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Koster and Bial were the first to make this venture. They purchased the Twenty - third Street Theatre, tore out the stage, continued the building through to Twenty-fourth Street, pierced large open arches in the side walls, and laid out the adjoining vacant lots as a garden, and placed a large organ and an orchestral platform in the main hall. Here, under the direction of Mr. Rudolph Bial, at one time director of the famous Krolls Garden in Berlin, a continuous series of concerts has been given, which have been unusually well attended from the beginning by the most respectable people. The music, as a rule, has been of a light, sparkling character, which pleased while it did not demand close attention; but occasionally music of a higher order has been attempted, with encouraging results. Notable among these were the concerts given during the past summer in con
nection with Wilhelmj, when, came the German ability of enjoyment despite the double price of admission, the through cheap and innocent amuse- hall was thronged by thousands. ments. In the father-land they had been Encouraged by the success of Messrs. accustomed to go with wife and children Koster and Bial, the Metropolitan Concert to the gardens and open-air cafés, where Hall Company, in the early summer of the father placidly smoked his pipe and 1880, opened their building on Broadway sipped his beer, while the mother quietly and Forty-first Street-a hall capable of plied her needle or knitting, and the chil- accommodating four or five thousand peodren played around her or strolled about ple, while leaving ample room for promand chatted with each other in under-enading. Mr. Aronson, the director of tones, while all listened to the charming this new enterprise, spent several years music discoursed by good bands. For a in Europe studying the characteristics of long time the counterpart of the father the popular summer- night concerts of land was confined to the Bowery, Jones's Berlin, Vienna, and Paris, and on his reWood, and Hoboken. Gradually, how- turn interested capitalists in the scheme, ever, the patrons of these places ceased to and the result was a building without a be only Germans, and with some slight superior of its kind either in Europe or changes capitalists felt that the city at America. The main characteristics are large would support similar concerts. an immense hall of great breadth and Among the first results of the change were height, surrounded by wide aisles. By Theodore Thomas's garden concerts, soon means of a steam-engine in the cellar, the followed by Gilmore's concerts in the sliding roof above the hall is capable of Madison Square Garden, and culminating being opened or shut in a few seconds, in the innumerable daily afternoon and thus affording complete ventilation, and evening concerts at Coney Island. But keeping the hall cool, even when brillall these were for the summer months iantly lighted by innumerable gas jets. only, and the next step was to build a Above the aisles on the main floor are tiers suitable house which should be cool dur- of boxes on either side, with a restaurant ing summer and warm in winter. Messrs. I at the end, and the ceiling above these boxes forms the floor of the great novelty Brighton--which is to Brooklyn what the of the building-an open-air terrace or Manhattan is to New York. All the pargallery, eighteen feet wide, which runs aphernalia of the older hotel were repeatentirely around the building. The win-ed-a special railroad to carry the multidows of the clear-story of the hall being tude, a large bathing pavilion, an immense thrown open, the auditory in the terrace restaurant to feed the hungry, and lastly can hear the music almost as plainly as and chiefly, an orchestra and a good corin the hall itself, into which they have a net-player. Mr. Neuendorf was intrusted full view; while, crossing to the other with the music, and during the first sumside of the terrace, they overlook the neighboring four-story buildings and the street below. Upon Mr. Thomas's engagement as director of the music, the attendance, already very large, was greatly increased, notably on the two evenings of the week devoted to classical music. Both the Metropolitan and Koster and Bial's combine the features of a concert hall, restaurant, and café under one roof.
A few years ago an association of capitalists made the delightful discovery that New York was within twenty-five minutes of the blue ocean, and of a white sandy beach unsurpassed by any of the famous European sea-side resorts. Acting on their discovery, they built a magnificent bathing pavilion, and a yet more magnificent hotel, surrounded by flower beds, in the centre of which a music stand was erected. A military band under the direction of Mr. Gilmore, the originator of the famous Boston Jubilees, was engaged mer he employed a complete string, wood, to give a concert every afternoon and and brass orchestra. The artistic effect evening during the summer months. It was encouraging, but was unfortunately is true that Coney Island could be found lost to those unable to obtain the best on all the maps, but, with the exception seats, and the next year the orchestra was of a few Brooklynites who drove down in replaced by a military band. the late afternoon, the place had been Farther to the west, on the same beach, abandoned to card sharpers and the rough- numerous sea-side resorts were built, each est class from New York. The fashion of of which had its band, the best known the metropolis went to Long Branch, New-being Downing's Ninth Regiment Band, port, and other places at least fifty miles with Mr. Arbuckle as cornetist. With from the city; but the proprietors of the the enthusiasm peculiar to Americans, Manhattan builded even better than they numerous hotels were built at Rockaway, knew, for to-day six railroads and numer- Long Beach, and other places. The direct ous boats are hardly sufficient to carry the gain to music is small, but indirectly the countless thousands to the various hotels certainty of employment throughout the that dot Coney Island. The Manhattan otherwise dull months has induced many still retains its pre-eminence, and is musicians to remain in the metropolis. thronged every day and evening by the At a farewell supper given to Miss multitudes to whom Gilmore's Band and Thursby in London, Mr. Hatton, in prothe sweet notes from Levy's cornet are posing a toast, took occasion to say, “The the chief attraction.
truth is, the leading English concert singStimulated by the success of the Man- ers of to-day are Americans, and the prinhattan, a second hotel was soon built—the cipal Italian prime donne of the lyric stage
Vol. LXII.-No. 372.-52
EMMA C. THURSBY.
come from America,” and called on Mr. sitions, and a sure sign of the improvement Mapleson to substantiate his remarks. in musical taste is seen by the increased
Making all due allowance for the cir- interest in the composition rather than in cumstances under which this compliment its performance. Mozart's father once to our fellow-citizens was made, the state- wrote to his son, “ Consider that for evment was not so very far from the mark. ery connoisseur there are a hundred wholCould we but have a Conservatory of Mu- ly ignorant; therefore do not overlook sic on a generous plan, with a large en- the popular in your style of composition, dowment, having at its head a man of and forget to tickle the long ears." Moundoubted ability and a thorough musi- zart replied, “Fear not, father, respecting cian, by encouraging the latent genius the pleasure of the multitude; there will which in so many instances is crushed by be music for all kinds of people, but none unfavoring circumstances, it might be for long ears.' verified in its entirety. What is needed Too many American musicians, knowis concentration and co-operation. Good ing the fate that had attended the larger teachers are numerous in the city, and compositions in the past, wrote for the some of our best singers have received “long ears” only, and the result is an their entire musical education at home. enormously long list of extravaganzas Miss Thursby is one of the shining exam- and music of the most ephemeral characples of the vocal culture attainable in ter. The only characteristic American America, for, with the exception of a few music hitherto is the product of the lowest months' study in Milan, her perfect meth- strata of its society. The plaintive slave od and brilliant execution are the results songs, and their echoes the plantation of training received under the direction melodies and minstrel ballads, have won of Julius Meyer, Achille Errani, and Ma- popularity wherever the English language dame Rudersdorf. Her voice is of un- is spoken; but they are rapidly passing usual compass, with great carrying pow-away, and in a few years will exist in er and perfect intonation, and, by rea- memory only. son of its purity and strength, may be The chief hinderance to the developheard above orchestra and chorus through-ment of a national school of music lies in out the largest building. In ballads and the diverse character of our population. songs, which she sings with a naïveté that American composers may flourish, but is irresistible, in the great arias, and in American music can not be expected unconcert pieces that abound in technical til the present discordant elements are difficulties, her singing is in turn tender, merged into a homogeneous people. lofty, and graceful. Never indulging in execution that is ornamental only, all her
" APRILLE." powers are subordinated to the one great end-expression. Her true field is the ora
She walked across the fields, ice-bound,
Like some shy, sunny hint of spring, torio and the concert-room. Miss Kellogg
And stooping suddenly, she found and Miss Hauk also are among those whose A violet-a dainty thing, education has been altogether American, Which shunned the chilly light of day the list of whom might be greatly extended.
Until sweet - Aprille” came that way. There are few countries in which music
They knew each other, girl and flower ; is more extensively cultivated, or at least There was some subtile bond between ; performed, than in the United States, but
And I had walked, that very hour,
The fields, and had no violet seen: as yet our best musicians have chiefly
For me the winter landscape lay been executants. The composers have All blossomless and black and gray. been hampered by lack of opportunity,
They knew me not, blue flower, blue eyes ; caused by the chilling indifference to na
She, careless, passed me when we met; tive talent, and by the flood of European The tender glance which I would prize writers, whose works are common proper- Above all things, the violet ty in America. Valuable and interesting
Received ; and I went on my way, symphonies, grand operas, compositions
Companioned with the cheerless day. in all forms, have in years past lain neg- From wintry days blue violets shrink; lected on the shelves of their authors' li
From wintry lives blue eyes will turn; braries.
And yet if she, I sometimes think,
Could sm on me with sweet concern, Help is extended to the American com- One life so like this wintry day poser by the offering of prizes for compo- Would spring-time be for aye and aye.
where centred the glory of Greece, has, at the mouths and pens of all, her meed of praise. The Athens of to-day, the capital of the realm of rude Roman conquerors whom she took George I., King of the Greeks, is an ob-captive, that the world is indebted to ject of interest not simply as “the heir Athens. All the nations of Europe have of fame," but for what she actually is, at their best epochs gone directly to her and for what she is likely to become in for instruction. Greek literature has inthe near future. Not only the antiqua- fluenced the development of all the literrian and the classical scholar, but the ature the polite scholar thinks deserving artist, the student of politics, the plea- of his study. Greek constitutions have sure-seeking tourist, and the observer of served as models or as warnings to every men and manners, will be richly repaid if statesman and to every student of politics. he takes the pleasant voyage of two or The central ideas of the constitutional three days from Naples to Athens, even if governments now foremost in the world he go no farther to the east.
are popular elections; magistrates the Three cities the world honors as the servants of the law, but responsible to the sources of the religion, the law, and the people; two legislative bodies, one popu"fair humanities” that have made us lar, the other conservative; and local auwhat we are: Jerusalem, the mother of tonomy in local affairs. All these are Christianity ; Rome, the stern mistress Greek principles, borrowed from Greek who taught the world state - craft and history. And even now we are not berespect for law; and Athens, in whose yond learning from the history of Athens. pure atmosphere the love of knowledge the conditions of Athenian society, the and the love of beauty first gave a perfect aims and habits of thought of the citizen form to art, philosophy, and literature. of Athens in the days of her glory, were Rome, with her insatiate thirst of con- in many ways strikingly like those of quest, drew into her own later history America to-day. Webster, in the matuthat of the Christian Church, as she had rity of his power, after reading again the imitated and borrowed from the litera- funeral oration of Pericles over the soldiers ture, art, and philosophy of Athens. And slain in the war with Sparta, cried out, as from the Christian fervor that Rome had he closed the book, "Is this Athens, and thus drawn from Jerusalem, working an Athenian orator? or is it an American, upon that love of perfect forms of beauty speaking to citizens of the United States ?” which Athens had taught her, came the Athens saw the rise of “bosses” and greatest latter-day glory of Rome—that "henchmen” in her degenerate days. art of idealistic painting which made her Her thoughtful citizens lamented the subagain the mistress and the teacher of the stitution of blind obedience to a “workworld.
ing" demagogue for intelligent allegiance Yet it is not chiefly for what Greece to the patriotic statesman who voiced in has done through her influence on these l his speeches and embodied in law the en
lightened public sentiment he had helped poets set forth so nobly the same comto create. Even the notorious maxim manding force of moral law, however whose influence has cursed American pol- clearly they may have depicted the failitics for the last fifty years, “To the vic-ures of Greeks to comply with its requiretors belong the spoils,” is a translation ments; and because all this is done in litfrom the pages of Xenophon.
erary forms that are as perfect and as harIn the natural sciences, the Greeks made moniously proportioned as are her statues so many shrewd guesses that science in and her temples—it is by this perfection its greatest strides has seemed but to fol- of thought in perfect forms that Athens low the line of Greek conjectures. Phil- has held her sway over the minds of men. olaus maintained, twenty centuries be- The reign of political law among the nafore Galileo, that the sun was a globe in tions may have been the lesson of Rome the centre of the system, and that the to the world. The recognition of a natearth and the other planets revolved about ural moral law in philosophy, and the it, the earth's own motion on its axis reign of harmony, self-restraint, and meacausing day and night and the apparent sured proportion as the basis of beauty in motion of the stars. Cuvier's work of art and in literature, the world owes to classification in zoology is in part antici- Athens. And in architecture (if we expated, in the History of Animals, by Ar- cept the Gothic-grand by its aspiring istotle. Geology was prophesied when lawlessness), in plastic art, in philosophy, Xenophanes inferred, from fossils, extinct oratory, and poetry, the world measures races of animals and great changes in the all its later work by a reference to the earth's crust. All the world knows how perfect standard of the Attic ideals. progress in chemistry and physics has fol- It has been too much the fashion to lowed the revival of Democritus's happy speak of the Athens of to-day as having "atomic theory."
little left to her save these glorious memYet it is in the realm of ideas rather ories of the past. We have been told that than of material science that the glory of the race type has utterly changed, that the Greece and Athens lies. It is because language has degenerated almost beyond Socrates and Plato made intensely real recognition, that the old customs and trathat distinction between right and wrong ditions are utterly dead. The lectures of which the sophists were attempting to Felton, the discoveries of Schliemann, discard and deny; it is because her great | turning all eyes once more toward Greece,