(From The Guardian)
Byline: ROGER NICHOLS
Paris, May 1924. Interesting times . . . President Poincare is beaten in elections, giving the left control of the Chamber of Deputies. Olympic competitors are polishing their chariots of fire for the opening of the games on July 5. And music lovers enjoy an astonishing month: Mengelberg and the Concertgebouw in Bach's St Matthew Passion, the Vienna Opera Orchestra in Mozart symphonies; recitals from violinists Georges Enesco, Jacques Thibaud and Joseph Szigeti, pianists Alfred Cortot, Arthur Rubinstein and Clara Haskil, and harpsichordist Wanda Landowska. Meanwhile, Stravinsky's Soldier tells his Tale for the first time on a Paris stage, and Honegger's futurist Pacific 231 sets out steaming and hooting on its maiden journey through the Opera.
But nothing will come of nothing. The musical and artistic life of Paris had deep roots and could be expected to survive even the horrors of the first world war. But no country that loses a million and a half men in four years can expect its artistic world to remain as it was: composer Albert Roussel, writing to his wife, accepts that …