Regarding the article “Series of concerts celebrates 75th anniversary of Casavant’s organ installation,” the Sun Journal states, “Paukert (the performer) was born in Czechoslovakia … in 1935 when repressive Stalinist policies allowed little access to forward-looking 20th-century music.”

Actually, in 1935, Czechoslovakia was a democratic republic. This came to an abrupt end with the infamous Munich agreement and the Nazi occupation in 1939. Stalinism came about only in 1948.

In 1935, Czechoslovakia actually was a fertile ground for “forward-looking” music. One of the major 20th-century composers, Bohuslav Martinu, was flourishing in Prague at the time.

Another disputable claim: the assertion that the acoustics of the Basilica are “exceptional.” Not true. While the organ may be extraordinary, the acoustics are actually very dry, thanks to the sound-deadening tiles placed on the walls when the edifice was constructed. It was the rage of the day.

I know this of my own knowledge, having given a two-hour recital there on June 24, 2006, and having been disappointed by the lackluster sound.

Arthur LaMirande, New York, N.Y.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: