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Musical Items

Vladimir de Pachmann will, it is stated, write a new life of Chopin for a New York publishing house. This ought to interest the Chopin biographers.

The highest soprano voice on record was that of Lucrezia Agujardi (1743 to 1783). According to Mozart, who heard her sing, she reached C in altissimo.

J. Ch. Hess, once a popular pianist and composer, died in Paris at the age of eighty-four. Some of his transcriptions, as “The Carnival of Venice,” sold by thousands.

When they wished to perform “La Resurrezione di Cristo,” at Modena, Perosi asked $300 for himself, $400 for the music, $480 for the orchestra, $280 for chorus, and $600 for the solo singers.

Alexandre Petschnikoff, who made such a successful tournée in America last season and is now in Europe, will return to America for a series of concerts between January 10 and April 10, 1901.

The third prize competition founded by Anton Rubinstein will take place at Vienna, August 20. The contest is international, and held every five years. The prizes are 5000 francs for composers, and same for pianists.

Subscriptions are being received by Messrs. Chappell, 50, New Bond Street, London, W., to assist the two aged daughters of the late eminent composer John L. Hatton. Subscriptions will be forwarded if sent to The Etude office.

The Norwegians have a national hymn, supposed hitherto to be of local origin by a composer named Richard Nordraack; but a Norwegian iconoclast proves that it corresponds note for note with a largo cantabile in the fourteenth instrumental quartet of Joseph Haydn!

J. V. Gottschalk, who for sixteen years has been associated with leading musical managers of Europe and America, has established a concert-direction under his personal control in New York. Mr. Gottschalk has for several seasons past been traveling representative for Victor Thrane.

Aime Lachaume, the young French composer and pianist, whose compositions have brought him so prominently before the public of late, and who is now in Europe with a view of having one of his operas produced, will return to this country in the fall and give a series of piano-recitals.

There is talk of M. Jean de Reszke taking over Madam Bernhardt’s theater on the Palace du Chalelet during her absence. Madam Bernhardt holds the house by contract from the city of Paris, and one of the conditions of the lease is that the theater shall not remain closed for any length of time.

The village of Beziers, France, is preparing for a grand musical festival, August 26-28, under the direction of M. G. Leygues, Minister of Public Instruction and Beaux Arts. The orchestra will be composed of 400 musicians and 250 choristers, directed by MM. Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Faure.

One thousand dollars is asked in Vienna for the manuscript of the first movement of Beethoven’s sonata, opus 111. In a letter written by Rubinstein, which is offered for sale, is this sentence: “Have you seen ‘Tristan’ or ‘Rheingold’? The first is to me actually mad; the latter is at least cracked.”

Signor Giuseppi del Puente, the opera-singer, died at Philadelphia, May 25th, of apoplexy. He ranked among the greatest dramatic artists of the contemporary operatic stage. He was born in Naples in 1845, descendant of a noble Spanish family, and first came to America in 1873. His repertoire included over seventy operas.

Maria Barrientos, who is described as a veritable musical genius, has recently been singing with remarkable success in Rome. She is said to be but 16 years old, and was first heard of last winter in Spain. She is a native of Barcelona, and is said to have begun the study of music in the conservatory there at the age of 6.

The College of Music, of Cincinnati, has just received another gift of $50,000. John G. Schmidlapp transferred to the college a fine four-story building, to be used as a dormitory in place of the cramped quarters which have been used for that purpose. The gift is in the nature of a memorial to his wife, who was one of the leading supporters of the college.

William Witt, violinist and music publisher, died at London, in his seventy-fourth year. Born at Hamburg, he appeared in the early forties and in the fifties as a violinist in London. He became the sole owner of the firm of Ewer & Co., which was ultimately absorbed into Novello, Ewer & Co. He was the founder of the largest music circulating library in England.

Lohengrin” was given in Italy 1143 times between November 1, 1871, and December 26, 1899, and between the same dates “Tannhäuser,” 237; “Die Walküre,” 119; “Die Götterdämmerung,” 84; “The Flying Dutchman,” 62; “Rienzi,” 46; “Die Meistersinger,” 98; “Tristan,” 12; “Siegfried,” 32; “Das Rheingold,” 5—which, they say, makes a total of 1763 performances, or 61 a year.

The classification of manuscripts left by Johann Strauss has been completed. Among them are eight waltzes, fully orchestrated. Then there are choruses, couplets, vocal waltzes, unaccompanied quartets, songs, sketches for operettas, an impromptu for piano, duets, hymn, and marches. Many will be published, and the proceeds will be given to charitable funds for musicians, while the manuscripts will go to the Vienna Museum.

Edward Strauss during the ensuing tournée of the United States and Canada, which begins at the Waldorf-Astoria on the evening of October 20th next, has declared his willingness to perform any meritorious work by American composers. Piano and full orchestra scores should be sent to Mr. Rudolph Aronson, Astor Court Building, New York City, who has the management of the tour. Scores must be delivered before September 1st, next.

Grieg gave a concert at Copenhagen to an audience of small traders and workmen, whom he thus addressed during the program: “This evening,” he said, “is a realization of a dream of my youth; for I have always held that art should, as in ancient Greece, extend to all classes of society, just because it is its mission to bring a message from heart to heart. I wish that workmen’s concerts, like this, which endeavor to fulfill this object, might prosper and find followers in all countries.”

The Temple of Music is to be one of the attractive features of the Pan-American Exposition to be held at Buffalo from May 1 to November 1, 1901. Music will hold an important place at this great educational event, and the exposition will use every effort to secure the most excellent music features and entertainments ever offered at such a gathering. Sousa’s Band of fifty instruments has already been secured. The Mexican government will send the famous Mexican Mounted Band of the City of Mexico.

Ernst von Dohnanyi, the Hungarian pianist, who was heard in New York City and Boston, at the end of the past season, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and in recitals, will return to this country about the middle of November, and open his tournée in New York City. Though Dohnányi was heard only a few times, his return will be hailed with delight by all lovers of distinctly musicianly pianoforte playing. He will be heard in most of the principal cities in orchestral concerts and in recitals.

According to Miss Clara Butt, Sir Arthur Sullivan is writing a grand opera for Covent Garden, in which the English contralto is to play the principal part. “Indeed, Sir Arthur Sullivan is at present preparing an opera for me which we hope to produce at Covent Garden next season. The heroine is to be a contralto, tall and dark, instead of the petite soprano, as is the case in most operas. For me Wagner is, of course, impossible, and most other composers’ contralto roles are exceedingly nasty and disagreeable characters.”

Frieda Siemens, the young German pianist, who was last year to have played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but was unable to do so on account of illness, and was compelled for that reason to relinquish her tour of the United States, is now in good health and will positively give a series of recitals and orchestral concerts under the Concert-Direction Gottschalk. She stands to-day the greatest of the younger generation of women pianists, and during her childhood astonished the world by her marvelous playing.

Madam Sarah Bernhardt and M. Coquelin will commence a grand American tour in November, playing “l’Aiglon,” “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “La Dame aux Camelias,” “La Tosca,” etc. Madam Bernhardt will receive about $1000 each performance, with a certain percentage of the receipts, and personal expenses paid; the tour will consist of two or three hundred representations, consequently the great actress will reap a rich harvest of American dollars. M. Coquelin will receive about $400 per night, with a certain percentage of the receipts.

The prize-concerts of the Nineteenth National Saengerfest in Brooklyn from June 30th to July 5th, next, are of absorbing importance to every German singer. The contests will be given by choruses composed of the members of the different organizations; two or three are to be performed by something like 7000 male voices; one will be sung by 500 women and another by a chorus of 5000 men. The soloists are Miss Sarah Anderson, Mrs. Josephine S. Jacoby, Miss Louise B. Voight, Joseph S. Baernstein, D. Ffrangeon-Davies, and Carl Schlegel.

The concert recently given at Bologna by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, under Dr. Richter’s direction, was made the occasion of most enthusiastic demonstrations on the part of the crowded audience, which included musicians from all parts of Italy— Mascagni, Sgambati, and others, Frau Cosima Wagner being also present. At the conclusion of the performance the popular conductor was presented with two laurel wreaths adorned with the Italian and German colors. Bologna was the first Italian city that heard a Wagner opera. (“Lohengrin”).

Vienna’s Academy of Sciences has decided to collect phonographic records and store them in one of the Vienna libraries. The collection will include, first, specimens of every European language and dialect, to which will be added later all non-European languages; second, the finest contemporary musical performances, with the national airs and tunes of all races, and, third, speeches or phrases uttered by celebrated men. The academy is trying to find some more durable material than is now employed to take the impression of the sounds and is experimenting with various metals.

One of the most horrible fates that ever befell an opera company was chronicled recently, telling of the almost complete destruction by yellow fever of an Italian opera company which gave performances recently in Manoa, Amazonas, and other cities in Central Brazil. The first evidence of the dreaded disease made its appearance when several members of the company attended a masked ball to which they were invited. Upon returning from the affair the director of the company, Sig. Solnik, was taken sick, and died of the fever three hours later. Shortly after the director’s death the leading prima-donna, Theresa Zeicchi, developed symptoms of the fever, which frightened her into hysterics. In a paroxysm she bit her tongue through and bled to death. Twelve members of the company were then taken with the fever and died, three only surviving. Those who escaped took their departure from the country for Genoa.

 

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