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Musical Items

The new building of the Royal College of Organists, London, was formally opened July 5th.

Adele Aus der Ohe and her sister have decided to make their permanent home in the United States.

A Sunday school song festival was given in the Crystal Palace, London, June 22d; over 9000 performers were on the stage.

King Edward laid the foundation-stone of the Liverpool Cathedral, July 19th. A choir of 900 voices furnished the music.

Franz von Vecsey played before Queen Alexandra. He has also played privately for the German Emperor and Empress.

Edward Elgar has been knighted by King Edward. At the present day he is undoubtedly the leading figure in English music.

The Pittsburgh Orchestra, under Emil Paur, will give four concerts in Cleveland, four in Toronto, and three in Buffalo, next season.

Announcement is made that Mrs. Henry K. Sheldon, of Brooklyn, N. Y., has given $20,000 toward the endowment of a Brooklyn University of Music as a memorial to her husband.

Carl Reinecke, on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, June 22d, was honored by a festival concert, in which only his own works were performed by the Gewandhaus Orchestra.

The Southern Music Teachers’ Association have arranged to promote the establishment of musical libraries in connection with State and city associations and women’s clubs in various towns.

A great national musical contest is being arranged in Paris. Twenty thousand dollars is to be offered in prizes for a serious opera, a comic opera, a symphonic work, a ballet, and an operetta.

Mme. Suzanne Adams has announced her intention of taking up oratorio and concert work, and will make her home in England. She is to make a specialty of simple ballads and folk songs.

The Mozart season at the Munich opera house will occur August 1st to 11th. “Figaro,” “Magic Flute,” “Elopement from the Seraglio,” “Don Giovanni,” and “Cosi Fan Tutte” will be given, each twice.

Löschhorn, professor emeritus at the Royal Academic Institute for Church Music in Berlin, celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday on June 27th. Many of his pupils sent him expressions of their regard.

The “Schola Cantorum,” of Paris, recently performed, for the first time in nearly three hundred years, a large part of Monteverde’s opera “Orfeo.” The work was partly rescored for modern instruments.

Mr. Edwin Lemare, organist of Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh, had splendid success in Australia, while   on a tour. In Sydney he received $5000 for a few recitals on the great organ in the Town Hall.

Mr. John S. Van Cleve, a well-known Ohio musician and a contributor to The Etude for many years, is president of the Ohio State Music Teachers’ Association for 1904. The next meeting is to be in Columbus.

Felix Weingartner has been engaged to conduct concerts of the Philharmonic Society, New York, in that city and in near by towns. This will be the first time the society has given concerts outside of New York.

Mr. C. W. Best, of the Waynesburg, Pa., College School of Music, has put on exhibition a large collection of autographs and letters of eminent musicians, as well as a number of curious and rare musical instruments.

A young Philadelphia singer, who received most of his training in his home city and in New York, Allen C. Hinckley, by name, has appeared at Covent Garden, London, with success. He sang the Landgraf in “Tannhäuser.”

Archbishop Ryan, of Philadelphia, has given directions that the musical services in the Cathedral shall be arranged to conform with the Pope’s recent letter on church music. The female members of the choir have already been dismissed.

A prominent Eastern paper calls attention to the fact that a musical enthusiast in Hamburg, Germany, gave $350,000 to erect a new concert hall, and then comments on the difficulty of securing the few thousands needed to keep up a leading orchestra.

One of the leading German musical papers says that the story that Dvorak, in his first composition for the orchestra, made a mistake in writing the clarinet parts is wrong (sic). His error was in writing for the trumpets, one that was quickly rectified.

At a sale of old violins in London, in June, seventy instruments were disposed of for $11,000, the highest prices being paid for two Amati violins, $1250 and $1000. A “Strad,” concerning the genuineness of which there was dispute, brought only $800.

According to a German paper, Mascagni has sent to a Paris publisher a two-act opera which is founded on a modern romantic subject. The work is to be performed for the first time in 1905 at Monte Carlo, and right after that at the Paris Opéra Comique.

The London Daily Mirror says that playing on the bagpipes is gaining favor in London. The difficulty is “to find a nice quiet corner in which to practice.” A “musical flat” is the natural solution of the trouble, one in which apartments will be let to singers, piano players, violinists, etc.

Mr. E. A. P. Newcomb, the popular American composer, now a resident of Honolulu, sends us an account of a song festival given in that city in which pupils from the various schools, public and private, participated: Americans, English, French, German, Portuguese, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Japanese.

July 12th the Würzburg, Germany, Music School celebrated its centennial. The school was started as a part of the University of Würzburg, but was later made an independent institution. It is the oldest music school in the German empire. An article on this school appeared in The Etude in July 1903, by Mr. J. Francis Cooke.

Manager Savage has secured Mme. Kirby Lunn, the English soprano, to take the rôle of Kundry in his production of “Parsifal” in the English language. The title rô1e will be taken alternately by Alvis Pennarini, of Hamburg, and Frederick De Voss of the Royal Opera at Amsterdam. Gurnemanz will be sung by Putnam Griswold, of Frankfort, Germany, whose native- place is Oakland, Cal.

The statement is made that Jean de Reszke will ask $40 per hour for instruction in his newly established school for singers. There will be four pupils in each class, each member receiving the lesson in rotation, the other three listening. This is certainly a high price to pay for the name of having received instruction from the great tenor. He has yet to prove that he is an instructor of the first rank.

The French Society of Composers has offered several prizes to French composers: $200 for a symphony for full orchestra; $100 for a work for piano and orchestra in symphonic form; $100 for a work for one or two voices with eight instruments concertante, not including the piano; $100 for a string quartet; $40 for a small suite for chromatic harp and two wind instruments. The contest is open until December 31st.

At a sale of autograph manuscripts in Berlin a four page letter by Beethoven brought $235; the autograph of a duet for soprano and alto by Brahms, $125; of Schumann’s “Papillons,” $175; of three manuscript songs by Schubert, $225. Some autographs of Liszt brought $25, some a little more, and five letters by Wagner $25 to $30. A manuscript of one of Chopin’s early mazurkas (dated Vienna, July 30, 1831) was sold for $150.

The contract with the prodigy boy violinist, Franz von Vecsey, made by Daniel Frohmann, calls for thirty concerts in the United States in January, February, and March, 1905. The price offered was a very flattering one, and overcame the objections of the boy’s parents. It is said to be greater than that paid to Kubelik. It should provide means for the little fellow’s future education, although a Berlin critic asks: “What can Joachim teach him?”

One of the “old men of music,” Dr. William Henry Longhurst, of Canterbury, England, died June 17th, aged 84 years. He was born October 6, 1819. When a boy of 8 he became a chorister in the Cathedral at Canterbury; in 1836 he was made assistant organist, and, after a number of years’ service in that capacity, in 1873 he was made Cathedral organist. In 1898, after nearly seventy years’ continuous service, he retired, with a pension and the title of honorary organist.

In a music loan exhibition in London by the Company of Musicians to celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of the granting of its charter, a great many musical treasures were exhibited: Handel’s autograph score of “The Messiah,” a volume of “Anthems and Odes,” by Purcell, and a couple of old virginal books. Hardly a musician of note was unrepresented. A Ruckers harpsichord was exhibited and a collection of string instruments to illustrate the development of the violin.

Over 1000 persons made application for membership in the chorus organized by Mr. Henry J. Wood, the noted London conductor. Less than 150 were selected. The chorus consists of professional vocalists, students of singing, and amateurs. The chorus not only rehearses the music for concerts to be given, but devotes a portion of time to drill in perfecting ensemble and in tone-production of the character demanded by Mr. Wood to bring out the effects he wishes. There is a hint in this to American chorus directors.

The fifth annual convention of the Southern Music Teachers’ Association was held at Gainesville, Ga., June 14th to 17th. The usual recital and educational features were presented. Among the subjects of discussion were “The Licensing of the Music Teacher,” “Vocal Expression,” “The Average American Church Choir,” “Public School Music; Does it Make Music Readers?” and “The Teaching of Little Children.” An attractive novelty was “Songs from Shakespeare,” with dance music of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by Mrs. J. Fleming Meek, with notes by Mr. J. W. Jeudwine, president of the association.

A complete collection of native musical instruments is shown in the Chinese section of the Palace of Liberal Arts at St. Louis. The exhibit contains instruments of every sort for producing both music and noise, and represents the religious as well as the social life of the Chinese, many of the instruments being used in religious observances. A wide range of instruments somewhat similar to the mandolins and guitars of other countries is shown, but most of these are of peculiar shape and have heads of snakeskin and but two or three strings. Others with many strings resemble harps or zithers. There is also a large number of flutes and fifes, and a curious collection of drums and gongs made of metal, which have striking resonant qualities. One of the most interesting specimens is a large trumpet of brass, in the form of a dragon’s head.

In an article in the New York Tribune Mr. H. E. Krehbill gives some figures as to the demand made on backers of orchestral organizations. He places the deficit of the Boston Symphony Organization for the season of 1903-1904 at $40,000. During the thirteen years of the existence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra its guarantors have advanced over $400,000, the deficit, one year, amounting to $53,631. Over $20,000 was raised for the Cincinnati Orchestra last year. The sixty-nine guarantors of the Pittsburgh

Orchestra made up a deficit of over $30,000, while a guarantee fund of $40,000 a year for three years has been raised to establish the concerts during the period of the engagement of Emil Paur. In Philadelphia $45,000 was raised to continue the concerts of the local orchestra for another season. These figures show that up to the present no orchestral organization is self-supporting. How long will it be before a concert series can be made to pay from the sale of tickets?

The last report of the Librarian of Congress, in mentioning the musical section, says, among other things: “The Library of Congress now possesses a good working collection of the literature on music fundamental to the student of the history and theory of music, and the collection of music is no longer limited to that which has come from copyright. In order that it should also contain representatives of the best printed scores of classical and standard material, the works of the classical composers have been purchased in complete editions, so far as they have been published, and those of the more notable modern masters have been acquired in a selection intended to represent their compositions in opera, oratorio, cantata, orchestral and chamber music.

“Special attention has also been paid to early American psalmody and Civil War music. Efforts have been made toward the acquisition of dramatic music in full score, that the student may consult the standard operas in their original form and at first source.

“On July 1, 1903, the total number of volumes and pieces of music in the division was estimated at 366,735, this being an increase of 21,224 over the preceding year. In addition, the division had in its custody some 4700 volumes and pamphlets dealing with the history and theory of music. Not included in this enumeration was instructive material, estimated at about 6000 volumes, pamphlets, and pieces, since set apart in a special section of the collection. The accessions during the past ten months would bring the grand total of the collection to the neighborhood of 400,000 items.

“This collection will be made as freely accessible as any other in the Library of Congress, and the Library of Congress is now the National Library of the United States, entirely free and accessible, without formality. Regarding itself as having a duty to research, wherever originating, it is also quite ready, within its capacity, to answer to inquiries addressed to it by mail.”

 

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