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Musical Items

The statement is made that the director of the Paris Opéra wants to produce “Parsifal” in French.

The Grand Duke of Oldenburg is projecting a music-school which he intends to place under the direction of Burmester, the violinist.

It is stated that Siegfried Wagner and the Strauss Or­chestra of Vienna will visit the United States and give con­certs in the leading cities.

A Russian princess, a Bach enthusiast, has arranged for the publication of the cantatas of Bach in the Russian lan­guage at her own expense.

Dr. Edward Elgar’s latest work, an oratorio entitled “The Apostles,” was produced for the first time at the Bir­mingham (England) Festival, October 14th.

A French composer has invented a machine to reproduce automatically the exact variations of rhythm employed in any given performance of a musical work.

The repertoire of the Moody-Manners Opera Company, now giving grand opera in English in London, includes Wagner’s “Siegfried” and “Tristan und Isolde.”

Musical post-cards are now becoming a fashion in Ger­many. Some of these cards contain quite elaborate and long pieces of music printed in almost microscopic charac­ters.

The Navy Department of the United States Government has issued an order declaring “The Star-Spangled Banner” the national anthem, so far as its use in the navy is con­cerned.

Victor Maurel is putting the finishing touches to a work on voice production which is the result of many years’ experience and thought. It is to be published this month in Paris.

An Italian paper says that the mandolinists of Italy are forming a federation. The idea seems to be to attempt to restore the mandolin to its one-time favor as an instrument for high society.

In the Covent Garden — where but a few months ago Wagner’s operas were being given—in September the Moody-Manners Company gave “The Bohemian Girl” be­fore a full house.

The city of Dawson, in the Klondike, has a $5000 organ, which was recently installed in that city. Mr. W. C. Carl, of New York City, played the opening recital. It cost $5000 to ship the organ to Dawson.

According to a New York paper which quotes Maurice Grau as authority, Madame Sembrich never cleared less than $80,000 a season, except during the year in which she was compelled to cancel engagements owing to her illness.

A work on singing by Mr. Ffrangçonon Davies, the famous Welsh baritone, is announced as nearly ready for the printer. It is to be entitled “Method and Reason in Singing: Studies in the Ethics and the Technique of Sing­ing.”

The program for the coronation of Pope Pius X included selections from the two famous masses of Palestrina. The services were held in the Sistine Chapel and were under the direction of the Abbé Perosi, the Italian priest-com­poser.

The choral works selected for the next Cincinnati Music Festival are Elgar’s “Dream of Gerontius,” Bach’s “B Minor Mass,” Beethoven’s “Missa Solennis,” and the Ninth Symphony, with at least one other shorter work not yet selected.

A great band contest was held at the Crystal Palace, London, September 26th, in which 117 bands containing over 3000 players took part. The $5000 championship prize called for the playing of a selection from Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger.”

The series of historical organ concerts, which Guilmant began in Paris some months ago, were recently brought to a close. He played one hundred and fourteen different works by French, German, English, Belgian, Italian, Flem­ish, Dutch, and Spanish composers.

Action was brought in the United States Circuit Court to prevent the production of “Parsifal” by Mr. Conried. Frau Wagner’s counsel says that he will ask for a tem­porary injunction restraining Conried from presenting “Parsifal” while the suit is pending.

The twenty-second season of the Boston Symphony Or­chestra began October 16th. Among the soloists we notice the name of Rafael Joseffy, who will appear in a few con­certs this season. It is to be regretted that he gives so limited a part of his time to public work.

Debussy, one of the most advanced of the younger French composers in his methods and theories has brought out a new work, a setting of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” to be produced at the Opéra Comique. It has confused the critics just as did “Pelleas et Mélisande.”

Richard Strauss will appear oftener with the Philadel­phia Symphony Orchestra than with any other during his stay in the United States. He will conduct half of six different programs, introducing his own compositions. Madame Strauss de Ahna, soprano, will also be heard at these concerts.

A libretto of Wagner’s music drama “Parsifal” has been issued by Mr. C. F. Tretbar, of the Steinway firm. It contains both English and German text, the translation having been made by Frederic Corder, the noted English composer, and his wife, whose translations of the other Wagner dramas are accepted as the best.

During the past season the Municipal Orchestra of Magdeburg, Germany, gave, at their various concerts, 26 symphonies, 53 overtures, 12 symphonic poems, 111 minor orchestral compositions of various kinds, and 22 concertos. In the entire range of the concerts under municipal direc­tion 19 instrumental and 24 vocal soloists assisted.

A boston paper says that “fifty years ago the number of piano manufacturers in the United States did not exceed 25; at the present there are over 250 makers of pianos in this country. A durable piano in olden times meant a very expensive instrument. To-day this durability is fairly well assured in all instruments put out by reputable makers.”

The advance sale of season tickets for the Worcester (Mass.) Festival was encouraging, although the amount realized was not sufficient to defray the estimated expenses. The price for tickets was reduced from the former price of seven dollars to five dollars, a rate never before given for such splendid concerts as this Festival has been accustomed to offer.

Fritz Scheel, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, had splendid success with his orchestral con­certs in San Francisco this fall. One of the San Francisco papers, commenting on the excellent showing of the local orchestra under Mr. Scheel’s baton, makes a strong plea for a fund to guarantee a fall and spring series of orches­tral concerts.

The house in which Beethoven died, the so-called Schwarzspanierhaus, formerly a cloister—the monks who lived there being called Schwarzspanier—is to be torn down to make room for a modern building. It is expected that a memorial tablet will be placed on the new building to mark the site of the house in which the great composer paid the debt of Nature.

The Bureau of Music of the St. Louis World’s Fair has made a contract with Sousa for an engagement of four weeks beginning in May, 1904. It is the expectation that contracts can be made with the La Garde Republique Band of Paris and the British Grenadiers’ Band for eight weeks each. Prizes aggregating about $30,000 are offered in the various band contests.

A number of very valuable musical works—manuscripts and old printed editions—have recently been added to the library of the British Museum. Claudio Merulo, Orlando Gibbons, Dr. John Bull, Handel, and Gounod are repre­sented. An autograph copy of Schubert’s Fantasie Sonata for pianoforte, Op. 78, dated October, 1826, presented by Mr. Ernst Perabo, of Boston, is a noteworthy addition.

Mr. John Philip Sousa makes the prediction that “rag­-time has come to stay.” Perhaps it may; but the average musician feels sure that the so-called popular successes can have but an ephemeral vogue. “Rag-time” may stay in some form, but not one of the typical “rag-time favor­ites” will be recognized as worthy a permanent place in a musical repertoire. They may appear on programs fifty years hence as a curiosity.

Lyon & Healy, of Chicago, have presented to the Mu­sical Museum of the University of Michigan models of a number of antique musical instruments, among them a chitarra—somewhat similar to the mandolin—made in 1645; a Stradivarius guitar, 1680; a cithara (Stradivarius), 1700; a crwth, Welsh bowed instrument; a minstrel’s harp of the eleventh century, of the pattern used by the Celtic bards; a vina, Hindoo stringed instrument, and other oriental instruments.

The regular concert season of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra will consist of fourteen public rehearsals and fourteen concerts. In addition there will be several popu­lar concerts, a series of young people’s musical lectures by distinguished musical authorities, with illustrations by the orchestra, and a number of out-of-town performances including two in Boston in which Richard Strauss is ex­pected to participate. The management of this orchestra is aggressive and hopes to put the work of the organization on such a high artistic as well as practical plane as to win a strong public support.

 

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