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Correspondence.

Berlin, Oct. 17th, 1887.

With the cold fall weather has commenced again the winter’s round of concerts. The season this year, in Berlin, promises to be even unusually fine. First and foremost come the series of philharmonic concerts, conducted by Hans von Bülow. Not satisfied with conducting the opera in Hamburg, he has added to his winter’s work twenty-five concerts here, and from the programs of the first five already arranged, one can see the magnitude of the work, planned in true Bülow style. In the first concert will be given: the Jupiter Symphony of Mozart, Haydn’s B-flat symphony (No. 12) and Beethoven’s “Eroiece” (sic) symphony. The second program consists of Wagner’s Faust overture, Chopin’s Concerts (sic) in E minor, played by d’Albert, a suite for orchestra of Bizet, an orchestral composition of Goldmark and a new dramatique overture from d’Albert, conducted by the composer. Sgambati, the head of the new Italian composition and piano school, will appear in the third concert, and will play a concerto of his own composition. Bernhard Stavenhagen will be the soloist of the fifth concert. Von Bülow will himself appear as soloist in the D minor concert from Brahms. A new prodigy has appeared to dispute the laurels of the nine-year old pianist Josef Hofmann. An eleven-year-old girl, Pauline Ellice, from London, appeared here in Kroll’s Theater, later with the Philharmonic Orchestra, and completely confirmed the brilliant reports which had preceded her. A beautiful child, the babyish face surrounded by golden curls, she trips on to the stage, seats herself at the grand piano, and plays, accompanied by the orchestra, with not only a technique to be envied by many an artist, but with a musical understanding that usually only comes with ripened years. Her repertoire includes Beethoven’s C minor concerts (sic); the E major Polacca, Weber-Liszt, Mendelssohn’s Capriccio in B minor, Liszt’s Rigoletto, Fantasie and Spinneleid; the D minor Toccata, Bach-Tausig; D’s Waltz of Chopin in thirds and sixths (!), and the great fugue in A minor of Bach. A decidedly difficult program for an eleven year old child, and all without notes. The question is, what will become of her? Will she fulfill all she promises? Or, like too many prodigies, will she simply flash for a few months as a meteor and then vanish from sight? Will not the extravagant praise she is now winning destroy all pleasure in earnest, hard work?

Johannes Brahms had a rehearsal lately in Baden Baden of his latest work, a concerto in three movements for violin, cello and orchestra. Joachim and Hausemann played the solos and Brahms himself conducted the orchestra. Among the few invited hearers were Clara Schumann and Vincenz Lachner. The work, which was played twice, made a deep, lasting impression.

France will soon overflood the musical world with new opera. The Journal des Débats has published a long list, partly finished and some still in the workroom. To simply give the names of them would be tiresome, it is a little too much for one time!

The great prize for music given in Brussels was won by a poor child from Ghent. The inhabitants of Ghent were so filled with joy at the victory that they arranged a brilliant reception for him on his return. They met him at the station with music and banner and marched with him thro’ the entire city, which was decorated with wreaths and flags and spanned by triumphal arches. At the town hall he was presented with a gold watch and a valuable collection of music, and was honored by a written address on parchment. Moreover, a subscription was raised to buy a grand piano for the young artist. That might be called enthutiasm (sic) for the art!

It is reported from Weimar that a new piano concerto, with string orchestra from Liszt, has been discovered. It is written in E minor and is similar in form to the A major Concerto. Liszt named it “Malediction.” It is probably of the time of his journey thro’ Switzerland, and contains many very beautiful and poetical passages. Bernhard Stavenhagen is studying it at present.

The city government of Paris has again this year offered a prize of 10,000 francs for the best work for solo chorus and orchestra. The victorious work will afterward be given at the city’s cost. This has raised the envy of the German musical press; one paper writes: “In Germany the city fathers have so much to do with illumination, schools and taxes that they have no time to trouble themselves about art, or even to give any money for it. That we must leave to our neighbors, the frivolous Frenchmen. This progress in the march of civilization is not an empty illusion.”

Frau Annette Essipoff will concertize the coming season in Germany, Holland and Switzerland.

Arma Senkrah, who, as all know, is a Boston girl that spells her name backward, has been made violinist to the Grand Duchess of Saxony.

A Vienna paper tells the following good story:—

A short time ago at a watering place in the neighborhood of Moseau, a party of guests enjoying the baths sat together on the terrace of the only hotel the place could boast, when suddenly a large wagon came rattling over the stony pavement, in which, carefully protected from injury, they saw a piano. Horrified, they exclaimed: “A piano, that is the last straw!” “Adieu, siesta; good-by, morning slumbers,” etc. The tumult grew, and at last the proposition was made that they should not allow the disturbing element to come in. The idea was taken up at once, and before the astonished driver realized what was happening they had redriven him and his burden out of the gate. Just as they had completed this heroic deed, an elegant equipage drove up. A head surrounded with thick bushy hair appeared at the window and a deep voice asked wonderingly what they were doing with his piano. All turned and recognized, to their horror, Anton Rubinstein, who, as the driver related him the story, turned his back, and, with his insulted piano, left the summer boarders to their quiet and their tedium.

G. Foster.

 

 

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