Page images
PDF
EPUB

was performed at the Cirque d'Hiver, January 12, 1873. Received coldly at the first performance, it was redemanded at the concert of the next Sunday. Massenet made a transcription of it for the pianoforte.

Then came the performance of the Concerto for violin, Op. 20. The Symphonie Espagnole," first played by Sarasate on February 7, 1875, at a Châtelet Concert, made Lalo still more famous; but it was not till his opera "Le Roi d'Ys” was produced at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, May 7, 1888, that he was popularly recognized as one of the first of French composers,-a position that he still holds,- and not without reason did Hans von Bülow, writing a letter to Figaro apropos of the Alsace-Lorraine question, sign himself “The friend of Berlioz, Lalo and Saint-Saëns.” When this opera was produced and Lalo's fame established, the composer was sixty-five years old. . “Le Roi d'Ys” was produced at New Orleans, January 23, 1890, for the first time in the United States.

Before he was applauded as the composer of “Le Roi d'Ys,” Lalo met with various and cruel disappointments. Opposed to any concession or compromise, not knowing how to scheme or fawn, he was not the man to be welcomed by managers of opera houses. He was not in the habit of writing salon music, so his name was not known to amateurs. When a ballet-master of the Opéra urged him to study Adolphe Adam as a model, Lalo replied, “Do you think I am going to make music like that of 'Giselle'* for you?”

*"Giselle, ou les Willis," a fantastical ballet in two acts, book by Théophile Gautier and H. de SaintGeorges, music by Adolphe Adam, was produced at the Opéra, Paris, June 28, 1841, with Carlotta Grisi as chief dancer. The ballet had a great success, and was considered as the masterpiece of this art in France until the appearance of Delibes' “Coppelia” (1870) and "Sylvia” (1876). “Giselle” was produced in Boston at the Howard Athenæum, as early as October 10, 1846, when Mlle. Blangy was the leading dancer. It was performed at this theatre again in 1852 and 1853. The Russian Imperial Ballet headed by Miss Pavlowa and Mr. Mordkin revived it at the Boston Opera House, December 31, 1910.

[blocks in formation]

TAXI? BASERVIBLE 5500

TAXI-SERVICE CO.

BACK BAY
TOURING CARS

LIMOUSINES
Charge Accounts solicited with Responsible Parties

GIVE YOUR ORDER TO THE USHER

Lalo was obliged to be satisfied with playing in chamber concerts, until a competition, proposed in 1867 by order of the Minister of State, gave him an opportunity, as he thought, of showing what he could do in dramatic music. Beauquier wrote the libretto of an opera in three acts, "Fiesque," founded on Schiller's "Fiesco," and Lalo set music to it, but the prize was awarded to Jules Phillipot (1824-97) for his “Le Magnifique,” an opéra-comique in one act which was not performed until 1876 at the Théâtre Lyrique, when it was judged wholly unworthy of the honor. There was talk of producing "Fiesque" at the Opéra, but Lalo addressed himself to the Monnaie, Brussels. Just as the opera was about to be performed at the Monnaie, the director, Vachot, died. Lalo published the score; fragments of it were played in concerts in Paris, and the prelude and an intermezzo were performed at the Odéon, May 4, 1873. Pages of this opera were afterwards used by Lalo in his pantomime music for “Néron” (Hippodrome, Paris, March 28, 1891). It has been said that, if the dimensions of the Hippodrome had not seriously injured the effect of some of these pages, which were originally designed for a very different purpose, this pillaging of a score that had already been published would not have shocked a musician: "He would even have congratulated the composer on having found, by an ingenious protest against the unjust forgetfulness to which an old work of genuine merit had been condemned, this means of making his music known to those who otherwise would never have heard it.” (The first overture to "Le Roi d'Ys," by the way, the one played in 1876 and afterwards rewritten, was originally intended for an opera planned before “Fiesque,” but never published.) Lalo also used pages of “Fiesque” in his Symphony in G minor, produced by Lamoureux, February 13, 1887; the introduction to the first movement was taken from the entr'acte before the third act; the scherzo is founded on the ball scene, and an episode is the ensemble, “Unissons notre deuil,” sung by Léonore, Verrina, and chorus; the theme of the adagio is a phrase of Julie, "Fiesque, pardonne moi!" in the trio of the third act. A movement in his Aubade for ten instruments is an entr'acte from

HOTEL PURITAN

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

Commonwealth Avenue, near Massachusetts Avenue

Surface Lines and Subway Station
The Distinctive Boston House

A high-class hotel with moderate rates
Some globe trotters have been good enough to say that the Puritan is one

of the most attractive and home-like hotels in the world.
The illustrated booklet of the Hotel will be mailed on request.

S. M. Costello, Manager

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

WE INVITE COMPARISON WITH OTHER TEAS

OF THE SAME OR HIGHER PRICE

S. S. PIERCE CO.

Tremont and Beacon Street BOSTON

Coolidge BROOKLINE

Corner

"Fiesque”; but the best pages of “Fiesque" were used in the opera, “La Jacquerie,” to which I shall refer later. This custom of using pages of one opera or oratorio for another was common among composers of the eighteenth century, and was observed by Rossini with Olympian indifference, as when he used the crescendo in the "Calumny" aria in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” for the entrance of the Moor in the last act of “Otello.” Composers of a later date have not been squeamish in this respect: thus the music of the Soldiers' Chorus in “Faust” was written by Gounod for Cossacks in an opera with a book by Henri Trianon, entitled "Yvan de Russie," or "Yvan le Terrible";* and the romance of Micaëla in the third act of “Carmen” was composed by Bizet for an opera, "Griselidis," with a libretto by Sardou.† Lalo was given to quoting from himself. The song in which Mylio tells of his love to Rozenn in “Le Roi d'Ys” is taken from “Fiesque,” and a broad phrase from the introduction of the “Concerto Russe" (1881) is given to the brass after the chorus of victory in the second act of "Le Roi d'Ys.

Little time was given to Lalo for the composition of his ballet “Namouna.” Obliged to write the music in four months, he worked on it fourteen hours a day, when he was fifty-eight years old. He had a stroke of paralysis at a rehearsal. The work was nearly completed, and Gounod, fond of Lalo, begged to be allowed to orchestrate the last

But there were other trials for Lalo, who saw a performance of his "Roi d'Ys” indefinitely postponed. After Gounod had completed his task of affection, there came up a question of a cigarette.

* This score was nearly completed in 1857, and Paris journals announced that Gounod had read or, rather, sung it to Royer, director of the Opéra. The work was never performed, but Gounod used pages of it in other

Bizet destroyed the scores of his "Guzla de l'Emir," "Ivan le Terrible," "La Coupe du Roi du Thule.” He had dreamed of “Namouna," “Calendal,” and he worked some on “Clarisse Harlowe.” Fragments of “Griselidis,” which he began in 1871, and of “Le Cid,” were found after his death, but he sketched his ideas in hieroglyphics which were unintelligible to others. After the production of “Carmen” he was busied especially with "Clarisse Harlowe," and he was thinking of putting music to Léon Halévy's “Les Templiers.”

cenes.

operas.

Hill, Smith & Co.

Wholesale and Retail

STATIONERS

Engraving, Die Stamping

and Fine Printing
Blank Book Manufacturers
Modern Loose-leaf Devices

and Supplies
8 MILK STREET

Old South Building
Telephone, Main 1590

AN appetizing

Luncheon, dainty Afternoon Tea or the hearty Dinner, it matters not, milady or gentleman will find here the better sort of food and service, at prices within reason.

Luncheon 11 'til 2.30
Afternoon Tea — 3 'til 5

Dinner — from 5.30 on
THE MAYFLOWER

TEA ROOMS 429-A BOYLSTON STREET

near Berkeley Street BOSTON, MASS. 'Phone Back Bay 552

In a scene of seduction in the first act of “Namouna" Mme. Sangalli, the chief dancer, was expected to light and smoke a cigarette while dancing. “She had made praiseworthy attempts to accustom herself to smoke and was at last sure of herself,” when the dancer Mérante demanded that this effect should be cut out on the ground that he should use it himself in the scenario of a ballet about to be performed, although the effect was “invented” by Petipa, not by him. There were threats of a lawsuit. Vaucorbeil, the director of the Opéra, was afraid of danger through fire. At last it was decided that Mme. Sangalli should roll the cigarette, but not light it. “Namouna” was announced for performance, but Mme. Sangalli injured a foot, and the performance was postponed. There were then cruel rumors to the effect that the music had been found inadequate. Meanwhile friends of Ambroise Thomas were pressing the production of "Françoise de Rimini.” It was said by some of the newspapers that, if Mme. Sangalli were not able to dance, Miss Rosita Mauri would replace her. This was in 1882. She, hearing this, answered her informant: “I shall rehearse Saturday, March 4, and on Monday, the 6th, I shall dance Namouna, or I shall be dead!” She did not die: she danced Namouna on the day she named.

After “Le Roi d'Ys" made Lalo famous at the age of sixty-five, he composed a pianoforte concerto (first played by Diémer in 1889) and the music for “Néron.” He then began to compose the music for a lyric drama by Mme. Simone Arnaud and Alfred Blau, “La Jacquerie,” which has nothing in common with Mérimée's historical drama except the title and the scene of action. Lalo had another paralytic stroke, and he died having sketched only the first act of this opera, which was completed after his death by Arthur Coquard and produced at Monte Carlo, March 8, 1895. There was a performance at Aix-les-Bains the

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »