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J. W. F.—The best works for the study of Musical Analysis are “Musical Analysis” by Goodrich, price $2.00; and “Music” by Banister, price $1.00.
E. C. A—“The Vocalist” 97 Fifth Avenue, New York, is a good paper for both teacher and students of vocal music.
2. You are correct in both instances as regards the errors in Chopin’s Study in G flat in Mathews’ Graded Course, Book X.
3. Ysaye, as near as can be given in English, is pronounced E-si’; the i having the sound of i in ice; the accent on the second syllable.
C. O. B.—The words Lassan or Lassu and Friska, in Liszt’s Rhapsodies, refer to the speed and character of the movement. Lassan means a slow movement which becomes more lively and rather wilder (Friska).
Saint Saën’s Danse Macabre is the dance of death. It is based on a poem by Cazalis. Io is remarkably weird and ghoulish and spectral in its character, protraying as it does, a dance of skeletons in a graveyard. It is a fine specimen of programme music.
M. H.—The De Reszke’s were born in Warsaw; Jean in January 14, 1852, Edward, December 23, 1855. A. L M.
R. R—The objection to the use of an upright piano in practicing voice exercises lies in the fact that its height causes it to throw back the voice when the singer is sitting at it. Otherwise there is none. The best way in which to practice vocal exercises, except when it is absolutely necessary to have an accompaniment, is to use no piano at all. The voice should be heard alone because it thereby gains in surety and independence, and because the student can hear more critically the faults of method.—A. L. M.
A. F. A.—The name of Ysaye, the Belgian violinist, is pronounced E-si’. 2. Goodrich’s Complete Musical Analysis, price $2.00, published by the John Church Co., of Cincinnati, is the best work of its kind published. For an analysis of Beethoven’s Sonatas only, Harding’s Analysis, published by Novello, Ewer & Co., New York, price 75 cts., will be useful, as it is exhaustive as to form, Schirmer’s or Litolff’s “Academic” edition of the sonatas themselves contain very satisfactory analytical and critical markings and notes. For a work on Fugue perhaps Prout is as good as any.
L M. C—1. mf and mp mean very nearly the same degree of power; but the former is supposed to incline more toward forte, while the latter more nearly approximates piano.
2. There is no difference between the terms “tone-quality” and “tone-color.”
3. For a child ten or twelve years of age, try Mrs. Lillie’s “Story of Musicians,” or J. C. Macy’s “Young History of Music”; unless you can succeed in interesting them in what you read yourself.
4. Your question as to how an accompanist who sings, but is not a vocalist, can study so as to detect incorrectness in a singer by reading the voice-part at sight, seems to me a very strange one. Anybody who is musician enough to play an accompaniment at sight ought to know at a glance whether the singer is giving the correct intervals or not. Perhaps some may not be able to do so; for there are many so-called “good readers” who merely translate from notes to keys without much understanding of the significance of what they play. But surely, anybody who is familiar with scale and chord intervals can have no difficulty in such a matter. It is not a question for a vocalist, as you seem to think, but a question of general musical intelligence, which any one may have, whether he can play an accompaniment at sight or not. The question as to whether the singer produces a pure tone or not is merely a matter of a trained or untrained ear as regards tone-quality.
E. W., Iowa.—The name Raif is pronounced nearly Rife. Oscar Raif is a well-known teacher of Berlin who has somewhat unusual ideas of his own about piano teaching. The disrespectful epithet, “Dumb-thumb,” has been applied to him contemptuously by some disgruntled critic who thought his notion of using the thumb was bad. I have seen no published works of his, and do not know whether he has even published a formal method; so I cannot tell you in just what his peculiar ideas consist. J. C F.
A. H., O.—The easiest fingering for the harmonic form of the F sharp minor scale is the one you suggest: R. H., fourth finger on G sharp; thumb on A and D. In C sharp minor: R. H., fourth on D sharp; thumb on E and A. G sharp minor: L. H., fourth on C sharp; thumb on B and F double sharp. No matter whether you can find authority for it or not. Think for yourself and use that fingering if you prefer it. That is what I do. But it is only fair that you should know why some authors prefer another fingering, so that you may judge intelligently. It is impossible to finger the melodic form of these minor scales in this way, and Mason, Plaidy, and others prefer to use the same fingering for both forms, rather than employ two different fingerings. They attach primary importance to the melodic form of the scale. I, for my part, always teach the harmonic form first, and the arpeggios of its principal chords in connection with it. I think this is more conducive to musical intelligence. And I teach the fingering you prefer, because it is easier; leaving the other form and fingering to a later period. “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind”; not in somebody else’s.
D. M. K., Wis.—Remenyi is pronounced with the e short, in both cases, and the i also short. The accent is on the first syllable. Leschetizky is pronounced Lĕsh-ĕ-tĭts’-ki. J. C. F.
C. E K., Lynn, Mass—The names you inquire about are pronounced as follows: Faust, Fowst; Strauss, Strowss; Tannhaeuser, Tänhoiser (nearly); Moscheles, Mōshĕl-les; Essipoff, nearly as in English, Éssĭ-pōff. The o long in sound, but short in quantity.
Marie Auguste Durand is a French composer and publisher. He was born at Paris in 1830. He is a good musician and was a pupil of Benoist. He has written a good deal of piano music, largely of a popular character, but not of the low grade of many trivial pieces which are called popular; they belong to a good class of parlor pieces. He has also written church music, organ music and some other things.
Arnoldo Sartorio was a comparatively obscure composer of the 17th century; an Italian, of course. I have no information concerning any other composer of that name.
A. W.—The “Carnival of Venice” was probably produced about the end of the 18th century. It is known to be of Venetian origin; but the author is unknown. It was popularized all over Europe by the great violinist Paganini.
A Polish lady writes us from Everson, Pa., protesting against the classification of Wieniawski as a “Russian” musician. Doubtless she is right in claiming him as a Pole by blood, and it is better to call him such. But being born a Russian subject, he is commonly set down as a Russian in the encyclopedias; just as Tschaikowsky is, whose name would suggest that he also is of Polish descent.