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Musical Items


An opera by the name of “Azara,” by Prof. J. K. Paine, of Harvard University, is announced.

Saint-Saens has accepted the presidency of the committee on studies in a Paris music-school.

It is reported that the last Wagner Festival at Bayreuth did not pay expenses by about $15,000.

A palatial new theater-building is now being erected at Frankfort-on-the-Main, to surpass any other theater in Europe.

The committee in charge of the coming World’s Fair at St. Louis are giving careful consideration to the question of music in their plans.

Five to six dollars a week is said to be the salary earned by the less important orchestra-players in London, for six evening and two matinee perform­ances.

A new tenor named Forchhammer made a sensation, in London, as “Tristan.” His voice is beautiful and clear and at times resembles that of Jean de Reszke.

A school of opera has been established at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, under the direction of Sig. Oreste Bimboni, a well-known conductor.

A society has been formed at Brussels to found an institute for the teaching of the chief branches of practical and theoretic music as well as the history of music and esthetics.

An English dispatch gives the news that W. S. Gilbert, the famous opera librettist and partner with Sullivan in many successful comic operas, is seriously ill, and not expected to live.

A direct descendant of J. S. Bach, Hermann Bach by name, is said to be living in Erfurt. He is a piano-teacher and is gifted with a fine memory for com­positions that he has heard.

In a band competition in the Crystal Palace, Lon­don, twenty-seven contested for prizes aggregating $7000. The competition began at 11 a.m. and lasted until 8.30 p.m. Pity the judges!

A Berlin correspondent says that about one thou­sand musical events take place there during the sea­son, including concerts, recitals, operas, and light operas (not farce and farce comedy).

The centenary of Bellini was celebrated at his birthplace in Italy. There was an exhibition of Bel­lini souvenirs and relics, and a festival at which nothing but Bellini’s works were given.

A music trade journal says that some of the piano-manufacturers are having orders for elaborately decorated cases, in sharp contrast to the recent de­mand for the lately popular colonial styles.

Fritz Simrock, the well-known German music pub­lisher, who died a short time ago, bequeathed the score of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” in the com­poser’s own hand, to the Royal Library in Berlin.

Auber, when he was eighty-four years old, at­tended the funeral of Rossini. On leaving the ceme­tery he remarked to Gounod: “This is surely the last time that I shall be present here as an amateur.”

A leading German critic recently said: “The only two composers with regard to whose works I have never felt the slightest wavering are Beethoven and Bach. Beethoven I admire, Bach I revere, but Mo­zart I love!”

The New York Sun says that Carnegie Hall has been engaged for a piano recital by Paderewski, on February 14th. The composer’s opera “Manru” is to be produced February 12th. Walter Damrosch is to conduct the opera.

The late Mozart Festival at Salzburg was so suc­cessful, financially as well as artistically, that a fund is being established to provide for a similar festival every five years. The Emperor Francis Joseph has contributed to the fund.

A New York paper says that Mr. Grau has de­cided to engage legitimate musical stars to play upon the high-class vaudeville stage, believing that there is a good field and a demand for the best singing and playing under conditions which can appeal to a large public.

An exchange says that Mr. Harold Bauer, the famous pianist, was at one time a newspaper writer in London, and earned money for his tuition by his pen. He is to contribute a series of articles for Lon­don papers on observations made in this country this winter.

Madame Sembrich is announced to sing the part of “Elsa” in “Lohengrin” and “Marguerite” in “Faust” during the present tour of the Grau Opera Company. She is also studying the part of “Ulana” in Paderewski’s opera “Manru,” which is expected to be given in New York this winter.

Prof. Fenelon B. Rice, director of the Oberlin, Ohio, Conservatory of Music, died October 26th. At first the conservatory was a private undertaking, but in 1885 it was merged into the university. Under Professor Rice’s administration it became one of the strongest musical forces in the middle West.

A compromise has been made with certain heirs of the late J. S. Rogers, who bequeathed $5,000,000 to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, in New York City. The museum will secure nearly the whole of this large bequest. We hope that a portion of the income can be applied to the musical interests of the museum.

The house in Hamburg in which Mendelssohn was born is to be sold by auction, and it seems possible that it will be destroyed unless some enthusiast comes forward to save it. Last year it was con­verted into a public house on the one side and a sausage-shop on the other, but formerly it was a private dwelling.

A German paper says that a number of Brahms’s scores (symphonies, overtures, and chamber-music) are to be issued in a cheap form by the publishing house of Eulenberg, whose collection of scores is well known to the musical profession. This will be welcome news to the student and average concert-goer, who could not afford the large works of Brahms on account of their formerly high price.

Antwerp is the center of the ivory trade. The total yearly supply of ivory is estimated at upward of one thousand tons, coming from Africa, India, and Siberia, where the fossil ivory, the tusks of extinct mammoths; is mined. The great demand for ivory has led interested governments to institute measures to preserve the elephant from extinction. The value of the yearly trade is in the neighborhood of $6,000,000.

The corporation of Salzburg is trying to secure possession of a skull in a museum at Mödling, near Vienna. The story is that the gravedigger of the cemetery in Vienna in which Mozart was buried opened the grave and took out the composer’s skull. At his death it came into the possession of his brother, and later was given to the museum. There is said to be room for doubt as to whether it is really Mozart’s skull.

Some of the Paris journals recently had a discussion as to the usefulness of the Conservatoire as an institution and the value of the instruction given there. The question turned largely on the classes in comedy and tragedy. In regard to the musical instruction there it might be urged that nearly all eminent French musicians were students of the Conservatoire. The public tests show a high degree of skill in the music department.

An article on women in the Paris Conservatoire in comparing the quality of work says that the har­mony classes in that institution were opened to women in 1879. Up to 1900 these classes contained 530 men and 255 women; in that time 146 men won first-class distinction for work and 102 women. The record is not so good for higher theoretic study, 21 successes among women to 107 for men. Since 1881 five times as many women as men have applied for admission to the piano-classes, the number admitted being 2 to 1.

The awards in the first competition for the prizes to composers, established by Paderewski, have been announced by the judges, B. J. Lang, Wilhelm Gericke, W. F. Apthorp, H. E. Krehbiel, and W. J. Henderson. The orchestral prize goes to Henry K. Hadley, for his symphony “The Four Seasons”; the choral prize was won by Horatio W. Parker, with his cantata, “A Star Song”; the prize for chamber-music went to Arthur Bird, an American composer, now resident in Berlin, for his “Serenade.” The prizes were for $500 each. Sixty-eight works were submitted to the judges.

A visitor to Salzburg recently gave a description of the Mozart Album in the Mozart Museum in that city. It contains the autographs of many noted people, emperors, kings, princes, statesmen, warriors, nearly all the later composers of eminence, and mu­sicians of all countries. Many of the tributes, while professing to do homage to Mozart, show evidences of a protest against the extreme principles of Wag­ner. The museum is in the house in which the Mozart family lived. It is not possible to enumerate the great array of souvenirs and relics that it con­tains, pictures of all the members of the family, music manuscripts, play-bills of performances of Mozart’s operas or of his concerts, his piano and spinet, a clavichord, letters, medals, snuff-boxes, rings, a watch, violin and bow, with many other in­teresting remembrances.

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