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humanities 307 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 semi-conductor chip made possible the personal computer to the laser was developed for spectroscopic purposes but is now ubiquitous in our lives. Best of all, this is the inspirational story of a man of warmth, generosity, dedication, self-discipline, accomplishment, and above all optimism, who lived his life to the full. He loved his profession, and was active in it for seventy years, completing his first book by the age of thirty (it has sold over a hundred thousand copies) and his last article at the age of ninety-two. This biography is an academic publication of the highest quality. (HELEN FREEDHOFF) Richard S. Warren. Begins with the Oboe: A History of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra University of Toronto Press. xiv, 288. $60.00 The late Richard S. Warren, the author of Begins with the Oboe: A History of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, was the volunteer archivist of the TSO. He devoted much time and energy to both his work and his book, but that he was neither a historian nor a writer shows on every page of this maladroit publication. The book is organized around the orchestra=s conductors B although two of the most interesting, Ozawa and Ancerl, are made to share a chapter B but the chronicle is a relentless march through each season. Admittedly, it is difficult to organize the material about a performing organization to present an overall picture as well as the defining aspects of each season, but here there is never any attempt at a comprehensive examination of anything. The most glaring example of the problem is the treatment of finances throughout the history of the orchestra, but especially in recent years. The past fifteen years have been crucial to the orchestra=s current strained circumstances, but it is impossible to gain a coherent sense of what happened. Pieces of information are scattered through the pages, but the disastrous financial position is never fully discussed, nor are the reasons for or the consequences of having four managers and two management consultants in the decade following the resignation of Wray Armstrong as managing director in 1991. There is no mention of the tensions among individuals, orchestra players, and the Board of Directors, or of the one or two administrators who held the management together during these years. The prose is inelegant, and Warren=s judgments are frequently naïve and uninformed by any wider knowledge of repertoire and musicians. The book abounds in curious oversights, confusions, and plain error. Kathleen Parlow and Pierre Monteux each make two >debut= performances in different seasons; Boyd Neel is identified as the conductor of an English chamber orchestra but not as dean of music at the University of Toronto; John Boyden was a baritone, not a tenor; Stravinsky=s notable appearance with 308 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 the orchestra in 1937 is passed over in a short sentence; Klemperer made a >first visit= but in fact he never returned; Ah! perfido is a concert aria by Beethoven, not an aria from Fidelio; the conductors Stokowski and Rilling are mentioned but not their eccentric seating of the performers; we learn that Alberto Guerrero was a >well-known Chilean pianist= in 1932 but not that he had lived in Toronto since 1918; Canadian Music Associates is not identified as the concert committee of the Canadian League of Composers; misspellings abound B not Neil Cory but Crory, not Jean d=Arc but Jeanne d=Arc, not Velery Gergiev but Valery, not Emmanuel Kirvine but Krivine. The list is endless. There are five appendices. There is a list of every player in the orchestra since its inception, and lists of music directors and appointed (not guest) conductors, conductors of the Youth Orchestra, and composers-inresidence . A list of Canadian works commissioned since 1960 includes the surprising name of the Italian Luciano Berio and makes one wonder what foreign commissions the orchestra might have made. The discography includes many recordings the unidentified labels of which must be a mystery to many who consult it: the recordings for RCI...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 307-308
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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