The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf

By Hugo Wolf; Henry Pleasants | Go to book overview
3.
Tobia Bertini ( 1856-1936) had sung just six months earlier in New York for Colonel Mapleson who, at the Academy of Music, was doing operatic battle with the newly opened Metropolitan. Bertini sang only one performance, as the Duke in Rigoletto on October 24, 1883, when, as recorded in The Mapleson Memoirs, "in 'La donna è mobile, 'he cracked on each of his high notes, whilst in the 'Bella figlia' quartet his voice broke in a most distressing manner while ascending to the B flat, causing loud laughter among the audience." Mapleson promptly sacked him, and demanded that Bertini return an advance of $1,000. Bertini not only refused, but sued Mapleson for $50.000 for breach of contract. Mapleson is silent as to the outcome.
4.
Jenny Alt ( 1865- ? ), a coloratura soprano from Pressburg. She subsequently sang in Wiesbaden, Weimar and Berlin.
5.
Prince of Reuss-Köstritz ( 1855-1910) wrote a considerable quantity of chamber music and six symphonies.
6.
Fanny Basch-Mahler ( 1857- ? ) had been a pupil of Julius Epstein at the Vienna Conservatory and of Jean François Marmontel in Paris. She was highly regarded as pianist and pedagogue.

15. Farewell to Gericke
Liszt's Symphonic Poems

April 27, 1884

In the next to last number of our paper we bade a premature farewell to Herr Hofkapellmeister Gericke. That was a mistake. Since, however, in all levels of society, only the Pope can assume the prerogative of infallibility, while error only too often constitutes the dark side of a critic's judgment or opinion, we can live with the burden of error the more easily in the knowledge that to err is human. Besides, if singers, jugglers, rope dancers, actors, etc., are allowed three or four farewell appearances, why should a music critic not grant a Hofkapellmeister a double farewell? Indeed, we could wish that Hofkapellmeister Gericke might give seven farewell concerts in the next winter season, thus granting both to conductor and public their just deserts. How unwillingly we see him go will have been made plain to Herr Gericke, we hope, by the consistently lively public response to the Society of the Friends of Music concerts under his direction. In fact, it has been due solely and exclusively to this conductor's aspiring industry and rare dedication that the concerts of the Society have put those of the Philharmonic deeply in the shade. He shrank before no difficulty, nor found anything unattainable in the domain of musical notes. The relentless monotony in the choice of older compositions, and the almost invariably unhappy choice of novelties, in the programs of the Philharmonic could not hold the balance against Gericke's flair for both older

-42-

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