CHAPTER 09. MARGARET RUTHVEN LANG: 1893 – 1925. SC(G). WC. TOPICS.

CHAPTER NINE: MARGARET RUTHVEN LANG-1893-1925. SC. (G) Word Count: 15,881 07/20/2021.

  • Topics:                                                                                                                             Dramatic Overture and Witichis.                                                                              Dramatic Overture and Witichis Reviews.
  • Specific Characteristics: Dramatic Overture                                                                    1883 World Columbian Exposition.                                                                             Song Performances.                                                                                                    Missing Pieces.                                                                                                                        Irish Love Song.                                                                                                                        Missing Symphony.                                                                                                     Concert Arias, Three.
  • Chaminade of America.
  • Performances c. 1899.
  • Frances’ Stand. “Opposing Electrocution.”                                                               Brimmer Street House Described.
  • Royalties: Margaret Contacts Her Publisher.                                                         More MRL Song Performances.                                                                                       House Warming: Harvard Musical Association.                                                      Heavenly Noel, The.  

       In reviewing her career to this point (1893) Margaret wrote that since returning from studying in Europe in 1887 she had written “30 or 40 songs and also part-songs for male and for female chorus and for mixed voices” which had been published and performed. “My part-songs have been sung by the Apollo and Cecilia Societies of Boston,” and she reports having heard of performances “in England, France, and Canada.” But, she goes on to say that “All my songs have been the expression of my musical thought and with the exception of the above-mentioned orchestra compositions [two orchestral overtures], yet my desire is to write for orchestra and until I have accomplished something of real worth in that direction, I shall not be content.” (Autobiographical reply May 22, 1893 to Mr. Krehbiel)

DRAMATIC OVERTURE and WITICHIS REVIEWS.

When Margaret was twenty-five the Boston Symphony Orchestra premiered her first large orchestral work-the Dramatic Overture, Opus 12 conducted by Nikisch which opened the concert on April 8, 1893 (and 21st. rehearsal April 7 at 2:30 PM) which was the 23rd. Rehearsal/Concert of its 12th.. Season. This was the first time since its founding twelve years before that the BSO had played a work by a woman composer.

Photo below-Niksich in 1890 (New England Magazine, February 1890), probably as he looked when he conducted Margaret’s Overture.

Niksich in 1890 (New England Magazine, February 1890), probably as he looked when he conducted Margaret’s Overture.

Arthur NikischArthur Nikisch from Elson, 1904, 57

The Dramatic Overture was finished in November 1892 and sent to Nikisch for his opinion. Nothing was heard until the spring of 1893 when he sent word that he would “have the orchestra perform the piece in rehearsal so that Lang would be able to hear the full scale of her work.” (Baer, 20) If Nikisch was working under his usual system of never opening a new score until the rehearsal, he, the orchestra and the composer were hearing the work for the first time. Based on that hearing, he asked to perform the piece at a regular BSO concert (Ibid, based on a letter MRL sent to Chadwick)  Margaret asked to attend the orchestral rehearsals during concert week and his reply was that there was a rule against that. But, he then said exceptions prove the rule. “therefore, if you wish to come to our rehearsals tomorrow and Thursday you will be admitted with the greatest pleasure. The piece will be played on both mornings at about 10 o’clock. Most sincerely yours, Arthur Nikisch.” (Note in the collection of the Boston Athenaeum) Frances wrote: “Nickish [sic] played Maidie’s 2d Overture at eleven o’clock this A.M. by appointment. Lel couldn’t be there but I went and was disappointed. I thought it sounded better on the piano. Nickish told Maidie that he would perform it perhaps at the next but one concert.” (Diary 2, Winter 1893) And, so he did. “That Mr. Nikisch considers this second overture of music in any way worthy of performance at a symphony concert makes me of course wildly happy and I can hardly wait for next Saturday evening.” (Lang to Chadwick, Baer, 26)

It seems that Margaret had not shown the Dramatic Overture to Chadwick, who, after all, was her composition teacher, while she was composing it. His first knowledge of the piece came after Nikisch agreed to perform the work with the BSO. Lang wrote to Chadwick: “[Nikisch] did not acknowledge it for so long that I dared not tell you of it lest you should jeer at my temerity but now that it has won its way this far I want your good wishes and I want above all to thank you.” This event was obviously a very important one for Margaret, and she wanted Chadwick’s approval. “It is a very little thing for me to make so much of and I suppose you will laugh at me, but a symphony concert has been a mile-stone I have longed to reach. I am afraid that when Saturday comes you will say that I do not deserve it. Will you please tell me frankly after the concert. I shall be very downcast and humble and this effusion is joy, not pride.” (Baer, 21)

 

music hall programm margaretCourtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archive.

Her work was described as having strong contrasts between the principal and subordinate themes. “It has some strong contrasts, especially between the chief theme and the subordinate. The first is grim and medieval, the second tender and human. To place these two in juxtaposition in itself gives something of dramatic power, and the development of both is singularly unconventional.” (Elson, History American Music, 306) Francis H. Jenks in his Musical Herald review described the work as “an ingeniously devised and constructed composition with evidences of thought at every turn.” Philip Hale reported that the overture was applauded, but the attempt to call the composer forward was in vain. Seventy-four years later Miss Lang remembered the incident well: “I crept up to the balcony and hid.” Hale’s specific comments were probably a trial for the young composer. After listing the program, he wrote: “Miss Lang’s overture is perhaps a creditable work for a young student. Whether it deserved a place in a Symphony concert is another question. Although Miss Lang in certain songs has shown in the past a pretty melody, the themes of the overture are not of marked originality or striking effect. There are ingenious passages in the detail, but there is a general lack of definite purpose in the conception and in the carrying out. The composer seems to be pricked by the desire of extracting ideas from the orchestral instruments in turn. As a result, there is occasional piquancy, and there are pleasing measures, but this dramatic overture is a promise rather than a fulfillment. It is as though the composer deliberately set about to see what she could do in this line; there was nothing musical within that forced its way irresistibly and assumed orchestral shape and color.” (Scrapbook, Musical Courier, April 12, 1893) Hugo Leichtentritt attended this concert-he was a junior at Harvard. Mark DeVoto has translated his Diary entry, originally written in German. “Symphony Concert…At the beginning there was a Dramatic Overture by Miss Lang, a young Boston lady. The beginning is very grandiose and I was already worried that a woman might have written something significant, but let it be said to my shame that I soon discovered that the work lacked spiritual content: short-winded phrases instead of broadly dramatic development. The whole thing skillfully worked out, not at all student-like. +++ ++++++ [two words illegible-possibly “The piece”] succeeded melodiously, even dramatically, but not entirely, nothing sublime in it.” (Letter to Johnston, January 14, 2012) Chadwick made the most specific comments in a letter to Margaret written just after the concert. “I like your main motif extremely, – it is grim, and the cantilena that leads over into G major is lovely. That broken chord for the first horn is a great success. The brass is [sic] very discreet, perhaps a little too discreet. I would like to see the score very much. Please write me another lovely letter and tell me when I can see it. G. W. Chadwick.” (150th. Birthday Exhibit curated by Fletcher DuBois, hampsongfoundation.org)

Elson wrote in 1925, 32 years after the work’s premiere: “It has some strong contrasts, especially between the chief theme and the subordinate. The first is grim and medieval, the second tender and human. To place these two in juxtaposition in itself gives something of dramatic power and the development of both is singularly unconventional.” (Amer. Music, 306)

William F. Apthorp’s program note began with a short biographical note:

Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archive.

On April 2, 1893 Apthorp typed a letter to Margaret at 12.43 A.M. [working late?] “Dear Maidie: If you find in the programme-books that I have made a botch of your overture, it is really not my fault. I am a poor score-reader, at best-although I can get at the inwardness of anything you please, if I only have time-and manuscript is just the point where the worm in my brain turns! A MS. score is to me like a MS. Story; I have to read it three times, where I should have to read it once in print. The Expiring Phoenix (Chadwick) always laughed at me for my helplessness in this matter, saying that a good MS. was just as good as engraving. But his laughing did not help me. There is something in handwriting that seems to kill all consecutive perception in me; it is just as bad in words as in music. But I must say that I really and thoroughly enjoyed reading your score-in an incoherent sort of way, letting each measure tell for the moment, just as any idiot listens to music at a concert-and look forward to finding my impression strengthened at the hearing. Where did you get the idea of reinforcing the effect of those jumps from C major to E minor, and E major to A minor, by that Scharfrichter’s rhythm? I don’t know when I have heard that ‘Meyerbeer’ snap of the two short notes and a long one sound so new, and so little as if Meyerbeer had written it. I have also great hopes for the place where the third horn comes in against the twiddle-twiddle in the violins. And how stunning of you to have kept your trombones and trumpets for the preaching, and made your big crashes without them! I hope Nikisch will follow his native bent and give the final ‘pa-pa-pum——-pum!’ as it looks in the score. Ever so many thanks, yrs., &c., &c., &c.” (Scrapbook)

REVIEWS.

One review began: “This is, we believe, the first time that an orchestral composition by a woman has been played at one of our symphony concerts. It is rather odd how exceedingly little women have done in music-save in the way as singing and playing.” The review continues in the same vein, finishing the idea with, “Upon the whole, the record is not brilliant.” But then the attitude changed, and the author wrote that “Miss Lang now comes forward with a work which must certainly stand very high indeed among compositions by women; indeed, there is no special need of bringing her sex into the question at all, for this overture of hers does not need to be ranked in a special class in order to have good said about it. The beginning is particularly impressive-a grim phrase is given out by the trumpets and trombones in octaves, interrupted by syncopated thuds on the kettledrums, and is followed by a most effective piece of harmony in the strings-a chord of C-major is struck, and then merges into a passing harmony, which you expect to lead, by a half cadence, directly to the dominant chord of B-major; but no! instead of leading to the dominant, it leads to the tonic chord of E-minor. The effect of this sudden appearance of the chord of E-minor is startling, the chord seems to come from a hundred miles away, the effect is as unearthly as on ”et lux” in Verdi’s ”Manzoni” Requiem. If there is perhaps no other stroke in the overture that equals this in originality and force, what follows it has nonetheless conspicuous merit of its own. The thematic material is natural and unforced, the treatment coherent, often strikingly ingenious. Only once towards the latter part of the overture does the composer seem to lose her way for a moment in the maze of working-out; but she soon finds it again and pushes on to the end with a very sure step. The general character of the work is passionate, with a warmth that seems wholly genuine and unsought-for, and now and then with more idyllic moments of much beauty. The instrumentation is brilliant, always skillfully managed, if not precisely what one would call masterly…Miss Lang’s varied play of color seems at moments more fitful and fantastic than her musical form and thematic development. Yet, in one respect, her scoring shows a very fine instinct; unlike most young composers, she is singularly thrifty in her use of orchestral material and does not waste her heavy artillery on effects of sheer dynamic force where it can be more wisely spent on effects of contrast. Upon the whole, she in no wise lays herself open to the criticism once passed on Augusta Holmes by a Paris musician: that,” like most women, she tries to prove her own virility by making a tremendous noise,” The overture was admirably played and most enthusiastically received. Mr. Nikisch being called out three times after it.” (Anonymous, undated review, courtesy Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

Another review devoted 75 percent of its content to the new piece: “Of the composition itself there is not much be said that is pleasant in the saying. It is creditable as the result of a laudable ambition to essay an important work, and it may be pronounced a promising first attempt; but it is scarcely of worth to warrant its performance, unless, indeed, to afford the composer an opportunity to hear it, and to profit by the experience. In the first place, it is hardly an overture, as the term is generally understood, and it is not dramatic in any sense. It has more the character of an orchestral fantasie. Nothing is clearly defined, nothing is completed. It is one long effort to say something, without any very clear idea of what is to be said. The general effect is spasmodic and fragmentary; and the work does not hang well together. The orchestration is vigorous but is without richness or character. It has strong color here and there, but is never closely knit, and is often foggy. The pervading fault of the work, however, is that its meaning is not made apparent…As an evidence of its composer’s serious study and its application, it is very commendable, but it is immature, and should not have been submitted to public criticisms. It is not gratifying to be compelled to write thus discouragingly of the work of a young composer, but no good is to be accomplished by glossing over the truth, and we are sure that it is wiser and kinder to point out the shortcomings of the composition than to indulge in insincerity and to damn it with faint praise. The audience received it in a very kind spirit and applauded heartily. An effort was made to call the composer forward, but it was unsuccessful.” (Unsigned review, courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

A review of April 9, 1893 credited to the Courier began with a paragraph about Margaret’s background and education and then followed that with a second paragraph of 14 lines concerning the work performed. This formed less than one-fourth of the complete review-quite a contrast to the review cited above. The reviewer wrote: “The overture while evidently the work of a skillful, and refined musician is nevertheless a very characteristic sample of kapelmeistermusik. There is a certain benign composure and nobility of intent in the writing of it, that is all too conspicuous, but the work appears to contain but a single well-defined theme which is very reminiscent of the oriental music in Verdi’s Aida. This theme is so tautologically treated and so frequently repeated that the prevailing impression created by it is one of monotony and languor. Perhaps the most praiseworthy feature of the overture is in the orchestral coloring of its harmonic development which is altogether excellent.” (Unsigned review, courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

Philip Hale: New York Public Library Digital Library.

Philip Hale in the April 12, 1893 Musical Courier wrote: “Miss Lang’s overture is perhaps a creditable work for a young student. Whether it deserved a place in a Symphony concert is another question. Although Miss Lang in certain songs has shown in the past a pretty melody, the themes of the overture are not of marked originality or striking effect. There are ingenious passages in the detail, but there is a general lack of definite purpose in the conception and in the carrying out. The composer seems to be pricked by the desire of extracting ideas from the orchestral instruments in turn. As a result, there is occasional piquancy, and there are pleasing measures, but this dramatic overture is a promise rather than a fulfillment. It is as though the composer deliberately set about to see what she could do in this line, there was nothing musical within that forces its was irresistibly and assumed orchestral shape and color.” (Scrapbook, Musical Courier, April 12, 1893)

Hale also wrote in the Boston Home Journal: “The phrase Place aux dames should be without meaning on the concert stage. The conductor of an orchestra should judge the fitness of a composition proposed for performance without consideration of the sex of the composer. Sex is here an accident.” (Fox, Sexual, 10) Hale spent two-thirds for his review damning the work in every way that he could: “Her themes are neither of marked originality nor of musical importance…there is not one dramatic stroke in the whole work, nor is there a climax. As a fantastic tone poem, it is vague. Miss Lang finds at her disposal the orchestral paint box, and she colors her themes with this instrumental tablet and with that one; thus she gains, occasionally, a piquant effect, a pleasing passage, but the whole lacks coherency and, is diffuse. In a word, this composition might well please the eye of a prudent and skilled teacher. He might look kindly at the pupil.” (Unsigned, but by Hale, review attributed to the Journal, courtesy Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

Louis C. Elson wrote in the Advertiser wrote that: “It is the reviewer’s task to state that this work was not up to the level of these concerts. Miss Lang has won some deserved successes at the Apollo Club concerts in the field of chorus composition and has written some graceful bits of instrumental music which have achieved the dignity of publication, but it is a long stride from this to orchestral work in a large form, and to make the first public attempt in a concert course which is supposed to present the finest music that the world affords, to enter a programme which presented selections by Haydn, Dvorak and Moszkowski, was little less than rash…One may pay tribute to an evident tact in the matter of orchestral coloring that holds forth good promise for the future, but it may be at once added that these concerts are not supposed to be devoted to the presentation of incipient greatness. As the work was entitled a ”dramatic overture,” one need not quarrel with the fact that its form was not powerful enough to sustain interest, nothing was carried to a logical conclusion, much was spasmodic, and at times the whole case could only be diagnosed as orchestral hysteria.” This represented one-fourth of the total review. (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

Warren Davenport in the Globe wrote that: “It would be a pleasant task to speak in praise of Miss Lang’s orchestral piece but the results gained would not warrant such a course. Miss Lang has written many pretty songs and has shown talent in the pieces written for male voices and sung by the Apollo Club, but the step from this grade of material to the writing of a dramatic overture of sufficient worth to claim a place upon a symphonic concert programme is quite a long one. The effort of this ”dramatic overture” was a purposeless one, and it could as well be called the ”Babes in the Wood,” as far as any dramatic significance is concerned. Any capable student can make such music as this who has a little invention at hand, and to write similarly for the orchestra is not so difficult either, with the hundreds of stereotyped formulas that are available in the works of modern composers and student-writers. The first thing to be considered is what is the musical value of a composition? Has it form; has it a defined purpose? Miss Lang should not be discouraged because of this failure to compose a dramatic overture. Through the ill advice of her friends and the lack of discrimination upon the part of the person who arranges the programmes for the Symphony concerts, this youthful composer has had her inability to reach certain heights made plain, and the lesson should be a profitable one. It should not dampen her ambition, however. Her case is not an isolated one. The audience applauded the playing loudly.” These comments took up about one-third of the review. (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archive)

Another review devoted one-half of its space to Margaret’s work, all of which was complimentary. “Miss Margaret Ruthven Lang’s new dramatic overture was given for the first time at the Symphony last week, the composition by our talented townswoman proving to be of great merit. In the beginning, two themes are developed, one somber and of an antique character, the other passionate and modern treatment, each played against the other and producing a dramatic effect original but melodic. The working out is concise and beautifully harmonizes, and the return to the first part is gradual and regular, without harsh cdences or Wagnerian style of orchestration. The young composer has treated the stronger instruments of the orchestra very effectively, utilizing them for special themes in several instances, which gives a marked tonal color and contrast to the gentler fortissimo passages. The work received a most flattering reception, and Mr. Nikisch’s orchestra gave a delightful interpretation of the number.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archive)

The American Biographical Library entry quotes an unnamed critic as saying: “The general character of the work is passionate, with a warmth that seems wholly genuine and unsought; and now and then with more idyllic moments of much beauty; and the orchestration is brilliant.” Levy quotes from a letter from Edward MacDowell to his wife: “Wasn’t Apthorpe [sic] shameless about Miss Lang’s overture? And he didn’t say a word about Chadwick. He ought to be kicked.” Another letter said: “Apthorpe, after his slobber act over Miss Lang’s overture (had to) even it up by doing at least likewise with his friend Arthur Foote’s work. I aunt patient.” (Levy, p. 90) However, MacDowell’s judgment may be questioned as the critic of the Boston Beacon, Howard Ticknor wrote that MacDowell “so hates Apthorpe that Apthorpe’s good criticism would be sufficient to make him take the opposite side.” (Levy, 91) Apthorp had also made an error in Margaret’s biography saying that she had studied with MacDowell. She wrote a stiff note to him correcting this, and also asked her father to write a note to Chadwick on this same subject: “Maidie is troubled by an error in Apthorp’s programme today.” B. J. continued that should the work be a failure, Chadwick would not mind being left out as Margaret’s teacher, but if it were a success, “it will take but a few hours to” correct the matter. B. J. ended by saying that “A misstatement corrected is usually more fully noted than if it were correct from the start.” (Chadwick Archive, NEC) The Monday before the performance Margaret had written to Chadwick telling him of her “good news,” and saying: “I have wanted to tell you about it because I feel so grateful to you for the lessons that helped me so far as even this point.” There is a note from Chadwick to Margaret suggesting a time for her lesson, it seems that this lesson was her first with him; “I shall hope to see many pretty compositions from your pen as well as (?) strict counterpoint.” (Boston Athenaeum) The rest of the letter mentions that she wrote it during November of the previous year, sent it to Nikisch, but then did not hear anything for a long time. “I dared not tell you of it lest you should jeer at my temerity.” It would seem that her lessons were not concerned with this specific work. She ended with: “I want your good wishes, and I want above all to thank you.” She then asked for his comments after the concert. (Chadwick Archive, NEC) Chadwick seems to have replied in a positive manner. In another letter to him, she began: “Your very kind and most charitable letter was an inexpressible relief and pleasure to me, for I had imagined all kinds of horrible things going on in your mind until it came. I want very much to show you the score and hear a sermon.” She then invited Mr. and Mrs. Chadwick to an evening of billiards, “and then you will talk to me about it. Indeed, I have so much to say to you that I shall not know how to begin or when to finish.” (Chadwick Archive, NEC)

Margaret’s friend, Amy Beach, sent a note dated April 9th. “I wish to send you my heartiest congratulations upon your success, last evening of your interesting overture, as a woman I cannot help feeling gratified that all your hard work should be so fully recognized and appreciated, and your composition given a place on our symphony program. Its superb performance must have gladdened your heart, while it gave great pleasure to the audience. With all good wishes for your future success, believe me.) (Baer, 26)

SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS: DRAMATIC OVERTURE. “I like your main motif extremely, – it is grim, and the cantilena that leads over into G major is lovely. That broken chord for the first horn is a great success. The brass is [sic] very discreet, perhaps a little too discreet.” (Chadwick note to Margaret)                                                                                                                                 Her work was described as having strong contrasts between the principal and subordinate themes. “It has some strong contrasts, especially between the chief theme and the subordinate. The first is grim and medieval, the second tender and human. To place these two in juxtaposition in itself gives something of dramatic power, and the development of both is singularly unconventional.” (Elson, History American Music, 306) 

                                        Apthorp BSO Program Book.

Where did you get the idea of reinforcing the effect of those jumps from C major to E minor, and E major to A minor, by that Scharfrichter’s rhythm? I don’t know when I have heard that ‘Meyerbeer’ snap of the two short notes and a long one sound so new, and so little as if Meyerbeer had written it. I have also great hopes for the place where the third horn comes in against the twiddle-twiddle in the violins. And how stunning of you to have kept your trombones and trumpets for the preaching, and made your big crashes without them! I hope Nikisch will follow his native bent and give the final ‘pa-pa-pum——-pum!’ as it looks in the score. Ever so many thanks, yrs., &c., &c., &c.” (Scrapbook)  Apthorp note to Margaret.

The beginning is particularly impressive-a grim phrase is given out by the trumpets and trombones in octaves, interrupted by syncopated thuds on the kettledrums, and is followed by a most effective piece of harmony in the strings-a chord of C-major is struck, and then merges into a passing harmony, which you expect to lead, by a half cadence, directly to the dominant chord of B-major; but no! instead of leading to the dominant, it leads to the tonic chord of E-minor. The effect of this sudden appearance of the chord of E-minor is startling, the chord seems to come from a hundred miles away, the effect is as unearthly as on ”et lux” in Verdi’s ”Manzoni” Requiem. If there is perhaps no other stroke in the overture that equals this in originality and force, what follows it has nonetheless conspicuous merit of its own. The thematic material is natural and unforced, the treatment coherent, often strikingly ingenious. Only once towards the latter part of the overture does the composer seem to lose her way for a moment in the maze of working-out; but she soon finds it again and pushes on to the end with a very sure step. The general character of the work is passionate, with a warmth that seems wholly genuine and unsought-for, and now and then with more idyllic moments of much beauty. The instrumentation is brilliant, always skillfully managed, if not precisely what one would call masterly…Miss Lang’s varied play of color seems at moments more fitful and fantastic than her musical form and thematic development. Yet, in one respect, her scoring shows a very fine instinct; unlike most young composers, she is singularly thrifty in her use of orchestral material and does not waste her heavy artillery on effects of sheer dynamic force where it can be more wisely spent on effects of contrast. Upon the whole, she in no wise lays herself open to the criticism once passed on Augusta Holmes by a Paris musician: that,” like most women, she tries to prove her own virility by making a tremendous noise,”(Unsigned review)

Perhaps the most praiseworthy feature of the overture is in the orchestral coloring of its harmonic development which is altogether excellent.” (Unsigned review, courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

In the beginning, two themes are developed, one somber and of an antique character, the other passionate and modern treatment, each played against the other and producing a dramatic effect original but melodic. The working out is concise and beautifully harmonizes, and the return to the first part is gradual and regular, without harsh cdences or Wagnerian style of orchestration. The young composer has treated the stronger instruments of the orchestra very effectively, utilizing them for special themes in several instances, which gives a marked tonal color and contrast to the gentler fortissimo passages.(Unsigned review)

Theme A (grim: trombones and trumpets in octaves, interrupted by timpani thuds; C major string chord; then instead of B major, surprise, go to E minor-this probably best bit; jumps from C major to E minor and then E major to A minor in the Scharfrichter’s rhythm.) Theme B (Antique) played against each other. Beautiful harmonies, fine scoring, orchestral coloring,  trumpets and trombones often not used in forte passages-saved for special effects.

MargaretfromHalfHoursetcRyan, 179. Probably from the mid-1890s.

 

1883 WORLD COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION.

Music Hall. Theodore Thomas, Autobiography, Vol. II, facing 282.

The exposition in honor of Columbus’ discovery of the New World ran six months from May 1 until October 30, 1893. Over 28 million tickets were sold (the population of the United States was 63 million at that time), and this was even during an economic depression. The goal of the organizers was to outdo the Paris Exposition of 1889 which featured the Eiffel Tower. Chicago’s answer was to create a city-within-a-city that hosted 65,000 exhibits. On view were  “The world’s first Ferris Wheel-with cars the size of buses” and full-size replicas of Columbus” three ships which had been sailed from Spain to Chicago. (Bolotin and Laing, vii) At the end of the event, it was found that a profit of $1,000,000 dollars had been achieved! Margaret’s overture Witichis was selected for performance at the Chicago World’s Fair. George H. Wilson who was the Secretary of the Bureau of Music and thus the person making all the decisions on anything musical that was to appear at the Exposition had been a tenor in B. J.’s Apollo Club. (Herald (April 23, 1893): 20, GB)

There seems to be no record of Theodore Thomas seeing the Dramatic Overture, Opus 12 but her overture Witichis, Opus 10 was chosen (along with two others-one of which was by the fellow Boston composer, Coerne) from among twenty-one works presented for consideration to be performed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. One interesting aspect was that B.J. Lang was a member of the reviewing committee!

This article from the November 1893 issue of Music-A Monthly Magazine summarizes “American Music at the Exposition.”

The reviewer for the American Art Journal stated that it was the largest crowd that he had seen yet in Music Hall and praised Powell’s playing of the Mendelssohn. He credited Lang’s work with ”originality and earnestness of purpose” as well as ”considerable continuity and sustained power. ”He went on to state that the orchestration showed lack of experience but pointed out that even Brahms had similar problems with some of his orchestrations. This review was unusual in that the critic treated an orchestral composition by a woman seriously, without any comments reflecting gender bias.” (Bomberger,  138-139) “A prominent Chicago critic, writing of Margaret Ruthven Lang’s contribution to the American compositions heard at the exposition concerts, says Miss Margaret Ruthven Lang’s overture to Witichis is a real work, a great deal to say of a young woman’s composition…Taste predominates Miss Lang’s overture. At times the meaning is not easy to follow; there is a good deal of ambitious striving for effect rather than for embodiment of idea. But throughout the music is noble and pure in conception, if the conception is not always concrete.” (Herald (August 13, 1893): 18, GB)   From the Fourteenth Columbian Letter: “This program [July 29] is worthy of passing mention, as it brought the overture Witichitis [sic] by Miss Lang, who is certainly developing in a perfectly logical and satisfactory manner. She began with the smaller forms and is ambitiously working her way into the larger forms. The Opus 10 of Miss Lang is more than we had expected of this lady, and I should not be surprised to hear a symphony from her pen ere a year is over our head.” The second performance of Witichis was July 29, 1893 at a Pops Concert held not in the Women’s Building, but in the main concert hall of the Exposition. (Feldman, 7) The overture was included at the third concert under Max Bendix: Wednesday, August 30, 12 noon. “Popular Orchestral Concerts,” Exposition Orchestra of 100.  Max Bendix had been the concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra, but after Theodore Thomas resigned, Bendix was selected to conduct the rest of the concerts at the Exposition. A third overture entitled Totila, Opus 23 was composed in 1901 and premiered in Baltimore. (Theodore Thomas, Autobiography, Vol. II, facing page 282)

SONG PERFORMANCES.

Among performances during 1894 was the song for baritone Hjarlis sung by Mr. Grant Odell on Monday, February 5 at the 29th. Private Meeting of the “Manuscript Society of New York” held in Room 8 of Carnegie (Music) Hall (this may have been its premier). “A very charming reception was given to Mr. B. J. Lang and the altos of ”The Cecilia” last Monday evening, at the home of Mrs. Cilley, 175 Beacon Street, Mrs. Dimick of ”The Cecilia;” being hostess.” (Herald (April 8, 1894): 27, GB) Part of the musical program included Bedtime Song by Margaret sung by Miss Griggs. A concert in Boston on Saturday, December 1 at 11 AM presented by Miss Orvis as part of her “Concerts for Young People” (five per season) included B. J. Lang playing Petit Roman followed by six of the Nonsense Rhymes (Filey, Man Cape Horn, Man Skye, When Little, Said well, and Riga) sung by Mrs. Henrietta Hassall. The concert ended with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto played by Franz Kneisel with the orchestral accompaniment played by B. J. on the piano. The Nonsense Rhymes must have been well received as they were repeated at the concert on Saturday, February 23, 1895. The same six Nonsense Rhymes were sung by Mrs. Hassall a year later (December 7, 1895) as part of the series of “Concerts for Young People” given in Newton Center by Mrs. Bird-B. J. also played his Caprice as part of the concert. This December 1st. performance of Petit Roman was less than a month after its premiere which was given by Mrs. Edward Dudley Marsh at the November 6, 1894 meeting of the “Tuesday Musicale” of Rochester, N. Y. -a note in the program mentions that Margaret wrote both the music and the story. (Scrapbook) Others quickly learned the work-Miss Mary Black included it in her program at Chickering Hall on December 18, 1894.

A short article that was probably a “filler” appeared in a California newspaper early in 1894, having been originated by the Boston Herald. With a heading of “Young Women Composers,” it began: “Two charming and talented young women composers who are making their mark are Helen Hood and Margaret Ruthven Lang. Both of whom have for some years been known as writers of songs of far above musical qualities.” The article then notes their New England connections and finishes with: “It is not a little remarkable that both of these talented girls, whose gifts bear so close a resemblance to each other, can look back not only to a New England ancestry, but to ancestors whose lives touched closely in the same little Massachusetts town of Lynnfield three-quarters of a century ago, and it is not uninteresting to note that the first musical instruction which the grandfather of Margaret Lang received was given to him by the grandfather of Helen Hood.” (Riverside Daily Press, Riverside, CA (February 9, 1894): 1, GB) Another interesting connection with Lynnfield is that some sources state that B. J.’s first organ position was in a small church in Lynnfield-is it possible that Helen Hood’s grandfather had something to do with this?

The piano suite, Petit Roman was also part of a June concert given in Worcester, MA at the “pretty studio of Mrs. Carrie King Hunt [which] was the scene of one of the most delightful entertainments that has been heard in Worcester for very many days.” The society writer gave the full story of the sections of the piece which she probably took from the program book or copied quickly from the performer’s score. She began: “This tells a story-a medieval kind of tale in six chapters, each written in an appropriate and peculiar tempo. The first tells how the chevalier goes to call upon the princess and makes love.” (Worcester Daily Spy (June 20, 1895): 1, GB) No need for five more chapters in this version. In the program notes of the recent CD recording, it reads: “The first piece tells of the knight’s initial visit to the princess, during which he ”speaks of love.”” (Delos DE 3433, notes by Lindsay Koob) Mrs. Hunt learned the piece at the request of B. J. with whom she had been studying for the past year. (Spy, Op. cit.)

In 1895 The Cecilia performed Love Plumes His Wings at the January 16 and 17 concerts while at the Apollo Club concert of May 8, 1895 Margaret’s Boatman’s Hymn was heard. This piece had been first performed by the club in January 1893, and for this second appearance, Apthorp in the Transcript wrote: Miss Lang’s Boatman’s Hymn shows all the young composer’s habitual poetry of feeling and imaginative coloring; from a purely musical point of view, too, it shows itself as one of the best things she has done in this line.” (Scrapbook)

Not all critics were as favorable. Philip Hale in the Musical Courier of January 23, 1895 wrote- “I confess I am amazed at the daring of Mrs. Richard Blackmore Jr. who will give a song recital in a fortnight. She will sing songs by Bizet, Massenet, Cornelius, Mozart, Mascagni, and others; but, mirabile dictu, she announces no song by Miss Lang or Mr. Clayton Jones. You should live here to fully realize the courage of this singer.” (Scrapbook-review destroyed, but written in pen on the scrapbook page.) This attitude had been reflected earlier in the month by Hale’s review in the Journal of January 16, 1895 commenting on Lena Little’s performance of the Norman Songs, Opus 19. “Miss Lang’s songs seemed all of a familiar piece, with the exception of The Grief of Love, which has stuff in it. She is too fertile. She is young and art is long. Why be in such a hurry, even though singers and publishers knock at the door. Study and write, Miss Lang, for you have talent. But practice the Horatian maxim. You will find it in ”The Art of Poetry.” “However the reviewer in the Transcript wrote: “The group of songs by Miss Lang contain much that is charming, and are admirably effective for the singer; there are much vitality and poetry of sentiment in them too. Miss Lang is beginning to show more and more of distinct individuality in her writing, in spite of a sometimes treacherous memory which at moments leads her to make use of material not entirely her own. But she recasts it in her own mold, and the writing bears her stamp. Miss Little sang the songs capitally.”(Scrapbook) The Herald did not mention the Norman Songs by title, but did say that “the songs by Miss Lang seemed far more congenial to the conceptive intuitions of the artist, and were very creditably interpreted.” Miss Little’s performance was part of a series of concerts organized by Mr. Arthur Whiting. (Herald (January 16, 1895): 4, GB)

MISSING PIECES.

In 1893 Frances writes in her Diary: “Maidie is writing out a Fugue she has just composed.” (Diary 2, Summer 1893) At the “Ladies’ Musical Club” on Saturday, April 25, 1895, Mrs. Emma K. Von Seggern performed two pieces for violin, Andante and Allegro Moderato. (Scrapbook 1887-1906) Another missing piece is the song, She Is False that was presented at the Cambridge Art Conference, October 31, 1897. An article (c. 1895) in the Winchester Star (MA) mentioned that at a “Women Composers” program presented to the Fortnightly Club, “One of the best numbers of the programme was an unpublished Andante for violin and piano composed by Miss Margaret Ruthven Lang, daughter of Mr. B. J. Lang of Boston, and loaned to Mrs. Bryant in manuscript.” Possibly this is the same andante that was performed above. Margaret “completed a Mass, which was performed at least once at King’s Chapel under the direction of B. J. Lang in November 1898.” (Baer, 28 and 29)

IRISH LOVE SONG.

1895 saw the publishing of Margaret’s most successful song-Irish Love Song, Op. 22. The song was sung and recorded by the very best singers of its day. The first recording was in 1908 by Ernestine Schumann-Heink followed by Dan Beddoe a year later. Both Alma Gluck and Mary Garden recorded the song c. 1912 while Richard Crooks’ in 1924 was possibly his first record! An article in the Detroit News said: “These American ditties have a charm all their own when sung by Schumann-Heink, with her explosive Germanized dentals and her z-ified final s’s. It was droll, but pleasant still, to hear the German-American version of Margaret Lang’s Irish Love Song with ”Ma – foor – r -r- neen” trolling from the singer’s tongue.” (Scrapbook 1887-1907) “Musically, Lang’s Irish Love Song is set in the simple style of most popular songs. Though it has no refrain, it consists of three verses set strophically. It is quite short, 34 measures in total, but because it is strophic there are actually only 14 measures of music. The phrases are symmetrical and balanced, with essentially two four-bar melodic phrases. The range of the vocal line is essentially an octave. The accompaniment is simple and doubles the vocal line. As in most popular song, the melodic line stands out as the most important musical feature. It is, of course, a love song and, like the popular type, has an intense emotional content. A song of longing, the musical climaxes come at the end of each verse as the melody rises to the last statement of ‘Mavourneen,’ as in mm. 11-12 (‘Mavourneen’ is an Irish Gaelic word meaning ‘my darling’). The climactic drive is to the end of each phrase and ultimately the end of the song, thus emphasizing not only the longing of the thematic content but the heightened emotional state.” (Blunsom, 210) Cipolla noted that “the total U. S. press run for Margaret Ruthven Lang’s Irish Love Song was 120,835 copies, almost 20,000 copies more than for MacDowell’s best-loved song, The Beaming Eyes.”(Cipolla, 91)

Mrs. Crosby Adams reported in 1896 that Margaret found it difficult to work at home without interruption, so she rented a room near her home to use as a studio. It held a shelf full of rejected manuscripts. The Musical Courier reported that this room was at 90 Pinckney Street, just around the corner and three blocks away from the family home at 8 Brimmer Street. (Musical Courier, January 1895) During this time she also went to see various members of the BSO to discuss the capabilities of their instruments so that she might write better for them. The Musical Courier article of January 1895 had reported “Miss Lang spends the morning until one o’clock in work and study, having a studio where no one can interrupt her.” Frances noted: “Maidie has engaged a room at 90 Pinckney St. at $2.50 per week where she can work.” (Diary 2, Fall 1893)

In 1939, out of the blue Margaret received a letter from Irving Berlin Inc. “with regard to your renewal rights to your song.” The song listed was An Irish Mother’s Lullaby, not an Irish Love Song. The letter continues with copyright information in Europe and America, and then becomes rather self-righteous about how other publishers try to steal songs at the renewal point and how their company never does this. However, the next paragraph begins: “We are interested in acquiring your renewal copyright.” They do acknowledge the original publisher’s rights, but push for their company. “The prestige, character and reputation of our firm…are well known.” Margaret forwarded this letter to Schmidt who replied: “As the renewals on the various numbers become due we make the necessary entries at Washington in your name.” Margaret then forwarded the Schmidt letter to Irwing Berlin Inc. and nothing more was heard of the matter. This does speak to the continued popularity of even a less well-known song by Margaret, even just before 1940.

                                                                                     Below: 90 Pinckney Street.

January 29, 1896 saw a performance of the piano Rhapsody at the Rhode Island Women’s Club while on February 5th. at the Matinee Musicale of Indianapolis Indiana, Ghosts was sung by Miss Schrader, and the Maiden and the Butterfly was performed by four solo voices and piano. (Scrapbook) At the February 12, 1896 concert of the Cecilia, Mrs. Jeannie Crocker Follett performed the Irish Love Song, and at their April 29 and 30, 1896 concerts In a Garden was sung by Mrs. Alice Bates Rice.  Margaret also served as a translator; at the March 19, 1896 concert of The Cecilia, The Shepherds Decked Him For the Dance (scene from Goethe’s Faust) by Moszkowski was presented as translated by Margaret. As part of the 25th. Anniversary Concert of the Apollo Club on May 6, 1896, Mrs. A. Sophia Marlee sang Betrayed. By 1896 Margaret’s songs were well enough known and thought of that Ghosts, first published in 1889, was included in the January 1896 issue of Godey’s Magazine, the monthly women’s publication. (Cook, 175) For the Third Concert of Miss Orvis’s “Five Concerts for Young People” presented in Chickering Hall on Saturday morning, December 1, 1896, B. J. played Margaret’s Petit Roman sur le Piano en Six Chapitres: also included was her Six Nonsense Rhymes. At the May 7, 1897 concert of The Cecilia Bonnie Run the Burnie Down was programmed. For the January 25 and 26, 1899 concerts of The Cecilia, Love Blumes His Wings for women’s voices and The King Is Dead were performed.

A MISSING SYMPHONY?

An article in the Globe of March 15, 1896 with the headline “Tuneful Minds” was an interview with Margaret Lang and Mrs. H. H. A. Beach. Lang was asked how she composed a piece. “Little songs and smaller compositions generally take definite and permanent shape in my mind before I touch my pencil. In greater works, I often find it necessary to deviate somewhat from my original idea when it comes to the actual scoring.” The reporter asked what part the piano had in composing. “I think very few composers work at the piano, and often the idea is as spontaneous as a smile or a sigh. I remember once when MacDowell was staying with us, he suddenly learned that it was the anniversary of my mother’s wedding day. He immediately turned to me and said: ‘Let us play them a triumphal march at dinner,’ and, seating himself at the desk, wrote out in about ten minutes a march that had all the fire, color, balance and poise of a work of art. We played it at dinner to the great delight of the family.” (Globe (March 15, 1896): 31) In the same article Lang was asked how often she changed a piece after hearing it, and in her answer reference is made to her SYMPHONY. “I have an absurd prejudice against working a composition over which I have once considered finished…After the Boston orchestra rehearsed my symphony for the first time, the conductor requested me to make a considerable cut in one of the movements. Very much against my wishes, I did so,” and after the concert one of the violinists in the orchestra told her that she should not have allowed the cut. “I knew how true this was, and if I had been a little older, I should have refused to submit to the cutting process, even if it meant the withdrawing of the symphony.” (Op. cit.) The first paragraphs of the article had all been about Margaret Lang, and the next paragraph after the quote cited above began with: “The reporter next called on Mrs. H. A. Beach,” and he asked the same general questions of Mrs. Beach as he had asked of Miss Lang. (Op. cit.) therefore, one would assume that the reporter got his notes confused, mingly some of his notes about Beach with those of Lang. Is there any other explanation? But, Beach’s Gaelic Symphony was not premiered until October of 1896, and this article was from March 1896 and so the story about allowing the cut and having an orchestra player mention it after the concert can not apply. Lang’s Dramatic Overture had been premiered by the BSO on April 7, 1893, Nikisch conducting, but I know of no references to that work having been cut. Also, she mentioned “symphony” twice and also said “one of the movements.” therefore, it would not seem that the work being spoken about was not the Dramatic Overture. We are left with a mystery!

THREE CONCERT ARIAS.

Three concert arias were composed in the mid-1890s. The first, Sappho’s Prayer to Aphrodite for contralto was performed in New York on October 24, 1895  at a concert by the Manuscript Society at Chickering Hall on October 24, 1895.  Miss Zora G. Horlocker was the soloist and Adolph Neuendorff the conductor of an orchestra of fifty men. The Herald began: “Miss Zora G. Horlocker, who is gifted with a rich alto voice sang “Margaret’s composition. “The orchestra overpowered the singer. The composition was uninteresting.” However, the review had begun with “several [works] deserving of high praise, none of them without merit.” (Herald (October 25, 1895); 7, GB) A review by Reginald de Koven said “ It was a pity that Miss Lang wrote her song ‘Sappho’ for a contralto voice and scored it for a soprano, for on this account it was ineffective.” The review continued that the soloist was “submerged in the orchestra wave. And yet the song is written in a musicianly way, and has color and both poetic and dramatic feelings.” The New York Times review of October 25, 1895 commended her, and suggested that she fell short as she used Sir Edwin Arnold’s translation rather than John Addington Symonds, “and even that falls far short of the original, which’s simply majestic.” The review ended by saying that the piece was badly sung! it would seem that the piano reduction was destroyed along with the orchestral parts! (Scrapbook)                                                        Soon after, on January 29, 1896, it was sung by Mrs. H. E. Sawyer at a concert at 265 Beacon Street where the accompanist was Arthur Foote; it would seem that the piano reduction was also destroyed along with the full score and parts. A Musical Courier article of January 1895 said that this piece had been written for Lena Little who had done earlier songs by Margaret [i.e. Norman Songs] (Scrapbook). She sang the piece at the “Concert in Aid of the Free Hospital for Women” on March 26th. at 104 Beacon Street.

The BSO performed the second aria, Armida for soprano on January 13, 1896 with Gertrude Franklin as the soloist and Emil Paur conducting. Elson felt that this was “made from aversion that deals rather too freely with Tasso. The setting is by no means as dramatic as its poetic subject, and the composer seems to have missed the majestic power of the great death-scene.” Margaret also wrote a third aria for baritone which was entitled Phoebus’ Denunciation of the Furies At His Delphian Shrine.

Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archive.

Also on the program were:

Tchaikovsky-Symphony #6

Bruch-Fantasia on Scotch folk-melodies, for Violin, Opus 46

Berlioz-Corsair Overture, Opus 21 (to end the concert)

The order of the concert was: Tchaikovsky, Bruch, Lang, and Berlioz. This was the first time for Lang and Berlioz. Margaret’s composition was listed as Opus 24 and called a Concert Aria. Miss Franklin had an ad in the program book as a soprano soloist and vocal instructor at 149A Tremont Street. Miss Franklin seems to have been a favorite BSO soloist, appearing eight times during the first fifteen seasons – she sang under Henschel, Gericke, Nikisch and Paur. The previous December Frances had written in her Diary: “Maidie has shortened her Armida aria, which Miss Franklin will sing in January.” (Diary 2, Fall 1895)

The review in the Gazette said: “Miss Lang’s concert aria is, in a sense, creditable to the young composer; it is scored with taste and knowledge. There is no trace of the old masters in the work, which is modern in idea and treatment, and hints that Miss Lang is an earnest and enthusiastic student of Wagner. She has entirely misunderstood the portion of the poem she set to music, and no skill in orchestration will hide the paucity of ideas. The cleverness is misplaced, and it is a pity that so much good work should be wasted on a subject in which there is not a trace of imagination or any of the qualities that go to the making of an enduring work of art. Miss Lang is clever, but it is impossible for even genius to say anything when it has nothing to say.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

The Journal review by Philip Hale said: “The chief trouble with Miss Lang’s concert aria is that while it deals with a dramatic subject, the thing itself is undramatic. Even in the orchestral accompaniment, which recalls the remark of Saint-Saens that when women write for orchestra they wish to prove their masculine mind by being noisier then men, there is no genuine dramatic feeling or accentuation of the text. There is neither a pivotal point nor a climax.  Miss Lang took her verses from Tasso, but it seems, that poor Whiffen’s English translation was at times too ‘anti-musical.’ Miss Lang substituted then her own prose, and the singer was obliged last evening to declaim such intensely musical phrases as ‘persecution’s thrall’ and ‘great Chieftain.’ Inasmuch as this aria is without a point, without climax, without dramatic declamation, without appealing melody, I wonder at the causes that led Mr. Paur to welcome it to a Symphony concert in the Music hall. Miss Franklin displayed the purity of her voice and art; in other words, she made as much out of the aria as was in all possible. The audience appreciated her earnestness and her art and she was loudly applauded.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

The review in the Standard said: “Miss Franklin gave Miss Lang’s concert aria, and did the best she could with it. She was in excellent voice, but the orchestration was so vigorous that it at times destroyed the effect of what would otherwise have been a very enjoyable number. It cannot be said that the aria was musically strong.  Miss Franklin’s efforts were rewarded with liberal applause, and she was twice recalled. ” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

Another review took a more positive view: “Miss Lang’s new aria is a work to be considered very seriously. Without being in the least French in feeling, it is very much in the contemporary French dramatic style-a style in which, if the truth be told, we personally are just beginning to find our bearings. It seemed to us that, in her setting of this excerpt from Tasso’s ‘Gerusalemme liberata,’ Miss Lang had struck a very true note of dramatic musical expression; more so perhaps in the arioso portions than in the passages of recitative. Much of the melodic writing is very broad and noble, and the whole treatment of the orchestra admirable; it shows that Miss Lang appreciates well what the true gist of “modern orchestration” is, and that it means something far finer and more subtle than the mere massing together of numerous instruments. Miss Franklin sang the aria with devotion and sincerity; it seemed to us that the composition was conceived for a heavier voice and a larger, more heroic style of singing. But it is ill quarreling with an artist’s physique; let it be enough to say that Miss Franklin sang like an artist.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

Louis C. Elson in the Advertiser said: “Miss Lang’s new concert aria is by no means great enough for its subject, in spite of an easy leading of the parts, a fluency of orchestration. There is a lack of dramatic power in the work, certainly an absence of what sustained breadth which one might demand in a great aria. There were impressive moments but not an impressive whole. The beginning was striking enough and the monotony of sorrow which followed was at least permissible; there was a degree of melody at “Ask me no more” which was enhanced by the skill displayed in the imitations of the vocal part upon the violoncello, and there was enough of dissonance to satisfy the musical radicals; but sustained dramatic power there was not, and the great scene from Torquato Tasso’s ‘Jerusalem Delivered’ demands as mighty treatment as the abandonment of Dido (which it in some degree resembles) and the burning of the palace and the rushing to death in combat cannot be portrayed even by the most respectable music, for true dramatic instinct is here imperative. Of the queer alterations in the words, the contrast of earnest poetry and prose sentimentality we prefer not to speak. It must be added that Miss Lang’s work was placed in a position that would try any composer; it came after the most expressive and dramatic symphony of the modern repertoire and a most warlike and heroic fantasie, and it was followed by a very fiery overture. It is quite possible that heard with less trying surroundings, the work would make a more favorable impression.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

The Herald reviewer wrote: “The concert aria by Miss Lang is the most ambitious effort that the composer has placed before the public. While the composition is not without force and vigor, it is musically uninteresting and unimpressive by reason of the absence of any discoverable central point on which the whole should pivot. It is mainly florid recitative, interrupted once or twice by a brief moment of forced melody, but it all leads to nowhere in particular, and wanders about wildly and vaguely. It is carefully made, and the instrumentation is clever and effective in its way, but, as a rule, it is overheavy for the voice and frequently obliterates it by solid masses of tone that it piles up against it, especially, and, curiously enough, when the vocal part is written in the weaker of the middle register. Miss Lang will do better when she has outgrown the familiar propensity of the young musician to give way to the temptation of overloading a score. ” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) This was possibly written by Benjamin Woolf.

Another reviewer took the position that “The Armida aria, by Margaret Ruthven Lang, is not likely to become very popular. The scoring is rather elaborate, and in certain portions is dramatically effective, but there is much monotonous repetition on heavy, colorless themes.”

The reviewer of the Globe said: “The ‘eterna femina’ is so rare in her incursions upon the realms of music that a warm welcome was all in readiness for Margaret Ruthven Lang, whose new Armida aria was sung by Miss Gertrude Franklin.  The orchestration is clean-cut, and once or twice rises to real dramatic force. Such ability as she certainly has will someday bear fruit of rarer sort. Miss Franklin did all that was possible with the aria, and almost raised its dry recitative to the point of interest.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

However, Thomas Ryan in a letter to the Transcript printed January 13, 1896 wrote: “I think that every good musician who heard the concert aria entitled Armida by Miss Lang, at the last Symphony Concert, will agree with me that she has by that composition done the extraordinary. I can find no other word but that to fit the act. When listening to it last Friday afternoon, I had no programme. I did not know the words. I simply listened to the music, and it was my first hearing of any composition by the young lady, though I had often heard of her ability. I was delighted with the music from the beginning to the end. Its noble introduction and recitative was so elevated in style and character-and the cantabile part, from about the middle of the piece to the end, so perfectly beautiful and melodious-that I must confess to being deeply affected by it. I could not help saying to myself:‘Just listen to that lovely, warm melody-that perfect-sounding orchestration-it is quite astonishing.’  I deem it a pleasure as well as a duty to encourage the composer by public praise.  And certainly, gallantry will help me to do homage to the ‘coming woman’ of genuine musical talent, our Boston girl, Miss Margaret Ruthven Lang.” (Scrapbook)

Phoebus’ Denunciation of the Furies at His Delphian Shrine for baritone was the third concert aria. No information has been found about this piece.

CHAMINADE OF AMERICA.

An article in a paper from Philadelphia dated December 26, 1897 began by calling Margaret “The Chaminade of America,” and described her as “an attractive and educated young woman [who] has already attained a position which puts her among the four leading women composers of the time, they being Holmes and Chaminade of Paris, Mrs. Beach and Miss Lang of Boston…In appearance Miss Lang is slight and rather under medium height, but bears a very intelligent forehead, well rounded by thought, and her eye discloses a dream of imagination which reflects the gentle tenderness with which she treats the greater number of her compositions. She is at present engaged in the preparation of several important works, the performance of which in the near future will gain her much additional and well-deserved fame.” (Scrapbook 1887-1906)

PERFORMANCES c. 1899.

Performances around the end of the century included Mrs. Stella Hadde-Alexander playing the Rhapsody on Wednesday, January 4, 1899 at the Transportation Club (of NYC?) On Wednesday, November 20, 1901, during the 12th. season of the “National Arts Club” (of Washington, DC?) the tenor Mr. Hobart Smock sang Orpheus. During the spring of 1903 Mavourneen and The Garden of Roses were sung by the soprano Mrs. Wardwell at the Carnegie Chamber Music Hall; while on Monday, March 28, 1904 at the Siegel-Cooper Auditorium the Irish Love Song was sung by the baritone Mr. John Perry Boruff.

In 1899 Ryan stated that Margaret had “attained a position which places her among the four foremost female composers of the world, the other three being Chaminade and Holmes of Paris and Mrs. Beach of Boston.” (Ryan,  86) Her orchestral Ballade in D minor, Opus 36 won much success at its premiere in the concert entitled “Women in Music Grand Concert” given by the Baltimore Symphony March 14, 1901. (New Grove, 2001)

Frances wrote: “Maidie has shown me a piano composition she has just finished which I like very much.” (Diary 2, Summer 1900) Possibly this was the Rhapsody in E minor that Miss Alice Coleman performed at Chickering Hall on February 19, 1901. On Easter Eve and Easter Day services at the Church of the Advent, the Te Deum in E flat major was sung. Frances proudly noted in her Diary: “Maidie’s Te Deum is to be sung at the Advent tomorrow.” (Diary 2, Spring 1901) November 20, 1901 saw the performance of Orpheus sung by Mr. Hobart Smock at the first meeting of the 12th. Season (1901-1902) of the Manuscript Society of New York, which was held at the National Arts Club. A singing teacher presented a recital where seven of her pupils each sang a different Lang song after an introductory “paper on the life and compositions of Margaret Ruthven Lang, the sweet songwriter” was presented by the teacher. Well-known songs were mixed with less well-known: Arcadie, I Knew the Flowers That Dreamed of You, Out of the Past, Hills O’Skye, Irish Love song, Northward Bound and A Thought were performed. (Times of Richmond, Virginia (December 16, 1902): 4, GB)

Frances makes note of a very interesting bit of history concerning concert performances. The question is if this concert included material by Margaret. “Maidie and Lel have gone to Buffalo…Letter from Maidie in Buffalo says that there were 3000 in the audience at the concert.” (Diary 2, Summer 1901) But, certainly Margaret’s pieces must have been included; why would both father and daughter have made the trip? Now, what was the occasion, and what were the compositions?

“Mrs. S. B. Field had a large and representative audience at the first of her three musicales, which she gave on Monday morning in the ballroom of the Somerset…Miss Alice Robbins Cole, contralto, was in splendid voice and looked charming in a white silk bodice, done in black velvet ribbons, and wore a large picture hat.” The article continued with a nineteen line list of important people who attended which included the wife of the BSO conductor, Mrs. Wilhelm Gericke, and “Mrs. B. J. Lang and her daughter Miss Rosamond Lang (whose sister, Miss Margaret Ruthven Lang, by the way, was among the composers represented on the program in Miss Cole’s list of songs).” (Boston Journal (March 8, 1903): 7, GB) Where was Margaret herself?

Margaret’s main publisher, Arthur Schmidt, publisher of a  house magazine called the Musical World. This was monthly that included articles, reviews and usually five pieces of music, each for a different type of performer. The vocal solo composition for the August 1903 issue was An Irish Mother’s Lullaby which had just been published in 1900.

An article in the Saturday, January 16, 1904 issue of the Boston Evening News” entitled “ Boston’s Women Composers Take High Rank” began “Hers is a striking individuality and soon after talking with her one decides that Miss Lang is not quite like anyone else that one has ever met before. She has an original way of expressing herself, she is frank, sincere, yet very reserved, and {yet} there is a broad undercurrent of sympathy which makes one feel that she divines your intentions and thought.” The interviewer then asked her opinion of the state of music-“Music is decidedly on the wing in America. At the theaters, the best music is beginning to be appreciated.” Margaret then mentioned her dog “Mr. Dooley” whom she had trained to play the piano. “At dinner every night when the finger-bowls are brought on the table, ‘Mr. Dooley’ runs to the piano in the library or up to the music room and plays, then runs back again for his reward-a cracker. If I had space I would like to own sixty dogs…Cats I do not care so much for.”Bowler“Bowler,” a beloved pet, painted c. 1895 by Margaret’s “very dear and close friend Catherine A. Codman, a well known artist. Photo by Justin Reinking.   Bowler was still alive when this was painted in 1895, and there are several brief entries about him in the excerpts done by Rosamond Lang Galacar (MRL’s younger sister) from their mother Frances Morse Burrage Lang’s diaries. These excerpts include much fascinating family history including a few anecdotes about Bowler. Bowler’s eyes follow you when you walk past the picture.” Collection of Fletcher DuBois.

FRANCES’ STAND. “OPPOSING ELECTROCUTION.”

The Massachusetts Anti-Capital Punishment League had submitted petitions in opposition to death by the electric chair in previous years to the legislature, and this was done again in 1904. Frances signed the petition that year and her name joined those of two ex-Governors, many judges, many clergy, and many prominent people. This was but one of many events/causes that she supported. (Herald (January 19, 1904): 11)

 BRIMMER STREET HOUSE DESCRIBED.

One article described the house: “The rows upon rows of books in the library were chiefly titled about music. There were pictures of Beethoven and other great musicians, hung about. Upstairs in the music room is a piano which belonged to Mendelssohn, which to Miss Lang of course is invaluable.” The section on Margaret ended with-“I am sorry not to tell you a great deal about myself. I like to read about others, but when it comes to me I get selfish and become a pig or a turtle though I do not want to appear picknickity, odd, or eccentric.” A later (1911) description of the house mentioned that “the reception room on the ground floor is a cozy study, lined with books. The bound volumes of the Century and of the Symphony programs crowding a heterogeneous mass of great music masters. Portraits of Mr. Lang abound on the walls and one of Lincoln reminds those who knew of the musician’s love for a great man. Open on the piano are Granville Bantock’s Jester songs and the score of the Girl of the Golden West. These things are a reminder of how this house with its story of musical Boston during its splendid period of progress, written in a hundred ways-in photographs, letters, records, collected programs and heaped piles of music-is yet a radiating center for the most modern thinking in music. No home in this country has more associations with the best and most honored and honorable past of music, with artists whose very name epitomizes all there is of the most conservative, most of an ancient regime, composition that stands on the white heights of classic art and faithful adherence everywhere to noble models; and yet no home in the world today speaks more for the progress or gives, in its mental outlook, on fresher woods and newer pastures for composer and artist alike.” (Christian Science Monitor ( March 25, 1911): 3). At the bottom of the article is a photo of the summer home in New Boston showing the house and the music shed by the river.  A third article mentions: “In the little reception-room where ‘Bowler’ [Margaret’s dog] growls a salutation…the master greets you. How many great ones have been welcomed! Memorials of them cover its walls…Upstairs the grand piano is, of course, the special feature of the connecting drawing-rooms, though there are pianos all over the place almost, except in the billiard-room in the upper story. Here the pleasant Sunday afternoons [Open Houses] are held, where so informally and delightfully such good music is interspersed with such good talk.” (Gould Archival Book, HMA)

MARGARET CONTACTS HER PUBLISHER ABOUT HER ROYALTIES.

Margaret was of course aware of her success and all these performances. She “diligently tracked the public consumption of her songs, gathering data with which she could measure their commercial successes, as revealed in a letter to Schmidt of March 16, 1905:

I have been feeling considerable wonder this winter, concerning the irregularity of my songs which-to judge by programmes of private & public performances-must have had moderate success. For instance-Tryste Noel which has been sung considerably in church and in recitals-has apparently retired-having brought no returns since Feb. ’03, & since its publication in 1902-only on 290 copies.                            Of the set of four songs op. 40-published in the late winter of 1904-a year ago, three of which have had considerable use in public performance-there have been no returns on any of these at any time since their publication, except on Day is Gone which brought returns immediately (in May ’04) on 215 copies-but nothing since then; & yet it has been sung in various places of the U.S.                                       Whereas the Song of the Lilac op. 41 (which has only just appeared) & has been sung less often in public, is more difficult & less pleasing, has brought already returns on twice as many copies, in a fourth less time.                                                                                                                      Perhaps these facts have surprised you as they have me; or can you account for it?                                                                                                                  I am especially struck by the comparison between the Song of the Lilac (new) & the comparatively popular Tryste Noel & Day is Gone.” (Copy of the letter provided by Fletcher DuBois.)

The situation eventually improved. Two royalty statements exist for 1924 and 1915 concerning the same song and the same edition. The song was the Medium Edition of An Irish Love Song which had sold 1,777 copies for the year ending 12/20/ 1924 paying her $88.85 at the standard rate of five cents per copy. A year later she received a statement dated 12/21/1925 for the same song, same edition reporting 1,015 copies sold during those twelve months creating a royalty of $50.75. In today’s money (2020) the first payment would be worth $1,352.95 and the second, $755.13. This was for one edition of one song-the popular songs were done in “high,” “medium,” and “low, and at this point, Margaret was receiving royalties on c. 130 songs-plus the choral works and piano works. Someone at her publisher, Arthur P. Schmidt recorded sales over a twenty-year period of a song that sold well-Tryste Noel. The “low” edition had sold 7134 copies, the “medium” 5567, and the “high” 7133, for a total of 19,834 copies. At the rate of five cents, her total royalty was $991.17 or $15,092.91 in 2020. Not a huge amount, but these were art songs, not popular ballads. They were sung by the important artists of the time: Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Alma Gluck, Mary Garden, Dan Beddoe, Richard Crooks and many others known well enough to have Victor, Columbia or Edison record them. In all, 20 recordings were made between 1907 and 1924, 19 out of 20 being of the Irish Love Song. (DAHR List-see Discography) Other royalty fees are listed in Addendum Two.

MORE MRL SONG PERFORMANCES.

Another All-Lang recital was given on April 28, 1904 at the home of Mrs. Josiah Millet’s at 150 Charles Street, Boston for which Margaret served as the accompanist.

The Hills o’ Skye, An Irish Mother’s Lullaby, The Sea Sobs Low (Ms.), The Dead Ship                                                                                                        Miss Lucie Tucker

The Bird, Song in the Songless, Arcadie, Day is Gone          Mrs. Alice Bates Rice

Tryste Noel, Summer Noon, Chinese Song, A Thought                     Miss Tucker

Somewhere, A Song of May, The Lilac (Ms.), Love is Everywhere     Mrs. Rice

Mrs. Bertha Cushing Child and Miss Edith Chapman gave another all-Lang recital on August 26, 1905 at “The Ark.”

A note to Margaret dated February 26, 1906 from Philip Hale shows a different attitude from that which he had expressed in his January 23, 1895 Musical Courier column.

Dear Miss Lang,

I was very sorry not to hear your songs, but Monday and Tuesday are disgustingly busy days with me. I hear that the songs were beautiful and original and the Nonsense Songs very clever; that Miss Chapman – whom I have never heard – sang well. I should like to have been able to congratulate you personally.

Yours very truly,

Philip Hale

This refers to a concert given at Mr. Lang’s Studio, 6 Newbury Street on February 26, 1906 by Miss Edith Chapman. The program was:

The Bird, Song in the Songless, Day is Gone, The Lilac, Somewhere, Poplar Leaves – (ms.), A Thought Song of the Spanish Gypsies – (ms.).

Intermission.____Lear Nonsense Songs: The Man Who Said “well,” The Young Lady of Lucca, The Lady of Parma – (ms.), The Person of Cassel, 

The Young Lady in White – (ms.), The Bee, The Man Who Said “Hush!” The Man With a Gong, The Lady of Riga – (Anon) (Scrapbook)

At the February 22, 1906 meeting of the Rossini Club of Portland Maine, Mrs. Morong sang Seven Nonsense Songs while at their March 15th. meeting/concert Miss Johnston sang The Hills O’ Skye. The April 2nd. and 10th. concerts by the Wellesley Hills Glee Club included Margaret’s cantata The Lonely Rose with Miss Sanborn as the soloist. April 1906 also saw Mabel L. Hastings including Lang material in her recital in Florence, Italy to benefit “Missione Medica”-the accompanist was Alberto Bimboni. May 1st. saw Mrs. Mary Montgomery Brackett include Poplar Leaves (ms.) at her 18 Saint Botolph Street studio recital-the singer sent Margaret a note saying that several people said it was “the gem of the program.” (Scrapbook)

The February ? 1907 issue of the Musical Courier reported that Margaret was suffering from a serious illness. The same column mentioned that Malcolm was to play on February at his studio a concert including Debussy’s Prelude in A-L’ Apres midi d’un Faune arranged for piano by Margaret. He also included this piece in his Concord Lyceum concert on December 18, 1907. This interest in French music reflects that of her father. At the Waltham Woman’s Club Music Lecture-Recital on March 8, 1907 her Meditation, Opus 26 was performed, and on April 7th the Vesper Service at the Church of the New Jerusalem on Bowdoin Street opened with Praise the Lord O My Soul, called an Antiphonal Anthem for Male Quartette and Chorus-a work that had just been published in 1905. [Was it published?]

MargaretRLangElson (1909), 296, and as late as in a newspaper in 1911.

The year 1908 included a number of different Lang performances. On January 13th. The Concord Woman’s Club presented Mrs. Edith Chapman Gould, accompanied by B. J. in a program, which ended with nine Nonsense Songs-the words for all nine were printed in the program. B. J. also included his own Spinning Song between two Chopin pieces, the Nocturne in C minor and the Scherzo in D flat major. The Tuesday Club concert on January 21st. was all-Lang- songs and piano pieces. On February 19th. Stephen Townsend included The Sea Sobs Low and Spring in his recital at Steinert Hall-this first song, also performed from manuscript in 1904, may not have ever been published. On March 8th. The Thursday Morning Musical Club sang at their Scholarship Concert in Jordan Hall NEC The Lonely Rose, Opus 43. The soprano soloist was Mrs. Marguerite Dietrick Quincy, and a note in the program said that this piece had been written for the club. The Cecilia performed Love Plumes His Wings, Opus 15 for women’s voices on March 31st., and a note in the program mentioned that this piece had been first published in 1892. John Philip Sousa’s sixty-five piece band included Irish Love Song, soloist Miss Lucy Allen, in their October 9th. concert “Devoted to Boston Composers.” Miss Katharine Foote [Arthur Foote’s daughter] sang The Bird at Chickering Hall on November 17, accompanied by Alfred DeVoto. (Scrapbook) Alfred DeVoto was also the accompanist for Mary Desmond “The English Contralto” who included My Turtle Dove and Summer Noon at her Steinert Hall recital. The year ended with a December 7, 1908 letter from the Manager of the “Bijou Dream” [a theater] which told Margaret that three of her Nonsense Songs would be sung on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons of that week.  There was a Person of Filey, The Old Man in the Kettle, and The Old Man Who Said ”well” were sung three times each afternoon at c. 2:45, 4:10, and 5:20. Margaret had loaned three slides for use during the songs. (Scrapbook)

In 1908 Arthur Elson, son of the critic Louis Elson, was to write that Margaret was “another of Boston’s gifted musical women…Miss Lang has published a number of successful part-songs for men’s, women’s, and mixed voices…her piano music is also excellent.”He then goes on to ask: “Who is the greatest woman composer? It is hard to say, for not all have worked in the same direction. In our country, Mrs. Beach holds the foremost position at present, with Miss Lang a good second.” (Elson, A., 202 and 239) A short filler piece had appeared late in 1905 in such varied papers as the Evening Post of Charleston, SC and the Tampa Tribune of Tampa, Florida. “Malcolm Burrage Lang, who wrote the new Harvard song, has a sister, Margaret Ruthven Lang, who is one of the two foremost women composers of the United States today. Her Dramatic Overture [sic] has been played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Thomas Orchestra.” (Evening Post (December 15, 1908): 7, GB)

Late in March of 1908, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Goodrich of “Carvel Court” presented a concert that included pieces by 27(!) women composers. Mr. Goodrich was the pianist and he also gave short introductions to each piece. Margaret’s Rhapsody was included in the program. “The guests were highly pleased by this novel recital.” (The Musical Courier, March 28, 18)

In 1909 she joined St. Cecilia and seven other women composers who were

well known at that time, on the cover of Etude magazine. With its national distribution, Etude was THE music magazine of its time. There were 20 different articles in this issue, none about any of the specific composers pictured on the cover. Instead, the titles covered general topics (except for an interview of Edward Grieg on Liszt’s piano playing!). In fact, looking at these general titles, I would suspect that you would not find any of the composers pictured mentioned at all, or, at least, in any depth.

The February 17, 1909 concert of the Apollo Club, then conducted by Emil Mollenhauer, included some of her Nonsense Songs that inspired the Treasurer of the choir, Thomas H. Hall to compose a special invitation to Margaret to attend this concert:

“Two Apollo men jogging along,                                                                                 After singing The Man With a Gong,                                                                              Said ‘Miss Lang must hear us,                                                                                         For she surely will cheer us,’                                                                                           And they hoped she would be in the throng.”

He finished his note by saying “for I know you will laugh and laugh and laugh again.”(Scrapbook) At this concert, there were forty-three tenors and thirty-six basses with only one original member left, George C. Wiswell. In another Lang gesture, the concert ended with a piece that B. J. had programmed so often, the Double Chorus from Mendelssohn’s Antigone.

The Harvard Glee Club sang The Old Man In a Tree and The Old Person from Ware at their December 2, 1910 concert.

On January 23, 1911 The Cecilia Society included The Wild Brier for women’s voices. At that time Max Fiedler was the conductor and Malcolm Lang the assistant conductor. The January 24, 1911 review in the Transcript said: “The old finess, the old transparency, the old delicate variations of volume and emphasis-the old beauty and the old suggestion in short-returned in the singing of Miss Lang’s little piece. The voices were as luminous or as shadowed as the music.”(Scrapbook) The group repeated this piece on March 18, 1915 at Jordan Hall with Arthur Mees as the conductor. The Transcript and Herald reviews were generally negative about the choir’s performance standards. The Transcript review said that there was “No clear definition of the colorful harmony and polyphony of Miss Lang’s Wild Brier.” (Scrapbook) The group performed the piece again on January 13, 1916. The year 1914 saw two groups performing the work: on February 25, 1914 the MacDowell Club sang the work with Malcolm Lang as accompanist, and two days later the Musical Art Club conducted by Arthur Shepard performed the piece at a concert at the Copley Plaza Hotel. (Scrapbook)

The Cecilia Society’s retirement gift to B. J. Lang had been a concert of Pierne’s Children’s Crusade to benefit the Industrial School for Crippled and Deformed Children on St. Botolph Street. Margaret had a similar interest. In February 1911 she wrote a letter to the Editor of the Herald in which she suggested that subscribers to the Boston Opera who were not going to use their tickets for the upcoming [Humperdink] Hansel and Gretel matinee should donate them to the School. She felt that the children would receive “great pleasure” from attending. (Herald (February 14, 1911): 6, GB) Another interest of Margaret’s was the National League of Women Workers. She was among ten women who sold tickets for a home concert in April 1915 to benefit the League. The performers were “Miss Nina Fletcher, violinist, and Miss Leila Holterhoff, the blind singer, lately returned from 10 years’ study in Europe.” (Herald (April 11, 1915): 28, GB) The family had known Edward MacDowell and his wife since their return from Europe in the late 1880s, and so it was natural that Margaret and other members of the family should be members of the Boston MacDowell Club. An article in January 1932 announcing the next concert by the group listed “many prominent members of the club.” (Herald (January 3, 1932): 42, GB) Included were Margaret, Mrs. Malcolm Lang, and listed among the officers was Miss Helen M. Ranney, Malcolm’s wife’s sister (?)

In November 1911 the Boston Chapter of the DAR gave a reception and musicale honoring four Boston women composers: Margaret, Mabel Daniels, Florence Spaulding and Grace Conant. “The composers were invited to play the accompaniments for their own songs,” but no vocal soloists were named. “A sketch on ‘The Progress of Music in New England’ by Miss Alice Warren Pope, was a feature.” (Journal (November 9, 1911): 7, GB)forty years-langphotoPhoto from an article in Music of March 9, 1912 by C. M. Hoover.          Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

Early in 1912 the Musical Art Club MCMXII included as part of their Fourth Season Song in the Songless, Day is Gone, A Song of the Lilac, and Snowflakes (ms.) in their January 4th. concert at Steinert Hall-Margaret accompanied Mrs. Laura Comstock Littlefield. Then on March 28, 1912 the Steinert Hall song recital by Mrs. Littlefield (accompanist-Arthur Shepherd) included Day is Gone which prompted Philip Hale to report that the “Simpler songs were better done…She sang, for example, the songs of Mrs. Beach and Miss Lang with appropriate sentiment, and so effectively that the audience redemanded Day is Gone.” However, Hale’s first paragraph was a critique of her technique-his last paragraph a critique of her French songs. And, his final line was: “The audience applauded heartily.” (Scrapbook) Day is Gone became Margaret’s second best seller at 14,660 copies printed. (Cipolla 3/5/09 e-mail) The Chicago Mendelssohn Club opened the second half of their April 25, 1912 concert with Alastair MacAlastair. The next season they included three Nonsense Songs-The Old Person of Ware, The Old Man With a Gong, and The Young Lady of Parma at their December 11, 1913 concert. This choir of 62 singers was well balanced [at least on paper] with eighteen singers for each of the four parts-TTBB. 1913 also saw “The Greatest Italian Lyric Tenor” Signor Bonci include Day is Gone in his Symphony Hall concert on March 2nd. Another Italian performance was that given by Madame Linda Giorni who included Three Ships in her concert in aid of the Victoria Orphanage in Rome-Mr. Aurelio Giorni [husband?] was the accompanist. On November 27, 1911 Margaret was the “Guest of Honor” at the Manuscript Society of New York concert where the final two sections featured her songs. She accompanied soprano Edith Watkins Griswold in Song of [in] the Songless, Day is Gone, A Song of the Lilac, and contralto Adah Hussey in A Garden is a Lonesome Thing (ms.), Summer Noon, A Song of the Spanish Gypsies (ms.), An Even Psalm, and Spring. (Copy of program)   The Daily Mail review of November 28, 1911 was very complimentary.

On May 2, 1913, The New York Manuscript Society presented a concert entirely of women composers at the National Arts Club. While this event, which “offered musical recognition to American composers” was being presented, the Suffragists were presenting a pageant at the Metropolitan Opera House. Four of Margaret’s songs were sung “with much expression” by the Armenian-American soprano, A. Angel Chopourian. “Snowflakes was a favorite in this group.” (Musical America (May 10, 1913): 32)

HARVARD MUSICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE WARMING.

In 1913  the HMA received a bequest of $75,000 from the will of Julia M. Marsh. Her husband’s business partner, Eben Jordan, was a HMA member and Julia was probably a piano student of HMA member, B. J. Lang. This seems to be the connection that prompted the original gift of the house in 1892. This bequest required that the Association would “display and maintain her paintings and objects d’art and make her two pianos available to musicians for practicing.”  (Program of the 2003 Concert) To celebrate the completion of the 1913 renovations, a “House Warming” was presented on Christmas Eve, 1913. Margaret’s The Night of the Star was part of the program, and ninety years later the HMA recreated that event on Friday, December 5, 2003. The Serbisches Liederspiel, Opus 32 by Georg Henschel was added to the original program, and Margaret’s piece was again performed as it had been in 1913. (Ibid) Paintings of Charles Marsh (painted by Herbert Herkomer who had also painted B. J.’s portrait) and Julia Marsh (painted by Benoni Irwin) watch over the Association’s activities. (Ibid)

Wind Opus 53 for double chorus of women’s voices with a text by John Galsworthy was commissioned and performed by the St. Cecilia Club of New York in 1914 and 1915 at the New York Philharmonic concerts (Musical America, Aug. 2, 1919). On April 27, 1915 Mrs. Rice gave a recital at her studio at 6 Newbury Street [where B. J. had his last teaching studio] devoted solely to Margaret’s songs with Margaret as the accompanist.The program included:

Somewhere, A Song of the Lilac, April Winter, Into My heart (ms.), The Bird–———-Song in the Songless, Candlemas, Poplar Leaves (ms.),

There Would I Be, Snowflakes, Chimes (ms.) (Scrapbook)

The Impromptu Club gave another all-Lang concert on January 19, 1916. Margaret conducted the chorus and accompanied. Singers throughout the country were performing her songs-the Irish Mother’s Lullaby was sung in Charles City, Iowa, while the Irish Love Song appeared in Aldie, Virginia, and Day Is Gone was programmed in Los Angeles.

             Early in the 1900s Musical America ran a series of short biographies called “Contemporary American Musicians,” one in each issue. By 1919 the series had reached Number 77 which was “Margaret Ruthven Lang.” After her early years and education were covered, the article spent most of its space listing the titles of the instrumental works and the two late choral works which had been performed in New York by the St. Cecilia Club in 1914 and 1915, and at the New York Philharmonic.[?] Also listed were the fact that “She is a composing member of the New York Manuscript Society, an Honorary Member of the Musical Art Club of Boston, and Honorary Vice-President of the American Music Society. (Musical America, 1919) A certain New York perspective seems to be present.

THE HEAVENLY NOEL.

The Heavenly Noel (1916) Opus 57 with words by Richard Lawson Gales was performed by the Choral Music Society of Boston in 1917; this was a work for mezzo-soprano, women’s chorus, organ, piano, harp, and string quartet. The Thursday Morning Musicale gave another performance on February 15, 1917 with Margaret at the piano- In Praesepio and the Cradle Song of the War (Mrs. Frederick Foote, soloist) were also included. The Heavenly Noel was also sung by the MacDowell Club on March 7, 1917 by a chorus of thirteen with Margaret at the piano and acting as conductor; In the Manger was also on this program. Pittsburgh heard The Heavenly Noel on January 29, 1919 sung by the Tuesday Musical Club. The conductor, Charles Boyd, sent Margaret a copy of the program and a note saying: “So well received that we shall probably repeat it later this season.” The repeat was performed on January 27, 1920 with a note in that program: “Repeated by general desire of the Choral.” (Scrapbook) The Heavenly Noel was part of a concert given by the MacDowell Club of Boston at Jordan Hall on January 28, 1920. Margaret was the pianist, Malcolm played the organ, and Mrs. M. N. Foote was the alto soloist. (Herald (January 18, 1920): 34, GB)

“A formal portrait done by Bachrach Studios. [1920] This has been in our home at least since the early seventies, and it still has a very old frame.” Fletcher DuBois Collection. Original of the image above.

1921 saw a January 26th. performance of The Wild-brier by the MacDowell Club. This work and Song of the Three Sisters has been described as “a pair of settings for women’s voices on poems of John Vance Cheney, [which] evoke with wonderful success the dark, brooding nature of their language. In addition, they reveal to the fullest the immense range of her colorful harmonic palette, a late romantic chromaticism so slippery that analysts would often be hard-pressed to define tonal centers with absolute certainty. Her notational landscape is often littered with accidentals signifying a sense of almost perpetual transition.” (Osborne, 64)

Margaret obviously kept up with new musical styles-not only those that she heard at the BSO Friday afternoon concerts, but also such composers as Charles Ives. There are two notes in “The Charles Ives Papers” at Yale which thank Ives for sending her copies of his pieces. A card dated 7 March 1921 says that “I shall take great pleasure in playing it through, at the earliest opportunity,” while on 16 August 1922 Margaret wrote that “Miss Lang begs to thank Mr. Ives for his very interesting + original music so kindly sent, + just received.” (MSS 14, The Charles Ives Papers in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University)

In 1923 Charles Boyd continued to champion The Heavenly Noel by including it in the program for the June 11th. concert of the Festival Chorus of Asheville. Mabel Daniels sent the notice of this concert that she had seen in the Bulletin of the National Federation of Music Clubs-she wrote: “I have missed not seeing you at the Symphonies.” (Scrapbook) Four years later Mr. Boyd again programmed The Heavenly Noel at the National Federation of Music Clubs Fifteen National Convention on April 22, 1927.

Appreciation for Margaret’s works continued through the 1930s. In a letter dated March 13, 1936, Wallace Goodrich, Director of the New England Conservatory and organist of the Church of the Advent wrote to tell her “how much pleasure the singing of your anthem [Grant, We beseech Thee] gave me recently at the Church of the Advent. “The work inspired the choir to sing better than usual,” and he asked her to consider writing a setting of the mass for that church. (Scrapbook)

image042From Hughes, Contemporary American Composers, 520 published in 1900, and Mathews, The Great In Music.

The 1920 Census listed Margaret, aged 52 as daughter with Frances, aged 80 as the head of the household. Also listed as members of the household were three unmarried servants-Helen O’Brien, aged 32 born in Boston; Catherine McNulty, aged 55 from Ireland in 1889; and Margaret Magwil, aged 34, also from Ireland, but in 1906.

image044                         This pose is very much like the 1935 “Etude” photo.

In 1925 Margaret was asked by the General Federation of Music Clubs to prepare a concert of her own works; the Federation would then make available on loan the music for this program to its members. It is interesting to see what she selected:

This copy provided by Fletcher DuBois. Schmidt noted their edition number after all the choral compositions, and the fact that Love Plumes His Wings was not one of their publications. One set of this material was donated to the Boston Public Library on October 8, 1924, and each piece has the handwritten notation, “Gift of the composer through Mass. Federation of Music Clubs.”

1925 saw performances by the MacDowell Club [of Boston] on January 14 of the Song of the Three Sisters and Heavenly Noel. Charles Manney conducted both works, and Margaret played the piano in the piano, organ, harp and strings accompaniment of The Heavenly Noel. The same performers also performed The Heavenly Noel at the St. Botolph Club on March 29, 1925. In New York City the St. Cecilia Club programmed The Heavenly Noel for concerts on January 16th. and 20th. A letter from the group’s conductor, Victor Harris said: “It would interest you to know that we did the Heavenly Noel with an accompaniment of organ, piano, harp, and even chime. I introduced the latter into the section where St. Julian rings the bells, and also again at the end of the Sanctus.” (Scrapbook)

 

001 WELCOME! WC SC(G)

001   WELCOME. WC-854  SC(G)

MRL_Snowflakes

This site exists to serve as a link among those who might be interested in the Lang family of Massachusetts. Benjamin Johnson Lang (1837-1909) could be seen as the Leonard Bernstein of his time-a conductor, a solo pianist, a writer and lecturer, a champion for new music, and a man well acquainted with all the musical schools of his time-a man who influenced the musical growth of his part of the country for over forty years. There is a direct link between these two men; Lang taught Edward Burlingame Hill, and Hill in turn taught Bernstein at Harvard.  “In fact, a history of the life and activities of Mr. Lang for three decades or more would to a considerable extent chronicle the musical life of Boston for the same period.” (Hill, 9) Lang is one who suggested that the Harvard Musical Association present orchestral concerts, and he served on its Program Committee (Mus. Ob., 1884). Louis Elson (quoted by Fox) expressed the same opinion in 1904: “Benjamin Johnson Lang is one of the most typically American figures that we can find in our musical history. He is a man of enterprise beyond European comprehension. Lang is so thoroughly interwoven with musical progress of every kind in the United States that there is scarcely any classification of musicians in which his name would not fitly find a place. It is not an exaggeration to state that no man has done more for the educational advance in America in music than B. J. Lang. The time will come when Americans will recognize him as among the very foremost of those who created musical taste among us.” (Fox, Papers, 1)( Elson, 261) “He was an antidote to the conservatism of Dwight and Dresel, introducing many new works to Bostonians.” (Tara, 41) Amy Beach, writing in 1937 to Arthur Foote remembered, “the time from 1880 to 1900 was a golden time.” (Block, Amy Beach, 284) Having been criticized for allowing the orchestra to overpower the choir, in his Dvorak Stabat Mater performances by the Cecilia in January 1884, he placed the orchestra behind the choir as Haydn had done in his Creation performances. He also used this same arrangement for Apollo Club performances.

He was the founding conductor of two choral groups that are still active in Boston today. The Cecilia, a mixed voice choir began in 1874 as an adjunct of the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra. In 1876 it became an independent group with 100 singers and 300 subscribing members. Lang conducted the choir for 33 years, retiring just two years before his death in 1909. The group was known for presenting new works-Lang gave first Boston performances to 106, with 12 of these being first American performances and another 12 being world premiers. (Hill, 21-23)

The citation on Lang’s honorary AM Degree of 1908 possibly says it best. “His influence on the development of musical culture in Boston for 50 years has been greater than that of any other individual musician.” (Harvard Graduates’ Magazine Vol. XVII 1908-09): 481)

Many pupils, including his three surviving children, continued his influence, the most notable being his eldest, Margaret Ruthven Lang, (1867-1972) who had many musical “firsts” in her lifetime that stretched for 104 years. As late as 1936 critical opinion still held that “In real depth her compositions are superior to [those of] any other American woman composer,” (Barnes, 10) Music continues to be apart of the lives of the current Lang generation with Anne Hooper (daughter of Malcolm’s daughter, Helen Lang Hooper) being a free-lance violinist in Boston today, and a former Manager of the Boston Pro Arte Orchestra.

The information on this site is provided to those interested in a deeper study of this family. Corrections, additions, comments, etc. are welcomed and will be added and cited. Current material has been added even though it might contradict older material; an example of this is the exact sequence of B. J.’s organ career. It is hoped that those who have done research in this area will be willing to share their findings which will lead to a clear history of this family and ultimately, performances of Margaret’s music. At one point a book was envisioned-this site will be the book-ever growing, ever-changing, ever becoming more correct. The first research was done c. 1964 and has continued since then with varying states of intensity. Unfortunately, various formats have been used for citations, citations have been changed as the complete site has been moved from program to program and host to host, but the information remains. I hope that it will be of use.

Copies of Margaret’s works are available on loan. Please message: Jim Johnston at-  langjwj@earthlink.net

 

Studio portrait of B. J. Lang, Boston, Mass., ca. 1862. Courtesy of Historic New England. At this point, he would have returned from his time in Europe and his study with Franz Liszt, been appointed organist at the Old South Church, been appointed organist for Boston’s premier choral group-the Handel and Haydn Society, had his debut with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, had assisted Louis Moreau Gottschalk in 20 concerts and he was a year away from being one of the organists who played for the dedication for the Walcker organ at the Boston Music Hall. He was establishing himself very quickly! Oh, and he had been married a year.

Dr. Bell,

I hope you will listen to this 2  1/2 minute piece with the idea that it might take the  place of Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” on your Christmas Concerts this year. You would have the World Premier (it was originally written as an electronic piece). You could use the Anderson as your encore. I can send the score if you wish.

All the best, Jim Johnston, Bradenton (BU: BM-65, MM- 72, ABD-75-82)(I’m sure we both had Joel Sheveloff for a class, I wonder who else?)

 

WAGNER AND LISZT. SC(G). WC.

WAGNER AND LISZT. SC(G).

WC-3,954.   9/28/2020.

LISZT:

      In an interview published in 1907, Lang recalled his time as a student of Liszt. “I shall never forget my association with the greatest pianist of his time. He was most generous in his artistic advice, which always was given gratis, and I fear this generosity led many to impose upon his good nature, for their own ends.” (Clippings collected by Gould, HMA)(BPL Lang Prog., 6517-article by Storer)

     1855-1858 Three years study in Germany: meets Wagner in Berlin (1857) Carl Baermann also spent time with Liszt during 1857-it is interesting to picture the possibly that Lang and Baermann met at that time. Baermann later came to Boston, and appeared as piano soloist with the BSO in 26 programs between 1882 and 1899-this would average about 2 and 1/3rd. appearances per season. (Howe, BSO, 245) Born in Bavaria in 1839, he was part of a family that had musical talent passed on for many generations.

     Franz Liszt never gave regular piano lessons to anyone, but he did oversee B.J’s piano studies for some time.” (Ryan) The 1897 entry in The Nationa Cyclopedia of American Biography states that Lang “was so fortunate to have the personal direction of Liszt while studying piano.” (Ryan, 430) The meeting of Liszt and Lang may have occurred over a card game when “One evening, at the whist table, he [Lang] had held all the trumps, and when suspected of being a card sharp found a supporter in Liszt. (Boston Globe 100th year article)

     Margaret remembered that “Liszt took father to many concerts.” (Miller-Globe article) “During these years [1855-1858] he [Lang] began a lasting friendship with Franz Liszt and Liszt’s daughter, Cosima. In later years this friendship with Cosima would provide him with an entrée into the circle of luminaries surrounding Richard Wagner.” (Cline, 9) An entry in Cosima Wagner’s Diaries dated July 1, 1871 makes mention of receiving a letter from B. J. offering support for Bayreuth – she notes that they had first met in Berlin 14 years ago (c. 1857). Cosima might also be the link with Hans von Bulow (whom she married in 1857- in 1870 she married Wagner) who hired B. J. as his conductor for concerts in 1875 that included the world premiere of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1.

      Liszt had another Boston connection. “Mr. Chickering took one these pianofortes [which had won commendation from Napoleon III at the 1867 Exposition Universelle], which had been carefully chosen, as a gift to Liszt in Rome. After playing on it sometime before Mr. Chickering and his friend, Mr. Poznanski, Liszt gave Mr. Chickering what he had never before given any pianoforte manufacturer, a testimonial letter setting forth his supreme satisfaction with the Chickering pianoforte. This instrument was Liszt’s favorite in Weimar, and it, with another Chickering, is now preserved in the Imperial Conservatory at Budapest, Hungary, by the Government in the room in which the composer left them.” (Ayars, 114)

      Lang included pieces by Liszt in his recitals throughout his career. The November 28, 1865 organ concert at the Music Hall included a first performance of Lang’s transcription of Liszt’s Les Preludes which he noted in the program was made from the orchestral score. In November 1866, the Providence Journal went “into ecstasies over Mr. Lang’s pianism, thusly: ”We have heretofore expressed our admiration of Mr. Lang’s piano-forte playing. There is something not only in his taste in selecting and his style of rendering music, but in his very looks and manner, as it seems to us, that indicates the presence of the truly conscientious and high-minded musician, who has a perfect sense of the dignity and worth of his art. Last evening he gave us some superb specimens of genuine piano-forte music and playing. The polonaise by Liszt was exceedingly rich.” As early as the “Third Symphony Concert” of the first season of the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra Concerts which was held on Thursday afternoon, February 8, 1866 Lang was the soloist in the “Allegro” from Beethoven’s Third Concerto in C Minor, Opus 37, and also in the Boston premiere of the Polonaise in E Major for Piano by Weber transcribed with orchestral accompaniment by Liszt. Dwight said “The piano playing of Mr. Lang was the theme of general admiration…Mr. Lang has an excellent touch for making the piano do justice to itself in a large place.” The second piece was Liszt’s transcription for piano and orchestra of a Polonaise in E Major by Weber. “Mr. Lang played his part wonderfully well, with finished elegance and ease, keeping up the swift and shining movement without the slightest break or faltering, and overdoing nothing.” (Dwight (February 17, 1866): 19) A December 28, 1869 solo piano concert was given at the Hotel de Rome in Berlin with pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, Bach (2), Mendelssohn, and Liszt’s transcription of a work by Weber. Almost the same program was given on March 11, 1870 in Dresden.

       By early February 1870, the Langs were in Rome where they visited Liszt. They were “ushered up a long staircase with long hall. We could look into his great music room with its Chickering and Erard grand pianos. We heard exclamations and he appeared. (His servant had given him our cards) He came into the room holding a candle in his hand, high above his head and making an impressive picture. He greeted us very cordially and led us into a smaller room where there was a blazing fire. Lel asked him to write his name on a few pieces of paper, for the ladies, and he immediately took out some photographs and wrote on the backs. He asked me [Frances] to try his piano. Lel said ‘You must ask her to sing.’ Then he sat down and kept us spellbound. He played the Benediction, etc. He played like a God. Finally we thanked him and said we must go. He took both my hands in his and made the most delightful little speech about coming back sometime to Weimar, and took me downstairs into the starlight and put me into the carriage. That night we went to Florence.” (Excerpts, 1 and 2)

       During the summer of 1886 the Langs were again in Europe- he sent a notice to his piano pupils saying that he would be back by Monday, September 20. While they were there, Liszt died, and B. J. was considered such a friend to Liszt, that he was part of Liszt’s funeral. Clara Doria the singer (wife of Henry Rogers) wrote of her trip in 1886 to the Bayreuth Festival. “Next day, from our windows, we watched a long and impressive funeral procession, in which we recognized many distinguished musicians-each one having a lighted torch though it was broad daylight. One of the first in the procession to be recognized by us was our fellow Bostonian, B. J. Lang, who was one of the pallbearers, and who, like the rest, was bearing his torch with due solemnity.” She then continues with an observation which reflects Lang’s high standing in at least her musical world of Boston. “How natural it seemed to us that, when any unusual or exciting event was taking place, B. J. Lang should be there. It was the funeral procession bearing the remains of that great artist, Franz Liszt, who had but a few days ago passed on to the beyond.” (Rogers, Two Lives, 166) The funeral was on August 3rd. in Bayreuth.

WAGNER:

      At the Boston Music Hall, on Wednesday afternoon March 30, 1864, “B. J. Lang, The Distinguished Organist Will make his Second Appearance in these concerts.” After an opening overture by Mendelssohn (Der Heimkehe aus der Fremde), B. J. played an organ solo Let their celestial concerts all unite from Samson. Then Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony was followed by B. J.’s transcription of selections from Hymn of Praise, and the orchestra ended with Invitation to the Waltz by Weber and Wagner’s Finale from Tannhauser. B. J.’s advocacy of Mendelssohn would continue throughout his career as would his devotion to Wagner: “For the next three decades [from the 1860’s] Wagner remained a fundamental part of his career.” (Briggs, 53)

             Always interested in the new compositions of his time, as ”An ardent Wagnerian, Lang visited Wagner in 1871 and offered his assistance in publicizing the Bayreuth Festival in America. The Saloon Passenger List of the RMS Parthia sailing from Boston to Liverpool listed B. J. Lang as departing on August 7, 1875. An entry in Cosima Wagner’s Diary for August 26, 1875 mentions that she showed B. J. the Bayreuth Theater. In 1876 Lang and his wife were honored guests at the first performance of the Ring in Bayreuth.” (Ledbetter, Amer. Grove, 10) Arthur Foote also attended (Cipolla, Amer. Grove, 150) Frances’ Diary recorded that they sailed from Philadelphia on June 24, 1876 together with Mr. and Mrs. Tucker (she=Jeanie). They were in London from July 4-14, then Paris July 14-23 during which they heard High mass at St. Sulpice where Mr. Widor’s “improvisations were delightful.” The Wagner festival was August 6-23, and a letter from Frances dated August 9, 1876, from Bayreuth tells about the Festival. Apparently only the parents went on this journey as the letter is addressed to the children (?) She mentioned that they saw four operas, three times each! On the return journey, after another stay in London of August 30-September 5, they set sail from Queenstown, Ireland on the Steamer “Celtic” on September 6th. She noted that Mr. Foote was also on board. (Frances Lang Diary, 1876) Margaret, then aged eight, probably spent the time with Frances” mother. “There were several other groups of Bostonians who went over chiefly on account of the Bayreuth production” including Arthur Foote who was introduced to the London music publishers Schott and Company by Lang. (Foote-Auto., 61).

      Among the American visitors to Bayreuth was Louis C. Elson (critic at the Boston Advertiser 1866-1920) who recorded his impressions of a visit to Bayreuth which he calls “A sleepy German town” in the late 1880s. He began with a reference to the slowness of the Bavarian railroads, and then continued: “July 20th. the town was still its normal condition, dull, sleepy and apathetic; but early on the next morning matters began to change with the rapidity of a fairy transformation scene. Train after train came in, crowed in every compartment, and bearing the motliest assemblage that ever a caricaturist could dream of. Fat, florid, and bespectacled men jostled against lean, long-haired specimens of the genus music professor, and the way in which greetings and kisses were interchanged was appalling to the American eye. At eight in the evening, fresh impetus was given to the growing excitement by the arrival of the special train from Vienna, bearing a vast crowd of South German artists and musicians. Locomotive decked with flowers, and flags hanging over some of the carriages, it slowly pushed into the immense crowd gathered at the station to welcome it…Many Americans were at the station…Correspondents from all over the world were there, and anxiety about lodgings grew apace. It was an odd spectacle to find princes lodging above grocers” shops and princesses coming to dwell with well-to-do sausage makers…It was a great delight to live with a quiet German family during the rush of the festival, and to be able to withdraw occasionally from the bustle of publicity into cool and neat rooms.” Joining him that year were George E. Whiting, Carl Faelten, and Miss Fanny Paine. He later saw Mr. Gericke, Franz Kneisel, Clayton Johns, Arthur Foote, Mrs J. L. Gardner and other Americans. “An entire American colony was formed.” Elson visited Cosima Wagner and was immediately invited into “a room half drawing-room, half boudoir, in which sat a slim and graceful, but not beautiful, lady, writing. She arose and greeted me with cordiality, and in a few moments by kindly question and unaffected conversation put me at ease…She inquired after American friends, and particularly Mr. B. J. Lang.” She asked Elson if he knew how many Americans were in the city, and he replied “that I knew personally of some fifty who were coming, and that I had no doubt the number would reach two hundred or more…The resemblance of Madame Wagner to her father, Liszt, was more marked than ever as she grew animated.” (Elson, Reminiscences, 73-78)

         “His interest in the Bayreuth Festival, the Franz benefit concert, the Dwight testimonial, the Liszt celebration, in short, in every memorable musical occasion has been earnest, thorough and, above all, practical. He has been honored with the personal friendship of the greatest composers of Europe, and his studies of the works of Wagner have been made with the assistance of the great composer himself. He has, like every earnest, original and competent worker, formed for himself a set of followers, pupils and disciples. It is impossible to enumerate these since the number of his pupils who have become concert soloists is over sixty. The work of the Cecilia Club is wholly due to Mr. Lang; that of the Apollo and Euterpe societies largely so. therefore, in the articles on these subjects, the reader will find a continuation of his too-brief personal sketch. Mr. Lang, although he has composed some very fine works, has, as yet, published nothing. As a musician he is armed at all points; he is one of the very surest of ensemble players and never loses his head. We can personally recall many instances where his calmness has saved careless or nervous players from disaster. He is a good organizer and a very efficient leader. At a time when no one else dared undertake playing with, or directing for, the belligerent Von Bulow or the meteoric Joseffy, he did both-and well. He is one of the surest of score-readers and, though not a virtuoso, is one of the best types of true musician. He has long been the organist of a leading Unitarian church. Of his Boston pupils, we may mention Mr. Arthur Foote…Mr. W. F. Apthorp is another of Mr. Lang”s eminent pupils.” (Elson, Musical Boston, 3)

       Wagner was a patient of the American dentist Dr. Newell S. Jenkins who had a practice in Dresden from 1875 until his death in 1883. In 1879 Wagner had the idea of migrating to America with his family. This came about because of various professional problems that he was having in Germany. “His life at this time was so unhappy that he thought he might get the needed support in America. Perhaps what influenced him in part was the fact that America, in 1876, had accepted his Grand Festival March composed for the Philadelphia Exposition, for which he received $5,000, that payment, as he remarked, being the best thing about it.” (HMA, Bulletin No. 21, p. 6) Jenkins sent a letter from Wagner about his possible move to John S. Dwight, “a foremost authority on matters musical and a widely renowned critic and writer” probably not being aware that “the very name of Wagner, let alone his music, was anathema to Dwight, and a less sympathetic consultant could hardly have been found.” (Ibid, 7) Dwight showed the letter to various Boston associates including Lang, who then wrote to Wagner “reproving him for his lack of ‘common sense’ and advising him to withdraw the letter.” (Ibid) Wagner was not to be changed, and he wrote again to Jenkins on July 13, 1880 asking him to find a trusted friend who might be able to manage this enterprise. However, things in Germany improved for Wagner, and so nothing further was recorded about the project.

     Margaret was well acquainted with the Wagners. “She was present, as a child, in the home of Richard Wagner, and knew the Wagner children as playmates. As she grew older and more aware of her musical surroundings she undoubtedly listened with interest to the music performed at the evening gatherings at Wagner’s home.” (Cline, 11)

      During the summer of 1885 the Lang family and nurse Ellen Sheehan spent the time in Europe. They left Boston on June 13, 1885 on the S. S. Catalonia, and visited Brussels

, Cologne, Wurtzburg and “then Munich 48 Brienner Strauss where we lived 2 winters.” While they were in Munich they visited with Cosima Wagner who was at the Marienbad Hotel. Two of her daughters, Eva and Isolda were also there. Mrs. Lang and Margaret stood outside the Odeon Salle as the “Vorspiel” from Lohengrin was being played by a full orchestra with an audience of one, Cosima Wagner. “A great experience.” (Excerpts from Francis M. Lang’s Note Book, 7)

Ryan felt that “One of the most notable accomplishments of Mr. Lang was the bringing of the Passion-Play of Parsifal by Richard Wagner.[Lang was 53] For a concert presentation on April 14, 1891,[MYB says April 15, and that “Mr. H. E. Krehbiel and Mr. Anton Seidl were associated in a lecture-recital on Wagner’s Parsifal at the Meionaon on April 14″ and that “Dr. L. Kelterborn gave a lecture-recital on Wagner’s Parsifal in Chickering Hall on April 13; stereopticon views were presented.”(MYB 1890-91, 25)] at great expense Lang brought from New York the entire Seidl Orchestra (New York Metropolitan Opera House Orchestra of 75 players together with “a remarkable corps of solo singers including several of the Bayreuth performers”) (Nat. Bio., 430), who had recently played the work in that city. It was a bold and brilliant stroke. No other performance of the great composition has been vouchsafed Boston.” (Ryan, 85) However, in April of 1884 Theodore Thomas directed a Wagner Festival of six concerts which presented scenes from Der Ring des Nibelungen which Apthorp covered (and explained in great detail) in a series of articles for the Boston Evening Transcript. (Nelson, 138)

             The libretto for Lang’s performance listed five German soloists plus Boston’s Miss Lena Little as “A Knight,” six “Flower-Maidens” including Miss Gertrude Franklin, Mr. George J. Parker and Mr. G. W. Want as the “Two Esquires,” and “An unseen Chorus of Solo Singers, large Male and Female Choruses and an ORCHESTRA OF SEVENTY-FIVE PLAYERS.” (Jackson, English libretto)Johnson lists the soloists as Mme. Mielke, and Messrs. Dippel, Reichmann, Fischer, and Meyn, and the chorus as being made up of the Cecilia Society and the Apollo Club. (Johnson, 387) The total number of singers in the chorus was two hundred. (MB 1890-91, 25)

Frances” Diary recorded that: “Lel returned from N. Y. says the rehearsal was a splendid one.” (DuBois e-mail, May 21, 2006) She further mentioned: “The bells from Theodore Thomas” orchestra in Chicago have arrived. Lel fortunately sleeps wonderfully, for the detailed work of giving Parsifal is appalling. Everyone is excited and impressed. I wish I might be a dispassionate spectator for just one hour…Maidie [MRL] and I went to a rehearsal of the Unseen Chorus. O it was so beautiful. Mrs. Gardner was there. There is a tremendous demand for tickets…April 15th. [Day of the performance] Went to the 9 AM rehearsal at the Hall. The 90 members of the N. Y. Orchestra all there, the Bells too. Later Mrs. Gardner came to the house to copy the cuts. I was so thrilled when I got to the hall. The children had been allowed to leave school and with Minnie went to the Organ loft to hear it all. When Lel walked on to the stage he was received with wild enthusiasm. The singing was perfect. Everyone there. Even the hotels were crowded. Tables engaged beforehand where people would eat between the afternoon and evening Acts. We all went home for a cold supper then back to the hall. The whole thing was beautiful beyond description. Such a sense of excitement. Some people cried. All wild enthusiasm. Afterward, we went to Young’s Hotel. Crowds were there among them Mrs. Gardner. The Homers gave Lel a most beautiful silver cup.” [The Homers being friends of the whole Lang family especially Maidie, their brother/ in-law was Winslow Homer who did a sketch of BJ at the organ now in the art museum in Portland Maine-FRD]

      The performance at the Boston Music Hall began with Act One from 4:30-6 PM, followed by Act Two from 7:30-8:30 PM, and Act Three from 8:45-10 PM. This was a private performance with no public publicity, but it was marketed through a prospectus. The English translation made by John P. Jackson was used, and the work was repeated a year later on May 4, 1892 (with Victor Herbert as the first cellist). Margaret, when she was 100, had a different view on that performance. ”Father did the first American (concert) performance of Parsifal but Parsifal has died on me. I can’t say why.” (Miller-Globe article) Seidl had assisted Wagner in the first complete performance of the Ring in 1876. After conducting opera at Leipzig and Bremen he came to New York as the conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in 1885. Six years later he became conductor of the New York Philharmonic, succeeding Theodore Thomas. In 1889 he led the first complete Ring in America.

       Just over a year later, on Wednesday, May 4, 1892 he presented it again, this time with an orchestra of 85 which was advertised as “the so-called Seidl Orchestra from New York.” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6) The vocal casts for both performances were pretty much the same. At the end of that year, on December 9, 1892, the Cecilia was part of a “Grand Wagner Programme” conducted by Anton Seidl “and his entire Metropolitan [no opera in the title] Orchestra” at the Boston Theater. Ticket prices were 50c., 75c., $1, $1.50 and $2.

Anton Seidl,  Elson, 215.

1892 was also the year that the English edition of Adolphe Jullien’s (1845-1932) book Richard Wagner-His Life and Works appeared with an Introduction by B. J. The work, originally written in 1886, had been translated into English by Florence Percival Hall, and Lang’s “Introduction to the American Edition” called attention to the fact that “Nothing pleased Wagner more than the knowledge that his works were becoming well known in this country. His interest in America led him to turn his thoughts in this direction as a possible refuge in the period of his life when adversity followed him like a shadow. In later years when both fame and wealth were abundantly his, he sent to the United States a proposition full of practical detail, having for its end the removal of himself and his family to this country, where he purposed devoting the remainder of his life to the composition of new works and their dedication to this country exclusively. However remarkable such a proposition may seem, the fact that it was made in downright earnest is none the less interesting to Americans.” (Jullien,  xxi and xxii) B. J. is not mentioned in the body of this book.

       Foote also relates a story about Bayreuth in the summer of 1898 [or 1893] when he and Lang snuck into the orchestra pit between acts of Gotterdammerung. “The day was hot, everyone being in shirt-sleeves, and we could see how differently the majestic Richter behaved (the orchestra being quite out of sight of the audience). He shouted to different players and to the singers, gave them cues, and was quite a different person from the one we were used to seeing in the concert room. It was a remarkable experience. We were observed sitting in our corner, but the liberty we had taken was winked at.” (Foote, Auto., 78)

       In 1903, on Tuesday, January 6 Lang presented another “Private Performance” of Parsifal, this time at the new Symphony Hall. Act I ran from 4:30 to 6, Act II from 7:45 to 8:45, and Act III from 9 until 10:15. The cast was: Kundry-Mme. Kirk-y Lurr, Parsifal-Herr Gerbauser, Amfortas-Herr Dan Roby, Gurnemanz-Herr Blass, Klingsor and Titurel-Herr Muhlmann, Esquires-Mr. Wilhelm Heinrich and Mr. Stephen Townsend, Knights-Miss Adelarge Griggs and Miss Adah Hussey, Solo Flower-Maidens-Mrs. Follett, Mrs. Kilduff, Mrs. Rice, Miss Knight, Miss. Miller, and Miss Van Kuren, Two Unseen Choirs, Chorus of Flower-Maidens and chorus of Knights of the Grail, sung by members of the Cecilia Society, and an orchestra of seventy players. All of this performance information was listed on the first page of a sixty-three-page booklet published by Thomas Todd of Boston which gave an introduction about the story first, and then the full text with the German on the left page and the English translation on the right page. The ticket price was $5.

TCHAIKOVSKY PREMIER. SC(G). WC.

 

The Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto-A WORLD Premier. SC(G). WC.

Word Count-5,371.   9/28/2020.

Hans von Bulow “is known to have given more than 3,000 concerts during his career as a pianist and conductor. His long and arduous tours took him through a dozen or more countries.” (Walker, vii)

Steven Ledbetter’s assessment in the 2001 “New Grove” was that Lang “ was a solid orchestral conductor and unsurpassed as a choral conductor, in which area he was Boston’s principal exponent for four decades.” (Ledbetter, 231) Almost 100 years earlier (1904) Elson had stated, “Lang’s conducting was generally stronger on the vocal than upon the instrumental side. He could not play on an orchestra as Gericke, Paur, Nikisch, or Thomas have done, but he equaled almost any of these men in conducting or in training a chorus. Fortunately, his chief work led him into that path…. as conductor of the Apollo and the Cecilia clubs, it is simply impossible to overrate his labors.”(Elson, 260). However, Lang conducting of the world premiere performance of the Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto with Von Bulow as the soloist on Oct. 25, 1875 created quite a sensation. (Foote, Auto., 44) Johnson in First Performances states that this concert was not actually part of the regular season given by the Harvard Musical Association, but that the group was “generally speaking the same body of players.” (Johnson, Op. cit., 364)

Verlag Hans Dursthoff-Berlin: J. W. Johnston Collection.

Von Bulow almost did not make it to America in 1875. “During the end of the 1874-75 season, while on a tour to England, he suffered an ”apoplectic stroke” that partially paralyzed the right side of his body. In late June [1875] he wrote Cosima that his health was ”completely shattered,” and he feared he would be ”incapable of starting for America.” A couple of weeks later he was able to view his situation not ”too tragically or pathetically” but still made arrangements for a ”fatal ending,” drawing up his will and giving instructions to Cosima for disbursing his possessions. It was in this debilitated physical condition and cynical state that Bulow began the musical preparation for his American tour.” (Lott, pp. 237 and 238) He had done his will as “He knew that he would be in North America for at least nine months…There was a predictable division of money and personal property to the three daughters Daniela, Blandine, and Isolde (the last whom he continued to call his own.” (Walker, 211)

“The American tour began in Boston, on Monday, October 18, 1875, after a very rough transatlantic crossing on the steamer Parthia, during which Bulow was seasick. Immediately after his arrival in Boston, he locked himself away in his private quarters at 23 Beacon Street. The local newspapers reported that he practiced for eight or nine hours a day-as well he might in view of the workload before him.” (Walker, 213)

For his first concert on October 18th. the Music Hall’s 2,700 seats were filled. His entrance caused some comment: “Bulow walked onto the platform, a short, dapper figure, carrying a hat. This disconcerting appendage he proceeded to place under the piano. He also wore gloves which he ceremoniously removed before surveying the audience with his usual aristocratic distain…This opening concert was hugely successful and Bulow could not have been happier with the press notices…The New York Times accorded him a position of preeminence among the pianists who had visited America during the past fifteen years…During the first few days in Boston, Bulow gave four more concerts. But it was his appearance the following week, on October 25, that has entered the history books.” (Walker, 212 and 213) This was the world premiere of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

Dwight’s Journal of November 13, 1875 states that this concert was the fifth in a series of seven, [dates of the concerts were: #1-Monday, October, 18;#2-Wednesday, October 20; #3-Friday, October 22; #4 -Saturday, October 23;#5-Monday, October 25;#6-Friday, October 29; #7-Saturday, October 30] and that the entire program of number five was repeated for the seventh concert. Between the Monday, October 25 Fifth Concert and the Friday, October 29 Sixth Concert, Bulow gave two recitals in Providence! (Lott, 301) “Mr. Peck, to whose enterprise we are indebted for these seven feasts, has made arrangements to have him [von Bulow] return in January [1876] and give some concerts of Chamber music with the Philharmonic Club (Messers. Listemann, etc.).” The program for the Fifth Concert was:

 Overture-Jessonda Weber

Grand Concerto in B-flat (sic) Tschaikowski

Sonata, Opus 27 (Moonlight Sonata) Beethoven

Overture-Prometheus Beethoven

Grand Fantasie, Opus 15 Schubert arranged for Piano and Orchestra by F. Liszt

Wedding March Mendelssohn

“The Overtures went smoothly under the baton of Mr. Lang who had been called to succeed Mr. Bergmann and who [Lang], being himself a pianist and an enthusiastic admirer of von Bulow, was in better sympathy and understanding with him for the rendering of the extremely difficult, strange, wild, ultra-modern Russian score. It is the composition of a young professor at the Conservatory in Moscow, a pupil of Rubinstein’s (indeed the work contained not a few suggestions of the master), and is dedicated to Bulow, who complimented Boston very first performance. A compliment well-meant, and warmly responded to by the applauding audience, -twice-for this program was repeated for the seventh concert…How wonderfully von Bulow rendered it, there is no need of telling; all that a hearty sympathy, a masterly conception and an infallible technique could do for it, it had the fullest degree; and the young author well knew that his work could not suffer in such hands.”(Johnson, First, 364) “Privately, Bulow thought Lang’s performance was ”very decent” and a repeat performance of the Tchaikovsky was ”most spirited.” Publicly, he linked his arm in Lang’s after his first performance and insisted on sharing the applause with him. ” (Lott,  243) Lott amplifies this story in a footnote, saying: “One writer remembered Bulow being ”extravagant in testifying his satisfaction” with Lang and reported this conversation with the pianists: “Did you see my little scene with the conductor?” I said that I did, and asked why he was so desperately demonstrative, and why he made such a scene. “Ah! You ask that? I expected you would,” he said. “But why not? It did me no harm, and it may do him good. Besides, I was so grateful that the conducting was no worse, that I could not restrain myself.”” (Lott, 339) Bulow’s gratefulness extended to having Lang also conduct the sixth concert: “The little orchestra still manifested improvement,” and Lang also appeared with von Bulow in the last piece: “The Chopin Rondo (in C Major for two pianos) was very finely rendered by both artists, who kept perfectly together; and this compliment of Von Bulow to his new conductor, like the one before, when he led him out to share the honors of a recall, found a sympathetic audience.” (Dwight (November 13, 1875): 126) Steinberg muses: “I do wonder, though, what it all sounded like with B. J. Lang’s little orchestra with its four first violins (Steinberg, 477) Dwight had reported in his issue of October 30, 1875 concerning the fifth concert in the series: “Carl Bergmann’s baton gave a fair outline, although, to be sure, four first violins were rather thin and feeble for the great crescendo of the Leonora No. 3. Dwight earlier in this same review had said: “There has been an orchestra, a small one to be sure, with the best conductor in America at its head during the first week” of the von Bulow concerts. (Dwight (Oct. 30, 1875): 118) This would then make Lang better than the best conductor then in America!

The question remains as to why Bergmann was dismissed which then gave Lang his chance to conduct. Bulow recorded that “Bergmann had not taken much interest in the concerts as he had in drinking beer, he had missed two meetings to discuss the concerts which forced Bulow to make suggestions to the orchestra himself, and then, while Bulow was beginning his solo pieces in one of the concerts, Bergmann audibly invited the musicians to ”go get some refreshments,” and brought six of them back half tipsy.” (Lott, 251) At Bulow’s next stop on his tour, New York City, he was asked during an interview with the New York Sun to explain why he had fired Bergmann who was well regarded, especially in the German community. Bulow began “by denouncing Bergmann as incompetent. He then went on to berate him for ”showing more interest in drinking beer” than in pursuing his duties as a conductor…The interview was so outspoken that it created what Harper’s Magazine called a ”hullabulow”. The German press gored him, calling him a great artist but a small man. That only made matters worse. Bulow went on to criticize the Germans in general as a beer-swilling crowd who drank until their brains were stupid, rendering them incapable of appreciating great music because they listened to everything through an alcoholic haze. This led to a further outcry and Bulow received the predictable crop of hostile letters.” (Walker, 214)

As late as the program for the Forth Concert held on October 23rd., Bergmann was still listed as the conductor of the fifth concert to be held two days later! In the fifth concert program, Lang is advertised as the conductor, and also for the sixth and seventh concerts which were a repeat of the material from the fifth concert. Nowhere in the program is there any mention of who the orchestra was. Walker describes the group as “a scratch orchestra of a mere thirty-five players.” (Walker, 213) Also, there were no notes about the music, but only various articles about von Bulow.(HMA Program Collection) Bergmann, as conductor of the New York Philharmonic, had built that group “into a fine orchestra,” but according to Howard Shanet, “the modern chronicler of the Philharmonic,” Bergmann “was now professionally so sloppy, spiritually so depressed, physically so decayed, and continually so drunk that only the great affection that his men bore him kept him in his post.”…”By August 1876 he would be dead.” (Lott, 251 and 152) This was a sad ending for someone who had conducted the New York Philharmonic beginning in 1858: “Bergmann was the Philharmonic’s most potent artistic personality for more than three decades. He also happened to be America’s first potent advocate of the music of Richard Wagner.” (Horowitz, Wagner, 38) The careers of Theodore Thomas and Bergmann “intertwined…Thomas, fourteen years Bergmann’s junior, frequently played the violin under Bergmann’s baton. Bergmann was initially the cellist in the historic chamber-music concerts of Thomas and the pianist William Mason. It was Thomas who brought the work Bergmann had helped begin to a plateau of high fruition.” (Ibid) In Thomas’ autobiography he evaluates Bergmann: “Bergmann was a talented musician and a fair cello player…He lacked most of the qualities of a first-rank conductor, but he had one great redeeming quality for those days which soon brought him into prominence. He possessed an artistic nature and was in sympathy with the so-called ”Zukunft Musik” [”Music of the Future”]. He lacked the force, however, to make an impression, and had no standard. He derived his principal inspiration from our chamber music practice. His readings of Beethoven’s works showed clearly that he had no tradition, and that it was not based on study.” And, if this was not damning enough, Thomas ended with: “Bergmann never practiced.” (Horowitz, Op. cit., 38 and 29)

 

HMA Program Collection

Von Bulow had made known that “the grand composition of Tschaikovsky, the most eminent Russian maestro of the present day, composed last April and dedicated by its author to Hans von Bulow, has NEVER BEEN PERFORMED, the composer himself never having enjoyed an audition of his masterpiece. To Boston is reserved the honor of its initial representation and the opportunity to impress the first verdict on a work of surpassing musical interest.” (Steinberg, 477) Originally the composer had

                                                  

Nicolai Rubinstein. Wikipedia, January 10, 2019.

dedicated the piece to Nicolai Rubinstein, Head of the Moscow Conservatory (from its founding in 1866 to his death in 1881), but Rubinstein’s reaction, which Tchaikovsky recorded three years after the event in a letter to his patron, von Meck. so upset the composer that he vowed to ignore Rubinstein’s suggestions and publish the work “exactly as it stands”-which he did (Steinberg, p. 475) He wrote to von Meck: “It transpired that my concerto was no good, that it was impossible to play, that some passages were hackneyed, awkward, and clumsy beyond redemption, that as a composition it was bad and banal, that I had pilfered this bit from here and that from there, that there were only two or three passages which would do, and that the rest would have to be either discarded or completely reworked.” (Lott, p. 241 quoting from a letter) The connection between the composer and von Bulow seems to be Karl Klindworth who “was a colleague [of Tchaikovsky] at the Moscow Conservatory,” and with Bulow, a fellow pupil of Liszt. (Lott, 241) “Bulow had already written favorably of some of Tchaikovsky”s earlier works… Upon receiving the concerto, Bulow wrote to Tchaikovsky: ”The ideas are so lofty, strong, and original. The details, which although profuse, in no way obscure the work as a whole…The form is so perfect, mature, and full of style – in the sense that the intention and craftsmanship are everywhere concealed.”” (Ibid) After such a response, naturally, the work was given to von Bulow.

Not everything was perfect at the premiere. “The distinguished Boston composer George W. Chadwick, then just about to turn 21, heard the performance and recalled in a memoir years later, ”They had not rehearsed much and the trombones got in wrong in the ”tutti” in the middle of the first movement, whereupon Bulow sang out in a perfectly audible voice, ”The brass may go to hell.” This was the first Tchaikovsky piece [I] ever heard and I thought it the greatest ever, but it rather mystified some of our local scribes [critics], who could not have dreamed how many times they would have to hear it in the future.” (Ledbetter, Program Note) “Critical reaction to what is now the world’s favorite piano concerto was decidedly mixed. its lyrical themes and colorful orchestration were immediately recognized and praised, but the sheer length of the work and the rambling first movement, in particular, were obstacles to appreciation. The Boston Evening Transcript found the ”elaborate work [to be] as difficult for popular apprehension as the name of the composer.” because of the ”long stretches of what seems, on the first hearing at least, formless void, sprinkled only with tinklings of the piano and snatchy obbligatos from all the various wind and string instruments in turn.” Dwight judged the last movement of the ”strange, wild, ultra-modern work” to be ”extremely brilliant and exciting,” but he wondered whether the public could ”ever learn to love such music.” …The public’s response was not nearly as guarded. A reporter for the New York Daily Tribune, in Boston for the premiere, thought the performance was ”irresistible, and the effect upon the audience most intense.” In fact, the exhilarating last movement, despite some ensemble problems, was so enthusiastically received that it had to be repeated. Tchaikovsky wrote to Rimsky-Korsakov after Bulow informed him of this demand, which happened more than once: ”Think what appetites these Americans have: after every performance Bulow was obligated to repeat the entire finale! Such a thing could never happen here.”” (Lott, 241 and 242) Having taken over as conductor of the fifth concert, Lang was retained for the sixth concert and then the seventh. For the sixth concert, he had only two or three days to prepare another new piece, the Raff Concerto!

HMA Program Collection.

       Lang was also the conductor for the Sixth Concert on October 29, 1875 (see program above). Note that Lang and von Bulow ended the concert with Chopin’s Rondo in C Major, a piece that Lang would later program with his pupils.

Lang and von Bulow repeated the Grand Concerto as part of von Bulow’s Seventh and final Concert in Boston. Then at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on Friday, December 17th. and continuing the 18th., 21st. and 22nd. of the same year (1875). Lang’s name was printed as the conductor for the third and fourth concerts and written in as conductor for the first and second concerts, but the Tchaikovsky does not appear in any of these programs. (BPL Lang Prog.) Lang’s biographical entry in the 1886 edition of A Handbook of American Music and Musicians edited by F. O. Jones characterized his conducting as follows: “His calmness and presence of mind under all circumstances and surety of score reading has more than once saved a careless or nervous performer from disaster. These qualities make him one of the best conductors, and enabled him to successfully act in that capacity for the belligerent von Bulow and the meteoric Joseffy.” (Jones – first page of ‘L’ section) Von Bulow played the Tchaikovsky Concerto in 139 out of a total of 172 concerts that he presented that 1875-76 season! As a performer himself, Lang was very considerate of the soloist when he conducted. Apthorp relates more of Lang’s experience with von Bulow in their Philadelphia appearance. Lang, “having heard reports that the Philadelphia orchestra was none of the best at that time, besides knowing that von Bulow was liable to be nervous and at times rather obstreperous at rehearsals, thought it wise to have some rehearsing without his presence. Among other things Beethoven’s G major concert [sic] was to be played; Lang agreed with von Bulow to have the rehearsal at ten o’clock the next morning, but privately sent word to the orchestra that it would be called at nine. This would give him an hour’s rehearsal before von Bulow appeared on the ground. The orchestra assembled as ordered, the orchestral numbers and accompaniments were rehearsed; when it got to be six or seven minutes to ten, Lang and the orchestra were still hammering away at the accompaniment to the G major concerto. But it happened that von Bulow got there some minutes before his appointed time, and, finding Lang already rehearsing without him, took a seat at the back of the hall to wait until this unexpected preliminary rehearsal should be over. Lang standing with his back to the house, of course, did not see him and went on with his work unsuspicious of his presence. When the orchestra got to the tutti hold on the dominant that ushers in the cadenza, and Lang had cut the chord short with a wave of his baton, he was not a little startled to hear von Bulow shriek out behind him in his sharpest and most acrid voice: ‘The woodwind may go to h—ll!’ Lang turned around just in time to see the infuriated pianist jam his stove-pipe upon his head and rush out of the hall as fast as his legs could carry him; von Bulow was not to be found again that morning, and the G major Concerto was played in the evening without rehearsal with the pianoforte.” (Apthorp, 357 and 358) However, the concerts went well: the pick-up orchestra played accurately and expressively under Lang’s meticulous direction. What he lacked in magnetism, Lang compensated for through his careful study and preparation of the orchestra… Bulow’s faith in Lang’s abilities was validated by excellent performances…Bulow continued to share the credit publicly with Lang. After a performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Bulow grabbed both of Lang’s hands and ”led him impulsively to the footlights to share blushingly the honors of the occasion.” (Lott, 260) Later, Lang himself was the soloist in this work at performances with the BSO in 1883 and 1885. (Steinberg, 473)

Tchaikovsky was very moved by the news of Bulow’s success with his concerto. In a letter dated February 13, 1876 he thanked Bulow for the news of “another American success that I owe to you,” the first being the Boston premiere. (Walker, 214) This second success was the New York performance of the concerto led by Leopold Damrosch whom Bulow had known in Weimar. For this performance, the finale was also encored as it had been in Boston. Tchaikovsky also noted that he had known Bulow “only a short time,” and having been treated so badly by his mentor, Anton Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky expressed to Bulow “the immense gratitude that I owe you, to you who were not my master and who are not even a compatriot.” (Walker,  215)

Bulow had some interesting observations on the musical audience in Boston. A year after his first appearances there, in 1876, Bulow told the Chicago Times: “There are two types of musical cultivation: for want of better terminology. I might call them in-breath and in-depth. In the latter respect. I would consider Boston the most cultivated; but the people are narrow and too pretentious for the measure of their knowledge. Puritanism has frozen art in New England; it’s a miracle that it hasn’t killed it altogether in the last 100 years. The Bostonians feel their indifference not only to an extreme degree: they even display it openly with pride. Presumably, they reckon it as one of the Fine Arts. But that it is not. It is simply a form of paralysis…nevertheless, for a certain sort of technical facility and depth of musical cultivation, Boston takes first place.” (Horowitz, America, 10 and 11)

Lang also learned the solo piano part of the Tchaikovsky work. At the February 19 and 20, 1885 concerts (19th. Pair of the Fourth Season) of the BSO Lang soloed in this work which just ten years earlier he had conducted its world premiere; this time the conductor was Georg Henschel. He had done the “Allegro” only at a Fitchburg concert of March 1883. The Home Journal devoted about ninety percent of its attention to the concerto. The writer spent half of his space telling why he didn’t like the work, and then, in a most convoluted manner, described Lang’s performance. “In regard to Mr. Lang’s performance of the work, we can see no reason for changing our former opinion as to a method which prevents him from playing with either clearness or breadth of tone which it would be extremely gratifying to have him bestow, and which he evidently aims at with the artistic fervor and fidelity that are requisite for an absolutely perfect performance. It is yet our pleasure to acknowledge that we have not yet known him to play in Boston with such excellent taste and to renew our appreciation of his nice sense of phrasing. It is as a master of accentuation that we find him making his efforts that naturally count for more than they are worth. During the past two years his technique has beyond all cavil developed in elasticity, which enables him to play runs and octaves with rare freedom; nor are his mannerisms so pronounced; so that all in all the treatment to which he submitted the concerto was eminently just and masterly. Mr. Lang was enthusiastically applauded and recalled.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) The Traveller devoted just under one-half of its space to the concerto. The reviewer wrote that: “To one not an especial student of the pianoforte, the concerto of Tschaikovsky which Mr. Lang played makes an unsatisfactory effect. It is not absolute music, though doubtless, the writer conceived with definite outline the picture he would express. It would seem a good plan if modern writers for the pianoforte, beginning with Rubinstein, would search out a new name for what they are now obliged to call concerto, for their methods, and the point of view from which they write for orchestra and pianoforte, are in effect different from those of Mozart or Beethoven, and, therefore, distracting to the student. But the work is not dull; it is only untransparent. The difficulties of what Mr. Lang is playing can never be established by seeing or hearing him play. The most extraordinary technical demands are met by him with just the same fortified complacency. He is never at fault technically, and his impassioned, nervous manner is indicative of a fine, susceptible temperament, which makes his interpretations uniformly just. Mr. Lang was heard with interest by the large audience and warmly recalled.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) The Transcript reviewer devoted his second half to the concerto saying in general that he liked the work, even if “some portions of the work are marvels of systematized cacophony…Mr. Lang played the concerto with evident enthusiasm, and with a finish of detail that was altogether fine. For grace of phrasing, purity of style and general artistic completeness, his playing could only call forth admiration. Nor was anything wanting in force and vigor of accent. The only thing that we felt the want of was a more commanding volume of tone from the pianoforte; in this, as in many of the modern concerts, the pianoforte has literally to vie with the orchestra in power, and it requires almost superhuman strength to make the solo part really dominate over the accompaniment. Yet it was only in a few passages that any weakness was felt in this respect, and this occasional physical shortcoming was as little when compared with the high intellectual and artistic qualities of Mr. Lang’s playing.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) The short review in the Globe noted that the concerto “held the closest attention of the audience. Mr. Lang’s clean touch and artistic interpretation gave this well-known concerto [well known only ten years after its world premiere!] new life, the last movement being especially fine.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) The review in the Courier began by saying: “The piece de resistance of the concert of last night was Schumann’s ”Cologne” Symphony…Not far behind the symphony in interest was the Tschaikowsky concerto played by Mr. Lang. The pianist was greeted with the heartiest applause from first to last, and in the last two movements certainly deserved it. the development of the first movement smacked somewhat of the etude order of music, although the first theme, given first in the orchestra with piano accompaniment and then in reversed treatment, was finely give. Best of all was the second movement, with its pastoral, musette-like opening, and we can complement Mr. Lang on the perfection of ensemble in this movement of the work. He was also successful in the finale, where, in spite of the heavy orchestration, he made his part always clear and intelligible. It was rather a musicianly than a fiery performance., but its clearness and steadiness had a decided charm for both the critic and audience.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) A review with the headline of “The Nineteenth Symphony Concert” began by noting that the concerto “has been occasionally played” in Boston since its premier,[certainly a different position than the one taken in the previous review] but the reviewer found only small aspects of the work to approve of. “The orchestra did excellent work, and Mr. Lang, who was the pianist, was often strong, clear, sure and effective, although at times his natural nervousness seemed to prevent his doing his best, as an occasional inexactitude in the many double octave passages and dispersed harmonies indicated. The full chords of the introductions were sharply and positively struck, and in the andantino, he read smoothly and lightly.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) The Gazette review spent close to half its space on the concerto. “The soloist was Mr. B. J. Lang, who played Tchaikovsky’s [sic] concerto for piano, op. 23, a work which, the better becomes acquainted with it, the more pretentious it seems, and the more frivolous and vulgar it is in effect. Of Mr. Lang’s playing there is not a great deal to be said. There was much jumping of hands from the keyboard, much that was spasmodic in style and effect, and but little that was clear. In arpeggio runs the first notes and the last notes were heard, while the intervening notes were scarcely audible. It was the same in nearly all the brilliant passages where the hands took in the whole extent of the keyboard. The opening phrase was attacked with force, and then but little was distinct until the hand sprang up with a thump from the piano at the last note. This restless dancing up and down of the hands, at last, became a distracting feature of the performance. As a reading the performance was barren of interest. The artist played with exemplary pedantry, but with no breadth or largeness of style, and with a phlegmatic coldness that was wearily uninspiring. The best effects were achieved in the first half of the opening movement, and in the middle of the andante. For a performer of Mr. Lang’s long experience his playing throughout showed extraordinary lack of repose and of artistic balance. He was received with great heartiness on his first appearance, and at the end of the concert was applauded and recalled with no less enthusiasm.” [Which must have really upset the reviewer] (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) The Herald review reported: “Mr. B. J. Lang was the soloist, and his clear, intelligent and accurate presentation of the piano score of the concerto made this number the leading attraction of the evening. The presentation of the work was a far more satisfying one than that
given by the same soloist during the second season of the ill-fated Philharmonic Society, in 1882, and Mr. Lang was enthusiastically applauded at its finish.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) The last quarter of the review in the Journal noted: “Mr. Lang gave again the evidence of his true mastery in the art when he bestowed upon the technical concerto of Tschaikowsky every atom of beauty and power which the notes would allow. The strong, staccato intonations in the allegro were given with the vividness and grace so peculiar to Mr. Lang, and at each turning point there was the delicate poising on pivotal notes which adds so much to the magnetism of the music.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

Bulow returned to Boston two more times that season. In January 1876 he gave six concerts, mainly of solo pieces, but with some chamber music included. He then returned in April for five solo recitals at the Music Hall which were billed as “Positively his last appearance in Boston.” (HMA Program Collection) But, then he returned on April 15, 16, 17, and 18, 1889 to give 3 PM recitals at the Music Hall of just Beethoven works. Then on May 1, 1889, there was a “Farewell recital,” but that was followed by concerts of mixed repertoire given on Monday, March 31, 1890 and Saturday, April 5, 1890 which were billed as “Positively last appearances.” (HMA Program Collection)

B. J. studying a full score. Collection of Amy DuBois.

      Lang was still conducting this work 25 years later. At a Sunday night December 16, 1900 concert at Symphony Hall, Lang conducted an orchestra of 55 in a “GRAND CONCERT given by and for the benefit of the Musicians” Aid Society.” The orchestra solos were the “Overture” to St. Paul by Mendelssohn and the Overture-In Memoriam” by Sullivan (Mr. J. Wallace Goodwich-organist) The main soloist was Ossip Gabrilowitsch who played the Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto in B Flat Minor Opus 23 and Liszt’s Hungarian Fantasie for piano and orchestra. (BPL Lang Prog., 6664)

       Lang’s orchestral conducting experience began early in his career. On May 12, 1867, at age thirty he conducted (a) Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Mechanic Hall in Salem, MA “In aid of the New Music Hall.” This concert was promoted by Mr. M. S. Downs and also included as soloist “Miss Adelaide Phillips, the celebrated Prima Dona.” The program was:

Symphony # 5 – Beethoven

Song – Donizetti

Overture: A Midsummer Night’s Dream –  Mendelssohn

Cuban Song

Waltz –  J. Strauss

Song

Wedding March: Midsummer Night’s Dream –  Mendelssohn

Dwight’s review said: “The object was to raise funds towards the erection of a new music hall, which Salem surely ought to have, for it is now a city, and has some very musical people, sending quite a delegation always to our oratorios and Symphony Concerts in Boston. The occasion is said to have been in every sense most successful.” (Dwight (May 25, 1867): 39)

       In the fall of 1892 B. J. was part of the judging panel for the “Grand Opera” category of the New York City National Conservatory composition contest. The other judges were: the head of the Conservatory, Antonin Dvorak, and Arthur Nikisch, Anton Seidl, J. K. Paine and Dudley Buck.

 

ROSAMOND LANG GALACAR. SC(G). WC.

 ROSAMOND LANG GALACAR. SC(G).

WC-2,302.      9/28/2020.

       Margaret’s sister Rosamond, the second child, was born on February 6, 1878, at 3 Otis Place, Boston (Birth Certificate), and died at Newburyport, MA on August 11, 1971 (Social Security 020-40-3710). In an article about her father at his death in 1909, she is described as one who “plays brilliantly and is a favorite member of the Vincent Club.” (Transcript, April 5, 1909) This EXACT same wording had been used by the Boston Globe in an article two years earlier which was about Lang’s 70th. birthday. (Globe Archive (December 22, 1907) The Globe article printed the day after his death mentioned that Rosamond “is a member of the Vincent Club and composed the music for their recent show.” (Globe (April 5, 1909)

       Rosamond composed the music for the 1906 Vincent Show, The Merry Marquis. The words were by Georgette Parks, the orchestration was by Mr. Kanrich, and the score was published by C. W. Thompson-“Ushers will take orders for [the] music.” (Program, 15) The Music Library at Eastman School of Music has this score available for as a download. There were eight separate musical numbers in the score. The orchestra consisted of four First Violins, three Second Violins, two Violas, one Bass, two Flutes, two Clarinets, two Horns, two Cornets, one Trombone, one percussion and piano; Rosamond and Elizabeth S. Porter were the Leaders. A footnote said that the orchestra was “assisted by members of the Bostonia Orchestra.” (Program,  21) Rosamond Dixey, daughter of B. J.’s longtime pupil, Richard C. Dixey, was the Property Manager.

 

Below-After the Opening Chorus (no Overture it seems) the Marquis sings a patter song in the best Gilbert and Sullivan manner with the Chorus echoing the last words of each couplet

 

 

 

Below- The patter song becomes a ballad as shown below. In the Second Act, the Marquis sings the same music but with the words “is, is you” instead of “not you, not you” as sung in the First Act.

Below-Sybil sings of “simple Peggy” in a simple folk-like melody.

Below-Second page of the Second Act Minuet. This is the second instrumental work in the show; the first is the Postillion March.

Thanks to Gail Wetherby from The Vincent Club for this material.

Rosamond had been part of previous Vincent Club shows.  In 1903 she was one of  21 “Priests of Vishnu” in The Rajah’s Daughter, an Operetta in Four Acts by Susan B. Howe and L. C. Lawrence. In 1904 she appeared as a  “Girl of the Haymakers’ Chorus” in The Tomboy, an Operetta in Two Acts by Constance Tippett and Susan B. Howe which use a cast of just under 100. In 1905 she was one of nine “Schoolgirls” managed by Miss Alice Gardiner in Alice In Wonderland, an Operetta in Two Acts. In 1907 the show took a different direction-a series of short skits and plays. For the first play, only 13 cast members were required, but one of those, “Susan Youngmuther,” was played by Miss Ethel Ranney, Malcolm’s future wife. The fourth item was a “Skit” for a solo artist, Miss Elizabeth S. Porter, with the verses and music written by Rosamond. The phrase “verses and Music” was handwritten in the program, but an article before the opening night said: “Miss Elizabeth Porter is again to lead the orchestra, which she does with an immense amount of dash and spirit, and also is to give an original monologue which cannot but be exceedingly funny.” (“Millet and Batt”-from Vincent Club Library) Miss Rosamond Dixey did the costumes for the show and danced, Miss Helen Apthorp did a solo dance, and “Miss Phillis Robbins, [who owned the farm near the Lang farm in New Boston] who has one of the most captivating voices in the company, is to sing several songs.” (Ibid) Johnston Collection. Complete work available.

       In 1909 Rosamond applied for a Passport. On that document she was described as unmarried: Age-31 years; Stature- 5 feet 5 inches; Forehead-High; Eyes-Blue; Nose-Straight; Mouth-medium; Chin-Short; Hair-Light; Complexion-Light; face-Oval. (Passport Application)

     Rosamond was married at King’s Chapel on Wednesday, May 3, 1911 at Noon in a very simple ceremony; there were no bridesmaids nor ushers. The engagement had been announced in early January. “Only members of the two families were at the church. Mr. Malcolm Lang gave his sister away. A number of Mr. Galacar’s relatives came from their home in Springfield, Mass.” (Herald (May 7, 1911): 22, GB) The Society Writer of the Herald wrote, Rosamond “wore the conventional white satin gown, trimmed with lace, a tulle veil fastened with orange blossoms and carried a bouquet of lilies of the valley. She wore a pearl brooch, the gift of the bridegroom. (Herald (May 4, 1911): 7, GB) “Mr. Galacar is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Galacar of Springfield, a graduate of Yale, class of ’95, and a member of the Puritan, Eastern Yacht, St. Botolph and Yale clubs…The wedding march as the bride entered the church was played by John A. Loud of Beachmont and Mr. Lang, the bride’s brother, played the recessional music,” [Mendessohn’s Wedding March] (Herald, Op. cit., GB) The reception was at the Lang family home on Brimmer Street. “Among the guests were many Vincent Club girls, of which organization the bride is a member.” (Herald, Op. cit.) The couple had known each other a number of years. He signed his name in the Guest Book of the Lang farm on January 29, 1901, and also wrote a four stanza “Soliloquy” in German.

       On September 2, 1913, Rosamond and her husband sailed from Liverpool back to Boston on the “Laconia” from their belated honeymoon in Europe-their home at this time was 74 Mount Vernon Street, Boston which had been done over during their absence. He was aged 40 and she was 34. ( S. S. Laconia Manifest) This trip may have been a way to deal with the death of their first child, Rosamond, on March 26, 1913. Just after they returned home Frederic was taken seriously ill with pneumonia which developed after a serious operation; there was little hope that he would survive. He did survive and was soon moved from Dr. Codman’s private hospital to his home on Mt. Vernon Street. (Springfield Union (October 12, 1913): 24, GB)

       Frederic Ruthven Galacar, after his graduation from Yale in 1895, spent the next two years in Germany studying political economy. The Herald wrote that he graduated from the University of Goettingen. (Herald (January 3, 1911): 7, GB) After his return to the States in 1897 he began a career in insurance which was also his father’s career. On his father’s side, his “ancestors came from Scotland about 1780 and settled at Provincetown.”  Among Frederic’s club memberships were the Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard Musical Association-he became a member on October 7, 1904-aged c. 33, he as a shareholder in the Boston Opera House (as were B. J. Lang, Alice H. Burrage and Harry L Burrage), Unitarian Laymen’s League and King’s Chapel-Boston. “During the war [he] did considerable work for the Secret Service.” He also was the author of Historic Boston (1916). This was a 40 page “keepsake” for the delegates of the Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Springfield, Mass, Frederic’s company, who were attending the 21st. National Convention of Insurance Agents in Boston that year. It contained 21 black and white photos and brief descriptions and histories of historic places in Boston. Frederic died of heart disease after an illness of several weeks. He was survived by his wife and two sisters. (All information in this paragraph from his Yale obituary-available on line, except for Historic Boston details which came from the OCLC entry) As seen above, Frederic’s main occupation had been in insurance; he followed in his father’s footsteps. In 1899 Frederic was appointed special agent and adjuster for New England of the Union Fire Assurance Company of England. “Mr Galacar will in the future make Boston his headquarters.” (Springfield Republican (August 16, 1899): 8, GB) In December 1924 that he was made Vice-President and Director of the John Paulding Meade Company, one of the larger Boston insurance corporations. He was described as “one of the best-equipped insurance men of this city.” (Herald (December 1, 1924): 15, GB)

       The Galacars lost their first two children, a girl, and a boy. The first child was Rosamond Lang (September 13, 1912-March 26, 1913: from a photo of a gravestone at Mt. Auburn Cemetery which is beside a stone for Frederic Galacar with only one date, June 27, 1915) Their second child was born and died on the same day. The Herald listed under “Died: Galacar-At Boston, June 27, 1915, infant son of Frederic R. and Rosamond Lang Galacar.” (Herald (June 29, 1915): 12, GB) Their third child, Charles, survived into adulthood.

       In addition to her work as a Vincent Girl with their charitable works, Rosamond was also active in the Boston social scene. In February 1912 she was a Patron for a series of three lectures on Brahms. There were roughly 86 other Patrons among which were the Cabots, Mrs. John L. Gardner (Isabella Stuart Gardner), Mrs. Henry L. Higginson, and Mrs. Montgomery Sears.  (Herald (November 24, 1912): 27, GB) In 1915 Rosamond supported four performances of two French plays that had been translated by the poet Amy Lowell. These were presented at Jordan Hall and were to benefit the Women’s Municipal League. Families represented were the Abbotts, the Agassizes, the Saltonstalls, the Parkmans, the Jordans, Amy Lowell’s brother, the President of Harvard, Mr. A Lawrence Lowell, and many others. Also listed as attending were Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Lang, Miss Margaret Lang, and Mrs. B. J. Lang. The dresses of some of the more prominent women were described: “Mrs. Lang’s was of black satin and chiffon over white, the girdle of old rose.” (Herald (February 7, 1915): 26, GB) In 1922 it had become “quite the fashionable thing to pour at one of the weekly teas of the Repertory Club which has sprung like magic into a membership of some 3,000.” (Herald (January 4, 1922): 15, GB) Rosamond was one of the four who presided at the tea table. After a talk on “The American Flag,” the members moved next door to the Copley Theatre for a performance of G. B. Shaw’s The Dark Lady of the Sonnet.

       The 1920 census address was 74 Mt. Vernon Street and listed Frederic as aged 46, Rosamond as 41 and their son, Charles as 3 and 1/2 together with three servants: Lillian MacKensie-cook, aged 49, Hilda H. Mansen-waitress, aged 21 and Jennie M. Campbell-nurse, aged 38. A summer home was on Argilla Road in Ipswich (1926); other homes had been at Locust Hill, Ipswich (1925-possibly another way to describe the Angilla Road property); Valleyside Cottage at Beverly Farms-they were described as being new to the North Shore (1914-the summer of 1913 they had spent in Europe on their honeymoon) (Herald, April 19, 1914, p. 26, GB) For the summer of 1918 they rented the “Owl” Cottage at Beverly Farms. (Herald (May 26, 1918): 26, GB)

       Frederic died on May 5, 1926, aged 53 (or 54). “He had taken a southern trip in March and appeared in much better health when he returned, but he had not been home long when heart trouble developed.” (Herald (May 6, 1926): 3, GB)  His service was held at King’s Chapel. “A special musical program arranged by the family was played by Raymond C. Robinson, organist of the church.” (Herald (May 8, 1926): 5, GB)

        Rosamond was the first of B. J. Lang’s children to die, August 11, 1971, followed by Malcolm on March 7, 1972, and Margaret on May 30, 1972. As the oldest child, Margaret seemed to feel that it was her responsibility to look after her two younger siblings, just as she had cared for her own mother for so many years.

       The four generations are:

FIRST:   Frederick Ruthven Galacar   +    Rosamond Lang Galacar

           (b. Oct. 1, 1872, Manhattan,               (b. Feb. 5, 1878, at 3 Otis Place)           (d. May 6, 1925 – from gravestone)           (d. Aug. 11, 1971)                                    They had one son, Charles.

SECOND:    Charles Galacar  +   Marguerite* (Margo nee Houle) Galacar                                   (b. 1916, d. 1988)                    (b. 1916, d. May 3, 2003)

Marguerite’s mother was Pamelia Paquette Houle: 1877-1952 (Mrs. Houle’s name was Madame Arsene P. Houle in the Engagement announcement). Marguerite’s Engagement (with photo) was announced in the Sunday Herald on March 17, 1940.

Marguerite was the long time Curator of the Heard House in Ipswich. She sold the Winslow Homer pencil portrait of B. J., now in the Portland, ME Art Museum when her son, Charles David Galacar was out of work because of a heart attack.                                                                                                                      They had two sons, Frederick and Charles.

 THIRD:   Frederic Lang Galacar + Katherine Wick (Kitty) Galacar                                  b. 1942                                           b. ?                                                         They had one daughter, Sophie.

     Charles David Galacar   +   Leslie Galacar                                                                    (b. Apr. 24, 1943, d. Aug. 13, 2009)  (b. May 5, 1950)                                                  They had two sons, Joshua and Christian.

Charles David Galacar. He “was a health aide professional who specialized in helping elderly patients. In his youth, he departed Boston University to sail before the mast on the barkentine ‘Cutty Sark’ as well as other vessels in the Caribbean Sea and in Hawaii.” (Gloucester Daily Times, August 15, 2009-Ancestry.com) After Charles’s death, the family sold a tea set engraved with the name “B. J. Lang” on December 12, 2009 at Landry’s Auctions in Essex for $1,150. (E-mail August 12, 2010 from Robert E. Landry)

FOURTH:                                                                                                                                   Daughter of Frederick and Katherine:                                                                       Sophie Lang Galacar.       b. c. 1988, graduated North Shore Community College, Danvers Ma., May 2008

                                                                                                                                                           Sons of Charles and Leslie:                                                                                             Joshua Hezekiah Galacar                   b. May 26, 1982                                               Christian Lang Galacar                       b. May 27, 1984

Information from an e-mail dated  September 28, 2009 from Christian Lang Galacar.

The “Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Book Vol. 46” published in 1918, and available online through Google Books, has the following entry on pages 333 and 334:

Miss Rosamond Lang 45788

Born Boston, MA

Descendent of Daniel Harrington:

Daughter of B. J. Lang and Frances Morse Burrage

Granddaughter of Johnson Carter Burrage and Emeline Brigham, his wife

Gr-granddaughter of George Brigham and Betsy Morse, his wife

Gr-gr-granddaughter of Daniel Brigham and Thankful Brigham, his wife

Gr-gr-gr-granddaughter of Winslow Brigham and Elizabeth Harrington, his wife Gr-gr-gr-gr-granddaughter of Daniel Harrington and Mary (1706-93), his wife Daniel Harrington (1707-95) was a member of the Committee of Correspondence of Marlboro 1775, and a minute man at Lexington. He was born in Marlboro.

Also Nos. 3405, 8903, 12794, 19271, 23806, 28083.

PIANO INSTRUCTOR. PUPILS: CONCERT ARTISTS. SC(G). WC.

              PIANO INSTRUCTOR. PUPILS: CONCERT ARTISTS.                                    SC(G). WORD COUNT-13,793.  October 10, 2020.

LANG’S PUPILS: CONCERT ARTISTS.                                                        NEVIN.                                                                                                                                   RUTH BURRAGE.                                                                                                    ELIZABETH GOULD POEM.

G. A. Adams: Schumann Piano Concerto. April 11, 1872 (BPL Lang Prog.),  Bach Concerto for Three Pianos. May 2, 1872 (Dwight (May 18, 1872): 239) and September 24, 1872. (Dwight (October 5, 1872): 318) He was one of five Lang pupils hired to teach at the National College of Music in 1872. Lang was the head of the Piano Department and selected teachers who “would naturally teach according to the Lang method, and that certainly was a commendable system.” Ryan lists his name as “Mr. J. A. Adams.” (Ryan, 172 and 173.)

J. Warren Andrews. Mentioned in Hamilton C. MacDougall’s column “The Free Lance,” July 1943. (Diapason (July 1, 1943): 13).

William F. Apthorp: “Barcarole” Bennett’s Concerto No. 4. April 18, 1872. (Dwight ???) At the 1000th. concert (1867-1882) presented by NEC on Wednesday, May 27, 1882 at 2 PM the Bach Concerto in C Major for Three Pianos was played by Lang, Otto Bendix, J. C. D. Parker with William F. Apthorp playing the orchestral reduction. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

Miss Mertena Louise Bancroft: On Tuesday evening May 6, 1902 Lang played the orchestral part for Miss Bancroft’s performance of the Saint- Saens Concerto No. 1 in D Major at the Small Chickering Hall, 153 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

Miss Barton: Schumann-Piano Concerto. Dwight reported on the National College of Music’s first “Exhibition Concert of Pupils” held on April 15, 1873, “The solo singing all gave evidence of talent and of excellent instruction,” but “The most remarkable performance of the afternoon was that of the difficult Schumann Concerto by Miss Barton, a young pupil of Mr. Lang, whose rendering of the first movement was highly satisfactory…It was a most arduous undertaking for a young girl, and such a measure of success seems full of promise.” (Dwight (May 3, 1873): 14)

Arthur J. Bassett. From the Worcester area, he studied with Hiram G. Tucker in Boston and then with B. J. “whose recent lectures in Boston on ‘piano touch’ have caused such widespread comment in the different music journals all over the country. Mr. Lang chose Mr. Bassett from a wide field of musicians to be the regular pianist of the ‘Apollo Club,’ a male chorus of great reputation and merit, second to none in the United States. He has also been prominently connected with the ‘Cecilia,’ also an organization of much renown.” (Worcester Daily Spy (September 4, 1894): 8, GB)

Miss Brainard, the popular lady teacher of St. Louis is in Boston, taking lessons of Mr. Z. W. Wheeler and Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Folio, February 1872)

Miss Jesse Cochrane: Beethoven-Sonata Opus 81. March 6, 1879. (Dwight (March 29, 1879): 54) Cochrane had studied with Lang and then in Europe with von Bulow.

Miss Alice Coleman. Was one of two female accompanists for the Cecilia in the 1898-99 Season. Cecilia usually had Lang’s advanced students for their pianist(s).

E. Cutter, Jr. see “People and Places.” As he was used by Lang as a choral accompanist in the 1890s, we can assume that he was a Lang pupil.

R. C. Dixey: Reinecke-Concertstuck, Op. 33. April 18, 1872. (Dwight ??) See extensive entry in “People and Places.”

Alice Dutton-see own entry under “People and Places.”

Miss Alma L. Faunce presented a recital at the Wesleyan Hall on Thursday evening May 18, 1883 playing the solo part of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment. (BPL Prog., Vol. 4) On March 8, 1887 she played Chopin’s Concerto in E Minor Op. 11 at LANG’S “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert (Second of the series).” She was now married-Mrs. Alma Faunce Smith. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

Harry Fay: Sterndale Bennett-Allegro Giojozo. (Globe (April 2, 1890): 2) The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall.  Mr. Harry Fay played Chopin’s Andante Spianato and Polonaise, Opus 22. A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30 PM.  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30 PM with the Allegro Giojoso in E Major Opus 22 by Sterndale Bennett played by Mr. Harry Fay.

Miss Annie Fisher played Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D Minor, No. 2 on Tuesday, March 22, 1887 at LANG’S Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30 PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) The Herald noted only that her performance “showed evidence of a very conscientious study of the score.”  (Herald (March 23, 1887): 3, GB)

Arthur Foote: The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included Hiller’s Concerto Opus 69 in F Sharp Minor played by Foote.  A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30 PM.  The second concert on Tuesday, March 25, 1890 included Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 in D Minor played by Mr. Arthur Foote.

Mr. S. H. Gerrish. “Two years before MacDowell arrived in Boston, on January 18, 1886, Lang played the orchestra part of MacDowell’s Piano Concerto in A Minor Opus 15 with his student, Mr. S. H. Gerrish as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4.) The concert was held on Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall.

Miss Ann Gilbreth: Mozart-Concerto for Three Pianos. April 2, 1890. (Globe (April 2, 1890): 2)  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30 PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin.

Mr. Hiram Hall was one of two organists at the Cecilia concert on March 28, 1889 of the Dvorak Stabat Mater.

Miss Laura Hawkins: Was one of two female accompanimists for the Cecilia during the 1898-99 Season. Lang usually used his advanced pupils for this position. On February 26, 1904 at 8:15 PM at Potter Hall, 177 Huntington Avenue, Lang played the orchestral reduction of the Saint- Saens Concerto No. 5 with Miss Hawkins as the soloist. This was billed as a first performance. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8) (Johnson, First, 303) has the Boston premiere given by Madeline Schiller with the Thomas Orchestra on January 26, 1876 at the Boston Music Hall.

On Tuesday, April 27, 1897 at 3:30 PM Lang played the orchestral part for Beethoven’s Concerto Opus 58 at Chickering Hall with Edward B[urlingame] Hill as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7) Hill had graduated from Harvard in 1894, spent the next two years studying piano in New York City with Arthur Whiting, and then spent the summer of 1898 in Paris studying composition with Widor. Based on this Boston appearance, he seems to have spent 1897-98 in Boston. (Kaufman-Am. Grove, Vol. 2, 385) Hill was a guest at LANG’S summer home in New Boston, New Hampshire.

Mrs. J. M. Hernandez: On March 31, 1881 Lang played the orchestral part of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 Hernandez as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

Mr. Alfred Hollins: During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall. The third concert on April 17 included Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 Opus 73 in E Flat Major (Emperor) Hollins. (Lang Prog.)  Another connection between Lang and Hollins was that Hollins had studied piano with Hans von Bulow in Berlin. “While in Germany Hollins gave a series of concerts – at one time playing three concerti in the one evening – The Liszt Eb, the Schumann A minor and the Emperor.” (Wikipedia article 9/16/2010)

Helen Hood. Born in Chelsea, MA, “she pursued her piano studies under Benjamin J. Lang, and subsequently under Moszkowski in Berlin. Her teacher of composition was George W. Chadwick. (Elson, 306) Her career emphasis was composition.

On Monday evening April 23, 1883 Lang played the orchestra part of Schumann’s Piano Concerto at the Chickering Hall, 156 Tremont Street with Mr. S. W. Jamieson as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) Two years later, on March 4, 1885, Lang opened a concert of Jamieson’s with the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D Minor. (Ibid) Then on Friday, March 5, 1886 Lang played the orchestra part for Jamieson’s performance of Chopin’s  Concerto Opus 11. (Ibid) Jamieson was one of the soloists in LANG’S “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” held on March 8, 1887 playing Weber’s Concertstuck in F Minor Opus 78. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Back in 1881 he was engaged to be the pianist “for the season of Mortimer’s Mysteries” which began at the Boston Museum on June 6. In the announcement, it was mentioned that he was a pupil of Mr. B. J. Lang. (Journal (May 25, 1881): 4, GB)

Miss Clara F. Joy performed Chopin’s Andante Spianato and Polonaise at a concert given by the Orchestral Union on April 10, 1867. Dwight wrote that she played “in a really artistic manner, at least for a pupil.” (Dwight (April 13, 1867): 15). This was Miss Joy’s debut, and the Journal felt that she played “with most excellent effect. To an easy and graceful execution, she unites power and distinctness, together with an intelligent rendering that marks the true artist. Her performance made a splendid impression and was greatly applauded.” (Journal (April 11, 1867): 4, GB) Miss Joy was one of 13 artists taking part at Mr. A. P. Peck’s ANNUAL BENEFIT CONCERT on Saturday evening, May 25, 1867 at the Music Hall. In the ad for this concert, she is listed as “a pupil of Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Traveler (May 25, 1867): 3. GB)

Frederick H. Lewis (Lang pupil?) played the Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 with the HMA Orchestra in late January 1881. (Program, Foote Scrapbooks) Elson (History Am.) states that he studied with J. C. D. Parker ( 230), and Mathews (100 Years, 700) repeats this.

Hamilton C. MacDougall studied for two seasons and acted as accompanist for the Apollo Club for one season. (Diapason (July 1, 1943): 13)

Mrs. Elizabeth May Marsh On Saturday evening April 25, 1885 at 8 PM Lang played the orchestral reduction to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 Opus 37 at Chickering Hall with Marsh as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4). On Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall Lang conducted the first of a series of “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts,” Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Chopin’s Krakowiak. Mrs. E. M. Marsh of Boston was the dedicatee of Chadwick’s Drie Walzer, published in 1890, the third of which is based on a “Motive by B. J. L.” The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall. On April 3 Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mozart’s Concerto No. 4 in B Flat major. Mrs. Marsh appeared at the April 30, 1890 concert of the Apollo Club as the accompanist for the assisting artist, the violinist Miss Maud Powell. (Program-Johnston Collection) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90,  13) at Chickering Hall was begun on March 10 [1890] at 2:30 PM. Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mendelssohn’s Capriccio Brillant in B Major Opus 22. In 1895 Mrs. Marsh presented two concerts at Chickering Hall that were “the most brilliant of similar affairs this season…Mrs. Marsh, who is one of Mr. LANG’S most promising pupils [after ten years of instruction, she should be] was very attractive in black and green silk, with [a] broad collar of white lace…In the large and fashionable audience were noticed…Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Lang,” etc., etc. (Herald (December 15, 1895): 9, GB) She became a friend of the family-the New Boston Farm Guestbook shows that she stayed from September 17-22, 1902 and signed: “twice blest.”(6809)

Miss Louise May played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 on May 9, 1889 at Apollo Hall with Lang playing the orchestra part. (BPL  Lang Prog., Vol. 5) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30 PM.  The second concert on Tuesday, March 25, 1890 included Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in C Minor Opus 37 (Allegro and Cadenza) played by Miss Louise May.

Arthur D. Mayo was the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment on Friday, April 29, 1887 at 8 PM at Chickering Hall. Mayo was again the soloist on Wednesday evening December 10, 1890 playing Mozart’s Concerto in D Minor, again with Lang providing the orchestra accompaniment. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) He repeated the Mendelssohn in 1890-Mendelssohn-Concerto No. 2. (Globe (April 2, 1890): 2) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30 PM.  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30 PM with  Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 played by Mayo.

For a concert with Marion Arletta Mitchell as the soloist, Lang played the orchestral reduction of Weber’s Concert-stuck Opus 79 on Wednesday, January 28, 1903. The soloist had opened the program with the Rhapsody in E Minor by Margaret Ruthven Lang. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

Miss Marion Ward Mosher: On Wednesday evening April 16, 1879 Lang played the orchestral reduction for Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in G Opus 25 Minor with Mosher as the soloist in a concert she presented in Providence, R. I. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2) The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included the Rhapsodie d’Auvergne Opus 73 by Saint-Saens played by Miss Marian [or Marion] Mosher.

Ethelbert Nevin: Mozart-Concerto for Three Pianos. April 2, 1890. (Globe (April 2, 1890): 2) A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30 PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin.

On Thursday, April 17, 1879 Lang played the orchestral part for Lottie A. Pearson’s performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto Opus 54 in A Minor at the Apollo Hall, 151 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2)

Joshua Phippen: During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall. The second program on April 10 included  Mr. Joshua Phippen playing Saint-Saens Concerto in D Minor Opus 17 Chopin. (Lang Prog.) Also, Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, March 1890 (Hale Crit., Vol. 1)A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall was begun on March 10 [1890] at 2:30 PM. Mr. Joshua Phippen played Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 in F Minor Opus 22. 

Miss Caroline L. Pond: On Wednesday evening April 22, 1885 Lang played the orchestra part of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 Opus 58 Pond as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall. The third concert on April 17 was Brassin’s Concerto in C Major played by Miss Caroline Pond. (BPL Lang Prog.)

Mr. R. F. Raymond: One of LANG’S early students, he was advertising himself as a piano instructor in 1864 and listing as his references Rev. C. D. Bradlee and Mr. B. J. Lang. (Herald (November 2, 1864): 2)

Miss Fanny Richter: Bach-Italian Concerto, May 11, 1893. (Globe (May 12, 1893): 8)

The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall,  The second program on April 10 included Madame Eugenie de Roode playing Rubinstein’s Concerto No. 4 in D Minor. (BPL Lang Prog.)

Miss Mary H. Russell was the soloist in the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 Opus 19 with Lang playing the orchestra part on Wednesday evening April 1, 1885. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4)

Miss Grace Sampson: Mozart-Sonata in D for Two Pianos. April 22 and 29, 1875. (Dwight (May 1, 1875): 15 and (May 29, 1875): 30). At a concert at the Essex Institute in Salem on Monday evening January 8, 1877, Lang and Grace Simpson played the Schumann Variations for Two Pianos Opus 46 to open the concert and the Saint-Saens Concerto in G Opus 22 to close. In the middle, they played the Mozart Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos. A vocalist was also part of the concert. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2) See below:

Mrs. Chas. W. Scott listed herself as a Lang pupil. (Springfield Republican (June 17, 1902): 11, GB)

Miss May Shepard played the solo part of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 on Friday evening May 27, 1887 8 PM with Lang playing the orchestral accompaniment. This concert was at Chickering Hall. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)

Mr. G. W. Steele: played orchestral reduction of a Hummel Piano Concerto with Lang as soloist in Salem, May 1863. (Dwight (May 16, 1863): 32). Steele had been a student at Oberlin College, and after a period of German study and his time in Boston, he returned there to be one of the first piano instructors (c. 1865). (Mathews, 100 Years, 517)

Miss Minnie A. Stowell:  A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30 PM.  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30 PM with Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor played by Miss Minnie A. Stowell. (BPL Lang Prog.)(Globe (April 2, 1890): 2)

G. W. Sumner: Bach-Concerto for Three Pianos. May 2, 1872 and September 24, 1872. (Dwight ??) During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall. The second program on April 10 included Mr. G. W. Sumner playing Introduction and Allegro Opus 49 by Godard. (BPL Lang Prog.)

Miss Georgie T. Towne advertised in the Beverly MA Saturday Morning Citizen that she was a teacher of Piano and Singing, and among her three references was B. J. Lang. She charged $12 for 24 lessons. This would have made her an early pupil. (Saturday Morning Citizen (April 1, 1865): 1, GB)

Mr. Hiram G. Tucker: Beethoven-Concerto No. 5. April 25, 1873. (BPL Lang Prog.) Bach-Concerto for Three Pianos. May 2, 1872 and September 24, 1872. (Dwight ??) On April 1, 1881 Tucker presented a concert at Chickering Hall, 156 Tremont Street with Mrs. E. Humphrey Allen as the assisting artist-she sang four songs. Tickets were one dollar from A. P. Schmidt at 146 Tremont Street. He played seven pieces, beginning with the Schubert Sonata in D Major and ending with the Bach-Saint-Saens Largo and the Rubinstein Etude in C Major. (Program from Foote Scrapbooks) On March 31 and April 7, 1884 Tucker gave two recitals at 152 Tremont Street with Wulf Fries, Edward Schorman and De Ribas as the assisting artists. All the works were chamber pieces except for two Schubert Piano Sonatas: Sonata in A Major, Op. 120 in the first program and Sonata In A Minor, Op. 143 in the second. (Program Foote Scrapbooks) During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall. The third concert on April 17 included Bronsart’s Concerto in F Sharp Minor played by Mr. H. G. Tucker. (Lang Prog.) Tucker played the Sgambati-Concerto in G Minor, Opus 15, March 1890 (Hale Crit, Vol. 1) at a “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall on March 10 [1890] at 2:30 PM. A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30 PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin. (Globe (April 2, 1890): 2)

Mary B. Webster: (Fox, Papers, p. 4) On Tuesday, March 22, 1887 Miss Mary Webster playing Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor Opus 54 at LANG’S Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30 PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) “She displayed a full appreciation of its many beauties, and her clear limpid touch and the musical feeling shown in her playing gave just the effect demanded for an enjoyable performance of this composition.” (Herald (March 23, 1887): 3, GB)

James T. Whelen: On Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall Lang conducted the first of a series of “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts.” For this concert, Whelan played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4, Opus 58 in G major. The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included Grieg’s Concerto Opus 16 in A Minor played by Whelan. Whelen presented a concert at Chickering Hall on March 12, 1894 where he was the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestra part. Whelen was able to get an “announcement” of this concert in the Journal which wrote: “The program is of an interesting nature.” As was usual in this period, a singer also took part, in this case,”Frederick L. Benjamin, barytone.” (Journal (March 12, 1894): 4, GB)

Benjamin Lincoln Whelpley: Dvorak-Concerto No. 2 in B Minor, March 1890 (Hale Crit., Vol. 1) On Tuesday, March 22, 1887 Chopin’s Grand Fantasie Opus 13 “Sur des airs Polonais” was played by Mr. B. L. Whelpley at LANG’S Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30 PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Whelpley played the Grand Fantasie on Polish Airs, Op. 13 by Chopin. It was “the most notable number of the afternoon, the brilliant interpretation of the pianoforte score creating quite a sensation, and winning for the pianist an enthusiastic recognition of his thoroughly good artistic work.” (Herald (March 23, 1887): 3, GB) The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall,  Whelpley played MacDowell’s Concerto in A Minor Opus 15. (Lang Prog., 34) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30 PM.  The second concert on Tuesday, March 25, 1890 included Dvorak’s Concerto No. 2 in G Minor Opus 33 played by  Whelpley.

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“Had Taught 5,000 Pupils” was part of the headline on the front page of the Boston Globe of April 5, 1909.

“Mr. LANG’S reputation as a teacher is national, and perhaps few instructors have so many pupils before the public today in concert work as he. He began with full classes and his days are always crowded. When a mere boy in Salem, his father being taken suddenly ill, young Lang was at a moment’s notice obliged to take so many pupils that every day and every hour were devoted to teaching.” (Globe (December 22, 1907):. ??)

“A teacher of incredible activity (when I knew him he was giving regularly lessons from 8.30 to 6).” (Foote, Auto., 45)

In 1877 LANG’S normal week was outlined in the Diary of his wife, Frances. “Mr. LANG’S regular weekly schedule was as follows;-he taught at his studio from 9-6 daily. His lunch brought to him from the house. Sunday A.M.s he always played the organ at church, and for many years had to undertake afternoon services also. Two evenings a week he regularly had rehearsals of the Cecilia Chorus and the Apollo Club (a male chorus). These groups each gave 3 concerts a season. Until the early 90s, Mr. Lang was preparing for, and giving pianoforte concerts, also occasionally organ recitals. He was constantly being asked to play at one affair or another. His interest in young musicians as well as many of the great ones who came to this country was inexhaustible. Every day was a full one.” (Diary 2, Fall 1877)

Lang “considered teaching to be one of the great professions.” (Cecilia Program, December 2, 1909)

The singer Clara Kathleen Rogers (Clara Doria) wrote that Lang “had an unusually large following of devoted disciples… [His] pupils, one and all, adored him, and only awaited a sign from him to render willing service. One sometimes wondered what was the secret of his magnetism. I fancy, however, that it lay largely in the subtle, inferential admiration which his manner conveyed. (Rogers, Two Lives, 146 and 147)

As a piano teacher, Lang was very well regarded. “His class of private pupils upon the pianoforte belongs to the very elite of Boston, and is as distinguished for talent as for style-a combination peculiarly Bostonian.” (Mathews, 100 Years, 429) Another source from c.1886 said that “He is highly esteemed as a teacher, and of his many pupils over sixty are concert soloists. Though not a virtuoso in the strictest sense of the word, he is a fine player, and above all, a thoroughly educated and sound musician.” (Jones) Fox states that his “pedagogical dedication was indeed remarkable since he taught as many as fourteen lessons daily and claimed to have instructed over two hundred concert pianists.” (Fox, Papers, 4) His obituary in the Globe was headlined: “B. J. Lang Dies of Pneumonia-Half a Century One of Boston’s Foremost Musicians-Noted as Conductor and Organist and Had Taught 5,000 Pupils.” (Globe (Apr. 5, 1909): 1) The article listed among his most well-known pupils, “Arthur Foote, J. A. Preston, H. G. Tucker, and the late G. W. Sumner. The building at 6 Newbury St. where he had his studio, is entirely peopled with his former students.” (Ibid) The musical press even reported on his more important pupils: “Miss Brainard, the popular lady teacher of St. Louis is in Boston, [is] taking lessons of Mr. Z. W. Wheeler and Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Folio, February 1872)

With so many pupils, a lesson change by one would require the rescheduling of many others. LANG’S note below to Miss Kimball is an example of this change-of course at this time all the notes would have to be handwritten. LANG’S handwriting had changed quite a bit. His hand as shown by the Diary of his teenage years has a very clear hand. But most of the examples of LANG’S adult years are like the example below.

Dear Miss Kimball

An orchestral rehearsal                                                                                                 comes against our ___day lesson.                                                                             This is to ask if Tuesday at 2:30 would                                                                           do for you instead. I hope so,                                                                                         Yours truly                                                                                                                                    BJLang.                                                                                                                                              Friday

Johnston Collection.

He had quickly established himself among his peers, for in late December 1860 his name was used in an ad for the “New Modern School for the Piano-Forte” published by the Boston firm of Russell & Tolman. “We give the names of a few among the many hundreds of artists and professors of music who have given the highest testimonials of the intrinsic merits of the ”Modern School.”” Other names listed included B. J’s teacher, Francis G. Hill; S. Thalberg; Alfred Jaell; Lowell Mason; J. C. D. Parker; Otto Dresel; and thirty-three others. (BMT (December 15, 1860): 355) Russell & Tolman were also the publishers of the magazine, the “Boston Musical Times.” Each issue contained at least one page of small two or three-line “Teacher Cards.” Francis G. Hill, J. C. D. Parker, Hugo Leonard, Otto Dresel, and John K. Paine all had ads in the issues of 1862-but B. J. Lang never seems to have advertised in this publication. However, in the January 1872 issue of the Folio under the section called “Cards,” is the listing: “B. J. Lang, 635 Washington Street .” No description-just the name!

Rather than placing ads in the local musical publications, Lang used the daily newspapers. This first one is from 1861, and his address is Bulfinch Street, which is to the left of the Statehouse as you face the building. This was his bachelor’s address, and his fee was $36 per quarter for which he was willing to come to the pupil’s home; many beginning teachers remember having to do this service. The second one is from about three years later.

He is now established with the Chickering Piano Company, and his name is being used as a reference-see Miss Cragin’s ad two below Lang’s. She probably was just starting out as her fee was only $15 per quarter while Mr. Wetherbee, with his English training and experience, was charging $30 to $50. If you wanted to study with Lang, the fee was of no importance.

 

Early in his teaching career, he was connected with the “National College of Music” which had been established by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club with its clarinetist, Thomas Ryan as the Director in September of 1872. But, at the same time, it was printed that: “Mr. B. J. Lang, the eminent musician, says: ”I am happy to recommend the New England Conservatory Method for the Piano-forte.” This popular work is published by Messrs. G. D. Russell & Company, 126 Tremont St., Boston, who will freely send full particulars to any address.” (Dexter Smith’s (November 1872): 255) Dwight had announced in his June 15, 1872 issue that, “The Mendelssohn Quintette, with Mr. B. J. Lang, and other good musicians and teachers, will open in September, here in Boston a new ‘National College of Music.'” The article mentioned that the Directors would be present “at their rooms in Tremont Temple, every day, from 11 to 1 o’clock, to answer inquires.”(Dwight (June 15, 1872): 255) “The assistant piano teachers were all brilliant young men whom Lang had taught and developed, namely: Mr. Geo. W. Sumner, well known and beloved organist for seventeen years at the Arlington Street Church, Mr. Hiram Tucker, Mr. W. F. Apthorp, Mr. Dixie, and Mr. J. Q. Adams. All these men would naturally teach according to the Lang method, and that certainly was a commendable system…Our plans were all right, and we started off with goodly numbers, -not far from two hundred pupils. In October, just one month later, the great Boston fire occurred; and it made everybody poor. The majority of the pupils were from the city or neighborhood, and over one half of them were forced to notify us that they could not continue their attendance another term. The fire really killed our school. We worried along to the end of the year, met our losses as best we could and returned to our old system of traveling.” (Ryan, 172 and 173)   Dwight reported on the school’s first “Exhibition Concert of Pupils” held on April 15, 1873, “The solo singing all gave evidence of talent and of excellent instruction,” but “The most remarkable performance of the afternoon was that of the difficult Schumann Concerto by Miss Barton, a young pupil of Mr. Lang, whose rendering of the first movement was highly satisfactory…It was a most arduous undertaking for a young girl, and such a measure of success seems full of promise.” (Dwight (May 3, 1873): 14)

Lang’s association with the National School of Music lasted just the one year of its existence. In the summer of 1873, he published a notice to his students saying that he was resuming his “connection with New England Conservatory of Music (Music Hall) and that all class teaching he may do in the future, will be in that institution. ” He then recommended that school to his students as he had been connected “with the school during its entire existence, excepting last year.” [i.e. 1872-1873 when he taught at the National School of Music] (BPL, Lang Prog., Vol. 1)

His best-known pupils were Arthur Foote, Ethelbert Nevin (a pupil for two years: Hughes-Contemporary American Composers), William F. Apthorp, and own children, Margaret and Malcolm. Arthur Foote had graduated from Harvard in 1874 and decided that during the summer he would study the organ with Lang. This was not the first time that Foote and Lang had met as Foote, at age fourteen, had been taken by his teacher, Miss Fanny Paine (herself a Lang pupil) to play for Lang.” Foote had begun his piano studies with Miss Paine two years before when he was twelve. (Cipolla (Am. Nat. Bio, Vol 13): 190) After performing the Chopin A-flat Ballade to her and my satisfaction, I remember Lang asking what those curved lines (slurs) above the notes meant. Lang sent me to Stephen A. Emery at the New England Conservatory for harmony lessons.” (Foote-Auto., 21) Foote had heard Lang play in his hometown of Salem, and as a result his favorite pieces were “the Mendelssohn Songs Without Words, of which Lang had played for the first time the posthumous work (No. 7) in a concert at Salem a little while before [1869].” (Foote, Auto., 22)

It also was Lang who persuaded Foote to continue in music and take his A.M. at Harvard, the first one given at Harvard in the area of music. In an article in the Musical Quarterly of January 1937 entitled “A Bostonian Remembers” Foote said “Meanwhile, in the summer of 1874, having a desire to know something of the organ, I took some lessons with Lang. This was the turning point in my life, for he spoke with such encouragement of the probability of success as a professional musician that I began serious work at the piano. Lang was an exceptionally fine organist, a pianist to whom Boston owed most of the first performances of the newer piano concertos and chamber music. He also conducted the Apollo Club and Cecelia Society. While my work at the piano was progressing without definite aim, my organ lessons led to the very practical result of my engagement as organist at the First (Unitarian) Church in Boston, in 1878; I occupied that post until 1910, for thirty-two years.” This had not been the original plan-“When Foote graduated from college in June 1874, he returned to Salem. He considered teaching Latin and playing the organ at St. Mark’s School in Southboro for a year, then perhaps entering law school. He also debated joining his father at the Salem Gazette.” (Tara, 41) In Foote’s Autobiography, he wrote: “Lang was a musician of great gifts and very versatile; a composer of originality, who would have been considered one of the leading men had he published, and a teacher of incredible activity (when I knew him he was giving regularly lessons from 8:30 to 6).” (Foote, Auto., 45)

Earlier, in 1909 Foote remembered Lang thus: “It was in the summer of 1874 (just after graduating at Harvard) that began for me a long and close companionship with B.J. Lang. That summer, as sometimes in subsequent years, he came into town once or twice a week, and gave a few lessons. We used to meet for organ lessons at Dr. Hale’s church on Union Park Street…When any of us younger people went to him with our manuscripts, we never came away without keen and sympathetic criticism that had to be heeded. He had a remarkable feeling for perfection of detail (the absence of which is the great defect of most of our music here); for him, there were no trifles, for they make perfection…

In his lessons, it was not only the music and the playing but other things quite as important, that we got. He was willing to take the trouble and the risk of giving advice and direction about outside things: about manners, habits, business questions…so that we felt the friend as well as the teacher…He was by nature an optimist, and he taught us…that encouragement is better than fault-finding, and that achievement comes partly from a belief that the thing can be done” (Tawa (Arthur Foote: A Musician in the Frame of Time and Place): 41-42) Tara further states -“Lang made a far stronger impression on Foote than Paine did. His contribution to Foote’s technical training in keyboard performance was limited, but he gave his student invaluable advice on starting and strengthening his career. Lang introduced him to influential cultural leaders, helped him obtain church positions, and gave him exposure as a performer in public concerts. The older man’s support was crucial when Foote was first gaining his sea legs in the musical world. (Tara, 42)

Another of B. J.’s students “Mary P. Webster, confirms Foote’s observation that Lang was an insightful, devoted teacher, offering a mode of study individually tailored to the state of intellectual and musical development of each student.” (Fox, Papers, 4)

                                    Arthur FooteArthur Foote, from Elson,  History of American Music(1904), 188, and Hughes Contemporary American Composers (1900), 221.

“In going to Lang in 1874 for organ lessons, I had no intention of more than just that. Little did I think that I was to find in them later the happiest of pursuits. But as I grew more interested that summer, and was much encouraged as to a musical career by Lang, I changed my plans entirely in October, and decided to begin piano lessons with Lang seriously.”

Lang helped his students in many ways.” Lang had such vogue and influence as to be able to help his pupils by recommending them as teachers so that I was soon busy with lessons. (Foote, Auto., 43) Foote’s first organ position also came through his teacher: “ In 1876, through Lang (whose influence in the way of putting pupils ahead, having then play in public, and in finding them church positions, etc., was remarkable, and today could not be duplicated, even by as clever a person as he), I got the organ position at the Church of the Disciples, then on Warren Avenue.” (Foote, Auto., 35)

From July 13 until August 10, 1875, Lang taught piano at the “New England Normal Musical Institute” in East Greenwich, R. I. Lang, J. C. D. Parker (Boston University) and H. G. Tucker (NEC) joined the local staff instructor, Mr. J. Hastings. Carl Zerrahn and George L. Osgood taught voice. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol 1)

In 1876 a new piano teacher in Boston who had most recently taught at Oberlin College and before that at Boston Conservatory announced his fee for one-hour lessons as $30 for twenty lessons (thus earning $1.50 per hour) or $20 for twenty half-hour lessons (thus earning a better rate of $2 per hour). (BPL, Music Hall Prog., Vol. 3) Eugene Thayer, in 1878 was offering private lessons at $40 to $60 per term while a Mrs. J. S. Bailey’s rates were $18 for 24 lessons. (Ditson, Musical Record, Fall 1878)

In a November 1880 issue of Dwight’s Journal Lang has a small ad stating that he was available “for piano-forte lessons, concert engagements, etc.,” and that he can be contacted through “Messrs. Chickering & Sons, Boston, Mass.” Another ad placed by Miss Helen D. Orvis, “Teacher of Pianoforte,” lists as references: “B. J. Lang, J. S. Dwight.” Other ads reveal that a number of teachers taught at 179A Tremont Street, the Lawrence Building: George L. Osgood, G. W. Chadwick, J. C. D. Parker, John A. Preston, T. P. Currier, G. W. Sumner, and William J. Winch, while nearby was William H. Sherwood at 157 Tremont, Eugene Thayer at 146 Tremont near West Street, and H. L. Whitney at 125 Tremont Street in Room 8, over Russell’s Music Store. C. L. Capen was at 156 Tremont Street at Messrs. Chickering & Sons which would seem to be where Lang taught at this time. (Dwight (November 29, 1880): iii)

About a month after Lang’s death in 1909, Foote elaborated on the Sunday Vesper services at King’s Chapel.” Many will remember the beautiful Sunday evenings at King’s Chapel; he would play in the dark church for an hour or so, before each piece leaning over the edge of the choir and telling us what it was to be. In those evenings was seen a characteristic trait, -the keen perception of how surroundings and conditions affect our enjoyment of music. The dark church, with only a spot of light at the organ desk, the absolute quiet, the churchly feeling, all helped to create a mental picture that made the listener doubly sensitive. A curious manifestation of this feeling for fitness was shown in his various experiments in programmes that should not rattle, or rustle, or require leaves should be turned over at inopportune times (Transcript (May 1, 1909). Another source describes these recitals as follows: “Mr. Lang has provided many musical treats of his own motion for the musical people of Boston. Among the chiefs of these are the Sunday evening organ recitals at the Chapel. Here his dusky neophyte inspects your card of invitation at the door, and you enter the dim interior, only lit by the veiled burners of the organ-loft, the pews peopled with shadowy, silent forms which might be Dr. Caner, Vassal, and the other departed worthies who once filled them in the flesh. You find your way to some quiet corner and become one of the ghostly, expectant company. All at once the air quivers and throbs with the opening of a mighty fugue of the greatest contrapuntal master, and, whether in the body or out of the body you cannot tell, you are swept up into the heavens, passing from circle to circle at the will of one and another of the Immortals as they appeal or soothe or thrill through the commanding interpretation of those skillful fingers. Such an hour is scarcely possible elsewhere on this side of the Atlantic. The hearers melt away in the gloom when it is over, and as they pass into familiar Sunday evening streets of loiterers and shopgirls, smug churchgoers and holiday-makers, they seem to themselves ghosts again in a sordid, unfamiliar world.” (Gould Collection)

Another Lang pupil added his recollections. “At King’s Chapel, where Lang was organist, one could hear masterly improvisations on the hymn-tunes just before the sermon; these were ten or twelve minutes in length and carried a sympathetic listener from the emotion of the hymn-tune to that of the sermon. I heard E. J. Hopkins do that same thing in the service of the old Temple Church, London, in 1885-1886.” (The Diapason (July 1, 1943): 13)

ETHELBERT NEVIN

Ethelbert Nevin arrived in Boston in 1881 at the age of eighteen, and immediately “sought out the man who stood at the top of his profession in the Boston of that day, B. J. Lang, a pupil of Von Bulow and Liszt.” (Thompson-Life of Nevin, 23) Nevin wrote to his mother “Mr. Lang was busy in his room. I went and sat outside, as I was too early.

Soon he came out, welcomed me, took me into his room and asked me to play in this manner: ‘Now I want you to amuse me, not as if I were to be your instructor, but as if I were some fellow you were entertaining.’ I played that little Album Leaf of Kirchner’s. He said: ‘Very interesting: now play me something else.’ So I played that Romance of Schumann’s. He said: “Very interesting indeed. Now play me something frivolous.’ I suggested Olivette, but he said: ‘No, not quite so frivolous. ’So I played Winklemann’s Schottische-a scale two or three times: then he remarked: ‘You are very interesting’ (His favorite expression, I presume.) ‘Very, indeed, and you play with an immense amount of expression. Your manner of playing is graceful, light and rippling, but you lack aplomb and firmness. I am going to take an interest in you –you have inspired it and if you will be patient and bear with me for six lessons, I will make you feel satisfied with yourself.’

Ethelbert NevinEthelbert Nevin from Hughes, 92.

So he gave me some of the stupidest, meanest exercises by Cramer. The ones I took in Dresden were simply paradise to these. Mr. Lang said: ‘Now practice this one (marking one) for two hours every day and this scale I have written for you an hour and a half if you get time.’ well, his writing looks more like hieroglyphics than anything else I have ever seen, so it took me a long time to figure it out. I am to go back again on Monday. He invited me to go to the St. Cecilia Club tonight. He wields the baton there, you know.” (Thompson, 24)

Lang had translated into English Hans von Bulow’s edition of the Fifty Selected Piano-Studies by J. B. Cramer (1771-1858) which was published in 1877 by Oliver Ditson in Boston and went through many printings; possibly Lang and von Bulow had discussed this project two years earlier when they had collaborated on the world premiere of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto. Obviously other teachers thought highly of this work-as late as 1927 G. Schirmer in New York City published another edition translated by Albert R. Parsons and B. Boekelman and “newly revised by Dr. Theodore Baker.” The  World Catalog shows new editions of this work dated as late as 1989!

Lang also took a personal interest in Nevin and introduced him to another pianist his own age, and encouraged him to make use of “a room in the upper part of this building full of the choicest and finest music ever published. A legacy left by a wealthy person for the use of students. You could practice there, (in the Burrage Room). Here are two Chickering grands. You and Mr. Smith could play duets for two pianos.” (Thompson, 25) Nevin continues his letter with a description of Lang’s studio. “Mr. Lang’s room is a curiosity. It is very small…In it are two pianos and a dumb keyboard. He sits at the piano back of mine, the keyboard not quite so high. Then he has a high bookcase filled with music, two writing desks, a sofa and a hundred and one beautiful things lying about the room. A great many fine engravings and music manuscripts of great composers and so forth.” (Thompson, 25-26) By the middle of September Nevin is writing that Lang “is very nice but he gets angry sometimes: however I expect to get along very well with him.” (Thompson, 26) After the first six lessons, mainly concerned with exercises, Lang then gave Nevin a song by Rubinstein, transcribed with variations by Liszt. Nevin can soon report that in addition to his good progress in harmony with Stephen A. Emery, “Mr. Lang also told me that I am doing well.” (Thompson, 27) After only six weeks he had become Lang’s favorite pupil, but in November he writes that “Am still at five-finger exercises – eight weeks of them.” (Thompson, 29)

e nevin

Hughes, editor- Songs By Thirty Americans, for High Voice, p. xvii. Published 1904-Nevin had died in 1901.

The devotion of both teacher and pupil is reflected in the fact that Nevin’s lesson on Thanksgiving Day lasted from twelve until one-fifteen. By December, after various etudes had been mastered, Mendelssohn’s Concerto in B Flat as studied, and after only one week of practice on this piece, Nevin received his first genuine compliment from his teacher: “After I had finished playing, he said: ‘When did I give you that?’ My last lesson,’ I replied. ‘I thought so,’ he answered, ‘but fancied I must be mistaken, as you played it so well! ’” (Thompson, 30) The next repertoire assigned was Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, and the usual practice period was eight hours a day. Nevin also was asked to play the cymbals in the orchestra at the Cecilia performance of the Berlioz Requiem given on Sunday, February 12th. at the Music Hall (Lang used three other piano pupils for bass drum, triangle, and tenor drum).

Howard quotes from one of Nevin’s November letters: “Mr. Lang asked me if I cared to hear him practice, so I met him this evening at Chickering’s after the Handel and Haydn. He played until ten o’clock on a Rubinstein Concerto, which he is going to play at one of the Philharmonic Concerts. I am going to have the second piano part with him! Just think of playing with such an artist! He is without exception the cleanest, broadest and most truly artistic (in every sense of the word) pianist I have yet heard. He does not stoop to any of the little tricks that are effective but not artistic. He is too much of a man for that.” (Howard, Nevin, 35)

Leaving Boston in April, Nevin returned the following September and following Lang’s advice advertised for pupils. He wrote home that “It is very hard to get pupils when there are 275 teachers who have been here at least five years, and twenty-eight of Mr. Lang’s pupils also give lessons; and then there are Mr. Lang and Mr. Sherwood who teach, not counting hundreds of pupils at the Conservatory. All Mr. Lang’s pupils play as well, and many of them better than I.” (Thompson, 33)

Even in his second year of study, the hateful five-finger exercises were continued for building technique, but this led to an invitation to play at a Cecilia concert, “and this morning Mr. Lang told me I had done splendidly and that I had played much better MY first time, than did many of his ‘brag’ pupils.” (Thompson, 36)

After two years with Lang, Nevin spent the next two winters in Pittsburgh, teaching piano, composing, and giving concerts. Lang came to Pittsburgh to play the Saint-Saens Concerto in G Minor with his former pupil who was now twenty-one years old! He went to Europe in August 1884, settling in Berlin; the summer of 1885 was spent back at Vineacre, near Pittsburgh, and then he returned to Berlin for another year of study. In November of 1886 he returned to America settling again in Pittsburgh, but by early 1887 he was back in Boston, and by March he was playing “at the second of Mr. Lang’s concerts in Chickering Hall, playing the Liszt Concerto in E flat major, with orchestra.” (Thompson, p. 79 ) No orchestra was mentioned in the program, and this was the final piece on Lang’s “Second Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” which was held at Chickering Hall Tuesday afternoon 2:30 PM on March 8, 1887. (BPL, Lang Prog., Vol. 5) This concert was a great success as was a concert that included some of his own works given a few days later on March 11.

ETHELBERT NEVIN

Ethelbert NevinFrom Elson, 249 and Thompson p. 83 where it mentions that this photo was from 1887 when Nevin would have been 24 or 25.

At a concert at the Essex Institute in Salem on Monday evening January 8, 1877, Lang and Grace Simpson played the Schumann Variations for Two Pianos Opus 46 to open the concert and the St. Saens Concerto in G Opus 22 to close. In the middle, they played the Mozart Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos. A vocalist was also part of the concert. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 2)

On Thursday, April 17, 1879 Lang played the orchestral part for Lottie A. Pearson’s performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto Opus 54 in A Minor at the Apollo Hall, 151 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2)

On March 31, 1881 Lang played the orchestral part of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Mrs. J. M. Hernandez as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

At the 1000th. concert (1867-1882) presented by NEC on Wednesday, May 27, 1882 at 2 PM the Bach Concerto in C Major for Three Pianos was played by Lang, Otto Bendix, J. C. D. Parker with William F. Apthorp playing the orchestral reduction. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

In an undated announcement (probably 1883) Lang proposed giving “Two Lectures on teaching the Art of Playing the Piano-forte, with an explanation of his system of Modern Piano-forte Technique, together with comprehensive illustrations, at Chickering Hall on Friday and Tuesday mornings, November 16, and 20, at half-past eleven o’clock. Tickets admitting a person to both Lectures are for sale at Three Dollars each, at the Music Store of A. P. Schmidt & Co, There will be no tickets for one lecture only.” (BPL Lang Prog., 6591)

On Monday evening April 23, 1883 Lang played the orchestra part of Schumann”s Piano Concerto at the Chickering Hall, 156 Tremont Street with Mr. S. W. Jamieson as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) Two years later, on March 4, 1885, Lang opened a concert of Jamieson’s with the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D Minor. (Ibid) Then on Friday, March 5, 1886 Lang played the orchestra part for Jamieson’s performance of Chopin’s Concerto Opus 11. (Ibid) Jamieson was one of the soloists in LANG’S “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” held on March 8, 1887 playing Weber’s Concertstuck in F Minor Opus 78. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)

Miss Alma L. Faunce presented a recital at the Wesleyan Hall on Thursday evening May 18, 1883 playing the solo part of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment. (BPL Prog., Vol. 4) On March 8, 1887 she played Chopin’s Concerto in E Minor Op. 11 at LANG’S “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert (Second of the series).” She was now married-Mrs. Alma Faunce Smith. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

In May 1885 Lang send out invitation cards to a “Short lecture on pianoforte technique,” and during which would be “shown two small mechanical contrivances of mine for pianoforte practice.” This was held at Chickering Hall on Thursday, May 21 at 2:30 PM, and “This card will admit you if presented before 2:30 o’clock. Your presence is required for one hour.” (BPL Lang Prog., 6615)

There were various generations among Lang’s students. On April 20, 1883 Lang was listed as an assisting artist at a concert given at Chickering Hall by Ella F. Backus. One assumes that she was a Lang pupil as he kept a copy of the program. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) Miss Mary H. Russell was the soloist in the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 Opus 19 with Lang playing the orchestra part on Wednesday evening April 1, 1885. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) On Wednesday evening April 22, 1885 Lang played the orchestra part to the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 Opus 58 with Miss Caroline L. Pond as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4)

Two years before MacDowell arrived in Boston, on January 18, 1886, Lang played the orchestra part of MacDowell’s Piano Concerto in A Minor Opus 15 with his student, Mr. S. H. Gerrish as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) On Saturday evening April 25, 1885 at 8 PM Lang played the orchestral reduction to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 Opus 37 at Chickering Hall with Mrs. Elizabeth May Marsh as the soloist. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 4) This made three different Beethoven concerti accompaniments that he played that month! Mrs. Marsh was to play at LANG’S “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” on March 1, 1887.

Arthur D. Mayo was the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment on Friday, April 29, 1887 at 8 PM at Chickering Hall. Mayo was again the soloist on Wednesday evening December 10, 1890 playing Mozart’s Concerto in D Minor, again with Lang providing the orchestra accompaniment. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)

Instead of praying in individual concerts given by his pupils, in 1887 Lang organized a series of concerts featuring his advanced students playing major works. On Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30PM at Chickering Hall Lang conducted the first of a series of “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts.” For this concert Mr. James T. Whelan played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4, Opus 58 in G major, Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Chopin’s Krakowiak, and Mr. S. H. Gerrish soloed in Raff’s Concerto Opus 185: Andante-Allegro. The vocalist Miss Jennie Vorn Holz also presented two groups of songs. Mrs. E. M. Marsh of Boston was the dedicatee of Chadwick’s Drie Walzer, published in 1890, the third of which is based on a “Motive by B. J. L.” A second concert was advertised for March 8 to include concertos by Chopin, Weber and Liszt, and two groups of songs. (BPL Lang Prog.) The third concert was held on Tuesday March 22, and the soloists were Miss Mary Webster playing Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor Opus 54, Chopin’s Grand Fantasie Opus 13 “Sur des airs Polonais” was played by Mr. B. L. Whelpley, Miss Annie Fisher played Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D Minor, No. 2 and two groups of songs were performed by Mr. J. H. Ricketson. The fourth concert for March 29 was advertised to include concertos by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and St. Saens and two groups of songs. (BPL Lang Prog.) Whereas the first program listed Lang as the conductor, the third program did not-neither program made any mention of who the orchestra might be. On March 22, 1887 at 2:30 PM Miss Annie Fisher played Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor at LANG’S Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30 PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Miss Mary Webster played Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor Opus 54 in the same concert. (Ibid) Also on the program was B. L. Whelpley playing Chopin’s Grand Fantasie Sur des air Polonais Opus 13. (Ibid)

Miss May Shepard played the solo part of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 on Friday evening May 27, 1887 8 PM with Lang playing the orchestral accompaniment. This concert was at Chickering Hall. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 PM at Chickering Hall. On April 3 Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mozart’s Concerto No. 4 in B Flat major, Mr. Harry Fay played Chopin’s Andante Spianato and Polonaise, Opus 22, Mr. B. L. Whelpley played MacDowell’s Concerto in A Minor Opus 15 and Mr. J. C. Bartlett sang two groups of songs. (BPL Lang Prog.) The second program on April 10 included Madame Eugenie de Roode playing Rubinstein’s Concerto No. 4 in D Minor, Mr. G. W. Sumner playing Introduction and Allegro Opus 49 by Godard, Mr. Joshua Phippen playing St. Saens Concerto in D Minor Opus 17, and two groups of songs by Mrs. G. W. Galvin (including two songs by Arthur Foote). The third concert on April 17 included Bronsart’s Concerto in F Sharp Minor played by Mr. H. G. Tucker, Brassin’s Concerto in C Major played by Miss Caroline Pond, Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 Opus 73 in E Flat Major (Emperor) by Mr. Alfred Hollins and two groups of songs by Mrs. Norton. A most interesting reference was made to this concert in a book about the life and career of Anna Steiniger Clark. She mentions that her husband, Frederic Horace Clark, a Boston pianist whom she had married in 1882 “was now interested greatly in teaching…Mr. Long [i.e. B. J. Lang] was then the most popular and superficial teacher of ”piano” in Boston, and he had instituted some concerts in which his pupils played concertos with an orchestra led by their teacher. I had attended some of these Concerto Concerts, to find them overcrowded, rank with careless playing and the results of inadequate teaching and rushing with the noise of boisterous applause! Mr. Long had sent me a condescending invitation to play in one of these, his pupils’ concerts, little knowing, of course, the grave nature of such an insult. Mr. Long had no more idea of purism in art-activity, to say nothing whatever of organizing, unified activity, than had Mr. Twister [Otto Dresel] and Mr. Barking [maybe J. C. D. Parker]. But to them was not given the opportunity of expressing their ignorance in so unconsciously grotesque a manner of insult as this which Mr. Long stumbles! […] First had played Mr. Lucker [probably Hiram Tucker], one of the most brusque and graceless of Mr. Long”s followers; then came the frantic applause which was enough to offset, with its chaos, the confusion which Mr. Lucher had displayed. Then Mr. Long accompanied (on the pianoforte) some songs, displaying eccentric and detached thrusts of efforts and scattered acts, with bland arrogance, blissful in ignorance of the musical spirit of art-act! These pretty little deceits of Mr. Long his admirers never tired of lauding. After the songs, a blind man from London played Beethoven’s Fifth Concerto [Alfred Hollins].”(von Styne,  344-347, provided by James Methuen-Campbell) Other Boston musicians who felt their critical barbs were the BSO conductors, Gericke and Nikisch, and the pianist, Ernst Perabo. Mr. Methuen-Campbell mentioned that “Clark and his wife had hardly a good word to say about any of the musicians they met.” (E-mail May 22, 2011) Anna Steiniger had been born in Magdeburg, Prussia and studied with Deppe-a classmate had been Miss Amy Fay. Her first European tour was in 1878, and several tours followed. During a German tour, she met her husband who was then a student in Berlin. (Jones, 160) “In 1882 she married Frederic Clark of Boston, an accomplished musician and teacher and the discoverer of many educational principles. The two together carry on a music school in Cambridge, Mass. Mrs. Steiniger-Clark has played in concerts extensively throughout this country and in Europe, and being still young is likely to be heard much more in the future. Their public work at the present time consists mainly of Literary Institutions, and private recitals before audiences of from one to four persons, for educational purposes. Mr. Clark is a very graceful, intelligent and artistic pianist. His work has been praised by the most careful critics in Boston and in other parts of the World.” (Howe, 705) In 1885 she played Beethoven’s Concerto in G Minor with the BSO under Gericke, and the next season she toured the mid-West with the BSO, again conducted by Gericke. (Jones, Op. cit.) Mr. Methuen-Campbell’s comment that they “were perhaps a bit crazy, though she was a very talented and accomplished pianist” seems an appropriate summary. (Ibid)

The Herald had an extensive review of this third concert. Of the Bronsart in F Sharp Minor played by Mr. H. G. Tucker, the reviewer noted: “Mr. Tucker has never had a greater success than in his playing on this occasion, and the applause which rewarded him at the close of the concerto was worthily bestowed.” (Herald (April 18, 1888): 5, GB) Miss Caroline Pond played the C Major Concerto by Brassin, and her performance revealed her “abilities to excellent advantage and showed her to be a player of exceptionally good taste…The performance of this tuneful work gained Miss Pond an enthusiastic recognition of her skill and intelligence.” (Ibid) The high point of the concert was the playing by Mr. Alfred Hollins, the blind pianist from London, of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5  “which caused quite a sensation, and gained him a grand ovation upon its conclusion.” (Ibid)

The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included Hiller’s Concerto Opus 69 in F Sharp Minor played by Arthur Foote, the Rhapsodie d’Auvergne Opus 73 by St. Saens played by Miss Marian Mosher, Grieg’s Concerto Opus 16 in A Minor played by Mr. Jas. T. Whelan and Mendelssohn”s Concerto Opus 64 in E Minor for violin played by Miss Edith Christie. It would seem that Lang continued to support his pupils by using them whenever appropriate. Two years later Mrs. Marsh appeared at the April 30, 1890 concert of the Apollo Club as the accompanist for the assisting artist, the violinist Miss Maud Powell. (Program-Johnston Collection)

The Alfred Hollins who played Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in the April 17th., 1888 concert also mentions in his autobiography of playing in Boston twice during 1886, he would have been about 20 years old. In addition to Hollins, Miss Amelia Campbell, Miss Jenny Gilbert and Mr. John Moncur (tenor) were on the tour. The first concert where they all took part was on January 20th. at the Music Hall: “An orchestra was engaged, and B. J. Lang, an old friend of Campbell’s, [who headed the College for the Blind] conducted. He was a man of few words, a good musician, and a fine character. Campbell told me that one word of commendation from Lang meant more than a dozen from most people, and I Had my full share both of his few words and his more ready kindness.” (Hollins, 156) Hollins then related his impression of Boston: “Boston has always had the name of being the intellectual city of America, and certainly it seemed to me that there was more culture, more friendliness, and less hustle in the people of Boston than in those of New York.” (Ibid) The final concert of the 1886 tour returned Hollins to Boston and the Music Hall on February 8. Again Lang conducted, and Hollins followed this appearance with a “farewell organ recital in the New Old-South Church a few days later.” (Hollins, 160) The Mr. Campbell (Francis Joseph Campbell, later Sir) mentioned above, was the Principal of College For the Blind, Norwood, South London, where Hollins was educated from January 1878. Campbell, originally an American, was blind himself, and the purpose of the American tour was “to let his countrymen see what he was doing for the higher education of the blind in England.” (Hollins, 154) Another connection between Lang and Hollins was that Hollins had studied piano with Hans von Bulow in Berlin. “While in Germany Hollins gave a series of concerts – at one time playing three concerti in the one evening – The Liszt Eb, the Schumann A minor and the ”Emperor.”” (Wikipedia article 9/16/2010)

Lang not only provided performance opportunities for his own pupils, but he was willing to help any musician within his circle. On November 14, 1888 “The Misses Dunton and How, Soprano and Alto” presented a concert where Lang, and his pupil B. L. Whelpley played two pieces for two pianos: Dance of the Elves by Templeton Strong and Reinecke’s Fantasie on a Theme from Manfred [Impromptu on a Motiv from Robert Schumann’s Manfred, Op. 66]. Miss How was a member of The Cecilia and often used as a soloist as probably was Miss Dunton. (MYB, 1888-89, 22) Three months later Lang was one of the assisting artists in a recital given by Miss Gertrude Franklin. (Op. cit., 23) It would be interesting to know the first time that Lang and Franklin worked together in light of Franklin’s programming of Margaret’s songs and her performance of Margaret’s Aria with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Lang possibly first became aware of Franklin during her solo appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society; she was one of the soloists Tuesday, February 26 performance of Gounod’s Redemption.

On May 9, 1889 at Apollo Hall Lang played the orchestra part of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 with Miss Louise May as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)

A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. LANG’S Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB,1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall was begun on March 10 [1890] at 2:30 PM. Mr. H. G. Tucker played the Concerto in G Minor Opus 15 by Sgambati, Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mendelssohn”s Capriccio Brillant in B Major Opus 22, Mr. Joshua Phippen played Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 in F Minor Opus 22 and Mr. Gardner S. Lamson [was also one of the soloists in Handel and Haydn’s Handel Samson on April 2, 1893-Easter (BMYB)] offered a group of three songs by Schumann. The second concert on Tuesday, March 25, 1890 included Dvorak’s Concerto No. 2 in G Minor Opus 33 played by Mr. B. L. Whelpley, Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in C Minor Opus 37 (Allegro and Cadenza) played by Miss Louise May, Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 in D Minor played by Mr. Arthur Foote and a group of five songs by MacDowell sung by Miss Harriet Whittier. However this concert was referred to as the “Second” concert in the “Fourth Series. The confusion comes from the fact that Lang seems not to have presented concerts in 1889 which would have been the third year of this type of concerts. So, in fact the series should all have been called the “third series,” but it was given in the fourth year after the first series. Until other programs can be found, this seems to be the logical answer. (BPL Lang Prog.) A third concert in the “Fourth Series” was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1 at 2:30 PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin, Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 played by Mr. Arthur Mayo, the Allegro Giojoso in E Major Opus 22 by Sterndale Bennett played by Mr. Harry Fay and Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor played by Miss Minnie A. Stowell. (BPL Lang Prog., 6641)

Lang not only looked after the professional growth of his own pupils, but he also helped others advance their careers. During the period that Edward Mac Dowell was in Wiesbaden (1885-88) Lang made his acquaintance (probably during a summer tour of Europe). “Several colleagues from the United States-composers Arthur Foote and Otto Floersheim and critic and teacher Benjamin Lang-came to Germany and met with MacDowell, encouraging him to return to America and take part in the shaping of the emerging musical life of the nation…Lang was particularly persuasive. He convinced MacDowell of the fame he had already achieved back in Boston and of the quality of musical life that had been established there…In September 1888, for reasons of patriotism and of the desire for new challenges, MacDowell sold the cottage, at a $200 profit, and moved to Boston.” (Levy, p.?) Another source said that Lang convinced Mac Dowell to move to Boston in order to expand “his career as a composer, performer, and teacher”. Lang had conducted the Boston premiere of MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 1 that spring at Chickering Hall on April 3, 1888 with an unnamed orchestra and B. L. Whelpley as the soloist; the composer himself played the work with the BSO on November 18, 1892 conducted by Nikisch. (Johnson, First, 225)

MacDowell made his American debut in Boston as composer-pianist at a Kneisel Quartet concert at Chickering Hall, November 19, 1888 playing three movements from his First Modern Suite and assisting in Goldmark’s Piano Quintet in B-flat. On Lang’s recommendation, Wilhelm Gericke invited Mac Dowell to play his new Second Piano Concerto, Op. 23, with the Boston Symphony in the spring of 1889, but he actually played the work with an orchestra under Theodore Thomas in New York’s Chickering Hall on March 5, 1889, a month before the Boston concerto (performance on) April 12. The conductor Frank van der Stucken invited MacDowell to play the concerto in a concert of American music at the Paris Exposition Universelle on July 12 (Margaret’s songs were also part of this concert)” (Phoenix CD note)

The critic Philip Hale took time during a review of one of Lang’s students, Benjamin Lincoln Whelpley, to outline what he felt were the problems with LANG’S teaching. His April 11, 1891 review of a Whelpley recital began: “Mr. Whelpley has good fingers and many excellent musical ideas. He is careful and conscientious in his work, and there are many things to be admired and praised in his playing. He belongs to a certain school of pianists [LANG’S], a prominent school in this city; and this is unfortunate, and it hampers his artistic development. For the members of this family do not pay sufficient attention to tone production and gradation of tone; the legato is so slighted by them, and the use of pedals is so imperfectly understood that song-passages are not sung, and these players are deficient in appreciation of rhythm and rhythmic effects. And when any one of this school plays in public, the hearer is at once aware of the fact that the pianoforte is a percussion instrument.” After getting this off his chest, Hale continued, “Not that Mr. Whelpley pounds.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1)

James T. Whelen presented a concert at Chickering Hall on March 12, 1894 where he was the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestra part. Whelen had played this same work in 1887 at one of LANG’S “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts.” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6)

A description of Lang’s own piano technique was part of a review of a concert by the Cecilia on February 12, 1896. Mr. Fay accompanied the choir that evening, but Lang accompanied the soloist, Mrs. Follett, who sang Chadwick’s La Danza. “Mr. LANG’S accompaniments gave genuine delight. We venture to suggest to Mr. Fay that he profit by the lesson given him by Mr. Lang. Where the latter’s touch was delicate and subdued, Mr. Fay’s seemed harsh and noisy. Mr. LANG’S pianoforte work was a treat in itself.” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

On Tuesday, April 27, 1897 3:30 PM Lang played the orchestral part for Beethoven’s Concerto Opus 58 at Chickering Hall with Edward B[urlingame] Hill as the soloist. In the same program, four songs composed by Hill were sung by Stephen Townsend. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7) Hill had graduated from Harvard in 1894, spent the next two years studying piano in New York City with Arthur Whiting, and then spent part of 1898 in Paris studying composition with Widor. Based on this Boston appearance, he seems to have spent 1897-98 in Boston.(Kaufman-Am. Grove, Vol. 2, 385) Hill was a guest at Lang’s summer home in New Boston, New Hampshire.

Mrs. C. W. Scott listed herself as a teacher of piano and voice and included that she was a “pupil of B. J. Lang” in her ad in the Springfield Republican. (Springfield Republican (June 2, 1899): 5, GB)

Lang continued to assist his pupils. On Tuesday evening May 6, 1902 Lang played the orchestral part for Miss Mertena Louise Bancroft’s performance of the St. Saens Concerto No. 1 in D Major at the Small Chickering Hall, 153 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8) For a concert with Marion Arletta Mitchell as the soloist, Lang played the orchestral reduction of Weber’s Concert-stuck Opus 79 on Wednesday, January 28, 1903. The soloist had opened the program with the Rhapsody in E Minor by Margaret Ruthven Lang. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8) On February 26, 1904 at 8:15 PM at Potter Hall, 177 Huntington Avenue, Lang played the orchestral reduction of the St. Saens Concerto No. 5 with Miss Laura Hawkins as the soloist. This was billed as a first performance. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

Hamilton C. MacDougall recalled the first Lang studio where he had his lessons. “The studio had two intercommunicating rooms, one of good size, the other a bit smaller and more like a business office; the larger room had a Chickering grand piano and a small two-manual pipe organ. “B. J.” divided his working days into hour periods and was always on duty; I never knew a businessman more satisfactory to deal with; when he was “in residence,” so to speak, a card hung under the bell-pull which read: ”Ring. Mr. Lang will answer as soon as he is at liberty.”. A comfortable sofa in the corridor could be used by callers from every part of the U. S. A., and on every kind of musical business, who came to 149a Tremont Street, Boston.” (Diapason (July 1, 1943): 13)

Lang taught at various places during his career; his home, at the studios in the Chickering Building at 153 Tremont Street (as late as 1903) and at 6 Newbury Street where he “and a colony of his pupils occupied rooms at the Lang Studios.” (Foote-Auto., 49) A Jan. 9, 1910 newspaper clipping entitled “Notes of the Studio” described the Newbury Street location: “In the great front studio on the second floor, with its high windows with large globular colored spots, the fine old marble fireplace, its big pipe organ and grand piano works the son of B. J. Lang, founder of the Lang studios…Just outside the door is the Ruth Burrage library of orchestral scores…To this rich reservoir may come the student of music to take away for four days’ study and practice famous scores of orchestral music.” The Globe “Table gossip” of April 30, 1905 had reported that “Mrs. Whiteside had sold her house, numbered 6 Newbury St. adjoining the St. Botolph Club, near the corner of Arlington St. to Mr. B. J. Lang, who will make extensive improvements and occupy.It is one of the very few Back Bay estates on Newbury St. that has an extensive frontage, being a four-story octagon brownstone front brick house. It was thought at one time that the St. Botolph Club would buy this estate.” (Globe (April 30, 1905): 46) Amy DuBois related that this building was the last in Boston to have gas lighting, as “My grandfather [Malcolm] didn’t think things were getting better.” (Amy Interview)

Foote describes Lang as “a teacher of incredible activity (when I knew him he was giving regularly lessons from 8:30 to 6).”(Foote-Auto., 45) His teaching at the New England Conservatory came to an end in the early 1890s when Carl Faelten (successor to founder Eben Tourjee) decreed that only full-time teachers would be on the staff (also affected by this were Carl Zerrahn and Eugene Thayer). (Measure By Measure, 50) Among the first teachers hired by Tourjee were Zerrahn and Lang when the Conservatory first opened in 1867. The school was housed in seven small rooms in The Music Hall-the first graduating class of 1870 had thirteen students (Johnson, Hallelujah, Amen. 99)(HMA Bulletin No. 16) The ad for the Summer Term of 1867 also listed Otto Dresel, Ernst Perabo, S. P. Tuckerman, Carlyle Petersilea, George E. Whiting, Wulf Fries, and S. A. Emery among a total faculty of twenty instructors. The terms per quarter were $10, $15, $20, and $25- “For particulars, see circulars in music stores, or address E. Tourjee at the Music Hall.” (BMT (May 4, 1867): 43)

RUTH BURRAGE ROOM

Lang was also very concerned that his pupils should have access to musical scores, and he was responsible for founding a special library. In 1897 he gave the details of it’s founding in an article for the New York Music Trade review which was then republished in Dwight’s issue of August 2, 1879.” In the upper story of Chickering & Sons building, accessible by an elevator, there exists a tastefully furnished room, containing two concert grand piano-fortes and a beautiful mahogany case containing every piece of music that exists for two piano-fortes, two players, and for two piano-fortes, four players (eight hands). Every symphony, concerto, overture, suite, etc., to the extent in value of about three thousand dollars, is there, conveniently bound, with catalogues complete. Under appropriate rules for the convenience of the beneficiaries, this room is absolutely free to all, even without asking. That this wonderful place is in constant use from morning until night and has been from the moment it was inaugurated until now (nearly two years), is a matter of course.

From whence came all this?

A few years since [1872] there died in Boston a lovely girl of twenty-two (a fine pianist herself), a daughter of the Hon. A[lvah]. A. Burrage, who, on her death-bed expressed the wish that the little property of which she was possessed should be given, under the guidance of Mr. B. J. Lang, to deserving musical students. The before-mentioned collection of music was purchased with Miss Ruth Burrage’s [b. 1850 d. 1872] money. The Messrs. Chickering & Sons allowed Mr. Lang to construct the room, and to retain it free of rent for the purpose, so long as they (the Messrs, Chickering) occupy the building; and, furthermore, do generously supply, free of cost, the two grand piano-fortes.

Consider what delight one can get from this place. Have you two grand piano-fortes? Have you a hundred and fifty volumes of music for those two piano-fortes? This is a very expensive sort of music, while it is not just what one cares to own year in and year out. This attractive place is called the ”Ruth Burrage Room.” May this little description lead some generous mortal to carry out the same idea in some other of our musical centers.”(Dwight (August 2, 1879): 127) Ten rules for the use of the room were then listed including #7-“Parties are to assemble on the lower floor, in order that the elevator may be used once only to reach the room. They are expected to use the stairs in descending.” (Dwight, ibid)

No doubt Arthur Foote often made use of the Burrage Room. In 1909 he remembered “For thirty years there has been a library in Boston of music for the piano (four and eight hands) to which everyone has access; it was housed in the Chickering Building for a long time, and lately has been at 162 Boylston Street. The money that established it came from a legacy of Miss Ruth Burrage [B. J.’s wife’s family], and it has been called by her name: some years ago Mr. Lang gave a series of concerts of Bach concertos, etc., to raise money for an extension of this library, by which orchestra scores should be added, and lent to any who apply, under certain conditions. This library of scores is at 6 Newbury Street, and both of them have been of great use to many students. It was a wise man that thought of these two things, and was willing constantly to supervise them and look after their details.” (Arthur Foote in the Transcript, May 1, 1909) The Bach Concerto Concerts referred to were given at 3 PM on December 1, 1898 and January 12, 1899. Lang played an Erard and Co. harpsichord at each concert. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7)

An 1897 article gave more details: “Some of our music-loving readers may have forgotten the existence of the Ruth Burrage Room in the building, 153 Tremont Street, though others have good cause to remember it. A brief account of this unique institution will not be without its interest here. Some twenty-five years ago, by the will of Miss Ruth Burrage, a sum of money was left in trust to B. J. Lang of this city, to constitute a fund, the income of which was to be devoted to some musical purpose, left to the trustee’s discretion. After considerable thought as to the way in which the money would do the most good, Mr. Lang determined to lay it out as follows: He collected a library of four and eight hand music for two pianofortes, and set it up in a room furnished with two concert grands, kept constantly in tune and in unison. Free use of this music and of these instruments was given to such music-lovers as could play well enough at sight to make four and eight hands playing together an object.

Any two or four persons able so to play at sight could put their names down for an hour, and, at the expiration of that hour could have their names retained on the list for the same day and hour of the following week. But no party could register for more than a week ahead. It was also specified that the room be used only for playing on two pianofortes, four-hand playing on a single instrument being strictly forbidden -indeed, there was no four-hand music for a single pianoforte in the library. The idea at the bottom of this was that enough people owned a pianoforte to make it easy for any two persons to indulge themselves in four-hand playing upon a single instrument at home; whereas few ever had the chance of finding two pianofortes in unison whereupon they could play together.

The room and the instruments were given, rent-free, by the generosity of Messrs. Chickering and Sons, so that Mr. Lang could apply the whole income of his fund to enlarging the library and keeping it in order. The library consists mostly of arrangements of standard classical and modern orchestral works, although it also contains more original four and eight hand music for two pianofortes than most musicians would think existed. It has lately been largely augmented by the addition of many works by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Chaminade and others of the newer schools. In fact, there is exceedingly little two-pianoforte music now published that cannot be found there; the collection is almost complete.

The success of the Ruth Burrage Room – that is, the well-nigh unintermittent use that has been made for it for a quarter of a century, is good earnest of the wisdom of Mr. Lang’s plan. Almost countless pianoforte-playing music-lovers, who would otherwise have had no little difficulty in finding two instruments in tune together in a place where they would be free from interruption, have here found two admirable grands, always in good order, together with a collection of music to select from such is probably not duplicated in this country. Since the room was first thrown open to the public the pianofortes have been renewed a dozen times at least. In a word, the room has found a public want, and well filled it.”(Newspaper article, 1897)

It would seem that B. J’s suggestion for the establishment of this library was somewhat self-serving as he was part of an ensemble that “was sometimes jokingly called the Ottoman Quartet. The four leading resident pianists-Otto Dresel, B. J. Lang, Hugo Leonhard, and J. C. D. Parker-were fond of playing pieces for two pianofortes, eight hands (a otto mani), in public now and then; hence the nickname, with which Dresel’s Christian name may also have had something to do.” (Swan-Apthorp, 73)

       Once Lang bought the brownstone at 6 Newbury Street, just a few steps from the Public Garden, he had to rent out all the rooms that he was not going to use for his own teaching. It was rumored that all the teachers who then rented studios were former Lang pupils-6 Newbury became the Conservatory of Lang! Two books published in 1907 and 1908 listed the music teachers active in Boston together with the address of their teaching studio. For 6 Newbury we find: George A. Burdett (Organ and Piano), E. Cutter, Jr. (Voice)(He was accompanist for the Apollo Club from 1888 until Lang’s retirement from the group in 1901), George Deane (Voice)(He was B. J.’s tenor at King’s Chapel), J. F. Driscoll (Piano and Organ), Arthur Foote (Piano), Mrs. Alice A. Hilliard (Piano), Miss M. B. H. Ingraham (Organ), Charles Johnson (Organ), J. A. Loud (Organ), Bernhard Listemann (Violin)(Obviously not a Lang pupil), Stephen Townsend (Voice)(Used by B. J. as a soloist), Hiram G. Tucker (Piano), and B. J. Whelpley (Piano)(He was listed both at 6 Newbury and 4 Newbury which was the site of the St. Botolph Club). Strangely B. J. was not listed as having a teaching studio at 6 Newbury, but instead gave his home address of 8 Brimmer. One pupil not listed was Joshua Phippen. He taught at the Pierce Building in Copley Square. Other musicians also taught at the Pierce Building including Arthur Thayer, who taught Voice and Organ. and who had composed pieces for the Apollo Club. (Boston Church Directory for 1906-07 and 1907-08)

       In 1897 one of B. J’s many pupils wrote this poem:

“To B. J. Lang

They say there are ministering spirits,                                                                      Who come out of God’s loving heart                                                                               To show us the wisdom and beauty                                                                                 Of action, of thought, and of art.

Now I love to call such our ‘teachers’-                                                                             A name that the ages have blest;                                                                                   And to such cast a wreath of remembrance                                                                Ere they are called back to their rest.

So here’s to my true music-teacher,                                                                             Who lighted a torch in my youth                                                                                      By which I have always had Music                                                                                    To gladden each new path of Truth.

Elizabeth Porter Gould, Boston 1897.”

(Gould Scrapbook HMA, first page)

PHOTOS. SC(G). WC.

  PHOTOS.

SC(G).    Word Count-1175. 10/10/2020.

1/2

” This is MRL as a young teenager (probably 1882 or 1883), namely after the Homers gave her the Irish Setter as a present. “Maidie” loved dogs and continued to do so throughout her life. The Homers were the elder brother and sister-in-law of the famous painter Winslow Homer, who drew a portrait of MRL’s father B.J. Lang at the organ. Maidie’s first trip alone was at the age of 13 to visit the Homers in West Townsend, Massachusetts.” Fletcher DuBois Collection.

3/4

“Merrie Christmas. Munchen, November 1885,” Provided by Charles Spencer.

 #1 Margaret   Ladies Home Companion, October 1896. The Century Magazine, March 1898 (facing left). Home Journal, May 7, 1898. Same as #4, but looking right.

 

                                                                              #2MRLang_newspaper           Newspaper article: “Composers of Note” No source or date.
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books. Is taken from photo #4.

                                                                           #3MRLang_PhiladelphiaPaper                        Philadelphia paper, December 26, 1897.
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

                                                     #4MargaretfromHalfHoursetcUsed in Hughes’ 1898 article “Women Composers” in The Century Magazine (775) where the photographer is listed as A. Marshall. Also in an article in the Home Journal dated Saturday, May 7. 1898, and, with a somewhat different signature, in the 1894 Half Hours With the Best Composers. In Article-Reviews.

#5 

New England Home Magazine, January 22, 1898.
Minneapolis Journal, July 30, 1898.
The Puritan, August 1898, Vol. III, No. 5, 177. (Have original)
Hughes, Contemporary American Composers, 1900, facing 432.
Elson, Women’s Work In Music, 1903, facing 202.
Hughes and Elson, American Composers, New revised Edition. 1914, facing 520.
A slightly different pose featuring hands held together was used in Mathews, The Great In Music, 1900, 278.

                                                                                                                                                                              #6MRLang_GroupofAmericanComposersFrom “A Group of American Composers” including D. M. Levett (upper left), Mrs. H. H. A. Beach (upper right), Homer N. Bartlett (middle), Louis E. Dressler (lower right), and MRL (lower left). No source.

Used in the book “Women in Music and Law” by Florence E. Sutro, 1895. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

                                                                    #7       MRLang_WomensWorkinMusic

Arthur Schmidt Catalog entitled “Women’s Work in Music” (c. 1901) which gave a short biography, and listed her piano pieces and songs available together with their prices. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

#8

  • Elson, History of American Music, 1904, 296. Boston Evening News, Saturday, January 16, 1904.
    Lewiston Maine Journal, February 11, 1905.
    Musical America, June 19, 1909 (has autograph).
    Etude, July 1909 cover. Other photos were of St. Cecilia, Clara Schumann,Mrs. Beach, Lisa Lehmann, Teresa Carreno, Mathilde Marchese, Cecile Chaminade, Mme. Bloomfield-Zeisler, and Mme. Guy D’Hardelot.
    Christian Science Monitor, March 25, 1911.
    Western Musical Herald, May 1911.
  • In the article More MRL Song Performances.

                                                                       #9MRLang_BostonPostBoston Post, August 25, 1907.
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

                                                                             #10      MRLang_SongsandDuets This pose is the same as the one used in Musical America, August 2, 1919. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

                                                                               #11MRLang_MusicPhoto from an article in Music of March 9, 1912 by C. M. Hoover.
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

                                                                              #12forty years-langphoto

 From “The Universal Library of Music” published in 1913. This is a reprint of “Half Hours With the Best Composers” published in 1894: both were edited by Karl Klauser. The 1894 edition used an earlier photo. Discovered by Dr. Lucy Mauro. In More MRL Song Performances.

                                                                              #13MRLang_BostonEveningRecord

Photo from the article “Criticism of Noted Father Moulded Musical Art of Margaret Ruthven Lang” in the Boston Evening Record of March 9, 1915. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

                                                                             #14MRLang_BostonHeraldBoston Herald, Sunday, April 4. 1920.
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

14A

“A formal portrait done by Bachrach Studios. [1920] This has been in our home at least since the early seventies, and it still has a very old frame.” Fletcher DuBois Collection. Original of the image above.

                                                                         #15

From the same period as #14. Johnston Collection.

                                                                           #16    

                                Drawing from the Washington, D. C. Star of August 26, 1923.
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

                                                                            #17                                    etude 2Etude, June 1935. One of 44 photos on a page entitled “The Etude Historical Musical Portrait Series.” B. J.’s photo also appeared. This pose had also been used on page 42 of  Two Centuries of American Musical Composition, an Etude Music Magazine Souvenir of the Sesqui-Centennial in 1926 of American Independence; she is third row, second from left and B. J. is in second row, first on the right. Thanks to John D. Howard for this information. (Oct. 2018)

                                                                            #18                          BJLang_ChildhoodB. J. as a youth- (Scrapbooks)
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

 

#19 and 1/2

Historic New England. c. 1862, making B. J. about 25 years old.

 

                                                                             #19

This image appears in a chapter covering the years 1891-92. However, the darker beard and more hair would seem to place it much earlier. Bradbury, History of the Handel and Haydn Society, 1890-1897, between pages 24 and 25.

#19a

About the same age as the photo above. BPL Scrapbook.

                                                                            #20                      BJLang_2

                                                              #21                               BJLang_SoloistWithSymphony                               Collection of Amy DuBois.

                                                                  #22                             BJLang_sketchTheodore Baker, A Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 1900, 339.

                                                      #23                                                  BJLang_3Mathews, A Hundred Years of Music In America, 1889, 427.

                                                                              #24                               bj signedApproximately actual size. Hardy Artist Photographer, 493 Washington Street. Autographed: Yours truly, B. J. Lang.  Johnston Collection.

                                                                           #25BJLang_4Scribner’s Magazine, July 1893-“Musical Societies at the World’s Fair,” 71

#26

B. J. reading a score at the keyboard. Amy DuBois Collection.

                                                                       #27Portrait of Benjamin Johnson Lang

Winslow Homer (United States, 1836-1910)

Benjamin Johnson Lang (1837-1909), April 19, 1895.

Graphite on paper, 16 x 13 3/8 inches

Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Gift of William D. Hamill, 1991.19.3. Reproduced by permission. Can not be downloaded without a fee to the Portland Museum.

                                                                            #28                        BJLang_ApolloClub

Apollo Club-25th. Anniversary Concert, May 6, 1896.

Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public    Library/Rare Books.

In a June 16, 1891 passport application, Lang is described as: height-5″ 8″, Forehead-medium, Eyes-blue, Nose-straight, Mouth-medium, Chin-full beard, Hair-partly bald, Complexion-fair, and Face-oval.. Rufus A, Bullock signed as the witness. On this document, Lang swore that he was born on December 28, 1840 (instead of 1837!).
                                                                     #28 1/2
Journal, May 27, 1896. Article about Lang’s renewal as conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society.

                                         #29                                                 BJLang_5

Elson, The History of American Music, 1904, 258.
I have a print saying this was first published by The Macmillan Company in 1904.

                                                                    #30                      BJLang_fromNevinLife

Thompson, Life of Ethelbert Nevin, 1913, 27.

             

Better reproduction of photo above. Johnston Collection (Repro.)

#30A

                                                          #31  (Placed)

Provided by Charles Spencer.                   BJLang_newspaper                                        Collection of Amy DuBois.

# 31A

Source not known. Like # 30.

# 32

Photo used for the article “Lang’s Last Concert In Aid of Children.” (Herald (April 18, 1907): 9, GB. The photo was credited to Odin Fritz, cop. 1907.

Better copy of the above. From the Elizabeth Porter Gould archival material at the HMA. Used with permission.

 

FRANCES MORSE (BURRAGE) LANG. December 18, 1839-October 15, 1934.

In an application for a passport dated May 5, 1866, Frances is described as Height-5 feet, Forehead-medium, Eyes-gray, Nose-regular, Mouth-medium, Chin-round, Hair-brown, Complexion-light, and Face-regular. Frances signed her name as “Mrs. Fanny M. Lang.” Her friend, Annie B. Keep signed as the witness.

                                                         #32                       EthelandMalcolmatFarmEthel and Malcolm at the farm with Frances seated behind. Collection of Amy DuBois.

                                                     #33                       FrancesBurrageLang Frances Burrage Lang (“Gammy”). Collection of Amy DuBois. On the back: “1922. Summers she wore white with black or violet accents; in winter all black.”

#34

Frances, c. 1922.   Amy DuBois Collection.

 

 

PERFORMANCES-VIDEO WC. SC(G).

PERFORMANCES-VIDEO.  WC-167.  SC(G).

HERE ARE THE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE PERFORMANCES ON YOUTUBE OF WORKS BY MARGARET RUTHVEN LANG.

Selected Songs of M. R. Lang. Promo for first CD.    http://youtu.be/8OSc8kM5Prc

Irish Love Song. Donald George and Lucy Mauro. Delos promo.   http://youtu.be/McwOxZfuyHM

Summer Noon. Donald George and Lucy Mauro. Delos promo.   http://youtu.be/XEOKSFNh7GA

Songs: Vol. 2.  “New Love Must Rise.”     http://youtu.be/RsDwp8Ed8ug

Donald George-Potsdam recordings.   http://youtu.be/OHdFMg2bx5Y

Irish Love Song. (recorded 1913). Alma Gluck and Efrim Zimbalist.  http://youtu.be/TQuk2oMJK-A

Irish Love Song. (recorded March 1922) Elizabeth Lennox and orchestra. I new interlude for the orchestra appears between verses 2 and 3.  http://youtu.be/DCudna4n2Qg

The Young Lady of Parma.     http://youtu.be/c8Kgkriqcuk

The Old Man With a Beard.   http://youtu.be/lrvBECYQCYE

Story of the poem: The Old Man With a Beard.  http://youtu.be/NmC10Ydt-r8

The Lady in Blue.  http://youtu.be/31AsVcr66gg

Springtime, Opus 30.   http://youtu.be/C1gpw91IvIg

Revery, Opus 31   http://youtu.be/dOvAF6QDqgU

Spring Idyl, Opus 33   http://youtu.be/d2U3KS4GfFo

Elegy: The Spirit of the Old House   http://youtu.be/dOvAF6QDqgU

Twilight:   http://youtu.be/WuMmnt9riqk

Recordings of Irish Love Song by Dan Beddoe, Mary Garden, Carolina White, Cyrena Van Gordon, Jessica Dragonette, Richard Crooks and Ernestine Schumann-Heink. (From a comment on a Youtube recording)

PEOPLE AND PLACES (O-Z). SC(G). WC.

PEOPLE AND PLACES.            SC(G).
WORD COUNT-35,941.   10/18/2020
All illustrations in place.
All references to Dwight are to his Journal unless cited differently.
OPQRSTUVWXYZ

O

Odd Fellows’ Building. 515 Tremont Street. Eugene Thayer’s organ studio in this building contained “one of the finest Church organs in American. Terms from $40 to $60 per Quarter, with advantages, never before offered to Organ Students [?].” Another note in the same issue said that “Organists visiting Boston will always find a pleasant welcome at the elegant studio of Eugene Thayer, Tremont, corner of Berkeley Street.” (Ditson (Musical Record): Fall 1878) Illustration (King’s Handbook, 240).

Orchestras – “According to W. S. B. Mathews, the first real symphonic ensemble in America to play great music of European composers regularly was that formed in Boston by the German oboist Gottlieb Graupner in 1810 and lasting to 1824, a ‘Philharmonic Society,’ (a generic title given to innumerable short-lived groups in various cities during those times). Graupner had played in Haydn’s orchestra in London, and the Bostonians, primarily European emigres like himself, played mostly Haydn symphonies (Beethoven was as yet a more advanced taste)… Graupner, together with Thomas Smith Webb and Asa Peabody, also organized America’s first enduring performing ensemble, the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, founded in 1815, and still going strong.” (Grant, 33 and 34) See The Musical Fund Concerts: Nov. 1847-Apr. 1855. George J. Webb.

SEQUENCE OF ORCHESTRAS – SOURCE: LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM ELIZA HALL, AND FURTHER INFORMATION PROBABLY BY PHILIP HALE. (Herald (April 22, 1917): 40, GB)

Philharmonic Society gave its first concert on December 9 (or 19), 1843 conducted by J. G. Jones. Two conductors followed until Carl Zerrahn took over on November 24, 1855. The last concert by this group was probably on April 11, 1863. Another Philharmonic Society was formed in the early 1880s.

Boston Musical Fund Society, F. Suck conductor (also C. C. Perkins and J. C. D. Parker), first concert at Tremont Temple on Nov. 27, 1847 conducted by C. H. Mueller, and concerts at the Boston Music Hall as late as April 21, 1855. The orchestra numbered 55 which was all the talent then available in Boston.

Orchestra Union, Carl Zerrahn conductor, first concert Boston Music Hall, Nov. 22, 1854. 30 members. Their last concert seems to have been on March 4, 1868 and George Sumner made his first public appearance playing the Capriccio in B minor for piano and orchestra. Organists often played solos among the orchestra pieces. In January and February 1864 five different local organists played.

Harvard Musical Association Orchestra, Carl Zerrahn was the conductor from December 28, 1865 to March 9, 1882.

The Philharmonic Society of Boston, Bernard Listermann conductor, gave concerts in the Boston Music Hall from October 24, 1879 to May 5, 1881. Then Listermann became the Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Philharmonic continued for one season under Dr. Lois Maas from November 10, 1881 until April 13, 1882. They began again with Carl Zerrahn as conductor on November 29, 1882 and ended for good on April 4, 1883.

Obviously the name of Carl Zerrahn was connected to many of these groups. Orchestral Union: November 22, 1854 until March 4, 1868. Philharmonic Society: November 24, 1855 until April 11, 1863.  Harvard Musical Association Orchestra: December 28, 1865 until March 9, 1882. The Philharmonic Society of Boston: November 29, 1882 until April 4, 1883. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Philharmonic Society: 1843+. This group gave its “first concert December 9, 1843, under the leadership of J. G. Jones, presented for several seasons popular music but nothing better.” (HMA Bulletin No. 7, 6)

Philharmonic Orchestra: 1855-1863, 54 members. Carl Zerrahn (flutist with Germania). Dwight says these concerts began in 1857, and that they kept “alive the interest in classical symphony-music, relieved by lighter or more brilliant works, and introducing not a little that was new. To him, we were indebted for our best privileges in this kind, almost steadily until the spring of 1863. Then the nation was in the middle of the great war, and subscriptions naturally fell off.” (Dwight, History of Boston, 440) Lang was the soloist in the third concert of the 1860 season playing W. S. Bennett’s Capriccio for piano and orchestra and the piano part in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia. Dwight wrote that “The Capriccio, which Mr. Lang played, and played so well, is of this character; graceful, fluent, florid, pervaded by a shadowy beauty; much finer as heard now with the orchestra, than last year with quartet accompaniment, but still not greatly impressive; a delicate leaf from the album of an artistic quietest.” (Dwight (February 18, 1860): 374) Of the Beethoven Dwight recorded that the performance “made a most delightful impression; and the choral portion, finely given by the Handel and Haydn, had to be repeated… Mr. Lang acquitted himself of his difficult and delicate task at the piano most successfully; he had remarkable ease and skill of execution already; he has gained greatly in artistic feeling and fine appreciation of his [this] composer.” (Op. cit., 375) In March 1860 Dwight wrote that “this fourth Concert of the season would be Mr. Zerrahn’s last attempt to provide great orchestral music for a so-called ‘musical’ city, which has so poorly patronized these opportunities for three or four years past… The Symphony [Beethoven’s Seventh] was rendered with the usual excellence by the orchestra of forty-not perfectly, to be sure…but with much verve and spirit; and there was every evidence that it was enjoyed particularly well.” (Dwight (March 10, 1860): 398) However, this was not to be the Philharmonic’s last performance; it was reorganized in June 1860 under the name of “A Boston Philharmonic Society” with Thomas Ryan as President. (Dwight (June 9, 1860): 86) But, by early 1862 the effects of the Civil War had thinned the ranks of the group, and Dwight thanked “Carl Zerrahn for gathering up such forces as were left, and organizing them to such good purpose, so that we still may not altogether lack the refreshment of orchestral music, nor forget the sound of Beethoven and Mozart… Our conductor had collected not so bad an orchestra after all. It numbered thirty-five or forty instruments; with six first and six second violins-the seconds, however, by no means relatively so efficient as the first. There was but one bassoon, and he a new one, with a violoncello for his mate. The other wind parts were reasonably well filled; some of them very well.” (Dwight (January 18, 1862):, 334) In Dwight’s “review of the Season” 1861-62, he mentioned that the Philharmonic “has necessarily been small, though scarcely smaller than during several past years. Forty instruments has been the complement of the Philharmonic band;-too weak in quantity of strings for the full effect of a Beethoven Symphony, but yet so fair in quality as to recall those works to us with no small edification.” (Dwight (June 14, 1862): 86) Dwight was unhappy with a Philharmonic concert early in 1863 that did not include a symphony but instead featured a “wonder child,” Teresa Carreno. “The accustomed Symphony-about as indispensable to a Philharmonic concert as the altar at the junction of the nave and transept to a cathedral-was pushed out.” However, Dwight did have to admit that this program drew a large audience, and Carreno played “marvelously well for a child.” (Dwight (January 31, 1863): 350)

Harvard Musical Association: Chamber music-1844 until 1849. The HMA sponsored a chamber music series beginning in 1844. R. E. Apthorp was part of the group that “were authorized to ”make such arrangements as they might deem necessary for carrying into effect the proposed plan for a series of Chamber Concerts to be given under the patronage of the Association”… The concerts were given in the ”music room” of Jonas Chickering at 334 Washington Street [provided by him without charge], the dates being November 13, 26, December 10, 31, 1844.” The programs balanced pieces which would appeal to the “popular as well as to cultivated taste.” A string quartet played these four programs for a total cost of $124 (which included extra payments for those who had played solos. 150 sets of tickets (these seating of the concert room) were sold at $2.00 for the series, and they made a profit which led to offering another series in January and February of the next year, 1845. A final series was given in December 1849, this time at Cochituate Hall, opposite King’s Chapel, which seated 300. (HMA Bulletin No. 7, 6 through 10)

Orchestral Union. c. 1861-1873. Ryan wrote: “The orchestral Union was made up from our best musicians – about forty in number – Carl Zerrahn being the director. The concerts were held in the Music Hall on Wednesday afternoons only. The entrance fee was modest. Programmes were of mixed music: an overture, symphony, waltz, characteristic pieces, and opera selections. The great organ in Music Hall was built about the time the Union began their concerts. Our best organists were invited in turn to play organ solos at each concert. The Union existed about ten years, then ended its life for lack of support.” (Ryan, Recollections, 102) In 1859 Dwight mentioned that the size of this orchestra “was about one-half of the Saturday evenings [Philharmonic-fifty instruments: Dwight, same issue]-but quite an efficient one-four first violins, four second, two bassos, and so on:” both groups were conducted by Zerrahn. (Dwight (February 12, 1859): 366) In April 1860 the Boston Musical Times reported that “The twenty-second of the Afternoon Concerts, by the orchestral Union, was given on Wednesday afternoon. Their success grows greater as the season advances. Why can’t they be continued throughout the summer?” (BMT (April 7, 1860): 55) Also in April 1860 Dwight recorded that the Orchestral Union had just played their “twenty-fourth and last of the Wednesday Afternoon Concerts… These concerts have done us one great service this winter… The audience this time was very large so that latecomers could not drop into seats without some searching. This would seem to show that the ”Union” are leaving off just as the tide is turning in their favor.” (Dwight (April 21, 1860): 31) A typical program is reflected in the selections chosen for the First Concert of their Seventh Season of Concerts at the Music Hall held on February 27, 1861:

Overture Fra Diavolo – Auber                                                                           Two-Part Song arr. for two cornet-a-pistons – Mendelssohn Symphony No. 1 – Beethoven                                          INTERMISSION.                                                                        Overture Tannhauser – Wagner                                                                           New Waltz Forget Me Not – Zerrahn                                                           Miserere from Il Trovatore – Verdi                                       Gallop Marseillaise – Lumbye.

“A new and happy feature in these programmes is the place assigned the Symphony-at the end of the first part. We trust this satisfied both those who cavil at playing the Symphony first, on account of the interruption caused by the slamming of doors of latecomers, (and latecomers are not the only door-slammers), and that other few whose classical ears are offended by a genial, flowing waltz of Strauss, or a clever potpourri of operatic selections, and therefore cannot sit through their performance and wait for the Symphony at the end of the concert. The orchestra is composed of about the same performers as last season, under the direction of Mr. Zerrahn. (BMT (March 9, 1861): 21) Tickets were 25 cents each on the day, or packages of six tickets could be bought for $1 and used “at pleasure.” (BMT (February 23, 1861: 12) On Wednesday, March 27, 1861, “Mr. B. J. Lang, the distinguished Pianist, who will perform a Grand Concerto by Mozart,” the Concerto in E flat which ended the first half of this afternoon concert. (HMA, Program Collection) Later that same year the Union joined with the Germania Band to give Saturday Evening Concerts, but after the second attempt proved to be a “disastrous failure, pecuniarily,” the effort was discontinued. “It is impossible to get the public to listen arrectis auribus to anything of a symphonic character now-a-days, so that our city musicians are compelled to enlist in the regimental bands, if they have not been fortunate enough to lay by something for a rainy day. We hope better times are in store for them.” (BMT (June 15, 1861): 135) However, less than nine months later it was reported that “The ”Union” has been on the crest of the wave of success for nine weeks, and the crest exhibits no signs of breaking yet.” The hall was full; but there was still too much “buzzing of busy tongues” of the young girls; however, “the programmes are unusually excellent;”… “May a Union affording so much happiness [during this time of war], and doing so much musical good, ever be preserved.” (BMT, April 5, 1862) A month later it was reported that the season was drawing to a close. Fourteen performances had been given by this “small but clever orchestra” with two more remaining, but before those last concerts, the Music Hall would be taken over by a “horse tamer… We made some reference to this turning the Music Hall into a stable a year ago, and it is unnecessary to reiterate our sentiments then expressed.” The article ended with a plea to have these concerts held “all the year round.” (BMT (May 3, 1862): 39) A final notice concerning the season of sixteen concerts rated them “all good-hardly a choice between any one or two or three-though the last equalled any earlier one.” The comment was made that several regular players were missing due to visits to the fatherland or having to take part in various military bands-this being the time of the Civil War. “But we are very sure that the familiar faces will return, and that another season will bring the same pleasant concert, (with the increasing quiet, we may hope), and the good instruction and love of good music they inculcate.” (BMT (June 7, 1862): 55) An effort to have summer Promenade Concerts was begun on July 12, 1862 at the Music Hall with Carl Zerrahn conducting an orchestra where the “Germania Band” formed the nucleus. Popular music of the Jullien School will have full exposition, and this with the Operatic Pot-pourris and military music, for which the Germanias are celebrated, cannot fail to attract large and brilliant audiences.” (Ibid) This orchestra must have had a large segment of Orchestral Union players, as a notice from early September referred to the Promenade Concerts of the Orchestral Union. In the end, these concerts did not prove to be popular, and the musicians “did not care to ”pipe for nothing” any longer… The orchestra was composed of the best of the musicians now in the city, and the programmes were happily selected.” But few people were willing to promenade – “A few couples would sail round the hall once or twice, and then, as if frightened at their own boldness, relapse into the galleries… But it is one of the unaccountable things of this world why the Germania Band of the Orchestral Union are less successful, pecuniarily, with promenade concerts, than other organizations with more clap-trap and less merit.” (BMT (September 6, 1862): 101 and 102) However, six months later the report was that the Wednesday afternoon concerts at the “Music Hall are more interesting than ever… The orchestra plays with all that delicacy and precision which is a characteristic of their performances, and in which they cannot be excelled by any company of musicians in America.” (BMT (January 3, 1863): 166) The audience was attentive as “the army has absorbed a multitude of the young and thoughtless who, in years gone by, have made themselves so conspicuous, and the passage of the corridors so perilous,” (Ibid) In April the end of the season was reported: the concerts “have provided a delightful series of entertainments, have been liberally patronized and have heightened the musical culture of our city. Inexpensive, admirably planned, judiciously carried out and popularized by a variety of combined influences, it is not strange that a general regret should prevail upon their retirement for the season, and a general desire spring up that they may institute Summer evening entertainments.” (BMT (April 4, 1863): 21) This season of concerts had been given at the Boston Theatre. At the final concert, “the house was crowded from top to bottom, and hundreds were forced to stand in the lobbies and aisles. The occasion being musical, and the price of admission trifling, many who have thought it wrong to go to the theatre embraced their first opportunity for seeing the interior of the building.” (BMT (May 2, 1863): 37)

Early in January 1864 a new season [10th.] was announced for the Music Hall, and as an added feature the new “Great Organ is [to be] employed at each concert, and skillful artists succeed each other in displaying its powers. Owing to the increased cost of all musical material, the price of tickets has been raised to fifty cents.” (BMT, January 2, 1864, 21) In April of that year it was reported: “The Wednesday Afternoon Concerts of the Orchestral Union have succeeded, even at the advanced prices, beyond their most sanguine expectations. Indeed they have always drawn full houses. The programmes are very well selected, though the general public would fancy a trifle more of lighter music. The audiences have been extremely mannerly and quiet this season, the change in the back balcony precluding noisy running, flirting and the like on the part of those who go for other objects beside the enjoyment of good music. Our best organists, Lang, Willcox, Thayer, Tuckerman, Parker, Mrs. Frohock, and the rest, take turns in officiating at these concerts.” (BMT ( April 2, 1864): 3 and 4) On January 20, 1864 Lang’s organ solos were – Fugue on Bach by Schumann and the “Andante” from Mendelssohn’s Third Sonata. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1) On February 17, 1864 his solos were – Prelude and Fugue by Bach and the “Adagio and Allegretto” from Rink’s Flute Concerto. (Ibid) On March 30, 1864 he played “Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite by Handel and “Selections” from The Hymn of Praise by Mendelssohn. (Ibid) For this concert Dwight felt that “Mr. Lang was especially happy in the treatment of his organ pieces; the great instrument has never been made more expressive for such subjects. His choice of stops in the Mendelssohn selections came closer to the idea than ever. He prefaced the grand final chorus of Samson with the Minuet from the overture, charmingly rendered with soft stops.” (Dwight ( April 2, 1864): 215) Dwight listed the major pieces performed that spring noting that the concerts were “Afternoon (Rehearsal) Concerts,” and that the orchestra “rarely exceeded 25 instruments.” Lang was a soloist in the following: Hummel’s Introduction and Rondo in B flat, Op. 98, Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D minor (twice), and Lang and a pupil played Mendelssohn and Moscheles Duo Concertante for two pianos on the March in Preciosa.” (Dwight (June 25, 1864): 263) A report of the Spring 1866 series of Wednesday Afternoon Concerts said that they “are, as usual, well attended by young ladies and gentlemen who like to flirt through the heavy symphonies, and to listen to the light waltzes and redorras, which they play so gracefully well. The programmes are evenly balanced, and the season promises to be very successful.” (BMT (February 3, 1866): 21) But “Mr. Apthorp, reviewing at a much later date… gives a correct and dismal picture of the state of orchestral music. ”…the war had well nigh killed music in Boston. The earnest nut more futile efforts of Mr. Zerrahn and the Orchestral Union to keep music alive… Those were troublous times… a second bassoon was an unheard-of luxury… the Seventh Symphony in the Music Hall was given with three first and two second violins… At last, things came to such a pass that it was evident that Mr. Zerrahn and the Union could bear their burden no longer and, unless stronger power stepped in, orchestral music in Boston would die outright of sheer inanition.” The stronger power was at hand and ready to step in. It was the Harvard Musical Association.” (HMA Bulletin No. 15) In 1896 Apthorp remembered: “What a time that old Orchestral Union had! Their concerts came on Wednesday afternoons and were at first very well attended. But, with the war, audiences began to drop off as the times grew harder. The orchestra was a variable quantity: there were only two horns, and a second bassoon was not to be thought of. The second bassoon-part had to be played on a ”cello; and uninitiated visitors used sometimes to wonder what that solitary ”cello was doing in the midst of the wood-wind. Hamann, the first horn, had little technique, but a good tone, and was moreover an excellent musician; he had a fad of playing the easier Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven horn-parts on a real plain horn, which he had made to order and viewed with unconcealed affection. I don’t think there were ever more than six first violins; I certainly remember one performance of the seventh symphony with only three first violins and two second. The solitary bassoonist was conspicuous by his singularity, not by his virtuosity. I remember a benefit concert tendered to Mr. Zerrahn, at which a small picked ”chorus of young ladies” sang the ”Lift thine eyes” terzet from Elijah; the few measures of introductory tenor recitative were played as a bassoon solo, and the hapless bassoonist got most of the notes wrong. I don’t think I have ever heard such a tremulous tone issue from any other wind instrument.” (Apthrop, BSO Program March 6 and 7, 1896, 594 and 595) Lang soloed with this group on “Fast Day Afternoon,” Thursday, April 2, 1868. He played the Liszt orchestration on Weber’s Grand Polonaise in E Major. Julius Eichberg was the Leader of the Orchestra at that time, and the conductor was Carl Zerrahn. The tickets were 50 cents. (BPL Lang Prog.) Lang also appeared with the group as organist for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Saint Paul on April 2, 1868. The choir was a combination of the Worcester Mozart and the Beethoven Choral Union. (Ibid) A program [probably 1880] dated Wednesday, January 24 3 PM of the “Tenth Afternoon Concert” noted at the bottom of the program that “The Orchestral Union, [is] composed of members of the Germania Musical Society, Musical Fund Society, Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and the Serenade Band.” They gave “concerts every Wednesday at 3 o’clock during the season. Packets of six tickets, $1.00, single tickets, 25 cents.” (BPL Music Hall prog., Vol. 4)

Germania Musical Society: Apr. 1849-1854. Carl Lenschow, then Carl Bergmann. See separate entry.

Small Occasional Orchestra: “was made up by some of the musicians (”the cream of the Musical Fund,” several of the disbanded Germania, and the Mendelssohn Quintette Club), which gave cheap afternoon concerts, combining symphony and lighter things in fair proportions. These concerts, easily given, inexpensive, very moderately remunerative to the musicians, were kept alive through periods when all else failed. Indeed, a series of them was given every year down to the spring of 1868.” (Dwight, History of Boston, 440)

Boston Mozart Club. Dwight recorded the founding of this amateur group in January 1861 noting that the officers were “names well known in the community… The Club meets every Monday evening at the Piano Warerooms of Messrs. Hallett & Cumston, 339 Washington Street.” (Dwight, January 12, 1861, 335) On Monday evening, April 23, 1862 at the “Fourth and Last Social orchestral Entertainment” presented “To the Associate and Honorary Members” at Mercantile Hall on Summer Street, this group, conducted by Carl Zerrahn performed the Symphony in D Major by Mozart together with two vocal solos by “A Lady Amateur.” (HMA Program Collection) This group existed from 1860-1864. (Boston Musical Year Book, Vol. 1, 1883-84, 57)

Harvard Musical Association Orchestra: 1866-1882. Carl Zerrahn. First proposed at the January 1865 annual dinner of the Association.

The Boston Orchestra Club. Through the efforts of Mr. Percival Gassett, this group was organized in October 1884 “to furnish amateurs and young professionals of both sexes opportunity for the practice of orchestral music. Mr. Bernard Listemann conducted the weekly rehearsal and the three concerts given before its associate members.” (BMYB, 1884-85, 56) Mr. Gassett was a member of the First Violin Section.

Philharmonic Orchestra: The Orchestra of 1879 became the Philharmonic Society in 1880. The program for the opening concert on October 24, 1879 had a one-page introduction to this new group. “THE BOSTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA has been recently organized to meet the wants of a permanent Orchestra in Boston – a want too generally admitted to call for further comment. The new organization has for its conductor Bernard Listemann and counts among its members the very best performers of the HARVARD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. The plans of the new organization for the coming season include a series of five popular Symphony Concerts, at Boston Music Hall, on the evenings of Friday, October 24th, November 7th and 21st, and December 5th, and Saturday afternoon, December 13th. Subscription tickets, with reserved seats for the five concerts, @.50 each; single reserved seats for each concert, 75 cents; admission tickets, 50 cents, and packages of five admission tickets, $2.00. The programme of these concerts, though of a popular character, will be made up with a view of presenting a good variety of compositions, in which modern works of acknowledged ability will find a prominent position… Accomplished Vocal and Instrumental Soloists will contribute to each programme. The Orchestra is open for Concerts, and other engagements, for the coming season, and further particulars can be had upon inquiry at the Music Hall office, where a subscription sheet for the Concerts is now open” (HMA Program Collection).                                                                                The debut concert on Friday evening, October 24, 1879 presented a group of only “32 instruments-4 first violins, 2 ”cellos and 2 basses.” (Dwight, November 8, 1879, 181) Dwight’s review of the “second of these concerts” [second season] given at the newly opened Tremont Temple on Tuesday, October 12, 1880 mentions an orchestra “of forty instruments.” (Dwight (October 23, 1880): 174) A month later Dwight wrote of “Listerman’s thoroughly drilled and excellent orchestra” who play to an audience that was “large and evidently well pleased.” (Dwight (November 20, 1880): 190) Bernhard Listemann had been the former concertmaster of the Thomas Orchestra.                                                                                                                                 Ads for the Wednesday night, November 30, 1881 concert started to appear in mid-September. An ad of September 17 announced: GRAND ORCHESTRAL CONCERT by the BOSTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, augmented to 65 men. Under the direction of Boston’s favorite Conductor, Mr. BERNARD LISTEMANN…This grand orchestra is one of the largest and best in America, and, under this popular director, will give the Grandest Orchestral Concert that will be heard in Boston this season. (Herald (September 17, 1881): 3, GB)

In April 1881 The Musical Herald reported the formation of the “Philharmonic Society of Boston” which was incorporated to “procure the best performances of orchestral music.” J. K. Paine was the President, Oliver Ames the Treasurer, and there were 12 corporators. (Musical Herald (April 1881): 79) In July 1881 the officers were Luther H. Wightman-Clerk, Oliver Ames-Treasurer, and among the 23 directors were J. K. Paine, George L. Osgood, Julius Eichberg, John Orth, B. E. Woolf, S. A. Emery, W. J. Winch, G. W. Chadwick, in order words many well-known men of musical and business background. This new orchestra gave its first concert on March 10, 1881 with a program that was “a rather heavy feast for the general public, but highly interesting for musicians. The orchestra did not differ much from that of the Harvard Association and was composed of some members of the old Philharmonic, with some notable additions to the strings. The orchestral work was excellent, the effect of the rehearsals being very apparent. (Musical Herald (April 1881): 78) However, “In January 1882, the Boston Philharmonic Society offered its baton to Theodore Thomas, but Thomas elected to relinquish Boston to Higginson: he would no longer tour New England. The Philharmonic Society folded. The Harvard Musical Association terminated its concerts.” (Horowitz, 50) The 1883-84 Boston Musical Year Book noted that “The ”Philharmonic Society” gave three seasons of symphony concerts from 1880-81, under conductors Mr. B. Listermann, Dr. Louis Maas, and Mr. Carl Zerrahn. During the season preceding the establishment of the Philharmonic Society, Mr. Listermann gave a series of Symphony Concerts with an orchestra called the ”Philharmonic.”” (BMYB Vol 1, 58) On December 19, 1882 Lang was the soloist with the Philharmonic Society of Boston, conducted by Carl Zerrahn in the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. For the 1890-91 Season “The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (sixty players), Mr. B. Listemann, Conductor; Ch. C. Parkyn, Manager, gave seventeen Sunday-evening concerts at the Boston Theatre.” Ten works were given for the first time in Boston, but only one was by an American composer – Gavotte for Strings by Arthur Bird. (MYB 1890-91, 23 and 24) The group was still performing in 1883, giving the fifth concert of the 1882-83 season with Carl Zerrahn as the conductor.

Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. In the Boston Daily Advertiser of Saturday Morning, January 10, 1881 both the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra were advertising their concerts. The BSO had Nikisch as its conductor and its concertmaster, Timothie Adamowski as the soloist in Wieniawski’s Concerto in D Minor, while the BPO’s conductor was Bernard Listermann and the soloists were Miss May A. Bosley, contralto and Mr. William Sherman, pianist. The ad said: both “will have solo numbers.” (Johnston Collection) The BSO played on Friday afternoon and Saturday night at the Music Hall while the BPO played Sunday night at the Boston Theatre.                                                                                                                                       On October 12, 1890, the Phil gave its “Second Regular Sunday Night” Concert with Gertrude Franklin, soprano and Felix Winternitz, violinist  as the soloists. The concert opened with an Overture by Adam and an Entre Act by Gounod. Each of the soloists performed and the first half ended with Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite. In Part Two Miss Franklin had one more song (using Mr. Winternitz for the obligato) followed by the Strauss Pizzicato Polka and finally Two Scotch (!) Dances. All of this information was contained in a large ad in the Herald. (Herald (October 12, 1890): 11, GB)                                    By December 11, 1890 the orchestra was giving its 11th. “of its series of concerts under Mr. Bernard Listermann.” The same format was being followed. In this case there were two vocalists and a violinist as soloists, each of whom did not contribute too much to the program; the vocalists, two songs each, and the violinists two movements from the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Most of the Herald review was spent on reviewing the purpose of the orchestra- “to perform orchestral music suited to the general taste of concert patrons.” The idea was that since the “Boston Symphony Orchestra furnished music far beyond the capacity of an average audience to undersatand,” the Philharmonic would program for that “average audience…If a city like Leipsic, Gemany, with only 100,000 inhabitants, can support four orchestras, as it does, Boston should be able, with its 500,000 to support two.” (Herald (December 14, 1890): 9, GB)”            Their Second concert of the 1891-92 Season was on Thursday afternoon, November 19, 1891 at the Tremont Theatre. “A notable gain in attendance…orchestra, on the whole, showed a marked improvement.” A Goldmark Overture was first, then the Tschaikovsky Violin Concerto (with the conductor as soloist), a Saint Saens tone-poem, the American premier of a Grieg melodarama with the text read by Mr. George Riddle, and then two lighter pieces. (Herald (November 20, 1891): 10, GB)                                                                                                                                               The fifth concert of the 1891-92 Season was given on Thursday afternoon January 14, 1892 at the Tremont Theatre. The review cited “increased interest shown by music lovers”. A symphonic poem by Saint-Saens opened the program followed by an aria by Harvard’s Professor of Music, J. K. Paine. Two cello solos with piano accompaniment were included followed by a Song and Overture from George Chadwick’s The Miller’s Daughter. A solo harp piece, then the [Bach]Gounod Ave Maria, and to end the Chabrier Spanish Rhapsodie.  The cello solos were played by Wulf Fries who had been absent from the orchestra because of a serious accident. Mr. Fries had only played the first season of the BSO. The next concert was to include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in G Major, Opus 58. (Herald (January 15, 1892): 8, GB)                                                                                                                                               The 7th. concert of the 1891-92 Season was held on Thursday afternoon, February 18, 1892 at the Tremont Theatre with a pianist and soprano as the soloists. The opening was Arthur Foote conducting his Overture In the Mountains, and other highlights were the Boston premiere of Richard Strauss’ Death and Glorification, the Liszt First Piano Concerto and the ballet suite Feramors by Rubinstein to finish. (Herald (February 14, 1892): 13, GB) Certainly, the style of programming had changed to be very much like the Boston Symphony Orchestra.                                                                                                                                    In 1913 another Boston Philharmonic of 60 players was formed with Charles Frank as the conductor to give concerts of the “highest grade of music, such music as is generally played by the Boston Symphony [but] at moderate prices…It will be possible to hear the classics for the first time for 10 or 15 cents…This organization is made up of men in the theatre orchestras of Greater Boston.” (Herald (December 27, 1913): 9, GB)

Boston Symphony Orchestra: Feb. 1881. Chadwick wrote: “The new Symphony orchestra under Mr. Henschel was really our same old H. M. A. orchestra with local additions. They had plenty of time to rehearse carefully but had been playing so long in the old domestic, happy go lucky (or unhappy) was without any real standard that no conductor could have made them into anything but a mediocre organization. Certainly not Henschel who, though very enthusiastic, had no idea of orchestral discipline. Further than to get notes right, it did not take long for the old stagers to find this out, with the result that Georg was in hot water most of the time…He was a good program maker of the classic type. He drew the line at dance music but played several of the overtures by Auber. There was plenty of Wagner, Liszt and Berlioz, and of course Brahms, but otherwise not many novelties… Tchaikovsky and Franck had not yet made their appearance.” (6357 and 58) Elson in 1900 wrote: “The highest standard, however, which America ever attained, has been achieved by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, an organization which may well compare with any of the orchestras of Europe…It began its labours in 1881. In order not to antagonise the orchestras then existing in Boston, its generous founder, Mr. Henry L. Higginson, took the off-night of the week for his concerts. The old Puritans considered Saturday night as the beginning of the Sabbath; long after this religious idea has passed away, Boston still held Saturday night sacred as regards theatre or public performances; up to the last quarter of the nineteenth century the oldest theatre of the city, the Boston Museum, closed its doors on Saturday night. It was this unused night which the Symphony Orchestra chose for its concerts, and Saturday, Oct. 22, 1881, the Boston Symphony concerts were begun.” (Elson, National Music, 300 and 301) After the first three seasons under Henschel, William Gericke was hired and was given latitude to remold the Symphony. “In the ranks were many old musicians who had passed the zenith of their powers, but were kept on for sentimental reasons…Great was the indignation when the new broom began to sweep! Especially harsh seemed the replacing of the great violinist, the musical pioneer, the leader of the orchestra (concert-meister), Bernhard Listemann,–by a beardless young Roumanian. [Franz Kneisel]” (Op. cit., 304 and 305) However, with the personnel changes made by Gericke, the orchestra became a younger ensemble which then with few changes through 1900 “rehearsed together thousands of times.” (Op. cit.  305 and 306)

Orpheus Club. This choir “was never in so flourishing a condition as at present. its director is Mr. Carl Zerrahn, who conducts the rehearsals with as much precision as if each were the immediate precursor of public performance. The Club is numerous, enterprising, and full of spirit. They are engaged to give concerts in several of the leading cities and towns of Massachusetts during the present winter, and we learn that preparations are making by them [?] for a grand masquerade ball at Music Hall, to be given on a scale of magnificence never surpassed in this city.” (BMT (December 2, 1865): 177) “The Orpheus Musical Society gave a concert to a crowded audience at Tremont Temple, Feb . 9th. Under the baton of Mr. C. Gloggner Castelli, this society is winning new laurels.” (Dexter Smith’s (March 1872): 53)

Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

Baker, Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 428.

Men of Progress-1896… Massachusetts, 796.

Osgood, George Laurie. Born April 3, 1844 in Chelsea, Mass. Died December 12, 1922 in Godalming, England. Elson describes Osgood as “a lineal descendant of John Osgood, the Puritan, who landed in Salem in 1632.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., 252) “A descendant of John Osgood who emigrated to Massachusetts in 1638. As a child he showed an acute sense of pitch, and was given every musical advantage from his earliest years. At Harvard, where he was graduated in 1866, after studying composition and the organ under John Knowles Paine, he directed the college glee club and orchestra for three successive years. After graduation he went to Germany,  where he remained three years studying singing in Berlin [composition with Haupt and singing with Sieber]… German song and choral music with Robert Franz. He then went to Italy for three years of further study at Milan under Francesco Lamperti, after which he made a successful concert tour of Germany. As a result Theodore Thomas engaged him in 1872 for a winter tour of the United States with his orchestra as tenor soloist. One newspaper printed: “Mr. Geo. L. Osgood has been engaged to appear at all of Mr. Theodore Thomas’ concerts next season. This is most welcome news.” (Dexter Smith’s (September 1872): 204)                                                                         He made his debut with the Handel and Haydn Society singing their December 1868 Messiah performances. Their program note mentioned that he was a “member of a large family all amateur muscians…[and that was] the possessor naturally of a beautiful tenor voice, which he had cultivated for a year in Germany. His voice…had already won mcuh favor in one of the Symphony concerts.” (H & H Hist. Vol. 1, 262)                                                               In the spring of 1872 it was reported: “Mr. Geo. L. Osgood, of Chelsea, who has been studying in Europe for several years, is now creating a great sensation in Vienna. The Germans pronounce him the most perfect interpreter of the songs of Schubert and Robert Franz. Welcome home, George!” (Folio, May 1872) The next issue announced that he would be sailing home from Liverpool at the last of May. (Folio, June 1872) “Mr. George L. Osgood has returned from Europe to his home in Boston. He has declined several very handsome offers of engagement to sing in opera. He will probably give a series of concerts in the principal cities next season, commencing in Boston. We have a rare treat in store.” (Dexter Smith’s, July 1872) Once he first returned to America, in the Fall of 1872 he was “tendered a complimentary concert” by the citizens of his hometown, Chelsea, on September 19th. Assisting in the program was the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and also the bass, M. W. Whitney, who had also just returned from Europe. “The Academy of Music was well-nigh filled, and among the audience we noticed the faces of several of our well-known Boston critics… It is noticeable that Mr. M. W. Whitney made this his first appearance since his return from the Continent.” (Folio (November 1872): 132) However, not all of his concerts were so well received. Just three months later a review of Osgood’s appearance with the Thomas Orchestra published in the Rochester, N. Y. Musical Times recorded: “Mr. Osgood disappointed everyone. His voice is only an ordinary baritone tenor, tolerably well cultivated. His toilet attracted more attention than his singing, although the latter was pleasing, yet far below many tenors that have sung in this city.” (Folio (December 1872): 170)  For some thirty years Osgood played a leading part in Boston’s musical life. He was very popular as a teacher and brought out a number of successful singers. He also directed an annual series of chamber-music concerts of a high quality, and completely transformed the Boylston Club of Boston, of which he was conductor from 1875 to 1893, from a male chorus into a mixed choral organization of two hundred voices. Under the name of the Boston Singers’ Society (1890), he established its reputation for brilliant performance of difficult pieces.” (Dic. Am. Bio., 78) I  Composer of “songs and part-songs; many of the latter (including madrigals, glees, carols, and other forms of choral work) have been sung at the Boylston Club concerts.” (Jenks, 483) On Wednesday evening, May 7, 1879 Osgood presented a concert “at Mechanic’s Hall [which] was one of the most interesting and unique that we have had. Indeed, it was full of most charming matter charmingly interpreted.” The pianist was B. J. Lang who not only accompanied the soloist, but also played a Liszt solo, Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude, and was the pianist in St. Saens’s Quartet in B Flat for piano and strings – “Mr. Lang played the piano part superbly.” (Dwight (May 24, 1879): 85) “After 1903 he made his home in Europe, first in Geneva, and later, in Godalming, England, where he had a large country estate and where he dies.” (Dic. Am. Bio., 78) He seems to have kept some Boston connections-in 1905 he is listed as an “Absent member” of the St. Botolph Club which he had joined on January 3, 1880, being one of the Charter members. (1905 Members List) He published a “Guide in the Art of Singing,” a work of 200 pages which went through eight editions, and he also published “anthems, choruses, part-songs, and over 50 songs.” (Pratt,  428) Over thirty of his published compositions are preserved in the Library of Congress collection, “Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885.” Among his SSAA compositions published by the Boston Music Company are Song of the South (martial hymn), The Rock-A-By-Lady (Eugene Field), and his arrangement of Ethelbert Nevin’s Wynken, Blyken and Nod. It would seem that the Theodore Thomas Orchestra was trying to create a local connection by announcing that “Mr. Osgood had been engaged at all of Mr. Theodore Thomas’ concerts next season. This would seem to be a most unusual artistic decision to have the same soloist for every program throughout the season.

Osgood is also credited with being one of the originators of “One of the largest collections of choral music in the world… the Harvard Glee Club Library… There is a wonderful story connected with the largest single addition to this collection. Many years ago, (this was written in 1952) Dr. Davison was poking around in the newspaper files on Floor D of the basement of Widener Library. In the semi-darkness, he stumbled upon a stack of choral sheet music which turned out to be the complete private library of George L. Osgood, ’66, Boston choral conductor, member of the Harvard Musical Association and composer. With the volunteer assistance of members of the Harvard Glee Club and the Radcliffe Choral Society, the entire collection was sorted out and cataloged, and now resides permanently in the choral library of the Department of Music.” (HMA Bulletin No. 20, 12 and 13)

Vol. 7 of the Musical Year Book reported: “The Boylston Club dissolved. The Boston Singers Society succeeded it.” (MYB 1889-90, 26)

The first season, 1889-90, of the Boston Singers’ Society opened on December 27 and January 3 with concerts for supporters, and then the program was repeated on January 6 for the general public with an admission fee. The pieces were piano-accompanied, or unaccompanied, and were grouped by Mixed Voice, Male Voice and Female Voice selections. A second concert on February 27, 1890 used an orchestra of 44 and programmed four longer works, while the final concerts on April 23 and 25 used an orchestra of 26 but consisted of many shorter pieces, again arranged by Mixed Voice, Male Voice and Female Voice groupings. (MYB 1889-90, 16, 17 and 18) Miss Gertrude Franklin was one of the soloists in the second concert.

The 1890-91 Season of the Boston Singers’ Society with 190 members (its second season) consisted of three concerts. Osgood was the Conductor, F. H. Ratcliffe the Secretary and Clayton Johns, the Accompanist. A miscellaneous program on December 13, 1890 was followed on February 18, 1891 by a concert accompanied by an orchestra of forty-four, and the final program, given on May 6 and 9 was entitled a “Historical Program” which ranged from a Palestrina motet to a madrigal by the Boston critic, B. E. Woolf entitled Hark, the Lark. (MYB 1890-91, 17 and 18)

In the fall of 1891 the Boston Singers’ Society, which Osgood directed, was invited to “consolidate” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Philip Hale had constantly praised the group the previous season. “Two choral works of large dimensions will be given in the series of concerts.” (Hale Crit., Vol. 1) The question is – did this union only last two years? Hale noted in May 1893 that the Boston Symphony Chorus “is now dead and buried. It dug its own grave and then killed itself, and it thus won loud applause… This unhappy chorus made two appearances in the Ninth Symphony, and in a double bill that included Brahms’ A Song of Destiny and Foote’s Skeleton in Armor.” (Ibid) The Foote was a “First Boston Performance” and the concert dates were February 3-4, 1893. The world performance had been on April 28, 1892 in New York by the American Composers Choral Association conducted by Emilio Agramonte. (Cipolla, 45)

The Oliver Ditson 1913 Vocal Catalog listed the following Osgood songs: Brown eyes has that little maiden; Down the shadowed lane she goes; Flower may hide its lovely face, The; My little woman; Shadow; She wears a rose in her hair; Somebody; Sunshine of her eyes, The; Wake not, but hear me, love. Except for two songs, each was published in two keys, high and low, and one had a third edition, medium. (Oliver Ditson 1913 Vocal Catalog, 80)

“Ottoman Quartet.” Boston had “for pianoforte playing – what was sometimes jokingly called the ”Ottoman Quartet.” The four leading resident pianists – Otto Dresel, B. J. Lang, Hugo Leonhard, and J. C. D. Parker – were fond of playing pieces for right hands (a otto mani) in public, now and then; hence the nickname.” (Apthorp, “Entr’acte,” March 6 and 7, 1896 BSO Program Book, 594) For the Opening Soiree of Chickering’s New Music Room in 1860, the eight hands opened the concert with Fugue for Two Pianos, Eight Hands by Moscheles. (Dwight (November 10, 1860): 262)

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               Spy cartoon (Leslie M. Ward) from 1899-part of a strip of three printed in 1915. Johnston Collection.

Paderewski. George Chadwick recorded that Paderewski came to America in the fall of 1891, and after an appearance in New York, he played his own Concerto in A Minor with the BSO “and made a great hit. Probably none of us had heard the piano played with such diabolical recklessness as he put into that last movement.” Chadwick also noted that he had attended an orchestra only rehearsal of the concerto where “not the smallest detail escaped” Nikisch’s notice… Paderewski speedily became very much at home in Boston. He liked the Tavern Club very much (both Adamowskis were then members) and spent a good deal of time there when he was in Boston. Especially he loved to be with us at our Christmas celebrations and sometimes put himself out a good deal to get there! On one memorable occasion, he played the piano for Tim and Joe [Adamowski] to dance the Polish sword dance. It was well worth seeing and hearing.”(6456-6457) Arthur Foote’s daughter Katharine recalled that “when Paderewski first came to America [1891-93] he hardly knew anyone. The Footes befriended him. The lonely Paderewski constantly visited the Footes when in Boston: ”I remember the first time he came to dinner he was TWO hours late. He never acquired any sense of time. He was a delightful companion, played endlessly for us and even played Papa’s duets with me! Later he had many friends and we saw little of him. But he always played papa’s Study in 3rds, which he liked very much, wherever he went.” The piece was one of the Nine Pianoforte Studies for Musical Expression and Technical Development, Op. 27 which Foote composed in the summer of 1891 and Arthur P. Schmidt published in 1892.” (Tara, Foote, 71) Henry Dunham, organ instructor of the New England Conservatory remembered attending “a recital there [Blumstead Hall, the amphitheater under the Music Hall] by Paderewski, which was the gift solely of Mrs. Jack Gardner to the musicians of Boston, she standing at the door giving out the programs. A remarkable woman was ”Mrs. Jack,” a real live wire in musical Boston. Unfortunately, her type is very rare.” (Dunham, 49) Helen Henschel described Paderewski: “He had a truly astonishing complexion, a skin of almost transparent whiteness, which heightened the expressiveness of his smoldering and rather melancholy eyes, and a great aureole of bright red-gold hair.” (Henschel, H., 87)

 

Paine, John Knowles

Elson, History of  American Music, facing 338, Plate XII.

Facing 596, Vol. M-P, Grove’s 1921.

Born in Portland, Maine on January 9, 1839, Paine was taught piano, organ and composition with Mr. Kotschmar. He gave his first recital on June 25, 1857, and after another year of study, he went to Berlin for three years where his main study was organ under the well-known virtuoso August Haupt. When he was not practicing the organ, he took lessons in piano and composition. “In 1861 he returned to America, the first concert organist here possessing the complete virtuoso technique, according to German stands.” (Mathews, 675) In 1862 he became the first music instructor at Harvard University and then in 1876, he became a full professor. His first major work, Mass in D was premiered in Berlin to good reviews. Next came St. Peter, premiered in Portland, Maine June 3, 1873; he had written the libretto. The Handel and Haydn Society performed the work in 1874, and the reviews were very positive. Harvard produced Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannis in 1881 in the original Greek; Paine wrote the incidental music of an overture and seven other pieces. He wrote a number of instrumental works, but none were published in his lifetime.

Papyrus Club. Geroge Chadwick mentions c. 1883 that “at that time [the club was] largely made up of St. Botolph men. Their monthly meetings at the Revere House in Bodoin Square were celebrations for the wits and wags that gathered… Great dinners were these, somewhat too convivial at times. One night we had Theo Ford as a guest with the result that he had to stay in bed all the next day and could hardly get up to sing at the H & H concert in the evening!.” (Chadwick, Unpublished Memoirs)

Parker, George J. A tenor member of the Apollo Club who joined in 1877 and was active in the group through the 1890s, he was also often a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society. At the Easter Sunday, April 14, 1895 performance, he “carried off the honors of the occasion.” (History-1911, 51) He had sung in the Bach Passion given on Good Friday, April 15, 1892. (Op. cit., 19)

Parker Hall.

 

Parker Hall. New York Public Library Digital Library.

This photo shows the building soon after it was built in 1872 in memory of the Unitarian preacher, Theodore Parker. He had founded the 28th Congregational Society in 1845 when none of the Unitarian churches in Boston would allow him to preach. Until his death in 1860, the services were held in the Music Hall, and his congregation was the era’s preeminent progressive church actively supporting abolitionism, feminism, socialism and pacifism.

Johnston Collection.

 

Note arrow, lower middle. The dot is the corner of Berkeley and Appleton.

Parker House.

Parker House on School Street, King’s Handbook, 1885, 65. Founded in 1854; has 260 rooms; six-story marble-front. The building faces the side of King’s Chapel and across to City Hall. In the 1880’s, a marble extension was built at the corner of Tremont and School Streets.

Wikipedia Commons, accessed November 8, 2020. In the foreground is the entrance to City Hall. The photo was taken in 1866, 11 years after the opening on October 8, 1855. Robert N. Dennis collection.

Between 1866 and 1925 additional stories and additions were built. In the 1880s, a major marble extension was built at the corner of Tremont and School Streets. Tremont Temple is three buildings down on the right. Wikipedia Commons. Photo c. 1910. Accessed November 8, 2020.

 

Parker, James Cutler Dunn.

J. C. D. Parker, Elson, History of American Music, 232.

Parker, James Cutler Dunn. Born in Boston on June 2, 1828 and died in Brookline, Massachusetts aged eighty-eight on November 27, 1916 (aged eighty-nine). “His grandfather was successively rector of Trinity Church and bishop of Massachusetts. His father was long senior warden of Trinity. James attended the Boston Latin School and Harvard College. Graduated in 1848, he studied law for three years, but a taste for music, pronounced in boyhood, led him to become as his friend John S. Dwight phrased it, ”the first son of Harvard to forsake a dry profession [the law] and follow the ruling passion of his life.”” (Dic Am Bio, 228) One article phrased it that he was born in Boston “where he spent his early years, and where he had a large family connection.” (NEC Mag-review, Dec 1916-Jan. 1917, 45) He studied music in Leipzig 1851-4 under Moscheles, Richter, and Hauptmann and Plaidy. “Organ playing he studied with Schneider.” (Op. cit., 46) “In September 1854 Parker returned to Boston for a life-time of playing, composing, and teaching for which his through professional training and social standing admirably fitted him. He was always the gentleman, courteous, unassuming, and scholarly. In 1864 he was chosen organist of Trinity Church. He held this position at the old edifice, destroyed by fire in 1872, and for many years at the new church in Copley Square under its

Both unused; the lower card mentions that this is the new High Altar and Chancel dedicated in 1938. Johnston Collection.

celebrated rector, Phillips Brooks, for whose consecration as Bishop and also at whose funeral he played. His church programs were conservative, as were his own compositions.” (Op. cit., 228 and 229) He served Trinity Church as organist and choirmaster until 1891, a total of twenty-seven years, and for many years organist of the Handel and Haydn Society (? – when)… Translated Richter’s Manual of Harmony; published an original Manual of Harmony (1855) and Theoretical and Practical Harmony (1870). (Baker-Bio. Dic., 437-38) He was also a soloist at Harvard Musical Association concerts, and at his death was its oldest member. “Early invited by Dr. Eben Tourjee to teach at the New England Conservatory of Music, Parker was a member of its faculty for thirty-seven years, teaching piano-forte and theory.” (Dic. Am. Bio, 229) “The Blind King, his only secular composition of importance, was written for the Apollo Club.” (Ibid) His Redemption Hymn first was performed by the Handel and Haydn Society in 1877 and was described as a “national property, and is held in universal favor.” [And was programmed by Lang during his second season as conductor of the H and H] Parker “has been long a quiet but active agent in the elevation of musical taste in Boston. The pianoforte, the organ, the church choir, and the choral society have been the means with which he has wrought, employing in their guidance scholarly powers and exquisite taste. Some of us remember gratefully the little club of singers which gave us in Chickering Hall – then on Washington Street, near Summer Street – our first hearings of cantatas of Gade, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Schumann, and others, through several seasons, beginning in 1862. The Parker Club, as it was called, included nearly every singer of real merit living in the city; indeed, it was a distinction to be a member of this select body.” (Jenks, 480) The Parker Club gave many Boston first performances, although only with piano accompaniment, among which were “Comata of Gade, the Walpurgis Night of Mendelssohn, the Flight into Egypt of Berlioz, Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri and Pilgrimage of the Rose.” In 1867 this mixed choir was being referred to as the “only club of its kind in Boston,” and as such could easily “double the number of concerts” that it might give.” (BMT (May 4, 1867): 42) Lang was not to found the Cecilia Society until 1874.

Parker, Henry Taylor. b. Boston 1867, d. 1934. “A Boston native and Harvard dropout” who spent a number of “vagabond years in Europe… [he was] not even able to read music… He eventually returned to Boston and after several years as a journalist in various jobs succeeded Apthorp as the music and drama critic for the Boston Evening Transcript in 1905… Owlish-looking and bespectacled, short of stature, a life-long bachelor, a man of polymorphous curiosity, he sometimes wrote on politics and world affairs and was also a dance critic and drama critic… A legendary workaholic and eccentric in journalism circles who avoided all social contact with actors and musicians, Parker had some affectations: applauding by the continental method of stamping his cane on the floor… What he lacked in musical book-learning H. T. Parker made up for in intuitive discernment and a sensitive, poetic prose” (Grant, 96) From 1892 a journalist, his “pen often drew blood.” Horowitz noted that “his signatures included a fedora, a huge bamboo walking stick, [and] a German cavalry overcoat… A learned Harvard dropout, he could not read music but keenly adored it. One object of his adoration was Muck and his ”incomparable orchestra of the world,” at ”the apogee of its attainment.”” (Horowitz, 79) Johnson quotes David McCord: “Since late in another century, when he first became a harmonies initial, he has been known, read, feared, damned, and praised as H. T. P. In Boston, these letters as insidious as G. B. S.; and many a New York manager’s complexion has suddenly paled or freshened at what was abundantly said in type above them. It is hardly enough in two fields to call him dean of American critics. One can be dean and intellectually dead. Parker was never more alive.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, 160) Resident in New York at the Murray Hill Hotel; in Boston, first at 132 Bowdoin Street, and later at the Hotel Vendome; and in London at the Hotel Lanham in Portland Place. “Thirty years of the Transcript: A column and a quarter to a two-column daily review, a daily page to edit, two pages of magazine material for Saturdays, monthly ventures to New York, and a vast amount of consequent reading have left him, in the season, time for nothing but more work… Friends who are interested once calculated that in these thirty years he has written and printed the equivalent of 300 full-sized novels; or close to a novel a month” (McCord, 5, 7 and 8) “If you should dare to address him, he will answer briefly, cigarette in mouth, his head bobbing emphatic emphasis behind a cloud of volcanic ash. His manner does not suggest long interviews,” (Op. cit., 140) “At the symphony his seats are in the first row of the first balcony, just to the right and above the orchestra, where he perches, a small and bitter gargoyle above the Brahmin sea. He has a Continental method, and rather objectionable, of applauding by bringing his cane into sharp contact with the floor. An accurate myth relates that once he brought it down on the toes of Mrs. Jack Gardner, with whom he was sharing a box. The fireworks that followed will likely survive them both.” (Op. cit., 15 and 16) His career included 1899 as the London correspondent of the Globe and Transcript. In 1902 he was the New York correspondent for the Transcript. By 1905 he was at the Boston headquarters of the Transcript. “Every summer he goes to Europe, gives up cigarettes, and smokes a pipe… Festivals of music, a week of ballet, Salzburg, Weimar, and the great art centres, are annual flames to his annual moth.” (Op. cit., 23) His only published book was entitled Eight Notes, and he felt that “impermanence” was the best quality of a newspaper article – “The more daily a paper is, the better.” (Op. cit., 24) From pages 102-111 in “Two Scribes” in Eaton’s The Boston Opera Company. “Parker’s initials were inevitably expanded to ”hell-to-Pay,” which doubtless gratified him in certain moods.” McCord wrote that Parker’s days “were confounded it seems between New England where he was born, England, where he went to school, Harvard, where he ranked with the class of 1890, New York, where he began as a critic, Boston, where he lives, and Germany, where he intends to die.” His professional musical training was slight: “It has been said of H. T. P., even by his stoutest admirers, that he was virtually a musical illiterate, unable, for example, to tell the difference between a major and minor chord and certainly lacking the ability to read notes. Still, he knew music ”from the outside, if not from the in,” acquiring a corpulent body of information. Furthermore, his instincts were sound, more so than Hale’, and he labored under fewer blind spots.” “Parker could fill three twenty-inch columns of closely set seven- or eight-point type with an opera review and still count on a column for concerts or theater… McCord estimated that H. T. P. through thirty years had turned out (and seen printed!) the equivalent of three hundred full-sized novels, or close to a novel a month.” Whereas Hale also wrote a separate society column, “Parker’s was the only description of the ”social” side of Boston life the Transcript permitted. This mirror of all that was good, true, pure, and beautiful in Boston never demeaned itself to the ”social column” level, subscribing to-or perhaps having promulgated-the tenet that a real lady’s name appeared in the public press only three times: at birth, on her wedding, and after her death.” Parker “displayed more idiosyncrasies in manner and dress [than Hale]- McCord described him as a ”small, fierce-eyed individual, of graying mustache and adequate age, tweedish clothing, Habig fedora, huge bent bamboo cane, and a German cavalry overcoat made for him with belt and saddle-split by a military tailor in Wiesbaden” who “perched like ”a small and bitter gargoyle above the Brahmin sea”” from his seat in the first row of the first balcony at Symphony Hall where he “almost invariably [sat] alone in one of the conventional pair of critic’s seats.” Whereas Hale did not appreciate much of the modern music, especially upon first hearing, “Parker, on the contrary, appreciated even the exalted intricacies of Bruckner and Mahler, and was one of the first honorary members of the Bruckner Society.” McCord summarized Parker thus: “The bon vivant, the traveler who ”by synthetic accident of foreign clothes, tri-lingual facility, and the Continental manner is assumed in London to be a Frenchman, in Paris a German, and in Berlin an Englishman,” who journeyed alone and the faster for it into legend, Parker remains unique.” McCord predicted: “Not until one tries to fill his shoes will Boston realize the cosmic particle she harbors.” When Apthorp was working for the Boston Evening Transcript, its average size was “ten to twelve pages,” but “by 1913, the tenth anniversary of Parker’s term, the newspaper had mushroomed to three and even four times its former size. Where columns had been just that-columns-they were now pages… With space limitation no longer an important factor, his [Parker’s] writings were quite long. Whereas Apthorp utilized a column or two to report on a concert, Parker took a whole page. He did not take advantage of the additional space, unfortunately, to include more detail. He simply was more expansive in his prose…regarding the conductor, Parker seems to have belonged to the ”Admiration Society for Conductors of Esteemed Boston Musical Aggregations,” for he never failed to give conductors of the Boston Symphony orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Cecilia Club, or the Boston Opera House the highest praise he could muster… regarding content, Parker began his reviews with an introductory paragraph highlighting who did what… Seldom was much said of the music itself; instead, the articles focused on the key figures and the performance. There were few musical terms used, no mention was made of arias, movements, expressive markings, etc. Parker’s writing style was completely different from what the Transcript had witnessed previously. He had a knack for describing the music without really saying very much about it. After reading a paragraph, some readers might still wonder what his point was… Parker was adept at portraying for his readers a general impression of what the music felt like, as had John S. Wright.” (Nelson, 111-115) “There was such a local cult around Parker in Boston that when he died the Transcript ran articles, letters, reminiscences, and photographs of him almost daily for an entire month.” (Grant, 97) Parker, “critic of music and drama for the Boston Transcript from 1905 until his death, March 30, 1934, was crusty and feared, an arrant individualist, full of prejudices explosively announced. He had love and sentiment, but both were hidden. Only those close to him – and they were few – knew his humanity… He prided himself on his knowledge of Rhine wines and smoked cigars which shot out embers like Fourth of July sparklers. His seat was in the first row right of the first balcony, near Mrs. Jack Gardner’s. Sometimes he thumped his walking stick on the floor when sour notes came from the stage. Once, legend says, he brought the bamboo stick down on the toes of Mrs. Gardner and got a look which would have killed the leopard with which she once walked down Tremont Street. Enemies said H. T. P. was tone-deaf – but they could never catch him at it. He died at 66.” (Herald article on the BSO, December 15, 1940)

Parker, Horatio W.

Horatio W. Parker. Elson-1904, Hist. Am. Mus., 191.

Horatio W. Parker c. 1914. Hughes and Elson, American Composers, facing 174.

Facing 622, Vol. M-P, Grove’s 1921.

(September 15, 1863-December 18, 1919) Studied theory with Emery, composition with Chadwick, and piano, not with Lang, but instead John Orth. From 1882-1885, just as Margaret had, he studied at the Conservatory in Munich-Rheinberger was his composition teacher. His oratorio Hora Novissima of 1893 was taken up by many choral groups, including at England’s Three Choir Festival held at Worcester in 1899. Parker very quickly became popular with British choral societies and this led to an honorary MusD from Cambridge University in 1902. (Wm. Kearns, New Am. Grove-Vol. 3, 475-479) The work had already been published by the English firm of Novello’s in 1893. In 1893 Parker became organist/choirmaster of Boston’s Trinity Church, a post he held until 1902. A year later he took on the additional responsibility of the Battell Professorship of the Theory of Music at Yale. a post he held until his death in 1919.

Cecilia gave the Boston premiere of Parker’s Legend of St. Christopher, Opus 43 on Wednesday, December 6, 1899-Parker conducted. The world premiere had been in New York just the year before. “This work was performed at virtually every festival in America in the decade following its premiere. The unaccompanied chorus ‘Jam sol recedit’ is considered Parker’s finest achievement.” (Johnson, First, 285) “Jam sol recedit” was performed on April 25, 1900. The orchestra was members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and B. L. Whelpley was the organist. The fact that Mr. and Mrs. Lang were in the audience was noted in a society column which also recorded that “to look over the audience one would scarcely imagine than anything else musical of special import was going on.” The piece “met with the triumph it deserved.” Also in the audience were Mr. and Mrs. John F. Winch, Mr. Gericke conductor of the BSO, Prof. Carl Faelten of the New England Conservatory and Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Rogers (she the former singer Clara Doria). “Mrs. Caroline Shepherd, the soprano, was handsome in white silk, with lace, which was incrusted with crystals, and pale blue velvet on the bodice.” (Anon., undated) Elson in the Advertiser wrote: “A considerable audience listened to the orchestral rehearsal of The Legend of St. Christopher on yesterday afternoon. It is pronounced one of the most remarkable pieces of work yet produced by Mr. Parker, and in his warmest and most melodious vein.” Referring back to the recent Cecilia Perosi performance, Elson gave his opinion that “we need not go to Italy to look for new masters of oratorio.” Of the performance: “The orchestra was kept well in hand by the composer, who conducted the performance, and was enthusiastically greeted by the audience. The chorus sang the difficult work wonderfully well.” Elson then went on to say that he preferred Chadwick, Strong or MacDowell for purely instrumental works,” but he felt that this work by Parker should “make a high place, and at once, in our native repertoire and in the scant list of good contrapuntal works of the modern world.” (Advertiser, undated) Apthorp in the Transcript felt that Parker composed too easily: “He is too often satisfied with saying a thing, without considering whether it might not be said better. His very ease often seems like carelessness…The performance last evening was generally very good, indeed, solo singers and chorus sang capitally, and the orchestra seemed, for once, to have forgotten its determination to play no better than necessary.” (Transcript, undated)

Paur, Emil. BSO conductor from 1893 to 1898. “Emil Paur programmed too much Richard Strauss for Higginson”s liking, and was not in a class with Gericke and Nikisch in any case. Higginson deposed him after five seasons and in 1898 got Gericke back.” (Horowitz, 73) However Paur then moved to New York as the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and a year later, in 1899, he succeeded Dvorak as Director of the National Conservatory. He held both positions until 1902, and then he returned to Europe. A year later he was back in American as conductor of the Pittsburgh Orchestra until it disbanded in 1910. (Amer. Grove, III, 490)

Perabo, Johann Ernst.

Mathews, 157.

Elson, “Musical Boston” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

Men of Progress-Massachusetts, 1896, 907.

(November 14, 1845 – October 29, 1920). “Pianist, teacher, and composer, was born in Wiesbaden, Germany… The father was a school teacher and, according to German requirements, also an organist, pianist, and violinist, hence he was well qualified to train his nine children, all of whom became musicians. Ernst… proved to be the most gifted, and he began the study of piano with his father when he was five years old. In 1852 the family emigrated to America, settling first in New York, where they remained for two years. He knew Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavichord by heart at eight years of age.” (Elson, Musical Boston, 5) After short periods in Boston and Chicago, in 1858 [aged 13] Ernst was sent back to Germany for four years, “but he had to struggle against ill health, which prevented serious music study. In 1862 he entered the Leipzig Conservatory,” returning to America in 1865.” In 1864 Dwight gave a different account of Perabo’s time in Germany: “He has been gone nearly six years, the greater part of which time has been wisely spent in laying the foundation of his general education, which had been neglected too much in favor of music. He has only been a couple of years at Leipzig… Many of our readers in Boston will remember Master Perabo, who resided here, with his parents, some seven years ago, and who, at that time, being not twelve years old, used to play (by heart) a score or two of Bach’s fugues, sonatas of Beethoven, etc. Once we heard him play prelude and fugue by Mendelssohn at sight… A subscription was raised among musical persons in New York and Boston, Mr. Scharfenburg taking the lead, to send the boy to Germany for his education.” (Dwight (June 11, 1864): 255) “He established first himself in New York, as a teacher and pianist, and gave a number of concerts that were so successful that he decided to give a series of matinees, at which he performed the sonatas of Schubert… In 1866 he transferred his residence to Boston and remained there until his death. He never gave concerts on a grand scale but devoted himself to teaching, in which he was most successful. For many years he played annually at the Harvard concerts at which he gave many works unknown at that time in America… He was a zealous conservative, but he approached new works in a spirit of open-mindedness.” (Dic. Am. Bio., 457 and 458) “Ernest Perabo, just out of boyhood, returned from study in Leipsic in 1866, and made a brilliant impression in the closing concert of the first symphony season; since which day he has always held his own among the ablest interpreters of great piano music.” (Dwight, History of Boston, 454) “Pianist of a super-sensitive nature who could give expression to a five-finger exercise.” (HMA Bulletin No. 11) he was “one of the foremost musicians and pianists in Boston. Of a retiring and modest nature, an almost super-sensitive musician, an inspiring teacher, and a pianist of unusual skill in execution and interpretation.” (HMA Bulletin No. 16) When he returned to New York in 1865 he started playing Schubert, “and in a series of matinees went through all the Schubert piano music known at that time.” (Schonberg, 200) “After some hesitation, he in March, 1866, settled in Boston. He was invited to play at the last concert of the season given by the Harvard Musical Association, which occurred April 21st.” (Jones, 132) Lang quickly became introduced to Perabo; the connection may have been that both had studied piano with Francis Hill. In 1866 Perabo gave two “Matinees” at Chickering Hall: for the second, on Wednesday afternoon, May 9, 1866 at 3:30PM, the Assisting Artists were Miss Clara M. Loring, Soprano (her first appearance in public), Mr. B. J. Lang, Pianist, Mr. Henry Suck, Violinist, and Mr. Howard M. Dow, Accompanist. Lang and Perabo played the Diversions (for four hands) Opus 17 by Bennett, and the Rondo (for two pianos) Opus 73 in C Major by Chopin (HMA Program Collection). Tickets were “One Dollar Each;” rather expensive in light of Wednesday afternoon concerts by the “Orchestral Union” at the Music Hall were offered at 50 cents that same year (HMA Program Collection). Lang was also an Assisting Artist at Perabo’s “Fourth Schubert Piano Matinee” at Chickering’s Hall on Thursday afternoon January 31, 1867 where Lang and Perabo performed the Rondo in E minor Opus 84, No. 2 by Schubert, and the Fantasie in F Minor Opus 103 also by Schubert (HMA Program Collection). Since his arrival in Boston in 1866, “he has regularly appeared at one or more concerts” of the HMA. “He has also given every season a series of recitals and matinees of his own, which are of the highest order. Among other things, he has played the whole of Schubert’s piano sonatas in public. His repertoire includes the best works, and he is particularly happy as an interpreter of Beethoven. As a teacher of the piano he is surpassed by few, and he always has a large number of pupils.” (Jones, 132) “He has published several piano compositions both here and in Germany, and is one of the best interpreters of Beethoven that Boston has possessed.” (Elson, Musical Boston, 5)

In 1869 “after a year’s rest from concert playing,” Perabo announced two sets of chamber concerts. The first, of four concerts, was in the fall of 1869 and a highlight was to be “a number of the rarely heard Sonatas of Beethoven”s latest period.” The second series, of eight concerts once a fortnight, began in January 1870 and were “Historical.”(Dwight (September 25, 1869): 111)  Not all comments were complimentary: “Mr. Perabo’s Matinee on the 5th was not so good as we had expected. For the hundredth time, we refer to his marked fault in piano-playing. His execution cannot be surpassed. Otherwise, he performs as if a river of ice was drowning every sentiment of sympathy and expression in his soul.” (Folio, February 1872) In the fall of 1879 Dwight reported: “Ernst Perabo has returned, after a second residence in Leipzig, not in such good health as his many friends had hoped to see him.” The report continued that while he was in Germany he “was not idle,” and he published there a number of “brilliant and interesting works of a high order of merit, thoughtful and musicianly in treatment, and of value to students both an artistic and technical point of view.” (Dwight (Nov. 8, 1879): 184)

Petersilea, Carlyle.

Elson, “Musical Boston” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

First published in 1900 by Theodore Presser. Johnston Collection.

“Boston born in 1844, a pianist who attained high eminence in music; he studied abroad; established the Petersilea Academy of Music (1871-1886); later joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.” (HMA Bulletin No. 16) The 1886-87 “Musical Yearbook of the United States” reported: “The Petersilea Academy is dissolved, Mr. Petersilea joining the staff of the New England Conservatory.” (MYB 1886-87, 50) An early (1872) ad for his school promised that “This institution offers to those wishing to acquire MUSICAL EDUCATION advantages unequalled by any Conservatory or Music School in the world [!]. It is conducted on an entirely new and Original Method, which will advance pupils to a higher degree of perfection with Less Time and Labor than any plan of instruction heretofore employed. Every department, Vocal and Instrumental, is in charge of thoroughly competent Teachers, and all of the pupils are under the direct personal supervision of Mr. Petersilea. All branches are taught at VERY MODERATE TERMS, the rates of tuition for beginners on the Piano-Forte being especially low. The Petersilea System for the Piano-forte, by which such phenomenal results have been attained, will be exclusively in this school… Applications can be made at all times to Carlyle Petersilea, Director, 238 Washington Street, Boston.” (Dexter Smith’s (February 1872): 46) In 1872 B. J. Lang did not advertise in this magazine. In September 1872 the same magazine reported: “Carlyle Petersilea’s popular Music School has been removed from 1 Central Court to 339 [ad said 238] Washington Street, where enlarged and improved accommodations will enable the eminent Principal and his efficient board of teachers to impart the most thorough instruction. The Fall Term commences Sept. 16th.” (Dexter Smith’s (September 1872): 204) Another publication noted: “It gives us pleasure to note the gratifying success attending Mr. Carlyle Petersilea’s Music School. Although but a short time in existence, it has already risen to high rank, and we can recommend it to anyone of our friends in search of a thorough, practical musical education.” (Folio, February 1872)

Petersilea was born in Boston January 18, 1844 and he inherited his musical gifts from his father who had studied with Hummel. Carlyle entered the Conservatory of Leipzig in 1862 and graduated with honors in 1865. While there he played with orchestra the Concert Fantastique by Moscheles (1863), Chopin’s Concerto in F minor (1864) and Henselt’s Concerto for Pianoforte (1865). After graduation, he toured Germany and then returned to Boston where he founded his Academy. The spring of 1884 was spent with Liszt in Weimar, and on April 10 he gave a recital in Berlin that was highly praised by the local critics which included being compared to Rubenstein. His edition of the complete scales and arpeggios was used extensively in America and Europe. His “phenomenal” musical memory was shown in the performance of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. (Mathews, Hundred Years, inter alia 134-137)

Philharmonic Orchestra. The Musical Fund Society, which existed from 1847 until 1855 sponsored a Philharmonic Society that “eventually numbered from fifty to sixty instrumentalists, all of them professionals and committed to playing the best music. The musicians shared in the proceeds from the concerts. The performances started off at the Melodeon, which seated nine hundred. The orchestra got a reputation for rather decent playing, as compared with the previous academy and Philharmonic orchestras, and soon had a sizeable subscription audience. Two years later, the Musical Fund orchestra moved to the Tremont Theater (later renamed the Tremont Temple), which seated fifteen hundred. Directed first by Thomas Comer, an Irish musician, and later by George Webb, the Music Fund Society played symphonies by Pleyel, Haydn, Mozart, Kalliwoda, and early Beethoven. Regrettably for it, after a few years the audience shrank, and despite some small donations and a gift of one thousand dollars from Jenny Lind, it was headed toward extinction. One wintry evening, fate decided the issue. Owing to the freezing rain and dangerous ice conditions of the street, the instrumentalists left their instruments at the Temple building after the Saturday night concert. A fire broke out that night and destroyed music, instruments, and other properties of the society. It never recovered from the disaster.” (Tara, Psalm, 94 and 95). This would have been about 1858. Ryan describes Thomas Comer “as originally an actor. He had a passion for music-could compose a little, played the violin tolerably well, was the leader of an orchestra in the Boston Museum for many years, and afterward in the Boston Theatre. He was just the man for the times-popular on all sides, ”hand and glove” with everyone, as the old saying went.” (Ryan, 52) Ryan also said that the “Germania Musical Society, which had been in Boston for two seasons, really gave the coup de grace to the Musical Fund Society by its fine orchestra and its superior performances.” (Ibid) “From 1855 to 1863 a Philharmonic Orchestra under Carl Zerrahn existed.” (Elson, National, 291) Zerrahn had been the first flute of the Germania Orchestra that had folded in September of 1854. This Philharmonic had “fifty-four men,” and Zerrahn “and the orchestra would continue to give regular concerts until 1863 when the Civil War forced a stoppage. Sad to relate, the quality of its playing was not the equal of that of the Germania Society, although it was certainly better than that of the other ensembles previously mentioned. Writing about concerts he had heard around 1860, William Apthorp said: ”The orchestra was an exceedingly variable quantity: there were only two horns, and a second bassoon was not to be thought of. The second-bassoon part had to be played on a ”cello; and uninitiated visitors used sometimes to wonder what the solitary ”cello was doing in the midst of the wood-wind. Hamann, the first horn, had little technique, but a good tone… I think there were hardly ever more than six first violins: I certainly remember one performance of Beethoven’s A major symphony with only three first violins and two second. The solitary bassoonist was conspicuous by his singularity, not by his virtuosity.”” (Tara, Psalm, 97) Zerrahn announced in February 1860 that the Fourth Philharmonic Concert would be the last in the series, and “the last subscription series he will ever undertake on his own responsibility in this city. For five years he has labored with unremitting diligence to supply the most refined taste of the community with that entertainment which it craved… For five years he has expended time, disbursed money, and neglected his private interests, to accomplish this noble purpose, each year holding out to him promises of future success which have never been fulfilled.” (BMT (February 25, 1850): 6) The program for this concert described the orchestra as “Perfectly complete in all its details, [and] will consist of FIFTY of the best Boston musicians.” (HMA Program Collection) Just a few weeks later his fellow Boston artists organized a Benefit Concert for April 14, 1860 “in order to repair the losses he has sustained in his effort to provide entertainment for the highest musical tastes of our community.” (BMT, March 24, 1860) The program for this concert said “The Grand Orchestra is composed of FORTY of the best resident musicians. (HMA Program Collection) Early sales at fifty cents per ticket were good, and in addition to the full orchestra volunteering their services, Miss Fay, Mrs. Harwood, and Miss Washburn volunteered their talents also.

Zerrahn kept trying! In June 1860 it was reported that thirty-four “prominent professors of instrumental music” had formed a committee and “signed a truly admirable constitution” which would create the “Boston Philharmonic Society.” Thomas Ryan of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club was the President, and Carl Zerrahn was one of the three Associates. “Concerts will only be given when a sufficient sum shall have been secured to cover all expenses and guarantee to each of those who may perform at a particular concert (and only those who do perform can receive compensation), the sum of twelve dollars. By way of preparation for each concert, four rehearsals will be given, of which two will be public.” (BMT, (June 2, 1860): 120 and 121) Further details emerged throughout the fall – “They propose to give six concerts to subscribers, for two dollars and a half for the series, a price which will put the entertainments within the means of all who desire to listen to such music as they will produce. Subscription lists are left at all music stores, and one thousand names will be required before the concerts can be given. No runners will be sent round to solicit signatures (a procedure which we heartily commend) for it is thought that those who are ready to support these concerts will be interested enough to apply personally for the means of admission.” (BMT  (December 1, 1860): 330) However, almost a year later the goal was reduced to 800 subscribers, and without that number “under no circumstances can the concerts be given… We cannot believe that Boston music lovers will consent to allow two seasons in succession to pass without what has come to be almost a necessity, and have no doubt but that Mr. Zerrahn’s undertaking will prove eminently successful.” (BMT (November 30, 1861): 229) Finally, enough support was found so that “Mr. Zerrahn has decided to give a series of Philharmonic Concerts, the first of which will take place Jan. 11th. [1862]… The programmes will be more varied than strictly classical concert might admit, but we are willing to leave this matter to Mr. Zerrahn’s discretion. We only wish to bespeak for him a patronage from non-subscribers commensurate with his former efforts to afford them and us a high degree of musical gratification.” (BMT (December 28, 1861): 246) The season began “most auspiciously,” and the second concert, held at the end of January included Miss Mary Fay as a soloist, “Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Wagner’s Overture to Faust, Schindelmeisser’s Overture to Uriel Acosta, and Julius Eichberg (who plays a Concerto of his own).” (BMT (January 25, 1861): 261) The success of these Winter Concerts led to a second series in the Spring, but “the result of the second attempt was a pecuniary failure, which forced him to discontinue the concerts. The truth is that the number of people who really understand, and thoroughly enjoy, the highest grade of orchestral performances is not sufficiently large to repay one for undertaking them.” The reviewer mentioned the Germania ensemble concerts-when they first there were great crowds, but “afterward this affection faded away… Every season the lovers of orchestral concerts make strenuous efforts to establish them on some permanent basis, but the attempt has never yet succeeded.” It seems that the audience of this era was ready for the “Boston Pops” as reflected in the offerings of the Orchestral Union, but not yet ready for the “Boston Symphony Orchestra” which would appear twenty years later.

In January 1863 it was announced that “Mr. Carl Zerrahn has at length received sufficient encouragement from the musical public to warrant him in commencing a new series of these admirable entertainments [Philharmonic Concerts]. There will be six concerts on alternate Saturday evenings, commencing January 10th. A grand symphony will introduce each performance, and much other new and artistic music will be given. Mr. Zerrahn’s orchestra was never so large or effective, and we anticipate a decided success for this enterprise.” (BMT (January 3, 1863): 166) But, it seems that the series did not go well. In fact “Mr. Carl Zerrahn’s sixth and last Philharmonic Concert will be given at the Boston Theatre on the evening of Saturday, April 11th. and will take the form of a benefit to himself… The experience of the last concert, two weeks ago, has taught Mr. Zerrahn, what the Boston press have labored in vain to teach him, that a fearfully heavy selection, unrelieved by anything of a generally attractive nature, may win the applause of half a dozen severe intellects, but will invariably have the effect of frightening away the masses upon whom most dependence must be placed by public servants for support.” (BMT (April 4, 1863): 22) Tickets were advertised at 50 cents, 25 cents for the Family Circle, and Private Boxes at $6. (HMA Program Collection) At the same time that he was presenting his Philharmonic Concert Series, Zerrahn was also conducting the concerts of the Boston Mozart Club. This was a group of “ardent amateurs” who presented “Social Orchestral Entertainments” to “their also ardent friends and associate members.” They performed at Mercantile Hall and the “creditable” program of March 23, 1863 would seem to be typical. (BMT (April 4, 1863): 21)

Overture – Cosi fan tutte – Mozart

Grand Symphony, No. 19 in D major – Haydn

Allegretto from 7th Symphony – Beethoven

Concert March – Kunze

Serenade for select orchestra – Eislodt

Overture – Barber of Seville – Rossini

The Mozart Club gave their “third Social Orchestral Entertainment on Monday, March 14th., at Mercantile Hall which was filled by a refined and cultivated audience of invited listeners. The performance, led by Zerrahn was good.” The program included a Mozart symphony, overtures by Mendelssohn and Mozart, and an orchestral Romance for English horn and flute by Halevy. (BMT (April 2, 1864): 4)

There were few regular orchestral concerts in Boston from 1863 until 1866 when the Harvard Musical Association took up the task-their series lasted until 1882. However, another Philharmonic Orchestra (the third use of this name in Boston) was begun in 1879 and reorganized into a Philharmonic Society in 1880. The successive conductors of this group were Bernhard Listemann, Louis Maas, and Carl Zerrahn. “The Harvard Musical Association represented musical conservatism, the Philharmonic Society was identified with radicalism of the most decided type.” (Elson, National,  293 and 294) A one-page introduction was printed in the opening program of October 24, 1879. “The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra has been recently organized to meet the wants of a permanent Orchestra in Boston-a want too generally admitted to call for further comment. The new organization has for its conductor Bernard Listemann and counts among its members the very best performers of the Harvard Symphony Orchestra. The plans of the new organization for the coming season include a series of five popular Symphony Concerts, at Boston Music Hall” during November and December 1879. “Subscription tickets, with reserved seats for the five Concerts, $2.50 each; single reserved seats for each concert, 75 cents; admission tickets, 50 cents, and packages of five admission tickets, $2.00. The programmes of these concerts, though of a popular character, will be made up with a view of presenting a good variety of compositions, in which modern works of acknowledged ability will find a prominent position. The great composers will be represented by the following works: “then followed a list of c. 35 works… “Accomplished Vocal and Instrumental Soloists will contribute to each programme.” (HMA Program Collection) Elson remarked that both groups, the HMA Symphony and the new Philharmonic suffered from the lack of patronage, which led to too few rehearsals of musicians whose main income, came from other musical pursuits, and thus “could not give more than perfunctory attention to the symphonic task.” (Elson, National, 294) Tara’s description was that “Bernard Listemann organized another Philharmonic in 1880, in direct competition with the [Harvard] association orchestra. Previously, Listemann had acted as concertmaster in the Thomas orchestra. The Philharmonic played no better than its rival and succeeded only in dividing the relatively small audience, so that both ensembles operated at a loss. The quietus was given to both ensembles when the Boston Symphony orchestra began life in 1881.” (Tara, Psalm, 99) But, from the Introduction to the first concert, printed above, it would seem that competition between the groups was not seen at that time especially as the new Philharmonic printed that their concerts were of a “popular” style, and the orchestra had among its membership the “very best performers of the Harvard Symphony Orchestra.” This new Philharmonic presented concerts at the Music Hall from October 24, 1879 until May 5, 1881. At that point, Listemann became the concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but the Philharmonic Society was reborn again conducted by Dr. Louis Maas and functioned from November 10, 1881 until April 13, 1882.[see next paragraph about the orchestra that Dwight mentioned in February 1881] They began yet again on November 28, 1882 under Carl Zerrahn, but lasted only until April 4, 1883. In the early 1890s a Boston Philharmonic Orchestra led again by Bernard Listemann gave concerts on Thursday afternoons at 2:30 PM at the Boston Theater and the Tremont Theater. (HMA Program Collection). 1891-92 was listed as their Second Season-each program had notes about the pieces and included ads. During this season Edward A. MacDowell played his Piano Concerto No. 2 at their December 31, 1891 concert, and then repeated it at the concert of January 14, 1892. (HMA Program Collection) Lang was the soloist in the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto on Tuesday afternoon December 19, 1882 at 2:30 PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

All that changed in 1881 with the founding of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by Henry L. Higginson. Dwight announced yet another “New Orchestral Club” in his February 12, 1881 issue-called a club because its main support would be from a group of supporters and associate members. Controlled by a Board of 25 members with Prof. J. K. Paine as its first President, “over six hundred persons have already signed as associate members, and the secretary reports that twice that number could be obtained if desired. The expense of five concerts proposed for the first year is thus already guaranteed. No tickets will be sold for the evening concerts, each member being entitled to four; rehearsals will, however, probably be given in the afternoon, for which tickets can be purchased.” After giving a long history of other orchestras in Boston, Dwight ended with the thought: “Can a city which hardly sustains one set of concerts [Harvard Musical Association] do any better for two?” (Dwight (February 12, 1881): 28)

 

Phillipps, Adelaide. B. 1833 in Bristol, England and died in 1882 at Carlsbad, Bohemia [Jones says in southern France, 137]. She was a contralto who grew up in Boston and made her stage debut there at the age of nine. “After studies in London with Manuel Garcia (1852-53) made her debut in Italy. Returned to the U.S. (1855); made her debut at New York’s Academy of Music (1856)… sang with Maretzek company in Havana; returned to Europe; appeared in the U.S. with Parepa-Rosa company (1867-71); was heard widely in concert. Oratorio, operetta (1879-81).” (Sablosky, 302) In October 1858 Dwight described her voice: “The rich contralto voice seemed even to have gained in mellowness and fullness, as well as in clear and equal development throughout its compass. She has, in a great measure, overcome what seemed an organic difficulty, a certain thickness in her sounds. There is more of artistic finish; more of sustained purity of artistic finish; more of sustained purity of tone and finished phrasing; more of flexibility-indeed, quite enough for any but a high soprano voice-while good taste and genuine sentiment restrain her from false ornament, from overstrained effect, and keep her within the bounds of chaste, pure style. It is a great pleasure to listen to the singing of Miss Phillipps.” (Dwight (October 30, 1858): 247) In August 1862 Dwight published a number of clippings from her reviews in Belgium: “Her voice, which is a rich contralto, is fresh, sonorous and even in every tone.” Another said: “Her voice, of perfect evenness and of most sympathetic quality, is of great compass; it is an admirable instrument, which she manages with perfect art and exquisite taste.” A paper in Liege wrote: “Miss Phillips is the star of the troupe. She is a skillful singer, possessing a beautiful contralto voice, flexible and of great compass. Her acting is full of energy and feeling… Her reputation is fully established with dilettanti, owing to her triumphs in America, at Les Italiens in Paris, and later, at the Theatre Royal in Madrid.” One final report: “In the name of the Associated Press of the City of Liege; and by a committee chosen for this express purpose, and in which every newspaper was represented, a crown was offered to Miss Phillips, and the audience by its prolonged bravos, signified its approbation of this demonstration by the Press of Liege.” (Dwight (August 2, 1862): 143) In the spring of 1863 it was reported in Boston that “she has been singing for some time in Amsterdam, and seems to have created a grand furore. Her voice and acting are described as most admirable.” (BMT (April 4, 1863): 20) On Saturday evening, April 30, 1864, “Miss Adelaide Phillipps gave her first concert in four years at Music Hall. She is not only recognized as one of the world’s best contraltos, but as an excellent and estimable lady in all social and domestic relations, and her popularity in Boston is immense. She was assisted by Mme. Guerrabella (with whom she has been singing in Havana); by her own sister, Miss M[athilde] Phillipps, a pupil of Bendelari; by Mr. B. J. Lang who played the D Minor Concerto of Mendelssohn; and by Mr. Zerrahn’s orchestra. Of course the house was crowded. Miss Phillipps never looked or sang to better advantage.” (BMT (May 7, 1864): 68) An article in 1865 described her voice as “rich, round and fresh, the supply is always equal to the demands on it. Moreover, she knows how to sing. What nature could not do, art has accomplished. Her style is the purest Italian, her execution exceedingly fine, and her versatility unusual, for she is equally at home in dramatic, comic, and sacred music… And Miss Phillips is a fine actress as well as a singer.” (BMT (June 3, 1865): 86) She was the soloist at the May 1867 concert that B. J. conducted in Salem to raise funds for a new concert hall. “Adelaide Phillipps was as much a regular operatic stand-by in those days as Brignoli himself [one of the few operatic singers who appeared with regularity in Boston-most lasted just 2 or 3 seasons]. She began as a dancer at the Boston Museum, but soon developed a rich, luscious contralto voice, which she had admirably trained… She was a grand singer and one of the best actresses of the day on the lyric boards.” (Swan-Apthorp, 75) Amy Fay wrote: “I doubt whether indeed the Germans know what the best singing is. They have most wonderful choruses, but when it comes to soloists they have none that are really great-like Parepa and Adelaide Phillips.” (Fay, 34) In the summer of 1868 Miss Phillipps visited Europe, and to raise funds for this a “Complimentary Concert” was given at the Music Hall on Thursday evening June 4th. The assisting artists were Madame Camilla Urso-violin, Mr. Carlyle Petersilea-piano, Mr. Wm. Macdonald-vocalist and a “Full Orchestra” conducted by B. J. Lang. The concert began and ended with orchestral pieces, and Camilla Urso played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto while Mr. Petersilea played two movements from the Chopin Piano Concerto in E Minor. Miss Phillips sang three different times during the concert. The tickets were $1. After her return from Europe that summer, Miss Phillips presented another major concert on December 12, 1868 at the Music Hall using six assisting artists and a “Grand Orchestra” again conducted by B. J. Lang. Lang’s pupil, Alice Dutton, was one of the guest soloists playing in the first half Mendelssohn’s Serenade and Allegro for Piano and Orchestra and also a Liszt solo in the second half. (HMA Program Collection) Tickets were also

$1 for this event. (BPL Lang Prog.,)  To open the concert Lang conducted the orchestra in the “Allegro Vivace” movement from Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony and to close, Beethoven’s Prometheus Overture. Her voice was described as “a pure, rich contralto with a compass of 21/2 octaves, ranging up to B flat in alt. She was not only a fine artist, but a kind-hearted, noble woman, and her death was lamented by a very large circle of friends.” (Jones, 137) Photo to the right: Wiki, accessed September 12, 2019.

Phippen, Joshua. Piano pupil of Lang and composer of “pianoforte pieces; sonata for pianoforte and violin.” (Jenks, 483) He was the “Curator of Music” at the Essex Institute of Salem as reflected by a program dated December 26, 1881 which opened with a Trio in E Flat by Mozart played by Chas. N. Allen, Wulf Fries and A. W. Foote. (Program, Foote, Scrapbooks) He was one of the assisting artists in Lang’s series of five recitals of the complete piano works of Schumann in 1883. (BPL Lang Prog., 4) He also served as pianist for the Apollo Club as reflected in their May 12, 1887 (???) program where he played two piano solos, (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 7) and the November 29/December 5 1887 concerts where he also accompanied a horn solo. Philip Hale’s review of Phippen’s early 1890 recital said: “Mr. Phippen was not so fortunate in the selections and arrangement of his program [as Arthur Whiting’s had been]. Our old friend the Bach-Tausig arrangement was heard again, and the eight pieces of D’Albert seemed at one hearing singularly uninteresting. Mr. Phippen showed earnestness and the results of long and patient study.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1) During the 1889-90 Season, Phippen gave a series of three recitals on December 20, 1889, January 17, 1890 and February 14, 1890. (MYB, 1889-90, 24) Phippen won the Piano Concerto section of the competition sponsored by the National Conservatory of Music in NYC in honor of Dvorak being named head of that institution. The piece was played at the Madison Square Garden Concert Hall with the composer as the soloist and the orchestra led by Dvorak. The NY Times felt that the winners in the Symphony, Piano Concerto and Suite sections of the competition were all “extremely crude…Mr. Phippen’s piano concerto was sadly deficient in thematic material, but such melodies as the composer had were fairly well divided between orchestra and solo instrument. There were some passages of good contrapuntal writing also.” The article had noted that Phippen, born in Salem, had studied piano with Lang and harmony with C. J. Capen. “In harmony he is self-taught.” (NY Times (March 31, 1893): 4)

Post, Boston. See Newspapers.

Preston, John Aiken Jr. Pupil of B. J.; (May 31, 1856-1902 Passport Application or May 1855-1900 Census) in Manchester, MA (1900 Census)? – 1914) Editor, teacher, pianist and publisher. (Ellinwood, 302); part of a group “Messrs. G. W. Sumner, G. A. Adams, H. G. Tucker, Arthur Foote, and J. A. Preston, all of whom give concerts and recitals of their own programmes of great interest, and rank as excellent pianists.” (Dwight, History of Boston, 455) Listed among Lang’s pupils who “deserve mention because of musical prominence,” Preston “has appeared in the leading symphony concerts of Boston, and is recognized as a prominent musician.” (Elson, Supplement,  3) In 1875 he was listed as the organist of the Broadway Unitarian Church in South Boston-had he also taken organ lessons from Lang? (Advertiser (February 8, 1875): 2, GB) Preston soloed with the HMA Orchestra in February 1878 in the first Boston performance of Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 4 in C Minor. “Mr. Preston, one of the youngest of our concert pianists, a pupil successively of Mr. Parker and of Mr. Lang, proved himself easily equal to all the rare difficulties of the new Concerto by Saint-Saens. He has great aplomb, remarkably sure, firm execution, a good touch, great facility and smoothness in running passages, even rapid ones in sixths and fourths. He plays too with considerable expression, and with good conception of the intentions of the composition and its capabilities of effect. His manner is modest, quiet, and yet resolute. Of the Concerto itself there are various opinions… We found its power and beauty growing on us.” (Dwight (March 2, 1878): 191) In April 1876 Preston played the Chopin Concerto in E Minor with the orchestral reduction at a second piano as part of a pupils’ of J. C. D. Parker concert given at the College of Music of Boston University. (Dwight (April 15, 1876): 214) At a Boylston Club concert in September 1878 given “for the relief of the sufferers at the South,” Preston was the accompanist for the vocal soloist Miss Fanny Kellogg and his performance was described as “well accompanied.” (Dwight (September 28, 1878): 311) In February 1879 he presented a solo recital at Mechanics’ Hall “which was alike remarkable for the ambitious tasks which he essayed and for the success with which he acquitted himself in them… It was Mr. Preston’s second public appearance only before a Boston audience as solo pianist; his first was in a Symphony Concert last year, when he made his mark in a Concerto by Saint-Saens… His look and manner are those of a very serious artist; he takes all in earnest, and never trifles with his work.” (Dwight (March 15, 1879): 46) Over a year later Preston again soloed at Mechanics’ Hall where he played to a “goodly number of appreciative listeners.” In this concert Mr. William J. Winch was an assisting artist. In reviewing his performance of Kreisleriana by Schumann, Dwight was “astonished not only by the technical excellence, the clearness and finish, the sustained poise, ease and freedom of Mr. Preston’s execution, but still more by a mental grasp and an interpretation of the work which left nothing vague or dull, but took strong hold of the attention and held it to the end. It would be hard to name his superior among our young pianists.” (Dwight (June 19, 1880): 102) Lang saved a notice advertising three organ recitals at new organ of the Tremont Temple that Preston gave in October 1880. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 3) Dwight found the selections of the first concert “interesting” and noted that Mr. George Chadwick would join Preston during the second concert for the Fantasia for Four Hands by Adolf Hesse. (Dwight (November 6, 1880): 176) After the third organ recital, Wednesday noon, October 27, Dwight wrote: “We are glad to see, [that this concert] was better attended than the previous one.” He ended with the comment: “The gifted young pianist has certainly made his mark also as an organist by these three concerts.” (Dwight (November 6, 1880): 182) Preston’s growing importance in the Boston musical world was furthered when he joined the St. Botolph Club on June 1, 1880, just six months after it was founded. (1905 List of Members, 40) In the 1880 Census Preston’s address is listed as 149 Tremont Street: his occupation as music teacher: his age as 24, and that he was single.[see below about children] Preston made just one solo appearance during the first fifteen years of the BSO-it was during the First Season (1881-82: Henschel) (BSO Programs 1881-96) The BPL has three pieces that he edited, all published by B. F. Wood: Arenski: Valse, Op. 36, Liszt: Consolations 1-6 and 3 Liebestraume, and Napravnik: Melancolie. (BPL Music Room Catalog) The 1900 census lists his profession as “Music Publisher,” his address as 311 Fairmount Ave., Hyde Park, MA, two children: Carleton E. Preston (single, aged 21-born November 1878) and daughter, Louise Preston (married, aged 27-born April 1873). John A. Preston’s Passport Application of 1879 described him as: age-22, stature- 5″ 10″; forehead-medium; eyes-hazel; nose-regular; mouth-small; chin-medium; hair-very dark brown; face-oval, and having been born in Dorchester, MA. Another Passport Application of 1887 for John (then aged 30) and his wife, Susan W. Preston (aged 28) and her maid servant Agnes Lynch (aged about 20 years), lists his birthplace as Dorchester, MA. The only additional information was: complexion-dark. A third Passport Application of 1899 added that his father is a native citizen of the United States and that he, John did “not follow any occupation.”

Proctor, George. One of the musicians that Mrs. Gardner supported. “From the moment she had first seen Proctor, as a boy chorister at the Church of the Messiah, and later when at fifteen he was organist at the Church of the Redeemer in South Boston, Mrs. Jack had been charmed by his Byronesque features and girlish dimples. For the rest of her life, she took the keenest interest in his happiness. Johns thought well of his talent, as did William [sic] Gericke, and when Paderewski endorsed their opinion, she sent Proctor to study under Leschetizsky in Vienna…” (Palffy, 142)    The sponsorship, covering three years cost Mr. Gardner $7,000. The composer/pianist went with Proctor to “take care of the money…Mrs. Gardner would never fail this boy; but in all his three years in Vienna he never learned how to work hard and no amount of dynamite could ever change this.” (Tharp, 160) He didn’t change even after he was married. In 1911 at the age of 38 he married one of his piano pupils, aged 25; she had been working toward this marriage for six years, but it only lasted one year.’The truth was that Proctor like music, but hated hard work. Mrs. Jack, with all her surplus energy, could never inject him with ambition.” (Tharp, 295)                                                                                                                                                “In 1900 a Boston Sunday paper published an article with broad black borders around it, as though for a sign of mourning.  ‘Mrs. Jack may wed again.’ was the headline. ‘Rumor says that she will bestow her hand upon her gifted protege, George Proctor.’ Much was made of the story that ‘the young man lives at her house, receives his pupils there’ and, during the open house for the crippled children, ‘was on exhibition.'”  (Tharp, 214)          His record of fifteen appearances with the Boston Symphony between 1896 and 1914 compares favorably with William Sherwood’s record of seven appearances during the period 1881 to 1893 or the three appearances during the period of 1883 to 1886 of Arthur Foote. Lang played seven times-once on the organ in 1883 and six times on piano between 1883 and 1889. (Howe, BSO, 249, 253, 257 and 258)

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Wikipedia, accessed November 2019.

Reese, Lizette Woodworth. Poet of many of Margaret’s songs. “A well-respected American poet… Reese’s clear and concise style is believed by many scholars to have had a significant influence on many poets of the early twentieth century.” (Blunsom, 196) Born January 9, 1856 in Waverly, Maryland and died December 17, 1935, she was a schoolteacher from 1873 until 1918. “During the 1920s, she became a prominent literary figure, receiving critical praise and recognition, in particular from H. L. Menchen, himself from Baltimore. She has been cited as an influence on younger women poets and has been compared to Emily Dickinson.” Her earliest collections of poems were A Branch of May (1887), A Handful of Lavender (1891), and A Quiet Road (1896), followed in 1909 by “A Wayside Lute. (Wikipedia article, August 10, 2008) Others have seen that both Teasdale and Millay were deeply indebted to her. The fact that she “was a professional, independent woman from the time that she left high school in 1873” may have resonated with Margaret. (www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/791.html)

Rogers, Clara.

Frontispiece, Memories of a Musical Career.

Born in Cheltenham, England on January 14, 1844 to the English opera composer John Barnett (1802-1890), her grandfather was the famous English song-writer, Robert Lindley. Her earliest musical instruction was from her parents, and then she attended the Leipzig Conservatory from 1857-1860 (the same time that B. J.Lang was doing his German study). She discovered “upon her arrival that she was too young to attend the conservatory. She was eventually allowed to enroll because of the extraordinary talent she showed in her audition, and because of the director’s sympathy for her family’s situation. When she began to study, Clara was the youngest student ever admitted to the conservatory… At the conservatory, Clara’s first area of concentration was the piano. After three years of lessons with Louis Plaidy and Ignaz Moscheles, she was invited to play Chopin’s Concerto in E Minor in the graduation recital… At the age of fifteen Clara was admitted to vocal study and her progress led to her to choose opera singing as a career.” (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, 131 and 132) Further study in Italy led to her operatic debut in Turin, and she sang major roles in various Italian companies from 1863-1867. Her stage name was “Clara Doria.” (Ibid) She then returned to England for four years “before joining the Parepa-Rosa Opera Company on their American tour. This company was “formed by two Leipzig colleagues, Carl Rosa and Euphrosyne Parepa-Rosa. Her Boston performances were enthusiastically reviewed, and she returned to that city the following year with the Max Maretzak Company.” (Ibid) After settling in Boston she sang professionally at Trinity Church and performed frequently at the Harvard Symphony Concerts. “Following her marriage to the prominent attorney Henry Munroe Rogers, Clara gave up public performing but continued to teach and compose… She joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory in 1902… Since she had been denied a place in the composition classes at the Leipzig Conservatory because of her gender, she felt most confident writing in the smaller forms… Between 1882 and 1906 Rogers published fifty-seven songs… Rogers’s first set [of songs] Op. 10, was published in 1882” by Arthur P. Schmidt. (Radell and Matitsky, Vocal, 300) During a “career that spanned nearly sixty years, Rogers collaborated with the successive conductors of the newly formed Boston Symphony Orchestra, taught at the New England Conservatory, and shared manuscripts with her fellow composers, who are known collectively as the Second New England School.” (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, 131) “Henry Rogers was a source of support for her, both personally and professionally, and together they shared a circle of friends that included some of the most important people in Boston, as well as artists, actors, and writers of international reputation.” (Radell and Malistsky, Keyboard, 133) Rogers “…claims she was one of the first to hold weekly musical evenings in her home. One of her objectives was to bring together fledgling instrumentalists and vocalists, established composers, other noted musicians, music critics, and patrons. When not listening to music, they could enter into discussions and exchange views. Those who attended included the composers Foote, MacDowell, and Chadwick, conductors of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, B. J. Lang, the music writers Dwight and Apthorp, and friends like Julia Ward Howe.” (Tawa, Foote, 110) The respect shown by the Lang’s is reflected in the letters by both B. J. and Margaret written after the performance of Roger’s Sonata Dramatico at the first concert of the Boston Manuscript Club in 1888 which also included songs by Margaret. (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, 133) Roger’s Romanza, op. 31 for piano was published in 1894 in the same volume, Half-Hours with the Best Composers which included two piano pieces by Margaret. (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, 134) She also wrote a sonata for cello, a piano scherzo, and “her songs are many in number and excellent in quality. Among them are two sets of Browning Songs, six Folk Songs, and such favorites as The Rose and the Lily, Clover Blossoms, Confession,  At Break of Day, and many others.” (Elson, Women’s Work, 203)

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Salem, Massachusetts Musical Groups and Businesses

Chickering Piano Dealers. On the front page of the January 9, 1860 issue of the Salem Register was an ad placed by Chickering & Sons originally dated March 16, 1859 announcing that Messers. B & B. J. Lang had been appointed “our sole Agent in Salem and its environs for the sale of our manufacture. All pianos purchased of Messers. LANG will be warranted by us, to be as low in price, and as perfect and satisfactory in every respect, as if obtained directly from our warehouses in Boston.” (Salem Register (January 9, 1860): 1, GB)

(Salem Register  (November 7, 1859): 3, GB). The first paragraph mentions that Benjamin (the father) had been in business for 20 years.

Appearing just under this ad was another announcing that Mr. C. H. Towne was available for piano tuning, just having completed “six months of practice at Brown and Allen’s Piano Manufactory” in Boston. (Ibid) He was to be contacted at D. B. Brooks & Brothers Music Store on Essex Street. Just under this ad was a third where J. Kaula and S. M. Stetson announced the opening of a music store where they were available for lessons on the “piano, organ, &c. [also] Piano Fortes and organs tunes and repaired. Also Music arranged and furnished for Brass and Quadrille Bands, at the shortest notice” (Ibid) They had “taken rooms” at # 11 Cramer’s Block, Essex Street.  The partnership between B. Lang and B. J. Lang only lasted until October 1860. At that time Chickering & Sons took an ad saying that the Agency was moved to just Mr. B. J. Lang and he was described as “a gentleman possessing unusually fine qualifications for the purchasing and selection of Pianos.” (Salem Register  (October 29, 1860): 2, GB)

Postmarked 1906. Johnston Collection.

The Essex Institute sponsored concerts. In 1877, the second program was given by a female vocal quartet with Arthur Foote as the accompanist, and as solos, he presented the Liszt Fifth Hungarian Rhapsody, Nocturne Op. 32, No. 1 by Chopin and melody by Rubinstein. In the third concert, January 8, 1877, Lang “and his pupil Miss Grace Sampson” played Schumann’s Variations for Two Pianofortes Op. 46, Mozart’s Sonata in D Major for two pianofortes, and the concert ended with the Saint-Saens Concerto in G minor, Op. 22 – the soloist was not named. George Sumner was the pianist in the fourth program given on January 22, 1877. (Dwight (February 17, 1877): 391 and 392). The next year the concerts were given “once a fortnight.” In the January 14, 1878 program Arthur Foote and Mr. Tucker shared a program with Wulf Fries and the singer, Mrs. J. W. Weston. Piano duo pieces were Two Marches. Op. 18 by Gade, “Serenade and Scherzo” from Suite in D by Saint-Saens, and the Bridal Music (two numbers) by Adolf Jensen. As solos, Tucker performed Two Ecossaises by Chopin and Liszt’s Study in D Flat Major – Foote gave no solos. (Dwight (February 16, 1878): 183 and 184)

  Lyceum as it looks today (2017)

Lyceum. This building was used as a concert hall by Lang and others. The Salem Lyceum Society bought the land in 1831 and built the brick building that still stands there today. Located on Church Street, the building cost $4,000 and “could accommodate 700 patrons in amphitheater-style seating.” (Website, “Salem Massachusetts, The City Guide,” written by Jim McAllister). It was “built on top of the former site of Bridget Bishop’s apple orchard…The building is reportedly haunted by the ghost of Bridget Bishop, the first victim of the Salem Witch Trials…Stories of ghostly apparitions continue to surround the old Lyceum building since it opened as a restaurant in 1989. numerous people have reported seeing a woman in a long white gown floating above the Lyceum building’s main staircase and her image has been seen in windows and mirrors throughout the building…Many famous writers and public officials of the time spoke at the hall such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, John Quincy Adams and Henry David Thoreau. Alexander Graham Bell also conducted the first public demonstration of the telephone at the hall in 1877.” (Website of Rebecca Beatrice Brooks, “Historic Lyceum Building Renovated,” accessed November 11, 2016) “The record for the most appearances unquestionably belonged to Emerson, who spoke nearly 30 times…Like many other authors of the era, Emerson used Lyceum audiences to gauge the popularity of an essay or book before going to the expense of publishing it. (McAllister, Op. cit)

The Salem Oratorio Society. Begun in the fall of 1868 – Carl Zerrahn, conductor – two hundred singers at the first rehearsal-first concert was Haydn’s Creation on Thursday evening February 11, 1869 with soloists from Boston and the Mendelssohn Quintet Club who “assisted as orchestra” – in June 1869, two hundred and sixty members of the choir took part in the National Peace Jubilee in Boston-John S. Dwight reviewed their Elijah performance of May 1870 very favorably. “There were about 250 fresh voices-nearly all of them young people, at least in the Soprano and Alto,-remarkably well balanced… You knew that there were no dummies… Particularly were we struck by the perfection of the rendering of several of those rapid choruses… The performance as a whole, of course, had not the massiveness of our Handel and Haydn presentation of such works. But, until we shall hear better (which we do not expect to do very soon), we shall have to point to Salem for a model of good, true chorus-singing.” (Dwight (May 21, 1870): 247) By 1871 “there were four hundred and two members.” (Whipple, 124) This group performed Mendelssohn’s St. Paul at Mechanic Hall with Boston soloists, the Germania Orchestra and B. J. Lang playing the “New Concert Organ.” The choir numbered about four-hundred voices for this performance.

 

Johnston Collection.

For most concerts, various Boston soloists were used: among them, Mr. Whitney (bass), Dr. Langmaid (tenor), Miss Houston (soprano, later Mrs. Houston-West); W. J. Winch (tenor) and J. F. Winch (bass). On December 29, 1886 the choir joined with the Lowell Choral Society (another of Zerrahn’s groups) to present a “Second Performance” of Gounod’s Redemption at Mechanic Hall. Geo. W. Sumner was listed as the organist and the Germania Orchestra was listed as the accompaniment. This would be a very late use of the Germania name. At the bottom of the program, the audience was advised: “Extra train for Swampscott, Lynn and Boston will leave at 10:40, also Horse-cars to surrounding towns at [the] close of [the] Concert.” (Program offered on eBay during August 2017 for $36) When Zerahhn retired his place was taken by Emil Mollenhauer. (Ibid) Mollenhauer seemed to collect many of Lang’s and Zerrahn’s positions as they became vacant.

The Salem Schubert Club. Organized May 3, 1878 – the number of singing members limited to sixty-associate members limited to one hundred and fifty – Wm. J. Winch first Musical Director, and remained with the group until his departure for Europe in October 1883 – George W. Chadwick conducted in 1883 and 1884 – followed by Arthur Foote in 1885 and 1886 – repertoire was “cantatas, part-songs and music of like character… The Salem Schubert Club has done some very creditable work and given many admirable performances. It has given the people of Salem an opportunity of hearing the better class of cantatas, part-songs and glees, performed by a well-drilled chorus with the best solo assistance, Mr. and Mrs. George Henschel, Wm. J. Winch, Dr. S. W. Langmaid, Mrs. Humphrey Allen and others.” (Whipple, 127, 128 and 129)

 

Satter, Gustave. Born February 12, 1832 in Yugoslavia. According to “recurrent statements in the press, Gustave Satter surpassed them all by the quality of his musicianship. He was a fluent technician, imbued with the spirit of the new music by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin. Satter first played in New York on February 20, 1855 at a Quartet soiree of Theodore Eisfeld, beginning in the Schubert Trio, Op. 100.” (Johnson, Satter, 61) Satter then appeared with the New York Philharmonic Society conducted by Henry C. Timm at Niblo’s Rooms on March 10, 1855 in the New York premiere of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto (Johnson, 48). Then Boston heard him with the Mendelssohn Quintet Club on April 2, 1855 at Chickering Hall again playing the Schubert Trio. It would seem that Dwight’s personal description of Satter in his April 7, 1855 issue is the only one available. “He is a fresh, youthful-looking person, with an air of decision and at the same time a good-humored Austrian bon-hommie about him… Mr. Satter is yet a very young man, exuberant in power and enterprising ready of talent, ambitious too to take a high and really artistic stand, and a zealous student of the real character of Art; but it would be too much to expect of him all that earnest depth of feeling and of inward experience which should leave nothing to be desired.” (Johnson, Satter, 62) Satter’s professional position is reflected by Johnson’s statement – “According to recurrent statements in the press, Gustave Satter surpassed them all [eleven previously cited artists who had come from Europe to America to better their professional lot during the years 1832 through 1852] by the quality of his musicianship. He was a fluent technician, imbued with the spirit of the new music by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin.” Johnson then quotes the New York correspondent of Dwight’s Journal of Music as saying that “His playing is, in my opinion, beyond anything that we have yet heard here… His style is that of Liszt… combining immense force, astonishing fluency, great sweetness and expression where it is needed, and the art of making the notes sing, and often sound out and vibrate like those of an organ.” (Johnson, 62 and 63) Satter assisted the Mendelssohn Quintette Club in their subscription concerts during the springs of 1855 and 1856. (Dowell,  21) Satter stayed in Boston two years [1855-57], teaching and performing, but he felt that he had to defend himself for programming his own fantasias on national airs such as Yankee Doodle and Hail Columbia. After spending the summer and fall of 1858 in Philadelphia, he returned to Boston where he again programmed mainly his own works, but also achieved great success with a performance of Beethoven’s Concerto in G Major on January 25, 1859. The Boston Musical Times (BMT) reported that Satter and S. B. Mills would be playing a concert in Providence “on Tuesday next”, and also that “Mr. Gustav Satter is engaged to be married to Miss Lillie S. McClelan, only daughter of the late Hon. Judge McClelan, of the Supreme Court of Edinburgh, Scotland. Miss McClelan is an American by birth.” (BMT (December 1, 1860): 328) By 1861 Satter was back in Paris and during the next twelve years he traveled throughout Europe, but by 1875 he was back in America. In 1865, while he was in Dresden, the rumors circulating through the city about him led him to write a letter “To My Enemies” in which he threatens to take them to court! The writer in the BMT wrote: “This individual, whose excellence as a musician, and impudence [immodesty-shamelessness] as a man, are well remembered here, has been talked about in Dresden as he was in New York and Boston. Thinking himself ”whiter than snow, and purer than gold,” he objects to” the rumors…Alas, poor Satter.” (BMT (December 2, 1865): 179) “He stayed in the New York vicinity until 1877, when he went South… It is believed he died in 1879 at the age of forty-seven in a place unknown to us.” (Johnson, 69) “A Biographical Sketch” published in Savannah, Georgia in 1879 was probably autobiographical. Baker gives a different birthday: “Gustav Satter (b. Dec. 2, 1832 in Rann, Slovenia and d. (?) Savannah, Georgia, 1879) Pianist; trained as an amateur in Vienna, then in Paris, whither he had gone to study medicine. He threw over the latter profession, toured the United States and Brazil with much success in 1854-60, and returned to Paris, where Berlioz warmly praised his compositions; he resided successively in Vienna, Dresden, Hanover, Gothenburg, and Stockholm, later revisiting America.” (Baker, Bio. Dic. 511) Satter had played the New York premiere of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Philharmonic on March 10, 1855.

Saturday Evening Gazette. Established in 1813. “It is [1889] a large four-page sheet, devoted to the higher walks of literature and education. It is Republican in politics, and is largely read in the old families of Boston.” (Grieve, 105)

Scharwenka, Xaver. b. 1850, and d. 1924. “Played in Boston for the first time on February 6, 1891… This strikingly handsome man of Polish-German extraction was one of the most brilliant virtuosi of his time. Every piano-maltreating miss in America had, of course, played his Polish Dance in E flat minor, one of the most popular pieces of piano literature… Among the mass of piano works published by Scharwenka, his first piano concerto in B flat minor acquired special celebrity and was frequently played by him and by others. He made his Boston debut most impressively with this concerto. At that time Scharwenka had already been conducting the New York branch of his conservatory for two years.” (Leichtentritt, 373 and 374)

 

Henry M. Dunham, The Life of a Musician, 67.

Schmidt, Arthur Paul. April 1, 1846-May 5 1921. Born in Altona, Germany. Worked for ten years as a clerk for a music store in Boston. “In October 1876 he began a prosperous and valuable career as a publisher and importer of music (chiefly at first as agent of the well-known Litolff edition), with branches later at Leipzig and New York. The publications listed in the catalog in 1932 reached the number of nearly fifteen thousand… A chief interest with him from the first was the encouragement of American composers… Most important, he was a pioneer in the publication of works in larger forms (orchestral scores and parts, for example) that had no possibility of being commercially successful. The first score of an important composition of the kind in the United States was the second symphony, im Fruhling, of John Knowles Paine, published in 1880 by subscription.” During the forty years 1880-1920, he published major works by many of the New England School. “The encouragement he thus gave to composers cannot be overestimated; in a period of remarkable development in American music he made a noteworthy contribution.” (A. F., 440) “He was the first to recognize the gifts of Arthur Foote, George Chadwick, Henry Hadley, Mrs. H. H. A. Beach and many other leading American composers. ”He also appreciated the genius of Edward MacDowell when he returned in 1889 from Europe with his reputation entirely European and could find no New York publisher for his manuscripts.”” (Ayars, 39)

Anton Seidl: Elson, History of American Music, 214.

Seidl, Anton. b. May 7, 1850 in Pest, Hungary, d. New York City, March 28, 1898. “His death left a gap in the operatic forces of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, and Covent Garden, London; robbed the Philharmonic Society of New York of a conductor under whom it enjoyed six seasons of unexampled prosperity; weakened the artistic props of the Wagner Festivals at Bayreuth… orphaned a number of undertakings which looked to the edification and entertainment of the people of the United States and Canada in the course of coming seasons… Mr. Seidl’s activities in New York compassed twelve seasons. He came in the fall of 1885, to be the first conductor of the German opera, then domiciled at the Metropolitan Opera House, and he remained at the head of that notable institution until… 1891. (Krehbiel, 757) “He became an American citizen, believing that this country the best in which to work out his ideals.” (Dic. Am Bio., 311) When Theodore Thomas left the Philharmonic for Chicago in 1891, Seidl became his successor beginning in the fall of that year. “During the entire period of his American residence, he conducted a vast majority of the orchestral concerts given under other auspices than those of the institutions mentioned, and he was extending his activities more and more widely with each year, so that it may correctly be said that, had he lived to carry out the plans which he had laid down for the next season here and abroad, he would have been unique among the world”s conductors in the variety and extent of his labors and the reach of his influence…” (Krehbiel, 758)

“The most important musician ever to visit the United States and stay, he became an American citizen, bought a country house in the Catskills, and would not be addressed as ”Herr.” His ”America-mania” included a fondness for mixed drinks and excited approbation of the prospective Spanish-American War. He befriended Edward MacDowell, and-in an excess of partisanship for the Wagner cause he extolled-called the American composer greater than Brahms.” (Horowitz in Beckerman, 92 and 93)

Seidl began his study at the Leipzig Conservatorium in the fall of 1870, and early “in 1872 he went to Bayreuth and was employed by Wagner to make the first copy of the score of the Nibelungen trilogy [aged 21]. He also assisted at the festival in 1876. In 1879, through Wagner’s recommendation, he obtained the post of conductor at the Leipzig Opera-House and remained there until 1882. After touring Europe conducting Angelo Neumann’s “Nibelungen” opera troupe, he was appointed conductor of the Bremen Opera House. In 1885 he married [the singer, Augusta Krauss], and in September of that year he began his work at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.” (Grove, Third Edition, 709) “He conducted many American premieres of Wagner operas, and with his traditions and the years he had spent with Wagner he was able to produce absolutely authentic performances and interpretations. In 1893 he also conducted the American premiere of the ”New World” Symphony by Anton Dvorak, who was his intimate friend.” (Howard, 562) Howard’s article also quotes H. T. Finck as the source of the fact that “None of the printed accounts of his life gives the names of his parents, and by some, it was supposed that he was the natural son of Franz Liszt.” (Howard, 561)

Sharland, John. B. Conductor of the choir below, which began as the Boylston Club, “but that has been only a small part of his labors. He is an organist of much ability, and as a teacher of music in the public schools is doing great work.” (Elson, Musical Boston, 5 ) Sharland-b. Halifax, 1837-d. Boston, 1909. “Was early in Chickering’s piano-factory, but turned to piano-playing and conducting, led many choral societies in or near Boston, and from 1870 was music-supervisor in the schools.” (Grove, Am. Supp, 27) In 1861 he was organist of the West Church in Boston (built in 1806) whose congregation was “numerous, influential and wealthy, as may be inferred from the fact that during the past season [1861]-universally conceded to be the most trying and stringent in financial affairs ever experienced in this country-they have had a new organ erected, at the expense of about $5,000, which is entirely paid for.” The choral music was supplied by a double quartet “arranged somewhat upon the antiphonal plan with four voices on each side.” His wife was one of the altos. For hymn singing, each side alternated verses with all eight voices joining for the final verse. “Mr. Sharland, who has been an amateur musician for many years, has now adopted it as a profession… He has considerable experience as an organist, and for the past six or seven years has officiated in this capacity at the West Church.” (Dwight (October 12, 1861): 223)

Sharland Chorus. Another mixed choir in Boston whose membership in 1876 was c. 300 voices. It was part of the first Boston performance of Bach’s Magnificat in D (1723) given at the Music Hall on March 1, 1876 together with the Thomas Orchestra. The soloists were Mrs. H. M. Smith, Flora Barry, G. H. Oakes, William J. and John F. Winch with John Knowles Paine as the organist. (Johnson, First, 5)

Sherwood, William Hall.

Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

Elson, Story of American Music, 285.

Hughes, Contemporary American Composers, 1900, facing 382.

Born Lyons, New York, January 31, 1854. First teacher was his father, the Rev. L. H. Sherwood who had established “the Lyons Musical Academy at Lyons, N. Y. in 1854-the year which Mr. Sherwood was born. At an early age, young Sherwood commenced the study of music under his father’s instruction. In 1871 Mr. Sherwood went to Europe, where he studied with several eminent teachers, among them the illustrious Liszt.” (Elson, Musical Boston, 5) His second American teacher was Dr. William Mason. Amy Fay wrote in 1872 – “There is a young fellow named Sherwood, who is only seventeen years old, and he not only plays splendidly but composes beautifully, also.” (Fay, 170) “Sherwood is Kullak’s pet and pride, and indeed, since his advent in the conservatory Kullak has shut up entirely on the subject of American want of talent.” (Fay, 187) Fay further recorded: “Sherwood is going ahead like a young giant. Today Kullak said that Sherwood played Beethoven’s E flat major concerto (the hardest of all Beethoven’s concertos) with a perfection that he had rarely heard equaled. So much for being a genius, for he is still under twenty [Feb. 1873], and has only been abroad a year or two. But he studied with our best American master, William Mason, and played like an artist before he came. But, then, Sherwood has one enormous advantage that no master on earth can bestow, and that is, perfect confidence in himself.” (Fay, 192 and 193) Dwight reported: Mr. and Mrs. William Sherwood. “Both Americans, (the latter will be pleasantly remembered in this city as Miss Mary Fay) have lately given a concert in the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, of which the entire press there speaks in terms of highest praise.” (Dwight (April 29, 1876): 223) Fay referred to Mrs. Sherwood as Mrs. Wrisley of Boston saying that she and Mrs. Wrisley left Kullak to study with Deppe at the same time. After successful concerts in Germany, Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood returned to America in 1876. After a “large and brilliant concert tour” of the States, they settled in Boston and began teaching. He “taught for a few years in the New England Conservatory, Boston, and then moved to New York” (Dic. Am. Bio.,  103). In 1878 Mr. Sherwood gave ten piano recitals at his music rooms, No. 21 West Street, Boston, on Fridays at 3:30 PM. Mrs. Sherwood played the orchestral reductions. These concerts were repeated on Monday evenings at 8 PM. (HMA Program Collection) The soloists in the first Boston performance of the Bach’s Concerto for Four Claviers in A Minor were “Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood, J. C. D. Parker, and Benjamin J. Lang.” (Johnson, First,  10) This was presented at Mechanics Hall on April 1, 1880. “Since 1889 his chief work has been in the West, where his teaching… has made Chicago a centre for piano music… His concert tours have extended everywhere, north, southeast, and west. Canada and Mexico have heard him, as well as the United States. Every great symphonic orchestra in the country has had his services at one time or another. Altogether, it is not too much to say that the first American piano virtuoso is (and has been for many years) William H. Sherwood.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., 285) “He was the first to play the Grieg concerto in America, and was the first soloist to appear with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under George Henschel… he possessed a flawless technique, delicacy and refinement of expression, and through musicianship. He rarely gave a recital without including one American composition… He had a large following as a teacher, especially through his summer courses at Chautauqua, N. Y., where for twenty-two years, from 1899 until his death, he was head of the piano department… He possessed a lovable nature, very affable, simple, and unpretentious. His first wife, Mary [Nielson] Fay, of Williamsburg, N. Y., to whom he was married in 1874 while a student in Berlin, was also a gifted student of Kullak, and they often played together successfully. His second wife, Estelle [Estella] F. Abrams… to whom he was married in 1887, was his student in Boston. He had three daughters by the first marriage, and two by the second” (Dic. Am. Bio., 104). In January and February 1876 Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood presented five piano concerts with assisting artists, George L. Osgood and members of the Boston Philharmonic Club. (HMA Program Collection) Mr. Sherwood played on seven different programs with the BSO during the seasons ’81, ’83, ’84, ’92, and ’93 (which was equal to Lang’s piano and organ appearances with the Symphony). (Howe, BSO, 258) Alfred Hollins mentions that during the 1888 tour of America the Principal of his College, Mr. Campbell discovered “an appliance called the Technicon, used for developing the muscles of the arms, hands, and fingers.” (Hollins, 178) William Sherwood, “one of Boston”s leading pianists and musicians “had been “keenly interested” in this device, and Campbell set Hollins to using it for an hour each day. (Ibid) However, Hollins had no patience for the device.

St. Botolph Club. “St. Botolph was founded in a golden epoch of the City of Boston. Arts, literature, music, architecture, clubs and public affairs, as well as the vast commercial, shipping and professional empires that supported them, were all experiencing a great flowering. Many of the eminent individuals connected with all these were original members of our Club. A ”Committee of Ten” had sent out invitations to several hundred friends and colleagues, and upon receiving an enthusiastic response, founded the Club on January 3rd., 1880.” [Massachusetts Historical says January 10, 1880] First location “at 87 Boylston Street.” (Williams, 32) “Members drawn from Boston’s upper class… John Quincy Adams, Philips Brooks, Francis Parkman,[First President] William Dean Howells and Henry Cabot Lodge, H. H. A. Beach” and among musicians, “William Apthorp, George Chadwick, Philip Hale, and B. J. Lang… The St. Botolph Club, in particular, had artistic intentions from its inception… Concerts were also encouraged, and to that end, they bought in 1882 a Chickering grand piano.” (Blunsom,  134 and 135) “The Club was to be inexpensive, with dues of not more than thirty dollars,” (Williams, op. cit.) and there was to be no restaurant. Arthur Foote and George Parker (both members) performed Margaret’s Deserted at a club function. (Blunsom, Op. cit.) B. J. was “a Resident and Founding Member of the St. Botolph Club (January 1880).” (Howlett, e-mail, November 30, 2009) Other members of the Lang circle and their dates of joining include: Arthur Foote-January 1887; Philip Hale-May 1890; William F. Apthorp-1880, but William Foster Apthorp-March 1896 [?]; Allen Augustus Brown-June 1889; George Laurie Osgood was a founding member, January 1880; G. W. Sumner-1880; William Johnson Winch-1883. (Howlett, e-mail, January 4, 2010) In 1889 it was “situated on Newbury Street, and was modeled after the plan of the Century Club in New York. its particular feature is its Saturday evening and monthly meetings, to which men eminent in literature and art are invited. its gallery contains a choice collection of sculptures and pictures. It is noted for its musicales, “smoke talks” and theatricals. On Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, a stringed quartette not only plays a choice repertory but also compositions by members of the club. These concerts are very popular and are one of the features of this peculiarly artistic club, whose membership is limited to men of literary and aesthetic tastes and pursuits,” (Grieve, 100) William Foster Apthorp sang the part of “Prof. J. Bolingbroke Smythe” in the musical farce “The Aesthetic Barber” presented at the Club on December 23, 1881. Dr. S. W. Langmaid sang “Charles Chestnut” and Mr. H. G. Pickering sang “Columbus Bunker. ” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) After a few years, the club moved to larger quarters at 4 Newbury Street, “the site which is now the parking lot of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. It was just what they wanted; and they lived in it happily, if with increasing worries about financing it, for fifty-five years.” (Williams, 33) This new location allowed for a new art gallery, and then a kitchen and dining room were added. In 1941 the Club moved to smaller quarters at 115 Commonwealth Avenue, on the “sunny side” of the street. A final move was made to 199 Commonwealth Avenue in 1972. (Club Website) The Club presented “John Singer Sargent’s first one-man show in America in 1888. Works by Claude Monet were displayed in 1892, 1895, and 1899. Monet’s first show in the United States was held in February 1891 at the Union Club in New York.” (St. Botolph Club Records: Guide to the Collection, 1 and 2. Massachusetts Historical Society)

Mathews, A Hundred Years of Music in America, 693.

Frank Van der Stucken was born in Texas on Oct. 15 1858, and when he was eight years old (1869 his parents took him to Antwerp where he studies with Peter Benoit in Antwerp; during 1876-78 resided primarily in Leipzig where he studied with Carl Reinecke, Grieg and Langer; later traveled in Europe; was active in Paris 1880-81; 1881-82 was engaged as kapellmeister at the Breslau Stadt Theater; in 1883 met Liszt (to whom he had been introduced by Grieg) at Weimar who arranged for him to present a concert solely of his own works; moved to New York in 1884 where he succeeded Leopold Damrosch as conductor of the Arion Society, a male chorus, which he conducted until 1895; gave a concert with this group during the 1884-85 season devoted exclusively to American works; during the 1887-88 season he gave a series of five concerts devoted entirely to American composers; at the July 12, 1889 concert at the Paris Exposition included songs of Margaret. “Upon the whole, it is not too much to say what (sic) at the present time of writing Mr. Van der Stucken is the most promising young conductor in this country.” (Mathews, One Hundred, 694) He served as conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 1895-1907; from 1906-1912 he conducted the biennial Cincinnati Music Festival, returning every two years from Europe where he went to live in 1908. (Mus. Am. article, Nov. 25, 1922) He then spent most of his time in Europe until his death in Hamburg in 1929. He did return to the United States to conduct the May Festival in 1923 and then served as its Music Director in 1925 and 1927. The Mus. Am. article says that he returned to America in 1917.

Suck, Mr. F. A violinist active in Boston in the 1850s. (Dowell, 22)

Ryan, Recollections, plate opposite 262.

Sumner, George William. Born 1848-Died 1890. In 1876 listed as organist of the Arlington Street Church (Cong. Unit,) (Dwight (May 27, 1876): 240) Sumner was the soloist with the Orchestral Union in Mendelssohn’s Capriccio in B Minor for Piano and Orchestra on Wednesday afternoon March 4, 1868. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1) However, Dwight recorded that Sumner made his debut at the Music Hall organ in the fall of 1869 “winning praise from those who know what organ playing should be.” Sumner and another Lang pupil, Mr. G. Arthur Adams presented a concert at the Chickering Hall on September 30, 1869, where Lang provided the second-piano accompaniment to the Concerto No. 5 by Beethoven with Adams as the soloist, and the Chopin Concerto in E minor, Op. 11 with Sumner as the soloist. Adams was described as: “Here is a still, pale Massachusetts boy, the first we ever knew of whom was hearing him on this occasion actually play with certainty and power and good aplomb the greatest of Concertos, the ”Emperor” of Beethoven.” Sumner’s performance was “even greater in respect to musical feeling… The whole air of both the young men was quiet, self-possessed, ingenious and modest.” (Dwight (October 9, 1869): 118) On December 26, 1872, Sumner was the soloist with the HMA Orchestra at the Music Hall in Chopin’s Piano Concerto in F Minor, Op. 21. Even though this day “came with the great snow-storm of the winter…The orchestra was full and well prepared; the programme one to charm away all thought of ”winter and rough weather.”” (Dwight (January 11, 1873): 366) Dwight felt that Sumner was well prepared, but that the work really did not suit him. “The only mistake was in the selection of the work…There is too much good stuff in him, to let this discourage him.” (Ibid) By 1874 Sumner had connected with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. Dwight recorded that he had accompanied Thomas Ryan in Schumann’s Romances for Piano and Clarinet, Op. 94. At some point, Sumner married Ryan’s daughter. (Dwight (March 7, 1874): 191)

Thomas Ryan wrote: “My acquaintance with Mr. Sumner began when I was searching for good pianoforte teachers for the National College of Music. Inquiries made among the older artists usually brought out strong recommendations of ”young Sumner.” He, therefore, became one of our teachers, and it was not long before he married my oldest daughter.” Ryan then reprinted from the Boston Transcript of August 1890: “Mr. George W. Sumner was born of a musical family in Spencer, Mass., in 1848. He early showed his musical proclivities, and while still, a child displayed enough talent to warrant his exhibition in public.” His father, a music teacher and dealer in Worcester got his son the best teachers, the last being B. J. Lang. He soloed with the Harvard and Boston Symphony orchestras, played in chamber music, was organ/piano accompanist for the Handel and Haydn Society, the Cecilia, Apollo and Boylston clubs, and he served as Director of Music at Arlington Street Church for eighteen years: 1872-1890. “Personally, he was a man of genial temperament, unaffected and sincere. He left a widow, the daughter of Mr. Thomas Ryan, and a young daughter.”

Sumner conducted his Orpheus Club on the second evening of the May 1890 Hampden County Musical Association [Springfield, MA]. The main work was “Grieg’s brilliant Discovery, in which Gardner L. Lamsom of Boston” sang the baritone solo. George Chadwick was the “drill-master of the chorus rehearsals,” and also “conductor-in-chief of the concerts.” Victor Herbert was his assistant. The management of the Festival assured the public the “irruption of bad manners and polyglot vocalization” of the previous year would not be part of the 1890 event. (Springfield Republican (March 1, 1890): 4, GB) This was to be his last Festival. “Mr. E. Cutler, Jr., of the Apollo Club has been elected director of the Springfield Orpheus Club.” (Herald (September 21, 1890): 19, GB) Thus Lang’s influence was continued in this group.

Sumner died in August of 1890 and his funeral was held at Arlington Street Church. His Springfield choir sent a floral tribute: “It will be in the form of an antique harp, and it will stand five feet high…and on a scroll attached to the harp will appear four bars of music written in G clef.” (Worcester Spy (August 19, 1890): 8, GB) The church, except for the galleries, was completely filled with friends and pupils. Lang played the organ, “his playing demonstrating rare feeling. He rendered two selections: an improvisation as the church was entered and at the close a solemn march from Beethoven’s Third Symphony.” Lang also sent “a wreath of ivy and wheat.” Three of the bearers were his pianist friends, Arthur Foote, Joshua Phippin and Hiram Tucker, while the other three were members of the Springfield Orpheus Club. “There were also large delegations from musical societies throughout New England.” (Springfield Republican (August 20, 1890): 7, GB) The Worcester Spy published an article drawing from various other papers. The Springfield Republican mentioned that he had published none of his own compositions and that they were “chiefly settings of hymns and anthems and arrangements for his Boston choir. [Shades of Lang here] The Boston Post mentioned that Sumner had been a member of a quartet of pianists who had studied at about the same time with Lang-W. F. Apthorp, Arthur Foote and Hiram Tucker. Sumner had been a member of the Harvard Musical Association and the St. Botolph Club-probably in both cases his sponsor had been B. J. The Boston Transcript wrote: “Mr. Sumner’s musical tastes, though refined and exacting, were broad and comprehensive. Personally he was a man of genial temperament, unaffected and sincere.” (Worcester Spy (August 18, 1890): 8, GB) A Memorial Vesper Service was given at Arlington Street Church on Sunday, October 19, 1890. Three of his own pieces were included, but the titles were not given. “In one of Mr. Sumner’s compositions was included a beautiful solo for Miss Edmands, and this was reverently and delightfully sung.” The Pastor spoke of how Sumner was really a Minister of music, and that he was willing to practice that calling whenever needed. “If he was needed in the Sunday School, or at a Lenten Service, he was always there, ready for any work that he could be called upon.” (Journal (October 20, 1890): 4, GB)

Dwight wrote for the Transcript about the November 25th. 1890 Memorial Concert for Sumner held at the Music Hall. “The Great Hall was at least two-thirds filled with sympathetic, serious listeners. Nearly all the leading singers, pianists, teachers, composers, and high-class musicians of our city, lent their aid most heartily to the carrying out of a significant and worthy programme.” B. J. was among them (Ryan, Recollections, 264-266) Among the 32 musicians listed as giving “their services for this occasion” were Carl Baermann, George W. Chadwick, Arthur Foote, Miss Gertrude Franklin, Edward A. MacDowell, Ethelbert Nevin, Arthur Nikisch, Ernst Perabo, Joshua Phippen, H. G. Tucker, B. L. Whelpley, Arthur Whiting and William J. Winch. Tickets were three dollars. (BPL Lang Prog.) Lang’s contribution to this event was as part of a quartet of pianists at two pianos who played Les Contrastes, Opus 115 by Moscheles; the other three pianists were Baermann, Nikisch and Perabo. The Bach Concerto in C Minor for Two Pianos was played by Mr. Foote and Mr. Tucker with Mr. Whelpley playing Dresel’s arrangement of the string accompaniment. (MYB 1890-91, 24) This great number of performers in the concert reflects on Sumner’s honored position in Boston’s musical life.

In the early 1870s, Sumner was the organist for many of the Salem Oratorio Society concerts which were led by Carl Zerrahn, and his contribution was acknowledged in most reviews.

In February 1874 Lang was part of a “Pianoforte recital” at the Worcester County Music School where Sumner was listed as a teacher, playing the solo part in Mendelssohn’s Concerto in G Minor together with two solos, Nocturne in C Minor, Opus 48 by Chopin and Lang’s own Caprice in C Major. Lang finished the concert with Liszt’s transcription of Weber’s Polonaise in E Minor. (6544) In December 1875 Sumner joined “Mr. B. D. Allen of Worcester, one of the teachers” at NEC in performing Schubert’s Divertissement as one of the musical illustrations that Allen gave in a lecture about Schubert. (Dwight (December 11, 1875): 142) Sumner soloed with the HMA Orchestra in the fall of 1877. “Mr. Sumner played the brilliant, piquant, Krakowiak [Op. 14] of Chopin very neatly and distinctly, showing a thorough study and a right conception of it, and bringing out many of its quaint melodic motives and great vividness and fineness. The only failure was of strength of touch; there was a lack of resonance for so large a space [Music Hall].” (Dwight (December 8, 1877): 142) In December 1878 Sumner presented “one of the most delightful of the smaller concerts of the season at Mechanics’ Hall on Monday evening, December 16.” He was assisted by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and his piano solos included “Tausig’s extremely difficult arrangement of the Toccata and Fugue in G Minor by Bach, which showed a remarkable development of his powers as a pianist-now taking rank among our foremost ones.” (Dwight (January 18, 1879): 15)

B. J. probably proposed Sumner for membership in the Harvard Musical Association where he seems to have taken an active part as a performer. The report for the March 1, 1878 social meeting has him performing duets with his fellow Lang pupil, Tucker, twice in the program: “Two short 4-hand pieces by Heinrich Hoffman,” and a Grotesque Chinese Overture to Turandot by Weber (HMA Bulletin No. 11). An announcement dated August 1, 1872 listed Sumner as the accompanist for a “Grand Musical Combination” which was formed by the “celebrated English soprano, Madame Erminia Rudersdorff” who had come to Boston the year before as a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society and then with the “Great Peace Jubilee.” She and her husband, a “barytone,” and a contralto also from England were the vocalists, and the ensemble also included a violinist. “In the case of societies wishing to give Oratorios, and requiring a first-class tenor singer, Mr. G. L. Osgood, who has just returned from Europe, may be engaged upon special additional terms with Madame Rudersdorff’s party.” Mr. Sumner was also listed as the conductor in the various sample programs that were provided: “Ballad Concert, German repertoire, Sacred Selection, and Operatic ” (HMA Program Collection). Listed among the Lang pupils “who deserve mention because of musical prominence,” Sumner was described as “a teacher and pianist of much capability.” (Elson, Supplement, ) Lang may also have sponsored Sumner”s membership in the St. Botolph Club which he joined in 1880, remaining a member until his death in 1890. (1905 membership List, p. 58) Sumner received a very good notice in an article written by Elson in March 1884, probably for the Musical Courier. “At Mr. Sumner’s concert, I had barely an opportunity to hear the Rubinstein Sonata, Op. 18, for cello and piano, in which Mr. Giese proved again that he is probably the greatest violoncellist in America, and was ably seconded by the power and breadth of Mr. Sumner’s playing.” (Cecilia Programs, Vol. 2)

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Tavern Club. Founded in 1884. Musician members included “Frederick Converse, Timothee Adamowski, Arthur Foote and Charles Loeffler.” (Blunsom, 134) “One of Boston’s most novel clubs is the Tavern Club, on Boylston Place. It was started on behalf of good cookery by a few professional men… its members are mostly lawyers, doctors, bankers, and literary men. At its famous dinners, all stiffness is put aside, and boyish good humor is the prevailing spirit… This club has a sort of international character, and has entertained some of the leading professional men of Europe… its frolics are never made public, though they are all of a clean and elevated character.” (Grieve, 101) There are two legends concerning the formation of this club. The first is that “the Club owed its formation to a man who ate with his toes” while the second was “that the man who proposed the idea of forming such a club was not himself admitted to membership. There is some truth behind these legends. A group of young men – doctors, painters, and others of like bent – had formed the habit of dining together at restaurants in the neighborhood of Park Square. On one occasion, so it is said, a troupe of vaudeville freaks invaded the place, and the armless wonder fed himself with his toes. This was too much for the founding Taverners and they determined to find themselves their own table in their own private room. The second legend centered around an Italian teacher who proposed the idea of the club but whom the others didn’t especially care for. So when the Tavern was founded this man was left out.” (Williams, p. 39) Another explanation was; “A few clever men found the Somerset Club too smart and the Union Club too dull.” (Ibid) The Somerset Club had the movers and shakers while the Union Club members were those who managed the money of the Somerset members. “The Tavern started, like so many others, as a dining club of youthful and congenial spirits. They soon came to roost in rooms at No. 1 Park Square under the friendly studio of Frederick Porter Vinton… In the first fall months of 1884, they gave dinners in honor of Gericke, conductor of the Boston Symphony, Edmund Gosse, the author, and Henry Irving, the actor. All this was to set the pattern for the future. Within three years they bought and moved into the house at 4 Boylston Place… there, in expanded quarters and despite a severe fire in 1956, they still [1970] hold forth… Mr. Howe records a visiting Englishman saying: ”I had been told that American clubs were rather informal – but my word!” This may have been the same Englishman who is supposed to have reported to a circle at the Somerset Club the spectacle of a half-naked, tattooed member lunching at the Tavern. He is said to have received the reply: ”What, only one?”” (Williams, pp. 40 and 41)

Taylor, Deems. “Was once a vaudeville comic.” (Grant, xx) Also, his “first wife later had an affair with Gilbert Seldes, then married a Spanish fascist and became the Nazi counterpoint of Tokyo Rose, making Axis broadcasts from Berlin as the infamous ”Georgia Peach.”” (Grant, xxi)

Thomas Choral Society. In January 1875 a new choir was formed and named in honor of the conductor Theodore Thomas. The aim was to perform major choral works of the highest standard using the Thomas Orchestra. The membership drew from various quartette choirs, some from the Cecilia and the Boylston club and “other musical organizations. The society has adopted a high standard for candidates, and believes that the best results cannot be attained any other way.” (Advertiser (January 21, 1875): 1, GB) The weekly rehearsals were on Monday nights with Mr. Sharland as the conductor and Mr. Petersilea as the pianist. The plan was to give some works never performed in America including “a new work by Wagner, the vocal and orchestral scores of which are now on the way from Europe.” (Ibid) Non-sing associate membership was offered which gave admission” to alternate Monday rehearsals, to all the public exercises and performances of the society, and as most of the latter will probably be given in connection with Mr. Thomas’s orchestra, it is presumed that the list of candidates for associate membership will soon be filled.” (Ibid)

The next month it was announced that the society “will take up a cantata by Bach and one by Mendelssohn, neither of which has ever been performed in this country. The society will give both pieces to the public in a few weeks with the assistance of [the] Thomas orchestra.” (Advertiser (February 22, 1875): 2, GB)

Then, in March the name of the Bach cantata was revealed-My Spirit was in Heaviness. “The celebrated cantata is one of the grandest works of the great master, and has never been brought out in this country.” (Advertiser (March 18, 1875): 1, GB) The performance was projected for April 3, and it was to be the principal number on the program. No mention was made of the Mendelssohn work spoken of in February.

In April 1875 the choir placed an ad in the Advertiser saying that the “Thomas Choral Society will receive a limited number of Tenors and Basses.” (Advertiser (April 1, 1875): 1. GB)

Thomas, Theodore.

Theodore Thomas, Elson, History of American Music, frontispiece.

Upton, Musical Memories, facing  182.

(b. Oct. 11, 1835 in Esens, Hanover; d. January 5, 1905 in Chicago). See biography by Charles Edward Russell, The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas (New York, 1927).” (Sablosky, 304) Thomas conducted Margaret’s Witichis Overture at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago; he also had lent to B. J. from his Chicago orchestra the bells he needed for the 1891 performance of Parsifal.

“Not merely the first American conductor, Theodore Thomas was, without doubt, the most important pioneer of the symphony orchestra in the United States… Thomas was a dynamo, a born leader, and when he decided in 1862 ”to form an orchestra for concert purposes,” the history of the American symphony orchestra began.”

“Thomas came to New York from Germany at age ten, and in his teens, largely self-taught, was already earning his way as a violinist. He played in Jullien’s orchestra in 1853, gained membership in the New York Philharmonic Society… Impatient with the Philharmonic Society”s narrow scope, Thomas determined, at twenty-seven to organize an orchestra of his own and to devote his energies ”to the cultivation of the public taste for orchestral music.” …His concerts were an immediate and unqualified success. But the hoped-for benefactor did not soon appear. For nearly thirty years Thomas strove to realize his goal of the permanent, independent orchestra; it was a heroic struggle that culminated in the founding of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1891, under Thomas” leadership and according to his plan.” (Sablosky, 71) “He traveled on horseback and carried a pistol… Busy though it was, the Thomas Orchestra could not offer steady employment unless it toured, and so it did. Thomas” core itinerary of twenty-eight cities in twelve states became known as the ”Thomas Highway.” Performing in sundry auditoriums, railroad stations, and churches, Thomas offered overtures and dances as an enticement for symphonic masterworks, doled out one movement at a time… The showman in Theodore Thomas owed something to the examples of Jullien and Gilmore. Thomas had been one of Jullien’s first violins… Beethoven and Wagner were the ”pillars” of Thomas” programs… Thomas” orchestra was a model of Germanic discipline and polish.” Anton Rubinstein said that “I know of but one orchestra that can compare with that of Theodore Thomas, and that is the orchestra of the national conservatory of Paris… In Thomas, the conductor, catholic program-maker, and educator were a unity.” (Horowitz,  34-36) “Thomas organized his own professional orchestra in New York in December of 1864. As a pioneer in the art of building an entire program in which each piece bore some relationship to the others on the concert, Thomas was very successful… Thomas tried to achieve a balance between giving the public popular music and introducing new and difficult works. He was not averse to programming light music,” but he also championed Wagner, “when that composer was virtually unknown in this country. for example, in 1870, Thomas’s orchestra performed the Ride of the Valkyries for the first time in the United States. (Tischler, 51) Thomas commissioned Wagner at a fee of $5,000 for a Grand Inaugural March for the concert series he planned for the 1876 Exposition in Philadelphia. These concerts financed privately with Thomas taking much of the risk. The Wagner work was a dud, and Thomas’s concert series “lost so much money… that his entire music library, including scores, books, and arrangements, even his music stand and baton, were sold at a sheriff’s auction.” (Op. cit., 56) However “there was some small help forthcoming. Dr. Franz Zinzer of New York purchased Thomas’s entire collection at the auction for $1,400. In 1878 he presented it to Mrs. Thomas for her husband”s use…Thomas began almost immediately to reorganize his orchestra and to give concerts throughout the United States…” (Ibid) For the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago the funding for concerts was part of the overall budget and Thomas was paid to be the overall Director of Music. Thomas conducted the Exposition Festival Orchestra “which ranged in size from 100 to 150 players” in three different concert series during the six months of the event. A “festival Hall Series of twenty-seven concerts between May 22 and August 5 appealed to popular tastes. There were numerous choral concerts… Orchestral music by Richard Wagner occupied an important place on the programs in this series, as, by 1893, the American audience was beginning to develop a fondness for the music of the genius of Bayreuth, thanks in part to the earlier efforts of Theodore Thomas” and also B. J. Lang. “In general, American composers were only modestly represented on this series… But there was considerably more music by American composers on the programs of the Popular orchestra Series of fifty-three concerts between May 3 and August 11.” Margaret’s Overture Witichis was presented on July 29 at this series. (Op. cit., 61) “Performances of Thomas’s orchestra were supplemented by guest appearances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Symphony Society, and the Cincinnati Festival Orchestra in this thirty-six concert series… On August 4 Thomas and his orchestra presented three compositions that had been submitted to the examining committee chosen to review works in answer to the call for music that Thomas had issued in late 1892 [B. J. Lang was a member of this Committee]. Margaret Ruthven Lang’s Witichis was part of that concert.” (Op. cit., 62)

Thorndike, Samuel Lothrop, 1829-1911. Harvard, Class of 1852; long time resident of Cambridge; lawyer; director of numerous corporations; trustee of the Suffolk Savings Bank, Perkins Institute, etc.; choirmaster of Christ Church, Cambridge; member of the Handel and Haydn Society; president of the Cecilia Society; president and treasurer of the Harvard Musical Association; treasurer and vice-president of the New England Conservatory. (Boston Athenaeum note attached to his scrapbook of Boston musical programs).

Ticknor, Howard Malcolm. Assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly under James Russell Lowell, the poet, who was the Atlantic’s first editor. Ticknor doubled at the same time as music critic for three different Boston papers. In January 1866 he “retired from the musical department of the Advertiser, and became the critic of the Saturday Evening Gazette.” (BMT (January 6, 1866): 4)

Tremont Street.

                   

This postcard was advertised as being c. 1910, and the comment was made that there were no cars in the picture, only horse-drawn vehicles. The first complete building on the right has the sign “Weber Pianos” on both the two windows on the second-floor level. The next building has “Estey Organs” on the two windows at the third level. After the third complete building is the entrance to the Tremont Theater, which is the last building in that block. The buildings to the left foreground are the entrances to the Boylston Station Underground-the intersection of Tremont and Boylston being just behind the back of the viewer as this photo was taken. Johnston Collection.

Another view-the Tremont Theatre is just beyond the pink awning. Weber Pianos awning can be seen, incomplete, in the very lower right. Johnston Collection.

Postmarked 1909. First floor: “Tremont Theatre” facing the street, and Show title: “Klaw & Erlancer, Advanced Vaudeville” facing the sidewalk. Sign facing the sidewalk on the third-floor advertising “Dance Academy-Social, Classes, Private Lessons Daily.” Sign on the roof repeating the title of the current show. Johnston Collection.

Tremont Temple. 

The top half of a postcard showing the same view of Tremont Street in 1843 and 1907. (1843 obviously taken from the painting below) Tremont Temple, on the right, is quite different from the 1896 building that stands today. This building was opened September 24, 1827 as the Tremont Theatre, but during its 16-year use for entertainment, it never turned a profit. It was designed by the architect Isaiah Rogers in the Greek Revival style. On December 28, 1843 the Free Church Baptists bought the building and renamed the building the Tremont Temple. There were fires in 1852, 1879 and 1893. (Wikipedia, September 8, 2013) Johnston Collection.

“Tremont Temple” c. 1843, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Painted by Philip Harry, an American, born in England. Note the front of King’s Chapel just two more buildings away. Wikipedia article on the “Tremont Theatre.” September 8, 2013.

   Tremont Temple c. 1851. In George Adams, The Boston Directory For the Year 1851, 68. Note the Boston Musical Gazette had an office here.

King’s Handbook of Boston, 1878, 229. This building burned in 1879. “The main hall, 120 feet long, 72 feet wide, and 50 feet high, has deep galleries and is capable of seating about 2,000 people. Beneath it is a smaller hall, called Meionaon, with seats for 800 people.” (King’s, 229)

Interior, 1874. Boston Public Library, Digital Commonwealth. This organ was the Hook Opus 149, 1853, 4 manuals, 54 speaking stops, burned in 1879. Lang was one of four organists who dedicated this instrument. (Owen e-mail, October 23, 2013)

Exterior of October 1880 rebuild. The main hall is 122 feet long, 72 feet wide and 66 feet high. With seating on the main floor and first and second galleries, the total capacity is 2,600. King’s Handbook, 1885, 253. The desing of this building is very much like the previous one, with only minor changes over the windows of the first floor.

King’s Handbook of Boston, 4th. Edition, 1881. Wikipedia, August 7, 2013. The instrument above is the 1880 E. & G. G. Hook and Hastings instrument, 4 manuals, 51 speaking stops, Opus 975. Lang played half a program with Whitney for the opening of this instrument. (Owen, e-mail, October 23, 2013) This instrument was destroyed in the fire of 1893. The next instrument was a 40-stop Jesse Woodberry 3-manual organ which was used until 1923 when it was replaced by the current pipe organ (non-functioning), a Casavant, Opus 937 4-manual which was installed within the Woodberry case. (illustration below)

      

Johnston Collection. Postcard postmarked 1910. The organ console is on the right side, in the choir loft.

Johnston Collection. Postcard mailed in 1947. The description on the back states: “The present building, the fourth to be erected upon this site, was dedicated in 1896 and contains one of the largest and most beautiful church auditoriums in New England, having a capacity of more than 2500. Among its attractions is the Casavant organ, so constructed with echoes and attachments that it is possible for a player to duplicate the tones of many instruments.” It looks like there is a grand piano to the left, under the first balcony, and at the same level as the rostrum chairs.

Johnston Collection. No postmark. The description on the back mentions “The famous D. L. Moody described the church ”as the pulpit of America.”” Converse Hall, shown here, is one of the largest and most beautiful auditoriums in New England. The great 96 stop Casavant organ is seen in the center of the picture.

Close view of the very ornate ceiling. Copyright 1898.

1907 magazine picture of the building at 82 Tremont Street that replaced an earlier Temple after its 1893 fire. This building was opened in May 1896. Johnston Collection.

Boston Manual, 1888, 18
This would be the arrangement after the 1872 remodeling and before the 1893 fire.

Clark’s Boston Blue Book, 1888, 316. Seating Capacity – 2,528.

Clark’s Boston Blue Book, 1888, 317.

Tremont Temple. The first building at 88 Tremont Street was a playhouse built by a group of wealthy Bostonians. It was designed by Isaiah Rogers in the Greek Revival style and opened on September 24, 1827. Even though big-name performers appeared, it never was profitable for its 16 years as a theatre. The Free Church Baptists bought the building in late 1843 and renamed it the Tremont Temple, and it was used primarily by the church but was also let out for other functions. It suffered from fires in 1852, 1879 and 1893 when it was rebuilt in its present form which opened in 1896. “Designed by architect Clarence Blackall, it was intended to be a church with an auditorium suitable for business purposes. The building originally had stores on the ground floor and commercial offices on the upper floors. Revenue from business rents and rental of the auditorium for concerts enabled the church to continue to provide free seats to all worshippers. At various times films were exhibited at Tremont Temple, though commercial leasing ended in 1956.” (These first sentences from the Wikipedia article downloaded on December 28, 2009)

“Boston has six theaters and three concert halls, two of which can seat thirty-five hundred persons. It is in one of these, the Tremont, that I gave my concerts. It is in my opinion the best for hearing and the most magnificent concert hall in the world.”-Quote from Gottschalk dated February 26, 1864. (Tawa, Psalm, 112) In the fall of 1872, it was noted: “Tremont Temple is being thoroughly remodeled. Opera chairs are being substituted for the settees, and other changes are making it a most elegant and comfortable-as it is commodious-music hall. its fine organ is being put in excellent condition, and will be furnished with the Hydraulic Motor and Meter Association’s improved Organ Blower. T. P. Ryder is the organist…We wish, while the improvements are being made, that the stage could be reconstructed so as to admit of scenery being put in, for operatic performances. The Temple would make an admirable opera-house.” (Dexter Smith (September 1872): 204) “Tremont Temple will be re-opened, Sept. 24th [1872] with a grand concert by the Mendelssohn Quintet Club, assisted by Miss Edith Abell – her first appearance since her return from Europe-; Sig. Vincenzo Cirillo, – his debut in America; Mr. W. Whitney-first appearance since his return from London-; Mr. B. J. Lang; Mr. Charles Hamm and Mr. Rudolph Hennig.” (Dexter Smith (October 1872): 232) In his October 5, 1872 issue Dwight wrote: “Tremont Temple, clean and bright with fresh paint and ornament, casting off its old gloomy aspect, and much more comfortable as to seating, was reopened on Tuesday evening, September 24, with a concert on the part of the new ‘National College of Music,’ just established within the walls of the Temple, Mr. Thomas Ryan, Director.” (Dwight (October 5, 1872): 318) This building replaced an older building that had burned on the night of March 31, 1852. Very soon after the fire, a new hall was begun with “an average of 75 hands or more being constantly employed on it… the new Temple is an immense structure… the building covers an area of 94 feet front by 136 feet deep, and is 75 feet high in the front… The building, as may be supposed from its immense size, contains most extensive accommodations for both public and private uses. In the first place, there is the principal hall, or Temple, which… will have seats for nearly 2,500 persons. Next, there is a smaller hall, or temple, capable of seating from 800 to 1,000 persons; and, adjacent to this, is a third hall, designed for… 300 persons… the grand hall, or temple – This is to be a noble room… 124 feet long, 72 feet wide, and 50 feet high. It has a gallery on three sides of it, but one that projects over the seats only about seven feet; and being entirely supported by trusses, there is nothing to obstruct the view of the platform from any part of the hall… Back of the stage, in a recess, is to be placed a noble organ, one of the largest, if not the largest ever built in the United States. The Messrs, Hooks are the builders… the floor of the main hall is to rise from about the center, so as to afford every person in the hall an unobstructed view of the platform… The seats on the floor are to be placed in a semi-circular form from the front of the platform, so as to bring every face towards the speaker or singer. The seats, which are all to be numbered, are to be the most convenient and comfortable kind, each slip capable of holding ten or twelve persons, with an aisle at each end, and open through from end to end.” (Dwight (February 26, 1853): 162 and 163) “During the summer of 1879 that hall was destroyed by fire and the Cecilia was driven for the next season to the Music Hall.” (Cecilia Program Clippings) The organ building firm of Hook and Hastings “erected in 1880” an instrument of “4 manuals, 65 stops, and 3,442 pipes, beside 10 pedal movements, including a grand crescendo, like that in the Music Hall organ, Cincinnati. In size it is excelled by several organs in this country, but in artistic completeness and perfection it is second to none.” (Jones, 76) Lang and Mr. S. B. Whitney demonstrated the instrument in a “private exhibition, numerously attended, on Friday evening, October 8, 1880.” Lang opened the concert with “that grand, full-flowing, five-part Fantasia in G Major of Bach, with its sparkling prelude, which Mr. Lang used to play some years ago on the great organ of the Music Hall,” and the “was followed by an exquisitely sweet and tender movement from Bach’s Pastorale in F. The former showed the full organ…the latter was played upon a stop so soft, and delicate, that, with some noise around, we found it difficult to hear parts of it. Then came one of Schumann”s fugues on the letters of Bach’s name.” It was left to Whitney to display the “Stentorphone” and “Tuba Mirabilis” “which he casually let loose,” and whose tones were “of startling solidity and loudness, such as might wake the dead.” (Dwight (October 23, 1880): 174) In an another article in the same issue Dwight mentioned that this new instrument was the fourth built by Messrs. E. & G. G. Hook and Hastings for the Temple. “The two large ones which preceded it in 1846 and 1853 having been burned in 1852 and 1879 respectively… In the matter of size it is exceeded by several in the city”, but “in thoroughness of construction, it is outranked by none… It bears a strong resemblance to the most famous French instruments, and it will be found especially adapted for the performance of transcriptions of orchestral compositions… As for its sound, we can safely say that it gave great satisfaction to those who take most delight in brilliancy.” (Dwight (October 23, 1880): 175)

In the cellar of the building was a smaller hall, the Meionaon with a seating capacity of 1,000. It was describes as “cosey, convenient and attractive” and used for religious services, temperance meetings and smaller concerts. (King’s Handbook 1885, 254)

 

History of the Handel and Haydn Society, Vol. II, facing 135.

Tucker, Hiram G. November 11, 1851 in Cambridge (Birth certif.)-October 5, 1932. He went with the Langs to Europe in November 1869. In 1871 he was described as “an accomplished pupil of Mr. Lang” when he played at the 145th. concert given by the New England Conservatory at Wesleyan Association Hall in Bromfield Street. (Dwight (March 25, 1871): 423) At the Dedication of a new concert hall at 409 Washington Street on December 3, 1870 Lang played the solo in Mendelssohn’s Concerto in G Minor Opus 25 with Tucker providing the orchestral reduction. (BPL Lang Prog Vol. 1) In May 1875 “Mr. H. G. Tucker’s Concert at Mechanics Hall (Wednesday evening May 6) was an occasion of considerable interest… Mr. Tucker, well known as one of the most accomplished pupils of Mr. Lang, gave ample evidence of steadfast improvement in all these various renderings. He is an earnest student, and quite unaffected; and his great strength, which serves him so well, is accompanied by great self-possession, and is becoming also more refined into as delicacy of style resembling his master’s. His execution is indeed quite remarkable, and often brilliant.” (Dwight (May 29, 1875): 30 and 31) Almost twenty years later he was still presenting recitals. An announcement appeared in the Herald of a recital to be given in Bumstead Hall on Friday evening, February 15 with compositions by Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Scarlatti, Bach, Dvorak, Rubinstein and Brahms. (Herald (February 3, 1895): 16, GB)

On December 7, 1875 the Rev. Edward E. Hale married Tucker (aged 24) and Jeannie Donaldson (aged 20). (Marriage certif.)

Tucker and Arthur Foote shared a concert at Mechanic’s Hall on May 3, 1876 which Dwight did not attend, but “which we learn was very successful.” Together they played the Variations on a Theme of Beethoven by Saint-Saens “which was introduced in Mr. Lang’s concert,” and he soloed in the Introduction and Allegro, Op. 154 by Schumann, “which he had played before with orchestra in one of the last Harvard Concerts.” Possibly at the suggestion of B. J. Lang, “Miss Lillian Bailey sang.” (Dwight (May 13, 1876):  231) Mr. and Mrs. Tucker again went to Europe with the Langs in 1876. In a “Benefit Concert for the sufferers from yellow fever at Savannah and other Southern cities” given at the Music Hall on Monday evening, October 16, 1876, Tucker was one of the assisting artists who gave their services for free.” (Dwight (October 14, 1876): 319) Tucker was listed as the conductor of the Newton Musical Association’s performance of Haydn”s Creation on December 16, 1878. Fellow Lang student John A. Preston was the pianist, and Dr. S. W. Langmaid and John F. Winch were among the soloists. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 2) For the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra concert on December 19, 1879, Tucker, “who came in at a day’s warning when the committee was disappointed by a singer, generously sacrificed himself in some degree to give us the not too common pleasure of hearing a Mozart Concerto. This one in A major is very beautiful [No. 23, K. 488, Johnson, First, 268]… The brilliant, strong, young virtuoso did not seem to feel quite in his element… taken as a whole it is a rich and beautiful Concerto. Mr. Tucker had his chance for strength and brilliancy in Tansig’s transcription of the ‘Ride of the Walkuren.'” (Dwight (January 18, 1879): 15) The Mozart concerto and the Wagner-Tausig were both Boston premiers. (Ibid) So it would seem that when Lang himself was not presenting premiers, he was preparing his students to do so! Tucker continued to present a recital each spring. On Thursday afternoon, May 20, 1880 he played at Mechanics’ Hall assisted by the tenor Mr. Charles R. Adams. He began with the “the novelty of the occasion,” the Rubinstein Sonata in A Minor, Op. 100, which was “three-quarters of an hour,-a length seldom reached by a grand Symphony.” Dwight missed the first two movements, but of the final two movements, he reported: “It offered a plenty of difficulties, and called for great strength and endurance in the interpreter, to which Mr. Tucker proved himself abundantly equal.” Of the Chopin pieces, Dwight wrote: “In the two Chopin Preludes, [E Flat Major and E major] Mr. Tucker showed more of grace and delicacy than was his wont. The Concert Allegro in A Major of Chopin was played with great brilliancy and freedom. ” (Dwight (June 19, 1880): 102) On Friday evening April 1, 1881 the venue was Chickering Hall at 156 Tremont Street; and on Monday evening March 20, 1882 again at Chickering Hall. In each of these three recitals, one vocalist appeared as an assisting artist. (BPL Music Hall Prog, Vol. 5) Dwight’s comment of the 1881 concert was: “Mr. H. G. Tucker, the strong and brilliant young pianist, never appeared to better advantage than in the concert which he gave at Chickering’s on Friday, April 1.” (Dwight (April 23, 1881): 69) Tucker gave two performances at 152 Tremont Street on March 31 and April 7, 1884. Assisting artists were Mr. Wulf Fries, Mr. Edward Schorman and Mr. De Ribas. The programs were all chamber works-Tucker played no piano solos. (Program, Foote Scrapbooks)

Tucker was a soloist with the BSO during the Second Season (1882-83: Henschel), during the Sixth Season (1886-87: Gericke), and during the tenth Season (1890-91: Nikisch) (BSO Programs 1881-96) At a Boston Art Club concert on Monday evening March 4, 1889 Tucker and Lang played An der Nixenquelle Opus 29 for two pianos by Templeton-Strong, and they finished the concert with the Variations on a Theme of Beethoven by St. Saens. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Tucker advanced to being a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra when he played the Sgambati Concerto for Piano in G Minor, Op. 15 on November 1, 1890 conducted by Arthur Nikisch during the Symphony’s Tenth Season. (Musical Year Book, 1890-91, 9) Lang had prepared Tucker for this appearance by having him play the work the previous March 10, 1890 at the opening concert of Lang’s Third Season of “Piano-Concerto Concerts” at Chickering Hall. (Musical Year Book, 1889-90,  13)

Probably Lang proposed him for membership in the Harvard Musical Association. In the report of the March 1, 1878 social meeting of the club, Tucker joined fellow Lang pupil in piano duets: “Two short pieces by Heinrich Hoffmann, and a “Grotesque Chinese Overture to Turandot” by Weber. (HMA Bulletin No. 11) At the Friday, December 17th. meeting he played piano solos and joined with Arthur Foote in works for four-hands. (Ibid) During the 1889 season, he performed with Wulf Fries, the cellist. (Ibid) Listed among Lang’s pupils “who deserve mention because of musical prominence,” was Tucker “whose excellent work we have recently [c. 1882] recorded in the columns of this journal.” (Elson, Supplement, 3) At some point, he also soloed with the HMA orchestra. (HMA Bulletin No. 5, 6) In early March 1890 Tucker played the solo part to the Concerto in G Minor Opus 15 by Sgambati in one of Lang’s “Concerto Concerts,” and this led to his appearance with the BSO in late October of the same year playing the same piece. However Hale felt: “It is a thankless work for the player, as severe a task for him to play as for the audience to hear.” (Hale Crit., Vol. 1) Tucker was the pianist for the 1895-96 season of the Handel and Haydn Society-Lang’s first year as conductor. (6656-Annual Meeting Address, May 25, 1896) But, he had also appeared with the Society during the 1894-95 Season as the pianist in the April 12, 1895 performance of Bach’s Passion Music with Lang as the organist. One assumes that his role was as the continuo player. (History-1911, 49) Before this, he had “played the pianoforte accompaniments to the recitatives with admirable judgment in the March 31, 1893 performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.” (History-1911, 31) Just a few days later, on April 2, 1893, he was the pianist for Handel’s Samson with Lang as organist and an orchestra of 57. (Ibid) This may be the same H. G. Tucker who founded a singing club in 1900, which then became the “Boston Singing Club” in 1901 which “was a mixed chorus for the performance of music of all schools, including modern choral works, oratorios, and a cappella music of the 16th and 17th centuries, but without an attempt to reproduce conditions of older times. It is supported by associate memberships, and the sale of tickets, and gives three concerts annually, each preceded by public rehearsals for music students.” (Grove’s, 1921, 369) Louis Elson felt that his solo recital of February 15, 1895 in Bumstead  Hall was too long. “At all events, it served to show the popular pianist in many moods and proved him to be of versatile attainments.” (Advertiser (February 16, 1895): 5, GB) His technique was praised, but Elson felt that poetry was missing. The recital attracted a large audience, and there was much applause throughout the evening.

Tucker’s obituary provides more information. He was head of the music department at Wheaton College for 45 years. He was 71 when he died. His education was at Chauncey Hall School and then with Zerrahn and Lang; no college is mentioned, but among clubs that he belonged to was the Harvard Club. He was survived by his wife, son-Donald, and three grandchildren. “He conducted numerous musical events of high order, and appeared a number of times as soloist with the Boston Symphony orchestra.” (Herald (October 6, 1922): 6, GB)

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Union Hall. 18 Boylston Street; but the Boston Blue Book-1909 says the address was 48 Boylston and that the seating capacity was 502. This was a recital hall that was part of the Christian Union Building. The rental rates were: For all-day or evening, without scenery – $30. For morning or afternoon, without scenery – $20.

Mathews, A Hundred Years of Music in America, 373.

Upton, George Putnam. 1834-1919. “Celebrated critic of the Chicago Tribune was born at Roxbury, Mass., October 25, 1834. He graduated from Brown University.” Nat. Biog. says he graduated from Brown University in 1854 and taught school for a year in Plymouth, MA. He then moved to Chicago [1855] and began a career in journalism. “From 1856 to 1862 he was city editor of the Evening Journal, and during this period he started the first distinctive musical column that had appeared in any of the Chicago papers… In 1862 Mr. Upton took the post of city editor of the Chicago Tribune, and also performed the duties of musical critic… This latter department he gradually enlarged and commenced printing musical intelligence from abroad. He remained in this capacity until about 1882.” One of his major works was Women in Music. (Mathews, A Hundred Years, 371 and 372) “In 1862 he went south as a war correspondent. He was the first president of the Apollo Musical Club, which was founded after the fire of 1872…Among his writings are…Standard Oratorios, Standard Cantatas, and The Life of Theodore Thomas.” (Nat. Bio., 419) “Upton was a total musical amateur who did not even play an instrument, but he was a booster and activist for local performing ensembles… As a music critic, Upton wrote under the pseudonym ”Peregrine Pickle”.” (Grant, 73)

Elson, History of American Music, 308.

Ryan, facing  164.

Urso, Camilla. Born 1842 in Nantes, France; died New York, January 20, 1902; child prodigy; age seven became the first girl admitted to the Paris Conservatoire; came to USA in 1852 at the age of ten; toured with the Germania Musical Society; 1855 stopped concertizing and retired to Nashville to practice; resumed a career in 1863 (Am. Grove, Vol. 4, 439). She was the soloist in a Philharmonic concert early in February 1863. “The Music Hall was very nearly filled; the return of the lady violinist, Camilla Urso, for the first time since her child triumphs here in 1853 and 1854, proving as great an attraction to the many, as the Beethoven Symphony was to more than a few.” Dwight noted the “exceeding purity and finesse of Camilla’s playing, which constituted a positive artistic pleasure in itself,” and he described “her pale, serious, intellectual face, beautiful and childlike still when seen in front and at some distance, the melancholy dark eyes, the calm dignity of pose and manner, the beautiful movement of her bow arm, and the perfect truth and purity of every tone, assured you, in the first three or four bars, of a real, finished artist, and from that moment to the end of her playing the whole great audience listened with a silence that is itself a remarkable sensation… It was a great treat to hear Camilla Urso again, and a particular satisfaction to find for once the promise of a ”wonder-child” so finely realized in artist womanhood.” (Dwight (February 14, 1863): 366 and 367) On the following Wednesday Urso appeared with the Orchestral Union playing the same material that she had played with the Philharmonic with the result that “every corner of the house was filled.” (Dwight (February 14, 1863): 367) Lang was one of the assisting artists when Urso gave her Farewell Concert on Saturday, May 16, 1863 before leaving for Europe. “It will certainly be an occasion of great interest, being the last chance we shall have to hear her for at least several years.” (Dwight (May 16, 1863): 31) Dwight’s review of this concert mentioned that “Mr. Lang”s aid was most efficient in the brilliant Duos; and he made admirable choice in the three pieces that he interpreted alone [Prelude in E Minor – Mendelssohn, Fugue in E Minor – Handel and Rondo Capriccio, Op. 44 – Mendelssohn].” Dwight wrote that the purpose of Urso’s European stay was to “hear and learn as much new music as possible for several years to come, and then return to us with a rich repertoire of classical as well as merely concert music. (Dwight (May 30, 1863): 39) It was reported in 1865: “Camilla Urso, the admired violinist, was recently reported in London, and has gone to Germany, intending to study some time with Vieuxtemps in Frankfort and then make the tour of Europe.” (BMT (November 4, 1865): 162) In 1866: “Camilla Urso has won triumphs in Paris surpassing any of her successes here. For her performances of classical music, she has received the congratulations of such great characters as Gounod, Rossini, Auber, Liszt, Sivori, Leopold de Meyer, Vieuxtemps, and others. She has played before the Emperor and Empress at the court concerts.” (BMT (June 2, 1866): 83) The Chicago critic, George Upton recorded: “She began playing the violin in her sixth year. I think when I first met and heard her she was about fourteen, and she appeared on the stage as if born to it. Even as a child Camilla Urso was an extraordinary player, with a remarkable technic as well as purity of tone. I next heard her in 1866, when she played in a Philharmonic concert in Chicago, and again in 1867, when she appeared with the old Boston Mendelssohn Quintet Club, then in all its glory. She was then in her twenty-fourth year, but still had that same pale, serious, inscrutable face, the same dark, lustrous, melancholy eyes, and the same calm but gracious dignity of manner.” (Upton, 71) On January 24, 1869 a testimonial concert was given for Madame Urso by “the Musical Fraternity of Boston” which “was remarkable in many ways, and was peculiar in respect of the programme presented to the audience. It does not often happen that a full orchestra-if not a ”grand orchestra of sixty”-and a brass band, [Hall’s Boston Brass Band-BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1] and choruses of male voices, and of female voices, and of mixed voices, join in the performance at a single concert. And when to these are added solo singing by a soprano, and piano-forte and violin playing by eminent artists, it is safe to say of the resultant programme both that it will not be homogeneous and that it will be sure to hit the tastes of all in one way or another… The Music Hall was literally packed with auditors, and the performance was generally of a very high order of excellence… The other numbers of most musical interest were Mendelssohn’s B minor Caprice for the piano-forte, performed by Mr. Lang… Mr. Lang rendered the airy and graceful Caprice by Mendelssohn with neatness and delicacy.” (Advertiser (January 25, 1869): 1) Reserved seats were $1.(BPL Lang Prog., 6261) At the second of “Concerts Classiques” presented by Urso at Horticultural Hall dated March 2, 1874, Lang was one of the assisting artists when he played the accompaniment to the Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 69, No. 1 by Dussek. Other assisting artists in this concert were three members of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club (Second Violin, Viola, and Cello), and Miss Clara Doria, Soprano. There were four different pianists and four different vocalists at each of the concerts. Tickets were $1 each, or $3 for the series of four (HMA Program Collection). At a March 1875 performance, Lang joined Urso in “the great Schumann Quintet” with piano in the second concert of her series that year “for which the audience was very large.” (Dwight (March 7, 1874): 191) In December of that same year, Dwight published a short article concerning Urso’s “method of practice. Every day she takes an hour for slow and patient practice in making long-sustained notes. This is to obtain a strong, pure tone. Then she plays scales and finger exercises of all kinds for two or more hours, and then such sonatas and other works as she uses in her concerts. In all this she never hurries, never gives any particular expression to her music, and seldom plays up to full time in which the piece is written. Everything is played slowly and thoughtfully. When the long practice hours are over and she comes upon the stage to play, all thoughtful effort is abandoned, and her emotions control the music. The practicing was mere mental and technical work-the performance the blooming of a great genius in music.” (Dwight (December 12, 1874): 352)

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Hotel Vendome. According to the message on the back, The Vendome was being used as a hotel in the early 1920s. Johnston Collection.

Hotel Vendome as it was in 1885. King’s Handbook 1885, 61.

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Weld, Arthur Cyril Gordon. Born March 4, 1862, Jamaica Plain, MA, and died in an automobile accident on October 11, 1914, near West Point, N. Y. (Grove, American Supplement, 1957, 401). After graduation from Harvard, he studied in Europe 1879-87: composition and orchestration in Dresden, then Berlin, and then in Munich studying with Rheinberger, Abel and Levi, graduating from the Munich Conservatory with honors. Margaret may have met him as she was in Munich at the same time and also studied with Abel. He conducted his Italia orchestral suite which was played by the BSO on February 28, 1890; this led to a correction by Philip Hale of the erroneous mention in an article in the Herald that when he returned from his European studies, “he was made leader of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.” (Herald (October 12, 1914): 6, GB) He later went to Milwaukee (c. 1892) where he was a drama critic and conducted an orchestra. In 1898 he was President of the Milwaukee Press Club. He then moved to New York City where he sprang “into prominence as the conductor of” the first performances of the comedy Florodora. (Ibid) In 1892 he was listed as a member of Boston’s St. Botolph Club. (Clark’s Boston Blue Book 1892, 437)                                                      His time (late 1880s) as a critic for the Post (after the death of Richard Herard) was praised by Philip Hale who found his reviews catholic in taste, musically knowledgeable with “delightful independence and unaffected enthusiasm.” (Herald, Op. cit., 12) He was a particular supporter of the BSO’s conductor Arthur Nikisch.                                                                                                    He married three times-his first divorce was in Boston in 1892; in 1893 he married, “much against her parents” wishes” the daughter of a Milwaukee “brewer and capitalist.” This ended when he moved to NYC and in 1903 she filed for divorce “on the ground of desertion.” (NY Times May 22, 1903) His third wife was an actress whose stage name was Jane Peyton. She was in the car when he died of apoplexy. “He was a striking-looking man and was a commanding figure in the orchestra pit. He always wore a monocle.” (NY Times, October 12, 1914) “He wrote several light operas, incidental music for various plays and many songs.” (Grove, Op. cit.)

 Wesleyan Hall. Bromfield Street. In an 1880 review of a “Piano-forte Matinee” given by Ernst Perabo, Dwight referred to this hall as “that hot, close, gloomy, noisy little hall in Bromfield Street.” (Dwight (April 10, 1880): 62) its southern wall backed onto the Music Hall’s northern wall with just a small alley between them.

Whelpley, Benjamin Lincoln. Whelpley was one of the soloists at Lang’s “Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” on March 22, 1887 where he played Chopin’s Grand Fantasie Sur des air Polonais Opus 13. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) The following year he and Lang were assisting artists at a “Vocal Duet Concert” on Wednesday evening November 14, 1888 at 8:15 PM. They played Dance of the Elfs for two pianos by Templeton-Strong and Reinecke’s Fantasie on a Theme from Schumann’s Manfred also for two pianos. One review called the first work “a light, graceful” work which was played “with great effect,” while the second work was not mentioned. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Phillip Hale’s April 11, 1891 review of a Whelpley recital began: “Mr. Whelpley has good fingers and many excellent musical ideas. He is careful and conscientious in his work, and there are many things to be admired and praised in his playing. He belongs to a certain school of pianists [Lang’s], a prominent school in this city; and this is unfortunate, and it hampers his artistic development. For the members of this family do not pay sufficient attention to tone production and gradation of tone; the legato is so slighted by them, and the use of pedals is so imperfectly understood that song-passages are not sung, and these players are deficient in appreciation of rhythm and rhythmic effects. And when any one of this school plays in public, the hearer is at once aware of the fact that the pianoforte is a percussion instrument.” After getting this off his chest, Hale continued, “Not that Mr. Whelpley pounds.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1) On Monday, April 16, 1894 at 3:30 PM Whelpley presented himself in recital at Bumstead Hall, and Lang played the orchestral reduction for the final piece of the program, Russian Fantasie by E. Napravnik. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6) Whelpley was the organist for the Cecilia concert Wednesday evening April 27, 1898. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7) He was also the organist for the Monday evening, April 2, 1906 performance by The Cecilia Society of La Vie du Poete (The Life of the Poet) by Gustave Charpentier for solo voices, chorus and three orchestras and organ, and Richard Strauss’s Taillefer, a Ballade for chorus, solo voices and orchestra. (Program, Johnston Collection) Boston Music Co. advertised Seven Piano Pieces, Op. 20, Grade 2c on the back of a composition with a copyright date of 1919.

Mathews, A Hundred Years of Music in America, 249

Whiting, George Elbridge. Born Holliston, Massachusetts September 14, 1842; first public organ performance at age thirteen; at sixteen succeeded Dudley Buck at the North Congregational Church in Hartford; studied in England with Best of Liverpool; moved to Boston, five years organist at King’s Chapel; then further study in Berlin; returned to Boston and taught organ at NEC until 1898; for many years organist and music director at the Church of the Immaculate Conception; “He is the best organ composer of

           Church of the Immaculate Conception. Johnston Collection

America”, also composed for choral forces including the March of the Monks of Bangor for the Apollo Club.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., 265 and 266) Probably his best pupil was Henry Morton Dunham, who in turn taught Wallace Goodrich. (Ibid) Lang often took part in special services organized by Whiting at Immaculate Conception. The organ was an E & G. G. Hook three-manual, 47 speaking registers (but no 32-foot stop) originally designed by John Henry Willcox. (Dwight (March 5, 1864): 199) Willcox was first at St. Paul’s Church (later Cathedral) from 1850 and then at Immaculate Conception from c. 1863 until 1874. (Mathews, One Hundred, 241)

Whitney, Myron W.

Myron W. Whitney from Mathews, 215.

Upton, Musical Memories, facing  132.

 

 

Photo by G. K. Warren. Philip Hale Collection. BPL, Digitalcommonwealth.

“Considered by many to be the greatest among American-born basses.” (Baker, 100) “Born in Ashby, Massachusetts, became one of the most famous singers of his time, first in Boston, then in Europe. No festival in America was properly given without Whitney to sing with taste and feeling all the great bass roles of oratorio, often under the direction of Theodore Thomas.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, 102) Sablosky records: “b. 1836 in Ashby, Mass; d. 1910 in Sandwich, Mass. Bass. “At the age of sixteen he went to Boston and studied with E. H. Frost.” [for six years](Jones, 174) After his Boston debut in Messiah (1856), [age 20] sang in oratorio and concert in U.S. for ten years, but was “dissatisfied with his attainments” (Ibid); went to Florence and studied for some time with Luigi Vennucini. He then studied in London oratorio literature with Randegger. After singing successfully in Great Britain, returned to U.S.; appeared prominently in concert, oratorio and opera.” (Sablosky, 305) Dwight reported on a Complimentary Concert given Whitney on his return from Europe. He “has certainly made the most of his short period of study in Milan and London… His tones, always grand and manly, have grown more round and musical throughout their compass, especially in the upper range, and he does all with more artistic certainty and ease.” Miss Alice Dutton’s contribution was the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody, “which she played even better than before, and on the ”New Orchestral Grand” of Messrs. Hallet, Davis & Co., which is certainly an instrument of great power and richness.” The “brothers Winch contributed a duet… but the most remarkable thing in its perfection, and the most enjoyable, was the male part-singing of the ”Chickering Club,” who came out from their privacy in compliment to Mr. Whitney, who is a fellow member.” (Dwight (May 8, 1869): 30 and 31) Early in 1872 it was reported: “Mr. M. W. Whitney has had very great success thus far; and competent musical critics allege that if Mr. W. will establish himself here, there is no question of his taking the first rank as basso.” (Folio, January 1872), while six months later an additional report stated: “Mr. Whitney, the Boston basso, is meeting with most wonderful success in England. His efforts are widely appreciated.” (Folio, June 1872) Late in 1872, it was reported: “Mr. M. W. Whitney is engaged as basso at Christ Church, New York, at a salary of three thousand dollars per annum. He goes to that city Saturday nights, returning home on Mondays.” (Dexter Smith, November 1872, 255) A critic for the Haverhill, Massachusetts Publisher wrote: “Mr. Myron W. Whitney, who has traveled in foreign climes, and who was the pet of St. Petersburg and the envy of Edinburg (sic); Whitney of the herculean frame and the ponderous voice; who delights to be a ”Bold Buccaneer” and ”roam o’er the broad blue sea,” and who can growl among the leger lines below till Gyles Kimball’s double bass viol hangs its head in despair!” (Dexter Smith (April 1873): 94) Late in 1873 Whitney soloed with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in a series of concerts, “appearing in every concert. His manner is more finished and even, his delivery more impressive and his voice grander and deeper (if possible) than ever.” (Dwight (December 27, 1873): 151) “Since 1876 he has refused all offers from abroad and remained in his native country… As an oratorio singer, he has few equals. he is in every way a great artist, and possesses a magnificent bass voice of nearly three octaves compass, extending from B flat below the staff upwards.” (Jones, Op. cit.) In May 1881 he had an impossible schedule: “During the week of the New York Festival, [he] will sing on alternate days at New York and Philadelphia; and the following week, at Brooklyn on Monday evening; Boston, Tuesday evening; Brooklyn, Wednesday; Boston, Thursday; Brooklyn, Friday and Saturday; thus living on trains between times.” (Musical Herald (May 1881): 104) Whitney appeared as a soloist with the BSO in four programs during the seasons ’04, ’06, and ’09. (Howe, BSO,  261)

Wilson, George H. First writer of program notes for the BSO. He had sung in the 1872 Second World Peace Jubilee in 1872, “and he was a member of the Apollo Club and the Handel and Haydn Society.” He was also the editor/publisher of “The Musical Year-book of the United States... In 1892 Wilson left Boston for Chicago, where he continued his musical activities. His departure left open the editorship of the program notes for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the task fell to William Foster Apthrop. He passed the work to Philip Hale nine years later.” (Brian, 163 and 164)

Winch, Joseph Russell, John F. and William Johnson

From Men of Progress-Massachusetts, 1013.

Winch, Joseph Russell. Born April 14, 1825, he spent his early life on the family farm. After an education in the “district school,” at age 21 he left home and apprenticed as a boot and shoemaker. A time as a vocal class teacher in Middlesex County followed, and at age 33 he moved to Boston and worked for four years in the boot/shoe business. Then in 1862, he formed a partnership with George Hosmer: “Hosmer and Winch.” His brother John joined the business in 1868: “Hosmer and Winch Brothers,” and upon the death of Hosmer in 1875 the firm became known as “Winch Brothers.” Their store and its contents were totally lost in the Boston fire of 1872, but within a few days, they were back in business. In 1874 they moved to 130 and 134 Federal Street, and as the business grew and prospered the building next door was added. By 1896 the firm employed 95 persons and had five traveling salesmen. Their goods were sold in the States, Canada and Europe.

Winch, William Johnson (tenor) b. May 1, 1847 (Passport) and d. 1919, and John F. Winch (bass). “Boston merchants, whose part-time careers as tenor and bass ranked them only a little lower than the angels.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, 135) “The Winch brothers, tenor and bass, illustrate a difference in temperaments. John F. Winch, the bass, was direct and positive in his acceptance of engagements. William J. took a long time to make up his mind whether or not he was available, whether or not he wanted to sing the role offered, or whether or not the price was acceptable, with or without expenses of hotels and travel. Inasmuch as he was the best tenor for the music of Bach, some patience was needed to obtain a definite commitment.” (Op. cit., 133)                                                                                            Both Winch brothers were just beginning their professional careers in 1866 singing Messiah for the Handel and Haydn Society. Dwight noted: “Mr. Wm. J. Winch, a fresh young tenor, whose voice and style raised high hopes at the rehearsal, and for basso Mr. J. F. Winch, of whom the like may also be said.” (Dwight (December 22, 1866): 367) Dwight’s review of the Winchs’ Messiah noted: “The younger Mr. Winch (Wm. J.) has a beautiful, clear tenor voice, of good power, not yet developed, and sings with so good a method, in so classic a style, and with so much intelligence that it was to us a great pleasure to hear him, [more so] than we find in many more experienced and would-be impassioned tenors. The performance was somewhat cold and dry, but seemed to warrant high hopes. The new basso, Mr. J. F. Winch, has a capital deep voice and sings as if more study and experience would make him a superior oratorio singer.” (Dwight (January 5, 1867): 375) William’s career progressed with his appearance in February 1867 singing the solos in Haydn’s Creation with the Handel and Haydn Society. This performance  featured one of the most famous vocalists of the time, Madame Parepa, who “cannot fail to attract a full house.” (Journal (February 23, 1867): 4, GB) The brothers appeared together again at the Handel and Haydn Elijah performance of November 29, 1868. This was the first that John had sung that work and he did so ” much of it successfully. Mr. Wm. J. Winch, with large tones, not without sweetness, made a conscientious, earnest effort, with no air of pretense; but voice and manner were not ripe for the tenor solos of Elijah.” (H  & H History, Vol. 1, 280)                                                               The bass in the February 1867 Creation performance was Mr. M. W. Whitney, and a friendship must have developed so that he called upon both Winch brothers to help him in his “Complimentary Concert” on April 21, 1869. There were 6 other assisting artists and a “well known Choral Club of this city, who have kindly volunteered their services” included in the performance, but the Music Hall was a big hall to fill. (Traveler (April 19, 1869): 3, GB) The 1867 Creation had been conducted by Carl Zerrahn, who, in addition to conducting the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, also conducted a number of suburban choral societies-knowing him would lead to many other jobs. And, so it was that the Winch Brothers were the soloists in the Lynn Choral Union performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in February 1872, conducted by Zerrahn. (Journal (February 28, 1872): 2, GB) The Brothers were among the soloists for the Handel and Haydn “Third Triennial Festival” in May 1874 where they again appeared with Myron Whitney. (Advertiser (April 24, 1874): 1, GB) Dwight was very impressed by the Easter 1874 performance by J. F. Winch singing the Prophet’s part in Elijah. “The new point of interest was the rich, elastic quality of voice [which] gave unusual life to all the music. And he improved as he went on; rarely anywhere have we heard the beauty and deep pathos of ‘It is enough,’ or the emphatic energy of ‘Is not his word’ more satisfactorily brought out.” (Dwight (April 18, 1874, 215, GB) The following spring the two brothers appeared in Haydn’s Creation. “Mr. W. J. Winch, suffering from a cold, sang with some effort in the tenor solos, but in a highly intelligent, artistic, cultivated style; and Mr. J. F. Winch’s noble voice and his majestic, musical. sustained delivery throughout the numerous and trying solos for the bass, were eminently satistying. ” (Dwight, No date) Another Handel and Haydn appearance was on Palm Sunday, 1876, when the Brothers soloed in Bach’s Passion Music. (Traveler (April 4, 1876): 3, GB)                                                                        “Mr. and Mrs. William J. Winch and family” spent the summer of 1875 “at their cottage at Manchester [Mass.].”(Traveler (July 9, 1875): 2, GB) William J. and Elizabeth S. Fowler had been married by the Reverand E. E. Hale [of South Congregational Church-William J. was probably singing tenor in the quartet of this church] on October 19, 1869; he was 22 and a wholesale shoe dealer with a “Personal Estate of $25,000″(1870 Census)(worth $496,717.56 today-November6, 2020) and she was c. 19. Their first home was with her parents and her sister in Beverly (the same arrangement that B. J. and Frances had the first years of their marriage). The “and family” may refer to the Fowler family as the Winch’s son, William Porter (named after Mrs. Winch’s brother) was born five years later.                                              Like many other organists and singers, Winch added directing choral groups to his weekly routine. W. J. Winch led a performance of Gade’s Crusaders with the Salem Schubert Club on December 30, 1879, at Plummer Hall; the soloists were Miss Clara L. Emilio, soprano, Dr. S. W. Langmaid, tenor, and Mr. Clarence E. Hay, baritone. (Dwight (January 31, 1880): 16) The Brothers and Mr. Whitney continued to appear together including the Handel and Haydn “Sixth Triennial Festival” in April 1883 where William sang in Handel’s Ode to St. Cecilia and on the same program, John and Mr. Whitney soloed in Rubinstein’s Tower of Babel. Then, all three were soloists in Gounod’s Redemption on Thursday night and William appeared again at the Saturday matinee miscellaneous concert. (Herald (April 29, 1883): 13, GB) The Herald’s comment was not too positive: “Mr. William F. Winch’s voice is not equal to the dramatic recitatives assigned the tenor, and, although his interpretation of this portion of the work was characterized by much artistic intelligence and good taste, the effect of parts of the oratorio was largely lost by the lack of character and strength in this important role.” (Ibid)                                                                                                               Apparently, in the fall of 1883, William went to England.  Already by October, it was noted that “Mr. William J. Winch is already engaged for an extended series of oratorio and concert performances in London and English provincial cities this season.” (Herald (October 25, 1883): 6, GB) Then, a note was published that in London, he had been “met with a very kindly reception. He sings with Charles Halle’s orchestra at Manchester on the 13th., and has other equally flattering engagements in view.” (Herald (December 2, 1883): 9, GB) The following February was a busy month. He visited the composer Gounod at his home in Paris where the composer played selections from the work he was working on, a requiem mass. “The  work has been contracted for Messrs. Novello of London for 4,000 Pounds, the same amount paid by them for the Redemption.” (Herald (February 17, 1884): 9, GB) Winch would have shared information about Boston performances of his works, including his own solo appearance in the Redemption the previous year. Also in February Winch sang in one of the “Gentlemen’s Concerts” in Manchester under the patronage of the Earl of Wilton, and then sang another Redemption with the Liverpool Philharmonic Society under Randegger. (Ibid)                                                                                           By late September 1884 Winch had been in Europe for just over a year, and a “Special Correspondent” for the Herald wrote an extensive interview with him of over fifteen paragraphs. It appeared in the Sunday Herald one day after Winch had returned to Boston; he was able to read all about himself on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The interview began by speaking of the two concerts Winch did with Charles Halle; a description of the man and the 20-concert series that he does with the Manchester Orchestra and a list of his other conducting appearances throughout the country and also his recitals as a pianist. Ten choral conductors are then described together with a number of singers; he got to know and sang with Mme. Albani and heard performances of over ten of the leading vocalists of the say. His visit with Gounod was described in detail, including a small piano hidden in his writing desk. He watched rehearsals and attended concerts; “As a conductor, to my mind, he is simply perfection-to see him at a rehearsal, the way in which he tells the musicians what he wants done, and singing this phrase to one singer and a little hint here and there to another. I shall not soon forget it.” (Herald (October 5, 1884:13, GB) He also met Saint-Saens and was the first to perform a set of songs by Dvorak with the composer as the accompanist. Winch found him to be “a most unassuming man in every respect.” (Ibid) Sir Julius Benedict, “a musician who has a warm welcome for all Americans, I saw very often.” (Ibid) Benedict talked often about his trip to America with Jenny Lind; he would like to visit again. “He has a beautiful home in London where he entertains his friends in royal style.” (Ibid) Also special to Winch was his visit with Dr. John Stainer, organist at St. Paul’s  Cathedral, where his home next to the Cathedral is so secluded, you do not hear the sounds of London. “He has a rare collection of everything old that has anything of music about it, especially old and rare books.” (Ibid) The final paragraph also concerned the Redemption-how it had become more popular than Elijah or Messiah.                                                  The Winch family, father, mother, and son William Porter, aged four returned to Boston on the Cephalonia arriving on October 6, 1884. (Passenger List, Ancestry.com, accessed October 27, 2020) Winch spent October 1884 until August 1885 in Boston, and then on August 15, 1885 “sailed for Europe for an absence of two years.” (Journal (August 17, 1885): 1, GB) By late October a notice was printed that he “is already engaged for an extended series of oratorio and concerts in London and English provincial cities this season.” (Herald (October 25, 1885):4, GB) The following February Winch wrote from London saying that, contrary to rumor, he was not going to remain abroad and become an Englishman. He had six months of engagements and expected to return, not after two years, but after one year, on September 1, 1886, “when he expects to return to Boston as a permanent residence.” (Ibid) The letter added that  “he has recently appeared in Glasgow an Edinburgh concerts with distinguished success.” (Ibid) Before he returned he had “the distinguished honor of being chosen as the only vocalist to take part in the soiree given to Abbe Liszt at the Grosvenor Gallery in London on April 8th. by Mr. Walter Bache.” (Herald (April 11, 1886):9, GB) The family of three arrived back in Boston on September 25, 1886 on the Pavonia-William J. was then 39 years of age. (Passenger List)

SS Pavonia. Cunard Line. 200 1st. Class and 1,500 3rd. Class (Steerage). Launched 1882, broken up 1900.                                                                                                                                                   Winch announced his return on September 24, 1886 by placing the notice that “He has been associated intimately during the past year with Mr. William Shakspeare, the eminent vocal teacher of London.” (Herald (September 26, 1886):10, GB) He then signed up for management with “Cecilia Concert Co.,” a small firm with only three other clients, (Herald (October 3, 1886): 11, GB) and placing an ad as a singing teacher with a studio at 149a Tremont Street. (Advertiser (October 8, 1886): 10, GB)               When Chadwick and his wife returned from their summer in Europe (1888) they “went by previous arrangement to Wm. Winch’s in Brookline, to stay until we found a place to settle down. His house was on Longwood Ave. next to the present No. 124 which was then a vacant lot… We had a delightful time at the Winchs, with fun and music every night and we made many new acquaintances among the nice people who live in that neighborhood. One night uncle Joseph, the eldest of the three Winch Bros. was at the house. We coaxed him to sing ‘Every Valley’ which he did in remarkable style for a man of seventy.” (Chadwick, Unpublished  Memoirs) Clara Rogers described William Winch: “the ever genial and witty, and who had, happily, remained immune from tenor-itis… overflowing with fun, as usual.” (Rogers, Two Lives, 191)                                                                                                                                       In 1889 Winch’s wife and her sister inherited “the Fowler” estate in Manchester, MA and “are improving the property by the erection of two substantial houses which they will lease next spring.” (Journal (November 22, 1889): 3, GB)  Their step-father, Orson Squire Fowler was the pre-eminent phrenologist during the middle 1800s, and “he also popularised the octagon house.” (Find a Grave, accessed October 28, 2020) Phrenology is the detailed study of the shape and size of the cranium as a supposed indication of character and mental abilities.                                                                  Winch’s career continued with the major Boston choral groups. In February 1891 he was the tenor soloist in the Handel and Haydn performance of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, “and he again sustained his enviable reputation…His solo, ‘Fac Me Vere,’ was a vocal gem, and his admirable skill in such work has never been more prominently displayed than in this number, which won him a grand demonstration of the pleasure it gave to his hearers.” (Herald (February 2, 1891): For the May 14, 1891 Cecilia concert he replaced a Mr. Dunham, singing the solo with the chorus in a section of the Crusaders by Gade, and also two solos by Jansen. The choral number was well received and encored, and his solos “were sung with the excellent taste always characteristic of Mr. Winch’s vocal work.” (Herald (May 15, 1891): 9, GB) Winch appeared as a soloist with the BSO on nine programs during the seasons ’85, ’89, ’90, ’91 and ’92. (Howe, BSO, 261) The 1892 appearance was as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. (MYB 1892-93, 10)  2, GB)                                                                                                                                           Mr. and Mrs. Winch spent the summer of 1893 in  Europe, leaving from New York on June 21st. on the Majestic and returning to New York on September 20th. on the Teutonic. 

RMS Majestic. Maiden Voyage-April2, 1890. Scrapped May 5, 1914. Teutonic was her sister ship.  In 1912 the Majestic had been designated a reserve ship, but after the Titanic disaster, she was returned to service on that route. The Titanic’s captain had earlier been captain of the Majestic. Wikipedia, accessed November 10, 2020.                                                                                                                  All of these many years of Symphony appearances earned him good fees, and so in 1898 the William J. Winchs were able to move into the city and onto Beacon Hill, buying from the Appleton heirs a brick house and 1440 square feet of land situated at No. 78 Mt. Vernon Street, near Willow Street. The assessed value was $12,000, of which $6,100 was for the land. (Journal (July 12, 1898): 6, GB) The following February it was announced that “Mrs. William J. Winch is at home Thursday afternoons in the new home, 78 Mt. Vernon Street, which Mr. Winch has lately purchased.” (Herald (February 5, 1899): 31, GB)                                                                                                                                A passport application for William J. dated 1893 when he was aged 46 gave the following information: 6 feet tall; Brown eyes; Brown hair; Dark complexion; Oval face.                                                                                                          The Winchs had two children: Bessie S., born about 1875 and died in Manchester, MA on September 1, 1878, and William Porter, born July 8, 1877 (Passport), he became a lawyer (1910 Census) and died a bachelor, in Vermont in 1965. William spent two years as a young child with his parents in England/Europe; the years between 3 and 4 and the years between 8 and 9. (Ship listings)

Real Estate photo listing price of the last sale. In 2020, the estimated price was closer to $6,000,000. Listing accessed October 28, 2020)

Men of Progress-Massachusetts. 1013.

John Francis Winch was born on November 27, 1838, and after schooling like his brother worked in a dry goods store. In 1863 he moved to Boston and entered the wholesale boot/shoe business and after three years he became a partner in the firm of Damon & Co. Two years later he joined his brother’s firm which now became Hosmer and Winch Brothers. He became a manager of the financial affairs of the company. He sang in Dr. Edward E. Hale’s church choir for twenty-three years. Both he and his brother were charter members of the Apollo Club. Information for this paragraph from Men Of Progress-Massachusetts, 1012-1014. Easter Sunday 1874 the Handel and Haydn Society presented Mendelssohn’s Elijah. “The new point of interest was the rendering of the Prophet’s part by Mr. J. F. Winch whose rich, elastic quality of voice gave unusual life to all the music. And he improved as he went on; rarely anywhere have we heard the beauty and deep pathos of ”It is enough,” or the emphatic energy of ”Is not the word’ more satisfactorily brought out.” (Dwight (April 18, 1874): 215)                                                            Mrs. John F. Winch sang the alto in South  Congregational Church Quartet where her husband sang bass, and her brother-in-law, William J. sang tenor.

Woolf, Benjamin Edward

Photo dated February 4, 1895. Philip Hale Collection. BPL, Digitalcommomwealth.

 

 

Photo signed and dated October 1895. Philip Hale collection. BPL, Digitalcommonwealth.

(London: February 16, 1836 – Boston: February 7, 1901). “Born in London [moved to America aged three], multifaceted, was a composer, violinist, and libretto writer who married an actress, joined the Boston Globe in 1870 and the following year the Saturday Evening Gazette, [a weekly] for which he wrote music and drama reviews; in the 1890s he left the Gazette for the Herald. [Did he add that to editing the Gazette which he began in 1894?]  Another source had Colonel Parker, the editor of the Saturday Evening Gazette hiring Woolf in 1871. “With the exception of a brief connection with the Globe, covering its first eighteen months (1872-1873), Mr. Woolf’s entire journalistic career has been spent in the service of the Gazette. He became its chief editor upon the death of Col. Parker in 1892.” (Men of Progress, 106)

He was the leader of the orchestra at the Boston Museum [conducted by Julius Eichberg] from 1859 until 1864. He then lead orchestras “in Philadelphia and New Orleans. He married Josephine Orton, an actress, [of the Boston Museum Stock Company, Dic. Am. Bio, 514] on 15 April 1867, and then returned to Boston, where Woolf became editor of the Saturday Evening Gazette in 1871… He created or collaborated in six operettas, including The Doctor of Alcantara (1862), music by Julius Eichberg. As a critic, he was a musical conservative with exacting standards and a caustic pen, but his breadth of knowledge and his musical skill did much to elevate the quality of American criticism. Throughout his career Woolf’s versatility was his greatest asset, but it was also a limitation: ‘His labor.’ the Herald observed in its obituary, ‘might have been concentrated upon fewer objects with better effect.'” (Am. Grove, Vol. 4, 561) One of his most popular operettas was The Almighty Dollar, and the opening of another work, Pounce & Co., for which he wrote both the words and music, “was a brilliant affair.” (Men of Progress, Op. cit)

Arthur Foote described Woolf, when he was writing for the Saturday Evening Gazette as “a musically well-equipped critic, who was more feared than loved. How he did delight to pitch into John S. Dwight and B. J. Lang. He could never find any good in either.” (HMA Bulletin No. 4, 2) “He became music critic of the Herald [1895], and for it, he wrote reviews notable for their clarity and severity.” (Dic. Am Bio., 514) The American organist Henry M. Dunham wrote in his memoirs of Woolf’s criticism, ‘We disliked him extremely because of his rough and uncompromising style. He had almost no concession to offer for anyone’s short-comings, and on that very account what he had to say carried additional weight with the artist he was criticizing.’ [Dunham, Life, 220] On the other hand, Philip Hale, Woolf’s Herald successor, asserted that Woolf had been caustic only toward ‘incompetence, shams, humbugs, snobs and snobbery in art,’ and noted that when Woolf began to write in the Gazette, music criticism in Boston was mere ‘honey daubing’ of local favorites. Hale added that toward ‘really promising beginners,’ Woolf was never severe but gave personal advice and often financial aid.” (Grant, 68)

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Zerrahn, Carl

Younger Zerrahn. Done for The Folio. NYPL Digital.

Carl Zerrahn from, Elson, 35.

Mathews, A Hundred Years of Music in America, 431.

Grove’s 1921 Vol. T – Z, 594.

Ryan, Recollections, facing 80.

 

 

Pratt’s entry includes the following:

(July 28, 1826, Malchow, Germany: Dec. 29, 1909, Milton, Mass.). His first lessons, at age twelve, were in Rostock, and later he studied in Hanover and Berlin… In 1855-63 he conducted one of the several orchestras in Boston known by the name Philharmonia and was practically the only leader of the concerts of the Harvard Musical Association in 1865-82. Besides his work as conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society (elected conductor in August 1854) and of the Worcester Festivals, he was for many years in charge of the Salem Oratorio Society and other smaller organizations. At the second Peace Jubilee (1872) he led the chorus of 20,000. He was also a teacher of singing, harmony and composition at the New England Conservatory. In all these ways he left a significant impress upon the development of American choral music.” (Pratt, 410-11) Sablosky (p. 306) adds that he taught at the New England Conservatory until 1898, and that his tenure with the Worcester Festival was from 1866-1897. Ryan wrote, “Taking Mr. Zerrahn in all points, he was and is still a rare man. He has filled a long life with honor to (of a week-long festival) as he was at the first.”(Ryan, 81-82) The 1914 entry in The Art of Music adds that Carl Zerrahn was one of the German musicians “who had come to America during the revolutionary troubles of 1848” (Mason, Art of Music, 189). He was a flute player in “The Germanic” orchestra, a traveling orchestra that gave the majority of its concerts in Boston. He was described at that period as a “tall young flute-player.” (Elson, National Music, 289) The Germain dissolved in 1854. (Op. cit., 290) In 1855 he founded an orchestra which became known as the Philharmonic – this group gave regular concerts in Boston until 1863. In 1866 he began his association with the orchestra of the Harvard Musical Association. “This was really the first permanent orchestra of value that greater Boston possessed, and during the twenty years of its existence it clung with remarkable consistency to the highest musical ideals.” (Mason, 189) However, its conservative programming policy led to the formation in 1879 of the Philharmonic Orchestra (a name used three times in Boston’s musical history) which became the Philharmonic Society in 1880. “The conductorship of this orchestra was held successively by Bernhard Listemann, Louis Maas, and Carl Zerrahn.” (Elson, National Music, 293) That orchestra in turn was superseded by the Boston Symphony begun in 1881 with its first conductor, George Henschel.

“But nothing could fluster Mr. Zerrahn; I never saw him lose his head, nor any performance come to grief under his baton. And, with the orchestral material and few rehearsals of those days, things were on the verge of coming to grief pretty often.” (Swan-Apthorp, 73) Apthorp continued with examples. “At one of the Handel and Haydn festivals (I think the first one, the demi-centennial), the then famous boy soprano, Richard Coker, sang Meyerbeer’s Robert, toi que j’aime at an afternoon concert. He was accompanied on the pianoforte by his father. When the air was about half through, Coker Sr. discovered to his dismay that the remaining sheets of the music were missing; Mr. Zerrahn immediately sprang to the conductor’s desk, waved his baton, and the rest of the air was accompanied from memory by the orchestra. I remember another instance of Mr. Zerrahn’s presence of mind. It was at a performance of Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise by the Handel and Haydn. The tenor had just finished that air with the incomprehensible words, ending with the oft-repeated question: ”Watchman, will the night soon pass?” In reply to this, the soprano should strike in unaccompanied in D major, with ”The night is departing,” twice repeated, the wood-wind coming in piano on the second ”departing,” and the whole orchestra fortissimo on the last syllable. On this occasion, the soprano was standing a little farther forward on the stage than Mr. Zerrahn; so she could not see his beat without turning her head. She struck in bravely with her ”The night is departing,” but unfortunately not in D major-it was fairly and squarely in C major, a whole tone flat. A shudder ran through the orchestra and a good part of the audience; what was Mr. Zerrahn to do with the ensuing D major? His mind was made up in a second; he motioned to the wood-wind not to come in with their chords, and patiently waited for the hapless soprano to finish her phrase, and then let the orchestra come in with its D major fortissimo afterward, instead of on the last syllable. But now came one of the most comical tugs of war I have ever witnessed between singer and conductor. Of course, the soprano was entirely unconscious of having made a mistake; so, not hearing the usual 6-4 chord on her second ”departing,” she evidently thought the wind-players had counted their rests wrong, and held her high G (which ought to have been an A) with a persistency worthy of a better cause, to give them a chance to catch up with her. She held that G on and on, looking as if she would burst; but still no 6-4 chord. Mr. Zerrahn waited imperturbably with his baton expectantly raised. At last-it seemed like hours-human lungs could hold out no longer, and the breathless soprano landed panting with her final ”ting” on C-natural, amid a deathlike silence of orchestra and chorus. You could have heard a pin drop. Just as she was turning round to see why she had been thus left in the lurch by the accompaniment, Mr. Zerrahn’s baton came down with a swish, and the orchestra thundered out its D major.” (Apthorp, BSO Program March 6 and 7, 1896, 595-598)

Zerrahn conducted part of the 1872 Jubilee Concert Series, but he had to sue “the Executive Committee for payment for services in conducting the chorus.” (Dexter Smith’s (December 1872): 284)

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Mathews, A Hundred Years, 467.

Elson, History of American Music, 345.

 

NYPL Digital Library. Accessed November 17, 2020.

NYPL Digital Library. Accessed November 18, 2020.

Eichberg, Julius (b. Dusseldorf, June 13, 1824 and d. January 18, 1893). Born to a musical family, he “was taught at first by his father, and could play the violin acceptably when he was seven years old. Among his other teachers were… Rietz, who introduced his pupil to Mendelssohn.” (Dic Am Bio, 57 and 58) Dwight, writing about Eichberg noted: “As a reminiscence, it may be mentioned that some years ago Mr. B. J. Lang, the eminent pianist of this city, called upon Rietz, and in the course of the conversation the maestro told him that he had one pupil in America of whom he was proud” – Eichberg. (Dwight, July 2, 1881, 106) Came to America in 1859 – career as a conductor and educator. Established Boston Conservatory in 1867 – active in Boston from c. 1860, “the first seven of which were passed as leader at the Boston Museum.” In 1862 he presented there his best-known operetta, The Doctor of Alcantara, “which has made its way all over the country.” Was also head of music in the Boston Public Schools for many years. (Jenks, 478-also had a photo, taken from the right side) As late as 1930 Howard wrote that his The Doctor of Alcantara is still a favorite, and the patriotic chorus, To Thee, O Country [written for the annual combined high school choirs concert, and done yearly with an accompaniment of orchestra and organ] is widely sung.” (Howard, 224) Dwight describes him as “a person of marked originality of character, strong in reason and understanding, endowed also with rapid and keen perception, a lively sense of the beautiful, a tenacious memory, and resolute, firm will… such is the fertility of his mind, and such his power of illustration, that he is one of the most delightful of companions, a man with whom one can talk until two in the morning.” (Dwight ( July 2, 1881): 106) “At the age of fourteen, young Eichberg became musical director of the opera at Elberfield, which post he retained for the period of two years, at the expiration of which he went to Brussels… At Brussels, he became a pupil of Fetis, for perfection in composition, and of DeBeriot and Meertz on the violin.” (BMT (April 7, 1860) 57) After graduation from the Brussels Royal Conservatory with first prizes in violin and composition, he began his career in Geneva-director of an opera troupe, a professor in the Conservatory, and director of music in a major church. He stayed eleven years and then moved to New York in 1857 “with a view of benefiting his health… In 1859 he came to Boston and found a home. He was first engaged as director of music at the Museum… Mr. Eichberg remained at the Museum seven years. After a year of rest, he established the Boston Conservatory of Music… Not far from the same time he was appointed general supervisor and director of music in all the high schools of the city.” (Dwight, Op. cit) Lang may have had something to do with Eichberg coming to Boston. “Some years ago, Mr. B. J. Lang the eminent pianist of this city, called upon Rietz, and in the course of the conversation the maestro told him that he had one pupil in America of whom he was proud.” (Dwight, Ibid) “Those who know him will bear willing testimony to his accomplishments as linguist and scholar, and to those Christian graces of the true gentleman-self respect, sweetness of disposition, and unflinching integrity-which justify the declaration that he has not an enemy among men.” (BMT (April 7, 1860): 58) In April 1864 Dwight noted: “Tomorrow evening, a ”Sacred Concert,” that is to say a Sunday Concert in the Music Hall by that excellent musician, JULIUS EICHBERG, who has composed for the occasion several pieces for Violin, Violincello, Piano and Organ. Two organ pieces will be played by Mr. Lang; two soprano songs will be sung by Miss Houston, and two baritone songs by Mr. SCHRAUBSTAEDTER.” (Dwight (April 30, 1864) 23) No review appeared in subsequent editions. In September 1866 it was announced that “Boston has lost Julius Eichberg. His powers are appreciated and remunerated handsomely in New York, and Messrs. Baker and Smith retain him at the New York Theatre where they will give a season of English opera.” (BMT (September 8, 1866) 3) “Mr. Eichberg is quite a lion in N. Y. musical circles. He is busily engaged in forming his new opera troupe which will perform at Baker and Smith”s New York Theatre. He will open with the Doctor of Alcantara and follow that with The Two Cadis, which he considers his best work.” (BMT (October 6, 1866): 4) Soon after Eichberg quit as leader of the Boston Museum Orchestra, the Boston Musical Times reported: “The orchestra at the Boston Museum needs reinforcement sadly. It is numerically small and musically flat. From being the best of our city orchestras it has degenerated into the worst. It is to be hoped that the excellent manager of the establishment will institute an immediate reform.” (BMT (October 6, 1866) 3) However, things did not go smoothly at the New York Theatre: “Mr. Eichberg has withdrawn from the New York Theatre, and is teaching in New York City.” (BMT (December 1, 1866) 3) He “became Supervisor of Music in the public schools… He is noted especially for establishing the Boston Conservatory of Music, which school was later absorbed by the New England Conservatory of Music. The present Boston Conservatory is a different and later organization.” (HMA Bulletin No. 15)

“He composed much for his instrument, including graceful solos and valuable studies as well as various ensemble numbers. Among the latter were an Ave Maria and Reverie for violin, ”cello, piano, and organ, given in the old Music Hall.” (Dic Am Bio, 58) B. J. and he often played Eichberg’s Religious Meditation for violin and organ.

Chadwick, in his Diary, described Eichberg as “another rare soul whose genial though pungent wit and most lovable personality endeared him, Jew, though he was, to everyone who knew him.” (6353)

Elson, Louis C.

Mathews, A Hundred Years of Music In America,  397.

Johnston Collection.

C. 1910. Johnston Collection.

Inscription: “Your teacher and friend, Louis C. Elson.” A photo card glued into the front of Elson”s The History of American Music, 1904, owned by his pupil Ralph Howard Pendleton of Philadelphia, PA. Johnston collection.

Elson, Louis Charles. 1848-1920. “Was active from 1882, a Boston-born, Leipzig-educated pedant, head of theoretical instruction at the New England Conservatory. While ardent and analytical enough to please the most exacting listener, Elson was no great assist to the cause of ”the newness” as the era of the ”eighties was called.” (Johnson, Hallelujah,  158) The New Grove Dictionary of American Music entry adds: born in Boston-April 17, 1848 and died there, February 14, 1920. He studied music in Boston and at the Leipzig Conservatory. “It was as a critic, lecturer, and writer on music that he was most important.” (Am Grove 1986, 43) He returned from Leipzig in 1877, and “became associated with several leading music journals, including Vox Humana and the Musical Herald, both of which he eventually edited. He was music editor of the Boston Courier and then of the Boston Daily Advertiser from 1886 until his death.” Henry Dunham, organ instructor of the New England Conservatory felt that Elson was “too affable, too anxious to say nothing unkind to become great as a critic; always interesting, however, and very much read; his fund of general information was prodigious.” (Dunham, 220) Also, see the article in Daily Advertiser.

He taught theory at the New England Conservatory beginning in 1880 and became head of the department in 1882 upon the death of Stephen Emery. (Green, 212) “In 1945 his widow established a memorial fund at the Library of Congress for the presentation of lectures on music. His son was the writer Arthur Elson [1848-1920].” (Am Grove 1986, 44) The 1986 American Grove article lists 15 books that he wrote or edited. His last book was published in 1918 – Women In Music. “He has acted as choral director on various occasions in Boston, notably a festival in 1886, the programs including music selected all the way from the medieval beginnings of the art up to the present time. As a composer, his work is mostly in the smaller forms, including several piano-pieces, three operettas, and other songs. He has also made translations and arrangements of a great number of French, English and Italian songs, and of operas… As a vocalist, he has been connected with several of the leading choirs of Boston… Mr. Elson’s diction is concise, often humorous, and reveals in every line broad and genuine culture fused with the specialized knowledge of the trained and experienced musician. His distinguished contemporary, W. S. B. Mathews speaks of it as a ”ripe and finished literary style, rarely found outside the ranks of professional authors.”” (Green, 212) “In this field [musical criticism] he led the way to a more detailed and thorough estimate of musical works and performances than had been customary in the United States, and incidentally treated all artists under his review with courtesy, even when adverse comment proved necessary… In 1873 he married Bertha Lissnere, who survived him with their son, Arthur Elson. A memorial tablet was placed in the New England Conservatory of Music, where he served so long and faithfully, teaching up to the very day of his death” (Dic. Am. Bio., C. A. W., 199 and 120). Elson also “holds the dubious distinction of being the American critic with the most citations in Slonimsky’s Lexicon of Musical Invective… A singer and composer of modest attainments, Elson was not university trained but studied privately in Leipzig before returning to his native Boston in 1877 to begin a career of musical journalism on various magazines and newspapers.” (Grant, 94) His reviews “reflect a man who, while obsessed with correcting what he saw as bad musical grammar, had the discernment to report clearly what he heard… Unlike some of his contemporaries, Elson found even Debussy cacophonous. Pedantic references to theory and harmony abound in his critiques. Ravel and the Sibelius Fourth Symphony were too much for him, let alone Schoenberg.” (Grant, Op. cit., 95 and 96)

Elson, Arthur. “Is a well-known musical critic and writer. His books, Women’s Work in Music, Orchestral Instruments and Their Use, A Critical History of Opera, Modern Composers of Europe, and frequent contributions to musical periodicals, have added to the luster of the family name. The two, father [Louis] and son, deserve especial mention as representative of the best modern thought concerning the future of the woman musician. They are truly American in their fair-minded recognition of her ability to do more than she has been permitted to do by the foreigner.” (Green, 212)

Elson, History of American Music, 342.

Mathews, A Hundred Years, 655.

Dunham, The Life of a Musician, 51.

Emery, Stephen Albert. Born Paris, Maine 1841, son of a distinguished lawyer and judge. After one year of Colby College, he left because of ill health and impaired sight, and “then as a pastime, took up the study of piano and harmony.” (Howe-One Hundred, 656) He spent 1862 to 1864 studying music in Leipzig and Dresden, returned to Portland for two years and then moved to Boston after the Great Fire in 1866. He quickly obtained positions at the New England Conservatory and the Boston University College of Music. “Many of the younger American composers have been indebted to Mr. S. A. Emery for their instruction in the art of composition, and he stands in the front rank of American theorists.” (Howe-One Hundred, 656) In 1889 he was credited with composing about one hundred and fifty published pieces.

Manuel Emilio. (1812-1871) Came to America with Manuel Fenollosa and settled in Salem. He married one of Fenollosa’s sisters, Isabel (Fenollosa) Emilio (1822-1888). In 1841 Emilio organized a concert for Thanksgiving Eve with the assistance of his companion, Manuel Fenollosa, and of the Manchester Brass Band.” (Salem Gazette (November 23, 1841): 2) His oldest son, Luis Fenollosa Emilio (1844-    ) enlisted in the 23rd. Mass. Infantry at the age of sixteen (some say 17) on October 19, 1861. After service with that unit, on March 30, 1863 he was appointed by the Massachusetts Governor second lieutenant in the 54th. Regiment Mass Volunteer Infantry, the first regiment of black soldiers formed in the North.  After two weeks he was a First Lieutenant and then a month after that he became a captain. He was mustered out on March 27, 1865. (Bio. Sketch, Luis F. Emilio Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1)

Annette Essipoff.

 

Annette Essipoff. Photo by Mora. Philip Hale Collection. BPL, Digitalcommonwealth. On the back, it mentions that she toured the USA in the 1880s and that Prokofiev was one of her pupils.

Essipoff, Madame. Born: February 12, 1851 (St. Petersburg, Russia). Died: August 18, 1914, aged 63 (St. Petersburg, Russia) (Wikipedia article, 7/1/11). One-time wife of Leschetizky, Paderewski mentioned that “there were several Mesdames Leschetizky-all musical-all charming!” (Paderewski,  120) He further stated that “her playing in many ways was perfect, except when it came to strong, effective pieces-then she was lacking in real force, as women pianists usually are… She was very feminine in her playing, and small poetic pieces she could play admirably. She was an intelligent woman with evident culture, attractive to look at, and with a very pleasing personality altogether, which was a great asset to her on the concert platform.” (Ibid, 121) In fact she played the world premiere of Paderewski’s Piano Concerto as the composer “had not studied the concerto sufficiently for a great public performance.” (Ibid, 121) Later in his career, Paderewski met Madame Essipoff again. “She was already divorced from Leschetizky and was a professor of music at the Conservatory at St. Petersburg. Madame Essipoff was no longer young, but she was still fine-looking and always brilliant, and enjoyed a great success there as a professor. She had already stopped her career as a pianist.” (Paderewski, 298)

She was born in St. Petersburg in 1851. First taught by her father who was “an enthusiastic amateur musician,” at 14 she entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she “became a pupil of Theodore Leschetitsky, who had adopted her and who found her as headstrong as she was talented.” Rubinstein thought that she should study the voice, but “Leschetitsky was equally urgent that she should make the pianoforte her life study. She decided on the pianoforte, and in 1876-77 she carried off the prize not only for execution but also for sight-playing. Her public career began somewhat before this time. For she appeared in Vienna in 1874 and scored a triumph, as she did also in England in the same year. A letter written at that time describes her as ”far more able than Von Bulow and not nearly so incorrect.” She played Chopin better than anybody. Many critics placed her higher as a pianist than Rubinstein or Madame Schumann, in fact, second only to Liszt. She was considered a wonder. After having traveled far and wide for eight years and established a great reputation, she married her former teacher, Leschetitsky, in 1880. Madame Essipoff made a tour in America in 1877, but notwithstanding her remarkable talent, her success was small… In 1893 she separated from her husband, though her admiration for him as a musician and a teacher was as great as ever. Leschetitsky, on his part, showed his regard for her by using his influence to secure her his own former position as pianoforte instructor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, a position which she resigned early in 1900.” (Lahee, 299-301) In 1874 Dwight published an account of her English appearances: “At the morning concert of Saturday, May 16, a new pianist, Madame Essipoff, made her debut in England, choosing for the occasion Chopin’s Concerto in E Minor. This accomplished lady, a native of Russia, fully realized in all that Rubenstein, Auer, Henselt, and more recently Dr. Von Bulow, had affirmed respecting her truly marvelous talents. Madame Essipoff four years ago, at the Conservatoire of St. Petersburgh, carried off the prize not only for execution but for sight-reading, the great test of musical competency. In Vienna last winter her performance at the Philharmonic concert was a great triumph; and at three concerts given by Mdme. Essipoff on her own account, she created a legitimate ‘sensation’, particularly in the music of Chopin, manifestly her forte.” (Dwight (June 13, 1874): 245) “Essipov was acclaimed as one of the finest pianists of her time, though opinions differed about her appearance: some said she looked masculine, others described her as ‘attractive.’ She had very small hands, and Paderewski wrote that her playing was very feminine, contrasting her with Teresa Carreno, whom he thought ”a strong pianist, even too strong for a woman.” Essipov, whose only fault was that she was always hungry, could play with great delicacy of feeling, and her conceptions were emotionally moving. Her extraordinary clarity of technique added to the effect of simplicity and directness in her playing, and she was widely cultured and a good teacher… Schnabel also had lessons with her.” (Methuen-Campbell,  60) Essipov was “one of the first pianists to devote recitals entirely to Chopin”s music. She was not afraid of presenting a Programme which would defeat most pianists today: all twenty-seven Etudes and all twenty-four Preludes. She played virtually the whole of Chopin’s oeuvre, and made her first important appearance at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1869 with his E Minor Piano Concerto. Her interest in Chopin’s works increased when she went to study with Leschetizky in St. Petersburg.” (Ibid) “It is interesting that Rachmaninov and Essipov, two of the greatest technicians of all time, used a great deal of slow practice.” (Methuen-Campbell, Op. cit., 116)

Euterpe, The. “This society, though young, has a strong board of officers and occupies a prominent position. It was organized on Dec. 13, 1878, and gave its first concert on the 15th. of January following. its object is the encouragement of chamber music and the production of the best compositions in this line. The number of members is 150, and all money received is expended on the concerts, after allowing for the necessary running expenses. Connected with the society are some of Boston”s most prominent musicians, among whom are C. C. Perkins (president), B. J. Lang (vice-president), W. F. Apthorp (treasurer), Julius Eichberg, John Orth, S. B. Whitney, J. C. D. Parker, etc. F. H. Jenks is (Dec. 1882) secretary.” (Jones, p. 18) During their 8th. Season, 1885-86 the group presented only string quartet concerts which were held at the Apollo Hall, 151 Tremont Street. B. J. was listed as the Vice President with his address at 152 Tremont Street. In Vol. 7 of the Musical Year Book it was reported: “The Euterpe concerts were suspended.” (MYB 1889-90, 26)

 

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Fay, Abby B., Miss. Vocalist active in Boston in the late 1850s. B. J. and the Mendelssohn Quintette Club “assisted” her in a concert given to benefit “An Invalid” at the Melodeon Theatre on Saturday, March 27, 1858 (Dwight, March 26, 1858, p. 413). Early in 1861 the Boston Musical Times reprinted an item from the Florence correspondent of the New Orleans Picayune which reported “At the last Philharmonic Concert, Nov. 17th, Miss Abby Fay, of Boston, made her second appearance before a Florentine audience, and met with a most flattering success… Her voice of pure soprano register, is true and sweet, and she is capable of executing the most difficult music. She has made very great progress within six months… She is now prepared to accept an engagement for Sonnambula, and other operas of that genre, and I am confident that she will be successful in light and brilliant music.” (BMT (January 26, 1861): 392)

Mathews, A Hundred Years, 1889, 139.

Fay, Amy. Born on a plantation in Bayou Goula, Louisiana on May 21, 1844 to Rev. Dr. Charles Fay and Charlotte Emily, daughter of an Episcopal Bishop, she died “in 1928, at the age of 83, in a nursing home in Salem [MA].” (Fay, xiv) “The families were musical on both sides, but Mrs. Fay was a veritable musical genius, and although she had no musical instruction after her tenth year, she kept up her practice herself, and after her marriage, she learned the great concert pieces of Thalberg and de Meyer, the pianists of the day, and always extemporized on any given air in a remarkable manner… Amy was the third of a family of seven children (six girls and one boy), all of whom were gifted musically… Amy was made to learn Latin and Greek, German, and French, as a child.” (Mathew, 137 and 138) At nineteen she moved to Cambridge where she studied with Prof. Paine at Harvard and attended classes with Otto Dresel at NEC. Lang used her in his May 3, 1862 performance of First Walpurgis Night where she and Lang played Thalberg’s Grand Duo on Themes from Norma. “Upon the advice of John Knowles Paine (1839-1906), later known as the dean of American composers, with whom she studied Bach, Amy Fay went to Europe to refine her musical taste and improve her technique.” (Fay, ix) At the age of 25 she went to Europe studying with Tausig in Berlin for one year, and then Dr. Kullak for three years. In all she spend the five years, early November 1869 until 1875 in Germany. In the summer of 1873 she studied with Liszt. “Franz Liszt seems to have been the only teacher in Europe who championed no specific technical approach, yet he conveyed the most to his piano classes.” (Fay, xi) Tausig was said to be “a young man who plays the piano like forty thousand devils.” (Fay, x) He had been a pupil of Liszt, and he was described as “an eccentric, impatient man possessing an easily triggered, high-powered temper. An unhappy misanthrope, he loathed piano teaching. Nevertheless, his conservatory had one of the highest enrollments.” (Ibid) “Tausig has such a little hand that I wonder he has been able to acquire his immense virtuosity. He is only thirty years old, and is much younger than Rubinstein or Bulow.” (Fay, 39) Beginning in the fall of 1870 she began lessons with Kullak – “He looks about fifty and is charming. I am enchanted with him. he plays magnificently, and is a splendid teacher, but he gives me immensely much to do, and I feel as if a mountain of music were all the time pressing on my head. He is so occupied that I have to take my lesson from seven to eight in the evening.” (Fay, 100) Fay then changed to Deppe who had made a study of the technique of piano playing. Whereas Kullak said: “Practice always Fraulein. Time will do it for you some day. Hold your hand any way that is easiest for you. You can do it in this way-or in that way-showing me different positions of the hand in playing the troublesome passage-or you can play it with the back of the hand if that will help you,” Deppe showed her exactly how to conquer each difficulty. “In short, he makes the technique and the conception identical, as of course they ought to be, but I never had any other master who trained his pupils to attempt it.” (Fay, 319) “The positive benefits of Deppe’s approach convinced Amt to base her future playing and teaching on Deppe’s principles, as did the eminent pianists and teachers William Sherwood, Donald Francis Tovey (1875-1940) and Emil von Sauer (1862-1942).” (Dumm and Shaffer, 7) “She returned to Boston and “was at once pronounced an artist by the press, and played with Theodore Thomas” orchestra at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, and at the Worcester, Mass. Musical Festival [Beethoven’s B-flat Major Concerto with the Germaina Orchestra conducted by Carl Zerrahn][Dumm and Shaffer, 7]. She was the first pianist to introduce the playing of piano concertos at these festivals, which has been done ever since.” “On her return to the United States, Amy gave her first concert in New York’s Chickering Hall in December 1875… Amy’s recitals in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she made her home in 1876-78, were attended by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a close personal friend, and the American critic John Sullivan Dwight.” (Dumm and Shaffer, 7) After three years in Boston she moved to Chicago in 1878 where she remained. “Liszt has included Miss Fay’s name in the roll of his best pupils, in a list made out by himself.” (Mathews, 138, 140 and 141) Her book Music Study in Germany is well known even today: it is a collection of letters written to her elder sister “Melusina (”Zina”) (1836-1923), Amy’s surrogate mother, who recognized their historic value and arranged their publication.” (Dumm and Shaffer, 4)

Fay, Miss Mary A. (or Miss Mary Neilson Fay, Jones, p. 155) “Born at Williamsburg, N. Y., about 1855. She studied under Wm. Mason, Richard Hoffman, Gustav Satter, and for a short time with Rubinstein during his stay in this country. Upon the advice of the latter, she went to Berlin and placed herself under the instruction of Kullak. After her marriage with Mr. Sherwood in the autumn of 1874, she accompanied him on his travels and assisted him at his last concert in Berlin. Since returning to the United States, she was frequently taken a part in her husband’s recitals and is well-known everywhere. Besides being one of the finest lady pianists of our time, she is very successful as a teacher.” (Jones, 155) She had been an assisting artist in the January 14, 1859 concert given by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club at the Mercantile Hall (entrance on Summer Street) playing Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B Flat, op. 97 (“Archduke”) (Dowell, 370) This was her first Boston concert appearance. (Dwight (January 8, 1859): 327) However Dwight felt that as “a very youthful debutante, whose extraordinary ease and fluency of execution of the most difficult piano-forte music, especially modern music, has for a year or two past been a theme of admiration in the houses of her friends” had been unwisely counseled in attempting the Beethoven… Miss F. has a nice touch,” but “such a work requires far more than execution; it requires imagination, soul, passion, deep experience, grasp of mind.” (Dwight (January 22, 1859) 342) Based on the dozen or so times that Dwight had heard this piece in Boston, this performance just did not measure up to his standard. On Saturday evening March 3, 1860 Miss Fay appeared at the Philharmonic Concert at the Music Hall conducted by Carl Zerrahn performing Mendelssohn Concerto in G Minor and the Romanze and Rondo from the Concerto in E Minor by Chopin. The program noted that she “will make her first appearance on this occasion.” (HMA Program Collection) Dwight’s review mentioned “The exquisitely delicate, dreamy and poetic Romanza, and the bright Rondo from Chopin’s E Minor Concerto – one of the most difficult of piano pieces as to mere execution, and demanding fine musical feeling and perception besides. It certainly was a bold attempt for a young girl of twenty… Two years ago, at a Mendelssohn Quintet Concert, she astonished by her brilliant execution in a Trio by Beethoven. Since then she has studied earnestly, severely, under the best direction, and this time her triumph was complete. Such clear, distinct, even, sustained, brilliant, graceful pianism, is seldom heard. Not a note was lost, even in that large hall… In Mendelssohn’s G Minor Concerto Miss Fay sustained herself at the height already won, well at home apparently with the orchestra, and proving herself quite equal to the performance of so formidable a work in public.” (Dwight, March 10, 1860, p. ???)

In November 1860 she was part of the Opening Soiree of Chickering’s new Music Room where she played Mendelssohn’s Variations Serieueses which prompted Dwight to say that “Miss Fay, excited a positive enthusiasm by her brilliant execution, showing the rarest natural capacity and most delicate and facile touch, combined with a vigor and power rarely found in a lady executant. In the duet played by her with Mr. Dresel [Duet for Two Pianos on the March from Weber’s Preciosa], she showed herself a worthy pupil of an accomplished instructor.” (Dwight (November 19, 1860): 262) In a January 1861 notice of one of “Miss Fay’s Soirees” the reviewer mentioned: “In the more sedate music of Beethoven and Schumann, while there is no lack of technical ability, there seems to be a want of soulful expression in Miss Fay’s playing; but the compositions mentioned above [Hiller Bolero and Chopin Polonaise in A-flat, Op. 53), and others of the same class. She plays with a vigor and clearness quite remarkable.” Within days of this solo performance, Miss Fay was also part of the Philharmonic Concert conducted by Mr. Zerrahn. (BMT,( January 25, 1861): 261) The Boston Musical Times reprinted a notice from the New York Weekly Programme which reported that “Miss Mary Fay gives a concert in Boston soon, in which she, with Mr. Lang, will play Thalberg’s Grand Fantasia on Themes from Norma.” (BMT (March 9, 1861): 22) On April 20, 1861 she presented a “Matinee” at Chickering’s Hall when she was assisted by Lang, Eichberg and Fries. Included in the program was Mendelssohn’s Second Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 49, the Grande Fantasie on Norma for Two Pianos arranged by Thalberg, and the final piece was the Fantasie on Moses in Egypt also arranged by Thalberg. Dwight had not attended and only printed the program. (Dwight (April 27, 1861): 30) In January 1862 Dwight printed that Miss Fay would present four concerts at Chickering”s Rooms.” (Dwight (January 18, 1862): 335) Dwight praised one of her solo pieces in the first concert saying: “Hiller’s difficult and brilliant Bolero was well suited to the powers of Miss Fay, and she distinguished herself in it,” but he was not impressed by the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto played with just piano accompaniment. (Dwight (January 25, 1862): ???) B. J. joined her in the final number of her second Soiree given on Saturday, January 25, 1862 playing the Fantasie on Norma for two pianos by Thalberg; on the same program she also was assisted by Mr. F. Suck and Mr. Henry Suck. Based on the repertoire listed, Mr. F. Suck and Mr. Henry Suck both played violin. Dwight did not attend, but noted that the “second Soiree did take place, we understand, on Saturday evening, in spite of the worst weather ever known. Some forty persons listened.” (Dwight (February 1, 1862): 351) This concert was part of a series of four-“Sets of For Tickets, $3; Single Tickets, $1 each; to be had at the music stores.” (HMA Program Collection) For the third Soiree she “had a good audience and a pleased one” which again included the two Sucks and W. Fries. (Dwight (February 15, 1862): 367) All in all, this was a major undertaking for such a young artist. Fay was also an assisting artist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club during 1861-62 season. (Dowell, 21) She appeared again with the Philharmonic on Saturday, February 1, 1862 playing the Capriccio in B Major for Piano and Orchestra by Mendelsohn, and the Introduction and Variations on the Barcarole from L’Elisire d’amore by Thalberg. On the same program, Jules Eichberg was the soloist in his own Violin Concerto. (Ibid) During January and February 1862 she presented four “Soirees.” (Ibid) According to the Dic. Am. Biog, she had been born in Williamsburg, N. Y., and she married William Hall Sherwood in 1874 while they were both students of Liszt, “and Liszt stood godfather to their first child. In the course of years, incompatibility of temperament was discovered and a divorce followed.” (Lahee, 202) In a June 2, 1876 Music Hall program, she is listed as Mrs. Sherwood, formerly Miss Mary A. Fay. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 1) Mrs. Sherwood was the soloist with the HMA on November 9, 1876, playing Mendelssohn’s Concerto in G Minor. Dwight wrote: “Mrs. Wm. H. Sherwood, whom many remember as Miss Mary Fay, of Boston, a pupil eighteen or twenty years ago of Otto Dressel, and who even in her girlhood excited admiration by the ease and brilliancy of her performances in public. Returning now from studies in Germany, the wife of of a gifted pianist, she brings musical experience, a rich repertoire, and more maturity of musical character and culture… Hearty applause followed all her efforts.” (Dwight (November 25, 1876): 342)

Fenollosa, Manuel. 1822-1878. Left Malaga Spain for Salem when he was 16. (OCLC WorldCat search October 20, 2017) He and his future brother-in-law Manuel Emilio were hired musicians on the American naval vessel, the “United States”; Emilio was the band’s conductor. When the ship returned to Boston, the two musicians stayed on board. After forming a band that toured New England, they both settled in Salem and contributed to various civic causes throughout their lives. (Globe, article by Jim Dalton, accessed October 20, 2017)

   Manuel Fenollosa

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society

The “favorite and excellent teacher” returned to Salem after a fifteen-month trip to South America the purpose of which was to “recruit his health.” (Salem Observer (June 29, 1850): 2) His first stop was five months in Rio, and then he made the voyage around Cape Horn to Valparaiso. He then went to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and San Juan, and then took voyage to Chagres and ended by taking the Crescent City to New York. There is a Diary at the Peabody Essex Library in Salem covering a trip to Italy and Spain in 1848 and to Rio in 1849. In detail, he records his voyages on the Bark Sophia Walker and the Bark A. G. Hill. (WorldCat entry) While he was in Rio he saw slaves being used for jobs rightly done by horses. As soon as he reached America he began to support the Abolitionist cause. He celebrated Emancipation by staging a concert to benefit the “Freedmen of the Country.” (Globe, Jim Dalton, February 1, 2011, accessed October 20, 2017) Oliver Ditson published his choral piece, Emancipation Hymn, with a dedication to the “Salem Union League.” This group was founded in 1861 to promote patriotism. Manuel was a founding member. The Peabody Essex Museum holds the Salem Union League Records, 1861-1863.

Late in 1851 the music store run by D. B. Brooks announced a new Instruction Book compiled and arranged by Fenollosa. It contained “principally” works from the lesser-known composers of the day, and also an “Extensive Collection” of mainly popular pieces with “many Original Pieces by the Author.” It had 152 pages. (Salem Register (December 8, 1851): 1) The collection seems to have had an international circulation; there are copies at the British Library and the State Library of Queensland. (OCLC search October 20, 2017)

In 1854 he advertised that he continued to give lessons in Piano, Violin and singing at his home No. 5 Chestnut Street on Tuesdays and Fridays, and he could “accommodate a few more pupils on those days. (Salem Register (November 13, 1854): 3) A year later he added Mondays and Thursdays to his previous schedule, and he added a second location, No. 7 Central Street, over the Mercantile Bank. Just above his ad Carl Hause offered lessons in Thorough Bass, and “the higher branches of Piano Playing.” He was interested in teaching Concert Artists or Advanced Teachers. (Ibid)

In 1856 another teacher, Manuel Emelio (his brother-in-law) announced that he was leaving the area. This caused Fenollosa to advertise that he would “hereafter devote all his time to the practice of his profession in this city. (Salem Register (December 22, 1856): 3) It would seem that he expected to take over all of Emelio’s students. However, another teacher was offering lessons in voice and the “advanced principles of Music, including Harmony and Thorough bass..” (Ibid) Mr. M.D. Randall’s studio was in the Masonic Hall, 27 Washington Street. (Ibid)

In 1857 Fenollosa branched out into singing classes for beginners. For the fall of that year, he offered “Two Elementary Vocal Classes.” He also announced that he was re-opening his Monday Evening Singing Class for more advanced students. He was teaching these classes at his music rooms on Central Street. The cost was $5.00, in advance, for 24 weekly meetings. (Salem Register (September 3, 1857): 3) In 1859 he wanted to start a “Gentlemen’s Class” as soon as a sufficient number signed up. It would start in May and last for 24 weeks at a cost of $5.00. (Salem Register (May 2, 1859): 3)

A Ladies’ Association in Salem had started a campaign to buy “Mount Vernon.” Fenollosa supported this by staging a concert at Lyceum Hall featuring his “Pupils and Friends.” The first ad gave no date, but it was held before the end of February. (Salem Register (February 10, 1859): 4) “The concert was a complete success.” The music was “exceedingly creditable even in an artistic point of view, and charmed all the listeners…Mr. G. Breed, another of our resident teachers accompanied Mr. F. in one of Beethoven’s Sonatas in a most admirable style…This concert realized the sum of $232.25.” (Salem Register (February 28, 1859): 2) This would be about $6,414 in today’s money; certainly a very good result for a “pupils’ Recital.” On Monday evening November 26, 1860 the Charity Concert at the Lyceum Hall was in aid of the proposed “Home for Aged Indigent Females.” (WorldCat entry) He continued to support local charities. On June 24, 1863 he organized a “Patriotic Festival” with over 100 pupils and friends at Mechanic Hall under the auspices of the Salem League, for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission. (WorldCat entry) Fenollosa produced a number of charity events. He advertised a “Patriotic Festival” again using “over one hundred of his pupils and friends” on June 24, 1863 co-sponsored by the Salem League and for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission. (WorldCat entry). Probably his first Charity Concert was given on December 21, 1857 at the Lyceum Hall; the charity that was to benefit was not mentioned. (WorldCat entry) He organized a concert for the Grand Army Fair to benefit Post 34 in 1873. (WorldCat entry)

William S. Fenollosa. This photo is from the Michigan paper cited at the end of the article.

Fenollosa, William S. William died at his home in Salem, MA on February 15, 1941-he was born in 1855. His estate was worth $215,000 – $40,000 in realty and $175,000 in personal property. (Boston Herald, Saturday, March 15, 1941, p. 13 GenB) which would have the buying power in 2017 of $3,681,409.93. Born in Salem, he attended Salem High School where, at the Graduation ceremony he and another student presented “An Original Greek Dialogue.” He also wrote the music for the parting song, “Now Has Come the Hour of Parting,” words by a fellow graduate, Mary A. Kimball. (Salem Observer (July 22, 1871): 29, GB) He then went to Harvard, graduating in 1875, (the same year as Arthur Foote) and a year later received his Master’s degree in music (just as Foote did). He started teaching piano in Boston, but after a short time, he returned to Salem. (Boston Herald (February 16, 1941): 63, GB) William attended the fall 1930 concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by George Henschel; he would have been 26 when the orchestra began under Henschel in 1881. (Boston Herald (October 12, 1930): 34, GB) By the 1880s he was an active musician in the Boston area. His concert at Wesleyan Hall, which he shared with a singer, “was attended by a good-sized audience,” and proved to be “an enjoyable one.” (Boston Herald (April 25, 1882): 5, GB) He assisted Lang in the fifth of a series of six concerts of the complete piano works of Schumann which were held at the Bijou Theatre. On the March 29, 1883 program he played the Sonata in G minor, Op. 22. Mr. H. G. Tucker (piano) and George L. Osgood (tenor) also performed at the concert. (Boston Herald, March 30, 1883) and  (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 4) In late April 1884 he gave a concert at Chickering Hall. William supported music-making in Salem. He is listed as a Board Member of the Salem Oratorio Society (as was Joshua Phippen, Jr.) when it was announced that the Society was “out of debt” as the “net proceeds of the fair were $703.40” which more than covered “the net loss on concerts and rehearsals of $133.79.” (Beverly Citizen (May 11, 1889): 2, GB) Another talent was card playing. “Mr. William S. Fenollosa of Salem, MA, is a skillful musician and a man of all-round culture and plays whist and writes on it with an ability that few can surpass.” (Bay City Daily Tribune, Bay City Michigan (March 4, 1900): 2, GB)

Arthur Foote.

Grove, American Supplement-1920, 206 & Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., 1904, 188.

New England Magazine, February 1890.

HMA Collection.

Foote, Arthur (b. March 5, 1853 at Salem, MA and d. April 8, 1937 at Boston, MA). Lang piano pupil from age 14. In 1870 he began at Harvard having “the good fortune to find John K. Paine there. His coming in 1869 marked the beginning of real musical instruction and of the development of a Department of Music… There were naturally few students for Paine at that time; in fugue I was the only one, taking my lessons at his house. He was college organist as well, and I had sense enough to appreciate the beautiful improvisations which I heard at chapel. I owe a great deal to him, not only for the excellent teaching but also for the important influence which he had on me at a time when it was sadly needed.” (HMA Bulletin No.4, 1) Graduated Harvard 1874-had organ lesson from Lang that summer-Lang convinced him to continue his music study. Graduated Harvard with the first MA in music 1875. Opened piano studio next door to the Harvard Musical Association, and became a member then.                                                              Foote was appointed organist at the Church of the Disciples in 1876 through Lang “(whose influence in the way of putting pupils ahead, having them play in public, and in finding church positions was remarkable, and today could not be duplicated, even by as clever a person as he).” (Foote, Auto., 35) Then in 1878 (when he was 25) at First Unitarian Church, Boston where he stayed until 1910, a total of 32 years. When he was appointed, a whole new choir was also appointed-three of the singers were also 25. (Foote, Auto., 36) Wrote many anthems and organ pieces. When he wrote his Auto. in 1946 only one was still well known: Still, Still with Thee, “oddly enough one of the most dificult. I have always been happy that Guilmant, in two of his tours, used compositions of mine, as did Bonnet later.” (Foote, Auto., 38) Clarence Hay, the bass often useed by Lang as a soloist with the Cecilia, sang with Foote the full 32 years and several years after.  (Ibid)                                         Attended first Bayreuth Festival in 1876 and for the premier of the complete Ring of the Nibelungen; (Ciplolla, Am Nat Bio, Vol.13, 190) he went with the Langs and the Tuckers.  They arrived two weeks early. “We were now informed that there was to be a sort of dress rehearsal of the four operas on the week preceding the date scheduled. And so, not only did I hear the series expected (and paid for at the rate of twenty-five dollars a night), but also the preliminary performances.” (Foote, Auto., 62) Bayreuth in 1876 was still just a town and not prepared for the flood of visitors created by the Festival. “My sleeping place was really a sort of large closet, and the bed consisted of bedding laid on some wooden planks supported by large logs. This was the least luxurious experience in the way of rooms that I ever had, the only similar being that of sleeping in a bath-tub in Munich when the town was overcrowded.” (Foote, Auto., 63) Foote also recorded when he and Lang were exploring back-stage between acts of Gotterdammerung and how they were able to follow the brass players into the covered orchestra pit. “So there we were, in the orchestra itself for the next act. The day was hot, everyone being in shirt-sleeves, and we could see how differently the majestic Richter behaved (the orchestra being quite out of sight of the audience). He shouted to different players and to the singers, gave them cues, and was quite a different person from the one we were used to seeing in the concert room.” (Foote, Auto., 78)  Foote later made eight trips abroad over a twenty-year span.                                                                                             Married 1880 – only child, Katharine born 1881.                                                       On Wednesday, April 22, 1891 Foote led “The Ladies” Vocal Club of Salem” at the Cadet Armory Hall in one of three “Popular Concerts” sponsored by the “Salem Oratorio Society” whose conductor was Carl Zerrahn. In addition to the vocal numbers, piano pieces included Lang playing the Etude, Opus 25, No. 7 by Chopin and “Scherzo” from Sonata, Opus 31, No. 3 by Beethoven; Lang and Foote playing the Variations on a theme from Beethoven by Saint-Saens; and the piano-quartet of Lang, Foote, Phippen and Fenollosa [they were at Harvard together] playing the “First Movement” from Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony and Les Contrastes by Moscheles.            Foote taught at NEC from 1921 until his death in 1937. (Cipolla, 150) “Though he lived to 1937, Foote absorbed no twentieth-century styles. He was not a bigot, like Dwight. Rather, he acknowledged his timidity with typical equanimity: ‘My influence from the beginning, as well as my predilection, were ultra-conservative.’ Foote’s failure to grow was typical of Boston: like the writers he knew and admired, he was both supported and stifled by a benign cultural environment.” (Horowitz, 99) Following the lead of his teacher B. J. Lang, Foote presented a series of eight chamber music concerts “on every Saturday evening in February and March.” [1881] at the Chickering Hall, 156 Tremont Street. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 3) Another series was presented in 1882.                                                                                 In 1885 he wrote for the Apollo Club The Farewell of Hiawatha, Op. 11 with orchestra accompaniment “which is still [1946] going strong, while the Bedouin Song (1891) for men’s voices (afterward arranged for mixed voices) is probably the most successful piece of the sort written by an American (1892).” (Foote, Auto., 56) Was done at the Boston Pops 5/20/1913 and 6/16/1949 (BSO Archive). Hiawatha was his first work to use a full orchestra-the others had been just for strings or chamber ensembles. (Cipolla, W R., Catalog,  xviii)

Franklin, Miss Gertrude. A review by Dwight in 1880 made mention that she “has good voice and training… Her forte, as we have since learned, is the florid kind, like ”Rejoice Greatly,” or the ”Jewel Aria” in Faust.” (Dwight (April 10, 1880): 62) In a March 1881 review of Schumann’s Faust with the Cecilia, the writer noted: “her voice lost nothing of its sweetness and beauty even when pushed to a force that threw the voices of the amateur vocalists upon the stage in the background.” (Cecilia Programs, Vol. 1) In May 1881 it was announced that she would be the soprano in the quartet for the Roxbury Universalist Church. (Musical Herald (May 1881): 104) She is listed in 1886 as the soprano in King’s Chapel Choir. B. J. became organist there in 1888. Lang was the accompanist at her Saturday February 16, 1889 concert at Chickering Hall. (BPL Lang Prog. Vol. 5) In an 1890 review of Cecilia’s Haydn Seasons concert, Hale praised Franklin: “Her musical nature was seen in little details often despised and ignored by singers… Her phrasing and her technique were alike worthy of high praise.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1) She also appeared with the Handel and Haydn Society: March 31, 1893 in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. (Bradbury, History, Vol. 2, 30) On January 6, 1893 she was part of the concert given during a ladies night at the Harvard Musical Association where she performed two songs by Brahms and Near Thee by Roff. Franklin was a soloist with the BSO in its Third Season (1883-84:Henschel), Fourth Season (1884-85: Gericke), Fifth Season (1885-86: Gericke), Sixth Season (1886-87: Gericke), Seventh Season (1887-88: Gericke), Eighth Season (1888-89: Gericke), Ninth Season (1889-90: Nikisch), Fourteen Season (1894-95: Paur) and Fifteenth Season (1895-96: Paur). (BSO Programs 1881-96)

Site of Miss Gertrude Franklin’s apartment/teaching studio. Johnston Collection.

 

Ryan, facing 26.

Fries, Auguste. “I begin with Auguste Fries. He was a good, genuine violinist, especially in quartette, he played with deep sentiment, was painstaking, and no rehearsals were too long for him. He was the broadest man, had the oldest head, of the organization, and was altogether a good leader. In social character he was full of geniality, could be the life and spirit of every party, and he thus endeared himself to a very large number of personal friends… He was very firm in purpose and set in his ways; he could not accommodate himself to some things, but sterling integrity was the main point in his make-up. He was an excellent man for younger people to start with.” (Ryan, 106 and 107) After ten years with the group, he returned to Bergen, Norway where he spent the rest of his life except for one season when he returned to Boston to be concertmaster with the HMA Orchestra. However, Dwight reported the return of Fries in October 1873 saying that after working for fifteen years in Norway, his return would “be warmly greeted by the older generation of our music-lovers,” (Dwight (October 18, 1873): 111)

Ryan, facing 136.

Fries, Wulf Christian Julius. 1825-1902. (Bio-Bib., 135) Cellist, “Born at Garbeck, a village of Holstein, in Germany, Jan., 10, 1825. He began his favorite instrument when only nine years old, and at twelve had his first and only lessons from a local player.” (Jones, 60) As his father could not pay for lessons, he sent Wulf to a neighboring city where he learned on the job, playing in various municipal groups. “What he learned in the art of playing was chiefly through hearing the soloists who gave concerts while passing through the city…. In September, 1847 he came to America and settled in Boston, which has since been and still is (May, 1885) his home. About 1849 he organized assisted by his brother, August, three years his senior, the ”Mendelssohn Quintette Club,” the immediate occasion of which was the performance at a private house of Mendelssohn’s Quintet in A. The original members of the club, with which he was connected for twenty-three years were August Fries, 1st. violin; Herr Gerloff, 2nd. violin; Theodor Lehman, 1st. viola; Oscar Greiner, 2nd. viola; and Wulf Fries, ”cello. August Fries was leader for ten years, when his place was taken by William Schulze… He is also professor of the violincello at the Boston and New England Conservatories of music, and an esteemed musician.” (Ibid) Mathews credits the clarinetist Thomas Ryan, then aged 22, as the founder of the Club, and lists the original members as: August Fries, Francis Riha, Edward Lehmann, Thomas Ryan and Wulf Fries, and describes their first consert as being given “at the piano warerooms of Jonas Chickering, Mr. Ryan playing a clarinet concerto by F. Berr, and also the viola parts in quintets by Mendelssohn and Beethoven…Naturally the personnel has been frequently changed…For forty years Mr. Ryan has been the leading spirit of the organization, and now he is the only one of the members who was at the foundation of the society.” (Mathews, p. 294) He left the Mendelssohn Quintette Club in 1872, and “was a founding member of the Beethoven Quartet in the following year. He belonged to the Musical Fund Society and played (sometimes as soloist) with the Harvard Musical Association, and then with the Boston SO (1881-2). He taught in Boston at the New England Conservatory (1869), Carlyle Petersilea’s Music School (1871), and the Boston Conservatory of Music (1889)… Papers and music from his estate are in the collection of the Harvard Musical Association.” (Am. Grove, 170) Fries played with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club for twenty-two years. In 1880 Dwight reported on a “Tribute to Wulf Fries, suggested and arranged by a number of the most musical ladies of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, etc., in whose families the favorite artist had been for years esteemed and loved as teacher and companion in the parlor practice of classical trio and sonata music.” This “took the form of a beautiful Chamber Concert at Horticultural Hall on Saturday evening, December 4, 1880. The audience was very large and sympathetic, the Programme very rich and choice.” B. J. Lang and Arthur Foote contributed the Saint-Saens Variations for Two Pianos on a Theme of Beethoven, Op. 35., and Lang was probably the pianist in the Schumann Quintet for Piano and Strings, Op. 44. (Dwight (December 18, 1880): 207)

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Gardner, Isabella Stewart. April 14, 1840-July 17, 1924 (Palffy, 263). A good friend of the Lang family-visitor to the family farm in New Hampshire; in charge of arranging the flowers at B. J.”s funeral; among the “first visitors at Beverly Farms [in 1895] were… B. J. Lang” – the summer home of the Gardner’s – they had just returned from almost a year in Europe. (Carter, 154) At the January 6, 1893 “Ladies Night” of the Harvard Musical Association she “was warmly welcomed home as one of the hostesses, with Mrs. Henry M. Rogers, Mrs. Arthur Whiting, and Miss Lang… Mrs. Gardner in simple black, looking very fresh and young after her voyage.” (HMA Bulletin No. 11)

Isabella was described by a family member as “of medium height, graceful in her movements, her splendid figure shown to advantage by a simply draped, sleeveless black evening gown, which revealed arms that were extraordinarily lovely…Her face, with wide-set eyes and full lips, was distinguished by an apparent strength of character rather than beauty. One of her greatest assets was a low toned, richly modulated voice…Mrs. Gardner knew instinctively the importance of being herself…Her wardrobe, for instance, was their [society women’s’] despair. Her perfect fitting gowns, with extreme simplicity of line, made them feel over-dressed in her presence. One out of a series of priceless gems, worm alone, caused them to feel over-bejeweled…At her throat was a magnificent ruby, her only ornament…All her assets considered, it was probably her infinite capacity to listen that provided a large measure of her attractiveness [to men]. A man found her rapt attention to what he was saying entrancing at a dinner table, where most of the women were talking too much.” After the death of her only child, she began “intensive travels abroad with her husband, planned by him to keep her from living with her sorrow…She discovered in herself an unexpected ability for evaluating great schools of art, represented in the museums of Europe.” After her husband’s death in 1898, she began building the Museum. By the terms of his will, she could take any amount of the principal (that would then go to other family members after her death) at any time for creating her building and filling it with treasures. She never took the smallest amount. “During Isabella’s absence, building operations ceased. She was on the grounds all day until the completion of every detail…She brought her lunch, like the workmen, and ate and drank barley water with them, keeping their hours. They obeyed her implicitly, more from respect than fear, and considered her one of themselves. (Smith,153 through 159)

Mrs. Gardner was known for her good works. Among the young men in her circle was the composer Clayton Johns who had taken a young piano student, Heinrich Gebhard under his tutelage. Johns had Gebhard play for Paderewski who was on tour in America-the suggestion was that Gebhard should study with Leschetizky. “However, before I left for Vienna, Mr. Johns wanted to present me to the Boston public as his pupil. So in April 1896, a concert was arranged in Copley Hall, where I played before a large representative audience a program [that included] the Schumann Concerto accompanied by sixty-five players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Franz Kneisel. Mrs. Jack Gardner, that wonderful and brilliant woman, who so often was a benefactor to young promising talents, in her great generosity footed the bill for this expensive concert.” (HMA Bulletin No.13)

The car would place this card c. 1915 (?). Johnston Collection.

“The Foote’s were frequently to be seen at the Gardner home.” (Tara, Foote, 71) In fact, Mrs. Gardner was the Godmother to their only child, Katharine. “Mrs. Jack insisted they go with her to the Copley Society’s costume ball. She dressed Arthur and his wife Kate in elaborate Korean costumes, which greatly impressed Katherine ”when they let me see them before they left. Mrs. Gardner was such a wonderful Godmother to me, and such a good friend to Papa and Mama.”” (Ibid) Mrs. Gardner helped Arthur Foote in many other ways. “Throughout her life, she remained a staunch and encouraging friend of his family. She introduced Foote to men and women who could benefit him, whether at her home or during travels in Europe. Her summer home in Beverly, Massachusetts, was at his disposal for vacations and peaceful seclusion so that he could compose music. Foote was asked to play at her musical evenings before distinguished gatherings.” (Tara, Foote, 111)

Johns, Reminiscences of a Musician, 74.

John Singer Sargent, 1888.

This portrait was first displayed at the St. Botolph Club, but her husband, John Gardner found it so offensive that it had it removed. It now hangs in Fenway Court, but she did not allow it to be shown to the public until after her death.

Anders Zorn: “Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice,” 1894.

She did not always attract attention to herself; the “Table Gossip” column of the Boston Globe of February 3, 1907 noted that “Mrs. John L. Gardner herself was much in evidence at Fenway Court during the hours when it was open to the public this week, although the majority of the visitors were unaware of the identity of the short, slim figure in black, wearing a flat black hat and carrying a gold filigree bag.” (Globe (February 3, 1907): 50) But, Arthur Foote wrote “that Boston began its greatest musical growth soon after he started living there. He attributes much of this growth to the local women and their clubs… The preeminent example of a woman dedicated to the arts was the wealthy Isabella Stewart Gardner, Foote’s kindly friend and patron. She gave moral and monetary support to musical performers, composers, painters, and sculptors… She exerted herself in helping musicians to establish the Boston Composers’ Manuscript Society. its aim was to give local composers a hearing.” (Tara, Foote, 57) Gardner’s biographer, Morris Carter was quoted as saying: “Whether a social renaissance was created or not may be a question, but ”the Brimmer set, which represents the old Puritan aristocracy,” and ”the Apthorp set, which represents the new Bohemianism,” did meet in her house on common ground.” (Ibid)

On one occasion when Mrs. Gardner visited Malcolm’s home, she noted the two candlesticks on his table and said, “How wonderful, I have the other four,” but Malcolm did not take the hint and present them to her. (Amy DuBois Interview)

Quotes from: The Grandes Dames by Stephen Birmingham:

Because of “Belle’s habit of languishing in her bed till lunchtime” she was not able to greet the matrons of society as they made their daily rounds visiting and leaving their claaing cards.” (63)                                                           The society formal dances in Boston were called Assemblies or Germans. “The most accomplished couple on the floor maneuvered to the center of the ballroom, directly beneath the chandelier, and there proceeded to perform-their deepest dips, their most spectacular twirls-while” the other dancers watched. “Belle Gardner was an expert when it came to chandeliering” as it was called.” (64)                                                                         After the death of her only child, a son, her doctor prescribed a change of scene-a European trip. She had been an invalid and so to get to the ship an ambulance was ordered and “Belle was lifted into it…From the ambulance she was carried up the gangplank on a mattress.” (66) However, no mattress was needed to depart the ship and no ambulance needed for transportation. Belle began to “adopt” artists of all types-painters, writers musicians…”she preferred the company of younger men.” Her husband “didn’t seem to mind.” (69) The writer Henry James,  the Boston novelist Frank Marion Crawford-“six feet tall, athletically built, matinee-idol handsome, brought up and educated in libertine Italy.” (69) The affair ended badly. He left in the middle of the night, without a farewell, and sailed to Italy. Others were George Santayana, T. S. Eliot (which poems did he read to her?), John Singer Sargent (who moved into her house as he painted the famous portrait, which, after its first showing at the St. Botolph Club, was never again shown publicly in her lifetime. (81)                         Musicians were prominent among her friends. In addition to supporting B. J.’s performing groups and Arthur Foote’s various concerts, Belle also supported the orchestral Club of Boston for twelve years, a group that included an unusually large number of women for its time. One of its members commissioned a composition “from no less than Debussy himself.” (Shand-Tucci, 284)                                                                                    George Proctor, one Belle’s piano proteges impressed Paderewski so much that Belle paid for Proctor’s tuition and expenses in Vienna with Leschetizky, Paderewski’s teacher, for a number of years. Proctor fell into the mold Belle sought-“blond, good-looking in a rather boyish and yet sophisticated way; eager, gallant, frank. athletic, distinctly a good sort.” (Ibid, 94-5) However, he lacked genius. He never “achieved the heights of fame” that Belle had hoped for him, nor did any of his students, but he “continued [to be] Gardner’s faithful friend and cavalier even into her old age.” (Ibid, 94) Belle also assisted the composer/performer Clayton Johns, the violinist Tymoteusz Adamowski, “The gay young bachelor, smiled on by all women, but conquered by none” who was the much lionized violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the composer/string player Charles Martin Loeffler, the BSO co-first violinist. (Ibid, 90) Composers dedicated their works to her: Loeffler-Divertimento in A Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Johns-Scythe Song and several piano compositions by the Italian composer, Busoni, who became part of her circle whenever he was in Boston. Proctor and Loeffler remained faithful friends until her death. In the 1920s, when she was in her early eighties and”all but physically helpless,” Proctor would play for her, and Loeffler would bring two or three friends and play something like the Bach Concerto for Two Violins and piano. (Ibid, 299) A dahlia was named in her honor as was Mount Gardner, the highest peak of the Isabella Range in Washington. (Ibid 92-3)

 

Mrs. Jack Gardner’s Palace.” The message is dated Christmas 1906, and so this is how it appeared to B. J. Lang. (Johnston Collection)

“Courtyard at Night.” Johnston Collection.

Roman statue of a woman from the first century. Johnston Collection.

 

“Cinerarias and Jasmine.” Johnston Collection.

 

Gericke, Wilhelm.

Elson, The History of American Music, 54.

 

Rogers, Story of Two Lives, facing 74.

 

Gericke 1906. NYPL Digital. Accessed November 18, 2020.

Gericke was born April 18, 1845 in Graz, Austria, and died October 27, 1925 in Vienna. Studied at the Vienna Conservatorium 1862-65: began conducting career in Linz; then in 1874 offered second conductorship of the Hofoper in Vienna?there became associated with Hans Richter; took over the Vienna Singverein in 1880; 1884 appointed to the BSO and stayed five years, resigning due to health issues; returned to Vienna for three years, and then reappointed to the BSO “whose great efficiency is largely due to his indefatigableness and skill as a drill-master, his conscientious devotion to high ideals, and his remarkable sense of euphony and tonal balance.” (Groves Dictionary, 1921, Vol. II, 159.) “Mr. Higginson brought Mr. Wilhelm Gericke from Vienna to take his [Henschel] place. Gericke was a rigid disciplinarian, a musical purist, and a devotee of two more B”s than Henschel [whose B. had been Beethoven]. Namely Bach and Brahms. He made several changes in the personnel of the orchestra, and introduced reforms which unquestionably heightened its excellence; but meanwhile he was not currying favor with the people. He made his programmes extremely severe, and rigidly excluded popular music from them, besides unnecessarily antagonizing American composers; and as the outcome of it all he fell victim to the populace, intellectual and orthodox in taste as it claims to be. As a result of his policy, however, when the new leader Mr. Arthur Nikisch, came, he found an orchestra already drilled and disciplined, and abounding in excellent material.” (Upton, “Musical Societies,” 81) Gericke “undertook the difficult but needed reform of replacing a number of old musicians, formerly prominent in the city’s musical life, who were holding their posts in the orchestra principally through courtesy, with younger musicians from Europe. That he accomplished this successfully and built up an orchestra in which perhaps fewer changes were later made than in any other in the world during a period of twenty years or more, is proof that Gericke possessed wonderful tact, judgment and executive ability. These qualities, combined with musical insight and tireless energy, have made the Boston Symphony Orchestra his debtor for its international position and comparative financial independence. For five years Gericke remained at the head of this organization, at the end of which time he returned to Germany and resumed the leadership of the Concert Society in Vienna, which he conducted until 1895. Then followed a period of three years” freedom from professional activities, and in 1898 Gericke was again engaged to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For eight years longer Gericke directed the body of musicians which he had brought to its present perfection of ensemble; then, in the season of 1905 and 1906 resigned his post, and in the latter year returned to Vienna… Gericke is said to have forwarded the cause of music in America more than any other one man, with the possible exception of Theodore Thomas. Elson speaks of him as the finest drillmaster among conductors… His reading of scores is considered remarkable” (Green, 283) “He was assistant conductor at the Vienna Hofoper when Henry Lee Higginson heard him conduct a performance of Aida in October 1883 and invited him to replace George Henschel as conductor of the Boston SO… He was a stern drillmaster, and after his first season dismissed 20 members of the orchestra and replaced them with young European players. At first there were complaints in Boston about this procedure, but most observers soon agreed that the orchestra’s improvement justified it… Gericke’s programs were thoroughly ”serious,” in contrast to those of Henschel, who had customarily opened with a symphony and filled the rest of the program with miscellaneous lighter pieces; Gericke also broke with a long-standing tradition by offering concerts without guest soloists. As a friend or personal acquaintance of Wagner, Brahms, Bruckner, and Liszt, he included a great deal of their music and introduced new European works, as well as compositions by” American composers such as Chadwick, Beach, Converse, and Foote. “Gericke’s tenure saw the orchestra’s first concerts in New York (1887), and the construction of Symphony Hall for its permanent home.” (New Am. Grove, 198) Gericke conducted the BSO from 1884 until 1889 and from 1898 until 1906.

Signed in the middle of his second period in Boston. IMSLP site.

His salary for his first year 1884-85 was $7,500, and he was at the time thirty-nine years old. “He was a bachelor, short and stocky, with a dark beard and handlebar mustache, both neatly trimmed. He was a vivacious conversationalist. He looked more like a shoe dealer or bank cashier than a musician.” (Horowitz, 50) “But he was not unhappy when he was settled in well-appointed bachelor quarters at 5 Mt. Vernon Place, near the crest of Beacon Hill. He would walk across the Common on a fine day, no doubt well-tailored and gloved, to have his dinner at the ”Tavern Club.”” (Burk, 173) Among the new musicians that he hired for his second season were the twenty-year-old concertmaster, Franz Kneisel, and “numerous other new members to replace ”old” and ”overworked” musicians ”no longer fit for the demands of modern and more difficult orchestral ensemble.” he subdued the brass in order to perfect the balance and tone of the ensemble. he insisted on rehearsal conditions never imposed by Henschel or Carl Zerrahn. He disciplined musicians who took the stage intoxicated, in some cases repeatedly… His repertoire, stressing Beethoven, was less adventurous than Thomas’ in New York, less conservative than has been Dwight’s and the Harvard Musical Association’s. As he disciplined his orchestra, Gericke disciplined his audience, and not by insisting on more ”serious” programs. Latecomers were not admitted except during pauses. Encores were discouraged… Gericke himself called his Boston listeners ”one of the most cultivated and best understanding musical publics I Know…Henschel had adopted the formulas of ”lightening heavier programmes;” Gericke had not. But Gericke supported the notion of a summer season modeled after the garden concerts of Germany and Austria. As it happened, the initial summer ”Promenade” season materialized in 1885, near the beginning of Gericke’s tenure… For the Promenade concerts, the Music Hall’s downstairs seats were removed and replaced with tables and shrubs. Light alcoholic beverages were served (a breach of public morals requiring a special annual permit). On opening night Boston’s highest social circles turned out in force and there were not enough tables and waiters to meet the demand.” (Horowitz, 50-52)

Hale, in reviewing Nikisch’s first BSO concert reminded his readers what Gericke had achieved. “In applauding Mr. Nikisch, the patient and abiding work of Mr. Gericke should not be forgotten. He gave the orchestra technique. He taught it precision, he called attention to detail. Without the noble rage of the born conductor, he gave a cold and finished reading of whatever work was on his desk. He seemed to abhor contrasts; he shrank from great effects; he appeared at times to entertain contempt for brass instruments. Gorgeous and daring coloring was not so dear to him as a pale monochrome. So the orchestra became under his leadership an admirable machine, which one looked at and admired. Not without reason, then, did an irreverent New Yorker dub it, ”The Boston Music Box.”” (Swan, 88) Gericke replaced many players. “The ax had fallen, twenty players were dropped, and as many new ones, mostly young men from Central Europe or France, were brought over to take their places. These included a new concertmaster, Franz Kneisel. Kneisel was conspicuously young, like many of the newcomers, very much younger than Bernard Listermann, whom he replaced. The orchestra was being swept of the cobwebs of antique custom and provincialism… Civic pride was aroused, comparisons began to be made. Gericke’s name was mentioned with that of Theodore Thomas, the only other symphonic conductor America had known of strictly the first standing.” (Burk, 175) “The continued growth of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the seasons following was consistent with Gericke’s beginnings. A certain amount of niggling opposition continued and continued to be overborne by a widening respect for a tireless conductor. As his fifth season was drawing to a close, Gericke decided he would need a rest of ”at least a year.” Perhaps his fatigue was as much mental as physical… Higginson said in a farewell speech at the Tavern Club: ”Mr. Gericke made our orchestra.” (Burk, 176)

Gericke returned to the BSO in 1898, nine years after his departure. The situation was “far different from the one he had faced in 1884. There was no longer now a provincial orchestra and audience, but an orchestra at least as expert as the one he had left, and a public seasoned by acquaintance with two not inconsiderable conductors. They had experienced the Hungarian ardors of the romanticist Nikisch and the vigorous onslaughts of Paur. Paur had been insistently up-to-date in his programs. By now Brahms was loudly applauded… He had brought a handful of new (and choice) players with him, including the oboist from the Lamoureux Orchestra in Paris-Georges Longy. (Burk, 179 and 180) It fell to Gericke to conduct the opening concert on October 15, 1900, at the new Symphony Hall on Huntington Avenue. “In the end, what the Boston Symphony’s new home most resembled was its old home. In size and feel, if not in proportionate dimensions, it was the Music Hall, not the Gewandhaus, that proved Higginson’s inescapable model. Like the Boston Music Hall, Symphony Hall was a simple rectangle whose shallow balconies which had no bad seats. Like Music Hall, it secured a special bonding of music, auditors, and venue, a feeling of cultural community sealed by its town-0meeting plainness… Henry Higginson had built a house as bold and obdurate, severe and warm as the gentleman himself.” (Horowitz, 75) The main piece at this concert was Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Lang and the Cecilia Society using members of the BSO had presented the first Boston performance of this work only three years before, on March 12, 1897. (Johnson, First, p. 55) It was Gericke’s BSO that Richard Strauss called the “most marvelous in the world.” (Horowitz, 75) In 1906 “Gericke announced he would not come back the following fall.” (Ibid)

GERMANIA MUSICAL SOCIETY.

THE GERMANIA ORCHESTRA, FROM AN OLD PRINT.

CARL BERGMANN, CONDUCTOR, SEATED AT CENTER.

CARL Zerrahn, STANDING AT EXTREME LEFT.

Howe: BSO, An Historical Sketch, photo between 8 and 9.

Germania Orchestra. In 1848 a group of young musicians in New York who had recently emigrated from Europe organized themselves into an orchestra, but they made Boston their headquarters and chose Carl Lenschow as their first conductor. “They were young men, friends, who had been drawn together in a little social orchestra in Berlin. This was in 1848, the year of the social revolution. By much playing together they had grown expert in the interpretation, or at least the expressive outlining, of the master compositions; they were at home in Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Spohr, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Gade, and even Liszt, Berlioz, and Wagner.” (Dwight, History of Boston, 429) “They made their first appearance in Boston April 14, 1849, where they gave twenty-two concerts in the Melodeon in six weeks. The effect was magical. The Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture had to be repeated thirty-nine times, such was the exquisite precision, delicacy, and poetic beauty of the reading. Yet they only numbered twenty-three musicians; they had but pairs of violins, violas, basses, as of reeds and flutes, and but a single violoncello… In three winter seasons, they performed here nearly all the great orchestral compositions. In one season they gave more than twenty concerts, besides filling the Music Hall, mostly with young ladies, by their public afternoon rehearsals.” (Ibid, 430) “When in 1850 their conductor, Carl Lenschow, chose to remain in Baltimore to head the Gesangverein, Carl Bergmann, then a cellist with the orchestra took his place… Under Bergmann [then in his late twenties], the Germania Society acquired a more dynamic approach to interpretation, as well as a braver repertoire. Bergmann championed Wagner and Liszt. He also programmed quantities of Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Eventually, the Germanians gave over nine hundred concerts in the United States.” (Horowitz, Wagner, 39) “In 1850 the orchestra consisted of twenty-three musicians, with Carl Bergmann at its head. Among the band was a tall young flute-player, named Carl Zerrahn, who subsequently was made director. This orchestra may be called the first organization which gave satisfactory performances of the great symphonies in America. The orchestra soon grew to fifty members and even the greatest works, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, for example, were interpreted. The Germania dissolved in 1854; in five seasons it had given nearly ninety concerts in Boston and had made a succession of tours to New York and to other cities, giving Americans the first true model of orchestral work in the classical forms.” (Elson, National, 289 and 290). But “in 1853 the Germania’s Boston premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth drew over three thousand listeners. Overflowing audiences, with others turned away, were excited reported in Dwight’s Journal.” (Horowitz, 31)

“In the eighty or ninety concerts which they gave here [Boston], the little orchestra was sometimes doubled by the addition of the best resident musicians. In the United States, the Germania gave over seven hundred orchestral concerts, besides about one hundred concerts of chamber music, sonatas, trios, quartets, etc.” (Dwight, History of Boston, 430) “Most of its members would remain in the Boston area and generate other important musical endeavors. For a few tantalizing years [1848-1854], these Germans had given Bostonians a sample of what it was like to have a truly competent resident group of players entertain them with the finest in musical literature.” (Tara, Psalm, 96 and 97) Their first flute player, Carl Zerrahn “immediately after the dissolution of the Germania in 1855, established the Philharmonic Orchestra with fifty-four men. He and the orchestra would continue to give regular concerts until 1863 when the Civil War forced a stoppage.” (Ryan, 97) “In New York, Carl Bergmann, an incipient Wagnerite, was made conductor of the Philharmonic.” (Horowitz, 31)

 

Globe, Boston. See Newspapers.

Seating diagram from the Boston Manual of 1888 showing the 1874 building. Johnston Collection.

Globe Theater. Site of B. J.’s chamber music concerts in 1872. Opened in 1867 as Selwyn’s Theatre, its “entrance at 364 Washington Street, a lobby ran 93 feet back to a 68-foot-wide auditorium rear. To the left was the parquet floor, with its circle slightly raised, and six boxes in the rear. Above were stacked two balconies called dress and family circle, while six boxes fronted the proscenium. Walls were blue-paneled on an amber background. Parquet seats were covered in crimson satin, while upper seats were done in Bismark damask. Some 50 feet above was a dome beautifully frescoed with panels of amber, blue and scrollwork of the Muses, and in its center blazed a gas-burning Frink’s reflector chandelier, producing light and ventilation. The heat from these huge gas chandeliers was vented by a shaft to the roof, pulling fresh air into the auditorium from various outside vents, doors and windows. Selwyn’s proscenium arch was 36 feet square, its stage 65 feet deep and 63 feet wide. The new theatre boasted 118 sunken footlights, having three color reflectors of white, red, and green; 196 border lights hung above the stage. All of the gas lamps were controlled from the prompter’s desk. Architect B. F. Dwight provided an iron roof, brick division walls, and ample ingress and egress; a second entrance from Essex Street to parquet rear was 12 feet wide by 60 feet long” (King, 56) In 1870 this theatre was sold to Arthur Cheney who changed its name to the Globe Theatre. (Ibid, 59) On May 30, 1873 this building was destroyed by fire, but “plans were immediately drawn for a larger and finer replacement.” (Ibid, 60) “The new Globe Theatre opened on December 4, 1874… The new Globe was larger than its predecessor: its parquet was 74 feet long by 72 1/2 feet wide, and height to the dome was 65 feet. The house used an innovation in seating arrangements: a row of boxes separated the first balcony from the second, and a family circle was above the latter. Capacity was 825 in the parquet, 475 in the balcony, 650 in the second balcony and family for a total seating of 2,180.” (King, 63)

Gluth, Victor. Teacher and composer; (b. Pilsen, May 6, 1852). Teacher at the Kgl. Akademie der Tonkunst in Munich. Has composed the operas Der Trentajager (Munich, 1885; rewritten, Munich, 1911), Hornad und Hilde (prod. Munich); Et Resurrexit (not yet produced). Address: Schackstrasse 6, Munich, Germany. (Entry from Saerchinger, 227) Gluth would have been in his early thirties when Margaret studied with him.

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau.

Mathews, A Hundred Years of Music In America, 639.

Baker, Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 226.

Page from a Musical Biographical Dictionary. Johnston Collection.

NYPL Digital Library. Accessed November 18, 2020.

“He died worn out by excessive exertion.” Amy Fay wrote: “I was dreadfully sorry to hear of poor Gottschalk’s death. He had a golden touch, and equal to any in the world, I think. But what a romantic way to die!-to fall senseless at his instrument, while he was playing La Morte. It was very strange. If anything more is in the papers about him you must send it to me, for the infatuation that I and 99,999 other American girls once felt for him, still lingers in my breast!” (Fay, 42) b. New Orleans, La., May 8, 1829; d. Rio de Janeiro, December 18, 1869. “The eldest of seven children. His father, Edward Gottschalk, was a wealthy and cultured English broker born in London, but not of Jewish ancestry, as has been generally stated. He emigrated to America at the age of 25 and settled in New Orleans where he married Aimee Marie de Brusle, a Creole of rare charm and beauty… Her family., of noble French lineage, had migrated from the island of Santo Domingo, where her grandfather had been governor of the northern province.” (Dic. Am. Bio. 441 and 442) During 1841-46 he studied in Paris privately with Charles Halle and then Camille Stamaty. He had applied to the Paris Conservatoire, but the attitude was that no one “who had passed his first thirteen years in the savage atmosphere of America could become a piano virtuoso.” He was “advised to go home and become a mechanic.” (Schonberg, 217)  After his brilliant debut in Paris in 1845, he played concerts throughout Europe. “His triumphs were repeated in the U. S. beginning in New Orleans, he traversed the length and breadth of the land, playing his own pf.-works, and conducting his orchestral works at grand festivals.” (Baker, 226) “On 2 April 1845, shortly before his 16th. birthday, he gave a highly successful recital in the Salle Pleyel at which Chopin predicted that the young man would become ‘the king of pianists’… Gottschalk made his formal debut as a professional pianist in the Salle Pleyel on 17 April 1849, in a recital including a group of his ”Creole” compositions, then the rage of Paris… During the summer of 1850, he toured Switzerland and the French provinces with spectacular success… Later in 1851, he decided to try his luck in Spain where he quickly won the enthusiastic approval of Isabella II.” (New Am. Grove, 262) “Gottschalk fraternized with kings, queens and assorted royalty, moved in the best circles, and had a most satisfactory number of love affairs. During the 1850-51 season he gave more than seventy-five concerts in Paris alone…All the journals referred to Gottschalk as ‘the celebrated pianist,’ which meant that he had arrived. He was spoken of in the same breath as Liszt, Thalberg, Herz, Chopin. Chopin especially. There was a slight resemblance between the two men, to begin with. Both were slim, aristocratic-looking, rather short. Both composed exotic national music-Chopin with his mazurkas, Gottschalk with his plantation tunes.” (Schonberg, 218 and 219) On his return to Paris in 1852 [he] created a genuine furore by his unexampled performances on the piano, both his own compositions and those of the great masters. On his leaving for New York early in 1853, Berlioz wrote of him, Feb. 4 of that year: ”Gottschalk is one of the very small number who possess all the different elements of a consummate pianist-all the faculties which surround him with an irresistible prestige and give him a sovereign power. He is an accomplished musician – he knows just how far fancy may be indulged in expression. He knows the limits beyond which any liberties taken with the rhythm produce only confusion and discord, and upon these limits, he never encroaches. There is an exquisite grace in his manner of phrasing sweet melodies and throwing off light touches from the higher keys. The boldness and brilliancy and originality of his play at once dazzle and astonish… thus the success of M. Gottschalk before an audience of musical cultivation is immense.”” (Mathews, 637 and 638) “He gave his first American concert at Niblo’s on February 11, 1853, and met with a flattering reception. In October of that year, he gave a concert in the Music Hall, Boston, but was coldly received, and met with unfair treatment from the critics, who at that time could see nothing of merit that was not of German origin.” (Mathews, 638) “Although he was unfavorably received in Boston, his playing was so popular in New York that in the winter of 1855-56 he gave eighty concerts there (Dic. Am. Bio., 442). From 1853 until 1856 he toured America with a “long interlude in Cuba (1854),” but on February 7, 1857 he sailed to Havana with the young Adelina Patti. For the next five years, he traveled all over the Caribbean area and South America returning to America in February of 1862. “In four and a half months Gottschalk traveled 15,000 miles by rail and gave 85 recitals, a brutal pace which he maintained for more than three years. By the time he arrived in California for a far-western tour in April 1865, he estimated that he had given some 1,100 American recitals and traveled some 95,000 miles.” (New Am. Grove, 262) In September 1865 an affair with a young student forced him to flee to South America-he never returned to America.

Gottschalk “was blessed with a facile technique and a special ability in repeated notes and rapid figurations. He used considerable pedal, and he exploited the upper reaches of the piano…Critics kept referring to his ‘silvery sound,’ and ‘fingers of steel.'” (Schonberg, 221) “As a pianist, he was one of the greatest of his period; he was decidedly the best American performer. He had a brilliant technique and an appealing quality of tone, tinged with deep melancholy. Undoubtedly his fascinating performance of his own compositions, which he always featured, contributed greatly to their popularity. Though he was a notable interpreter of Beethoven, he seldom performed this master’s works, choosing to please rather than to educate an unsophisticated public. He was endowed with a most lovable personality. He was modest and generous almost to extravagance and possessed an ingratiating presence. Like his father, he was a proficient linguist, speaking five languages fluently. Though English was his mother tongue, he thought and wrote in French and nearly all of his compositions bore French titles” (Dic. Am. Bio., 442).

FRITZ GRIESE.

Fritz Griese. Ryan, Recollections, facing page 72.

Griese was the third cellist of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. (Ryan, 156) He remained for five years, and then after various temporary players, Anton Hekking joined the Club. “It is to be seen that the Club has had, from first to last, the best of cellists to help make its reputation.” (Ibid)

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Johnston collection.

Johnston collection.

Winslow, facing 34.

Hale, Edward Everett. Born Apr. 3, 1822 and died June 10, 1909. He “was born in Boston, the fourth of his parents” eight children, and died, at eighty-seven, in the house, in the Roxbury district of Boston, in which he had lived for forty years.” (Dic Am Biog., 99) “He was no prodigy, but was warmly sandwiched between six brothers and sisters; having the middle place, he was protected from those external influences which may affect the oldest or the youngest, protected, yet set in keen competition with a bright family, and having to keep his end up or go under.” (Winslow, 84) His father bought the Boston Daily Advertiser in 1814 and was the editor for nearly fifty years. E. E. entered Harvard at the age of thirteen and graduated aged seventeen in 1839, second in his class. “It was always taken for granted that he would enter the Unitarian ministry,” (Ibid) but first he taught at Boston Latin School while studying theology “under private guidance.” In “April 1846 [he] was ordained minister of the Church of the Unity in Worcester, Mass. Ten years later he became minister of the South Congregational Church in Boston, his only other parish for the forty-three ensuing years through which he was to continue his active ministry,” (Ibid) In a June 1857 issue of the Boston Transcript this church was described as “the centre of Boston bourgeois society.” (Chamberlin, 119) HALE’S “literary work has been stupendous, reaching to fifty volumes, and ten times fifty volumes in uncollected articles, studies, and sermons. He has caught the popular fancy, as few purely literary men have done, with ”My Double, and How He Undid Me” and ”The Man Without a Country.”” (Winslow, 37 and 38)

Hale, Irene (Baumgras). “American composer; born at Syracuse, New York. Studied piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, taking the Springer gold medal in 1881. Later studied in Berlin under Moskowski and Oscar Raif. In 1884, in Berlin, she married Philip Hale, the distinguished Boston musical critic. Her health was undermined and she was obliged to give up her work. After her marriage, she became a resident of Boston, and has produced a number of songs and piano works, the latter under the pseudonym of Victor Rene.” (Green, 343)

Hale, Philip.

Courtesy of Smith College.

Below: Signature from the period when Hale was a student of Guilmant who thought enough of him to dedicate an organ piece to him. Johnston Collection.

Born in Norwich, Vermont on Mar. 5, 1854 to a family that had first arrived in Massachusetts in 1638 (“eighth in the line of descent from Thomas Hale,” Horowitz, 63), he was organist at the Unitarian church in Northampton, Mass. at fourteen, studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, “where he also had a private tutor,” (Ibid, 63) and then graduated from Yale in 1876. After graduation studied organ with Dudley Buck; then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1880; practiced for two years in Albany; then spent five years in Dresden and Berlin studying music followed by a time in Paris with Guilmant; returned to Albany in 1887 for two years where he began writing music criticism; fall of 1889 went as director of music to the First Unitarian Church of Roxbury, MA (where he stayed for 17 years)

First Church, Roxbury. Wikipedia.

[Church of the First Religious Society, Roxbury (Universalist)] and while there did criticism to supplement his income. (Nat Bio., 462) Grant adds that his piano study was with Xavier Scharwenka and that his study with Rheinberger and Guilmant was in the area of composition (Grant, 74). “Hale early acquired a formidable breadth of learning, lightly worn. The breezy aplomb of his worldly prose set him apart from other Boston writers.” (Horowitz, 63)

“In the summer of 1884, while studying in Berlin, he was married to Irene Baumgras of Washington, D. C.” (Dic. Am. Biog., 369)

Courtesy of Smith College

“A man of the world, good-natured and affable, full of wisdom, love of life and social graces was Philip Hale, music and dramatic editor of the Boston Herald from 1903 until his death, November 30, 1934…Hale, who looked like a noble old Roman in his latter years, was born in Norwich, Vt. He could have become a professor at his alma mater, Yale, but all he asked of life was to let him remain a newspaperman. Symphony lovers will always remember him as a music critic in the flesh, with a flowing bow tie of red or black, sitting in his accustomed seat in the third row, right, second balcony, Symphony Hall… The busy Mr. Hale found time to edit his own humorous Herald column, “As The World Wags,” and to write editorials on any subject, with delightful obscurities raked out of his fertile mind as illustrations. In the course of his comic sallies, Philip Hale invented a foil for himself called Herkimer Johnson, the Clamport philosopher. To many, Herkimer, with his preposterous dissertations, seemed as real as Philip Hale. And the latter was as close to genius as any man in the history of Boston journalism… He died at 80.” (Herald article on the BSO, December 15, 1940)

His fellow critic Huneker “bestowed the ultimate accolade, an artist in prose.'” (Grant, 74) Lawrence Gilman, music critic of the New York Herald Tribune wrote of Hale: “He never hesitated to lighten musical instruction with diversion and with wit,” while Grant wrote that “A dry understated humor was a steady weapon in HALE’S armamentarium,” and that “his acidic tendencies were feared by musicians.” (Grant, 78)

Hale was organist of the Albany, N. Y, Unitarian Church in 1889. He gave a recital on January 28, 1889 that included Fugue in G Minor by Guilmant which had been dedicated to Hale. (Hale Crits., Vol. 1)

  • HALE’S NEWSPAPERS:
  • Boston Home Journal:  1889-1890. A Saturday evening weekly in magazine shape; sixteen pages, four columns each; good arts coverage.
  • Boston Post: 1890-1891
  • Boston Journal: 1891-1903. Also daily column “Talk of the Town [Day?].”
  • Boston Herald: 1903-1933.  Also comic column, “As the World Wags.”             Also Herald Drama Critic: 1908-1933

MUSIC JOURNALS:                                                                                                         Editor   Boston Musical Record: 1897-1901                                                                    Musical World: 1891-1893                                                                                                Music Journals:  Associate Editor                                                                                Boston Musical Herald: 1891-1893  (see below, 1901-1903)                                  Provided articles for Musical Courier (New York) Looker-on. (Mitchell, 2)

“Philip Hale is another eminent eastern critic. From 1889 to 1891 he was the musical critic of the Boston Home Journal. In 1890 he accepted a position as critic for the Boston Post, and in 1891 went to the Boston Journal in the same capacity (he remained with the Journal for 12 years and resigned in May 1903 to take a position on the staff of the Boston Herald, to which he contributed, besides musical criticism and editorials, a special column on ‘Men and Things.'”(Nat. Bio., 462) Grant stated that, “Settling in Boston, Hale started writing music reviews for the Boston Post in 1890 and the next year moved to the Boston Journal, where he quickly became a colorful presence, writing not only music criticism but also a daily column called ”Talk of the Town,” that covered a broad human canvas. When in 1903 he moved over to the rival Herald, he wrote a similar column titled ”As the World Wags,” which retailed the exploits of such fictitious characters as Herkimer Johnson… and Halliday Witherspoon, a pseudonymous travel correspondent. He also for a few years in the 1890s wrote for the Musical Courier, edited the Boston Musical Record, and was music and drama critic for thirty years for the Herald (1903-1933).” (Grant, 74 and 75) “Since 1897 he has been editor of the Boston Musical Record and was for some years correspondent of the Musical Courier. He has lectured throughout the country on musical subjects. Mr. Hale is known as one of the most brilliant and forceful writers in the interest of music connected with the American press. His articles are fair and judicious and also tinged with unique humor.” (Hubbard, 305) (Saerchinger, 252) adds dates for the Boston Musical Record of 1897-1901 and editorship of The Musical World of 1901-1903, and mentions that Hale began writing the program notes for the Boston Symphony Program Books in 1901.

The Nat. Bio. entry states “Mr. Hale is one of a small group of brilliant writers identified with musical criticism in America who command respect quite as much for the literary quality of their work as for their special knowledge upon which their observation and verdicts are based. He is conspicuous among critics by reason of his pronounced individuality and he extended range of his information. His influence on musical art bids fair to be as permanent as that of any of his contemporaries in criticism, because the force and pungent flavor of his utterance fix them in the memory, and because, beneath the wit that illuminates his dicta, and beneath the occasional outbursts of contempt for mediocrity and humbug, there is manifest devotion to the high ideals that should, and often does, stimulate those who write temporarily under his lashing to stern endeavor toward improvement.” (Nat. Bio., 463) Johnson wrote: “After 1889 Philip Hale was on hand to touch with surest wit and perceptiveness every musical and theatrical event. Trained in Germany, he also studied with Guilmant in Paris and lived there during an exciting period of artistic Impressionism. HALE’S writing was accurate, learned, brilliant in expression and lively in satire and humor.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, 160) Leichtentritt noted Hale among the early writers of the “Historical and Descriptive” notes in the BSO programs. “During the season of 1890-91 and a part of 1891-92 [these notes] were written by G. H. Wilson. On December 18, 1891, his name vanished and that of Philip Hale, destined to become the most famous of the Boston commentators appeared for the first time. From January 1892 to the end of the season, however, no author is given at all. Is Hale hidden behind the anonymity? In the two seasons of 1892-94, William F. Apthorp wrote the notes.” (Leichtentritt, 367) These seasons included Margaret’s April 1893 premiere of Opus 12, Dramatic Overture. Apthorp was still doing the notes in 1896 as he wrote them for Margaret’s Opus 24 Armida premiered in January of that year.

Hale also wrote a daily column entitled “The Talk of the Town.”[or “Taverner” Swan, 87], and in May of 1903 he joined the editorial staff of The Boston Herald and began a daily column “As the World Wags.” The Langs were mentioned in both of these columns. (Dic. Am. Biog., 269 and 270) “When he moved to The Boston Herald in 1903, he was a securely established critical power in the city; however, the thirty years at the Herald were truly the years of ”Philip the Great” (or ”the Terrible,” depending upon one’s point of view). In those decades Boston could boast of two critics, Hale and Parker, with international reputations at least equal to those of the powerful New York critics of the day (Krehbiel, Finck, Henderson, Aldrich).” (Swan, 87) In 1878 The Boston Herald was described as “the most successful of the local papers. its first number appeared in 1846 as an evening daily, neutral in politics. It was a small paper, issued at one cent a copy, containing four pages of five columns each. The edition was 2,000 copies.” (King, 145) The paper grew to morning and evening editions and increased in copies produced so that a special edition giving the election returns in 1876 sold 223,256 copies. In 1878 the paper was located at 255 Washington Street. “It is said that The Herald presses can print more papers in any given time than the presses of all other Boston dailies combined.” (King, 146)

Hale was certainly a man of his own convictions. “He had no fear of the Olympian gods of music who had been placed by great critics upon heights of Parnassus. He could be derisive when he spoke of Wagner and Brahms, and in a lesser scale, he could pour his scorn upon Sir Edward Elgar and others. Among his idols was Debussy.” (Dic Am. Biog., 370) In the June 1, 1899 issue of the Boston Musical Record, he wrote: “We heard lately in Boston the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. The performance was technically most admirable. But is not the worship paid this Symphony mere fetishism?. Is not the famous Scherzo insufferably long-winded? The Finale is to me for the most part dull and ugly. I admit the grandeur of the passage ”und der Cherub steht vor Gott,” and the effect of ”Seid unschlungen Millionen!” But oh, the pages of stupid and hopelessly vulgar music. The unspeakable cheapness of the chief tune, ”Freude, Freude”! Do you believe way down in the bottom of your heart that if this music had been written by Mr. John L. Tarbox, now living in Sandown, N. H., any conductor here or in Europe could be persuaded to put it in rehearsal?” (Grant, 78) “A dry understated humor was a steady weapon in Hale’s armamentarium… His acidic tendencies were feared by musicians…Hale? who, persisted in wearing a loose black tie on all occasions into the Roaring Twenties, looked by that time like a creature from a yester era… Hale also was far less moralistic and puritanical than his predecessor Apthorp… He was modest enough to reverse earlier negative opinions upon later hearings, as with his opinion of much Strauss… He never learned to like Brahms and is apocryphally credited with punning, when Symphony Hall was opened in Boston, that the fire exits should be marked ”Exit in case of Brahms.” (Ibid., 78 and 79) He once summed up his total life’s work by saying: “Mere collections of passing opinions, criticisms that prove stale in a day-whether they be signed by Reichardt in 1792, Hanslick in the Eighties or Krehbiel in 1908 – those are tolerable neither to gods nor men.” (Ibid, 80)

Lawrence Gilman of the New York Herald Tribune wrote that Hale “never hesitated to lighten musical instruction with diversion and with wit. He knew much besides music; and he was able to peptonize for the reader his vast and curious erudition. He could tell you about the maceration of oriental women, and what action is described by the word ”tutupomponeyer,” and who invented the first chess-playing automaton, and how locomotives engines are classified, and what Pliny said concerning the bird called penelope… [HALE’S] amazing annotations, traversing all history and the ceaseless tragi-comedy of life, assure us that a Programme note may sometimes, if an artist has contrived it, be more rewarding than the music that occasioned it. Philip Hale transformed the writing of Programme notes from an arid and depressing form of musical pedagogy into an exhilarating variety of literary art.” (Grant, 75)

However, he had his very particular views. He “denounced the influence of Dvorak the ”negrophile.” In 1910-fully six years after Dvorak’s death-Hale was still contesting the New York view that the composer had struck an American chord. ”The negro,” he wrote, was ”not inherently musical.” His ”folk-songs” were founded on ”sentimental ballads sung by the white women of the plantation, or on camp-meeting tunes.” It would be ”absurd,” Hale concluded, ”to characterize a school of music based on such a foundation as an ”American school.”” (Horowitz)

The obit notice in Time Magazine of December 10, 1934 said: “For thirty years his shrewd scholarly criticisms made him Boston’s oracle on music and the theatre. He wore bright Windsor ties, carried a big umbrella and a green felt hat. Last week’s Symphony audience stood to show its respect for wise Philip Hale.” “He was a man of distinguished though unconventional appearance. He wore a loose black silk tie and, even in an era when the facial adornment was fast disappearing, he continued to wear a large mustache.” (Dic. Am. Biog., 370) Grant’s description was: “Hale? who, persisting in wearing a loose black silk tie on all occasions into the Roaring Twenties, looked by that time like a creature from a yester era.” (Grant, 78 and 79) “Hale was tall and elegantly trim; his sartorial signature was a loose black silk tie; for the opera, he always wore white tie and tails. His courtly manner was also caustic. Nothing more inflamed his pen than the influence of German music, language, and mores.” (Horowitz, 64)

The scholarly view of the 1980s is reflected in the following: “Hale is best known for his program notes for the Boston SO; written between 1901 and 1934, these are scholarly, witty, and ample, and became the model for American program annotators. His insistence on evaluating each work as it appeared to him, and the quotability of his negative opinions (he once said of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto that ”the finale, with the endless repetitions of a Kangaroo theme, leads one to long for the end”) have caused him to be represented as a crabbed reactionary, cringing at Brahms. In reality, he was a fair-minded and forward-looking critic, one of the first American champions of Debussy and an often shrewd evaluator of later music.” (Shirley, 307)

Around 1900 it was written that “Hale is known as one of the most forceful and brilliant writers for the American musical press; his articles in the Looker-on, Musical review, Music Herald, etc., are valuable contributions to musical literature, as well as being interesting for the humor they contain.” (Green, 343)

Comments from Eaton: “”Philip the Great,” occasionally ”Philip the Terrible,” and more intimately, ”Phil.”” Hale and Parker were opposites in many ways. Hale with private prep school, Yale, music study in Germany and Paris, professional work as an organist and choir director versus Parker with early schooling in England, Harvard, but “he was virtually a musical illiterate, unable, for example, to tell the difference between a major and minor chord and certainly lacking the ability to read notes.” Both died in 1934. Hale had retired the year before and moved, with his wife, into the

Johnston Collection.

 

“staid Hotel Vendome… This hostelry had been dubbed by the more irreverent set as ”God’s Waiting Room,” because so many of Boston’s more or less affluent elders choose it as an antechamber to Heaven.” Their writing styles were also different: “Hale used one word to his colleague’s five, yet matched him in consumed space for his more varied output.” Olin Downes, forever his disciple and later the main critic of the New York Times wrote: “If only one work could be saved from the English literature on music, we would vote for the preservation of the thirty-odd volumes of program notes which Mr. Hale has compiled.” In addition to his musical and dramatic writings, he also was “the anonymous author of a column called ”As the World Wags,” [in which] he let his fancy roam over the world… Bostonians waited eagerly for the adventures of Herkimer Johnson, an alter ego Hale created to comment on men and affairs… His humor, clean and bright, seldom curdled to satire, but he could demolish a fledgling pianist, who should never been allowed at the starting point, with four words: ”She consumed valuable time.”” Hale was offered the higher-paying position at the New York Times, but he refused “believing that Boston air nourished the individualist as New York’s tended to submerge him.” Hale had a particular style of dress: “HALE’S personal badge, a flowing bow tie of either red or black, in later years occasionally enlivened by polka dots (some said depending on his charitable or uncharitable mood).” For attending the opera he wore “white tie and tails, a slim, tall figure, reminding his young assistant of a grand duke.” While H. T. Parker sat in the first row of the first balcony at Symphony Hall, usually alone, “Hale, usually accompanied by his wife, occasionally by a crony, reigned serenely a few rows behind.” All critics have their prejudices, but “HALE’S Germanophobia extended beyond Wagner even to Bach, whose music he described as ”counterpoint by the yard-you can begin anywhere and end anywhere; a sausage factory.” He was, of course, known for suggesting a sign in Symphony Hall to read: ”Exit in Case of Brahms.” Later in life he mellowed somewhat and must be credited with warm and perceptive reviews of Richard Strauss” Salome and Electra at a time when other pens dripped horror and vitriol.” HALE’S writing style was described as being an “open progression of thought and brevity of sentence. HALE’S mind clearly worked through his lean, pointed prose. ”Terse, idiomatic sentences were characteristic of the clarity of his thinking and the quick and penetrating processes of his mind,” Downes wrote after his death.” To sum it up: “Equally lofty on a pinnacle of scholarship, genuine humanity, and sheer musical competence, the proud Hale, twice honored by academia with honorary degrees, selected for a scholarship award of Sigma Delta Chi, professional journalistic fraternity, dubbed by Carl Engle, the musicologist and editor of Musical Quarterly, the ”Eaglet of Seventy” in 1924, flew banners brilliantly into the third decade of the century.” (Musical Quarterly, 102-111)

Paderewski had met Hale many times, and he described Hale as “a highly educated man of great culture and he knew many things besides music. But his criticisms were sometimes – I would not say adverse, but so sardonic, in their suggestion as to be unmistakable. There was always some little personal remark. He was witty, and wit is a very dangerous weapon in a critic, and in any one practically, because witty people cannot refrain from making witty remarks, and witty remarks are not always amusing when they are a little bit ironical. There was something in me though, which always shocked him-I cannot find another word for it, and that was my hair! He apparently could never get used to it. I must confess it was always a question in my mind whether Hale was envious of my hair, or simply disturbed by the sight of it. At any rate, he always had to overcome to a certain extent his feeling and his annoyance, though it often trickled through into some rather caustic remarks in his notices, which was natural enough, feeling as he did.” (Paderewski, 200 and 201)

Henry Dunham, organ instructor of the New England Conservatory wrote: “we looked upon Hale as a pupil of Wolf [sic]. They were seen almost always together at the concerts and his style and even opinion seemed more or less influenced by the older man. After a few years, Wolf disappeared from the scene and Philip Hale continued on to become the famous critic he is today, and I am sure none the less so from his intimacy with B. E. Wolf.” (Dunham, 229)

Handel and Haydn Society. It would seem that the early 1870s were a difficult period for the group. “The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston is about played out. Its white-headed members are beginning to grow famous by their squeaky, husky voices-and they ought to know it. They wouldn’t think of retiring in the background, or of admitting young voices and fresh talent into their exclusive ranks. They have grown old-fogyish in their notions, and can’t give a respectable concert without outside assistance. Their day is past; and our hopes now centre in the rising Apollo Club, from which the public is led to expect many wonderful successes.” (Folio, February 1872)

Elson, History of American Music, 51.

Henschel, Georg. Born February 18, 1850 in Breslau of Polish descent – “He was the only son of his mother, though there were three other children by his father’s first marriage.” (Henschel, H., 9) He died September 10, 1934 in Aviemore, Scotland at his holiday-home “Alltnacriche.” At the age of twelve, he played the piano solo in Weber’s Concertstuck “at a new music school which his professor had just started in Berlin.” (Ibid, 10). In 1867, aged seventeen, he went to study at the Conservatory in Leipzig where his favorite piano teacher was Ignace Moscheles. He studied voice with Goetze whom he felt gave him “the solid foundations of a vocal structure of great simplicity, intended for duration rather than show.” (Ibid, 11) At age 18 he sang the part of Hans Sachs in a concert performance of Die Meistersinger. Henschel’s daughter remarked that “this instinct was fully justified, as anyone will realize who heard my father broadcast on his eighty-fourth birthday or who is familiar with the records he made just before he was eighty.” (Ibid) At about this time he met Liszt who invited him to his Weimar home. At one of Liszt’s Sunday mornings “at-home,” Henschel heard Anton Rubinstein, Carl Tausig, Hans von Bulow and Liszt play. On this occasion, Wagner’s Valkyrie was played from the recently published score? Henschel was then just eighteen, and it made a great impression on him. In 1870 Henschel transferred to Berlin to study at the High School of Music headed by Joseph Joachim, and Professor Schulze was his vocal teacher. “During his stay in Berlin, he met Madame Schumann, the Joachims, and most of the other great musicians living there.” (Ibid, 13) In 1874 Henschel first met Brahms. Henschel’s first appearance in England was at “a Monday ”Pop” in St. James” Hall on February 19th., 1879, the day after his twenty-ninth birthday.” (Ibid, 14) He became a naturalized English citizen.                                                                                                                                          His conducting career began in the States. “Henschel made a strong impression in Boston, not only as a singer and composer but also, at a concert of the Harvard Musical Association, as a conductor. In a surprise appearance, he led the orchestra in his own Concert Overture, and even John S. Dwight was struck by ”the revelation (from the very first measures of the work) of that rara avis, a born conductor.” Higginson evidently was impressed too: that concert took place on March 3, 1881; within the month he had conceived a new orchestra and engaged Henschel as its conductor.” The opera singer Clara Rogers recorded: “Georg Henschel, who had come to America in July 1880, with his bride-elect, Lillian Bailey, offered both his and Lillian’s services as soloists for the last symphony concert of the [HMA] season, with the understanding that he should conduct an overture of his own composition. The orchestra, roused to unwonted effort by the magnetism of Henschel’s ardent and high-strung temperament, fairly outdid itself… They played with a vim and spirit as unusual and startling as the vivid tone color displayed in their performance. Mr. Higginson was quick to recognize his man at once. No further search for a conductor was necessary.” (Rogers, Two Lives, 69) Henschel recorded in a letter: “I engaged the members of the orchestra, selecting them, at Mr. Higginson’s very wise suggestion, as nearly possible from those of the old Harvard Society and among other local players.” (Henschel, H., 31) The Boston Symphony Orchestra “numbered at the outset sixty-seven musicians, and its first conductor was Mr. George Henschel, who prior to that time had been better known as a songwriter and pianist of exceptional ability. He remained as conductor until 1884. He was an ardent devotee of Beethoven. His concerts began with The Dedication of the House, and each season closed with the Ninth Symphony. All the nine symphonies were played during his administration, but his work was not confined to Beethoven, for the classical and modern composers had a fair representation on his programmes, and he gave considerable attention to American compositions. Notwithstanding his ability, he did not succeed, however, and in 1884 Mr. Higginson brought Mr. Wilhelm Gericke from Vienna to take his place.” (Upton, Musical Societies, 80) “There was some criticism of the selection at first, partly because Henschel’s appointment was deemed a slight to local conductors and partly because his multiple talents aroused suspicion as to his competence in any one area, but he came to be regarded as a fine musician, if not a stern drillmaster… At Higginson’s suggestion, his first season included all the nine Beethoven symphonies played in chronological order; the Ninth was performed at the last concert of the season with a volunteer chorus of subscribers and others.” (Am Grove, 372) “The early days of the orchestra were not by any means peaceful. The Press, for some reason, were almost unanimous in trying to kill the new venture… Fortunately, they seem to have had no effect on public opinion.” (Henschel, H., 31) Henschel was “a young German singer-composer who came to the United States in 1880 to appear in concerts as a soloist and in company with his fiancee, Lillian Bailey, a gifted soprano who had grown up in Boston. The couple had met in London, where Henschel was well launched on a career when Bailey arrived from studies in Paris.” (Sablosky, 249) “While in Boston before their wedding, they performed several recitals and appeared as Mephistopheles and Gretchen in B. J. Lang’s performance of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust (1880).” (Am. Grove, 372) After leaving the Boston Symphony Orchestra Henschel did return to Boston on various occasions. “Mr. and Mrs. Georg Henschel gave four vocal recitals in the Meionaon, Tremont Temple, March 21, 23, 28, 30. Only Mr. Henschel’s compositions were sung at the concert of the 30th., at which Miss Gertrude Edmands, Contralto, and Mr. G. J. Parker, tenor, assisted.” (MYB, 1888-89, 24)

He first appeared in England (1877) as a singer; engagements during the following years included those with the Bach Choir (1878) and at London Philharmonic (1879), where he sang a duet with the American soprano Lillian June Bailey (1860-1901)(her London debut), who became his pupil and later his wife (1881). At Henschel’s “Second Vocal Recital” held at Tremont Temple on January 31, 1881, Lang and Miss Lillian Bailey were listed as assisting artists. Lang and Henschel played the Hommage a Handel by Moscheles for two pianos. Whether Henschel accompanied himself and Miss Bailey is not clear from the program. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3) At the fourth concert in the 1881-82 “Season of Mr. and Mrs. Georg Henschel’s Vocal Recitals” held at the Meionaon on Monday, January 9, 1882 Lang was an assisting artist along with three other performers-two singers and a pianist (Miss Lamson, probably a Lang pupil). Lang did two solos, and he and Lamson accompanied selections from Op. 52 and 65 Liebeslieder Waltzes by Brahms. (BPL Prog., Vol. 3) Lang had also taken part in the earlier three concerts in the series. For the first on December 6, 1881, he played two solos and was probably the accompanist. For the second on December 16, 1881, he played three short solos, and for the third on December 27, 1881, he played two Bach pieces as arranged by St. Saens. (BPL Prog., Vol. 4)

NYPL Digital, accessed November 18, 2020.

After three years as a conductor of the Boston Symphony (1881-84), Henschel made his home in England, where he succeeded Jenny Lind as professor of singing at Royal College of Music (1886-88); he established London Symphony concerts and conducted them for eleven years; appeared in Britain and on Continent as both conductor and singer. (Sablosky, 297-98) “At his final concert [with the BSO] on March 22, 1884, Henschel gave the downbeat for Schumann’s Manfred Overture only to see the entire orchestra rise and begin playing Auld Lang Syne. At this, the audience stood and proceeded to sing along. he was too much moved to speak.” (Horowitz, 50) His last appearance as a conductor was also with the BSO. At the age of 81 he returned to Boston to celebrate the orchestra’s 50th. Anniversary by repeating the very first concert he had led with the group. Seven months before his death, on his 84th. birthday, he broadcast publicly for the last time. It was one of his favorite songs, Schubert’s Das Wandern, the text of which ends:                                                                                                                            Dear master and fair mistress too,                                                                                   Let me in peace depart from you                                                                                   And wander-

(copied from the Musical Opinion, October 1934)

Portrait by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1879. Wikipedia article, downloaded February 28, 2010.
“Henschel at the piano of Alma-Tadema, Townshend House”

Henschel returned to Boston as a singer and composer in 1892. “A friend of Brahms and Joachim, [he] was distinguished in many fields and highly honored in London, where he had finally settled. On April 14, 1892, the Boston Symphony Orchestra performed his Opus 50, Suite from the Music to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, under his direction. At the same concert his wife, a former pupil of his, sang arias by Handel and Massenet. In March and April 1892 they gave four vocal recitals, classed among the finest of the season. At another concert Henschel’s ballad for contralto and orchestra, Here Was An Ancient King was sung; and Arthur Foote included five vocal quartets by him in his concert of April 13, 1893, in which oboe pieces and a piano suite by Foote were performed.” (Leichtentritt, 380) The November 1897 issue of the Oliver Ditson magazine, the Musical Record, listed three new duets by Henschel. They were all for alto and baritone and had German and English words. They were: Good Advice, No Embers Nor a Firebrand and O, No One Knows, Or Would Guess It. All were priced at 40 cents each. Would these be from the repertoire that he sang with his wife?

“He brought out many of the newer compositions and revised [revived?] forgotten works of excellence. From 1893-1895 [he] conducted the Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow and gave a command performance at Windsor Castle. His compositions include a suite in canon form for stringed orchestra, the 130th. Psalm for chorus and orchestra, a serenade for chorus and orchestra, and several part-songs.” (Green, 370) The Cecilia Society performed his “Missa pro defunctis, composed in memory of his wife, in which he and his daughter Helen took the leading vocal parts.” (Am Grove, 372) Ledbetter’s list of compositions includes “two operas, a number of sacred choral works, about 20 piano pieces, and many songs and duets. Besides his book of memoirs, he published Personal Recollections of J. Brahms (1907) and Articulation in Singing (1918).” (Am. Grove, 372) “To do justice to Henschel’s personal character would need many words. Suffice it to say that he was a man of great physical and mental vitality, of outstanding intellect, and of notable charm and kindness.” (Musical Times (Oct. 1934): 895)

 

Lillian and Georg Henschel. Boston Symphony Archive.

NYPL Digital, accessed November 18, 2020.

 

Henschel, Lillian June. “1860-1901. Lillian Bailey, a gifted soprano, was born in Ohio. Her first teachers were her uncle, C. Haydn, and Mme. Rudersdorff. When but sixteen years old she made her first public appearance in Boston and met with much success. In 1878 she went to Paris and became a pupil of Mme. Viardot-Garcia. It was while singing at the Philharmonic in London that she met Georg Henschel. Later she became his pupil, and in 1881 they were married in Boston. Wherever Mrs. Henschel sang she met with success; her method was excellent and her voice possessed a charm that merited the applause given her. She appeared with her husband in song recitals in most of the largest cities in America and delighted most critical audiences, as well as the pubic at large. She died in London in 1901.” (Green, 370) Her “first public performance” referred to above may have been a concert that she presented at the Revere House on Friday evening, April 7, 1876 where B. J. Lang was among the seven assisting artists. In this concert she only sang three songs with the majority of the concert being provided by the guest instrumentalists and vocalists (HMA Program Collection) Arthur Foote referred to this concert: “In 1876 I assisted at two of Lang’s concerts in Boston… In these concerts a wonderful young girl, Lillian Bailey, afterwards Mrs. George Henschel, made her first appearance: a lovely voice and most beautiful singing-one of the finest artists I have known. She, her mother, brother, and uncle (Charles R. Hayden), lived at the top of Hotel Pelham (where the Little Building now stands), and I was a frequent visitor, making music there with her.” (Foote, Auto., 44) On February 10, 1877 she presented a concert at Union Hall which was “appreciated by a large and cultivated crowd. This gifted lady, yet in her teens, shows a remarkable improvement since her first semi-private appearance a year ago. Her fresh, sweet, penetrating voice has developed into larger volume and capacity of various expression… For she has intellectual talent likewise, and seems to be prompted by a genuine musical enthusiasm… Miss Bailey’s teacher, Mr. C. R. Hayden, [her uncle] to whose judicious training the young maiden bore such testimony” also sang. Lang

NYPL Digital, accessed November 18, 2020.

students Sumner and Foote were the accompanists. (Dwight (March 3, 1877): 399) Fifteen months before Mr. C. R. Hayden had been called “one of the best tenors of our concert rooms” when he took part in the 452nd. recital of NEC. (Dwight (December 11, 1875): 142) In December 1877 Miss Bailey was the soloist at the Second Harvard Musical Association Orchestra Concert singing both with orchestra and piano accompaniment. Dwight wrote: “Miss Lillian Bailey, with her delicate, sweet, fresh voice, her charming naturalness of manner, and her artistic, earnest feeling and expression, sang to great acceptance. She has gained much in power and style within a year, and, being very young, she will gain more. But it is already a rare treat to listen to her.” (Dwight (December 8, 1877): 142) A month later she presented herself in a concert that “was very agreeable and lively. The audience, which filled Union Hall, was of as select and flattering a character as a young artist could be honored with.” Her uncle also sang and Mr. Dresel was the vocal accompanist. (Dwight (February 2, 1878): 175) Later that spring she appeared again at Union Hall at a “testimonial concert tendered to the favorite young Soprano by the Second Church Young People’s Fraternity.” It was a great success: “Union Hall was crowded: Miss Bailey sang her best.” Again her uncle was part of the performance, and Lang served as accompanist and piano soloist playing the Nocturne in C Minor and Etude in E Flat Major by Chopin and the “Introduction and Scherzo” from the G Minor Piano Concerto by Saint-Saens. (Dwight (May 11, 1878): 231) In October she sang the soprano solos in Messiah for the Handel and Haydn Society. “Miss Bailey, who sang here for the first time since her studies in Paris, and her successful career in England, took the soprano solos; and, considering her youth, and the yet juvenile though much improved quality of her voice in firmness, evenness and fullness, acquitted herself most creditably… The young lady’s tones are pure and clear as a bird, her intonation faultless, and all the exacting arias were well studied and agreeably sustained with good style and expression.” (Dwight (October 23, 1880): 174) A month later it was noted that she was “affianced to George Henschel. (Dwight (November 20, 1880): 191) Two months later Bailey and Henschel were sharing recital programs where he “splendidly played all the accompaniments.” Lang and Henschel played the Moscheles Homage a Handel, a duet for two pianos to finish their January 31, 1881 concert at the Tremont Temple. (Dwight (February 26, 1881): 37) Twenty-five years later, on Saturday March 13, 1901 3PM at the Association Hall, Lang and Foote repeated the St. Saens’s Variations on a Theme of Beethoven for two pianos which they had performed at Lillian’s Boston debut (which this 1901 program said had happened on March 13, 1876 “at Mr. Lang’s concert”), but this time the concert’s featured artist was Lillian and Georg Henschel’s daughter, Helen Henschel. This 1901 concert was a family affair, for part of the program was a group of duets sung by mother and daughter, accompanied by father. (BPL Lang Prog.) Helen, the Henschel’s daughter, recorded the remarks of Edith Hipkins who remembered that in 1879 Georg’s London debut been “like a great wind, with his glorious voice, his flashing eyes and his splendid vitality. He was invited everywhere at once and appeared even to be everywhere at once… As for your mother, she was too charming for words. And how jealous we all were when your father got engaged to her. That this glorious creature should be going to marry a very young and unknown singer from America seemed unbearable! But quite understandable, too. How pretty she was. So gentle and amusing. And she sang like a little bird.” (Henschel, H. 14)

 

Below: Bust-Higginson.

 

Higginson, Major Henry Lee. The Higginson family first settled in Massachusetts in 1629 and was related to the Cabots, Lowells, Channings, Putnams and other “Boston Brahmin families. (Ledbetter, Higginson and Chadwick, 53) However, Major Lee was born in New York, came to Boston when he was four, and once there had little to do with his wealthy relatives. His father never owned a house until a few years before his death. (Ibid, 54) After Boston Latin School, Higginson attended Harvard, but poor eyesight ended his studies thereafter only a few months. The next few years were spent mainly in Europe, ending in Vienna aged twenty-three, where he began a two-year period of music study. He arose each day at 6:30 AM and followed a regimen of nine music lessons and two lectures per week. At the end of this intensive period, he determined that he “had no special talent for music,” and returned in 1861 to Boston. (Horowitz, 70 and 71) He joined the Army in May 1861 and fought in the Civil War until he was wounded in June 1863. After a year of recovery, he returned to the battlegrounds of Virginia.                                                                                                                                  After marrying the daughter of the Harvard anthropologist, and he tried two business projects. The first was oil wells in Ohio, and after a year his holdings were worthless. Then for several years, he tried to “develop a cotton plantation in Georgia under the new postwar labor conditions brought about by the end of slavery, a goal that he had supported in peace and was for over a decade.” (Ledbetter, Op. cit., 56) Next, he was taken into his father’s banking firm, a modest banking and brokerage firm. “I was taken in at the beginning of 1868 as a matter of charity, to keep me out of the poorhouse; I had been in the War, had been planting cotton in the South, and lost all I had, and more too.” (Ibid, 57) Here he made his mark and was able to “amass a sufficient fortune to undertake his true lifework. The Boston Symphony, on which he expended nearly one million dollars in deficit relief alone, was the most generous of his many philanthropies.” (Horowitz, Op. cit., 72) “There were occasions during the thirty-seven years in which Higginson was the sole support of the orchestra when he nearly faced bankruptcy and was forced to arrange for loans from his relatives and close relations-though these were all paid off before his death.” (Ledbetter, “Higginson and Chadwick,” 58)                                                                                           George Henschel wrote of Mrs. Higginson: “[She], a daughter of the great scientist, Louis Agassiz, was one of a small circle of ladies who held what in France they call a ”salon,” at whose afternoon teas the representatives-resident or transitory-of art and science, music and literature, used to meet and discuss the events and questions of the day. These highly cultured women, among whom I recall with delight dear old Mrs. Julia Ward Howe… Mrs. George D. Howe, with Mrs. Bell and her sister Mrs. Pratt, Mrs. John L., familiarly Mrs. Jack-Gardner, were the leaders of what certainly was society in the highest and best meaning of the word.” (Quoted by Tara, Foote, 110) Higginson died in Boston on Friday, November 14, 1919 at the age of 84. (Methuen Memorial Music Hall website, 11/26/10, 5)

Hill, Edward Burlingame. b. 1872 in Cambridge-d. 1960 in Francestown. Graduated “summa cum laude” from Harvard in 1894 in Music-it had been a one-professor department. All his music curses had been taught by John Knowles Paine. Feeling that he needed more instruction, during the year 1894-95 he studied piano with Lang and composition with Frederick Field Bullard. The next two years, 1895-97 he spent in New York City. For three months during the summer of 1898, he studied composition with Charles Marie Widor and piano with Ludwig Breitner. The fall of 1897 saw Hill back in Boston where he began a period of seven years privately teaching piano and harmony.  “Novel harmonic experimentation-especially with seventh and ninth chords-reveals inklings of [his] new French persuasion.” (Tyler, Bio-Bib, 6) In 1902 Hill took the orchestration course given by Chadwick at the New England Conservatory. Late in the fall of 1901, he began a series of jobs as a music journalist. First, as Assistant Music Critic of the Evening Transcript which went, with some interruptions until 1908 (he wrote only two reviews of the Apollo Club, none of the Cecilia Society, and one of the melodrama, Enoch Arden by Strauss); second as editor of the Musical World for 1902-03; and third he regularly wrote for Etude and Musician. In 1908 began a teaching career at Harvard that lasted thirty-two years. He spent his summers either in Europe or composing at his “small workshop” in Francestown. For his Orchestration class, he used examples mainly from the French repertoire. He also taught a class on Modern French Music with an emphasis on D’Indy, Faure and Debussy. To prepare for this class Hill spent one summer in Paris where he met Ravel, Debussy, and other French composers. Among his pupils were Roger Sessions, Elliott Carter, Walter Piston, Ross Lee Finney, Virgil Thomson and Leonard Bernstein. (Wiki article, accessed June 10, 2017) Hill was a guest at the Lang’s farm, first in 1895 when he left four measures of a song in the Guest Book. He visited a second time in September of 1896 and again in 1897 when he wrote eight measures of a piano piece. The summer of 1898 was spent in Paris. He must have enjoyed that area of southern New Hampshire as he bought a home in Francestown,

Hill, Francis G. “The sudden death of Mr. Francis G. Hill, which occurred a week ago at his residence in Newtonville, was a painful blow to very many musical and other friends of the deceased, who, by his sweet and kindly disposition, his rare modesty, his sincere interest in Art and fellow artists, and his zeal for their success, more almost than his own, had become attached to him. Mr. Hill was among the first of Boston young men who went to Germany to study music. He returned a really accomplished pianist, but his extreme modesty, ever inclined to underrate his own abilities, kept him from public performance. As a teacher, he was faithful and successful, and as a friend all who have come within his quiet sphere have valued him.” (Dwight (June 1, 1872): 247) another notice mentioned that he was 44 years and 10 months old. (Journal (May 25, 1872): 3) The short notice in the Folio mentioned that his death “on May 24th, resulting from an overdose of chloral, will not only carry sadness to the hearts of many who knew him, but ought to serve a severe lesson to those like addicted.” (Folio, July 1872) Chloral was first discovered in 1832 by Justus von Liebig, and “its sedative properties were first published in 1869… It was widely used recreationally and misprescribed in the late 19th. century.” (Wikipedia “Chloral hydrate,” May 7, 2010) Mixed with alcohol it becomes a “Mickey Finn,” and “it has been speculated that it contributed to” the death of Marilyn Monroe. (Ibid) James Bond was drugged by it, and in “Russia With Love” it was used to knock out Tatiana Romanova. (Ibid) The brief notice in Dexter Smith’s noted: “In the death of Mr. Francis G. Hill, the musical profession lost a zealous worker, and his many friends parted with one whose modest worth will be held dear as long as memory shall preserve to us the remembrance of his kindly heart and open hand.” (Dexter Smith’s (July 1872): 154) In the spring 1860 issues of the Boston Musical Times, he had advertised himself as a “Teacher of the Piano-Forte” with an address of 21 LaGrange Place. (BMT (March 24, 1860) A short notice in the Boston Musical Times listed Hill’s teachers as Dreyschock and Ch. Mayer. Hill was described as “a modest gentleman, and a teacher of experience and ability. During the past ten years [1853-63] Mr. Hill has numbered among his pupils a large number of the most accomplished amateurs who have obtained recognition in our city; and his style as well as his thoroughness in whatever pianism he undertakes, commend him to the consideration of all who doubt as to whom they had best employ teach their children. So much testimony we bear in common justice to Mr. Hill, without his solicitation or knowledge.” (BMT (April 4, 1863): 22) A year later he had an ad asking for players to form a Quintette Club. The players he needed were cello, tenor violon [viola?] and flute. “For particulars apply to Francis Hill, 13 1/2 Court Square.” (Herald (October 10, 1864): 3) Was this group ever formed?

Homer, Louise. Howe, in BSO, 1881-1931 lists a total of eighteen appearances with the orchestra in nine seasons between 1904 and 1922. (Howe, BSO, 252)

Homer, Sidney. (1864-    ) “Husband of our great opera singer” was an organ pupil of George Whitefield Chadwick in the mid-1880s. (Chadwick, Unpublished Memoirs)

Homer, Winslow. 1936-1910. In the Portland Maine Museum of Art is a pencil sketch of Lang made in 1895. It was given to the Museum in 1991 by William D. Hamill. The card under the drawing records: “Winslow Homer shared confidences with his sister-in-law Martha, known as Mattie. Married to Homer’s brother Charles, Mattie preserved their correspondence, thus providing a glimpse of the artists’s social life at Prouts Neck, Boston, and in New York. This rare portrait is of Mattie’s great friend Benjamin Johnson Lang and, when combined with Homer’s letter to Mattie, serves as a document of the tight-knit Homer family. Lang – a prominent Boston symphony conductor, pianist, and organist – sat for Homer on April 19, 1895, in the musician’s studio on Newbury Street in Boston. Homer sent the sketch to Mattie the following day as a token of his affection, along with a detailed letter describing the fidgety sitter.” (Portland Museum, item 1991.19.3) The Portland Museum also has a short note dated November 29, 1884 from Homer to Mrs. Lang acknowledging her invitation to him and his father.

Hood, Helen. June 28, 1863 in Chelsea, Mass.- January 22, 1949 in Brookline.  Hood “is one of America’s few really gifted musical women. Boston has been her home and the scene of her chief work, although she has traveled abroad, and studied for two years with Moszkowski. Endowed with perfect pitch, she has composed from her earliest years, and her music won for her a medal and diploma at the Chicago Exposition [1893]. Her most important work is a piano trio, while her two violin suites are also made of excellent material.” (Elson, Women’s Work, 207) Baker says that Hood studied piano with B. J. Lang, composition with Chadwick and Fox adds J. C. D. Parker and J. F. Paine as harmony instructors. (Grove, DWC, 226)                   She may have studied organ with Lang also. She gave an organ recital on a Saturday night at Tremont Temple with a ticket price of $1, which was quite expensive at that time. The singer Mrs. E. Humphrey Allen assisted and her accompanist was B. J. Lang. A short article that appeared the morning of the concert listed the repertoire as: Handel-Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Bach-Sonata No. 1 in E flat major, Mendelssohn-Sonata No. 4 in B flat major, two Widor symphony movements and a transcription of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from the Mount of Olives by Beethoven to finish. All this and songs too; it seems that the audience did get their dollar’s worth. (Herald (April 23, 1882): 3 and 5, GB)                                                                                                                  Baker records that her time with Moszkowski in Berlin was for only one year. (Baker, Dictionary, Second Edition,  282) In 1905 her list of compositions had reached Opus 28, Sacred Songs, and included solo songs, part-songs, and chamber music for strings. (Ibid) She came from a musical family; her father, George H. Hood (President of Boston Rubber) had a fine voice which he displayed at Masonic events. There was a musical connection between the Hood and Lang families. Three-quarters of a century ago Margaret’s grandfather (Benjamin Lang:      -1909) received his first organ lessons from Helen’s grandfather, the Rev. Jacob Hood, who was a congregational minister in Lynn. (Herald (January 1, 1894): 28, GB)

Hopekirk, Helen. (b. Edinburgh, May 20, 1856 and d. Cambridge, MA, November 19, 1945). When Helen returned to Scotland in 1919, she was given a “silver bowl-among the donors” names engraved on that bowl was M. R. Lang, so presumably, Margaret Lang and Helen Hopekirk were good friends.” (Ammer, Unsung, Century Edition, 112)

Print from the lower first page of Harper’s Weekly, April 13, 1867. Johnston Collection.

Clark’s Boston Blue Book 1888, 320.

 James Henry Stark, Stranger’s Guide to Boston, 1883. Wikipedia, accessed August 8, 2013.

Wikipedia, accessed October 12, 2019. The Hall on the left with Park Street Church on the right.

Horticultural Hall-dark blue arrow; Music Hall-green arrow; Tremont Temple-Purple arrow.

Horticultural Hall (c. 1871) “In 1865 Horticultural Hall moved again to the building at Tremont and Bromfield Streets the site of the first Boston Museum, opposite the Studio Building.” (King, 56) “Stores were on the ground floor, and the auditorium was on the second floor. In 1882, the new Dime Museum took over the first floor.” (Ibid, 57) “A plan by G. J. F. Bryant and A. Gilman was adopted, the design being in accordance with that in the modern public buildings in France. The building, which is constructed of white Concord granite, fronts on Tremont Street, and covers the lot between Bramfield Street and Montgomery Place. The lower floor is devoted to stores, and the second story contains a hall 51 by 57 feet and 17 feet high, with various apartments for the use of the Society. The third story contains a grand Exhibition Hall, 50 by 77 feet, and 26 feet high… The exterior of the building is ornamented by three large statues in white granite… The material used was white granite from Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, and it presented great difficulties in the mechanical execution.” (Harper’s Weekly,  1) The Society’s first building was on School Street and was finished in 1844. This was torn down and replaced by the present building in 1865. One of the apartments on the second floor was the Library, “comprising over 4,000 volumes, the most valuable collection of horticultural works in the United States…[Both halls] are often used for concerts and the better class of entertainments.” (King’s Handbook of Boston, Seventh Edition, 254)

Houston, Miss J. E. Soprano-Was one of the assisting artists in Lang’s “Sacred Concert” given at the Music Hall in February 1864 (the organ had just been opened the November before). Lang presented solo organ pieces, and other artists included the violinist, Mr. Eichberg and the organist, Mr. Willcox. In 1861 she had been an assisting artist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club at a concert in Jamaica Plain where she was listed as a member “of the Old South choir,” and the evaluation was that she “sang two songs to great acceptance.” (Dwight (March 23, 1861): 415) Perhaps Lang introduced her to the Club.

Hughes, Rupert. 1872-1956. “Among the brightest of the younger writers on musical topics in America, yet not permanently attached to any of the great dailies, is Rupert Hughes. He is a Westerner, having been born in Lancaster, Missouri, January 31, 1872.” Educated in Iowa, he graduated from Western Reserve University, and began work in New York City. After his early work (c.1900) centered on American composers, he turned from “the compilation of popular volumes on music to fiction, an early example of which is Zal (1905), a study in the psychology of the concert pianist.” (Lueders, 145) A writer of fiction, verse, essays and criticism, he wrote a number of books on music. “Mr. Hughes is an indefatigable student of facts, yet one of the liveliest and wittiest of American authors.” (Elson, 327) Grant describes him as a “millionaire novelist and screenwriter who also wrote a biography of George Washington.” (Grant, xx and xxi) Grant also cites him as “the only classical music critic to become a millionaire and Hollywood celebrity.” (Grant, 208) He began “as a quiet journeyman classical music critic and appreciation book writer. He ended up the author of fifty books of fiction and nonfiction (one of which helped influence the creation of the observance of Mother’s Day); prolific screenwriter; silent movie director whose films are even today generating a cult among cinephiles; a soldier under Pershing in the 1916 Mexican expedition to catch Pancho Villa; radio commentator; controversial George Washington biographer; publicly declared agnostic; and Hollywood chum of the stars. He was also the uncle of billionaire Howard Hughes, but Uncle Rupert earned his own fortune, thank you.” (Grant, 208) As a writer, “So far ahead of his time was he that he even included a chapter on ”Women Composers” in his 1900 book on composers; Hughes was a staunch advocate of women’s rights in those suffragist days.” (Grant, 209)

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Ipsem, Mrs. L. S. Wife of the designer of the programs for the Apollo Club, she performed as a singer with Lang in various concerts in the mid-1870s. She would often include a group of Norwegian songs. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 2)

Kansas City Journal (November 26, 1897): 8, GB)

Iasigi, Joseph A. Brother of William F. Apthorp’s wife.                                       He was arraigned for embezzlement on April 22, 1897, and released on bail of $25,000, part of which was provided by his sister, Mary Iasigi. He had been arrested in New York, possibly just before he was to flee the country. In November of 1897, he was sentenced to “not more than eighteen years nor less than fourteen years in state’s prison, with one solitary day of confinement and the rest of the term at hard labor.” (Kansas City Journal (November 26, 1897): 8, GB)                                                                                                 In June 1909 a petition was made for the release of Iasigi. Friends appeared as did his wife and son; he was only within two years of the expiration of his fourteen-year term. (Journal (June 10, 1909): 6, GB) The Executive Council found this plea sound and gave him his pardon. (Journal (June 17, 1909): 6, GB)  His wife then began to appear in society again. “Mrs. Joseph Iasigi of Brookline is with Mrs. Oscar Iasigi at her Stockbridge home, Clovercroft.” (Herald, July 30, 1911): 14, GB)                                                                                           An earlier request had been made in 1905 and signed by “44 Prominent Citizens.” Their position was that his sentence has “excessive in comparison with other sentences for similar offenses…He has now served a longer term than anyone convicted of this crime has ever served in Massachusetts, while the amount of his embezzlement is less than in many other cases.” (Herald (July 6, 1905): 4, GB) It was later pointed out that “‘Boss’ Tweed was given only 12 years for stealing $6,000,000 from the city of New York.” (Herald (January 25, 1917): 10, GB) However Gov. Douglas declined to support the pardon with the rather hollow reply, “his excellency did not consider this a case where executive clemency ought to be extended.” (Herald (August 12, 1905): 4, GB) Two subsequent appeals were denied by Gov. Guild.                                                                                                         Iasigi died at home in Brookline in January 1917. It was noted that he had studied in Paris from the age of 8 until 14 and had later graduated from Seton Hall in New York whereupon he joined his father’s firm. He was first named vice-consul of France but then after five years as acting consul-general of Turkey, he assumed the full title in 1888 from his brother, Oscar. He was a prominent yachtsman and a Commadore at the Eastern Yacht Club; his home was “a mansion at 245 Beacon Street.” (Herald (January 25, 1917: 10, GB) From the moment of his sentencing his wife, the former Miss Marie P. Homer, “started her long and determined fight to free her husband.” (Ibid) At least one newspaper moralized on the length of the sentence. “It was not to be assumed for a moment that there was one kind of justice for a poor man and another for one who had moved in the circles of rich men in Massachusetts.” (Herald (November 18, 1897): 6 GB)

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http://imslp.org/images/9/9e/Alfred_jaell.jpg

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A younger Jaell. NYPL Digital, accessed November 18, 2020.

NYPL Digital, accessed November 18, 2020.

Jaell, Alfred. Born Trieste-March 5, 1832 and died in Paris-February 27, 1882. “Began his career [1843] at eleven years old as a prodigy, and seems to have acquired his great skill by constant performance in public.” In 1844 [aged 12] “he was taken to Moscheles, who called him a Wunderknabe.” (Lahee, 144) After his debut in Venice, he then appeared in Vienna in 1844, and in Brussels 1845-46. After the French Revolution in 1848, “he went to America for some years. In 1854 he returned to Europe. In 1862 he played at the Musical Union in London… from that time he played frequently in England… He always showed himself anxious to bring forward new compositions; and played the concertos of Brahms and of Raff at the Philharmonic, at a time when they were unknown to that audience.” (Grove Dictionary-1921, 524) Lahee notes “the revolution of 1848 appears to have been of direct benefit musically to the United States, for many excellent musicians sought these shores and made America their permanent home. Others merely remained until the difficulties had passed, and Jaell was one of those who found the United States a resort convenient and lucrative for a time. He is described by one who heard him in the sixties as a short, rotund man, with a countenance beaming with good humour, and, in spite of his unwieldiness, full of life and energy. A drawback to his playing was the constant staccato of short fat hands, which made legato, such as was common in the playing of Henselt, Thalberg, and Liszt, impossible to him. But his tone was round, full, yet sweet and penetrating – the very biggest, fullest pianoforte tone to be heard at the time. Jaell married in 1866 Mademoiselle Marie Trautman, also a distinguished pianist.” (Lahee, 144) Baker, Bio. Dic., 293 adds: “Pupil for violin and piano of his father, Eduard J.; pianistic debut at Venice, 1843, after which time his almost continual concert-tours earned him the title of “le pianiste-voyageur.” From 1852-54 he traveled in America; after this, he made Paris, Brussels, or Leipzig his temporary home… He was made court-pianist to the King of Hanover in 1856. His playing was remarkable rather for suave elegance and refinement than forceful energy… He wrote many extremely effective transcriptions from Wagner, Schumann, Mendelssohn, etc. (Ibid) The Chicago critic George P. Upton described Jaell as “a showy, brilliant player in the Thalberg manner, and a charming, likeable man, whose greatest delight, moved perhaps like von Bulow, by sense of rhythm, was to beat the bass drum when the Germania drummer had a night off.” (Upton, 83) While in Boston he was an assisting artist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. (Dowell, 39) Alfred Jaell, a virtuoso whose highest honor in life, perhaps, was the offer once made him to become director of the Leipzig Conservatory. (Transcript, Apr. 5, 1909) Lang had probably heard Jaell who had been the soloist in the Boston premiere of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 40 with the Germania Musical Society at the Melodeon Theatre on February 19, 1852 conducted by Carl Bergmann.

Was this made at the concert shown above? NYPL Digital, accessed November 18, 2020.

Early in 1853, Dwight wrote: “Alfred Jaell is now, we suppose, generally acknowledged the foremost pianist who has visited this country. Evident to anyone, who once hears him play, in whatever music, is the brilliancy of his touch, the liquid purity and smoothness and consummate finish of his passages, the well-conceived, clear, elegant rendering of the whole piece, with just regard to light and shade and fair proportion, and full bringing out of every point, and above all, the happy certainty and ease with which he does it… He certainly possesses the genius of execution. It is not any possible method or amount of practice that could place another by his side, unless equally gifted… In the two winters he has spent in Boston, he has interpreted to us a pretty long list of compositions of the nobler masters… [Describing his performance of the Symphony Concerto by Littolf Dwight noted] It was Jaell’s crowning triumph in the way of execution; octave passages of incredible rapidity, lightning-like leaps from bass to treble, and all sorts of difficulties were achieved, with only a little more air of determined concentration, but with his usual success… Mr. Jaell’s audience, though the Music Hall had the capacity for many more, was very large – at least fifteen hundred persons – which proved the high estimation in which he is held, seeing that he can be heard at every Wednesday afternoon rehearsal of the Germanians for an almost nominal price.” (Dwight (January 22, 1853): 124 and 125) In June 1861 it was reported: “Alfred Jaell, the young pet, some years ago, of our whole public, young and old, the caressed of the young ladies, the feted of the young men, has taken a position in Europe which his early abilities promised. He has been giving concerts in Paris during the last winter, and the best journals of the city speak warmly of his powers… It seems that Jaell has all the versatility which characterized him in this country, when he would go from a Chopin concerto to his own concert polkas, and thence to a Beethoven sonata with equal power and beauty in all… We are pleased to record all this, for Alfred Jaell has always remained in our memory and affections as among the very noblest of the pianists who have visited this country.” (BMT (June 15, 1861): 133) Six months later the same newspaper reported: “Alfred Jaell is at Zurich. After making a professional tour through Switzerland, he will proceed to Northern Germany, and give concerts in Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden , Leipzig, etc. The papers don’t add that he will go to America next. The papers may be right in not doing so. We only wish they were not. What a treat it would be to hear the dapper little pianist once more.” (BMT (December 28, 1861): 243) Under “Musical Gossip” the Boston Musical Times reported that: “Mr. Aldred Jaell, formerly a distinguished teacher of the piano in this city, has recently given a brilliant concert in London, which, the World says, netted him a large amount of money. Mr. Jaell is as popular as he is able.” (BMT (October 1, 1864): 147) In 1866 Jaell was married to Mlle. Marie Trautmann. “A wedding like this has happy auspices. Not only is the prospective bridegroom a pianist of incontestable and universal ability, but the lady is a brilliant executant on the same instrument, such as the present-day has rarely witnessed.” (BMT  (September 8, 1866): 3) Unfortunately, Jaell died “quite suddenly in 1882, aged only 49, leaving Marie a 35-year old widow.” (Wikipedia, March 9, 2009)

Bradbury, History of the Handel and Haydn Society, Vol. 2, photos in the back, no numbered pages.

Jenks, Francis H. (1838-1894) Assistant to Apthorp at the Boston Transcript from 1881 whose function was to do “the regular and constructive work of the department, and indeed everything that Mr. Apthorp did not choose to take in hand.” (Chamberlin, 206) After an education in the Boston schools and graduation from the English High School, Jenks spent the next 25 years working for various paper manufacturing firms. However, during that time he “contributed largely to the various newspapers, among others the Saturday Evening Gazette, the Courier, Advertiser, and Globe, besides to many periodicals in and out of the city. Early in life, he was a church organist serving in two different positions. He held membership in many clubs; the ones that included Lang were the Apollo, (Boylston) and Cecilia, and was he was Secretary of the Clefs and Euterpe, and finally Director and Librarian of the Handel and Haydn Society.  The Advertiser wrote that when he joined the Transcript, he was “placed in charge of the music and drama columns and in special charge of the Weekly Transcript; this is somewhat different from being “an Assistant to Apthorp,” as described by Chamberlin, see above. He was also a general editorial writer. To Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, he contributed the greater part of the biographical [material on American musicians].” (Advertiser (December 10, 1894): 5, GB) He was a fine musician and had collected one of the finest musical libraries in the city. He married in 1865, aged 27, and there was one child, Edwin M. Jenks who was “a clerk in the Hamilton National Bank” in Boston. (Ibid)

Elson, History of American Music, 251.
Johns, Clayton. See another photo in “Lang’s Social Circuit.”

Johns, Clayton. b. November 24, 1857, d. March 5, 1932. After studying architecture in Philadelphia for two years, he moved to Boston for further study. However, hearing the BSO changed his mind and he studied composition with Paine at Harvard and piano with William H. Sherwood. During two years in Europe, he met Joseph Joachim who introduced him to Franz Liszt. He studied composition and piano in Berlin from 1882 to 1884. He then returned to Boston where he developed a career as a composer, pianist and teacher. Each year, for twenty years, he presented a recital of his own songs; he wrote over 100. In the summer of 1895, he was in London where he arranged performances of his works by such well-known singers as Melba, Eames and Bishop. He wrote an Autobiography (1929) and his The Essentials of Pianoforte Playing (1909) was widely used. He taught piano at NEC from 1912 to 1916.  (Article by Margery Morgan Lowens, Amer. Grove, Vol. 2, 576) Elson notes that his “piano works are practical, melodic, and interesting, but his songs overtop them, and with few exceptions are graceful, elegant and unforced. He does not voice intense passion but is something of an American Mendelssohn in his field…Of course, he has set Heine’s Du bist wie eine Blume-who has not? This poem has been far more frequently set to music than any other. There are nearly three hundred settings known and more are constantly arriving. But Johns’s setting has a raison d’etre, for it is very refined and fitting to the poem…The reprints of his songs also find a good market in Germany…At times he reminds one of Robert Franz, who is also delicate rather than intense.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., 247-8)

 

 

 

Elson, History of American Music, 290.

Pratt, American Music and Musicians, 1920, facing 258.