Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

5 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

A PROPHET ON MUSIC.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

A PROPHET ON MUSIC. Remarkable Address by Professor Ffrangcon Davies. Is Mr. Efrangcon Davies the Evan Roberts of the Musical World ? That was the natural question after listening to his remarkable address before the Hon. Society of Cymmrodorion, on Wednesday last week. And a remarkable address it was, both as an exhibition of perfect rhetoric and in the matter or mission he had to deliver. Mr. Llewelyn Williams, M.P., who presided, in introducing Mr. Davies, remarked that he was a cultured singer over twenty years ago when he used to delight the audiences of Oxford Welsh undergraduates, and he had gone on im- proving ever since. He was a fit person to discourse on art, religion, and life," which was the title of his address, because on art no one could excel him as an exponent of art in music, on religion because he had been a clergyman, and on life, because he delivered it under the segis of the Cymmrodorion and Mr. Vincent Evans (laughter). Professor Ffrangcon Davies it was at once seen was intensely earnest in the mission he had to deliver. Though his matter had been carefully prepared, his manuscript was of but little service to him, and his flow of rhetoric and brilliant paradoxes and thrilling sentences completely captivated even such a stoical audience as is gathered at a Cymmrodorion assembly. During his discourse he said that we often found in the journalistic and academic criticism of the present day, the statement that life would be not only more fruitful in good works, but also happier and healthier all round if we could settle our differences. This might seem to be a very important, if not an insuperable, proviso. Our if," whilst small as a word, was big with sig- nificance. Wherever we turned we found differences and a perplexing diversity of opinion on almost every conceivable subject. But there was no doubt that there was an amazing consen- sus of opinion on one point, i.e., the assertion of, and the glorification of personal selfhood. Worldly wealth and worldly place and power formed the point upon which human energy elected to spend itself. We were all united in the pursuit of such riches and happiness as the world could provide for us. This was not, in itself, neces- sarily a drawback. The only change that seemed to be desirable was that we should put the kingdoms of this world in their proper place, that was to say, in a secondary instead of a primary position. If this were done our differ- ences and o-ar diversities of opinion would give way to unity, which was reason or common- sense under another name. Unity was as much desired by politicians as by Churchmen, by com- mercial men as by artists. No leader of men existed to-day who was not aware of the fact that if mankind was to obtain mastery over the universe, it must secure that mastery by means of concerted action. It was to this end that all men worked. Every man living did something for the good of the world. He might be conscious, according to the principles that guided him, of varying degrees of harmony and disharmony at different times and seasons while he was at work, but, on the whole, it was as true to-day as when Shakespeare wrote the lines that There's a divinity which shapes our ends Rough hew them as we may." That divinity was providence, which might fairly be said to be represented by the tendency towards doing something for the good of the world which was observable in every man's life. The commercial man did what he could for the world. So did the religious man. So did the artist. Even in the world of party politics, where so much disunion seemed to prevail, they knew that the ship of State had a rudder, and that there was a hand upon it. As they looked out upon the world they felt disposed, in the words of the immortal Browning, to Greet the unseen with a cheer." There was a tremendous religious activity about us in the present day, and to the lecturer it was a matter of supreme satisfaction to find that the art world was awakening. It would not be long before the fine work observable in single instances would become more general. The result of this would be that life would show more of the principle of unity which lay at the root of all knowledge- scientific, philosophic, and religious. When this had come to pass our actual daily life would be the gainer thereby. The significance of all this for the "land of our fathers" was that when they knew that life was one, good, and immortal they would proceed to do their work amicably, instead of quarrelling over it. Let them apply this to religion, to education, to artistic and all other thought, and the piercing thorns of personal views would give place to the thornless rose of peace and goodwill. Wales would then flourish as she had never flourished before. At the close of the lecture addresses were delivered by Messrs. P. H. Thomas, J. E. Graves, J. H. Davies, M.A., and Vincent Evans.

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