The World of Music
Etude Magazine. May, 1914
All the necessary news of the musical world told concisely, pointedly and justly
The contract of Gatti Casazza as manager of the New York Metropolitan has been renewed for three years dating from 1915.
A performance of the Elijah was recently given at the New York Hippodrome by the New York Festival Chorus under the direction of Tali Esen Morgan. The chorus consisted of 1,000 voices.
The funeral recently took place in Pater- son, N. J., of Mrs. Maria Ammarano. She was the sister of Caruso's mother, and was a great favorite with the distinguished tenor, who was one of the mourners.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Dr. Ernst Kunwald recently paid a visit to Cleveland with Harold Bauer as soloist. There was great enthusiasm displayed at the concert.
Performances of Peer Gynt have been given at the Royal Theater, Berlin, and in honor of the event Mme. Grieg, the widow of the composer, was invited to attend. She was also the guest of the Kaiser during her visit.
Katharine Kulp Hall, a brilliant musician and a woman of highest ideals, died at St. Louis on March 8th last. For many years she was associated with her husband, William J. Hall, in his work as a singer, teacher and organist.
A vaudeville entertainment was given recently by the Benificent Society of the New England Conservatory of Music in aid of the society. The purpose of the society is to assist needy and deserving students of the conservatory.
At a concert given by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in honor of Washington's birthday a performance was given of E. R. Kroeger's Lalla Rookh suite. This suite has been played by many of the leading orchestras and is steadily gaining in popularity.
B. M. MacDowell, an able teacher of over 42 years experience, died Thursday, March 5th, at his home in Columbus, Ohio. He was a pupil of Eugene Thayer, the noted organist. His son, J. B. Francis MacDowell. is a successful teacher and organist of Columbus.
It is reported that a verdict in favor of Oscar Hammerstein for $25,000 and an additional penalty of $5,000 was ordered in the Supreme Court of New York in the impresario's suit for breach of contract against Florencio Constantino, the tenor.
An unidentified lady of wealth who lives on Staten Island recently offered a prize of $5,000 to be spent on a vocal training by any American girl who could pass a test provided by Ellison van Hoose. There were two hundred and fifty competitors and the prize was won by Almo Dwinell, of New Brighton, Staten Island.
During a recent Philharmonic concert at Carnegie Hall, says The New Music Review, a performance of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables with moving pictures and organ accompaniment was being given in the Carnegie Lyceum. An usher, stationed at the entrance, announced in stentorian tones, "Philharmonics upstairs, the less miserables downstairs !"
There is a rumor abroad that Andreas Dippel will be associated with the Century Opera Company in a plan to provide a chain or opera houses through the leading cities of America. Dippel, it will be remembered, was for a time a co-manager with Gatti-Casazza at the Metropolitan, and also manager of the Philadelphia-Chicago Opera Company.
The Century production in English of d'Albert's Tiefland proved interesting, though the critics do not seem to think the work will gain popularity in this country. It will be remembered that the work was first heard at the Metropolitan in 1908. and even at that time the New Yorkers evinced no great interest in it. Tiefland, however, is exceedingly popular in Germany.
A concert for the benefit of the Music School Settlement for Colored People in New York was recently given at which colored composers conducted their own works. Harry T. Burleigh was the presiding spirit, and in addition to conducting works of his own, also conducted works by S. Coleridge-Taylor, the famous Anglo-African composer, whose early death was so deplorable. Some of the other works also proved very interesting.
The death of Marie Jansen will be much regretted by those who enjoyed her in The Beggar Student when it was produced by Colonel McCaul in New York over thirty years ago. Charles Wyndham took her with him to London to take the title role of Feather- brain. On her return to America she became associated with Francis Wilson, appearing in Ernani and many other favorite operas. In private life her name was Hattie Johnson, and she was born in Boston sixty-five years ago.
Los Angeles has many claims to consideration, but one of its latest is that it is the home of the California School of Artistic Whistling. A butterfly recital was recently given in the Auditorium, which holds 3,000 people. It was packed from floor to gallery with a throng of people who were doubtless curious to know how a butterfly whistles. The butterflies appear to have whistled and danced very charmingly, however, as the audience proved highly enthusiastic.
A meeting of widely representative business men and musicians was recently held in Detroit to consider the organization of a Detroit Symphony Association. A number of prominent men agreed to act as trustees of the organization, and the Detroit Symphony Association is now an assured fact. Our readers will be interested to know that one of the prime movers in the matter was Mr. N. J. Corey. whose wise conducting of the "Teachers' Round Table" department of The Etude has been so widely appreciated.
The death has occurred of Arthur Burgoyne, music critic, and professor of musical history and æsthetics at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh. He has also been identified with newspaper work in the smoky city for many years, and one of his daily duties was to write a poem on some current subject. He was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and was a man of wide learning, a fine linguist, and the beloved friend of many people, musicians and otherwise.
Brown University will be one hundred years old in October of this year, and quite naturally the institution has planned an unusual "program of exercises," ranging from torchlight processions to organ recitals. The Mendelssohn Club of New York is also to give a concert. In fact music has been given a very worthy part in the program. One feature of a very unique character will be a dramatic performance of The Provoked Husband, or a Journey to London, said to have been the first play ever to have been produced in New England.
Very good work has been done in New York this winter at the Sunday evening concerts inaugurated by the People's Institute in the great hall of Cooper Union. Admission to these concerts is entirely free, and a high musical standard is consistently maintained. The director of the concerts is Walter L. Bogert, and among the soloists who have appeared during the past season are Albert Quesnel, Heinrich Meyn, Francis Rogers, Ellison van Hoose, Albert G. Janpolski. Frederick Martin, Franz Kaltenborn, Jacques Kasner, von Ende, Carolyn Beebe and Ada Sassoli.
The Russian opera Boris Godounov, the work of the crazy genius Moussorgsky, has been given quite frequent performances since it was first heard in America a year or so ago. It has recently been given in Philadelphia, and now comes news that it has been given in Buda-Pesth. Considering that the work is thirty years old or more, it is astonishingly modern, foreshadowing many of the most recent achievements of such workers as Scriabine and Debussy. Of course this may be due to some extent to the assistance which Rimsky-Korsakoff gave the composer, but, nevertheless, the work is sufficiently individual to justify the keen interest in it which musicians have displayed. Unfortunately the nature of the work does not favor a successful arrangement of the score or themes for the piano.
The energetic press bureau of the Panama Pacific International Exposition, to be held at San Francisco in 1915, has been filling The Etude pigeon holes with information regarding projects of a musical kind. Visitors to the exhibition will hear choruses of five thousand girls and boys, May-pole dances, choruses of Oriental children, a meeting of the supervisors of music from all parts of the Union, performances of The Messiah, Elijah and St. Paul, orchestral concerts of all kinds, band concerts—what more can we say? The press bureau furnishes us with a complete equipment of adjectives, but owing to lack of space we herewith permit our readers to supply their own with the feeling that they may be quite as appropriate as those of the hereinbefore mentioned press bureau.
On March 4th, Benjamin Dwight Allen, one of the best known of the older musicians of New England, died at Wellesley, Mass. He was born at Sturbridge, Mass., February 16, 1831. His teachers were R. S. Hambridge and Richard Eastcott, of the Royal Academy of Music, London. He taught in many well- known institutions, including the New England Conservatory, Boston University, Beloit College and the Teachers' College of Columbia University. He was one of the founders of the American Guild of Organists and a member of the Harvard Musical Association. He was the teacher of Prof. C. H. Farnsworth, of the Teachers' College, Columbia University, and W. W. Sleeper at Wellesley.
The many friends of Edward Baxter Perry, the well-known pianist and lecturer of Boston, whose articles on musical topics have often appeared in The Etude, will be pleased to know that the present season has been one of the best and most successful he has ever had. He has filled engagements in nearly every State east of the Rocky Mountains, playing six nights per week nearly all the time since November 1st. It is gratifying to note that an American pianist can hold his own in spite of the tremendous competition with foreign artists at the present time. The fact that Mr. Perry has been blind since boyhood gives additional credit to his achievements.
Oscar Hammerstein continues to be irrepressible. He has now carried his fight against the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York to Washington, believing that the injunction preventing him from producing opera in New York comes under the Sherman act as a conspiracy in restraint of trade. Oscar Hammerstein continually insists that he produces opera merely for the love of it and that his ambitions to act as impresario are conducted at a financial loss solely for the purpose of enlightening the public. It is touching to see this great altruist forced to make so vigorous a fight for the privilege of losing money on opera. Nevertheless, whatever Hammerstein's motives are or have been, he has certainly done an enormous lot to popularize opera in this country, and no future history of music in America will be complete unless generous space is allotted to his achievements.
The death of Putnam Griswold, which we so regretfully reported in these columns last month, has occasioned widespread mourning. Numerous as Mr. Griswold's admirers have been among his fellow-artists, probably few of them realized how the sterling worth of this able young American singer was appreciated by men and women of all kinds in all walks of life. The funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Charles R. Brown, dean of the Yale Divinity School, and the music was supplied by Walter Gale, organist of the Broadway Tabernacle, and a quartet from the Metropolitan Opera House, consisting of Paul Althouse, Lambert Murphy, Carl Schlegel and Herbert Witherspoon. Horatio Connell, of Philadelphia, made a deep impression by his singing of an aria from Judas Maccabaeus. Mr. Gale played the Handel Largo, and the quartet sang Lead, Kindly Light, a favorite hymn of the dead artist. Baron von Lernsner, of the German Embassy, came from Washington as the official representative of the Kaiser, with whom Griswold was a great favorite. Among the pall bearers were MM. Gatti-Casazza, Caruso, Amato, Toscanini. Riccardo Martin, Steinway, Willard D. Paddock, Frank J. Sprague and John H. Brewster. The church was filled with persons well known in literary, musical and social circles. Mrs. Griswold has gone west for awhile to visit Mr. Griswold's mother.
One of the features of the season in Moscow has been a Debussy festival, at which the famous French composer was himself present.
The indefatigable Max Reger has been orchestrating some of Schubert's songs, and now he will undertake some Brahms songs also.
An opera entitled Camosine, by Henri Février, the composer of Monna Vanna, has been recently produced in France and is enjoying much favor.
Marguerite Melville, the American pianist of Vienna, recently played at the Queen's Hall, London, with great success. She performed the F minor concerto of Chopin.
The composer Felix Draeseke left some memoirs which have been found since his death. His widow, who discovered them, has decided to allow them to be published.
An invitation has been received by Edgar Stillman Kelley, the well-known American composer, to conduct his New England symphony at the Liszt festival in Altenburg, Germany.
More than 500 Swiss and German choral societies are going to participate in the International Song Festival to be held at Basel about the middle of June.
This year the Bayreuth Festival performances will draw thousands of Americans to the shrine of Wagner. Indeed one body (The Sinfonia) has been agitating the presentation of at least one music drama for an audience composed wholly of American pilgrims.
A new opera by André Messager, director of the Paris opera and composer of Veronique, was produced recently at Monte Carlo. The work is entitled Beatrice, and the critics say that it is a most impressive composition.
The three hundredth performance at the royal opera in Berlin of Ambroise Thomas' Mignon has recently been given. This work is probably the third most popular opera France has produced, the other two being Faust and Carmen.
That genial knight of Westminster, Sir Frederick Bridge, organist at the Abbey, is to marry again. He is in his sixty-ninth year, and has been a widower for nine years. His future wife is a Miss Marjorie Wood, youngest daughter of Reginald N. Wood.
The first performance of Daniel in the Lion's Den, a burlesque opera by Amelie Nikisch (wife of the famous conductor), took place in Hamburg recently. It had a favorable reception.
Clara Clemmens, the daughter of Mark Twain and the wife of the famous pianist, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, was known in America as a singer before her marriage. She recently sang at a concert in Berlin and was received with much favor.
A season of Russian opera is to be given at Drury Lane this spring under the direction of Sir Joseph Beecham. It will be remembered that the months of May, June and July are the true London "season," and that at this time the Covent Garden opera is also at its height.
Artists in England are lamenting the death of Sir Hubert von Herkomer. "One of the differences between painting and music," the celebrated painter recently told the students of a London musical school, "is that there are no prodigies in the first-named art. That is one thing we are saved from."
During the month of May the veteran composer Carl Goldmark will celebrate his eightieth birthday. Goldmark's Sakuntala overture, his Rustic Wedding suite and the opera Queen of Sheba are the works by which he is most likely to be remembered. To find a composer of his generation of equal technical mastery and melodic fertility, one must needs go to Humperdinck or to Saint-Saëns, or to one of the great Russians.
A biennial prize of $4,000 has been offered by Mrs. Harold McCormick in Rome for the best opera by some youthful composer. This is the first prize of its kind to be offered in Italy. Mrs. McCormick is the daughter of John D. Rockefeller and the wife of the millionaire head of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Opera Company. She is certainly in a position to offer prizes of this kind and can well afford the luxury, but why in Italy?
Richard Strauss has evolved a scheme whereby the smaller cities of Germany will be enabled to have opera in an adequate form. Every German city with a population of over 100,000 has of course its municipally subsidized opera, but the smaller cities either have; none or else have opera of very poor quality given under highly disadvantageous circumstances. This, thinks Strauss, is worse than none at all. He suggests as a remedy that three neighboring towns, whenever possible, should pool their available cash and engage an opera director at a salary of $12,500 a year who would produce results. Then opera might be given for three months in the year at each town in turn, the remaining three months being given up to vacations and to preparations for the ensuing year.
"Vaudevillainous" opera has apparently come to stay in London. It will be remembered that some time ago a "potted" version of Cavalleria Rusticana was given at the Coliseum. This is to be followed by a Wagnerian "potpourri" consisting of Senta's ballad and the Sailor's Chorus from the Flying Dutchman, Elizabeth's Greeting and the Pilgrim's Chorus from Tannhäuser, and the Song Tournament with the Prize Song from Die Meistersinger. The entire jumble is to be sung by real German singers in real German. It is impossible, of course, to find any artistic defense for such a mélange, but if some of the younger people who go to vaudeville are so attracted by Wagner's music as to be willing to hear more of it under better conditions, it may justify its existence. The gentleman who is to undertake the mutilation of Wagner's works rejoices in the name of Spizzi. At first sight it would appear that he is an Italian, but we blush to find that he- is of American birth.
"Model cities" clustering round some great business are not altogether a novelty, but they are perhaps less well known in England than in this land of rapid growth. The most famous in that country is perhaps Port Sunlight, which lies near the mouth of the Mersey not far from Liverpool. It is the location of the Sunlight Soap Works, and is a remarkable example of what can be done in the way of cooperation for mutual benefit between employers and their workers. The whole basis of the life of the village is "prosperity sharing," as the London Musical Herald expresses it. Most interesting of all, however, is to learn that music plays a very important part in the social life of the place. There is an excellent choral society of 150 members doing the most elaborate of modern choral compositions. There is also a fine Amateur Orchestral Association. Particular care is taken in giving adequate musical training to the children in school and Sunday- school, an outcome of which is the "Children's Old English Choir," the children being taught to sing the old folk-songs of their native land. Life in such an enthusiastic and active community as this must be a very pleasant thing.
Etude Magazine. May, 1914
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