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The Etude notes with deep regret the death on July 26th of Mr. Albert Locke Norris, whose compositions have endeared him to our readers.

Owing to the influence of Paderewski the Polish emigrants from Galicia and Prussian Poland interned in Canada are to be set at liberty.

A prize is offered by the Baton Club of Chicago, of fifty dollars for the best anthem suitable for use in non-liturgical churches. Particulars may be obtained from H. W. Fairbanks, 7752 Lowe Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

John Philip Sousa is the most successful writer of marches who ever lived; but his marches do not represent his only “hits.” He has been elected President of the American Amateur Trapshooters’ Association.

Hans Schneider, well known as a piano teacher and lecturer on musical pedagogics, is among the few musicians who answered the President’s call for the National Guard, and is in camp with the Rhode Island Cavalry at Camp Quonset.

At the open air performance of Aida given in Franklin Field, Philadelphia, within sound of the freight trains, the hit of the evening was made by the small boy selling librettos, who yelled before a delighted audience, “If you can’t hear it, read it.”

The first concerts given in Madison Square Garden by the Civic Orchestral Society of New York, under Walter Henry Rothwell, have proved to be a great success, all the more significant in view of the high standard of music maintained in the programs.

The California Music Teachers’ Association held its sixth annual convention this year at San Diego. In addition to transacting the usual business many useful addresses were given and an excellent entertainment provided.

John E. Bailey, of Nashville, Tenn., and Henry M. Butler, of St. Louis, Mo., are the oldest public school music teachers in the United States. They are both eighty-four years old and have both been teaching music in the schools for fifty years.

Arthur Henry Messiter, for thirty-one years organist and choirmaster of Trinity Church, New York, died recently at the age of eighty-three. He was born in Frome, Somersetshire, England. He retired from active service at Trinity Church in 1897.

Rupert Hughes, formerly well known as a musician and writer on music and now better known as a novelist and playwright, has “gone to the front.” He is a member of the New York National Guard, holding the rank of Captain.

The shifting of the fashionable section of New York has left Steinway Hall in what is coming to be regarded as the “downtown” section. For this reason the directors of Steinway & Sons have decided to erect a new Steinway Hall on West Fifty-seventh street. The present Steinway Hall is of great musical historical interest. Here it was that Rubinstein made his American debut, and for many years the greatest artists appearing in America were heard at Steinway Hall.

Hans Tauscher, a retired captain in the German army and husband of Johanna M. Gadski, has been acquitted of the charge preferred by the Federal authorities of conspiring with Captain von Papen and others to blow up the Welland Canal. Madame Gadski, the Metropolitan soprano, and their daughter Lotte, were present in court when the verdict was returned. Mme. Gadski is one of the most beloved of all German-American artists and her friends are delighted to learn that she has been relieved of any possible anxiety.

The Musicians’ Journal of San Francisco is responsible for the statement that a certain widely known baseball player, suffering from stiffness in his right arm, took violin lessons during the winter, played in a theatre orchestra, and finally returned to baseball with full use of his “salary wing” as the result of the gentle exercise of violin playing. Occasionally when sitting in the subdued light of our favorite moving-picture palace we are compelled to listen to the efforts of a pianist who appears to be improvising at the keyboard with his feet. Can it be that some football player suffering from stiffness of the toes is limbering up?

Chicago has been listening to performances in Riverview Park of the Tsing-Tau Orchestra Band of the Chinese forces in Germany, which has been playing for the benefit of the Austro-German Relief Association. The Tsing-Tau Orchestra Band was stationed at Kiao-Chao when this was captured by the Japanese early in the war. The band was permitted to come to America, but is now forced to remain here as the British refuse to allow it safe conduct back to China. The band is under the direction of Herr O. K. Wille, and has often played before important personages, including President Yuan Shih Kai of the Chinese Republic and the Dowager Empress and Prince Regent.

If one were asked to name the operatic capital of the Western Hemisphere it would not be New York, but Buenos Ayres. Alwyn Hallam, writing in the New York Evening Post, informs us that in the Argentine capital “during the whole year round there is opera in at least one theatre, and during the Southern winter season, in the days before the crisis, it was no uncommon thing for four opera companies to be running at once, with stalls varying in price from the Marconi $3 ($1.00 U. S.) to the $50 ruling; at the Colon—if you were lucky enough to get one.” However, Buenos Ayres, it seems, is not very catholic in its tastes, for we learn that “if there is one thing that bores an audience in Buenos Ayres, gentle or simple, to distraction, it is Wagner.”

The Chicago English Opera Company has been formed in Chicago and will tour the United States, giving opera in English. The company plans to visit cities, great and small, where the people have no chance to hear the Metropolitan Company of New York or the Chicago company. The general manager of the enterprise is Basil Horsfall, an English composer and conductor, five of whose operas have been produced in England. Mr. Horsfall was formerly connected with the Sheehan Opera Company and the Quinlan company.

A performance of the Mahler Symphony, the “symphony of a thousand voices,” heard for the first time in America in Philadelphia, is being planned for Chicago, and will take place if all goes well next April. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be augmented, and a huge choral body drawn from the leading choral organizations of Chicago.

The Music Section of the National Education Association convened recently in New York for the purpose of discussing various phases of music in its relation to public schools and colleges. The president of the Music Section is Frances E. Dutting. Among the speakers were Thomas Whitney Surette, Peter W. Dykeman, Leonard B. McWhood and others. A complimentary organ recital was given by Samuel A. Baldwin.

The Etude always takes pleasure in welcoming a new school of music to the field. We have a strong feeling that in music the same business laws apply that arise in connection with all other enterprises. In this case we feel that an additional school in New York City, such as that recently organized by David and Clara Mannes, will promote the business interests of other New York institutions as well. The more shoe stores that come to a certain district in a city the more business there will be for all, because the shoe buyers are brought to that district. The same law applies to music schools. The more music schools there are in a city the greater will be the attraction for music students to that city. The new school in New York has secured a large and handsome building on the upper east side. Mr. David Mannes’ romantic rise from poverty, his long years of study with a former negro slave (John Douglas), who had been trained in violin playing in Europe, his long service with the New York Symphony Orchestra, of which he eventually become concert master, and his experience as head of the East Third Street Music Settlement School, have fitted him finely for his new work. Mrs. Mannes is a sister of Walter Damrosch.

The extraordinary extent to which the festival idea has developed in America may be gathered from the fact that Peru, Neb., has just held its sixth annual festival. A small college town inhabited by a few hundred people, there is nevertheless enough musical enthusiasm present to enable a performance to be given of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in the college chapel with a chorus of 200 voices.

The promised opera house for St. Louis is to become a fact. It is planned to begin work on what is to be known as the St. Louis Metropolitan Grand Opera House as soon as the preliminaries can be completed. The building will be situated on Lindell Boulevarde, opposite the St. Louis Club, and on what St. Louis authorities regard as one of the most beautiful thoroughfares in America.

Those interested in the merger of the New York Sun and the Press will be pleased to know that W. J. Henderson, the distinguished music critic of the Sun for many years, will continue his work under the new regime.

A choral society has been formed among the officials of the Baltimore Post Office, and recently gave a concert. A Post Office Choral Society is something new, but it is not out of the way when you consider how many notes pass through the mail.

The death has taken place of Rudolph Gemünder of a well-known firm of violin makers. His father was founder of the business and the family has long been connected with the industry. The grandfather of Rudolph Gemünder was violin maker to Prince Hohenlohe of Würtemberg.

The artistic world has suffered a serious loss in the death of Michael Hambourg, father of the well-known virtuoso, Mark Hambourg. Michael Hambourg was born at Yaroslav, Russia, 1855. He received his musical training in Petrograd and Moscow under the two Rubinsteins and Tchaikovski and other noted teachers. He was for a time the leading piano teacher of the Imperial Conservatory in Moscow, but later went to London, teaching at the Guildhall School of Music, and later founding the Hambourg Conservatory. In 1910, he and his two sons, Jan the violinist and Boris the ‘cellist, went to Toronto, Canada, where they founded a school of music. Etude readers who have found help and inspiration in the wonderful articles on elementary and advanced piano technic by Mark Hambourg which have appeared in these columns will feel a special bond of sympathy with him in his bereavement.

  Abroad

Before Alice Verlet left her home in Belgium at the outbreak of the war she made provision for her villa to be turned into a Red Cross hospital. One of the patients subsequently to be treated there was her own brother, who was wounded fighting in the Belgian army. Alice Verlet is now one of the most popular sopranos in America.

There were two hundred students graduated from the Paris Conservatoire, mostly women. The number of women students at the Conservatoire has not greatly fallen off since the war started, but there are about a hundred less men, indicating that the young musicians are giving themselves as freely for France as young men in other walks of life.

The Distinguished Service Medal has been bestowed upon two members of the Seaforth Highlanders for rallying their comrades in battle by means of a mouth organ. This may be a war of guns, but behind the guns are men, and men without courage can win no battles. Is it strange to find music again asserting itself as one of the great inspiring forces of mankind, even though its inspiration be dispensed through a mouth organ?

The death has occurred of Dr. Charles Maclean, a prominent English musician who took a keen interest in the affairs of the International Musical Society. Dr. Maclean was a prominent organist and a successful composer. He was also one of the directors of the Royal Philharmonic Society, and held high office in other august musical bodies.

The Royal College of Music of London has received a bequest of $27,500 as a scholarship fund for students of composition. The bequest, however, is not without a “string to it,” for Dorothea Hollins, who donated the legacy, insists that the student holding the scholarship must read her book entitled The Marriage of True Minds.

Jacques Thibaud, one of the foremost violinists of France, has been fighting in the trenches, but has now been given a year of sick leave by the French government. He will spend part of that time in America. He has been here before, but this time he will no doubt be more welcome than ever. Remembering how his war experiences enhanced the popularity of Fritz Kreisler, it is likely that similar experiences will do at least as much for Thibaud.

Melba has been telling a London interviewer how Lord Kitchener wept when she sang Home, Sweet Home at a reception held at Lord Chelmsford’s. Lord Kitchener spent about two-thirds of his life away from home, and the song itself was written by a homeless man. It is usually those so situated who weep when Home, Sweet Home is sung. The real “home folks” who never leave their home towns prefer such works as Souvenir of Moscow or The Beautiful Blue Danube waltz.

A clergyman in an English country parish forbade the performance of Handel’s Dead March from Saul at a memorial service for the late Lord Kitchener on the ground that the march was composed by a German. The same clergyman might reasonably refuse loyalty to King George V, “Defender of the Faith” and titular head of the Church of England, on the ground that His Majesty is the grandson of a German. It is pleasant to find that the best of the English musical papers are aware of the insularity of such an attitude.

A Blind Musicians’ Concert party has been formed in England by Lady Pearson, and is embarking on a tour of the North of England. A novel announcement is that the services of the party can be obtained on Sundays for church performances or recitals where the offertory is in aid of the St. Dunstan’s Hostel or for the National Institute for the Blind. Sir Arthur Pearson was formerly a noted newspaper proprietor, a keen rival of Lord Northcliffe. Like our own Joseph Pullitzer he went blind, and has since devoted his great energies and capacities, as well as a considerable fortune, to the assistance of his fellow sufferers.

An interesting concert was given in Paris a short time ago, the program of which consisted entirely of works composed by musicians who took up arms against the Germans, not a few of whom have lost their lives. The conductor was Alfred Bruneau, the eminent composer. Before each piece he gave an interesting little account of the composer, adding, when occasion called for it, the time and place where he was wounded or killed. As may be expected the audience was quick to applaud anything of merit. Among the composers represented were Marcel Labey (wounded), Paul Ladmirault, Georges Kreiger (missing), Maurice Desrey, Augusta Delacroix, Edouard Flament and Roger Peneau.

It is now in order for some American commentator to write an article entitled “The Awakening,” in which he will make know the fact that Europeans in the warring countries of Europe are getting over their nightmare of hate and the insane attitudes they have taken toward the music of other countries. In the London Musical Opinion there is an article by Captain E. W. Dann, M.A., Oxon, in which the writer states: “The British public is probably the sanest public in the world,” and then goes on to tell how it completely lost its head in boycotting German music at the beginning of the war. Finally the good captain concludes: “If we are to have music at all we can not ignore Germany, in spite of this miserable strife.”

The enterprising Sir Thomas Beecham, who continues to produce opera in London despite the war, recently produced Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. This is the first Wagner opera to be given in London since the war began. It was enthusiastically received by an audience that packed the house.

D’Albert’s new opera, The Dead Eyes, produced last season in Dresden, is to be given in Berlin in the fall. In the meantime Alexander d’Arnelle, an official of the Dresden Court Opera, has written a three-act folk opera called The Dead Quest. Surely there is enough of death in Germany at the present time without dragging it into the opera house in this uncanny way.

The London Musical News, commenting on the relations between the United States and Germany, asserts that German music and musicians exert an extraordinary influence in the “land of the Stars and Stripes.” The writer also states that English composers are neglected in America, citing—of all people—Arthur Sullivan as a case in point. Sullivan’s operettas have always been liked in this country, and to this day H. M. S. Pinafore, The Mikado, Iolanthe and perhaps Patience draw probably quite as much as they do in England. While it is true that Teuton influences are strong in the musical life of this country, the writer exaggerates them—a mistake no doubt due to the large number of good Americans engaged in music who happen to have German names, but have generations ago ceased to have any patriotic affiliations with any country save the United States. It is, however, far from true that the best British composers and musicians are neglected over here. In the field of church music, in which English composers are entitled to more than usual respect, English composers have been far from neglected, and the same applies to organ music. If there have been no English operas produced in America, it is for a sufficient reason which need not be discussed. English concert artists, when good enough, have been well received in America, as Katharine Goodson, Leonard Borwick and Percy Grainger can testify. The best works of the older English composers, Stanford, Cowen and Edward Elgar, have not been ignored, while younger men, such as Cyril Scott, Percy Grainger, or (as our contemporary notes) Coleridge-Taylor, have been far from neglected. The truth is, the United States is receptive to the best music from whatever country it comes, and in this regard has less prejudice than any country in the world. If any composer suffers neglect, it is the American!

Mr. Edwin Hughes, whose articles have frequently been published in The Etude, has been giving piano recitals in various parts of Germany right through the war time. He has appeared in Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremburg and Berlin with notable success.

Eugen d’Albert, who was born in Scotland, having a French father of German descent, is of complex ancestry, and is implacable in his hatred of everything British (in spite of the fact that he received his early musical education in London and went to the continent as a result of a scholarship won in that city). He has been long resident in Germany, but just at present the Germans refuse to consider him as a subject of the Kaiser. He is said to have solved the difficulty by becoming a citizen of Switzerland.

A report reaches us that Richard Strauss was paid 60,000 marks ($15,000) for his new Alpine Symphony by a Leipzig publishing firm.

The “claque,” or group of paid applauders, so commonly met with even in the best opera houses in Italy, sems (sic) destined to become a thing of the past, at least in Milan. For many years the Claqueurs have been excessively extortionate, demanding large fees as the price of their support. At last an operatic tenor has arisen with courage enough to go to law about it. Signor Schipa, the artist in question, has caused several of them to be arrested and charged with having obliged certain artists to give them sums of money and theatre tickets, which they resold to the public. Not only this, but they also appear to have threatened physical attacks upon the artists in question unless their demands were favored. The price demanded seems to vary from $35 to $60. It is pleasant to learn that a “true bill” has been found against the Claqueurs in the Italian courts, and it is to be hoped that blackmail of this kind will soon be a thing of the past. 

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