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Cornell University is to have a fine new organ in the new auditorium of the College of Agriculture. It is to cost $20,000 and a large part of this sum has come from the pocket of Andrew Carnegie.
What is music? A New York judge recently decided that a restaurant band consisting of seven stringed instruments, a bagpipe, and a pair of clappers, could not possibly produce music.
Around Christmas time, the Rosenkavalier of Richard Strauss will be given its first performance in New York by the Metropolitan Opera Company under the direction of Alfred Hertz.
The successor to Harvey M. Watts as business manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra has been found in Ralph Edmunds, formerly general press representative of the Metropolitan Opera Company, of New York. Mr. Edmunds has had wide experience.
Songs of questionable character are beginning to attract the attention of the United States postal authorities, who do not think publishers of such stuff are entitled to use the mails for its distribution.
A new festival by prelude by Richard Strauss will have its initial performance in New York under Josef Stransky during the coming season. It will then be performed in London by the Philharmonic orchestra under Mengelberg.
There is to be a general exchange of operatic stars between the Chicago Opera Co. and the new Century Opera Company of New York. By this Philadelphia and Chicago will benefit and so will New York. Co-operation instead of rivalry seems to be the order of the day.
The death has occurred of Carl H. Eichler, a famous violinist, and the oldest member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was born at Maugein, Germany, and was eighty- seven years old when he died, at his summer home in Salem after ten days illness.
Miss Bessie Abbott, who is of Scotch parentage, doubtless felt highly honored when, as she landed in New York for the purpose of appearing in de Koven’s Scottish opera, Rob Roy, she was met at the gangway by the New York Highland Pipe and Drum Band, and escorted ashore.
The Metropolitan Opera Company have been doing all they can think of to prevent Hammerstein from giving any opera this season. They have applied for an injunction to prevent the Hammersteins giving any opera in New York until 1920, and in return the inveterate Oscar has complicated matters by claiming that the Metropolitan is an “unlawful combination in restraint of trade and commerce.”
The customary “high jinks” of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco have led as usual to the production of a noteworthy work of art. Mr. Hermann Perlet has produced a work entitled The Fall of Up, to a brilliant libretto by Rufus Steele, and it is in every way equal to the high standard set by Henry K. Hadley with his fantasy, The Atonement of Pan, which obtained so much success last year.
Among the many artists who are coming to America for the concert season, none will be more welcome than Teresa Carreno, who has not been heard in this country for four years. At the present time South America is figuring rather largely in the public mind and this fact may afford an extra reason for welcoming the greatest pianist the southern half of this continent ever produced.
A School of music has been started in connection with Trinity Parish Church in New York, for the purpose of training organists in all branches of the art of ecclesiastical music. The faculty includes some of the most distinguished church musicians in America. It is the purpose of the institution to maintain an especially high standard in all departments. Mr. Felix Lamond is the moving force in this new undertaking.
The recent convention of organists at Ocean Grove proved to be a very successful affair, and was attended by a record number of organists. This is especially gratifying in view of the fact that there had previously been some friction which had looked like wrecking the National Association  completely. At the convention, however, many important measures were discussed, and everything passed off with remarkable freedom from unpleasantness of any kind.
The MacDowell Festival at Peterborough, N. H., where Mrs. MacDowell has established a colony for the furtherance of musical art in America, was a huge success. Many notable works were performed and a liberal recognition was given to American composers. Among those whose works obtained a hearing were Edgar Stillman Kelley, Henry F. Gilbert, Edward Burlinghame Hill, Mabel W. Daniels, A. Cyril Graham, Arthur Farwell and Lewis Isaacs. The works of MacDowell, of course received adequate attention.
A “submarine” violin will come as a novelty to most people, yet this is the latest device employed in the United States Navy. A taut wire is stretched alongside a submarine torpedo boat and is set in vibration by a wheel, which acts exactly like a violin bow. The vessel itself acts as a resonator. The wheel is set in motion by motor, which works in response to an ordinary Morse telegraph key. The dots and dashes hum through the water, and their vibrations are caught by a telephone receiving apparatus ashore. A speed of eight words a minute is the best record yet. The experiments at Hampton Roads show that the vibrations can be heard clearly at a distance of five miles.
Mrs. Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler has always been a warm champion of the cause of American music. Before sailing on the Imperator for Germany she recently expressed some forceful opinions on the habit of American students who rush to Europe every year. “I am sorry to say that much of this mad rush to study in Europe is due to foolish mothers who make their daughters’ education an excuse to leave their husbands and to live abroad for a few years.” This is a hard saying! But Mrs. Zeisler thinks, apart from that, that the music student will be better served at home. “The chances are,” she goes on, “that a young musician studying in America under a good American teacher receives better value for his money than if he studied abroad. It is a fact that some of the greatest musicians had a foreign education, but true genius will shine anywhere. And what becomes of the thousands who go to study in Europe every year and are never heard of?”
The “moral” clause in the rules for the libretto submitted to win the $10,000 opera prize offered by the National Federation of Musical Clubs has been somewhat variously received, and not a few writers have made fun of it. This has brought forth some caustic comments from various members of the federation, who stand up for the rule in no uncertain terms. One of the most vitriolic of these emanates from Mrs. Flournoy Rivers, who is chairman of the federation’s extension department. “I do not think we meant to debar sin as a topic,” she said, among other things, “but simply to keep out debasing impurities. Our standards of morality are not European. We do stickle for the decencies, and in offering prizes for librettos we mean to stand for beauty and for uplift—not for stale and filthy plots. Music in itself cannot be vulgar. It must be associated with words to become so. With a world full of beauty to choose from, we see no desirability in selecting unseemly things, and endorse heartily that plain statement of the Almighty’s in Deuteronomy, ‘Evil favoredness is an abomination to me.’ “
“Why not have symphony orchestras composed of women?” asks Mr. John C. Freund, editor of Musical America and the Music Trades. He answers his own question with weighty arguments in favor of it that hardly stand in need of the further well reasoned statements of Maud Powell, who says, “Of course women should play in symphony and other orchestras if they want the work. Wanting the work implies measuring up to the standards of musical and technical efficiency, with strength to endure well hours of rehearsing and often the strain of travel, broken habits and poor food. Many women are amply fitted for the work; such women should be employed on an equal footing with men. I fail to see that any argument to the contrary is valid. But if they accept the work they should be prepared to expect no privileges becauses (sic) of their sex. They must dress quietly and as fine women they must uphold high standards of comfort.”
David Bispham is in Australia where he is delighting both discriminating critics and the more tolerant public.
Music with meals is now so firmly established in the world’s big cities that we are not surprised to learn that a nickname has been found for it. The London Musical Record calls it “Menial Music.”
The largest theatre in the world is said to be the opera house in Paris. It covers three acres of ground and has a cubic mass of 4.287,000 feet. The cost of the building was $25,000,000.
A posthumous work of Massenet’s, not yet in print, was recently performed in Paris. It is a “melodic poem” entitled Loti’s Vision, and was sung by four artists from the Grand Opera. The work proved to be in Massenet’s happiest vein.
Leoncavallo, the composer of Pagliacci, is said to have nearly completed a comic opera for production in London. The book is by Max Pemberton, and it is said that Sir James M. Barrie, of Peter Pan fame, has also had a hand in it.
German admirers of Wagner are much incensed to learn that the house in which the master composed Lohengrin near Pillnitz, is to be turned into a distillery. Indignantly they ask, “What has become of the boasted ideals of the German people that they can permit such a desecration?”
There is an old chapel attached to the estate of Prince zu Fürstenberg, and in it was recently discovered a musical manuscript which proved to be an unknown symphony by Haydn. The work has been given a hearing in Baden-Baden, and the critics tell us that it reveals Haydn in a “humorous, good-natured mood.”
Lilli Lehmann, the celebrated Wagner and Mozart opera singer, has recently given the institution in Saltzburg, designed to perpetuate the memory of Mozart, and known as the Mozarteum, a sum of two hundred thousand kronen (about $40,000) with the stipulation that the annual interest from this amount must be about one thousand dollars.
Charpentier, the composer of Louise, has no sympathy with those who compose for money. In spite of a wide interest in his work, it is thirteen years since he completed Louise, and he has only just produced a second opera, Julien. He is credited with the saying. “Composers may be divided into two classes—those who write for the street pianos and those who plagiarize from them.”
Vienna is supposed to be quite a light, frothy sort of place and to have no share of the German plod-plod methods. Nevertheless, word has come to us that the “Wiener Concerthaus Gesellschaft” has decided to present the whole of Beethoven’s chamber music in a series of concerts which will extend over three years. This implies a thoroughness entirely worthy of the dwellers on the banks of the Spree.
Leo Slezak, the well-known tenor, recently had a narrow escape from death when sailing on a Bavarian lake. His companion, Fritz Sturmfeld of the Royal Leipzig Opera, was drowned, but the distinguished member of the Metropolitan Opera Company managed to cling to the capsized boat until aid was forthcoming.
The musical world has lost a great artist in David Popper, the famous ‘cellist and composer of ‘cello music. He was born in 1846 at Prague and received his musical education in that city. Though he never came to America, he traveled all over Europe, and his works are played by all who have any skill on the ‘cello. His best known compositions are probably the Tarantelle, and Elfentanz.
One of the most coveted distinctions France has to offer is the cross of the Legion of Honor. Among the 374 persons who have been made members of the order, or have been promoted in it this year are only three women, and one of these is Cécile Chaminade, the composer of the Scarf Dance, Serenade, and many other delightful piano pieces and songs. She visited this country in 1908, and endeared herself to thousands of Americans.
A performance of Aida was recently given in Verona in the Roman amphitheatre. In spite of the fact that the building holds 30,000 people, a crowd of 15,000 were turned away. There were more than 800 performers in the orchestra; and the scenery of the amphitheatre cost nearly $100,000. Fifty horses and bulls assisted in the pageant. One of the most interesting facts about this performance was that the artists’ dressing- rooms were subterranean chambers where, in the days of the Roman Empire, the gladiators were wont to prepare themselves for the contests.
The death is announced of Stephen Adams, the English composer whose song, The Holy City, and many others hardly less famous, made him familiar to the American musical public. It is not generally known that he was a brother-in-law of the Mrs. Maybrick whose trial and conviction for the murder of her husband created an international sensation some years ago, Stephen Adams had a fine baritone voice, and was extremely popular in his own country. His real name was Michael Maybrick. He was born in Liverpool in 1844, and was educated there and in Leipzig and Milan.
A unique birthday party was recently tendered to Paderewski by some fellow artists who are spending the summer near his residence in Switzerland. At the suggestion of Schelling, a concert party whose membership included Felix Weingartner, Leopold Stokowski, Sembrich, Alma Glück and Dalmores, unexpectedly descended upon the great pianist and performed a “cubist symphony” outside his window. Later in the day, six pianists including Padereswki (sic) himself, with Schelling, Samaroff, Josef Hofmann, Rudolf Ganz and Stokowsky performed at the same piano a ragtime version of the Blue Danube waltz.
The Kaiser, who apart from being a warlord is a musical soul, has discovered to his horror that the officers of his enormous army are weak on enunciation, and emit their rugged orders in tones which vary greatly in pitch, at the same time “swallowing” half their words. He accordingly called in Professor Spiess, who made experiments and decided that all orders should be given in C natural. If this order is carried out, we may expect the British War Office to invent a machine employing tuning forks or resonators which will respond to the tone of C natural. In this way the tones of command issued by an invading German army would be carried across the water and caught by the resonators in ample time to safeguard the threatened coast.
Among the many troubles that beset the operatic prima donna, one of the most annoying is the unwelcome distinction conferred upon her by the use of her name on all manner of soaps, dental washes, and other toilet requisites. Melba has suffered from this to such an extent that she has been obliged to take steps to prevent it. Not long ago she went into a drug-store, where “Melba Perfume” filled the window. She tried it, and found that it was so bad that she remonstrated with the proprietor. “How dare you attach my name to such stuff?” she demanded. “I’ve as much right to it as you have, answered the druggist, cooly, “for your real name is Mrs. Armstrong.” So the great soprano has lost no time in having her name patented so as to control its future use.
The new poet laureate of Great Britain, Dr. Robert Bridges is not so widely known in this country as many other living British poets are, but he is nevertheless a writer of great power. His works are said by a London musical journal to be particularly good for musical purposes, and two of them have already been utilized by Sir Hubert Parry and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. A more popular laureate would undoubtedly have been Rudyard Kipling, but Kipling has inspired few musicians owing to his intentionally coloquial style. Nevertheless such songs as Danny Deever, and The Gipsy Trail have been set with success in America, and in England a large sum was realized for the benefit of the soldiers in the South African war by Sir Arthur Sullivan’s rather poor setting of An Absent-minded Beggar. A more elaborate Kipling work is the cantata, The Ballad of the Clamperdown by Sir Frederick Bridge, organist at Westminster Abbey.

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