Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 369

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 369

touching the earth; temperament galore; he knew them! And he had no wish to introduce the type into his home life.

Mrs. Bok, however, ably seconded Josef Hofmann, and endeavored to dissipate Bok’s preconceived notion, with the result that Stokowksi came to the Bok home.

Bok was not slow to see that Stokowski was quite the reverse of his mental picture, and became intensely interested in the youthful conductor’s practical way of looking at things. It was agreed that the encore “bull” was to be taken by the horns that week; that no matter what the ovation to Hofmann might be, however the public might clamor, no encore was to be forthcoming; and Bok was to give the public an explanation during the following week. The next concert was to present Mischa Elman, and his co-operation was assured so that continuity of effort might be counted upon.

In order to have first-hand information, Bok attended the concert that Saturday evening. The symphony, Dvo&brede;ák’s “New World Symphony,” amazed Bok by its beauty; he was more astonished that he could so easily grasp any music in symphonic form. He was equally surprised at the simple beauty of the other numbers on the programme, and wondered not a little at his own perfectly absorbed attention during Hofmann’s playing of a rather long concerto.

The pianist’s performance was so beautiful that the audience was uproarious in its approval; it had calculated, of course, upon an encore, and recalled the pianist again and again until he had appeared and bowed his thanks several times. But there was no encore;

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