A Musical Celebration of the Struggle to Secure
Friday, August 27, 1993
Welcome By comedian Dick Gregory (video)
Invocation by Rev. Soloman J. Haley, Jr. AME Church. (video)
The Star-Spangled Banner (Francis Scott Key)
The following selections will be performed at the ‘Verdi’ pitch of middle C = 256 Hz.
Lift Every Voice and Sing (James Weldon Johnson/R. Rosamond Johnson)
An die Freude (Beethoven, Ninth Symphony, arr. John Sigerson)
Erlkonig (Franz Schubert)
Crucifixion (Roland Hayes)
Song to the Moon (from Dvořák’s “Rusalka”)
Goin’ Home (Dvořák)
O Patria Mia (Verdi, Aida)
O don fatale (Verdi, Don Carlo)
Per me giunto (Verdi, Don Carlo)
Tu che le vanità (Verdi, Don Carlo)
Dio che nell' alma (Verdi, Don Carlo)
Greetings and proclamations
Va pensiero (Verdi, Nabucco) Ave Verum (Mozart)
Regenlied Op. 59 #3 & 4 (Brahms)
Sonata in G major Op. 78 (Brahms)
An die Leier (Franz Schubert) (video)
Arr. by Hall Johnson
Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Lift ev'ry voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring,
Who the noble prize achieveth, good friend of a friend to be;
Who the noble prize achieveth, good friend of a friend to be;
"Once in the life of every man, there comes a moment to decide." In the joyful work in which we participated with the prophet Martin Luther King in the 1950s and 1960s, we were privileged to see Americans, from the most diverse backgrounds, decide to risk "their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" on behalf of the principle of Sacred Love.
Dr. King referred to love as "creative non-violence." We would add, that the principle of Sacred Love is the beginning of the principle of government, for "if a man cannot govern himself, how can he govern others?" By purifying our own motives, we were able to unleash a social force that no tyrant, no racist, no bureaucracy, and no honest heart or mind, was able to resist.
Now, today, almost thirty years later, that same force is needed, more than ever before. And, we recently saw this force of Love act in November of 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. A battle that everyone presumed could not be won without nuclear war, was won without the firing of a shot, without the death of one individual.
Often, it was music which carried the day against munitions. In Leipzig, it was the Leipzig orchestra and its conductor, who helped to stop the secret police from massacring demonstrators. In the streets of Prague, a week after a student had been killed in a demonstration, hundreds of thousands gathered in the streets to defy the regime, and many sang "We Shall Overcome--Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome some day."
The poem of Friedrich Schiller, after whom our Institute is named, "Ode To Joy," was sung in Tiananmen Square, in Beijing; and in Berlin, where people danced on the broken-down Wall, the music of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony greeted the newly liberated East German citizens as they walked through to the West.
Three years after these events of 1989, I participated in the founding of the International Civil Rights Solidarity Movement, in November of 1992, in Germany. This action was initiated by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder and Chairman of the Schiller Institute, whom I call my "adopted daughter." I was pleased to be there, for I had the honor, in 1964, to invite Dr. King, the Rev. James Bevel, and their organization, into Selma, Alabama, to register the African-American population of that city to vote. This was work that I and my husband, the late William Boynton, had done for thirty years, with the Dallas County Voters League.
I had been in Selma, at the start of that great movement, so I was proud to be in Germany at the start of a new great movement. With me was my "son," Reverend Bevel. I am sure that Dr. King, had he been alive, would have been there with us.
I want you to know, that I have found that the work of such people as Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, and Paul Robeson, is much better appreciated, and in some cases better known, in Europe than in the United States. I believe that we must, if we are to survive as a nation, honor these people and the principles for which they stood.
Music cannot be separated from the struggle of the Americans in the civil rights movement, for the inalienable rights of all men. In fact, I believe that we must teach our children the great repertoire that these singers performed, for it was the spirit of these songs that "pulled us through the wilderness." People sing them all over the world, and use them in their struggles. So why have we, in our darkest hour of need, in the 1990s, abandoned them?
We are commemorating the struggle to secure our inalienable rights at Constitution Hall, where so many of our artists were denied, earlier in this century, the right to perform. We want to see the hall overflowing with the people for whom these performers, and Dr. King, have given their lives. We want the rafters of Constitution Hall to ring with the joyful voices of those who say, "Yes, we recognize and appreciate what you have done for the world, and for us, Mr. Hayes, Miss Anderson, Mr. Robeson, Mrs. Maynor, and all of the others who came before and after you."
In this way, we would consecrate Constitution Hall in the name of Sacred Love. And, the next day, when we commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the March on Washington, and Dr. King's inspired speech, "I Have A Dream," we will silently, and proudly, respond, "The people for whom you have fought and died, have come out of the wilderness, and are headed, singing, to the Promised Land."
One thing seems quite clear to me: If the United States somehow manages to recover from the present crisis, it will only have been possible through the inspiring example of such great individuals as Marian Anderson, who are able to touch something within their fellow human beings, kindling a spark of humanity within them, and in this way open up a route to their own inner wealth.
Precisely what was that incomparable magic which Marian Anderson radiated? She was what the poet Friedrich Schiller called a "beautiful soul." "A soul is called beautiful when its moral sensation of all human sentiments has finally become secure to such a degree that it can freely allow its own will to be guided by its emotions, without ever running the risk of coming into conflict with the will's decisions. For the beautiful soul, therefore, individual actions are not really guided by moral rules per se; rather, its entire character is moral.... The beautiful soul has no other merit save that it exists."
Marian Anderson possessed an inner dignity which is reserved only for those persons who have freed their lives of all banality and of all things inconsequential, in order to dedicate themselves to celebrating a creative discovery--whether that be in the field of Classical art or of science--thereby bringing their lives into ever greater atonement with the Creator's will. Everyone praised the extraordinary expressiveness of her voice; but the content of what she expressed, was this inner beauty, this inner truthfulness.
In a very direct sense, Marian Anderson fulfilled the requirement which Schiller established for all artists. Schiller demanded that the artist must have first ennobled himself into the purest representative of humanity, before he may dare to stir the public, because only in such a disposition can he be certain of his ennobling effect on the public. Schiller admonishes artists: "Mankind's dignity has been put into your hands; keep it well! With you, it sinks; with you, it will rise up!"
How sorely we need Marian Anderson's great example today, along with the greatest possible number of artists to tread in her footsteps! Indeed, many former associates of Dr. King, who lived through those days, assure us that the state of civil rights today is much worse than it was in the 1960s.
Some of these rights, of course, are now anchored in law; the very fact that a concert in Marian Anderson's memory can be held in the same Constitution Hall where she was barred in 1939, shows that a certain amount of progress has been achieved. And yet, today our inalienable rights are being threatened in an entirely different way.
Theoretically, there is nothing today preventing a young person, regardless of his or her skin color, from studying and performing Classical music. But in practice, how much chance does a young person have today to discover the beauty of Classical composition, and to achieve lifelong mastery of it?
The video world's ugliness and violence, the collapse of our cities, poverty and hopelessness, spreading criminality--all these aspects of reality seem to put emphasis on an altogether different side of the human character. Our society shows all the signs of cultural decline and fall--a collapse of civilization comparable to that of the ancient Roman Empire.
If there is any chance that this process of degeneration might be reversed, then it will only come about through a true renaissance of our culture, in the same way as the Golden Renaissance of the fifteenth century reversed the thirteenth-century Dark Age. But this will only be possible if we take into ourselves the highest principles and noblest ideas, as they are embodied in the Classical musical tradition, and as they have lived on in spirituals, which drew their inspiration from that tradition.
The March on Washington
Perhaps a brief excursion into the history of that period will give a better understanding of how deeply humbled I am by this event.
"Summoned by King, James Bevel arrived from Greenwood just in time to preach at the Birmingham mass meeting on Friday night, April 12, a few hours after King went to jail.... The crowd stirred as Bevel began to preach.... The crowd understood. Bevel was a spiritual kamikaze."
--Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters, pp. 734-35
"Typically, editorials scolded the SCLC for allowing children to participate in the demonstration. Had the writers attended these sessions, they would have heard an interpretation of the strange career of Jim Crow quite different from the interpretation in the book The Strange Career of Jim Crow by C. Van Woodward. According to James Bevel and Andrew Young, the principal instructors, blacks alone were responsible for segregation, because blacks had refused to claim the right to vote. 'Negroes become colored constituents when blacks vote,' said Bevel. It is not the lawless, but the listless, who must bear the responsibility for injustice, since they are the ones who suffer most from the grievances they lack the courage to redress." William Sloan Coffin, Once to Every Man and Nation, p. 173.
"Jim Bevel had the inspiration of setting 'D' Day, when the students would go to jail in historic numbers."
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can't Wait, p. 99.
"James Bevel, the young minister who thought up the children's demonstration ... James Bevel ... saw switchblades, knives, and revolvers in the hands of men. Stones and bricks were raining from the roof.... He grabbed a bullhorn from a policeman and hollered through it ... 'If you're not going to demonstrate in a non-violent manner, then leave.' The crowd listened. Bevel had barely averted what might have been the first catastrophe of the movement."
Jim Bishop, The Days of Martin Luther King, Jr., p. 311
"Isaac Reynolds ... work[ed] closely with James Bevel in organizing the youngsters for the marches ... at a critical juncture, when King wavered because of pressures from the Kennedys to hold off further demonstrations. Bevel and Reynolds, ignoring King's wishes, slipped the children out of the church and marched them downtown to jail in the most brilliant maneuver of the campaign."
August Meier and Elliot Rodwick, C.O.R.E., p. 319.
"Nobody knows it, but the March on Washington was directly parallel to our understanding of what Gandhi did in India.
"We were sitting around talking about how are we going to unite all of these little movements across the South into one national movement and James Bevel said: ... 'Let's march on Washington.' We didn't do it the same way Gandhi did. But we accomplished the same purpose."
WHYY Philadelphia, A Conversation with Andrew Young, June 22, 1977
The march was a tactical maneuver to solidify all the little movements into one great national expression, and to counteract President Kennedy's attempt to pressure Dr. King into not allowing children to participate in the Birmingham demonstrations.
The march had a greater effect than was anticipated. It created a context in which Dr. King could share with millions the spirit of the movement. It is that eternal spirit, conveyed in the spirituals and Classical music, that we commemorate and celebrate on this, the thirtieth anniversary of the March on Washington.
Let me further thank God for having allowed me to make a small offering to the movement and march of 1963, and let me thank the Schiller Institute, and all of you, for allowing me the opportunity to commemorate and celebrate such a momentous occasion.
My greetings to your concert at Constitution Hall. Marian Anderson's superb professional triumphs were only a small part of what this great diva contributed to human understanding. As a nation, we owe her gratitude for showing that talent and dignity can prevail, and wrongs can be corrected. While the world has lost a great artist, I have lost a dear friend.
Marian Anderson's life represents to me the influence of great Art upon the soul of our nation. She taught me early on, to serve music as my master, to present myself to the public in the service of that great Art. She was always a step ahead of me in opening the doors for my future, for all of our futures. We all remember the original 1939 incident in Washington, in which Constitution Hall would not have Miss Anderson there to sing. I shall never forget that, when Marian Anderson later appeared at the Lincoln Memorial and, with such dignity, stepped forward in her fur coat, the first words she sang were: "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."
She especially taught us to study hard, and to prepare the music itself very thoroughly. She used to say, "If you study hard now, later you will say, 'Thank God I took my mind seriously when I was young.' " She always taught us a serious and thorough musical preparedness. She also taught us to save our voices. "Do not allow them to overwork you. Guard your voice, guard your Art," she would say.
Yes, Marian Anderson sang at the Lincoln Memorial, and because of that, a few years later I was able to walk into Constitution Hall, and to sing there with no trouble at all--and so have many, many others of us, afterwards. And to remember and rejoice in that, is the greatest tribute we can make to the immortal Miss Marian Anderson.
Shirley Verrett, Soprano
My greetings to your Constitition Hall concert. This is most appropriate to honor Marian Anderson, who had such a profound influence in my life. I attended her recitals from the time I was a very little girl. In fact, I first came to New York to sing, because I had just won the Marian Anderson Award, and, shortly thereafter, I was invited to study at the Juilliard School of Music.
I loved to watch her singing. For example, I never until two years ago permitted myself to sing the "Ave Maria" in public, because having heard her, it impressed me so, that I had her rendition ingrained in my mind. Her voice was simply engraved in my mind. I had the same experience with "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." I could always hear her voice in my head.
I also greatly appreciate the movement to return to the lower Verdi pitch, and I am happy to hear that this concert will be at the Verdi A. There is no reason why, just for the sake of mere brilliance, great music should not be heard as it was really written.
Dr. Willis C. Patterson President, National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM); Associate Dean, University of Michigan School of Music
The National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) extends its heartiest congratulations and gratitude to the Schiller Institute, upon the third in your series of concerts honoring the wonderful career of Marian Anderson. We also honor with you the anniversary of the inspiring 1963 March on Washington thirty years ago, led by Dr. Martin Luther King. These two magnificent Americans are special icons to all the members of NANM, and indeed to all other Americans who love freedom, justice, and equality.
That the concert will be performed at the original 19th-century classical pitch is yet futher assurance, that it will be a proper musical tribute for this beautiful occasion.
Sherrill Milnes, Baritone
I regret being unable to participate personally in your tribute to Miss Marian Anderson at Constitution Hall, as I will be abroad. I send you all my best wishes for the splendid success of this very special event.
George Shirley, Tenor
It is always a great impact when individuals achieve success in an area of function in which they are not expected to achieve it. The significance of people like Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Roland Hayes, Siseretta Jones, Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, is that they proved they were more than capable of doing that, which they were not expected to do.
Marian Anderson not only showed herself to be a superior singer and superior interpreter of the works of European composers; not only showed herself to be possessor of one of the greatest vocal gifts of probably all time; she also went beyond that: Her significance extended to the area of the spirit. She, like Roland Hayes, was one of the most spiritual people I've ever had the opportunity to meet. There was a dignity about everything she did: the way she carried herself, the way she spoke, the way she sang, the way she was, which spoke more loudly, in a sense, than her artistry.
The first time I met her, I was still in high school. I worked as a page for the Detroit Public Library, and there was a tea for her at the branch where I worked. I managed to push my truck full of books up to her side, when she was alone, and with a very small piece of paper, asked for her autograph. She very sweetly smiled and signed it. I still have that paper.
In her presence, you had the feeling that you were in the presence of something that went beyond just humanity. And for all who heard her, for all of us who were privileged to have met her, this was an influence that altered the way we existed, the way we responded to people.
Beethoven set this poem by Schiller as the fourth movement in his Ninth Symphony.
Joy, thou beauteous godly lightning,/ Daughter of Elysium,/ Fire drunken we are ent'ring/ Heavenly, thy holy home!/ Thy enchantments bind together,/ What did custom's sword divide,/ All men will be brothers/ Where thy gentle wings abide./ Be embraced, ye millions yonder!/ Take this kiss throughout the world!/ Brothers--o'er the stars unfurl'd/ Must reside a loving father.
Listen for the four different voices of the narrator, the father, the boy, and the Elf King, as a father rides home with his ill child, who imagines the Elf King takes him away.
Narrator: "Who rides so late at night? The father, with his child."
Father: "My son, why this face?" Boy: "Father, don't you see the Elf King?" Father: "My son, it's just a cloud."
Elf King: "Lovely boy, come with me, to play pretty games."
Boy: "Father, don't you hear the Elf King whispering?" Father: "Rest calmly, it's just the wind!"
Elf King: "Come with me, my daughters will sing for you!"
Boy: "Father, don't you see the Elf King?" Father: "There's nothing there, it's just the gray willows blowing."
Elf King: "I love you, charming boy--and if you don't come freely, I will take you by force!"
Boy: "Father, the Elf King has hurt me!" Narrator: "The father in terror rides madly home, but at the door, the child is dead."
This is a dialogue between a youth and his love. The boy tells his love "If you suffer insult and are troubled, let our love be sundered swiftly." The girl replies "Our love is stronger than steel and iron." They conclude together, "Our love must endure forever."
The mermaid Rusalka sings to the moon of her love for a mortal prince, and asks that she be granted not only human legs, but a human soul, so that she may marry her beloved and enter Heaven with him.
The Spanish Prince Don Carlo has come to meet his fiancée, the French Princess Elisabetta. He hopes that one day their rule will bring freedom to all Europe.
"I have seen her at last, and at her smile, I thought the sun shone; as the soul wings its way to paradise, so my hope flies to her. Oh, Lord, bless our chaste love!"
Elisabetta sacrifices her love for Carlo, to save her people, who are dying in the war between Spain and France. She must marry instead Carlo's father, the King of Spain.
In contrast to the patriotic Elisabetta, the Spanish Princess Eboli is concerned only about her own love affairs, and betrays Elisabetta, who is now the Queen. Later, the remorseful Eboli curses her own beauty, which has led her into sin. Discovering an edict ordering death for Don Carlo, she vows to save him.
"O fatal, cruel gift, I curse you, my own Beauty. Heavens, Carlo to die tomorrow? One day remains to me, I shall save him!"
Carlo and his friend Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, plan to free Flanders from a bloody Spanish invasion. Their plan is discovered and Carlo is imprisoned. Rodrigo visits him, vowing to give his own life to save his friend.
"For me, that supreme day nears: We'll meet no more, until we're before God. I see your tears; but why? No! Take heart, take heart! The last breath is joyous, for him who dies for you."
Elisabetta prays at the tomb of Emperor Charles V, Don Carlo's grandfather. She dreams of her childhood in France, but rejoices that Carlo will save Flanders.
"You who know the vanities of the world, and now enjoy eternal rest, bring my tears before God's throne. Carlo's fate will be glorious, but my days are ending. Ah, noble France, so dear to my youth! There we had the eternal joy of love, but only for one day."
Rodrigo urges Don Carlo to forget his personal grief, and they vow together to free Flanders from tyranny.
"Lord, who infuses our souls with love and hope, let the love of Freedom now inflame our hearts, you God of Freedom! We vow to live together, to die together, on Earth and in Heaven, always together, our last cry shall be: Freedom!"
This is the chorus of Hebrew slaves, based on Psalm 137, from Verdi's opera Nabucco. They tell their thoughts, which are free, to fly to the banks of the River Jordan, to greet their fatherland, beautiful but now lost. They call on the harp to rekindle their memories of bygone times: Either strike a sound of cruel lament or infuse our suffering with power.
"Hail true body, born of the Virgin, suffering on the Cross for man. From Whose side flowed water and blood, be Thou for us a foretaste, of the trials of Death."
Listeners should note, in the two Brahms songs selected from his Opus 59, the first three notes intoned by the singer. Later, in the Brahms Sonata, Opus 78, for piano and violin, you will hear this same theme or "motive" intoned by the violin, in both the first and third movements of this piece. This demonstrates how Brahms and other Classical composers both set the text of poetry and used these condensed musical elements to evolve a major work over many movements.
"Pour down, rain, to reawaken in me the dreams that I dreamt in childhood when the moisture foamed in the sand. I would like to bedew my soul gently with that holy, childlike awe."
The singer laments that he would sing of Atreus's sons and other heroes, but his lyre will only sing of love.
"Holy night, you sink down; down too float dreams, as your moonlight through space, through the silent hearts of men. To these they hearken, joyful; crying out, when day awakes: Come again, holy night! Sweet dreams, come again."
The queen and the dwarf are alone on a vessel at sea. The dwarf approaches her with a red silk cord, saying she is to blame for her own suffering because she forsook him for the king. Only her death will make him joyful. She lifts her eyes to heaven and tells the dwarf, "May you suffer no torment through my death." He kisses her and she dies. The dwarf sinks her in the sea as his heart burns with desire.
The hunchback Rigoletto is court jester to the debauched Duke of Mantua, who has seduced every young girl in town. Rigoletto laughs at the other fathers' troubles--until his own only daughter is abducted by the courtiers for the Duke's pleasure.
"Courtiers, you vile, damned race, for what price have you sold my beloved daughter? What, you won't listen? See, now, I'm crying. Lord Marullo, I beg you, please help me. Have pity, return my daughter to me."
"I hope, to convince you ... that one, in order to solve the political problem in experience, must take the path through the aesthetical, because it is through Beauty that one proceeds to Freedom."--Friedrich Schiller, Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man
The year 1963 was a most important turning point in American, and world, history. Dr. Martin Luther King's American civil rights movement, in celebration of the spirit of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, had successfully waged a non-violent Battle of Gettysburg in the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, which stunned the country with its optimism. Of it, King said, "I shall never forget ... when I saw with my own eyes over three thousand young Negro boys and girls, totally unarmed, leave Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church ... ready to pit nothing but the power of their bodies and souls against Bull Connor's police dogs, clubs and fire hoses." Only many years later would Gettysburg-at-Birmingham reveal its revolutionary significance.
In June, President Kennedy would respond to the Birmingham action with the Civil Rights Bill of 1963. The night after Kennedy's speech proclaiming this bill, civil rights activist Medgar Evers would be assassinated, entering his home in Mississippi. Later that year, Kennedy would meet the same fate.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would, in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln, make a speech on August 28. He would act on behalf, implictly, of the will of the President, who, though he agreed with the initiative that King proposed--of issuing, in effect, a new Emancipation Proclamation--did not believe he was politically strong enough to do so. So, King, acting through the authority bequeathed to him, not by the President, Congress, or the Supreme Court, but by a group of Birmingham children, some only six years old, would mobilize the American population to the principles of inalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence, in the largest mass-actions on behalf of freedom since the American Revolutionary War.
King would speak of a Dream, and this Dream, long after the "practical," "realistic," "down-to-earth" decisions of the time were forgotten, would be recalled by us as the best moment of that tragic year, in which Kennedy was assassinated. Its vision remains with us, like the strains of a great musical composition, sublime in its implicit triumph over the ensuing tragedy.
There was something beautiful, and musical, about the substance, and the delivery, of King's speech. The spirit of the event recalled to many the 1939 concert held by Marian Anderson, in a similar, eloquent assertion of the dignity of man. Tenor George Shirley has stated, "If ever a man sang, it was Martin Luther King." That day, toward the conclusion of his speech, King stated: "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exhalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places shall be made plain, and the crooked places shall be made straight and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together," thus evoking the famous tenor aria and chorus of Handel's Messiah, as well as the Book of Isaiah, from which Handel's text is taken. King continued, "This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with."
- The Universal Brotherhood of Man -
By the time King made his speech, he had been stabbed once in the chest, had his house bombed three times, and had been to jail 14 times. Denounced as an "extremist," he commented in an interview: "When I began to consider the true meaning of the word (extremist), I decided that perhaps I would like to think of myself as an extremist--in the light of the spirit which made Jesus an extremist for love. If it sounds as though I am comparing myself to the Savior, let me remind you that all who honor themselves with the claim of being "Christians" should compare themselves to Jesus. Thus, I consider myself an extremist for that brotherhood of man which Paul so nobly expressed: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Jesus Christ."
This theme, the universal brotherhood of man, is the creed of the Schiller Institute, which welcomes you to this concert. The Institute's inspiration comes from two people: its founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, whose message also appears in this program, and the poet Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), the author of the poem "Ode To Joy," which states,
"Suffer on courageous millions!
In tonight's concert, we feature sections from Schiller's play Don Carlos, as set to music by the composer Giuseppe Verdi. Verdi, who was the leading spokesman for the cause of freedom in Italy in the nineteenth century, set several of Schiller's plays. Verdi was also keenly aware, as was Schiller, that the greatest threat to human freedom lay not not so much with the adversaries of freedom, but often with its proponents, who were unaware of the fatal flaws that they carried with them, in their souls. These flaws prevented them from acting, successfully, for the causes to which they had dedicated their lives. The most important of these flaws involved the lack of Agapé--Sacred Love--in all things. It was this quality of Sacred Love that uniquely flowed from the movement that King represented. It was the same quality that flowed from Marian Anderson, and from Anderson's inspiration, Roland Hayes.
Hayes tells the story of how his grandfather, who was brought to America as a slave, was converted to Christianity through the story of Christ's Crucifixion. He became a minister of the gospel, and also taught others to read. When he was warned to cease, he persisted. Eventually, he was violently killed. But he wrote the spiritual "Crucifixion," known throughout the world--"They crucified my Lord--and He never said a mumblin' word."
It was this quality of Sacred Love that the composer Antonin Dvorak, who worked in the United States from 1892-1895, heard and affirmed in the spirituals. A close friend of Johannes Brahms, Dvorak came to the United States to place in the hands of the new country a dying tradition in art, before it might be extinguished in Europe. One of the main means of transmission of that art was the German Lied, or art-song. Mozart had invented it, but it was Beethoven who experimented with it, including setting over 200 texts in English to Irish, Welsh, and Scottish themes. Schubert perfected the form, Schumann refined it, and, with Brahms, the folk-songs of Germany were integrated with it.
The principle by which Brahms transformed the folk songs of Germany into the art-songs, or art-song settings of folk songs, was the same principle Dvorak sought to impart to America through the study and use of the spirituals. When Harry Burleigh and others studied with Dvorak, therefore, Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann watched joyfully from the grave, as Abraham Lincoln watched King, joyfully, from the grave, that August afternoon in 1963. It was the transmission of the eternal idea of Sacred Love, clothed, as it must be, in Beauty, that informed every performance of Roland Hayes and Marian Anderson, for whom the expression of human perfection in the art-song was a life or death question.
- Securing Inalienable Rights -
"I shall never forget the grief and bitterness I felt on that terrible September morning when a bomb blew out the lives of those four little, innocent girls sitting in their Sunday-school class in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.... I think of how that explosion blew the face of Jesus Christ from a stained-glass window.... I can remember thinking that if men were this bestial, was it all worth it? Was there any hope? Was there any way out?"
The killings described by King occurred three weeks after the March on Washington. Far from signalling an end to the civil rights struggle, Gettysburg-at-Birmingham demanded an action even more bold, even more decisive--and even more dedicated to the principles of non-violence. It was the Rev. James Bevel, the architect of the Children's March, who determined that the best way to respond, was to "secure these rights," guaranteed in the Constitution, among which were the right to vote, for all Americans, including African-Americans, throughout the state of Alabama.
Over thirty years earlier, the Schiller Institute's current Vice Chairman, Amelia Boynton Robinson, had begun that precise campaign in Alabama, specifically in Selma, Alabama, with her husband, the late William Boynton. They had formed the Dallas County Voters League, and had, despite all setbacks, physical attacks, and even death (of William Boynton) persevered--for, as Schiller says in the play Don Carlos, "A purpose, which higher Reason hath conceived, which men's afflictions urge, ten thousand times defeated, may never be abandoned."
The Selma campaign of 1964-65 was the decisive victory--like General Sherman's March to Atlanta. With the Lyndon Johnson Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Johnson's adoption, in his speech, of the motto and sentiment from the civil rights theme-song, "We Shall Overcome," the moral corner was turned. No one in America could any longer claim that the inalienable rights demands of the civil rights movement, were "extremist."
King had once said, "In a sense, songs are the soul of a movement.... Since slavery, the Negro has sung throughout his struggle in America. For the same reason the slaves sang, Negroes today sing freedom songs, for we, too, are in bondage. We sing out our determination that "We shall overcome, black and white together, we shall overcome someday."
Giuseppe Verdi understood this well. His "Va pensiero," the chorus of the Hebrew slaves from the opera Nabucco, became the national anthem of the Italian independence movement in the nineteenth century. Today, at the close of the twentieth century, it and the "Ode To Joy" are the international anthems of the new International Civil Rights Movement. Leaders from throughout the world, including Rev. James Bevel and Amelia Robinson, have worked with Helga Zepp-LaRouche to unite the forces of freedom, that successfully brought down the Berlin Wall without bloodshed, into a great body that "will liberate man by ennobling him, and ennoble man by liberating him."
And always, this is done through music. In an America where Sylvia Lee's husband, Everett Lee, could not conduct a major symphony orchestra because of his skin color; where Leontyne Price had to first be accepted at La Scala before she could be fully accepted at the Metropolitan Opera; where African-American male singers are, to this day, not cast for romantic parts because it is considered "indiscreet" to have them in love situations with white women; where artists are told, "you may sing German, but speaking German doesn't seem realistic for you," can we seriously consider the right to impart Beauty to the world, to not require the same fight that King waged, and Marian Anderson, in a different way, waged, at the Lincoln Memorial? Is the fight for Beauty in Art, not one with the fight to declare, and institutionalize, the fact, that "Alle Menschen werden Brüder"--"All men shall be brothers"? Is it only coincidental, that it was Schiller's words, and Beethoven's music, which, when combined in the Ninth Symphony, gave the world its most eloquent declaration of human freedom, approximated only by the document known as the Declaration of Independence?
- "The Dignity of Man Is in Your Hands-- - - Keep It!" -
We have a dream, that the children whom we now fear, in the streets of America, are taught to sing, and to dispel fear, as they did in the streets of Birmingham. We have a dream, that every church in America shall be exalted by singers who go into neighborhoods, no matter how desolate, and teach people to sing "Every Valley Shall Be Exhalted." We have a dream, that on February 27, 1994, the Anniversary of Marian Anderson's birth, there will be concerts throughout the United States that change the country and the way that we think of ourselves, simply by commemorating that which is best in us, which she represented.
In this way, and only in this way, will we ever be truly "free at last"--for, in the words of Friedrich Schiller, "it is only through Beauty that one proceeds to Freedom."
The Schiller Institute around the world is working to defend the rights of all humanity to progress--material, moral and intellectual. It is named after Friedrich Schiller, the great 18th-century German poet and playwright, whose works have inspired republican opposition to oligarchic tyranny around the world.
The Institute was founded in May 1984 and today has national organizations in the United States and Canada, in most of the nations of Europe (East and West) and Ibero-America, and in Australia, Thailand, India and Japan. Mrs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, is also Chairman of its Board of Directors in the United States. A German citizen, Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche is wife of Lyndon LaRouche, statesman and economist, who, with his wife, is a true citizen of the world, in Schiller's sense.
As part of its founding documents, in November 1984 the Schiller Institute adopted a "Declaration of the Inalienable Rights of Man," based, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche told the press Nov. 26, 1984, on the U.S. Declaration of Independence, with only a few changes introduced to take into account different particular features of the struggle for human freedom and dignity today. "So truly," she said at that time, "the inalienable rights movement is a return to the spirit of the Founding Fathers."
The Declaration includes the following words:"The history of the present international financial institutions is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this let facts be submitted to a candid world. They have refused their assent to our plans of development, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. They have forbidden their banks to engage in business of immediate and pressing importance for us, and in equal terms.... They have overthrown legitimate governments repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness their invasions on the rights of the people.... We, therefore, Representatives of the Peoples of the world, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, do ... solemnly publish and declare that all countries of the world are and of right ought to be free and independent States. That all human beings on this planet have inalienable rights, which guarantee them life, freedom, material conditions worthy of man, and the right to develop fully all potentialities of their intellect and their souls. That, therefore, a change in the present economic and monetary order is necessary and urgent to establish justice among the peoples of the world."
This statement remains today the basis of the Institute's work and efforts worldwide.
Accomplishments in the Music Field-
The Schiller Institute has become known internationally for its initiative to lower the international standard musical pitch to C = 256 Hz (A = 432), in order to preserve the human voice and return the performance of Classical music to the pitch for which it was written. The Institute's 1992 publication of A Manual on the Rudiments of Tuning and Registration, Vol. I, Introduction and Human Singing Voice, is creating an educated leadership in the music world to return the pitch to that for which all the great Classical music was written--known as the "Verdi pitch"--and to save the human voice.
No less than a revolution in musical history was unleashed on April 9, 1988 in Milan, Italy, when the Schiller Institute brought together some of the world's most highly regarded Classical singers and instrumentalists, to demand a return to rationality in musical tuning and performance. At a conference held at the Casa Giuseppe Verdi, conference speakers, including Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., who had conceived the initiative, called for an end to the high-pitched tuning, which has been literally destroying all but the most gifted voices during the past century, and for a return to the principles of Classical aesthetics, according to which the process of musical composition is just as lawful as are the orbits of the planets in the solar system.
To underline this call, the conference resolved to introduce legislation into the Italian parliament which would require a return to the natural tuning at which middle-C equals precisely 256 cycles per second--significantly lower than the current tuning which sets A at 440 cps, or frequently even higher (see details at end of this program).
The fact that this is no mere professional detail, was underlined by the star-studded list of endorsers of the conference's aims. That list included: Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, Swiss soprano Anneliese Rothenberger, Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus, German bass Kurt Moll, Mexican-Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, German soprano Edda Moser, Italian baritone Piero Cappuccilli, Italian tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Carlo Bergonzi, and Giuseppe Di Stefano, and hundreds of others.
Though the legislation was ultimately defeated in the Italian parliament, the Institute's work in this regard has continued to radiate internationally since 1988, affecting virtually every major musical institution and performer worldwide.
To maintain the offensive, the Schiller Institute regularly sponsors concerts and musical demonstrations at the lower pitch, featuring such major performers as Norbert Brainin, former lead violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, and Italian baritone Piero Cappuccilli. In 1993, the Institute sponsored or co-sponsored memorial concerts for the great Marian Anderson in Washington, D.C. and in Philadelphia.
The Institute also sponsors community and youth choruses in many cities across the country. Here in Washington, D.C., the Schiller Institute community chorus is under the direction of John Sigerson and meets weekly.
Carlo Bergonzi (tenor) William Warfield (baritone) Piero Cappuccilli (baritone) Shirley Verrett (soprano) Joan Sutherland (soprano) Mattiwilda Dobbs (soprano) Richard Bonynge (conductor) George Shirley (tenor) Luciano Pavarotti (tenor) Leona Mitchell (soprano) Aprile Millo (soprano) Sylvia Olden Lee (vocal coach) Sherrill Milnes (baritone) Norbert Brainin (violinist) Fedora Barbieri (mezzosoprano) Grace Bumbry (soprano) Giuseppe di Stefano (tenor) Elly Ameling (soprano) Bidu Sayao (soprano) Peter Schreier (tenor) Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Fiorenza Cossotto (mezzosoprano) Kurt Moll (basso) Marilyn Horne (mezzosoprano) Ivo Vinco (basso) Mirella Freni (soprano) Christa Ludwig (mezzosoprano) Nikolai Ghiaurov (basso) James Morris (basso) Rita Patané (voice teacher) Willis Patterson (President, NANM) Cornelius Reid (voice teacher) Jean W. Gregg (President, NATS) H.C. Robbins Landon (author) William Vessels (Director, NATS) William Ashbrook (Opera Quarterly) Jan E. Douglas (President, NYSTA) Renato Bruson (baritone) Henry Pleasants (author) Ruggero Raimondi (basso) Norman Shetler (pianist) Gilda Cruz-Romo (soprano) Louis Quilico (baritone) Pilar Lorengar (soprano) Elaine Bonazzi (mezzosprano) Theodor Uppman (baritone) Daniel Lipton (conductor) Renato Capecchi (baritone) Mara Zampieri (soprano) Elisabeth Carron (soprano) Maria Chiara (soprano) Bruno Rigacci (conductor) Elizabeth Mannion (mezzosoprano) Gian Paolo Sanzogno (conductor) Lili Chookasian (mezzosoprano) Alberta Masiello (conductor) Dominic Cossa (baritone) David Randolph (conductor) Anthony Morss (conductor)
This petition, in the form of draft legislation, was presented to the Italian Parliament in July 1988 by Senators Mezzapesa (second from left) and Boggio (far right, next to Italian tenor Piero Cappucilli), pictured here at the press conference where they announced the bill's introduction. While sabotaged by the Italian Communist Party, thousands worldwide have signed the petition.
If you wish to sign this petition, calling for the standard pitch to be lowered to A = 432/C = 256, please fill out the form below, detach it from the program, and return it to:
Schiller Institute, Inc., Music Department P.O. Box 20244, Washington, D.C. 20041-0244.
the continual raising of pitch for orchestras provokes serious damage to singers, who are forced to adapt to different tunings from one concert hall or opera to the next, thus altering the original texture and even key of the works they perform; and
the high standard pitch is one of the main reasons for the crisis in singing, that has given rise to "hybrid" voices unable to perform the repertoire assigned to them; and
in 1884, Giuseppe Verdi had the Italian government issue a decree establishing A = 432 cycles (corresponding to middle C = 256) as the "scientific standard pitch," correctly stating in a letter to the government Music Commission that it was absurd that "the note called A in Paris or Milan should become a B = flat in Rome"; and
aseven for many instruments, among them the Cremona violins, ancient organs, and even the piano, modern high tuning is deleterious, in that it does not take physical laws into account;
The undersigned demand that
the Ministries of Education, Arts and Culture, and Entertainment accept and adopt the normal standard pitch of A = 432 for all music institutions and opera houses, such that it become the official Italian standard pitch, and, very soon, the official standard pitch universally.
Signed: (please print or type)
The Schiller Institute
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