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Woman's Work in Music



In the face of a great batch of letters to be answered to the different clubs who have asked advice and questions it seems that this writing might be profit­ably given to that side, as it is unquestionable that whatever problem faces one club invariably faces an­other in a more or less keen manner. The success or failure of a club depends much upon how keenly the promoters feel its lacks or its qualities, thereby being enabled to continue on the lines which lead to success, or to strengthen the weak places.

One of the most serious conditions came to me through a pianist who asks me to present the subject without the mention of her name. It is that with which almost all clubs have to battle—the piano. Nothing can be more discouraging than to be asked to play and to know that certain selections cannot be thought of because the piano is in such a condition as to make it impossible. Of course, this presupposes a club-room, or even the home of one of the members, instead of meeting around in different places. It is almost an insult to ask a good pianist to play a poor piano; if it is not an insult, it is a little worse. It is placing the reputation of some one who is ac­commodating the club in a position to be severely criticised, for I have never yet found people to make allowances for a poor piano, no matter how many as­surances they offer to the contrary beforehand.

In most cities the piano-house has a grand for loaning purposes. The house knows or should know that it can have no better advertising than to have its representative piano at the disposal of musical clubs. If things can be adjusted this way, then meet­ing around at the different homes of the members is all right, as the piano can be sent each time. In re­turn for the compliment the club might carry the piano-house advertising on all of its printing. There should be no objection to this. It is not introducing the commercial to any greater degree than it is to find the name of the piano at the bottom of every concert program; for every person knows that it would not be possible for any pianist to make a tour if it were not for the commercial relations with the piano-house.

In the event that a club can consider the purchase of a piano a means of doing so may be found in the following suggestion: Since most of the great pianos are used on tour by the artists who make visits to this country to play to the people, it may be readily understood that these houses have on their hands after the season is over several pianos which are not new, but which are the very best of their stock, and may be had at very good terms, especially by a club. When arrangements are being made for the purchase, would it not be a good plan to buy on condition that the house furnish for one recital (more if you can get it) a pianist who can draw enough money in your city to help pay for the instrument? There would be enough advertising value all around to make this worthy of consideration, and the club would have a piano that is not a disgrace to its standing. It must not be forgotten that such arrangements can hardly be made except with the manufacturers themselves.


A Program of Music for Children.

Mrs. T. F. Bath, of Salem, Ind., writes of her in­teresting work with a club composed of her own pupils. She asks for something to read to them and a course of work to pursue.

There can be nothing more to the point and more delightful than the “First Studies in Musical Biog­raphy,” by Thomas Tapper. The simple possession of this book will open any number of avenues of thought. Of course, the teacher or conductor of the club work would be expected to present a little program within grasp of the members’ intelligence. If it is possible for the club to have the assistance of the old-fash­ioned magic lantern in the elucidation of the stories of Tapper, so much the better, and it would be an extremely good plan to present the children with pictures of the composers, which may be had in postal-card form.

This will lead the children to keep their eyes open for pictures themselves, and the proper sort of a scrap-book is in itself an education. The Brooklyn Institute gave a special concert for children December 22d, and it seems in place to present the program, for it is admirably selected and just to the point. It was given by Marguerite Hall, Gwilym Miles, and W. Grafing King, violinist.

Songs: On the Way to Kew, Foote. A Tragic Tale, Slate. Nazareth, Gounod. A Disappointment, V. Harris. A Good Little Girl, R. Mansfield. If No one Ever Marries Me, The Swing, Liza Lehman. Clear and Cool, When All the World is Young, I once had a Sweet Little Doll, Dears, Henschel. The Birthday of a King, Neidlinger. To My First Love, You’d Better Ask Me, Löhr. A Thief, L. Stern. The Farmer and the Pigeons, Maubert. On the Ling, ho! Kjerulf. Ring Out, Wild Bells! Gounod. It was a Lover and His Lass (duet), Walthew. Violin solos: “Legende,” Wieniawski. Abendlied, Schumann. Mazurka, Musin.

Instead of the violin numbers a few piano selec­tions might be given with better results perhaps.

Newton E. Swift has written six little piano pieces that are accompanied with stories. They are his Op. 10, and they are well worth any teacher’s attention. Schumann’s “Träumerei”; Chopin’s Valse, Op. 69, No. 1; Chopin’s Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7; Grieg’s “Berceuse,” Grieg’s “Norwegian Wedding March,” Söderman’s “Swedish Wedding March,” Schumann’s “Bird as Prophet,” “Anitra’s Dance,” from Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite,” and music of that style cannot fail to attract and delight children, who, if work is done in the right direction, should be able to make something out of it. Used in connection with the songs given heretofore, they would make ideal programs for the young, and incidentally for the old.

Another form of entertainment especially for chil­dren may be used with the most satisfying results. It is almost needless to state that this is the use of the musical games of which there are quite a few of great interest, and that they are hugely instructive cannot be doubted. Each teacher must select her own time and manner of doing these things, but the meet­ings should occur not less frequently than once a week, as it must not be forgotten that the interest of the little ones must never lag.


The “Chaminades” of Topeka, Kans.

Another Chaminade Club is announced to the mu­sical world, this time from Topeka, Kans., where the first meeting was held in October. The club at least made good its name by devoting the first program to the works of the noted French woman, which is here­with presented:

Paper—Chaminade, Mrs. Foster; “Madrigal,” Mrs. Adams; “The Flatterer,” Mrs. Bowlby; “The Silver Ring,” Miss Parker; “Pierette,” Mrs. Banks;

“Sum­mer,” Miss Davidson; selection, Miss Dennis; violin—“The Flatterer,” Miss Prescott; “Piece Romantique,” Op. 9, No. 1, Mrs. Harshbarger; Musical Current Events, Miss Davidson; solo selected, Miss Fe Waters.

The new club enjoyed the honor of hearing read a letter to Mrs. Edith G. Foster from the composer her­self written from Le Bourbon Lancy, where she was for the summer. The letter was translated from the French by Miss Maude Parker. The communication was as follows:

“Dear Madam and Friends:

“I thank you with my whole heart for your charm­ing thought in giving my name to your new music club. I am greatly touched and pleased. I love the Americans very much and I consider them my friends, though I have never been in America—and I am de­lighted each time we can share our sympathies.

“Your dear letter has reached me here, where I have come to take the waters and the necessary rest. I shall not wait my return to Paris to answer you.

“I desire to send you some notices and literature which would be useful for your meeting, but here I have nothing. It is only upon my return that I should be able to do so, and that will be too late for October 8th, since I shall not return home until about that time.

“Believe me, dear madam, I shall think of you October 8th, and I shall always be pleased to hear the news from the Chaminade Music Club. Please be my interpreter with the young ladies and extend to them my great sympathy and the very keen interest I shall always take in knowing of their work.

“Believe me, dear madam, your sincere friend,

“C. Chaminade.”


A French Program for Chilicothe.

From Chilicothe comes a request for suggestions for a French program. As far as the paper is concerned, it must be confessed that the club will have no small trouble in finding material, as the biographies of men of the present time are not easy to find, and the new French school is confessedly in the hands of men who are too young to be found in the Grove dictionaries. I regret that it is not possible to accompany this article with a sketch at the present time; however, here are some suggestions as to selections.

Program of modern composers: 1. Danse Macabre (piano duet), Saint-Saëns (1835; still living in Paris). 2. Si mes Vers avaient des Ailes, L’Heure Exquise, Songs, Reynaldo Hahn. 3. Nocturne, G-flat major, Op. 17, piano, Brassin. 4. Songs: L’Amour, Augusta Holmés. Vous Dansez, Marquise, Gaston Lemaire. The Little Silver Ring, Cécile Chaminade. 5. Suite from “L’Arlesienne” (arranged by W. K. Bassford) (piano duet), Georges Bizet. 6. Songs: Berceuse from “Jocelyn,” Godard. Florian’s Song, Godard. Elegie, Jules Massenet. 7. Violin and piano: Serenade, G. Pierné. Pas des Fleurs, Délibes. 8. Chanson du Ruisseau (piano), Ch. Widor. 9. Songs: L’Esclave, E. Lalo. Sing, Smile, Slumber, Gounod. Bonjour, Suzon, Lacome. 10. Etude in A major, Emile Bernard. Etude in A-flat, Emile Bernard. La Mandoline (piano), Fr. Thomé. 11. Le Nil (song with violin obbligato), Xavier Leroux. 12. Fourth Valse, Caprice (arranged for two pianos, four hands, by I. Philipp), Gabriel Fauré.

The foregoing program has been arranged with a view to giving such numbers as are within the reach of the average player or singer, and as most of the French school is extremely tuneful and attractive. It is hardly to be expected that the program will be so lengthy; but that must be left to the judgment of the program committee.

Here are a few additional numbers that are well worth being considered when the French in music are dealt with:

Piano soli: Passepied, Délibes; Barcarolle, Fauré; Vieil Air, Lacome; Phalenes, I. Philipp; Ouverture to Mignon, Ambroise Thomas; Gavotte in D minor, J. B. Lully (1633-1687); La Poule, J. P. Rameau (1683- 1764); La Bandoline, F. Couperin (1668-1733); Im­promptu Valse, L. Diémer; Marche Funèbre, G. Bizet (1838-1875); Serenade à la Lune, Raoul Pugno; Comptes Nocturnes, Pugno. For two pianos or duets: Rouet d’Omphale, Saint-Saëns; Marche Hongroise, Berlioz (1803-1869) (arranged by J. Benedict); Les Djinns, César Franck. Vocal selections: Dost Thou Remember? Augusta Holmés; Chère Nuit, Bachelet; Aprés un Rêve, Fauré; Aimons Nous, Saint-Saëns; Hymne au Soleil, A. George; Agnus Dei, Bizet; Pas­torale, Bizet; Pourquoi? Chaminade; Le Chevalier Jean, V. Joncières; Tea-roses, Victor Boissard; L’Eau qui Court, Alexandre Georges; Le Mariage des Roses, César Franck! Clair de Lune, Fauré; My Heart at thy Dear Voice (from “Samson and Delila”), Saint-Saëns.

* * *


It is very certain that no  music club in America has rivaled in originality the programs and the course of work attempted by the Chaminade Music Club, of Jacksonville, Ill. As will be remembered, last season’s work was also com­mented upon in this column, and this year it is still more interesting.

The officers are: Miss Laura Hayden, pres.; Mrs. George Huntoon, vice-pres.; Miss Cora Deweese, rec. sec.; Miss Sallie Walker, cor. sec.; Mrs. J. P. Brown, treas.; Mrs. Virginia B. Vasey, librarian.

The course of work is as follows: October 20th, Etudes and Preludes; November 3d, Nocturnes and Ballads; November 17th, Opera (“Martha”); Decem­ber 1st, Oratorio; December 15th, Music in St. Louis —composers represented: Kunkel, Conrath, Robyn, Kroeger, Fisher; January 5th, Music in Chicago— composers represented: Liebling, Sherwood, Jessie Gaynor, Hyllested, Neidlinger (he has become a New Yorker), Gleason, Nellie Bangs Skelton; January 19th, Music in Pittsburgh—composers represented: Nevin, Ad. M. Foerster, Victor Herbert; February 2d, Music in Boston—composers represented: Chadwick, Stephen Emery, Margaret R. Lang, Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, Horatio Parker, Arthur Foote, Clayton Johns, Dennée, and Kate Vannah (she is from Portland, Me.); February 16th, Music in New York—composers represented: William Mason, Dudley Buck, B. O. Klein, Mary Knight Wood, Whitney Coombs, Homer Bartlett, De Koven, C. B. Hawley, Richard Hoffman, Templeton Strong, Victor Harris, J. H. Brewer, and Macdowell; March 2d, Music in London—composers represented: Benedict, Goring Thomas, Henschel, William Sterndale Bennett, Maude Valerie White, Strelezki (is an American—E. F. B.), Frances Allitsen, Guy d’Hardelot, Edward German, Mackenzie, Sullivan, and Liza Lehmann; March 16th, Music in Paris—composers represented: Berlioz, Délibes, Augusta Holmes, Gregh, Chaminade, Godard, Gounod, Mas­senet, Saint-Saëns, Ambroise Thomas, Bizet; March 30th, Shakespeare in Music; April 13th, Opera (“Les Huguenots”); April 27th, Opera (“Der Freischütz”).

The Wednesday Club, of Harrisburg, Pa., is doing splendid work this year on lines which cannot fail to be interesting and instructive. Officers for the year are: Miss Wallace, pres.; Mrs. A. P. L. Dull, vice-pres.; Miss Dull, sec.; Mrs. George R. Fleming, treas.; Mrs. E. J. Decevee, musical director; Mrs. H. B. McCormick, librarian. A new and valuable feature of this season is a five-minute talk upon current topics in music; but it is hard to see how five minutes will give time to state even the visiting soloists.

Dates and subjects are as follows: October 15th, Pianoforte Music and its performance; October 29th, How to appreciate the Great Composers (Miss Heister); November 5th, The Scotch in Music (Miss Murray); November 19th, Struggles of Composers to obtain Recognition (Mrs. Boyd); December 3d, Who was the most successful Versatile Composer? (Mrs. Decevee); December 19th, Romantic Period in Song (Miss Mowry); January 7th, Beethoven (Miss Kelker); January 21st, Beethoven’s Three Styles (Miss MacDowell); What Late Composer is Con­sidered Most like Beethoven? (Mrs. David Fleming); February 4th, Choral Concert; February 18th, Caprices of Musical Taste (Mrs. Dismukes); March 4th, Schu­mann (Miss Boyd); March 18th, Dance-music (Miss Sergeant); April 1st, Chopin (Miss Graydon); April 15th, Brahms (Mrs. Dull).

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