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Musical Items

An exhibition of antique musical instruments is to be held shortly in Chickering Hall, Boston.
 
Guilmant has resigned his position as organist at La Trinité, a post he has filled for thirty years.
 
A first performance in Sweden of Wagner’s “Rheingold” is announced to be given in Stockholm.
 
It is announced that Madame Sophie Menter will make her residence in Berlin and give a portion of her time to teaching.
 
Rosenthal is playing with great success in Russia. The papers call him the most interesting figure in the modern music-world.
 
Amsterdam is to have a music festival devoted exclusively to the works of living Dutch composers. Native soloists have been engaged.
 
A few women of St. Paul, Minn., have raised $25,000 to erect a small music-studio building, which is also to contain a hall specially adapted for recitals.
 
The People’s Choral Union of New York City, organized and directed by Mr. Frank Damrosch, will celebrate its tenth anniversary by a performance of Handel’s “Joseph in Egypt.”
 
The first part of the “Life of Tschaikowsky,” by his brother, has appeared in Russian and in German. It includes up to 1863, when the composer was still a student in the St. Petersburg Conservatoire.
 
A chorus is being organized in St. Louis to assist in the World’s Fair Concerts in 1903. It is expected to contain about 1000 singers. Mr. H. E. Rice is manager, and Mr. Frederick Fisher, director.
 
The Chicago Orchestra, Theodore Thomas, conductor, has announced a series of historical concerts. The purpose is to show the growth of the orchestra and the development of orchestral music in the last two or three hundred years.
 
During the first nine months of 1901 the gain in the value of musical instruments exported, over the corresponding period in 1900, was $1,129,709, a gain of nearly one hundred per cent. A considerable part of this gain was made by mechanical piano-players.
 
Mrs. Lillian Henschel, wife of Georg Henschel, composer and baritone, died in London, in November last. Mrs. Henschel was born in Columbus, Ohio. She was educated in Boston, Paris, and London. The Henschels were well known as vocalists, and their recitals were very popular in this country.
 
A school has been established in Rubinstein’s native town to bear the composer’s name, the funds being contributed by his admirers. Special attention will be given to training the pupils in music. The plan of memorial includes the making of the house in which Rubinstein was born into a museum.
 
The great majority of German cities have conservatories of music under municipal control or patronage. It has been urged that the cities of the United States should follow this example. It is not likely that they will very soon. Art galleries and public libraries seem to have the first claim.
 
An unpublished manuscript by Robert Schumann, of sixteen pages, has come to light in a collection in the Paris Conservatoire, written as a homage to the revolution in 1848. It consists of three male choruses: “To Arms,” “Black, Red, and Gold,” and “Song of Liberty.” Wasielewski makes it opus 65.
 
Frederic Cowen, the English composer, says that, when he submitted his song “The Promise of Life” to a well-known London publisher, it was returned with the suggestion for certain alterations so as to make the song salable. It was sent to another publisher, unchanged, and in a short time reached a sale of 200,000 copies.
 
The German Music-Teacher’s Association has presented a petition to the Minister of Education asking the government to make all intending music-teachers and those who would establish a music-school pass a rigorous examination with a view of determining their qualifications for the work. English musicians have also advocated such a measure.
 
The German government voted $50,000 to purchase the collection of musical autographs which was accumulated by the Vienna music-publisher, Artaria. The collection is now in the Berlin Royal Library. There are 93 Beethoven, 32 Haydn, and 6 Schubert autograph manuscripts in the lot. Mozart, Rossini, Salieri, and Paganini are represented also.
 
The proportion of pianos sold to the population is greater in the United States than in Germany. A trade-paper in commenting upon this fact attributes it to the fact that the American mechanic is more prosperous than his German brother. It is not a hard matter for an American family to buy a piano by a little self-denial extending over several years.
 
Music is being made a feature of the advertising methods of the great stores in our large cities. The Wanamaker store in New York City recently presented a concert in which the Kneisel Quartet and Richard Hoffmann played, and a club of noted soloists gave a number of old madrigals. Over 1600 persons were present. Another store announces musical entertainments for children while the parents are shopping.
 
A German critic says that “America is on the threshold of a great musical career. As yet German, Italian, and French influence is marked, but this will decrease as the body politic loses cosmopolitanism and becomes typically American.” In reference to German music-schools he says that American pupils “are chiefly equipping themselves to teach. It is clear that the time is near when Americans will not need to leave home to acquire that instruction which is at present only to be got in Europe.”
 
Jan Kubelik, the Bohemian violinist who is now touring in this country, was educated at the Prague Conservatory of Music, by Professor Sevcick, the famous teacher. A London paper, in speaking of his earnings, says that the first price asked for his services was $500 a concert. He made such a success that the price rose rapidly to over $1500 a concert. Two concerts at Prague netted him over $3500. He has three violins of great value: A Joseph Guarnerius, a present from an admirer; another of the same maker, for which he paid $4000; the third is a “Strad,” given to him by an English friend.
 
An excellent device for screening the back of an upright piano when turned away from the wall, as all pianos of that design should be, is one in which a screen is hung on a rod attached to the back of the piano at the top. The effect is uncommon, and adds much to the furnishing of a drawing-room or music-room, especially if the room admits of the piano’s being placed at one end, with the keyboard facing the wall. The material should be something of simple decorative pattern or one to match the other hangings of the room, and light so as not to deaden the tone of the instrument.
 
A writer for a German paper has risen in wrath against the story that Mozart composed the overture to “Don Giovanni” in a single night, or, as claimed, between the hours of 2 and 7. He says there are 292 measures, scored for oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, tympani, and strings. A transcript by a rapid copyist required an entire day to make. It is well-known that Mozart was a very fluent composer; if the story be literally true, it shows, in comparison with the copyist’s work, the wonderful rapidity with which he composed and did the manual labor of transcribing his musical ideas on paper.
 
rheinberger.jpgOne of the most distinguished of modern composers, Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger, died in Munich, November 25th, of heart and lung trouble. Professor Rheinberger had recently resigned from his position in the Royal School of Music at Munich, which he had filled for the past thirty years. Rheinberger was born March 17, 1859, at Vaduz, the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein. He early showed an inclination for music; began to learn the piano at five, at seven was organist in a church, a special set of pedals being arranged for him, and shortly afterward he composed a mass in three parts. When he was twelve years old he was sent to Munich, where he studied until he was nineteen. After his graduation  he was appointed piano-teacher in the conservatory, making his permanent residence in Munich. His reputation as a theorist was world-wide, and many well-known composers were pupils in his composition classes in the Royal High School, among them the Americans, Chadwick and H. W. Parker. Rheinberger’s reputation rests most largely upon his great works for the organ, although he wrote in practically all forms of vocal and instrumental music. They are stamped with a character of their own; a certain severity and sharpness gives to them somewhat of a classical flavor. His most popular piano-piece is “The Chase.”

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