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Musical Items

Mme. Patti, it is announced, will give a series of concerts in Scandinavia.

Marcella Sembrich has signed a contract for twenty concerts in this country next season.

The son of Wilhelmj, the famous violinist, is meeting with success as an artist and teacher.

Camilla Urso, the violinist, after more than thirty years of public work, is still giving concerts.

The veteran tenor, Sims Reeves, has been added to the list of professors of singing in Trinity College, London.

Wm. Armstrong, the well-known music critic of Chicago, is meeting with success on the lecture platform.

Alexander Siloti, now touring in this country, resides in Leipzig, and devotes considerable time to teaching.

The National Congress of Musicians will meet at Omaha during the coming exposition. Wm. H. Sherwood will preside.

A French musical instrument maker has made a chromatic kettle drum. What a boon to the modern composer of orchestral music!

Opera singers in Germany receive much lower salaries than the same class of people in the United States—not more than a third, in many cases still less.

Dvorák is said to be continuing his researches in regard to the characteristics of negro music, which furnished the inspiration for his symphony “From the New World.”

Paderewski has abandoned a proposed series of recitals, and has announced that he will make no more concert tours until he has finished his much-talked-about Polish opera.

Signor Nicolini, husband of Adelina Patti, died at Pau, France, during the past month. He was a famous Italian opera tenor, and was married to the great prima donna in 1886.

Godowsky, who was in Europe some time ago, says that the influence of advanced methods is plainly evident, and is rapidly relegating old, traditional methods to the background.

In 1876, in Vienna, Mme. Marchesi had two pupils in her class in operatic singing, who became famous in a different sphere—Arthur Nikisch and Felix Mottl, both now celebrated conductors.

Mr. and Mrs. Henschel have finished their tour and will return to England, it is announced. Their recitals have been of great educational value to teachers and students of the vocal art.

Arthur Nikisch has signed a life contract with the authorities of the famous Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig. This will entirely prevent his possible return to the United States as a conductor.

During his enforced idleness due to his late illness, while engaged in giving a series of concerts in England, Grieg wrote a new set of “lyric pieces” for the piano. He has recently played them in public.

The Chaminade tour of the United States seems to have been abandoned or postponed until the next season. It is said that the composer had formed great expectations of the financial returns of her tour.

Mrs. H. H. A. Beach’s symphony will be performed in Boston and New York this season. This is a great tribute to the work of Mrs. Beach and a recognition of the status toward which many women composers are aiming.

A brother of Tschaikowsky is collecting materials for a biography of the great Russian pianist and composer. The latter was a great letter-writer, and many of his letters from other people were preserved. These, and a diary covering a portion of Tschaikowsky’s life, should aid in the preparation of a most interesting and valuable contribution to musical literature.

Guilmant’s concert tour will be extended until some time in March. An English writer says that the influence of the great French master has definitely shifted the center of artistic organ playing and schooling to Paris.

Richard Strauss gave some concerts in London at which several of his recent orchestral works were produced. As usual, the critics and public are divided—some lauding the composer, others damning him with faint or no praise at all.

A writer on Brahms has noted the interesting fact that in his earlier life the composer wrote long sonatas, whereas toward the end of his life he gave himself to the making of smaller pieces, intermezzi, rhapsodies, and other short single movements.

The report is current in both secular and musical journals that Max Bruch, the composer, now in his advanced years, is in needy circumstances. Music patrons in Germany have interested themselves, and it is announced that he will be placed above want.

The Berlin Mozart Society has examined and pronounced genuine a sketch-book of Mozart which dates from the year 1764, when the boy was but eight years old. It is a small volume of forty-two pages and is filled with compositions by the precocious child.

Mr. George W. Chadwick, director of the N. E. Conservatory of Music, has been offered and has accepted the position of director of the Worcester (Mass.) Music Festival, succeeding the veteran Carl Zerrahn, who had maintained that relation for the past thirty years.

Sousa’s new opera, “The Bride-Elect,” is now before the public. So far the verdict has been favorable. The “March King” is his own librettist—a combination not often found. Rhythmic and melodic characteristics of the familiar Sousa type, of course, abound in this new work.

In a series of very interesting experiments, Dr. J. G.  Mackendrick, of Glasgow, has shown that electrified water will convey vibrations of sound corresponding exactly to the various musical rhythms, and that a deaf person may enjoy this phase of music by keeping his hands in the water.

Theodore Thomas and his orchestra met with decided success on the concert tour over the Western circuit. The Boston Symphony Orchestra has had the same results in the East. These two organizations are now supplying the demand for the best orchestral music not only in their own cities, but practically in the whole United States.

An innovation has been introduced by the Vienna Philharmonic Society, which, if adopted by our leading orchestras, could be made a great stimulus and offer useful opportunity to students of composition. It is announced that several rehearsals will be set aside every season for the trying over of new pieces which any composer may send to the Society.

A pupil of Paderewski writes of the latter’s teaching. He lays stress on producing a beautiful, broad singing tone by pressing the keys to the very bottom; advises the playing of scales very slowly and very legato, lifting the fingers as little as possible, accenting every third or fourth note; as daily studies he suggests the études of Czerny’s, especially the first three to be played every day slowly, and with broad tone.

Considerable comment has been made in musical journals on the report that a hitherto unpublished setting of Goethe’s poem, “The Erl-King,” by Beethoven, has been discovered. It has been arranged by Reinhold Becker, of Dresden. The authenticity of the manuscript is vouched for by the “Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde” of Vienna. It is said to compare favorably in every respect with Schubert’s celebrated setting.

American opera seems to be making forward strides. After successful seasons in Philadelphia and Boston, the Castle Square Opera Company has established a permanent opera in New York. The motto is: Opera in English, at popular prices, and with American artists in the casts. It is likely that the same effort may be made in other of our large cities. It is a splendid move and should do much to help advance the cause of good music among the great mass of theater-going people.

 

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