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Musical Items

Caruso, the tenor, has bought a summer villa at Lake Como.

Sibelius, the Finnish composer, has written a great symphonic poem, based on material from national songs.

The Opera season at the Manhattan Opera House, the new musical center of New York City, will begin Nov. 19.

Lyric Tenors seem to be growing scarce. Such is the testimony of the examining board of the Paris Conservatoire.

“Give thy thoughts no tongue; give the music thine ear,” was the injunction printed on a program for a recital at a private house.

The Mikado is to reform the court music. Works by Mozart, Schumann, Gounod and other classic writers will be used on programs.

The Largest double bass ever made was finished a short time ago by the Markneukirchen factory in Germany. It is about 14 feet high.

A German paper says that Alfred Reisenauer has opened a school for piano players in Leipzig, to which he will devote nearly all his time.

Julius Stockhausen, the famous German singing master, celebrated his eightieth birthday in July. He is still engaged in professional work.

Mr. Joseph Bennett, the veteran English musical critic and litterateur has retired from active professional work. He is seventy-five years old.

Don Lorenzo Perosi, the Italian priest-composer is interested in a scheme to establish a school of singing to foster the pure Gregorian style of church music.

A “Matthäus Passion” manuscript, which critics assign to the end of the sixteenth century, has been found in the library of the town church at Wittenberg, Germany.

Bar Harbor, Me., has a new concert hall, built at an expense of $50,000. This section of the Maine coast is a favorite with musicians of prominence from Boston and New York.

The Warsaw Philharmonic Society has received a legacy of $1,000,000 from a Polish music lover. This is an endowment larger than any orchestra in the world has at its disposal.

Among the advertisements in an English musical paper is one for musician attendants who play the clarinet, for service at an insane asylum. The call should rather have been for oboe players.

The Russian Government in Poland has appointed a musical censor, who is to pass on all music to be published to see that it does not contain certain tunes identified with revolutionary movements.

The last Sheffield, (Eng.) Musical Festival had a surplus of $2,000. Our American festivals should note this. It is rarely that the English festival associations are compelled to face a deficit.

San Francisco subscribers to the Metropolitan Opera Company performances, which were interrupted by the earthquake, have received about $100,000 from Manager Conried, who has redeemed unused tickets.

The Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra, Emil Paur, conductor, will give three concerts at Buffalo next season. The Mendelssohn Choir, of Toronto, A. S. Vogt, conductor, will assist in one of the concerts.

Gustave Concade, an Indianapolis composer, is desirous of hearing from someone who can furnish the libretto for an opera similar to “Carmen” or “Faust.” He can be addressed care Nordyke & Marmon Co.

The Gamut Club, of Los Angeles, formed in 1904, has permanent quarters in a building which they have purchased and fitted as a musical center. It contains a small theatre, a recital hall and a number of studios.

The boy sopranos of the famous Cathedral Choir of Berlin assisted in the recent performances of “Parsifal” at Bayreuth. The fresh, unsexual character of their voices contributed greatly to the effectiveness in the “Grail” scenes.

An English choral organization visited Germany last month and gave concerts at several cities. There were 150 singers from each of the two cities, Leeds and Sheffield. Elgar’s “Dream of Gerontius” was among the large choral works on the program.

Felix Dreyshock, well-known as pianist and composer, died at Berlin, August 1, aged forty-five years. He was educated at the Leipzig Conservatory. At the time of his death he was a member of the faculty of the Stern Conservatory of Music, at Berlin.

Recent news from Berlin leads to the belief that Prof. Wirth, the noted violinist and member of the Joachim Quartet, will not lose his sight, as the operation performed some time ago, though severe, seems to be successful.

Ferencz Hegedüs, the Hungarian violinist, who is to play in this country this season, has his fine Joseph Guarnerius violin insured at Lloyds (London), for $25,000. This includes the time of his trip to the United States.

Manager Conried has sent word to New York that he has completed arrangements with Richard Strauss for the production of “Salome” at the Metropolitan Opera House next winter. The title role will be sung by Olive Fremstad. Ernest von Schuch, of Dresden, will be in charge of the opera.

A Critic in an English paper, commenting upon the programs to be given next season by the leading orchestras, calls attention to the fact that the titles of new orchestral works are drifting away from symphonies. Rhapsodies, music poems, symphonic poems, tableaux musicales, symphonic triptyches, etc., are most in favor with composers of the modern school.

The New York Evening Post, in a recent issue, says, “Harmonic innovation is an empty thing, unless associated with melodic originality, and there are few, save perhaps the admirers of D’Indy or Richard Strauss, who will gainsay this. Name the great composers of the last hundred years and you will name those whose music contains more melody than harmonies.”

Mozart’s violin, it is claimed, has been found in the possession of an Austrian schoolmaster. Documentary evidence is offered to establish the authenticity of the claim. The claim is as follows: Mozart’s sister, Maria, sold the instrument to a government official named Tressel; he sold it, with other musical effects, to the father of the present owner. It is patterned after the Amati model, and bears a Steiner label.

A Trade paper gives some interesting items in regard to the printing of music by lithographic process. When first introduced the music was written by hand on a prepared paper, then transferred to the stone and printed by hand, 200 copies a day being about the output of one workman. An improved modern press can print about 1,000 an hour. The music is no longer written out by hand, but a plate is stamped with tools or dies and the impression transferred to the lithographic stone.

At the Egypt Exploration Fund’s exhibition, at King’s College, London, there is shown among the recent finds of Drs. Grenfell and Hunt a papyrus containing a considerable extract from a discourse on music and morals. The author (probably Hippias) takes pains to combat the notion that the different kinds of music have an effect on the morals, and says that the Ætolians and others who use the diatonic system are much braver than the tragedians who practice the unharmonic melody, which is supposed to give courage.

Scientists are at work to devise a substitute for ivory, the supply of which is rapidly decreasing. A writer in a London paper tells of a process by which milk is submitted to chemical action by means of which the casein is precipitated as a yellowish brown powder. This is mixed with formalin, producing a horn-like product called milkstone. With various admixtures this substance forms a substitute for ivory, celluloid, marble, hard rubber and amber. It is smooth to the touch, keeps color well and is proof against fire. Several American firms are marketing substitutes for ivory.

The Worcester, (Mass.) Music Festival is to be given Oct. 2-5. The conductors will be Wallace Goodrich and Franz Kneisel, and sixty members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra will form the instrumental forces. Brahms’ “Song of Destiny,” Verdi’s “Requiem” and Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” will be the principal choral works. The soloists are: Mlle. Elizabeth Parkina, Mrs. M. C. Rabold and Miss Louise Ormsby, sopranos; Mme. Louise Homer, Mme. Isabelle Bouton and Miss Grace Munson, contraltos; Paul Dufault and Dan Beddoe, tenors; Emilio de Gogorza and Frederic Martin, bassos.

Mr. Edward Zerdahelyi, who died at Philadelphia in August, aged eighty-four years, was an interesting figure in musical affairs. He was a Hungarian by birth and a member of a prominent family. When the rebellion broke out in 1848 he and his father joined the patriot cause and lost all their property, which was confiscated by the Austrian Government. In 1861 he came to this country and won distinction as a pianist. For the past thirty years he lived in Philadelphia, teaching at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Torresdale. He was a warm friend of Liszt, who dedicated to him the “First Hungarian Rhapsody.”

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