November 22, 1913
Page 11

Has Its First Performance at the Hofoper—American Tenor Piccaver Scores as “Johnson”—A Busy Week for Weingartner

VIENNA, Nov. 3—The plunge into the musical season has been taken, at its flood tide, as it were, and a climax seems to have been reached almost at once. On one and the same evening recently there was a premiere (“Girl of the Golden West”) at the Hofoper, and a Huberman appearance after some years in the large hall of the new concert house; and a few days later, again on the same evening, Eugen d’Albert and Beatrice Harrison gave a sonata concert in the middle hall, and in the small hall there was an interesting song recital by Dr. Ludwig Wüllner, with Felix Weingartner officiating at the piano. Moreover, the Nicolai concert of the Philharmonic Orchestra, so named in honor of its first conductor, always the last of the season, was placed first on the list this year in honor of its latest leader, Felix Weingartner, and in celebration of his birthday. A pretty idea, as the proceeds from this concert are allotted to the pension and sick fund of the association.
Weingartner, indeed, played a prominent part in the musical world of Vienna last week. The above-mentioned Nicolai concert on Sunday proved artistically and socially a brilliant success. The program contained two symphonic works by Weingartner, his “King Lear” and “Lustige Overture” works illustrating the composer’s older and more modern period, and between them a number of charming lyrical compositions with piano and orchestra accompaniment, delightfully and expressively sung by Dr. Wüllner, an artist of finest feeling. Beethoven’s Fifth was the remaining number and received an inspired reading from Weingartner. The applause at the close of the concert was never ending, A banquet was tendered Weingartner on Monday evening.
Production of “The Girl”
Puccini’s “Girl of the Golden West” had its first performance in Vienna last Friday. The composer had come to Vienna some weeks previously to be present at the rehearsals and expressed his entire satisfaction in every respect, with special words of praise for the singers. He was quite prepared to have the opera designated a “kino-drama” as was actually done by some critics. Indeed, he thinks the work probably gave the incentive for “cowboy films.”
It is not unlikely that, having depicted French life in “Bohème,” given Japanese coloring in “Butterfly” and illustrated the “Wild "'West” in the “Girl.” Puccini may now compose an “Old Vienna” opera. At all events, during his stay here he has made the round of the operette theaters, though, to his regret, he has not come across the genuine Vienna waltz as embodied in the Johann Strauss dances.
As to the Vienna production of “The Girl” it may safely be stated that rarely has a finer stage setting been seen. The Minnie of Frau Jeritza, the Johnson of Piccaver and the Rance of Hofbauer were musically and dramatically impersonations of supreme excellence, while the numerous other characters were allotted to prominent members of the company, the American basso James Goddard among them in the part of Jake Wallace. To judge by the applause and the numerous recalls of both composer and singers the opera was a decided success. After the beautifully sung cantilena in the final act Piccaver was demonstratively acclaimed. Conductor Reichwein deserves all praise for his splendid handling of chorus and orchestra, and Director Gregor has once again given evidence of his skill in placing a work on the stage.
Jean de Reszke, who is spending a few days in Vienna on his way from his estate in Russia to his home in Paris, did not fail to hear Puccini’s opera and to express his appreciation of the Vienna representation.
Preparing for “Parsifal”
The Hofoper is now busy with preparatory work for the production of “Parsifal” early in January. The cast has been fixed as follows, the alternating artists being the tenors Burrian, Miller and Schmedes, the contraltos Mildenburg and Hoy, the baritones Schwarz, Weidemann and Haydter and the bassos Goddard and Mayr.
At the Volksoper the three guest performances of Emmy Destinn passed off most successfully. As Aida she was at her best vocally and dramatically, while Frl. Kalter, a regular member of the company, gave an Amneris that would be a credit to any stage. In the coming week the celebrated Italian baritone Battistini will appear at the Volksoper in some of his famous parts.
The Huberman concert last Friday drew an immense audience to the large hall of the new concert house. The violinist played the Beethoven Concerto in D Major, the second number on the program—the first was the Bach Concerto in E Major—in truly exalted manner and held the audience rapt by the purity and ardor of his conception. The last and final number, the familiar Mendelssohn Concerto in E Minor—I heard him play it in New York, whither Conried brought the then prodigy some sixteen years ago—could scarcely prove a climax, wonderfully played as it was. Stormy recalls finally evoked an encore, an ingenious bit by Elgar. The accompanying orchestra throughout the evening was that of the Concertverein under Loewe.
Prize Composition Sung
Karl Prohaska’s choral prize composition “Frühlingsfeier” (“Celebration of Spring”) was heard at the first of this season’s regular “Gesellschaft’s” concerts in the large Musikverein’s hall. The success the work achieved is in every way justified by the quality of the composition, its exceedingly fine choral effects, splendidly picturesque instrumentation, wholly on modern lines, and fine imaginative power that could give such adequate expression to Klopstock’s Ode, which forms the underlying text and is a proclamation of the worship of God in nature.
Director Franz Schalk had, devoted careful work to his difficult task, the Singverein and orchestra of the Concertverein covered themselves with glory under his baton, and the solo quartet, composed of Mmes. Foerstel and Kraus-Osborne, the tenor, Globerger (Darmstadt), and the basso. Dr. Felix von Kraus, were excellent, as always.
New Honor for Leschetizky
Professor Leschetizky has been distinguished by the Czar of Russia, receiving from him the Grand Cross of the Order of Stanislaus. The indefatigable “grand old man of music” is busy as ever again with the many pupils who flock to him annually. The “Frau Professor,” Marie Gabrielle Leschetizky, has been concertizing with great success in Lemberg, Prague and other Austrian cities. —ADDIE FUN K.

Maggie Teyte Sings English Songs in Costume in Middle West
Maggie Teyte, the English prima donna, gave a recital recently at the College Auditorium, Cedar Falls, Ia., before an enthusiastic audience. An innovation which pleased her hearers was the singing of several old English songs in costume. Miss Teyte also gave a recital in Houghton, Mich., her program being made up of two groups of English songs and one in Italian. The feature of the Italian group was the “Mi Chiamano Mimi” aria from “La Bohème.”
William Zeuch Resigns, Due to Nervous Breakdown—Concerts by Sousa and Hearing of New Baritone
ATLANTA, GA., Nov. 11.—In response to an urgent telegraphic request, stating that he had suffered a nervous breakdown, William Zeuch of Chicago has been released by the Atlanta Music Festival Association from his contract to become Atlanta’s city organist. Mr. Zeuch had been engaged to succeed Dr. Percy J. Starnes, and his coming to Atlanta had been anticipated eagerly because of his appearance here a few weeks ago.
The resignation of Mr. Zeuch leaves Atlanta not only without a municipal organist, but minus a director for the big music festival chorus of over 300 voices, The association has already started efforts to find another concert organist. Only a musician of the highest talent will be engaged, and, in keeping with the association’s polity to recognize American artists first, many of the foremost organists of this country will be brought here to play before a selection is made.
John Phi lip Sousa with his band is giving four concerts daily at Atlanta’s “million dollar automobile show,” which is now in progress. One of the most popular numbers on Mr. Sousa’s program, naturally, is “King Cotton,” which he composed especially for the Cotton States exposition here many years ago.
One of the most interesting recitals of the past week was that at the Atlanta Conservatory of Music, Tuesday evening, when C. Frederick Bonawitz, baritone, assisted by Annabelle Wood, made his initial appearance before the Atlanta public. The reception accorded him at his recital indicates popularity for him here.
Mrs, M. A. Arrowood sponsored a recital Friday afternoon by de Cortez Wolffungen, tenor, and Mildred de L. Harrison, accompanist, in the ballroom of Hotel Ansley.
—L. K. S.

The Pianist Who, “Pounds”
[W. J. Henderson in New York Sun]
It is with sorrow, indeed, that those who cherish high ideals of musical art have watched the growth in the last twenty years of the eagerness of pianists to test to the utmost the strength of the hammers and the strings. The evil-minded among us have often wished that the jangling strings would break and thus possibly give check to the triumph of sensationalism over real beauty. When some pianist whose name carries with it the weight of world-wide fame sometimes permits himself to treat the piano rudely and to mar otherwise beautiful performances with boisterous outbursts, incalculable evil is done. The public performer who emblazons his proud banner with the magic word “Success” has an authority which puts to ignominy all the precepts of the teachers and all the comments of the critics.

Morgan Kingston and Welsh Singers in Miscellaneous Program
Great Britain supplied all the performers in the concert at Æolian Hall on November 13, when Hucknaw-Torkard, England, was represented by Morgan Kingston, and Newport, South Wales, had the Gwent Welsh -Male Singers as its representatives. The national phase of the concert was emphasized by the fact that the Welsh glee club offered a number of the Welsh melodies and Mr. Kingston sang some of the English ballads.
The latter singer, who was described on the program as “premier tenor of the Century Opera Company,” appeared first in the “Tosca” aria, "E lucevan Ie Stelle," in which some roughness of tone was to be attributed to his singing Samson on the two previous evenings at the Century. Mr. Kingston’s strongest impression was made in Landon Ronald’s “Love, I Have Won You.” The tenor’s accompanist was his teacher, Evelyn Edwardes, and he brought her out to share his numerous recalls.
With George F. Davis again as conductor the chorus of fourteen men appeared to better advantage in this intimate auditorium than it had at Carnegie Hall in its last year’s debut. Arthur A. Smith was its accompanist. —K. S. C.

The Madison (Wis,) Choral Union has elected officers for the ensuing year. Prof. J. L. Sammis is president; Mrs. Frank J. Main, vice-president; Irving W. Jones, secretary; Paul Weaver, treasurer, and Ralph W. Hill, librarian.



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