World of Music
Puccini's new opera "La Rondine" scored a hit at its recent first performance at Monte Carlo.
Paterson, N. J., has been celebrating her fifteenth musical festival. Among the visiting artists was John McCormack.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra recently performed a new tone-poem by Frederic Converse entitled "Ave Atque Yale" (Hail, and Farewell).
Community music received a great impetus at a monster meeting held in the New York Hippodrome May 5th. The chorus of four thousand was led by the magnetic and popular Henry Barnhart. Arthur Farwell, Cabot Ward and John C. Freund addressed the meeting. Mr. Freund's address was a splendid oration, constantly interrupted with applause and followed by a storm of popular approval.
Mme. Gadski denies emphatically the report that a parody on the Lusitania was sung at her home, or that her husband made disrespectful remarks in regard to President Wilson. It is unfortunate that such a report should ever have been circulated about an artist who has done so very much for American music.
The Musicians' Club of Cincinnati has passed resolutions calling on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to perform one American composition on each of its programs.
Recent gifts have brought the endowment fund of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra up to $783,000.
Promethée, a new lyric tragedy by Fauré, will be staged at Paris shortly.
"Irlandaise," a new orchestral work by Henry Jacobsen, of Rochester, N. Y., has been performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at the Choral Festival at Geneva, N. Y.
Melba will appear in opera in Chicago next season.
"The Canterbury Pilgrims," by Reginald De Koven, is to be included again in the Metropolitan repertory next season.
Sir Henry Wood at a recent Queen's Hall concert devoted the entire program to the music of Richard Wagner, despite the war and war prejudices. At the end the orchestra played the Star Spangled Banner.
The Sixth Annual Dinner of the Philadelphia Music Teachers' Association was held at the Hotel Adelphia on May 22d. There were over three hundred and fifty guests and the quests of honor included Mrs. Edward MacDowell, Mr. Cyrus H. K. Curtis, Mr. Reginald deKoven, Dr. William Henry Furness, Mrs. Albert Ochsner, Mr. John Phillip Sousa, Mr. John Braun, Mr. Edward Bok, Miss Aline von Barentzen, Dr. A. Quinn, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Otis Skinner, Dr. Hugh A. Clarke, Mrs. Yorke Stevenson, Mr. John Howard Reber, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Witherspoon. The dinner was immensely successful in every way. The speeches were most inspiring and the whole occasion was one of real uplift in the highest sense of the word. The singing of Mr. John Braun and the pianoforte playing of Miss Aline von Barentzen was received with great and spontaneous applause. Mr. James Francis Cooke, Editor of The Etude, who has been president of this association for seven years, announced his resignation, owing to the increasing pressure of other undertakings. One significant fact was that in spite of an advance in the cost of reservations amounting to 15 per cent, over the dinner of last year there was an increased attendance of 40 per cent. As an indication of the prosperity of Philadelphia teachers it is interesting to note that 90 per cent. of the reservations were made by checks on the personal bank accounts of the diners.
The Musicians' Club of New York recently gave a banquet at Delmonico's in honor of Louise Homer and Sidney Homer. David Bispham was toastmaster.
Contributions to Mrs. MacDowell's Endowment Fund for the Peterborough colony aggregate over $10,000, the largest single
donation being by Mrs. Edward Bok, who gave $4,000. This work deserved the enthusiastic support of all Americans who realize the serious necessity for helping young artists.
Dubois' eightieth birthday was observed in New York by a festival performance of the composer's "Seven Last Words," under the direction of William C. Carl, Sunday evening, April 1st.
An order has been placed by Cyrus H. K. Curtis for a 200-stop organ, to be "the greatest in the world.'' It will be located in the auditorium of the Curtis Publishing Company building in Philadelphia.
The Society of American Singers has given Gounod's operatic version of Molière's Le Médécin Malgré Lui (The Physician in Spite of Himself) its first public rendering in this country. It is a sprightly comic opera in three acts, and created a highly pleasant impression.
At the recent meeting of the Iowa Music Teachers' Association, in Dubuque, the performance of a symphony by Edward B. Scheve, of Grinnell College, was a noteworthy feature.
Julian Edward's romantic comic opera "Brian Boru" was given in May by the Philadelphia Operatic Society, under direction of Wassili Leps. The performance was at the huge Metropolitan Opera House and this remarkable company again brought much deserved distinction to itself.
The Texas Federation of Music Clubs held its annual convention in Dallas, May 2d to 5th.
What we may expect in America: The British government has recently increased the war-tax on entertainment tickets. Expressed in American currency the tax on a 50-cent seat would be 12 cents, on a one-dollar seat 18 cents, and on a two-dollar seat 50 cents.
On April 30th Mascagni's new opera, "Lodoletta," was produced at the Constanzi Theatre at Rome, the composer conducting. Reports are that it was a success.
The Musical Times, of London (founded 1844) has, as a supplement to the May number, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory." An indication of the spirit prevailing in Great Britain toward things American.
Brooklyn has a new orchestral society, under direction of Herbert J. Braham.
Mme. Louise Homer sung "The Star Spangled Banner" at the unveiling of the Lafayette statue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, during the great public welcome to Marshal Joffre.
London is to enjoy a repertoire season of De Koven's operas next fall, under the management of Messrs. Shubert. The list will include "The Highwayman," "Robin Hood" and "Maid Marion," the plots of which are laid in Merry England, and which, strange to say, have never been heard there before.
The opening performances of opera comique by the "Society of American Singers," which embraces such well-known artists as David Bispham, Florence Easton, Kathleen Howard, Percy Hemus, George Hamlin, Lucy Gates and Albert Riess (the organizer), occurred at the Lyceum Theatre in New York, on Monday, May 7th, with Pergolesi's "La Serva Madonna" and Donizetti's "Il Campanello di Notte." The new venture proved very successful at the opening performances. Here is something which is new even to New York and should meet with much favor.
Edouard de Reszke, famous as a grand opera singer, died recently at his estate in Erietridod, Poland. He was born at Warsaw in 1855, and has sung with great success in Paris, Turin, Milan, London and New York. He is survived by his brother, Jean de Reszke, the noted tenor. In spite of wealth he is reported to have suffered many hardships at his home in Poland during the present war.
The Society of the Friends of Music, which has already done much splendid work for New York in a very munificent manner (such as the importation of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Chorus for the Mahler Symphony performances), introduced Ernest Bloch to music lovers in a concert composed entirely of the works of the gifted composer who has become the tone poet of the Jewish race. A large symphony orchestra, conducted by Arthur Bodanzky, played Bloch's Three Jewish Poems, his Hebrew Rhapsody (for 'cello and orchestra), his settings of the 113th, 114th and 22d Psalms (for voice and orchestra) and an unfinished symphony entitled "Israel." These make up what is known as the Jewish Cycle. The New York critics differed widely in their criticism, but all conceded that Bloch's work was sufficiently remarkable to entitle him to be considered as a master.
The thirty-ninth annual meeting of the Music Teachers' National Association will be held at New Orleans, December 27th, 28th, 29th. President J. Lawrence Erb is preparing a number of new features. The officers are as follows: J. Lawrence Erb, President; Leon R. Maxwell, Vice-President; Charles N. Boyd, Secretary and Editor; Waldo S. Pratt Treasurer; Executive Committee, the above officers, with William Benbow, Buffalo, N. Y.; Calvin B. Cady, New York City ; Miss Kate S. Chittenden, New York City; D. A. Clippinger, Chicago, Ill.; Karl W. Gehrkens, Oberlin, Ohio; Francis L. York. Detroit, Mich.; Counselors, Charles H. Farnsworth New York City; George C. Gow, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; Peter C. Lutkin, Evanston, Ill.; Hamilton C. Macdougall, Wellesley, Mass.; Waldo S. Pratt, Hartford, Conn.; Adolf Weidig, Chicago, Ill.
"A Midsummer Idyll," by Carl McKinley, Harvard, '17, had its first performance at a concert given by the New England Conservatory, George W. Chadwick conducting.
The Music Teachers' Association of California aroused much interest in its recent convention at Sacramento. The program was one of decided interest.
The Spartanburg (S. C.) Music Festival in May presented unusually interesting and attractive programs. The Converse College Choral Society and the New York Symphony Orchestra took part, assisted by several eminent soloists. The festival was directed by Edmond Morris.
Vive Le Canada Musical! It is highly interesting to learn that a musical paper published in the French language has now appeared upon this continent. Volume I, No. 1 of this new Journal, which is issued in Montreal by C. O. Lamontagne, has just been received at the office of The Etude. We wish it great prosperity and long life.
The American Guild of Organists is about to undertake the publication of a monthly magazine devoted to the interests of the organ profession. The first number is to appear next January. American organists are to be congratulated upon the dignity which this finely conducted organization has brought to their profession.
The city of Lockport, N. Y., is to have a great "American Musical Convention and Chautauqua," lasting seven days (September 30th to October 6th). Among the speakers who are scheduled to appear are Admiral Peary and Hon. Wm. Howard Taft.
A National Conference on Cummunity (sic) Music was held in New York on May 31st and June 1st. Among those who gave addresses or otherwise took part in the proceedings were Arthur Farwell, John C. Freund, Peter W. Dykema, Harry Barnhart, Claude Bragdon, Mrs. Edward MacDowell, Arthur Nevin, William J. McCoy and John Collier. Other prominent names associated with the movement include Cabot Ward, William G. Willcox, W. Kirkpatrick Brice, Anna H. Drayton, Mary Simkhovitch, Mrs. Frank B. Rowell and Franz Kneisel. This significant work is being finely sponsored by many important civic and musical bodies in all parts of the United States.
Lincoln, Nebraska, San Antonio, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn. are on the map for Community Music. At Lincoln, the past Yuletide, an open-air audience of 15,000 sang carols, and the University of Nebraska celebrated its first Christmas tree. In San Antonio the Christmas (1916) festivities were celebrated by a big military and musical demonstration, involving the bands of thirteen militia regiments, the San Antonio Orchestra, a chorus of 500 voices, and soloists. In Nashville groups of singers went about the city singing carols, and making collections for charities.
The next biennial convention of the National Federation of Musical Clubs will be held at Peterboro, N. H., the home of the late Edward MacDowell and now the home of the MacDowell Association.
Cleofonte Campanini, the Conductor of the Chicago Opera, plans the erection of a new opera house in New York to be opened in 1919.
Nikolai Sokoloff has been summoned to San Francisco to organize a new symphony orchestra. This will give the city of the "Golden Gate'' two large orchestras.
The performance of the Masque of the American Drama, given by the students at the University of Pennsylvania, was a distinguished artistic success in every way. The book by A. Twombly, the appropriate and beautiful music of Reginald De Koven, the very attractive and colorful costumes and scenery, as well as the excellent stage management of Lester Holland and Mr. Kearny, and the direction of a large symphony orchestra by Wassili Leps, all deserve the highest praise. The Masque itself is one of the most interesting and instructive works of its kind ever clone in America.
A dinner was given on May 22d to M. Ignace Paderewski by the New York City Section of the New York State Music Teachers' Association. The great Polish pianist has made many friends in all parts of the new world and the tribute of the New York teachers was naturally a great success in every way.
A music league has recently been formed in Philadelphia to effect a combination of different societies to give the city larger publicity in musical matters. The President of the League is Mr. Herbert J. Tily, the business manager of Strawbridge & Clothier's Department Store. Mr. Tily is an able choral director and organist and has the honorary degree of Mus. Doc. from Villa Nova College.
The Lindsborg, Kansas, Musical Festival this year was again a success of high character. The celebration lasted one week. Ysaye and Galli-Curci were among the soloists. The Messiah was given three times by the Bethany Oratorio Chorus.
Owing to the scarcity of bandsmen in England, it is not unusual to see a soldier tramping along ahead of a troop of soldiers with a talking machine strapped to his back playing a march tune.
Mr. Thomas a'Becket, the well-known Philadelphia musician, completed the fortieth year of his service as musical director at Girard College. The teachers and officers of the institution presented Mr. a'Becket with a bound collection of testimonial letters.
Boston possesses a very fine amateur orchestra, known as the MacDowell Orchestra. The organization is under the direction of Georges Longy. There are a large number of ladies in the orchestra.