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The World of Music



Mr. George Grosmith, the famous English musical comedy star, who has entertained thousands of audiences in America during the last twenty-five years, has been made a lieutenant in the British Naval Reserve, and has therefore temporarily retired from the stage.

The “Egyptian Concert Party,” a group of musicians setting out for the land of the Pharaohs, illustrates the need for music at all times. These artists are going to the battle front in Egypt to give concerts to the soldiers. The “Party” is supported by music lovers in. England.

An interesting example of self help is to be found in the personality of a London orchestral conductor now coming to the front. His name is Vincent Thomas, and the papers speak very highly of his recent conducting of Mozart’s Il Seraglio. He gained all his training while working through the day in a bank. He wrote an opera during this time, and underwent great sacrifices in order to succeed.

That British Industries are by no means at a standstill is indicated by the latest number of the Musical Opinion and Trade Review of London. There are over forty pages of advertisements of musical merchandise in this issue.

It is reported that Boito’s opera, “Nerone” (Nero), is approaching production at Milan. Boito has been engaged upon this work for a number of years, and it is understood that he expects to show a vast advance in ability. He is already one of the most interesting characters in musical history, for it is only at rare intervals that such a capable composer could be induced to write libretti for another master as Boito did for Verdi.

The London Musical News reports that the noted French composer Maurice Ravel was wounded at Verdun and is now recuperating in a military hospital in Paris.

The monthly Musical Record of London, has an article from a soldier in the trenches, telling how several enthusiastic music students are continuing their musical theoretical studies in the trenches during the lull between battles.

Hail to Le Guide Musicale, the foremost musical paper of Belgium, which was discontinued August 15th, 1914; but is now resumed with an excellent issue. The publication office of the journal is now in Paris. Le Guide Musicale is in its 60th year. The English and German musical periodicals have, on the whole, fared better than those of France where publication seemed to cease immediately when the great war began. No German musical periodicals have been received for over a year at the office of The Etude. One of the interesting things in the paper is a biographical article upon the great Spanish composer, Enrique Grenados, who went down with the Sussex.

Gaetano Donizetti, a grand nephew of the composer by that name, has endeavored to enjoin the Paris Opera Comique from performing his Grand Uncle’s opera, The Daughter of The Regiment. This opera was one of Donizetti’s sixty-seven works and was first given in 1840. Now, nearly eighty years after, a distant relative has made an attempt to control the receipts of a work in which he had no creative part. The Etude earnestly beleives (sic) that a certain protection is due to composers and publishers through such a just copyright arrangement as that provided by the United States Government. However, any copyright which would give any individual a protracted monopoly upon any art work would unquestionably be a public injury. Fortunately the Paris Courts decided the case against the contestant in this instance.

The London Musical News makes a plea for Wagner in one of its recent issues, contending against those “exclusives” who would have none of it because it is German.

One firm alone sells 25,000,000 talking machine needles a week, according to a London report.

It is reported that the Queen’s Hall, London, now has a large number of women in its personnel owing to enlistments in the war.

A Society has recently been established in Moscow in memory of the great Russian modern composer, Scriabine.

At least one opera house in Europe has profited by war conditions. That is at Monte Carlo where this season is said to have been the most brilliant and successful of all. It is perhaps human, at this time of world stress when Fate is playing such a high hand, that men and women should run in greater numbers to the gaming table. Monte Carlo is the gambler’s paradise and the war has quickened the interest in it according to reports.

At Home

A French Opera Company and Academy of Music has been launched in New York City, the sponsors being leading composers and musicians of France, among whom are Saint-Saëns, Camille Erlanger and Vincent d’Indy. The director of the enterprise is M. Antoine V. K. de Vally.

Of the many opera companies in America this season, the San Carlo Company deserves especial praise. The impressario, Fortune Gallo, is only thirty years old and has had no subsidy whatever in his ventures.

Community singing has now developed into a veritable craze. Cities in all parts of the country are starting community choruses.

A manuscript of an air by Mozart brought $225 at the auction sale of the library of the late S. P. Warren, in New York.

The Women’s Orchestra Club of New York, Theodore Spiering conductor, is in the midst of its third season. It was formed for the purpose of providing opportunity for women for orchestral and ensemble practice.

Maude Fay, who has replaced Mme. Destinn, at the beginning of the Metropolitan season in New York, made her début in Lohengrin. She is an American girl, born in California. For the past ten years she has lived in Germany. During this time she was a member of the Royal Opera Company of Munich.

Musical possibilities of the wireless telephone are being developed by Dr. De Forest, at his laboratories at High Bridge. New York. He has recently sent out to the owners of amateur stations within wireless distance of the Forest Laboratories “an invitation-to-listen” to musical programs. There are at least 200,000 amateur wireless outfits in the United States as possible subscribers to such courses.

A new American tenor, Carlo Hackett, is credited with a great success at his début at La Scala, where he sang the Duke in Rigoletto.

Harrison M. Wild has resigned as the director of the Chicago Apollo Musical Club, after serving for nineteen years. His work during that time has been praised in the most enthusiastic manner possible for its artistic value and for its vocal effectiveness.

Opera is to be part of the work at Columbia University next summer. The musical director Will be Eduardo Petri, director of the chorus school of the Metropolitan Opera House. The company will be known as the Summer Season Grand Opera Company. The opera house will be the gymnasium of the university, which seats 2,500 people.

Prof. George Henry Howard, well known to Etude readers through his contributions and at one time a member of the New England Conservatory, died at his home in Boston in February. Professor Howard was born in 1843, at Norton, Mass. He studied in Boston, Leipsig and Berlin. He was the author of many musical books.

Homer N. Bartlett, distinguished American composer, has passed his seventieth birthday. In honor of the occasion, his friends tendered him a dinner in New York City.

An effort is being made by music lovers in St. Louis to raise a fund that will enable the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to tour.

Owing to much agitation for standardization of music teaching, various bodies have brought acts to the attention of the legislature of different states. Out in California there is a law before the legislature which provides for the following: all teachers required to have a certificate to teach—a board of seven examiners appointed by the governor of the state to examine all applicants for a certificate; all teachers are required to register with the board and pay an annual registration fee of $1.00; the board makes its own rules and regulations relating to examinations, etc.; any one violating any of the provisions of the act shall be liable to a fine of from $50.00 to $200.00, or six months in the county jail; a fee of ten dollars will be charged for all persons taking the examination. The Pacific Coast Musician is taking a strong stand against the act, calling it a “wasteful, harmful proceeding whose most noticeable accomplishment would be to hold California up to the ridicule of the world of art.”

Community singing is taking the country by wildfire. Time was when every piano was the center of a constellation of young people at least once a week and the good old College Songs, which were neither collegiate nor dignified, were howled out to one’s heart’s content. Then the craze for college songs seemed to die out and with it the splendid habit of singing. Now people all over the country are getting together in masses for mass singing. The label “community” has been pasted on the new movement but it is simply the old fashioned “singin’ skewl” and the “college song” spirit in a new and larger incarnation. In New York, Harry Barnhart, who made a success of mass singing in Rochester, has been leading choruses of 6000 in the open air concerts in Central Park every Sunday.


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