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John Knowles Paine.

There is one thing better than modernity, it is immortality. So while I am a most ardent devotee of modern movements, because they are at worst experiments, and motion is necessary to life, I fail to see why it is necessary in picking up something new always to drop something old, as if one were an awkward, butter-fingered parcel-carrier.

If a composer writes empty stuff in the latest styles, he is one degree better than the purveyor of trite stuff in the old styles; but he is nobody before the high thinker who finds himself suited by the general methods of the classic writers.

The most classic of our composers is their venerable dean, John Knowles Paine. It is an interesting proof of the youth of our native school of music, that the principal symphony, “Spring,” of our first composer of importance, was written only twenty-one years ago. Before Mr. Paine there had never been an American music writer worthy of serious consideration in the larger forms.

By a mere coincidence Joachim Raff had written a symphony called “Spring” in 1878, just a year before Paine finished his in America. The first movement in both is called “Nature’s Awakening;” such an idea is inevitable in any spring composition, from poetry up or down. For a second movement Raff has a wild “Walpurgis Night Revel,” while Paine has a scherzo called “May Night Fantasy.” Where Raff is uncanny and fiendish, Paine is cheerful and elfin. The third movement of Raff’s symphony is called “First Blossoms of Spring,” and the last is called “The Joys of Wandering.” The latter two movements of Mr. Paine’s symphony are “A Promise of Spring” and “The Glory of Nature.” The beginning of both symphonies is, of course, a slow introduction representing the torpid gloom of winter, out of which spring aspires and ascends.

Paine’s symphony, though aiming to shape the molten gold of April fervor in the rigid mold of the symphonic form, has escaped every appearance of mechanism and restraint. It is program music of the most legitimate sort, in full accord with Beethoven’s canon, “Mehr Ausdruck der Empfindung als Malerei.” It has no aim of imitating springtime noises, but seeks to stimulate by suggestion the hearer’s creative imagination, and provoke by a musical telepathy the emotions that swayed the nympholept composer.

The first movement of the symphony has an introduction containing two motives distinct from the two subjects of the movement. These motives represent Winter and the Awakening. The Winter motive may be again divided into a chill and icy motif and a rushing wind-motif. Through these the timid Awakening spirit lifts its head like the first trillium of the year. There is a silence and a stealthy flutter of the violins as if a cloud of birds were playing courier to the Spring.

Suddenly, after a little prelude, as if a bluebird were tuning his throat, we are enveloped in the key of the symphony (A major) and the Spring runs lilting up the ’cellos to the violins (which are divided in the naif archaic interval of the tenth, too much ignored in our over-colored harmonies). The second subject is propounded by the oboes (in the rather unusual related key of the submediant). This is a lyrical and dancing idea, and it does battle with the underground resistance of the Winter motives. There is an elaborate conclusion of fiercest joy. Its ecstasy droops, and after a little flutter as of little wings, the elaboration opens with the Spring motive in the minor. In this part, scholarship revels in its own luxury, the birds quiver about our heads again, and the reprise begins (in A major of course) with new exultance, the dancing second subject appears (in the tonic), overwhelming the failing strength of the Winter with a cascade of delight. Then the conclusion rushes in; this I consider one of the most joyous themes ever inspired.

There is a coda of vanishing bird-wings and throats, a
pizzicato chord on the strings and Spring has had her

“The May Night Fantasy” is a moonlit revel of elves caught by a musical reporter, a surreptitious “chiel amang ’em takin’ notes.” A single hobgoblin bassoon croaks ludicrously away, the pixies darkle and flirt and dance their hearts out of them.

The Romance is in rondo form with love-lorn iteration of
themes and intermezzo, and deftest broidery, the whole
ending, after a graceful Recollection, in a bliss of harmony.

The Finale is a halleluiah. It is on the sonata formula, without introduction (the second subject being not in the dominant of A major, but in C major, that chaste, frank key which one of the popes strangely dubbed “lascivious"). The elaboration is frenetic with strife, but the reprise is a many-hued rainbow after storm, and the coda in A major (ending a symphony begun in A minor) is swift with delight.

This symphony has been played much, but not half enough. It should resist the weariness of time as immortally as Fletcher’s play, “The Two Noble Kinsmen” (in which Shakespeare’s hand is glorious), for it is, to quote that drama, “fresher than May, sweeter than her gold buttons on the bough, or all th’enamell’d knacks o’ the mead or garden.”

John Knowles Paine is a name that has been held in long and high honor among American composers. He was about the earliest of native writers to convince foreign musicians that some good could come out of Nazareth.

He was born in Portland, Me., January 9, 1839. He studied music first under a local teacher, Kotzschmar, making his debut as organist at the age of eighteen. A year later he was in Berlin, where for three years he studied the organ, composition, instrumentation, and singing under Haupt, Wieprecht, and others. He gave several organ concerts in Germany, and made a tour in 1865-1866. In February, 1867, his “Mass” was given at the Berlin Singakademie, Paine conducting. Then he came back to the States, and in 1872 was appointed to an instructorship of music at Harvard, whence he was promoted in 1876 to a full professorship, a chair created for him and occupied by him ever since with distinguished success.

His first symphony was brought out by Theodore Thomas in 1876. This and his other orchestral works have been frequently performed at various places in this country and abroad.

His only oratorio, “St. Peter,” was first produced at Portland in 1873, and in Boston a year later. It is a work of great power and much dramatic strength. Upton, in his valuable work, “Standard Oratorios,” calls it “from the highest standpoint the only oratorio yet produced in this country.”

This oratorio, while containing much of the floridity and repetition of Haendel at his worst, is also marked with the erudition and largeness of Haendel at his best. The aria for St. Peter, “O God, My God, Forsake Me Not,” is especially fine.

A much-played symphonic poem is Paine’s “The Tempest,” which develops musically the chief episodes of Shakespeare’s play. He has also written a valuable overture to “As You Like It;” he has set Keats’ “Realm of Fancy” exquisitely, and Milton’s “Nativity.” And he has written a grand opera on a mediaeval theme to his own libretto. This is a three-act work called “Azara;” the libretto has been published by the Riverside Press, and is to be translated into German. This has not yet been performed. Being, unfortunately, an American grand opera, it takes very little acuteness of foresight to predict a long wait before it is ever heard. In it Paine has shown himself more a romanticist than a classicist, and the work is said to be full of modernity.

Paine wrote the music for Whittier’s “Hymn,” used to open the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, and was fitly chosen to write the Columbus March and Hymn for the opening ceremonies of the World’s Fair, at Chicago, October 21, 1892. This was given by several thousand performers under the direction of Theodore Thomas.

A most original and interesting work is the chorus, “Phoebus, Arise.” It seems good to hark back for words to old William Drummond “of Hawthornden.” The exquisite flavor of long-since that marks the poetry is conserved in the tune. While markedly original, it smacks agreeably of the music of Harry Lawes, that nightingale of the seventeenth century, whose fancies are too much neglected nowadays.

Paine’s strong point is his climaxes, which are never timid, and are often positively titanic, thrilling. The climax of this chorus is notably superb, and the voices hold for two measures after the orchestra finishes. The power of this effect can be easily imagined. This work is marked, to an unusual extent, with a sensuousness of color.

The year eighteen hundred eighty-one saw the first production of what is generally considered Paine’s most important composition, and by some called the best work by an American, his setting of the choruses of the “Oedipus Tyrannos” of Sophokles. It was written for the presentation by Harvard University, and has been sung, in whole or in part, very frequently since. This masterpiece of Grecian genius is so mighty in conception and so mighty in execution that it has not lost power at all in the long centuries since it first thrilled the Greeks. To realize its possibilities musically is to give proof enough of the very highest order of genius, a genius akin to that of Sophokles. It may be said that in general Paine has completely fulfilled his opportunities.

Mendelssohn also set two Greek tragedies to music, Sophokles’ “Oedipus in Kolonos” and his “Antigone.” Mendelssohn is reported to have made a first attempt at writing Grecian music, or what we suppose it to be, mainly a matter of unison and meagre instrumentation. He was soon dissuaded from such a step, however, and wisely. The Greek tragedians, really writers of grand opera, made undoubted use of the best musical implements and knowledge they had. Creative emotion has its prosperity in the minds of its audience, not in the accuracy of its mechanism. To secure the effect on us that the Greek tragedians produced on contemporary audiences, it is necessary that our music be a sublimation along the lines we are accustomed to, as theirs was along lines familiar to them and effective with them. Otherwise, instead of being moved by the miseries of Oedipus, we should be chiefly occupied with amusement at the oddity of the music, and soon bored unendurably by its monotony and thinness.

Mendelssohn decided then to use unison frequently for suggestion’s sake, but not to carry it to a fault. His experiments along these lines have been of evident advantage to Paine, who has, however, kept strictly to his own individuality, and produced a work that, at its highest, reaches a higher plane, in my opinion, than anything in Mendelssohn’s noble tragedies, and I am not, at that, one of those that affect to look down upon the achievements of the genius that built “Elijah.”

Paine’s prelude is an immense piece of work, in every way larger and more elaborate than that to Mendelssohn’s “Antigone” (the “Oedipus in Kolonos” begins strongly with only one period of thirteen measures). The opening chorus of Paine’s “Oedipus” is the weakest thing in the work. The second strophe has a few good moments, but soon falls back into what is impudent enough to be actually catchy! and that, too, of a Lowell Mason, Moody and Sankey catchiness. Curiously enough, Mendelssohn’s “Antigone” begins with a chorus more like a drinking-song than anything else, and the first solo is pure Volkslied; both of them imbued with a Teutonic flavor that could be cut with a knife. In Mendelssohn’s “Oedipus in Kolonos,” however, the music expresses emotion rather than German emotion, and abounds in splendors of harmony that are strikingly Wagnerian in advance.

Paine’s second chorus describes the imaginary pursuit by Fate of the murderer of King Laius. It is full of grim fire, and the second strophe is at first simply terrible with awe. Then it degenerates somewhat into an arioso, almost Italian. The fourth chorus defends the oracles from Jocasta’s incredulity. It is written almost in march measure, and is full of robor.

At this point in the tragedy, where it begins to transpire to Oedipus that he himself was the unwitting murderer and the incestuous wretch whose exile the oracle demands before dispelling the plague, here the divine genius of Sophokles introduces a chorus of general merriment, somewhat as Shakespeare uses the maundering fool as a foil to heighten King Lear’s fate. No praise can be too high for Paine’s music here. Its choric structure is masterly, its spirit is running fire. Note, as an instance, the effect at the words “To save our land thou didst rise as a tower!” where the music itself is suddenly uplift with most effective suggestion.

The sixth chorus shows the effect of Oedipus’ divulged guilt and the misery of this fool of Fate. The music is an outburst of sheer genius. It is overpowering, frightening. The postlude is orchestral, with the chorus speaking above the music. Jocasta has hanged herself, Oedipus has torn out his own eyes with her brooch. The music is a fitting reverie on the great play, and after a wild tumult it subsides in a resigned quietude.

From Greek tragedy to Yankee patriotism is a long cry, yet I think Paine has not wasted his abilities on his “Song of Promise,” written for the Cincinnati May Festival of 1888. Though the poem by Mr. George E. Woodberry is the very apotheosis of American brag, it has a redeeming technic. The music, for soprano solo, mixed chorus, and orchestra, reaches the very peaks of inspiration. I doubt if any living composer or many dead masters could grow so epic, as most of this. In a way it is academic. It shows a little of the influence of Wagner, as any decent music should nowadays. But it is not Wagner’s music, and it is not trite academia. There is no finicky tinsel and no cheap oddity.

Considering the heights at which both words and music aimed, it is amazing that they did not fall into utter wreck and nauseating bathos. That they have proved so effective shows the sure-footedness of genius. It is all good, especially the soprano solo.

This music is exquisite, wondrously exquisite, and it is followed by a maestoso e solenne movement of unsurpassable majesty. I have never read anything more purely what music should be for grandeur. And it praises our ain countree! It might well be taken up by some of our countless vocal societies to give a much needed respite to Haendel’s threadbare “Messiah.”

When one considers the largeness of the works to which Paine has devoted himself chiefly, he can be excused for the meagreness and comparative unimportance of his smaller works for piano and vocal solo. The only song of his I care for particularly is “A Bird upon a Rosy Bough” , which is old-fashioned, especially in accompaniment, yet at times delicious. The song “Early Spring-time” is most curiously original.

Of piano pieces there are a sprightly “Birthday Impromptu” and a fuga giocosa, which deals wittily with that theme known generally by the words “Over the Fence Is Out!” The “Nocturne” begins like Schumann, falls into the style of his second Novellette, thence to the largo of Beethoven’s Sonata , N, thence to Chopinism, wherein it ends, an interesting assemblage withal!

A long “Romance” for the piano is marked by some excellent incidents and much passion, but it lacks unity. It is the last work in “An Album of Pianoforte Pieces,” which is otherwise full of rare delights. It is made up of opera 25, 26, and 39. contains four characteristic pieces, a “Dance” full of dance-rapture, a most original “Impromptu,” and a “Rondo Giocoso,” which is just the kind of brilliantly witty scherzo whose infrequency in American music is so lamentable and so surprising. includes ten sketches, all good, especially “Woodnotes,” a charming tone-poem, the deliciously simple “Wayside Flowers,” “Under the Lindens,” which is a masterpiece of beautiful syncopation, a refreshingly interesting bit in the hackneyed “Millstream” form, and a “Village Dance,” which has much of that quaint flavor that makes Heller’s etudes a perennial delight.

Besides these, there are a number of motets, organ preludes, string quartettes, concert pieces for violin, ’cello, piano, and the like, all contributing to the furtherance of an august fame.

Dudley Buck.

Music follows the laws of supply and demand just as the other necessities of life do. But before a demand could exist for it in its more austere and unadulterated forms, the general taste for it must be improved. For this purpose the offices of skilful compromisers were required, composers who could at the same time please the popular taste and teach it discrimination. Among these invaluable workers, a high place belongs, in point both of priority and achievement, to Dudley Buck. He has been a powerful agent, or reagent, in converting the stagnant ferment into a live and wholesome ebullition, or as the old Greek evolutionists would say, starting the first progress in the primeval ooze of American Philistinism.

A more thoroughly New England ancestry it would be hard to find. The founder of the family came over from England soon after the Mayflower landed. Buck was named after Governor Dudley of the Plymouth Colony. He was born at Hartford, March 10, 1839. His father was a prosperous shipping merchant, one of whose boats, during the Civil War, towed the Monitor from New York to Fortress Monroe on the momentous voyage that destroyed the Merrimac’s usefulness.

Buck, though intended for commercial life, borrowed a work on thorough-bass and a flute and proceeded to try the wings of his muse. A melodeon supplanted the flute, and when he was sixteen he attained the glory of a piano, a rare possession in those times. (Would that it were rarer now!) He took a few lessons and played a church-organ for a salary, a small thing, but his own.

After reaching the junior year in Trinity College, he prevailed upon his parents to surrender him to music, an almost scandalous career in the New England mind of that day, still unbleached of its Blue Laws.

At the age of nineteen he went to Leipzig and entered the Conservatory there, studying composition under Hauptmann and E.F. Richter, orchestration under Rietz, and the piano under Moscheles and Plaidy. Later he went to Dresden and studied the organ with Schneider.

After three years in Germany, he studied for a year in Paris, and came home, settling down in Hartford as church-organist and teacher. He began a series of organ-concert tours lasting fifteen years. He played in almost every important city and in many small towns, popularizing the best music by that happy fervor of interpretation which alone is needed to bring classical compositions home to the public heart. In 1869 he was called to the “mother-church” of Chicago. In the Chicago fire he lost many valuable manuscripts, including a concert overture on Drake’s exquisite poem, “The Culprit Fay,” which must be especially regretted. He moved his family to Boston, assuming in ten days the position of organist at St. Paul’s; and later he accepted charge of “the great organ” at Music Hall, that organ of which Artemus Ward wrote so deliciously.

In 1875 Theodore Thomas, whose orchestra had performed many of Buck’s compositions, invited him to become his assistant conductor at the Cincinnati Music Festival and at the last series of concerts at the Central Park Garden in New York. Buck accepted and made his home in Brooklyn, where he has since remained as organist of the Holy Trinity Church, and conductor of the Apollo Club, which he founded and brought to a high state of efficiency, writing for it many of his numerous compositions for male voices.

Buck’s close association with church work has naturally led him chiefly into sacred music, and in this class of composition he is by many authorities accorded the very highest place among American composers. He has also written many organ solos, sonatas, marches, a pastorale, a rondo caprice, and many concert transcriptions, as well as a group of etudes for pedal phrasing, and several important treatises on various musical topics. His two “Motett Collections” were a refreshing relief and inspiration to church choirs thirsty for religious Protestant music of some depth and warmth.

In the cantata form Buck also holds a foremost place. In 1876 he was honored with a commission to set to music “The Centennial Meditation of Columbia,” a poem written for the occasion by the Southern poet, Sidney Lanier. This was performed at the opening of the Philadelphia Exhibition by a chorus of one thousand voices, an organ, and an orchestra of two hundred pieces under the direction of Theodore Thomas. In 1874 he made a metrical version of “The Legend of Don Munio” from Irving’s “Alhambra,” and set it to music for a small orchestra and chorus. Its adaptability to the resources of the vocal societies of smaller cities has made it one of his most popular works.

Another bit of Washington Irving is found in Buck’s cantata, “The Voyage of Columbus,” the libretto for which he has taken from Irving’s “Life of Columbus.” It consists of six night-scenes, “The Chapel of St. George at Palos,” “On the Deck of the Santa Maria,” “The Vesper Hymn,” “Mutiny,” “In Distant Andalusia,” and “Land and Thanksgiving.” The opportunities here for Buck’s skilful handling of choruses and his dramatic feeling in solos are obvious, and the work has been frequently used both in this country and in Germany with much success. Buck, in fact, made the German libretto as well as the English, and has written the words for many of his compositions. His largest work was “The Light of Asia,” composed in 1885 and based on Sir Edwin Arnold’s epic. It requires two and one-half hours for performance and has met the usual success of Buck’s music; it was produced in London with such soloists as Nordica, Lloyd, and Santley. It has been occasionally given here.

He has found the greater part of his texts in American poetry, particularly in Lanier, Stedman, and Longfellow, whose “King Olaf’s Christmas” and “Nun of Nidaros” he has set to music, as well as his “Golden Legend,” which won a prize of one thousand dollars at the Cincinnati Festival in a large competition. His work is analyzed very fully in A.J. Goodrich’ “Musical Analysis.”

Here, as in his symphonic overture to Scott’s “Marmion,” Buck has adopted the Wagnerian idea of the leit-motif as a vivid means of distinguishing musically the various characters and their varying emotions. His music is not markedly Wagnerian, however, in other ways, but seems to show, back of his individuality, an assimilation of the good old school of canon and fugue, with an Italian tendency to the declamatory and well-rounded melodic period.

It might be wished that in his occasional secular songs Buck had followed less in the steps of the Italian aria and the English ballad and adopted more of the newer, nobler spirit of the Lied as Schumann and Franz represent it, and as many of our younger Americans have done with thorough success and not a little of exaltation. Note for instance the inadequacy of the old-style balladry to both its own opportunity and the otherwise-smothered fire of such a poem as Sidney Lanier’s “Sunset,” which is positively Shakespearean in its passionate perfection.

In religious music, however, Mr. Buck has made a niche of its own for his music, which it occupies with grace and dignity.

Horatio W. Parker.

When one considers the enormous space occupied by the hymn-tune in New England musical activity, it is small wonder that most of its composers should display hymnal proclivities. Both Buck and Parker are natives of New England.

Parker was born, September 15, 1863, at Auburndale, Mass. His mother was his first teacher of music. She was an organist, and gave him a thorough technical schooling which won the highest commendation later from Rheinberger, who entrusted to him the first performance of a new organ concerto. After some study in Boston under Stephen A. Emery, John Orth, and G.W. Chadwick, Parker went to Munich at the age of eighteen, where he came under the special favor of Rheinberger, and where various compositions were performed by the Royal Music School orchestra. After three years of Europe, he returned to America and assumed the direction of the music at St. Paul’s school. He has held various posts since, and has been, since 1894, the Battell Professor of Music at Yale.

His rather imposing list of works includes a symphony (1885), an operetta, a concert overture (1884), an overture, “Regulus” (1885), performed in Munich and in London, and an overture, “Count Robert of Paris” (1890), performed in New York, a ballad for chorus and orchestra, “King Trojan,” presented in Munich in 1885, the Twenty-third Psalm for female chorus and orchestra (1884), an “Idylle” (1891); “The Normans,” “The Kobolds,” and “Harold Harfager,” all for chorus and orchestra, and all dated 1891; an oratorio, three or more cantatas, and various bits of chamber-music. His p. number has already reached forty-three, and it is eked out to a very small degree by such imponderous works as organ and piano solos, hymns, and songs. In 1893, Parker won the National Conservatory prize for a cantata, and in 1898 the McCagg prize for an a cappella chorus.

Parker’s piano compositions and secular songs are not numerous. They seem rather the incidental byplays and recreations of a fanry chiefly turned to sacred music of the larger forms.

consists of “Four Sketches,” of which the “Etude Mélodieuse” is as good as is necessary in that overworked style, wherein a thin melody is set about with a thinner ripple of arpeggios. The “Romanza” is lyric and delightful, while the “Scherzino” is delicious and crisp as celery; it is worthy of Schumann, whom it suggests, and many of whose cool tones and mannerisms it borrows.

The “5 Morceaux Characteristiques” are on the whole better. The “Scherzo” is shimmering with playfulness, and, in the Beethoven fashion, has a tender intermezzo amoroso. This seriousness is enforced with an ending of a most plaintive nature. The “Caprice” is brilliant and whimsical, with some odd effects in accent. The “Gavotte” makes unusual employment of triplets, but lacks the precious yeast of enthusiasm necessary to a prime gavotte.

This enthusiasm is not lacking however from his “Impromptu,” and it makes his “Elegie” a masterly work, possibly his best in the smaller lines. This piece is altogether elegiac in spirit, intense in its sombrest depths, impatient with wild outcries, like Chopin’s “Funeral March,” and working up to an immense passion at the end. This subsides in ravishingly liquid arpeggios, “melodious tears"? which obtain the kindred effect of Chopin’s tinkling “Berceuse” in a slightly different way. This notable work is marred by an interlude in which the left hand mumbles harshness in the bass, while the right hand is busy with airy fioriture. It is too close a copy of the finish of the first movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” sonata. The lengthening skips of the left hand are also Beethovenesque trademarks.

Parker is rather old-fashioned in his forms of musical speech. That is, he has what you might call the narrative style. He follows his theme as an absorbing plot, engaging enough in itself, without gorgeous digressions and pendent pictures. His work has something of the Italian method. A melody or a theme, he seems to think, is only marred by abstruse harmony, and is endangered by diversions. One might almost say that a uniform lack of attention to color-possibilities and a monotonous fidelity to a cool, gray tone characterize him. His fondness for the plain, cold octave is notable. It is emphasized by the ill-success of his “Six Lyrics for Piano, without octaves.” They are all of thin value, and the “Novelette” is dangerously Schumannesque.

The “Three Love Songs” are happy, “Love’s Chase” keeping up the arch raillery and whim of Beddoe’s verse. “Orsame’s Song” is smooth and graceful, ending with a well-blurted, abrupt “The devil take her!” The “Night-piece to Julia” is notable. We have no poet whose lyrics are harder to set to music than good Robin Herrick’s. They have a lilt of their own that is incompatible with ordinary music. Parker has, however, been completely successful in this instance. A mysterious, night-like carillon accompaniment, delicate as harebells, gives sudden way to a superb support of a powerful outburst at the end of the song.

The “Six Songs” show not a little of that modernity and opulent color I have denied to the most of Mr. Parker’s work. “Oh, Ask Me Not” is nothing less than inspiration, rapturously beautiful, with a rich use of unexpected intervals. The “Egyptian Serenade” is both novel and beautiful. The other songs are good; even the comic-operatic flavor of the “Cavalry Song” is redeemed by its catchy sweep.

Among a large number of works for the pipe-organ, few are so marked by that purposeless rambling organists are so prone to, as the “Fantaisie.” The “Melody and Intermezzo” of makes a sprightly humoresque. The “Andante Religioso” of has really an allegretto effect, and is much better as a gay pastorale than as a devotional exercise. It is much more shepherdly than the avowed “Pastorale” , and almost as much so as the “Eclogue,” delicious with the organ’s possibilities for reed and pipe effects. The “Romanza” is a gem of the first water. A charming quaint effect is got by the accompaniment of the air, played legato on the swell, with an echo, staccato, of its own chords on the great. The interlude is a tender melody, beautifully managed. The two “Concert Pieces” are marked by a large simplicity in treatment, and have this rare merit, that they are less gymnastic exercises than expressions of feeling. A fiery “Triumphal March,” a delightful “Canzonetta,” and a noble “Larghetto,” of sombre, yet rich and well-modulated, colors, complete the list of his works for the organ. None of these are registered with over-elaboration.

To sacred music Parker has made important contributions. Besides a dignified, yet impassioned, complete “Morning and Evening Service for the Holy Communion,” he has written several single songs and anthems.

It is the masterwork, “Hora Novissima,” however, which lifts him above golden mediocrity. From the three thousand lines of Bernard of Cluny’s poem, “De Contemptu Mundi,” famous since the twelfth century, and made music with the mellowness of its own Latin rhyme, Mrs. Isabella G. Parker, the composer’s mother, has translated 210 lines. The English is hardly more than a loose paraphrase, as this random parallel proves:

Pars mea, Rex meus,    Most Mighty, most Holy,
In proprio Deus,       How great is the glory,
Ipse décore.           Thy throne enfolding.

Or this skilful evasion:

Tunc Jacob, Israel,    All the long history,
Et Lia, tunc Rachel    All the deep mystery
Efficietur.            Through ages hidden.

But it is perhaps better for avoiding the Charybdis of literalness.

Those who accuse Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” of a fervor more theatric than religious, will find the same faults in Parker’s work, along with much that is purely ecclesiastical. Though his sorrow is apt to become petulance, there is much that is as big in spirit as in handling. The work is frequently Mendelssohnian in treatment. An archaism that might have been spared, since so little of the poem was retained, is the sad old Haendelian style of repeating the same words indefinitely, to all neglect of emptiness of meaning and triteness. Thus the words “Pars mea, Rex meus” are repeated by the alto exactly thirteen times! which, any one will admit, is an unlucky number, especially since the other voices keep tossing the same unlucky words in a musical battledore.

The especially good numbers of the work (which was composed in 1892, and first produced, with almost sensational success, in 1893) are: the magnificent opening chorus; the solo for the soprano; the large and fiery finale to Part I.; the superb tenor solo, “Golden Jerusalem,” which is possibly the most original and thrilling of all the numbers, is, in every way, well varied, elaborated, and intensified, and prepares well for the massive and effective double chorus, “Stant Syon Atria,” an imposing structure whose ambition found skill sufficing; an alto solo of original qualities; and a finale, tremendous, though somewhat long drawn out. Of this work, so careful a critic as W.J. Henderson was moved to write:

“His melodic ideas are not only plentiful, but they are beautiful, ... graceful and sometimes splendidly vigorous.... There is an a cappella chorus which is one of the finest specimens of pure church polyphony that has been produced in recent years.... It might have been written by Hobrecht, Brumel, or even Josquin des Près. It is impossible to write higher praise than this.... The orchestration is extraordinarily ... rich. As a whole ... the composition ... may be set down as one of the finest achievements of the present day.”

And Philip Hale, a most discriminant musical enthusiast, described the chorus “Pars Mea” as:

“A masterpiece, true music of the church,” to which “any acknowledged master of composition in Europe would gladly sign his name.... For the a cappella chorus there is nothing but unbounded praise.... Weighing words as counters, I do not hesitate to say that I know of no one in the country or in England who could by nature and by student’s sweat have written those eleven pages.... I have spoken of Mr. Parker’s quasi-operatic tendency. Now he is a modern. He has shown in this very work his appreciation and his mastery of antique religious musical art. But as a modern he is compelled to feel the force of the dramatic in religious music.... But his most far-reaching, his most exalted and rapt conception of the bliss beyond compare is expressed in the language of Palestrina and Bach.”

In September, 1899, the work was produced with decisive success in London, Parker conducting.

Besides this, there are several secular cantatas, particularly “King Trojan,” which contains a singable tune for Trojan with many delicate nuances in the accompaniment, and a harp-accompanied page’s song that is simply ambrosial. Then there is Arlo Bates’ poem, “The Kobolds,” which Parker has blessed with music as delicate as the laces of gossamer-spiders.

His latest work is devoted to the legend of St. Christopher, and displays the same abilities for massive and complex scoring whenever the opportunity offers. On the other hand, the work discloses Parker’s weaknesses as well, for the libretto drags in certain love episodes evidently thought desirable for the sake of contrast and yet manifestly unnecessary to the story. The character of the queen, for instance, is quite useless, and, in fact, disconcerting. The love scene between the king and queen reminds one uncomfortably of Tristan and Isolde, while a descending scale constantly used throughout the work in the accompaniment incessantly suggests the “Samson and Delilah” of Saint-Saens.

In spite of flaws, however, flaws are to be had everywhere for the looking, Parker’s work has its fine points. The struggle between the demons and the singers of the sacred Latin Hymn has made excellent use of the Tannhaeuser effect. The Cathedral scene shows Parker’s resources in the massive use of choruses to be very large. The barcarolling billows of the river are ravishingly written, and the voice of the child crying out is effectively introduced. The song the giant Christopher sings through the storm is particularly superb.

Frank van der Stucken.

On the bead-roll of those who have had both the ability and the courage to take a stand for our music, the name of Frank van der Stucken must stand high. His Americanism is very frail, so far as birth and breeding count, but he has won his naturalization by his ardor for native music.

Van der Stucken’s life has been full of labors and honors. He was born at Fredericksburg, Texas, in 1858, of a Belgian father and a German mother. After the Civil War, in which the father served in the Confederate army as a captain of the Texan cavalry, the family returned to Belgium, where, at Antwerp, Van der Stucken studied under Benoit. Here some of his music was played in the churches, and a ballet at the Royal Theatre.

In 1878 he began studies in Leipzig, making important acquaintances, such as Reinecke, Grieg, and Sinding. His first male chorus was sung there, with great success. Of his fifth p. , consisting of nine songs, Edvard Grieg wrote an enthusiastic criticism. After travelling for some time, Van der Stucken was appointed kapellmeister at the Breslau Stadt-Theatre. This was his debut as conductor. Here he composed his well-known suite on Shakespeare’s “Tempest,” which has been performed abroad and here. Here, also, he wrote a “Festzug,” an important work in Wagnerian style, and his passionate “Pagina d’Amore,” which, with the published portions of his lyric drama, “Vlasda,” has been performed by many great orchestras.

In 1883, Van der Stucken met Liszt, at Weimar, and under his auspices gave a concert of his own compositions, winning the congratulations of Grieg, Lassen, Liszt, and many other celebrated musicians. A prominent German critic headed his review of the performance: “A new star on the musical firmament.”

Van der Stucken was now called to the directorship of the famous Arion Male Chorus in New York, a position which he held for eleven years with remarkable results. In 1892 he took his chorus on a tour in Europe and won superlative praises everywhere.

In 1885 and successive years Van der Stucken conducted orchestral “Novelty Concerts,” which have an historical importance as giving the first hearing to symphonic works by American composers. In Berlin and in Paris he also gave our musicians the privilege of public performance. From 1891 to 1894 he devoted himself to reforming the Northeastern Saeengerbund, achieving the enormous task of making five thousand male voices sing difficult music artistically. Since 1895 Van der Stucken has been conductor of the newly formed Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, as well as dean of the faculty of the College of Music in that city. The influence of this man, who is certainly one of the most important musicians of his time, is bringing Cincinnati back to its old musical prestige.

As a composer, Van der Stucken shows the same originality and power that characterize him as an organizer. His prelude to the opera “Vlasda” is one long rapture of passionate sweetness, superbly instrumented. An arrangement of it has been made for the piano for four hands by Horatio W. Parker.

Van der Stucken’s music to “The Tempest” is published in three forms. Besides the orchestral score, there is an arrangement for piano solo, by A. Siloti, of the “Dance of the Gnomes,” “Dance of the Nymphs,” and “Dance of the Reapers,” the first and third being especially well transcribed. For four hands, Hans Sitt has arranged these three dances, as well as a short but rich “Exorcism,” some splendid melodramatic music, and the rattling grotesque, “The Hound-chase after Caliban.” All these pieces are finely imagined and artistically handled.

For piano solo, there is a group of three Miniatures . The first is an Albumblatt of curious dun colors; the second is a Capriccietto, a strange whim; the third is a beautiful bit called “May Blossom.”

Of Van der Stucken’s songs I have seen two groups, the first a setting of five love lyrics by Rueckert. None of these are over two pages long, except the last. They are written in the best modern Lied style, and are quite unhackneyed. It is always the unexpected that happens, though this unexpected thing almost always proves to be a right thing. Without any sense of strain or bombast he reaches superb climaxes; without eccentricity he is individual; and his songs are truly interpreters of the words they express. Of these five, “Wann die Rosen aufgeblueht” is a wonderfully fine and fiery work; “Die Stunde sei gesegnet” has one of the most beautiful endings imaginable; “Mir ist, nun ich die habe” has a deep significance in much simplicity, and its ending, by breaking the rule against consecutive octaves, attains, as rule-breakings have an unpleasant habit of doing, an excellent effect. “Liebste, nur dich seh’n” is a passionate lyric; and “Wenn die Voeglein sich gepaart” is florid and trilly, but legitimately so; it should find much concert use. These songs, indeed, are all more than melodies; they are expressions.

Of the second group of eight songs for low voice, “O Jugendlust” is athrill with young ecstasy; “Einsame Thraene” has superb coloring, all sombre, and a tremendous climax; “Seeligkeit” is big with emotion and ravishing in harmony, “Ein Schaeferlied” is exquisite, “Von schoen Sicilien war mein Traum” begins in the style of Lassen, but ends with a strength and vigor far beyond that tender melodist. Besides these groups, there is a rich lyric “Moonlight;” and there are many part songs.

A work of considerable importance written many years before and presented by Franz Liszt at Weimar had its first American production in 1899, at Cincinnati and New York. It is a symphonic prologue to Heine’s tragedy, “William Ratcliff.” The different psychological phases of the tragedy are presented by characteristic motives which war among themselves. The Scottish locale is indicated vividly, and the despair of the lovers presented in one place by the distortion and rending of all the principal motives. A dirge with bells and a final musing upon, and resignation before, implacable Fate give a dignified close to a work in which passion is exploited with erudition and modernity.

W.W. Gilchrist.

The prize competition has its evils, unquestionably; and, in a place of settled status, perhaps, they outnumber its benefits. But in American music it has been of material encouragement to the production of large works. In the first place, those who do not win have been stimulated to action, and have at least their effort for their pains. In the second place, those who manage to win are several hundred dollars the richer, and may offer the wolf at the door a more effective bribe than empty-stomached song.

In the city of Philadelphia lives a composer of unusual luck in prize-winning. That large and ancient town is not noteworthy for its activity in the manufacture of original music. In fact, some one has spoken of it as “a town where the greatest reproach to a musician is residence there.” The city’s one prominent music-writer is William Wallace Gilchrist; but he stands among the first of our composers. He is especially interesting as a purely native product, having never studied abroad, and yet having won among our composers a foremost place in the larger forms of composition. He was born in Jersey City, January 8, 1846; his father was a Canadian, his mother a native of this country; both were skilled in music, and his home life was full of it, especially of the old church music. After a youth of the usual school life he tried various pursuits, photography, law, business; but music kept calling him. A good barytone voice led him to join vocal societies, and at length he made music his profession, after studying voice, organ, and composition with Dr. H.A. Clarke, of Philadelphia. He was a successful soloist in oratorio for some years, but gradually devoted himself to church work and conducting, and to composition, though none of his music was published till he was thirty-two, when he took two prizes offered by the Abt Male Singing Society of Philadelphia.

Shortly after taking the Abt Society prize, he won three offered by the Mendelssohn Glee Club of New York, and in 1884 he took the $1,000 prize offered by the Cincinnati Festival Association.

This last was gained by his setting of the Forty-sixth Psalm for soprano solo, chorus, and orchestra. The overture opens with a noble andante contemplatif, which deserves its epithet, but falls after a time into rather uninteresting moods, whence it breaks only at the last period. The opening chorus, “God Is Our Refuge and Strength,” seems to me to be built on a rather trite and empty subject, which it plays battledore and shuttlecock with in the brave old pompous and canonic style, which stands for little beyond science and labor. It is only fair to say, however, that A.J. Goodrich, in his “Musical Analysis,” praises “the strength and dignity” of this chorus; and gives a minute analysis of the whole work with liberal thematic quotation. The psalm, as a whole, though built on old lines, is built well on those lines, and the solo “God Is in the Midst of Her” is taken up with especially fine effect by the chorus. “The Heathen Raged” is a most ingeniously complicated chorus also.

The cantata, “Prayer and Praise,” is similarly conventional, and suffers from the sin of repetition, but contains much that is strong.

Of the three prize male choruses written for the Mendelssohn Glee Club, the “Ode to the Sun” is the least successful. It is written to the bombast of Mrs. Hemans, and is fittingly hysterical; occasionally it fairly shrieks itself out. “In Autumn” is quieter; a sombre work with a fine outburst at the end. “The Journey of Life” is an andante misterioso that catches the gloom of Bryant’s verse, and offers a good play for that art of interweaving voices in which Gilchrist is an adept.

“The Uplifted Gates” is a chorus for mixed voices with solos for sopranos and altos; it is elaborate, warm, and brilliant. In lighter tone are the “Spring Song,” a trio with cheap words, but bright music and a rich ending, and “The Sea Fairies,” a chorus of delightful delicacy for women’s voices. It has a piano accompaniment for four hands. In this same difficult medium of women’s voices is “The Fountain,” a surpassingly beautiful work, graceful and silvery as a cascade. It reminds one, not by its manner at all, but by its success, of that supreme achievement, Wagner’s song of the “Rhinemaidens.” The piano accompaniment to Gilchrist’s chorus aids the general picture.

A thoroughly charming work is the setting of Lowell’s poem, “The Rose,” for solos and chorus. The dreariness of the lonely poet and the lonely maid contrasts strongly with the rapture of their meeting. As the first half of the poem is morose yet melodious, the latter is bright with ecstasy; the ending is of the deepest tenderness.

By all odds the best of these choruses, however, is “The Legend of the Bended Bow,” a fine war-chant by Mrs. Hemans. Tradition tells that in ancient Britain the people were summoned to war by messengers who carried a bended bow; the poem tells of the various patriots approached. The reaper is bidden to leave his standing corn, the huntsman to turn from the chase; the chieftain, the prince, mothers, sisters, sweethearts, and the bards are all approached and counselled to bravery. After each episode follow the words “And the bow passed on,” but the music has been so well managed that the danger of such a repetition is turned into grim force. The only prelude is five great blasts of the horns. A brawny vigor is got by a frequent use of imitation and unison in the voices. The choric work is marked throughout with the most intense and epic power, almost savagery; a magnificent martial zest. The climax is big. It is certainly one of the best things of its kind ever done over here.

Another work of fine quality throughout is “A Christmas Idyl,” for solos, chorus, and orchestra. A terrible sombreness is achieved in its former half by a notable simplicity. The latter part is in brighter tone; the solo, “And Thou, Bethlehem,” is especially exultant. In manuscript is “An Easter Idyl,” of large proportions, for solos, chorus, and orchestra, or organ.

In the single songs the influence of Gilchrist’s early training in hymns is patent. In only a few instances do they follow the latter-day methods of Schumann and Franz. “A Song of Doubt and a Song of Faith” is possibly his best vocal solo. It begins with a plaint, that is full of cynic despair; thence it breaks suddenly into a cheerful andante. “The Two Villages” is a strong piece of work on the conventional lines of what might be called the Sunday ballad. “A Dirge for Summer” has a marked originality, and is of that deep brooding which is particularly congenial to Gilchrist’s muse. The Scotch songs are charming: “My Heart is Sair” is full of fine feeling, and must be classed among the very best of the many settings of this lyric of Burns’.

Most modern in feeling of all Gilchrist’s vocal solos is the group of “Eight Songs.” They interpret the text faithfully and the accompaniment is in accord with the song, but yet possessed of its own individuality. “A Love Song” is tender and has a well-woven accompaniment; “The Voice of the Sea” is effective, but hardly attains the large simplicity of Aldrich’ poem; “Autumn” is exquisitely cheery; “Goldenrod” is ornately graceful, while “The Dear Long Ago” is quaint; “Lullaby” is of an exquisitely novel rhythm in this overworked form.

There is much contrast between the lightness of his book, “Songs for the Children,” and his ponderous setting of Kipling’s “Recessional.” The treatment of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Southern Lullaby” is unusual, and the songs, “My Ladye” and “The Ideal,” both in MS., are noteworthy.

Gilchrist has written a vast amount of religious music, including several “Te Deums,” of which the one in C and that in A flat are the best, to my thinking. He has written little for the piano except a series of duets, of which the charming “Melodie” and the fetching “Styrienne” are the best.

It is by his orchestral works, however, that he gains the highest consideration. These include a symphony for full orchestra, which has been frequently performed with success; a suite for orchestra; a suite for piano and orchestra; as well as a nonet, a quintet, and a trio, for strings and wind. None of these have been published, but I have had the privilege of examining some of the manuscripts.

The spirit and the treatment of these works is strongly classical. While the orchestration is scholarly and mellow, it is not in the least Wagnerian, either in manipulation or in lusciousness. The symphony is not at all programmatic. The Scherzo is of most exuberant gaiety. Its accentuation is much like that in Beethoven’s piano sonata , N. Imitation is liberally used in the scoring, with a delightfully comic effect as of an altercation. The symphony ends with a dashing finale that is stormy with cheer. Gilchrist is at work upon a second symphony of more modernity.

The “Nonet” is in G minor, and begins with an Allegro in which a most original and severe subject is developed with infinite grace and an unusually rich color. The Andante is religioso, and is fervent rather than sombre. The ending is especially beautiful. A sprightly Scherzo follows. It is most ingeniously contrived, and the effects are divided with unusual impartiality among the instruments. A curious and elaborate allegro molto furnishes the finale, and ends the “Nonet” surprisingly with an abrupt major chord.

The opening Allegro of the “Quintet” begins with a ’cello solo of scherzesque quality, but as the other voices join in, it takes on a more passionate tone, whence it works into rapturously beautiful moods and ends magnificently. The piano part has a strong value, and even where it merely ornaments the theme carried by the strings, it is fascinating. The Scherzo is again of the Beethoven order in its contagious comicality. The piano has the lion’s share of it at first, but toward the last the other instruments leave off embroidery and take to cracking jokes for themselves. The Andante is a genuinely fine piece of work. It ranges from melting tenderness to impassioned rage and a purified nobility. The piano part is highly elaborated, but the other instruments have a scholarly, a vocal, individuality. I was shocked to see a cadenza for the piano just before the close, but its tender brilliance was in thorough accord with the sincerity of the movement. The “Quintet” ends with a splendid Allegro.

In MS. are three interesting works for the violin, a Rhapsody, a Perpetual Motion, and a Fantasie.

This last has a piano accompaniment of much ingenuity. The fantasial nature of the work lies principally in its development, which is remarkably lyrical, various melodies being built up beautifully on fractions of the main subjects. There is nothing perfunctory, and the work is full of art and appeal. Gilchrist is one of our most polished composers contrapuntally, but has been here in a very lyric mood.

He is the founder and conductor of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, an unusually effective organization; one of the founders of the local Manuscript Club; the conductor of a choral society of two hundred voices, at Harrisburg, and the director of two church choirs.

G.W. Chadwick.

One of the most sophisticated, and, at the same time, most eclectic of native music-makers, is George W. Chadwick, to whom the general consent of authorities would grant a place among the very foremost of the foremost American composers.

His reputation rests chiefly on his two symphonies, a number of concert overtures, and many pieces of chamber-music, which are much praised. Chadwick was born at Lowell, Mass., November 13, 1854. His parents were American, and it was not till 1877, after studying with Eugene Thayer in Boston, and teaching music in the college at Olivet, Mich., that Chadwick studied for two years at Leipzig, under Jadassohn and Reinecke, and later at Munich for a year under Rheinberger. In 1880 he returned to America and settled in Boston, where he has since lived, as organist, teacher, and conductor, an important figure in the town’s musical life.

Among his few works for the piano, are “Six Characteristic Pieces” . The “Reminiscence of Chopin” is an interesting and skilful chain of partial themes and suggestions from Chopin. The “Etude” is a monotonous study in a somewhat Schumannesque manner, with a graceful finish. The “Congratulation” is a cheerful bagatelle; the “Irish Melody” is sturdy, simple, and fetching; but the “Scherzino” is a hard bit of humor with Beethoven mannerisms lacking all the master’s unction.

The p. ends with an unfortunate composition inexcusably titled “Please Do!”

There are two bright “Caprices” and three excellent waltzes, of which the third is the best. It is a dreamy, tender work on a theme by “B.J.L.,” which refers, I presume, to Mr. B.J. Lang.

Chadwick has done a vast amount of part-song writing. His “Lovely Rosabelle” is for chorus and orchestra, and is marked with many original effects. His “Reiterlied” is superbly joyful. A setting of Lewis Carroll’s immortal “Jabberwocky” shows much rich humor of the college glee-club sort. There is an irresistibly humorous episode where the instrument of destruction goes “snicker snack,” and a fine hilarity at

“’O frabjous day
Callooh, callay,’
He chortled in his joy.”

What would part-song writers do if the Vikings had never been invented? Where would they get their wild choruses for men, with a prize to the singer that makes the most noise? Chadwick falls into line with “The Viking’s Last Voyage” (1881), for barytone solo, male chorus, and orchestra, which gives him a very high place among writers in this form. He has also a robustious “Song of the Viking,” and an excellent Dedication Ode (1884), for solo, chorus, and orchestra, to the pregnant words of Rev. H.B. Carpenter, besides two cantatas for mixed voices, “Phoenix Expirans” and “The Pilgrims.” In 1889 was published his “Lovely Rosabelle,” a ballad for chorus and orchestra; it contains some interesting dissonantial work in the storm-passages. And his comic opera, “Tabasco,” must be mentioned, as well as an enormous mass of sacred music, which, I confess, I had not the patience to study. The flesh was willing, but the spirit was weak.

Among Chadwick’s songs is a volume of Breton melodies harmonized with extreme simplicity. Others are “Gay Little Dandelion,” which is good enough of its everlasting flower-song sort; “In Bygone Days” and “Request,” which, aside from one or two flecks of art, are trashy; and two childish namby-pambies, “Adelaide” and “The Mill.” “A Bonny Curl” catches the Scotch-ton faithfully.

Chadwick usually succeeds, however, in catching foreign flavors. His “Song from the Persian” is one of his best works, and possibly the very best is his “Sorais’ Song,” to Rider Haggard’s splendid words. It has an epic power and a wild despair. Up to the flippancy of its last measures, it is quite inspired, and one of the strongest of American songs. The “Danza” is captivating and full of novelty. “Green Grows the Willow” is a burden of charming pathos and quaintness, though principally a study in theme-management. “Allah,” however, is rather Ethiopian than Mahommedan. His “Bedouin Love Song” has little Oriental color, but is full of rush and fire, with a superb ending. It is the best of the countless settings of this song. I wish I could say the same of his “Thou Art so Like a Flower,” but he has missed the intense repression of Heine.

The “Serenade” displays an interesting rhythm; “The Miller’s Daughter” is tender, and “A Warning” is delightfully witty. One regrets, however, that its best points were previously used in Schumann’s perfect folk-song, “Wenn ich frueh in den Garten geh’.” Chadwick has two folk-songs of his own, however, which are superb. “He Loves Me” is a tender, cradle-song-like bit of delicious color. The “Lullaby” is a genuinely interesting study in this overworked form. “The Lily” has the passionate lyricism of Chaminade, and “Sweet Wind that Blows” is a fine frenzy. The “Nocturne” is dainty and has its one good climax. “Before the Dawn” has some of Chadwick’s best work; it is especially marked by a daring harmonic you might say impasto.

His principal works, besides those mentioned, may be catalogued (I am unable to do more than catalogue most of them, having seen only one of them, “The Lily Nymph,” performed, and having read the score of only the “Melpomene” overture): Concert overtures, “Rip Van Winkle” (written in Leipzig, 1879, and played there the same year), “Thalia” (1883), “Melpomene” (1887), “The Miller’s Daughter” (1887), and “Adonais” (in memory of a friend, 1899); Symphonies, in C (1882), in B (1885); an Andante for string orchestra (1884), and numerous pieces of chamber-music. In the case of the cantata, “The Lily Nymph,” Chadwick’s art was quite futilized by the superb inanitiés of the book he used. The “Melpomene” is a work of infinitely more specific gravity. It is one of the most important of American orchestral works.

As his “Thalia” was an “overture to an imaginary comedy,” so this, to an imaginary tragedy. It has been played by the Boston Symphony and many other orchestras. It has that definiteness of mood with that indefiniteness of circumstance in which music wins its most dignified prosperity.

It opens with the solitary voice of the English horn, which gives a notable pathos (read Berlioz on this despairful elegist, and remember its haunting wail in the last act of “Tristan und Isolde"). The woeful plaint of this voice breathing above a low sinister roll of the tympanum establishes at once the atmosphere of melancholy. Other instruments join the wail, which breaks out wildly from the whole orchestra. Over a waving accompaniment of clarinets, the other wood-winds strike up a more lyric and hopeful strain, and a soliloquy from the ’cello ends the slow introduction, the materials of which are taken from the two principal subjects of the overture, which is built on the classic sonata formula. The first subject is announced by the first violins against the full orchestra; the subsidiary theme is given to the flutes and oboes; after a powerful climax, and a beautiful subsidence of the storm in the lower strings, the second subject appears in the relative major with honeyed lyricism. The conclusion, which is made rather elaborate by the latter-day symphonists, is reduced to a brief modulation by Mr. Chadwick, and almost before one knows it, he is in the midst of the elaboration. It is hard to say whether the composer’s emotion or his counterpoint is given freer rein here, for the work is remarkable both for the display of every technical resource and for the irresistible tempest of its passion. In the reprise there is a climax that thrills one even as he tamely reads the score, and must be overpowering in actual performance: the cheerful consolation of the second subject provokes a cyclonic outburst of grief; there is a furious climax of thrilling flutes and violins over a mad blare of brass, the while the cymbals shiver beneath the blows of the kettledrum-sticks. An abrupt silence prepares for a fierce thunderous clamor from the tympani and the great drum (beaten with the sticks of the side-drum). This subsides to a single thud of a kettledrum; there is another eloquent silence; the English horn returns to its first plaint; but grief has died of very exercise, and the work ends in a coda that establishes a major harmony and leaves the hearer with a heart purged white and clean.

The “Melpomene” overture is a work of such inspiration and such scholarship that it must surely find a long youth in the chronicle of our music.

Arthur Foote.

The nearest approach Americans make to the enthusiastic German Maennerchor is in the college glee clubs. The dignity of their selections is not always up to that of the Teutonic chorus, but they develop a salutary fondness for color and shading, exaggerating both a little perhaps, yet aiming at the right warmth and variety withal. Even those elaborate paraphrases and circumlocutions of Mother Goose rhymes, to which they are so prone, show a striving after dramatic effect and richness of harmony, as well as a keen sense of wit and humor that are by no means incompatible with real value in music.

Among their other good deeds must be counted the fostering of the musical ambitions of Arthur Foote, who was for two years the leader of the Glee Club of Harvard University. Though he has by no means been content to delve no deeper into music than glee-club depths, I think the training has been of value, and its peculiar character is patent in his works. He is especially fond of writing for men’s voices, and is remarkably at home in their management, and he strives rather for color-masses than for separate individualities in the voices.

Among his larger works for men’s voices is an elaborate setting of Longfellow’s poem, “The Skeleton in Armor,” which is full of vigor and generally sturdy in treatment, especially in its descriptions of Viking war and seafaring. The storm-scenes, as in Mr. Foote’s “Wreck of the Hesperus,” seem faintly to suggest Wagnerian Donner und Blitzen, but in general Mr. Foote has resisted the universal tendency to copy the mannerisms so many take to be the real essence of the Bayreuthian. A pretty bit of fancy is the use of a spinning-wheel accompaniment to the love-song, although the spindle is nowhere suggested by the poem. Indeed, the spinning is treated as a characteristic motif for the Norseman’s bride, somewhat as it is Senta’s motif in “The Flying Dutchman.”

The chief fault with the “Skeleton” chorus is that it is always choric. There are no solos, and the different registers are never used separately for more than a bar or two, before the whole mass chimes in. Even the instrumental interludes are short, and the general effect must be rather undiversified, one of sympathy, too, for the unrested chorus.

“The Wreck of the Hesperus” is an ambitious work, built on large lines, but hardly represents Mr. Foote at his best. It is for mixed voices, and is pitched in a most lugubrious key, being always either vociferous with panic or dismal with minor woe. A worse trouble yet is the attempt to make a short poem fit a long composition. The Procrustean operation strains even Longfellow sadly.

This blemish is lacking in “The Farewell of Hiawatha,” which is written for men’s voices. Though it, too, is of a sad tone, its sombre hues are rich and varied as a tapestry. Its effects, though potent, seem more sincere and less labored. It is altogether noble.

A larger body of sacred music for mixed voices than many other Americans can boast, also swells Foote’s p. -score. Here he shows the same facility with the quartette as in his other works. In fact, I think the effect of glee-club training on his young mind has strongly influenced his whole life-work. And, by the way, the most talented of all the great Sebastian Bach’s twenty-one children every one a musical p. , too was diverted from the philosopher’s career for which he was intended, and into professional musicianship, by just such a glee-club training in the universities at Leipzig and Frankfort.

Almost all of Foote’s compositions are written in the close harmony and limited range of vocal music, and he very rarely sweeps the keyboard in his piano compositions, or hunts out startling novelties in strictly pianistic effect. He is not fond of the cloudy regions of the upper notes, and though he may dart brilliantly skyward now and then just to show that his wings are good for lighter air, he is soon back again, drifting along the middle ether.

He has won his high place by faithful adherence to his own sober, serene ideals, and by his genuine culture and seriousness. He is thoroughly American by birth and training, though his direct English descent accounts for his decided leaning toward the better impulses of the English school of music. He was born at Salem, Mass., March 5, 1853, and though he played the piano a good deal as a boy, and made a beginning in the study of composition with Emery, he did not study seriously until he graduated from Harvard in 1874. He then took up the higher branches of composition under the tuition of John Knowles Paine, and obtained in 1875 the degree of A.M. in the special department of music. He also studied the organ and the piano with B.J. Lang at Boston, and has since made that city his home, teaching and playing the organ.

His overture, “In the Mountains,” has been much played from the manuscript by orchestras, among them the Boston Symphony. Besides a considerable amount of highly valuable contributions to American chamber-music, and two fine piano suites, he has written a great many piano pieces and songs which deserve even greater popularity than they have won, because, while not bristling with technical difficulties, they are yet of permanent worth.

I know of no modern composer who has come nearer to relighting the fires that beam in the old gavottes and fugues and preludes. His two gavottes are to me among the best since Bach. They are an example of what it is to be academic without being only a-rattle with dry bones. He has written a Nocturne that gets farther from being a mere imitation of Chopin than almost any night-piece written since the Pole appropriated that form bodily from John Field and made it his own.

One of his most original pieces is the Capriccio of his D minor Suite, which is also unusually brilliant in color at times; and he has an Allegretto that is a scherzo of the good old whole-souled humor. Foote, in fact, is never sickly in sentiment.

Of his rather numerous songs, the older English poets, like Marlowe, Sidney, Shakespeare, Suckling, and Herrick, have given him much inspiration. The song “It Was a Lover and his Lass” is especially taking. His three songs, “When You Become a Nun, Dear,” “The Road to Kew,” and “Ho, Pretty Page!” written by modern poets in a half-archaic way, display a most delicious fund of subtile and ironic musical humor. “The Hawthorn Wins the Damask Rose” shows how really fine a well conducted English ballad can be. Among his sadder songs, the “Irish Folksong,” “I’m Wearing Awa’,” and the weird “In a Bower” are heavy with deepest pathos, while “Sweet Is True Love” is as wildly intense and as haunting in its woe as the fate of the poor Elaine, whose despair it sings. This I count one of the most appealing of modern songs.

His greatest work is undoubtedly his symphonic prologue to Dante’s story of “Francesca da Rimini,” for full orchestra. Without being informed upon the subject, I fancy a certain programmism in the prologue that is not indicated in the quotation at the beginning of the work:

Nessun maggior dolore,
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria.”

The prologue, however, seems to me to contain more than the psychological content of these lines from the fifth canto of the “Inferno.”

The slow introduction in C minor begins with a long, deep sigh, followed by a downward passage in the violas and ’cellos that seems to indicate the steps that bring Dante and Vergil down to the edge of the precipice past which the cyclone of the damned rolls eternally. There is some shrieking and shuddering, and ominous thudding of the tympani (which are tuned to unusual notes), then follows a short recitative which might represent Dante’s query to Francesca how she came to yield to love. Suddenly out of the swirling strings the first subject is caught up; it is a frenzy passionately sung by the first violins, reenforced by the flutes at the crises. The second subject appears after a sudden prelude by the brass; it is a very lyric waltz-tune in the relative major, and doubtless depicts the joy recalled in sorrow. The conclusion is quite lengthy; it is also in waltz form, and is first announced by a single flute over the violins and violas, the first violins keeping to the gloomy G string. This air is now given to a solo horn, and a fierce and irresistible dance fervor is worked up. The elaboration begins with the first subject in F sharp minor, caught up fiercely from a downward rush. The reprise is not long delayed, and the second subject appears, contrary to custom, in the tonic major instead of the tonic minor. The coda is deliciously tender and beautiful, possibly because, being a prologue, the work must prepare for a drama that begins cheerfully; possibly because after all there is comfort in bliss remembered in sorrow.

Tschaikowski has written a symphonic poem on the same subject, which has been also the inspiration of numberless dramas, and is one of the most pathetic pages in all literature; even the stern old Dante says that when he heard Francesca tell her story he almost died of pity, and fell to the ground as one dead.

A Serenade for string orchestra contains a Prelude, a tender Air, a luscious Intermezzo in the rich key of B major with soli for violin and ’cello, a Romance with a good climax, and a gallant Gavotte with special attention to the too much slighted violas.

is a suite for full orchestra. It has been played by the Boston Symphony, and consists of a brilliant Allegro; an Adagio of deep sincerity and beautifully varied color, a period wherein the brass choir, heavily scored, chants alone, and the division of the theme among the wood-wind over the rushing strings is especially effective; a very whimsical Andante with frequent changes of tempo, and soli for the English horn in antiphony with the first oboe; and a madcap Presto that whisks itself out in the first violins.

Two other published works are a string quartette and a quintette for piano and strings . This begins in A minor with a well woven and well derived set of themes, and ends in a scherzo in A major with spinning-song characteristics. Between these two movements comes an intermezzo of strongly marked Scotch tone. This has been performed by the Kneisel Quartette.

S.G. Pratt.

Almost every musician has heard of Christopher Columbus, and holds him in a certain esteem as a man without whose push the invention of America would have been long deferred; but few American musicians have felt under a sufficient debt of gratitude to make his troubles and triumphs the foundation of an appropriate musical work. Silas G. Pratt was bold enough to undertake the monumental task; and he expended upon it large resources of scholarship, research, and enthusiasm. The work was performed at New York during the Quadricentennial of the discovery of America.

If Pratt had been born in old Egypt, he would have found his chief diversion in the building of pyramids, so undismayed is he by the size of a task. His patriotism is a sharp spur to him, and has enabled him to write an orchestral composition devoted to Paul Revere’s Ride; a fantasy descriptive of a battle between the Northern and Southern armies; “The Battle of Manila;” “The Anniversary Overture,” in commemoration of the centennial of American Independence, performed in Berlin twice, and in London at the Crystal Palace, during Grant’s visit there; and a march called by the curious name of “Homage to Chicago.” Besides these works Pratt has written the “Magdalen’s Lament,” his first orchestral composition, suggested by Murillo’s picture; the lyric opera, “Antonio;” a first symphony, of which the adagio was performed in Berlin, the other movements being produced in Boston and Chicago; a second symphony, “The Prodigal Son;” a romantic opera, “Zenobia,” produced in Chicago; a lyric opera, “Lucille,” which ran for three weeks in Chicago; a symphonic suite based on the “Tempest;” a canon for a string quartette; a serenade for string orchestra; a grotesque suite, “The Brownies,” produced in New York and at Brighton Beach by Anton Seidl. Besides these works of musical composition, Pratt has delivered various musical lectures, ingeniously contrived to entertain the great public and at the same time inform it. He has been active also in the organization of various musical enterprises, among them the Apollo Club of Chicago.

Pratt was born in Addison, Vermont, August 4, 1846. At the age of twelve, he was thrown on his own resources, and connected himself with music publishing houses in Chicago. After various public performances, he went to Germany in 1868, to study the piano under Bendel and Kullak, and counterpoint under Kiel. In 1872 he returned to Chicago and gave a concert of his own works. But the phoenix city had not entirely preened its wings after the great fire of 1871, and Pratt found no support for his ambitions. After teaching and giving concerts, he returned to Germany in 1875, where he attended the rehearsals of Wagner’s Trilogy at Bayreuth, met Liszt here, and gave a recital of his own compositions at Weimar. His “Anniversary Overture” was cordially received by the press of both Berlin and London. A third visit to Europe was made in 1885 for the production of the “Prodigal Son” at the Crystal Palace, on the occasion of which, Berthold Tours wrote that both the symphony and the “Anniversary Overture” were “grandly conceived works, full of striking originality, modern harmony, flowing melody, and beautiful, as well as imposing effects.”

Activity along such lines has left Pratt little time for the smaller forms of composition; a few have been published, among them the song, “Dream Vision,” in which Schumann’s “Traeumerei” is used for violin obbligato; and a few piano pieces, such as “Six Soliloquies,” with poetic text. In these each chord shows careful effort at color, and the work is chromatic enough to convince one that he has studied his Bach thoroughly.

Among his massive compositions there are two that seem likely to win, as they surely deserve, a long life. These are the symphonic suite, “The Tempest,” and the “Prodigal Son.” To the latter splendid achievement, A.J. Goodrich devotes several pages of his “Musical Analysis,” to which I can do no better than to refer the reader. The “Tempest” is based, of course, on Shakespeare’s play, and is described as follows by the composer:

“It is intended, in the first movement, Adagio, to typify the sorrow of Prospero, and his soul’s protest against the ingratitude and persecution of his enemies. His willing attendant Ariel is briefly indicated in the closing measures. The Pastoral furnishes an atmosphere or stage setting for the lovers, Miranda and Ferdinand, whose responsive love-song follows the droning of a shepherd’s pipe in the distance. Próspero’s interruption to their passionate assurances of devotion, and the imposition of the unpleasant task, are briefly touched upon, and the movement closes with a repeat of the pastoral, and alternate reiteration of the lover’s song. The Finale, after a short introduction, in most sombre vein, indicates the flitting about of Ariel and his companion sprites as they gather for revelry. The presence of the master is soon made apparent by the recurrence, in a subdued manner, of Próspero’s first theme from the Adagio, the fantastic tripping of the elves continuing, as though the controlling spirit were conjuring up the fête for the amusement of the lovers and himself.

“’Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves;
And ye that on the sand, with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
When he comes back.’

“The dance then begins, and continues in a fantastic, at times grotesque and furious manner, the theme of the lovers being interwoven at times, in an unobtrusive way. At length, Caliban is heard approaching, singing his drunken song.

“’’Ban, ’Ban, Ca-caliban
Has a new master: get a new man.’

“Ariel and his companions flit about, ridiculing, mocking, and laughing at him; eventually prodding and pinching him until, shivering, with aching joints, he staggers away. The revelry then continues, the song of the lovers becoming more and more prominent until, somewhat broadened out, it asserts itself triumphantly above all, Ariel and his companions flitting about, Prospero happy, and Caliban subjugated, all the chief themes being united to form the climax and close of the work.”

Although Pratt intentionally omitted the English horn and the bass clarinet, the scoring is remarkable for its color and faery. The work is highly lyrical in effect, and the woodsiness is beautifully established. The solemnity of Prospero, the adroitness of the lovers and the contrasting natures of the volatile Ariel and the sprawling Caliban, make up a cast of characters in the development of which music is peculiarly competent. The stertorous monologue of Caliban and his hobbling dance, and the taunting and pinching torment he is submitted to, make excellent humor.

Henry K. Hadley.

The word symphony has a terrifying sound, particularly when it is applied to a modern work; for latter-day music is essentially romantic in nature, and it is only a very rare composer that has the inclination or the ability to force the classic form to meet his new ideas. The result is that such a work usually lacks spontaneity, conviction. The modern writer does much better with the symphonic poem.

The number of American symphonies worth listening to, could be counted on the fingers with several digits to spare. A new finger has been preempted by Henry K. Hadley’s symphony called “Youth and Life.” The title is doubly happy. Psychologically it is a study of the intense emotional life of youth, written by an American youth, a young man who, by the way, strangely reminds one, in his appearance, of Macmonnies’ American type, as represented by his ideal statue of Nathan Hale.

And musically the work is imbued with both youth and life. It has blood and heart in it. The first movement is a conflict between good and evil motives struggling like the mediaeval angels for the soul of the hero. The better power wins triumphantly. The second movement, however, shows doubt and despair, remorse and deep spiritual depression. The climax of this feeling is a death-knell, which, smitten softly, gives an indescribably dismal effect, and thrills without starting. Angelus bells in pedal-point continue through a period of hope and prayer; but remorse again takes sway. The ability to obtain this fine solemnity, and follow it with a scherzo of extraordinary gaiety, proves that a genius is at large among us. The Scherzo displays a thigh-slapping, song-singing abandon that typifies youthful frivolity fascinatingly. A fugue is used incidentally with a burlesque effect that reminds one of Berlioz’ “Amen” parody in the “Damnation of Faust.” The Finale exploits motives of ambition and heroism, with a moment of love. The climax is vigorous. Without being at all ariose, the symphony is full of melody. Its melodies are not counterpoint, but expression; and each instrument or choir of instruments is an individuality.

Hadley is galvanic with energy and optimism, dextrous to a remarkable degree in the mechanism of composition. His scoring is mature, fervent, and certain. His symphony is legitimately programmatic and alive with brains, biceps, and blood, all three, the three great B’s of composition.

Hadley was born at Somerville, Mass., in 1871. His father was a teacher of music and gave him immediate advantages. He studied harmony with Stephen A. Emery, counterpoint with G.W. Chadwick, and the violin with Henry Heindl and Charles N. Allen of Boston. Before attaining his majority, he had completed a dramatic overture, a string quartette, a trio, and many songs and choruses. In 1894 he went to Vienna and studied composition with Mandyczewski. Here he composed his third suite for the orchestra. In 1896 he returned to America and took charge of the music department of St. Paul’s school at Garden City, L.I. He has had some experience as a conductor and has been very prolific in composition. His first symphony was produced under the direction of Anton Seidl, in December, 1897; and at a concert of his own compositions, again, in January, 1900, Hadley conducted this symphony, and also two movements from his second symphony, “The Seasons.” These two movements show a mellower technic, perhaps, but are less vital. He has written three ballet suites with pronounced success, the work being musical and yet full of the ecstasy of the dance. His third ballet suite, which is the best, was produced at a concert of the American Symphony Orchestra, under Sam Franko.

The existence of a festival march, a concert overture, “Hector and Andromache,” two comic operas, and six songs for chorus and orchestra, besides a number of part songs and piano pieces, and over one hundred songs, forty of which are published, gives proof of the restless energy of the man. The high average of scholarship is a proof of his right to serious acceptance.

A cantata for orchestra, “Lelewala,” a legend of Niagara, is published for piano accompaniment. Now, Niagara is a dangerous subject for the frail skiffs of rhyme, prose, or music to launch out upon. Barrel staves may carry one through the whirlpool, but music staves cannot stand the stress. Of all the comments upon the Falls of Niagara that I have ever read, or heard of, there has been only one that seemed anything but ridiculously inappropriate; that one was the tribute of a young boy who, on standing face to face with the falls, simply exclaimed, in an awe-smothered whisper, “Well, by gosh!” But it must be admitted that these words would baffle the music-making propensities even of the composer of Haendel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” That learned composer, George F. Bristow, now dead, made the mistake of attempting to compass Niagara in a work for chorus and orchestra. Hadley is not exactly guilty of the same fatal attempt in his “Lelewala,” for the poem is chiefly a story of love and sacrifice; but Niagara comes in as a programmatic incident, and the author of the text has fallen lamentably short of his subject in certain instances. In other moments, he has written with genuine charm, and the music has much that is worth while.

Among his published songs are to be noted the unusually good setting of Heine’s “Wenn ich in deine Äugen seh’” and of his less often heard “Sapphire sind die Äugen dein,” and “Der Schmetterling ist in die Rose verliebt.” A deservedly popular work is “I Plucked a Quill from Cupid’s Wing.” Among so many morose or school-bound composers, Hadley is especially important for the fact that he is thrilled with a sane and jubilant music.

Adolph M. Foerster.

It has been fortunate for American song that it forsook the narrow, roystering school of English ballad and took for its national model the Lied of the later German school. It is true that the earlier English had its poetry-respecting music in the work of such a man as Henry Lawes, or Purcell, just as it had its composers who far preceded Bach in the key-roving idea of the “Well-tempered Clavier;” but that spirit died out of England, and found its latest avatar in such men as Robert Franz, who confessed that he had his first and fullest recognition from this country.

A correspondence with Franz was carried on for eighteen years by one of the solidest of American composers, Adolph M. Foerster, who gives distinction to the musical life of Pittsburg. He knew Franz personally, and has written an important appreciation of him for the magazine Music. Foerster was born at Pittsburg in 1854. After three years of commercial life, he took up music seriously, and spent the years from 1872 to 1875 at Leipzig, studying the piano under Coccius and Wenzel, singing under Grill and Schimon, and theory under E.F. Richter and Papperitz. Returning to America, he connected himself with the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Conservatory of Music, then under the direction of the beneficent inventor of the Virgil Clavier. A year later he returned to Pittsburg, where he has since remained. For awhile he was conductor of a symphonic society and a choral union, which are no longer extant. Since, he has devoted himself to teaching and composition.

Of Foerster’s piano compositions is a “Valse Brillanté,” warm and melodious. is a “Sonnet,” based, after the plan of Liszt, upon a lyric of Petrarch’s, a beautiful translation from his “Gli occhi di ch’io parlai si caldamente.” It is full of passion, and shows a fine variety in the handling of persistent repetition. couples two sonatinas. The second has the more merit, but both, like most sonatinas, are too trivial of psychology and too formal even to be recommended for children’s exercises. “Eros” is a fluent melody, with a scherzesque second part.

contains two concert etudes, both superb works. The first, “Exaltation,” is very original, though neither the beginning nor the ending is particularly striking. The music between, however, has a fervor that justifies the title. This etude is, like those of Chopin, at the same time a technical study and a mood. The second, a “Lamentation,” begins with a most sonorous downward harmony, with rushes up from the bass like the lessening onsets of a retreating tide. Throughout, the harmonies and emotions are remarkably profound and the climaxes wild. I should call it one of the best modern piano compositions.

Twelve “Fantasy Pieces” are included in . They are short tone-poems. The second, “Sylvan Spirits,” is fascinating, and “Pretty Marie” has an irresistibly gay melody. He has dedicated the six songs of to Robert Franz. These are written in a close unarpeggiated style chiefly, but they are very interesting in their pregnant simplicity. In two cases they are even impressive: the well-known lyric, “Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome,” and “Meeresstille.” is a notable group of three songs: “Mists” is superbly harmonious. includes “Ask Thou Not the Heather Gray,” a rhapsody of the utmost ingenuity in melody and accompaniment. It has a catching blissfulness and a verve that make it one of the best American songs. is a book called “Among Flowers.” The music is in every case good, and especially satisfactory in its emancipation from the Teutonism of Foerster’s earlier songs. The song “Among the Roses” has a beautiful poem, which deserves the superb music. It ends hauntingly with an unresolved major ninth chord on the dominant of the dominant. So the frenzy of “In Blossom Time” is emotion of a human, rather than a botanical sort. “The Cradle Song” adapts the Siegfried Idyl, and the “Old Proverb” is rollicking. The two songs of are fitted with words by Byron. The three songs of also make use of this poet, now so little in vogue with composers. There are three songs in : a pathetic “Little Wild Rose,” and “By the Seaside,” which is full of solemnity. “The Shepherd’s Lament” is one of his best lyrics, with a strange accompaniment containing an inverted pedal-point in octaves. There are also several part songs.

In larger forms, Mr. Foerster is even more successful. is a Character-piece for full orchestra, based on Karl Schaefer’s poem, “Thusnelda.” It is short but vigorous, and well unified. is a Fantasie for violin and piano, the piano having really the better of it. The treatment is very original, and the strong idea well preserved. is a Quartette for violin, viola, ’cello, and piano. The first movement begins solemnly, but breaks into an appassionato. All four instruments have an equal voice in the parley, and all the outbursts are emotional rather than contrapuntal. A climax of tremendous power is attained. The second movement omits the piano for a beautiful adagio. The third is an hilarious allegro, and the finale is an even gayer presto, with movements of sudden sobriety, suddenly swept away. Foerster calls this Quartette “far inferior” to a second one, . This, however, I have not seen; but I do not hesitate to call a masterly work.

is an “Albumblatt” for ’cello and piano. It is a wonderwork of feeling and deep richness of harmony, of absolute sincerity and inspiration. is a Trio for violin, ’cello, and piano. The three begin in unison, andante, whence the ’cello breaks away, followed soon by the others, into the joviality of a drinking bout. There is a military moment, a lyric of more seriousness, and a finish agitato. The second movement is a larghetto highly embroidered. The third movement is a vivace with the spirit of a Beethoven presto.

is a suite for violin and piano, beginning with a most engaging and most skilful Novelette.

In MS. are: an elaborate ballad, “Hero and Leander,” which, in spite of an unworthy postlude and certain “Tristan und Isolde” memories, is ardent and vivid with passion; “Verzweifelung,” which is bitter and wild with despair; a suite for piano containing a waltz as ingenious as it is captivating; and a finale called “Homage to Brahms.” This is a remarkably clever piece of writing, which, while it lacks the Brahmsian trade-mark of thirds in the bass, has much of that composer’s best manner, less in his tricks of speech than in his tireless development and his substitution of monumental thematicism for lyric emotion. In MS. is also a prelude to Goethe’s “Faust” for full orchestra. It has very definite leading motives, which include “Faust’s Meditations,” “Visions of Margarethe,” “Evil” and “Love” (almost inversions of each other), “Méphistophélès,” and the like. The strife of these elements is managed with great cleverness, ending beatifically with the motive of Gretchen dying away in the wood-wind.

An orchestral score that has been published is the Dedication March for Carnegie Hall in Pittsburg. It begins with a long fanfare of horns heard behind the scenes. Suddenly enters a jubilant theme beginning with Andrew Carnegie’s initials, a worthy tribute to one to whom American music owes much.

Charles Crozat Converse.

Musicians are not, as a class, prone to a various erudition (a compliment fully returned by the learned in other directions, who are almost always profoundly ignorant of the actual art of music). One of the rule-proving exceptions is Charles Crozat Converse, who has delved into many philosophies. An example of his versatility of interest is his coining of the word “thon” (a useful substitute for the ubiquitous awkwardness of “he or she” and “his or her"), which has been adopted by the Standard Dictionary.

Converse’ ancestry is American as far back as 1630. Converse was born at Warren, Mass., October 7, 1832. After being well grounded in English and the classics, he went, in 1855, to Germany. Here he studied law and philosophy, and music at the Conservatorium in Leipzig. He enjoyed the instruction of Richter, Hauptmann, Plaidy, and Haupt, and made the acquaintance of Liszt and Spohr. Spohr was especially interested in, and influential in, his work, and confident of its success.

Returning to America, he graduated from the Law Department of Albany University in 1860, with the degree of LL.B. The B has since been dignified into a D, as a tribute to his unusual accomplishments. Converse declined the honor of a Doctorship of Music from the University of Cambridge, offered him by its professor, the well-known English composer, Sterndale Bennett, in recognition of his mastery of lore as evinced in a five-voiced double fugue that ends his Psalm-Cantata on the 126th Psalm.

This scholarly work was performed under the direction of Theodore Thomas in 1888, at Chicago.

A widely known contribution to religious music is Converse’ hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” which has been printed, so they say, in all the tongues of Christendom, and sold to the extent of fifty millions of copies. This tune occupied a warm place in my Sunday-schoolboy heart, along with other singable airs of the Moody and Sankey type, but as I hum it over in memory now, it tastes sweetish and thin. Its popularity is appalling, musically at least. Converse has written many other hymn-tunes, which have taken their place among ecclesiastical soporifics. Besides, he has recently compiled a collection of the world’s best hymns into the “Standard Hymnal.” In this field Converse, though conventional, and conventionality may be considered inevitable here, is mellow of harmony and sincere in sentiment.

Numberless attempts are made to supply our uncomfortable lack of a distinctly national air, but few of them have that first requisite, a fiery catchiness, and most of them have been so bombastic as to pall even upon palates that can endure Fourth of July glorification. Recognizing that the trouble with “America” was not at all due to the noble words written by the man whom “fate tried to conceal by naming him Smith,” Converse has written a new air to this poem. Unfortunately, however, his method of varying the much-borrowed original tune is too transparent. He has not discarded the idea at all, or changed the rhythm or the spirit. He has only taken his tune upward where “God Save the Queen” moves down, and bent his melody down where the British soars up. This, I fancy, is the chief reason why his national hymn has gone over to the great majority, and has been conspicuously absent from such public occasions as torchlight parades and ratifications.

Except the work issued under the alias “Karl Redan,” or the anagrams, “C.O. Nevers” and “C.E. Revons,” his only secular musics that have been put into print are his American Overture, published in Paris, and a book of six songs, published in Germany.

Music is called the universal language, but it has strongly marked dialects, and sometimes a national flavor untranslatable to foreign peoples. So with these six songs, not the words alone are German. They are based on a Teutonic, and they modulate only from Berlin to Braunschweig and around to Leipzig. While the songs repay study, they are rather marked by a pianistic meditation than a strictly lyric emotion. “Aufmunterung zur Freude” is a tame allegretto; “Wehmuth” is better; “Taeuschung” is a short elegy of passion and depth; “Ruhe in der Geliebten” is best in its middle strain where it is full of rich feeling and harmony. The ending is cheap. “Der gefangene Saenger” is only a slight variant at first on the “Adieu” credited to Schubert; it is thereafter excellent.

Converse has a large body of music in manuscript, none of which I had the pleasure of examining save a tender sacred lullaby. There are two symphonies, ten suites, and concert overture, three symphonic poems, an oratorio, “The Captivity,” six string quartettes, and a mass of psalmodic and other vocal writing.

Of these works three have been produced with marked success: the
“Christmas Overture,” at one of the public concerts of the Manuscript
Society, under the direction of Walter Damrosch; the overture “Im
Fruehling,” at concerts in Brooklyn and New York, under the baton of
Theodore Thomas; and the American overture, “Hail Columbia!” at the
Boston Peace Jubilee under Patrick Gilmore, at the Columbian
Exposition under Thomas, and in New York under Anton Seidl.

This last overture received the distinction of publication at Paris, by Schott et Cie. It is built on the rousing air of “Hail, Columbia!” This is suggested in the slow minor introduction; the air itself is indicated thematically as one of the subjects later appearing in full swing in a coda. The instrumentation is brilliant and the climax overwhelming.

Altogether the work is more than adroit musical composition. It is a prairie-fire of patriotism.

L.A. Coerne.

A grand opera by an American on an American subject is an achievement to look forward to. Though I have not seen this opera, called “A Woman of Marblehead,” it is safe to predict, from a study of its composer’s other works, that it is a thing of merit.

Louis Adolphe Coerne, who wrote the music for this opera, was born in Newark, N.J., in 1870, and spent the years from six to ten in music study abroad, at Stuttgart and Paris. Returning to America, he entered Harvard College and studied harmony and composition under John Knowles Paine. He studied the violin under Kneisel. In 1890 he went to Munich, where he studied the organ and composition at the Royal Academy of Music, under Rheinberger, and the violin under Hieber. He now decided to give up the career of a violinist for that of composer, conductor, and organist. In 1893 he returned to Boston and acted as organist. A year later he went to Buffalo, where for three years he directed the Liedertafel.

While in Harvard, Coerne had composed and produced a concerto for violin and ’cello with string orchestra accompaniment, a fantasy for full orchestra, and a number of anthems which were performed at the university chapel. While in Munich and Stuttgart he wrote and produced a string suite, an organ concerto with accompaniment of strings, horns, and harps, three choral works, and a ballet, “Evadne,” on a subject of his own. His symphonic poem on Longfellow’s “Hiawatha” was also produced there with much success under his personal direction, and later by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was invited then by Theodore Thomas to attend the World’s Fair at Chicago, to give recitals on the great organ in Festival Hall.

It has been my misfortune not to have heard or seen hardly any of his writings except the published “Character Pieces” from the ballet “Evadne” . A “Clown’s Dance” in bolero rhythm is delightful. The “Introduction to Act II.” contains many varied ideas and one passage of peculiar harmonic beauty. A “Valse de Salon” has its good bits, but is rather overwrought. A “Devil’s Dance” introduces some excellent harmonic effects, but the “Waltz with Chorus and Finale” is the best number of the p. . It begins in the orchestra with a most irresistible waltz movement that is just what a waltz should be. A chorus is then superimposed on this rhapsody, and a climax of superb richness attained.

For the organ Coerne has written much and well. There is an adaptation of three pieces from the string quartette ; a graceful Minuet, a quaint Aria, and a Fugue. Then there are three Marches, which, like most marches written by contemplative musicians, are rather thematic than spirited, and marked by a restless and elaborate preparation for some great chant that is longed for, but never comes. Besides these, there are a very pleasant Pastoral, a good Elevation, and a Nocturne.

Coerne’s symphonic poem, “Hiawatha,” has been arranged for the piano for four hands, and there is also an arrangement for violin or violoncello and piano, but I have not seen these. The thing we are all waiting for is that American grand opera, “A Woman of Marblehead.” It is to be predicted that she will not receive the marble heart.