The World of Music
All the necessary news of the musical world told concisely, pointedly and justly
There has been a successful convention of the music teachers of Ohio at Columbus.
A concert was given recently by the Young People's String Orchestra, of St. Louis, with great success.
Mr. Sol Marcos son, assisted by Mrs. Marcosson, recently gave an interesting concert at the Fortnightly Club, of Cleveland, Ohio.
A performance of "Bethany" has been successfully given by the Prospect Hill Baptist Church, Prospect Park, Pa., under the direction of C. W. Conklin.
An interesting series of concerts was given at the Northwest Music Teachers' Association, at Tacoma, Wash., in connection with the convention.
We have received an interesting list of programs of recital and commencement programs from the Norfolk branch of the Western Conservatory of Music.
The first to receive the degree of "Mus. Bac." at McGill University, Montreal, is a member of the fair sex. The degree has only recently been instituted.
A concert was given recently under the auspices of the Women's Auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A. at the Madison Club, New York, of which Mr. Henry Weston Smith is the conductor.
An account of a very fine musical festival at Grand Forks has reached us. We desire to congratulate both those who took part in and those who supported the movement with such enthusiasm.
"The Mikado" has been revived in New York with an "all-star" cast. It has apparently lost none of its old attractive force, even though the "all-star" cast is not altogether happily selected.
A very successful performance of excerpts from various operas, sung in English, has been given by the pupils of Mrs. N. J. Corey, at Detroit, from whom were selected both chorus and soloists.
Mr. Francis L. York has been kind enough to send us a copy of the program given at the graduating class of the Detroit Conservatory of Music. Very excellent work has evidently been done at this institution.
The State of Missouri has offered a prize of $1,000 for a Missouri State song, particulars of which may be obtained from Professor W. H. Pommer, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
The program of the thirteenth annual concert and commencement of the Sherwood Music School shows that there has been no falling off from the high standard maintained by this institution in the past. We congratulate the graduates on having secured a very excellent training.
We have received an account of the doings of the American Organ Players' Club, of Philadelphia. Thirteen recitals have been given during the past season, and, while attention has been given to the organ music of all nationalities, special efforts have been made on behalf of American composers.
A new musical society has been formed in New York to serve as an auxiliary of the New York City Association of Musicians. The officers elected include W. L. Bogart (president). Miss Amy Fay. Miss Kate Chittenden. Miss Fannie Hirsch, Mrs. Charles Wood, Messrs. Gustav L. Becker, L. A. Russell and Carl G. Schmidt. Many prominent teachers of New York have become members.
The Trinity University School of Music, of Texas, which is under the direction of Paul R. Utt, and which has been doing a notable work in the Southwest, has a plan of offering subscriptions to The Etude as inducements for particularly good work, and for the purpose of inducing graduates to continue their interest in music. The idea seems to be much appreciated by the students.
Norfolk has been the scene of a picturesque and wholly successful music festival. Among the visiting artists were Fritz Kreisler, Maud Powell and Coleridge-Taylor—who came over from England on purpose to conduct his "Hiawatha" and an orchestral work composed expressly for the occasion. The Litchfield County Choral Union, which was founded in 1899, was in excellent form, and the festival was a tremendous success.
At the Ohio Valley Exposition an American opera (both libretto and music) entitled "Paoletta" will be given, sung entirely by
American singers, both soloists and chorus. Pietro Floridia is the American composer, and Paul Jones the author. We also note that the cast includes an American-born dove! We trust this bird will prove an adequate substitute for the eagle as a national emblem on this auspicious occasion.
It is said that Mme. Schumann-Heink's receipts for last year amounted to $133,000, and it is estimated that her engagements for next season will even exceed those of the past. If this is the case it would seem that there is "money in music," after all, and good music at that. No one could possibly accuse Mme. Schumann-Heink of "pandering to the popular taste." She has a voice and she knows what to do with it, and gives the public the best she has got. Other singers please copy.
The newspapers have been having a good deal of fun out of the fact that the Russian Government has refused to admit Oscar Hammerstein into the land of the Czar on the score that he is a Jew. As a matter of fact, there is nothing funny in it at all. Everybody knows that Oscar is a very dangerous person. His plan, at the very least, must have been to throw a bomb at the St. Petersburg Opera House and knock the roof off, then to descend in an aeroplane and capture all the singers and to fly off with them to America, where he would alight gracefully, having secured all the Russian songbirds and evaded the American and Russian customhouses at one fell swoop!
The city of New York has at last definitely decided to give free concerts for the people all the year round. It is not yet decided how or where it shall be done, but it is comforting to know that something is going to be done. Various departments are interested —the Park Commissioner, the Comptroller, various educational authorities—they all feel that the matter concerns them; but no doubt the affair will be adjusted, and then one more step will be taken in helping forward the cause of music. There can be little doubt that the more people are given an opportunity to hear music the more they like it, and the greater the opportunity for the music teacher. Now the big cities are doing so much municipally to foster a taste for music, some of the smaller cities will also come forward with similar plans.
Loudon Charlton, the concert-manager, and Canon William Sheefe Chase, of Brooklyn, have been having an elaborate discussion as to the desirability of having Sunday concerts in Brooklyn. Naturally the dignitary of the church resents the encroachment of the business element into the matter. He is willing that concerts should be given provided that the public is not expected to pay for admission. Loudon Charlton not unnaturally answers that what is given to the public for nothing is usually valued at the same amount. There can be no doubt as to the genuine desire of the Philharmonic organization of Brooklyn to give the people what it believes they really need, for they have been systematically working at a loss, which has been borne by guarantors. The question is: Granted the undesirability of breaking the Sabbath, and granting the necessity for giving the public good music, are Sunday concerts permissible? Without entering into the discussion ourselves, it seems to us that, provided the concerts do not interefere (sic) with church services, many of those who loaf about the streets on Sundays because there is no opportunity for them to find any other amusement would be better employed listening to first-class music, even though a certain amount of "business" was entailed thereby.
Musical conventions given by the different organizations of the music teachers in various States have become more and more successful each year. The musical convention movement was founded in a large measure by the efforts of the publisher of this "paper, who organized the Music Teachers' Association many years ago. Few of the State conventions which have sprung from this national work are more enthusiastically attended than the New York Convention, the latest of which were given June 28, 29 and 30 at Syracuse. A large number of enthusiastic teachers were present, and many celebrated artists, among them Mr. David Bispham, took an active part. The surroundings were ideal, and the convention hall was a part of the extremely well-equipped Syracuse University. The best families of the city competed for the privilege of entertaining the teachers, and the whole event was most complimentary to the profession of music teaching.
The Metropolitan Opera Company has been having brilliant success in Paris—that most conservative of cities musical. It is curious to note that while the republic on this side of the Atlantic is willing to extend open arms to all and sundry whom Europe has to offer, frequently to the neglect of the domestic product, the republic to the south of Germany is very hard to convince that there is anything good in the world outside of Paris. In the meantime, affairs at home promise to be interesting so far as opera is concerned in the coming season. It seems possible that the Metropolitan is not going to have it all their own way, after all! That stormy petrel of the operatic world, Oscar Hammerstein, having sold his right to produce "grand" opera, is apparently setting to work to produce "opera comique," which is very like the same thing under another name. "Opera comique" can in no wise be translated as "comic opera," for it bears no relation to comic opera as we have come to understand it. The difference between "grand opera" and "opera comique" lies apparently in the interpolation of a little spoken dialogue. "Carmen" is classed as "opera comique" despite its tragic ending and atmosphere of passion. There are many works similar to this which are also classed as "opera comique." But Oscar Hammerstein is not the only Philistine who is going to trouble the Metropolitan elect. There is going to be a British invasion! Thomas Beecham is coming over to give a season of opera in English, much encouraged by the success of his efforts in this direction in London. He is backed also by a well-filled pocketbook and boundless energy. Anything which will encourage opera in English is to be welcomed. Mr. Beecham avows, however, that he "intends to give opera at moderate prices, not necessarily in English," so perhaps our raptures are a little previous. The interesting point for Etude readers, however, is that the more opportunity there is for the public to hear the best in music the more will they want to know something about music, and here is the music teachers' opportunity.
Vladimir de Pachmann is adding to his tremendous popularity in London.
The Royal Musical Institute, of Florence, Italy, has elected the American violinist, Albert Spaulding, an "Honorary Academician."
Captain Scott, the British explorer who hopes to reach the South Pole, is taking a piano with him.
Katharine Goodson, the English pianist who met with such favor in this country, has achieved a great success in Paris.
Lottie Collins, who danced that egregious song, "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay," into popularity, is dead. Fortunately her song died years ago.
Mme. Szumowska-Adamowski and her husband and family have sailed for Europe, where they will spend several weeks at the home of Paderewski.
Mariotte's opera, "Salome," which was written some years before Richard Strauss used the same libretto, has had its first Paris production. It was favorably received.
Arthur Nevin's opera, "Poia," which was such a fiasco, is to have another opportunity —in London this time. It is to be hoped that it will be more successful. Thomas Beecham has acquired the English rights.
Camille Saint-Saëns, who is 74 years old, has given three orchestral concerts in Paris devoted to Mozart's music. He is at work on an opera which will shortly be produced at the Paris Opera.
Thomas Beecham, who has been doing operatic wonders in London this year, has engaged Mignon Nevada, who has received training from her famous mother, Emma Nevada, to appear at the autumn season of grand opera in London.
Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony will be given its first performance at the Munich Exposition in September. The work calls for several soloists, a full chorus and a chorus of children. The musical world awaits the production of this "symphony" with great interest.
Dr. Richter, the veteran conductor, who has played such an important part in English musical life, has been ordered a complete rest. His successor as conductor of the historic Birmingham Festival will be HenryJ.Wood, an English conductor of exceptional ability.
An interesting attempt is being made in Vienna to introduce the Chinese nightingale into the public park. Thirty of the pretty green birds have been set free there already, and if these can live in the Viennese climate, and agree to remain in the park, many more will be imported.
Another American singer! Mary Carson has just made a successful operatic debut in Milan. She has been studying for some years in Italy, but it is worthy of note that the foundations of her study were laid in America before she went abroad. She studied at the New England Conservatory.
The government of Mexico has offered a prize of $5,000 to any musician who will compose a setting for chorus and soloists of a poem already selected. It is intended that the work shall celebrate the centennial of the foundation of the Mexican republic in a musically fitting manner. A gold medal and a "diploma" will also be awarded the lucky composer.
The great event in Vienna recently has been the celebration of the eightieth birthday of Carl Goldmark. Special concerts have been held in his honor, and he has been overloaded with gifts, wreaths, letters of congratulations and telegrams, many of which have come from America. As the composer of the Sakuntala overture he has endeared himself to many music lovers in this country.
Death has taken Jean Baptiste Weckerlin, the "dean of French composers, who passed away at Geubweiler, Alsace, where he was born eighty-nine years ago. He was the composer of a successful opera, and has written a number of songs. Weckerlin became librarian at the Conservatory of Paris in succession to Felicien David, and became interested in research work appertaining to the folk-songs of various countries.
A three-day festival in honor of Max Reger has been held in Dortmund, Germany. Max Reger is a composer whose name is not so well known in America as it is in Germany. His music is extremely complex and does not appeal to a popular audience. He is a kind of modern Bach, for his music is very contrapuntal in style, and he nearly always adopts the fugue as a means of working up a climax at the end of his compositions. The event proved to be a very great success.
Professor Scharwenka, whose contributions to The Etude have been of great interest to many of our readers, has resigned from the Klindworth Conservatory, in Berlin, in order to devote his time to concert work and to a school of piano playing which he intends founding. His resignation takes effect from October 1. He holds one of the most prominent positions in the musical educational world to-day, and we wish him every success in his new venture.
A festival devoted to Richard Strauss has been held in Munich, where the composer was born. The somewhat unusual step of erecting a tablet at the birthplace of a composer, during his lifetime, has been taken in Munich. The legend on the stone runs: "Hier wurde Richard Strauss am 11 Juni 1864 geboren" (Richard Strauss was born here on the 11th of June, 1864). It is not often that a composer is so honored in his lifetime, but Munich is very proud of her son, and the old saying that "No prophet is without honor save in his own country" is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. In spite of much talk to the contrary, there never was an age when people were more ready to acknowledge real worth in any branch of human endeavor. It may possibly be that Strauss is not all that his friends claim for him, but it is far better to honor him on the chance that he is a genius than to starve him for fear he isn't. He has certainly made a noise in the world !
The death is announced of Mili Alexeivitch Balakirew, the veteran Russian composer and critic. He was born in Nijni-Novgorod, 1836. After his preliminary training he became very interested in the national folk-music of Russia. On going to St. Petersburg he became an enthusiastic supporter of the work of Glinka, for which the Russian public had at that time little liking. It was the period when Bellini and Meyerbeer were the popular favorites of the day. Balakirew, however, threw himself with ardor into the musical missionary field, and in 1861 found himself at the head of a movement with a number of distinguished disciples, such as Cesar Cui, Moussorgski, Rimsky-Korsakoff. He founded the Free School of Music in St. Petersburg, and rendered great service to Russian music by giving symphony concerts of the works of the newer Russian school. His work has been enormously productive, for the Russian school of music of to-day is regarded by many musicians as of paramount importance.