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Musical Items

A Bach Society has been organized in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The next Bach Festival at Bethlehem, Pa., will be held April 12th to 14th.

Employees of London banking institutions have formed a symphony orchestra.

Hugo Herrmann, the violinist, has opened a school for students of the violin, at Frankfort-on-the-Main.

Some music manuscripts by Smetana have been found in Gothenburg, Sweden, where the composer lived, 1856-1866.

A large organ, costing $25,000, is to be erected in the Town Hall of Wellington, New Zealand, by the city corporation.

A new organ for the City Hall, Cape Town, South Africa, will shortly be erected. It has four manuals and fifty-one stops.

A Bach Museum is to be opened in the house in which the great master was born, at Eisenach. The Bach Society has purchased the house.

Alexander von Fielitz, the noted composer, will have charge of the classes in composition, harmony, and opera coaching, in one of the Chicago music schools.

According to the Music Trades, of New York, there are 66 piano-players, self-playing pianos, and other piano and organ attachments on the market, or in process.

A music trade paper says that an American steel expert has just made a wire of the highest quality for piano strings, in every way superior to the best foreign wire.

Other countries are following the lead given by Manager Conried. Amsterdam is to have a production of “Parsifal” next June. Madame Wagner has made protest.

A Beethoven Festival is being planned for Paris next May. The Beethoven concerts will last four days, and the nine symphonies will be included in the programs.

According to Hill, a London violin expert, Antonius Stradivarius made 3000 instruments, including violins, violas, and ‘cellos; of this number Mr. Hill claimed to have seen 1700.

In the way of comment on the growing popularity of César Franck’s works, it is said that he never received payment for his compositions. To get them published he was compelled to give them to his publishers.

Japan makes a great demand for all kinds of organ and piano parts. There are seven organ factories in that country, with a capacity of 400 instruments per month. The Japanese have just begun the manufacture of pianos.

Mr. Louis Lombard, an American musician, now living in Europe, recently gave in Paris, a recital of a number of his compositions. Mr. Lombard was fortunate in winning wealth by work outside music, but he has remained faithful to his art.

Madame Parmentier, once famous as Maria Milanollo, violiniste, who died lately in Paris, bequeathed her considerable property equally to the Conservatories of Paris and Milan, for the purpose of endowing scholarships for students of stringed instruments.

Those who are interested in the scientific side of music will be pleased to learn that Prof. E. W. Scripture, of Yale University, who has been pursuing some studies in Berlin, has reported that he expects to be able to construct an organ which can “sing” the vowels.

Tivadar Nachez, whose name is familiar to musicians through his “Hungarian Dance,” is at work on a new violin concerto. Two other eminent composers are also said to be at work on music for the violin: Hubay, on a concerto; Sinding, on a sonato for piano and violin.

The directors of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, London, announce that the next season will commence May 1st, and end July 24th. As no festival is to be given at Bayreuth this year, the plans include two complete cycles of the “Ring” dramas, under the direction of Richter.

An annotated program furnished to an English audience contained the following interesting note anent Gounod’s “Ave Maria,” based on Bach’s first Prelude: “This beautiful melody was composed by Bach, who, on his dying bed, requested that the harmonizing should be entrusted to M. Gounod.”

If Manuel Garcia, the famous singing master, lives until the seventeenth of the month, he will have completed his one hundredth year. Those hundred years have witnessed great changes in the world of music. Ten days before his birth Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony had its first appearance in Vienna.

Felix Weingartner, conductor of the Royal Orchestra, of Berlin, conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in a special concert, February 16th. His program included three overtures, “Iphigenie” (Gluck), “Zauberflöte” (Mozart), “Oberon” (Weber), Symphony No. 2, in E-flat major, Op. 29 (Weingartner), first performance, and Liszt’s Symphonic Poem, “Tasso-Lamento e Trionfo.”

a musical society in Zürich, Switzerland, a city with a population of less than 200,000, has arranged for a series of five popular concerts, at which symphonies by d’Indy, Haydn, Floridia, Mozart, Glazounov, Beethoven, Schubert, and Richard Strauss (Sinfonia Domestica), are to be given. In addition to the numbers just mentioned, smaller works by Elgar, Herbert, and Hausegger are to be given.

According to a German exchange, Richard Strauss’ “Sinfonia Domestica” has a predecessor. In the program of a concert given at Jena, in 1845, is listed a composition by a French composer, Chelard, entitled “The First Harmonies of Life,” fantasy for orchestra. The program of the work is: Birth, Baptism, Cradle Song, Nurse’s Song, The Mother, The Child, The Child’s Play, The First Instruction, Childhood’s Years, Choral.

A European exchange says that “La Cabrera,” the one-act opera by the young French composer, Dupont, to whom was awarded the Sonzogno prize last year, seems likely to be a second “Cavalleria Rusticana,” which was similarly crowned with a prize. During December it was given in six cities of Southern Europe, and it has been accepted by the opera direction in such centers as Naples, Palermo, Prague, Dresden, Vienna, and Paris.

On February 11th, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Fritz Scheel, conductor, played Richard Strauss’ “Sinfonia Domestica,” Op. 35, which was the second performance of the work in this country. Fritz Kreisler played the Tchaikovsky Concerto for violin and orchestra, Op. 35, at the same concert. Mr. Scheel is liberal in making up his programs and aims to give the great modern works as well as the classics. Dvorak’s “New World” symphony is to be played this season.

The first article on Richard Strauss, in the Strauss Number of Die Musik, the leading musical monthly of Berlin, is a translation of the first chapter of Mr. James Huneker’s late work, “Overtures.” It is not only the Germans who thus honor one of the foremost American music-litterateurs; French publishers have seen the value of Mr. Huneker’s writings. The pedagogic chapters of “Chopin, The Man and His Music,” have been translated into French and are in great demand.

Those interested in the Chicago Orchestra find that there is a disposition on the part of noted conductors, especially Europeans, to put up the price of their services. It is said that Weingartner asked a salary of $25,000 a year. There are available men in this country who could doubtless be secured for much less. It takes something more than a big reputation as a virtuoso conductor to carry on an organization like the Chicago Orchestra, and there are two or three men, born in this country, who have had practical experience in an executive capacity, as well as in conducting.

From an article on “The Boston Symphony Orchestra,” written by Richard Aldrich and published in the Century Magazine for February, we note that the rank and file of the orchestra are under annual contracts for a season of twenty-nine weeks, at salaries from $30 to $35 a week, upward. The chief players, first violin, and some of the other best violinists, the first ‘cellist, the first performers on the other instruments, receive more, up to an annual salary of $5000, with engagements for several years. Some receive weekly salaries of various amounts, guaranteed for various periods of time beyond the regular season. The conductors have received salaries of $8000 to $10,000.

In the March Delineator Allan Sutherland gives an interesting account of the origin of “Just as I Am,” Charlotte Elliott’s famous hymn. After telling how the hymn came to be inspired through a remark of Dr. Caesar Malan to the invalid composer, when she had told him that she did not know how to find Christ—“Come to Him just as you are,” said Dr. Malan—it is related that the hymn first appeared anonymously in The Yearly Remembrancer. Dr. C. S. Robinson, a noted clergyman, states: “Beginning thus its public history in the columns of an unpretending magazine, the little anonymous hymn, with its sweet counsel to troubled minds, found its way into scrapbooks, then into religious circles and chapel assemblies, and finally into the hymnals.”

A Paris publisher, Heugel & Co., is to bring out twelve minuets for small orchestra, by Beethoven, hitherto unknown. One of the original manuscripts, in Beethoven’s own writing, shows that they were composed in 1799, and were intended for the famous charity concerts given in the Redentenfaul, Vienna. These were never performed, as it would seem that Prince Lobkowitz engaged Beethoven to write some other works that were preferred. This (sic) they were forgotten and were never issued by the publishing house of Artaria, by whom they were finally, with other manuscripts, sold to the Royal Court Library, in Vienna. They were found by Chantavoine, a young French musical journalist, who was studying in Vienna. It is said that fifteen minuets by Mozart, which have never been published, belonging to a collector in Paris, are to be issued shortly.

There is to be another competition among American musical composers for the prizes yielded by the fund established by Mr. Paderewski several years ago. The income from the fund was distributed for the first time four years ago, the prize winners being Henry K. Hadley, Horatio W. Parker, and Arthur Bird. The conditions which governed the first competition will prevail again. There will be three prizes of $500 each for a composition for full orchestra, for a choral work with orchestra, with or without solo voices, and for a piece of chamber music for any combination of instruments. The competition is restricted to composers born in the United States of America. The board of judges will consist of B. J. Lang and Franz Kneisel, of Boston; Prof. J. K. Paine, of Harvard University, and H. E. Krehbiel and Walter Damrosch, of New York. Compositions must be in the hands of Otto Roth, Secretary, Boston, by July 1, 1905.

Prize Competition for American Composers.—The Chicago Madrigal Club, Mr. D. A. Clippinger, director, announces that the W. W. Kimball Co., Chicago, has placed in its hands $100, to be offered as a prize, to be known as “The W. W. Kimball Co. Prize,” for the best part song for the use of the club. The conditions follow:—

The setting must be for chorus of mixed voices, to be sung without accompaniment; hence should not contain solos.

The composer must attach to his composition a fictitious name and send with it a sealed envelope containing his real name and address, and bearing on the outside his fictitious name.

The composition will be judged according to rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic ideas, and their development, as well as fidelity to the meaning of the poem.

Parts may be doubled ad lib.

The competition is open to all composers residing in the United States.

The competition will close October 1st, 1905.

The award will be made November 1st, 1905.

The prize winner agrees that his composition shall not be published or sung in public until after it has been sung by the Chicago Madrigal Club, at its second concert of the season of 1905-6.

The composition winning the prize remains the property of the- composer.

All compositions will be returned to their authors after the award has been made.

The poem is selected by the Chicago Madrigal Club, and will be sent, with conditions of the competition, by addressing D. A. Clippinger, 410 Kimball Hall, Chicago, Ill.

 

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