THE CONCERT PLATFORM
•■ - * Mrs Burns contemplates giving a concert recital, principally of vocal works, shortly. Mr Orchard, of Palmerston North, has been appointed conductor of the Sydney Liedertafel. . Miss Alice Hollander, the Sydney contralto, now in London, had a Hungarian father and an Australian- mother. Mr Musgrove has cabled pencilling Jam. . 14 for Madame Melba's concert at the King's Theatre, late Agricultural Hall, • in Dunedin. The centenary .of the birth of Niedermeyer has been lately celebrated at the school founded by him at Boulogne, for the training of French church organists and choirmasters. Mr John Lemmone . has received a cable message from Mark Hambourg to say that' he will open in Sydney next May. The famous Russian pianist will then bring with him his young brother Boris, a gifted j 'cellist. Where ie Yakoff? The wholesale piracy of songs and other copyright musio continues as exteawively as ever in England,, but a novel and tmffopjrp^fjnniaiL.me^Lodaf pealing witih this j flagrant' "ab^©"i 7 w" j^"be«tt" tried '_%• some of those interested in putting a stop to the practice. The method consists in. sending agente to the provincial towns, for the object of making raids upon the, copyright song pirates. Though the exact terms upon which Mr Musgrove booked Madame Melba are kept a profound secret, it is generally understood (says the Sydney " Referee ") that . at least it is £500 a concert. The tour so far booked embraces twelve concerts, for which she will draw probably £6000, but as Adelaide, Perth and New" Zealand— say, six more con- i certs— have to be added, her trip should cost Mr Musgrove between £9000 and £10,000. ! As Mr George Musgrove has . taken £11,000 cash for the five Melba concerts in Melbourne, and the Diva has sacrificed her Australian tour for £10,000, the spirited manager stands to make a profit of at least £30,000 from the twenty Australian concerts, as £4000 would be not only ample, but . extravagant for the expenses of the tour, s everything 'having been done in a most cheeseparing manner. Even the programmes weTe not advertised in the newspapers, which, a contemporary thinks, is treating, the public with very scant consideration. At a concert recently given by the Wei- ' lington Leidertafel Mr Alfred Mistowski, who has visited New Zealand to conduct the Trinity College musical examinations in practical subjects, played two of his pianoforte compositions, one of them as an encore piece. Mr Mistowski, who holds the degree of Mus. Bac., Oxon, is an old student, of' Trinity College. In the years 1890-93 he held the Henry Smart Scholarship, and studied under Dr Gordon, Saunders and Mr Frederick Corder; and in 1893 he gained the Costai prize and gold medal for the best string quartette. He took hisdegree at Oxford in 1898. Mr Mistowski's compositions are numerous, and include a dramatic cantata, "The Forge," two string quartettes, two symphonies for full orcliestra, and a pianoforte concerto. Though he has made the pianoforte and violin his principal instruments, he is also a player of the viola and an organist. : As late as 1877, when Listz was about sixty-six years of age, the Russian composer, Borodine, had the good luck of bearing him at a concert given in Jena, where something of Liszt's was produced. After speaking of Liszt's conducting, he goes on about the playing : " When it came to the numbers for pianoforte, he descended into, the choir, a-nd soon his grey head appeared behind the instrument. The powerful sustained notes of the piano rolled like waves through the Gothic vaults of that old temple. It. was divine ! What sonority, power, fullness? What a pianissimo, what a morendo! • We were transported. When it came to Chopin's •Funeral March .it was evident that the piano part had not been written out. Liszt improvised at the piano while the organ and 'cello played from written parts. With each entrance of the theme it was something different; but it is difficult to imagine what, he made of it. The organ lingered pianissimo on the harmonies in the bars in thirds. The piamo, with pedal, gave out the full harmonies, but pianissimo
the violoncello sang tie theme. The effe was prodigious. It -was like the distai sound of a funeral knell, . that rings oi again before the first vibration has qu.i died away. I hanre never heard anytbin, like it. And what a crescendo! We -vver in the seventh heaven." The "Sydney Morning Herald" announ ces the death of the oldest pianist in An? tralia— Mr William Stanley, born in Wind sor Castle, 1820. He was the son of th; then organist of St George's Chapel Royal. Windsor, and sang as a chapel boy at tin funeral service for George IV. Prior to settling in Sydney, in 1837, he served five years in the Army. His first performance in Sydney was at the opening of the orig> nal " Victoria Theatre," in the presence of the Governor (Sir George Gipps). In subsequent years he acted as accompanist to Madame Sara Flower, tie noted contralto, and. Madame Anna Bishop, the English soprano. Mr Stanley's first appointment as an organist was at St John's, Paramatta. He was also at St Andrew's Cathedral for sixteen years, St Barnabas's for seven years, and Christ Church, Sydney, for twelve years. Amongst some of Mr Stanley's compositions are " Variations to God Save the King," an arrangenibnt he wrote at the age of eight and a half years ; two marches, one in C minor and the other in' E flat, written at ten years of age; an oratorio, "David and the Philistines"; march and prelude's to Handel's " Israel mr Egypt" ; numbers of church, anthems and chants, and over 100 various other pieces. He- wrote a t Jubilee ode to celebrate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. In 1879-80, at the musical festival at the International Exhibition, Mr Stanley conducted " The Messiah " and " Israel in. Egypt," before an audience of 10,000 people. Paderewski tells with special zest how he narrowly escaped arrest in a remote little Russian town where he gave a concert several years ago. He sent on his programme iin advance, and when he arrived in the town himself he was surprised to see on th*e posters with which the place was decorated one number printed in large black type, much larger than the rest. It was a "Polish Dance" by somebody or other— a little piece of not much moment, put in as a concession to the popular tasio. The country people thronged to the concert from miles around and there was an air of eager expectation when the performance began, though Paderewski noticed that the first numbers failed to make much impression. Then came the "Polish Dance.' At its close there was evidently something wrong. People looked at each other in evident disappointment and anger. The pianist was much puzzled, but he went on, and, to the evident great dissatisfaction of the audience, finished his programme. Hardly had he reached the green-room from the platform when there came a sharp knock on the door. The local police commissioner was announced. He began in the severest tojies expressing surprise that an artist of M. Paderewski's supposed standing should deceive his public. The -pianist stood aghast. He' assured the commissioner that he had done his utmost to please, that any failure on his part was absolutely unintentional, and that he could not conceive in what important point he had been so woefully lacking. "Woefully lacking? Why, sir, you failed to perform the most important number on your programme ! You advertised a ' Polish Dance,' sir and the people have come from miles around. because of that advertisement! And, •sir, yott' ;<fi<i not . dance^-no, sir, ,i.you did nbt'aunee!"' •<.... The "Sydney Morning Herald" of Oct. 4 has the following paragraph : — On Thursday a cable from London informed us that " Edward Lloyd will visit Australia short- j ly." The coming of the great tenor has been proposed and discussed nearly as often as Sir Henry Irving's or Madame Melba's. Tha success of the great soprano may have j stirred Mr Lloyd with the idea of conquering fresh fields. The late Mr Poole, who brought out Madame Patey and maiiy other j stars to Australia, knew Mr Edward Lloyd ; intimately, ' but was never able to persuade him to undertake a tour. Mr Poole used to give three reasons for the tenor's disinclination—that he had all the finest engagements in England and must lose money by an Australian venture, that his wife hated sea-travelling, and that he was constitutionally of a stay-at-home nature. The I regretted death of Mrs Lloyd removed one j of these objections, and to some extent the great singer's retirement last year may have removed the other. He is a wealthy man, but he may find country farming on his Surrey estates dull, and yet be unwilling to return to the slavery of his old career. Edward Lloyd was born in 1845, i and, as he nsed his voice at all times like the great artist he was, it is possible to believe the English Press statements that it was still unimpa/ired last year. Mr Lloyd's voice was that of a light tenor of honeysweet quality, and of surprising volume in the high register. Allowing for the differences in the method, the voice resembled that of our late visitor, Carlo Dani, though the English and Italian schools are so opposed, that the comparison cannot be closely folio-wed. Mr Edward Lloyd, with his voice as it was even ten years ago, would create the greatest " boom " ever known in Australia. In England Edward Lloyd's place has never been filled. He remains the only great tenor England has produced since Sims Reeves. The following criticism of Madame Melba's first concert in Australia-, whicih appeared in the Sydney " Bulletin," is typical of that publication: — The introductory items were not exciting. Madaime Albani, of yore, travelled with a more effective company than this. Tto& Melba support consists of three instrumental accompanists and two men singers, one of whom, Louis Arens, is rememibered as a good Wagnerian tenor, with a short, thick voice. He is heard at his best in heavy German musio of till© kind that loses colour when torn from its operatic setting and sung by a swallow-tailed tenor in cold blood. Tihe dramatic baritone, Signer or Monsieur Bensaude, has a good appearance and a satisfactory voice, but 'he is not up to thei concert " form "of a William Paull. Thei flautist-, Mr Griffith, plays an obligate indifferently well when required. It seemed a pity to require him on Saturday. A casual matter-of-fact lady who supplies a piano so-10, as well a-s accompaniments, would be quite uninteresting but for her gait and general demeanour. She bustles up to the piano, rubbing her hands, like a rural school mistress about to punish the instrument for its impudence. Signorina Sassoli, harpist, touches the strings very tenderly, and is, doubtless, an exceptional performer for her age. All the same, a solo by a fifteen-year-old harpist is nob quite worth bringing from Europe. So the concerb had gone slow up to the time for Melba's first; effort. The Star was No. 5 onthe programme. It remained for (her to put a smile' of contentment on that seat of countenances'. She was asked *o sing up to the public expectation of Melba, and she Got Th*e— or thereabouts. Those whe expected hep to warble better than th ' angels may'- complain that -she was not miracle, Ijut they ca^lfordly deny her ex celle>nce af a professional, 'soprano. Melb aiid hetgfipice have been misrepresented b\ AustraJ^s 'who heard her in' Europe, and wrotfeiWrbeT. as a somewhat inanimate artist, with a brilliant voice of hard quality. The Melba. who sang on Saturday was remarkable for the refined* richness and round ness of her notes, and her opening number, the "Mad Scene" (abbreviated) from
Lucia," was given with bewitching effect, ie voice is lovely in her mezzo singing, id still lovely when she lets it go. But Idba, is not versatile. Site was bern and* ducated for florid Italian music. Home, Sweet Home" has been more ilea'singly sung by second-rate artists. Per-ia-ps the returned wanderer was striving too< nrd for emotion in her treatment of t"he :iroeome old ballad, or perhaps the " Lucia " lumber, sung tinder exacting conditions, had "taken it out" of her. Afterwards .'.lelba was herself again in two sweet little ongs, and tihen sho scored a triumph with) the "Traviata" test number, "Ah fors c iui" — a> triumph positive, comparative and ■uperiative. But again the encore iiflig was not a- success. No matter. Her audience had heard the great singer do great work.