The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

reorganization in 1931. At that juncture Roussel began his music
criticism for successive publications, notably the Houston Post. Modest-
ly, Roussel intrudes himself into this history very little, mainly when
sampling critical opinion of various performances. But this in a way
distorts the picture, for to understand the flourishing of the arts in
Houston, musical and dramatic, one must understand the role of Rous-
sel. Indeed, Miss Ima Hogg and her friends furnished the money and
will for the orchestra to persevere and prosper, and worthy musicians
made the music. To a large extent, however, the Houston audience was
educated by the music columns of Hubert Roussel. He helped create
and nurture appreciative and knowing listeners. The success of great
music in Houston must take into account his signal contribution.
In writing this history of the Houston symphony, Roussel skillfully
relates the subject to its milieu. The reader comes to understand the
interrelationship between the instrument, the big money of Houston
that built and sustained it, its conductors, and its audience. The author
deftly demonstrates the impact of such varying personalities as Frank
St. Leger, Ernst Hoffmann, Efrem Kurtz, Leopold Stokowski, Sir John
Barbirolli, and Andre Previn on both the patrons and orchestral mu-
sicians. He clearly-and rightly-feels that Houston never sufficiently
appreciated the yeoman labors of Hoffmann, the conductor who built
the ensemble between 1936 and 1947. Later the big names would come
to reap the rewards of his efforts.
Roussel has written a thoroughly professional social history. The
book yields no unimaginative catalog of repertoire and artists, yet gives
just enough such details of various seasons to enable the reader to sense
the orchestra's growth. Nor does the volume essay music appreciation.
Yet there is sufficient description of highly important offerings, such as
Barbirolli's reading of Vaughan Williams's Sixth Symphony, to give the
general reader an understanding of what the book is all about.
University of Maryland WALTER RUNDELL, JR.
Wea Creek to El Dorado: Oil in Kansas, 1860-r92o. By Francis W.
Schruben. (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1972. Pp. x+
176. Illustrations, bibliography, index. $8.)
During the period 189o to ig9 o, the people in the southeastern coun-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/. Accessed July 24, 2014.