July 19, 1913
Page 3

Highly Unflattering Comparison Drawn Between Artistic Standing of This and Other Countries—" If Lions and Other Wild Animals Are Sensitive to Musical Influence, Why Shouldn't Americans Be?" Why Hasn't Every American City Its Symphony Orchestra and Opera House?—Why Don't Our Millionaires Support Music?—We're Even Behind England in Musical Advancement, According to German Conductor Now Visiting Us

ON June 22, Leschetizky, the "grand old man" of the piano, passed the eighty-third milestone of his long and active life. According to his custom of recent years, he withdrew himself into seclusion on the anniversary of his natal day in order to escape the army of congratulators, but on the evening following an informal supper was given at his villa in Karl Ludivigstrasse in Vienna, at which a few of his most intimate friends were present. Those whose good luck it was to be invited rejoiced to find the master of the house still in full possession of his ruddy good health, his sparkling wit, inimitable humor and the many other qualities which have endeared him to all who have come to know him well. His constitution, according to his physician, is one of those very rare examples of physical and mental energy of extraordinary potency; in fact, one has quite come to look upon Leschetizky as a permanent institution for the dissemination of the secrets of modern piano-playing.
THE elaborately unostentatious arrival of Ignaz Waghalter, the Berlin conductor, in New York a couple of weeks ago was really not any mysterious and deeplaid stratagem of musical politics. When a foreign musician of repute makes a sudden incursion into America at a time of the year when he ought to be posing for a snapshot near an Alpine precipice, undergoing a cure at Aix-les-Bains or Marienbad, or preparing himself to conduct or otherwise to participate in some Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Reger or Schoenberg festival, the domestic imagination sets to work and evolves complex and fantastic theories. A new Philharmonic or Boston Symphony conductor perhaps? Who knows? There are no precise or explicit grounds, of course, for construing matters just in this fashion or in that, but then heat and Summer idleness have a curious way of stimulating the mind.
But, frankly now, the present case offers no actual grounds for mystic speculations and vain imaginings. There is nothing cryptic in the import of Mr. Waghalter's abrupt visit. He has no intention of displacing Mr. Stransky or replacing Dr. Muck, nor does he propose to found a symphony orchestra in Butte, Montana, or to inaugurate a season of educational opera in Tombstone, Ariz. It was not even a case of seeing America while the Americans are seeing Europe. It so chances that he has relatives hereabouts and he was anxious to see them. So he passed through New York and went to Long Beach, L.I., and in a very few weeks he will go back again. Such is the how, the why and the wherefore of his whole expedition.
It was erroneously stated recently that Mr. Waghalter was considered as a Philharmonic possibility after the death of Mahler. As a matter of fact the conductor denies that he was ever so considered or, indeed, that he is contemplating any American activity for the present or the immediate future. He is far too satisfied with the condition of his affairs in Germany just now to wish to attempt any change. He conducts opera at the Charlottenberg establishment in Berlin and previous to that he held a post of influence at the Komische Oper. Besides, he demonstrates frequently that a successful operatic conductor can make his mark in the concert hall and symphonic work occupies not a little of his time each year. He has been heard and applauded all the way from Barcelona to St. Petersburg.
Mr. Waghalter believes that modesty is a becoming ornament, but he differs from Goethe's theory to the effect that one gets along better without it. He doesn't like to talk about himself or his accomplishments and he says so. "I consider music a very eloquent language," he remarked the other day to a representative of MUSICAL AMERICA, "and I think that it can speak for me better than anything I could say myself."
The person of average experience at guessing ages might rate Mr. Waghalter's years somewhere between twenty-eight and thirty—scarcely more. The young man's face does not suggest a Teutonic origin—he is, as a matter of fact, Polish, having been born in Warsaw. One might possibly trace a slight resemblance between him and Mascagni or Wolf-Ferrari—his features have something of the Italian about them.
Mr. Waghalter is a composer and a very thorough musician. He has written chamber music, a symphony and operas and he plays every orchestral instrument from a bass clarinet to a tamtam. Musical proficiency of the highest order runs in the family, it appears. His father was a skilled musician, one of his brothers is a composer of note and another was one of the favorite pupils of Joachim.
The young conductor's own tastes are catholic in the extreme. Operatic and symphonic work pleases him equally well and he is happy whether conducting Brahms or the antipodal Puccini. It was under his direction that "The Girl" had its Berlin première. Incidentally, Waghalter once astonished the Italian composer by playing "Manon Lescaut," "Bohème" and "Tosca" from memory when Puccini's recollection of his own scores had grown rusty and refused to work.
Outside of New York and Long Beach Mr. Waghalter has seen nothing of America, nor is he likely to on the present trip. Nevertheless, he has some very definite ideas on the musical propensities of the country and they are none too favorable. Indeed, the optimistically disposed had better avoid the topic of American musical appreciation altogether if they wish to be in strictly amicable accord with Mr. Waghalter. The situation is dismal from his point of view, and if the country were to spend six million times its present six hundred million he wouldn't feel inclined to alter that' point of view. He realizes, naturally, that his conception of things is that of the foreigner who has not been brought into close or prolonged contact with American conditions as such. But until he finds very substantial reason for changing his beliefs he expects to keep on thinking just what he thinks now.
In the very first place it seems to me little less than a shame and a disgrace that every American city should not have a symphony orchestra of its own. Think of there being no orchestra in such a city as Washington! Think of the few cities that support their own opera companies! In Germany such conditions would be impossible. There every town has its orchestra and its opera house and there people go primarily to hear a work, not an artist. The hundreds of great artists who come annually to America do so primarily for the money they make. It becomes a matter of business rather than a pilgrimage with a fundamentally artistic object. I have spoken with innumerable musicians who have toured this country; I have discussed the matter with many Americans abroad and so I feel more or less convinced that I am right. My present point of view expresses essentially the attitude of the German people in the matter.
Why should things be as they are? Why is it that the appreciation of music for its own sake is not more widespread here than is actually the case? Surely there is something wrong when a good orchestra cannot succeed in obtaining adequate support. If the government will not support musical institutions as it does in Germany it seems to me only fitting that men of affluence, of enormous wealth should take it upon themselves to do so: A man like Carnegie, for instance, who endows colleges and other institutions with such liberality should, it seems to me be ready to contribute to the maintenance of orchestras more liberally than he does. Orchestras are most essential to the musical cultivation of a people.
It is surprising to me that America is behind England in musical advancement. Every English city has admirably organized musical functions. The vogue of Caruso has a distinctly American element about it. It is perfectly true that the Germans flock to hear him when he comes to Germany. But, while one cannot gainsay the beauty of his wonderful voice it must be admitted that the crowds are attracted especially by sensational considerations and Caruso became sensational in America.
I know that there are some unexcelled musical organizations here. We all know abroad that the Boston Orchestra is the best in the world. But still the development of musical culture is not as even as it ought to be. It is my opinion that the American people ought to have their deficiency pointed out to them. Critics should write articles week after week calling attention to the prevailing state of affairs most forcibly, and drawing comparisons between the artistic standing of American and foreign people. Americans are a proud race. They do not like to be told of their inferiority to other nations in any respect. And if this particular point is driven home forcibly enough it should bring about appreciable results.
After all, if lions and other wild animals are sensitive to musical influence, why should a great nation remain callous to it?"

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transfer such contracts to a legalized corporation should I see fit, so that in the event that the courts should decide I must not be directly or indirectly interested in grand opera in New York, Boston, Philadelphia or Boston, the work will be continued by a corporation. Nobody can prevent me from being an adviser to anybody in operatic or in any other matters. "It will be shown that, de facto, I have not been paid anything for my retirement from the operatic field, and that the money that has been paid to me merely covered the original cost of the Philadelphia Opera House.
Calls Plaintiff "Flagrant Violator"
"They include also my son Arthur in these contracts, prohibiting him from entering the field of grand opera, and for this no consideration has been made. But one of my main defenses is that the Metropolitan Opera Company has broken the contract in the most flagrant manner; that they are occupying the whole territory outside of those four cities with the presentation of opera for shorter or longer periods—a field that will be shown by the whole sense of the contract was left exclusively to me. "I have a certificate from my dentist that all my eye teeth have been extracted scientifically, without injury to my eyesight, and I feel that my foresight has been correctly located."
Denies Taking Initiative
A positive denial was made by Mr. Hammerstein that he or his representatives had taken the initiative in the negotiations by which he sold his business, producing rights and good-will to the Metropolitan Opera Company.
"It's an absolute lie," said Mr. Hammerstein. "You can safely say that I am in the possession of evidence which will be introduced at the trial of the suit to show beyond a doubt that the Metropolitan Opera Company paid to certain persons $50,000 for engineering the transaction.
"Recently there has been discovered a new species of humanity in the 'wolf of Wall Street.' I have found still another species, and that is the 'hyena of grand opera.'"

Elizabeth S. Clark Weds Actor Edward Fielding Elizabeth Sherman Clark, concert and opera singer, was married in New York on July 14 to Edward Bignold Elkins, whose stage name is Edward Fielding. The ceremony occurred at the residence of the Misses Todd, No. 65 Central Park West, and it was attended by many musical and dramatic celebrities. The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Paris Garner Clark. She has sung at several opera houses in this country. Her husband has been a member of Mme. Nazimova's company for three years and has been associated with Otis Skinner, Grace George and Sir Herbert Tree in England. The couple have gone on a brief honeymoon.

Anna Case and Annie Louise David in Briarcliff Musicale BRIARCLIFF LODGE, N. Y., July I2.—The second of the series of musicales at Briarcliff Lodge, arranged by Mrs. R. W. Hawksworth, was given this morning, and introduced Anna Case, soprano, of the Metropolitan Opera Company, and Mrs. Annie Louise David, harpist, with Harold O. Smith at the piano. Miss Case's closing number, Schubert's "Ave Maria" with harp accompaniment, was particularly to the liking of her audience, and both artists were applauded to the echo.

Recognition for Veteran English Organist Those who are interested in things musical will be gratified to see that public recognition is to be made of Sir George Martin's long period of brilliant musical service to the nation, says the London Sketch. Sir George has held the proud position of organist of St. Paul's Cathedral for over a quarter of a century now, and was created a knight on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee. He possesses the honorary degree of Mus. Doc. of Oxford because of his valuable contributions to English ecclesiastical music. Exceedingly modest and retiring, he is an indefatigable worker and confesses that he does his best work under pressure. His well-known “Te Deum" in A flat was written between ten A. M. and midnight of the day before it was performed.

Charles Rousselière is to create the leading tenor role in Alfred Bruneau's "Les quartres Journées" at the Opéra Cnmique, Paris, next Spring.


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