Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

cantatas, masses, and requiems, but now he turned his attention to lyric music.

In 1851 some of his compositions were performed in a London concert hall, and received such favorable comment that he was excited to new efforts. Several of his more ambitious lyric compositions had failed, but his industry was unceasing, and in the same year (1851) he at last won success wah his opera "Sappho," which was produced at the French opera through the influence of Madam Pauline Viardot, a woman prominet in the Paris musical world.

The next year he was honored by the appointment to the directorship of the Normal Singing School of Paris, the primary school of the Conservatoire. He followed up his first success in opera with new attempts, but these works added little to the composer's fame, and it was not until 1859 that Gounod gave to the world his great masterpiece, "Faust." He was confronted by the usual obstacles that attend the production of a new play, but as soon as the public began to understand the exquisite beauties of the opera his fame was assured. Faust was produced in all countries and in all languages, and was received everywhere with an enthusiasm that does not seem to lessen. Though its composer wrote other operas he never wrote another that excelled it. The best of his later works are "Mireille," a pastoral drama founded upon a poem by Lamartine, produced in 1864, and "Romeo and Juliet," produced in 1867.

Conditions in France arising from the German wars led Gounod to leave Paris, and in 1870 he went to London where he lived a very retired life, appearing only occasionally in public at the Crystal

Palace or the Philharmonic. It was he who founded the musical organization under his own. name, which afterwards became the "Albert Hall Choral Society" and ultimately the "Royal Choral Society." In 1871 he produced at the Universal Exposition the cantata "Gallia," a lamentation for France.

In 1876 Gounod returned to Paris to assume his position as a member of the French Institute, to which he had been appointed several years before, and during the remainder of his life worked as untiringly as ever, writing several operas, a few masses, some secular music, and in 1882 two sacred trilogies, "The Redemption" and "Mors et Vita."

As he grew older his health gradually declined, and on October 16, 1893, at St. Cloud, he was stricken with apoplexy from which he died two days later.

Few artists have produced more work, or of greater variety. He entered into the domain of opera, church, symphony, piano, organ, and song; his magnificent masses, his "Gallia" and some of his songs, such as "Nazareth," and "There is a Green Hill Far Away" are widely sung; his "Redemption" is produced wherever great church music is appreciated. It is divided into three parts, (1) The passion of Christ; (2) Christ's life on earth between his resurrection and ascension; (3) The diffusion of Christianity by the apostles.

But it is as the composer of "Mireille," "Romeo," and "Faust" that Gounod is justly famous. The first two are not often produced in their entirety, but many selections from them are regularly sung by eminent artists. It is on these three works that one critic founds his assertion that Gounod is "a true poet, an inspired creator, an artist of the first rank, and if not one of those who

illumine the world with a dazzling light, at least one of those who charm it, touch it, who makes it listen and makes it think."

Everyone knows the story of "Faust," made immortal by Goethe's wonderful poem, the story of the old philosopher, who in his hour of gloom sells his soul to the arch fiend Mephistopheles, if in return he may drink life to its very drugs. Everyone knows the heart rending story of Marguerite, of her innocence, her sin, her repentence. Some writers have found much to criticise in Gounod's interpretation of "Faust," especially where it differs from Goethe's drama, but always great men and great works receive the severest opposition, and the magnificence of "Faust" is attested by the fact that since it was first produced it has held its place, not only as the most popular, but also the greatest of modern operas. In it Gounod embodied the finest inspirations of his life. The originality of the music, its wealth of melody, passionate, dreamy, poetic, tender, its powerful orchestration, stamp it unmistakably a masterpiece. The waltz music, dainty and exquisite, the beautiful garden scene, with its love music, scarcely ever surpassed for fire, passion, and tenderness, the "Jewel Song," the Kirmes music, the "Soldier's Chorus," are a few of the things that live in our memory always. The whole opera is dominated by Gounod's own temperament, which had

always swayed between the voluptuous and the spiritual, giving it a tone distinctively new and original.

Then, too, "Faust" is the work of a composer who was not only a genius but a man of learning. He was not only familiar with all music, but was a man of letters, skilled in the languages and classical lore. One writer says, "More noble than majestic, more tender than pathetic, more pensive than enthusiastic, more deliberate than spontaneous, the immense talent of the author of "Faust" glitters with a multitude of rare qualities, and in that talent one may almost say that study, constant and indefatigable study has as great a part as inspiration."

Gounod was an untiring worker. He cared little for society, and from the time that he began his career as a musician devoted himself unreservedly to his life work. He invested French music with a "seriousness, depth, and imaginative vigor" which it had never known before. He accepted no rebuffs, but with an aggressive spirit that opposed all obstacles beat his way to the front rank of composers of his century, where, in spite of all adverse criticism he holds his place unshaken today. "Surely it is praise enough for a great musician, that in the domain of opera, church music, symphony, and song, he has risen above all others of his time in one direction, and in all has been surpassed by none."

Education for Women in Utah.

Dr. John A. Widtsoe.

From the time that man, by independent thinking, cleared away the fogs of the middle ages, marvelous social changes have come upon the face of the earth. The big advancing change was, of course, the transition from slavery to freedom-from the slavery of overbearing religion, social caste, superstition and ignorance. The next great step was the direction of the newly freed and living intelligence to the improvement of surrounding conditions. Improvements in industries and arts followed quicklyimproved means of transportation, manufacturing on a larger and more economic basis, an uplift in agricultural life, a great and outspoken literature and art; and, in some respects the greatest of all, a

knowledge that woman and her kingdom, the home, form the most powerful unit of society.

The only approach to an education for woman during the dark ages and until comparatively recent times, was the soulless initiation into the routine duties of the home. In fact, many good men believed that by nature woman was so inferior to man in her endowments that she could neither fully grasp the purpose and content of education nor serve in any but inferior positions. The intellectual awakening of the world demonstrated, however, the equality in natural endowments of man and woman. Temperamentally and physiologically they differ in large degree; but in their power of thinking the great

[graphic][subsumed]

The application of science to household work has raised it from drudgery to a

place of great dignity.

Scene in Old Quarters of Agricultural College.

thoughts and doing the needed work of the world—that is, in the sum of their powers-they are undoubtedly equal. Society now knows. that the mission of woman must be dignified by intelligence and made. equal to that of man, else the foundations of society will crumble.

However, the right form of education for woman has been the sub

ject of much controversy. Fifty years ago, when woman began to demonstrate her equality with man and her fitness for education, her new freedom intoxicated her and she demanded precisely the kind of education that a man received. Thus came the educated "blue stockings" of a generation ago, who made themselves wish for every destiny under the sun save that embodying motherhood and homemaking. In these later years, under the growing wisdom of universal intelligence we have learned to understand that woman, like man, must be educated with due regard to her future profession, which in the majority of cases should be that of wife, mother, and mistress of the home. The highest in art, literature, the sciences. and in industrial life may, undoubtedly, be achieved by woman, but none would say that these things should be the main pursuits of normal women. The striving of woman for something outside of the home is a superficial feeling, which results from the false teaching, not always definitely expressed but often implied, that everything under the sun is beautiful save the common things of daily life. The woman of strength and high purpose is not necessarily the one who writes. books or sputters in high sciences; she is rather the one who sees in the home the greatest field in the world for intelligence and high morality. Very ordinary minds may at times write books. It requires

always extraordinary ability to realize the great possibilities of home life.

We are coming to a unity of faith concerning the education of woman. While she should be permitted, with the man, to dip into the many branches of human knowledge, yet she should especially be taught the application of the arts and sciences to her duties as a homemaker. The engineer, the lawyer, and the doctor cover portions of the vast field of human knowledge for the purpose of making themselves strong in their respective pursuits. Their ultimate and special profession is never lost sight of; their studies are chosen with reference to it. It should be so in the education of woman.

Let it be repeated here most emphatically, that as a result of the application of modern science and thought to the various phases of homemaking, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that there is no greater field for brain work than the industries of family life. Moreover, the work of the home reaches out and in a measure, controls and directs all other professions. Family life is all inclusive-potent for health, or disease, misery or happiness, success in its largest sense, or abject failure. Such a field certainly permits the play of the greatest mentality and should satisfy the natural longing of any rightly made

woman.

Women are now coming quickly to understand the value of such special education and the great power of their position as the mothers and makers of the race. When every mother knows the laws of health, more children will be strong. When every mother is broadly and sympathetically trained in the application of science and in the arts, more children will be intelligent.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic]

tion of the women will depend almost wholly the future of the race.

It is to the credit of the people who founded this State that they appeared to understand, early, the necessity of giving their girls a sane and rational education. The pioneer days were days of deep inspiration, big dreams and work that cut lines into the face. They were days of health and high purpose, but days of care also. The stubborn earth gave meagerly, but the toilers conquered. The heavy work

There should be more Domestic Science and Arts taught in the grade and high schools.

clubs and householder's associations. were formed, and schools were endowed for the special purpose of teaching the industries and the mechanic arts. In the late 70's the Brigham Young University of Provo, in obedience to vo, in obedience to the requirement in the deed of trust, organized a department of domestic arts for the training of the children of the pioneers. When, at last, in 1888, the State organized its college for the masses, The Agricultural College, courses in domestic science

« AnteriorContinua »