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Musical Items


It is reported that Chaminade may visit the United States this season.


Eduard Strauss and his orchestra will be in New York early this month.


Mascagni has a new opera, for which he also wrote the libretto, in the hands of a publisher.


Max Bruch has been appointed Professor of Composition in the Royal High School of Music, Berlin.


The musical season of 1900-01 promises concert tours by some thirty pianists, foreign and American.


It is announced that the Musical Review is to be revived by the Clayton F. Summy Company, of Chicago.


Chickering Hall has passed into the hands of Morris Steinert, who will make it the headquarters of the “Steinertone.”


A monument to Stephen C. Foster, composer of “Suwanee River” and “Old Kentucky Home,” has been erected in Pittsburgh, Pa.


Mozart was passionately fond of billiards, but played poorly. He would stay at a game a whole night and played for high stakes.


The Rubinstein composition prize of $1500 went to Alexander Goedicke, of Moscow, while the piano playing prize went to Emil Bosquet, of Brussels.


The new hall in which the concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be given will be called Symphony Hall. It is on Huntington Avenue.


A series of concerts for the poor residents of Glasgow, Liverpool, and other English cities was arranged by local musicians. They proved very popular.


There is still living in Vienna an old lady in her ninety-first year who sang in the chorus at the first performance of Beethoven’s “Choral Symphony.”


Lady Halle, better known to many as Madam Norman Neruda, the celebrated violinist, has located in Berlin, and will teach in one of the conservatories.


The salaries of opera singers is lower in France than in other European countries. The leading dramatic soprano at the Opera Comique was paid $400 a month.


The Yale University Corporation has voted to assume the financial responsibility for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Prof. Horatio W. Parker will conduct the orchestra.


A permanent orchestra is being arranged for New Orleans. Two subscription concerts are to be given each week and a popular concert on Sundays. A guarantee fund is being raised.


Mr. H. S. Saroni, of Marietta, O., died recently. He was a native of Germany, but had lived in this country for many years. He translated Marx’s books on the theory of music into English.


Maud Powell, during her trip abroad, confirmed her American reputation as one of the foremost women players of the violin. She will give a number of concerts in the United States this season.


Manchester, N. H., will have a music festival, October 11th to 13th. There will be a chorus of 300, assisted by prominent soloists. Mr. Henry G.  Blaisdell and Mr. William R. Chapman will have charge.


An organist recently died in Sweden who had held the position as choir-master in one church for seventy-wo years without missing a service. He and his ancestors had played in the church for two hundred years.


Paris and France together produce about 15,000 pianos a year; Germany makes about 60,000; the United States has an annual output of over 150,000, two firms in Chicago alone making more pianos than all France.


Madame Patti is said to hold the record for the largest sum earned in a year by a woman, $350,000. Her present London concert terms are reported as $2000 a night. A single performance at Buenos Ayres brought her $11,000.


Mr. Claus Spreckels, the sugar magnate of California, has presented to the authorities of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, a music stand for public concerts, which is said to be the handsomest in the world. It is valued at $100,000.


A covering for the piano keyboard is suggested by a correspondent. A narrow piece of silk, of color to blend with the other draperies of the room is used. This may be embroidered and some appropriate sentiment about music added.


The Sing Akademie of Berlin was founded in 1792 by Karl Fasch. He was an eminent theorist. Just before his death he ordered all his compositions destroyed except one,—a self-criticism not likely to be followed by other composers.


Alberto Randegger, the famous London singing teacher, has written to his pupil, Mrs. Osgood-Dexter, of Philadelphia, that he hopes to arrange for a lecture tour of the United States. His many American pupils will be glad to learn of this.


An English firm has patented and begun the manufacture of an aluminum sound-board for pianos. Experimenters differ in their opinion as to the practical results. At present aluminum is said to be too expensive to come into general use for the purpose.


The Women’s String Orchestra, of New York City, Carl V. Lachmund, director, enters upon its fifth season. There are now forty members, only professionals being eligible. A special feature is made of educational programs for schools and musical clubs.


A statue of Beethoven has just been erected in the Valley of Bade, near Vienna, where the composer did a great deal of his work during the summer. A gentleman was present at the unveiling ceremony who, when a boy of ten, was presented to the composer.


While Richard Wagner was never wealthy, his heirs are in the enjoyment of a splendid income. One of the German opera establishments pays an annual royalty of $3000; Munich paid to Wagner and his estate $117,000. Other cities also pay handsome royalties.


Ivory is growing scarcer every year, and the English and German authorities in South Africa are taking steps to preserve the elephant from extinction. It is said that the largest pair of tusks ever found were secured last year. They weighed 239 and 224 pounds.


Richter, the veteran conductor, is to direct the performance of “Parsifal” at Bayreuth, in 1901. Strange to say, although the great conductor has popularized portions of the opera in an orchestral form, he has not yet conducted a complete performance of the work.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City contains a magnificent collection of rare musical instruments gathered from all parts of the globe. One of the most noted instruments is a piano by Cristofori. The collection consists of about 2000 instruments. It is the gift of Mrs. John Crosby Brown.


The Czar of Russia sent to the Paris Exposition, at his own expense, a number of musicians from the Grand Russian Orchestra, who use instruments constructed on the model of ancient Russian instruments, none of them figuring in our modern orchestra. They are called balalaikistes, from the balalaika, a national instrument.


In reference to the recent performance of “Löhengrin,” in Berlin, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the first production of “Löhengrin,” it is said that Wagner did not think very much of his work, and called it a “Jugendsünde” (a youthful indiscretion), offering it to Breitkopf and Hartel to cancel a debt of 200 thalers.


The National Conservatory of Music, New York City, offers a series of prizes to composers: For the


best symphony, $300; for the best overture, $200; and for the best violin or piano concerto, $200. The composer must be a native of the United States and not over forty years of age. Each work must be in manuscript, and absolutely new to the public. The competition will be open until January 15, 1901.


Quite a large number of the prominent artists in the company to furnish grand opera in English that will be heard in New York and a few other cities this season are native-born Americans. The chorus will be almost exclusively American, and should prove a useful factor in developing opera singers. Is it not better to hear three operas in English for the same price one would pay to hear one opera in German or Italian?


The inventory of Brahms’s effects shows that he left about $80,000 in the bank. Among other effects were a number of drawings, water-colors, and modern engravings, honorary medals; a library of 488 volumes, mostly on music; letters from contemporary composers and virtuosi, and upward of 200 musical autographs of great value, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Schumann, Weber, Chopin, and Wagner being represented.


J. S. Bach’s mortal remains have been removed to a crypt of the Church of St. John, which is lit by electricity, so that the magnificent stone sarcophagus, as well as its inscription, are plainly visible. Before the high altar a large bronze plate bearing the name of Bach, with the dates of his birth and death, has been inserted between the flagstones. The committee formed for the erection of a statue to the great composer has resumed its labors.


St. Louis is to have a grand music festival, November 5th to 13th. Nordica, Gadski, Blauvelt, and William H. Sherwood, with other well-known artists, have been engaged. The enterprise is in the hands of leading business men, who have guaranteed the financial success. An orchestra of 100 men has been engaged and a chorus of 500 voices is rehearsing for the festival. They will be under the direction of Mr. E. R. Kroeger and Mr. A. E. Pommer. The concerts will be given in the Coliseum, which has been remodeled to suit the demands of the concerts.


Franz Betz, whose death has just occurred, was one of the idols of German opera goers. At the time when his voice was in its prime he was a contemporary of Lucca, Niemann, Fricke,—names which the German musicians look upon as belonging to the “classical period” of the Berlin opera. He is best known as the creator of the role of Hans Sachs, upon which all later impersonations have been modeled. In 1876 he appeared as Wotan in the first performance of the Bayreuth Festival. He was a master of bel canto; his voice was very beautiful, his enunciation faultless. As an actor he was especially successful.

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