The following pages are intended to form a record of my
experience in a department of music which has hitherto been left
to professional routine and amateur criticism. I shall appeal to
professional executants, both instrumentalists and vocalists,
rather than to conductors; since the executants only can tell
whether, or not, they have been led by a competent conductor. I
do not mean to set up a system, but simply to state certain
facts, and record a number of practical observations.
Composers cannot afford to be indifferent to the manner in which
their works are presented to the public; and the public,
naturally, cannot be expected to decide whether the performance
of a piece of music is correct or faulty, since there are no data
beyond the actual effect of the performance to judge by.
I shall endeavour to throw some light upon the characteristics of
musical performances in Germany--with regard to the concert-room,