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Painted Veils

James Huneker

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .icular affair promised to be peculiarly interesting. Lilli Lehmann, the divine Lilli, Stone called her, Jean and Edouard de Reszke, Marie Brema, Anton Van Rooy—what a Tristan and Isolde cast, with Anton Seidl at the conductor's helm! Easter had never heard Tristan sung; she knew the vocal score, and in Washington had with beating heart listened to an orchestra under Seidl play a long Wagner programme. She became a Wagnerian in a moment. No music before this had narcotized her senses, lapped her soul into bliss, hypnotized her faculty of attention until her consciousness had swooned. Already she had battle royals daily with Madame Ash who tried to make this too strenuous pupil see that the royal road to a comprehension of Wagner was through the music of the classics: of Bach, of Beethoven, above all, of Mozart music. "My dear," admonished the wise teacher, "you will never be anything but a sloppy amateur if you begin with Wagner. Read him. That's all. Just read him, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

James Huneker, a forgotten name today, is oft cited as the
most perceptive American culture essayist in the early 20th C. He's definitely worth getting to know.
Huneker (1857-1921) was a music critic who also wrote w passion
and insight about art, literature and theatre. This deeply-felt
novel, publishe