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Children's Page

The best musical food for children is found in melodious exercises, characteristic pieces of one or two pages in length, national melodies, pleasant dance music, indeed, anything that promotes cheerfulness and excites interest and pleasure.—E. Pauer.
 
MUSICIANS BORN IN MARCH
The array of musicians born in March presents some very important names. If the teacher has in her library a dictionary of musicians like Grove's, or Riemann's, the pupils should be asked to gather from the notes therein a few facts about the men and women who are mentioned in this list. The names can be divided among the pupils so that no one member has too much work. The date of death should be added to the record here given. Some of these mentioned are still living.
 
March 1. Frederic François Chopin, 1809; Gottfried Weber (theorist), 1797; Ebenezer Prout (theorist), 1835.
March 2. Frederich Smetana, 1824; Sir George Alexander Macfarren (theorist), 1813.
March 3. Franz Bendel, 1833.
March 4. Nicolai von Wilm, 1834.
March 5. Alfred Jaell, 1832.
March 6. Heinrich Wilhelm Riehl, 1823.
March 7. Victor Massé, 1822; Edward Lloyd (singer), 1845.
March 8. Delphin Alard (violinist), 1815; Ruggiero Leoncavallo, 1858.
March 10. Pablo de Sarasate (violinist), 1844.
March 11. Francesco Lamperti (teacher of singing), 1813.
March 12. August Manns (conductor), 1825.
March 14. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, 1714; Johann Strauss, 1804.
March 15. Edouard Strauss, 1835; Francesco Durante, 1684; Nicolo Vaccai, 1790.
March 16. Enrico Tamberlik (singer), 1820.
March 17. Joseph Rheinberger, 1839; Manuel Garcia (teacher of singing), 1805.
March 19. Johann Verhulst, 1816.
March 21. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685; Carl Mayer, 1799; Lady Hallé (Norman- Neruda), 1840.
March 22. Carl August Nickolaus Rosa (conductor), 1842.
March 23. Camille Marie Stamaty, 1811; Wilhelm Taubert, 1811.
March 24. Maria Malibran (singer), 1808.
March 25. Giovanni Adolfo Hasse, 1699; François Joseph Fétis (theorist and historian), 1784; Henri Ketten, 1848.
March 26. Mathilde Marchesi de Castrone (singer and teacher), 1826.
March 27. Sir George Elvey, 1816; Edgar Tinel, 1854.
March 28. Antonio Tamburini (singer), 1800; Antoine Edouard Batiste, 1820.N
March 30. Sir John Hawkins (historian), 1719.
March 31. Franz Joseph Haydn, 1732.
 
Chopin, Bach (J. S. and C. P. E.), and Haydn are the most important names. The meeting in March can very well take special notice of these four writers. "First Study of Bach," the "Lighter Compositions of Chopin," and Haydn Sonatas are collections of music that will offer material for programs that can be played by the younger pupils.
 
* * *
 
A FEW WORDS ABOUT FRANZ VON VECSEY.
Six months ago the name of Franz von Vecsey was unknown—today it is one of the most talked of in the musical world of Europe.
 
Born of well-to-do parents in a little village (with an unpronounceable name) in Hungary some ten years ago, he received, at the age of seven, his first instruction on the violin from his father, who is an amateur violinist of considerable attainment. Naturally his musical genius soon asserted itself and his father wisely decided on taking him to Budapest and placing him with Jenö Hubay, once a pupil of Joachim, but who is now perhaps best known through his many famous pupils and compositions.
 
Under Hubay the little Franz studied for two and a half years, and what he accomplished in this time is little short of miraculous. His father then decided on bringing him to Berlin, where, in October last, it was arranged for him to play privately before the most famous musicians and critics, who were unanimous in their opinion that he was the most wonderful child violin-genius they had ever come across, and the papers rang with the name of Franz von Vecsey. The following words from Professor Joachim speak for themselves:—
 
"In all my experience I have never met such a mighty musical genius as this boy, when we take into consideration his age of ten years and his childlike nature. It borders on the incomprehensible what this child, in a period of two and a half years, has learned from his master. Without the gift of genius such results would be inconceivable. Technical difficulties simply do not exist for this boy. Still more astonishing than his perfect mastery of the technic of violin playing are the wonderful divination with which he penetrates into the spirit of the music that he executes, and the inborn warmth with which he performs these pieces. Anything like it I have never heard from any young violin player."
 
In consequence of all this Franz von Vecsey gave his first public concert, and with such phenomenal success that six followed, all of which were sold out —the last in the Philharmonic drawing an audience of close on three thousand. At the first (which the present writer was fortunate enough to hear) he played Wieniawski's D minor concerto, Bach's aria on the G string and prelude in E major, Hubay's "Carmen Fantasie," and Paganini's "Hexentanz." That was an evening never to be forgotten. Enthusiasm
 
knew no bounds, and the audience—a Berlin audience, too—broke out into raptured applause at every few bars rest in the Wieniawski concerto, and at the end Professor Joachim and the whole audience rose up to applaud him. At the time the present writer prepared the following lines for the German Times:— "This little Hungarian boy of only ten years of age, dressed in a white sailor suit, with a violin that looked two sizes too big for him, is really a phenomenon; and perhaps the best praise we can give of him is to say that as soon as he begins to play one entirely forgets the child, and thinks only of one of the greatest virtuosi. But he is by no means only a virtuosi! He plays with temperament, breadth of tone and tone-color, feeling, and character—besides giving good interpretations. Unlike most prodigies, he is not mechanical, but one must hear him for oneself to realize what he really is."
 
At the other concerts he made the same sensation, playing—with the exception of the Beethoven and Brahm's concertos—the greatest masterpieces for the violin. At all his concerts his father sat beside the accompanist, and during their stay in Berlin Franz and his father were familiar figures at many of the concerts, including those given by Alexander Petschnikoff and Arthur Hartmann.
 
There was some talk of his going to America, but there were many difficulties in the way, not least among which was the Gerry Society. So his parents have now decided that the boy shall have perfect repose and a slow progressive cultivation of his musical intellect, in order that this side may equal his extraordinary technical ability. Some good stories are told of this little boy, and the following may interest our readers. When he went to play at the German Court he had already heard that the Empress had not been very well, so on seeing her he went straight up to her, kissed her hand and said, "Good afternoon, Empress, and how are you to-day?"—E. Nevill Smith.
 
* * *
 
TABLE GAMES.
The little game or exercise described in The Etude for February was intended to promote quickness of thought and action; those that follow have close bearing upon piano playing.
 
Playing the Piano.
This game calls out finger flexibility and is excellent preparation for playing.
 
The curved hands are placed on the table in such a position that only the ball of the hand and the finger tips rest on the table; the fingers are slightly separated. The leader gives the order "Tap," and counts the tempo, while all tap evenly with all fingers. Next one or two fingers are called which must lie on the table while the others tap, as: "Second finger, hold!" "Second and fifth fingers, hold!" "Thumb and fifth finger, hold!" "Thumb, third, and fourth fingers, hold!" The tapping must always be done rhythmically, in the tempo counted by the leader.
 
If anyone misses he is punished by some forfeit, as in the first game.
 
Table-tapping.
This game is a difficult one and will often trip even a very skilful player. The finger called for must be laid flat on the table, while the remaining fingers are closed into the fist. The leader calls: "Tap with 2, with 3, with 5, with 2 and 4, with 2 and 3," and so on. It is not practicable to use the thumb, since that disturbs the position of the other fingers.
 
An amusing variation is made by giving each player a different set of numbers and then suddenly calling: "Change with right-hand neighbor," or "change with left-hand neighbor!" The more quickly the orders are given the more difficult the game becomes.
 
WORTH REMEMBERING.
With the exercise of self-trust, new powers shall appear.—Emerson.
 
The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.
 
In books we may choose our friends.
 
"We live among gods of our own creation."
 
A dry mind, like a dry well, is soon filled with rubbish.
 
The world makes way for those who push.
 
The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.—Gibbon.

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