Page:Rolland - People's Theater.djvu/130

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other. Take a large hall, if you will, but let the orchestra be correspondingly large, and not play soft plaintive airs. If I must guess what the orchestra is playing, I am bored. Great mass effects and sweep are what are needed; and everything that is to be seen and heard at close range must be eliminated. Plays in which the love interest assumes a prominent place—plays of intrigue, that is, with familiar and pastoral subjects, can only be made effective by means of a thousand details of facial expression, asides, and so on; just as no musical composition can be properly understood or interpreted except by a thousand trills, pizzicati, and arpeggios; all these details, if set forth within the framework of a small stage are effective, but if performed in a large hall, are quite lost. Can we have auditoriums for our musical tragedies? Yes, but the poet must remember these points: first, he must treat only well-known stories, for in these the language may be brief; second, he must introduce only great masses, broad tableaux set off with much pomp, marching, sacrifices, combats, dances, and pantomimes—but each of these must be short, as they are only accessory to the principal action; third, that every lyric must be simple and contain no more than a single thought. If he observe these rules his work will gain in power, rapidity, and variety, elements demanded in all large spectacles. The composer will write music only of a broad and simple character; harmony and melody must have sweep, and all detail which would be in place in more