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Musical Items


It is announced that Sarasate is to make a concert tour in Russia.

Paderewski played in Leipzig during the past month with Nikisch as conductor.

The veteran violinist Joachim is still giving concerts. His quartet is to play in London this month.

A “French Bayreuth” at Versailles is talked of as a result of the recent Wagnerian movement in Paris.

A new work by Richard Strauss, founded on the great Spanish classic “Don Quixote,” is soon to be given, it is said, in Cologne.

Marmontel, a noted pianofore (sic) teacher of Paris, died there a short time since. Bizet, Dubois, Paladilhe, were among his pupils.

Busoni, the well-known pianist and Bach editor, is the son of an Italian father and a German mother, uniting in himself two strongly marked musical races.

Sir Arthur Sullivan has given up his country residence and will hereafter live in London and on the Continent. He has earned the right to a life of pleasure and travel.

Mr. David Bispham has lately appeared in a new light—that of a playwright. He has arranged a musical drama called “Adelaide,” in which he himself takes the part of Beethoven.

After various contradictory reports it seems settled that Anton Seidl will not return to Germany although it is an undoubted fact that he received several tempting offers from the Fatherland.

There is a report current that Lady Charles Hallé will make a concert tour in this country. Lady Hallé, known as Normann-Neruda before her marriage, was perhaps the finest lady violinist in the world.

There is good reason to believe that a fund will be subscribed by wealthy New York City patrons of music to establish a permanent orchestra in that city. Philadelphia papers are urging that a similar movement be initiated in the Quaker City.

Mme. Melba will make a tour across the continent to San Francisco and possibly to Australia, with a strong support. She will appear in all her leading roles. No doubt the West will welcome this opportunity to hear the greatest prima donna of the day.

Mr. A. J. Hipkins, the historian of the pianoforte, makes the announcement that an upright grand piano has been discovered in Italy bearing the date 1739. This antedates Frederici’s instruments, and, if authentic, is of value to the history of the pianoforte.

It is now announced that Emil Paur will remain as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, that his contract has five years more to run. Colonel Higginson denies that negotiations had been entered into with Richard Strauss and Felix Weingartner.

Mrs. Mary Cowden-Clarke, the authoress of the “Concordance to Shakspere,” and daughter of Vincent Novello, founder of the great music publishing house of Novello, Ewer & Co., died in January. She was editor of Novello’s “Musical Times” for some years.

Dr. E. J. Hopkins, whose name is well known to organists and choir-singers, has retired from his position as organist of the historic old Temple Church in London. He is nearly eighty years of age. An English musical journal calls him the “Grand Old Man” of music.

Great interest has been manifested, in the few large cities in which Franz Rummel has appeared, in the playing of this “veritable giant,” as one of the New York papers calls him. The historical recitals which he gave, on a previous visit to this country, made a profound impression upon the musical public. A demand is made that he duplicate that series.

The collection of musical treasures of all kinds, made by the late Alexander W. Thayer, Beethoven’s biographer, was sold in Boston during the previous month. No doubt some of the material is valuable toward a completion of Thayer’s great work, a consummation much to be desired.

The approaching English Covent Garden opera season will include the following well-known artists: Calvé, Melba, Nordica, Eames, Gadski, Zelie de Lussan, the de Reszkes, David Bispham, and Plançon. Some new operas by Mancinelli, Saint-Säens, and Massenet are expected to be given.

At the last meeting of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati College of Music, one of the members made a severe attack on Mr. Frank Van Der Stucken and his management. It is said that the school has greatly prospered under his direction, and no cause for dissatisfaction seems to exist.

Chicago is to have an addition to its list of concert-halls and studio buildings. The new Studebaker Building provides for two music halls on the ground floor, and in the upper part for a magnificent assembly room for private musicales and assemblies. A very large part of the space is to be devoted to music studios.

The New York newspapers announce that the operatic forces of the Damrosch-Ellis and Grau people are to be united in some measure. This will give a fine array of eminent singers, probably the best in the world. It will be a relief to the musical world that the acrimonious rivalries of late years have been amicably adjusted.

It is reported in one of the Boston daily papers that the successor to Carl Zerrahn, as conductor of the famous Handel and Haydn Society, will be Mr. Augusto Rotoli, well known to students of the N. E. Conservatory of Music, as a successful teacher of singing and a conductor of prominence in Italy before his coming to this country.

The Pittsburg Orchestra is having its trials. The concerts during the past season have not been a financial success, and the conductor, Frederic Archer, the famous organist, has not been re-engaged. The baton has been given to Mr. Victor Herbert, the well-known operatic composer, ‘cellist, and bandmaster. He will commence his duties in the fall.

The Italian Banda Rossa (Red Band) has had a stormy career in this country. Last month they came back to New York penniless and in most desperate straits, but with the organization intact. They are victims of the rapacity of a greedy promoter who sought to exploit the band for his own benefit. When publicity was given to the rapacious methods employed, public support failed the whole undertaking.

It is announced that John C. Freund, well known in the field of musical journalism, will establish a new paper in New York, to be called “Music, Art, and Drama.” The first number will appear in the early fall, so it is said. We hope the new enterprise will find abundant support. It is also reported that the Boston “Musical Record” will be removed to New York City. Nothing has been announced, but we suppose Philip Hale is to be the editor as heretofore.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians met in London last month. This organization includes nearly all the prominent English musicians. A fine program of lectures and discussions was the special feature of the gathering. Tallis’ great motet in forty parts was sung. A number of the members were in the chorus. The motet was followed by a toy symphony, the orchestra being made up by members of the society. Ebenezer Prout was conductor.

On April 1st, Herr Johannes Weidenbach will celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his connection with the Leipzig Conservatory. It is proposed to present a testimonial to him on this occasion. All American pupils of Herr Weidenbach, who may read this notice, are earnestly requested to communicate at once with Mrs. Nellie Strong Stevenson, 3631 Olive street, St. Louis, Mo. Mrs. Stevenson is acting as the American representative of the Leipzig committee.

A matter of interest to Bach admirers and to historians and antiquarians has just been announced in London. Mr. Arthur J. Balfour, the well-known statesman, is an ardent lover of music, especially the old German masters. He proposes to pay the expenses of the publication in English of the famous book of Andreas Bach, which is in the Leipzig Library. The book belonged to a relative of the great Bach, and contains manuscript copies of fourteen works by J. S. Bach, besides a considerable number by other masters.

Ebenezer Prout, the well-known English theorist and editor, recently said that Bach, like Shakspere and the Bible, is inexhaustible. He went on to say that every three weeks he played through the whole of the forty-eight preludes and fugues, discovering new beauties each time that he had missed before. Bach is certainly the musician’s musician. Once that certain peculiarities of construction, so different from the modern romantic and dramatic school, are understood, the player delights in delving in the polyphonic mysteries of the great master, and rejoices in the rich treasures of harmonic beauty hidden there from the casual student.

Last year there was considerable talk concerning Sieveking’s large hand and his great stretch. Siloti, the Russian pianist now touring this country, has a most remarkable power of extension in his hand, although the size is not extraordinary. He is able to reach from C to F sharp in the octave above. He is also able to play an octave with the thumb and forefinger. Another feat attributed to him is to play two thirds, separated by an octave, with one hand, as C—E—C—E, with fifth, fourth, second, and first fingers. A number of great pianists, with small or medium-sized hands, have also possessed this facility of extension, although, perhaps, not to so great a degree.

It seems undeniable that interest in music, as well as willingness to support musical enterprises, is growing in the Southern States, when one reads the announcement of the South Atlantic States Musical Festival, to be held at Spartanburg, S. C., under the auspices of the Converse College Choral Society, April 27-29. Dr. R. H. Peters, of the college, is the general director of the festival. An orchestra of forty-five, from Boston, under Emil Mollenhauer, will assist, and the soloists will include such well-known artists as Campanari, J. H. McKinley, Wm. H. Rieger, Mary Louise Clary, Kathrin Hilke, and Dr. Carl E. Dufft. We wish Director Peters and his enthusiastic coadjutors a complete financial as well as artistic success. If more of these enterprises, even on less extensive a scale, were initiated in other parts of the country the interest in music would be doubly and trebly strengthened.

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