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+ PontyDridd Guardians.


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NOTES AND COMMENTS. THE National Eisteddfod in Gwent has passed with great and growing acceptance. The Newport people did not stint the outlay neces- sary to secure a high and lofty standard of excellence; and we are glad to learn that, when the settling day arrives, the enthusiasm of the guarantors will have no discouraging sequel to experience. The magnitude and colossal scale with which the 1897 Eisteddfod was carried out has been potent in the accession of respect and goodwill. The sneers and gibes of the foreigner are no longer harm- ful to its welfare. The rally of all Welshmen to the support of the Eisteddfod, and the respectful obeisances made by high and low, Jew and Gentile, barbarian and his opposite, to the merits and educational forces of its existence signify that it has emerged triumphantly out of its past furious and fiery critical ordeals, and that, furthermore, its co-existence must synchronise with all movements tending and aspiring to the elevation of the Welsh people. HOWEVER, all who love it must also be industriously loving in criticism which has for its objective its strengthening. Faithful are the wounds of a friend," and upon this basis as a justification we will make one or two observations which close scrutiny at Newport has suggested to us. We dealt last week with the adjudication on the Chief Choral competi- tion and the strenuous vigour of our dissent from the award was, though robust, not after a week's reflection a jot too severe. We must have no Anglicising dominance in our Welsh institutions. If cur choirs sing robustly and dramatically we shall urg: them to coLtpme, because heart in art we believe m as a ndiginn to be worshipped. If we tramplo technique, let us know where. We seek and we thirst for education in all things but do we get it in our choral adjudications by cur English a liudicators ? No We may go on for years violating le hnique for any corrections we get ip adjudications. This naturally leads us to the possible remedy. We must hive ad- judications detailed and full, and not mere rhaj sodical generalitifs and the bare, uu- supper!able-by-reason decisions. VYe g the Eisteddfod among our educational tions on the literary side, and partic -la"riv t. p v tic, we get adjudications whi 'h treat in detail the whys and the wherefores of preferen- tial selections. "Pedrog," when delivering the Chair adjudication, gave it with a fulness of d,ta;r truly permanently instructive. But the Chi irs g t none of this fro;n your English ad- judicators. If the Merthyr choristers are con- structing their musical performances on iaulty technique and mistaken vigour of vocal pro- duction they should be enlightened out of ^————i —- fallacy, and, by the education of the Eisteddfod, switched on the right technical track. We r°U!H-^1St,.Up0n rerr adjudicator, as part of ?a submitting in written detail the logic of his awards. THE bare ipse dixit of a Mackenzie or a Macfarren does not suffice the educational claims of the Eisteddfod. The conductors of our Welsh choirs are amateurs who would value and appreciate professional guiding lines, and, if they violate fundamental principles in ren- ditions, all the stronger the reasons why adjudications should be corrective as well as decisive. There was no instruction at New- port, and therefore we urge that this should be inseparably a part of the function in future contests. The Mid-Rhondda Eisteddfod made this a stipulation with Dr Risely. The result was obviously a great satisfaction to all the competitors. Not only did they get an ad- judicative detail, but an order of merit list was also given, which had a most refreshing and stimulating influence upon all concerned.

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