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Music: Red-skinned Neptune

2 minute read

“Those of us who know the Great Lakes are aware that they, too, have their mysterious depths and their temperamental moods. We know the bleakness of Erie in foul weather and her quiet beauty in fair. . . . We have rowed strenuously under invigorating conditions. And again drifting, we have heard music across the water. . . . And there is always a far-off yet vivid song transcending all moods of Erie—perhaps some ancient red-skinned Neptune blowing into a shell.”

Clevelanders sitting in Severance Hall not far from Lake Erie, last week heard the world premiere by the Cleveland Orchestra under Dr. Artur Rodzinski of a symphonic poem called Erie. When it was over they coolly applauded its tall droopy-mustached composer, Assistant Professor Normand Lockwood of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, were left with a feeling that, like most program pieces, Ene read better than it sounded. Critic Denoe Leedy of the Cleveland Press next day reported that Composer Lockwood “has good ideas (perhaps too many)” and proceeded to rhapsodize over Rodzinski’s reading of Brahms’s First Symphony.

Born 30 years ago in Manhattan, Normand Lockwood studied under Composer Ottorino Respighi and Pianist Nadia Boulanger, won a three-year fellowship at the American Academy in Rome with a suite, Odysseus. Four years in the thoroughly musical atmosphere of Oberlin have produced from Composer Lockwood numerous lush choral works (Stabat Mater, Songs from Sappho, Songs for Monica) and a symphony. Years’ Chronicle which won the Swift prize ($1,000) last year.

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