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Musical Items

Madam Sembrich is to be the principal soloist at the Cincinnati musical festival.

The air remains full of rumors that Verdi is writing a new opera, in spite of his denials.

Professor Ludwig Bussler, the distinguished theorist, died in Berlin on January 17th, aged 61.

Frau Sigrid Arnoldson opened the Italian opera in St. Petersburg in the rôle of Violetta in “Traviata.”

Ignatz Brull has nearly finished the score of his new romantic opera, “The Master of the Mountains.”

Up to the present time Alvarez has sung in forty-five grand operas, in eleven of which he has created parts.

E. A. MacDowell has resigned his position as President of the Society of American Musicians and Composers.

Gounod’s opera, “Mereille,” including the ballet, has been presented by the pupils of the Guildhall Conservatory in London.

Madam Nevada’s concert-tour in the Pacific coast cities has been such a tremendous success that it has been extended indefinitely.

It is said that one of the active causes of German sympathy with the Boers is the falling off in the piano export trade to South Africa.

Heinrich Ehrlich, who is best known in America as the editor of “Taussig’s Daily Exercises,” died in Berlin, December 29th, aged 76.

The Leipziger Tageblatt has added Mr. Adolf Ruthardt to its musical staff, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Dr. Oscar Paul.

The second concert of the Women’s String Orchestra, Carl V. Lachmund, director, was held in New York City, at the Waldorf-Astoria, recently.

The Pittsburgh Orchestra made its second appearance in New York at Carnegie Hall, on Monday evening, February 26th. Mr. Herbert conducted.

The copyright of Berlioz’s works expired in Germany on the first of January, and as a result some cheap editions of his works are being issued.

Pepito Rodriguez Arriole, aged 3 years, has lately astonished an audience of musicians and amateurs in Madrid, as a pianist, improvisator, and composer.

Maurice Grau has engaged Hofrath Schuch, the conductor of the opera at Dresden, Germany, for a number of American orchestral performances in the spring.

New Orleans has been having a season of up-to-date opera. Prominent on the list of productions stand “Sigurd,” by Reyer, and “The Huguenots” and “La Juive.”

Pauline Lucca has presented the museum of the city of Vienna with a copy of her portrait in the Russian gallery of celebrated women. The figure is of natural size, standing.

Millocker left an unpublished opera, “L’Etoile du Nord”; his fortune is supposed to amount to $200,000.00, a large part of which will be used for the benefit of poor musicians.

February 19th, at Steinert Hall, Boston, Mr. Carl Faelten gave his fifth recital devoted to the great masters of pianoforte literature. The program was largely devoted to compositions of Raff.

Vladimir de Pachmann, who plays Chopin best, will celebrate the anniversary of the composer’s birth, which falls on Thursday, March 1, by a Chopin recital on that afternoon at Mendelssohn Hall, New York.

Mr. Paderewski’s success in Chicago passed all former records. No artist’s playing can be measured by the box-office, but the receipts are a measure of popularity; on this occasion they exceeded $7000.00.

The muncipal (sic) council of Vienna has voted a perpetual gift to the family of the late Karl Millöcker of a section in the Central Cemetery in the neighborhood of the tombs of other illustrious men, in which to lay his remains.

Francis Thome has published four considerable works recently: “L’Enfant Jesus,” the poem by Charles Grandmougin; “Noël,” words by the composer; “Prière á la Vierge,” words by the Abbé Péreyve; and “Petit Jésus,” poem by A. Lenéka.

Paderewski has decided to extend his tour to Mexico, so that he will not leave America until May. If his season continues as prosperously as it has begun, he is not unlikely to equal the results of his last tour, when he made about a quarter of a million dollars.

Mr. Victor Capoul, who left New York to take the position at the Paris opera lately made vacant by the death of Mons. Bertrand, is already successful in the duties to which his great experience so eminently fits him. Lovers of Italian opera in America will remember his great popularity as Romeo.

Athens, Greece, possesses a conservatory of music, under the patronage of Prince George. The violin teaching in it is to be in the Belgian school, and various famous Belgian artists have been invited to become its professors. Thus, the future development of Greek music will be on Belgian lines.

Mark Hambourg, the young Russian pianist, is a staunch friend of Mark Twain, and the letter of introduction from the humorist which the artist brought to this country with him reads: “He plays the piano better than any of the Clemens family, but his complexion is not as good as mine.”

Lately Weingartner refused to direct the orchestra of the opera at Berlin, because the hall had been decorated for a bal masqué. At the urgent request of the direction he consented, but showed himself nervous and preoccupied during the first number, his nervousness increased as the concert proceeded, and he finally threw down his baton and left the hall.

The Royal Choral Society, according to custom, opened the new year with a performance of “Messiah.” Sir Frederick Bridge for the third time presented Händel’s work with some approach to the original conditions of performance, Händel’s accompaniments being given, instead of Mozart’s. The band did not outnumber the chorus in the proportion of three to two, as contemplated by the composer.

The opera season in Italy opened on St. Stephen’s Day with “Siegfried” in Milan, the “Meistersinger” in Venice, “Lohengrin” in Rome, besides the announcement of “Tannhäuser” in Naples, and “Lohengrin” in Florence. This is doing well for Wagner. But the fact that the “Prise de Troie,” at the Lirico, in Milan, created the greatest enthusiasm must be taken as a parallel and most significant fact.

Mr. Siegfried Wagner has lately directed a production of his “Baerenhaeuter”; his mother assisted at the representation. After the rehearsal the composer announced that he offered the orchestra and singers for their pension fund a gift of 5000 florins—“money that he had really earned by his first lyric work.” This is the first time in Vienna that a composer has made such a gift to his interpreters.

Prof. Albert A. Stanley, of the Department of Music of the University of Michigan, has been appointed representative for the United States of the International Society of Musicians, recently founded in Germany. The object of this organization is to unite musicians and writers on subjects relating to music, and to further scientific investigation. Professor Stanley will organize the American section of the society.

Frank H. King, well known in the piano trade, and formerly editor of The Musical Visitor, died at his residence, No. 52 East Twenty-first Street, New York, on Friday, February 9th. His geniality and kindness of heart had endeared him to thousands. He married Madam Julie Rivé, the distinguished pianist, and it was largely due to his personal work and efforts that this artist gained so large a measure of deserved success.

Mr. Morris Steinert has presented Yale University with his collection of antique instruments. This collection is unique, inasmuch as, being largely German, it presents good proof of the independent invention of the square piano in Germany, by a progressive evolution from the clavichord; whereas the grand piano is an Italian adaptation of the harpischord (sic). The collection is very complete, and the series of gambas is as remarkable as that of keyed instruments.

During the carnival season in Italy “Lohengrin” will be given in three different cities; “La Bohéme” (Leoncavallo) in two; “La Bohéme” (Puccini) in two; “Aida” in two; “William Tell,” “Les Epoux Pronus,” “Cavalleria Rusticana,” and “Pagliacci,” “La Joconde,” “Le Trouvère,” “Carmen,” “Faust,” “Samson et Dalila,” “Siegfried,” “Cendrillon,” “La Reine de Saba,” “La Force du Destin,” “Educande di Sorrento,” “Kousouma,” “Le Bal Masqué,” “Le Barbier de Séville,” “Otello,” “Tristan et Iseult,” “The Meistersingers,” and “Ernani,” in one each; “André Chénier,” in four; “Mignon,” in two; “Tannhäuser,” in two; “Iris,” in two; “Fedora,” in five, and there are people who think that the opera list in America keeps us in touch with the musical world.

The long-talked-of edition of the “Fitzwilliam Virginal Book,” edited from the original manuscript by J. A. Fuller-Maitland and W. Barclay Squire (in two volumes, Breitkopf & Härtel) is now published. This is the famous “Queen Elizabeth’s Virginal Book,” which everyone knows of, and nobody has been able to study, because, aside from its unget-at-able-ness, the notation had to be deciphered. The book is first mentioned in 1740 (at which time it was in Dr. Pepusch’s possession) in Ward’s “Lives of the Gresham Professors.” Pepusch died in 1752, and at the sale of his effects, in 1762, it was bought for ten guineas by Robert Bremner, from whom it passed to Lord Fitzwilliam, in whose possession it was in 1783. The book is a copy of a collection of mss. of widely different dates by an unknown hand. It is a treasure of English music of a period when English instrumental music was the finest in the world. The present edition is dedicated to Queen Victoria.

 

 

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