Page:The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol. 26, No. 506 (Apr. 1, 1885), p. 221.djvu/1

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THE MUSICAL TIMES.—April 1, 1885.

and listened to “Judas,” from the first to the last note, without giving signs of fatigue or impatience, as did all the hearers. No small compliment to pay to music more than a century old.


OBITUARY.

James William Davison.—We regret to announce the death of the eminent musical critic who, for nearly thirty-five years, wielded in his particular sphere, the power of the Times newspaper. The sad event took place at the York Hotel, Margate, on the 24th ult., in presence of his two sons, and his devoted brother, Mr. W. Duncan Davison. It was not wholly unexpected, Mr. Davison having been a sufferer, more or less, for a considerable period. A severe attack of illness set in about three weeks ago, and, although partial recovery took place, a relapse on the 21st ult. brought the fatal termination. The deceased gentleman was born in London in 1813, his father being a younger son of an ancient family long settled in Northumberland, and his mother the famous actress, Miss Duncan. For some time after attaining manhood, Mr. Davison settled to no particular pursuit, although both taste and talent pointed to a literary life. At last, however, he devoted himself to music, received lessons on the pianoforte from the still living Mr. W. H. Holmes; associated himself closely with Sterndale Bennett and George Macfarren, and became a composer, teacher, and occasional Concert-giver. Of his works, some among which were ambitious, his fine settings of Shelley's lyrics have survived to the present day, and will probably live on. Gradually Mr. Davison left the practice of music for the creation of its literature. He became a contributor to musical journals, and largely assisted the then critic of the Times, the late Mr. Charles Lamb Kenney; doing everything with so much force and brilliancy that his name soon became known. This led to a definite appointment on the Times, and to the requisition of his services by the Saturday Review, the Pall Mall Gazette, the Graphic and other papers, as well as the Musical World, which he edited for many long years.

Mr. Davison, whose love of his art was sincere and passionate, exercised a powerful influence throughout his career. He was a strong conservative, and could see little good in the new men and methods of our own day. On the other hand, no single person did more than he to familiarise our public with the classical Masters. To him we owe the idea of the Popular Concerts, and to his constant and enthusiastic advocacy is due much of the culture that has flowed from that enterprise. Several years prior to his death, Mr. Davison retired from active life. But he retained to the end the respect and affection of those who, having been admitted to his intimacy, knew his sterling worth.


Mr. Carl Rosa announces that his season of English opera will commence at Drury Lane Theatre on Easter Monday, the 6th inst., and extend over eight weeks. The following novelties are promised:—“Nadesha,” a Romantic Opera, written expressly for the company by Goring Thomas, the principal parts being sustained by Madame Valleria and Mr. Barton McGuckin; Massenet's Opera “Manon” (English version by Joseph Bennett), with Madame Marie Roze and Mr. Joseph Maas in the prominent characters; and Boïto's “Mefistofele” (first time in English in London), Margaret and Helen of Troy, Madame Marie Roze; Faust, Mr. McGuckin, and Mefistofele, Mr. Ludwig; Mozart's “Marriage of Figaro” is to be revived, the Countess, Madame Georgina Burns; Susanna, Madame Marie Roze: Cherubino, Madame Valleria; Count Almaviva, Mr. Ludwig, and Figaro, Mr. Barrington Foote. Selections will be made from an extensive répertoire of works which have already been performed by the Carl Rosa Company. In addition to the vocalists named the list includes Madame Julia Gaylord, Miss Clara Perry, Miss Josephine Yorke, Miss Marion Burton, Messrs. B. Wilson, Charles Lyall, B. Davies, Sauvage, Walter Clifford, G. H. Snazelle, and Crotty. The Conductors are Mr. Alberto Randegger and Mr. E. Goossens, and the valuable services of Mr. Augustus Harris are secured for the mise-en-scène.

Herr Hermann Franke has issued an appeal to the lovers of German Opera in England for a Guarantee Fund, in order to reduce the risk of loss which might attend the giving of six performances of Wagner's “Tristan und Isolde” in June, or the first week in July, of the present year. It is intended that these representations shall take place in the following manner:—Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This would be only one day more than a week, but would leave some days open as a break, which is thought to be desirable. It is stated that the artists will be of the highest order; the work will be given without any cuts, and there is to be a double company of vocalists, who will sustain the principal parts alternately. The guarantors are already so numerous as to justify the hope that the scheme can be carried out.

At a meeting held in the Royal Academy of Music on February 28, it was resolved that a Scholarship in memory of the eminent vocalist, Madame Sainton-Dolby, who entered as a student of the Institution in 1834, and was elected King's Scholar in 1837, be forthwith endowed in the Academy; and that, in furtherance of this object, a subscription list be opened at the Bank of Messrs. Coutts and Co., and at the London and County Bank, Hanover Square. We have much pleasure in saying that the response to this appeal has already been most liberal; and the names of the donors sufficiently evidence how widely spread is the respect for the accomplished artist and amiable woman who has passed from amongst us.

The prospectus of the Richter Concerts promises nine evening performances during the present season, commencing on the 27th inst., at St. James's Hall, under the directorship of Herr Hermann Franke; Leader, Herr Ernst Schiever; Choir Director, Herr Theodor Frantzen, and Conductor, Herr Hans Richter. There will be an orchestra of 100 performers, and the Richter Chorus. The programmes will include the following works:—Beethoven: Overtures, Op. 115, and “König Stefan”; Symphonies, Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9; “Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt” (orchestra and chorus); Berlioz: Overture, “Benvenuto Cellini”; Symphony, “Funèbre et Triomphale”; Brahms: “Academische Ouverture”; Rhapsodie (orchestra and chorus, with alto solo); Dvorák: Overture “Mein Heim”; Glinka; “Kamarinskaja”; Haydn: Symphony in C; Liszt: Rhapsodie, No. 5 (first time), “Mephisto Walzer,” and selection from “Christus”; Mendelssohn: Overture, “Hebrides”; Mozart: Symphony in E flat; Schubert: Symphony in B minor; Schumann: Overture “Manfred”; Stanford: “Elegiac Ode” (solo, chorus, and orchestra); Weber: Overture, “Oberon”; and Wagner: Overtures, “Der Fliegende Holländer” and “Die Meistersinger,” with selections from “Walküre,” “Die Meistersinger” and “Nibelungen Ring.” The names of the vocalists and solo instrumentalists will be shortly announced.

A successful Concert was given by Mr. H. F. Gregg on the 5th ult., in the Alston Road School Room before a crowded audience. The first part opened with Haydn's Overture “Orlando Paladino,” played by Miss and Mr. Gregg, and Mr. Clare Foy performed several pieces on the Zither, which were redemanded. Amongst the vocalists Miss Hay was much applauded for her rendering of Blumenthal's song “Across the far blue hills, Marie”; the same lady also giving Cowen's “The children's home” with considerable effect. Mr. Gregg chose for his solos, Schumann's Scherzino, Op. 26, from the “Fashingsschwank,” one of Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte, and Chopin's Etude in A fiat, Op. 25, No. 1, all of which were most favourably received. Recitations were likewise delivered by Messrs. H. J. Cooper and H. P. Stock.

A very successful Organ Recital was given on the 16th ult., in Christ Church, Chalton Street, Somers Town, N.W., by Mr. Samuel Moore, the Organist of the Church. The Recital, which commenced with a short service, comprised Baptismal Song (Meyerbeer), Postlude in C (H. Harford Battley), “Angels ever bright and fair” (Handel), Prelude and Fugue in C minor (J. S. Bach), Air with Variations from the Symphony in D (Haydn), and Grand Offertoire in F (Wély). Two anthems were well sung by the choir, and the tenor solo, “Be thou faithful unto death” (“St. Paul”), was given with much effect by Mr. G. Gostic.