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The World of Music

M. Camille Decreus has succeeded to the position of Director of the Franco-American School of Music at Fontainebleau, which was left vacant by the resignation of Max d’Ollone. M. Decreus has been assistant to Philipp on the faculty of the school and is not unknown to Americans, having been on this continent several times as accompanist and coach.

Giacomo Puccini is reported to have entered suit against the Ricordi firm of music publishers, for an alleged affront to his dignity and artistic personality, resulting from the publication of a fox trot including a theme from “Madama Butterfly.”

“Music’s Influence Upon the Nation” was the topic for special discussion on Patriotism Day, November 20, 1923, included in the American Education Week program arranged by the United States Bureau of Education in conjunction with the National Education Association and the American Legion. Music was given a prominent place in all the meetings,

The Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, one of the most celebrated of such organizations of Europe, will soon celebrate its thirty-fifth anniversary. Seven of its original members still retain their places.

“Siegfried’s Death March” from Gotterdämmerung” and the “Eroica Symphony” were the leading features of a Memorial Concert given at Queen’s Hall, London, as a tribute to the late Bonar Law, under the baton of England’s eminent conductor, Sir Henry J. Wood.

Victor Maurel, probably the greatest baritone of the last generation, passed away, October 22, at his New York home. Born in Marseilles, June 17, 1848, he became world famous, not only as one of the most finished of singers but also for his histrionic truthfulness in the interpretation of his rôles. He was the creator of both Iago and Falstaff in Verdi’s “Otello” and “Falstaff.”

Montevideo, Uraguay, has lately closed a musical season quite as interesting as those of other art centers of the world. With Marinuzzi conducting a repertoire of standard operas interpreted by such artists as Raisa, Fleta and Journet; and with Richard Strauss leading the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna; certainly our trans-equatorial neighbors have little left to be desired for their tonal repast.

The Wagnerian Opera Company recently started from Berlin and in twelve days gave its first performance in Washington, D. C., the curtain rising but five minutes after the scheduled time.

With Leopold Auer, Otakar Sevcik and Cesar Thompson, the three leading violin teachers of the world, all actively at work in the United States, the students of this instrument have no good reason for engaging passage for Europe.

William King, one of the pioneer organ builders of America, died at his home in Chicago, October 1, 1928, at the age of 87. Mr. King was of Scotch-Irish descent and emigrated to this country when a boy. He was the builder of many fine instruments in New York, Philadelphia and other large cities.

Marcel Dupre finished on October 20, a series of ten recitals in the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, at Montreal. Canada, in which for the third time he has interpreted for the public the entire organ works of Bach.

Mme. Sigrid Onegin has been awarded recently the gold medal of Vasa, by the King of Sweden. This is a distinction not usually conferred upon a woman artist, being generally reserved as a reward for some distinctive service to the fatherland.

A $2,000 Fellowship in Musical Composition is offered by the American Academy in Rome, in its fourth competition which closes April 1, 1924. The offer is open to unmarried male composers who are citizens of the United States. Particulars from Roscoe Guernsey, Executive Secretary, American Academy of Rome, 101 Park Avenue, New York.

Mattia Battistini has said farewell to the stage at the Stockholm Royal Opera House. The “golden-voiced” Italian baritone made his last appearance as Scarpia in Puccini’s “La Tosca.” There was tremendous enthusiasm by a crowded house, which included many members of the Royal Family.

Feodor Chaliapin will tour, next season, at the head of his own company, presenting an evening of three complete acts from operas with which he is particularly associated.

Eugen d’Albert’s “Die Toten Augen” and Kienzl’s “Der Evangelimann” had their American premiere on November 1 during the first week of the Wagnerian Opera Company at the Great Northern Theater in New York.

Musical Programs on Transcontinental Trains for the entertainment of passengers is a plan proposed by several leading railroads of the United States.

Richard Strauss latest work is a Dance Suite for Orchestra, which is to have its first performance, under the baton of Fritz Busch, at a concert of the Dresden State Orchestra this winter.

A Bellini Museum is planned by admirers of the great medolist (sic) who have started a movement to purchase his birthplace at Cadania, Sicily, for this purpose.

George E. Whiting, composer, teacher and conductor, of international reputation, died on October 14, in his eighty-second year, at the home of his daughter, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

The National Musical Managers’ Association, the Authors’ League of America, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, all are working towards the end of securing from radio broadcasting stations a proper remuneration for their personal services in rendering programs and for the use of their works.

Granville Bantock and Plunket Greene, eminent as composer and basso, respectively, have returned to England after a five months’ tour of Canada, during which they adjudicated at several musical festivals, notably the one at Winnipeg.

“L’Amico Fritz,” after an absence of nearly thirty years from New York, was revived at the Metropolitan Opera House on November 15 last.

At the 18th Annual Band Festival, which took place at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham (London) in October, one hundred and forty-five bands from all parts of England and Wales were in the lists. The Thousand Guinea Challenge Trophy was awarded to the Luton Red Cross Band.

The Entire Collection of Musical Manuscripts formerly in Buckingham Palace, have been presented by King George to the British Museum. It includes a large part of the compositions of Handel, many by Purcell, Scarlatti and most of the prominent composers of the sixteenth century. Among modern works is the score of Gounod’s “Redemption,” which the composer presented to Queen Victoria.

Enrico Caruso’s Estate received from the Victor Talking Machine Company the sum of $585,727, as royalties on his records for the years 1921 and 1922.

Felix Fourdrain, well-known operatic composer, and more especially of those in lighter vein, died October 24, at Paris. His opera “La Griffe” was in preparation for its recent premiere after waiting eight years.

“Die Meistersinger” was revived at the Metropolitan Opera House, in New York, on November 9, after having been absent from that stage for six years.

Georg Schumann, the eminent European composer and conductor, will spend the coming summer season in America. While here he will conduct some of his own compositions at the North Shore Festival, Evanston, Illinois.

A New Bandstand on the Mall has been presented to Central Park, New York, by Mr. Elkan Naumburg, at an estimated cost of $100,000. It is to be used for free summer concerts.

Grand Opera While You Eat is provided by the enterprising manager of the Lyons Corner House, a leading London restaurant. Members of the Carl Rosa Opera Company give tabloid versions of the standard operatic repertoire.

The Centenary of the Birth of Smetana, the great Czech composer, is to be celebrated by a gala performance at the Vienna Opera on March 2.

Albert W. Borst, well known as a composer and church organist, died at his home in Philadelphia, October 31, 1923. Mr. Borst was born in Liverpool, but migrated to the United States in 1886. Mme. Louise Homer’s first solo position was with this choir when he was organist of the Northminster Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia.

Her Valuable Collection of Musical Instruments has been given by Mrs. Adrian Hoffman Joline to Barnard College Among the instruments are many highly prized for their historical associations, some dating back to the fifteenth century, and others are of great value because ornamented with designs or paintings by the old masters. The evolution of both, the piano and violin are well represented in the group.

Mitja Nikisch won the approval of both critics and public in his recent New York debut. Thus it would seem that the son may duplicate the achievements of an illustrious father who was so prominent a figure in American musical art.

Lieut. Comm. John Philip Sousa had the honorary degree of Doctor of Music conferred upon him by Marquette University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 16, 1923. The formalities took place at a student-faculty convocation. The “March King” became leader of a band at the age of seventeen, and he has been at the head of the present Sousa Band since 1892. France, Belgium and England are among the countries in which he has been honored with decorations.

The Society for the Publication of American Music will receive original compositions of American citizens for consideration by its Advisory Board for recommendation for publication in its sixth season, 1924-1925, not later than October 15, 1924. Particulars from William Burnet Tuthill, Secretary, 185 Madison Avenue, New York.

Mme. Galli-Curci has announced that at the close of the present season she will discontinue her connection with the Chicago Civic Opera Company.

Josef Stransky has retired from conductorship of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, after a service of fifteen years. As a mark of appreciation of his work the management voted him an honorarium of fifteen thousand dollars.

Eben E. Rexford, author of the verses of “Silver Threads Among the Gold,” will have a tablet to his memory erected by the residents of Johnsburg, New York. The movement was started at a recent reunion of the natives of Johnsburg of which Mr. Rexford was a favorite son.

Herman Devries, the eminent vocal coach and music critic of Chicago, has been made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French Government, in recognition of his services in behalf of French music. The recognition is all the more notable since Mr. Devries has no French ancestry but was born in New York of Dutch parents.

The Juilliard Foundation Scholarship of Harvard University has been awarded to W. H. Piston, Jr. of Boston and W. T. Ames of Cambridge, the two to share it jointly.

Gatty Sellars, who has given more than twenty-five hundred recitals in America, has been appointed Organist and Musical Director of the Kingsway Hall of London, one of the most desirable positions Britain has to offer to the recital organist.

Eulah Cornor, a pupil of Giacinto Gorno of Cincinnati, has won the One-Thousand-Dollar Alfred Snydaker Prize in Chicago.

The Ballad Concert, so long a national institution of England, is reported to be much on the wane in popularity.

The Flonzaley Quartet has finished twenty years of its artistic endeavors. No similar organization has sustained a more consistently high plane of work; and in all these years but one change has been made in its personnel.

The One Hundredth Anniversary of Smetana’s Birth will be celebrated at the Opera of Vienna, March 2, 1924.

A Drive for a Half Million Dollars was started in St. Louis on October 29th, this fund to be used to insure deficits for the next three years in the maintaining of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, of which Rudolph Ganz is conductor.

“Hassan the Dreamer,” by M. W. Kneizl, the well-known composer of “l’Evan-gelimann,” has been performed at the Volksoper of Vienna.

The Original French Manuscript of Verdi’s “Ernani” has been seized at the offices of L’Opera of Paris. It is reported that the police acted by order of the French courts, as a result of the long-standing legal dispute prosecuted by the heirs of Victor Hugo, whose drama “Hernani” is the basis of the libretto used by Verdi. The case was begun by Hugo while in exile in the Jersey Islands, in 1863, and has never been definitely decided.

Maud Powell’s Library of Music has been given to the Public Library of Detroit. It includes a most complete collection of violin works, many of which bear annotations in Miss Powell’s own handwriting. In the collection are many pieces so rare that Miss Powell often loaned them to others who were unable to secure copies elsewhere.

Prohibition of American “Jazz” on the programs of public orchestras in Italy is being asked of the Italian Government in petitions carrying great lists of names, according to reports from Paris. Apparently the Italians are not attracted to this type of music.

Free Passes for Concerts have been abolished by the Musical Managers’ Association of New York, with fines of $250 to $500 for infractions of the agreement.

An “Author’s Copy” of “Dixie” has been presented to Cornell University of Ithaca, New York, by Charles W. Curtis, of Rochester, alumnus of the class of 1888. The original copy was stolen from the composer and this one made later.

The Study of the Orchestral Instruments has been incorporated in the course of music offered in the public schools of Washington, D. C.

Wartburg Castle, near Eisenach, interesting to musicians through its association with certain scenes in Wagner’s “Tannhauser” and Liszt’s “St. Elizabeth,” and more than a thousand years old, has been closed to tourists because of financial difficulties.

The 2,000th Program of the Free Organ Recitals of the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh was passed during the present season. Of those 451 were given by Frederick Archer, 170 by Edwin II. Lemare, 195 by guest performers, and 1213 by Charles Heinroth, the present official organist.

The Cross of “Cavaliere Ufficiale di San Mauritzio e Lezzsiro” has been conferred upon Giulio Gatti-Casazza by the King of Italy. This leaves but one Italian “din tinction” for Gatti-Casazza to win, the “Collare di Annunziata,” after which he will be “cousin of the King himself.”

Frederick Stock, conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, by the gracious consent of its board of directors, has accepted an invitation to conduct performances of Wagner’s “Siegfried” when that opera is given at the Auditorium this season by the Chicago Civic Opera Company.

 

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