The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf

By Henry Pleasants; Hugo Wolf | Go to book overview
5.
Johannes Hager was the pseudonym under which Johann Hasslinger ( 1822-1898). a high‐ ranking official in the Imperial Foreign Office, indulged his hobby of composition.
6.
Franz Radnitzky was a violinist in the orchestra of the Court Opera, second violin in the Helmesberger Quartet from 1878 to 1884, and thereafter first violin in his own Radnitzky Quartet.
7.
Fried rich Robert Volkmann ( 1815-1883) was a prolific composer (of Saxon birth, a protégé of Schumann. He lived in Vienna from 1854 to 1858, then settled in Budapest as professor of harmony and counterpoint at the National Academy. The Quartet in G minor was his Opus 14. the Trio in B flat minor his Opus 5, and the Quartet in E minor his Opus 35.

5. A Wagner Memorial
Rubinstein's Recital

February 17, 1884

Before visiting the splendid Musikvereinssaal or our luxuriously appointed Court Opera House, let us turn our steps toward the plain Bösendorfersaal, whose grand simplicity is perfectly designed to make any audience, distracted and frivolous, aware that it is not at a fashion show or in a drawing room or even in one of those cozy sleeping compartments commonly known in the theater as loges, or boxes, but rather in a music room where custom has it that, for one's money, one is expected not only to listen, but also to keep quiet. Such a room serves at the same time to sustain the serious mood of an artistically appreciative audience (since there is no disturbance from outside) and to establish a benevolent harmony between the listener and his immediate surroundings. In this sense we should like to acknowledge the Bösendorfersaal as the most tasteful of all possible settings for the ceremony held there on February 13 in memory of Richard Wagner.

The Vienna Academic Wagner Society, the sponsor, observed February 13, the anniversary of the master's death, in the most reverent manner. The evening began with a male chorus by Wagner, "At Weber's Grave," 1 which now, under the title of "In Memory of Richard Wagner," was subjected to some variants, both musical and poetic, that were not all to the good, least of all as far as the music was concerned. Then came a memorial address by Herr von Wolzogen, 2 whose thoughtful content bordered close on mysticism, and was therefore nicely calculated to prepare us for the true mysticism of Parsifal in the Grail Scene of Act 1, which followed. With the consecrated strains of the grail motive, born aloft on seraph wings, the solemn ceremony came to a close. Those in attendance departed speechlessly and silently, as befits such an occasion.

-12-

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