font aine
d’Aret huse” of Szymanowski, t he Polish composer. Full of a
delicat e modernit y, t he music calls for infinit ely subt le
graduat ions of feeling and phrase, t he cumulat ive effect of which
is one of myst erious beaut y wit hdrawn from t his world.
Huberman played it magnificent ly and followed it wit h his own
t ranscript ion of t he Chopin walt z in C sharp minor and a Brahms
Hungarian dance, arranged by Joachim. The Chopin was full of
charm and delicacy, while t he Brahms had all t he fire and colour
associat ed wit h Hungarian music in general and wit h t he Brahms
present at ion of it in part icular.
THE ENCORES
The ent husiasm of t he large audience demanded encores and in
his choice of t hese Huberman showed t he same unerring t ast e as
he showed in t he main programme it self. He played t he slow
movement of a Bach unaccompanied sonat a, a Sarasat e Spanish
dance and t he “ Moment Musical” of Schubert .
Huberman is a great art ist , a great charact er, and it is good t o
know t hat we shall have anot her opport unit y of hearing him – on
Monday evening next . He and Boris Roubakine gave us music last
night which will be long remembered.

New York Times, 22 Dec 1941
Huberman Soloist at Carnegie Hall
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Polish Violinist Plays Joachim Cadenza in t he
Beet hoven Concert o at Concert
Bruno Walt er Conduct s
Leads Philharmonic Musicians in Brahms First –
Event Aids Ambulance Corps
By Noel St rauss
Ninet y musicians of t he Philharmonic- Symphony Orchest ra, wit h
Bruno Walt er conduct ing and Bronislaw Huberman, eminent
Polish violinist , as soloist , were heard in a not able concert given
last night in Carnegie Hall under t he sponsorship of t he Aust rian-
American League and for t he benefit of t he Brit ish- American
Ambulance Corps. The event at t ract ed a large audience, which
was aroused t o fervent ent husiasm by t he superlat ive
performances t he evening brought fort h.
The event marked Mr. Huberman’s ret urn t o t he local concert
plat form aft er an absence of five years. He was in superb form,
giving an int erpret at ion of t he Beet hoven violin concert o of
except ional merit s. I t was a reading reverent , loft in spirit and of
remarkable finesse.
Slower Pacing Adopt ed
I f t he t empi adopt ed were more deliberat e t han t hose usually
favored by art ist s who at t empt t he concert o, t he somewhat
slower pacing was purposely adopt ed in a reading which put
unusual emphasis on t he meaning of t he cont ent of each
movement and avoided t urning t he work int o a display piece.
The result was one of t he most musicianly and impressive
rendit ions of t he opus imaginable. Especially remarkable were t he
soulful perusal of t he larghet t o and t he opening pages of t he final
rondo, where a fascinat ing cont rast was made bet ween t he
lyricism of t he chief t heme and t he bright er charact er of t he first
episode. But t here was not a measure anywhere t hat was not
sensit ively t reat ed and carefully fit t ed int o it s place in t he scheme
as a whole.
Tone Pure and Fine- Grained
Mr. Huberman’s t one was invariably pure and fine- grained, his
left hand absolut ely sure in t he most complicat ed passage work,
and his bow arm ext remely st eady and flexible. He used t he
inordinat ely difficult Joachim cadenza in t he first movement ,
which he performed wit h ease and flawless accuracy, whet her in
it s exact ing chains of t rils, it s double- st opping, or t he speedy
scales which were most evenly negot iat ed.
Mr. Walt er, who, like Mr. Huberman, donat ed his services for t he
concert , had chosen t he Brahms First symphony as his chief
offering. I t was accorded a noble, int ense present at ion. Under t he
conduct or’s mast erly leadership t he orchest ra sounded unusually
rich and supple t onally, and it performed wit h a t echnical
perfect ion, blemished solely by a freaky spot in t he ot herwise
excellent solo flut e passage in t he finale’s int roduct ion, which like
one blat ant not e from t he horns lat er in t he movement result ed
from overblowing.
Some of Mr. Walt er’s most memorable effect s were made in t he
development of t he first t heme of t he finale at it s rest at ement
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and in t he coda of t hat movement , which was elect rical in it s
emot ional surge. An equally maj est erial unfoldment of
Beet hoven’s “ Egmont ” overt ure complet ed t he offerings.

New York Times, 18 Jan 1942
Huberman in Solo Recit al
Bronislaw Huberman, Polish violinist , who has devot ed most of
his t ime t o t he founding and direct ing of t he Palest ine Symphony
Orchest ra in t he last few years, ret urned t o Carnegie Hall
yest erday aft ernoon t o give his first solo recit al t here since t he
event ful night of Feb. 28, 1936, when his St radivarius violin was
st olen from his dressing room. The inst rument was never
recovered.
I t was Mr. Huberman’s second appearance of t he season, for last
mont h he was t he soloist wit h Bruno Walt er and ninet y members
of t he New York Philharmonic- Symphony Orchest ra in a benefit
for t he Aust rian- American League.
The first part of his program was devot ed t o t wo concert os.
I nst ead of ut ilizing t hem as display pieces wit h a pianist
st ruggling valiant ly wit h t he orchest ral part , he engaged members
of t he New Friends of Music t o appear wit h him and present ed
t hem as chamber music works.
The first was Bach’s Violin Concert o in E maj or, t he ot her was
Mozart ’s in D maj or. I n each of t hem, following t he eight eent h-
cent ury pract ice – a pract ice he has revived in appearances wit h
t he Palesine orchest ra – he served as bot h t he soloist and t he
conduct or.
As was apparent at his first appearance t his season, t he hand and
wrist inj uries he suffered in a plane crash in 1937 have not
affect ed his playing. I t was as expert and sure as ever, and he
played t hese works wit h devot ion and underst anding, always
adj ust ing his part wit h t hat of t he orchest ra t o give a balanced
result .
Aft er t he int ermission he int roduced Medt ner’s Sonat a Epica,
which had not been performed previously in t his count ry. Boris
Roubakine, pianist , served as his part ner. The work last ed fort y-
t hree minut es – longer t han bot h t he concert os combined – and
for all t he excellence of t he playing it did not sust ain t he int erest .
The final group consist ed of Szymanowski’s “ La Font aine
d’Aret huse, ” and t he violinist ’s own t ranscript ions of a mazurka
and a walt z by Chopin.
The audience applauded warmly, many st anding and cheering.
Mr. Huberman responded wit h t wo encores and t ook four bows
before t he applause died down.
R. P.

New York Times, 14 Jul 1942
Huberman Soloist in Violin Concert o
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He Plays Mendelssohn Work at Lewisohn
St adium Before Audience of 7, 000
Smallens is Conduct or
Leads Philharmonic in Brahms Second and t he
‘Rosamunde’ Overt ure of Schubert
By Howard Taubman
There was dist inguished violin playing at Lewisohn St adium last
night when Bronislaw Huberman appeared as soloist wit h t he
New York Philharmonic- Symphony Orchest ra, Alexander Smallens
conduct ing. Mr. Huberman played t he Mendelssohn concert o, not
as if it were a scarred warhorse of count less campaigns, but as if
it were fresh from t he composer’s pen. The 7, 000 at t he St adium
rewarded t he violinist ’s profound musicianship wit h t hunderous
applause.
This was Mr. Huberman’s first visit t o t he St adium as a
performer. Possibly t he acoust ical problems of t he amphit heat re
were difficult for him, but he did not let t hem worry him. His
performance was set up on proport ions t hat would have been
suit able for a more int imat e audit orium and t he public address
syst em did t he rest . Mr. Huberman’s t one is delicat e and refined,
wit hout crudit y or coarseness and amplificat ion did not harm it .
His st yle as a musician is inward and searching and here again
t he condit ions of t he evening did not violat e his int ent ions.
Mr. Huberman’s pacing of t he music had right ness and dignit y. I n
his hands t he Mendelssohn concert o was not a showpiece for a
virt uoso, but music of sweet and gent le radiance. I t was like
hearing t he concert o anew aft er many years of fast and furious
int erpret at ions. The slow movement was a model of heart felt
comprehension.
Mr. Smallens and t he orchest ra companioned Mr. Huberman wit h
insight . The evening began wit h Schubert ’s “ Rosamunde”
overt ure, followed by an expansive performance of Brahms’s
Second symphony and a spirit ed reading of t he Weber - Berlioz
“ I nvit at ion t o t he Dance. ”
As encores Mr. Huberman played Beet hoven’s Romance in G, wit h
t he orchest ra, and works by Brahms, Sarasat e and Chopin wit h
Boris Roubakine at t he piano.

New York Times, 19 Oct 1942
Huberman Plays Before a Throng
Art of Violinist Evokes t he Ent husiasm of
Audience Packing Carnegie Hall
He I nt erpret s Mast ers
Beet hoven’s ‘Kreut zer’ Sonat a and t he
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‘Chaconne’ of Bach Are Feat ures of Program
By Olin Downes
The audience which packed Carnegie Hall and overflowed upon
t he st age when Bronislav [ sic] Huberman played last night in t hat
audit orium welcomed t he violinist wit h an ent husiasm t hat left no
doubt of it s regard and appreciat ion of his art .
There were t he best of reasons for t his. Mr. Huberman
int erpret ed t he Beet hoven of t he “ Kreut zer” sonat a and t he Bach
of t he “ Chaconne” as a great musician absorbed in his message
and on fire wit h it s meaning. I t was not by means of merely
sensuous beaut y of t one, in which qualit y moment s of his
performances were meager, or t hrough impeccable virt uosit y as
such, t hat he revealed his aut horit y, his profound underst anding,
feeling and sense of st yle. He seized and impressed t he list ener
by t he classic proport ion and beaut y of his concept ions, and t he
vit alit y of his spirit in present ing familiar mast erpieces, in a way
not soon t o be forgot t en.
Perhaps t his st at ement should be qualified, because t hese
remarks are only concerned wit h Mr. Huberman’s playing of t he
Beet hoven sonat a, in which he was ably and warmly assist ed by
Boris Roubakine, pianist , and in t he unaccompanied “ Chaconne”
and t he unaccompanied air from t he A minor sonat a which he
played as an encore before t he int ermission. What Mr. Huberman
did wit h t he Lalo “ Symphonie Espagnole” or t he lat er works
announced on t he program may not be narrat ed here. But in t he
noble music t hat he int erpret ed wit h such communicat iveness
and underst anding his fervor and idealism t ook his list eners wit h
him far from t he world of ext erior event s and int o t he realm of
t rue art , in such a way t hat t heir comprehension of t he music
was renewed and increased, and t hey, wit h him, conversed face
t o face wit h mast ers.
This was Mr. Huberman’s cont ribut ion t o t he occasion and t o t he
t roubled period in which he act s as an art ist . The effect of t his
cont ribut ion was evident .

New York Times, 17 Jan 1943
Huberman Gives Recit al
Bronislaw Huberman, Polish violinist , who at a recit al last season
engaged a small chamber orchest ra and appeared wit h it as
soloist - conduct or in t wo concert os, last night at his second
Carnegie Hall recit al of t he season ext ended t he pract ice. He
engaged virt ually t he ent ire New York Philharmonic- Symphony
Orchest ra and appeared wit h it in t hree concert os.
This t ime, however, he engaged a conduct or t o assist him in t he
t ask, Gregor Fit elberg. But , even so, it was an enormous
undert aking, for he chose t he t wo biggest works writ t en for violin
and orchest ra, t he Beet hoven Concert o and t he Brahms
Concert o. The ot her one, which opened t he program, was t he
Bach Concert o in A minor.
An audience of 3, 000 j ammed t he hall and greet ed him like a
well - known friend on his first appearance. The ent husiasm
mount ed t hroughout t he evening, and at t he end he received a
four - minut e ovat ion, which necessit at ed him ret urning t o t he
st age seven t imes t o acknowledge t he applause.
The ovat ion was cert ainly not undeserved. I t was an evening of
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except ional musicianship. There were somet imes lapses in qualit y
of t one, but t he vigor, t he int ensit y and t he rare comprehension
and grasp of t he music swept everyt hing before it . Each work got
progressively bet t er. Seldom has t he st at ure of t he great Brahms
work been revealed in such magnit ude and in t his concert o t he
conduct or played a large part in t he j oint achievement .
R. P.

New York Times, 11 Jul 1943
Huberman is Soloist at St adium Concert
Tchaikovsky Work I s Heard by 10, 000 –
Smallens Direct s
Bronislaw Huberman, Polish violinist , played t he Tchaikovsky
concert in D maj or before an audience of 10, 000 persons last
night at t he Lewisohn St adium, wit h t he Philharmonic- Symphony
Orchest ra, Alexander Smallens conduct ing. I t is probably safe t o
say t hat t he Tchaikovsky concert o has never had a finer or
great er performance in t his cit y.
The opening movement , Allegro moderat o, displayed a dazzling
exhibit ion of pyrot echnics, wit h a virt uosit y unexcelled in t he
world t oday. The ravishing t one result ing from consummat e
mast ery of bowing, t he perfect ion of phrasing and t he left - hand
t echnic made up a combinat ion rarely heard. The second
movement , Canzonet t a, andant e, was sung wit h a remarkable
purit y of design, and t he Finale, Allegro vivacissimo, seemed even
t o surpass t he first movement in t echnical prowess, wit h an
added charm of ext raordinary rhyt hm. The whole reading was
richly and deeply felt .
I n response t o t he ent husiasm of t he audience, Mr. Huberman
played t hree encores. The first was Tchaikovsky’s “ Serenade
Melancholique, ” Opus 26, where again t he bowing especially
st ood out ; t he second, Smet ana’s “ Aus der Heimat , ” wit h piano,
and t he t hird, “ Hungarian Dance, ” by Brahms, also wit h piano.
Mr. Smallens opened t he program wit h t he Brahms “ Academic
Fest ival Overt ure, ” which was excellent ly performed. The final
number was t he Second Symphony of Sibelius, in D maj or.
R. L.

New York Times, 17 Oct 1943
Huberman heard in Violin Recit al
Polish Art ist Receives Ovat ion for Bach
I nt erpret at ion in Carnegie Hall Program
By Noel St raus
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Bronislaw Huberman, t he Polish violinist , gave a recit al last night
in Carnegie Hall which at t ract ed an unusually ent husiast ic
audience of good size. Despit e t he unfavorable weat her for
st rings, Mr. Huberman, who was in t op form, produced a t one of
marked beaut y, power and sensit iveness in performances
remarkable alike for t echnical mast ery and dept h of insight .
Wit h Boris Roubakine at t he keyboard, Mr. Huberman opened his
ext ensive program wit h a most ingrat iat ing unfoldment of t he
Handel sonat a in D maj or. The init ial movement of t his work,
designat ed as “ Largo maest oso” on t he print ed list , was originally
inscribed “ Affet t uoso” by t he composer, and it was in t his mood
of t enderness t hat t he violinist negot iat ed it s impressive cont ent .
There was a nobilit y of ut t erance, a perfect ion of phrasing and a
complet e capt uring of t he Handelian st yle in t his part of t he
sonat a, which made it not able.
The ensuing allegro was brilliant ly set fort h, and t he larghet t o
given wit h a wealt h of poet ic eloquence was an out st anding
example of soulful cant ilena. I n t he Grave and Fugue from t he
unaccompanied sonat a in A minor of Bach, fascinat ing det ails,
especially in t he several episodes of t he fugue, held t he int erest
t o such an ext ent t hat t he excerpt s brought on an ovat ion
necessit at ing an encore. Mr. Huberman responded wit h t he
Andant e from t he same sonat a, played in such magist erial
manner t hat it proved one of t he high light s of t he recit al. I t was
not only superb in t reat ment of melodic out line, but in it s skill in
management of t he repeat ed t ones in t he lowest voice as well as
in t he ease wit h which all of t he difficult ies were surmount ed.
The Gallic refinement of Franck’s sonat a in A maj or was as surely
capt ured as t he cont rast ed st yle of t he preceding classics. The
first movement and t he Recit at ivo- Fant asia called for special
ment ion in t his offering. Bot her were imaginat ively int erpret ed
wit h profound underst anding of t heir movement s t onally and in
regard t o t he poet ry of t he music. The second division of t he
opus, however, where t he accompanist had his t roubles, and t he
finale were less complet ely sat isfying. But at all t imes, here, as
elsewhere, Mr. Huberman’s subt let y of nuances and molding of
phrase made every moment of his playing grip t he at t ent ion.
The rest of t he program was given over t o Carl Goldmark’s once
popular but now neglect ed Suit e in E maj or, Op. 11; t wo pieces
by Nin, and Mr. Huberman’s own t ranscript ions for
unaccompanied violin of t he Chopin mazurkas Op. 67, No. 2 in G
minor; Op. 68, No. 1, in C maj or, and Op. 68, No. 2, in A minor,
which because of t he lat eness of t he hour could not be heard by
t his reviewer.

New York Times, 21 Jan 1944
Roszinski Offers Hindemit h Music
Hubermann Heard in Brahms Concert o – Nies-
Berger at Organ in Handel Piece
By Olin Downes
The program and t he performances given by Dr. Rodzinski and
t he Philharmonic- Symphony Orchest ra last night in Carnegie Hall
were uncommonly int erest ing and provocat ive.
Reviews 1940s: huberman.info
http://www.huberman.info/reviews/1940s/[02/11/12 06:56:11]
There was a novelt y, a “ Symphonic Met amorphosis” on Themes
of Carl Maria von Weber, by Paul Hindemit h, and it was one of
t he most ent ert aining scores t hat he has t hus far given us, a real
j eu d’espirt by a great mast er of his medium in a singularly
happy mood.
There was a performance of t he Brahms violin concert o wit h
Bronislaw Huberman as soloist , and Mr. Huberman, wit h some
st ridency of t one and roughness of st yle, played in a great spirit ,
wit h a splendid grasp of t he music’s essence and a virile spirit
t hat inspired his audience.
The orchest ra, if we except t he effect of t he Handel organ
concert o, wit h Mr. Neis- berger as organist , a performance which,
in t he sense of inst rument al balances and well - mat ched t one
colors, did not come off so well ( t hrough no fault of t he
performers) , was in excellent form. Wit ness t he playing of t he
oboe solo of t he slow movement of he concert o; t he virt uoso
brilliancy and glow of t he performance of Hindemit h’s music; t he
noble and mellow t one of t he t rombones in t he music from
Wagner’s “ Meist ersinger” which concluded t he occasion!
Composer I s Present
As for what Mr. Hindemit h, who was present , has done wit h t he
t hemes of von Weber, he must t ake t he full responsibilit y. He has
remarked t hat since t hese are by no means t he best of Weber’s
t hemes, he has felt t he freer t o t reat t hem as he pleases! Not hing
like frankness bet ween friends, and t he wonderful Carl Maria is
safe in his grave! We confess t hat we have no knowledge of t he
t hemes used for “ homage t o Weber” in t he peculiar manner of
Hindemit h.
But we must also confess t o finding t he music divert ing and
delight ful. I t s wit and it s mast ery alike int rigue us, and suggest a
fresh if not a new depart ure by t his composer.
Somet imes t he Hindemit h count erpoint has been as busy and
energet ic as t he works of an aut omobile and as meaningless.
Somet imes it has been t hick and overst uffed in it s st yle. This
met amorphosis employs count erpoint as a mat t er only incident al
t o t he gay development of t he ideas, and t here is sunshine in
every nook and cranny of t he t ransparent , debonair score.
I t is music, one would say, t hat has gained by human cont act s. I t
is wit hout pompousness or dead weight . The Chinoiserie of t he
second movement , based upon orient al mot ives t hat Weber
shaped for incident al music t o Schiller’s “ Turandot , ” is pat ent and
int ent ional absurdit y, wit h waggish nonsense of percussion
inst rument s, from summoning bells t o t huds of drums and clucks
of xylophones.
Divert ing Fugue
For quit e a while t here is no fugue, but of course Hindemit h ahs
t o come t o a fugue before he has gone t oo far wit hout one and
t he fugal business in t his movement does not cease t o be
divert ing. His andant e is in singing st yle, wit h broad
development s and proper cont rast t o t he ot her movement s. His
final march has ah umor and gust o which does not come as an
ant iclimax aft