World of Music
The Diapason, a new publication devoted to organ music and organ interests, has just commenced its career in Chicago.
New York Symphony patrons are complaining that they are hearing too much of Debussy's music.
Mr. William Harper, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, in Appleton, Wis., has taken the initiative in an effort to found a Music Teachers' Association for Wisconsin State.
Strauss' opera, "Electra," has been heard in New York for the first time, at the Manhattan opera house. It caused a great sensation.
An American - Indian band, under the direction of a conductor named Evans, will tour Europe during the coming summer.
Busoni achieved a tremendous success at his only New York recital, when the audience cheered until the lights went out.
Mr. and Mrs. John W. Nichols are booking a number of recitals through the South and Middle West for a spring tour.
Mr. Ralph Kinder has just completed his eleventh annual series of organ recitals at Holy Trinity Church, Philadelphia.
Leo Slezak, the Bohemian tenor, intends to become a citizen of the United States, and has already taken out his first papers.
Tina Lerner, one of the numerous band of Russian pianists who have achieved success within the last few years, made a great "hit" in St. Louis recently.
Reinhold von Warlich, who has achieved great success at some private engagements in America this year, has been engaged for an extensive tour next year.
Opera is an expensive hobby. The Metropolitan losses on the season are said to amount to nearly a million dollars. Hammerstein admits to about a quarter of a million so far.
A gentleman named Mr. Hohner has invented a new chromatic Harmonica upon which it is possible to produce half tones. A harmonica is a mouth organ, and one small boy can make a very effective weapon of it.
Massenet's opera, "Griselidis," which was produced at the Manhattan opera, did not prove an unqualified success, as it is somewhat dull in places. It contains, however, some passages of rare beauty.
Mme. Ternina, the dramatic soprano, who has been training young singers at the Institute of Musical Art in New York, will return to that institution next autumn.
In December Xaver Scharwenka gave the music-lovers of Berlin an opportunity to hear the greater part of his opera Mataswintha in concert form. This opera was performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1896.
Mrs. Henry J. Wood, the wife of the noted London orchestra conductor, is dead. She was well known in England as a singer, and was a Russian of noble birth.
In December Prof. Karl Halir, one of the most noted of European violinists, died in Berlin. Halir was a pupil of Joachim, and for many years played in the famous Joachim quartet. He was also at one time conductor of the court orchestra at Weimar.
Henry Holden Huss, of New York, was the winner of the prize of $100 offered by the Pittsburg Male Chorus for the best setting of Walt Whitman's poem, "Oh, Captain! My Captain!"
Mischa Elman, the well-known violin virtuoso, has just celebrated his nineteenth birthday. He is one of the few musicians of the' day who have survived "prodigism," if one may be permitted to invent a word for it.
Mr. George Chadwick, the distinguished director of the Boston Conservatory of Music, recently conducted one of his own works, performed by the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in Chicago. The work was very pleasing and achieved great success.
Stokovski, the conductor of the new Cincinnati orchestra, has got fine results from his men, and musicians of that city are very pleased with the work already accomplished. The members of the orchestra were recently entertained by the Cincinnati Musicians' Club.
Germania, Franchetti's lyric drama, scored quite a success at the Metropolitan Opera House at its first production. Toscanini was the conductor, while Caruso, Emmy Destinn and Amato were the bright particular stars of the occasion.
The most popular bust on sale at the present time is said to be that of Chopin. Beethoven had first place at one time, and Wagner is well patronized. Mendelssohn, Rubinstein and von Buelow fall below Franz Liszt. The fact of 1909 being generally accepted as the centenary of Chopin's birth accounts for his present popularity as a mural decoration.
Mr. Rudolph Ganz, the well-known pianist who toured America a few years ago, has aroused the Berlin critics to high words of appreciation by playing compositions by lesser-known composers. When will other pianists remember that audiences go to concerts to gratify their ears and not their eyes?
Mr. O. G. Sonneck, in a recent contribution to the New Music Review, declared that the music department of the Library of Congress in Washington is one of the best equipped in the world. As head of the department he shows that the great library contains many of the rarest existing musical books and scores, all of which are within easy reach of music students. Many of the rarer works are loaned to the smaller libraries, though this is not done in the case of books which ought to be found in all libraries possessing a music department.
The Executive Committee of the Music Teachers' National Association, in which is vested the power to elect the officers of the Association, announces the result of its recent ballot by letter following the Evanston meeting as follows: Officers of the Association for 1910: President. Rossetter G. Cole (reëlected); Vice-President. Prof. Leo R. Lewis; Secretary, Francis L. York: Treasurer, Ralph L. Baldwin: Editor. Prof. Waldo S. Pratt. It was also voted to hold the next meeting at Boston, Mass., on December 28-30, 1910.
Mr. Otto Ebel's book, entitled Woman's Work in Music, has been translated into French and is said to have considerable sale abroad. It is a little book of decided value to all women interested in music.
Sharps and Flats is the name of a new magazine, published by the students of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Conservatory magazines are by no means new, but this particular magazine seems exceptionally excellent, not only in appearance but in contents as well. It is forty pages in length and the matter is presented in a very attractive manner. The Etude extends its heartiest compliments to the students of this enterprising musical institution, and to Miss Clara Baur, the talented directress, to whose genius the present excellent standing of the conservatory is largely due.
Mr. Robert Braine, who has conducted the violin department of The Etude for some years, has a very talented son. Robert Braine, Jr., who has just made his début in Columbus, Ohio. The boy is only thirteen years of age. and has attracted much very favorable attention.At the concert mentioned he played the Rubinstein Tarantelle and the Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, and created great enthusiasm. The audience numbered 2,000 people.
Professor Samuel S. Sanford, whose death has recently been announced, forms a notable instance of the fact that inherited wealth can actually be a bar to great success. He was born at Bridgeport, 1849, and was the son of a former president of the Adams Express Co. From his father he inherited great wealth, and consequent responsibility. He was most extraordinarily gifted as a musician. Paderewski declared him to be the most musically gifted person he knew, and Rubinstein stated that "if he had faced the bread and butter struggle, he would have been one of the greatest artists of the century." He was appointed Professor of Music Practice at Yale. 1894, in the same year that Dr. Horatio W. Parker was appointed Professor of Music Theory at the same university. Prof. Sanford was well known to the most distinguished musicians in this country and in Europe. He was better known as a pianist and master of technic than as a composer, and was a master of all styles and follower of none. He studied under many teachers, among them being Plaidy, of Paris, and Dr. Mason, Karl Klingmann, and others. Not being obliged to earn a living, however, he never quite achieved the position in the modern musical world to which his great ability entitled him. Those readers of The Etude who are not millionaires will find much food for thought in this.
Ernest Schelling, the American pianist, is having great success in London.
Twenty-four autograph letters of Beethoven were recently sold in London by auction for $3,300, to the Musikhist Museum of Cologne.
Queen Elizabeth of Belgium is a good violinist, and gives her eldest son lessons on her favorite instrument.
Xaver Scharwenka has just celebrated his sixtieth birthday.
The new opera by Saint-Saëns is called a Serenade.
The American tenor, Ellison Van Hoose, so well known in this country as an oratorio singer, is making a great success in the Mainz (Mayence) opera house as the leading tenor.
It is reported that a New York girl named Elsa Greggory has just completed an opera which has been purchased by Sonzogno, of Milan, who promises a speedy production.
Mr. Albert Spaulding, the American violinist, has been meeting with unusual success in concerts given in Italy and in Russia.
While European artists are being welcomed in the United States, American singers are not without honor in Europe. Mr. Vernon Stiles, an American tenor, scored a great success as Romeo in Gounod's opera at Vienna recently.
An American writer in Milan has remarked on the poverty of resources of La "Scala opera house. Early in January there had been eight operatic performances, but only two operas produced. Imagine that at the Metropolitan!
How do music critics in Berlin retain their sanity? There are 200 concerts a week given in that city during the music season. Matters would surely be easier for them if many of the less important of these concerts were given at the same time in the same hall!
Musical journalism is extending in its scope. The latest addition to its ranks is a journal entitled Musical Gossip, which is published in Bombay. It appears to consist chiefly of reprint from other papers. It may interest our readers to know that The Etude has readers in that far-distant land.
Mr. William H. Gardner, the well- known American writer of words for music, has been elected a member of the "Authors' Club," London, in consequence of his collaboration with Sir Alexander C. MacKenzie, the composer and director of The Royal Academy of Music, London.
Angelo Neumann, who has recently been appointed as director of the new Berlin opera house, paid a fine tribute to American enterprise when he declared that it is his intention to rival the New York opera, and to make his opera house the finest in the world. He is seventy-five years old. The building of this new opera house is to cost $3,000,000.
A report in the Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung states that Humperdinck's fairy opera, Hansel and Gretel, was given last November in Shanghai, China, under the direction of Rudolph Buck, with great success. In fact, the report states that several additional performances were necessary. Strange as this may seem to those who have not looked for such musical development in the celestial empire, it should be remembered that in Shanghai there is a large foreign settlement, and that these residents have practically all of the conveniences of modern European and American life.
In a recent speech in Aberdeen Scotland, Sir Edward Elgar remarked that "The time is coming when all towns must be able to give the people the good music they want. Under existing circumstances it too often is a matter of very special enterprise to get up a well-equipped performance of a large work. This should not be; large halls are necessary, and sooner or later municipal aid is bound to be given.'' His remarks would seem to apply as much to this country as to Great Britain. It is a noticeable fact that music has thriven most in countries which have municipally subsidized music in some form or other.