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65 GEORGE MOORE AND THE DOLMETSCHES Sara Ruth Watson (Fenn Col lege) Although it has long been generally known that Arnold Dolmetsch and his concerts of old music suggested to George Moore the character of Mr. Innes in Moore's only "musical novel," EVELYN INNES (I898), the importance and true significance of the friendship between Moore and Dolmetsch have been overlooked.' Mabel Dolmetsch refers to this identification in her PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF ARNOLD DOLMETSCH: Later on [in 1894] he [Dolmetsch] conceived the bold idea of holding these concerts in his own house, in Duiwich...His plan was a success, and to this remote suburb there journeyed the denizens of Bloomsbury and Kensington. These audiences have been aptly portrayed by George Moore in his novel EVELYN INNES, wherein Arnold Dolmetsch, then in his thirties, figures as old Mr. Innes, the wizard who conjures back to life the vanished beauties of music's younger days.2 In its general outline, Moore's description of Evelyn's father certainly fits Arnold Dolmetsch: Iron-grey hair hung in thick locks over his forehead, and, shining through their shadows, his eyes drew attention from the rest of his face, so that none noticed at first the small and firmly cut nose, nor the scanty growth of beard twisted to a point by a movement habitual to the weak, white hand. His face was In his eyes: they reflected the flame of faith and of mission; they were the eyes of one whom fate had thrown on an obscure wayside of dreams, the face of a dreamer and propagandist of old-time music and its instruments.' The remarkable feature of Arnold Dolmetsch was his eyes; everyone who knew hin commented upon his compelling gaze. Mabel Dolmetsch speaks of his "brilliantly expressive eyes which Lucy Shaw characterized as 'Lamps of genius."** And no wonder, for Arnold Dolmetsch possessed the ardent spirit of a zealot; almost single-handedly he instigated the English revival of ancient instruments and their music—a revival that has by now reached world-wide dimensions. It is difficult for us to realize the almost complete neglect of medieval and Renaissance music that prevailed in 1898, the year in which EVELYN INNES appeared) of all the arts, music was generally considered to have flowered late, beginning with Bach and Handel. Only a very few musicians knew anything about music be" fore I685, and fewer yet really cared to perform it—much less to try to reproduce the sounds of the instruments upon which it was originally played.5 So Moore was indebted to Dolmetsch for more than the characterization of Mr. Innes. It Is apparent to me that Moore's Information concerning Renaissance and Baroque music, ancient instruments, the composers and their compositions, techniques and interpretation—as well as hints for characterizations of ether figures in the novel—all came from evenings at the Dolmetsches. As Malcolm 66 Brown, Moore's most recent biographer, points out, Moore was not musical and overcame his musical deficiencies by summoning experts." However, no one has investigated the novelist's debt to Dolmetsch, which I wish to demonstrate consisted of much more than simply the suggestion for the character of Mr. lnnes. Moore dedicated EVELYN INNES to Arthur Symons and 17. B„ Yeats, both of whom frequented Dolmetsch's concerts. The first looked back to the continental, especially French, literature for the origins of the English "decadentism"; the second looked forward to the Celtic Revival„ Arthur Symons—poet, scholar, critic—was probably the most influential in the English avant-garde movement during the last two decades of the nineteenth century.? The artists who formed this select circle were of greatly divergent temperaments and interests: some had descended from the earlier pre-Raphaelite group, some espoused the cause of "art for art's sake," some called themselves "Symbolistes," still others "decadents," and then there were the naturalists. It was Symons who tried to find a common denominator, who tried to unite these diverse aims and interests." Into jthis circle, in 189^, Herbert Horno introduced Arnold Dolmetsch, who at once struck up a friendship with Symons which lasted a lifetime.9 Soon Dolmetsch found himself a popular member of the group...


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