Thursday, June 21, 2012

Composer Ernst Toch (1887-1963), a Note of Gratitude


Ernst Toch (1887-1963)
Viennese-born American Composer

"To the country which gave me shelter when shelter was taken from me I dedicate this book in everlasting gratitude."
-- Ernst Toch

For many years, I've wished to share this dedication with friends. I admit that I've never got around reading the whole book in detail yet, and no excuses there, but this particular dedication by composer Ernst Toch has continued to resonate strongly within me.

The prolific Ernst Toch (1887-1964) was a Viennese-born American Composer of advanced atonal stage and film music. He studied philosophy, medicine and music, in Vienna, taught for many years there, until due to the Nazi empowerment, he eventually landed in California. Here's the full version of the dedication from his book on music theory:


"To the country which gave me shelter when shelter was taken from me I dedicate this book in everlasting gratitude.


I do not know -- no composer does -- by whom my music is going to be liked, by whom disliked, by whom met with indifference. But having lived here long enough to know my fellow citizens' hunger both for music and ecucation I may perhaps hope that this book will reach and help also some of those whom my music will not reach or affect.


I wish I could convey that this dedication is not a mere gesture. Life and work were put back into my hands when they were doomed for me to cease. With this awareness, and with the awareness also that whatever I have created since then and may still create is rightfully this country's, I presume to offer this dedication. May the book return in humble service and usefulness a fraction of what I have received.
E. T."
-- Ernst Toch, the dedication to his book, "The Shaping Forces in Music" (1948, 2011, Dover Publications)

© Post by Payman Akhlaghi. All pertinent rights reserved.
© Dedication & the Original Cover photo by publisher. Shared with hopes of promoting the composer, his works, and his book. 

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