The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, February 05, 1898, Page 4, Image 8

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    X
THE COURIER
H
to
Steveasoa's "A Child's Garden of
Verse."
la viator I get vp at sight
Aitf dressy yellow caadk-fatfat.
h iniiir suite tic offer way,
I lave to go to fed by day."
As cbcotm she rang "There, Little
Girl, Doc't Cry!- and "Little Boy Blue."
You remember how delightfully Mrs.
Katharine Fiake sang them down at
Crete several summers ago?
Then Mr. Rogera tang 'Deep in a
Rose's Glowiog Heart," and "One Spring
If oraiag ," and closed tie program with
that wonderful eereoade tbat we all
know, "Good Night, Good Night Beloved,
I Cone to be Near Thee." Thia man
ikbs to bare written most of the songs
i cares for. t
;
A little of bis history. . JIo comrs of a
good stock. The Sswk&ley Valley i
fall of Nevins. bankets,- merchants, edi
tors, all men who have made their mark
aad all big fallows who coald carry this
frolicsome youth, about like a biby.
Taey ca'l him "tha Boy." Ho sarg
f ram the time he c iuld talk and pla)ed
from J ha time be could reach i he key
beard. In school ha was p-eternatjr-ally
stupid, out of Echool be was as
happy aa a young acitrnl. Ho bad no
sister, so he was a girl-boy. lie wroto
bh ic when he as thirteen. When h9
was fifteen Le went to Bos'on and Bon
jimnF Lange told him he bad geniu?.
His father sect him abroad to ttudy
under Von Bomhe. When bo felt tbat
the boy waa losing his head he called
him bom-. It was time to take life
seriously; a Nevin could not waste bis
life "Ver the piano. Then followed tho3e
three miserable years at the Western
uaivenity of Pennsylvania; years of
failare and irioome duties and hope de
ferred. But it was during those months
o! ysaraiag that he wro'e "One Spring
Horsing," -A Lovo Song," "O. Tbat We
Two Were Ma) inj," and "Dirir." The
songs were on everyone's lips and his
f hr Tiifld. The boy went abroad
agaw to study under Von Buelor. Bis
' history staca that time belcngs to
it biographies.
HU home coming was a bit droll, the
descent of this irrepressible youth with
his wife and two children and his dogs
aad aa Italian valet upon thia aolid,
substantia!, well-reputed family. It
was a little like Magda's home-coming.
Jt was there I mot him. The first hour
waa take up with talks of bis life
abroad; o! bis home in Florence, his con
certs ia Paris, Berlin, Vienna; of the
scores of unpublished compositions,Bomo
of which will be brought out thia year; of
his sammer up among the Tuscan bills
when he shipped a grand piano up to
MeatepiaBO and wrote most of Magglo
in Txmo in the don'iey s'abb In
sail for a music room; of all that freo
aad glorious life of production and art.
Aad ho who told me of these triumph?,
of these ecstasies of creation was a
sasUiog boy perched upon the arm of a
leather read leg chair:
Finally I asked him what it felt like
to be a child of genius in Pitt3burg.
0 thosi were great old days, except
for the faUare at school. I never come
back without feeling the chagrin of
them aaew. I picked up language quick
eiaeagh abroad, bat here it was hopeless.
Ihavdcaught upa little ia history and
literature of kte yearr, but its all supor
icial. Ia reality I kaow very little. But
as to the old days. The greatrst pleas
ure ia thorn was singing. 1 had a voica
tksa. Eight of my uncle?, tte big fel
low, yea know, formed aa octett J and
they used t j go aronad the littlo towns
givtag ceneerla for charity aad they
starred me. O yes, I waa a star whea 1
was eight aad used to bo billed ia b'g
Ssttsrs from Altoona to Morgmtowa.
O the alias of Boeing my name oa the
biHe! the letters were sever bigencugh.
I was as careful of my throat as a bud
ding tenor. They used to Bland me on a
table on the atage and sing my accom
paniment. And the applause! No
prima donna's heart ever beat fastsr.
Ab, there ia nothing like it now! I was
a convenient prima donna, for I could
tirg either contralto or soprano and my
repertoire included all the pliintiff dit
ties you ever heard. I can feel it all
now.r
The sprightly youth sprang from the
arm ot the chair and catching up a
newspaper crumpled it up like a ftn and
holding it modestly in front of him,
struck the apologetic prima donca atti
tude and dolefully warbled forth "But
A-A-Alice where art thou?"
A laugh, and the newspaper was sent
whirrling acres the room and the youth
threw himself at full length in the arm
chair. "Well, it never occurred to me that I
couldn't go on singing 'Marguerite' for
ever; or that I shouldn't grow up to ba a
full-fledged prima docna. When I was
thirteen my voice chunked. Changed?
O feeble word! it evaporated, went com
pletely, leaving me only the sorry snucal
with which I have just hojored you. I
wts inconsolabta. My means of musical
expression was gone. I was a cad cr -baoy
of a boy, and I used to weep for
hours. And then I wro elhut serenade,
you know, G--od Night, Good Night, Be
loved." Ye?, good fi lends, ho wio'e it when ha
web thirteen, tbat tendor, adolescent
melody xLich Borneo might bavesun?
to Juliet. It waa the morning sorgot
genius, the song in which he wooed Our
High Ladycf Att:
This eyes are stars of morning,
Thy lips are blood-red flowers!"
- Is it any wonder thit even that mot
haughty Lady was cot cold to such
youth and rapture, that she smi'cd and
came?
As I was trying to mako him under
stand that even in the far west, which te
seemed to rrgird with a shiver much as
the Ancients rrgirJed Britain, his songs
werekcoarn and had brought joy into
the lives of meo, I incidentilly told him
of how I used to singa little boy to
sieep with his "Little Boy Blue" when
the summer s'arj were peeping, and
how tho laddie cried for it when I wa3
gone. Perhaps I spoke sadly without
meaning to, for thero aro lakes ard
rivers and many a leazue of frozen prai
rie between me and that little boy i on.
Very quietly and gravely he io;eand
went to the piano. Without -a word of
reply he Bang it tLrough softly in the
twi.ight.
And tcere I shall lavo Ethelber';
Nevin. I can toll you nothing more
characteristic of him a3 an artist and a
man than tbat simp'e action. Someone
he bad rever seen beforo, would never
s?e again, waa sad for a momtn1; and he
knew tnd cared. That is the essential
essence of his geriue; that exquisito
sensitiveness, that fins susceptibility to
the moods of others, to every external
thin? Thtt is why he can interpret a
poet's song better than the poet him
self; tbat i wby he can put the glory
and melancholy of a Tuscan summer
into sound; that is the all div ning in
tuition. so
The rain is but two-and thirty; b afore
hiei is the vast unachieved, the infinite
ucconqaered. He may Bever write sym
phonies; b.9 may never contribute any
thing of vital importance to tha litera
ture of the piano. But as long as tbe
heart in him bat, it will sing. He is
merely a troubadour. Since Goring
Thomas' death and cothirvr will ever
compensate the world for that uoiim.-ly
tragedy we have hid no man s thor
oughly possessed of lyr'c inspiration.
Before htm there i3 song foig sorg.
Perhaps fifty glorious 8:nging yearn.
But I cannot realize that he is a great
man. I shall always seo bim as 1 caw
him last, bowiBg bis goodnight, th's
joyom troubadour with the smile of a
boy aad the slender should rs of agiil;
"uatil we meet again."
"it was Hadsfssa, HarisauiB, Harlequin,
Ssm of the Fsmhow, fel"
Pittsburg, Pa.
!)9wSL?i,9wovoswwwwwvwwwSw9w9v?9SwSSw f (
I r t t i rv
i ii5M2).
Aumn L. Milder, Editoil
Notice Will secretaries correspond
ing with The Courier pleaee forward a
copy of their year book for file iu this
o3ice. Editor.
At the last meeting ot the Fortnightly
Mrs. E. H. Barbour presented the result
of a search for the drama and music of
Holland. Mrs. Barbour said in part
that since she. bad learned of the supre
mv y of the Dutch in engineering, dyke
building, aB -statesmen, reformerv, war
riors, citizens, artists and educators it is
Eoniewhat disappointing to find that in
the fine arts of minic and the drama they
are almost without expression. A Dutch
school of music does not exist; and with
the exception "of -a short time in tho mid
dlo agop, when in tha dry' beginning of
mueic they showed some ability in the
development r f counterpoint, the Dutch
have not ontr.bated to the mueical
knowledge of th j world. Three month's
d.ligent search has failed to dif cover
even a national air, though we read tbat
"all tht? Etecplss of Holland hare chimes
of bells which give an aerial conceit
every hocr of the day and night tbe
tun:s being national airs or from Ger
man, or Italian operas.' Tbe airs from
almost every other nation are familiar to
us, but who can recall a Dutch air?
Eiren amorg the characteristic lullabies
of the various cations we can find noth
ing to represent the Net terlander's.
Yet when one. reflects on the awful un
pronounceable wonder3 of the Dutch
language with all its misplaced and
superfluous conconants, we are enclined
to grant them full absolution for having
no national ahs and lullabies. Many
writers cliim an early supremacy for
music among the Dutch but I cannot
make it 82em worthy of much mention.
It was simply an intellectual compre
hension of the mathematical rudiments
of music. .It requires more of an effort
to be grateful to one who has furnished
us with the necessary principles for the
development of an art, than it does to
recognizs an obligation to ona who, in
charming our ears with an exquisite
strain, ehovves U3 tbe possibilities of the
art in its fullest perfection. These
Nctherlapd masters were entirely ab
sorbed in developing the technical con
struction and left out the emotional
possibilities. Tha Dutch school cf
music is generally divided into four
epochs which extend over nearly 2(0
years which are cistioguisbed by the
name of the foremost musician in each
epoch. Thus tho epoch of Dufay, of
Okegh;rn, cf Josquin des Pres and Wil
laert. As early as 895 Huckbald, a
Benedictine monk, was the first to for
mulato rules for harmony. But bis
ideas were crude and th result disagree,
able to the modern ear. His chief trait
wa3 the use of parallel fourths and
fifths. Harmony was not positively in
vented by him, but he was tbe writsr of
the first treatise on the subject This
field, thus opened up wss icdustriously
cultivated and by the time tbe era of
tbe Netherland school began, was pro
ductive of a ri h harvest. The employ
ment of four lin s and spaces in the staff
WiB the invention of Guidoof Arezzo who
died in 1C50. With lh9 formation of roles
for me. sure by Franco of Cologne who
nourished 1200 A. D. with harmony and
measure governed by rules, syctjmatic
composition becamo for the first time a
possibility. Naturally tbe development
of this art was the work of tho monks
and their vehicle was the plain chant of
tho church. Guido trained bis choris
ters so successfully that they began ad
ding ornaments to their melodies which
soon grew so ornate tbat it was neces
sary for one singer to entone the melody
while another added the ornamental
part. These parts were called discants
and in them was found the beginning of
counterpart and such it was termed
cliily in the 14th century. In the bands
of the great master of the Netberlaod
school this counterpoint was deve'oped
to its highest perfection. In fact count
erpoint is a synonym for tho Nether
land school, and if you retain that fact
you have tha sum and substancs of this
paoer and the rest is simply arabesque.
It is sufficient to assert of the first
period, tbat of Dufiy, that it was an
era of pure mechanics in mmi:. Dufay
. was atecorsingerin the Sistine chapel al
though hailing from Uainault. According
to the authorities he lived in so vera i
centuries and died in several piaco?, so
that his works are spoken of as remaik
able monuments of tlie'compoeit'oa of
those early times, and with the memory
of several remarkable monuments fresh
in my mind I am willing to admit tbat it
is a very fitting terun. Biographies of the
various composers wculJ only vary by
charges-ot names their lives were all
the Barae. They we:e all chapel mas
ters composing ca-ons, motets and
masses, but towards the end of tbe
fourth period, secular music began to
bs developed. Of course folk Bongs had
existed in the Netherlands as elsewhere
frcm time immemoriil, and their melo
dies were frequently employed in the
messes. Okeghern, who gave his name
to the second period, has been called tbe
patriarch of music, being the inventor
of the canon and in general of artificial
count-rpoinr. Indeed their music was
overloaded with arlificialities. They
had borrowed from tbe French the prac
tice of employing folk songs and even
profane chansons in their massep, and of
cour-otbey made use of them without
any idea of profanity. The masses were
named by the title of the melodies of
the tenor, bo that we read of tbe mase
of "The Red Noses," or "He Has a Pale
Face."
Josquin des Pres of ths 3rd epoch
really posseted some artistic abilit.
Luther was very fond of his music and
his reputation while living was unsur
passed. Willaert, the leader of the 4th
peritd, was the founder of the cele
brated Venetian tebcol of music from
which sprang so many distinguished
composers, theorists acd singers. Ho is
also the father of the Madrigal. Or
li'nio di Las3o is tho mightiest of all
tie Netherland masters, and considered
by good judges as groat a genius as
Palestrina. In his you'.li be was kid
napped three times on account of bia
fine voice, but survived to compose
2,000 wotks, a number of which have
bean published in modern form. Lud
wi, the mad king of Bavaria, Wagner's
patron, erected a bronze Btatuo of Lasso
in Munich. After his death the bril
liancy of the Netherland school was at
an end and its glory transferred to Italy,
but during this period covering nearly
two centuries, the Netherlands furnished
all tho courts ot Europe not only wiih
eingers but with composers and per
formers of instrument music. They
founded the Mrst musical cocservatory
of the world in Naples, also another in
Venice, and tbe renowned echool of
Borne owed it3 existence to their infiu
onco and example. But with the lfe
formatiou all this cornea to so end, and
ft
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