Culture Watch: 'Carnegie Hall Treasures'
(Harper Design: $75)
This is a tribute to Carnegie Hall on the 120th anniversary of its opening, May 5, 1891, when Tchaikovsky, on his only U.S. trip, conducted his Marche Solennelle. Tim Page offers an animated introduction. Carnegie Hall contributes pages of illustrations from its glorious history. The greats of music –- classical, jazz, folk, pop -- are all here. The posters, alone, bring it all back home. The one advertising Fats Waller at Carnegie calls him “The Girth of The Blues.”
Included is a packet of facsimiles of Carnegie miscellany. Marlon Brando scrawls his gratitude to the hall in a schoolboy hand on lined paper. The program of a concert, April 1, 1934, is in honor of Prof. Albert Einstein. In it is the text of “the Scroll of Honor inscribed by the foremost musical figures in the United States” thanking the physicist for his contributions to the better of mankind through his advancement of science and devotion to art and for drawing “these two worlds nearer in the development of culture.” Those were the days.
-- Mark Swed