Theremin Recognized (1929) - from the Archives

Theremin Recognized

Time Magazine
30th December 1929

In Manhattan last week alert listeners at a Philadelphia Orchestra concert noticed that in the Bach Toccata and Fuge the basses had a new, if perhaps unneeded, sonority and strength. They had previously speculated about a strange black cabinet which stood in the orchestra. A few of the curious investigated afterward, discovered that the cabinet was a variety of the Theremin ether-wave instrument (TIME, Feb. 6, 1928, et seq.) being used as a regular, recognized member of the orchestra. The new instrument was made especially for Conductor Leopold Stokowski, called a Thereminophone and differed from the better known RCA Theremin in that its tone is controlled by a fingerboard (rather than by waves of the hand), its volume by a pedal. Carl Zeise, regular Philadelphia 'cellist who operates it, is one of several able Theremin soloists—among them Alexandra Stepanoff, who appeared recently in Chicago, George Goldberg and Zenide Hanenfeldt, who teaches some 25 Theremin aspirants in Inventor Leon Theremin's Manhattan studio.

Another feature of the same Stokowski concert: Conductor Stokowski, who lately railed loudly and publicly against the "barbaric" practice of applause (TIME, Nov. 18), stepped off his dais when two of his violists distinguished themselves and happily, forgetfully, led the audience in palm-smacking.

This article is interesting in that it is the first known mention in print of the Theremin-Cello. See elsewhere on the site for more information on one of Leon Theremin's 'other' instruments.

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