Raising Musical Standards
To the Editor:
In Chemjo Vinaver’s article in the January issue of your magazine, he assumes that Dr. Gradenwitz shared in the editorial policy of Jewish Music Notes, June 1949 issue, since his name appeared among the paper’s contributing editors.
Dr. Gradenwitz is in Israel and has acted only as our Israeli correspondent with no responsibility for any of the content of our paper other than news of music in Israel. I should like to absolve Dr. Gradenwitz of any responsibility for our editorial policy.
As to Mr. Vinaver’s statements, quoting from the chairman’s message in the aforesaid issue of Jewish Music Notes, he resorts to an old trick of quoting only those excerpts which serve his purpose. Had he quoted the following as well—“It is regrettable that on the whole the level of mass appreciation for Jewish music is somewhat low. . . . The National Jewish Music Council has taken the educator’s position that one begins with what is at hand, always keeping in mind ultimate goals. . . . The desire to listen to the symphony presupposes a high musical quotient. . . . To broaden and elevate the musical taste of Jewish masses, time and patience and conscientious day to day application toward the achievement of goals are required. . . .”—the reader of Mr. Vinaver’s article might have understood that the National Jewish Music Council is as aware as COMMENTARY of the problem inherent in raising standards. The National Jewish Music Council is confident it will eventually succeed in its purposes through its methods.
Ethel S. Cohen
National Jewish Music Council
New York City