CHADWICK AND LANG

CHADWICK AND LANG  

TWO EDITIONS. THE SECOND WAS SPELL CHECKED, AND MAYBE THE SPELL CHECK CORRECTED THE FIRST EDITION

  April 4, 1909, the day that Benjamin Johnson Lang died, George Whitefield Chadwick, at that time the head of the New England Conservatory, wrote in his Diary: “April 4th. B. J. Lang died this evening of pneumonia after an illness of four days. He had been losing his grip for two or three months and his time had come. He died peacefully and without suffering, seventy one years old. Probably there never was a more ambitious man than B. J. Lang. He had excellent talent, especially for the technical side of piano playing, great perceptive powers and good brains for study. There was not a lazy bone in him, and he accomplished more by his energy and indomitable will-power than many people can do with genuis. His playing was interesting musically and at times, when he forgot his mannerisms, powereful and effective. He was ambitious as a composer and is credited in Scribner”s Encyclopedia with having composed oratorios, symphonies and other large works, although I never have met anyone who ever has seen or heard any of them. He was a loyal friend to any one who needed him, even to those who had no claims to his friendship, and his personal life was that of a true-hearted, cultured, decent gentleman, a type of musician none too common in this day and generation. He had some bitter pills to swallow in his life, and one of them was to be succeeded by me as organist of the South Congregational Church where he had been organist for a very great number of years. He had his revenge however for they ”fired” me out subsequently!. On March 21st. he wrote to me ”You ought to thank God for your sense of humor, and it is always good-humor too.” We were always good friends in spite of a few spats, in which I think that he always got the worst of it, but liked me all the better for it.” (6489-90) Chadwick had known Lang professionally and personally for over thirty years. A second entry dated Wednesday, April 7th. noted: “Funeral of Mr. Lang at King”s Chapel; very simple and dignified; no music except the congregational hymns. Wallace Goodrich played the organ.” (6491)

      Lang and Chadwick both had the influence of music within the family during their early years. Chadwick”s father “Alonzo had taught in an academy and singing school near Concord, New Hampshire, while Chadwick”s mother sang in the church choir….Alonzo Chadwick was a member of the Lawrence Musical Association and was one of many area singers to lend his talents to Patrick S. Gilmore”s enormous musical spectacle, the 1869 Boston Peace Jubilee.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib, pp. 1 and 2) Lang”s father, Benjamin, American born and of Scottish descent, was a piano dealer, music teacher and possibly also a piano maker in Salem, Massachusetts. Lang senior found his best pupil in his own son, and by the age of twelve, B.J. was already accomplished enough to perform the A flat Ballade of Chopin.

      Chadwick dropped out of high school at seventeen before graduating. After a brief period working at the insurance agency that his father had founded, he enrolled as a non-degree student at New England Conservatory in 1871. Four years later, but without a degree, he was hired as the total music faculty at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. This one year of teaching motivated him to seek further musical instruction, and the next three years were spent in Germany. After a brief stop in Berlin, Chadwick moved to Leipzig to study composition with Jadassohn and Reinecke from 1877 until 1879. The third year was spent as a composition pupil of Rheinberger in Munich. He returned to Boston in March 1880 to begin his real musical career-he was now twenty-six. Lang did finish high school in his home town of Salem, Massachusetts, and then also went to Germany for three years of study. In 1855, aged seventeen he went to Berlin where he studied with Alfred Jaell. Lang may have made this choice based on the advice of his Boston piano teacher, Francis G. Hill “who was among the first of Boston young men who went to Germany to study music. ” (Dwight, June 1, 1872) Or, Lang may have heard Jaell play the Boston premier of Mendelssohn”s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 40 on February 19, 1852 with the Germania Orchestra conducted by Carl Bergmann. While in Germany Lang also was “fortunate to have the personal direction of Liszt while studying the piano.” (Nat. Cyclo Am Bio., p. 430) The first meeting of Lang and Liszt 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, MRL 100th. Year article) At this time Lang also met Liszt”s daughter, Cosima, which led to Lang”s later associations with her two husbands, Hans von Bulow and Richard Wagner.

     The formal relationship between Lang (December 28, 1837-April 4, 1909) and Chadwick (November 13, 1854-April 4, 1931) began when the young musician returned to Boston in the spring of 1880 after a period of study in Europe, Chadwick hired a piano teaching studio at 149a Tremont Street. His friend, John Preston had told him that this “was the only place that was recognized as respectable for young lady students to go without a chaperone! At that time many of the old established teachers, even B. J. Lang were troting about to residences to give lessons.” (6314) Chadwick was determined not to do this, but this resulted in a “pretty slow” growth in the number of students. Preston also “seriously advised [me] to make my peace at once with Mr. Lang as nothing could be done without his powerful protection.” (Ibid) Preston further suggested “that I should take a few lessons from Mr. Lang in order to awaken his interest. I scorned all these propositions. Out one day about Christmas time, meeting Mr. Lang quite [by] accident, he asked me if I would come to his house for supper on a Sunday night. I did so and had [a] most delightfully sociable time. Mrs. Lang (at that time almost a replica of the present Margaret Ruthven Lang) was most charming and thus began a friendship which has lasted until the present time I am happy to say.” (6315) By the end of his first year teaching Chadwick had only “picked up eight or ten pupils, but not one of them was from the Back Bay or from the class known as ”our best people.” The Lang coterie monopolized that field.” (6316)                                                   

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

       Only two years after his return, he was “so well thought of that he was selected for lithographic representation as a member of the pantheon called ”Musical Boston.” His relative youth was emphasized by his clean-shaven face among a score of hirsute dignitaries including B. J. Lang, Carl Zerrahn, John Knowles Paine, Oliver Ditson, and even his erstwhile teacher, Carlyle Petersilea.” (Yellin, p. 43)

      Chadwick”s professional career began with his appointment as organist at the Carendon Baptist Church, Boston in early 1881. But, by the next year he had moved to the Park Street Church in in that same year he was appointed as composition teacher at the New England Conservatory. “His appointment led to a fifty-year association with that institution.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib, p.5) As did Lang, Chadwick also conducted a number of choral groups. Soon after he became established in Boston he began as conductor of the Arlington Club and also the Schubert Club in Salem. (Ibid) From 1887 to 1892 he conducted the Boston Orchestral Society. “Chadwick was able to hone his conducting skills and perform a varied repertoire in front of audiences which were beginning to appreciate his considerable contributions to the cultural life of the city. In 1890 Chadwick began his nine-year tenure as Music Director of the Springfield Festival.” (Ibid) This was followed by a two-year appointment with the Worcester Festival. Aged forty-two, Chadwick was appointed Director of the New England Conservatory in 1897 during a period of difficulty for this institution. “Chadwick instituted a number of changes that made the conservatory more closely resemble the German conservatories of his experience…Further, Chadwick began to involve members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the training of students on the various orchestral instruments, and before long the conservatory”s ensembles were of a repectable calibre.” (Op. Cit., p. 7)

      Chadwick”s “first appearance in ”society” was at the house of Mrs. James Lawrence where he heard his Quartet in C Major played before an audience that included “the whole Harvard Musical Association crowd…Mr. Lang, Dwight, Apthorp, Perkins and Mrs. Pratt, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Gardner…I was very uncomfortable and ill at ease at first…but after the qquartet was played I held a sort of reception and was introduced to the whole crowd. The venerable Robert C. Apthorp spoke very sympathetically to me and made some pleasant predictions for my future. Billy Apthorp [the music critic] was very cordial, but I thought rather flippant.” (6317) This private performance was in preparation for a public concert presented by Euterpe on January 5, 1881. Lang had been on the Committee that formed the Euterpe series, and he probably was influential in selecting the the works to be performed.

      Lang quickly showed his support of the young composer by commissioning Chadwick to write a piece with orchestral accompaniment for the Tenth Anniversay Concerts of the Apollo Club on April 22 and 26, 1881, “the oldest of the Associate-membership vocal clubs celebrated the tenth year of its prosperous existence, having given sixty-eight concerts, always under the musical directorship of Mr. B. J. Lang.On the occasion both the programme and the entire performance were exceptionally interesting.” Chadwick also conducted the premier of his piece, and Mr. C. E. Hay was the baritone soloist. “Sylvester Baxter made the poem, called The Vikings Last Voyage and afterwards Billy Halsall painted a picture to illustrate it which he afterwards gave us for a wedding present (6319)…At the concert which was on April 22, 1881 the piece was quite a success and was taken up by several other societies in the U.S. I had never composed for Male voices before and some of it was too thick and too low, but the orchestra which I conducted sounded very well. I worked on the piece all winter and enjoyed it much.” (6320) The review in the Boston Evening Transcript of April 23, 1881 noted that the piece “deals cleverly in descriptive effects of instrumentation in the orchestral accompaniment…has an easy flow of graceful melody, and rises into a superb climax,” while the announcement of the piece”s premier in the Church”s Musical Visitor of May 1881 noted: “The composer regards it as his strongest work.” John Dwight”s review of May 7, 1881 recorded: “The young composer, who was warmly welcomed, conducted the performance. The canata, almost unavoidably, seemed somewhat in the vein of Max Bruch”s Frithjof music, heroic, gloomy, wild, tempestuous, now mournful, now exulting, nor does it lag far behind that for vivid graphic power, felicitous invention, or mastery of the art of thematic development and instrumental coloring.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib, pp. 146 and 147) Rupert Hughes wrote of this work: “What would part-song writers do if the Vikings had never been invented? Where would they get their wild choruses for men, with a prize to the singer who makes the most noise? Chadwick falls into line with The Viking”s Last Voyage (1881) for barytone solo, male chorus, and orchestra, which gives him a very high place among writers in this form.” (Hughes, Am. Com., p. 213)

      Chadwick began teaching at NEC in the spring of 1881. His first assignment was a composition class which met once a week, and he was paid $1.50 per hour. (6322) He describes that the Conservatory was “then in Winter Place, next to the Music Hall building. (Ibid) Chadwick would later teach Lang”s daughter, Margaret Ruthven Lang.

      In the fall of 1884 Chadwick had a notice printed that mimiced those that Lang would send to his students telling that he had arrived back (usually from Europe) and was ready to resume teaching. Chadwick”s wording was:

                                                                       “MR. G. W. CHADWICK

Begs leave to remind his Pupils and

Friends that his advanced Pupils take

great pleasure in recommending him as a

Teacher of Harmony and Composition

to the imprecunious or suburban public, or

to others who cannot afford to pay their

prices. Also, that he has returned from

Europe.

Boston, Oct. 1, 1884″ (6348)

He wrote in his Diary: “This important lampoon needs explanation. It was the custom of the local music teachers, especially the disciples of Mr. Lang, to announce at the beginning of the season that they had returned from Europe or elsewhere, so that the impatient public might know they had been there. Mr. Lang also advertised that he would charitably supply teachers from among his pupils to the unfortunate people who could not afford to study with him. This single minded scheme of course was intended to add to the number of his pupils and his pupils” pupils. That is:

”These fleas had other fleas upon their backs to bite ”em.”

Some uncharitable folks thought it was only another piece of refined Boston snobbery.” (6350)

      One of the “spats” that Chadwick referred to between he and Lang was over their both getting into the “lecture business” at the same time. During the fourth season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Lnag, together with Chadwick, gave “lectures on the structure of the Beethoven symphonies as they were played” through the season. (Howe, p. 68) Early in October of 1884, B. J. announced a series of 12 “Symphony-Concert Lessons” to be held at Chickering Hall on alternate Thursdays beginning October 23. “The music of the following Symphony-Concert will be explained, analyzed, and made more interesting by helpful information, beside being played through upon two Piano-fortes. So far as possible, the solo performer for each concert will play his respective part. A full explanation of the constructiuon of a symphony will be given, together with a description of all orchestral instruments, their quality, range, &c.” (BPL Lang Prog., 6598) The cost for the series of 12 lectures was $5. In reviewing the programs it becomes obvious that the preparation represented an enormous amount of work; doing the analysis, deciding what “helpful information” to give, finding (or making) the two piano arrangements of all the repertoire with a period of only two weeks between each presentation was a major undertaking. And, in the middle of the series he was the soloist in the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto! The series ended with the 12th. Lecture on Thursday, March 19, 1885 which covered two orchestral works, one vocal solo, and the “First and Second Parts” of Bach”s Christmas Oratorio!!! (BPL Lang Prog., 6599-6610) George Chadwick felt that this idea for public lectures had been stolen from him! He wrote in his Diary: “Teaching began quite prosperously. Mrs. Oliver Peabody organized a class in symphonic analysis among her friends and so at last I began to get into [the] sacred higher circle of Boston society. These nice women, all of them quite mature met at my studio in the church [Park Street Church] every Friday morning and went to the Symphony rehearsal in the afternoon. I talked and played to them the music of the current Sym. concert and sometimes that of other concerts. It paid me about $10 per hour and was very pleasant. I suppose I must have interested them for they continued the class the next year and also got up for me another class of their daughters and other young ladies some of whom were very good pianists and could read the Symphonies with me ”a quatre mains.” But the most sincere feature of all came from Mr. Lang who hearing of my success at the game wemt into it with a public class which he held in Chickering Hall! Of course he had a perfect night to do it and it did not cut into my classes in the least but I felt at the time that it showed a kind of professional greed to which a really generous nature would not have stooped…And so began the great industry of Symphonic lectures.” (6379-81) Louis Charles Elson, writing as “Proteus” in 1884 gave this impression of the lecture scene: “Boston is tending toward musical lectures. Mr. B. J. Lang is giving Symphonic Analysis at Chickering”s, Mr. Chadwick is doing the same at his studio, Prof. J. K. Paine is giving historico-musical lectures once a week, [and] Mr. L. C. Elson is analyzing symphonies once a week at the New England Conservatory of Music.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 235 and 236)

      Chadwick was asked to join the St. Botolph Club [c. 1884] which at that time was located at 85 Boylston Street. Lang had been a Founding Member, joining in January 1880. “The President was Francis Parkman” and, “at that time the membership, as the Constitution stated, [was] composed of men interested in literature and art.” Painters, architects, writers, and of “musicians, there were not so many.” Therefore Chadwick felt horored to join “Eichberg, Lang, Henschel, Foote and Preston…Therefore I really felt much honored by my election and proceeded to become quite a”clubable man.” (6351) “There was much stimularting and diverting conversation at the club. Every Saturday night there was a supper after which congenial souls gathered about the tables and discussed the artistic and other affairs of the town and the nation. And as many members came directly from the Symphony concert, we often had the soloists of the evening with us…There was a nice little gallery extending to Park Sq. where we had three or four picture exhibitions each year and thus was an advantage to both our local painters and the public who were admitted there.” (6352) Lang and Chadwick continued to have professional contact at this club. Both are listed as active members in the 1909 membership list. (Clark”s Boston Blue Book, p. 681 and 683) By 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, p.100) Among the notable events held during the years that both Lang and Chadwick were members would be the display by member John Singer Sargent of his portrait of Mrs. Gardner and the first Boston exhibit of works by Claude Monet, “many of whose paintings were loaned by Club members.” (Club Website)

      On March 7/8, 1884 Chadwick had his Scherzo in F played by the BSO with Henschel conducting. The success of the performance inspired him to compose other movements which then becamehis Symphony No. 2 in B Flat. The Scherzo “was probably the first piece in which I struck my real gait. When it was played at the Symphony concert, the succeeding March 8 (1884) it was encored – an unheard of proceeding, then as now. I was so much elated by this success that I started at once on an Allegro with the intention of developing a whole symphony which I eventually did. And I took a good deal of pain to keep my material in a general way in the same style as the Scherzo. The Allegro (with Introduction) was played under B. J. Lang at an Apollo Club concert on Apr. 20, 1885 [and May 4, 1885] and during the experience of rehearsing I had a chance to find out how much B. J. Lang really knew about orchestral music!” But, Chadwick doen”t go on to state exactly what he found out-the next paragraph is about a different subject! (6385) This particular conert was devoted solely to the works of Boston contemporary concerts. The Boston Daily Advertiser of April 30, 1885 recorded: “It was highly interesting, full of freshness, originality, and charm, and in fact seemed more than worthy to belong to the same composition with the scherzo, which has already excited so much admiration,” while Louis C. Elson wrote in the June 1885 Musical Visitor: “The symmetry is commendable, the scoring full of rich effects, particularly in the introduction which has some points in the style of Weber, and the development, if not yet very spontaneous, is more flowing and natural than that of the first or last movement of his first symphony.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 71) The complete Chadwick symphony was premiered by the BSO on December 10/11, 1886, conducted by Chadwick; a second complete BSO performance set was conducted by Arthur Nikisch on February 6/7, 1891. (Faucett, Chadwick Symphonic, p. 195) The complete symphony was also performed at the May 23, 1893 “American Programme” given by the Exposition Orchestra at the Music Hall of the Chicago World”s Columbian Exposition. (Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 70)

      Lang continued to promote Chadwick”s compositions. Two of Chadwick”s recently composed songs were part of the February 4, 1886 Music Hall concert given by The Cecila. Sweet Wind That Blows and Before the Dawn (No. 3 of Three Love Songs, Op. 8 published in 1882) were sung by the tenor Mr. James H. Ricketson [a member of the Club]-(Yearbook, Vol. 3, p. 52) with Lang as the accompanist. A review in the “Boston Evening Transcript” of February 5, 1886 stated: “Mr. Chadwick”s songs…were heard with manifest interest, if not delight.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 194 and 195) Before the Dawn achieved enough popularity that it was orchestrated by Val Coffey, and published by Luck”s Music Library. (Op. Cit., p. 200)

      Another world premier given by the Apollo Club was the performance on February 23, 1887 of Chadwick”s humorous song, Jabberwocky with a text by Lewis Carroll, and the dedication on the printed copy (1886) was “To Our Society.[Apollo Club of Boston]” The Club repeated this piece on December 10, 1887 and again March 20, 1895. The review in the “Musical Herald” of April 1887 said: “The humor of Mr. Chadwick”s Jabberwocky cannot be overstated. It is a fine instance of a classical composer at play, and belongs to the healthy English school,” while the “Boston Evening Herald” noted: “…humorous music set to humorous words…The music is dramaticcally expressive of the poem throughout, and the grand rhetorical figures of the verses are brought out with redoubled splendor.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 162) Rupert Hughes described the work as having “much rich humor of the college glee-club sort. There is an irresistibly humorous episode where the instrument of destruction goes ”sniker snack,” and a fine hilarity at ”O frabjous day callooh, callay, he chortled in his joy.”” (Hughes, Am. Com., p. 212) The work was published in 1886 by Schmidt as part of the the “Apollo Club Collection of Music for Male Voices” which by that time, 1886, had 16 pieces listed including two by Arthur Foote, The Farewell of Hiawatha and If Doughty Deeds. A note at the bottom of the front page stated that “Pianoforte accompaniments furnished separately.”

      When Chadwick wrote about Lang on the day of Lang”s death, he mentioned that he had followed Lang as organist at South Congregational Church. “In 1887 the Hollis St. Church was consolidated with the South Congregational (Dr. Edward Everett Hale”s) church whose church in Union Park had been sold to Jews for a Synagogue. Of course it was a question which church would keep their choir and organists. One day I received a note from Mr. Geo. O. Carpenter, whom I had never met, inviting me to luncheon with him. I found Mr. Jas Freeland and Billy Winch [tenor] with him and after a bountiful repast he suddenly turned to me and said ”Mr. Chadwick will you be the organist of Dr. Hale”s church?” I was astounded for I never dreamed that they would think of anybody but Mr. Lang who had been their organist for twenty or thirty years and I frankly said so. He replied rather curtly that ”Mr. Lang was not not to be considered,” and I was engaged then and there. Our quartet was also retained and John and William Winch were added to it. I never knew why this move was made but it was hinted that they were rather tired of B. J”s autocratic methods and wanted a change. Evidently Dr. Hale was not considered [consulted] or if he was he did not care to make a fuss. And it did make a fuss! It was a bitter dose for B. J. perhaps the worst he had ever to swallow, but I must do him the justice to acknowledge that he never showed the slightest resentment to me on account of it. One night he came to our house to dinner (he was Mrs. March”s teacher) and showed a list of signatures about ten feet long asking that he be reinstated as organist but it did no good and shortly afterwards he took the position at King”s Chapel where he stayed until he died.” (6416-17) Chadwick did not have the services of the Winch brothers very long as by 1889 “the Winchs had retired from the choir, Bill going to King”s Chapel with Lang.” (6445)

      Having finished composing his Piano Quintet in the fall of 1887, Chadwick “conceived an ambition to play it,” (6418) but he knew that he “had never learned to play the piano like a pianist although I had at times practiced industriously and once in Leipzig managed to wiggle through Mendelssohn”s B Minor Capriccio with the orchestra.” (ibid) At John Preston”s wedding to Susan Sturgis, Chadwick “sat in the pew with B. J. and told him of my secret ambition. He said ”Of course those fool German teachers could not make you play.” I asked him if he thought he could do it and he said ”I”ve had worse bone heads than you” – which was like him. And so I began to go to him for piano lessons and to practice industriously four or more hours a day. And in three months or so I really learned more about the mechanics of Pf. technique than I had ever heard of before. I suppose his system was probably founded on Wm. Mason but at any rate it developed control and independence of fingers for me, more than anything I ever accomplished before. And so I learned the Quintet, which was by no means easy and finally played it at my concert on Jan. 23 [1888] in Chickering Hall.” (6419)

      Chadwick was not above making caustic comments about other groups including Lang”s choirs. Writing about a performance Chadwick conducted of the Worcester Chorus, he mentioned that the choir had been applauded by the orchestra, who were mostly players from Boston. The orchestra members were “quite in love with our pretty girls in the front row – ”not like those old hens in the Cecilia” as one of them said.” (6476)

      Lang”s support of Chadwick continued into the 1890s. At the Wednesday evening December 3, 1890 concert where Margaret Ruthven Lang”s The Jumblies was premiered, Chadwick”s song Thou Art So Like a Flower was sung as part of a group of three songs by Mrs. Jennie P. Walker. (Program-Johnston Collection) On April 2, 1891 at the Music Hall the Cecila Society sang the world premier of Chadwick”sThe Pilgrims based on the poem “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England” originally published in Edinburgh in 1828, written by Felicia Dorothea Browne Hemans (1793-1835). The singers were: Gertrude Edmands, William Ludwig, George J. Parker and Joshua Phippen. The composer conducted. (Faucett, p. 143) Less than a month later, at the April 29/May 4, 1891 Apollo Club concerts Mr. G. L. Parker, tenor, sang B. J. Lang”s Nocturne in a program with orchestral accompaniment that opened with Chadwick”s Song of the Viking which had been written in 1882 for the 50th. Anniversary celebration of a choir in Leipzig. (Am. Grove Vol. 1, p. 388)[Faucett gives the date of the German-language version as c. 1904. The copyright date was 1882 and the dedication was to Benjamin L. Knapp. Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 171 and 172.] The Song of the Viking had been part of a Apollo Concert on February 10, 1886 in its version for chorus and piano. The Boston Evening Transcript review noted: “Though the music has not much that is strikingly original, it has a certain strength, which was well expressed by the club.” This review was probably by William F. Apthorp (Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 145 and 146) Also on the 1891 program was Chadwick”s partsong The Boy and the Owl which had been published in 1886. (Program-Johnston Collection) The Boy and the Owl was again programmed for the March 5, 1893 “Miscellaneous Program” with orchestra presented by the Apollo Club at the Music Hall. (MYB, 1892-93, p. 15) However, this piece was for unaccompanied men”s voices-it was part of Four Part Songs for Male Voices published by Schmidt in 1886. One review of the 1893 performance spoke of the work as “simply delicious.” While a second review referred to the piece as “droll.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 158) Chadwick”s Columbian Ode was premiered in Chicago on October 21, 1892, and within the month (!) Lang had performed this major work with a double quartet at South Congregational Church. (Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 138)

      Chadwick may have acknowledged Lang”s support through the 1890 publication of his Drei Walzer Fur das Pianoforte (f, E, A). The pieces are dedicated to a Lang pupil, Mrs. E. M. Marsh, and the first waltz has the heading “Motive by B. J. L.” Even though the title is in German, the work was published by Schmidt in Boston. Mrs. Elizabeth May Marsh had been one of the advanced students who peformed concertos in the concerts promoted by Lang from 1885 until 1888. 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)

      Lang thought enough of Chadwick as a teacher to send his daughter, Margaret to him for further instruction after she returned from her two years of musical study in Munich. In a letter to Mr. Krehbiel dated May 22, 1893 Margaret Ruthven Lang wrote: “I first studied harmony in Boston with my father, and the pianoforte and violin under various teachers…During a two years sojurn in Munich, I studied counterpoint and fugue with Prof. Victor Gluth, and the violin under (first) Louis Drechsler and then Prof. Abel. On returning to America I studied, in Boston, orchestration with Mr. Chadwick.” (BPL Lang Collection, Rare Books) George Chadwick had studied at the Munich Hochschule fur Musik about ten years before Margaret”s time there. He also had worked with Ludwig Abel who was the “concertmaster for the Wagnerian conductor Hermann Levi.” (Yellin, p. 38) Chadwick”s time in Munich was from 1879-1880, when he was primarily a composition pupil of Rheinberger. An examination of Chadwick”s “Diaries/Datebooks” for the periods of June-December 1892 and all of 1893 show no mention of Margaret having regularly scheduled lessons with Chadwick-in fact her name is not found at all during this period. But, in the Chadwick files at NEC there is a photo of B.J. Lang incribed “For dear Chadwick” and dated 1890 which shows strong connection between the two men, and so Margaret may have taken private lessons on an irregular basis.

                                   ELSON, HISTORY OF AMERICAN MUSIC, P. 228, Plate VIII. 1904.

Chadwick in his mid-40s., just after he had Margaret Ruthven Lang as a student.

      After serving the Handel and Haydn Society as organist for over forty-five years (1859-1895), Lang was appointed conductor of the group in 1895. But, for for the December 1896 concerts Lang was unable to conduct because of pneumonia, and Chadwick conducted the Messiah performances scheduled. Lang had written twice to Chadwick about Messiah: in one undated letter (actually written by Frances Lang) he tells Chadwick of the “profound comfort and satisfaction” knowing that Chadwick will do the performances. “Not a thought nor a care had I from that moment” when he was told of this. In another letter dated “Sunday P.M.” he asks Chadwick to rehearse “Be Not Afraid,” “Thanks be To God,” and the “No. 1 Chorus” saying that “I did not dream I should not be on deck by now – it”s a great comfort to think of you at the helm.” As a P. S. he asked Chadwick to “Give my love to them!”(NEC Collection of letters to G. W. Chadwick)

      B. J.’s interests of orchestral conducting and introducing new music continued even late in life. Late in 1903 the Chickering Piano Company asked Frederick S. Converse, Arthur Foote, Charles M. Loeffler and B. J. as Chairman to form a committee to “arrange a series of concerts in Chickering Hall, 153 Tremont Street…February 10, 24 and March 9 and 22, 1904…The purpose of these concerts is to give the public an opportunity to hear new and interesting compositions in a hall of moderate size…the orchestra will number between fifty and sixty.”B. J. was to be the conductor. G. W. Chadwick”s name was also listed as a committee member on the “Chickering Orchestral Concerts” stationary, but his named was crossed off on letters sent from Lang to Chadwick. For some reason Chadwick did not participate, but in spite of that, for the fourth concert, Lang asked Chadwick for the score and parts to “three pieces of yours that Mollenhauer once played on a tour,” and further, “would you be willing to conduct them?” (Ibid, dated Boston, 16th.) The pieces referred to were Chadwick”s Symphonic Sketches. After the concert, Lang wrote on the 27th: “Damn the public in general + the musicians in particular for not filling Symphony Hall last night. The work is full of character pictures and genuine musical protraying.” (Ibid, dated 27th. At the first concert the American premier of Debussy’s Three Nocturnes (with female choir) was given as the second item of the concert and also repeated as the final number-the same procedure that he had followed forty years earlier in introducing new works.

      The links between the two men continued even after Lang”s death. At the BSO concerts of Apr. 8 and 10, 1909 Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music was played in Lang”s memory.The Mozart opened the program, and was followed by world premier of Chadwick’s Theme, Variations, and Fugue for organ and orchestra.Also on the program was another Boston premier, “Spring” from Musical Picture for Orchestra Opus 34 by Glazounoff.How appropriate that the concert honoring Lang should include two premiers-this was probably more a tribute to the work of bringing new music to Boston done by B. J. than was the playing of the Mozart. How appropriate also that the other premier should be by George Whitefield Chadwick!

                           PHOTO MOVED TO JUST BELOW

Mentor Association Print dated 1918. In Zellin this pose is listed as c. 1910. This pose was also used in AMERICAN COMPOSERS, Revised Edition of 1914 by Rupert Hughes and Arthur Elson.

In 1910 Chadwick would have been 56 years old. Johnston Collection.

CHADWICK AND LANG

Mentor Association Print dated 1918. In Zellin this pose is listed as c. 1910. This pose was also used in AMERICAN COMPOSERS, Revised Edition of 1914 by Rupert Hughes and Arthur Elson. In 1910 Chadwick would have been 56 years old. Johnston Collection.
April 4, 1909, the day that Benjamin Johnson Lang died, George
Whitefield Chadwick, at that time the head of the New England
Conservatory, wrote in his Diary: “April 4th. B. J. Lang died this
evening of pneumonia after an illness of four days. He had been losing
his grip for two or three months and his time had come. He died
peacefully and without suffering, seventy-one years old. Probably there
never was a more ambitious man than B. J. Lang. He had excellent talent,
especially for the technical side of piano playing, great perceptive
powers and good brains for study. There was not a lazy bone in him, and
he accomplished more by his energy and indomitable will-power than many
people can do with genius. His playing was interesting musically and at
times, when he forgot his mannerisms, powerful and effective. He was
ambitious as a composer and is credited in Scribner’s Encyclopedia with
having composed oratorios, symphonies and other large works, although I
never have met anyone who ever has seen or heard any of them. He was a
loyal friend to any one who needed him, even to those who had no claims
to his friendship, and his personal life was that of a true-hearted,
cultured, decent gentleman, a type of musician none too common in this
day and generation. He had some bitter pills to swallow in his life, and
one of them was to be succeeded by me as organist of the South
Congregational Church where he had been organist for a very great number
of years. He had his revenge however for they ‘fired’ me out
subsequently!. On March 21st. he wrote to me ‘You ought to thank God for
your sense of humor, and it is always good-humor too.’ We were always
good friends in spite of a few spats, in which I think that he always
got the worst of it, but liked me all the better for it.” (6489-90)
Chadwick had known Lang professionally and personally for over thirty
years. A second entry dated Wednesday, April 7th. noted: “Funeral of Mr.
Lang at King’s Chapel; very simple and dignified; no music except the
congregational hymns. Wallace Goodrich played the organ.” (6491)

Lang and Chadwick both had the influence of music within the
family during their early years. Chadwick’s father “Alonzo had taught in
an academy and singing school near Concord, New Hampshire, while
Chadwick’s mother sang in the church choir….Alonzo Chadwick was a
member of the Lawrence Musical Association and was one of many area
singers to lend his talents to Patrick S. Gilmore’s enormous musical
spectacle, the 1869 Boston Peace Jubilee.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib, pp. 1 and
2) Lang’s father, Benjamin, American born and of Scottish descent, was a
piano dealer, music teacher and possibly also a piano maker in Salem,
Massachusetts. Lang senior found his best pupil in his own son, and by
the age of twelve, B.J. was already accomplished enough to perform the A
flat Ballade of Chopin.

Chadwick dropped out of high school at seventeen before
graduating. After a brief period working at the insurance agency that
his father had founded, he enrolled as a non-degree student at New
England Conservatory in 1871. Four years later, but without a degree, he
was hired as the total music faculty at Olivet College in Olivet,
Michigan. This one year of teaching motivated him to seek further
musical instruction, and the next three years were spent in Germany.
After a brief stop in Berlin, Chadwick moved to Leipzig to study
composition with Jadassohn and Reinecke from 1877 until 1879. The third
year was spent as a composition pupil of Rheinberger in Munich. He
returned to Boston in March 1880 to begin his real musical career-he was
now twenty-six. Lang did finish high school in his home town of Salem,
Massachusetts, and then also went to Germany for three years of study.
In 1855, aged seventeen he went to Berlin where he studied with Alfred
Jaell. Lang may have made this choice based on the advice of his Boston
piano teacher, Francis G. Hill “who was among the first of Boston young
men who went to Germany to study music. ” (Dwight, June 1, 1872) Or,
Lang may have heard Jaell play the Boston premier of Mendelssohn’s Piano
Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 40 on February 19, 1852 with the
Germania Orchestra conducted by Carl Bergmann. While in Germany Lang
also was “fortunate to have the personal direction of Liszt while
studying the piano.” (Nat. Cyclo Am Bio., p. 430) The first meeting of
Lang and Liszt 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, MRL
100th. Year article) At this time Lang also met Liszt’s daughter,
Cosima, which led to Lang’s later associations with her two husbands,
Hans von Bulow and Richard Wagner.

The formal relationship between Lang (December 28, 1837-April 4,
1909) and Chadwick (November 13, 1854-April 4, 1931) began when the
young musician returned to Boston in the spring of 1880 after a period
of study in Europe, Chadwick hired a piano teaching studio at 149a
Tremont Street. His friend, John Preston had told him that this “was the
only place that was recognized as respectable for young lady students
to go without a chaperone! At that time many of the old-established
teachers, even B. J. Lang were trotting about to residences to give
lessons.” (6314) Chadwick was determined not to do this, but this
resulted in a “pretty slow” growth in the number of students. Preston
also “seriously advised [me] to make my peace at once with Mr. Lang as
nothing could be done without his powerful protection.” (Ibid) Preston
further suggested “that I should take a few lessons from Mr. Lang in
order to awaken his interest. I scorned all these propositions. Out one
day about Christmas time, meeting Mr. Lang quite [by] accident, he asked
me if I would come to his house for supper on a Sunday night. I did so
and had [a] most delightfully sociable time. Mrs. Lang (at that time
almost a replica of the present Margaret Ruthven Lang) was most charming
and thus began a friendship which has lasted until the present time I
am happy to say.” (6315) By the end of his first year teaching Chadwick
had only “picked up eight or ten pupils, but not one of them was from
the Back Bay or from the class known as ‘our best people.’ The Lang
coterie monopolized that field.” (6316)                                                                                                        Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

Only two years after his return, he was “so well thought of that
he was selected for lithographic representation as a member of the
pantheon called ‘Musical Boston.’ His relative youth was emphasized by
his clean-shaven face among a score of hirsute dignitaries including B.
J. Lang, Carl Zerrahn, John Knowles Paine, Oliver Ditson, and even his
erstwhile teacher, Carlyle Petersilea.” (Yellin, p. 43)

Chadwick’s professional career began with his appointment as
organist at the Clarendon Baptist Church, Boston in early 1881. But, by
the next year he had moved to the Park Street Church in that same year
he was appointed as composition teacher at the New England Conservatory.
“His appointment led to a fifty-year association with that
institution.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib, p.5) As did Lang, Chadwick also
conducted a number of choral groups. Soon after he became established in
Boston he began as conductor of the Arlington Club and also the
Schubert Club in Salem. (Ibid) From 1887 to 1892 he conducted the Boston
Orchestral Society. “Chadwick was able to hone his conducting skills
and perform a varied repertoire in front of audiences which were
beginning to appreciate his considerable contributions to the cultural
life of the city. In 1890 Chadwick began his nine-year tenure as Music
Director of the Springfield Festival.” (Ibid) This was followed by a
two-year appointment with the Worcester Festival. Aged forty-two,
Chadwick was appointed Director of the New England Conservatory in 1897
during a period of difficulty for this institution. “Chadwick instituted
a number of changes that made the conservatory more closely resemble
the German conservatories of his experience…Further, Chadwick began to
involve members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the training of
students on the various orchestral instruments, and before long the
conservatory’s ensembles were of a respectable calibre.” (Op. Cit., p.
7)

Chadwick’s “first appearance in ‘society’ was at the house of Mrs.
James Lawrence where he heard his Quartet in C Major played before an
audience that included “the whole Harvard Musical Association
crowd…Mr. Lang, Dwight, Apthorp, Perkins and Mrs. Pratt, Mrs. Bell,
Mrs. Gardner…I was very uncomfortable and ill at ease at first…but
after the quartet was played I held a sort of reception and was
introduced to the whole crowd. The venerable Robert C. Apthorp spoke
very sympathetically to me and made some pleasant predictions for my
future. Billy Apthorp [the music critic] was very cordial, but I thought
rather flippant.” (6317) This private performance was in preparation
for a public concert presented by Euterpe on January 5, 1881. Lang had
been on the Committee that formed the Euterpe series, and he probably
was influential in selecting the works to be performed.

Lang quickly showed his support of the young composer by
commissioning Chadwick to write a piece with orchestral accompaniment
for the Tenth anniversary Concerts of the Apollo Club on April 22 and
26, 1881, “the oldest of the Associate-membership vocal clubs celebrated
the tenth year of its prosperous existence, having given sixty-eight
concerts, always under the musical directorship of Mr. B. J. Lang.On the
occasion both the programme and the entire performance were
exceptionally interesting.” Chadwick also conducted the premier of his
piece, and Mr. C. E. Hay was the baritone soloist. “Sylvester Baxter
made the poem, called The Vikings Last Voyage and afterwards Billy
Halsall painted a picture to illustrate it which he afterwards gave us
for a wedding present (6319)…At the concert which was on April 22,
1881 the piece was quite a success and was taken up by several other
societies in the U.S. I had never composed for Male voices before and
some of it was too thick and too low, but the orchestra which I
conducted sounded very well. I worked on the piece all winter and
enjoyed it much.” (6320) The review in the Boston Evening Transcript of
April 23, 1881 noted that the piece “deals cleverly in descriptive
effects of instrumentation in the orchestral accompaniment…has an easy
flow of graceful melody, and rises into a superb climax,” while the
announcement of the piece’s premier in the Church’s Musical Visitor of
May 1881 noted: “The composer regards it as his strongest work.” John
Dwight’s review of May 7, 1881 recorded: “The young composer, who was
warmly welcomed, conducted the performance. The cantata, almost
unavoidably, seemed somewhat in the vein of Max Bruch’s Frithjof music,
heroic, gloomy, wild, tempestuous, now mournful, now exulting, nor does
it lag far behind that for vivid graphic power, felicitous invention, or
mastery of the art of thematic development and instrumental coloring.”
(Faucett, Bio-Bib, pp. 146 and 147) Rupert Hughes wrote of this work:
“What would part-song writers do if the Vikings had never been invented?
Where would they get their wild choruses for men, with a prize to the
singer who makes the most noise? Chadwick falls into line with The
Viking’s Last Voyage (1881) for barytone solo, male chorus, and
orchestra, which gives him a very high place among writers in this
form.” (Hughes, Am. Com., p. 213)

Chadwick began teaching at NEC in the spring of 1881. His first
assignment was a composition class which met once a week, and he was
paid $1.50 per hour. (6322) He describes that the Conservatory was “then
in Winter Place, next to the Music Hall building. (Ibid) Chadwick would
later teach Lang’s daughter, Margaret Ruthven Lang.

In the fall of 1884 Chadwick had a notice printed that mimicked
those that Lang would send to his students telling that he had arrived
back (usually from Europe) and was ready to resume teaching. Chadwick’s
wording was:

“MR. G. W. CHADWICK

Begs leave to remind his Pupils and

Friends that his advanced Pupils take

great pleasure in recommending him as a

Teacher of Harmony and Composition

to the impecunious or suburban public, or

to others who cannot afford to pay their

prices. Also, that he has returned from

Europe.

Boston, Oct. 1, 1884” (6348)

He wrote in his Diary: “This important lampoon needs explanation. It was
the custom of the local music teachers, especially the disciples of Mr.
Lang, to announce at the beginning of the season that they had returned
from Europe or elsewhere, so that the impatient public might know they
had been there. Mr. Lang also advertised that he would charitably supply
teachers from among his pupils to the unfortunate people who could not
afford to study with him. This single-minded scheme of course was
intended to add to the number of his pupils and his pupils’ pupils. That
is:

‘These fleas had other fleas upon their backs to bite ’em.’

Some uncharitable folks thought it was only another piece of refined
Boston snobbery.” (6350)

One of the “spats” that Chadwick referred to between he and Lang
was over their both getting into the “lecture business” at the same
time. During the fourth season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Lang,
together with Chadwick, gave “lectures on the structure of the Beethoven
symphonies as they were played” through the season. (Howe, p. 68) Early
in October of 1884, B. J. announced a series of 12 “Symphony-Concert
Lessons” to be held at Chickering Hall on alternate Thursdays beginning
October 23. “The music of the following Symphony-Concert will be
explained, analyzed, and made more interesting by helpful information,
beside being played through upon two Piano-fortes. So far as possible,
the solo performer for each concert will play his respective part. A
full explanation of the construction of a symphony will be given,
together with a description of all orchestral instruments, their
quality, range, &c.” (BPL Lang Prog., 6598) The cost for the series
of 12 lectures was $5. In reviewing the programs it becomes obvious that
the preparation represented an enormous amount of work; doing the
analysis, deciding what “helpful information” to give, finding (or
making) the two piano arrangements of all the repertoire with a period
of only two weeks between each presentation was a major undertaking.
And, in the middle of the series he was the soloist in the Tchaikovsky
Piano Concerto! The series ended with the 12th. Lecture on Thursday,
March 19, 1885 which covered two orchestral works, one vocal solo, and
the “First and Second Parts” of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio!!! (BPL Lang
Prog., 6599-6610) George Chadwick felt that this idea for public
lectures had been stolen from him! He wrote in his Diary: “Teaching
began quite prosperously. Mrs. Oliver Peabody organized a class in
symphonic analysis among her friends and so at last I began to get into
[the] sacred higher circle of Boston society. These nice women, all of
them quite mature met at my studio in the church [Park Street Church]
every Friday morning and went to the Symphony rehearsal in the
afternoon. I talked and played to them the music of the current Sym.
concert and sometimes that of other concerts. It paid me about $10 per
hour and was very pleasant. I suppose I must have interested them for
they continued the class the next year and also got up for me another
class of their daughters and other young ladies some of whom were very
good pianists and could read the Symphonies with me ‘a quatre mains.’
But the most sincere feature of all came from Mr. Lang who hearing of my
success at the game went into it with a public class which he held in
Chickering Hall! Of course he had a perfect night to do it and it did
not cut into my classes in the least but I felt at the time that it
showed a kind of professional greed to which a really generous nature
would not have stooped…And so began the great industry of Symphonic
lectures.” (6379-81) Louis Charles Elson, writing as “Proteus” in 1884
gave this impression of the lecture scene: “Boston is tending toward
musical lectures. Mr. B. J. Lang is giving Symphonic Analysis at
Chickering’s, Mr. Chadwick is doing the same at his studio, Prof. J. K.
Paine is giving historico-musical lectures once a week, [and] Mr. L. C.
Elson is analyzing symphonies once a week at the New England
Conservatory of Music.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 235 and 236)

Chadwick was asked to join the St. Botolph Club [c. 1884] which at
that time was located at 85 Boylston Street. Lang had been a Founding
Member, joining in January 1880. “The President was Francis Parkman”
and, “at that time the membership, as the Constitution stated, [was]
composed of men interested in literature and art.” Painters, architects,
writers, and of “musicians, there were not so many.” Therefore Chadwick
felt honored to join “Eichberg, Lang, Henschel, Foote and
Preston…Therefore I really felt much honored by my election and
proceeded to become quite a’clubable man.” (6351) “There was much
stimulating and diverting conversation at the club. Every Saturday night
there was a supper after which congenial souls gathered about the
tables and discussed the artistic and other affairs of the town and the
nation. And as many members came directly from the Symphony concert, we
often had the soloists of the evening with us…There was a nice little
gallery extending to Park Sq. where we had three or four picture
exhibitions each year and thus was an advantage to both our local
painters and the public who were admitted there.” (6352) Lang and
Chadwick continued to have professional contact at this club. Both are
listed as active members in the 1909 membership list. (Clark’s Boston
Blue Book, p. 681 and 683) By 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, p.100) Among the notable events held
during the years that both Lang and Chadwick were members would be the
display by member John Singer Sargent of his portrait of Mrs. Gardner
and the first Boston exhibit of works by Claude Monet, “many of whose
paintings were loaned by Club members.” (Club Website)
On March 7/8, 1884 Chadwick had his Scherzo in F played by the BSO
with Henschel conducting. The success of the performance inspired him
to compose other movements which then became his Symphony No. 2 in B
Flat. The Scherzo “was probably the first piece in which I struck my
real gait. When it was played at the Symphony concert, the succeeding
March 8 (1884) it was encored – an unheard of proceeding, then as now. I
was so much elated by this success that I started at once on an Allegro
with the intention of developing a whole symphony which I eventually
did. And I took a good deal of pain to keep my material in a general way
in the same style as the Scherzo. The Allegro (with Introduction) was
played under B. J. Lang at an Apollo Club concert on Apr. 20, 1885 [and
May 4, 1885] and during the experience of rehearsing I had a chance to
find out how much B. J. Lang really knew about orchestral music!” But,
Chadwick doesn’t go on to state exactly what he found out-the next
paragraph is about a different subject! (6385) This particular concert
was devoted solely to the works of Boston contemporary concerts. The
Boston Daily Advertiser of April 30, 1885 recorded: “It was highly
interesting, full of freshness, originality, and charm, and in fact
seemed more than worthy to belong to the same composition with the
scherzo, which has already excited so much admiration,” while Louis C.
Elson wrote in the June 1885 Musical Visitor: “The symmetry is
commendable, the scoring full of rich effects, particularly in the
introduction which has some points in the style of Weber, and the
development, if not yet very spontaneous, is more flowing and natural
than that of the first or last movement of his first symphony.”
(Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 71) The complete Chadwick symphony was premiered
by the BSO on December 10/11, 1886, conducted by Chadwick; a second
complete BSO performance set was conducted by Arthur Nikisch on February
6/7, 1891. (Faucett, Chadwick Symphonic, p. 195) The complete symphony
was also performed at the May 23, 1893 “American Programme” given by the
Exposition Orchestra at the Music Hall of the Chicago World’s Columbian
Exposition. (Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 70)

Lang continued to promote Chadwick’s compositions. Two of
Chadwick’s recently composed songs were part of the February 4, 1886
Music Hall concert given by The Cecilia. Sweet Wind That Blows and
Before the Dawn (No. 3 of Three Love Songs, Op. 8 published in 1882)
were sung by the tenor Mr. James H. Ricketson [a member of the
Club]-(Yearbook, Vol. 3, p. 52) with Lang as the accompanist. A review
in the “Boston Evening Transcript” of February 5, 1886 stated: “Mr.
Chadwick’s songs…were heard with manifest interest, if not delight.”
(Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 194 and 195) Before the Dawn achieved enough
popularity that it was orchestrated by Val Coffey, and published by
Luck’s Music Library. (Op. Cit., p. 200)

Another world premier given by the Apollo Club was the performance
on February 23, 1887 of Chadwick”s humorous song, Jabberwocky with a
text by Lewis Carroll, and the dedication on the printed copy (1886) was
“To Our Society.[Apollo Club of Boston]” The Club repeated this piece
on December 10, 1887 and again March 20, 1895. The review in the
“Musical Herald” of April 1887 said: “The humor of Mr. Chadwick’s
Jabberwocky cannot be overstated. It is a fine instance of a classical
composer at play, and belongs to the healthy English school,” while the
“Boston Evening Herald” noted: “…humorous music set to humorous
words…The music is dramatically expressive of the poem throughout, and
the grand rhetorical figures of the verses are brought out with
redoubled splendor.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 162) Rupert Hughes described
the work as having “much rich humor of the college glee-club sort.
There is an irresistibly humorous episode where the instrument of
destruction goes ‘sniker snack,’ and a fine hilarity at ‘O frabjous day
callooh, callay, he chortled in his joy.'” (Hughes, Am. Com., p. 212)
The work was published in 1886 by Schmidt as part of the the “Apollo
Club Collection of Music for Male Voices” which by that time, 1886, had
16 pieces listed including two by Arthur Foote, The Farewell of Hiawatha
and If Doughty Deeds. A note at the bottom of the front page stated
that “Pianoforte accompaniments furnished separately.”

When Chadwick wrote about Lang on the day of Lang’s death, he
mentioned that he had followed Lang as organist at South Congregational
Church. “In 1887 the Hollis St. Church was consolidated with the South
Congregational (Dr. Edward Everett Hale’s) church whose church in Union
Park had been sold to Jews for a Synagogue. Of course it was a question
which church would keep their choir and organists. One day I received a
note from Mr. Geo. O. Carpenter, whom I had never met, inviting me to
luncheon with him. I found Mr. Jas Freeland and Billy Winch [tenor] with
him and after a bountiful repast he suddenly turned to me and said ‘Mr.
Chadwick will you be the organist of Dr. Hale’s church?’ I was
astounded for I never dreamed that they would think of anybody but Mr.
Lang who had been their organist for twenty or thirty years and I
frankly said so. He replied rather curtly that ‘Mr. Lang was not to be
considered,’ and I was engaged then and there. Our quartet was also
retained and John and William Winch were added to it. I never knew why
this move was made but it was hinted that they were rather tired of B.
J’s autocratic methods and wanted a change. Evidently Dr. Hale was not
considered [consulted] or if he was he did not care to make a fuss. And
it did make a fuss! It was a bitter dose for B. J. perhaps the worst he
had ever to swallow, but I must do him the justice to acknowledge that
he never showed the slightest resentment to me on account of it. One
night he came to our house to dinner (he was Mrs. March’s teacher) and
showed a list of signatures about ten feet long asking that he be
reinstated as organist but it did no good and shortly afterwards he took
the position at King’s Chapel where he stayed until he died.” (6416-17)
Chadwick did not have the services of the Winch brothers very long as
by 1889 “the Winchs had retired from the choir, Bill going to King’s
Chapel with Lang.” (6445)

Having finished composing his Piano Quintet in the fall of 1887,
Chadwick “conceived an ambition to play it,” (6418) but he knew that he
“had never learned to play the piano like a pianist although I had at
times practiced industriously and once in Leipzig managed to wiggle
through Mendelssohn’s B Minor Capriccio with the orchestra.” (ibid) At
John Preston’s wedding to Susan Sturgis, Chadwick “sat in the pew with
B. J. and told him of my secret ambition. He said ‘Of course those fool
German teachers could not make you play.’ I asked him if he thought he
could do it and he said ‘I’ve had worse bone heads than you’ – which was
like him. And so I began to go to him for piano lessons and to practice
industriously four or more hours a day. And in three months or so I
really learned more about the mechanics of Pf. technique than I had ever
heard of before. I suppose his system was probably founded on Wm. Mason
but at any rate it developed control and independence of fingers for
me, more than anything I ever accomplished before. And so I learned the
Quintet, which was by no means easy and finally played it at my concert
on Jan. 23 [1888] in Chickering Hall.” (6419)

Chadwick was not above making caustic comments about other groups
including Lang’s choirs. Writing about a performance Chadwick conducted
of the Worcester Chorus, he mentioned that the choir had been applauded
by the orchestra, who were mostly players from Boston. The orchestra
members were “quite in love with our pretty girls in the front row –
‘not like those old hens in the Cecilia’ as one of them said.” (6476)

Lang’s support of Chadwick continued into the 1890s. At the
Wednesday evening December 3, 1890 concert where Margaret Ruthven Lang’s
The Jumblies was premiered, Chadwick’s song Thou Art So Like a Flower
was sung as part of a group of three songs by Mrs. Jennie P. Walker.
(Program-Johnston Collection) On April 2, 1891 at the Music Hall the
Cecilia Society sang the world premier of Chadwick’sThe Pilgrims based
on the poem “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England”
originally published in Edinburgh in 1828, written by Felicia Dorothea
Browne Hemans (1793-1835). The singers were: Gertrude Edmands, William
Ludwig, George J. Parker and Joshua Phippen. The composer conducted.
(Faucett, p. 143) Less than a month later, at the April 29/May 4, 1891
Apollo Club concerts Mr. G. L. Parker, tenor, sang B. J. Lang’s Nocturne
in a program with orchestral accompaniment that opened with Chadwick’s
Song of the Viking which had been written in 1882 for the 50th.
Anniversary celebration of a choir in Leipzig. (Am. Grove Vol. 1, p.
388)[Faucett gives the date of the German-language version as c. 1904.
The copyright date was 1882 and the dedication was to Benjamin L. Knapp.
Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 171 and 172.] The Song of the Viking had been
part of a Apollo Concert on February 10, 1886 in its version for chorus
and piano. The Boston Evening Transcript review noted: “Though the music
has not much that is strikingly original, it has a certain strength,
which was well expressed by the club.” This review was probably by
William F. Apthorp (Faucett, Bio-Bib., pp. 145 and 146) Also on the 1891
program was Chadwick’s partsong The Boy and the Owl which had been
published in 1886. (Program-Johnston Collection) The Boy and the Owl was
again programmed for the March 5, 1893 “Miscellaneous Program” with
orchestra presented by the Apollo Club at the Music Hall. (MYB, 1892-93,
p. 15) However, this piece was for unaccompanied men’s voices-it was
part of Four Part Songs for Male Voices published by Schmidt in 1886.
One review of the 1893 performance spoke of the work as “simply
delicious.” While a second review referred to the piece as “droll.”
(Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 158) Chadwick’s Columbian Ode was premiered in
Chicago on October 21, 1892, and within the month (!) Lang had performed
this major work with a double quartet at South Congregational Church.
(Faucett, Bio-Bib., p. 138)

Chadwick may have acknowledged Lang’s support through the 1890
publication of his Drei Walzer Fur das Pianoforte (f, E, A). The pieces
are dedicated to a Lang pupil, Mrs. E. M. Marsh, and the first waltz has
the heading “Motive by B. J. L.” Even though the title is in German,
the work was published by Schmidt in Boston. Mrs. Elizabeth May Marsh
had been one of the advanced students who performed concertos in the
concerts promoted by Lang from 1885 until 1888. 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)

Lang thought enough of Chadwick as a teacher to send his daughter,
Margaret to him for further instruction after she returned from her two
years of musical study in Munich. In a letter to Mr. Krehbiel dated May
22, 1893 Margaret Ruthven Lang wrote: “I first studied harmony in
Boston with my father, and the pianoforte and violin under various
teachers…During a two years sojourn in Munich, I studied counterpoint
and fugue with Prof. Victor Gluth, and the violin under (first) Louis
Drechsler and then Prof. Abel. On returning to America I studied, in
Boston, orchestration with Mr. Chadwick.” (BPL Lang Collection, Rare
Books) George Chadwick had studied at the Munich Hochschule fur Musik
about ten years before Margaret’s time there. He also had worked with
Ludwig Abel who was the “concertmaster for the Wagnerian conductor
Hermann Levi.” (Yellin, p. 38) Chadwick’s time in Munich was from
1879-1880, when he was primarily a composition pupil of Rheinberger. An
examination of Chadwick’s “Diaries/Datebooks” for the periods of
June-December 1892 and all of 1893 show no mention of Margaret having
regularly scheduled lessons with Chadwick-in fact her name is not found
at all during this period. But, in the Chadwick files at NEC there is a
photo of B.J. Lang inscribed “For dear Chadwick” and dated 1890 which
shows strong connection between the two men, and so Margaret may have
taken private lessons on an irregular basis.

April 4, 1909, the day that Benjamin Johnson Lang died, George
Whitefield Chadwick, at that time the head of the New England
Conservatory, wrote in his Diary: “April 4th. B. J. Lang died this
evening of pneumonia after an illness of four days. He had been losing
his grip for two or three months and his time had come. He died
peacefully and without suffering, seventy-one years old. Probably there
never was a more ambitious man than B. J. Lang. He had excellent talent,
especially for the technical side of piano playing, great perceptive
powers and good brains for study. There was not a lazy bone in him, and
he accomplished more by his energy and indomitable will-power than many
people can do with genius. His playing was interesting musically and at
times, when he forgot his mannerisms, powerful and effective. He was
ambitious as a composer and is credited in Scribner’s Encyclopedia with
having composed oratorios, symphonies and other large works, although I
never have met anyone who ever has seen or heard any of them. He was a
loyal friend to any one who needed him, even to those who had no claims
to his friendship, and his personal life was that of a true-hearted,
cultured, decent gentleman, a type of musician none too common in this
day and generation. He had some bitter pills to swallow in his life, and
one of them was to be succeeded by me as organist of the South
Congregational Church where he had been organist for a very great number
of years. He had his revenge however for they ‘fired’ me out
subsequently!. On March 21st. he wrote to me ‘You ought to thank God for
your sense of humor, and it is always good-humor too.’ We were always
good friends in spite of a few spats, in which I think that he always
got the worst of it, but liked me all the better for it.” (6489-90)
Chadwick had known Lang professionally and personally for over thirty
years. A second entry dated Wednesday, April 7th. noted: “Funeral of Mr.
Lang at King’s Chapel; very simple and dignified; no music except the
congregational hymns. Wallace Goodrich played the organ.” (6491)

Lang and Chadwick both had the influence of music within the
family during their early years. Chadwick’s father “Alonzo had taught in
an academy and singing school near Concord, New Hampshire, while
Chadwick’s mother sang in the church choir….Alonzo Chadwick was a
member of the Lawrence Musical Association and was one of many area
singers to lend his talents to Patrick S. Gilmore’s enormous musical
spectacle, the 1869 Boston Peace Jubilee.” (Faucett, Bio-Bib, pp. 1 and
2) Lang’s father, Benjamin, American born and of Scottish descent, was a
piano dealer, music teacher and possibly also a piano maker in Salem,
Massachusetts. Lang senior found his best pupil in his own son, and by
the age of twelve, B.J. was already accomplished enough to perform the A
flat Ballade of Chopin.

Chadwick dropped out of high school at seventeen before
graduating. After a brief period working at the insurance agency that
his father had founded, he enrolled as a non-degree student at New
England Conservatory in 1871. Four years later, but without a degree, he
was hired as the total music faculty at Olivet College in Olivet,
Michigan. This one year of teaching motivated him to seek further
musical instruction, and the next three years were spent in Germany.
After a brief stop in Berlin, Chadwick moved to Leipzig to study
composition with Jadassohn and Reinecke from 1877 until 1879. The third
year was spent as a composition pupil of Rheinberger in Munich. He
returned to Boston in March 1880 to begin his real musical career-he was
now twenty-six. Lang did finish high school in his home town of Salem,
Massachusetts, and then also went to Germany for three years of study.
In 1855, aged seventeen he went to Berlin where he studied with Alfred
Jaell. Lang may have made this choice based on the advice of his Boston
piano teacher, Francis G. Hill “who was among the first of Boston young
men who went to Germany to study music. ” (Dwight, June 1, 1872) Or,
Lang may have heard Jaell play the Boston premier of Mendelssohn’s Piano
Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 40 on February 19, 1852 with the
Germania Orchestra conducted by Carl Bergmann. While in Germany Lang
also was “fortunate to have the personal direction of Liszt while
studying the piano.” (Nat. Cyclo Am Bio., p. 430) The first meeting of
Lang and Liszt 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, MRL
100th. Year article) At this time Lang also met Liszt’s daughter,
Cosima, which led to Lang’s later associations with her two husbands,
Hans von Bulow and Richard Wagner.

The formal relationship between Lang (December 28, 1837-April 4,
1909) and Chadwick (November 13, 1854-April 4, 1931) began when the
young musician returned to Boston in the spring of 1880 after a period
of study in Europe, Chadwick hired a piano teaching studio at 149a
Tremont Street. His friend, John Preston had told him that this “was the
only place that was recognized as respectable for young lady students
to go without a chaperone! At that time many of the old-established
teachers, even B. J. Lang were trotting about to residences to give
lessons.” (6314) Chadwick was determined not to do this, but this
resulted in a “pretty slow” growth in the number of students. Preston
also “seriously advised [me] to make my peace at once with Mr. Lang as
nothing could be done without his powerful protection.” (Ibid) Preston
further suggested “that I should take a few lessons from Mr. Lang in
order to awaken his interest. I scorned all these propositions. Out one
day about Christmas time, meeting Mr. Lang quite [by] accident, he asked
me if I would come to his house for supper on a Sunday night. I did so
and had [a] most delightfully sociable time. Mrs. Lang (at that time
almost a replica of the present Margaret Ruthven Lang) was most charming
and thus began a friendship which has lasted until the present time I
am happy to say.” (6315) By the end of his first year teaching Chadwick
had only “picked up eight or ten pupils, but not one of them was from
the Back Bay or from the class known as ‘our best people.’ The Lang
coterie monopolized that field.” (6316)

ELSON, HISTORY OF AMERICAN MUSIC,

p. 228, Plate VIII. 1904.

Chadwick in his mid-40s., just after he had
Margaret Ruthven Lang as a student.

After serving the Handel and Haydn Society as organist for over
forty-five years (1859-1895), Lang was appointed conductor of the group
in 1895. But, for the December 1896 concerts Lang was unable to conduct
because of pneumonia, and Chadwick conducted the Messiah performances
scheduled. Lang had written twice to Chadwick about Messiah: in one
undated letter (actually written by Frances Lang) he tells Chadwick of
the “profound comfort and satisfaction” knowing that Chadwick will do
the performances. “Not a thought nor a care had I from that moment” when
he was told of this. In another letter dated “Sunday P.M.” he asks
Chadwick to rehearse “Be Not Afraid,” “Thanks be To God,” and the “No. 1
Chorus” saying that “I did not dream I should not be on deck by now –
it’s a great comfort to think of you at the helm.” As a P. S. he asked
Chadwick to “Give my love to them!”(NEC Collection of letters to G. W.
Chadwick)

B. J.’s interests of orchestral conducting and introducing new
music continued even late in life. Late in 1903 the Chickering Piano
Company asked Frederick S. Converse, Arthur Foote, Charles M. Loeffler
and B. J. as Chairman to form a committee to “arrange a series of
concerts in Chickering Hall, 153 Tremont Street…February 10, 24 and
March 9 and 22, 1904…The purpose of these concerts is to give the public
an opportunity to hear new and interesting compositions in a hall of
moderate size…the orchestra will number between fifty and sixty.”B. J.
was to be the conductor. G. W. Chadwick’s name was also listed as a
committee member on the “Chickering Orchestral Concerts” stationary, but
his named was crossed off on letters sent from Lang to Chadwick. For
some reason Chadwick did not participate, but in spite of that, for the
fourth concert, Lang asked Chadwick for the score and parts to “three
pieces of yours that Mollenhauer once played on a tour,” and further,
“would you be willing to conduct them?” (Ibid, dated Boston, 16th.) The
pieces referred to were Chadwick’s Symphonic Sketches. After the
concert, Lang wrote on the 27th: “Damn the public in general + the
musicians in particular for not filling Symphony Hall last night. The
work is full of character pictures and genuine musical portraying.”
(Ibid, dated 27th. At the first concert the American premier of
Debussy’s Three Nocturnes (with female choir) was given as the second
item of the concert and also repeated as the final number-the same
procedure that he had followed forty years earlier in introducing new
works.

The links between the two men continued even after Lang’s death.
At the BSO concerts of Apr. 8 and 10, 1909 Mozart’s Masonic Funeral
Music was played in Lang’s memory.The Mozart opened the program, and was
followed by world premier of Chadwick’s Theme, Variations, and Fugue
for organ and orchestra.Also on the program was another Boston premier,
“Spring” from Musical Picture for Orchestra Opus 34 by Glazounoff.How
appropriate that the concert honoring Lang should include two
premiers-this was probably more a tribute to the work of bringing new
music to Boston done by B. J. than was the playing of the Mozart. How
appropriate also that the other premier should be by George Whitefield
Chadwick!

Mentor Association Print dated 1918. In Zellin this pose is listed as c.
1910. This pose was also used in AMERICAN COMPOSERS, Revised Edition of
1914 by Rupert Hughes and Arthur Elson.

In 1910 Chadwick would have been 56 years old. Johnston Collection.

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