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Musical Items


Harold Bauer will return to the United States for a tour in January, 1902.

A Frenchman has made a collection of flints which give the complete chromatic scale.

Maud Powell received high commendation for her splendid work in recent concerts in London.

Munich is to have an exhibition of guitars, modern and antique, to include mandolins, harps, and citharas.

An opera by de Koven, “Maid Marian,” a sequel to “Robin Hood,” is to be placed on the stage this season.

Madame Nordica is spending her vacation in the Black Forest. She spends much time in out-door exercise.

A German paper says that music-boxes, accordeons, and phonographs are in demand at the ports of the Persian Gulf.

Lilli Lehmann is to make a concert-tour of the United States the coming season. She will be heard principally in recitals.

A new opera by Francesco Fanciulli, the well-known bandmaster, called “Priscilla, the Maid of Plymouth,” is to be produced this fall.

Sullivan’s “Golden Legend” was sung recently in the Crystal Palace, London, by a chorus of 3000 voices, accompanied by an orchestra of 500.

A life of Richard Wagner, by Mr. W. J. Henderson, the well-known critic and musical litterateur of New York City, will be published this fall by Putnam’s.

It is reported that Walter Damrosch will be the next impressario at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, when the control of the Grau Company expires.

A guarantee fund of $5000 is being raised for a series of concerts by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra of fifty members, which has lately been organized.

Dr. Longhurst, organist of Canterbury Cathedral, has been connected with the cathedral since 1828, as chorister, lay clerk, and organist. His sight is now said to be failing.

The Sultan of Morocco recently ordered a set of gold bag-pipes. How would it be if he were to engage all the “wandering minstrels” of this country for a bag-pipe orchestra?

A German paper says that piano-teachers are in demand in Shanghai, which has only two, one a Spaniard, the other a Tagal from Manila. They are both said to be growing rich.

The well-known hymn, “All Glory, Laud, and Honor,” used on Palm Sunday, was first written on a pane of glass by Theodulph, Bishop of Orleans, while imprisoned in Metz.

John Farmer, a well-known English musician and composer, and formerly music master at the great public school, Harrow, died recently. A number of his hymn-tunes are much used.

A rich citizen of Moscow has bequeathed to the city money for the erection of a large theater, to which the admission fee shall be low enough to allow the poorer classes to purchase tickets.

A correspondent, writing from Rangoon, says that a local choir presents a curious mixture of nationalities: English, Eurasian, Chinese, Burmese, Koreans, Parsees, Hindoos, and American.

Bruckner’s “Ninth Symphony,” like Beethoven’s, is to be performed with a choral finale, for which purpose, according to the composer’s wish, expressed in his will, his “Te Deum in C” is to be used.

At the beginning of June in each year about three hundred organ-grinders leave Italy for London. They return to their native land in October, and live well for the next eight months, when they again start on their pilgrimage.

A gift of $25,000 has been made to Yale University by Mrs. John S. Newberry, of Detroit, for an organ in the Yale University Memorial Hall. The authorities expect to have the finest instrument in the United States.

A trade journal says that American organs occupy a prominent place at the Glasgow Exposition, and that this branch of the musical-instrument trade is making very satisfactory gain in the British isles and the Continent.

Saint-Saens, in a recent interview, expressed a great interest in the United States, but said that a chronic throat trouble, which made cold weather dangerous to him, stood in the way. He should have come about July 1st.

A transposing clarinet has been patented in Italy. “Being furnished with a double mechanism, the spring of a simple contrivance is sufficient to change it instantly from a B-flat to an A clarinet, without displacing the player’s hands.”

It is announced that Berlin is to have a theater and concert-hall at which composers can have their musico-dramatic works brought out or symphonies and other compositions performed in first-class style if they will pay the costs of production.

The increase in the value of musical instruments imported from the United States during the fiscal year of 1901 over 1900 was $822,017. Much of this gain includes piano-players and other automatic attachments, which are exciting interest in Europe.

It is reported that Daniel Frohmann, the theatrical manager, has guaranteed Jan Kubelik, the young Bohemian violinist, called by some “the modern Paganini,” $100,000 for the next musical season. Kubelik will be heard in the United States this winter.

Mr. W. T. Best, the famous English organist, would never accept any of the various musical degrees which are much esteemed by many musicians. He used to say that a man with a long list of degrees added to his name suffered from too much alphabet.

Mrs. Samuel Lewis, a wealthy Englishwoman, has endowed fifteen scholarships in the Royal Academy of Music, for the encouragement of musical talent among British-born subjects. The selection of the branches of study will be made by the authorities of the school.

The widow of the recently-deceased composer, Barshanski, has presented her husband’s valuable library to the St. Petersburg Conservatory, with funds to provide for its increase and for a prize to be offered every two years for a chamber composition or symphonic work.

Who does not know the “German band”? They seem to flourish, and no wonder if all are as successful as one of six members, who, after being in this country three years, left for the fatherland with over $12,000 they had earned during their stay here. And yet some say the American people are not musical.

The King of Saxony gives $150,000 a year to support the opera in Dresden. Commenting on this, Paderewski asks why such a wealthy city as London cannot give at least as much? The Anglo-Saxon race in either of its two great homes does not take kindly to State or municipal subvention in musical matters.

A cimbalo of the year 1602, belonging to Mr. Frederick Stearns, of Detroit, the patron of the valuable collection of musical instruments in the Museum of the University of Michigan, was recently exhibited, side by side, with a modern grand piano. The greater part of the history of music, in its great development, was represented in the contrast of the two instruments.

Mozart once wrote to his father: “To win applause, one must write things so intelligibly that a cabman may be able to sing them, or else so unintelligibly that people will admire them for the very reason that no one can comprehend them.” Abraham Lincoln used to say that a speaker or writer must express himself so clearly and simply that the least instructed can understand.

A New York man is credited with the invention of an apparatus by which a deaf person may hear opera. According to the New York Sun, it consists of a dry storage battery, small enough to be slipped into a pocket, two small funnels of peculiar shape attached to two disks, and a third section somewhat similar to telephone ear-pieces. The receiver, apparently a small aluminum disk, if placed between an ordinary phonograph and a brass megaphone, greatly increases the intensity of the sound.

At a sale of antique musical instruments a number of interesting specimens were shown. An Italian mandolin of the seventeenth century was sold for $10; a hunting horn in old Moustiers brought $27.50; an old flute à bec, $16.75; an English virginal (1664), $150; A French virginal (1709), similar to one owned by Frederic the Great, $77.50; an Italian spinet, sixteenth century, $80; a Flemish double harpsichord, by Ruckers (1614), $200; an early Italian dulcimer, $110, (thought to have been the property of Mary, Queen of Scots).

To prove that the tone of wind-instruments depends less upon density or thickness of metal, or upon substance than upon proportion of parts, Besson, the great maker, put on exhibition test a bugle of plaster, one of gutta-percha, and a cornet of paper, each of which could be sounded, and retained its tone-quality when associated with other instruments. Trumpets of toughened glass were used in Florence, while earthenware instruments are made by the Chinese. The best and purest brass is now most in request for wind-instruments.

A short time ago lovers of singing at Moscow were excited by learning that a songstress like Adelina Patti had been discovered in the city. It turned out that the woman in question, a laundress, did really possess a fine voice, but her chances had disappeared, for she was already thirty-five years of age. Still, it was thought that she might prove an excellent singer for the chorus, and a rich patron was ready to send her to the Conservatory. But all these plans were frustrated by the husband, who stubbornly asserted that a woman who went to the Conservatory was of no use forever afterward.

A London music publisher said that he could name a dozen songs that yielded each a profit of over $50,000; in view of the prices paid for a number of copyrights at a sale some time ago, it would seem that a song has a high earning power in England, far more so than in this country. Sullivan’s “Lost Chord” brought him in royalties fully $50,000; Mr. Maybrick (Stephen Adams) received $7500 a year for several years from “Nancy Lee.” The profits to publisher and composer on “In Old Madrid” have been placed at upward of $100,000. But where one succeeded, hundreds were issued at loss.

Edmond Audran, the French composer, died August 19th. He was born at Lyons, April 11, 1842. He received his musical education in Paris, and won a prize for composition in 1859. Two years later he became choirmaster of the Church of St. Joseph, Marseilles. He was best known as a composer of comic operas, having written quite a number, of which the best known in this country are “Olivette” and “The Mascot.” He also wrote several masses. For many years his popularity was so great that it was said of him that he could sell an opera a week if he had been able to write one so rapidly, and at his own price.


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