How to preserve the legacy of important American composers after they die Walter Ivan Von Wayditch, Son of Gabriel Von Wayditch (1888-1969)

How to preserve the legacy of important American composers after they die Walter Ivan Von Wayditch, Son of Gabriel Von Wayditch (1888-1969)

Walter with his father Gabriel von Wayditch

What does my father’s music mean to me? What can it mean to me?

Why has my father, the composer of 14 grand operas, been virtually debarred from not only the courtesy of condign recognition, but seemingly from even a semblance of graphic interest by the powers that be? Truly, the man has effected more in scope than any other American composer, living or dead. Yet to date, since his death in 1969, the recording world knows but two short music-dramas–The Caliph’s Magician and Jesus Before Herod–composed in the New York of 1917-18, when he was 29 years of age.

In truth, my poor father did not willingly choose his eremitical cave in the Bronx and later on Long Island. Seemingly those who rule the music world have locked the gates. This is a tragedy which should not have happened in the richest nation on the planet.

Aside from the incontrovertible fact that John Gutman and Maestro Erich Leinsdorf of the Metropolitan Opera highly praised my father’s Maria Testver and that Maestro Levine there, held the opera Horus with undeniable interest, nobody even asked to study the rest of this vast operatic hoard. Shall one respectfully posit only the thought that surely something is wrong? Or better, shall we more realistically come to the grim conclusion that poor von Wayditch was not part of the commercialized coterie which rules the ramparts?

While diplomatically refraining from citing specific personages, I can only say with alacrity that I own quite a collection of personal letters from leading millionaires, even billionaires, writing in the manner of proper insouciance how they are in no position to aid us.

I shall not wail of how it is impossible that I shall ever hear the bulk of my father’s music to which I have dedicated the bulk of my insignificant life. This filial piety was and still is my religion to my dying hour.

Hopefully the younger generation behind us shall carry on. I only fear for the preservation of these scores–my father’s legacy–to a more aesthetic era. Surely the spirit of Gabriel von Wayditch deserves this much from the land of opportunity for all!

NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.