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Musical Items.

Edvard Grieg has been very ill with bronchitis.

Puccini is said to have made $100,000 out of his operas.

Rosenthal’s tour will include a trip to the Pacific Coast and Mexico.

The Eisteddfod, at Salt Lake City, was attended by over 15,000 persons.

Heinrich Ehrlich has given up teaching. He is seventy-six years old.

Eugen d’Albert has achieved success with a comic opera called “The Departure.”

The building to be erected in Cincinnati for the Sangerfest next year will cost $30,000.

Milwaukee is to have a national Eisteddfod in January. $500 is the prize for the best chorus.

Massenet is to write music to an opera founded on Dumas’ great romance, “The Three Musketeers.”

The late Empress of Austria was a warm patron of Wagner and assisted him financially on different occasions.

Patti is to marry again. This time it is a Swedish nobleman, Baron Kederstrom. He is about thirty-five years old.

England seems to attract American singers. It is announced that David Bispham is to make his home permanently there.

A firm of autoharp manufacturers, on the authority of a trade paper, has received an order from Germany for 150,000 instruments.

An act is pending before the Legislature of Georgia to compel piano-tuners to take out a State license in order to carry on their trade.

Busoni has commenced a “Clavier-Orchester-Cyklus”—a series of four concerts illustrating the origin and development of the piano concerto.

Selling music by the pound is a new idea. It was done in Dayton, O. A pound of Beethoven weighs the same as a pound of “Coon songs,” of course.

Sir Arthur Sullivan has been offered the post of director of the music at the Crystal Palace, London. It is said that he is inclined to accept the offer.

Hans Richter, the celebrated Viennese conductor, is to take charge of the orchestral concerts at Manchester, England, for six months. The salary is $7500.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the English composer, has been ordered to rest from work. He is suffering from nervous exhaustion, due to an attack of the grip.

A Berlin correspondent says that during the entire musical season in that city there will not be many evenings in which two, three, or more concerts will not occur.

Sight-singing classes are very popular in the large cities at the present time. It is the old “singin’ skewl” revived, without the mirth and jolly good humor of the latter.

Professor J. K. Paine, of Harvard University, has about finished a grand opera. It deals with a romantic Moorish story and is called Azara. The libretto is also from his pen.

Döring, whose pianoforte studies are well known to American teachers, recently celebrated the fortieth anniversary of his connection with the Royal Conservatory of Dresden, Germany.

An opera in one act, forty minutes long, and with but one character, a “prima donna soprano,” as an exchange had it, was produced lately at Copenhagen. It was written by Ludwig Schytte.

Saint-Saëns, now sixty-four, was asked by a celebrated violinist why he had never written a strong (sic) quartet. “I am yet too young, and lack sufficient experience,” was the reply.

It is reported that Sauer intends, during his American tour, to play a number of compositions not often heard in concerts. This is somewhat different from the custom of the great artists.

Leschetitzky, the famous Vienna pedagogue, once reproached Paderewski for spending four hours daily in practicing Czerny exercises. “Think ten times and play one time,” he said.

An interviewer says that Rosenthal confessed that he never played finger-exercises. He selects the difficult figures in a composition, and also makes new combinations of them, for practice.

Announcement is made that Verdi has written an opera with Nero as the leading character. All the tyrant’s musical qualities and all Verdi’s ability can not change Nero into a hero.

Music has been taking hold of the students of Columbia University, under the inspiration of Professor MacDowell. A strong chorus and a full orchestra are prominent features of the work.

Sousa, when a boy in Washington, D. C., played with the colored children of the neighborhood. He says he learned from them the peculiar melodic and rhythmic swing that his compositions have.

Some years ago the Government of Sweden instituted a system of lottery which has just been discontinued. A sum of $1,500,000 was raised by this means, which was used to build a magnificent State opera-house.

Don Lorenzo Perosi, whose sacred oratorios are the latest sensation in Italy, has just completed a fourth. His ambition is to write twelve before the end of this century. His style is said to be very contrapuntal.

A New York piano trade reporter says that Chauncey M. Depew predicts that it will not be long before every parlor-car on the great railroads will carry a piano for the guests, just as is the custom on the great ocean liners.

A monument has been erected to Vieuxtemps at Verviers, Belgium, his birthplace. It represents the great violinist, life-size, with his instrument under his left arm, and the bow, in his right hand, pointing downward.

Pope Leo has written the text for an ode for a festival occasion. The composition is for tenor and baritone solos, chorus, and orchestra. The subject is the conversion of King Clovis, of early French history, to Christianity.

Moskowski, who has been troubled with a nervous affection of the arm that defied the efforts of many physicians, is said to have been relieved by a Paris physician. He will again appear in concerts and will bring out a new concerto.

The rage for decoration has now taken hold among piano manufacturers. Some beautiful cases have been specially designed lately for wealthy customers. All the resources of artistry in wood-carving and ornamentation have been employed.

An Indianapolis inventor claims to have completed an attachment for changing the pitch of pianos. It manipulates the action in such fashion that a change from international to concert pitch is the work of but an instant. A patent has been secured.

Rosenthal’s first lessons were from Mikuli, the well-known Chopin editor. Later, while still but a youth, he was with Joseffy, then living in Vienna. At this same time he attended the university from which he received the degree of M. A.

A number of musicians of Cleveland, O., have organized “The Cleveland Manuscript Club.” Wilson G. Smith was appointed temporary chairman. This spirit should manifest itself in other cities. Philadelphia and New York have strong societies of this kind.

“Musical America,” edited by John C. Freund, is the last candidate for the favor of the musical public. It is a bright, newsy, weekly journal, and covers the territory of the United States very well by means of correspondents in every important city.

At a sale of copyrights, held by the great music-publishing firm, Robert Cocks & Co., of London, the rights of Mascheroni’s famous song, “For All Eternity,” were sold for $11,000. This song was brought out by Adelina Patti, and was considered the “hit” of the season.

That the public is not yet tired of the star system is shown by the fact that even the Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts do not draw as good houses when they have no soloist as when some artist is announced. It is said that a singer draws better than an instrumentalist.

Gustav Hinrichs is in charge of the orchestra of the National Conservatory of Music, New York. All the large music schools should follow this example and organize orchestras from their teachers and capable pupils, under the direction of an experienced conductor.

Mr. G. W. Chadwick, director of the New England Conservatory, has arranged that a section of 150 seats is to be retained for conservatory students at all the concerts of the Kneisel Quartet. The hearing of chamber music, rendered in a finished style, is a valuable adjunct to a musical education.

Sprucewood is not ordinarily considered a valuable wood, but some kinds of it are extensively used in making the tops of stringed instruments. Rosewood ranges in price from 1¼ cents to 10 cents a pound. A certain kind of Adirondack spruce, that is scarce, is worth more than rosewood.

After 1900 no one can take the degree of Musical Doctor at Oxford or Cambridge Universities in England, and after 1902 the degree of Musical Bachelor, unless he has been in residence nine terms. In order to obtain the doctor’s degree he must also have graduated in some other faculty. This is scholasticism rampant.

A violinist, playing in the house of a self-made man, who had also made his fortune, showed his instrument—a fine “Strad.”—to the host. “This is more than two hundred years old,” he said. In his desire to keep things going well, the host said, soothingly, “Go on all the same; I hope no one will notice it.”

The Knabe Piano Company has opened a hall for concerts in New York city to be known as Knabe Hall. It is at Fifth Avenue and Twentieth Street. It is said that the firm has guaranteed the concerts of Emil Paur and his orchestra, which were to have been given under the management of Carl Loewenstein, who failed lately.

An organization has been formed to take the place of the old Music Hall Corporation in Boston. A new building is to be erected at Massachusetts and Huntington Avenues. It will be built on lines similar to the old building, with some modifications, based on the Music Hall at Leipsic, Germany, which is considered the best in Europe.

The Pennsylvania State Music Teachers’ Association will meet at Williamsport, Pa., Wednesday and Thursday, December 28th and 29th. Mr. Roscoe Huff, of Williamsport, is the president. A fine program of essays and music has been arranged, and a good attendance is expected.

Max Alvary, one of the greatest of Wagnerian tenors, died at Tabarz, Thuringia, Germany, November 8th, of cancer of the stomach. He was forty-one years old. His early training was that of an architect. His vocal studies were under the direction of Stockhausen and Lamperti, in Dresden. His real name was Aschenbach. He leaves a wife and seven children.

The Musical Protective Union, an association of the orchestra players of New York city, examined Mr. Lafricain, formerly a trumpeter in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for the post of first trumpeter in the new orchestra of which Emil Paur is the conductor. Although he was backed by Mr. Paur, they decided that he was not competent to fill the post. Some time after the decision was reconsidered. It is this petty spirit that seems to justify the carping spirit of criticism which the public often displays toward the musical profession.

 

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