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Musical Items

The tearing down of the old Music Hall in Boston has been begun.
 
Sir Arthur Sullivan’s memoirs are announced as nearly ready.
 
The Dresden, Germany, Conservatory had 1210 pupils the past year.
 
“Cyrano de Bergerac” is the title of a new operetta by Victor Herbert.
 
Mascagni wrote a hymn in honor of Admiral Dewey that was warmly received.
 
The conductors for the Grau Opera Company’s season will be Paur, Mancinelli, and Hinrichs.
 
De Lara’s “Messaline” may be included in the Grau Opera Company’s American season.
 
M. Lamoureux has arranged for ten representations of “Tristan and Isolde” in Paris, to begin in October.
 
Alexander Mackenzie has completed an opera, the libretto being founded on Dickens’ “The Cricket on the Hearth.”
 
Puccini has submitted his new opera, “La Tosca,” to Melba, on account of her European success in “La Boheme.”
 
Perosi has finished a new oratorio, “The Birth of Christ.” The work is in two parts : the Annunciation and the Birth.
 
Johann Strauss said, shortly before his death, that “The Beautiful Blue Danube” waltzes met the first success in the United States.
 
Emil Sauer says that this being the age for machinery that takes the place of man, all our piano playing will soon be done automatically.
 
The Banda Rossa, Eugenio Sorrentino, director, has made a great hit with the Minneapolis public. The engagement has been prolonged two weeks.
 
A report comes from Italy that Mascagni and Gabrielle d’Annunzio will collaborate in an opera to be founded on Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso.”
 
Mr. Henry Schoenfeld, of Chicago, won the prize offered by Henri Marteau for the best violin sonata by an American composer. It contains three movements.
 
A musical clock has been made for the emperor of China; besides pointing out the correct time, it will play selections with a fully equipped automatic orchestra.
 
It is understood that Dr. C. Harford Lloyd, a well-known English organist and composer, is to succeed Sir John Stainer as professor of music in Oxford University.
 
Don Lorenzo Perosi, the Italian priest-composer, who won sudden fame with his oratorios during the last year, has declared his intention of attempting song composition.
 
A leading newspaper makes the statement that Melba has earned a million dollars since she has been singing, and that one-half of the amount was earned in this country.
 
An investigator into the duration of the popularity of songs says that two years is a long lease of life and six months a good average. Sentimental songs last longer than humorous.
 
Little Paloma Schramm, the California child-pianist, is said to be ill from overwork. Parents are apt to allow their cupidity to work serious injury to their talented children.
 
A German correspondent says that the Kaiser will compile the text for a sacred oratorio on the life of Jesus Christ, the idea having been conceived during the recent visit to Palestine.
 
Judging from the number of new schools and conservatories in all parts of the country, teachers must find that the conservatory system attracts a goodly portion of the public.
 
An English musician, writing of the congregational singing in the Cathedral at Rotterdam, says that they sang very slowly, about one-fourth the tempo used in English cathedrals.
 
Professor Oscar Raif, the noted piano teacher of Berlin, died August 29th, in Berlin, of heart-failure. He was an untiring worker, and his career is thus cut short at the age of fifty-two.
 
The Clavier Company Piano School is the latest candidate for public favor in New York City. Mr. A. K. Virgil will be director in charge. A large staff of teachers has been engaged.
 
A foreign paper announces that the German emperor has decided to have every year in Berlin a series of concerts directed by the most celebrated conductors of the world, the series to begin in 1900.
 
Melba has had such urgent and tempting offers from Russian and German managers that she will not come to the United States this winter. A trip to South America next spring is also probable.
 
A new school of music has been organized in Milwaukee, to be known as The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Mr. William Boeppler and Mr. Hugo Kaun are among the leading names in the faculty.
 
Lizzie Macnichol, a well-known opera-singer, died August 5th. She was an American and trained in this country. For some years she had been prima donna of the Castle Square Opera Company, of Boston.
 
Quite a discussion is going on in England over the question of adopting the low pitch, A = 435 vibrations. The great majority of musicians and a number of manufacturers favor the change to the lower pitch.
 
The Tivoli Theater, of San Francisco, recently celebrated the twentieth year of its existence. During all the time opera has been given in English, more than 7300 performances in all, ranging from musical farce to grand opera.
 
The Western Pennsylvania Exposition, to be held in Pittsburg, September 6th to October 25th, is to have some fine musical attractions: Walter Damrosch and his orchestra, Sousa, Innes, and Godfrey with his English band.
 
And now comes along an antiquarian who says that “Yankee Doodle” dates back to 1200, and originated in the Roman Catholic Church. Play it slowly on a big organ with massive harmonies and you have an old ecclesiastical chant.
 
Remenyi’s hope that his famous Stradivarius violin would not be bought up by a collector and hung in a case has been fulfilled. Mr. Franz Kaltenborn, of New York, has bought the instrument. The purchase price is said to have been $6000.
 
Professor Emil Breslaur, founder of “Der Klavier-Lehrer,” a leading German musical journal, died July 26th. Professor Breslaur was the author of a number of theoretic books, studies, and other educational works, as well as a well-known composer.
 
The various managers of musical attractions look forward to a good business this season. Different ones report a number of engagements already made. The stars, like Paderewski, Joseffy, and other well-known artists, have extensive tournées laid out.
 
An organization is being formed in London, to be known as “The Oxford and Cambridge Musical Club,” for the purpose of encouraging the practice and knowledge of chamber music. A home will be secured for the club. Dr. Joachim is to be the president.
 
The organ of the church of St. John, Leipzig, Germany, has been offered for sale. This organ was inaugurated by Sebastian Bach in 1744, and pronounced faultless by him. What a contrast its action must make with the modern organ with pneumatic action!
 
The U. S. Treasury statistics for June, 1899, show that the United States is keeping up the remarkable gain in the exportation of musical instruments that has been noted from time to time in The Etude. We are sending pianos and organs to all parts of the world.
 
Mr. Aimè Lachaume, pianist who toured with Ysaye and Gerard y, has been engaged as a teacher for the Philadelphia Musical Academy, Mr. Richard Zeckwer, director. Karl Doell, solo violinist of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Leipsic, has also been added to the teaching staff by Mr. Zeckwer.
 
A writer in the Paris “Figaro” mentions Massenet’s methodic habits. Every morning at five o’clock he sits down to his table to work because of the quiet in the streets. He never opens the piano while at work. He is fond of walking alone, and uses the solitary moments in shaping his ideas.
 
The Castle Square Opera Company will open their season in October with “Die Meistersinger,” in English. “Tannhäuser” and the “Flying Dutchman” are possibilities. These performances, if successful, will do much to popularize Wagner’s operas and aid to offset the vogue of the cheap musical farce which is patronized often because of lack of something better.
 
The Worcester, Mass., Musical Festival will be held the week of September 25th. Haydn’s “Creation,” Parker’s “King Trojan,” Chadwick’s “Lily Nymph,” and Berlioz’s “Damnation of Faust” are the choral works to be given. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, sixty men, under Mr. Kneisel, will be present, and Mr. George W. Chadwick will conduct the chorus of 400 voices.
 
The Philadelphia Manuscript Society has arranged for a federation of the leading societies of the kind in the United States, the union to include the Society of American Musicians and Composers of New York, the Chicago Manuscript Music Society, and the Cleveland Music Club. At the meeting held in Philadelphia during the summer, representatives were present from these societies mentioned. An interchange of works is a leading feature of the plan.
 
The managers of the National Export Exposition, which will be held in Philadelphia, September 14th to November 30th, have made arrangements for plenty of music. Concerts will be given every afternoon and evening. Among the engagements already concluded are for Damrosch’s Orchestra, Sousa and his band, Inness’ band, The Banda Rossa, and the U. S. Marine Band, by special permission of the U. S. Government. A large pipe-organ is also to be placed in the auditorium.
 
Paris news is that an effort is on foot to give festival concerts at the Exposition, with an enormous orchestra of the size advocated by Berlioz in his famous “Treatise on Instrumentation,” which was 465 instruments, divided as follows: Violins, 120 ; violas, 40 ; ‘cellos, 45 ; three-string double basses, 18 ; four string, 15 ; octo-basses, 4 ; flutes, 6 large and 4 third flutes ; picolos, 4 ; oboes, 6 ; English horns, 6 ; saxophones, 5 ; bassoons, 16; clarinets, 15, various kinds; horns, 16; trumpets, 8 ; cornets, 6 ; trombones, 12 ; ophicleides, 3 ; tubas, 2 ; harps, 30 ; pianofortes, 30 ; organ, 1 ; kettle-drums, 8 pairs ; side-drums, 6 ; bass drums, 3 ; cymbals, 4 ; triangles, 6 ; glockenspiel, 6 ; various other specialties, 20.
 
Mr. Fritz Scheel, conductor of the symphony concerts of the San Francisco Orchestra, has been in the East this summer in charge of the orchestra at Woodside Park, Philadelphia. Mr. Scheel won much praise, and has accepted a proposition to remain in Philadelphia and take charge of the Philadelphia Symphony Society, the foremost organization of amateurs in the United States. Friends of the Society have come to the assistance of the Board of Managers, and money has been raised sufficient to assure Mr. Scheel remunerative work in other ways. Mr. Scheel was born in Lubeck, Germany, and at the early age of ten began conducting a juvenile orchestra, and showed splendid talent as a violinist. Later he went to Leipzig and studied violin playing under Ferdinand David, and was made concert master of the Bremen City Orchestra. Some years later he was made director of the Municipal Orchestra in Chemnitz, Saxony, having seventy-two instrumentalists and a chorus of 600 under his baton, and played for all the great violinists and pianists of Germany, especially winning recognition from Rubinstein. In 1890 he went to Hamburg, and alternated with von Bülow in conducting the subscription concerts. In 1893 he came to the United States and led concerts at the World’s Fair, and from there went to San Francisco. Philadelphia has a strong acquisition in Mr. Scheel.

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