(Presented in connection with the First Congress of the International Musicological Society)
From contemporaneous reviews
“As anybody who has attended a Festival of the I.S.C.M. can testify, it represents a strenuous week of music. Is it humanly possible for anyone to combine with it a strenuous week of musicology? Can one attend all the concerts and a daily assortment of lectures, and yet live and return home to tell the tale? I think not.
“The general body of the audience was very warmly appreciative, but the small group of ‘advanced’ men from Central Europe have evidently progressed so far away from romanticism… It is significant that an hour after the concert one of them asked me when the ‘modern’ music was going to begin. This curious–and, I am convinced, transient–frame of mind is tending to a kind of phariseeism among them. They are unconsciously thanking their gods they are not as the rest of the musical world, which obstinately delights in things they fondly believe they have outgrown.”
–Edwin Evans, “The Liège Festival,”
The Musical Times, Vol. 71, No. 1052 (1 October 1930), pp. 898-902.
“[T]he four concerts whose programs the jury decided on seemed, on the whole, extremely mediocre. Those who, like myself, have followed the concerts of the society since their inception did not dream of wondering at this. We knew that it has always been so and that the interest of these festivals rests, above all, in the gathering in the same place of a large number of musicians and critics from all countries. We knew, further, that very often the most interesting hearings of new works are those given on the margin of a festival.”
— Henry Prunieres, “Music at Liege; Eighth Festival of International Society for Contemporary Music,”
New York Times, 28 September 1930, Section X, p. 8 (available online).