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1 correction by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

MUSICAL NOTES.

[By Miisicus.]

i\lr. J'.dwin -a. Jjemare, the lauious or ganist, has been busy giving recitals in the old 'country since his return from America. He is now ttoinor an extended tour ol Seot

and. JuirJy next year he aatII come to Aus iralia again to open the rebuilt organ in the Melbourne IWri Hall, Avhich Avill be the ir'st instrument in Australia to be operated jy electricity. It is stated that a genuine Stradivarius nolin has been discovered in Melbourne. ft appears that Mr. W. ; Roberts, a resident jf- VVilliamstoAA'n, had the instrument, ivliach AA'as old, warped, and battered, with jut knoAving anything of its origin, and all ittempts to coax music out of it were in i-ain. His employer^ Mr. NcAvman, a picture iramemaker in the city, gave him a neAy and presentable fiddle, taking the old one in ex shange. When Mr. Newman undertook to repair it he found that certain extraaeous ififects accounted . for its peculiarities, and when these Avere remedied the tone of the I'iolin suddenly deA-eloped remarkable reso nance and quality. A Swanston street ex pert, who did the repairs, became interest ed, and on making a minute examination found the magical Avord 'Rtradivarius' ob scurely branded upon k.' Further .research; resulted in the. discovery that the violin is 186 years old, of a grand model, and said to lie a. brother instrument to one soi.l in London two or three years ago for a large stun. Miss Maggie Stirling, the Melbourne con tralto, who is noAV on her Avny to Austra lia, Avill open her tour of these ?tates at the Melbourne ToAvn Hall in the third week in September. ?ydney Anil be A-isitcd in October, and the jcntralto AA'ill then come to Adelaide and jive some concerts. Miss Stirling, Avho is a natiA'e of Geelong, Avent to Europe in IS99, and after taking lessons from Sant ley and Mr. Henry J. Wood, the famous conductor of the Queen's Hall Orchestra, went to Paris, Avhere she studied under Marchesi. Avho has styled her 'one of my tcry best pupils.' Miss Stirling, AvhoAvaa x great favourite in Melbourne, has sung ivithjsuccess in A-arious parts of England, as ivell as Paris. She w-ili be accompanied an her forthcoming tour by Miss Ethel Sinclair, a young Melbourne A'iolinist, Avho rait hotue'thrcc or four years ago. At a recent sale of copyrights in London Tilde's sonji 'The skipper' realized £570, ind 'The last milestone,' by lienry Pon tnt. £531. Michael Watson's 'Gigue in G,' for orchestra, fetched £321 16/, and lito Mattel's royalties, Avhich had pro luced during the last three years £168 14/2 |;er annum, fetched £GSO. liic Genran Emperor said lately in i speech— 'I haA-e found generally that work men make the best singers. When 1 aatis it Frankfurt, on the occasion of the choir ronii-etition. the D-'sen men's choir— all the members of Avhieh are Avorkmen— took part, and I tell you those men sang Famously.' Herr Hans, of Cologne, has brought out an im'cntion for securing the proper posi tion of the left hand in nolding the violin, Avhich is now being used in several German conservatories and schools of music. This is a simple and efficacious little instrument. I which seems to be perfectly adapted for! the purpose, and wthicJi ensures that the habit — common to beginners — of allowing the hand (in lieu of. the fingers) to support the neck of the A'iolin is avoided.; that the violin shall Improperly held, whereby, a clear -tone '-is olwained; that- the wrist is not fatigned; that the size of the A-iolin is correctly adapted to the length of the arm , of the player. These instruments -are made of German silver, in three sizes. The famous Uessea-o'-the-barn Brass Band recently did a most successful tour of the principal towns of France, and their perfor mances Avere received everywhere Avith great enthusiasm. This band is said to be composed entirely of Avorkmen. The Guardian, in a leading article says: —'It is impossible to exaggerate the im portance of hymns and their music in the deA-otional life of the church. Their teach- { ing is present Avith the lives and hearts of men when formal players are forgotten, i ind tbe A'oice of the preacher is still. These lines recur to the memory in the midst of the daily task even of those Avho would not ordinarily be called religious. In the tnvn:e | of life, in disaster, and in hope, in soli tude, and amid the boom and rattle of the battlefield, the perliaps half-forgotten ver ses . speak to the memory as nothing else 1 yill speak. At this time of day nobody is i likely to underestimate the A-alue of the songregiitional atmosphere which hymns have done so much to encourage.' ? ' ' A correspondent Avrites asking hoAV : to identify n genuine Stradivarius or Amati violin. I am afraid that it is impossible for any one but a highly experienced expert lo do tliis, and that no description of the salient features of ' the instruments by tliestl famous makers would help the amateur much. . Even famous experts are said to be occasionally at fault in identify- ing old violins. However, among the characteristic features of a Stradivarius violin are the bees knees of the pfurling, which are kept closer to the inner corners than in most instruments, and hence dis- play a greater margin of wood on the outer edges of the corners. Then the block pegs are half under the pfurling. showing only one-half. In the F holes the wing is concave and the breast convex, showing the distinct sinking of the wing directly you come to the F hole. Of course, finally and most important' of all, there is the tone, and here the expert ear is required. It is difficult to name any striking charac- teristics in the construction of the Amati violin, for there AA-ere no less than seA'en different makers of this name. The tone of the typical Amati is rich but small. With regard to the inscription 'Antonius Stauljvarius.Cremonensis Faciebut Anno 1732,' 'this is a common label, used in a large number of the factories an Europe, and especially in Germany. It has no A'alue whatever. From a description only it is impossible to give any idea of the value of a violin. It 'must be seen and tried.' The. current itsue of The Musical Herald contains the folloAving paragraph:— 'Mr. Frederick Bevan, the well-known bass singer, Avho settled some years ago in Adelaide as a professor of singing at the Elder- Con-, servaiorium. lately paid a flying visit to London. Since his return to South Aus tralia he has written a letter to a friend who asked him for his impressions of Lon don music:— 'I hardly know what to' say as to my impressionsTof.'the changes in London musical life;,but,ispeakine general ly, I feel that (apart- from the great de A-elonment in the way of orchestral con certs) matters have not impiwed. during the last six years. I Avas mainly interest ed in the dcA'elopment of the vocal art, and the performances I beard did not impress me to anv extent. Of the many neAv singers I heard there Avere none equal to our best of ten years ago, and as to recent publications— the fashionable 16 or 20 bar song, generally about nothing— expressing less and ending on the mediant or domi nant, are too tiring, and make one yearn for another Sullivan, or ''Blumenthal. Per haps my work here has made me more critical and exacting' than I Avas in the old days at home: .Tjut nevertheless such, were the impressions which forced them .seh/es upon me. The boom and apprecia tion of the Avorks of Elgar aa'.is perhaps the most interesting feature noticeable dur ing my ?tay in England, and herein is cause for congratulation, in that a truly native composer, main]}- self-taught, and independent of cliques, schools, or colleges, is able to command universal attention, and to proA-e to tho Avorld that*7 there -it! 'still a recognition and appreciation to be gained even though the master be merely Eng lish.' ' - .

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