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The World of Music

 At Home.

Mme Teresa Carreno will return to America after the close of her Australian tour, and intends living for a time at San Diego, where a very select artistic colony now exists.

Musical festivals are cropping up all over the country. This time Connersville, Ind., has been giving a festival, ably supported by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Edgar Stillman Kelley and others.

The officers of the American Guild of Organists for the coming year are: Warden, Frank Wright; sub-warden, William C. Carl; chaplain, Rev. W. M. Grosvenor, D.D.; secretary, S. Lewis Elmer; registrar, Gottfried H. Federlein; treasurer, C. Whitney Coombs; librarian, Albert R. Norton; auditors, Samuel A. Baldwin, Gerrit Smith; councillors (to serve for three years), Mark Andrews, John Hyatt Brewer, Clifford Demarest, Clarence Dickinson, Warren R. Hedden.

A contemporary journal reports the death of Benjamin Cutter, a well-known Boston musician and educator. He was a member of the Boston Symphony under Henschel and Gericke, and was a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music in the theoretical department.

A well-known figure in New York band circles has passed away in the person of Luciano G. Conterno. He came from France when a child, and was made bandmaster of the Old Guard in 1882. A year later he occupied a similar position in the Ninth Regiment, retiring in 1898.

Mr. Charles Dennis Mehan, of Carnegie Hall, recently gave a recital of songs composed exclusively by American composers. We trust that our patriotic readers will follow his example frequently.

A. M. Foerster has sent us a program of the excellent Schumann recital given by his pupils. It is to be hoped that our readers have not permitted this centennial season to pass without the proper observance of this event.

Busoni, Dr. Wüllner, Mme. Norelli and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, together with the capable local organization known as Houseley’s Festival Chorus, with 200 voices, gave Verdi’s Requiem at the highly successful musical festival in Denver.

The seventy-second session of Judson College, Marion, Ala., has recently closed. This institution has a famous school of music connected with it which has done much for the advancement of musical art in the South. There were several graduates this year.

Mme Marcella Sembrich has given over seventy concerts this season in America. She will start upon another short American tour next fall. In January she returns to Europe for another tour, beginning with a grand concert to be given by the Berlin Philharmonic.

The Etude is in receipt of a large number of excellent programs from the conservatory of music connected with the University of Wooster, Ohio, indicating the industry and activity of the able director of this institution, Mr. J. Lawrence Erb.

Miss Louise Friedel Thayer, assistant organist at St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Parish, New York, and a member of the American Guild of Organists, recently gave a program of organ works at the home of J. Warren Andrews, composed by her celebrated father, Dr. Eugene Thayer.

Arthur Nevin has returned from Berlin after the production of his opera Poia, and seems none the worse for having been “roasted” by the Berlin critics. On the contrary, he is determined to be revenged on them, and to this end is now writing another opera, called Twilight.

Alice in Wonderland, Continued, a new operetta by Rebecca Lane Hooper, and music by Mabel W. Daniels, was recently produced at the New Theatre, in New York. The work is a supposed continuation of Lewis Carroll’s wonderful nonsense books. It was apparently very successful, and the ladies who made it are to be congratulated.

Mr. and Mrs. William John Hall, of St. Louis, Mo., celebrated the centennial of Dr. Thomas Augustine Arne with a program of works by the famous English composer. Many of Dr. Arne’s songs have a very individual flavor and represent a kind of music which serves to afford much variety to modern concert programs.

Mr. Alvah Glover Salmon, the well-known pianist and authority on Russian music, has just closed a very successful season, playing under the auspices of large clubs, musical organizations and colleges. Next year Mr. Salmon’s schedule will include a number of important centers of the Middle West and upper Southern States. He will, in addition to his regular programs of standard Slavonic works, introduce many interesting novelties by Muscovite composers.

Harold Bauer has been giving concerts in London which have roused a great deal of enthusiasm. He is a sincere artist and thoroughly deserves his place among the foremost pianists of the day.

Dr. Hans Richter has retired from the position of conductor at Covent Garden Opera House, London, after many years of valuable service. He was one of the early pioneers of the Wagnerian movement, having been in close personal association with Richard Wagner.

 Despite the withdrawal of Oscar Hammerstein, the poor old Metropolitan Opera Company is not even yet to have peace. This time opposition emanates from London, where Mr. Thomas Beecham proposes to have an opera season in the fall. The recent death of King Edward, however, may interfere with this.

Ch. M. Loeffler’s Pagan Poem, for orchestra, piano, English horn and three obligato trumpets, will be performed for the first time in Zurich, with Rudolph Ganz as the soloist.

The annual meeting of the Oliver Ditson Society for the Relief of Needy Musicians was held on the 31st of last May at 233 Commonwealth avenue, Boston, and the following officers were elected: President, Arthur Foote: trustees, A. Parker Browne, G. W. Chadwick; clerk and treasurer, Charles F. Smith. There were many calls upon the fund during the past year, and it has been of great service in relieving cases of distress. The fund is the result of a bequest of the late Oliver Ditson, founder of the firm of Oliver Ditson & Co., who died in 1888. This fund is used for cases of great destitution of persons connected with the musical profession, but it is not intended to help in any educational purposes. Any of the officers mentioned above will be glad to be informed of cases of need where the persons are or have been musicians.

The great festival at Cincinnati proved exceptionally successful artistically and financially. The works performed included a new concert arrangement of Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, a new symphony by Frederick Stock, the conductor of the Thomas Orchestra, both conductors officiating in the production of these two works. Beethoven’s Missa Solennis in D major, Pierne’s The Children’s Crusade and Berlioz’s Trojans in Carthage were also performed. The presence of President Taft lent dignity, distinction and, we respectfully add, weight to the proceedings. He unveiled a bronze statue to Theodore Thomas, who did so much for the music of Cincinnati.

A Festival of Song was recently given in Easton, Pa., under the direction of the well-known composer, George B. Nevin; a chorus, a string quartet, voice soloists and piano and organ soloists participating. If you cannot give a great musical festival with a grand orchestra and eminent singers, why not follow Mr. Nevin’s excellent plan and give the less pretentious “Festival of Song?” Many of our musical festivals fail because too much is attempted. Better do what we can do well with the means at our hands than attempt the impossible.

The second musical festival of the Chicago North Shore Festival Association was held at the Northwestern University on the 1st, 2d and 4th of June. Peter Christian Lutkin was the musical director, and the Thomas Orchestra, under the direction of Frederick Stock, assisted. There was a festival chorus of 600 singers and a children’s chorus of 1,200 voices. The soloists included Mme. Schumann-Heink, Jane Osborn Hannah, Evan Williams, David Bispham and Allan Hinckley.

The new Puccini opera, The Maid of the Golden West, will have its first production at the Metropolitan Opera House next November. Then the Italian Caruso and the German Emmy Destinn will battle with the storms of the mountain heights of California in this musical setting of the most melodramatic of all melodramas. Americans forgave the many ludicrous instances of incongruity in Madame Butterfly because of Puccini’s interesting music. Perhaps it can swallow a Neapolitan cow-boy quite as easily.

Oscar Hammerstein has given out the figures paid to his constellation of stars during the past season. Here is a list of what sums were paid to various members of his forces. Tetrazzini, $1,500 a night; Garden, $1,400; Renaud, $1,000; Dalmores, $600; Cavalieri, $1,000 a week for three performances. The average weekly expenses amounted to $55,000, roughly speaking.

We again inform the readers of The Etude of the excellent “Home for Retired Music Teachers,” conducted in the city of Philadelphia. This home provides a haven for all music teachers who, after having spent a lifetime at the profession, feel the need of the rest and care-free from the necessity of continuing their professional labors. Everything possible is done to make these teachers feel comfortable and protected. The eleemosynary idea frequently associated with such institutions is entirely absent here. It is a home in the domestic sense and not in the institutional sense. The building is located in a desirable neighborhood, the furnishings are appropriate and the care of competent officers surrounds all those who enter. If you know of any lady teacher who deserves rest and protection of this sort, carefree for the remainder of her days, communicate with the secretary of the home at 236 South Third street. There are still a few vacancies left.

Abroad. 

Camille Saint-Saens is now engaged in writing a new four-act opera, to be called Deianira.

Again we learn that Leoncavallo is engaged upon a new opera, to be called Prometheus.

Germany witnessed more performances in the twelve months ending September last of The Dollar Princess than of any other opera, old or new. But is that an extraordinary fact? In the year named no fewer than 2,444 performances took place. Next in popularity stood D’Albert’s Tiefland, which was played 647 times! Not so bad for “grand opera,” is it? Richard Strauss Elektra received 105 representations and the same composer’s Salome 85.

Gustav Mahler was not satisfied with the orchestra he had to conduct at Rome. “They want me to conduct those bootblacks, those brigands,” he is reported as having said. “Never! I have never met such a set of undisciplined ignoramuses in my whole career, and I am going to leave. They may do what they like.” So Gustav Mahler shook the dust of the Eternal City from off his feet and fled—presumably to Vienna, where he is much beloved, as, indeed, he is everywhere, in spite of his uncertain temper.

A London paper has been fulminating on the paucity of state aid given by the English Government to music as compared with that given to painting. The Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music each receive $2,500 annually from the state, but this is overshadowed by the grant of $311,275 made to the art of painting. Music receives heavy subsidies in most of the European countries. England and America seem to be the only civilized countries which expect musicians to thrive without assistance from the government.

The following is from the Leipzig Signale: “In order to raise the interest in horse racing at the newly opened race track at Wiesbaden, the court theatre director has arranged to give special festival performances in honor of the opening.” Thus the residents of this delightful little German city, “the Paris of Germany,” may be treated to a steeplechase in the afternoon and Götterdamerung in the evening.

It is reported that Richard Strauss will visit the Oberammergau Passion Play this summer, with a view to composing a musical setting for the great festival drama. The music employed now is a mixture of various settings made from time to time by different local organists and teachers, and is said to be very inferior. The dimensions of this great religio-theatrical event demand no less genius than that of a Strauss.

An announcement has been made that The Snowman, a musical pantomime by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, will be produced at the Royal Grand Opera House in Vienna. This announcement is interesting only when we learn that the composer is now but eleven years old. He is considered the most astonishing instance of musical precocity as a composer since the time of Mozart. The Vienna Grand Opera ranks as one of the greatest of European opera houses, and only the works of the greatest masters of serious and light opera are ever given there.

Ellison Van Hoose, one of the very best of our American tenors, who has been singing for some time at the Mainzer Municipal Theatre (of which our American composer, Henry K. Hadley, was musical director for some time), has been selected as one of the leading tenors for the Beecham opera season in London this year. The famous Beecham Pills, which we are informed are “worth a guinea a box,” although they manage to sell them for a shilling, have made possible the Beecham Orchestra and the Beecham opera season in London, for the conductor is the son of the patent medicine manufacturer. The orchestra is said to be particularly fine. How fortunate it would be if the millions that Americans have poured into the coffers of patent medicine manufacturers could come back to us in the delicious form of music! Who knows? We may some day have a Peruna Opera Company, a Lydia Pinkham Conservatory or a Hood Sarsaparilla Glee Club!

The death of King Edward VII, which has plunged the British Empire into gloom, has called into notice once again the prominent part music takes when a great nation wishes to find voice for its sorrows or its joys, and the music used in connection with the funeral of the late monarch has well represented the feelings of the people. King Edward did not neglect music in his career either as Prince of Wales or as king. He headed the list of patrons of the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Choral Society and the Philharmonic Society. He frequently was to be seen in the royal box at Covent Garden, and his efforts on behalf of British composers and artists were by no means negligible. He witnessed all the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and was well aware of the difference between good music and bad. Queen Alexandra is a Doctor of Music, and Queen Mary is an accomplished amateur musician. King George has taken an active part in the musical affairs of the nation for time, and has shown keen interest in the Royal College of Music, of which he is both patron and president.

A volume recently published contains interesting data concerning the genealogy of the family of Richard Warmer. It traces the family from the year 1604. Martin Wagner (1604-1669) was of Freiberg, Saxony. Clergyman, schoolmaster, organist of a country parish, he is the type of the family until the nineteenth century. From father to son, the Immanuels, Samuel and Gottleibs follow each other in the narrow sphere of the existence of a poor “schulmeister.” Through the Thirty Years War and the Seven Years War they suffered the miseries of invasions, pillages and vexations which devastated the country. The Wagners followed this path, which eventually led them to the University of Leipsic. Theology, music and primary instruction had been their horizon for 200 years. In 1800 the father of Richard Wagner was Clerk of the Court in Dresden. In 1806 he was intrusted with the organization of the police after the Code Napoleon. After all this obscurity, after generations of patience and trial, Nature took her revenge. All this contention seemed to have slowly accumulated in young Richard, and was only waiting to burst forth in the turbulent, passionate, revolutionary genius. In turn, humanity feels itself to be influenced by the Wagnerian soul, by the utterance of that irresistible power that was preserved in silence and mediocrity for so long a time in the heart of Saxony.

The Clutsam Piano Keyboard, with its bowed arrangement of the keys, as distinguished from the straight keyboard, has been introduced in the Royal conservatories of Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, Hague, Munich and Stuttgardt. At the Schumann-Brahms Festival in Bonn the solo pianist, Ernst von  Dohnanyi, will use this keyboard exclusively. Let us hope that his new keyboard has real advantages and is not one of those thousand and one so-called “improvements” which come up now and then and disappear entirely from view in a few years.

 

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