August 1, 1914
Page 1

Loudon Charlton, Back from Europe, Says American Audiences Have More Genuine Art Appreciation Than is to Be Found Abroad−Significant Influence of the Small Collegiate Community with a “Musical Course”

THOUGH the transatlantic cables were not kept “buzzing” during the months of June and July this year with announcements of great musical ventures to be undertaken by Loudon Charlton, the New York manager, this guide of the destiny of musical artists returned from abroad last week aboard the Finland quite contented with what he has to offer American audiences next season. There is, to be sure, no combination tour, like the Melba-Kubelik of last year, nor the Butt-Rumford of the last two years. Yet ManagerCharlton is satisfied. The day following his arrival he was already working on problems of state when a MUSICAL AMERICA representative called at his offices in Carnegie Hall.
“It was, in a sense,” he remarked, “a pleasure trip, the principal purpose of which was to visit the artists who come to me this year. And I had some very pleasant experiences. But now I am back at work on the coming season. Some tennis in the morning, some bridge in the evening, these are my exercise and relaxation, and they make me feel that I can serve my artists better.”
The manager who did not tell about his artists would indeed be filling his duties poorly. But Mr. Charlton not only puts his mind to the specific activities of those who come to America under his direction, but he interests himself in the general conditions here and abroad, in their ultimate effect on the development of music and kindred topics. It is perhaps this alert understanding of the problems of the day, of the thought on what certain facts prove, that has played a part in his success and has aided him in attaining the position of distinction which he occupies in the managerial world.
“I wish to venture the opinion that we have in America in the cities of New York, Boston and Chicago, as fine audiences for music as anywhere in the world. I do not refer to numbers or dollars. I mean audiences that understand, that get the meaning of what is performed. The looking to Berlin as the supreme court of musical understanding I believe to be all exaggerated. The knowledge of the audiences in that city is, I think, more apparent than real. As for our smaller cities, those cities that have colleges in them, nowhere in the world can you find me a city like Aurora, N. Y., where Wells College is situated, that would include a chamber organization like the Flonzaley Quartet every year. It is but a small town, yet it is only one of hundreds like it that demand the best and prepare themselves for it. So that when the Flonzaleys or whatsoever artist engaged get there the audience knows what they are going to play. I know of no such condition in Europe.
“And this dissemination of musical culture through the medium of concert courses in the colleges and universities of our country is one of the finest influences which we possess. Do you know that it was due to just such a college influence that the present St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was formed? One of the chief men interested in the orchestral project was a Harvard man. Through his four years at college he had heard the concerts of the Boston Symphony there and had acquired a love for the best in symphonic music. When I became associated with the St. Louis Symphony I suggested a twenty-week permanent season, so that a constructive scheme might be worked out and followed. There were those who thought a long season fatal to the chances of success. This Harvard man stepped forward and backed up my suggestion. Why? He had come to know how the Boston orchestra season was operated and he knew that only along such lines could an orchestra be made permanent. I firmly believe that in the colleges of this country, those that present to their student body each season a course of musical attractions−pianists, violinists, singers, orchestras and chamber organizations, lies the future of this country’s musical prowess.
“As for numbers or dollars! In London while I was there practically all the concerts were sparsely attended, barring the press and some ‘deadheads.’ And in Germany there is not much money in the musical business. Why, to compare it with the money spent in this country is out of the question. Our orchestras, the New York Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony and the Chicago Orchestra have forty to fifty-six regular subscription concerts in their own cities each season. No foreign orchestras undertake anything like it, for they could not find the public for it.”
8-1-1914_p2_INSETBMr. Charlton is a good American. He is going to bring to us next season a prima donna who is unadorned by any Latinized name. She is an American and her name is Felice Lyne. Her manager thinks she is the greatest American vocal talent of the day and one of the most formidable this country has ever produced. “When I recall the career of Mme. Nordica,” commented Mr. Charlton, “I cannot think why Miss Lyne should not achieve a similarly distinguished place in years to come. Her success at the Champs-Elysées Theater in Paris was enormous and in her three subsequent performances there she duplicated it, establishing herself firmly with the Paris audiences. She 'will do numerous concerts in the Fall, twenty appearances at the Boston Opera House in the Winter and then back to Europe. I spent a few days with d’Aubigne, with whom she is now preparing her repertoire for the Boston season. She is his foremost pupil and I can say that I have rarely been present at any teacher’s studio where finer work was done than at this master’s. The entire atmosphere under which the pupils work is admirable and conducive to producing good results. In Paris I met Alfred Cortot, generally conceded to be the greatest of living French pianists. I met him at the home of Jacques Thibaud and together they played the César Franck Sonata for me. I shall never forget the performance they gave; it was little short of heavenly; these two men, to whom Franck is a god, exponents of this music as are no other living players, have played together for years and their performance is perfect, if perfect can ever be attained. I shall bring Cortot for the season of 1914-1915, which will be his first visit to America. Thibaud comes back next season and is very enthusiastic. He feels now that he knows America better and that the people know him. In London he had notable success in a recital at Bechstein Hall on June 9, the program of which interested me so much that I exacted a promise from him to repeat it in New York next season. He played the Vivaldi A Minor, arranged by Nachez, with accompaniment of a dozen strings, piano and organ. Among the string players you will be interested to know were May Mukle, the noted English ‘cellist, and Gertrud Bauer, Harold Bauer’s youngest sister, who played viola. Then he did the Chausson Concerto for violin and piano with string quartet accompaniment. Schumann’s little-played “Fantaisie” and the Bach E-Major closed one of the most unique and yet interesting programs I have ever heard or heard of. Tina Lerner I saw in London, She is busy getting ready for her next American season when she will have seventy concerts. Since her last tour here she has played much in Europe and has added new conquests to her already large list. I know of no woman pianist who has played more widely than Miss Lerner and everywhere she meets with success.
“I spent some days with Ossip Gabrilowitsch and his wife at their villa at Tegernsee, near Munich. This is an artist-couple of distinction. Mme. Gabrilowitsch has developed into a soprano of noteworthy attainments and possesses great ability in lieder. She will be heard here with her husband, as many joint recitals are being booked for them, and she will surprise many with her artistic singing.
“I saw the Flonzaleys, but they had not yet gotten down to their rehearsals and consequently I do not know what new works they are to bring out. I was present at the homecoming concert of Clara Butt and Kennerly Rumford. Albert Hall was packed and the reception given them was one that would have brought joy to the heart of King George. There were enough flowers to fill our Æolian Hall. The Rumfords will be extremely busy in England now, since they have been away eighteen months. They are in great demand and are as popular as ever. I shall have them in America again during 1915-1916. They know the country better now, having traveled once through from New York to San Francisco and again from the East on their way back from Australia. They have hardly touched the possibilities open to them here. I feel that there is a public for them in this country quite as there is in England and I am certain that there will be fifty or sixty concerts for them whenever they come. Lhevinne I saw at Wannsee near Berlin, where he has his home. He is to do some remarkable programs next year. I cannot tell you about the feature programs that I am planning with him as I have not yet had his consent to announce them, but they will be unusual. Harold Bauer, returning from Australia, was to play a Boston Symphony tour and sail. But the demand for him is so strong that I already have a whole list of concerts booked in addition to the orchestral tour. Edmund Burke comes in October and Oscar Seagle will be here to delight the many admirers of his finished art. I have also added to my roster Mme. Peroux-Williams, an American liedersinger, who has scored heavily in recitals in Germany. She comes in January.
One artist, well known abroad in the triple rôle of violinist, conductor and composer, and in America only in the latter capacity, Mr. Charlton has been thinking of presenting to us for several years. This is Georges Enesco, the Roumanian, who makes his home, however, in the French capital. “I shall try again,” said Mr. Charlton, “and see if I can make the proper arrangements. I want Enesco to come and appear with the leading orchestras, conducting some of his own compositions in the first half of the program and performing a concerto in the second. He is a splendid violinist. But the trouble so far has been that only one of the conductors of our American symphonic organizations has, signified his willingness to step down from the conductor’s desk and allow M. Enesco to conduct his works. One man connected with an orchestra told me that they had a conductor who could conduct any composer’s works better than the composer himself. That has been the problem in bringing Enesco. But I hope to solve it soon.” −A. W. K.

Reported that Basso Will Make Thirty-five Operatic Appearances at $5,000 Each−Chicago Capitalists Interested
That Feodor Chaliapine, the famous Russian basso, will visit the United States in 1916 at the head of a Russian grand opera organization is reported by the London correspondent of the New York American, who states that the deal was closed by a representative of a group of Chicago capitalists in London on July 22. The report says further:
“For singing in thirty-five productions in a selected repertoire of operas Chaliapine will receive more than $5,000 for each appearance.
“In the company supporting Chaliapine will be fifty Russian chorus men and women and twenty of the famous Russian ballet. The repertoire will include ‘Judine,’ ‘Boris Godounow,’ ‘Prince Igor,’ ‘Ivan the Terrible’ and ‘Khovantchina.’
“Under the present contract, which was closed to-day by Campanini on behalf of Chicago men behind the project, Chaliapine will not appear in New York, but will visit only Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.
“Besides the costumes and properties, the entire scenic investiture of all the operas will be taken from Russia.”
A cable to the New York Sun, dated July 23, quotes the secretary of M. Chaliapine as authority for the statement that nothing has been settled in regard to any engagements of the singer with the Metropolitan or Chicago opera companies.

Polacco and Scotti Win Honors of London Revival of “Falstaff”
LONDON, July 26.−After twenty years of absence from the Covent Garden stage Verdi’s “Falstaff” was revived there Tuesday and was one of the greatest artistic successes of the season. Chief honors went to Giorgio Polacco, whose conducting of the intricate score was wonderfully fine. Antonio Scotti sang and acted the title rôle superbly.

Frederick Stock in Europe
CHICAGO, July 27.−Frederick A. Stock has completed his Ravinia Park engagement, which was the most successful he has played in that resort, and left last Tuesday for Europe on the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. He will visit the German music centers in search of novelties for the twenty-fourth season of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. −M. R.

Geraldine Farrar Recovering from Bronchial Affection
Geraldine Farrar, of the Metropolitan Opera, has sent word to friends in Berlin that she is steadily recovering at Salso Maggiore, Italy, from a bronchial affection and consequent nervous attack.

“Francesca da Rimini” at Covent Garden Premiere Proves a Gripping Music-Drama and Strong Addition to Répertoire−Abounds in Poetic Charm−Mme. Edvina and Martinelli Win New Laurels in the Two Leading Rôles
IF there was any cause for regret in last night’s premiere at Covent Garden, it was that the management had not seen fit to present this latest work of Zandonai’s, “Francesca da Rimini,” a little earlier instead of keeping it, as it were, wrapped up in cotton wool till the end of the season, a time when, even with the established favorites of the répertoire, it is difficult to keep the spark of enthusiasm aglow. And this regret is the greater because in “Francesca da Rimini” the répertoire has received an addition that is at once refreshingly original and curiously attractive in form and style.
The music has been conceived on broad melodic lines and is intensely expressive and gripping, abounding in beautiful incidents. Its strength rests mainly in the marked appreciation for dramatic expression that the composer has developed as well as in his skill in building up fine and compelling climaxes. Its beauty and charm lie in the wealth of poetry and emotion that have been infused into it. The orchestration for once has left undisturbed the memory of Wagner, nor has any present-day composer been pressed into service.
After Tuesday’s somewhat unsatisfying dress rehearsal it was a revelation to observe with what skill and completeness the errors in detail had been rectified, so that the mind was left free to focus upon the composer and his intentions.
It will be recalled that Zandonai’s “Conchita,” played two seasons ago, though musically of value, failed to acquire a recognized place for its composer, mainly on account of its lack of action and the unequal distribution of its parts. In his present venture, however, Zandonai appears to have made a particular effort to avoid similar hampering factors, though it must be admitted that the splendid adaptation by Tito Ricordi of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s tragedy, on which the new work is based, has had much to do in imparting the greater freedom of action that characterizes “Francesca da Rimini.”
Story of the Opera
The story in brief runs as follows: Francesca, the daughter of Guido da Polenta, is about to be wedded, for reasons of state, to Giovanni, known as the “Lame One,” the son of Malatesta da Verruchio. By means of a plot, she is introduced to Giovanni’s handsome younger brother, Paolo, and under the impression that he is her destined bridegroom falls deeply in love with him, while he on his part returns her affections, although no words are exchanged between them.
Act II depicts a fight between the Guelphs and Ghibellines on the platform of a tower of the Malatesti, and Francesca, now married to Giovanni, meets Paolo and reproaches him for the deception practiced upon her. He protests his innocence and their passion is again kindled. Giovanni brings the news of Paolo’s appointment as Captain of the People and Commune of Florence and he departs to undertake his new office.
In Act III Francesca is reading the story of Launcelot and Guinevere to her women when she is disturbed by the appearance of Paolo, who has returned from Florence sick with longing to see her again. The last act concerns the betrayal of the lovers by Malatestino, the youngest brother of Giovanni, who himself harbors a guilty passion for Francesca. Giovanni lies in wait outside his wife’s door and, surprising her with Paolo, slays them both.
Dramatically the opera is intensely realistic and vivid and Zandonai has revealed an unusual talent in reflecting its atmosphere in the music. In the first act in which the lovers discover their passion, the music has delicate charm, beauty and freshness. The second act, with its violent battle scene, is vividly descriptive, and the third, which is meant to depict the growth in intensity of the lovers’ passion, is forceful and compelling and breathes the note of tragedy and foreboding. In the last act the music rises to a strong climax in setting forth the fury of the deluded husband.
Only One “Leit Motif”
The composer has utilized the many striking incidents provided by the story to splendid advantage. There is an almost complete absence of those characteristic passages by which the great majority of successful operatic composers have distinguished their works, and only one motif−that for the tenor−is discernible throughout the score. This, however, is of entrancing beauty and most effectively employed.
The love duet in the third act is a particularly fervid and emotional piece of writing and is worked up to a thrilling and compelling climax. Except for one or two occasions in the first and third acts the movement is rapid and the interest is never for long permitted to flag.
Whatever its ultimate fate may be, “Francesca da Rimini” was received with great enthusiasm in London. There was as generous applause throughout, but the climax was reached during the third act in which the great duet for tenor and soprano occurs. From there on the shouts of approval became more and more expressive and spontaneous, till they ended in a storm of cheering as the final curtain fell.
Mme. Edvina’s Triumph
In spite of the skill and mastery displayed by the composer of “Francesca da Ramini,” it must not be overlooked that last evening’s première was given under especially good conditions of scenic management and cast, and in this latter connection the choice of Mme. Edvma for the title part, a rôle upon which most of the dramatic effect of the opera depends, was particularly fortunate. It would be difficult to imagine a more suitable exponent of this beautiful character than Mme. Edviua. A clever and resourceful actress, Mme. Edvina always looks her parts, and carries the note of conviction by her eminently natural and unaffected acting. As Francesca she was always fascinating. Her taste and ideas in costumes are not the least among her recommendations for this picturesque role. She was in splendid voice and sang throughout her long and difficult part−a part surely intended for a dramatic soprano, were one forthcoming with her gracefulness and charm of bearing−with beautifully even tone and splendid musicianship. The applause and recalls which she evoked were certainly well deserved.
Signor Martinelli’s fine bearing and magnificent voice made of him an ideal Paolo and many were the thrills he provided in the course of the evening. Signor Cigada, as Giovanni, was a. grim and terrible figure and acted with force and sang with skill. As the reckless and wayward youngest brother, Malatestina, who betrays the lovers out of jealousy and rage, Signor Paltrinieri sang and acted well, and Myrna Sharlow, the young American soprano, as Samaritana, Francesca’s younger sister, made a splendid impression in this her debut at Covent Garden and caused regret that her short part allowed such small opportunity for hearing her beautiful voice. As Francesca’s attendants, Mmes. Rosina Buckman, Sybil Vane, Ruby Heyl and Violet Hume deserve mention for some very good ensemble singing, and Elvira Leveroni, as the slave, made good use of her small part. The conducting was in the hands of Ettore Panizza, who also presided at the first performance of the work on any stage in Turin last February. His work impressed one as sincere and authoritative and well in accord with the composer’s intentions.
Campanini Enthusiastic
Perhaps some idea of the value of “Francesca da Rimini” may be gained by recording that during the dress rehearsal Tuesday Signor Campanini rushed upon the stage to offer effusive congratulations to Mme. Edvina and the other principals as well as to M. Almanz, who is responsible for the mise-en-scène. Mr. Campanini expressed the warmest desire to arrange for the performance of the work next season in Chicago, and it is probable that Amedeo Bassi and Mme. Edvina will occupy the principal parts.
In addition to Campanini there were present at the dress rehearsal several other noted conductors, including Georgio Polacco of the Metropolitan and Covent Garden operas, Alfred Hertz of the Metropolitan, and Corneil de Thoran, the chef-d'orchestre of the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels. Kurt Schindler, of New York, and Alfred Kalisch, the distinguished London critic, were also present, as well as Carlo Clausetti, of the Ricordi house, who is here to supervise the production of the new work and who, it will be recalled, acted in a similar capacity for “Conchita” and “The Girl of the Golden West” when these operas were produced at Covent Garden.
“Francesca" will be repeated on Wednesday of next week and possibly once again before the close of the season. Following the London performances, there will be two productions this month in Italy, the first at Pesaro, a small town where Zandonai underwent most of his studies, and the second at Roveretto, another small town which adjoins the composer’s birthplace.


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