Yale University Library


OHAM: Henri Peyre on Hindemith


Henri Peyre

with Caitriona Bolster

Morse College

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

February 7, 1975


Cassette Side a:                                                                                            pp. 1-17

Mrs. Hindemith's studies with Peyre--Peyre gets to know Hindemith--versatility--evening discussions--interest in literature--interest in modern French poetry--Cantique de St. Jean--music using Walt Whitman poem as a text--as an opinionated person--view of musicologists--hatred for Wagner--dinners with Darius and Madeleine Milhaud--appreciation for Milhaud's music--shrewd political sense--attending concert of Chinese music--discussions with Peyre about his youth in Frankfurt--nostalgia for the period of the Weimar Republic--Mathis der Maler--anger at the Nazis--interest in politics--Mrs. Hindemith's feelings about Germany--Mrs. Hindemith's Christianity--her interest in Dante--Peyre's speculations on Hindemith's religious beliefs--anecdote about musicologists--clashes with Schrade--opinion of musicologists--articles in French reviews by Leibowitz--new generation's attack on Hindemith--Peyre's book classifying artists according to generations--annoyance at being pigeon-holed--differences with Peyre--Peyre's idea about each generation being influenced by a certain climate of opinion--impatience with the concept that sincerity is a necessary virtue in an artist--opinion of American students--as a very demanding person--high standards of Europeans--impatience with Peyre's interest in the phenomenon of artistic creation--disciple, Lamartine Yates--belief that the only worthwhile way to be a musician is to be extremely good--facility as a composer--discussions about the spontaneous outbursts of great artists--as an impetuous and inspired person--belief in the need for hard work--as a very cultured person--as a member of Ye Olde Men's Club--talk on a treatise on music by St. Augustine for the club--dislike of the concept of an orderly evolution in an artist--Peyre's thoughts on technique and inspiration--composing Cantique de St. Jean--view of himself within the overall scheme of twentieth century music--Peyre's speculations on his feeling about imitators--distress about new generation of European musicians--dislike of Wagner--reluctance to write about his art--Stravinsky's lectures--amused by Penser avec les Mains--fondness for paintings--his own paintings--Hindemiths' discussions with Peyres--theory on musical composition--belief in technique and studying.

Cassette Side b:                                                                                           pp. 17-28

Mrs. Hindemith's feelings about leaving Germany--receiving the Howland medal--embarrassed as a German citizen--feeling torn between being a part of a German tradition and needing to dissociate himself from Hitler's Germany--defense by Furtwängler during the boycott--Peyre tries to dissuade him from going to Switzerland--Peyre's philosophy about the future lying in American youth--need to be back in his own culture--lack of challenge in America--the American tendency to over praise foreigners--success in the USA--reestablishing himself in Europe--lack of intellectual exchange in the USA between women and men--Mrs. Hindemith as a protecter--Mrs. Hindemith's personality--preference for Heinrich Mann over Thomas Mann--ability to work--faith in himself--solid temperament--amnesia--visits with Peyre after Hindemith left Yale--desire to conduct.