"...we rolled over to the Waldorf last week to have a talk with Heitor Villa-Lobos, the Brazilian composer..."So begins a typically breezy "Talk of the Town" story, from the February 10, 1945 issue of The New Yorker.
"When we encountered him he was perched on the edge of a chair, like a small, plump, excited sparrow, wearing a sleeveless sweater, gray slacks, blue shoes, and a look of vast amiability."Here's the amiable composer from the same year, in this LIFE photograph by W. Eugene Smith - © Time Inc.:
"A few years ago he composed 'New York Skyline' after studying a photograph of Manhattan. We asked him how the city compared with his preconception of it and whether he thought his 'Skyline' needed any remodelling. His musical interpretation, he said proudly, was right on the nose."Here's a 1945 photograph of the New York Skyline by Andreas Feininger, also from Google's LIFE archive:
I came across the "Talk of the Town" thanks to Alex Ross's mention of the New Yorker Digital Reader, which is indeed an amazing resource. What riches here! All of Pauline Kael's reviews, complete with period ads + cartoons! Oliver Sacks's long articles! And plenty of Alex Ross as well! Oh, and the amazing Hockey columns from the 1930's. Go Maroons!
This column is one of a regular series the New Yorker ran, in this case from March 31, 1934. The Maroons went on to beat the Rangers, but lost to the Black Hawks in the finals.