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Edward Alexander MacDowell.

The matter of precedence in creative art is as hopeless of solution as it is unimportant. And yet it seems appropriate to say, in writing of E.A. MacDowell, that an almost unanimous vote would grant him rank as the greatest of American composers, while not a few ballots would indicate him as the best of living music writers.

But this, to repeat, is not vital, the main thing being that MacDowell has a distinct and impressive individuality, and uses his profound scholarship in the pursuit of novelty that is not cheaply sensational, and is yet novelty. He has, for instance, theories as to the textures of sounds, and his chord-formations and progressions are quite his own.

His compositions are superb processions, in which each participant is got up with the utmost personal splendor. His generalship is great enough to preserve the unity and the progress of the pageant. With him no note in the melody is allowed to go neglected, ill-mounted on common chords in the bass, or cheap-garbed in trite triads. Each tone is made to suggest something of its multitudinous possibilities. Through any geometrical point, an infinite number of lines can be drawn. This is almost the case with any note of a melody. It is the recognition and the practice of this truth that gives the latter-day schools of music such a lusciousness and warmth of harmony. No one is a more earnest student of these effects than MacDowell.

He believes that it is necessary, at this late day, if you would have a chord “bite,” to put a trace of acid in its sweetness. With this clue in mind, his unusual procedures become more explicable without losing their charm.

New York is rather the Mecca than the birthplace of artists, but it can boast the nativity of MacDowell, who improvised his first songs here December 18, 1861. He began the study of the piano at an early age. One of his teachers was Mme. Teresa Carreno, to whom he has dedicated his second concerto for the piano.

In 1876 he went to Paris and entered the Conservatoire, where he studied theory under Savard, and the piano under Marmontel. He went to Wiesbaden to study with Ehlert in 1879, and then to Frankfort, where Carl Heyman taught him piano and Joachim Raff composition. The influence of Raff is of the utmost importance in MacDowell’s music, and I have been told that the great romancist made a protege of him, and would lock him in a room for hours till he had worked out the most appalling musical problems. Through Raff’s influence he became first piano teacher at the Darmstadt Conservatorium in 1881. The next year Raff introduced him to Liszt, who became so enthusiastic over his compositions that he got him the honor of playing his first piano suite before the formidable Allgemeiner Deutscher Musik Verein, which accorded him a warm reception. The following years were spent in successful concert work, till 1884, when MacDowell settled down to teaching and composing in Wiesbaden. Four years later he came to Boston, writing, teaching, and giving occasional concerts. Thence he returned to New York, where he was called to the professorship of music at Columbia University. Princeton University has given him that unmusical degree, Mus. Doc.

MacDowell has met little or none of that critical recalcitrance that blocked the early success of so many masters. His works succeeded from the first in winning serious favor; they have been much played in Germany, in Vienna, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and Paris, one of them having been performed three times in a single season at Breslau.

MacDowell’s Scotch ancestry is always telling tales on him. The “Scotch snap” is a constant rhythmic device, the old scale and the old Scottish cadences seem to be native to his heart. Perhaps one might find some kinship between MacDowell and the contemporary Glasgow school of painters, that clique so isolated, so daring, and yet so earnest and solid. Says James Huneker in a monograph published some years ago: “His coloring reminds me at times of Grieg, but when I tracked the resemblance to its lair, I found only Scotch, as Grieg’s grand-folk were Greggs, and from Scotland. It is all Northern music with something elemental in it, and absolutely free from the heavy, languorous odors of the South or the morbidezza of Poland.”

Some of MacDowell’s most direct writing has been in the setting of the poems of Burns, such as “Deserted” ("Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon,” , “Menie,” and “My Jean” . These are strongly marked by that ineffably fine melodic flavor characteristic of Scottish music, while in the accompaniments they admit a touch of the composer’s own individuality. In his accompaniments it is noteworthy that he is almost never strictly contramelodic.

The songs of opera 11 and 12 have a decided Teutonism, but he has found himself by , a volume of “Six Love Songs,” containing half a dozen flawless gems it is a pity the public should not know more widely. A later book, “Eight Songs” , is also a cluster of worthies. The lilt and sympathy of “The Robin Sings in the Apple-tree,” and its unobtrusive new harmonies and novel effects, in strange accord with truth of expression, mark all the other songs, particularly the “Midsummer Lullaby,” with its accompaniment as delicately tinted as summer clouds. Especially noble is “The Sea,” which has all the boom and roll of the deep-brooding ocean.

His collections of flower-songs I confess not liking. Though they are not without a certain exquisiteness, they seem overdainty and wastefully frail, excepting, possibly, the “Clover” and the “Blue-bell.” It is not at all their brevity, but their triviality, that vexes an admirer of the large ability that labored over them. They are dedicated to Emilio Agramonte, one of MacDowell’s first prophets, and one of the earliest and most active agents for the recognition of the American composer.

In the lyrics in and MacDowell has turned song to the unusual purposes of a landscape impressionism of places and moods rather than people.

For men’s voices there are some deftly composed numbers curiously devoted to lullaby subjects. The barcarolle for mixed chorus and accompaniment on the piano for four hands obtains a wealth of color, enhanced by the constant division of the voices.

Studying as he did with Raff, it is but natural that MacDowell should have been influenced strongly toward the poetic and fantastic and programmatic elements that mark the “Forest Symphony” and the “Lenore Overture” of his master.

It is hard to say just how far this descriptive music can go. The skill of each composer must dictate his own limits. As an example of successful pieces of this kind, consider MacDowell’s “The Eagle.” It is the musical realization of Tennyson’s well-known poem:

“He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.”

Of course the crag and the crooked hands and the azure world must be granted the composer, but general exaltation and loneliness are expressed in the severe melody of the opening. The wrinkling and crawling of the sea far below are splendidly achieved in the soft, shimmering liquidity of the music. Then there are two abrupt, but soft, short chords that will represent, to the imaginative, the quick fixing of the eagle’s heart on some prey beneath; and there follows a sudden precipitation down the keyboard, fortississimo, that represents the thunderous swoop of the eagle with startling effect.

On the other hand, the “Moonshine” seems to be attempting too much. “Winter” does better, for it has a freezing stream, a mill-wheel, and a “widow bird.” These “four little poems” of had been preceded by six fine “Idylls” based on lyrics of Goethe’s. The first, a forest scene, has a distinct flavor of the woods, the second is all laziness and drowsiness, and the third is moonlight mystery. The fourth is as intense in its suppressed spring ecstasy as the radiant poem itself singing how

“Soft the ripples spill and hurry
To the opulent embankment.”

The six short “Poems” based on poems of Heine’s are particularly successful, especially in the excellent opportunity of the lyric describing the wail of the Scottish woman who plays her harp on the cliff, and sings above the raging of sea and wind. The third catches most happily the whimsicality of the poet’s reminiscences of childhood, but hardly, I think, the contrasting depth and wildness of his complaint that, along with childhood’s games, have vanished Faith and Love and Truth. In the last, however, the cheery majesty that realizes Heine’s likening of Death to a cool night after the sultry day of Life, is superb.

Then there are some four-hand pieces, two collections, that leave no excuse for clinging to the hackneyed classics or modern trash. They are not at all difficult, and the second player has something to employ his mind besides accompanying chords. They are meaty, and effective almost to the point of catchiness. The “Tale of the Knights” is full of chivalric fire and martial swing, while the “Ballad” is as exquisitely dainty as a peach-blossom. The “Hindoo Maiden” has a deal of the thoroughly Oriental color and feeling that distinguish the three solos of “Les Orientales,” of which “Clair de Lune” is one of his most original and graceful writings. The duet, “In Tyrol,” has a wonderful crystal carillon and a quaint shepherd piping a faint reminiscence of the Wagnerian school of shepherds. This is one of a series of “Moon Pictures” for four hands, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s lore. Two concertos for piano and orchestra are dazzling feats of virtuosity; one of them is reviewed at length in A.J. Goodrich’ book, “Musical Analysis.” He has written also a book of artistic moment called “Twelve Virtuoso-Studies,” and two books of actual gymnastics for piano practice.

But MacDowell did not reach his freedom without a struggle against academia. His is a piano suite published at the age of twenty-two, and is another; both contain such obsolescences as a presto, fugue, scherzino, and the like. But for all the classic garb, the hands are the hands of Esau. In one of the pieces there is even a motto tucked, “All hope leave ye behind who enter here!” Can he have referred to the limbo of classicism?

It is a far cry from these to the liberality that inspired the new impressionism of “Woodland Sketches” and “Sea Pieces” , in which he gives a legitimate musical presentation of a faintly perfumed “Wild Rose” or “Water Lily,” but goes farther, and paints, with wonderful tone, the moods inspired by reverie upon the uncouth dignity and stoic savagery of “An Indian Lodge,” the lonely New England twilight of “A Deserted Farm,” and all the changing humors of the sea, majesty of sunset or star-rise, and even the lucent emerald of an iceberg. His “From Uncle Remus” is not so successful; indeed, MacDowell is not sympathetic with negro music, and thinks that if we are to found a national school on some local manner, we should find the Indian more congenial than the lazy, sensual slave.

He has carried this belief into action, not only by his scientific interest in the collection and compilation of the folk-music of our prairies, but by his artistic use of actual Indian themes in one of his most important works, his “Indian Suite” for full orchestra, a work that has been often performed, and always with the effect of a new and profound sensation, particularly in the case of the deeply impressive dirge.

A proof of the success of MacDowell as a writer in the large forms is the fact that practically all of his orchestral works are published in Germany and here, not only in full score, but in arrangement for four hands. They include “Hamlet;” “Ophelia” ; “Launcelot and Elaine” , with its strangely mellow and varied use of horns for Launcelot, and the entrusting of the plaintive fate of “the lily maid of Astolat” to the string and wood-wind choirs; “The Saracens” and “The Lovely Alda” , two fragments from the Song of Roland; and the Suite , which has been played at least eight times in Germany and eleven times here.

The first movement of this last is called “In a Haunted Forest.” You are reminded of Siegfried by the very name of the thing, and the music enforces the remembrance somewhat, though very slightly.

Everything reminds one of Wagner nowadays, even his predecessors. Rudyard Kipling has by his individuality so copyrighted one of the oldest verse-forms, the ballad, that even “Chevy Chace” looks like an advance plagiarism. So it is with Wagner. Almost all later music, and much of the earlier, sounds Wagnerian. But MacDowell has been reminded of Bayreuth very infrequently in this work. The opening movement begins with a sotto voce syncopation that is very presentative of the curious audible silence of a forest. The wilder moments are superbly instrumented.

The second movement, “Summer Idyl,” is delicious, particularly in the chances it gives the flautist. There is a fragmentary cantilena which would make the fortune of a comic opera. The third number, “In October,” is particularly welcome in our music, which is strangely and sadly lacking in humor. There is fascinating wit throughout this harvest revel. “The Shepherdess’ Song” is the fourth movement. It is not précieuse, and it is not banal; but its simplicity of pathos is a whit too simple. The final number, “Forest Spirits,” is a brilliant climax. The Suite as a whole is an important work. It has detail of the most charming art. Best of all, it is staunchly individual. It is MacDowellian.

While the modern piano sonata is to me anathema as a rule, there are none of MacDowell’s works that I like better than his writings in this form. They are to me far the best since Beethoven, not excepting even Chopin’s (pace his greatest prophet, Huneker). They seem to me to be of such stuff as Beethoven would have woven had he known in fact the modern piano he saw in fancy.

The “Sonata Tragica” begins in G minor, with a bigly passionate, slow introduction (metronomed in the composer’s copy, [quarter-note]-50). The first subject is marked in the same copy, though not in the printed book, [half-note]-69, and the appealingly pathetic second subject is a little slower. The free fantasy is full of storm and stress, with a fierce pedal-point on the trilled leading-tone. In the reprise the second subject, which was at first in the dominant major, is now in the tonic major, though the key of the sonata is G minor. The allegro is metronomed [quarter-note]-138, and it is very short and very wild. Throughout, the grief is the grief of a strong soul; it never degenerates into whine. Its largo is like the tread of an AEschylean choros, its allegro movements are wild with anguish, and the occasional uplifting into the major only emphasizes the sombre whole, like the little rifts of clearer harmony in Beethoven’s “Funeral March on the Death of a Hero.”

The last movement begins with a ringing pomposo, and I cannot explain its meaning better than by quoting Mrs. MacDowell’s words: “Mr. MacDowell’s idea was, so to speak, as follows: He wished to heighten the darkness of tragedy by making it follow closely on the heels of triumph. Therefore, he attempted to make the last movement a steadily progressive triumph, which, at its climax, is utterly broken and shattered. In doing this he has tried to epitomize the whole work. While in the other movements he aimed at expressing tragic details, in the last he has tried to generalize; thinking that the most poignant tragedy is that of catastrophe in the hour of triumph.”

The third sonata is dedicated to Grieg and to the musical exploitation of an old-time Skald reciting glorious battles, loves, and deaths in an ancient castle. The atmosphere of mystery and barbaric grandeur is obtained and sustained by means new to piano literature and potent in color and vigor. The sonata formula is warped to the purpose of the poet, but the themes have the classic ideal of kinship. The battle-power of the work is tremendous. Huneker calls it “an epic of rainbow and thunder,” and Henry T. Finck, who has for many years devoted a part of his large ardor to MacDowell’s cause, says of the work: “It is MacDowellish, more MacDowellish than anything he has yet written. It is the work of a musical thinker. There are harmonies as novel as those we encounter in Schubert, Chopin, or Grieg, yet with a stamp of their own.”

The “Sonata Eroica” bears the legend “Flos regum Arthurus.” It is also in G minor. The spirit of King Arthur dominates the work ideally, and justifies not only the ferocious and warlike first subject with its peculiar and influential rhythm, but the old-fashioned and unadorned folk-tone of the second subject. In the working out there is much bustle and much business of trumpets. In the reprise the folk-song appears in the tonic minor, taken most unconventionally in the bass under elaborate arpeggiations in the right hand. The coda, as in the other sonata, is simply a strong passage of climax. Arthur’s supernatural nature doubtless suggested the second movement, with its elfin airs, its flibbertigibbet virtuosity, and its magic of color. The third movement might have been inspired by Tennyson’s version of Arthur’s farewell to Guinevere, it is such a rich fabric of grief. The finale seems to me to picture the Morte d’Arthur, beginning with the fury of a storm along the coast, and the battle “on the waste sand by the waste sea.” Moments of fire are succeeded by exquisite deeps of quietude, and the death and apotheosis of Arthur are hinted with daring and complete equivalence of art with need.

Here is no longer the tinkle and swirl of the elf dances; here is no more of the tireless search for novelty in movement and color. This is “a flash of the soul that can.” Here is Beethoven redivivus. For half a century we have had so much pioneering and scientific exploration after piano color and tenderness and fire, that men have neglected its might and its tragic powers. Where is the piano-piece since Beethoven that has the depth, the breadth, the height of this huge solemnity? Chopin’s sensuous wailing does not afford it. Schumann’s complex eccentricities have not given it out. Brahms is too passionless. Wagner neglected the piano. It remained for a Yankee to find the austere peak again! and that, too, when the sonata was supposed to be a form as exhausted as the epic poem. But all this is the praise that one is laughed at for bestowing except on the graves of genius.

The cautious Ben Jonson, when his erstwhile taproom roisterer, Will Shakespeare, was dead, defied “insolent Greece or haughty Rome” to show his superior. With such authority, I feel safe in at least defying the contemporary schools of insolent Russia or haughty Germany to send forth a better musicwright than our fellow townsman, Edward MacDowell.

Edgar Stillman Kelley.

While his name is known wherever American music is known in its better aspects, yet, like many another American, his real art can be discovered only from his manuscripts. In these he shows a very munificence of enthusiasm, scholarship, invention, humor, and originality.

Kelley is as thorough an American by descent as one could ask for, his maternal ancestors having settled in this country in 1630, his paternal progenitors in 1640, A.D. Indeed, one of the ancestors of his father made the dies for the pine-tree shilling, and a great-great-grandfather fought in the Revolution.

Kelley began his terrestrial career April 14, 1857, in Wisconsin. His father was a revenue officer; his mother a skilled musician, who taught him the piano from his eighth year to his seventeenth, when he went to Chicago and studied harmony and counterpoint under Clarence Eddy, and the piano under Ledochowski. It is interesting to note that Kelley was diverted into music from painting by hearing “Blind Tom” play Liszt’s transcription of Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” music. I imagine that this idiot-genius had very little other influence of this sort in his picturesque career.

After two years in Chicago, Kelley went to Germany, where, in Stuttgart, he studied the piano with Kruger and Speidel, organ with Finck, composition and orchestration with Seiffritz. While in Germany, Kelley wrote a brilliant and highly successful concert polonaise for four hands, and a composition for strings.

In 1880 he was back in America and settled in San Francisco, with whose musical life he was long and prominently identified as a teacher and critic. Here he wrote his first large work, the well-known melodramatic music to “Macbeth.” A local benefactor, John Parrot, paid the expenses of a public performance, the great success of which persuaded McKee Rankin, the actor, to make an elaborate production of both play and music. This ran for three weeks in San Francisco to crowded houses, which is a remarkable record for many reasons. A shabby New York production at an ill-chosen theatre failed to give the work an advantageous hearing; but it has been played by orchestras several times since, and William H. Sherwood has made transcriptions of parts of it for piano solo.

The “Macbeth” music is of such solid value that it reaches the dignity of a flowing commentary. Beyond and above this it is an interpretation, making vivid and awesome the deep import of the play, till even the least imaginative auditor must feel its thrill.

Thus the gathering of the witches begins with a slow horror, which is surely Shakespeare’s idea, and not the comic-opera can-can it is frequently made. As various other elfs and terrors appear, they are appropriately characterized in the music, which also adds mightily to the terror of the murder scene. Throughout, the work is that of a thinker. Like much of Kelley’s other music, it is also the work of a fearless and skilled programmatist, especially in the battle-scenes, where it suggests the crash of maces and swords, and the blare of horns, the galloping of horses, and the general din of huge battle. Leading-motives are much used, too, with good effect and most ingenious elaboration, notably the Banquo motive. A certain amount of Gaelic color also adds interest to the work, particularly a stirring Gaelic march. The orchestration shows both scholarship and daring.

An interesting subject is suggested by Kelley’s experience in hunting out a good motif for the galloping horses of “Macbeth.” He could find nothing suitably representative of storm-hoofed chargers till his dreams came to the rescue with a genuinely inspired theme. Several other exquisite ideas have come to him in his sleep in this way; one of them is set down in the facsimile reproduced herewith. On one occasion he even dreamed an original German poem and a fitting musical setting.

Dr. Wm. A. Hammond, in his book on “Sleep and Its Dérangements,” is inclined to scout the possibility of a really valuable inspiration in sleep. He finds no satisfactory explanation for Tartini’s famous “Devil’s Sonata” or Coleridge’ proverbial “Kubla Khan.” He takes refuge in saying that at least the result could not be equal to the dreamer’s capabilities when awake; but Kelley’s “Macbeth” music was certainly an improvement on what he could invent out of the land of Nod.

After composing a comic opera, which was refused by the man for whom it was written because it was too good, he drifted into journalism, and wrote reviews and critiques which show a very liberal mind capable of appreciating things both modern and classic.

Kelley was again persuaded to write a comic opera to the artistic libretto, “Puritania,” by C.M.S. McLellan, a brilliant satirist, who has since won fortune by his highly successful and frequently artistic burlesquery. The work won excellent praise in Boston, where it had one hundred performances. The work musically was not only conscientious, but really graceful and captivating. It received the most glowing encomiums from people of musical culture, and largely enhanced Kelley’s musical reputation in its run of something over a year. On its tour Kelley was also the musical conductor, in which capacity he has frequently served elsewhere.

Kelley plainly deserves preeminence among American composers for his devotion to, and skill in, the finer sorts of humorous music. No other American has written so artfully, so happily, or so ambitiously in this field. A humorous symphony and a Chinese suite are his largest works on this order.

The symphony follows the life of “Gulliver in Lilliput.” In development and intertwining of themes and in brilliance of orchestration, it maintains symphonic dignity, while in play of fancy, suggestive programmaticism, and rollicking enthusiasm it is infectious with wit. Gulliver himself is richly characterized with a burly, blustering English theme. The storm that throws him on the shores of Lilliput is handled with complete mastery, certain phrases picturing the toss of the billows, another the great roll of the boat, others the rattle of the rigging and the panic of the crew; and all wrought up to a demoniac climax at the wreck. As the stranded Gulliver falls asleep, the music hints his nodding off graphically. The entrance of the Lilliputians is perhaps the happiest bit of the whole delicious work. By adroit devices in instrumentation, their tiny band toots a minute national hymn of irresistible drollery. The sound of their wee hammers and the rest of the ludicrous adventures are carried off in unfailing good humor. The scene finally changes to the rescuing ship. Here a most hilarious hornpipe is interrupted by the distant call of Gulliver’s aria, and the rescue is consummated delightfully.

In nothing has Kelley showed such wanton scholarship and such free-reined fancy as in his Chinese suite for orchestra, “Aladdin.” It is certainly one of the most brilliant musical feats of the generation, and rivals Richard Strauss in orchestral virtuosity.

While in San Francisco, where, as every one knows, there is a transplanted corner of China, Kelley sat at the feet of certain Celestial cacophonists, and made himself adept. He fathomed the, to us, obscure laws of their theory, and for this work made a careful selection of Chinese musical ideas, and used what little harmony they approve of with most quaint and suggestive effect upon a splendid background of his own. The result has not been, as is usual in such alien mimicries, a mere success of curiosity.

The work had its first accolade of genius in the wild protests of the music copyists, and in the downright mutiny of orchestral performers.

On the first page of the score is this note: “This should be played with a bow unscrewed, so that the hairs hang loose thus the bow never leaves the string.” This direction is evidently meant to secure the effect of the Chinese violin, in which the string passes between the hair and the wood of the bow, and is played upon the under side. But what self-respecting violinist could endure such profanation without striking a blow for his fanes?

The first movement of the suite is made up of themes actually learned from Chinese musicians. It represents the “Wedding of Aladdin and the Princess,” a sort of sublimated “shivaree” in which oboes quawk, muted trumpets bray, pizzicato strings flutter, and mandolins (loved of Berlioz) twitter hilariously.

The second movement, “A Serenade in the Royal Pear Garden,” begins with a luxurious tone-poem of moonlight and shadow, out of which, after a preliminary tuning of the Chinese lute (or sam-yin), wails a lyric caterwaul (alternately in 2-4 and 3-4 tempo) which the Chinese translate as a love-song. Its amorous grotesque at length subsides into the majestic night. A part of this altogether fascinating movement came to Kelley in a dream.

The third chapter is devoted to the “Flight of the Genie with the Palace,” and there is a wonderfully vivid suggestion of his struggle to wrest loose the foundations of the building. At length he heaves it slowly in the air, and wings majestically away with it.

It has always seemed to me that the purest stroke of genius in instrumentation ever evinced was Wagner’s conceit of using tinkling bells to suggest leaping flames. And yet quite comparable with this seems Kelley’s device to indicate the oarage of the genie’s mighty wings as he disappears into the sky: liquid glissandos on the upper harp-strings, with chromatic runs upon the elaborately divided violins, at length changed to sustained and most ethereally fluty harmonics. It is very ravishment.

The last movement, “The Return and Feast of the Lanterns,” is on the sonata formula. After an introduction typifying the opening of the temple gates (a gong giving the music further locale), the first theme is announced by harp and mandolin. It is an ancient Chinese air for the yong-kim (a dulcimer-like instrument). The second subject is adapted from the serenade theme. With these two smuggled themes everything contrapuntal (a fugue included) and instrumental is done that technical bravado could suggest or true art license. The result is a carnival of technic that compels the layman to wonder and the scholar to homage.

A transcription for a piano duet has been made of this last movement.

In Chinese-tone also is Kelley’s most popular song, “The Lady Picking Mulberries,” which brought him not only the enthusiasm of Americans but the high commendation of the Chinese themselves. It is written in the limited Chinese scale, with harmonies of our school; and is a humoresque of such catchiness that it has pervaded even London and Paris.

This song is one of a series of six lyrics called “The Phases of Love,” with this motive from the “Anatomy of Melancholy”: “I am resolved, therefore, in this tragi-comedy of love, to act several parts, some satirically, some comically, some in a mixed tone.” The poems are all by American poets, and the group, , is an invaluable addition to our musical literature. The first of the series, “My Silent Song,” is a radiantly beautiful work, with a wondrous tender air to a rapturous accompaniment. The second is a setting of Edward Rowland Sill’s perfect little poem, “Love’s Fillet.” The song is as full of art as it is of feeling and influence. “What the Man in the Moon Saw” is an engaging satire, “Love and Sleep” is sombre, and “In a Garden” is pathetic.

Besides two small sketches, a waltz and a gavotte, and his own arrangements, for two and for four hands, of the Gaelic March in “Macbeth,” Kelley has published only three piano pieces: , “The Flower Seekers,” superb with grace, warm harmony, and May ecstasies; “Confluentia,” whose threads of liquidity are eruditely, yet romantically, intertangled to represent the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle; and “The Headless Horseman,” a masterpiece of burlesque weirdness, representing the wild pursuit of Ichabod Crane and the final hurling of the awful head, a pumpkin, some say. It is relieved by Ichabod’s tender reminiscences of Katrina Van Tassel at the spinning-wheel, and is dedicated to Joseffy, the pianist, who lives in the region about Sleepy Hollow.

To supplement his successful, humorously melodramatic setting of “The Little Old Woman who Went to the Market her Eggs for to Sell,” Kelley is preparing a series of similar pieces called “Tales Retold for Musical Children.” It will include “Gulliver,” “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Kelley once wrote music for an adaptation of “Prometheus Bound,” made by the late George Parsons Lathrop for that ill-starred experiment, the Theatre of Arts and Letters. The same thoroughness of research that gave Kelley such a command of Chinese theories equipped him in what knowledge we have of Greek and the other ancient music. He has delivered a course of lectures on these subjects, and this learning was put to good and public use in his share in the staging of the novel “Ben Hur.” His music had a vital part in carrying the play over the thin ice of sacrilege; it was so reverent and so appealing that the scrubwomen in the theatre were actually moved to tears during its rehearsal, and it gave the scene of the miraculous cure of the lepers a dignity that saved it from either ridicule or reproach.

In the first act there is a suggestion of the slow, soft march of a caravan across the sand, the eleven-toned Greek and Egyptian scale being used. In the tent of the Sheik, an old Arabian scale is employed. In the elaborate ballets and revels in the “Grove of Daphne” the use of Greek scales, Greek progressions (such as descending parallel fourths long forbidden by the doctors of our era), a trimetrical grouping of measures (instead of our customary fourfold basis), and a suggestion of Hellenic instruments, all this lore has not robbed the scene in any sense of an irresistible brilliance and spontaneity. The weaving of Arachne’s web is pictured with especial power. Greek traditions have, of course, been used only for occasional impressionisms, and not as manacles. Elaborately colored modern instrumentation and all the established devices from canon up are employed. A piano transcription of part of the music is promised. The “Song of Iras” has been published. It is full of home-sickness, and the accompaniment (not used in the production) is a wonderwork of color.

Kelley has two unpublished songs that show him at his best, both settings of verse by Poe, “Eldorado,” which vividly develops the persistence of the knight, and “Israfel.” This latter poem, as you know, concerns the angel “whose heart-strings are a lute.” After a rhapsody upon the cosmic spell of the angel’s singing, Poe, with a brave defiance, flings an implied challenge to him. The verse marks one of the highest reaches of a genius honored abroad as a world-great lyrist. It is, perhaps, praise enough, then, to say that Kelley’s music flags in no wise behind the divine progress of the words. The lute idea dictates an arpeggiated accompaniment, whose harmonic beauty and courage is beyond description and beyond the grasp of the mind at the first hearing. The bravery of the climax follows the weird and opiate harmonies of the middle part with tremendous effect. The song is, in my fervent belief, a masterwork of absolute genius, one of the very greatest lyrics in the world’s music.

Harvey Worthington Loomis.

In the band of pupils that gathered to the standard of the invader, Antonin Dvorak, when, in 1892, he came over here from Macedonia to help us, some of the future’s best composers will probably be found.

Of this band was Harvey Worthington Loomis, who won a three years’ scholarship in Doctor Dvorak’s composition class at the National Conservatory, by submitting an excellent, but rather uncharacteristic, setting of Eichendorff’s “Fruehlingsnacht.” Loomis evidently won Doctor Dvorak’s confidence, for among the tasks imposed on him was a piano concerto to be built on the lines of so elaborate a model as Rubinstein’s in D minor. When Loomis’ first sketches showed an elaboration even beyond the complex pattern, Dvorak still advised him to go on. To any one that knows the ways of harmony teachers this will mean much.

Loomis (who was born in Brooklyn, February 5, 1865, and is now a resident of New York) pursued studies in harmony and piano in a desultory way until he entered Doctor Dvorak’s class. For his musical tastes he was indebted to the artistic atmosphere of his home.

Though Loomis has written something over five hundred compositions, only a few works have been published, the most important of which are “Fairy Hill,” a cantatilla for children, published in 1896 (it was written on a commission that fortunately allowed him liberty for not a little elaboration and individuality), “Sandalphon,” and a few songs and piano pieces.

A field of his art that has won his especial interest is the use of music as an atmosphere for dramatic expression. Of this sort are a number of pantomimes, produced with much applause in New York by the Academy of Dramatic Arts; and several musical backgrounds. The 27th of April, 1896, a concert of his works was given by a number of well-known artists.

These musical backgrounds are played in accompaniment to dramatic recitations. Properly managed, the effect is most impressive. Feval’s poem, “The Song of the Pear-tree,” is a typically handled work. The poem tells the story of a young French fellow, an orphan, who goes to the wars as substitute for his friend Jean. After rising from rank to rank by bravery, he returns to his home just as his sweetheart, Perrine, enters the church to wed Jean. The girl had been his one ambition, and now in his despair he reenlists and begs to be placed in the thickest of danger. When he falls, they find on his breast a withered spray from the pear-tree under which Perrine had first plighted troth. On these simple lines the music builds up a drama. From the opening shimmer and rustle of the garden, through the Gregorian chant that solemnizes the drawing of the lots, and is interrupted by the youth’s start of joy at his own luck (an abrupt glissando); through his sturdy resolve to go to war in his friend’s place, on through many battles to his death, all is on a high plane that commands sympathy for the emotion, and enforces unbounded admiration for the art. There is a brief hint of the Marseillaise woven into the finely varied tapestry of martial music, and when the lover comes trudging home, his joy, his sudden knowledge of Perrine’s faithlessness, and his overwhelming grief are all built over a long organ-point of three clangorous bride-bells. The leit-motif idea is used with suggestive clearness throughout the work.

The background to Longfellow’s “Sandalphon” is so fine an arras that it gives the poet a splendor not usual to his bourgeois lays. The music runs through so many phases of emotion, and approves itself so original and exaltedly vivid in each that I put it well to the fore of American compositions.

Hardly less large is the Loomis calls it “Musical Symbolism,” for Adelaide Ann Proctor’s “The Story of the Faithful Soul.” Of the greatest delicacy imaginable is the music (for piano, violin, and voice) to William Sharp’s “Coming of the Prince.” The “Watteau Pictures” are poems of Verlaine’s variously treated: one as a head-piece to a wayward piano caprice, one to be recited during a picturesque waltz, the last a song with mandolin effects in the accompaniment.

The pantomimes range from grave to gay, most of the librettos in this difficult form being from the clever hand of Edwin Starr Belknap. “The Traitor Mandolin,” “In Old New Amsterdam,” “Put to the Test,” “Blanc et Noir,” “The Enchanted Fountain,” “Her Revenge,” “Love and Witchcraft” are their names. The music is full of wit, a quality Loomis possesses in unusual degree. The music mimics everything from the busy feather-duster of the maid to her eavesdropping. Pouring wine, clinking glasses, moving a chair, tearing up a letter, and a rollicking wine-song in pantomime are all hinted with the drollest and most graphic programmism imaginable.

Loomis has also written two burlesque operas, “The Maid of Athens” and “The Burglar’s Bride,” the libretto of the latter by his brother, Charles Battell Loomis, the well-known humorist. This latter contains some skilful parody on old fogyism.

In the Violin Sonata the piano, while granting precedence to the violin, approaches almost to the dignity of a duet. The finale is captivating and brilliant, and develops some big climaxes. The work as a whole is really superb, and ought to be much played. There are, besides, a “Lyric Finale” to a sonata not yet written, and several songs for violin, voice, and piano.

A suite for four hands, “In Summer Fields,” contains some happy manifestations of ability, such as “A June Roundelay,” “The Dryad’s Grove,” and, especially, a humoresque “Junketing,” which is surely destined to become a classic. From some of his pantomimes Loomis has made excerpts, and remade them with new elaboration for two pianos, under the name of “Exotics.” These are full of variety and of actual novelty, now of startling discord, now of revelatory beauty. A so-called “Norland Epic,” freely constructed on the sonata formula, is one of Loomis’ most brilliant and personal achievements.

Loomis has an especial aptitude for writing artistic ballet-music, and for composing in the tone of different nationalities, particularly the Spanish. His pantomimes contain many irresistible dances, one of them including a Chinese dance alternating 4-4 with 3-4 time. His strikingly fleet “Harlequin” has been published.

The gift of adding art to catchiness is a great one. This Loomis seems to have to an unusual degree, as is evidenced by the dances in his pantomimes and his series of six pieces “In Ballet Costume,” all of them rich with the finest art along with a Strauss-like spontaneity. These include “L’Amazone,” “Pirouette,” “Un Pas Seul,” “La Coryphée,” “The Odalisque,” and “The Magyar.” One of his largest works is a concert waltz, “Mi-Carême,” for two pianos, with elaborate and extended introduction and coda.

A series of Genre Pictures contains such lusciousness of felicity as “At an Italian Festival,” and there are a number of musical moments of engaging charm, for instance, “N’Importe Quoi,” “From a Conservatory Program,” “A Tropical Night,” a fascinating “Valsette,” a nameless valse, and “Another Scandal,” which will prove a gilt-edged speculation for some tardy publisher. It is brimming with the delicious horror of excited gossipry. An example of how thoroughly Loomis is invested with music how he thinks in it is his audacious scherzo, “The Town Crier,” printed herewith.

In songs Loomis has been most prolific. He has set twenty-two of Shakespeare’s lyrics to music of the old English school, such as his uproarious “Let me the cannikin clink,” and his dainty “Tell me where is fancy bred.”

“The Lark” is written in the pentatonic scale, with accompaniment for two flutes and a harp.

In the same vein are various songs of Herrick, a lyrist whose verse is not usually congenial to the modern music-maker. Loomis’ “Epitaph on a Virgin” must be classed as a success. Indeed, it reaches positive grandeur at its climax, wherein is woven the grim persistence of a tolling bell. In the same style is a clever setting of Ben Jonson’s much music’d “To Celia.”

In German-tone are his veritably magnificent “Herbstnacht” and his “At Midnight,” two studies after Franz. Heine’s “Des Waldes Kapellmeister” has been made into a most hilarious humoresque.

Bergerie” is a dozen of Norman Gale’s lyrics. “Andalusia” is a flamboyant duet.

In Scotch songs there is a positive embarrassment of riches, Loomis’ fancies finding especial food and freedom in this school. I find in these settings far more art and grace than I see even in Schumann’s many Scotch songs, or those of any other of the Germans. “Oh, for Ane and Twenty” has bagpipe effects. Such flights of ecstasy as “My Wife’s a Winsome Wee Thing,” and “Bonnie Wee Thing,” are simply tyrannical in their appeal. Then there is an irresistible “Polly Stewart;” and “My Peggy’s Heart” is fairly ambrosial. These and several others, like “There Was a Bonnie Lass,” could be made into an album of songs that would delight a whole suite of generations.

A number of his songs are published: they include a “John Anderson, My Jo,” that has no particular right to live; a ballad, “Molly,” with a touch of art tucked into it; the beautiful “Sylvan Slumbers,” and the quaint and fascinating “Dutch Garden.”

Aside from an occasional song like “Thistledown,” with its brilliantly fleecy accompaniment, and the setting of Browning’s famous “The Year’ at the Spring,” for which Loomis has struck out a superb frenzy, and a group of songs by John Vance Cheney, Loomis has found some of his most powerful inspirations in the work of our lyrist, Aldrich, such as the rich carillon of “Wedded,” and his “Discipline,” one of the best of all humorous songs, a gruesome scherzo all about dead monks, in which the music furnishes out the grim irreverence of the words with the utmost waggery.

Chief among the lyrics by Cheney are three “Spring Songs,” in which Loomis has caught the zest of spring with such rapture that, once they are heard, the world seems poor without them in print. Loomis’ literary culture is shown in the sure taste of his selection of lyrics for his music. He has marked aptitudes, too, in creative literature, and has an excellent idea of the arts kindred to his own, particularly architecture.

Like Chopin, Loomis is largely occupied in mixing rich new colors on the inexhaustible palette of the piano. Like Chopin, he is not especially called to the orchestra. What the future may hold for him in this field (by no means so indispensable to classic repute as certain pedants assume) it is impossible to say. In the meantime he is giving most of his time to work in larger forms.

If in his restless hunt for novelty, always novelty, he grows too original, too unconventional, this sin is unusual enough to approach the estate of a virtue. But his oddity is not mere sensation-mongering. It is his individuality. He could make the same reply to such criticism that Schumann made; he thinks in strange rhythms and hunts curious effects, because his tastes are irrevocably so ordained.

But we ought to show a new genius the same generosity toward flaws that we extend toward the masters whose fame is won beyond the patronage of our petty forgiveness. And, all in all, I am impelled to prophesy to Loomis a place very high among the inspired makers of new music. His harmonies, so indefatigably searched out and polished to splendor, so potent in enlarging the color-scale of the piano; his patient building up, through long neglect and through long silence, of a monumental group of works and of a distinct individuality, must prove at some late day a source of lasting pride to his country, neglectful now in spite of itself. But better than his patience, than his courage, than his sincerity, better than that insufficient definition of genius, the capacity for taking infinite pains, is his inspired felicity. His genius is the very essence of felicity.

Ethelbert Nevin.

It is refreshing to be able to chronicle the achievements of a composer who has become financially successful without destroying his claim on the respect of the learned and severe, or sacrificing his own artistic conscience and individuality. Such a composer is Ethelbert Nevin.

His published writings have been altogether along the smaller lines of composition, and he has won an enviable place as a fervent worker in diamonds. None of his gems are paste, and a few have a perfection, a solidity, and a fire that fit them for a place in that coronet one might fancy made up of the richest of the jewels of the world’s music-makers, and fashioned for the very brows of the Muse herself.

Nevin was born in 1862, at Vineacre, on the banks of the Ohio, a few miles from Pittsburgh. There he spent the first sixteen years of his life, and received all his schooling, most of it from his father, Robert P. Nevin, editor and proprietor of a Pittsburgh newspaper, and a contributor to many magazines. It is interesting to note that he also composed several campaign songs, among them the popular “Our Nominee,” used in the day of James K. Polk’s candidacy. The first grand piano ever taken across the Allegheny Mountains was carted over for Nevin’s mother.

From his earliest infancy Nevin was musically inclined, and, at the age of four, was often taken from his cradle to play for admiring visitors. To make up for the deficiency of his little legs, he used to pile cushions on the pedals so that he might manipulate them from afar.

Nevin’s father provided for his son both vocal and instrumental instruction, even taking him abroad for two years of travel and music study in Dresden under Von Boehme. Later he studied the piano for two years at Boston, under B.J. Lang, and composition under Stephen A. Emery, whose little primer on harmony has been to American music almost what Webster’s spelling-book was to our letters.

At the end of two years he went to Pittsburgh, where he gave lessons, and saved money enough to take him to Berlin. There he spent the years 1884, 1885, and 1886, placing himself in the hands of Karl Klindworth. Of him Nevin says: “To Herr Klindworth I owe everything that has come to me in my musical life. He was a devoted teacher, and his patience was tireless. His endeavor was not only to develop the student from a musical standpoint, but to enlarge his soul in every way. To do this, he tried to teach one to appreciate and to feel the influence of such great minds of literature as Goethe, Schiller, and Shakespeare. He used to insist that a man does not become a musician by practising so many hours a day at the piano, but by absorbing an influence from all the arts and all the interests of life, from architecture, painting, and even politics.”

The effect of such broad training enjoyed rarely enough by music students is very evident in Nevin’s compositions. They are never narrow or provincial. They are the outpourings of a soul that is not only intense in its activities, but is refined and cultivated in its expressions. This effect is seen, too, in the poems Nevin chooses to set to music, they are almost without exception verses of literary finish and value. His cosmopolitanism is also remarkable, his songs in French, German, and Italian having no trace of Yankee accent and a great fidelity to their several races.

In 1885, Hans von Buelow incorporated the best four pupils of his friend, Klindworth, into an artist class, which he drilled personally. Nevin was one of the honored four, and appeared at the unique public Zuhoeren of that year, devoted exclusively to the works of Brahms, Liszt, and Raff. Among the forty or fifty studious listeners at these recitals, Frau Cosima Wagner, the violinist Joachim, and many other celebrities were frequently present.

Nevin returned to America in 1887, and took up his residence in Boston, where he taught and played at occasional concerts.

Eighteen hundred and ninety-two found him in Paris, where he taught, winning more pupils than here. He was especially happy in imparting to singers the proper Auffassung (grasp, interpretation, finish) of songs, and coached many American and French artists for the operatic stage. In 1893 the restless troubadour moved on to Berlin, where he devoted himself so ardently to composition that his health collapsed, and he was exiled a year to Algiers. The early months of 1895 he spent in concert tours through this country. As Klindworth said of him, “he has a touch that brings tears,” and it is in interpretation rather than in bravura that he excels. He plays with that unusual combination of elegance and fervor that so individualizes his composition.

Desirous of finding solitude and atmosphere for composition, he took up his residence in Florence, where he composed his suite, “May in Tuscany” . The “Arlecchino” of this work has much sprightliness, and shows the influence of Schumann, who made the harlequin particularly his own; but there is none of Chopin’s nocturnity in the “Notturno,” which presents the sussurus and the moonlit, amorous company of “Boccaccio’s Villa.” The suite includes a “Misericordia” depicting a midnight cortege along the Arno, and modelled on Chopin’s funeral march in structure with its hoarse dirge and its rich cantilena. The best number of the suite is surely the “Rusignuolo,” an exceedingly fluty bird-song.

From Florence, Nevin went to Venice, where he lived in an old casa on the Grand Canal, opposite the Browning palazzo, and near the house where Wagner wrote “Tristan und Isolde.” One day his man, Guido, took a day off, and brought to Venice an Italian sweetheart, who had lived a few miles from the old dream-city and had never visited it. The day these two spent gondoliering through the waterways, where romance hides in every nook, is imaginatively narrated in tone in Nevin’s suite, “Un Giorno in Venezia,” a book more handsomely published even than the others of his works, which have been among the earliest to throw off the disgraceful weeds of type and design formerly worn by native compositions.

The Venetian suite gains a distinctly Italian color from its ingenuously sweet harmonies in thirds and sixths, and its frankly lyric nature, and “The Day in Venice” begins logically with the dawn, which is ushered in with pink and stealthy harmonies, then “The Gondoliers” have a morning mood of gaiety that makes a charming composition. There is a “Canzone Amorosa” of deep fervor, with interjections of “Io t’amo!” and “Amore” (which has the excellent authority of Beethoven’s Sonata, , with its “Lebe wohl"). The suite ends deliciously with a night scene in Venice, beginning with a choral “Ave Maria,” and ending with a campanella of the utmost delicacy.

After a year in Venice Nevin made Paris his home for a year, returning to America then, where he has since remained.

Though he has dabbled somewhat in orchestration, he has been wisely devoting his genius, with an almost Chopin-like singleness of mind, to songs and piano pieces. His piano works are what would be called morceaux. He has never written a sonata, or anything approaching the classical forms, nearer than a gavotte or two. He is very modern in his harmonies, the favorite colors on his palette being the warmer keys, which are constantly blended enharmonically. He “swims in a sea of tone,” being particularly fond of those suspensions and inversions in which the intervals of the second clash passionately, strongly compelling resolution. For all his gracefulness and lyricism, he makes a sturdy and constant use of dissonance; in his song “Herbstgefuehl” the dissonance is fearlessly defiant of conventions.

Nevin’s songs, whose only littleness is in their length, though treated with notable individuality, are founded in principle on the Lieder of Schumann and Franz. That is to say, they are written with a high poetical feeling inspired by the verses they sing, and, while melodious enough to justify them as lyrics, yet are near enough to impassioned recitative to do justice to the words on which they are built. Nevin is also an enthusiastic devotee of the position these masters, after Schubert, took on the question of the accompaniment. This is no longer a slavish thumping of a few chords, now and then, to keep the voice on the key, with outbursts of real expression only at the interludes; but it is a free instrumental composition with a meaning of its own and an integral value, truly accompanying, not merely supporting and serving, the voice. Indeed, one of Nevin’s best songs, “Lehn deine Wang an meine Wang,” is actually little more than a vocal accompaniment to a piano solo. His accompaniments are always richly colored and generally individualized with a strong contramelody, a descending chromatic scale in octaves making an especially frequent appearance. Design, though not classical, is always present and distinct.

Nevin’s first published work was a modest “Serenade,” with a neat touch of syncopation, which he wrote at the age of eighteen. His “Sketch-Book,” a collection of thirteen songs and piano pieces found an immediate and remarkable sale that has removed the ban formerly existing over books of native compositions.

The contents of the “Sketch-Book” display unusual versatility. It opens with a bright gavotte, in which adherence to the classic spirit compels a certain reminiscence of tone. The second piece, a song, “I’ the Wondrous Month o’ May,” has such a springtide fire and frenzy in the turbulent accompaniment, and such a fervent reiterance, that it becomes, in my opinion, the best of all the settings of this poem of Heine’s, not excluding even Schumann’s or that of Franz. The “Love Song,” though a piano solo, is in reality a duet between two lovers. It is to me finer than Henselt’s perfect “Liebeslied,” possibly because the ravishing sweetness of the woman’s voice answering the sombre plea of the man gives it a double claim on the heart. The setting of “Du bist wie eine Blume,” however, hardly does justice either to Heine’s poem, or to Nevin’s art. The “Serenade” is an original bit of work, but the song, “Oh, that We Two were Maying!” with a voice in the accompaniment making it the duet it should be, that song can have no higher praise than this, that it is the complete, the final musical fulfilment of one of the rarest lyrics in our language. A striking contrast to the keen white regret of this song is the setting of a group of “Children’s Songs,” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Nevin’s child-songs have a peculiar and charming place. He has not been stingy of either his abundant art or his abundant humanity in writing them. They include four of Stevenson’s, the best being the captivating “In Winter I get up at Night,” and a setting of Eugene Field’s “Little Boy Blue,” in which a trumpet figure is used with delicate pathos.

Nevin’s third p. included three exquisite songs of a pastoral nature, Goethe’s rollicking “One Spring Morning” having an immense sale. contained five songs, of which the ecstatic “’Twas April” reached the largest popularity. Possibly the smallest sale was enjoyed by “Herbstgefuehl.” Many years have not availed to shake my allegiance to this song, as one of the noblest songs in the world’s music. It is to me, in all soberness, as great as the greatest of the Lieder of Schubert, Schumann or Franz. In “Herbstgefuehl” (or “Autumn-mood”) Gerok’s superb poem bewails the death of the leaves and the failing of the year, and cries out in sympathy:

“Such release and dying
Sweet would seem to me!”

Deeper passion and wilder despair could not be crowded into so short a song, and the whole brief tragedy is wrought with a grandeur and climax positively epic. It is a flash of sheer genius.

Three piano duets make up ; and other charming works, songs, piano pieces, and violin solos, kept pouring from a pen whose apparent ease concealed a vast deal of studious labor, until the lucky 13, the p. -number of a bundle of “Water Scenes,” brought Nevin the greatest popularity of all, thanks largely to “Narcissus,” which has been as much thrummed and whistled as any topical song.

Of the other “Water Scenes,” there is a shimmering “Dragon Fly,” a monody, “Ophelia,” with a pedal-point of two periods on the tonic, and a fluent “Barcarolle” with a deal of high-colored virtuosity.

His book “In Arcady” (1892) contains pastoral scenes, notably an infectious romp that deserves its legend, “They danced as though they never would grow old.” The next year his , “A Book of Songs,” was published. It contains, among other things of merit, a lullaby, called “Sleep, Little Tulip,” with a remarkably artistic and effective pedal-point on two notes (the submediant and the dominant) sustained through the entire song with a fine fidelity to the words and the lullaby spirit; a “Nocturne” in which Nevin has revealed an unsuspected voluptuousness in Mr. Aldrich’ little lyric, and has written a song of irresistible climaxes. The two songs, “Dites-Moi” and “In der Nacht,” each so completely true to the idiom of the language of its poem, are typical of Nevin’s cosmopolitanism, referred to before. This same unusual ability is seen in his piano pieces as well as in his songs. He knows the difference between a chanson and a Lied, and in “Rechte Zeit” has written with truth to German soldierliness as he has been sympathetic with French nuance in “Le Vase Brise,” the effective song “Mon Desire,” which in profile suggests Saint-Saens’ familiar Delilah-song, the striking “Chanson des Lavandières” and “Rapelle-Toi,” one of Nevin’s most elaborate works, in which Alfred De Musset’s verse is splendidly set with much enharmonious color. Very Italian, too, is the “Serenade” with accompaniment a la mandolin, which is the most fetching number in the suite “Captive Memories,” published in 1899.

Nevin has also put many an English song to music, notably the deeply sincere “At Twilight,” the strenuous lilt “In a Bower,” Bourdillon’s beautiful lyric, “Before the Daybreak,” the smooth and unhackneyed treatment of the difficult stanza of “’Twas April,” that popular song, “One Spring Morning,” which has not yet had all the charm sung out of it, and two songs with obbligati for violin and ’cello, “Deep in the Rose’s Glowing Heart” and “Doris,” a song with a finely studied accompaniment and an aroma of Theokritos.

A suite for the piano is “En Passant,” published in 1899; it ranges from a stately old dance, “At Fontainebleau,” to “Napoli,” a furious tarantelle with effective glissandi; “In Dreamland” is a most delicious revery with an odd repetition that is not preludatory, but thematic. The suite ends with the most poetic scene of all, “At Home,” which makes a tone poem of Richard Hovey’s word-picture of a June night in Washington. The depicting of the Southern moonlight-balm, with its interlude of a distant and drowsy negro quartette, reminds one pleasantly of Chopin’s Nocturne , N, with its intermezzo of choric monks, though the composition is Nevin’s very own in spirit and treatment.

In addition to the works catalogued, Nevin has written a pantomime for piano and orchestra to the libretto of that virtuoso in English, Vance Thompson; it was called “Lady Floriane’s Dream,” and was given in New York in 1898. Nevin has also a cantata in making.

It needs no very intimate acquaintance with Nevin’s music to see that it is not based on an adoration for counterpoint as an end. He believes that true music must come from the emotions the intelligent emotions and that when it cannot appeal to the emotions it has lost its power. He says: “Above everything we need melody melody and rhythm. Rhythm is the great thing. We have it in Nature. The trees sway, and our steps keep time, and our very souls respond.” In Wagner’s “Meistersinger,” which he calls “a symphonic poem with action,” Nevin finds his musical creed and his model.

And now, if authority is needed for all this frankly enthusiastic admiration, let it be found in and echoed from Karl Klindworth, who said of Nevin: “His talent is ungeheures [one of the strongest adjectives in the German language]. If he works hard and is conscientious, he can say for the musical world something that no one else can say.”

John Philip Sousa.

In common with most of those that pretend to love serious music, a certain person was for long guilty of the pitiful snobbery of rating march-tunes as the lowest form of the art. But one day he joined a National Guard regiment, and his first long march was that heart-breaking dress-parade of about fifteen miles through the wind and dust of the day Grant’s monument was dedicated. Most of the music played by the band was merely rhythmical embroidery, chiefly in bugle figures, as helpful as a Clementi sonatina; but now and then there would break forth a magic elixir of tune that fairly plucked his feet up for him, put marrow in unwilling bones, and replaced the dreary doggedness of the heart with a great zest for progress, a stout martial fire, and a fierce esprit de corps; with patriotism indeed. In almost every case, that march belonged to one John Philip Sousa.

It came upon this wretch then, that, if it is a worthy ambition in a composer to give voice to passionate love-ditties, or vague contemplation, or the deep despair of a funeral cortege, it is also a very great thing to instil courage, and furnish an inspiration that will send men gladly, proudly, and gloriously through hardships into battle and death. This last has been the office of the march-tune, and it is as susceptible of structural logic or embellishments as the fugue, rondo, or what not. These architectural qualities Sousa’s marches have in high degree, as any one will find that examines their scores or listens analytically. They have the further merit of distinct individuality, and the supreme merit of founding a school.

It is only the plain truth to say that Sousa’s marches have founded a school; that he has indeed revolutionized march-music. His career resembles that of Johann Strauss in many ways. A certain body of old fogies has always presumed to deride the rapturous waltzes of Strauss, though they have won enthusiastic praise from even the esoteric Brahms, and gained from Wagner such words as these: “One Strauss waltz overshadows, in respect to animation, finesse, and real musical worth, most of the mechanical, borrowed, factory-made products of the present time.” The same words might be applied to Sousa’s marches with equal justice. They have served also for dance music, and the two-step, borne into vogue by Sousa’s music, has driven the waltz almost into desuetude.

There is probably no composer in the world with a popularity equal to that of Sousa. Though he sold his “Washington Post” march outright for $35, his “Liberty Bell” march is said to have brought him $35,000. It is found that his music has been sold to eighteen thousand bands in the United States alone. The amazing thing is to learn that there are so many bands in the country. Sousa’s marches have appeared on programs in all parts of the civilized world. At the Queen’s Jubilee, when the Queen stepped forward to begin the grand review of the troops, the combined bands of the household brigade struck up the “Washington Post.” On other important occasions it appeared constantly as the chief march of the week. General Miles heard the marches played in Turkey by the military bands in the reviews.

The reason for this overwhelming appeal to the hearts of a planet is not far to seek. The music is conceived in a spirit of high martial zest. It is proud and gay and fierce, thrilled and thrilling with triumph. Like all great music it is made up of simple elements, woven together by a strong personality. It is not difficult now to write something that sounds more or less like a Sousa march, any more than it is difficult to write parodies, serious or otherwise, on Beethoven, Mozart, or Chopin. The glory of Sousa is that he was the first to write in this style; that he has made himself a style; that he has so stirred the musical world that countless imitations have sprung up after him.

The individuality of the Sousa march is this, that, unlike most of the other influential marches, it is not so much a musical exhortation from without, as a distillation of the essences of soldiering from within. Sousa’s marches are not based upon music-room enthusiasms, but on his own wide experiences of the feelings of men who march together in the open field.

And so his band music expresses all the nuances of the military psychology: the exhilaration of the long unisonal stride, the grip on the musket, the pride in the regimentals and the regiment, esprit de corps. He expresses the inevitable foppery of the severest soldier, the tease and the taunt of the evolutions, the fierce wish that all this ploying and deploying were in the face of an actual enemy, the mania to reek upon a tangible foe all the joyous energy, the blood-thirst of the warrior.

These things Sousa embodies in his music as no other music writer ever has. To approach Sousa’s work in the right mood, the music critic must leave his stuffy concert hall and his sober black; he must flee from the press, don a uniform, and march. After his legs and spirits have grown aweary under the metronomic tunes of others, let him note the surge of blood in his heart and the rejuvenation of all his muscles when the brasses flare into a barbaric Sousa march. No man that marches can ever feel anything but gratitude and homage for Sousa.

Of course he is a trickster at times; admitted that he stoops to conquer at times, yet in his field he is supreme. He is worthy of serious consideration, because his thematic material is almost always novel and forceful, and his instrumentation full of contrast and climax. He is not to be judged by the piano versions of his works, because they are abominably thin and inadequate, and they are not klaviermaessig. There should be a Liszt or a Taussig to transcribe him.

When all’s said and done, Sousa is the pulse of the nation, and in war of more inspiration and power to our armies than ten colonels with ten braw regiments behind them.

Like Strauss’, Mr. Sousa’s father was a musician who forbade his son to devote himself to dance music. As Strauss’ mother enabled him secretly to work out his own salvation, so did Sousa’s mother help him. Sousa’s father was a political exile from Spain, and earned a precarious livelihood by playing a trombone in the very band at Washington which later became his son’s stepping-stone to fame. Sousa was born at Washington in 1859. His mother is German, and Sousa’s music shows the effect of Spanish yeast in sturdy German rye bread. Sousa’s teachers were John Esputa and George Felix Benkert. The latter Mr. Sousa considers one of the most complete musicians this country has ever known. He put him through such a thorough theoretical training, that at fifteen Sousa was teaching harmony. At eight he had begun to earn his own living as a violin player at a dancing-school, and at ten he was a public soloist. At sixteen he was the conductor of an orchestra in a variety theatre. Two years later he was musical director of a travelling company in Mr. Milton Nobles’ well-known play, “The Phoenix,” for which he composed the incidental music. Among other incidents in a career of growing importance was a position in the orchestra with which Offenbach toured this country. At the age of twenty-six, after having played, with face blacked, as a negro minstrel, after travelling with the late Matt Morgan’s Living Picture Company, and working his way through and above other such experiences in the struggle for life, Sousa became the leader of the United States Marine Band. In the twelve years of his leadership he developed this unimportant organization into one of the best military bands in the world.

In 1892 his leadership had given him such fame that he withdrew from the government service to take the leadership of the band carrying his own name.

A work of enormous industry was his collection and arrangement, by governmental order, of the national and typical tunes of all nations into one volume, an invaluable book of reference.

Out of the more than two hundred published compositions by Sousa, it is not possible to mention many here. Though some of the names are not happily chosen, they call up many episodes of parade gaiety and jauntiness, or warlike fire. The “Liberty Bell,” “Directorate,” “High School Cadets,” “King Cotton,” “Manhattan Beach,” “‘Sound Off!’” “Washington Post,” “Picador,” and others, are all stirring works; his best, I think, is a deeply patriotic march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” The second part of this has some brass work of particular originality and vim.

In manuscript are a few works of larger form: a symphonic poem, “The Chariot Race,” an historical scene, “Sheridan’s Ride,” and two suites, “Three Quotations” and “The Last Days of Pompeii.”

The “Three Quotations” are:

(a) “The King of France, with twenty thousand men,
Marched up a hill and then marched down again,”

which is the motive for a delightful scherzo-march of much humor in instrumentation;

(b) “And I, too, was born in Arcadia,”

which is a pastorale with delicious touches of extreme delicacy;

(c) “In Darkest Africa,”

which has a stunning beginning and is a stirring grotesque in the negro manner Dvorak advised Americans to cultivate. All three are well arranged for the piano.

The second suite is based on “The Last Days of Pompeii.” It opens with a drunken revel, “In the House of Burbo and Stratonice;” the bulky brutishness of the gladiators clamoring for wine, a jolly drinking-song, and a dance by a jingling clown make up a superbly written number. The second movement is named “Nydia,” and represents the pathetic reveries of the blind girl; it is tender and quiet throughout.

The third movement is at once daring and masterly. It boldly attacks “The Destruction,” and attains real heights of graphic suggestion. A long, almost inaudible roll on the drums, with occasional thuds, heralds the coming of the earthquake; subterranean rumblings, sharp rushes of tremor, toppling stones, and wild panic are insinuated vividly, with no cheap attempts at actual imitation. The roaring of the terrified lion is heard, and, best touch of all, under the fury of the scene persists the calm chant of the Nazarenes, written in one of the ancient modes. The rout gives way to the sea-voyage of Glaucus and Ione, and Nydia’s swan-song dies away in the gentle splash of ripples. The work is altogether one of superb imagination and scholarly achievement.

Sousa, appealing as he does to an audience chiefly of the popular sort, makes frequent use of devices shocking to the conventional. But even in this he is impelled by the enthusiasm of an experimenter and a developer. Almost every unconventional novelty is hooted at in the arts. But the sensationalism of to-day is the conservatism of to-morrow, and the chief difference between a touch of high art and a trick is that the former succeeds and the latter does not. Both are likely to have a common origin.

The good thing is that Sousa is actuated by the spirit of progress and experiment, and has carried on the development of the military band begun by the late Patrick S. Gilmore. Sousa’s concert programs devote what is in fact the greater part of their space to music by the very best composers. These, of course, lose something in being translated over to the military band, but their effect in raising the popular standard of musical culture cannot but be immense. Through such instrumentality much of Wagner is as truly popular as any music played. The active agents of such a result should receive the heartiest support from every one sincerely interested in turning the people toward the best things in music. Incidentally, it is well to admit that while a cheap march-tune is almost as trashy as an uninspired symphony, a good march-tune is one of the best things in the best music.

Though chiefly known as a writer of marches, in which he has won glory enough for the average human ambition, Sousa has also taken a large place in American comic opera. His first piece, “The Smugglers,” was produced in 1879, and scored the usual failure of a first work. His “Katherine” was never produced, his “Desiree” was brought out in 1884 by the McCaull Opera Company, and his “Queen of Hearts,” a one-act piece, was given two years later. He forsook opera then for ten years; but in 1896 De Wolf Hopper produced his “El Capitan” with great success.

The chief tune of the piece was a march used with Meyerbeerian effectiveness to bring down the curtain. The stout verve of this “El Capitan” march gave it a large vogue outside the opera. Hopper next produced “The Charlatan,” a work bordering upon opera comique in its first version. Both of these works scored even larger success in London than at home.

In “The Bride Elect,” Sousa wrote his own libretto, and while there was the usual stirring march as the piece de resistance, the work as a whole was less clangorous of the cymbal than the operas of many a tamer composer. In “Chris and the Wonderful Lamp,” an extravaganza, the chief ensemble was worked up from a previous march, “Hands Across the Sea.”

But Sousa can write other things than marches, and his scoring is full of variety, freedom, and contrapuntal brilliance.

Henry Schoenefeld.

Long before Dvorak discovered America, we aboriginals had been trying to invent a national musical dialect which should identify us as completely to the foreigner as our nasal intonation and our fondness for the correct and venerable use of the word “guess.” But Dvorak is to credit for taking the problem off the shelf, and persuading our composers to think. I cannot coax myself into the enthusiasm some have felt for Dvorak’s own explorations in darkest Africa. His quartette and his “New World” symphony are about as full of accent and infidelity as Mlle. Yvette Guilbert’s picturesque efforts to sing in English. But almost anything is better than the phlegm that says, “The old ways are good enough for all time;” and the Bohemian missionary must always hold a place in the chronicle of American music.

A disciple of Dvorak’s, both in advance and in retrospect, is Henry Schoenefeld, who wrote a characteristic suite before the Dvorakian invasion, and an overture, “In the Sunny South,” afterward. The suite, which has been played frequently abroad, winning the praises of Hanslick, Nicode, and Rubinstein, is scored for string orchestra. It opens with an overly reminiscent waltz-tune, and ends conventionally, but it contains a movement in negro-tone that gives it importance. In this the strings are abetted by a tambourine, a triangle, and a gong. It is in march-time, and, after a staccato prelude, begins with a catchy air taken by the second violins, while the firsts, divided, fill up the chords. A slower theme follows in the tonic major; it is a jollificational air, dancing from the first violins with a bright use of harmonics. Two periods of loud chorale appear with the gong clanging (to hint a church-bell, perhaps). The first two themes return and end the picture.

The overture has won the high esteem of A.J. Goodrich, and it seems to me to be one of the most important of native works, not because of its nigrescence, but because of its spontaneity therein. It adds to the usual instruments only the piccolo, the English horn, the tambourine, and triangle and cymbals. The slow introduction gives forth an original theme in the most approved and most fetching darky pattern. The strings announce it, and the wood replies. The flutes and clarinets toss it in a blanket furnished by an interesting passage in the ’cellos and contrabasses. There is a choral moment from the English horn, the bassoons, and a clarinet. This solemn thought keeps recurring parenthetically through the general gaiety. The first subject clatters in, the second is even more jubilant. In the development a dance misterioso is used with faithful screaming repetitions, and the work ends regularly and brilliantly. There is much syncopation, though nothing that is strictly in “rag-time;” banjo-figurations are freely and ingeniously employed, and the whole is a splendid fiction in local color. Schoenefeld’s negroes do not speak Bohemian.

His determined nationalism is responsible for his festival overture, “The American Flag,” based on his own setting of Rodman Drake’s familiar poem. The work opens with the hymn blaring loudly from the antiphonal brass and wood. The subjects are taken from it with much thematic skill, and handled artfully, but the hymn, which appears in full force for coda, is as trite as the most of its kith.

Schoenefeld was born in Milwaukee, in 1857. His father was a musician, and his teacher for some years. At the age of seventeen Schoenefeld went to Leipzig, where he spent three years, studying under Reinecke, Coccius, Papperitz, and Grill. A large choral and orchestral work was awarded a prize over many competitors, and performed at the Gewandhaus concerts, the composer conducting. Thereafter he went to Weimar, where he studied under Edward Lassen.

In 1879 he came back to America, and took up his residence in Chicago, where he has since lived as a teacher, orchestra leader, and composer. He has for many years directed the Germania Maennerchor.

Schoenefeld’s “Rural Symphony” was awarded the $500 prize offered by the National Conservatory. Dvorak was the chairman of the Committee on Award, and gave Schoenefeld hearty compliments. Later works are: “Die drei Indianer,” an ode for male chorus, solo, and orchestra; a most beautiful “Air” for orchestra (the air being taken by most of the strings, the first violins haunting the G string, while a harp and three flutes carry the burden of the accompaniment gracefully); a pleasant “Reverie” for string orchestra, harp, and organ; and two impromptus for string orchestra, a “Meditation” representing Cordelia brooding tenderly over the slumbering King Lear, art ministering very tenderly to the mood, and a cleverly woven “Valse Noble.”

Only a few of Schoenefeld’s works are published, all of them piano pieces. It is no slur upon his orchestral glory to say that these are for the most part unimportant, except the excellent “Impromptu” and “Prelude.” Of the eight numbers in “The Festival,” for children, only the “Mazurka” is likely to make even the smallest child think. The “Kleine Tanz Suite” is better. The six children’s pieces of , “Mysteries of the Wood,” make considerable appeal to the fancy and imagination, and are highly interesting. They show Grieg’s influence very plainly, and are quite worth recommending. This cannot be said of his most inelegant “Valse Élégante,” or of his numerous dances, except, perhaps, his “Valse Caprice.”

He won in July, 1899, the prize offered to American composers by Henri Marteau, for a sonata for violin and piano. The jury was composed of such men as Dubois, Pierne, Diemer, and Pugno. The sonata is quasi fantasia, and begins strongly with an evident intention to make use of negro-tone. The first subject is so vigorously declared that one is surprised to find that it is elastic enough to express a sweet pathos and a deep gloom. It is rather fully developed before the second subject enters; this, on the other hand, is hardly insinuated in its relative major before the rather inelaborate elaboration begins. In the romanza, syncopation and imitation are much relied on, though the general atmosphere is that of a nocturne, a trio of dance-like manner breaking in. The final rondo combines a clog with a choral intermezzo. The work is noteworthy for its deep sincerity and great lyric beauty.

Maurice Arnold.

The plantation dances of Maurice Arnold have an intrinsic interest quite aside from their intrinsic value. Arnold, whose full name is Maurice Arnold-Strothotte, was born in St. Louis in 1865. His mother was a prominent pianist and gave him his first lessons in music. At the age of fifteen he went to Cincinnati, studying at the College of Music for three years. In 1883 he went to Germany to study counterpoint and composition with Vierling and Urban in Berlin. The latter discouraged him when he attempted to imbue a suite with a negro plantation spirit.

Arnold now went upon a tramping tour in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Some of his compositions show the influence of his journey. He then entered the Cologne Conservatory, studying under Wuellner, Neitzel, and G. Jensen. His first piano sonata was performed there at a public concert. He next went to Breslau, where, under the instruction of Max Bruch, he wrote his cantata, “The Wild Chase,” and gave public performance to other orchestral work. Returning now to St. Louis, he busied himself as solo violinist and teacher, travelling also as a conductor of opera companies. When Dvorak came here Arnold wrote his “Plantation Dances,” which were produced in a concert under the auspices of the Bohemian composer. Arnold was instructor of harmony at the National Conservatory under Dvorak.

The “Plantation Dances” are Arnold’s thirty-third p. , and they have been much played by orchestras; they are also published as a piano duet; the second dance also as a solo. Arnold has not made direct use of Ethiopian themes, but has sought the African spirit. The first of the dances is very nigresque; the second hardly at all, though it is a delicious piece of music; the third dance uses banjo figures and realizes darky hilarity in fine style; the fourth is a cake walk and hits off the droll humor of that pompous ceremony fascinatingly.

Arnold’s “Dramatic Overture” shows a fire and rush very characteristic of him and likely to be kept up without sufficient contrast. So also does his cantata, “The Wild Chase.” Arnold has written two comic operas. I have heard parts of the first and noted moments of much beauty and humor. The Aragonaise, which opens the third act, is particularly delightful. The orchestration throughout displays Arnold’s characteristic studiousness in picturesque effect.

For piano there is a czardas, and a “Valse Élégante” for eight hands; it is more Viennese than Chopinesque. It might indeed be called a practicable waltz lavishly adorned. The fruits of Arnold’s Oriental journey are seen in his impressionistic “Danse de la Midway Plaisance;” a very clever reminiscence of a Turkish minstrel; and a Turkish march, which has been played by many German orchestras. There is a “Caprice Espagnol,” which is delightful, and a “Banjoenne,” which treats banjo music so captivatingly that Arnold may be said to have invented a new and fertile and musical form. Besides these there are a fugue for eight hands, a “Minstrel Serenade” for violin and piano, and six duets for violin and viola.

There are also a few part songs and some solos, among which mention should be made of “Ein Maerlein,” in the old German style, an exquisitely tender “Barcarolle,” and a setting of the poem, “I Think of Thee in Silent Night,” which makes use of a particularly beautiful phrase for pre-, inter-, and postlude. Arnold has also written some ballet music, a tarantelle for string orchestra, and is at work upon a symphony, and a book, “Some Points in Modern Orchestration.” His violin sonata (now in MS.) shows his original talent at its best. In the first movement, the first subject is a snappy and taking example of negro-tone, the second has the perfume of moonlit magnolia in its lyricism. (In the reprise this subject, which had originally appeared in the dominant major, recurs in the tonic major, the key of the sonata being E minor.) The second movement is also in the darky spirit, but full of melancholy. For finale the composer has flown to Ireland and written a bully jig full of dash and spirit.

N. Clifford Page.

The influence of Japanese and Chinese art upon our world of decoration has long been realized. After considering the amount of interest shown in the Celestial music by American composers, one is tempted to prophesy a decided influence in this line, and a considerable spread of Japanese influence in the world of music also. Japanese music has a decorative effect that is sometimes almost as captivating as in painting.

The city of San Francisco is the natural gateway for any such impulse, and not a little of it has already passed the custom house. In this field Edgar S. Kelley’s influence is predominating, and it is not surprising that he should pass the contagion on to his pupil, Nathaniel Clifford Page, who was born in San Francisco, October 26, 1866. His ancestors were American for many years prior to the Revolution. He composed operas at the age of twelve, and has used many of these immature ideas with advantage in the later years. He began the serious study of music at the age of sixteen, Kelley being his principal teacher. His first opera, composed and orchestrated before he became of age, was entitled “The First Lieutenant.” It was produced in 1889 at the Tivoli Opera House in San Francisco, where most of the critics spoke highly of its instrumental and Oriental color, some of the scenes being laid in Morocco.

In instrumentation, which is considered Page’s forte, he has never had any instruction further than his own reading and investigation. He began to conduct in opera and concert early in life, and has had much experience. He has also been active as a teacher in harmony and orchestration.

An important phase of Page’s writing has been incidental music for plays, his greatest success having been achieved by the music for the “Moonlight Blossom,” a play based upon Japanese life and produced in London in 1898. The overture was written entirely on actual Japanese themes, including the national anthem of Japan. Page was three weeks writing these twelve measures. He had a Japanese fiddle arranged with a violin finger-board, but thanks to the highly characteristic stubbornness of orchestral players, he was compelled to have this part played by a mandolin. Two Japanese drums, a whistle used by a Japanese shampooer, and a Japanese guitar were somehow permitted to add their accent. The national air is used in augmentation later as the bass for a Japanese song called “K Honen.” The fidelity of the music is proved by the fact that Sir Edwin Arnold’s Japanese wife recognized the various airs and was carried away by the national anthem.

Although the play was not a success, the music was given a cordial reception, and brought Page contracts for other work in England, including a play of Indian life by Mrs. Flora Annie Steel.

Previously to the writing of the “Moonlight Blossom” music, Page had arranged the incidental music for the same author’s play, “The Cat and the Cherub.” Edgar S. Kelley’s “Aladdin” music was the source from which most of the incidental music was drawn; but Page added some things of his own, among them being one of the most effective and unexpected devices for producing a sense of horror and dread I have ever listened to: simply the sounding at long intervals of two gruff single tones in the extreme low register of the double basses and bassoons. The grimness of this effect is indescribable.

An unnamed Oriental opera, and an opera called “Villiers,” in which old English color is employed (including a grotesque dance of the clumsy Ironsides), show the cosmopolitan restlessness of Page’s muse. An appalling scheme of self-amusement is seen in his “Caprice,” in which a theme of eight measures’ length is instrumented with almost every contrapuntal device known, and with psychological variety that runs through five movements, scherzando, vigoroso, con sentimento, religioso, and a marcia fantastico. The suite called “Village Fête” is an experiment in French local color. It contains five scenes: The Peasants Going to Chapel; The Flower Girls; The Vagabonds; The Tryst; The Sabot Dance; and the Entrance of the Mayor, which is a pompous march.

On the occasion of a performance of this, Louis Arthur Russell wrote: “His orchestra is surely French, and as modern as you please. The idiom is Berlioz’s rather than Wagner’s.”